Blunder-proofing your game

Three quite shocking examples from junior chess.

[Event "Blunder-proofing"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015"]
[Round "?"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "*"]
[FEN "r2q1rk1/1pp2ppp/p6B/3pPb2/1n1P4/5NQ1/PPP2PPP/R4RK1 b - - "]
[Setup "1"]

1...Nxc2?? 2.Qxg7#

[Event "Blunder-proofing"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015"]
[Round "?"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "*"]
[FEN "r3kb1r/ppp1pppp/8/3q4/3N4/7P/PPPPbPP1/R1BQ1RK1 w kq - 0 10"]
[Setup "1"]

10.Qxe2?? (10.Nxe2!) *

[Event "Blunder-proofing"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015"]
[Round "?"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "0-1"]
[FEN "r4rk1/pb1pppbp/2q2np1/2p5/1nP5/1PN1PN2/P2QBPPP/R1B2RK1 w - - 13 "]
[Setup "1"]

1.Ne5?? Qxg2#

[I will say I was most impressed by the group's ability to find the
blunders almost instantly! It's as though we have a special instinct
for such moves...]

There are three sorts of blunder, it seems to me, and we have seen examples of each:
A. you overlook your opponent's threat (you are asleep)
B. you overlook your own threat (you are lazy)
C. you overlook your opponent's reply to your threat (you are over-excited)

Some fairly shocking examples from the club championship of recent years... One of each type, again.

[Event "Exeter Club Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2010"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Regis,D"]
[Black "Paulden, TJ"]
[Result "0-1"]
[FEN "4rr1k/p5qp/1p1p2p1/2pN4/2PbnP2/8/PPQB2PP/R4R1K w - - 1 23"]
[Setup "1"]

22.Bc3?? Ng3+ 0-1

[Event "Exeter Club Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2011"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Regis,D"]
[Black "Body, G"]
[Result "1-0"]
[FEN "3r2k1/1B3p1p/1p4p1/2bb4/5P2/4PN2/1P3P1P/2R3K1 w - - 2 23"]
[Setup "1"]

23.Bxd5 (1.Rd1) *

[Event "Exeter Club Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2011"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Waters, SJ"]
[Black "Regis,D"]
[Result "1-0"]
[FEN "5rk1/p1p2ppp/6n1/8/1r5P/2qBQP2/P4P2/4RK1R b - - 4 21"]
[Setup "1"]

21...Nf4?? 22.Bxh7+ 1-0

It is hard to know which is most common, and it may be that you
specialise in a particular type. Let us try to find out... The cure for
type B is the tactical awareness discussed with the group by Tim last
week, so see how you get on with these, which feature errors of types A
and C.

(see attached PDF, side 1)

Blunder-proofing your game

Three treatments may be recommended, each suited to curing you of a particular sort of blunder:

a. suspicious minds -- look before you leap!
b. tactical awareness -- practise doing puzzles -- add speed to accuracy
c. hesitation -- check it before you move it -- finish your line of thought with the best move for your opponent

The first and last thing to do

...is check for your opponent's threats.

First, when your opponent moves, look at everything the move does.
Then choose a move.

Lastly, before making your chosen move, check every forcing reply. If
you can, do the same for the position at the end of your analysis.

So, let's try that again, from the top:

*[Turn over!]

When you don't have time for all this...

What about when you are in time trouble, or playing in a rapidplay?
There may not be time to do a proper analysis, in which case you will
have to settle for a 'good enough' move. If you rehearse good thinking
habits when playing slowly, I hope you develop some intuition for when
you don't have proper thinking time.

[There are also strategical blunders, overlooking what is going on positionally, which
are equivalent:

overlooking your opponent's best plan
overlooking your best plan
overlooking your opponent's best counter to your plan]

AttachmentSize
Blunder15.pdf36.91 KB

Chess Quotes

"Excellence at chess is one mark of a scheming mind."
— A. Conan Doyle (in the mouth of Sherlock Holmes)

  from Stanton Nesbit