Grinding it out

Hello chesskids! In this article, we will be learning how to squeeze out that extra half point Wink. It is easy to fall into thinking "Well, the position is almost equal, so I'll just accept the draw." No! Any advantage is enough to continue the game. Besides, if the position is so equal, you should be able to make a draw even if you mess up. Also, many chessplayers get bored when they sense the game is drawing to a close. However, these moves are your last opportunity to gain winning chances, so you should choose them wisely. To win tight games, focus on

1. Taking your time,

2. Improving your pieces, and

3. Watching out for the opponent's counterplay.

Because your position is nearly equal to that of the opponent, it is often impossible to immediately begin an attack. In these situations, it is critical to transfer your pieces to their optimal positions before committing yourself. When the position seems to be drawish, you will often have time for the lengthly maneuvers necessary to achieve these goals.

Finally, you must be alert for the opponent's counterplay. One sleepy move could allow the opponent to alter the position and equalize the game, or even gain the advantage. Therefore, you have to be very alert while maneuvering your pieces. The following game demonstrates how to win in the long haul:







As you can see from this game, when there is a will to win, the slightest edge can be transformed into a victory. The first key to winning this game was slowly improving my pieces. I maneuvered my bishop from g2 to d3 and then transfered my rook to a3, activating while preventing black from invading with his rook. I then slowly brought my king from g1 to e2, making it an important part of the attack. While my opponent failed to begin counterplay with e5, I had to remain alert to dodge Ng4, which wins a pawn out of nowhere.

After f3, I continued my strategy of slow improvement by playing my king to c3. You would think this was the most I could hope for in that position, but I continued to build my advantage with a3 and h4-h5. Pawns are important players in the game too. Finally, only after all this preparation, I was able to move my bishop around to g8 to win a black pawn and the game. This long game shows the importance of slow maneuvering.

After I played Qc1, it was hard to imagine that the game could turn into anything. My opponent even offered me a draw. However, with enough patience, I was able to squeeze out a win. The lesson to be learned from this game is that it is possible to win even in the dullest of positions. It may take time, but there is hope to gain an advantage, and ultimately win the game.

Good Luck!

David Adelberg