So I lost my final Round 5 game of the 2013 Azroy Kandan Spring Open to Sid Anjilvel. We played the Advanced Variation of the Caro-Kann. I had a comfortable position out of the opening, after an early exchange of the light square bishops on move 4. But I think I was complacent in my approach, which resulted in a blundered pawn (and a lost center) on move 10.

Despite the early blunder (which I should have totally avoided), I think I took the wrong attitude towards the game. I was looking to equalize quickly, by regaining the lost pawn. And this only helped my opponent who tried to simplify the position by exchanging pieces. And even though I was able to regain the pawn, I was lost positionally toward the end game.

Instead, after losing the pawn, I should have played to my strength, which is to draw out the game in a closed position, and leave more pieces on the board. I think that would have given me more opportunities. By trying to regain the pawn, I merely accelerated the encounter into a winning end game for White.

Anyway, I think this was a good lesson learned. At the end of the day, there are several things needed to win. Preparation is still always a good idea. But your attitude and state-of-mind is also important. I should always try to play to my strengths, and to the opponent’s weaknesses. And in general, I should keep my pieces on the board, if I’m in a losing position.

So thus ends my 2012-2013 season at the Kingston Chess Club. I’ll have to wait till September to exact revenge on Sid Anjilvel (two straight losses already, after 6 club tournament encounters). On the upside though, I did get my name on 3 of the 4 big tournaments at the club for 2012-2013. Maybe it’s time to venture out of the chess club for tournaments?

Here’s a link to my recent game against Sid Anjilvel in the Caro-Kann (Advance Variation), with game commentary: