After his loss to a titled player Brandon and his brother Dustin spent a lot of time working on their pet lines with Leela, including a couple of openings they had “invented” as a response to certain structures. They began to spend a few hours a day on opening prep, watched several video courses and worked with Leela to prepare particular lines, traps and novelties. The game featured here was a chance Brandon had to play a position he had spent time analyzing sometime earlier. The idea was that with the order of development, the opponent’s pieces could be effectively neutralized for the whole of the game, given that a certain pawn structure can be maintained; it intended to limit the range of his bishops and the scope of his rooks. To lock a position in such a way that it makes your opponent struggle to find good squares for his pieces will give you space to coordinate, to plan and execute a combination or mating attack.
Early in the game before the first clearance sacrifice, which is a common tactic which serves to open one’s other pieces up and gain mobility of one’s forces, there were a number of interesting moves. But, as Brandon would simply feel unfulfilled as a human being if he didn’t put a horse on the pagan altar of the chess Goddess Caissa, he did the calculations and found this move – among two others – were, or had to be winning. You are only capable of guessing while playing a game. – as such, I would suggest that an engine evaluating your position as -3 with white or +3 with black, essentially giving your opponent a piece worth of advantage, keep in mind the evaluation is based on a series of calculated, precise moves that will ensure that slight superior position. And human beings aren’t computers; they get confused, panic and often lose their nerve at the sight of pieces being offered up for the slaughter one after the other. The game would end quickly with a final tactic that would see the material invested in the attack finally regained – with money to spare.
After this posting, the rest of the games will perhaps include two or three a piece as we move into the top five – as Brandon would like to include his pagan favorites at the same time covering the highest rated international masters, candidate masters and fide masters he has managed to beat or draw. In his only game yet played against a grandmaster he had chances; at one point the evaluation gave him mate in 11 but he didn’t even consider such a maneuvre. So, while he continues to improve and add to this archive, feel feel to check out the totality of his games – while occasionally his inexperience will show, on a good day without distraction, he is capable of beating some of the better players to be found online and is currently rated 2022 in classical chess, which is higher than 94% of all the other classical players on Lichess.