My friend was in Utah was asking me how to avoid obvious blunders.
Not meaning to sound like a broken record, this is what I said...
I think that my chess strength varies from about 1800 to 2100. I have a friend, Steve, who likely varies from 1700 to 2000. If you can avoid making simple mistakes then you can probably add a hundred points to your overall strength.
The way that you avoid simple mistakes is pattern recognition. In the 23 years that I have had 1, 2 and 3 move tactics on my website, I have done both the Black and White problems a minimum of 200 times, and possibly much more. I believe in doing simple tactics repeatedly as a way of avoiding mistakes.
One website spells it "MacCutchoen Variation", but this looked wrong to me, so I did some research and found the person who invented the opening. It was a 19nth century master. His win against the world champion in a simultaneous exhibition brought the opening to the public attention.
[Event "New York simul"] [Site "New York simul"] [Date "1885.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Wilhelm Steinitz"] [Black "John Lindsay McCutcheon"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C12"] [PlyCount "99"] [EventDate "1885.??.??"]
Started the ICC USCF Online rated tournament in 3rd place, but finished first. It helped that the one higher rated player fell for a trap in the opening.
I played about as well as I ever have in this time control of 12+3. I was more focussed on positional ideas and I wasn't making tactical blunders that I know of. At that speed, there are going to be inaccurate moves. Most of the games I was in time trouble.
Although technically I should have won this, I was low on time, so I was glad to get the draw. My opponent is pretty strong, with an OTB rating in the 2100's, so I was somewhat fearful that this game go south on me.
My 15. Ba6 move was very dubious, so I regrouped and tried to find a different plan.
Online chess is more popular than ever. However, it is fairly easy to cheat. For example, my phone plays better chess than most, if not all, professionals. For this reason, chess servers crack down on this kind of behavior with sophisticated cheat detection methods, and chess.com is probably the best at this.
I played a chess.com USCF Online Rated tournament Friday night where I was doing pretty well until the final round where I lost to a lower rated player. As a result, I got 4th place. However, chess.com has analysis tools that show how well a player played. My opponent who beat me played 99.6% accurate against me, which is unlikely that anything less than a computer could achieve this result. His other games showed similar accuracy, so I reported my opponent to chess.com and they agreed that he was cheating. They not only deleted his account, but it is my understanding that my loss will be reversed which will put me in first place.
This is about the 5th time that this has happened to me. Cheating seems to be rampant, despite the servers attempts to crack down on it.
This was a cute chess game between a six-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy. To be so young, they both played pretty well. The boy looked impatient and distracted. The girl also looked distracted at times, and hams it up for the camera, especially when she wins the boy's queen. This is the kind of behavior that would annoy serious players but is cute with the kids. The boy twice misses a knight fork that would win the queen back.