I was super-stoked to come home on Friday evening and find ChessBase Magazine #163 in my mailbox! It was no time before I was down in front of my laptop watching the intro video and diving into the annotated games from the Baku tournament in the FIDE Grand Prix. If you have never checked out CBM, I highly recommend it for players of all ages. The DVD (or the download option) contains the free ChessBase reader, which allows you to read the magazine without having the full version of ChessBase.

This week, I have annotated two correspondence games in which I came out with heavy losses. Some general carelessness in the first game led to my downfall, while psychological elements played a factor in the second loss. In this first game, I was up against a 1265 player and there were several times throughout the game that I felt I would come out on top. However, those visions were short-lived and ultimately White managed to exploit my weaknesses and corner me.

This next game was difficult from the get-go. My opponent was listed as UNRATED on chess.com, but it quickly became apparent that he was playing more in the 1400-1700 ELO range. I made some significant blunders in this game and I feel that my sense of his higher ELO got the best of me. The blunders I made were tactically significant and each of them were things that I should have recognized easily, but alas I took the loss and present the game here for your enjoyment.