Chandler Bolt recently noted that often you can learn the most from someone who is just two rungs above you on the ladder of success. Many beginners and young kids have great coaches and teachers who themselves are rateds in the 1800 to 2000 range. Those who are rated much higher up may be helpful if they have teaching skills, but they deal with different issues. For example a 2600 rated grandmaster may be trying to avoid a draw vs a 2400 rated international master. Usually I am happy to draw a 2400!
David Taylor was an experienced master and higher rated than I, but our postal ratings were often within 200 points of each other. The Sicilian Defence Smith Morra Gambit Declined I played vs David Taylor became an Alapin Sicilian because our 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 transposed to the same position as 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4. Here I played a solid game and turned an equal opening in a draw.
Taylor (2200) - Sawyer (2050), corr APCT 1980 begins 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Qxd4 e6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Qe4 d6 [7...f5 8.Qe2 b5=] 8.Nbd2 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 [9...Be7!?=] 10.Qxe5 Qd6 [10...Bd7 11.Be2 f6 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qf3 Bc6=] 11.Bb5+ Bd7 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nf3 [The alternative is 13.0-0 Qc7 14.Qxc7 Nxc7 15.Ne4 Be7 16.Rd1 0-0=] 13...Qc7 [Black could sacrifice a pawn for some counter play. 13...Be7!? 14.Qxg7 Bf6 15.Qh6 Qb5=] 14.Bf4 [14.Qxc7 Nxc7 15.c4=] 14...Qxe5+ 15.Bxe5 f6 16.Bg3 e5 [16...Be7 17.Nd4 Kf7=] 17.0-0-0 0-0-0 18.c4 Nb6 19.Rxd8+ Kxd8 20.Rd1+ Kc8 21.b3 Bc5 22.Nd2 h5 23.f3 1/2-1/2
You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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