Erica's Horde Diary 3: Warm up for the horde world championship

Chess variant

1. Random thoughts about my blog

I named my blog "Horde Diary", but this does not mean this blog is only about horde. In fact, I shall talk about other variants as well, in the random thoughts chapters. But the main focus is still horde.
I participated in the atomic world championship and was the lowest seed, so I predictably lost 0-10. But it is the experience that matters.

2. Recent Horde Shields

The August and September shield arenas was won by hod-konem96, a strong player, with 158 and 187 points respectively. His performance ratings were close to 2500, which are very dominating performances. Here are some games I random selected from the shields. I am just trying to interpret them from a noob's perspective.

This is a game where the shield winner was beaten. In longer time control, black typically has the advantage. Top players can come up with a proper plan in complicated games, and they can switch plans. In this game the initial plan by black was attacking on h-file, but white did not take the bishop bait, so black changed plans and broke through on the weak d-file. After a breakthrough, white often loses unless there is enough counter play. Here the queen side pawns can be dealt with using just a queen, and the rest is easy. In my games, I take baits too often, sometimes even when I know taking a hanging piece allows a breakthrough, I still take it because "not taking is worse". Sometimes that is not the case.

This opening plan is often used by me currently and is a common plan overall because white does not have a good way to stop a bishop for two pawns trade. That does not indicate white is much worse in the resulting position. Losing a pawn is not the end of the world, and here white calmly pushed pawns and closed up the hole, and while black was working on a king side breakthrough, white tried a queenside breakthrough, the black king was lured forward and the black queen did not get back in time to stop all the pawns. Time is also an important weapon when playing as white.

Yasser is a famous grandmaster and I watched one of his lectures on YouTube. This game started with queenside actions and black won two pawns for a knight with an active queen. (Stockfish evaluations often go up and down in complicated games). White managed to create a dangerous pawn chain on light squares, black managed to get the queen in. But white missed some crucial moves, namely the d6 and f6 breakthrough idea. This game shows that after a successful breakthrough, white often needs to act fast and create breakthrough threats. I often panic after a breakthrough (and when I play as white I often fail to create any counterattack opportunities).

The main problem of my black opening is that I make one move threats too often (partially because I miss one move threats too often as well). And two pieces for three pawns is often not that good for black. Most importantly I blundered and allowed a promotion just after I completed the queen breakthrough. Maybe I can improve by thinking more about the consequences of each move. But hey, I am not that serious a player and I am just here to enjoy the show.

3. HWC 2022

While I was writing this blog, a notification said that the horde world championship has kicked off. There are 26 players and I am the lowest seed again. I did not expect that, but I was joining just for the experience anyway, and I will update the HWC results. My friend encouraged me to continue the blogs. So I shall continue writing some random thoughts along the way.

The horde community is very helpful and friendly. I like the community.

I do not know why Stubenfisch disappeared from the community. But everyone has own choices. Ingrid-vengeance was my original inspiration but she chose not to join as well (she is currently into playing white in hyper bullet games, which is unethical, that is why I am no longer her fan). RayHolt, another big name in shield arenas, also did not join. Neither did RoadToFM-L (who acts a bit weird). The advertisement of this championship does not seem to be enough.

I feel that more players can join the world championship though. No need to be afraid— I am not afraid of losing. I did not complain when I lost 0-10 in the atomic world championship. I shall not complain here.

4. Champion Prediction

Why not include some fun part like this? The old champion (runner up last year) mindhunter0101 and shield winner hod-konem96 are favourites to win and face the defending champion Sinamon73. But there might be some major upsets. I am going to say Drooooid (also known as Doooovid?) has a decent chance.