Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year’s chess resolutions:

1. Play in 6 OTB tournaments (8)
2. Play at least 75 slow games (100)
3. Increase my USCF rating to 1700
4. Review 100 annotated games (125)
5. Annotate 50 % of my slow games (75%)
6. Tactics
a. Be able to complete CT-ART level 10-50 in one day
b.Work on at least one other tactics software program (2)
7. Work on a solid “thinking process”
8. Keep blitz games down to a minimum
9. Write down my moves for online slow tournaments
10. Only buy a new chess book after I’ve read an old one

1. Should be doable, depends on other factors as well but I think I can manage.
2. Should be a little harder to do but with team chess events I think I’ll manage.
3. Okay, not very likely, a 300+ point increase, but why set my sights low. (I would put in a FICS increase too, but I may start ICC so that would be meaningless)
4. This shouldn’t be too bad
5. I think I can do this one too.... probably.
6. I’m well on my way to a., and b is just something I want to do because I enjoy tactics
7. I’ll start on this after I lose a couple slow games to blunders, but it will be done.
8. I consider “minimum” to be around 500… highly unlikely.
9. This should help me in OTB tournaments by keeping me in the habit.
10. Hard to do, but I left myself used chess books so I think I can handle it

BONUS: Join a chess club in Richmond that actually plays rated games. Since there isn’t one now this is going to be hard to manage but I’ll figure something out.

BONUS #2: Because of numbers 1-8, and especially 1 and 2, try not to get divorced (hi Juli)
*edited Jan 2nd: updated my USCF ranking

Friday, December 30, 2005


Thanks to the Druss Blog I'm starting to use bloglines to stay on top of everyone's blog. Its a handy site and it makes following lots of blogs rather easy.
It will mean that some of you, most notably DG, will see a drastic decrease in the number of hits your page has been getting.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

Here's a link to my latest game: Clicky
This is my first win this tournament (1.5/3).
Annotating my games has been very helpful for me, I pick up a lot about the openings and "long-ish" plans that I could've/should've implemented, because my plans aren't always sound.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS and I hope santa is nice to everybody

Friday, December 23, 2005

Round 1 U1600

Here is the link to my Round 1 U1600 game: CLICKY. I sacced a knight, and then the exchange and ended up having four pawns for his rook. I could have won a fifth pawn but chose a draw by repitition instead of risking it. What would you have done in that position?

I played another team chess game yesterday afternoon and won, so I'm 1.5/3 so far this season. I will annotate that game today and probably post it later.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I got it to work

I got the training feature to work, make sure to hit help so you can see what else it can do.....

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lost Game and New Toy

Played a T29 teamchess game yesterday and lost.
I also downloaded a new toy that I think is pretty cool (especially since its freeware).
Here is my annotated game and the new toy, make sure you at least get to move 8. ... e5 to see what the toy can do, its pretty neat. Click me for a GAME

(granted I went a little overboard with the toy midway through, but you get the idea).

The game was a heartbreaker only because I thought I was doing so well.... I'm exhausted, I hope everyone likes the toy and the loss. (and the free web server space thats ad free, unlike geocities)

The program I am using is free ware and can be found here: CLICK ME. The site is in German, but the program is fairly simple to use except for the "testing feature" which I can't get to work, I get a script error. Here is an example of all the features, and make sure to get to move 14 - 15 to see the Test feature at work, it is by far the coolest thing and hopefully some one can figure out how to do it. Click me for the example. (hilfe = help, apparetnly, so make sure to click it).
This program is easier to use than the program I was using before, but you still need your own web host. I've found to be ad free and easy to use so far. Although I make no promises.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

King's Gambit

I'm experimenting with new openings, The King's Gambit as white and the Caro-Khan as black (with a four game bout of the Latvian Gambit, which I did not like at all).
The King's Gambit is quite fun and I may start playing it in my regular games.
The Caro-Khan is fun to and I'm not sure why no one likes it, it seems reasonable to me. Is it supposed to be boring or something?
I will play them both in blitz games and at and see next month how I like them.

In other news, I'm in another teamchess team, the U1600 team. My U1800 team is in a different section than the DeLaMaza team, but my U1600 team is not, so it should be fun.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Last position

Last game from the tournament.

White to Move

I went up a piece early in this game, we were both playing too fast. I just wanted to simplify things and I played Nxc7, thinking that would do it. But I missed something, can you see it? (nothing that made me lose, mind you, and Nxc7 may in fact be the best move, but I thought I would end up still a piece up but instead I ended up .......) (i'll put additional information in the comments).

Friday, December 09, 2005

Important positions

The first key position:

black to play
I had just played Rxh2 and he played b5. I thought for the longest time here and what I played is okay, but probably (edit: definitely) not best. Its a strange position, obviously black is up and I felt like at this point I should win. I think I missed played it from here and plan on loading this into fritz and trying again. (I did and I won.... sort of)

Second Position (answers are below):

Black to Move and Win

Third key position:

Black to move and win

Answers are below... don't cheat...




1st position, trading your a and c pawns and then move rook to b2 and then c2 wins a pawn. There may be a better white defense.... you should put this into an engine and play it out, its fun.

2nd position, Kd3, you have to keep his king from getting in front of the pawn or else it will be a draw. I took the pawn and all he had to do was Ke3 and it’s a draw, luckily he didn’t do that.

3rd position, Rf7+, or Kd3 both work, this keeps him away from in front of the pawn and wins. e3 does not work and you should work it out as if you where white to see why. (although I image most of you know right away that it doesn’t work)


I know I said I was going to post the second game from my tournament this past weekend but I don't think I am. I did learn a lot about the endgame by going over it. I was right in thinking that he could've drew, but only because the previous move I made allowed him to. In other words, when we got down to R + P vs R I had the advantage but played a lousy move, but thankfully he missed the drawing move. This happened twice. It was bad, but I learned a lot.
I may post positions from the game just so I can show everybody my poor play and because it should help me by going over it again.

Also, this morning at work I played an entire game at that could possibly be my best game I ever played. Correspondence doesn't count, I know, but it was a fun game and I think I'm going to post it just because.

I would like to learn how to embed games onto my blog like Druss and PMD. If anyone would like to give me a rundown of how to do it I would be grateful.

Monday, December 05, 2005


I played in another tournament this past weekend. A quad which turned into a three round swiss. I scored 3-0 and won first place. I'm happy with my play but...

First round: Unrated father (of two kids playing in the scholastic section) who only agreed to play so we'd have an even number of players. He wasn't very good, I'm not going to go over this game.

Second round: The toughest round, an older gentleman ranked 1100 (something) , I had an advantage out of the opening (I was black) and really I think I misplayed it somewhere in there. I was a pawn up into the endgame but once again I missplayed the endgame and screwed up my pawn structure and then it was R + P (me) vs. R and I was able to win. BUT he should've drew and just didn't know what to do. I will go over this game and annotate it and put it here.

Third round: A youngster, rated 1000 (something) I was white against his scandanavian and he had a huge advantage at the start of the opening but then he blundered bad and I won his knight with a fork. I thought I had a brilliant tactic at the end but of course I did not and ended up giving back my extra knight for two pawns. I was then up two pawns and had a passer on the sixth rank and cleaned it up nicely considering I'm weak in the endgame. (To be honest a blind monkey could've won it, but still.)

First round game was fast because he wasn't very good, the second round game I took around an hour and the third round game we were both fast because he was a kid and I had a 2.5 hour drive back to Richmond (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

I like rated games but wish there was something closer. I was on the road for around 5 hours yesterday just so I could play three chess games. It kind of stinks. (there was a father and son from Richmond there as well, just goes to show there is nothing around here).

All my games were against players lower rated than my 2 game provisional rating so I'm not exactly ecstatic, especially since I should've drew the 1100.

Friday, November 25, 2005


Things have finally slowed down for me. (Although the new house still needs arranged, I own more books than than I know what to do with. I hate moving.)

I'm in the MFO team at and I see that there is basically two de la maza teams in the U1800 section. Should be fun.

When / if I play with fellow MDLM bloggers I will analyze my game on my blog so my opp can see what I was thinking.

I'm pretty low rated for U1800 but I think I will be fourth board pretty regularly because the person who is listed as first board for us only wants to be a sub. Plus I did well last "season."

I've been playing fritz more than online lately because I don't have high speed internet and dail up drives me crazy. Although when I do play at FICS I refuse to play blitz because of high lag times so that is good at least. (But it is hard to find a long time control game so if anybody wants to play a longer game, say 30 30 or greater, let me know.)

I still read everybody's blog when I'm at work, and it looks like everyone is doing good (especially CD).

Monday, October 24, 2005

Burn out

I killed my blog because it was taking to much time. What with the wedding, buying a house and an increased workload I had already slowed my circles work down to about 30 minutes a day and that and writing blogs was taking to much time.

Along with too much chess in to little time I got burned out so after my honeymoon I decided to take a break. I just don't see the incentive to devote hours a day only to improve from bad to semi bad. (To be really good you have to start young, which I think everyone agrees with, although with lots of hard work I'm sure one could get up to 1900 - 2000). (Side note: I think burn out hurt my fellow Richmonder as well, although I could be wrong).

Plus, and I've said this earlier, my tactics skill is as good as its going to get until I improve in other areas. I think Quandoman is right in that analysing your own games and going over other peoples games is better when you're as bad as I am (maybe not better, but equally important so you can be more well rounded). So that's what I've been doing (and still working through 1000 X mates) but at about a 1 to 2 hours a week pace (usually Saturdays) And I play games only when I can get 30 30 or better time. (or OTB rated games) I'm also burned out on blitz.

Anyway, as I say, I'm still playing chess and I hope to see some of you at FICS. I still read everyone's blog.

((My teamchess game last Friday went 77 moves and took 2.5 hours to play. It killed me, I was up two pieces at one point and almost lost because of my desire to trade queens and end the game. My tournament on the 5th is going to suck if I have to play a 3 hour game OTB... how do people do it?))