Sunday, May 28, 2006

FICS Round 6

Here's one key moment in my game today. A moment that highlights my biggest chess problem (lack of a plan):

I'm black and its my move.....

What would you play and why?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Tournament Game

I played a rated game in the local chess club this past Thursday thanks in no small part to the efforts of Don.
I've analyzed the game and was going to post it but I've decided to just use a diagram or two.

I was white against a person rated around 100 points lower than me. I've played him twice before in friendly games and in both games he was probably leading at one point before blundering.

I played d4 and, with me to move in the following position....

I played Ne5??

For some reason I had visions of an attack that wasn't there. I should've played Bd3 and castled before I did anything stupid (or better yet, just not do anything stupid). He played Qa5 and I'm down a bit.

I played a couple more inaccurate moves that traded two minors and in this position:

I played 19. Rxd5, a move that I calculated out and thought would be okay with me getting 4 pawns. Why four pawns you ask? Because after 19. ... c x Rook I would've followed it up with the big stinker 20. Bxb5+. and throwing the game away because 20. ... Ke7 protects everything and after 21. Qxd5 I've got nothing but two pawns for my Rook.

19. Rxd5 cxRook needed to be followed by 20. Q x d5 and the fork on the B and R keeps things equal.

Well, my opp didn't play 19. ... cxR (thank goodness) and instead played Be7 (Fritz' prefered move by the way) and after an error next move I ended up winning the end game (I was up three pawns). I could've won earlier but missed a tactic because I was trying to "simplify" down to the won endgame.

Good result for what could've been a real stinker.

((in the interest of full disclosure I should add that Rxd5 could've been played two moves earlier to good affect))

Friday, May 19, 2006

Chess for Zebras

I just wrote a fairly extensive review of Chess for Zebras and I lost it because of damn blogger... that'll teach me to write a long post without saving.
Anyway, a shortened version of my post.

Bottom line: I was to low ranked to get a lot out of this book, I think you should be at least 1800 or, as the Kenilworthian says about it in this post "I may, in fact, be its [Chess for Zebras] ideal reader, as an academic who works with theories of education and has a 2000+ rating that has not changed in decades (and which he would sorely like to improve)." I agree with that, a higher rated person who is either stuck at a certain rating or in a slump for no obvious reason.

Part I: less than a third of the book: Little chess, high on psychology. It gave me things to think about and was quite good even though actual chess analysis was almost non-existant.

Part II: The majority of the book, about 2/3, and lots of chess realted information. Best part was the discusion of "Doing and Being" i.e. don't force anything even if you are in a better position. Nothing new in that but the way he explained it was really good. (I should add that a lot of the analysis was over my head, the variations where to long and usually ended with "keeps up the pressure." or something similarly beyond my grasp... At my rating I need a book that says, "And this keeps up the pressure BECAUSE...."

Part III: Specifically about black and white and does white have an advantage in the beginning of the game. Good discussion of what Rowson calls "Plusequs" and how chess writers can easily say something is slight advantage for white but its hard for white to actually prove it.

He spoke about opening study and why adult players like to study openings (because its easy to measure what you've learned, among other things). And how extensive opening study really only matters at the elite GM level (although to a lesser extent it helps 2000 + players as well). What he had to say on this topic was quite good. (note: he had nothing against adults studying openings, just adults spending all there time on the openings. Your normal comments by a lot of coaches but Rowson has a good way of discussing these things).

Another thing I liked in the book was when Rowson talked about other GMs and his students and what was said about certain moves or said at certain times. This, combined with the first part of the book, made it seem almost as much a nonfiction book as a chess book. Which I liked, even though the first part was a little "academic."

To sum up: Don't buy it if you're not above 1800, but if you have a moment in the book store or library you should pick it up and browse through it. I got something out of it, although probably not 30 bucks worth of something.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Now for something completely different

I really want to change my blog's title to "Knight on Fire" and use this as my theme song (and movie):
Click here for my new theme song and video.

If I can find that guy's outfit then I have a new halloween costume...

Monday, May 08, 2006


I played in another OTB tournament last weekend. I did okay except for the following game: GAME
During the game I thought I had a good position but Fritz put me down a pawn for most of the match, sometimes closer to 2 pawns down. My main problem was failing to castle and ignoring my opponents threats. I took over 60 minutes for the entire game and I felt pretty good about that, even though I lost.

I'll let the game speak for itself.

I also managed to find myself in a used book store and bought an older copy of Chernov's Logical Chess, Move by move for a $1 so that will be my next book I go through.
There was something else I wanted to talk about.... darn, I'm getting old.

Monday, May 01, 2006

FICS round 3

Here's a screen shot of my recent game on FICS

I'm black and its my move, he just played c5. I thought for a bit and played d4, which drops a pawn. I have no idea what my problem is, two games in a row I take my longest think over a move only to drop a pawn. It's a blind spot / serious problem that I have on any long game. Part of the problem is I have poor time management, I play way to fast and my long thinks worry me because I think I'll run out of time (which never happens). I need to force myself to take my time. I think I'm going to play some longer games on ICC and actively try to take all my time. Maybe G60 or 30 30. (Also, I tend to start surfing the web if my oponnent takes a long time, which isn't good at all).
I plan on playing in a OTB tournament this weekend so wish me luck.
(the above game ended in a draw, after the pawn loss I played for a draw and when it got down to N vs B my opponent blundered his extra pawn away (tit for tat) and offered a draw which I accepted).