The Ups and Downs of Chess

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Posting a couple games to get back into the swing of things. Both of these were played at www.timeforchess.com which I have linked to several times.

The first game is the UPS... when I take advantage of a Class A Players endgame miscues and carry the day for a victory.

In the second game St. Patzer proves once again that if he is a patzer I'm a fish and wallops me good. See if you can find the moves he does in the attack from the position shown above.

Sorry about the lack of posts. I've really struggled to get back into the swing of things since my surgery. Its midwinter in Maine, I've had business travel, illness, and surgery so while the excuses are pretty good, in the long run I'm still making excuses for not sticking to my study plan. Tonight, going to the Chess club and posting these games is a step back in the right direction though.

Now... press "publish post" and go do a couple units in Personal Chess Trainer.

OOOOOOOO one more thing... my wife is from Alabama, so we are both big Crimson Tide football fans. So naturally I've been following Shaun Alexander since he came into the NFL (I even draft him in my fantasy leagues) well it turns out he is a chess supporter and enthusiast.



I've been home since Friday night in truth. I'm ashamed to admit that while I was away on travel I got sucked into a novel and have been reading during my chess practice time instead. I hope to be getting back into the swing of things tonight with PCT. Anyway, if I can tear myself away from Westeros and George RR Martin's characters I might get better at chess.

To the rest of you bloggers, WOW, when you take a few days off the amount of posts to catch up on is amazing.


Out of town this week

Well I got alot of problems done this weekend which is good, because I'm going to fall behind my Schedule while I'm out of town on business. I'm going to take some chess materials with me, but I won't be able to keep up with my Personal Chess Trainer Schedule.

I bought Chessmaster 9000 at WalMart for $9.84. Decent upgrade to the Chessmaster 5000 software I had, but wasn't using. I like the analyze game function. Of course it still thinks I'm a 1200 player, and I can't beat its 1500 level personalities.


I know this is a Chess Blog

But I just wanted to make a final salute to the Patriots. This years team faced alot of adversity and went down like a heavywieght champ should. Tonight's game was a tough loss and ended a record streak but instead of grinding on the loss I'd like to take a moment to remember all the big games they won over the last 4 years, and all the players that make it so much fun to be a Pats fan.

So here's to the MVP's: Tom Brady and Dieon Branch
The Consistent veterans: Troy Brown, Daniel Graham, Christian Fauria
The dynamic linebackers: Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel
The Prolific Front 3: Richard Seymour, Ted Washington, Jarvis Green
The outstanding secondary: Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy and Rodney Harrison
The Special Teamers: Adam Vinatieri and Larry Izzo
And The Coaches: Bill Belichick, Charlie Wies, and Romeo Crennel

Here's hoping next years Patriots can stay hungry and healthy and make one more run for the Lombardi trophy.


Circles Progress

After tonights session I have finished Tactics Module 1, Unit 36. According to Tchekov Mattenovich I've learned 480 tactics.

Update on the surgery stuff. I'm feeling much better, although I still have a bit of scar tissue in my cheek. The biopsy results came back and I should be all set, no cancer and stuff. Just the same, stay off the smokes and chew, only bad things can come of it.


PSA: Kids Stay Away from Tobacco

This is a public service announcement. Due to my previous usage of smokeless tobacco, I had to have a lesion removed from my cheek, lip and gum on Friday. Needless to say, since then I haven't done many tactics problems, the daze from Vicadin was a bit too much to study tactics through. I hope to get back on track tonight.

Anyway, don't smoke and don't chew or snuff. Its bad for you, and the operations (trust me, I only had a very minor one) to repair the damage the tobacco does to you, hurts like a son-of-a-gun. I wasted thousands of dollars on tobacco, and in the end I got to pay a doctor to cut a whole in my face.

Back to blog stuff, I will be out of town next week on business so after this weekend it may slow down around here a bit again. I also won't be able to work with PCT while I'm gone, but I will be taking my Palm and solving problems from 1001 Winning Chess Combinations and Sacrifices.


Walter Browne Tactics

Everyone has their favorite Grandmasters, as a youngster mine was Walter Browne. So after seeing Susan Polgar's post about strong American players today, he was the first one that came to mind. Here's some Walter Browne tactics on the web for you to solve.

I also was a big fan of Ilya Gurevich because I played in a tournament in Boston he was also in when I was 12. He has some noteworthy games on the web as well. I remember scouring Chess Life and Chess Horizons looking for his games every month.


What's the difference

Between this position I solved easily..

And this problem I was unable to solve in 2:30minutes

Both are mate in two, white to move. Both involve sacrificing a peice in such a manner as to clog up an escape square for the king. This is just one example of the kind of thing I was talking about in an earlier post. How you can solve some and not others.

... note: these positions are similar to positions found in Personal Chess Trainer. I remember the core part of the position but not the full position. One of the problems I've found with PCT is you can't pull up a specific position whenever you want.

Template Changes

I added an RSS 'Chicklet' for Bloglines because after seeing what Druss had set up I couldn't resist using it, and I figure if I like something, why not let other people know about it.

I removed the Technorati stuff because I didn't get how it worked anyway. I will say that this RSS stuff is handy once you take a few minutes to figure out how it works.


Todays Progress

About half way through the first module of Personal Chess Trainer. Module 1, unit 1 was mate in 1 problems. Module 1, unit 28 we are up to very forced mate in 4's and obscure (hard to spot) mate in 2's.

I find it interesting some of the problems I miss. Its hard to explain why I miss some problems and solve others easily. I hope to put more thought into this as I progress through the training. If I can figure out why I have difficulty spotting certain types of solutions I think it will be easier to correct the problem.


End of Knight Sight, on to Circles

So in the end I did the knight sight excercises 5 times over 14 days. 3 times I did the Concentric Squares exercises as well. It all got so tedious, perhaps I'm not as dedicated to this as I hoped to be. I also started doing some problems before Jan 1st. As a result I'm on Tactics Module 1, Unit 20 as of Jan 2nd. All in all I'm not upset with how much I've stuck to the original plan. Most of the other bloggers had the same issues with the pre-tactics exercises I did. I tried to stick with it, and ended up doing more than I would have if I hadn't.

So anyway, I have until May 7th to reach Tactics Module 6, Unit 51. Its a long steep climb. Its already taking me 35 minutes per unit. So to do 4.5 units a day will put me over the alloted 2 hours a day I have for this. I have to say, I'm already noticing mating patterns are burnt into my subconcious that were never there before. I believe tactics were/are the weakest part of my game so I've the utmost confidence that the next 126 days will do "something" for my chess strength. Which is more than I can say for the last 10 years of being stuck at the same level.

I just hope my dedication levels stay up. I've been known to quit in the middle of things before. My hope is that Personal Chess Trainer is simple enough to use, to make the problem solving fun and the learning will come naturally.