Falling Behind

Well, with work and play taking time away from chess I'm falling way behind in my training and blogging. The good news is I'm playing some thrilling games on Time For Chess.

Here's a Free Trial of Chessmaster if your interested. Ubi decided to send me the link in email and I'm gracious enough to pass it on to you LOL.

Anyway I will be posting some game results soon. At least the next episode in St. Patzer vs. Qxh7# will be ready for publication within a few days I'm sure.


Chinese only play Fischer Random?

I'm usually not big on decorative sets, but this one caught my eye while I was window shopping in Chinatown on my San Francisco trip. Did you notice the shopkeeper has the rooks and bishops mixed up?


Trip to San Fran

Well I just got back from a business trip to San Francisco. While I was there I dropped in on The Mechanic's Institute Chess Club for a visit. The club was a little slow when I was there, apparently Yermo usually gives a lecture on Tuesday's but he was already headed down to the AF4C's U.S. Championship in San Diego.

Anyway John Donaldson was there (and also kind enough to answer my emails) and he gave a lecture. The talk centered mostly around his performance at a local tournament. It was humourous, he talked about not just needed to win all 5 games over the weekend, but wanting to spend no more than 1/2 hour thinking each game so that he could conserve energy. The lecture summed up to be about the importance of the Maroczy Bind
position in GM chess, and the importance of NOT just learning an opening up to the "starting point". Basically he was talking about not learning the moves up to move 10 or 12 or 15, where the books say =+ or += then quitting. That's where your opening preparation should really be starting. Reviewing Database games, and finding out what the common plans for both sides from that position are. He was a very humorous and engaging speaker.

I also got to play a couple of games with the locals while I was there. A group of (apparent) Russian immigrants played chess there and they invited me to play a couple of them. Very nice men. The first man I played did not speak any English, but his friend did and he translated a bit for us. He was very amused to inform me that he was 82 years old and could still kick my butt! We played an odd French Defense where white fianchettoed his Queen's bishop. I was able to hold my own and win an endgame in that one after an interesting middle game with a lot of tactical threats but no real finishing moves. When I played his friend I lost on the black side of a Nimzo Indian.

All in all it was a very good few hours at Mechanic's Institute. I enjoyed the chess atmosphere and the friendly games. Not to mention the free lecture. I suggest giving a stop by if your ever in SF. Its on 57 Post St, right in the middle of the financial district.