11/30/2006

Maine Doctors + Arts & Crafts + Chess = Perverse?

The larger pieces — the king, queen, bishops and rooks — were doctors, and the pawns were patients, all dressed in hospital gowns with their little butts sticking out.


I wonder if the Waterville chess club's very own doctor was the man who commissioned this lady's work.

11/28/2006

Return to Waterville Chess Club

So last night I went to the club for the first time in about 9 months. Must be winter again. I was a bit late and ended up the odd man out, so I watched the games until one finished and then I played a bunch of blitz games with a couple of folks.

They roped me into signing up for the "club championship tournament" which is apparently a double round-robin format G/90 time control. Basically the goal is to play all your games by some date in March informal pairings. Just grab someone each week and try to get a game in. Gives me something to be focused on though, a reason to put effort into chess. We'll see if I can stick to showing up every week though. Sometimes that commitment is tougher than it should be.

Meanwhile I observed this position in a post mortem last night and thought it was fun.


Chess diagram of FEN 2n4k/4P2p/5P1P/7K/2p2B2/2Pr4/8/6R1
Black to Move


Is it a draw?

Mate in 1 problems vex World Champ

Perhaps Vlad should take up the MDLM Mantra and start visiting the blogosphere daily. It seems a few rounds of knight sight, and a couple thousand mate in 1 problems would go a long way in improving his chess.


Patrick points out
Chess diagram of FEN 5N1k/6pQ/7p/4P3/pp6/4q3/1P4PP/2b4K, final posistion from Deep Fritz vs. Kramnik Game 2, Nov 2007 vs. Qxh7 Profile Picture

Hmmmm.

Seriously though, I think this really illustrates why man is doomed to fall by the wayside to machines in chess. Machines just don't miss mate in one. Human's no matter how talented can over look mate in 1, or hang a rook. Computers won't.

11/25/2006

Updated Template

I've moved to the blogger beta. Took a couple hours to get my template straightened back around. I've been adding labels and such. I hope to be able to tag posts with labels and make the blog a bit more organized. Just FYI, if you use blogger and have made significant template changes be prepared to work at it for a while when they make you switch over.

11/24/2006

Eat Maine Lobster and Play Chess

Some experts say these are the things necessary to keep a keen edge and having a successful career. Work overtime or go play some blitz on FICS? Well you could make more money with a few hours on FICS, at least over the course of your entire career.

On a side note, playing fellow bloggers in blitz games on FICS is always a humbling experience. Grats CD, nice fork.

Chess diagram of FEN 2r1k2r/pp3p1p/3Np2p/1q2P3/3p4/1Pb5/P4PPP/R2Q1RK1

11/23/2006

An easy one

Chess diagram of fen position r3kb2/pp1b1p2/1q2p3/3pP2Q/1P6/P4N2/5PrP/1R2KB1R

Black to move


White misplaced his Queen moving it from h6 to h5, and Black goes from an =- position to ++. Can you convert it?

11/20/2006

Typical Error


Chess diagram of fen position r1r3k1/4qppp/2p5/1p6/Pp1Pp1b1/1BQ1P3/5PPP/RR4K1



White to move in the above position. I just wanted to share my erroneous thought pattern.

I can see that b4 is attacked by the b1 Rook if I clear the b3 Bishop. I also see that the b3 Bishop is able to give check. A move earlier I realize then that black cannot capture the b4 pawn with the Queen.

Somehow in my convoluted mind this gets twisted into thinking I can capture b4 with my Queen and when recapture Qxb4 I will win the Queen with Bxf7+ .... Rxb4. Failing to realize that I'm in fact giving up a Queen and a Bishop in order to capture only my opponent's Queen. This type of error is one that often finds me on the down side of the tactical equation and I've given up several points from solid "positions" due to tactical blunders like this.

Elimination of them is not so easy as recognizing a pattern of behavior though.
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As diagrammed with Steve Eddin's Chess Diagram from FEN script.

11/17/2006

Chess with Deer?

This Maine huntsman is engaged in a tactical game for life and death with a White Tail buck. I used to play this variety of chess, but frankly its too cold and wet out there for me to really enjoy a deep think. I prefer to stay at home and play indoors these days.

11/16/2006

Jackman Maine, Beer Chess Capital of the Universe?


I tripped across this Maine/Chess connection which could lead to some seriously bad chess... but may explain the Toilet Gate fiasco on the world chess scene recently. I can see this game increasing liver transplants among the chess playing populous, however I've heard the amount of pre-arranged draws and unfought draws is significantly reduced.

I can certainly understand how this game was invented in Maine. What else are you going to do around here when its 10 below zero and snowing. If it was invented anywhere else on the planet I'm sure at least the quality of beers used would be better.

11/14/2006

"Of the Year" Awards

I recently found this list on the British / English Chess Federation website. It makes for a nice recommended reading list for those interested in improving at chess. Year end awards are often over done, but its also a nice way to look back and remember just what was going on during each year. Like a little refresher course on modern history, this time with a Chess slant.

Hat-tip to Mig for highlighting the 2006 Book of the year.

11/03/2006

Does Chess Publisher make it easy to post games?

Well... this is a test of that question. I liked the look and feel of my self published games using the Java Applet but this could be superior.





It seems you have to format your PGN like Rae1.. not Ra1e1 which is how PGN is reported from timeforchess.com. Really makes it easy to add games to your blog though. Great JobChess Publisher.