Sunday, June 12, 2011

Like fire and ice and rage.

Hello faithful reader. I know what you're thinking... It's summer, my schedule is light and yet, no posts have been made here in some time. Well the truth is, I've actually been playing chess--more of it than I've ever played before. A very funny thing is happening as well... I'm actually getting better. I know, hard to believe. I've been working on tactics a lot more and being very careful with my correspondence games. Lets not talk about my blitz performance, although I suppose I should be proud of the fact that I'm actually giving blitz and fast-ish standard a go.

It's been over three months of playing chess pretty regularly. Normally, chess and I have this all or none relationship. I either want to devote all of my waking moments to it, or none at all. But, I'm learning that I cannot live my life in this fashion and have a healthy pursuit of any hobby. I'm overjoyed in this subtle shift. And, I hope to keep playing chess and to keep improving. Who knows, I might even make it out to some more UCF chess stuff.

In addition to chess, this is the summer of Doctor Who and soccer. Matthew and I have been re-watching the entire run (I think we're still trying to come to grips with the death of Tennant, even though it's been two years). We've also become expert tailgaters as we support our local soccer team, the Orlando City Lions. My classes are easy, and as much as I hate to admit that I'm doing almost no work in them... um, I'm doing almost no work in them (I got a 100% on my last exam in 12 minutes, why am I paying for these classes again?). While I'm enjoying this respite, hopefully I'll be back in the muck for my last semester as an undergrad.

Now, on to chess... I played this game in an official tournament. So far, it's the only game that I've lost with one left to play (I'll probably make it to round two!). It was a pretty accurate game from both of us and I wanted to see where I went wrong. There were tiny little errors on my part, only slightly larger than his tiny errors. I suppose those are the margins that real chess gets played in. Not incredibly exciting, but educational for me. If I have time later tonight, I'll throw up a game that was a fun win where I caught some good tactics. Enjoy.


[Event "15th Tournament (1201-1400) - Round 1"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2011.06.01"]
[Round ""]
[White "lindseyann"]
[Black "67jedichessmaster"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO " "]
[WhiteELO "1412"]
[BlackELO "1402"]

{A hard fought game for both of us.}
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 d6 8.O-O O-O
{With his castle, we are finally out of the book.}
{Trying to get space in the center and hoping for an eventual e5 push, pointing everything at his castle.}
{He has other plans for the center, however.}
10.d5 Ne7 11.Nh4
{To free up my queen, and allow the move f4.}
{I was happy when I saw this move, because I knew the trade would mess up his castle, but I was never able to capitalize on it.}
12.Nxg6 fxg6 13.Bg5
{Getting my last bishop out, but it may have been better to play the more aggressive f4.}
13...Bd7 14.Rb1 b6 15.f4 exf4 16.Rxf4
{It would have been better to recapture with the bishop, putting immediate pressure on d6. He could have responded with h6 here, and I would be forced to trade off my awesome bishop for his knight (since 16...h6 17. Bh4 g5 forking my rook and bishop). However, he missed the opportunity.}
16...Qc8 17.Rb2 Bg4 18.Qe1
{I played here to try for Qg3 or Qh4 later, but it may have been wiser to simply put as much pressure on the f-file as I could.}
18...Nh5 19.Rxf8+ Qxf8 20.Rf2
{It would have been smarter to play the in-between move, Qh4, getting her out in front before swinging the rook over.}
20...Qe8 21.Qf1 Qe5
{At this point, I start to loose hope. I'm still winning according to the computer evaluation, but his queen makes me defend all my pawns with rooks and I don't have any clear plan now.}
22.Bd2 Nf6 23.Rf4
{And, here's where things start to do downhill. Better would have been Bf4, giving up on the c-pawn, but taking aim at his pawns and getting some activity.}
23...Re8 24.Qf2
{And, since I'd started to loose hope already, I failed to notice that my rook's got nowhere to go after g5. Unfortunately , he did not miss it.}
24...g5 25.Rxf6 gxf6 26.h3 Bd7 27.Qe3 h6
{This position wasn't completely lost, but I certainly didn't see a way back and I resigned.}

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