Friday, October 28, 2005

More Thoughts on Thought Process

I continue to review my thought process, because I think it continues to need refinement. I wish to pen here my thoughts on how I should spend my time each move:

1. Determine what type of move is needed:
a) Book move - make next book move
b) Other move - proceed to step two

2. Assess the position on the board
a) Tactics present, proceed to step 3
b) No tactics present, make strategic move

3. Determine if I need to attack or defend
a) If attack, look at lines with least complications first
b) If defend, look at lines creating most complications first

Ok, so that's nice and all, but I need to be more detailed (one of my major failings). Here we go:

On tactical moves:

a) Attempt to recall any relevant useful patterns
a1) If I can recall some, then generate a list of candidate moves that appear to "solve the puzzle." Calculate to determine the correct move.
a2) If none are recalled, then I must try to understand the position better. Generate a list of any candidates that appear to solve the puzzle. Calculate to see if any of my candidates DO actually solve the puzzle. If not, then find a move that maintains the current evaluation of the position.

On strategic moves:

a) Identify the strategic landmarks of the position
b) Develop a plan based on those landmarks
c) Identify candidate moves that appear to validate the plan
d) Calculate variations to see if the plan can be successfully implemented
d1) If not, then go back to b) and come up with a new plan and continue until a workable plan is identified
d2) If so, then make the correct move

Monday, October 24, 2005

Revenge II

Here is one of the critical positions from my earlier post.

Evaluate 16. ... Ng4

Friday, October 21, 2005

Tactical Rating - How Accurate?

I just took this test from a link at Dutch Defence's blog, and my rating came out 2165! Is that test very accurate? What do you think?

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Looks like DreadPirateJosh has gone 404.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Some of you may remember me discussing comments made by someone at my club to the effect that I will never improve.

Well, I was able to exact some revenge yesterday by beating this person in a rated OTB game. It's only the 2nd non-blitz victory I've had over him. I will post the game later (although it's an embarrassing, blunder-filled game for both people). I won ugly, but I still won.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Well, At Least I Got to See My First GM's Play

My tournament was a bust. On day 1, in the first round I got up a queen only to blunder mine back to my opponent (who also had a rook and some pawns). I won the 2nd round in a very good game. In round 3, I played the person with the worst personal hygiene in the tournament and ended up blowing a chance to grab the advantage. So, I withdrew for Day 2 (no sense driving 2 hours for no chance at the prizes).

However, there were 6 GM's there: Shabalov, Gurevich, Finegold, and three others. I happened to catch a couple GM's (not sure which ones they were) going through a game afterwards, and it was interesting to note that the apparent winner of the game was showing the apparent loser of the game a line that the loser hadn't even looked at. I've always held the apparent misconception that at that level, they see everything, but discard variations that they evaluate as less than best. However, this proved to me that they don't always see everything.

I also got the chance to meet in person the first board player on my OCL team. He plays under the name Routermeister. He's a pretty cool guy, but (at least for the 1st day) had about as much luck playing as I did.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I Am Somebody!

Google CelticDeath and see what pops up as the first listing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The White Sheets in a Snow Storm Blog?!

RomaLavrn where didja go?

Cleaning the Camera Lens

A lot of us Knights Errant appear to be obsessing over CTS. I think the cause is justified. I don't know what the Alekhines or Morphies or Capablancas or Fischers of the past did to stay sharp, but I'm starting to see CTS as an invaluable aid to my tactical ability in chess.

I've noticed my ability functions in cycles. It reaches a peak and then drops. I took a week off to build a new computer to replace mine that had ceased functioning. In that time, my tactical ability dropped dramatically, and I lost a Round 3 game in the OCL at Chessville do to some very poor play.

Now, I've begun to devote at least a small time each day to CTS, and the camera lens of my mind's eye is beginning to see more clearly. My CTS rating is up modestly, and I'm beginning to solve the Andy Soltis Chess to Enjoy problems from the latest Chess Life more readily. Last week, I would look at the positions, and no ideas would come to mind. Yesterday, after some CTS work, the combinations began to appear in my head, albeit slowly.

I have a tournament Saturday. I know if I don't get the camera lens completely clean by then, I don't stand a chance. If I do get it cleaned, and the tacts flow as naturally as they seemed to just a few weeks back, then my performance will be at 100%.

Monday, October 10, 2005

What Hath God Wraught?!

I love playing first person shooter games. However, until recently, I had an old 800 MHz system that only held 512 MB of RAM. I spent last week building a new system after the old one finally gave out. So, now I've re-installed my shooter games with the same (but underutilized graphics card) as before. My gosh what a difference it makes! I have Soldier of Fortune II on full gore, and some of the scenes about make you sick with all the brain matter and such that gets splashed on the walls. I played another similar-type game (Shellshock: Nam '67), and my wife even commented how cool the graphics looked. And, then there's the AI engines that are MUCH harder with the extra RAM and processor speed. Phenomenal!!!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

OCL Fall 2005, U1900, Round 1

White to move.

This is from my round 1 game against the higher rated MStav. I had three pawns for a bishop, and had just invaded my opps position along the a-file. My opponent has just made the move Qc5. Can you see what happened next?
Ok, here's the game in its entirety. Of course, the solution is a mate in 3 beginning with 43. Rh8+.

1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. Bc4 e6 5. Bxd5 exd5 6. d4 d6 7. exd6 Bxd6 8. Nf3 Bg4 9. O-O O-O 10. Be3 Qc7 11. h3 Bh5 12. Nbd2 Nd7 13. Qc1 c4 14. b4 f5 15. Bg5 Rae8 16. Re1 h6 17. Bh4 g5 18. Bxg5 hxg5 19. Nxg5 Rf6 20. Rxe8+ Bxe8 21. Qe1 Bf7 22. Qe2 Bf4 23. Ndf3 Nf8 24. g3 Bd6 25. Ne5 Bxe5 26. dxe5 Rh6 27. f4 Ne6 28. Nxe6 Bxe6 29. h4 Qg7 30. Kh2 Rg6 31. Rg1 Rg4 32. a4 Qc7 33. Qe3 b6 34. Rb1 Qc6 35. b5 Qc7 36. Ra1 Qe7 37. a5 Rg7 38. axb6 axb6 39. Ra8+ Kh7 40. Qxb6 Qd7 41. Rd8 Qe7 42. Qb8 Qc5 43. Rh8+ Kg6 44. h5+ Kf7 45. Qe8# 1-0