The Chess Wanderer

"Les pions sont l´âme du jeu" Francois-André Philidor, 1749

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Games that people play

I've heard of chess players playing poker but do you know of any chess players that play this game? Sounds like a game chess players would be interested in.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Attention team DeLaMaza U1600

Please sign up for the ICQ Group I created for us. Since we only have four players everyone has to play every round but it will be a good place for us to discuss strategy or any problems.

For those of you who do not want to download and install ICQ software there is a web registration for your convenience. Once you register you can log in from any computer with internet access.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Wow, didn't realize that my last post was a week ago. Thought I'd update everyone. Here it is, in list format for your convenience.

1. Losing, losing, losing. Been on a solid losing streak for the last two weeks. My rating dropped from around 1350 to about 1230. Last night's win broke that streak and brought my rating up to 1250. It's a slump. It'll pass.

2. Per Dan Heisman I created a "Hall of Shame" in Word and periodically update it when I make a major mistake. It's quite a fun concept and really helps to avoid repeating game losing blunders.

3. Per Robert Snyder I am in the process of creating an openings catalog. It's a great way to study openings and helps to keep all my opening study in one location. I've just about got it down to where I want it. With a few more touch ups I should be finished. As Snyder suggests, from there I'll just update it when I come across something new.

4. Learned how to use MCO 14. That book used to intimidate me but after borrowing it for a couple of weeks to build my catalog, and looking up openings from my tournament, I am much more comfortable with it. I am thinking about tracking down a hard cover edition if there is such a thing. Nice thing to have for the coffee table.

5. Working on inputting 50 checkmate patterns into Chessbase. Slow going but I really need this for my games right now. I miss too many opportunities and threats.

6. Finally, got a new analysis set (did I mention this in a previous post?). Neat little set with flat pieces and the optional wood pieces if someone wants to play. Cost more than my tournament set and bag but worth the price. I take it with me wherever I go and it's much much lighter than my old magnetic set from the 80's.

One thing I've neglected that I really feel bad about is my Chess Mentor. I'm at problem 500, which is over half way but I've been so tied up with the above stuff that I haven't gotten around to it. I barely have time for my daily 30 30 game. Once I complete my openings catalog I should have more time for the Mentor. I can't wait till it's done. I can then return MCO to the library. I'm getting tired of lugging that brick around with me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The newest Knight

Please welcome RomaLavrn to the round table. He's the captain and founder of Team DeLaMaza on Team 45 45. His first post may be his last before becoming an alumni though. He's on his seventh circle already. He's from Ukraine so what about the Pomaranch Knight?

If you are planning to play in T27 please update your profiles again. The information was accidentally deleted during a website maintenance. The two things you NEED are:

1. Click YES on your interest to play in T27

2. Click Yes on "I have read and accept the Team 4545 league procedures."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Ooooooh, another guantlet

The following conversation took place between RomaLavrn of Team DeLaMaza and FusterCluck of Team MFO. What do you guys think? Up for a challenge?

FusterCluck: We are beating U.S. open champion Georgi Orlov in a team game right now

FusterCluck: interesting disussions

FusterCluck: correspondece game that has been going for months


RomaLavrn: that is nice idea

FusterCluck: MFO vs. Georgi Orlov

FusterCluck: kind of like Kasparov vs. the world game

FusterCluck: actually, we are looking for an opponent for next team game. YOU SHOULD PLAY US!

FusterCluck: we have good rivalry going

FusterCluck: you and all your guys vs. us?

FusterCluck: all of you vs. all of mfo

FusterCluck: we usually have 6-10 people who participate in team game discussion

FusterCluck: since it is a correspondence game, not everyone has to participate every day

FusterCluck: some can take vacation

RomaLavrn: comps are not allowed. what is allowed?

FusterCluck: well, we have been debating the computers

FusterCluck: we prefer no computers

FusterCluck: but we have some players who would not mind a game with research allowed - using books or computer databases of games.

FusterCluck: but absolutely we don't want anyone to turn on the computer to run the chess engine

RomaLavrn: I agree about chess engine

FusterCluck: so, you guys could propose your terms... either NO COMPUTERS at all or COMPUTERS ONLY FOR RESEARCH.

FusterCluck: we need our next opponent soon. i think we have Georgi close to resigning

RomaLavrn: when to start?

FusterCluck: you can see how close to finishing our game with Georgi is

RomaLavrn: ok

FusterCluck: when the game ends...

FusterCluck: our game with Georgi has been very difficult

FusterCluck: first game vs. him was much easier

RomaLavrn: how you could beat him?

FusterCluck: we squashed him

FusterCluck: we beat him easilly last time we played him

FusterCluck: in a very tactical game

RomaLavrn: How could it be if he has enough time to think?

FusterCluck: because we had so many people to look at the tactics... we though together as one. like a computer

RomaLavrn: and which opening is so tactical?

FusterCluck: in the second game... he got smart. he played a very positional defense. the many team mates did not help us understand the positional subtleties

FusterCluck: he played us like a grandmaster plays a computer... positionally

FusterCluck: first game we beat him with Benoni

Saturday, May 14, 2005

First tournament results

Today was my first OTB tournament and boy what a rush! My head was spinning after the third round and at the end I had a pounding headache. Very good learning experience though. Going in I was really nervous and had a rocky first round but things improved after that. Playing in the Team 45 45 tournament really helped me with my focus under pressure. I also got to split the reserve prize with another unrated guy, to win back my entrance fee. Here are the games with annotations. They were all G45 sudden death time controls.

Round 1. I was matched up against another unrated person who I eventually went on to split the reserve prize with. Like myself he doesn't belong to any local clubs and plays primarily on the internet and at home.

[Round "1"]
[White "First Opponent"]
[Black "PawnSensei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D20"]
[EventDate "2005.05.14"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 {Trading a central pawn for the c pawn. Queen's Gambit Accepted.} 3. Nc3 e5 {I leave book. Correct move is a6.} 4. d5 Bb4 {Blunder, losing the B.} 5. Qa4+ c6 6. Qxb4 cxd5 7. e4 Ne7 8. exd5 Nxd5 9.Qb5+ Nc6 10. Qxd5 Be6 11. Qxd8+ Rxd8 12. Nf3 Nd4 13. Nxd4 exd4 {And Black has the only central pawn.} 14. Nb5 O-O 15. Bf4 a6 16. Na3 b5 17. g3 Rfe8 {Preparing a disc check on the K.} 18. O-O-O d3 19. Bg2 b4 20. Nb1 Bd5 {Blunder. Black has a weak back rank.} 21. Bxd5 Rxd5 22. Rhe1 Rxe1 23. Rxe1 c3 24. Re8# 1-0

I did a lot better in round 2. My opponent is returning to competitive chess as a high school student. He was very confident in the opening but started slowing down the further we got into unknown territory.

[Round "2"]
[White "PawnSensei"]
[Black "Second Opponent"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C44"]
[EventDate "2005.05.14"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 d6 {My opponent plays the Philidor Defence which is bad for Black} 4. Bc4 Bg4 5. h3 {Blunder. Deviated from book and wasted a tempo. Correct was dxe5 where Black loses at least a pawn.} Bxf3 6. Qxf3 {Mate attack on f pawn.} Nf6 7. dxe5 Nd4 8. Qd3 {Trying to prvent N fork on c2. Need to get K out of center.} dxe5 9. O-O Bc5 10. Bxf7+ {Trying to get the B on c5.} Kxf7 11. Qc4+ Ne6 12. Nc3 Qd4 13. Qb3 Nxe4 14. Be3 {Trying to take advantage of a Queen skewer.} Qb4 15.Qxb4 Bxb4 16. Nxe4 Nd4 17. Bxd4 {Trading down for the endgame.} exd4 18. Rad1{Trying to take the half-open files.} Rad8 19. c3 dxc3 20. Nxc3 {More simplification. Trying to force Black to take R so White can control D file.} Bxc3 21.bxc3 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Re8 23. Rd7+ {Rooks are deadly on the 7th.} Re7 24. Rd2 {Not ready to trade Rooks. Black K has better position for the endgame.} c5 25. f3 g5 26. Kf2 {Preparing K for endgame.} h5 27. Rd5 Kf6 28. Rxc5 {Taking another pawn before trading Rooks.} Re5 29. Rxe5 {Trading Rooks with a 5 to 4 advantage.} Kxe5 30. Ke3 b5 31. g3 h4 32. gxh4 gxh4 33. f4+ Kf5 34. Kf3 a5 35. a3 a4 36. Ke3 {Black is in Zugzwang.} Ke6 37. Ke4 {Pushing black king back.} Kf6 38. f5 Kf7 39. Ke5 {Blunder. Kf4 would win.} Ke7 40. f6+ Kf7 41.Kf5 Ke8 42. Kg5 Kf7 43. Kxh4 Kxf6 44. Kg4 Kg6 45. h4 Kh6 46. h5 Kg7 47. Kg5 Kh7 48. h6 Kg8 49. Kf5 Kh7 50. Ke5 Kxh6 51. Kd5 Kg6 52. Kc5 Kf6 53. Kxb5 Ke6 54. c4 Kd6 55. Kb6 Kd7 56. c5 Kc8 57. Kc6 Kb8 58. Kd7 Kb7 59. c6+ Ka7 60. c7 Ka6 61. c8=Q+ Ka7 62. Qc6 Kb8 63. Kd6 Ka7 64. Kc5 Kb8 65. Qd7 Ka8 66. Kb6 Kb8 67. Qb7#1-0

I have played this opponent before and had won a very close game. Again this one went down to the wire and I had a major blunder right before he ran out of time. He was so upset that he banged the table and swore after losing on time. He saw the draw right before he ran out of time. I definitely ruined the rest of his day.

[Round "3"]
[White "Third Opponent"]
[Black "PawnSensei"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C44"]
[WhiteElo "1315"]
[EventDate "2005.05.14"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 Nf6 4. Qe2 Bc5 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bxd4 7. Bg5 O-O 8. Qd3 Bxb2 {Rook is lost.} 9. Nc3 Bxa1 10. Nd5 Re8 11. Be2 d6 {Freeing B on c8.} 12. O-O Be5 13. Nxe5 Nxe5 {Attacking Q with tempo.} 14. Qc2 h6 15. Bxf6 gxf6 {At this point I saw N fork but too late. I will be punished for ignoringcomplete development. Will try to minimize damage by finally developing the B.} 16. Qxc7 Qxc7 17. Nxc7 Be6 18. Nxe8 Rxe8 19. a3 f5 20. f3 fxe4 21. fxe4 Bc4 {Attacking the pinned B to simplify with a superior endgame for Black.} 22. Bxc4 Nxc4 23. Rb1 Re7 24. a4 Nd2 25. Rb2 Nxe4 26. Re2 d5 {Freeing the R to get to the first or second rank.} 27. g3 Rc7 28. Kg2 Nc3 29. Re8+ Kg7 30. Kf3 d4 31. h4 Rd7 {Rooks belong behind passed pawns. The pawn will queen.} 32. g4 d3 33. g5 hxg5 34. hxg5 d2 35. g6 d1=Q+ 36. Kg3 Qd3+ 37. Kf4 Qxg6 38. a5 Rd5 39. a6 bxa6 40. Kf3 Rd3+ 41. Kf2 Qg3+ 42. Kf1 Rd2 {Major blunder in time trouble. Rf3 is mate. White loses on time.} 0-1

I was told that this opponent plays at a higher strength than his rating. He was able to rattle off sequences and games from memory. He loves fast games and I don't think he even used up 5 minutes on his clock compared to my 25 to 30 minutes.

[Round "4"]
[White "PawnSensei"]
[Black "Fourth Opponent"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C02"]
[BlackElo "1294"]
[EventDate "2005.05.14"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Nf3 {Trying to prevent trading central pawn for c pawn.} Nc6 5. Bb5 Qb6 6. Bxc6+ bxc6 7. O-O Ba6 8. Re1 Nh6 9. c3 cxd4 10. cxd4 c5 11. b3 {Protecting the b pawn before moving the bishop.} Nf5 12. Bb2 c4 13. Nc3 {Taking with bxc would lose at least the bishop.} Rb8 14. Rb1 {Preparing for Q attack.} cxb3 15. axb3 Qxb3 16. Ba1 {X-Ray check on b8.} Qa3 17. Rxb8+ Kd7 18. Qa4+ {Forcing a Q trade. The R on e1 will now join the attack on the centralized K.} Qxa4 19. Nxa4 Kc7 20. Reb1 Bd3 21. R1b7+ Kc6 22. Rxa7 {Black resigns} 1-0

I really felt lucky to be able to play the leader. It was neat to see him slowly squeeze my position and punish me for my mistakes. He appeared to be very humble and seemed to truly enjoy the game. During the post-mortem he told me a little bit about himself and helped me with my opening mistakes.

[Round "5"]
[White "Fifth Opponent"]
[Black "PawnSensei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C84"]
[WhiteElo "1856"]
[EventDate "2005.05.14"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 {My opponent was nice enough to point out my mistake after the game. Here, the main line goes 1...b5 2 b3 0-0.} O-O 7. Bxc6 bxc6 {The usual reply is dxc6 but I thought the action was going to be in the middle. What the hell right? Might as well have fun.} 8. Nxe5 Bb7 9. Nc3 Bd6 10. Nc4 Re8 11. e5 Bxe5 12. Nxe5 d6 {Planning to post a R or Q on e1 to tie down the B and harass the K.} 13. Nf3 c5 14. Rxe8+ Qxe8 15. h3 Bxf3 16. Qxf3 Qe1+ 17. Kh2 Re8 18. d3 h6 19. Rb1 {Creates a disc attack on e1. Ex. Bxh6.} Qe5+ 20. Bf4 Qf5 21. g4 Qg6 22. Rg1 c4 23. g5 hxg5 {Trying to prevent the dis attack on g6.} 24. Bxg5 cxd3 {Trying for desperate pawn push to c1. After Qh7, Bxf6 loses more material.} 25. Bxf6 Qxg1+ 26. Kxg1 Re1+ 27. Kg2 dxc2 {Now I see Bg5 ending my hopes and dreams.} 28. Bg5 f6 29. Bd2 Rb1 30. Qd5+ Kh7 31. Qd3+ {Black resigns} 1-0

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Tentative Lineup for T27

First, thanks for all the enthusiastic responses guy! Last tourney I had to beg people to sign up and no one wanted to, so I had to represent and play every round. Still waiting for more Knights if anyone else is interested. If we get one more Knight for the U1800 section we may have enough players to make another U1800 team if we are joined by members of RomaLavrn's Pomaranch Team (they're from Ukraine).

I don't have enough people for the U1400 section yet. Am I the Knight with the lowest rating? C'mon Blue Devil. It will probably be only me and you. We can lose together! It will be fun.

Finally, to all DeLaMaza team members in the U1600 section, please start creating an ICQ account. I have created an ICQ group for us to communicate with each other and will be posting the link shortly.

Finally, finally, just fyi, the MFO team (Mr Fixit Online) does read my blog so they know we are gearing up for the next tournament. Just to warn you, they WILL review your histories in FICS and study your openings. Do NOT take them lightly. In T26 one MFO team was our rival to make it to the final round and our opponent in the final round was another MFO team (they had two U1600 teams). Can you guys smell a rivalry brewing?

Here is the current tentative lineup:

1. TripleCheck
2. bahus (NE)
3. Romalavrn
4. Lliamah
5. CelticDeath (NE)

1. bahus (NE)
2. RomaLavrn
3. Lliamah
4. CelticDeath (NE)
5. PawnSensei (NE)
6. psionics (NE)

1. Lliamah
2. Nezha (NE)
3. PawnSensei (NE)
4. Knightwizzy (NE)

Monday, May 09, 2005

Team DeLaMaza is looking for a few good men (and woman of course)

We just finished the tournament 26 on FICS last night and our U1600 team is the new champions. We will be starting up U1800 and U2000 teams for tournament 27 and I hope some of the Knights could join up. I have already recruited KnightWiz for our U1600 team (which I will be captaining). Here are the dates:

June 7 - Deadline for team lineups
June 14 - First round of T26 begins

You need a free FICS account and 20 slow (15 minutes or slower) rated games to register with Team 45 45. Here are a few links for further instructions.

Main page with dates:

FAQ with instructions:

Please post a reply even if you aren't interested so I know who read this. Thanks all!

Due to the overwhelming response we received, team DeLaMaza may be putting together an U1400 team now! If so, I will be captaining that team as well. So, especially if you have a low rating, please consider signing up!

Sunday, May 08, 2005


[Event "Team 45 45 League T26"]
[Site "Free Internet Chess Server"]
[Date "PDT.05.0"]
[Round "8"]
[White "ahorse"]
[Black "LLIAMAH"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1527"]
[BlackElo "1722"]
[TimeControl "2700+45"]

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Nf3 Qc7 4. O-O e6 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 a6 7. Be3 Nf6 8. Qf3 b5 9. Bd3 Bb7 10. Nd2 h5 11. c4 Ne5 12. Qe2 Nxd3 13. Qxd3 bxc4 14. Rac1 Ng4 15. Nxc4 Qxh2# {White checkmated} 0-1

Friday, May 06, 2005

I hope I didn't lose the finals for the team

[Event "rated standard match"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2005.05.06"]
[White "SamuraiGoroh"]
[Black "PawnSensei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C68"]
[WhiteElo "1453"]
[BlackElo "1427"]
[TimeControl "2700+45"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 {The a6 variation of the Ruy.} 4. Bxc6 bxc6 {Taking with the wrong pawn.} 5. Nxe5 Qg5 {Trying a double attack on the g pawn and knight.} 6. Ng4 Nf6 {Offering to trade knights.} 7. Nxf6+ Qxf6 8. Nc3 Bc5 {Threatening mate on f2.}9. Qe2 O-O 10. O-O Re8 11. b3 Qe5 12. Bb2 Bd6 {Threatening mate on h2.} 13. g3Bb7 14. Rab1 c5 {Increasing the pressure on e4.} 15. d3 Qe6 16. f3 f5 17. Rfe1f4 {If gxf then Bxf4.} 18. g4 Qg6 19. Qd2 h5 {Taking advantage of pin on g4. If g5 then Qxg5.} 20. h3 Be5 21. Ne2 d6 22. Nxf4Bxf4 23. Qxf4 Rf8 24. Qe3 Rae8 25. c4 Bc8 {Increasing pressure on g4.} 26. Re2Qh6 {Offering to trade queens.} 27. Qxh6 gxh6 28. Rf1 h4 29. Bc1 Kh7 30. Be3Rg8 31. Bf2 h5 32. Bxh4 hxg4 33. hxg4 Rg6 34. Rg2 Reg8 35. Kh2 Rh6 36. Kg3 Kg637. f4 Bxg4 {Taking a pawn.} 38. Kxg4 Kf7+ 39. Kh3 Rxg2 40. Kxg2 Rxh4 41. Rh1Rxh1 {Accepting the trade in hopes of drawing after Kxh1 black king is closerto the action.} 42. Kxh1 Ke6 43. Kg2 c6 44. Kf3 d5 45. exd5+ cxd5 46. cxd5+Kxd5 47. Ke3 a5 48. a3 Ke6 49. Ke4 Kf6 50. d4 cxd4 51. Kxd4 Kf5 52. b4 axb4 53.axb4 Kxf4 54. b5 Kf5 55. b6 Ke6 56. b7 Kd7 57. b8=Q Kc6 58. Qd8 Kb5 59. Qc7 Kb460. Qc5+ Ka4 61. Qc7 Kb5 62. Kc3 Ka6 63. Kb2 Kb5 64. Kb3 Ka6 65. Qc6+ Ka5 66.Qc7+ Ka6 67. Qc5 Kb7 68. Kb4 Ka6 69. Qd6+ Kb7 70. Kc5 Kc8 71. Qe7 Kb8 72. Kb6Kc8 73. Qc7# 1-0

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

First annotations

Did I mention that I love Fritz?

[Event "ICC 30 30"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2005.05.01"]
[White "PawnSensei"]
[Black "jabjab"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1285"]
[BlackElo "1389"]
[TimeControl "1800+30"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 {I usually meet the Scicilian with c3 then follow upwith d4 to attempt to trade the c pawns.} e5 4. d4 Qc7 5. d5 {Taking more space.} Nd8 6. Bc4 d6 7. O-O Nf6 8. Qe2 a6 9. Bd3 {Preparing for c4.} Bd7 10. c4 b5 11. b3 Be7 12. a3 {Prophylactic against b4.}Qa5 13. Bd2 b4 14. a4 {Can not take b4 due to Qxa1.} h6 15. Na3 {Taking advantage of the pin on b4.} Qc7 16. Nc2 Nb7 17. Ne3 {Amassing forces on kingside.} Na5 18. Bc2 O-O 19. Nh4 {Eyeing advanced post on f5.} Nxe4 20. Qd3 f5 21. Nhxf5 Bxf5 22. Nxf5 Nxd2 23.Qxd2?? {Good grief. What about Nxh6+!!!} Nxb3 24. Nxe7+ Qxe7 25. Bxb3 Qf6 26.a5 e4 27. Qe3 Rae8 28. Rae1 Qd8 29. Ba4 $2 Re5 30. Ra1? {Trying to take a6.}Qf6 31. Bc6 Re7 32. Rae1 Qg6 33. f3?? {As soon as I moved the pawn I saw exf3. That would have been bad.} Rxf3 34. Qe2 Re5 35. Kh1 Ra3 36. Ra1 Rxa1 37. Rxa1 Qf6 38. Bd7 Rf5 39. Be6+ Kh8 40. Bxf5?? {Heheheh....} Qxa1+ {White resigns} 0-1

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

DeLaMaza makes it to U1600 championships

Well, our team did it. We are in for the championship round on FICS. It was really fun for my first tournament and this was the first one for team DeLaMaza as well. For T27 I have been asked by the captain to take over as captain for the U1600 team because his rating is too high. We also recruited one of the Knights (Knightwiz) for that tournament. You can check our team out here.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


Man am I ticked off today. I was on the way to playing a great game. I had a lot of space, initiative, and from my limited knowledge of positional play I think I had a great position. Mainly I felt like I was slowly squeezing this guy. Suddenly things start going sour. After the game he tells me I had a forced win on move 22. I think I had a couple of chances for a forced win in the game but blundered them all and had to resign to a queen mate. I would post the game but I don't know how to annotate yet. Can anyone give me pointers on how to annotate a game. How long do you stare at each position? What positions do you annotate. Stuff like that. I think it's Miller time.