The Chess Wanderer

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

Saturday, June 30, 2007

First chess related award

I'm not sure if any of you were aware of this, but I've been volunteering my time to help with the Team 45 45 tournaments as a Division TD. I've assisted with the last two tournaments. The Chief Director and Conference Directors have awarded me the Division TD for the tournament. It's a thankless job, you get yelled at by angry players, and it's nice to be recognized. Anyway, just thought I'd share.


T33 Division TD of the Tournament

PawnSensei, it is our pleasure to present to you the

T33 Division TD of the Tournament award.

Your handle will be listed on the Champions Page,

and will be submitted to ICC for a membership extension.

These are very small tokens of appreciation

compared to the dedication and judgment you have shown

to the membership of Team 45 45 League.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Losing, losing, losing

On another losing streak. Plus I'm still playing mainly G15. Don't know when I'll go back to G30 30. Sometimes it feels like I'll never get used to this fast time control. Still improving though so that's a comfort at least.

I've finally gotten over my attachment to ratings. Feels good. Enables me to play more confidently. When I started playing I was really afraid of losing. I don't think you ever get completely over that feeling but it becomes less important the more games I play.

Well, better get back to my losing streak!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Quick game with a checkmate

First game I was able to use a checkmate pattern. It only worked because my opponent didn't see what I was trying to do. 6 Nxe5 was actually a mistake and a trappy move. Oh well. My excuse is that it was a G15.

[Event "ICC 10 12"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2007.05.30"]
[White "PawnSensei"]
[Black ""]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "1472"]
[BlackElo "1382"]

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 d6
4. Nc3 Bg4
5. O-O Nd4
6. Nxe5 Bxd1
7. Bxf7+ Ke7
8. Nd5# {Black checkmated} 1-0

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Still under 1600

Hi all. Sorry I haven't posted in a loooooong while. As the title states I am still under 1600 even though I was predicting to pass that point last October. I'm leaving the old deadline up there so I can see how off I was.

Even though I haven't seen much progress in my rating I am pleased with my new level of comfort while playing. I'm trying to break the habit of taking too long to choose a move and I'm steadily improving in that area. An A-Class player told me it is due to my lack of experience.

I'm still working on "Art of the Checkmate". Slowly getting through it. My priority is playing games right now, then doing tactics, and finally, if I have time left over, reading books.

The rating system in ICC sucks. It's a good tool but the system needs serious revision. My main gripe with the rating system is that a person's rating could be anywhere from G15 to infinity. So, if my rating is primarily based on G30 30 then there may be a mismatch if I play someone, at the same rating, whose rating is primarily based on G15. Anyway, it's a minor point and doesn't diminish the fun of playing on ICC.

I've been playing much more aggressively lately. I like tactically rich games and point my games in that direction at the first opportunity. I've gotten into trouble doing this but I feel this is good for my development at this point in my games. Time will tell.

I do wish my tactics eye was faster. The more I play the more I agree with Tempos' approach to chess. My strength has always been my patience so my battle is to make sure I don't get lazy.

Hope everyone else is doing good.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yearly G15

Every so often I take a break from serious chess and play some G15. Usually 5 15 to have some time delay. It drops my rating more than 100 points but it's a fun break. Returned to tactics this week, after laying off the puzzles for over a month. Little rusty but it's amazing how much of it sticks.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Just one of those days

Just had one of those days that make you want to quit chess. Played horribly and let my opponent just slap me around like I was his you know what for two whole games. Did I mention he was 200 points lower than me? Yeah, I suck. No soup for you!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Chapter 2

Finished chapter 2 of "Art of the Checkmate" last week. So far I am really enjoying the book. One of the great thing about seeing these games in their entirety is I understand why some of the opening moves are played.

On the flip-side, I see how weak moves can lead to mate. For example, as a beginner I wrestled with the Knight pin. It was uncomfortable for me to have my KN pinned to the Queen, and for some reason it is a favorite of players rated under 1200. I spent some time trying to figure out a defense to this pin until a Master pointed out that I don't need to worry about it most of the time unless the opponent is threatening something, like winning the QP for example. With the examples of games where Legal's Mate was used I can clearly see the potential weakness of this move. The author even spends a whole page explaining the reasons why this pin can be bad.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Awesome gift

My Dad's friend gave me this marble set today. He said his niece gave it to him, as a gift, three years ago. Since he doesn't play chess he decided to give it to someone who does. I was floored when he gave it to me. Now to find something to store it in besides the box it came in. Does anyone have any suggestions? This is my first marble set.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Artful Checkmates

Got through the first chapter in "The Art of the Checkmate". It's a really good book so far. But you know what? I say that about almost every book that I start but don't finish. I'm familiar with the checkmates that they have shown so far but it's really interesting to see the complete game that led up to the mate and where the mistakes were. Gives me a better view of how not to play. Did I mention that I'm addicted to Master Games? There is just something exciting about watching two greats using all their brainpower against each other.

I haven't gotten around to playing a real game in a while. Other things have taken up my tim. For instance, I am currently writing this from a townhouse in Tahoe. It's nice and cold up here. Lake Donner is just beautiful. My Dad and I drove around it today and the scenery is just breathtaking. We are planning on doing the same for Lake Tahoe. We visited the Donner musem too.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Is Blitz beneficial?

Wanted to take a quick poll. Do you play blitz? Do you think it helps your chess at all? Since joining ICC I haven't played a rated blitz game with my account. Lately I've been considering playing some blitz every day, especially when I don't have time to play a full 30 30 game.