There’s something wrong with me

I woke up at 5:30am on a SATURDAY for a 6am chess match with someone in England. I’ve found that I’m definitely at a disadvantage in the T4545 tournament, scheduling-wise. I prefer to play in the evenings, after the kids are asleep, and being in the PST timezone means that nearly the entire world is ahead of me, and by the time evening rolls around for me, everyone else is nestled snugly in their beds.

Despite the ungodly hour, I’m pretty satisfied with the way I played. I think I even had a slight advantage at one point in the middlegame. However, I got greedy, and on move 30 I played Bxa7. I immediately regretted this blunder, and never recovered from it.

[Event “ICC 45 45”]
[Site “Internet Chess Club”]
[Date “2008.05.10”]
[White “PeteyDaddy”]
[Black “john-beebs”]
[Result “0-1”]
[WhiteElo “1168”]
[BlackElo “1543”]
[Opening “Réti opening”]
[ECO “A05”]
[Time “08:58:01”]
[TimeControl “2700+45”]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 e5 4. d3 d5 5. O-O Be7 6. Nbd2 Be6 7. e4 d4 8.
b3 Qd7 9. Nc4 Bg4 10. Qd2 Qe6 11. Qg5 Nh5 12. Qd2 h6 13. h3 Bxh3 14. Bxh3
Qxh3 15. Ncxe5 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 Nxg3 17. fxg3 Qxg3+ 18. Qg2 Qxe5 19. Rf5 Qe6
20. Qxg7 O-O-O 21. Qxf7 Rhg8+ 22. Kf1 Qg6 23. Qxg6 Rxg6 24. Bb2 Rdg8 25.
Bxd4 Rg2 26. c4 Rh2 27. Rf2 Rh3 28. Ke2 Rgg3 29. Rd1 h5 30. Bxa7 b6 31. d4
Re3+ 32. Kd2 Rc3 33. e5 Bb4 34. d5 Rxc4+ 35. Ke2 Re4+ 36. Kf1 Rxe5 37. Rc1
Rh1+ {White resigns} 0-1

My opponent commented that my play was far above my rating. This is not the first time that such comments have been made. The problem is that Standard time controls include any games that have time controls of 15 0 or longer. When I had to establish my rating for the T4545 tournament, I had to play many games over the course of a few weeks. This meant that I was playing a lot of 15 0 games. And I suck at shorter time controls. I’m absolutely horrible. My brain does not like to be rushed. So my rating for faster games is low. When I have time to think thing through, I’m not half-bad

ICC really needs a separate rating for longer games. Something for games 30 0 and longer, I think. My rating for such games is probably in the high 1300s, or possibly even in the 1400s. I don’t know. I wish I did.

I’d like to play some longer games over the course of the next few months, outside of the T4545 tournament, and get my rating up. I don’t like feeling like a sandbagger.

Luckily for the PatzerBoyz, Wang won his game, as did our first board. It’s all up to you, Chessaholic. No pressure! 😉

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The Flanders Panel

I happened across this book by Arturo Perez-Reverte in B&N one day, and was drawn to the image of the chessboard on the cover. The book was originally written in Spanish and has been translated to English.

The story revolves around a couple of things that I like – classical art and chess. When Julia uncovers a hidden message in The Game of Chess, a classic Flemish painting she’s restoring, her entire world changes. Her ex-lover is murdered, and the killer seems to want to play out a real-life game of chess based on the game depicted in the painting. Julia must solve the chess puzzle in order to figure out who is after her and why.

I enjoyed this one. The author skillfully weaves the chess game into the story without overdoing it. There isn’t a lot of action – instead there’s a lot of discussion and contemplation, so I was surprised to find out that a movie had been made that is based on the book. The movie’s called Uncovered, and it’s a British film starring Kate Beckinsale. It’s an interesting movie if you’ve read the book, because they’ve changed a few things, and completely overhauled one of the main characters. Both versions of the character are very interesting. So after you’ve read the book, you can check out the movie.

If you are a fan of chess or art history, you should give this book a read.

RHP 2008 Championship update

Round One of the 2008 Championship has finally been completed for my bracket, and I’m very pleased to say that I have come out on top, with 39 points out of a possible 48. I won 13 games and lost 3.

Round Two will likely begin soon, as most of the other brackets are nearing completion. I expect to get thoroughly thrashed in the next round, but I’m quite happy with my performance thus far. My rating has climbed to 1464, the highest it’s ever been (by far).

And in conclusion, I’d just like to say… WOO HOO!

T37

Registration for T37 opens on April 1st, for all us fools. Are the PatzerBoyz gonna bring our special brand of chess beatdown to the virtual boards of ICC?

I’m in if you are, guys.

Hot Streak

I am on a bit of a tear on RHP these days. The guy at work told me that he can’t seem to climb to the 1700 mark. Every time he gets close, he loses a game. Last time he neared the mark, he dropped two in a row to me, which caused his rated to plummet.

As of Monday, he was at 1696, so I challenged him to a game, telling him that I would be a spoiler again. And indeed, I was. Check out my mad skills with the King’s Indian:

[Event “Challenge”]
[Site “http://www.redhotpawn.com”%5D
[Date “2008.02.28”]
[EndDate “2008.03.06”]
[White “PeteyD”]
[Black “GuyFromWork”]
[Result “1-0”]

1. Ng1f3 d5 2. g3 c6 3. Bf1g2 Bc8f5 4. O-O e6 5. d3 Ng8f6 6. Nb1d2 Bf8d6
7. b3 Nb8d7 8. Bc1b2 O-O 9. e4 dxe4 10. dxe4 Nf6xe4 11. Nd2xe4 Bf5xe4
12. Qd1xd6 Nd7f6 13. Qd6xd8 Rf8xd8 14. c4 Rd8d3 15. Nf3e5 Rd3d2 16. Bb2c3 Be4xg2
17. Bc3xd2 Bg2xf1 18. Kg1xf1 Nf6e4 19. Bd2e3 f6 20. f3 1-0

He really wanted to prevent me from pushing my pawn to e4, so he loaded up his pieces around that square. I was able to maneuver equal forces into the area, so when I pushed e4 I knew I would come out of the resulting melee no worse off than even.

However, he played 10. .. Nxe4 instead of Bxe4, which set him up to trade a piece for a pawn. I clung to my two pawn advantage for dear life, and when he saw I wasn’t going to give up the advantage, he resigned.

I am just playing out of my mind lately. I’m sure I’ll be going on a massive losing streak sometime soon, but I’m obviously really enjoying the winning streak for now.

BTW – my RHP rating jumped to 1440 after this game. 🙂

Round one of RHP 2008 Championships heating up!

And I’m neck-and-neck with another player in the bracket. Only the player or players with the highest score move on to the next round, and it looks like I may have to win my last two games in order to do so. I think if I win both, I will at least be assured a tie for first in the bracket.

So my last two games are a bit more tense, but I currently hold slight advantages in both. I’ve been playing very good chess (for me) recently, and confidence is high. Sometimes, I think that’s half the battle.

In other news, the PatzerBoyz are wrapping up our first T4545 tournament, and we may actually go out with a win! Good luck to Chessaholic this weekend! No pressure, buddy. 😉

If you’re interested in the tournament standings, you can view them here. Personally, I finished the tournament with 2 wins and 2 losses, and I’m pretty happy with how I played. One of my losses was pretty ugly, but it taught me a lesson I won’t soon forget, so it was probably worth it in the long run.

I look forward to getting the team together for a go at T37. There is talk of a U1400 section for the next tournament, which would be totally sweet. We were the perpetual underdogs (way, way under) in T36.

Down with the chessness – I cracked 1400 on RHP!

Woot for me! A lot of my 2008 championship tournament games on Red Hot Pawn are wrapping up, and I am ending up on the winning side most of the time. This has pushed my rating on the site to 1413.  Hell yeah! I’ve never been rated over 1400 on any site at any time, so this is a big thing for me.

In fact, I’ve won seven games in a row. We’re broken up into groups of 9 for the tourney, and I am currently leading my group. I’ve got 9 wins, 3 losses, and I’ve got 4 games still in progress.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to pat myself on the back, because everyone should toot their own horn every now and again. Now that I’ve done so, I’m fully expecting to go on a twenty-seven game losing streak, because that’s how Caissa is.

Red Hot Pawn back up!

After two long days of downtime while they upgraded their servers (some sort of issue forced their upgrade to happen before they were quite ready I think), Red Hot Pawn is back online. I was very happy to see the site come back up, because most of my games in the 2008 championship tourney are approaching the end.

So far, I’ve won three and lost three. Of the remaining 10 games, I think I stand to win at least 6 or 7 of them. It’s been fun, but 16 simultaneous games is a bit much I think.

Hopefully the server upgrade will help the site perform better and provide a solid platform for years to come. I still think it’s the best correspondence chess site on the ‘net.

Exploring another opening

If you’ve been following my chess odyssey at all, you probably know that when it comes to openings, I’m currently a one-trick pony. As white, I play the King’s Indian. As black, I play the King’s Indian. So far, it’s worked pretty well for me. I love these openings.

However, as I play more T4545 tournament games, and these games are recorded on the T4545 site for all to see, future opponents who do their homework will know exactly what I play, and will be able to fully prepare against me and my King’s Indian.

So, I’ve been shopping around for another opening to add to my repertoire (well, I don’t suppose I can really call it a repertoire until I have more than one option, eh?). I’ve been looking at various opening books at the bookstore, and I think I’ve finally settled on my next opening. I’m gonna learn to play the Ruy Lopez. It’s a classic, and it’s a strong opening when played well. Fischer played it. Kasparov played it. Petey’s gonna play it.

My fellow chess player at work plays that opening almost exclusively, so hopefully he will impart some of his wisdom to me.

Like with the Barcza/KIA, I plan to play a bunch of games using the Spanish, so that I can see the most likely responses, and learn how to react to those. The Ruy Lopez is a far more complicated opening than the KIA, with far more variations, so I expect it to take me a lot longer to learn and become proficient using.

And then I’ll be a two-trick pony. Neigh.

Cheerio! Another win!

I had to play my T4545 round 3 game early today, because my opponent was 8 hours ahead of me in the UK. Here’s the game:

[Site “Internet Chess Club”]
[White “PeteyDaddy”]
[Black “OldBoy”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ICCResult “Black resigns”]
[WhiteElo “1133”]
[BlackElo “1498”]
[Opening “Réti: King’s Indian attack (Barcza system)”]
[ECO “A07”]

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Bd6 5. d3 Nc6 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. e4 dxe4 8.
dxe4 e5 9. b3 Qe7 10. Bb2 Bg4 11. Qe1 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 Rad8 13. Nc4 b5 14. Nxd6
cxd6 15. Ba3 Nd4 16. Bd1 Qb7 17. f3 Qb6 18. Rf2 Nxf3+ 19. Bxf3 Rc8 20. Rc1
Rc3 21. Qxc3 {Black resigns} 1-0

I was happy to see him let me develop my King’s Indian fully. We were playing fairly evenly through the middlegame. After my move 14. Nxd6, I was hoping that he would retake with his Rook and thus allow me to pin his Rook to his Queen with Ba3, but he saw through that and retook with his c pawn. At that point, I thought that I was in for a long battle to the bitter end.

Then he started pushing his Knight up the board, and in his eagerness to check my King, he ended up trading his Knight for a Pawn. This took me by surprise. I thought that surely I was missing some tactic that would allow him to take control, so I looked at the position for a bit but could find nothing.

Two moves later, he leaves his Rook completely unprotected. I thought for sure that there was some counterattack that he would mount to destroy me, but I couldn’t find one. So I took the Rook, and he promptly resigned. I guess his move was just a blunder. I’m not really sure what he was trying to do.

Usually I’m the one doing the blundering, so it’s kinda refreshing to see someone else do it.