Wednesday, December 07, 2022 10:05

Archive for January, 2010

The Day After…

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

a really depressing movie about nuclear holocaust in the 80s and people surviving in light of it. ;) (Trek Trivia: The Day After was directed by Nicholas Meyer – the force behind Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and was involved with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. KHAAAAAAAAN!!!!!)

I went ahead last night and did analysis on my losses. My most serious blunder of the tournament is now immortalized over at – have a look! Not quite as bad as nuclear holocaust, but a close analogue over the chessboard.

And life goes on… time to do other Sunday/Sabbath things now. :D

Enjoy your Chess!

Peoria Winter Tornado

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

About This Post…

It’s 7 AM. I’m preparing to head on over to Peoria for the Novice section of the Greater Peoria Chess Federation’s Winter Tornado tournament. If I have Wi-Fi access over there I’ll update this post throughout the day. (Otherwise I’ll just be typing it up after rounds and doing one edit tonight.)


So, it’s 7 AM. I got plenty of sleep last night, but I didn’t actually go to sleep until my body was worn out. When I woke up this morning I realized why…. I’m nervous about today. Not quite like I was for the Northbridge tournament, but it’s the same feeling. Stress. It used to be this way in Speech & Debate, too, as well as when I took the stage, or the pulpit.

Here’s my routine for this, saying the following internally to myself: I am nervous, and this is fine – that means my energy levels are charging up for the best chess I can play. I will play my best chess today. I will use my time well, and my opponent and I will play out our game. If I win I will rejoice, and if I lose I will realize I played the best game I could. Either way will be fine. I am lovable and capable, and I am capable of winning at chess. Then I read through my Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned From Chess, and recognize its meaning both to Chess and to Life.

Then I blog a little bit ( ;) ) and I’m a little less nervous for awhile.

Time to eat a good and healthy breakfast, and get my things together to go.

Round 1 – 10:15 AM

Arrived on time, played one of the players I know, rated 1093, from the Bloomington Scholastic scene. I lost with White on Board 7. It may have been one of those “I got too cute by half” games. We’ll have to see in post-analysis.

Rght after the round I had time to run out to my car, scarf my lunch, and then it was 12:00. So it was back into it again.

Round 2 – 12:00 PM

On board 9, lowest board, I won with Black against a player rated 546. I traded Knight for Pawn in the first three moves. But putting me on the defensive pays off – I later won a Rook almost for free. Then traded Queens off, promoted two pawns (losing one to take out his Knight / was up materially a Rook and two pawns at that point,) and a Queen/Rook rolling barrel to checkmate.

Then it was now. I have about a half hour before the scheduled next round start. More to come….

(BTW, note to wife: I think I left my cell phone at home. :O )

Round 3 – 1:45 PM

Remember that part in Star Wars when Luke manages to shoot down a Tie Fighter as they escape from the Death Star? Remember Han’s advice to Luke?

“That’s great, kid! Now don’t get cocky….”

Round 3 was a loss with White, against a scholastic age player. I don’t have his rating – I will post that later…. I tried a Ruy Lopez that went south on me. I was feeling pretty good about it at first – IIRC I opened a diagonal where his Queen could get my Rook for free. But then he started, well, acting his age a little. (As in distracting over the board.) I guess he felt pretty darn good at beating a 40 year old patzer. Whatever.

But Bonus! The tournament is being played at Lakeview Museum. They have a free planetarium show at 3 PM that lasts about 10 minutes on the Winter skies. So I’ll check that out, as the last round doesn’t begin until 3:30.

Even though I’m 1 for 3 so far, I get scientific discovery knowledge of what I can see when I look up at the night sky. Cool!

Round 4 – 3:30 PM

The 10 minute planetarium show was awesome. I am so coming back here for the paid shows! (And my wife rolls her eyes on many different levels.)

As to the last round, well, it was another loss. I had White, essayed an Italian against a 546 player and managed to lose it.

Oh, well. Another 1 for 4 tournament…. It is hard, immediately after defeat, to fnd ways to enjoy one’s chess. But I’m sitting here in the tournament hall watching others play. I had one win – which is more than some other players here (at least one who had zero points received a fourth round bye.) The action is indeed intense. And, as time passes on, that one point looks better and better.

And speaing of byes, time to post this and head home. Post-tournament post when I get there.


Actually, I liked the drive home very much. Sun just going down, eating two hot dogs from Circle K for 99 cents each (relish, onion sauce, ketchup, mustard,) classic rock on the radio….

And now, after it’s done, the last loss (and all of them,) put into proper perspective. It was an enjoyable day!

I didn’t take time before this to note all the faces there that I recognized. The Walbert Brothers, Sam Heil, Evan Johnson… one other person I just can’t recall right now (Sorry!) from the Bloomington Normal Area Scholastic Chess group. From Colley’s Chess Cafe and Tri-Cities Chess Club: Rob Nunez, Dennis Bourgerie, Garrett Scott. From outside the area that I recognized: Randy Crum (whom I’ve lost to before…) and David Long, among others. Garrett was kind enough to introduce me to a few other players, as well.

And, of that Pre-Tournament post… The nervousness passed. My energy was high. I played my best chess today, and used my time as well as possible. We played our games. I rejoiced. I realized I played the best game I could in my losses. I am still lovable and capable. I won at chess. I still learned a lot, and made the best use of my finite time today. In short, I enjoyed my chess. I hope today was also a day in which you could

Enjoy your Chess!

Slow Blogging Again

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

I’m ramping up to my second regular time control tournament this upcoming Saturday, so I’m now going into tournament prep mode. The next couple of nights I will be doing some last study on areas of improvement, followed by a no-chess night on Friday – if I follow my plan, of course! Which pretty much means no blogging before a quick post-tournament post on Saturday.

Wish me luck!

As to tonight, I did stop by Colley’s. Weather was just too bad for me last night (hence the video blogpost.) Managed to lose three games, a G/5 blitz, a G/20 regular, and a “wild” variant against a very young player where I had nothing but pawns against a full array. (Which was good training drill for me on pawn structures and management…) I then ‘lost’ a race to set up the array.

For those new to chess, or parents out there, the “array” is the starting position of all pieces. It can be a fun drill to see how fast one can correctly set up the array with the pieces scattered. Not to mention a really good drill for if you ever have to set up ten or more boards as part of a scholastic. Every round during the last tournament I did inspect every board on conclusion of the round, and consistently found 1-3 boards with King-Queen reversed on one side Remember that the light square should be to each player’s right, and the Queens take their own color:

The Array In All Its Glory!

The Array In All Its Glory!

After that, Chris Morgan and I worked on the TLA and some details for the upcoming Tri-Cities Chess Club quarterly tournament we’re going to TD together. (April 10! Not in my upcoming tournaments reveiw, which I’ve been lousy at maintaining, but it is coming…. Posts to ICA and Chess Life Online TLA coming soon, and mark your calendars now!)

A Video Blogpost for TDs

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Just some creative things I’ve done with my rulebook for tournament usage, courtesy of YouTube.

Enjoy your Chess!

“OldPatzer” Helps the Young Patzer

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

I’m resting up now following TDing at the Tri-Valley scholastic tournament today.

Earlier I posted my fourth video to ChessVideos.TV, just a basic review of a Ruy Lopez game between Nakamura and Carlsen in Corus. (The video is here, for any interested!)

In the video I asked if anyone listening could give me the correct pronunciation for the opening. Stepping up to the challenge was forum member “OldPatzer,” who gave me not only the pronunciation of the opening (Roo-eee), but also gave me a link to the pronunciation ( .)

Check out the chessvideos link above for more from OldPatzer on the pronunciation, including the variations of “Lopez.” :)

More Chess Video Action

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

I’ve done a couple more chess videos. Rather than upload to YouTube (and hit their 10-minute limit and have to split every one of them up,) I’ve been posting exclusively to – a site that I do have to get a link to in my sidebar! ;)

My two videos cover a loss I had and a draw that I took. Those two are available at these links:

My second video – QGD in tournament play

And my third video – you get to see what I look like in addition to a draw in a Sicilian.

I’m no expert, by any means. Sometimes I might use Fritz 12 to help confirm my analyses, but mainly I’m just doing these videos for fun. It’s a great way to enjoy my chess, and in watching them I hope you’re able to

Enjoy your Chess!

Rest ‘em Up Day

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Hope everyone had a good MLK day, and that you were able to enjoy your chess!

I did by floor directing a couple of sections at our annual scholastic tournament. It was very enjoyable – especially as I was charged with the Junior High section, which is generally regarded as the easiest to direct. (And a Thanks “shout out” to Garrett Scott, Chris Merli, Jeff Smith, the Computer Room staff, the scorers and floor assistants, everyone else I missed, and our players!) When I get a chance, I may blog just a little about the whole thing as well as the kinds of rulings I was asked to make.

But I’ve got some plans for today, a rest day I have off. Not to mention a reload, as this next Saturday I am TDing at another scholastic. If I do get time to do things chesswise over my day off it will probably be setting up and recording another video of one of my games.

I am also really glad that I took today off as paid time off from work in addition to yesterday. :D At the Twin Cities Club last night at Colley’s, I don’t think any of us who were both there and at the tournament had a lot of energy for playing.

Then again, Tuesday night at Colley’s. More playing opportunity! :D Today will still be a day to enjoy my chess. Hope that you also

Enjoy your Chess!

Video Experiment

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I uploaded a video in two parts to YouTube, and both parts in one upload to (After uploading, I discovered that what sounded like loud audio to me is really extremely quiet.) I also learned that, like my posts, I can go on and on without intending to. So, without further ado (and because I’ve got to get to bed so I can work the floor at tomorow’s tournament,) here’s both parts of the video:

Enjoy your Chess!

Live From Colley’s – NOT On Tape!

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men…

Garrett Scott passed the word that setup for the MLK tournament would be this afternoon. Plus with getting my laptop up and running I don’t have the free cash to enter the Decatur tournament. Plus I don’t have the gas money to get to Decatur and back (though Colley would have happily carpooled…)

1+1+1=Darren didn’t go to Decatur as planned, but decided to open up at Colley’s for the morning, anyway. I was a little late getting here, but here I am. And bonus: I’m listening to music, and after I post this I will be doing some more analysis on my games from my first tournament. So, whether anybody stops by this morning or not, I’m able to enjoy my chess! I hope this Saturday finds you able to

Enjoy your Chess!

Good Computer Things Happening to LV

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

I need to make this brief, as I really should be doing other things at home at this moment.

But my copy of Fritz 12 arrived today. It installed without a hitch, and it is at least as excellent as I’d hoped for. (In fact, moreso after a few minutes usage.) I won’t be trying to install it to my old laptop. (That machine is heading towards a full-on install of Ubuntu Linux.)

Full review coming to this blog, soon!

I also heard back from ChessBase support today. Sadly, what I had all-but-proven is true: ChessBase 2007 won’t install to my new system. The support I’ve received, however, has been most excellent. It, in part, has caused me to purchase the Premium version of ChessBase 2009 Light.

While I could probably suvive with alternatives, there were several factors that went into my deciding I needed the ChessBase. The excellent service I’ve received is one. Second is that ChessBase really does manage to improve their products significantly with each new release. I can count on the folks at CB to keep improving their products to keep up with the state of the art. One clincher is how easy I have found both preparing diagrams and generating the full replay boards using ChessBase – a very handy tool for a budding Chess Blogger. Next to last, I anticipate no problems with the new software and adding in the Fritz 12 that I just got as a UCI engine. Finally, ChessBase also provides chess world news and information – check out the link in my sidebar to them. I like supporting companies that support Chess beyond what would be simply necessary to sell their product.

Add it all up, and I’m glad that I found the free version of ChessBase back at Version 6.

OK, off to other things, but I hope that you too can find the tools which help you best to

Enjoy your Chess!