Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chess websites/blogs

I've added a couple more links to chess websites. One in particular is very good. Apparently the writer is from Alberta and started playing chess only a couple of years ago when his young son wanted to play after watching "Searching for Bobby Fischer". There are alot of interesting videos, blogs, and reviews on his site. I don't know who he is, or where in Alberta he lives, other than it's far from a city.

The other is where there are chess instructional videos. Some are very good, others, not so good.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March of King Games

Here are my games from the recent March of Kings tournament in Calgary. If you have any comments about the games don't be shy. Thanks to DJ for the pictures. Notice the top two seeds Eric and Nenad appear to have the same fashion stylist.

The tournament was larger than previous years and quite strong. Eric Hansen played along with many other + 2000 players. My first game was against the number two rated player in the tourney Nenad Ristovic (2312). I played a very good game against his French defence up until time pressure started to make me rush some of my moves. I think it was still fairly equal until move 30 then I made some small errors and then I blundered on my 36th move when I missed his simple intermesimo QxB+ move and resigned immediately down a piece.

Just before 6.c3

2009-03-14 r1 Ristovic.pgn

My second game was against Simon Ong (1638). He played the English and I responded with a Kings Indian Defense set-up. I haven’t played the KID for some time but this one developed just like I remember my old games from years ago where I storm the kings side. I was able to open the h file and get a strong bishop posted on f3 and finished it with a nice mate.

I'm just about to play 12.Rb8

2009-03-14 r2 Ong.pgn

Round three was against Roy Yearwood (2100??). The last two times as White against Roy he played 1…Nc6 and I was able to get very good positions but accepted his draw offers. This time he also played 1…Nc6 but unfortunately I played the opening badly and dropped the exchange. At this point I knew I had blown the game and thought about resigning but instead decided to play on since I had nothing else to do that evening. It’s funny when you have nothing to lose anymore, all the pressure of the game drops away and sometime in a more relaxed state you can see things more clearly. I think I played pretty well from this point on creating continuous little tactical threats around the board like a fly bothering a sleeping dog. Roy seemed to be on the defensive even with his superior piece strength and had more trouble finishing me off than he should have. Eventually though he found a tactic that ended my threats and at that point I resigned.

Once again the picture was taken while I was thinking. This time I'm going to play 5.Be2.

2009-03-14 r3 Yearwood.pgn

I withdrew in round four. Unfortunately the course that I had booked in for the 16-17th had been cancelled and I had a long drive ahead of me to get back to Lloyd for work on Monday morning. I planned on withdrawing in the last round but withdrew a round earlier when I saw I was going to be paired with an 800 player. That’s probably not the right thing to do but I didn’t have any enthusiasm for such a game Sunday morning, plus my kids kept telling me how much they missed me and wanted me to come home every time they called. My Rp was 1866 and I gained a big 4 points!

Eric Hansen won the tournament with 5/5. Jan Lazo, Jesse Beaudin, and Rick Pedersen tied for second 4/5. Young Lazo's performance was particularly impressive with victories over Ristovic, Yearwood and T. Kaminski.

The Calgary chess club is a nice facility but there are a couple of drawbacks. First the skittles room is at the back so visitors have to walk through the playing room to get to it. Secondly their H-A/C fan is very loud and goes on and off constantly during the games.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Marching of to Battle in Calgary

As a married chess player with kids who lives far from any chess clubs, it is hard to justify using up my free time and money to play in weekend tournaments. I thought I found an ingenious solution when I noticed that the Calgary “March of Kings” tournament was scheduled for the 14-15th and I was booked for an industry course in Calgary on the 16-17th. I was quickly able to book myself into another professional development course that I had been considering taking on the 12th and then it only made sense to stick around Calgary for the weekend. I could explain to my wife that by sticking around Calgary for the weekend I would be saving 12 hours of driving time and since I could stay at my brother house and my company was paying for the gas the tournament was costing me practically nothing.

That is how I ended up getting permision to play in the March Of Kings. So I packed my bags and said good-bye and headed out of town with my favourite CD’s for the long drive. (As an aside, Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising” Cd is even better than I remember after not having listened to it for a couple of years – great song writing.) While in Calgary I was able to see the chess statue that is right outside my companies office. It is called “The Winner” by J. Seward Johnson Jr. and was made in 1988. I tried to figure out the position on the board that the subject is staring at but unfortunately the piece has suffered vandalism over the years and many of the chess pieces are missing.

I will post my games with analysis later this week when I have time to look at them more closely. Eric Hansen won the tournament with 5/5.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Although I've been trying to blog on a regular basis and want to include more games, sometimes it's hard when you don't play and have nothing new to say about chess. But today I do have something because I played my first ever game against Rybka. I haven't played a game for a while but I didn't feel rusty because I have been looking at problems daily. It was a 5 min game and unbelievably I could have drawn if I had spent a little more time on my 26th or 27th move. Blacks 24th move was an error that should have cost Black the win.


The first time I played against Fritz10 I won and was very happy about that until I realized I had reduced it's strength to 2000. I must of done that to Rybka by accident - or it just made a mistake capturing on b2 w/Queen.