Sunday, March 20, 2011

Much needed win

I dropped a knight and a pawn, refused to exchange queens to have "chances" and ended up making the next to last mistake. Hadn't won a slow game for a bit, so this was much needed!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Slow Chess, Busy Schedule

Playing in the STC Winter Blues, which is one game per week and had my last round of TL 45 action. 0-2 in STC so far, and pulled a draw in my TL game.

Getting some 5/0 games where time allows (got my bltiz rating over 1000 :p).

Still plugging away at Amatuer's Mind- finding time to just hammer it out is tricky with a family and other hobbies (fishing, Dungeons and Dragons), but I feel like I'm getting close to making a big jump. I have been feeling great when I sit down for my long games, and I enjoy looking over my games win or lose...I just feel potent right now and believe that I will see my patchwork study and practice coalesce into real improvement soon...maybe a steady 1600+ FICS standard rating.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another lesson

Here is the Watchbot for the game:

Haven't run it through a computer yet, and haven't looked deeper than my notes above. I don't have a whole lot of time at work (:P) right now to add more comments.

I did my best to stay focused and not post a bunch of comments during the game. I stayed cool and focused, until I lost it zeroing in on the false winning of a pawn.

Tunnel vision killed me here. This week, I will go way back to de la Maza's board vision exercise- Concentric Circles. Wednesday and Friday I'll do those. Thursday will be for some reading from Amateur's Mind. Saturday or Sunday, I'll see if I have time to get a Stoyko (sp?) exercise in. Some practice visualizing and evaluating will be useful now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rough loss

Dropped a piece on something like move 7 because I was playing like it was G 15/0.

Thoroughly drove home Heismann's point that intermediate length games hurt more than help.

I believe I fought well and vigorously, but my opponent did not make any mistakes and hanging my rook (vs rook and bishop) with ~5 minutes on the clock sealed things up.

In spite of that (or perhaps out of necessity due to a player being wholly unavailable), I will be playing next week.

I will not embarrass myself like that again.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Back to play, so post something

Well, TL 45 is here and I'll be playing a match Saturday morning at 8 am east coast time, and combined with seeing someone publicly mention my blog, that means I have to make a new post.

I've been trying to plug away at The Amateur's Mind, but my father-in-law being hospitalized a couple weeks ago, me being sick for almost a week and now my mother-in-law in the hospital (and looking at a month or more of rehab and then assisted living) I haven't had terribly much time to focus.

I've been squeezing in game of 5/0 or 15/0 and some Chess Tempo when I can.

I think I need to spend a bit re-reviewing good thought process and go into the match playing fearlessly.

An interesting realization I've had is how useless it is to watch a match while running a chess engine at the same time. The often seemingly arbitrary numbers that the engine scores the game at tell nothing of the story leading up to the position and the PV it comes up is meaningless without knowing why those moves are chosen.

I've learned more running the engine on a position several moves back and have realized that what I thought was a safe position was loaded with losing missteps. I've also learned that many alternate paths aren't very different from each other in terms of concrete advantage.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Xmas presents

I got Chess for Zebras and the 4th edition How to Reassess Your Chess.

With the holidays winding down, I hope to get back on the study wagon. Team League starting up again will help- having a purpose to study makes a big difference. Just an intangible "to get better" doesn't work for me. I need a constant prod, an accounting to others.

Hope everyone has had a great holiday :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I jested to my teammates before my first TL game that Drive It Like You Stole It by The Glitch Mob was my fighter entrance theme.

I had their album Drink the Sea pumping for my entire second TL game.

Studying The Amateur's Mind this morning with Drink the Sea on headphones, I feel like Optimus Prime, Silver Surfer, Cosmic Spiderman...

I am unstoppable.

The groove on these tracks is amazing. I could hit the gym right now (something I'm a little overdue on) and go forever on cardio and weights!

What an amazing effect music has on the mood and mental state. If I wasn't studying, I'd probably go to Wikipedia for the next couple hours reading on research into how the brain reacts to music.

How much of the effect is due to cultural influences? Are there elements in Drink the Sea such that someone who'd never listened to electronic/dance/glitch would get the same mojo?

You can check the album out at Grooveshark. The Drive It track is duped because of the way they sort and show music (inefficiently, despite providing and otherwise pretty solid free music streaming site).