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).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birthday presents

33 this past Sunday!

I got The Amateur's Mind and Lev Alburt's Comprehensive Chess Course Vol 2 (Beginner to Tournament Player) from the wife and child :)

Alburt's will be nice to go through with my daughter, and there are some nifty (pretty basic) square visualization exercises I like so far.

Amateur's mind already keyed me in to something I'd felt was a weakness- identifying plans in quiet positions without threats. Looks to be a fun read.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2010 Mid-Atlantic Girls Championship

My daughter took 8th place in the Novice/U400 section today!

78 girls showed up and she went 4-1, losing only to the eventual champ in the 4th round (who told her she was the best she'd faced to the point :P)

We had an awesome time. She won her first tournament game, which was all I had been hoping for.

Here is her first tourney win:

Monday, November 15, 2010


I've been following the implementation of the TSA's new, aggressive pat down procedures for the last several days. A sampling for those that haven't:

Fines threatened for refusing to submit to assault and leaving the airport as directed

3-year old gets assaulted by the TSA

A mother with infant gets sexually assaulted

Soldiers at war prohibited from doing to potential enemies what we do to our citizens

I have some calls to make to Congress tomorrow.

The absurdity has to stop.

Image to e4: Surreal and thought provoking

Chess by ~F31dak1n on deviantART

While looking for an image for my woefully irregular Image to e4, this caught my eye.

In the moment I saw it and cocked my head, my daughter (looking over my shoulder) said, "I get it! They're like pieces!"

So something like this:

What do you think?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Second Team Leaue Game

A bit of a swindle, this one:

Never got around to adding more to that last one, so we'll just burn a little midnight oil to add some thoughts:

5. d5

Feel like this was the novice in me- Ooh! My pawn can attack a piece! Probably a little ahead of myself here. The subsequent exchange of light-squared bishops made me miss mine later in the game.

7. ... f5

Yikes! I thought I was playing myself for a minute- this was aggressive and a thorn in my side (as my in-game whispers reflect)

10. O-O

kosu mentions later that he thinks I should have gone O-O-O, and I considered it. Just felt too loose over there.

14. Be3

I need to look at g4. Not sure that was actually stronger or just better in the moment. When I later recapture with the f-pawn, I was looking for the open file, but think the Queen might have been more stable long term.

17. cxd6

I considered c6, but not hard enough. Need to come back and look at why.

On moving my Queen to the kingside, it was to get my e-pawn up and I was planning on sliding my Queen back to the queenside along e1. I ended up spending a fair amount of time looking for back-rank tactics through the next stretch. kosu was rightly concerned because there were some spots where I think a knight sac would get me in.

Once my knight stole the bishop, I figured two ways to draw, or maybe eek out a win. One was to trade my knight for the b-pawn while not also committing my King. Two was to get my king to the b-pawn and use the knight to trade for the k-side pawns.

Both ended up happening.

Both the king and the knight would need 4 moves to capture on the queening square. Once I had counted that, I was confident I had a draw. On 51. g4, the black king needs 5 moves to get my knight, assuming I don't move it. Like someone observed in game, the knight just pops out to f5 and the king is stymied.

At the end, I was very aware of stalemate possibilities (Hi Pat!) and was very careful, in spite of the appearance of playing quickly here (I think that is where the comment about playing too fast occurred).

A wild game. kosu was very gracious aftewards and we had a great chat. I look forward to crossing swords with him again.

Also- thanks to those who complimented Chess Adventures :) It's been slow around here lately, and the kind words should be helpful in sparking some posting!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Been blitzing

Since my Team League game I haven't gotten any long games in, just a hadnful of 5/0s.

I need to start playing with some kind of increment because I get to some good spots with chances, but can't see fast enough where to go.

I've never won a game of blitz on FICS (that I can recall) and my rating is crazy low at like 722P. Half the games that start have people abort thinking I'm a pushover. My last opponent was kind enough to say I'm clearly much stronger than my rating.

This weekend I'll be warming up my daughter for her second tournament (first in 2 years). It's a 5 round swiss, G/30. I think we'll do 5 games of G/30, starting every hour like at the event, so she can sort of feel how the day will go and I can see at what point her attention will waver and get some ideas on how to help her re-focus.