Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Chess Goals

it has been a busy year with the arrival of our twins in May. I have 2 goals for 2011 (chess wise)

firstly, is to play in 2 tournaments. The first one me and K are aiming for is at the end of January (good start). If I can get an active in or something before end of year my goal will be complete

secondly, is to get up to 2300 in correspondence. i am over 2200 but i think the next 100 points will be a lot harder than the last 100 :)

happy new year everyone!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

big center QID

so me and K have decided to try and go to a chess tournament at the end of January since K is going to have a little k running around in the spring. so i've started playing less DDO and more chess again :) I went through a couple of Rubinstein games and I saw an interesting transposition in the QGD

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 b6 giving either the option of the Dutch or the Queen's Indian or something completely different. i tried it in blitz, for what it's worth, and it went okay. the way i play the Queen's Indian i go for the big center anyways. the idea with this though is that after 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 b6 etc. it's something i'd normaly play. anyways, there's my theory for the month :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

correspondence chess master

so as of today at ICCF i am a correspondence master

Rating Forecast Jan 2011 Rating 2206
Games 67
Calculation 90585 C 2189 from 63 games

very i just need to get there OTB :)

also i've figured out how not to get upset when i start losing in blitz...if i tell myself i'm going through nerdrage that appears to calm me...we'll see how it goes

hopefully more chess in the new year...i'd like to play a "real" tournament...time will tell

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

hot theory and 1.e4 e5

i'm quite impressed with 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 Qb6 as a sharp line for Black

i used to play 3. ...dxe4 4.fxe4 e5 and get checkmated horrifically. Thank you Ivanchuk for bringing it to my attention.

Also, isn't it always a good idea to play 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 and not 2.f4! until they play the Petroff or the Philidor? :)

I'm also interested in 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g5?! as a lethal blitz weapon...can i use it v. 3.Bc4? likely not :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

am i a boring player?

in a fit of rage, i played about 25 3+0 games until 2am last night...and 2 players commented that i had a boring style or something along those lines (funny how when i lose no one ever comments). they said that i just exchanged everything off...i mentioned that it was 3+0 but that wasn't enough for them :) maybe i am boring...will have to look at my games...

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Tournament in September?

K mentioned the idea of going to play an Active tournament in September. I am the new parent of a set of twins who were born in May and K has a baby on the way due in March 2011, so there is the chorus of "last chance for a long time". Critics will note that I haven't played a tournament since 2008 even with no kids. In any case, I think this will actually happen.

Which leads to the inevitable question of "What to play?" Since playing Correspondence my knowledge is deeper than it is wide, and playing my tax bracket at a rated tournament it would have to be wide. I'm toying with the idea of playing 1.g3 as White and the King's Indian and Modern as Black. It's active...not much time to refute...and I've become relatively battle hardened as these have been my blitz openings (more or less) since I read Suttle's books

i`m sure i will flip flop...if i`m playing in a section where there will be people rated lower than me, i could always play 1.e4, Sicilian. I will likely play King`s INdian v. everything else. In any case...more to come (hopefully!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

A correspondence game I'm happy with

here's a game v. a strong opponent in ICCF that i'm happy that my prep stood up

NN (C's rating + 400) - C
Slovenia (2) ICCF 2010

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.h4 h6 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Qc7 11.Rh4 e6 12.Bf4 Bd6 13.Bxd6 Qxd6 14.Ne4 Qe7 15.Qa3 Qxa3 16.bxa3

he had played this position in a previous game and I hadn't intended to play the Caro-Kann in this tournament, but I thought that, despite the fact that White has a *huge* score in this line, with the queens off Black had to be as good if not better.

16. ...Ke7

of course around this time the Anand-Topalov game took place where Anand had the doubled a-pawns and won a nice game and i was second guessing my positional judgement. Anand vs Topalov, 2010

17.Rb1 b6 18.Ne5 Nxe5 19.dxe5 f6 20.Nd2 fxe5 21.Rg4 g5 22.hxg6 h5 23.Rc4 c5 24.Nf3 Kf6 25.Re4 Ne7 26.Nxe5 Rhd8 27.Rb3 Rd4 28.Rf3+ Nf5 29.Rff4 Rd5 30.Nd3 Rg8 31.Rf3 Rd4 ½-½

i held it pretty easily and may have even been better in the final position. he was the correspondence champion of Poland a couple of years ago so I was very happy with this game.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

draw v. a SIM

C - NN
Slovenia's 15 years of ICCF (2) 2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6
is going to an exchange slav here so bad? unfortunately i can't get any of the Bb5 lines where there is play, but I am outrated by 400 points.

5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Bf4 Nc6 7.Rc1 [A finesse because if 7.e3 Bg4 actually works] 7...Bf5 8.e3 Rc8 9.Be2 e6 10.0-0 Bd6 11.Bxd6 Qxd6 12.Na4 0-0 13.Nc5 Rc7 14.Qb3 Qe7 15.Rc3 Bg4 16.Rfc1

i wonder if i shouldn't have played sharper. i was going for equality and trying to follow Khenkin vs Karjakin, 2008 Khenkin ended up drawing.

16...e5 17.dxe5 Nxe5 18.Nxe5 Bxe2 19.Na4 Rfc8 20.Rxc7 Rxc7 21.Rxc7 Qxc7 22.Qc3 Bc4 23.Nxc4 dxc4

transforming the IQP into a 3 v. 2 on the queenside. i thought if his king was a little closer he'd have some winning chances. luckily i was wrong :)

24.Qd4 Nd7 25.Nc3 b5 26.b3 = and i offered a draw which he took ½-½ not a real glorious game but hey it was a titled player. it's a very strong tournament where i'm outrated by almost 400 points in every game...we'll see if i surprise some people. ir is cowardly to play the slav exchange, but hey if he just would've played a semi-slav the best i could've had was the QGD Exchange :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chessbase 8 and self-improvement

I am showing my age ;) but I still use Chessbase 8 for my chess database. One of my favourite features is the Dossier where it shows your repertoire and what the percentages are and what your performance rating is. Last year for instance it showed that I scored 18% with 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 (rated purely on games from 2001). i had played 1.g3 the odd time so I decided that if, over the year i got either 1.g3 d5 or 1.Nf3 d5 i would go for the King's Indian Attack just to raise my score. And I did :) So in the interest of scientific research I decided to do the same thing...this is from my personal database of over 11000 correspondence, OTB, and blitz games.

My lowest two as white are two of my most hated lines as White :

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 and 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4

(in the interest of putting some positivity my best numbers are against 1.e4 e5 2.d4 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6)

As Black my best is surprisingly the Queen's Indian 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 and my worst is the Colle 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3

maybe for 2010 I'll go back to playing 1.d4 d5...i enjoy the Queen's Gambit Accepted, the Tarrasch and the Semi-Slav. And if I happen to beat some Colle's be it :)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Slovenia's 15 years at ICCF

i'm playing in my first Norm tournament. granted it's correspondence not OTB chess, but here it is. Starts March 30, 2010. I need 6.5/10 for a norm which will be quite the performance I think. i'm quite outclassed and am taking on 2 SIMs and one IM. will be interesting.

Slovenia's 15 Years Membership of ICCF - Semif. 13 TD Pheby, Ian M.
Category 5 SIM=7 IM=6½ LGM=4½ LM=2½ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Score SB R Place
1 GER 85172 Laube, Bernd 2376 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1
2 SWE 451180 Colin, Sonny 2322 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1
3 GER 83546 Starke, Heiko 2365 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1
4 NED 370381 Panman, Henryk J. 2361 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1
5 SLO 480115 Jemec, Viktor 2376 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1
6 GER 81252 SM Sielaff, Rudolf 2456 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1
7 POL 429125 Slawinski, Tomasz 2470 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1
8 DEN 150184 SM Nørrelykke, Svend G. J. 2408 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1
9 POL 421428 Szymanski, Robert 2325 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1
10 CAN 90585 C 2012 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1
11 ENG 211154 IM Shaw, Sidney S. 2398 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10 1

since the first round of this tournament i have only lost 3 games in ICCF. (8 wins, 3 losses, 12 draws) but the losses have been in the King's Indian and a Trompowsky where I grabbed a pawn prematurely and got beaten quite badly. The King's Indian losses were quite bad...i bet i get quite a few 1.d4s :) It is going to be fun. I have enrolled K as my "second" we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fischer's 60 Memorable Games

Today I finished Fischer's 60 Memorable Games, 2008 edition, redone by Batsford in algebraic with no editorial changes. Fabulous book...highly recommended.

Here's one of my favourite games from it...there were a lot of fabulous games, Byrne-Fischer, etc. but here's one v. Smyslov that I quite liked as it gave me a new idea as White in the Lopez if, for instance, the guy plays a line i'm not too fond of

Fischer - Smyslov
Capablanca Memorial 1965
C77 - Ruy Lopez

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 Be7
7. Nbd2 O-O 8. Nf1 b5 9. Bb3 d5 10. Qe2 dxe4 11. dxe4 Be6
12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Ng3 Qd7 14. O-O Rad8 15. a4 Qd3 16. Qxd3
Rxd3 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ra6 Rd6 19. Kh1 Nd7 20. Be3 Rd8 21. h3
h6 22. Rfa1 Ndb8 23. Ra8 Rd1+ 24. Kh2 Rxa1 25. Rxa1 Nd7 26. b4
Kf7 27. Nf1 Bd6 28. g3 Nf6 29. N1d2 Ke7 30. Ra6 Nb8 31. Ra5 c6
32. Kg2 Nbd7 33. Kf1 Rc8 34. Ne1 Ne8 35. Nd3 Nc7 36. c4 bxc4
37. Nxc4 Nb5 38. Ra6 Kf6 39. Bc1 Bb8 40. Bb2 c5 41. Nb6 Nxb6
42. Rxb6 c4 43. Nc5 c3 1-0

the concept of playing d3, Nbd2, Nf1 before castling is a great one! How often when playing the White side of a closed Lopez, could you have used the rook on f1 (behind the mobile f-pawn) instead of on e1?

Next book is Benko...this could take years ladies and gentlemen...lots of games and me and Mrs. C are going to be parents in May to twins!