Tuesday, September 29, 2009

15. ...Qe7 16. Re1

Might as well harass her Majesty while I'm at it. So... how is everything going? Kind of have a lack of things to say today. Uh... well... I'll be back Friday with move 17.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

14. ...Bc7 15. Qc3

After painstaking (read "nonexistent") calculations, I have elected to respond to 14. ...Bc7 with 15. Qc3. Looks like the character of the middlegame is starting to show itself. Now maybe once we reach an interesting position the votes will pick up? Anyway, I am getting ready after running errands all day to finally relax and watch the Iowa-Penn. St. game. See you all Tuesday with the next move!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

13. ...Nf6 14. Rd1

Another incredibly close vote. Hopefully we can get some more votes sometime soon. Anyway, I don't have much to say at the moment, since I am battling a headache. Have fun with the current position and I will see you all again Saturday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

12. ...exd4 13. Qxd4

Ok, so once again a 1 vote margin of victory. I hope that by the end of the game at least one move will get 5+ votes. Next move coming on Wednesday.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

11. ...e5 12. Re1

So here we are again, another move made. This time, ...e5 wins with a resounding 2 votes. Sunday will bring move 13 from me. In the mean time, I am waiting for my prize from winning a puzzle contest on Alexandra Kosteniuk's blog.

Monday, September 14, 2009

10. ...h6 11. Bc2

Once again the first move proposed wins. This time, however, by a 1-1-1 margin. Looks like my next move is coming on Thursday, so have fun contemplating your moves. On a badminton update, I have two broken rackets, but bought a third one, which is painted gold, that I claim rose from the ashes of my fallen rackets. So far still undefeated. OK, see you all on the day of Thor.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9. ...Nxe4 10. Bxe4 and the Iowa Open

Here is your new position:

My next move will come on Monday, so cast your votes early (especially to win tiebreaks)!

I had a decent Iowa Open, scoring 3.0/5.0, though in the last round I messed up a pretty easy draw. I had a couple games which were interesting, and what is more than that, I had some pretty cool tactics come up. I will post some of these tactical puzzles and the solutions below. If you want to see the whole games (the one against Kende is worth seeing, a really complex middlegame) then just ask and I will put them up too.

Tactic #1: vs Bullinga (Black to move), difficulty: 2/10 for the tactic, 6/10 for the underlying idea:

Tactic #2: vs J. Zhang (White to move), difficulty: 4/10:

Tactic #3: also vs J. Zhang (mostly here because it is cute, not because it is hard) (also white to move), difficulty: :-)/10 :

Tactic #4: vs Kende (White to move), difficulty: 7/10:


#1: 1. ...Bh3+! seals white's fate 2. Kxh3 Qxf3 keeps the white king permanently on the side of the board where it is vulnerable. Seeing just this far is fine, but here is the real threat: 3. Be3?! (white is lost anyway) Re5! (mate is threatened via Rh5#) and the game concluded: 4. Qa4 Rh5+ 5. Qh4 Rxh4+ 6. Kxh4 Re8! (same idea) 7. Rad1 Re5 (there are a lot of mates here, so just playing one that you can see is more important than finding the shortest one) 8. g4 g6! 9. Rfe1 Rh5+!! (mate in 2 by gxh5 Qxh5#) resigns.

#2: White is better and will probably be able to win this ending anyway, but... 1. Rxf6!! gxf6 2. Rg1+ Kh8 3. Bd4! (threatens Bxf6#!) Rfe8+ 4. Kf3 Re6 (giving back the exchange by ...Re5 is better, but it is a lost ending in any case) 5. Nh6! (threatens Nxf7#) Rf8 which leads us to the cute part of the puzzle, which is the position in #3.

#3: I smiled when I saw how tied down black is. That is also why I made the difficulty :-) out of 10. Here is the hilarity: 1. b5!! Zugzwang! At best, black is forced to give up the exchange, when the queenside pawns are already too far along to be stopped. Black played ...Bf5 and resigned 3 moves later.

#4: Here is a slightly more challenging position. White is up some material, but can't quite break through... or can they? 1. b4!! (kicks the queen away from defence of the d4 square, which will result in a devastating check) Qxb4 2. Qd4+ f6 3. Rxf6 (gxf6+! is technically more accurate, but my opponent had less than 30 seconds left at this point, so I just made the most complicated move I could find that I was sure was okay.) and black flagged searching for a saving resource that was not meant to be.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

8. ...dxe4 9. Nxe4

Once again, a 1-vote victory. This time for dxe4. I had a pretty decent showing at the Iowa Open, 3.0/5.0, though I horrendously messed up an easy draw in my last round game. I had a couple interesting games, but it will be a couple days until I get around to looking at them and posting one, probably alongside my next move on Friday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

7. ...0-0 8. e4

Here is the new position for all of you to work on. I am currently a little busy getting ready for the day (Iowa Open is today and tomorrow), so I have nothing witty to say at the moment. I will see you all again Monday with the next move and hopefully something about the Iowa Open (I will put it all in one post to be less confusing).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

6. ...Bd6 7. 0-0

6. ...Bd6 wins by the slimmest of margins, by 1 vote (since there was only one vote). I went ahead and castled. So since the last move I have managed to break both badminton rackets I have (I guess I just hit it too hard). On the plus side, I haven't lost a doubles match yet (haven't played any singles yet).

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