Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Video: Viewer Submission: Pins Galore

The following game was submitted by Mathew Jacob and is a great example of pins, pins, and more pins. Some threatened, some actual, all of them scary.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Slight Delay

So, I went out with some friends after work and stayed later than I intended to, so I am pushing back my post to tomorrow night. I know you are all just dying because I didn't post tonight, but don't despair, it will just be that much more special when I post tomorrow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Adventure Continues, Video: Laugher/Fundamentals

So I decided to post a game of decidedly lower quality this time. Partially just so I post something and partially because it illustrates fundamentals pretty well. As I state in the video, I am going to start to check out some of the clubs in the area this week, so hopefully I can find one to regularly attend. I might post another video later in the week, a good game that ends after an abrupt error. As always, I welcome any comments and suggestions.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Enjoy the Archives, 'Like' the blog

I know I need to be posting materials, but what with moving and all I have a rather major hurdle to this: I don't have Internet in my apartment yet. So I will take this time to plug the Archive, located on the right side of the blog a few tabs down. From there you have access to every post I have ever made on this blog. I recommend looking at some of the earlier posts so you can see just how far I've come as a blogger.

Those of you with a facebook account, I would appreciate if you could take 5 seconds to 'Like' the blog if you enjoy the posts I make here.

Hoping to have Internet in the next 2 weeks, so until then I am forced back to the stone age of pictures and text commentary, or random posts like this one. Now would also be a good time to make suggestions, as I have little else to do with my blog until getting my own apartment Internet access.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quick Post

Thought I would post a humorous position from my night game last night. It was a fitting end to a very long day of tough chess. White to move.

Things look bleak at first glance, however white can not only easily draw this, but he can do it with style. I played:

1. Rb6+! Kg7 2. Rg6+!! draw

The game is drawn because any capture on g6 results in stalemate. If the king moves, I can either keep putting my rook next to him giving checks or just take on g5 and have a very easy draw.

Imagination at its finest. Two more games today in the Iowa Open, then moving Monday and working Tuesday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Monday I got a job offer, so I am hurriedly making preparations to move to Wisconsin for my September 7th start date. On the plus side, I will start posting to here with chess things again in a few days.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life Update

This has absolutely nothing to do with chess, but everything to do with this blog.

I'm part of the extremely unfortunate generation of recent college graduates who have to compete for entry level jobs against not only others like me, but also people who have years of experience that have been laid off in this economic climate. As such, I'm currently in month 8 of my job hunt, with no luck whatsoever. Needless to say, I'm pretty stressed out about it, and its seeping in to other aspects of my life, such as my chess.

To get to the point of this, I am not going to be making any more chess-related posts until I am employed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Video: Psychological Play

So here we are again, with another new video. This game is not of particularly high quality, but it was more an experiment in psychology than an attempt to have a superb game. Also, I do not condone playing like I did in this game if you are playing seriously. This game took place during a lesson, so it is entirely for educational purposes. Something along the lines of the concept of a 'teaching game' in Go. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the game and are able to draw something from it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vs. J. Zhang: Queens and Pawns and Diagonals, Oh My!

I did moderately well at the Iowa City Open, with 3.0/4.0. My horrible lack of sleep the night before made things difficult, luckily all four games were pretty straightforward. It also helped that the tournament was only about two blocks from where I live, so I got to go home and rest between rounds. In the third round, I played Jiahua Zhang, a young player who in early 2009 I told Hank Anzis was going to be a strong player sometime in the next few years. Here it is a year and a half later, over 600 points later for Jiahua, and him coming off a nice draw against an expert, I knew I had my work cut out for me. The opening and middlegame of this game were nearly nonexistent. It felt like it just went 1. e4 c5 2. Rxe8+ and endgame. Because of this, there was obviously no room for a flashy attack. So I just did what I always do when I'm playing a dangerous young player, I just out-endgame them. For all my flashy attacks, I actually think my chances are better in any given ending than any given middlegame. Don't get discouraged by this video being about endgames, I still try to keep it interesting by adding in lots of pretty colors. Enjoy and share your thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Video: Against Steiner: How do you reach these positions, you maniac?

Finally I have returned to making video posts. I had a rather successful North American Open in Stillwater, OK. I scored a solid 6.0/10.0. Yes, that's right, out of 10 rounds. With 3 wins, 4 draws, 1 loss, and 2 byes, I felt like I played pretty well. Of my games, I believe this one to be the most entertaining, played against expert Tim Steiner in round 7. Since when I made this video, it was over 20 minutes, I chopped off most of the opening, since it was just a ...Bd6 Evans Gambit. That cut it down to 16 minutes of listening to me drone on. If you want a pgn of the game in its entirety with my notes, email me and I will send you a copy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Upcoming videos

Hi everyone who still occasionally check this! I've been gone a while continuing unsuccessfully to find a job. I've also been working through some personal problems as of late. Hopefully the job situation improves since I am close to having to start repayments on my student loans, but at least the personal problems are all done with for now. That means I can get back to making the super-duper-mega-high-quality videos that you have come to love. I played in the North American Open in Stillwater, Oklahoma over this past weekend and had several games worth making videos out of, so you should be seeing some more activity from me quite soon. I plan on having the first video up sometime tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon my time, so until then you will just have to settle for this text post.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Vs Tyagi: Light Square Attack

As the poll said, you wanted middlegame ideas, so I chose a game in which the weakness of a certain color of square makes a large difference in the outcome of the game. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Maybe in a day or so?

Sorry everybody. I have the next game ready for video, but I have not been feeling well enough to actually record it. For now, I will post the game in pgn form (for some reason you can't embed files on Blogger) and you can save the text as a pgn and view it if you would like. Once I get feeling a bit better I will turn it into a video post for those of you that are lazy or don't have a pgn viewer. What is below is more or less what I will say in the video, so if you want a sneak preview of it then you can go through what is below.

[Event "Cedar Rapids Leatherjackets"]
[Site "Cedar Rapids"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Tyagi"]
[Black "Madison"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A40"]
[Annotator ",Jeremy"]
[PlyCount "36"]

{Annotated by Jeremy!} 1. d4 e6 2. c4 b6 3. Nc3 f5 4. g3 Bb7 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bg2
Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. b3 {This is where we leave my database, although I am sure ..
.d6 has been played before.} d6 9. Bb2 ({The main alternative is:} 9. d5 e5 {
The e6 square is where the entire game revolves.} 10. Ng5 Bc8 11. Ne6 Bxe6 {
Black has to be careful not to lose this exchange with the light squared
bishops off the board.} 12. dxe6 c6 {Will this pawn mean victory or defeat?})
9... Nbd7 $2 {Sometimes development is wrong.} (9... d5 {
Immediately was much stronger.}) 10. Nd2 $2 (10. Ng5 {Outright wins a pawn.}
Bxg2 11. Kxg2) 10... Bxg2 11. Kxg2 d5 {Now the fight is being taken to white.}
12. e3 {This light square complex is a lot weaker without the light squared
bishops on the board, which is why black was more than happy to trade them off.
The difference is that the light squared weakness in black's position are in
an area that cannot be exploited anytime soon. White's light square weaknesses
are right around the king, where several black pieces can immediately attack
them.} c6 {
Indirectly supports the attack by tightening the grip on the light squares.}
13. Nf3 {Eyeing e5, but this game is about light squares.} Bd6 {"Defends" the
e5 square, but more importantly is aiming at the pawns in front of the enemy
king.} 14. Qc2 {An attempt at fighting for e4, but this needed to be done
earlier with the Knight on d2, so that f3 and e4 could be tried.} Ne4 {
Now there is just not enough time for white to get in all of the moves they
want. Black has an advantage no matter how you slice it.} 15. Nd2 {
f3 is the obvious followup, so what should black do?} Qg5 {Trying to get the
knee-jerk f4 played, when there are more permanent weaknesses around the white
king. This also sets a most devious trap on f3.} 16. f3 (16. f4 Qg6 {The idea i
s to throw the h-pawn to break up the pawns in front of the white king. If
Rook support is needed on the h-file, Kf7 is perfectly safe to play followed
by doubling on the h-file.}) 16... Nxg3 {Black is completely won now. White's
only option for continuing the game is to move the f1 rook and just hope.} 17.
f4 (17. hxg3 Qxg3+ 18. Kh1 Qh2#) (17. Rfe1 Ne4+ 18. Kf1 Nxc3 19. Qxc3 Bxh2 {
With a winning edge for black.}) 17... Nxf1+ {
But that's just losing for black right?} 18. fxg5 Nxe3+ {Black has seen one
move more than white, and that is the cause of this win for black. Notice that
black did not really have a particularly clear plan until the exchange of
light squared bishops, when the plan of light squared play became simple to
find. These are the kinds of things to look for in your own games. Slight
differences can radically change the correct ideas.} 0-1

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In Production

Ok, I am running through my older games, looking for anything worth putting into video form. I have found a few games and will have them in production and posted in the next few days. Hopefully posting multiple videos in a couple days will make up for my not having posted in over a week. Also, fun fact: my hit counter glitched a few days ago, so it reads that I have about 203,000 more hits than I have actually had. I of course, don't mind, but I found it pretty humorous when I first noticed.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book Review: Chess Made Simple

Hi everybody. I haven't had any tournaments in a while, and thus have pretty much nothing to write about. So I just finished another book and will review it for you. If you want another video post before the next tournament I play in (Probably late April), then I would encourage you to help me out a bit. You can send me a game or position to annotate, and I will post a video analysis of it. Anyway, on with the show.

This review is for the book Chess Made Simple: A Comprehensive Guide for Self-Study and Review by Milton L. Hanauer. I am not going to bother trying to find a link to buy this book, because this one is legitimately from 1957, and is not a reprint.

I came in with lowered expectations because the book is well out of date, and intends to be a book for beginners. The basics given in the book are just as good as those today, with how the pieces move, what defines a good and bad move, etc. The drawback in this book, however, is that some of the analysis later on is just plain wrong. This is to be expected a little bit because of our computer age, but I could spot some holes in analysis right away without plugging the positions into an engine. Another confusing point was a bit of terminology. This author calls skewers "hurdles", which is not really that confusing, but when the term is used before it is defined, it can be a little difficult to grasp at first.

Verdict: 2.5/5

Some nice analysis offset by some bad analysis. Nothing that couldn't be found elsewhere. Given a rather lenient judgment due to the book being over 50 years old. I am sure in its time, it would have been a pretty good guide for beginners.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Video: Vs Sobo; When you are in trouble

Back after a bit of a break from making videos. I got bit by the MMO bug for a while, and haven't played much chess, so coming up with material for videos is a bit difficult. It was kind of funny I missed a mate in 1 while recording the video so I had to add in text over the analysis near the end. As always, I welcome suggestions for future videos or comments on them.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Book Review: Chess Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles by Horowitz and Reinfeld

I've been doing a lot of video blogging lately, and decided for a change of pace to post a review of a book that I recently finished going through.

I recently happened upon this book at a local used book store and after looking briefly at a page or two decided to buy it for the nominal price of $4. Let me tell you, after going completely through this book from 1954 (my copy is a reprint from 1971), I was simply amazed at some of the creativity that has happened when the chips were down. I noticed in particular that there has been such a huge change in the way that chess is played since the writing of this book. Since this was before the era of Rybka and Fritz, all of the analysis is purely human-checked. This is both good and bad. The quality of the games in Chess Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles are markedly lower, but they are much easier to appreciate precisely because these kinds of magnificent combinations simply don't show up as much due to computer-style play becoming prevalent, even at the lower levels. It was also nice to see famous players, such as Alekhine, falling into carefully laid traps from time to time.

This book is as much about psychology as it is about playing chess. It always seems that the most creative ideas come out of defensive play when there is nothing left to lose. Chess Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles really delivers on some of the more astounding ones played prior to the printing of the book. I really enjoyed reading through it, and the resulting enjoyment is already beginning to manifest itself in my play (I began reading it just prior to the last two games against George Eichhorn). I would strongly recommend reading through it if you ever get the chance.

Amazon link to this book

Pros: Entertaining anecdotes, highly creative solutions to practical problems, just enough variations given to prove the point without feeling bogged down in variations, easy to read.

Cons: Written in older descriptive notation, a rather quick read.

Verdict: 4.5/5.0

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Video: Drake Chess Festival vs. Bernat

Here is a new video everyone! I scored 3.0/4.0 in the Open of the Drake Chess Festival, increasing my USCF to 1935, the highest it has been in nearly 2 years. I made a video of my last round game, which was the best played of the four. I also fiddled with the video settings some more to try and get more of a square look to the board. As always, I welcome any comments here or on the forum.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Feature: Forum

For no particular reason, I have added a forum aspect to this blog. It can be found by either clicking the link to the forum on the right, or by clicking this link: To Forum. To post you need to register, but hopefully it will make the blog a bit more interactive.

I have since closed the forum, it is easier to talk to me on the blog's facebook page. So be sure to 'Like' it and post things!

Monday, February 22, 2010

In the style of the old Masters

Game 3 of my match against George Eichhorn was an exceptionally interesting game to look at. I made a video post of some of my analysis for you all to look at and comment on. The match itself ended in a 2-2 draw. Home field advantage seemed insurmountable in this match, with George winning the two games in Stratford and me winning the two in Iowa City. I want to thank Jason for his assistance in verifying that the computers can't play the position after the sacrifice correctly. This game might end up being one of my crown jewels, so I hope that it can generate some discussion in the comments.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Video - Madison-Hodina

As requested by Jason, I have annotated the game I played in round 4 of the Cedar Rapids Leatherjackets tournament against Jim Hodina. I messed around with the capturing again, so it should show up better now. Hopefully you cannot hear how stuffed up I was when I recorded this earlier today. As always, I welcome any comments on the game, the annotations, or the video itself. I uploaded straight onto Blogger this time instead of onto Veoh since the video has been in processing all day on Veoh with no sign of finishing any time soon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Video Collection Expanding Soon

Hi everybody. I had intended to have more videos to post by now, but I have had a bit of a sore throat, so I have not done any recording. Still jobless, but recently remembered that I have a way to try and find a job through the University. Hopefully that will increase my chances out there. Anyway, once my throat gets back to normal (hopefully tomorrow) I will record some more videos and post them on here. I figured out how to improve the quality by doing some tweaking of my capture settings (I usually stream video, but I can record in much higher quality when I am not streaming). The plan is to convert all of the articles I've written for Iowa Chess News En Passant to video format and to do all future annotations in video form. I think it is probably a better medium than text, though I am still undecided how married I am to the format. That is all for now, hopefully I'll be posting video in the next 24 hours.

Monday, February 1, 2010

First Video Annotations

Watch Chess Game Analysis in Sports | View More Free Videos Online at

Ok, so I finally managed to make the video and get it edited sufficiently well. On the plus side, since this is the first one, it can only get better than this. Please let me know what you think so that I can make more like this or not.

Back to it!

So after a bit of a break, and an as of yet unsuccessful job hunt, I am posting again. I am going to attempt a special treat. I am going to attempt to make a video post by the end of today (Monday, Feb 1st). If all goes well, I might start to mix in video posts with regular posts. So for the 2 of you that will see this before I post again later today, be on the lookout and tell everybody. *shakes fist* Everybody!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Game Drawn

Looks like the correspondence game with the viewers has ended in a draw. Got an email last night saying I did not get the job in South Carolina, and so far no other interviews. Not much I can do at this point except keep sending out resumes and wait. Anyway, I will be playing a bit the next few weeks, so hopefully there will be something to post.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

50. ...Rxb6 51. Rf4

I think this is starting to fizzle out, so I will play Rf4 and offer a draw. If 50+% of the comments agree to the draw, along with providing a move in case it is rejected, then the game will conclude. As for the interview, I was a little shaky early on from nerves, but pulled it together after the first question. Still waiting to hear back. No other interviews yet, guess nobody likes me *sniffle* Next move on Friday.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

49. ...Rb5 50. Re4

As always, next move comes in 3 days on Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

48. ...Rxd5 49. cxb6

So how about them Hawkeyes, winning the Orange Bowl! Woo! Anyway, next move here is going to come on Saturday.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

47. ...Bd5 48. Bxd5

Next move on Wednesday.

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