Thursday, June 26, 2008
I leave Sunday to spend a couple days with my son before heading to Philly to play in the 5-day schedule. I am planning on blogging some periodic updates on my great moments of mediocrity and other antics that could potentially transpire with the likes of other bloggers being there. It should be a phenomenal chess vacation. Some folks like to relax at a beach or on the golf course. As for me, I prefer to sweat it out against some Asian kid or an eastern European sandbagger.
Since I am not going for the money, rather I want to do a half point better than my best WO score of 5.5 in '06. In '07 I foolishly tried to win the money like a moth to a flame and re-entered etc finishing with an abysmal 4.5 points. So if I finish with a 6.0 I'll consider it a success.
I have in my arsenal a confident opening repertoire meant to get me some playable middle games and diffuse any opening landmines. For middle game strategy I have brushed up on minority attacks, lasker sacrifices, Pillsbury attack, attacks on the uncastled king, and of course various king side attacks. I've brushed up on my pawn structures most common in my games and how to play either side. I am running through the review material in Silman's endgame book and am doing about 20 tactical problems a day as preparation. I am also reviewing my training positions I set up in the London 1851 and, of course, my own games where I have critical positions highlighted.
Bring it on! I am ready to roll!
Have a good weekend, I'll see you all in Philly!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I played 22.. f5 to cut off the communications of the rook and queen on my full frontal King showing. A couple moves later I pulled a Bxh4 as well and almost queened. But at the last moment as my opponent made time control with only a minute to spare I pull a boneheaded move and lost the game. In the words of Maxwell Smart " Missed it by THAT much"
I was hard not to buckle over in pain but I tempered that with the fact that I still gained some rating points plus, had I won, I wouldn't have won any prize fund. Everyone I played was over 1800 except for round three, who was almost 1800 and had a bitching chess tattoo that would impress Chessloser:I felt pretty capable holding my own against 1800's. What keeps me where I am at is still not seeing critical tactics despite my tactical training. Overall, the openings held up well and a couple months back I was concerned that this was my weakest link. Well, this week, I'll be sure to do lots of tactical puzzles as a final polishing for the World Open.
I made the wrong plan at this position:
I played 32...d4 when I should have reinfroced my position. I overlooked the in between move with Bb3+. My game unraveld from there.
Oh well, I had a good run so far. Still have nothing to lose as my first two games insured me of that. If I win my next game I still have a chance at an U1750 prize. I'll post the result later tonight when I get I back.
I am blogging from the hotel hallway outside the hall. How sick is that?
After move 23...b5, I played 24.e4 thinking I could go after the center pawns. I thought I had an advantage thinking his pawns were weaker as Islands. Instead it exposed my king. A couple moves later, I offered a draw which he excepted before I fell further down the hole.
Going into round three and four with 1.5 points against hihger rated opponents means i have nothing to lose as far as rating points go.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Just in time for the Summer!
Blunder-productions presents his 2008 summer apparell in time for the summer chess season commemorating the old timey series of chess studies recently featured on this very blog.
For starters, nothing more obscure than a reference to a chess game time piece than a reference to an antique chess timer like:
Act now and order your shirt, hat or tote here
Or for the tongue in cheek reference to a movie that once feature Jack Lemon and Walter Matthieu, How about: Shirts, hats and totes here
These eyes! Now, how about having the face of an American Prodigy staring at your opponent like this:
The real question, what would Morphy wear? ( to go with that Hair)
Of course, my favorite, following the rumor of the Chess Enquirer of LEP, instill fear in your opponent with this message from the grave:A stylish shirt hat or tote can be found here.
If you find yourself studying a different old timer, I might entertain alternate "haunted by" series on special requests ( for an added Mark-up).
So act now, while supplies last. Get them in time for that BIG TOURNEY this summer. You will be all the rave at chess tournaments with a highly coveted Blunderprone signature series chess geek shirt. Because you will never get to wear them any place else without getting puzzled squints staring at your chest.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Break out the Champagne and Fruit, we have a winner!
In the final round battle on board one, Anderssen and Wyvill duked it out in the final 7th game of the match to decide the victor. After 5 rounds Anderssen almost had the match sewed up with a score of 3.5. Since draws didn't count and he needed a score of 4, they played on. Wyvill used a rook sac in the position below as white on move 36 Rxc7!
Why this works is it creates a passed pawn that is hard to stop especially with Anderssen's rook trapped on h6.
Anderssen came back with his own rook sac trick in the final game with this position as white on move 17Rxf5!:
Why this rook sac works for Anderssen is that uncontested Bishop on f6 in "scoring position" once the queen is in the end zone the game goes to Anderssen as well as the first place prize fund of 183 British pounds . Wyvill walked home with a total of 55 British Pounds.
Howard Staunton, exhausted and sick as he was battled for eight rounds with Elijah Williams in a close match decided with a final round decided by an attack run dry by Staunton. He lost steam and the initiative and further comments in his manual of " an imbecile defense". I give them both credit in the match for some interesting tactics like William's queen sac in teh first match and Staunton's 7th match draw with a forced three fold repetition after a deflection sacrifice. Williams walks out with 39 pounds and 5 shillings and Staunton in fourth place, recovers a mere 27 of the 500 he invested for the event.
The Captain's ( Kennedy) ship sank against the Hungarian Josef Szen after 5 rounds. The fourth game match was interesting as The Captain almost had Szen. Coming from behind where it appeared that Szen didn't foresee a knight fork against his rook and queen, manages to imobilize the captain's extra pieces and advance a trheatening passed pawn. The Captain gives back the material to stop the advance but its too late and he loses the game. So 4.4 under that one is definitely a must see game. Szen finishing in 5th place takes home 20 pounds and the Captain retains 13 pounds and 15 shillings.
For Horwitz and Mucklow who finished 7th and 8th, a pittance was retained along with a nice ivory chess set. Not a bad prize considering they were handcrafted.
There were additional provincial matches that followed the general tournament where Lowenthal and Bird did get to play but Neither won any of the four cash prizes ( of much lesser value than the general event. Of these " Jousts", in order of finish were (1) Mr. Boden, (2) Mr. Ranken (3) Mr. Hodges and (4) Mr. Brien.
Anderssen was considered the best player at the time but had to earn a living and stopped playing for several years until in 1858 he played the young Paul Morphy and lost. This woke him up out of retirement as he played and won the 1862 London tournament. In his later years ( over 50) more tournaments of round robin style were popping up and he took full advantage of these winning 5 more and place in the top three of most he entered.
Staunton played chess for a couple more years following this event but was clearly past his prime. He hung up the chess board and settled into editing the text of Shakespeare with a local publisher. This edition appeared in parts from 1857 to 1860, and Staunton's work was praised by experts.
Wyvill was an active member of the Parliament in the 1860's but not much is known about his chess career following the London 1851 event.
As for Josef Szen, not much chess was played following this event. The suppression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 brought with it a ban on all club activities, including chess clubs. The ban was in effect until 1864.
I am working on cleaning up all the games into one Chessbase file for those interested. These will be complete with my commentary along with fritz analysis. I am looking into setting it up with positional training markers as well but this won't be done for a little while. If you are at all interested in the work I've done here, I don't mind sharing it and would love to email it to interested parties. Contact me by dropping an email at george (dot) duval ( at) comcast (dot) net.
Phew. I'm exhausted with this time travel. However, I am revving up the way back machine for Hastings 1895. Stay tuned if you want.