When I played through Nakamura’s fantastic game against Karjakin, I stumbled upon the following position:
The big question here is: what prevents Black from capturing the pawn with the king? In the game he played 46…Kg6 and resigned at move 52 after being put into Zugzwang.
Black couldn’t capture the pawn because of the blocking sacrifice 47.Bg8! He is forced to recapture with the rook and now the skewer 48.Rg1+ allows the pawn to promote. A brilliant strike which shows once again that you have to know your tools.
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This is a position I reached in my round 3 game in the Team4545League:
I had more than 8min left on the clock with 45sec increments. I felt that Nxf6 is the move here but I was unable to calculate the follow-up. This was a huge chance to win the game, instead it ended in a draw so I put special care in my post-mortem analysis why I couldn’t spot the winning combination.
- I didn’t work hard enough to visualize the position after the forced Nxf6, gxf6, Rxf6.
- I forgot that the queen had to stay around the rook to defend it.
- After the forced moves, Qd5 is very strong and uses the open diagonale as well as the open 5th rank so Black must give away the queen for a rook.
As long as I can identify my weaknesses and correct them I am on the right track – and the game was a lot of fun as well.
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It can’t be denied, in the last months I didn’t come much closer to my goal to reach ELO 1800 in chess. I can say that my general attitude and approach has changed and thanks to enthusiastic chess buddies (Paul, Andrea, Henri) I am still motivated and willing to walk the long and winding road toward mastery. It can’t be done without some work though and I haven’t found a good way to integrate a consistent trainings schedule into my daily routine. Planning to do something in the evening was a bad idea, there was a clash of other activites and things I wanted to do and too often I didn’t find the energy for a serious study session. Instead I played some mindless Blitz games…
It’s time for a change. Jacob Aagaard has a very sensible recommendation:
…decide first which day of the week is your day off, then do solving 20 minutes a day for the other six days of the week.
Simple, isn’t it? Six days won’t be possible but five should be okay. The idea is to pick up anything as long as it’s fun and work on it. I have more than enough material so it’s just a matter of finding a time that I can reserve for chess. Probably this will be in the morning before I start working, we will see. Spending only 20 minutes has the advantage that it prevents a quick burn-out.
Posted in Chess, Study | Tagged ELO 1800 | 2 Comments »
Take a look at this:
Full report how to build a cabinet yourself can be found here. This might be something I can build together with my father, he is the right person for such projects. It’s cheaper than buying a used pinball machine and I am really not confident that I can maintain it! A home made cabinet based on virtual tables saves a lot of troubles.
Btw, the original poster left a hillarious quote:
I’m not sure how long it took to complete but I almost forgot what my wife looked like, which was somewhat of a good thing.
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One of my favourite SF and Fantasy writers died last Sunday at the age of 96. Jack Vance produced remarkable books but it was never enough to push him to the absolute top like Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke or Ray Bradbury to name a few. The first two SF books that I have bought on my own were “Job: A comedy of Justice” (by Robert A. Heinlein) – and the “Alastor” omnibus by Jack Vance, which was the start of a wonderful ride. Hunting down the German editions of his books wasn’t easy and only the rise of eBay made it possible to complete my collection. Later I switched to the original editions and was amazed by his careful wordcrafting and worldbuilding.
Alastor is still my favourite pick for rainy Sundays and I have re-read it countless times. It filled my heart with joy and adventure and it brought color into my world.
If you want to read more I highly recommend the NY Times article about him. You can also leave a message at Foreverness – Raise a Toast to Jack Vance!
The Fantasy fans of my Blog I kindly point to the Lyonesse trilogy (part 1, part 2, part 3). If you haven’t read it yet then you are in for a treat!
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“It’s while it’s being lived that life is immortal, while it’s still alive. Immortality is not a matter of more or less time, it’s not really a question of immortality but of something else that remains unknown. It’s as untrue to say it’s without beginning or end as to say it begins and ends with the life of the spirit, since it partakes both of the spirit and of the pursuit of the void.” -Margeruite Duras
Death makes us human.
I’ve… seen things you people wouldn’t believe…
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those… moments… will be lost in time, like tears… in… rain. Time… to die…
- Blade Runner, final monologue of Roy Batty
In memory of my grandmother who died 10 days ago at the age of 93
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The first round of the Team4545League was a good start. First I played an early morning game against my opponent from New Zealand. The opening wasn’t my best, White had the chance to win a pawn after a couple of exchanges. My try for a hedgehog at all costs had backfired and this is something I have to keep in mind for the future. It’s always better to be flexible.
The big surprise came already came at move 9.Nxf7!?. There wasn’t much choice here but to accept the sacrifice. I couldn’t believe that it works and was curious how the game will continue. The exchanges weren’t in favor of White who needed all pieces to start an attack. The critical moment came at move 15. Black had to think about a way to defend his king and to avoid being pushed back to g8, which would have kept the rook on h8 out of play for a while.
15…Nf6 with the idea Kf7, Be7, Rf8 or e8 and Kg8 solved all my problems. I wasn’t completely sure if I would have the time for all the moves but on f6 the knight protects the king extremely well. Another idea was 15…Qc7 to stop Qc6 but now White can also play Qg4+ (or Re1+ first) and Black has to be very precise.
From here on it was rather simple and it was interesting that White’s queen didn’t have many useful squares later on:
22…Ne4! forces a series of exchanges and the endgame is simply lost for White.
My second game was scheduled for Sunday night but unfortunately my opponent didn’t arrive. Too bad, I was counting on a Closed Sicilian and wanted to try out something. Well, it has to wait until next time.
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