Archive for June, 2012

From the lastest Gelfand interview

Gelfand about making mistakes:

If you’re not punished, and you escape, it’s OK. Normally you’re not going to make a lot of mistakes, so if one mistake goes unpunished, it’s… how to say… you’re “forgiven”.

Nice. Read more here.


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In the middle of the Team4545League

First the solution to the small riddle from last time. The sculpture in the post is of course “The Thinker” from Rodin.

The 53rd season of the Team4545League is on the way and I am doing fine in the U1600 section. A complicated middlegame arose last night where I deserved to be punished by my opponent. The mistakes were subtle and a better player would have beaten me. Fortunately it was quite complex and far from easy so in the end, even after missing a simple and strong move 28 that would have finished the game immediately, I won.

The night before it didn’t work so well in the U1800 section. I gave away all my opening advantage and ended in a position with an open center and knight + bishop vs 2 knights. My opponent caused havoc with his dreadful knights and outplayed me quickly. I tried to hang on but in the end blundered a piece. Next time I have to try again.

For unknown reasons my ICC Blitz rating has crossed the 1400 mark. I used to struggle a lot against players <1300 but this has changed a bit. Maybe tactical alertness combined with slightly improved attacking skills make a difference. I will let you know when I am back to 1200. 🙂

Finally I have a position for you that arises in the French. Is it okay for Black to capture the pawn on b2? Once you have an idea use the computer to check the variation.

A tricky position for Black.

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Welcome back

It’s been a long time after my last post. I was pretty busy driving around. First I spend some lovely days with my wife in the city where you can find the following sculpture:

Shortly after we had to go to a big family anniversary, which meant driving 2300km within 5 days. I was happy when I was back home again although it was very nice to meet the family. The weather was great and for the first time of the year I went swimming in a lake. Water temperature must have been around 17°C so it was okay.

Beginning of this year I joined the Classic SF Yahoo group which organizes monthly readings of modern and classic SF. This really got me back into SF and I also managed to read more short stories from my big pre 1999 list. I hope that one day I will be able to finish all the stories listed there. Most of them are available online, some are not which might be a challenge.

Regarding chess, I am slowly getting back into it. The next Team4545League season has started and after 3 of 6 rounds we are 2nd in our division. My biggest problem right now is keeping concentrated. I don’t know what’s going wrong but long games at the computer are pretty tough at the moment, it’s too easy to get distracted and there were a couple of games where I immediately blundered back after getting an advantage. Very annoying but that’s chess and slowly I can feel my motivation coming back.

My former hero Igor Smirnov, whose courses really improved my chess understanding, has released something new: Calculate Till Mate. It’s strange that after having told us everything you need to know he comes up with yet another course at a ridiculous high price. My guess is that this is for people who believe that they can “buy” knowledge. Whatever you are doing, if you spend the time then you will almost automatically get better, especially when you are following the plan of his first course, GM’s Secrets, which is still one of the best and highly recommended.

Last weekend we watched the movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Wow, that was a tour-de-force. A very dark and brutal thriller that makes me wonder why the Swedish authors come up with stuff like that. Recommended if you can stand it but be aware.

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