Brutal. Epic. Fail.

March 7, 2019

Someone get David Pruess an ice-cold Yoo-Hoo, because he’s gonna need it. The San Francisco Mechanics’ manager was speechless after our unbelievable last-round meltdown last night. He looked like Sheldon Cooper in the TV show “Big Bang Theory,” who wrote a paper he thought would win the Nobel Prize, only to find out that an […]

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Brilliancy Checking

March 6, 2019

Recently I watched a lecture by Elizabeth Spiegel online where she talked about the importance of blunder-checking, especially for scholastic players. It’s not a new idea. Before you make your move, she said, write it down, and then look back at the board and ask, “Can my opponent take this piece?” After you’re sure that […]

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You Only Get One First Tournament…

March 3, 2019

… Unless, of course, you get three! I was reminded of this today in a roundabout fashion. Emmy and Ryder P., the sister and brother combo from my chess club in Aptos who came to watch me play a tournament in January, today got their first taste of tournament action. The event was a one-day […]

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The Highs and the Whews

February 27, 2019

Here are a couple of fun reaction photos that I took last night during the San Francisco-Dallas PRO Chess League match, which the Mechanics won by a 10-6 score. The commentators for most of our matches have been David Pruess (also the team manager) and Andy Lee, on the lower right of the screen. Here […]

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Closer to Fine

February 26, 2019

When the San Francisco Mechanics started out the season with three losses in three matches, there was some understandable consternation in the City by the Bay. Tears were shed. Bad rap lyrics were written. Hope was abandoned. (One of those three statements is actually true.) But over the last five weeks, the Mechanics have, by […]

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Worst Opening Ever?

February 23, 2019

As you know, I often blog about games against the computer. When I do this, I feel guilty about the fact that these games are cherry-picked. Usually I only show my best games, although occasionally I might show a game where I played well in general but then missed a winning move, because such games […]

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Quick PRO Chess Standings Update

February 21, 2019

When I wrote my last post I couldn’t tell yet how much the San Francisco Mechanics had moved up in our division of the PRO Chess League. Now today’s two Battle Royales are in the books, and the league standings have been updated. Here is how our division looks: Dallas – 159.5 Chengdu – 152 […]

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When Second Feels Like First

February 20, 2019

There are only three words to describe the San Francisco Mechanics’ performance in the PRO Chess League last night: Danya! Danya! Danya! But if I were allowed three more words, they would be: Epic. Unbelievable. Comeback. Either description is perfect. But first, let me back up and set some context. Going into week 7 (out […]

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More Fun With Shredder

February 14, 2019

I haven’t written about any of my games with Shredder in at least three or four months, partly because I realized I was overdoing it. Also my tournament results showed me that playing against the computer was not really doing anything good for my game, and maybe even hurting it in some ways. So I’ve […]

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Mission (Half) Accomplished

February 13, 2019

Last week I wrote that the San Francisco Mechanics’ PRO Chess League match this week was one that we “really have to win to achieve our team goals.” Hm, perhaps that was a bit of exaggeration. In a very hard-fought match against the San Diego Surfers, the Mechanics ended up with an 8-8 tie. I’m […]

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