A Soggy New Year

January 18, 2020

Somewhat belatedly, this is my first post of 2020, so I wish a happy New Year to all of you who are (like me) about two weeks behind. The main explanation for the absence of new posts is that I spent ten days in Hawaii! For vacation? You might wonder. No, in fact I was […]

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Quiescence

December 30, 2019

Yesterday Mike Splane hosted his last chess party of 2019. Though somewhat lightly attended (only eight people this time) it gave Eric Steger and me a chance to show our games from the last round of the Kolty Chess Club championship, in which we tied for first. Also, Mike showed his last-round game, which I […]

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R+P vs. Q: The Naughty List and the Nice List

December 26, 2019

In my last pre-Christmas post I wrote about the game Magnus Carlsen – Levon Aronian, in which Carlsen played a beautiful rook sacrifice that enabled him to promote a pawn. However, when all was said and done he still found himself in a fiendishly difficult endgame to win. Here is the position after Carlsen’s 41st […]

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The Sickest Move of the Year

December 24, 2019

This is part one of a two-part post. Come back after Christmas for part two! Every now and then I see a game that makes me realize that the chess I play is just a completely different game from the chess that 2800 players play. I’m looking at you, Magnus Carlsen. FEN: 8/P4pkp/2Rp2p1/8/8/7P/1r3rP1/R5K1 w – […]

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Addendum: Tiebreaks

December 21, 2019

As you know from my last post, I tied with Eric Steger in the 2019 Kolty Chess Club Championship, both of us scoring 6-1. At the time I thought that it was very likely that Eric would win the tiebreaks, but I was mistaken. Wolfgang Behm, the tournament director, sent me an e-mail to let […]

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… And Now For the Thrilling Conclusion

December 20, 2019

Unlike a good mystery novelist, I will not keep you in suspense. I won my game in the last round of the Kolty Chess Club Championship. That gave me a record of 6-1 and a tie for first place with Eric Steger, who also went 6-1. I don’t know yet for sure, but I think […]

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Fortune Favors the Brave

December 13, 2019

Sometimes chess is about logic and finding the right moves. Other times, chess is about the things that sports are about: coping with adversity, finding opportunities, and exerting your will. That was the kind of game I played last night in the sixth round of the Kolty Chess Club Championship. If you look at it […]

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Trying Too Hard to be Like Petrosian

December 7, 2019

First of all, I won the game. So don’t get the wrong impression from the title of today’s post. In round five of the Kolty Chess Club championship, I defeated Michael Ho with the Black pieces to improve my record to 4-1, still within striking distance of the leader. (More about that below.) However, I […]

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Rainy Sunday

December 3, 2019

This weekend we had an abrupt change in the weather in Santa Cruz. After zero inches of rain so far this fall, the heavens opened and we had three straight days of downpour. The only thing to do was stay inside and play chess, so Gjon Feinstein and I met up with Eric Montany. Actually […]

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Poor Confused Computer Needs Your Help

November 23, 2019

Last night, in the fourth round of the Kolty Club Championship, I was paired against an expert, Chris Atkeson. We played what I think was a really high-quality game… and as it usually happens in games where nobody makes an obvious mistake, we drew. It was a draw that both players were happy with (at […]

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