A wonderful, awful idea

April 9, 2017

Hey, I won another cool game against Shredder! Even though I know it doesn’t mean anything, I still feel like sharing. I was White in the position below: Position after 31. … Re5. White to move. FEN: 3q2k1/1p1n1p2/r2p1Pp1/p1p1r1N1/P1P1PQP1/3P4/1P3R2/R6K w – – 0 32 Here, believe it or not, I was feeling just a bit frustrated. […]

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Infinite Resistance, Part 2

April 8, 2017

In my last entry I wrote about how exciting it is to win a game that you were just hoping to draw. The outcome of this year’s U.S. Championship might end up being determined by just such a game. Round nine. Varuzhan Akobian versus Fabiano Caruana. Akobian sacrificed two pawns for a nonexistent attack, and […]

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When It Pays to Play Bad Moves

April 5, 2017

Chess is a weird game. Sometimes the way to win is to play almost, but not quite, badly enough to lose. Then your opponent gets sucked into trying too hard, and then you can catch them on the rebound. But good luck trying to win that way. It has to be unintentional, or it won’t […]

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Re-Emerging

April 3, 2017

For the last six months I haven’t been posting as much as usual to my blog, because I’ve been working on a (non-chess) book. I’m glad to say that I sent the first draft of the book to my editor today. Though there is still a lot to do, I feel as if I can […]

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Checkers, Anyone? Plus, Problem Pieces

March 18, 2017

Last night I won a game against Shredder in very amusing but also instructive fashion. The computer’s rating was set to 2124. (I’ve found that this rating gives me the best blend of success and challenge; setting the machine to 2300 or 2400 makes me get too accustomed to losing.) Position after 27. … Nh7. White […]

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Thrills and Spills (Mostly Spills) in Playoffs

March 9, 2017

Yesterday I watched the PRO Chess League for the first time since week 2. (By the way, I finally found out that PRO is an abbreviation for Professional Rapid Online. That’s why it is obnoxiously capitalized all the time.) Naturally, I jinxed the team I was rooting for, the San Jose Hackers. In a match […]

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PRO Chess League Week 2 Playoffs

March 8, 2017

Second round of the playoffs for the PRO Chess League. The first week (which I didn’t watch) must have been incredibly exciting, with none of the matches decided by more than 9½-6½. The San Jose Hackers, our curious mix of local and Azerbaijani talent, pulled off an exciting upset. As the #6 seed, they defeated […]

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An Honor to Have Played You

March 4, 2017

Yesterday I found out on Facebook that Walter Shipman had died. I guess it’s not too much of a surprise, as he was 87 years old, but he is one of those few people who seem determined to keep on going forever. Somehow that plan never seems to work, but he gave it a good […]

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Taking Your Time

March 2, 2017

Here’s a position that I got to against the computer. What do you think about it? What is White’s plan? Should he attack on the kingside or the queenside or the center? Should he go fast or go slow? Position after 14. … b5. White to move. FEN: r4rk1/2pqbpp1/p1n1p2p/1p1nP3/3PN3/2PQ1N2/PP1B2PP/3R1RK1 w – – 0 15 Shredder […]

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PRO Chess League Regular Season Complete

February 23, 2017

Wow, that was fast! It seems like just yesterday that I was writing a post about the first week of the PRO Chess League. Now the season is already over! That’s because it was only seven weeks long. Next week the playoffs will begin, and for people who haven’t been paying attention previously, this might […]

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