Epic Fails

September 1, 2018

In my blog posts I probably give the impression that I win most of my games against the computer. Of course, it’s only natural that I prefer to show the games where I played well. Also, because I intend this blog to have some instructional value for human players, I feel as if my readers […]

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It’s All About Timing

August 27, 2018

Who do you think is better in this position? What is White’s plan, and what should he do next move? Position after 25. … Nf8. White to move. FEN: r3rnk1/4pp2/1qnpb1p1/p1p3Pp/PpP1PP1N/1P1P2QP/1RN1B3/5R1K w – – 0 26 In this game I was playing White against Shredder, the computer, set at a 2050 rating. It had thrashed around […]

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Abstract Versus Concrete

August 24, 2018

Here’s a game I played against the computer that I thought was really interesting — not in a “fireworks” way but in a “strategical planning” way. It went down to a queen-and-pawn endgame, but what is interesting is that the endgame was present as a looming possibility throughout the middlegame, and affected all the middlegame […]

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Dolg, Nyega, and A Gentleman in Moscow

August 20, 2018

Why not start out the week with a book review? Okay, I admit it will take us off topic, but I really enjoyed Amor Towles’ novel A Gentleman in Moscow and would like to encourage other people to read it. I remember my Russian teacher in college expounding at length on certain concepts he felt […]

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A Reunion and a Paradox

August 13, 2018

Three posts in three days! Woo-hoo! I’m not promising to make it four for four, though. Last night I had a reunion with a former student of mine named Cole Ryan. He was one of the few kids who stuck with the Aptos Library Chess Club all the way through high school. (And he also […]

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The Statute of Limitations

August 12, 2018

Two posts in one weekend! Just for fun, here is another game between me and my computer. It’s a King’s Gambit that goes a little bit haywire, but most unexpectedly goes all the way down to an opposite color bishops endgame. I find it fairly hard to beat the computer with the King’s Gambit. It […]

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Master of Improvisation

August 11, 2018

Master of Business Administration, Master of Chess, … All of these titles describe Mike Splane, but I would like to add a new one to them: Master of Improvisation. Mike sent around an e-mail yesterday with a game he had just played at the Kolty Club on Thursday night. It obviously had to be something […]

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Matrix Redux

August 2, 2018

I’ve posted here many times before about my training method called “Matrix chess,” which is the only useful way I’ve ever found of training against a computer. (Well, of course you can use computers to study openings, but that’s different. Here I’m talking about trying to use the computer to improve your chess skills.) In […]

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Sacrificing Your Opponent’s Pieces

July 28, 2018

Almost two weeks ago, Mike Splane hosted his latest chess party. This one was a special occasion, because we had a chance to welcome back Steven Zierk, whom Mike introduced as “the first GM ever from the Kolty Chess Club.” It’s a bit of a stretch, but Steven did go to the Kolty Club in […]

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Disappointing Finale

July 21, 2018

Before I started playing in the Tuesday Night Marathon, I told myself that I wouldn’t care too much about my result. The goal was simply to get back into form after two years of no tournament chess, and I didn’t really know how I would do. For the first seven weeks, I felt as if […]

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