Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Summer Doldrums

I haven't written a thing for over two weeks, here or at Eternity Road or anywhere. I've noticed a trend in that regard, with a lot of my favorite chess blogs rather inactive since the hot weather hit.

After I dropped playing late-night endurance chess at the Reno Chess Club I didn't have the same killer drive to write about and study chess, though I have played a couple of interesting games in the Tournament of the LEPers II. Last night I defeated Donnie, the Liquid Egg Product man himself, in a nice slugfest where I put the clamp on as Black against his King's Indian Attack, won a whole rook and then almost gave the game back when he threw the kitchen sink at me and I ran a little short of time.

The games in this tournament are played at G/15 + 30s/move, an excellent time control in my opinion, but I have been making the same kind of mental mistake that I sometimes made in the 30/90 G/60 time controls I was playing at the club--when time starts to get short but not really desperate, for example 10 minutes for six moves in the 30/90, instead of taking a minute or two for each move I rush out move 25 so I won't find myself with mere seconds at the end, and move 25 turns out to be a blunder. Saving a few minutes for after the blunder is not very effective! Last night I had around two minutes, plus the 30-second increment and was a rook up; all I had to do was take around 30 seconds a move and be cautious, but when I didn't see something pretty quickly I moved a knight where he could have just captured it! He missed that one, but hit me with a different combination that won some of the material back.

So that's something I need to work on.

I never wrote about it at the time, but in my first round game against Ivan of Getting to 2000 a couple of weeks ago I also had what was probably a winning position, it was complicated, but then some disturbances happened around the house and I made a bad move and resigned. One of the advantages of playing at a chess club is that you don't have to see your family during the game--or, if they did start talking to you, the rest of the club members would throw them out...ahem. Luckily, the family and I have worked out an arrangement that will strictly apply during all tournament games in the future.

Chess bloggers who have "gotten stuff done" recently include Likesforests, chessloser, Blunderprone, and the aforementioned Ivan (personal reports at the links), who played in the World Open in Philly over the 4th of July weekend. Here they are as listed, from left to right:

(photo credit Ivan)

Apparently all but Ivan had a plus score, and as you can see Likesforests took home a trophy for 5th place in the unrated section.

I wish I had been there too! I've not quit tournament chess, and I will be around for some of these future big events. In the meantime I look at these photos and pine...

(photo credit Likesforests)

I will post games soon. Really. I need to get back to Glenn Wilson's ChessFlash and get it set up! I need to get out my old games and share some of the best (and worst) as promised. I need to link to the excellent Likesforests on the sidebar and clean up the outdated stuff there. I need to get back to studying tactics and master games.

I also need a vacation.

Well, at least I wrote something today, even if it was just a disjointed patchwork of links to other people and had no coherence or theme whatsoever. The first step to chess master is learning how to mate with king and queen v. king. The first step to getting the blog back to something worthwhile is throwing something up on the wall.


Chessaholic said...

lol love the picture! Looks like a fun bunch. Good to see a post from you again, it's been a little quieter than usual around the chess blogoshpere. I haven't posted much myself, and while I have a few posts planned I just can't seem to get around to finishing them. Summer just isn't very conducive to blogging I guess. Good luck in the rest of the Lepers tourney!

Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Robert, regarding the 'long chess' as you call it, I think you just needed a break as many of us are taking. I came back much stronger after a 10-day break.

I'm 5-0 since. Some would say that I'm just facing weak opposition, but Fischer too lost. In my opinion, even if I was facing the club's stronger players, I would still be 5-0. I just came back much more focused and much more determined.

If I were you, I would also look into the possibility of having Fridays off at work.

Wahrheit said...

Good points, Eric. I would love to take Friday off, but that's not really feasible right now. Having has a break, I am feeling the "chess hunger" again.

I will happily return to tournament chess, but only in situations I feel I can do my best in.

likesforests said...

Good spotting. I wondered if anyone else would notice the live shot was a play on the lego shot. ;)