Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Streak just keeps rolling, sort of...

I did draw another game at the Boca Chess Club, but I was busted the whole time. Still, i'll take it.


So that was that game. That's some bullshit, frankly, I felt bad for my opponent but what the hell. So it goes some times. As it happened, I went to a quick tournament the next day and went on complete tilt. Lost the same way in the opening in the first round of that tourney as I got busted in the above game. I lost to an unrated guy who lied about his abilities, but even worse I lost to like a 1200 player because I was so frustrated. Horrible. I'm drunk now, so that's fine, and my regular rating went from 1708 to 1772 from the Boca tourney. Not so bad for one tournament. The quick one was a side show, but it still hurts. I hate losing like that. In other news, surgery AGAIN on the 20th, hopefully after that I'll be done with all these intestinal problems. Eventually I'll have to start searching for a job in earnest. C'est la vie. Be well.

Friday, January 23, 2009

What do you know? I won again...

...against another 'A' player. I was told that both the one I beat tonight and the one I beat Wednesday are both just returning to chess, but I really don't care too much. There are always mitigating circumstances for a loss, right? I'm pretty sure it was Tal who said 'I've never beaten a healthy opponent'.

In any case, after three rounds I'm +3=0-0 in the BRCC tournament. Pretty good stuff so far. This game I played tonight may be the best one I've ever played, and it almost didn't happen. When the King's Indian came onto the board, I couldn't decide if I should play the Bayonet, which I've played unsuccesfully for a while but know pretty well, or the Krasenkow variation, which I've been studying and want to pick up but have never played. I went with the Krasenkow, and it was a beautiful game. Here it is.


So there it is. I feel like I'm playing the best chess of my life here in South Florida. The two long games a week are just the right amount, much better for development than 5 games in a weekend tournament. Being unemployed and studying a lot help too.

Just for a bonus, and because he asked me to post it, here's a game I played at the SFCC a few weeks ago against a dangerous 'C' player. I was lucky to draw this one.


So that one wasn't so great for, but at least I didn't lose it. Keep your eyes on Corus. The games in the lower groups are often more fun to watch than 2700+ guys drawing each other.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Streak Continues...

...despite mounting opposition. I am still unbeaten in rated games in Florida. Today I beat a strong A-player rated 1956. I think this is the biggest upset of my short chess career. I played well with only a few major errors. Here's the game:


So I still haven't lost in Florida. This can't go on, and since I will play players stronger than me in the next round of both club tournaments I don't think it will unless I've made some quantum leap in strength (this is unlikely since I am still inhabiting only my own body. Hah.). Did I mention my opponent tonight was the 1st seed in the tournament? A good victory, though winning on time is not as satisfying as mate or a resignation (though I suppose time wins often are the equivalent of a long, drawn out resignation like tonight's game was). I hope this train keeps on rolling.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Finally, a New Post (with a new game!)

So guess what? I won a big $10 in Boca Raton playing chess. I sometimes tell people I'm semi-professional, which is technically true since I play for money. That's how I get them to leave me alone when I study at Panera. I did get to play a Cuban guy (at random) who was not bad, we played some blitz and I think it was +2=3-1 for me. I feel like I'm getting better. Lots of studying. It's funny, in most things I find that getting good is not a question of figuring out some 'secret', but rather of taking the time to learn a whole lot of individual aspects of a topic. In chess for instance, there's not some magic prescription for excellence. You just learn a lot of openings, lots of typical middlegames, lots of endgames, and that's how you get good. Music is the same way. You just learn a lot of songs, progressively raising the difficulty, and 'BOOM' you're good. That's what it means to be good. Just like in chess, being good isn't abstract. You learn how to play a shit ton of different positions, and that IS being good. I'm not really good yet, but I'm getting better. Here's a game I played this week in Boca. It was my first game against an opponent of my level in Florida, but I maintained my unbeaten streak in this state. Next week I think I'll get fed to an A player, and that will probably be the end of that little run. Look through the game and you'll see why I was so pleased with myself after it.


So there you go. I played hard, and even though I blundered and gave away a pawn I didn't give up. I've been a lot better since I started concieving chess as a fight rather than an art. All I have to do is play better than my opponent. Perfection is great, but not necessary. When you stop expecting perfection, you're results improve. Maybe it's just me.