Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chess Log

Sometimes I jot down some notes about the blitz games I play at the Free Internet Chess Server. Sometimes I write things during the games. That's very unusual, because after all these are blitz games, blitz as in 10 minutes a side or less to make all the moves you're going to make in the game, blitz as in hurry up. In anything like an evenly-matched game there is no time to write things. Every second not spent concentrating on the board is a significant gift to one's opponent.

Sometimes, however, even in a blitz game, the situation is so lopsided, and my opponent is taking so much time between moves, that I have to find some way of entertaining myself, and I jot things as I wait for my turn to move:

October 16

Waiting for Player A (rated 662) (I think some players might not like it if I wrote about them using their actual online handles so it's just going to be Player A, Player B and so forth) to move. I'm rated 1165, and this game is Ugh-LEE.

Player A has moved a few times since I wrote that, but time continues to be one of his big problems in this game. I'm at 7:02 in a 10 0 blitz, and Player A is 1:20 -- hey he just moved!

He forfeited on time with 5:32 left on my clock. So Ugh-LEE in so many ways, this game!

Waiting for Computer A (rated 816) to move. 2nd straight game against this computer. It resigned the 1st game, while I was being very careful, with 2 Queens, not to end the game in a stalemate.

Yes, Computer A is playing very -- I was about write "very badly" when it checkmated me. Effing Doofack!

Despite the frequency with which it happens in movies and sitcoms, if someone checkmates you in real life when before that move you thought you were playing well, you were playing extraordinarily badly. Checkmate usually comes gradually over a number of moves, gradually and painfully obviously. Most top-level games which aren't draws end with a resignation many moves before a checkmate would've come.

I played chess very badly this evening. Meanwhile, in a case of chess Charles Atlas, Player B, whom I was used to seeing with a rating under 1100, is now about halfway between 1200 and 1300. It's unusual to improve that much after having played a long time at that level -- in fact Player B and I are the only two players I know personally who've done it, so good for us both.

October 17

Chess is starting out well this morning: a draw against Player C (1365) and a win against Player D (1209). When I had 48 seconds left, Player E (1123) let her clock run down from around 1:25 to 1:06 and then resigned, thank you very much Player E!

When it rains it pours: Player F (1148) resigned from what looked to me like a very good position. I'm up 30 points, 1133 to 1163, in about an hour.

And another one bites the dust: Player G (1269) resigns after 10 moves, not entirely without reason. Played like a beginner but he or she has thousands of games on FICS.

And a draw against Player H (1319).

Okay, I think I'll take a break now, take my 43 points and run. 4 wins and 2 draws in 6 games this morning, the 2 draws against players rated over 1300, the wins against players rated between 1123 and 1269.

How much of my success when I'm successful has to do with simple determination and concentration?

Afternoon chess: an Ugh-LEE 19-move beatdown of Player I (1099). A merciless spanking of Player J (1055).

I got way ahead of myself: almost before the game began, I thought up an epitaph for the wrong player: "Player K tastes the pain." But no. I tasted it. And I don't like it! Concentration and determination are key to chess, but my greatest nemesis continues to be over-confidence.

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