Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Chess Log: I Got Lucky And Spotted A Couple Of My Opponent's Mistakes

5-0 blitz, I played Black:

1. c4 e5 2. ♘c3 a6 3. g3 ♘f6 4. ♗g2 h6 5. d3 ♗b4 6. ♘f3 O-O 7. O-O ♘c6 8. ♗d2 ♗xc3 9. ♗xc3 ♖e8 10. a3 d5 11. cxd5 ♘xd5 12. ♖c1 ♘xc3 13. ♖xc3 ♘d4 14. ♘xd4 exd4 15. ♖c4 ♖b8 16. ♕c2 c6 17. ♖c1 ♗e6 18. ♖c5 ♗g4 19. f3 ♗f5 20. g4 ♗g6 21. h4? ♕xh4! 22. ♕b3?? ♖xe2! 23. ♖1c2 ♕f2 24. ♔h2 ♕xg2 0-1 {White checkmated}

I felt my opponent had the upper hand until 21. h4?, which allowed me to get my Queen into attacking position. And 22. ♕b3?? ended White's chances. (Did White play ♕b3 because he or she was stunned by my previous move? Or was there a strategy in there which I as yet haven't been able to see?)

Most of the games which I've seen in annotation have been Grandmaster games, world-class games. I can't claim that I've understood very much at all of what is going on those games. I wonder if a chess pro ever sees any of these games which I played and then recorded on my blog, and if so, what his or her reaction has been. I always think of Tyrone Slothrop and Sir Stephen Dodson-Truck in Thomas Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow, with myself in the role of the well-meaning bumpkin Slothrop and the chess pro analogous to Sir Stephen:

"At certain hours the harbor blue will be reflected up on the whitewashed sea-facade, and the tall windows will be shuttered again. Wave images will flicker there in a luminous net. By then Slothrop will be up, in British uniform, gobbling down croissants and coffee, already busy at a refresher course in technical German, or trying to dope out the theory of arrow-stable trajectories, or tracing nearly with the end of his nose some German circuit schematic whose resistors look like coils, and the coils like resistors-"What bizarre shit," once he got hep to it, "why would they go and switch it around like that? Trying to camouflage it, or what?"

"Recall your ancient German runes," suggests Sir Stephen Dodson-Truck, who is from the Foreign Office P.I.D. and speaks 33 languages including English with a strong Oxonian blither to it.

"My what?"

"Oh," lips compressing, some kind of brain nausea here, "that coil symbol there happens to be very like the Old Norse rune for 'S,' sol, which means 'sun.' The Old High German name for it is sigil."

"Funny way to draw that sun," it seems to Slothrop.

"Indeed. The Goths, much earlier, had used a circle with a dot in the center. This broken line evidently dates from a time of discontinuities, tribal fragmenting perhaps, alienation-whatever's analogous, in a social sense, to the development of an independent ego by the very young child, you see…"

Well, no, Slothrop doesn't see, not exactly. He hears this sort of thing from Dodson-Truck nearly every time they get together."

I always imagine that I'm giving the chess pro brain nausea, and like Tyrone, I'm sorry.

So why do I do this chess log? Two reasons. One: because, although I've seen a few games on or near my humble level of sophistication recorded now and then in places like periodical entirely devoted to chess, I've never seen a whole series of them published anywhere. And so I think possibly the Wrong Monkey Chess Log might be interesting simply because it's different. Two: players on my level, who look at Grandmaster games, annotated by Grandmasters, and scratch their heads and say, Well, okay, if you say so. If it's clear to you that it's time for White to retire because everybody on your level can see that Black will checkmate him in 12 more moves or less -- players on my level may see these games and actually understand what's going on.

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