Saturday, April 22, 2006

Back From the East Coast

I just returned from a 5-day trip of the East Coast, looking at colleges. I checked out Swarthmore, Vassar, Yale, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Brown. My favorite was Swarthmore and coming in second was UNC-Chapel Hill. If I had thought at all, I would have dropped in on some of the Knights Errant, or maybe the Boyston Chess Club. Heck, I was in Boston and we passed Boyston Street (I'm assuming that's where the club is.) on the way to Logan Airport. I felt pretty dumb of not even thinking to drop in, play chess, or even ask about the colleges any of the knights have graduated from. If you have any info about any of the above colleges or others such as Cornell, Tufts, or Brandeis, or any others, east or west coast, let me know. It would be much appreciated!

I have been lucky enough to get some PCT training in. Good to still keep doing chess. After the APs, I will be able to read some of the books I have been waiting to read and play lots of chess. I can't wait. I was studying for the AP US History Test in the long car trips from one college to another. Not a ton of fun, but key in actually getting in to the colleges I was viewing. :)

The 45 45 Tourney hasn't been goinig that well, because I was contacted my opponent but didn't get a response that I know of, but he was awarded the win. That's frustrating. Well, I look forward to actually playing.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Position from a recent game

I have been able to do more and more tactical training with the Personal Chess Trainer. I'm getting back into it, which is beneficial and fun.

I recently played a game with a friendly 1800 player, as black, and the position after the 22nd move the position was at a junction:

Which move is best?

22. ... gxh6,
22. ... Bxe1, or
22. ... Nf6

Why? I made the worst move and was promptly punished. :)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Another Exciting Game

I recently played another exciting, tactical game. Here, I will actually provide some handy-dandy images, unlike last time. I played black in a Ruy Lopez:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6
4. Ba4 Nf6
5. 0-0 Be7
6. d3 d6 (diagram)

I then proceeded to castle and to threaten his strong white-squared bishop with my knight and queenside pawns:

7. Nc3 b5
8. Bb3 Na5
9. Be3 (diagram)

9. ... Nxb3
10. axb3 Bb7
11. Ne2 d5
12. exd5 Nxd5
13. Nxe5 Bf6
14. d4 (diagram)

This is where the game gets exciting. He opts against a queen trade and the battle heats up!

14. ... Nxe3
15. fxe3 Bxe5
16. dxe5 Qg5
17. Nf4 Qxe5
18. Qd4 Rfe8
19. Rae1 Rad8
20. Qa7 (diagram)

In hindsight, this move seems to have been the nail in white's coffin. After moving his queen to the edge of the board he sticks with his decision and goes for the material win:

21. ... Qe4
22. Rf2 Re5
23. Nd3 Rg5
24. Ree2 h6
25. Nc5 (diagram)

This is white's fatal mistake, opening up his back rank to a vicious, brutal, and intense attack! hehe, as they say, it's the victors who write history. In the end, I get to make an exciting (and necessary) queen sacrifice that got my blood pumping.

25. ... Rd1+
26. Kh2 Qe5+
27. Rf4 Qxe3
28. Qxb7 Qg3#

In the end, it came down to a tactical battle with his queen off to the side and both of us striving for the win. It came down to mating attack versus a material attack. The mating attack won...

Here's the pgn for those who desire it:

[Event "FICS rated standard game"]
[Site "FICS, San Jose, California USA"]
[Date "2006.04.02"]
[Time "17:52:16"]
[Round "-"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "generalkaia"]
[WhiteElo "1729"]
[BlackElo "1715"]
[TimeControl "1200+15"]
[Mode "ICS"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 d6 7. h3 O-O 8. Nc3
b5 9. Bb3 Na5 10. Be3 Nxb3 11. axb3 Bb7 12. Ne2 d5 13. exd5 Nxd5 14. Nxe5
Bf6 15. d4 Nxe3 16. fxe3 Bxe5 17. dxe5 Qg5 18. Nf4 Qxe5 19. Qd4 Rfe8 20. Rae1
Rad8 21. Qa7 Qe4 22. Rf2 Re5 23. Nd3 Rg5 24. Ree2 h6 25. Nc5 Rd1+ 26. Kh2
Qe5+ 27. Rf4 Qxe3 28. Qxb7 Qg3#
{White checkmated} 0-1