Thursday, May 22, 2008

Top Tagger

Chess Tempo has been upgraded a bit and I like what I see so far. All the gory details can be read here.

But what really suprised me was seeing my handle at the top of the taggers list. I'm a top dog at Chess Tempo ... at least for now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Live Blogging of Chess Tempo Session

so I'm working on tactics at chess tempo and I thought I'd live-blog a short session. I'm doing blitz problems. My rating right now is 2051. For the last four days I've been hovering between 2030 and 2070.

I just finished two problems that I had recently seen before. This seems unusal as chess tempo claims to have over 25,000 problems. I know I've not seen all the problems. Maybe because of my rating I don't see the really low and really high rated problems. The highest rated problem I've seen was just over 3000. I failed that one. Anyway ... the last two problem were problems I've seen before. I missed them both last time I saw them. Fortunatly I "tagged" them and I got them right this time. They were 29960 & 11726.

DAMN IT! I get to move six of a mate-in-seven and I screw it up. I am bothered by the fact that I miss too many tactics on the very last move ... I'm humming along, making all the right moves and I think I've got the sucker ... them bam!! I screw it up. Rating's at 2048

Ever see a really high rated problem, miss it and then smack yourself in the head? This one was over 2700 and it was a simple pin. I think I let the rating intimidate me sometimes.

I hate it when the server dishes out problems that are rated over 800 points below my rating. I just got a 1227 ... an easy 3 points. Rating's 2050 (again).

I missed a problem and I'm suspicious of the solution. I copy the position using DiagTransfer 2.0 and feed it to Fritz 8. Herr Fritz takes a baseball bat and whacks me upside the head and says, "are you a nutless, brain-dead possum?" Rating's 2047

I finally break even on the problems for this session (11 right, 10 wrong) Rating's 2058

My first instinct is to take the bishop with my rook, but then I think there might be a better move. I only have 12 seconds. Thinking, thinking ... I go with my second thought-of move ... wrong. My first instinct was correct - take the bishop. I do that alot. Rating's 2062

I just did it again ... the whole instinct thing. Rating's the same

I take 24 seconds to solve a 14 second problem and my rating goes down a point.

WOW! I solved a 2375 whose avg solution time is 103.8 seconds and I got it in 51 seconds! I jumped up 7 points to 2067.

I'm done with the last problem of this mini-session. I got it correct and finished at 2070 which means I'll probably miss 3 or 4 in a row next time I log on, have my rating drop back down to 2030 and I'll spend 30 minutes trying to get it back up to 2070.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Losing Streak Over

The last time I played a longish game was April 10 and I won that game ... it was my one win in the LEPers tournament. I've not played much at FICS since then. I've been focusing on my chess correspondance play at Red Hot Pawn as well as spending a lot of time at chesstempo. I just lost my 2nd game at RHP, by the way.

Tonight I logged into FICS and dinked around. I finally found a 20 5 game. My opponent kept making these annotation type comments. I usually ignore chat messages during a game. But some of his comments sounded like smack. If I remember correctly, his first comment was something like "Black up in material, White up in space and tempo" or something like that (I was playing Black). I wasn't too distracted, other than a passing thought in my head ... "wait until I shove your king into your blowhole after I deliver checkmate ya frickin' idiot!" I didn't let his smack bother me.

Pretty soon I had pretty good spacing and felt really confident. That's when he made another comment ... something like "e5 is a weak spot in the Sicilian." I probably should have paid more attention to his subtle hints. He wacked my e5 pawn and my d6 pawn could not recapture else his rook would capture my queen. Pretty soon, his white-squared bishop was hounding my king and his knight was forking my queen and rook. By this time, all dreams, hopes and aspirations of kicking this cocky SOB to Australia were dashed. I simply resigned. I had no gumption to finish it. His last comment was something to the effect that the score is now 1-1. I didn't understand at first, but then I issued a "hstat rockyrook [opponent]" and found that I had beat this fellow before. Either he issues the same command during most of his games or he must have remembered the last time I beat him (probably very soundly). That was my first longish game in a month.

Here's the game in all it's bloody glory.

The other three I played tonight were against a decent chap. The first game was kind of close until the end game. His queen and rooks really put the pressure on me. I gave it one last effort, sacrificing my rook to let my other rook and queen try to finish him off, but he defended well and I lost on time.

The 2nd game was quick and very painful. I blundered in under 7 or 8 moves. I let his queen and bishop zoom in on the f7 pawn and I could not defend it. I resigned.

The last game was a battle to the finish. I only won because I gobbled up a couple of his pawns during the course of the game. Otherwise it was pretty even. Because of the pawn advantage, I was able to trade pieces and let my pawns do the walking. He resigned. And thus the pitiful losing streak ended. My ego was almost crushed in a night of defeats, but I managed to salvage some respect before heading to bed.