Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Pre-Circle Review

I have been busy and had little time for chess recently. One thing I have done is review several of the Waitzkin lectures bundled in my old Chessmaster 8000. Before the "circles", I spent all my training time with that program and Silman's The Amateur's Mind. Not a bad approach, but not strong enough calculation practice (which I still need more of!).

I really enjoyed Waitzkin vs Akopyan and Waitzkin vs Frumkin which is below.

Can Black take the d1 Rook now?

[Event "Open"]
[Site "New York"]
[Date "1987.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Joshua Waitzkin"]
[Black "Edward A Frumkin"]
[ECO "B45"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "62"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Be3 Bb4 7. f3 d5 8.
Bb5 Bd7 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. e5 Ng8 11. a3 Ba5 12. b4 Bc7 13. f4 Ne7 14. Na4
O-O 15. Nc5 a5 16. c3 Nc8 17. O-O Nb6 18. Qg4 Nc4 19. Bf2 Qe8 20. Rfe1 Bc8
21. Bh4 Kh8 22. a4 Bb6 23. Rad1 Bxc5 24. bxc5 Nb2 25. Re3 Nxd1 26. Qxg7+
Kxg7 27. Bf6+ Kg6 28. Rg3+ Kh6 29. Bg7+ Kh5 30. Rg5+ Kh4 31. Nf3# 1-0

I couldn't calculate this exhaustively before the circles and now I can. The White Queen threatens sacrifice on g7 leading to... Kg7 Bf6+ and forced mate with help from the e3 Rook, Knight, and White's back rank pawns. So taking the Rook was a blunder. Kudos to the (then) 10-year old Josh Waitzkin.

It took several minutes to get this one right, but nonetheless I did it :-). Had I continued with the training approach I was in, well... it's doubtful that I would see it completely.

Friday, September 15, 2006



I have been frustrated recently with this blog's search capabilities. Looking for text "magnetism" in a post from last year turns up nothing. GRR. is a fun, dynamic position that I lucked into. Enjoy.

White to Move

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


More Down Than Up

I think it has finally happened. After months of doing 10 problems a day, some chunk of "circle" power has gone away. I am falling back into old habits, not seeing pins or assessing them wrong, not calculating Queen moves exhaustively, and occasionally even missing mate threats I was recently so keen on looking out for. I suspect this is temporary, just part of the process of getting better.

Black to Move

Here is a recent blitz loss as Black. To me it looks like my middlegame is strong but my endgame is a disaster. That's the exact opposite of how I used to be.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 Qe7 6. d3 Nf6 7. Qxe7+
Bxe7 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O Re8 10. Re1 Bf8 11. Nc3 Nbd7 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bh4 b6
14. Nb5 Nd5 15. c4 a6 16. Nbd4 Nf4 17. Bg3 Nxe2+ 18. Nxe2 Bb7 19. Nfd4 Ne5
20. Bxe5 dxe5 21. Nc2 Rad8 22. Rad1 f5 23. Ng3 g6 24. b3 h5 25. Ne2 h4 26.
Nc3 g5 27. Ne3 Bb4 28. Ncd5 Bxd5 29. Nxd5 Bxe1 30. Nf6+ Kf7 31. Nxe8 Rxe8
32. Rxe1 e4 33. Rd1 Rd8 34. d4 f4 35. Kf1 g4 36. Ke2 Kf6 37. d5 Kf5 38. g3
hxg3 39. fxg3 fxg3 40. hxg3 Ke5 41. Ke3 c6 42. d6 Rxd6 43. Rxd6 Kxd6 44.
Kxe4 Ke6 45. Kf4 Kf6 46. Kxg4 Kg6 47. Kf4 Kf6 48. b4 c5 49. a3 a5 50. bxa5
Black resigns

In the diagram I missed the simple tactic exd3! White's Rook cannot recapture due to Rxd3 Re1#. D O H !

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