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My Chess Blog

Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress 2014

Posted on January 9th, 2015 by Richard

A belated quick report on my progress in this tournament. I finished with 21/2-5. The drawn game was unusual. I played the white side of an Alapin Sicilian and attacked the Black castled king hard. After several sacs, I failed to spot the black king had a rook defending the position, and then the best I had was a repeating perpetual check of the black king to get the draw. Now I can only recall the detail of one of my two losses where I played my favourite Scotch as white and it was in the comfortable Ghulam Khassim variation. I attacked hard in the opening with an opportunity to get the black king exposed early but instead of going the exchange down for a good position I “bottled” and tried playing safe.That gave me a worse position and while I tried to cling on, my opponent made no errors and ground out a win.

Playing at 32nd Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress Minor section 2014

Playing at 32nd Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress Minor section 2014

So that was two games I attacked hard and fast early and was lucky to get a half point from! There is a lesson for me to learn in that if I do attack early I need to commit fully to it, but I should know some attacks need more support than I have prepared so I should be more patient with my whole game.

The best game I won was a strange French defence where I went the exchange up (I lost my bishop for winning a rook). My opponent played on doggedly to the end but I held my advantage to win.

During the congress I managed to see and speak with FM Alan Merry and I even bought a few secondhand chess books which I hope to look at and learn from.

The other notable event was the thanks given to event organiser Bob Jones who has now handed over the event after running it for 16 years..well done Bob!

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Former BKJCC member Alan Merry now FM…

Posted on October 16th, 2014 by Richard

FM Alan Merry was a former member of the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club and he performed excellently at the recent Chess Poker Stars Isle of Man tournament.

I post here one of his games as black in the French Defence Tarrasch variation:

Very interesting finish involving a Queen sac and minor piece mating attack..great tactics! 🙂

Well played Alan and congrats on your tournament success!

Alan is playing the Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress at the end of October and I will be playing there too (minor section for me).

See 2014 Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress

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Chess Microbase game viewer

Posted on October 16th, 2014 by Richard

I have seen a chess game viewer called Chess Microbase and thought it looked interesting and decided to try it.
I made an example game and am posting it here with Chess Microbase embed code.

Loading embedded chess game…

Well, this game, showing an introduction to the VonHennig Schara Gambit, has loaded and displays here but without the comments that I added. Perhaps I missed a step allowing my game comments to be added. I will check it out and see if and how I can add my game comments and report back later. I’m also wondering if I can adjust the viewer size….

Anyway it works as my first test, and I will experiment some more with it to check it’s full capabilities. I think this is a javascript coded widget and I may explore the coding later also.

Mmmm interesting!? 🙂

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In praise of MatoJelic… Fried is fried by Schlechter

Posted on September 25th, 2014 by Richard

Here is a chess video of mine in praise of MatoJelic.
It shows the Birds opening From Gambit Mestel variation between Fried and Schlechter 0-1..enjoy.
Mato is a fine chess commentator..check out his YouTube Videos…

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FICS Server problems

Posted on August 3rd, 2014 by Richard

Presently I play most of my chess online at FICS as 5 minute blitz games which I generally enjoy.

There is a problem though I face regularly with this and this is when the FICS server loses connection to my computer. I play with Babas Chess GUI interface and there is no way to know the FICS server has lost connection except that the opponent is making no move!

This is a pain as FICS has a policy of forfeit games if a player manually disconnects from the server. So very often I find myself waiting for a reconnection to the FICS sever that never comes and I am forced to either disconnect via the Babas Chess menu and try and reconnect or just close the Babas Chess program and restart. Usually I will also need to reboot my computer as the problem can be persistent.

Often I lose rating points and the whole business is a frustrating waste of time for me and my opponent.
I wish there was a way for FICS to recognise when the FICS chess server stops of it’s own accord rather than being manually stopped deliberately by myself or any player for whatever reason!

FICS lost server connection

FICS lost server connection-example 1

The above screenshot shows this lost connection to FICS in Babas Chess with the opponent’s time showing as negative! Below is another example and this can happen repeatedly when I try and play FICS chess!

FICS no play connection  example 2

FICS no play connection lost_minus 30 secs_030814 example 2

(NB to see the screenshots larger click on the images and use the browser zoom function {often ctrl+} to enlarge).

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My chess game of the week video series no.3

Posted on June 16th, 2014 by Richard

Here is my next video in my chess game of the week YouTube series.
It is a win for me as White in 2.c3 e6 Alapin Sicilian opening variation.
I haven’t played many games during the week and this was not a good game as I made a blunder to lose a pawn but my opponent then blundered a rook! That proved fatal as it gave me an easy win.

The Alapin Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.c3) is my standard defence against the Sicilian defence. It is arguably a boring response to 1….c5 but it can lead to exciting positions. WGM Alisa Melekhina recommends it (see her YouTube videos about it). In this game it virtually transposed to an advanced French defence position for black and that is not good for the black Sicilian player trying to use his pet Sicilian defence!

Sadly over the week I have not played very well and my rating has not improved. So I still want to get my rating between 1400-1600 consistently in 5 minute blitz. My real downfall is frittering away good opening positions with less sound mid-game play and taking too long in the mid and endgame and getting in time trouble.

This is my continual weakness that I have had over the last few years of my chess play and I want to change this, and I need to do this to win more games and get my rating to 1400-1600. On the positive side, I now have a reasonable knowledge of my preferred White and Black openings and defences and I can build on that. I need now to seriously try and eliminate my slow play and improve my mid and endgame play and this should be perfectly possible with practice and patience!

So I am going to try to learn to play more solidly and more quickly in the mid and endgame and this should mean I will win more games, I hope!

I look forward then to playing more and better games through next week and having a better game of the week video to showcase!

I also hope my videos are of some help to other low rated players who are like me trying to improve their rating. Happy chess play everyone 🙂

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