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Volume IX: Almost Live

(Author’s Note: This article was originally posted on my old blogspot blog, “Bathtub Gin“, on March 12, 2012.  It is the tenth of 10 articles in a series that I named “The Patzer Chronicles”.  Going forward, all posts will be original as I begin anew on my quest for a 2000 ELO rating)

Prologue

For the second consecutive week (in a row, even) I have not lost a single game of live chess.  The fact that I haven’t played any live games in that time is completely irrelevant.  To put it another way, on the subject of my chessical skill, the week stands mute.  But I have been working tactical problems quite a bit this week, as I put my new study strategy (see some vague details about the strategy here) to work.

Looking back, it is hard to believe that I have not posted about my games since February 17th.  That’s almost a month.  I have been busy with life outside of chess and, frankly, I have lost some of the burning passion to play all the time.  I am still keeping up with my correspondence games.  Although, even at that, I managed to lose a game on time.

But I am still determined to continue my quest for 2000.  This is just a temporary lull.  I know the passion will return.  I was discussing chess with a co-worker of mine yesterday and it started to get my juices flowing again.  Growing up and living in Dallas, Texas, it isn’t easy to find a lot of people interested in chess.  I don’t really think the person I was talking to was greatly interested in it.  But he had been playing some against his computer.  Unfortunately, being at work, I couldn’t just run off a play some quick games online.  Nor could I manage any time to play after work.  I started to play a game or two today, but I thought it might be a good time to post an update instead.  Even if it is a rather limited update.

So let’s take a look at how I stand.

Study

All my study time since my last post has been tactical problems.  I have been tracking my rating on the websites that allow me to do so.  And I will be summarizing my rating on each site, and the change from the last episode, at the end of each post in The Rating Game section.  Here is how my tactical problems are going.

On chess.com, where I am only allowed to work 3 problems per 24 hours, my rating went from 1482 to 1487, a gain of a mere 5 points.  I haven’t worked any problems since March 1st.

On chesstempo.com, where I do most of my problem work (they allow unlimited problems for free), my blitz rating went from 1528.1 (on 2/25/2012) to 1538.1 (03/10/2012), a gain of 10 points.  It is interesting to note that, when working blitz problems, you can solve the problem correctly and still lose rating points.  This is due to the time factor.  If you are too slow solving a blitz problem on chesstempo, or any problem on chess.com, you lose points regardless of whether you found the correct solution or not.  I sometimes like having the time pressure built in to the problems.  I have a tendency to lose blitz games on time or blunder in time trouble.  Hopefully this will help me to learn how to manage my time better during games of short time controls.  My standard rating on chesstempo rose from 1705.1 to 1744.7, a gain of 39.6 points.  I shouldn’t get too excited.  It tends to fluctuate up and down a bit.  But hopefully, I can continue to improve it little by little.

I started a new tactical problem rating on Gameknot, another correspondence chess site.  Here I am allowed 10 tactical problems per day (with a basic, free membership).  My rating here started at 1200 (on 02/19/2012) and has risen significantly to 1633 (on 03/02/2012), a difference of 433 points.  That is to be expected though, because of the low, default starting rating and my experience and skill with tactical problems on other sites.  I don’t expect to continue rising at anywhere near that rate, of course.

That’s all for the study section this time.  Now on to the actual games.

Live chess

I got nothing.  But I will be getting back into it soon.

Correspondence Chess

Quite a bit has happened since the last report on correspondence.  On chess.com, I won my game against xadrezenico.  I mated white in 45 moves.  The win increased my rating to 1362.  The opening was a Caro-Kann defense, my first in a game.  It was a slow developing game where I felt I had a good position all the way through.  I took great advantage of my opponent’s mistakes and claimed victory.  Here is the game:

As I last reported, on chessworld.net, I joined a 4 player guest tournament.  This is a double round-robin tournament with a time control of 3 days per move.  All games are played simultaneously, meaning I am playing 6 games at once just for the tournament.

One game has been decided.  I agreed to a draw with Artsyhimself on move 22 in the game where I had black.  I wasn’t certain I wanted to accept the draw, but I couldn’t see any way to obtain an advantage and I was afraid I would screw up the endgame.  Yeah, not exactly what you would expect from someone named DissidentAggressor.  The draw dropped my rating to 1960.  Here is the game:

In my game as white against Artsyhimself, we are 27 moves in and material is equal.  It is down to a rook and knight (me) vs. rook and bishop.  I think this is heading for a draw as well.

The other games are at varying degrees of progression.  I am in trouble in my game as black against keepin on.  He has a battery that is bearing down on my queen side.  In the game as white against keepin on, I have his position very cramped, but I am not sure I can break him down.  We’ll have to see.

The drawn game along with the two wins on time give me 2.5/30 in the tournament; good enough for 2nd place at the moment.  Artsyhimself leads the tournament with 4.5/5.  He only has one game left; his game, playing black, against me.  If I can manage a win in this game plus wins in my other two games, that would win the tournament.  Not that I am getting ahead of myself, right?

I also have a pyramid challenge that I initiated, against mr. booze.  I am playing white and I am up by two pawns through 26 moves.  But the game is wide open and anything can happen.

My game against kingscrusher is going slowly, as expected.  It is 10 days per move, so it’s going to take a while.  We are 8 moves in and, so far, I have no clue as to how I am doing.

I have begun a new game on chessworld as well.  This is a pyramid challenge from horacio340 (I knew him well).  I am playing black and decided to try the Caro-Kann again.  We will see if I can snatch another victory in my new favorite opening (of the moment).

Now for the game I lost.  I started a correspondence game on a new website: Gameknot.  I signed up here because a group of people from chessgames.com have a team on here that play in tournaments.  I would like to join them.  First I have to complete at least 5 games.  Well, I completed one in almost no time.  That’s because I somehow lost track of time and, well, lost the game on time.  The game was against gilbert99 (rated 1249).  I played the Danish gambit and had his queen on the run.  My rating (default 1200) did not change.  I don’t know if that is because the game was unrated (I don’t think it was) or because my rating is still provisional.  Perhaps you have to play a certain number of games before your rating changes.  In any case, I haven’t begun any new games yet.  But I will.  Hopefully, I will be a little more diligent about making moves on time.  It sucks to lose.  But it really sucks to lose on time.

The Rating Game

Here is a summary of my current ratings for all types of chess, on all sites.  The following shows the site, type of chess, rating, and delta (change) in parentheses.

Chess.com

Blitz: 1216 (unchanged)

Standard: 1268 (unchanged)

Correspondence: 1362 (+162)

Tactics Trainer: 1487 (+5) [03/01/2012]

Chessworld

Correspondence: 1960 (-160) [03/10/2012]

Gameknot

Tactics: 1633 (+433) [03/02/2012]

Correspondence: 1200 (unchanged, provisional) [03/02/2012]

Chesstempo (tactics)

Blitz: 1538.1 (+10) [03/10/2012]

Standard: 1744.7 (+39.6) [03/10/2012]

Epilogue

That’s it for this episode.  Tune in again next time when, hopefully, I will have actual live games to report.  Until then, happy mating!

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