Roscoe's Notebook


College Football Saturday! Yes!

My favorite way to follow football has always been to listen to good play-by-play coverage over the radio.

I can close my eyes and “see” the game much better while listening to the radio than by watching on TV. And I'm happy to find a full schedule of live games playing on TuneIn Radio that will keep me entertained through this afternoon into the early evening.

This is my post 69/100/365 of the 100 days blogging challenge. (And it's posted mostly from my phone, so I'm not able to format it as I'd otherwise like to.)

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Back with the ICCF now

old analysis board

Several days ago I reactivated my membership in the International Correspondence Chess Federation and now have a two-game match in progress there. It's been over a decade since I played any games under the auspices the ICCF, what I considered then and still do as the premier place for serious Correspondence Chess (CC). My return to that organization was unplanned but seemed to be a natural step given the increased amount of time spent with my chess over these several months of the pandemic lockdown.

Heck, I've even started keeping an old analysis set at a corner of my work table (see above). So when I'm not online receiving or sending moves I can focus on my games.

This satisfies me greatly!

And so the adventure continues.

Published on 17 September 2020, ~15:00 CDT, this is my post number 68/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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Another head-scratcher

A clock win

This morning I was notified by a club in which I play that I had won another game with the White pieces. And this is another victory that has me scratching my head and wondering: why? Black's army had stormed out after my conventional opening and launched a powerful attack on my Queen-side.

But then... he apparently let his clock run out, something pretty unusual given the very relaxed time-controls we were using, giving me the win here by default. And he had been playing such a strong game!

The position of pieces at game's end is above, and our full move record is below:

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nd2 d5 3. Ngf3 c5 4. b3 Nc6 5. Bb2 Bf5 6. Ne5 Nxd4 7. Bxd4 cxd4 8. Ndf3 Qa5+ 9. Nd2 Rc8 10. a4 e6 11. Nf3 Bxc2 12. Qc1 1-0

And the adventure continues.

Published on 11 September 2020, ~16:10 CDT, this is my post number 67/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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This morning's yard work...


... courtesy of last night's storm.

When I stepped out my front door this morning I was greeted by the sight of a fair-sized branch (maybe six feet long and very bushy) laying in my yard. Storms like the one that came through the area last night often bring down sticks and branches like this from the big tree in my front yard.

An hour or so ago I had at that branch with appropriate yard tools and, after cutting it up, stuffed the resulting little pieces into my big green organics bin which the city will haul away tomorrow.


More storms are in our forecast over the next few days. So I expect to have more yard work similar to this occupying my time until the weather calms down.

And the adventure continues.

Published on 09 September 2020, ~11:30 CDT, this is my post number 66/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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A little Labor Day win

Labor Day win

This win was not mysterious at all. The game didn't end with a checkmate, that would have come many tortuous moves into this game's future. But with my material advantage (my White Bishop and Knight vs. his lone Bishop, and an equal number of pawns) I would have been able to force a mate much sooner than the Black army could.

Black's resignation giving me the win after I captured his Rook at 27. Nxe1 was probably what I'd have done in his place.

Our board at game's end is pictured above, and the full move record is below.

1. d4 e5 2. dxe5 Nc6 3. Nf3 Qe7 4. a3 Nxe5 5. Nbd2 Nf6 6. Nxe5 Qxe5 7. Nc4 Qd5 8. Qxd5 Nxd5 9. g3 Bc5 10. e3 b5 11. Na5 O-O 12. Bg2 c6 13. O-O Ba6 14. Nb3 Bb6 15. e4 Ne7 16. a4 Rfe8 17. axb5 Bxb5 18. Re1 f6 19. Be3 Bxe3 20. Rxe3 a6 21. e5 fxe5 22. Rxe5 Ng6 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. Nd4 Ne5 25. Re1 Nf3+ 26. Nxf3 Rxe1+ 27. Nxe1 1-0

And the adventure continues.

Published on 07 September 2020, ~13:30 CDT, this is my post number 66/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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Thank you, Joe Saine!

Your advice has pulled me out of the darkness!

Let me explain first the darkness, then how Mr. Saine helped me this morning.

The entry for today in my daily Standard Notes log opens with:

Though this morning's health metrics were very good, last night's sleep was not. Haunted by another UPS-themed nightmare, the 2nd this week and one of the very worst.

Waking with the frightening confusion and stress of that nightmare still very heavy on me, I automatically began moving through my habitual morning routine. One of the very first things I do every morning is go online and check my bank balances and the recent activity in my primary accounts. Thankfully, I found that all was good – exactly as it should be. And I proceeded to make the appropriate entries in my books.

Sitting back in my chair then, I breathed a sigh of relief. In these times of general unrest, it was comforting to know that my financial situation was running smoothly under my control. I was grateful to be maintaining an organized system of proper budgeting and oversight. And I noticed that the stress of last night's nightmare was rapidly dissolving.

That was SUCH a good feeling: the lifting of that stress! And I realized it was the sense of order that came from the disciplined following of my organized system that was key to pulling me out of the horrible darkness I woke with.

And I remembered, once again, the lesson drilled into me by Mr. Joseph Saine, my middle school math teacher over 50 years ago. Every day, in every class, Mr. Saine taught that “organization is the key to having a good and successful life.”

Over the years others have smiled with amusement at my note taking and record keeping. Some have commented, and not in a complimentary way, that I'm the most organized person they know. But being so organized has helped me many times, and this morning particularly.

Once again, I thank you Mr. Saine!

And the adventure continues.

Published on 05 September 2020, ~12:30 CDT, this is my post number 65/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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I'll gladly take the win, but...

A Curious Win

...there was so much chess yet to play here!

My opponent playing Black resigned this server based Correspondence Chess game to me yesterday after my pawn captured his Knight on the f6 square. My goodness, that only put him down by one major piece. And we were just moving from the opening to early middlegame.

1. d4 d5 2. h3 Ng8f6 3. Nb1c3 Nb8c6 4. Ng1f3 h6 5. e3 Bc8f5 6. Bf1d3 Bf5xd3 7. Qd1xd3 e6 8. O-O Bf8d6 9. Rf1e1 O-O 10. a3 a6 11. e4 Rf8e8 12. e5 Bd6f8 13. exf6 1-0

The adventure continues curiously, sometimes.

Published on 04 September 2020, ~17:45 CDT, this is my post number 65/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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Is there anything more heart-wrenching than...

...blundering away one's Queen in a late endgame? Well, maybe. But not by much! AARRGH!

Okay. This afternoon I lost two correspondence chess games, resigning in both of them. In one game I was simply outplayed. And that game I shall subject to a proper post mortem, to try and learn from mistakes I made there. I always feel rather badly about losing a game, but if a loss can teach me something about myself, can help me become a little stronger in the future, well... that is some salve to the wound.

But that other loss! Oh, Lord! That just hurts! How could I have been so blind?!

Oh well...

The adventure continues at a somewhat humbler pace right now. Darn it.

Published on 01 September 2020, ~17:45 CDT, this is my post number 64/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #blog #RoscoeEllis #chess

A little midday Mac, anyone?


Fleetwood Mac, that is. And yes, it works just fine for me.

As I move from late morning into early afternoon, reviewing my notes from the week just ended and planning the week ahead, Stevie Nicks and the rest of the crew can provide the background music to my work.

The adventure continues at a relaxed, easy pace right now. And that is exactly what I need. I think.

Published on 30 August 2020, ~13:45 CDT, this is my post number 63/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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Hoping for a slower Friday.

And one that is more chess-oriented. As a matter of fact, I hope to cut back on the time and attention swallowed up by other side projects and spend more time with my chess ongoing.

My current game load of 12 CC games feels very right, and there is no temptation to add to that in any way, whether by adding OTB, real-time server based play, or more CC games. As soon as one game is completed I'll add another. That's what I've been doing this summer.

However I DO intend to spend more quality time every day studying, following annotated master class games, and analyzing my own losses to learn from my mistakes.

Once, many years ago, I almost earned a master class rating. It would be nice if I can return to that level of play again. I wonder if that's even possible at my age?

And so the adventure continues.

Published on 28 August 2020, ~11:30 CDT, this is my post number 62/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #blog #RoscoeEllis #chess