Roscoe's Notebook


A Halloween Week Massacre

CC Win 26/Oct

That's what this Correspondence Chess looks like. The board at game's end when my opponent playing Black resigned yesterday, giving me the win with White, is shown in the graphic at the top of this post.

Our game's full record is below.

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 e6 3. a3 c6 4. Nbd2 Nd7 5. e4 Ndf6 6. exd5 cxd5 7. Bb5+ Bd7 8. Bxd7+ Qxd7 9. O-O O-O-O 10. c4 Qd6 11. c5 Qc6 12. Ne5 Qc7 13. b4 b6 14. cxb6 Qc3 15. Nxf7 Qxa1 16. Nxd8 Kxd8 17. bxa7 Qxa3 18. Bxa3 Ne4 19. a8=Q+ Ke7 20. b5+ Nd6 21. Bxd6+ Kxd6 22. Qxf8+ 1-0

And the adventure continues.

Published on 27 October 2020, ~10:15 CDT, this is my post number 97/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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No, I'm not watching tonight's VP “Debate” Show.

My decision was whether to watch that political debate, or catch a scary movie on TV. I've opted for The House The Dripped Blood, a cheesy British horror film from the 70's. And I'm convinced I made the better choice. Better for my peace of mind anyway.

Over the past several days I've been consuming much less “news” than has been my custom since, well... forever it seems. And my mood has improved noticeably. The reason for less news? More chess.

My load of Correspondence Chess games has become much larger: I've got 20 active games going now, thanks largely to a 7-player tournament that's just getting underway. And I'm taking these games much more seriously than the casual games I've been playing. Hours of daily chess study, with my mind clear and focused, simply does not allow for the distraction of “news” shows designed more to provoke anger and fear rather than impart balanced, factual information.

This places me in a win-win situation. More time spent with my chess, and serious study of that, is healthy in and of itself. And having less time to dwell on the emotionally charged, mind grabbing “news” spread by most popular media sources is good too.

A few hours in the morning with my coffee and chores provides me time to monitor current events and analysis from a mix of sources playing in the background. And another hour or so in the late afternoon or early evening similarly spent is more than enough for the news.

And so the adventure continues.

Published on 07 October 2020, ~20:30 CDT, this is my post number 77/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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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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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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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.

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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.

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There was still a lot of chess to be played...


...on this board when White resigned in our game this morning, giving me the win with the Black army. But a win is a win and I'll gladly accept any that come my way.

This Correspondence Chess game played at the server-based chess site began on 9th July when White opened with 1. e4 and it moved along at a pretty good pace until it ended with his resignation today, almost one month after it started. Checkmate was still far in our future, but my material advantage and his extremely exposed King left little doubt as to the eventual outcome.

The position of the pieces at game's end can be seen at the top of this blog post, and our complete move record is below:

1.e4 d6 2.d4 a6 3.d5 h6 4.Be2 e5 5.Bg4 Bxg4 6.f3 Bh5 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.g4 Bg6 9.Qg2 c6 10.Qh3 cxd5 11.g5 Nh5 12.gxh6 gxh6 13.Qg4 dxe4 14.Nc3 exf3 15.Qxf3 Qh4+ 16.Qf2 Qxf2+ 17.Kxf2 d5 18.Nge2 Bc5+ 19.Ke1 d4 20.Na4 Nd7 21.Nxc5 Nxc5 22.Ng3 Rc8 23.Nxh5 Bxh5 24.b4 Nd7 25.Rg1 Rxc2 26.a4 Nf6 27.Rb1 Rxh2 28.b5 Rg8 29.Rxg8+ Nxg8 30.Rb2 Rh1+ 31.Kd2 e4 0-1

And the adventure continues.

Published on 08 August 2020, ~12:30 CDT, this is my post number 54/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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This Sunday in July...

... as I review the week behind me, I'm satisfied with the amount of work I accomplished. Some days were longer and busier than I'd have liked, but I made it through them all without making any blunders and, to the best of my knowledge, without breaking anything and without irritating anyone important.

Chess-wise, I lost one game and won another. My current game load is 12 active correspondence games more or less equally spread among four different server based chess clubs. That seems to be a pretty good number for me given my current age, health and station in life. When I was younger I could comfortably carry two or three dozen games at a time while working full-time and involving myself in other activities. Damn! There's no way I could do that now.

The only disappointment this week has been the difficulty in keeping up with my reading. The compound cataracts and glaucoma in both eyes made it hard to do much reading at all. I'm tempted to go the audio book route. I've tried that before but for one reason or another never kept it up. Maybe this is a good time to give it a go again. Maybe.

The week ahead looks to be another busy one but I'm making a serious effort to move things along at a slower pace now. We'll see how that approach works.

And the adventure continues.

Published on 26 July 2020, ~21:45 CDT, this is my post number 48/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

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