Roscoe's Story

This is my story and I'm stick'n to it.

Over the past 10 days or so I've been steadily ramping up an old hobby of mine, SW and MW DXing. I still have the portable multi-band radio that I used for shortwave listening in the late 1990s, and it appears to be in pretty good shape despite its age. A few days ago I added an external antenna to improve reception. And I've found a welcoming FaceBook group and an interesting YouTube Channel devoted to this hobby that help keep me informed and enthused.

Though I've not been posting too much about it recently, my correspondence chess play has picked up quite a bit. I'm carrying a bigger game load now and spending more time on my games. Most days find me working at least an hour on the games, and sometimes it's much more than that.

Both of these hobbies are solitary by nature and perfectly suited to the socially restricted lifestyle forced on us during this time of covid.

While they keep me from obsessing over the fake news of the day, which is a very good thing, they take time away from what has been my primary hobby for the last several years: my blogging.

Now that I've wiped the hard drive on my laptop and given it a fresh OS installation (that was yesterday's big chore), it's running faster and operating more smoothly. Hopefully that will make my writing easier and allow me to resume more regular blogging. We shall see.

And the adventure continues.

Posted 07/Feb/2021 ~ 14:05 Central Time #RoscoeEllis #blog #SeniorLiving #hobbies


Midday yesterday I won this Correspondence Chess Club Tournament game with my Black Queen, defended and assisted by her Rook, delivering the mating move.

Our board at game's end is shown above, and our full move record is below:

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.b3 d6 4.Bb2 Be7 5.a4 a5 6.d3 O-O 7.Nb5 c6 8.Nc3 d5 9.Qf3 Bg4 10.Qg3 Nbd7 11.h3 Bh5 12.Be2 Bxe2 13.Ngxe2 h6 14.Bc1 Bb4 15. Bd2 Bxc3 16.Nxc3 d4 17.Ne2 Re8 18.f4 exf4 19.Nxf4 b5 20.c3 b4 21. c4 Qc7 22.O-O-O Qd6 23.h4 Nc5 24.h5 Nxb3+ 25.Kc2 Nxd2 26.Rxd2 Rab8 27.Rh4 b3+ 28.Kd1 b2 29.Rxb2 Rxb2 30.Ne2 Rb1+ 31.Kc2 Qb4 32.Qc7 Qb2# 0-1

And the adventure continues.

Posted 01/Feb/2021 ~ 12:05 Central Time #RoscoeEllis #blog #SeniorLiving #chess

Queen Mate

I won this game playing White last night with peraaps the simplest, most basic checkmate possible. But it was so late at night when I pushed my Queen to the f8 square. I was almost ready to crawl into bed and far too tired to type up and publish a blog post. So ... here it is on Sunday morning.

Our board at game's end showing my attacking and well defended Queen on f8 and Black's poor defenseless King with no possible escape is above, and our full move record is below:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 e5 4. a3 exd4 5. Qxd4 Bd7 6. Qe4+ Be6 7. Ng5 Be7 8. Nxe6 fxe6 9. Qxe6 Nc6 10. e3 Nf6 11. Bxc4 Rf8 12. O-O Ne4 13. Qxe4 Qd7 14. Nc3 O-O-O 15. Be6 Qxe6 16. Qxe6+ Rd7 17. Nd5 Kd8 18. e4 Bc5 19. Be3 Rdf7 20. Bxc5 Re8 21. Qxf7 Rxe4 22. Qxc7+ Ke8 23. Qc8+ Nd8 24. Nc7+ Kf7 25. Qf5+ Kg8 26. Qf8# 1-0

And the adventure continues.

Posted 31/Jan/2021 ~ 10:00 Central Time #RoscoeEllis #blog #chess

Black Win

I don't very often end up with two Queens on the board, but when I do I like it!

It was my second Black Queen who checkmated the White King. As you can see, my first Black Queen remains down on her home rank. While White's attention was focused on his attack over on the left side of the board (as seen from Black's perspective) I was able to slip a pawn down on the other side of the board and promote it to my second Queen who would go on to checkmate the White King in short order.

Our board at game's end is shown above, and our full move record is below:

1. b4 b5 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nxb5 a6 4. Nc3 Bxb4 5. a3 Ba5 6. Na4 Nf6 7. Nc5 O-O 8. c3 d6 9. Na4 Nc6 10. Qc2 g6 11. d4 exd4 12. e4 Kg7 13. e5 Nxe5 14. Qd2 dxc3 15. Qh6+ Kg8 16. Bg5 Neg4 17. Qh4 Re8+ 18. Be2 c2+ 19. Kf1 Bb7 20. Bxg4 Bc8 21. Bf3 Rb8 22. Bxf6 Rb1+ 23. Rxb1 cxb1=Q+ 24. Bd1 Qxd1# 0-1

And the adventure continues.

Posted 30/Jan/2021 ~ 12:30 Central Time #RoscoeEllis #blog #chess

My workout buddies

yard tools

Taking advantage of more beautiful weather, I had a good workout in the back yard this afternoon.

Accompanied by my good friends: 1.) the big organics bin, which was empty when the workout started but is now filled, 2.) my trusty lawn rake, 3.) the collapsible canvas leaf can, and 4.) my new little lawnmower, which I have come to really REALLY like, I worked up a healthy sweat and soaked up some natural Vitamin D courtesy of the South Texas Sun. By the time we finished, things were looking much better back there.

And the adventure continues.

Posted 29/Jan/2021 ~ 16:45 Central Time #RoscoeEllis #blog #tools #home

When I moved from Indiana to South Texas twenty years ago I was struggling (yeah, right) to get and keep my body weight down in the 220's. It was pretty consistently in the low to mid 230's then and I did not like that at all.

During the intervening years from then to now the weight increased slowly but steadily until it peaked at 255 lbs. Every time it got up into the 250s I'd begin trying more seriously to lose some until the body weight dropped down into the mid-240s, which I mistakenly considered my “normal.” And I held onto that mindset until as recently as this past December.

This morning the bathroom scales registered 232 lbs. after several days of moving steadily down through the 230s. And I'm feeling so much better! So after twenty years here in San Antonio I'm finally twenty pounds down.

If (when!) I drop another twenty pounds I'll be the same size as when I moved from Bloomington to Indianapolis. And another 10 or 15 pounds beyond that I'll be back to the man I used to be when I was zipping around in a UPS package car.

And the adventure continues.

Posted 29/Jan/2021 ~ 11:30 Central Time #RoscoeEllis #blog #SeniorLiving #health

Sunday win

Earlier today my opponent playing the Black pieces resigned this game, giving me the victory with my White army. He was certainly right to resign when he did. After my Bishop captured his Knight at 27.Bxc4 he was left with only a Rook against my Rook and Queen.

Our board at game's end is shown above, and our moce record below:

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.h3 Bxf3 6.exf3 e6 7.Bd3 c5 8.O-O cxd4 9.Nb5 Qb6 10.Qa4 Nc6 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Re1+ Be7 13.a3 O-O 14.b4 a6 15.Nxd4 Rfe8 16.Be3 Nxd4 17.Rac1 Nb5 18.Bxb6 Nd7 19.Be3 Nb6 20.Bxb6 Nd6 21.Bc5 b5 22.Qd1 a5 23.a4 Nc4 24.Rc2 Bxc5 25.bxc5 bxa4 26.Rxe8+ Rxe8 27.Bxc4 1-0

And the adventure continues.

Posted 24/Jan/2021 ~ 18:30 Central Time #RoscoeEllis #blog #SeniorLiving #chess


... that just as my chess-Friday ended by winning a cc game with a combination checkmate involving Knight, Queen, pawns, and a Rook, my chess-Saturday should end similarly.

The two games were played against different opponents, in different tournaments hosted by different chess clubs, but still... In the Saturday night checkmate it is my Rook that making the primary attack, but the Queen, Knight, and pawns all play their parts by sealing off any possible flight squares to which the Black King could try to escape.

The board at the end of the Saturday night game is pictured above, and its move record is below:

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 d5 3.Nf3 h6 4.Bxf6 gxf6 5.h3 Nc6 6.e3 e6 7.a3 b6 8.Bb5 Bb7 9.O-O e5 10.dxe5 Bc5 11.Re1 O-O 12.b4 Nxe5 13.bxc5 Nxf3+ 14.Qxf3 d4 15.Qxb7 Qb8 16.Qf3 bxc5 17.Bc6 Qb2 18.Nd2 Qxc2 19.Bxa8 Rxa8 20.Qxa8+ Kg7 21.Ne4 f5 22.Ng3 dxe3 23.Nxf5+ Kg6 24.Nxe3 Qa4 25.Rec1 f5 26.Qg8+ Kh5 27.Nxf5 Qf4 28.Ng3+ Kh4 29.Qd8+ Qg5 30.Rc4# 1-0

And the adventure continues.

Posted 24/Jan/2021 ~ 09:50 Central Time #RoscoeEllis #blog #SeniorLiving #chess

A Win with Black

Black Win

In my Saturday morning mail was a notice that I'd won another correspondence chess club tournament game.

After my Black Queen captured his White Queen at 24...Qxd4 White resigned from our game giving me the victory by default. He was right to do this. After losing his Queen he had only one major piece left in his army, that lonely Rook on the f1 square. My Black army, on the other hand, had five major pieces including my Queen, the Bishop pair, and a Knight. With my overwhelming material advantage, checkmating his King was inevitable.

Our board at game's end is pictured above, and our move record below:

1.e4 d6 2.Bc4 e6 3.Qe2 a6 4.d4 b5 5.d5 bxc4 6.Qxc4 Nf6 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.Nc3 Rg8 10.g3 Bg7 11.dxe6 Bxe6 12.Qe2 Nc6 13.O-O-O Qe7 14.f3 O-O-O 15.Qxa6+ Kd7 16.Nb5 Nb8 17.Qa7 Rc8 18.Ne2 Bc4 19.Nxd6 Bxe2 20.Nxc8+ Kxc8 21.Rd4 Rd8 22.Re1 Bxf3 23.Rxd8+ Qxd8 24.Qd4 Qxd4 0-1

And the adventure continues.

Posted 23/Jan/2021 ~ 10:20 Central Time #RoscoeEllis #blog #SeniorLiving #chess

Friday night checkmate

Tonight I won this correspondence chess game with a Knight-pawn-Queen-Rook combination checkmate. My c6-Knight is the attacking piece. Black has nothing that can capture that Knight, and every possible flight square to which his King might try to escape is covered by that Knight, or by the pawns on the 4th rank, or by my White Queen, or by my a1-Rook. So... checkmate

The position of pieces at games end is pictured above, and our full move record is below:

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+ 3.Bd2 Bd6 4.Nc3 Qe7 5.Nf3 b6 6.g3 Bb7 7.Bg2 Nf6 8.O-O Na6 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.e4 O-O-O 12. e5 Qe7 13.exd6 cxd6 14.Re1 f5 15.Ne2 h5 16.h4 Rdf8 17.Nf4 Rh6 18.a3 d5 19.Ne5 dxc4 20.Bxb7+ Kxb7 21. fg6 Qf6 22.Nxd7 Qf7 23.Ngxf8 Nb8 24.Qf3+ Ka6 25.Nxb8+ Kb5 26.a4+ Kb4 27.Nc6# 1-0

And the adventure continues.

Posted 22/Jan/2021 ~ 19:15 Central Time #RoscoeEllis #blog #SeniorLiving #chess

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