Wednesday, January 31, 2007

As the second full month comes to a close...

...we have had nearly 1100 hits to this blog. I would like to thank everyone who comes by to read and/or comment here.

I encourage you to add to the discussion here. I have the perspective of a Class C/D player who enjoys writing about my own games and observing other games. It would be interesting to hear from others, whether they are just beginning with their chess development, or from those who are seasoned experts, masters, or beyond in the Minnesota chess community. Feel free to discuss particular games, events, books, etc. that you have found to add to your enjoyment and understanding of the game.

Drop me a line at joe [dot] coffeefreak [at] gmail [dot] com to be added as an author to this blog.



Monday, January 29, 2007

John Bartholomew has a blog

John Bartholomew, who used to play at the Chess Castle, is now an IM going to the University of Texas at Dallas. His new blog is listed in the links section and here.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thursday Knighter I: Femi wins!

Because of conflicting schedules between Melissa and me, I have to take off the third Thursday of every month when I'm participating in a Thursday Knighter. I miss out on an opportunity to play, but it is usually exciting to come in to find out any surprise results.

Well, this month was no exception. Last week, Femi (White) played Steve (Black) in a Sicilian. Steve, our resident Expert, described that Femi had a strong advantage by move 12. Femi went on to win the game.

Dave, who I lost to in round one, played Femi to determine this month's winner. Their game got finished before my game against Norm, and Femi won with a score of 3.5 out of 4. Congratulations, Femi!

My game with Norm was interesting. To me, this was one of those games that demonstrated that winning a won game is difficult. We started out fairly evenly in a Closed Ruy Lopez. On move 16, however, I retreated my Knight without protecting a Pawn adequately, and I lost my Pawn. I repeated my error at move 33. In fact, I was three Pawns behind by move 36. However, as we were running lower on time (Norm had less than 8 minutes by move 44), I presented him with a series of difficulties with my Knight and Rook. I'm sure there were simplifications in the position, but they were not found during the game. I offered a draw at move 46 or 47, but Norm played on. He made his last seven moves with 11 seconds left, and during the intense time pressure, hung the Queen with four seconds left.

Thank you, Mr. Bill!

Mr. Bill has been regularly updating the Chess Castle site. Today he listed a number of upcoming weekend events!

Thanks again, Mr. Bill!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Looking for writer's for Monday night Action Quads...

I would like to extend an opportunity for those who play in the Monday night Action Quads to take a stab at writing about them. I haven't played in one yet myself, however I am interested in playing at least one next month.

Pretend I am new to the club but really enjoy chess. How would you sell this event to me?

Send me an email to the address on my profile, and I'll add you as a writer.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Thursday Knighter I

I checked the crosstables last night before the match, and there was just one surprise from round one. Four of the five higher rated players won their game, but Vince Wisniewski (1553) beat Will Dobbs (1703). Vince and I have sparred, but it seems like it has been awhile. We had many interesting games over the last couple of years.

We have two new members to the club, Roger, who I played last night, and Femi, who played Will last night. After I finished my game, I found them analyzing their game, a win for Femi.

Note for tomorrow: There is a Speed Demons event.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Action Quads and Thursday Knighter

On Monday, Ed Conway ran the first Action Quad of the year. There are three games, each of which is 30 minutes. Please come out if you are interested in playing chess on Mondays. This is a regular event.

Tonight is round two of the Thursday Knighter. People can join tonight with a half-point bye for round one. We have eleven people in the tournament currently. Our strongest player is Steve Turmo, an expert.

If anyone is interested in writing up reports for these events, please let me know.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Day One, Thursday, January 4

This last Thursday was our first day in our new location. The Chess Castle is now in the basement of the Twin City Bridge Center.

I walked in the back door and saw a full room of people playing bridge. I don't know much about the game, but the people looked like they were having fun. I went downstairs where I saw Kevin and the owner of the club, Teri. The space that we are sharing with Scrabble Club 42 is spacious and inviting. Basements don't usually have that feeling, but there was a good vibe that night.

People slowly gathered before the 7:30 start of round one. Many regulars were here. Besides myself and Norm (the tournament director), in came Steve, Dave, Mike, Dennis, Vince, and a few others pictured below in the preceding posts. All told we had ten people for the first round, with an eleventh person joining for the remaining rounds.

As more people walked in, the more excited I felt. I was not sure how many would show up this first day, but eleven is a great number for a Thursday night. (My excitement didn't helped me at the board in my game against Dave. I made a very amateurish mistake about a dozen moves in which kept my dark-squared Bishop trapped behind enemy pawns for most of the game. I felt bad about playing lousy, but I didn't lose any sleep over it either.)

I want to thank everyone who came to help make this first round a good one.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Two more pictures

Pictures from last night...opening night at the new location

Thanks again, Sean, for sending these pictures!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Thursday Knighter I

The Thursday Knighter has been capably run by TD Norm Myrin for many years, and this event allows those players who appreciate the time to look at the subtleties and nuances of a position to fully appreciate a game. The format is all moves in two hours. The event runs from the first through the last Thursday of every month.

Tonight is the first round of the January event. I will be attending, and I hope many of you join as well. Good luck!