Saturday, December 31, 2005

My first serious Petroff attempt

Unfortunatly i did not get to continue PCT today :(
However, i did get to play some live games on Playchess where i regularly log in as a guest, to try out stuff in mostly blitz games. That way i can play a little less seriously since i don't have to worry about the effect it will have on my rating etc. etc. Ofcourse, there are also serious attempts inbetween.
Now, i have chosen to go with what is called an "opening approach". I have chosen to go with only one opening for white and only one for black. And play them for atleast a year, so i can focus on other areas of chess to study. It doesn't mean i don't play different openings alltogether, cause i do! I mean, with so much existing openings who wouldn't be tempted. It's just that it happens very little. Anyway, one of these other openings (for black in this case) i feel drawn to, is the Petroff's Defense a.k.a Petrov Defense a.k.a Russian Defense (or Defence). And here's my first serious attempt at it as a guest on Playchess.

  • (play through variations here)

  • Now, i have a tendency (don't we all) to classify my games as being good, awesome, outstanding, bad, awfull, disastrous etc. and i would like to classify this one as pretty good for a first serious attempt. I am aware (no offense intended) that my opponent wasn't very bright (judging the fact he/she let me take the Queen). But i do not classify my games by the strength of my opponent, i classify my games by the moves i choose.

    That's all for now. Untill next time :)

    Friday, December 30, 2005

    Review 2 finished

    I just finished the remaining 24 positions of my second time around review, and i am ready to continue where i left off. I forgot to use print screen to add an image of the result. But it doesn't look very much different from image of my first review :)
    Except that the overall time was a bit less.

    Thursday, December 29, 2005

    Review 2 (almost done)

    336 down. 24 to go. Didn't do any studying during Christmas. I got to celebrate it with some great food and a visit to the movie "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". Awesome movie :)

    Wednesday, December 28, 2005

    Grandmaster vs Amateur (a miniature)

    It has been a while since i have posted an actual game, but here's one :)
    It's a miniature game i played against Grandmaster Amir Bagheri from Iran (but living in France). It just so happened that he registered at one of the turn-based servers i am playing at. Ofcourse i did not want to pass up the oppurtunity :)
    Now, the reason for it having become a miniature is ofcourse the fact that it was a 10 minute game. But also because i gained a somewhat early advantage, and i desperatly wanted to hold on to it by exploring parts of my brain i haven't explored before, in order to find the best moves. Which resulted in taking forever to move :)
    Anyway, for those interested, here's the game.

  • (play through variations here)
  • Saturday, December 24, 2005

    Andrew Martin and The Basics of Winning Chess The Opening 1.b) Get castled

    Besides reviewing tactics from PCT the 2nd time around, i have also watched the 2nd part of the 1st chapter on the opening, of the Andrew Martin and The Basics of Winning Chess DVD. This time it was all about the importance of getting castled. The following game is used as an example. And once again it is a very clear example. So please, do watch. It is a game between Sergey Karjakin and Romero Holmes
    (click to replay) in which Romero Holmes chooses to experiment and holds of castling at a point when he should have (at move 10), and ends up losing the game as a result.

    If you want my advice, i would tell you to "get castled" :)

    Review 2

    200 down. 160 to go. I told ya'll i would be at it a lot more active the 2nd time around :)

    Friday, December 23, 2005

    Subject to change

    Once again, my way (of going about) is subject to change. But this time i think i've found it. For a while I was happy with the distribution of days between playing and training, as in; Play one day, train the next, play the following and train the next, and so forth. I should refer to my "How about practice" post. Now, the kind of play i'm refering to is live play. As in the kinda games most of you Knights play at FICS or ICC. Now, you have to understand that i am quite an active turn-based player as well. Contemplating quite a lot of moves about every single day. So i was thinking, since i'm getting my play in anyway (by playing turn-based), i might as well just put a hold on playing live as well, and focus more on my training. As in my previous plan. Which was to focus on tactics training for 5 days a week, for atleast an hour a day, and weekends off, and put my theory into practice while playing turn-based (i could refer to yet another post, but there are more previous posts about this particular subject, so feel free to take a look at my archived posts to make sense of all of this).

    However little (occupied by freeing up the HD by playing video games and watching movies), i still worked on the Personal Chess Trainer program. In review mode that is... Review mode holds all the positions you have allready done. In my case, it holds 360 positions i have done before, from the tactics modules. And i just finished them :)

    Now, you shouldn't pay any attention to the displayed time. Yes, alltogether that was the time it took to go over those 360 positions. But i've been spreading them over the period of more then 1 and a half months or so. Anyway, i'll be going through the review once again (MORE ACTIVE this time) to really get back in shape for it (it being PCT), and then i will continue where i left off.

    There will be some changes however, to how i am going to handle PCT. Changes that come forth after reading a post from Qaundoman's blog CAISSA'S CONFABULATIONS about studying tactics effectively, which i'm keeping as a note in my chess notebook (see sidebar) and considering PCT's settings.

    About Qaundoman's view on studying tactics, i find that the guy really does have a point. His idea (or view of it) just kept coming back to me, and made me think about it. It really got stuck in the back of my mind. And since PCT makes it very hard not to see a solution or a hint anyway, i have decided to go about PCT the Quandoman way.

    What do i mean by "since PCT makes it very hard not to see a solution or a hint"? Well, it has to do with how the program is developed. The program is developed in such a way that when you run out of time, it will show you the piece you should have moved. And i'm not talking about the solution here. I am only talking about a hint here. So, no matter what, it hands out an unasked-for hint. And the only way of not getting to see it, is to exit the program everytime you approach the timelimit. Maybe you're wondering why i make such a fuzz over seeing a hint. Well, the hint makes it easier to find the solution. That's why. But besides the program giving you unasked-for hints, it's standard settings (see images)

    will show you the solution even. Sure you can check the box that says "Don't present solution when time is over", but you'll be getting the hint anyway. And the hint (as i mentioned) is enough to make you see the solution as well lot's of times, so...

    Now, for quite some time i actually exited the program everytime i was nearing the time limit, and started it back up again. But it felt rather silly to go through that time and time again. So i figured, PCT will be a nice program to implement Quandoman's ideas for studying tactics. And that's what i'll do.

    You can look forward (or not) to seeing me back in action in a while :)
    I'll keep ya'll posted.

    Thursday, December 22, 2005

    Ok, that's it! I have had enough of this San Andreas crap!

    I don't know what made me keep at it for so long, but i have had it up to here with GTA SA! They had me doing this mission in which i had to steal 4 police bikes and park them on the back of a truck. Mission time: 10 freakin' minutes! Now, you have to understand that these bikes are parked miles away from eachother. But that's not all... Sometimes when you get to where a bike's at, a police officer gets on it, and rides away. Then you have to get the officer off the bike first, after which you are awarded with a wanted star (or maybe 2 or 3), after which you've got the entire freakin' police force on you're back, while you're trying to drive the bike safely on the back of a truck which is circling Las Venturas. But in order to do that you have to cross half of Las Venturas first! And avoid making accidents that throw you off the bike etc, etc. Now, i tried it like 8 or 9 freakin' times, and everytime i failed. I even got to a point where you want to put your fist inside the monitor out of pure frustration. I then said to myself, i am going to try this just one more time. If i fail again, i am getting rid of this game period. Guess what? I failed. The only thing i regretted after pressing ctrl+alt+delete was the waste of time. The waste of time of downloading it, and the waste of time of playing it. F*ck, f*ck, f*ck! Pardon my french :)

    Friday, December 16, 2005

    High rolling in Las Venturas and watching Lost

    In a follow-up of my "No more reports (for a while)" post, and to add meaning to my blog's description, i like to fill you in on what's occupying me at the moment which keeps me from active training. First of all i can tell you that i managed to set up the chessviewer i mentioned. Too bad though i cannot use it embedded as with the ICC viewer.
    Furthermore, i am trying to free up the HD of the computer i am working on, by trying to finish GTA San Andreas. Which is starting to seem like an impossible task. Not that i have a problem with big games, but this game is just too much. The possibility even exists that i'm getting it off the HD completely, and get rid of it. The point is, is that it is a downloaded copy of the original DVD's contents, which is played directly and is not installed. In order to play it that way, the required diskspace is over 4 gigabytes. If i get rid of it, i get rid of it permanently, thus making my downloading efforts a waste of time. Not wanting my efforts to be a waste of time, i want to finish the game. However, i will not rule out the possibility entirely of getting rid of it. It just isn't nowhere near the GTA Vice City. And that was too little :)
    Anyway, without provoking the army (which seems impossible in GTA SA) i managed to steal two tanks. A tank used to be a very beloved object of mine to obtain in Vice City for a number of reasons. In Vice City, i could (with a little skill) just provoke the army and steal a tank in the midst of the mayhem, needless to say that it is one of the first things i tried to do in GTA SA. The army in GTA SA however, isn't easy to provoke. And i never got a tank that way either. Instead they made me travel all the way to the desert of Las Venturas to go steal it from some military base. Feeling that with opening up Las Venturas the game is near completion, i dont even want the freakin' tank anymore.

    But here it is anyway :)

    And again :)

    And speaking of Las Venturas, i finally made it. I was really looking forward to getting there since i could do some high stakes gambling there. It isn't as cranked up as some make it out to be though. As far as i know you can only make use of one casino in all of Las Venturas, and that is the casino you get to co-own.

    A picture of me in front of my own casino. And if you're wondering what i am wearing, it's a gimp suit (in our country i would refer to it as a S&M outfit). And yes i am holding a purple dildo :) It does a pretty good job when you want to beat somebody up.
    As you can see, i made quite a bit of money over in Las Venturas. About 10 million dollars to be exact :)

    Here's another picture of my casino with my car in front :)
    It's kinda like a Range Rover with hydraulics :)

    A close up of my ride :)
    But i also have some other rides.

    This one for example. A Porsche like ride. Also on hydraulics :)

    And a bike :)
    Though there are nicer ones inside the game.

    Here's one of my houses in Las Venturas :)

    One of the fun Features of GTA SA, is that you get a camera at some point in the game, which you get to keep. That's how i got all these pictures. I'm acting like a freaking virtual tourist :)

    I couldn't resist taking this shot :)
    The bottom part of a Las venturas babe :)

    She started mouthing off after i made the previous shot, so i had to do her :)

    And what would Las Venturas be without an Elvis lookalike :) Or is it the real one living inside of a game?
    Ok, ok... Enough with the pictures... I'm tired of Las Venturas myself actually :)Or should i make that tired of the entire game? Ok, so much for my videogame hobby.

    Another hobby of mine is collecting and watching movies, and occasionally a good series (a series which i like to think is good). Now, i am not the type to fall for a series just because it is considered popular. There are only a few which i really liked (and would want to have) up untill now. Namely; Miami Vice, Oz, Sopranos and the most recent "Lost". In our country, the 1st season just finished. And i don't have a clue if and when they'll be showing season 2. Luckely, episodes 1 to 9 of season 2 are available for download. But because there's only little space left on the HD of this computer, i cannot download them all at once. I have downloaded 7 episodes and watched 6 of them. I am going to watch the 7th right after this post. I just can't get enough of watching it. Not that i've tried it, but i bet i can watch a whole season at once without getting tired of watching. I guess it's just the bizarity (if that is an correct english word) of the show that attracts me. But the acting performances are really good too.

    Man, was that a long post. Or is it just the pictures that make it look long :) Anyway, i had to fill ya'll in.

    Going to watch Lost now :)

    Monday, December 12, 2005

    Wu are you?

    Always wanted to find out what your Wu name is? Probably not. But for those who do want to know check here.

    My Wu name is 'Tha Eurythmic King of Nowhere'.

    Whatever that might be :)

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    Rapid Chess Improvement, Less Rapid Chess Improvement, And Then There Was Chess?

    Yes! You have to understand that i am suffering from an OCD. One characteristic of an OCD, is that it's sometimes (actually lots of times) hard for me to find peace in the thing's i do. Like for instance creating this blog. I couldn't find peace in it's colour. I couldn't find peace in it's layout and i couldn't find peace in it's title :)
    Anyway, i think or i feel that the "And Then There Was Chess" title really suits me the most. Because it describes exactly how chess happened to me. For about 30 years there was none. And then all of a sudden this friend of mine shows it to me, telling me what a great game it is, and BADABING! There it was...