Monday, August 31, 2009

Finally finished the book

I finally finished off the reading of that book, "How to Beat Bobby Fischer" just a day or two ago. It took me nearly three months to finish reading that book without skipping any of the analysis! Little bit more on the book soon to follow.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

How To Beat Bobby Fischer

I am slowly working my way through the Edmar Mednis book called How To Beat Bobby Fischer. I estimate that I started on this book approximately 2 1/2 months ago. Trying to really absorb the games and the analysis given, hence the slow progress. I am currently on game 37 on page 152. Fischer vs. Petrosian,May 23, 1962 round 13. Move 6 for black says 6...BxB. Unless I have gotten those moves wrong somehow, I see no BxB possible on the chessboard. I think that is the first serious typo in the book and have already passed the middle point of the book. And if I continue by assuming that black exchanges the bishop for the knight on c3, I think everything will coincide correctly. Not a huge error in the book. And so far the games have been very entertaining. I will post more, including a picture of the front cover later on as I go through more of the book. Here is the FEN for this position: rnbqk2r/ppp2pp1/4pn1p/3pP3/1b1P4/2N5/PPPB1PPP/R2QKBNR b KQkq - 0 6

Ok. Later on in the same game I found this position with black to move.

And Mednis has given 8.Qg4 instead of Fischers 8.Qa5? . Next, Mednis suggests that black must play 8...Kf8 here. What would be wrong about just plain ole 8... 0-0? I don't understand that annotation. Anyone have any ideas? Did I miss something? Once again, here is the FEN for that board setup: rnbqk2r/ppp2pp1/4p2p/3pP3/3Pn1Q1/2B5/PPP2PPP/R3KBNR b KQkq - 0 8

Friday, July 31, 2009

Started reading another chess book and remembered a tournament from the past.

I recently started reading another chess book. The name of it is Kings Gambit by Paul Hoffman.
In chapter one, The Insanity Defense, the author and his father go to meet Rossolimo. He was a prominent GM from the past. When Rossolimo played a game of chess with the young author he managed to lose and kicked him and his father out of his home. While Paul went on to discuss the subject of chess players of all levels throwing fits and tantrums when having lost a game, this reminded me of my own little story on that subject.
There was this tournament called The Cheap Shot Open that I decided to attend with a few buddies. I didn't expect to go to this tournament and play against any of my friends. But it happened. So here I am facing my friend at a tournament game and along comes this character we dubbed "Butt-Cheeks". He would come to tournaments and watch the games, but I don't remember if he played at all. In any case he was watching our game and leaning in to see the score and the position on the board. And invariably every time he did so half of his hind quarters would hang out and add to the dank stank of the tournament hall! EWWWWWWWW! I managed to go on to lose the game to my friend. A few rounds later, perhaps an hour or so into the game, there is the loud interruption of a fist banging on a table directly in the center of the playing hall.
I look up to see that everyone has stopped playing their games to see what all this din is about. I turned in the direction of their gaze, to see that there is Butt-Cheeks, in all his glory, leaning over my friends game as he begins to scream out loud at the top of his lungs,"Fuck! Fuck fuck!!! Fuck fuck fuck fuck!!!!!!!!" My friend then proceeded to get up and storm out of the room slamming doors and still bellowing at the top of his lungs, "Fuck!!!!" Hahahahah!!!!! I could NOT believe that my friend, a big hoidy toidy college grad, with such a prestigious education and refinement, would act like this! That was just incredible that he would act like this. It took him several weeks before he would even discuss it with me. Turns out he had given his queen away for free.
That was enough to convince ME that most anyone would be susceptible to this kind of behavior in chess if they don't learn to control that kind of thing. I am not sure where I read or heard this, but I think that Bobby Fischer and Pal Benko even got into fisticuffs over something at a tournament. Anyone know anything about that? Please post a comment and lemme know.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Game Of Kings

I just finished another book about chess. The book was called Game Of Kings by Michael Weinreb.
Was interesting to see the writings about people like Jennifer Shahade, Elizabeth Vicary, Bruce Pandolfini, and Josh Waitzkin. At one point the author quoted Bruce as saying that if Bobby Fischer had stayed around after winning the World Championship match with Spassky that American chess would be completely different. Also that possibly every American would know how to play chess. Do you think that the American people would have supported Bobby more if he had stuck around to play more? Would the American Government have STARTED to support him if he would have stuck around? I am not sure about that, myself. That was also an interesting subject of Waitzkin and his experience of extreme sadness while playing at the highest levels of chess competition. Is there something to be learned from that? Of course. We all need to realize that there is other things besides chess.

It was fun to follow Sal and Alex and the whole team through their trials and tribulations of the team tournaments and all the travel. They sure had alot of fun playing poker and cards. Hehehe.
One of them managed to learn to play chess well but never managed to do their school work, which is a shame. Overall I thought the book was a decent read.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Recently finished reading this book

I recently finished reading the book The Chess Artist by J.C. Hallman. It was very interesting because he and Glen took a trip to the "Chess City" in Kalmykia, Russia. While they were on this trip they met a whole host of interesting characters and played chess with many of them. All this took place while the mystery of a murdered journalist hung over the whole setting.They also met Kirsan Ilyumsinov while there. He is an avid player and politician.
This is only some of the things that happen in that book. This book makes for alright reading if you are looking for something to read about chess which isn't crosstables and move patterns. Anyone else read this book? If so, let me know what you think of it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What is a Barbican?

"What is a barbican?", you may ask. At some point in the history of castle making, it was decided to add an entry area that was on the outside of the castle for more security. That little area, or not so little in some cases, was called a barbican. Some time in the 14th or 15th century these protrusions from castles became obsolete due to improvements in castle warfare. I have named my blog using that word for several reasons. The most prominent being that most of what I say or think of chess can probably be obsoleted fairly easily! Lol.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

First Post For Botchviniks Barbican

Yeay! My first post on this blog! This blog is intended to be about all things chess, in my own version and ramblings, of course. Below is a position from a game recently played on FICS. Black to move.

To see the whole game click on the viewer below.

(show chess board)(hide chess board)

Did black play this correctly? Looks pretty strong.