What is this blog about? Well, I will write just about anything on the subject of chess improvement in general and on tactics theory in particular. Since I already posted in a number of popular blogs about the Andrews-Ivanov controversial encounter from the US Qualifier Open in Tulsa, I will save potential readers from overkill by refraining from commenting on it further except this notice. My perspective carries some ounce of weight on the matter because I was an eyewitness to the episode. I was the guy who went and fetched the TD when Todd’s forceful objections to Ivanov’s apparent disregard of the scorekeeping rule began to annoy the other top players.
Only a handful of chess authors truly understand the best method of mastering tactics. Most authors believe, as evidenced by the books and software available in the market, that puzzle exercises and solving them are the best approach to learning tactics. They could never be so wrong. The best way to learn tactics for most people is to actually learn them by seeing the transition point in its entirety from the opening phase to the beginning point of the puzzle.
Undeserved thrill is how I would characterize my sentiments towards this follow up to the inaugural issue of my column. If you are new to this column, please consider reading the first installment to facilitate a proper introduction to what is to follow. The first one lays out plainly the underlying philosophy that this column is about.
Twelve players will compete in the annual All-Army Chess Championship at Fort Myer in Arlington, VA starting tomorrow, May 11th. The top six placers will form this year’s Army Chess Team to play in the Inter-Service Chess Championship next month. This year’s batch is somewhat weaker based on ratings compared to the bygone years, but the over the board struggle will not be a cake walk as some of these higher rated players will quickly find out. Many of these players are underrated because of the obvious dearth of over the board tournament opportunities, a peculiarity familiar only to military chess players.
Two exciting games are still being fought out on the board, Macaspac-West and Duke-Pitts this very minute. These two games could end as upsets. The other games finished fairly early.
First Round Results are:
Corona – Baniel (0-1)
Fissel – Donovan (0-1)
Floto – Drake (0-1)
King – Shepherd (1-0)
Round 2 games are underway. The last two games finished with Pitts and Macaspac turning the tables against their respective lower-rated opponents. This is where experience comes in. Both players know that most lower-rated players will eventually make a blunder or choose an inferior move towards the end as long as counter play is kept alive.
West – Corona (0-1), Black won on time in a somewhat even position with Black having the better chances. White failed to execute his 40th move before time control.
Baniel – Fissel (1/2-1/2), Black at a critical point of the game chose an unnecessary move of getting his king (35….Kh8) off a possible check over a more forcing line in 35…Ng4.
Donovan – Duke (1-0), White fought hard but ended short.
Pitts – Floto (1-0)
Drake – King (1/2-1/2), the game was fiercely fought but the game indeed in a draw.
Shepherd – Macaspac (0-1)
Round 3 Pairings, 12 May 2008
Shepherd – West
Macaspac – Drake
King – Pitts
Floto – Donovan
Duke – Baniel
Fissel - Corona
Round 3 is underway. It took us (mostly Ron Braud) only two rounds to figure out a way to start the round on time. We try to do things on time that being the Army way. You can watch the ongoing action live here in Monroi. Today, we started exactly at 0800 hours.