Saturday, April 19, 2008

Do You Know Where You're Going To?

There used to be an old military joke:

Q: What's the most dangerous situation you can face?
A: An officer with a map.

The modern civilian equivalent:

Q: What's the most dangerous thing on the road?
A: A lorry with a sat-nav.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Do You Feel Like We Do?

I'm feeling vibrant today. This is a good thing. We should all feel vibrant and we should be vibrant in what we do. I hope you are all vibrant and that the things around you and the places you go are vibrant.

I hope that you know when you are vibrant and when the things around you are not vibrant and that you can be vibrant despite not everything being vibrant and that you can help everything to be vibrant because then everything will be all right.

And when you know that you are vibrant please find out what it means to be vibrant and why that is not just the same as thrilling (which is the poor old dictionary's best attempt, unless you want to feel resonant or vibrating, which I think are completely different things) and then be sure that you want to be thrilled all the time and not be old and tired once in a while.

And then come and tell me - but when trying to tell me what vibrant means you are not allowed to use words that don't mean anything or mean all different things to all different people.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It's All In the Game

Time to catch up on three more results before the final game of the season on Tuesday.

Blundering a pawn on move 11 is not the best thing to do. However I get a surprising amount of counterplay and the basis of an attack. The Draw Specialist does what he does best. Has to be said that the opponent was a bit cautious.

Winning a pawn is much better. What was supposed, after 1. c4, to be a quiet strategic game turns into into a wild tactical melee in the centre of the board with his knights dodging all over the central files and me giving myself a backward e-pawn in a desperate attempt to avoid a crushing attack down the e- and f-files. Well in the end it looks to me like I can take his weak central pawn and if he can see better through it than I can he deserves to win. But he can't. So a pawn up in the centre of the board - force the queens and knights off (OK not quite forced but awkward to avoid) to a rook ending. But all rook endings are drawn? Not this one. Carefully advance the backward pawn till it is the front one, swop off to make it passed, the rooks come off and the king is far enough forward so that the opposition makes the win. Job done. Pity that we still lost the match 2.5 to 3.5.

And then one that really is a positional game. Good for the Chigorin Defence to the Queen's Gambit. The key move, the winning move is 5 ... B x f3 - because he gets a doubled pawn. So that when we get to a same-bishop endgame my 3v2 on the Q-side is mobile and his 4v3 on the kingside is crippled - not helped by the fact that all through I have slightly had a lead in development which turns into initiative which turns into a king slightly further up the board. Finally with the threats available (good old Nimzovitch, a threat is stronger than its execution) 3v2 becomes 1v0 and 4v3 gets completely stopped on the same colour the bishops are on. And one drops off and even though the bishop looks trapped, there's a safe maneouvre to get it out and the when the bishops are forced off the king has to take the outside passed pawn which leaves me enough time to take all his. Always put your pawns on the opposite colour square to your bishop. My word, two wins in a row. +4 in division 2 and +2 in division 4.