Thursday, August 27, 2009

66 Days Later...

A few of you probably wonder, "What ever became of likesforests?"
  • I have not studied any chess.

  • My baby's doing well.

  • I lost 45 lbs, but injured my knee.

  • I scored an apprenticeship in a new career.

  • I have an au pair arriving next month to look after my children.

The past few months have been hectic, exciting, and life-changing. But this is a chess blog, and I suppose this is enough non-chess for now. May Caissa shine on thee!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

likesforests is back.

Howdy, folks! My son's born and I'm ready to study chess again.

I reckon some rust has settled onto my game, but it's nothing that a little tactical study can't shake off. I plan to stop by everyone's blog in the next couple days to see what's up. I hope all the knights have been making great progress, that dktransform's in good spirits, and that my old A-Team & more will be at the World Open again this year. Have a good one!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I suppose I've been remiss in keeping this blog up-to-date.
  • In about two months, my son will be born.
  • Today is my birthday.
What of chess? I've been studying Mastering Chess Openings to improve my opening and early middlegame, and playing 5s increment blitz. I plan to take a break from coaching, being coached, and even tournaments. But I am not taking a break from chess.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fremont 30/90, G/60 results

I performed 1557, won 3 out of 4 games, and only lost to the tournament winner in the final round... a Russian whose last game in the US was in 2002.

And I'm completely miserable about losing.

The games:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

a Nap before the Big One

On Saturday I enter my slowest tournament yet... 30/90, G/60... four 5-hour games against class C opponents. I don't expect hanging pieces.

Since my last tourney I've played over 100 blitz games and studied the troublesome positions with an International Master. This week I'm resting up, hitting the deep tactics, and reading Heisman's time management articles. All signs point to conquest.

Except, deep down, I know my understanding of positional chess is infantile and I require my opponents to make a tactical error to succeed. See the games below. At least one of my opponents will play tactically sound chess. And he's going to be a struggle.

Likesforests Unleashed


Likesforests Collared


PS - Samurai is alive, and on his way back! Fellow knights, rejoice. :)

Sunday, March 08, 2009


In my January tournament, two games entered the Old Indian, which I was unprepared for. In my February tournament, similarly two games entered the Stonewall.

        And then there was a Winawer.

According to my Moskalenko, ...Bf8 followed by ...Bb7 was a surprising pet line of Petrosian. My opponent looked surprised. He broke the tournament silence to say so!

I hate this position. I have less space. I have less development. The locked center may give me time to catch up, but why had I prepared a position I dislike?

        I need more experience. I've turned to blitz.

I mentioned I was coaching a USCF 700 student. I decided to teach them the Colle system, and surprisingly, this has re-invigorated my Semi-Slav!


Monday, February 23, 2009

The Tortoise and the ...

Artwork by illustrator Stephanie Smith.

I played in another Open event this weekend and scored a USCF 1500 performance rating. That's solid, but nothing spectacular.

The following game was typical of my battles. I made no simple tactical mistakes, but I consistently used more clock time and my position always seemed to be slightly worse than my opponent's. In two of these battles my opponents found exceptional tactical shots to finish me off. In one game I returned the favor. The last game was a draw.


Below is the critical position from another game, likesforests-careyfan:

(a) What move gives White an advantage?
(b) White actually played 21.Na4. What move wins for Black?