Sunday, August 24, 2008

i lived on the Moon

I just completed chapter one of My System. Since I spend at least an hour studying and writing about each page, that's a big milestone for me. The blog where I write about it, Strategy of 'My System', has somehow become #2 on

Fellow bloggers have been instrumental in helping to guide and correct me, but chess improvement is still primarily a solitary, difficult pursuit.

I know my skills become stronger everyday...


And yet, what great lessons do I take from this game?

The restraining side is particularly vulnerable to an advance at the very moment he seeks to execute. And it's not enough to simply calculate whether the advancing pawn can be safely captured. We must look at what new lines are opened by both the advance and the capture, and what are the consequences of that.

It sounds trite. I have so much to learn.

[The photo is from i lived on the Moon, an incredible 5-minute short. I recommend downloading the high-resolution version and watching it.]


tanc(happyhippo) said...


I wonder what your opponent was thinking with Na4.... pretty much game over from that point onwards... :)

Nice developing play on your part although as you mentioned in your continuation that White is indeed slightly better there.


likesforests said...

It was 4am in my opponent's time zone but midday in mine, so maybe he was thinking "Zzzz... must sleep..."

If 14...O-O-O or 14...O-O I should have been fine. 14...c5 is thematic but imprecise and wrong here.

Anonymous said...

Na4 is a calculation mistake, probably thinking that he has the double attack and didn't calculate it any further.

Nice (short)game. Although the opponent was in big disadvantage by the time the game was played. 4 am is absolutely not a correct time to play a game of chess.

Chessaholic said...

Nice game! 17.Na4 looks like a typical counting mistake, the kind that Heisman talks about a lot...

Keep it up man, I've got my money on you reaching 2000 soon :)

likesforests said...

chesstiger, quite right.

chessaholic - One day. For now I make too many "little errors" to be Class A and lack the insight of an Expert. Maybe in 2010. :)

transformation said...

great stuff at you are obviously on your way again! so much talent you have, such breadth!

likesforests said...

Thanks dk. As they say, it's 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. :)

Anonymous said...

How is your tournament preparation coming? Thanks again for the advice about endgame study. I have been throwing VERY simple (should win) positions into Shredder and playing them out with Shredder on full strength. I am getting better at seeing them through to the win, with less and less complications.

Have a good one1

likesforests said...

tommyg, not as well as I hoped.

The "4 hours on Sunday" thing I never did. I decided I'm not going to waste any family time.

I've spent many hours on strategy, too much 'time online', but not enough on tactics, physical training, openings, playing, and endgames. That stops now.

I read half of "The King's Gambit" this weekend... fascinating stuff. Definitely an encouragement to take things seriously but not to spend too many hours on it.

Anonymous said...

Which King's Gambit"? Is that the book by Paul Hoffman? Is it pretty good? I have thought about reading it sometime.

It is probably a wise choice to make the 4 hours on Sunday be family time instead.

Have a good one!

Anonymous said...

ps. I have a pretty good feeling you are going rock at your next tournament despite your misgivings about your current training! :)

likesforests said...

Yeah, it's by Paul Hoffman, and it's a good read. He's 1900-level so he "gets" how hard it is to improve and what many of us put into this game. He's also had opportunities to meet and hang with a variety of masters and attend top tournaments. It's a mix of his story and their stories.

About my own playing, my tactics really have taken a plunge. I played two G/30's today and they were a comedy of errors. But in a few weeks they should be sharp again.