Rook Win

I was recently playing with chess.com’s tactics trainer, when an interesting problem came up. Can you figure out blacks response?

At first the game looks like a draw. Two rooks vs two kings. How could anyone make headway? Click the arrows the see the final result.

Missed Tactic

Recently while playing online I missed an amazing opportunity to win a serious amount of material. I ended up winning the game anyway but only in a tough endgame. See if you can figure it out below. Click the arrows to reveal the answer. It’s white to move and in the actual game I played 11. Bxc6 which is not the correct answer.

So why did I miss this tactic? I think there are a couple reasons.

The first reason is that I was afraid that my bishop had no where to go and if black takes the bishop I’d end up with my pawns doubled and my center weakened. So in a sense, I had blinders thinking that no matter what I have to move the bishop. Lesson: even when things seem forced, look as hard as you can for other candidate moves.

The second reason I did not see this move is that this is really a strange move in general.

Finally, and I think the main reason is that I missed the fact that the knight and the bishop were defended by only one piece each. In the case of the knight it’s the pawn on b7. In the case of the bishop it’s the queen on D8. The other important think to take note of is that the queen can’t defend both at the same time. The capture of one, pulls the queen away from the capture of the other. I suppose this problem really boils down to a classic overloaded defender (in this case the queen). What’s interesting, however is that the queen isn’t directly defending the second piece. It happens to be the only piece which HAS to defend the pawn, and in doing so drops the defense of the bishop. In this case the bishop acts as a decoy.

Eh well. Hope you enjoyed the problem.

Chess.com Hate

I am an avid chess player. I even take lessons from a coach. Yeah, that’s about the epitome of geek. As a major fan I’m on Chess.com playing a few times a day. It’s a great website and I’m getting quite good.

But there’s one place where Chess.com falls appart – it’s mobile app. One of the most frusterating things that happens is that you will make a move and it doesn’t record that it happened, and never tells you opponent that a move was made. So while it looks as if your opponent’s time is ticking away (when you run out of time you automatically lose) it’s actually your time that’s ticking away and there’s no way to fix it.

I lost a game like this today (I’m KamakaziX, with the black pieces):

I played 17… Rf8 (which chess.com never registered as my move) and the f2 pawn won’t be able to hold on. This should have been an easy win from here on out. (By the way I made tons of mistakes in this game but it is what it is).

 

Ah well. More chess to come soon.

Resolve

Isn’t it funny how you think that you have so much to write, and contribute to the world, and therefore you need a place to call your own. You need a blog.

So you set up a CMS, spend days getting the front just right, designing a logo, messing with color schemes and saying to yourself, “This is it. People will flock to my site to hear my opinions and the things I’ve created.” Finally you sit down to write and BAM! You get slapped in the face with writers block.

“What the hell did I want to put up here again?”, you ask yourself. Suddenly everything you wanted to write seems silly.

You had the idea to start drawing or something artistic and put those things on your blog but then you think, “I’m no artist.”

Maybe you wanted to dispel the stupid things your friends on Facebook believe by making your own counter arguments to their ridiculous ones but then you think “Ah, it wasn’t that big of a deal, I don’t want to piss anyone off.”

What if your opinion is unpopular even if well founded? What will the people at work that see your blog think? What if the interviewer for that job you really want sees your webpage (you gave it to them didn’t you?) And disagrees with something you believe and you don’t get the offer?

Internal doubts. These things hold us all back. This is a step of mine to combat them. So hold on, here goes.

Obligatory First Post

I suppose I should tell you why this website exists…

I need a place to store my thoughts and projects. That’s pretty much it.

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!