31 December 2010

Nothing changes on New Year's Day

It's that time of the year to reflect and look ahead.

First of all, I have a good-looking chess problem for you. It was given to me a few weeks ago, and despite moving around the pieces about daily... I still have yet to find the grand idea that cracks this tough nut. The failing tries all seem to fit... well they almost fit. There's only one real solution: see if you can find it.
Helpmate: black moves first and both sides make legal moves. White's last move mates the black king. Black & white cooperate so that the h1 bishop can deliver mate. Good luck!

Composed by: Milomir Babic, Schach-Aktiv 1997.

While we're at the subject, go check out a few problem related BLOGS too. Definitely worth a click:

Anticircé (by much-lauded heterodox composer Guy Sobrecases)
B3rn04ll1's experiences (by strong composer with pseudonym Bernoulli)
Joaquim (mainly moremovers by J. Crusats)

OK, now that's done - I received instant feedback: don`t post this problemist crap - I have some more chess-related things to blabber about.

FICS: Bughouse/Lightning/Blitz. Nifty site. I've been trying to break 2000 in the bughouse section. I think I'll be done with it after that. The lightning, blitz and standard arenas aren't so interesting. Maybe I'll try another variant next (like Atomic) and see how far I can come.

Playchess: Bullet/Blitz/Unrated. Definitely will have to start playing more rated stuff. It's good to play unrated matches as well as I am sparring many times with the coolest playing partner one can hope for (see the workshops in the previous blog entry). I guess my goal is to play more rated blitz and at least return to my peak rating level. I think it should be possible; after all I'm handier now than I was then.

Club competitions internal & external/FIDE tournaments: in the internal club competition I should at least frequent a few of the rapid & quickplay evenings. I'm not so interested in the normal long rated games. The team competition of course is the most important chess-related activity there is for me, so it goes without saying I'll keep doing that. I "should" start appearing in open tournaments as well, to gather more experience & real rating points. But it's hard for me to pick a random tournament and go there... where am I going to spend the nights?

Internet Correspondence Chess: not going to happen. Simply no motivation. Maybe next year.

Books: openings/endgames. I have the MCO and NCO for crafty opening advice, and among other endgame books I have the manual by Mark Dvoretsky. Why am I out-of-book by move three and then hopelessly lost by move eight? Why do my endgame assessments make me cry three moves later? ...why am I not reading these books? Answer: combination of indifference and laziness. So I guess I'll need to find Dvoretsky's book again (it's lost in some bookcase) and get my chessbrains to work.

Tactical training online: CTS/CT. Both have been on the backburner lately. Why am I not doing them? They should help me in my quest not to give away pieces for free. I'll restart activity on both (promise). I'll even make a blog about it.

Problem chess: the most wonderful form of chess. I haven't been composing much lately, mainly caused by a lack of inspired, bright ideas. This goes hand in hand with my solving activities, which are going with more difficulty too. Still, it's an environment full of wonderful ideas, so I'll continue my flirt affair with it.

Internet chessforum trolling: I'm not sure if and how I will continue. Probably not. Try again in 2012.

BLOGGING. Of course I will keep producing this random nonsense stuff. :-D

May the New Year bring you Happiness, Health and Heaps of newfound rating points.