Friday, January 31, 2014

It felt good to be in the zone on chesstempo

The last time I got 20 in a row correct was November 11, 2013.  I finally did it again on January 31 - in that streak I had jumped 10 points over problems (2 1800 problems and 1 1700 problem) - that's a very rare event for me.

Bishop to King 7, Checkmate

Here's a little something to get your weekend started:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rook Attacks Peace Dove

My chosen on-line handle is RockyRook.

The 'Rocky' comes from two parts:
1 - I grew up near the Rocky Mountains and often went camping in various sub-ranges of the Rockies in the Wallowa, Nez Perce and Payette national forests.
2 - my favorite movie is Rocky

The 'Rook' comes from two parts as well:
1 - obviously, the rook in chess
2 - I love the rook bird, also known as a crow or raven - it's just cool!  Although, rooks, ravens and crows are technically different, people often interchange the names for the birds.

Today, I was reading the news and was fascinated to see this story: Birds Attack Peace Doves Freed from Pope's Window.  A seagull and a rook attacked the two doves that were freed from the window.  Below are some pictures that were taken of the event.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Chess in Movies

This is really cool - some person has found many, many instances of chess games being played in movies and TV shows.  They have re-created the position/game and then noted the context as well as the inaccuracies of the position/game.

Chess in the Movies
Chess in the Movies Part 2

post script: this is my 500th post on this blog!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Deadly Chess Part 2

I imagine it's been all around the chess world, but I still want to document it here.  Over the last few years (going back to November 2008), I've been documenting chess violence.  Today, I read on a story coming out of Ireland about a murder after a game of chess went awry.  The murder was quite gruesome - the murderer tried to eat the victim's heart!

Man Stabbed to Death 'Over Chess Dispute'
Dublin researcher, 39, 'stabbed to death following row over a late-night chess match'
Man 'stabbed to death over game of chess' in Ireland
Chess player stabbed to death 'after late night row with opponent over move spiralled out of control'
Man fatally beaten and stabbed in chess match row
Man held in Dublin over 'ritualistic chess killing'

Friday, January 03, 2014

2014 Chess Goals / Book List

1. solve 20 tactics a day at ChessTempo (blitz mode); 7600 problems for the year.
2. play at least 52 games a year (; guess the move at chesstempo)
3. read all the un-read chess books I own and try to learn something from them.

Here's the list of books which I own, but have not read (or completed reading)
- Reassess Your Chess (3rd & 4th editions - Silman)
- The Amateur's Mind (Silman)
- Chess: the Art of Logical Thinking (McDonald)
- Improve Your Opening Play (Ward)
- Manual of Chess (Lasker)
- GM Secrets: Endings (Soltis)
- GM Secrets: Openings (Soltis)
- The Immortal Game (Shenk)

Just as a reference, here's a list of books I own and have read

Thursday, January 02, 2014

2013 ChessTempo Stats

With regards to tactics and ChessTempo, my 2013 goal was to do 20 problems (blitz mode) per day.  At 365 days in a year, that works out to 7300 problems.  I did 7560 problems.  Granted I was scrambling to get a few more in on January 1st and 2nd, but it wasn't a marathon session.

Compared to 2012, my overall accuracy improved.  My average monthly accuracy average in 2012 was 77.55%; while my 2013 average monthly accuracy was 81.89%.  The highlight of the year in the accuracy category was hitting 85.00% correct in October (578 correct out of  680 attempted).  My overall accuracy percentage began 2013 at 72.15% and I finished the year with 74.43%

As far as ratings go - it's always up and down.  I try to look at the trends; and the trends say my rating is steadily declining.  For example, in 2012, I hit a max rating of 1752.6 and my highest monthly median rating was 1721.9.  In 2013, the highest I could hit was around 1748, while the best monthly median was only 1710.  2013 also saw me hitting a new low in blitz rating at 1633 (1637 was the lowest I hit in 2012).  In December, my max was only 1699 with the median at 1679.

So, in summary, it looks like I'm taking a bit more time (improvement in accuracy), at the expense of my rating.

For 2014 - my goal is to attempt 7600 problems; keep improving my accuracy, but also see if I can stem the decline in ratings.