Sunday, August 27, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Queen = 9 points
Rook = 5 points (The value of a rook increases when the endame begins.)
Knight = 3 points (The knight is considered more valuable than a bishop in a closed game.)
Biship = 3 points (The bishop is considered more valuable in an open game and when you have the pair.)
Pawn = 1 point (Pawns are more valuable when they become a duo or two in a row. They also gain value in the endgame when their chances of promotion become greater.)
Edgard Colle was remarkably resiliant. He was plagued with illness for his entire life. Perhaps that was his motivation for becoming a grand master. He played in over fifty tournements in just ten years. He died in 1932 at the age of 35. If their were ever superheroes in the chess world, he would be one.
Heres the thing about the Colle system. It is a marriage between three solid concepts: Controlling the center, defending the king and launching an attack against the oppositions castled king. Their is a lot of objection to this system. Its not terribly aggressive, its relatively predictable and everyone knows its strengths and weaknesses. I love it as a fall back position...something to transpose into when my original plan falls through. Its also a great teaching tool for beginners. Everyone should learn this "business mans opening." The following is Colles favorite game and a good example of his system.
1. d4 Nf6
2. Nf3 e6
3. e3 b6
4. Bd3 Bb7
5. Nbd2 c5
6. O-O Be7
7. b3 cxd4
8. exd4 d6
10. c4 O-O
11. Rc1 Re8
12. Re1 Qc7
13. Qe2 Rac8
14. Nf1 Qb8
15. Ng3 Qc8
16. Ng5! g6?
17. Nxf7 KxN
18. Qxe6 Kg7
19. d5 Nc5
20. Nf5+ Kf8
As far as the Queens Bishop goes I do not see it as a problem. I know it is the most commonly known "fault" of the system but their are many ways around it strategically and psychologically. One of the ways to deal with it is that it will often work itself out naturally after the push of the Kings Pawn or e3-e4. Giving you the c1-h6 diaginal which is good to pin the knight or launch an attack. Both of which I enjoy. Another way is to drop the bishop on a3. Im sure this is not the most acceptable move tactically. But it has very powerful psychological effects. I call it the "Sniper" for good reasons:
It may prevent black from castling by harrasing g8.
It may prevent black from castling by exchanging bishops after ...e3 or...e4 is played to break whites pawn structure. Also giving you the bonus of exchanging your "Problem Bishop."
For some unexplained reason people often forget it is thier. This is not scientific. We are delving into the art of chess. I have sniped countless rooks from experienced players in the late middle game because they didnt see him hiding in the bushes. Patience is the key.
For more on the Colle check out my review of a solid book on the Colle Zukertort: http://knightskewer.blogspot.com/2009/04/colle-zukertort-revolutionized.html
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I've been playing off and on with Pogo since 2002. It offers a lot for a beginning player but as you progress good competition gets harder and harder to find. It has its share of immature players and kids who are flaming other players and sometimes using programs raise to their rating. Also, if a player leaves the game prematurely it can cost your rating. If his rating is higher than yours and you press end game immediately you will take the loss. Which is pretty lame, but its not as bad as yahoo and in my opinion yahoo chess has gone completely out of control.
Pogo uses standard chess rules and is similar to most programs you'll find on the web. It has some graphics and sounds when capturing and checking that can be disabled if it annoys you as much as it does me. the rating system is relatively accurate. It will rate you about 100 points higher than a chess organization and can be manipulated but over all it plays out well. You can select an opponent from a "room" filled with chess tables. Its wise to check their profile and make sure they have played a reasonable amount of games and that they haven't skipped out leaving a bunch of unfinished games in their wake. The rooms max out at around 100 but Pogo is so massive it is never a problem finding a game. Pogo has only two main drawbacks. One, the players can suck both in personality and game. Few serious players actually play their. Two, if you have an older computer it might give you some problems. My brother has to play with his laptop sideways. Thats a pretty bizzare handicap.
you'll have to download messenger for this. Which is a pain in the ass and it will try to take over everything you do. Be sure to uncheck everything it asks you to install. It will also hit you with ads pretty regularly...Welcome to commercialized chess. Its not a better world, just faster and more efficient.
Some good. Instead of having rooms to choose from a total gambit of players it offers a rating match and will set you up in a game with an appropriate opponent. This eliminates people who hunt lower rated players for fun. But it will start you out pretty low at first so be warned it will take a few wins or losses to get your rating right. Like Pogo you can send the move history to your email with one click. That's a cool feature for both. Also, it takes on a more coffee shop feel of the game. The board and pieces are a little trendy and a piece will light up when you click on it giving your opponent a clue as to what your thinking. It breaks the "touch move" rule but I kinda like it. Their are sounds that you can adjust but no real graphics to speak of. If you listen to music while you play then you know the sounds get a little irritating but if your away from the board it lets you know that your opponent has moved. It also doesn't display a captured pieces screen. That's odd. It confuses the draw by move repetition rule. Sometimes it will call a draw even if only one of the players has repeated a move three times. The rating system leaves a lot to be desired. So far it is rating my brother and I a couple hundred points high. The skys the limit. All in all I like it, the opponent match idea is really genius. If you already have messenger definitely give it a roll out.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
I dont know exactly what it is lately but my rating on Pogo has been fluctuating dramatically. It seems as though some 1700 players are incredible while others would be more suited with a 1500 rating. Maybe its the inaccuracy of Pogos rating system showing through. Ofcourse I understand that some play thousands of one minute games to boost their rating or only play lower rated opponents. But most seem to play against equally rated competition. Often when learning and experimenting with new positions and ideas my rating dips and then charges ahead higher than ever a couple weeks later. I suppose this is the usual learning curve. Over playing might also be the answer. My brain is good for two or three hours of chess and I tend to win the first two games no matter who the opponent, but after the first two I lose more and more consistently that day. Their are so many factors to calculate what makes someone play at one level or another it seems to become an aggregate mess when deciphering it all. Just some thoughts on it....
Thursday, August 10, 2006
"Pawns are the soul of chess" - Francois-Andre Danican Philidor
"Win with grace, lose with dignity" - Susan Polgar
Hans Kmoch's words on Edgard Colle - " I knew him for exactly seven years. I made his acquaintance at Baden-Baden 1925. From then on we met at countless tournaments and my admiration for him increased more and more. During these numerous tourneys I saw, heard and experienced a great deal. When it is a question of struggling for money and fame, for honor and achievement, the best of men often give way and follow the instinct for self-preservation. That is natural and not ugly. But this was never true of Colle: it was impossible for him. For his courtesy, his kindness, his chivalrous unselfishness-these qualities were not acquired, they were innate. In victory and in defeat he remained a cavalier."
“The defensive power of a pinned piece is only imaginary” - Aaron Nimzovich
"Checkers is for tramps." - Paul Morphy
"Of chess it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but thatis the fault of life, not chess." - Irving Chernev
“When the Chess game is over, the Pawn and the King go back to the same box” - Irish saying
"I offer God odds of pawn and move." - Wilhelm Steinitz
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Sometimes called the Budapest defense. Budapest the capital of Hungary began as the Roman town of Aquincum in 89 A.D. It is the result of the merging of two highly populated Hungarian cities, Buda and Pest. Despite being occupied by the Germans in WWII it contains the highest population of Jewish citizens per capita of any European city.
Like most gambits it is said that strong slow development by the gambited is the wise response. Giving in to the fear and intimidation is the killer for those that do not know how to respond. The odds are against black when using this defense. Often times black will have to fall back and regroup if white plays knowingly. Most prefer to use it against weaker less experienced players or in a friendly game when winning or losing becomes secondary. It is a risk but I enjoy it thoroughly. A couple different lines of play:
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e5
3. dxe5 Ng4
4. Nf3 Bc5
5. e3 Nc6
6. Be2 O-O
7. O-O Ngxe5
8. Nc3 Re8
9. b3 a5
10. Nxe5 Nxe5
11. Bb2 Ra6
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e5
3. dxe5 Ng4 (Ne4 threatens mate but has an awful reputation as it is blatant)
4. Bf4 Nc6
5. Nf3 Bb4+
In either scenario black gets a chance to castle first and keep the pressure on. White has a strong hold on e5 and the center. Does black try to siege the center or assassinate the king?
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Although difficult this mate is possible. Spelling it out from a certain position will do little good. Practicing it repeatedly is really the only way to get a grasp of how to work this clumsy combination to your advantage.
A couple rules to remember:
1. Have patience. This will take a lot of methodical maneuvering.
2. The King must be mated in the corner on the same color square as the lone bishop. This limits you to two squares for mate.
3. The Knight, King and Bishop will be lined up in a row. Displayed in the pictures above.
4. The Bishop will be the last piece to move and will give the final check.
Grand Master Alexandra Kosteniuks' take on this position in her podcast: