Thursday, November 30, 2017

November 2017 Tactical Training: Part 2

4 simple puzzles to end off the month of November. Have fun!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Queenstown Open 2017 Highlights: Part 2

At last, I have some time (while running away from the fact that I am supposed to study for finals) to do a quick looking through of my Queenstown games. Today, I will share the analysis for a few highlighted games, so here goes:

Round 2: Pawn couples, yay or nay?

I’m sure many of us are familiar with pawn structures like this:

Black’s isolated pawn couple can be very dangerous, for they may advance anytime to create a passed pawn. But the words “isolated” always signal a problem: Infantrymen left alone in the open cannot survive without assistance by the rear elements. If these pawns are not supported by friendly artillery, then they cannot make good progress, and may instead become targets of attack!

"Where was our artillery when we needed them!?"

I learned this the hard way in Round 2:

Round 6: Beware the two bishops!

Finally, it was my turn to teach my opponents an important lesson: The suppressing power of the two bishops cannot be underestimated, least of all by a mere rook!

Maybe a 3-second burst of suppressing fire should take down those castle walls

Round 7: More squares!

I know, I’ve talked about squares so many times in my IFG 2017 articles. Somehow, I always keep ending up in closed positions where square control becomes key, such as my final game in Queenstown 2017. Though admittedly, such a position arose because of my misjudged plan on move 13:

It was a good break looking at these games before my finals. Hope everyone learned from them, and here’s to more good games in the upcoming Cairnhill Chess Festival 2017!

Part 1:


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Chess Camp Curiosities: 2017 Edition

Thanks for the interesting – and hilarious – games that took place last Friday. Human chess is always a cancerous messy process, considering that it doesn’t take place under proper tournament conditions!

"Could someone pause the clocks while I adjust my personal drum set?"

In our first game, White somehow ended up emulating an opening that was played almost exactly a year ago in the World Chess Championship 2016: The Trompowsky. Incidentally, it was also pretty close to the first anniversary of a certain major election in the United States, whose winner’s name bore a close resemblance to said opening… *cough*

Here was the original game between Carlsen and Karjakin from Round 1 of the World Championship 2016:

Meanwhile, here’s a half-hearted parody—oops, I mean an all-out showdown between the Trompowsky’s mighty namesake and an extremely dangerous opponent, inspired from the earlier game.

WARNING: If you’re a chess purist who is looking only for expert-level analysis of high quality games, please do not read on, for the resulting moves will give you brain hemorrhage. But if you’re just a patzer looking for laughs, feel free to proceed:

"Wait, I don't remember Karjakin playing 4... g6, did he?"

What can we learn from this game?
  • Donald Tromp is a daydreamer
  • In human chess, the tactical vision of both sides drop by 50%
  • A pawn centre is an advantage that must be used wisely. If improperly supported or pushed too early, it will become a target of attack instead
  • Look out for weak squares created by PPPP (poorly planned pawn pushes)!

So Tromp walks away defeated, but insisting that the game was rigged and that he should have won. Thankfully we are spared a chain of ballistic tweets thanks to an unsung hero who deactivated Donald’s Twitter account.

Not a Liberal conspiracy, I swear

Meanwhile, our winner prepares to take on her next challenger. Enter, the creator of luxury vehicles:


So… what can we learn from this game?
  • Quantity over quality: A world famous singer can’t outwit an entire fleet of automobiles.
  • Tromp should consider buying over the new Audi fleet.
  • When about to lose material, desperado tactics may sometimes be an effective strategy
  • Similarly, when defending a difficult position, make life as difficult as possible for your opponent! This will increase the chances of them making mistakes.

If you’ve managed to read all the way to the end and still keep a straight face, kudos to you. Nevertheless, great job to everyone for your efforts, and considering that all three teams missed basic tactical combinations… let’s call that a draw.

Zyance - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5,