maandag 10 juni 2013

Can you solve this?

Sometimes you find a gem of a puzzle in a book you are reading. The position below is, atleast for me, such wonderfull position that I have to share it with you all.


Below I give you the solution for those that cannot find the solution themself.

Do you want a tip? If no, then dont read any further.

If yes, then I can only say that it involves a minor promotion.

Only look at the solution if you have solved the puzzle!

White to play and win

[...] 1.♖c8+ ♖xc8 (1...♔xb7 2.♖xd8) 2.♕xa7+ ♔xa7 3.bxc8=♘+ ♔a6 4.♘xe7

Until next time!

woensdag 22 mei 2013

Hate - Love affair with chess

A year ago I was just aimlessy doing some chess study. Even the hours spend with my online coaches was just pasttime for me. What can I say, I just loved chess and I didn't care if I would improve or not. Just being busy with chess was all I wanted.

For the first time in my life I saw my rating go down, down, down, ... and the love of playing chess was gone. Ok, I did continue to play chess but there was no drive, no passion, no killer instinct. What was left was a guy who sat at the board pushing around the chess pieces. Win, draw or lose, it didn't matter.

At the moment the team competitions of this year ended I decided not to enter the club championship. I would not play any official game until the month october when the next team competitions start again. It was to painfull to see myself play chess. It was just waiting for the blunder to come and it would come sooner and sooner in the game the longer I continued to play chess games.

Thoughts of stopping with chess broke into my brain. Why hurt yourself that much? What was once a favourite pasttime became something that only brought me pain. I actually started to hate chess.

After a few weeks without chess, just spending my nights in front of the television watching mind killing programs I started to ponder about chess again. Why did I stop? What was the reason why I started to play so badly? What was the reason I started to hate instead of love the game of Caissa?

Questions that wouldn't go away. Answers hard to find or maybe not existing? Pondering myself headache after headache. Time to write down questions and occassionally put down answers. Chess came back into my brain and wouldn't go away anymore. Aaargh, here we go again, chess chess chess.

I came to the conclusion that my problem was that I didn't had a chess goal anymore, nothing to fight for. I just played games. Nothing to aim for, just moving the pieces around.

A simple solution surfaced, set a goal.

Must be a reachable goal, but not so that it cost you nothing to reach it. No, it must be something you need to invest in, time and even money.

Money so you know you have to do your best otherwise you can just throw (or give) it away, like I did in the past (now that I am older and work for my own money...).
Time which is not to waste at my age, very expensive to throw time away when you are, according statistics, half way your life. Many things to do, so little time left.

Money time. Decided to get an one hour lesson each week of a coach/trainer. When I considered the lessons I got in the past of coaches one stood out better then the other. So I contacted Yelena Dembo again. I was glad to hear she had time to teach me again.

Time invest. Atleast one hour a day being busy with chess. At the moment tactics will be the head ingredient but also playing some games with atleast 15 minutes thinking time.

Endgame knowlegde is also good to learn. The book "Amateur to IM - Proven Ideas and Training Methods" from Jonathan Hawkings will help me with that.

Offcourse going over well anotated games is also necessary to see how it all works. The newly published book "The World's most instructive amateur game book" from Dan Heisman will help me with this aspect of my chess training at this moment.

What is my goal, why am I doing all this chess study for?
You guessed it (the title of this blog gives it away doesn't it?), my goal is to reach 2000+ rating in the belgian chess federation. This means that I have to gain atleast 200 rating points.

See you see me succeed?
Please post your thoughts in the comment section.

Until next blog post!