Thursday, September 24, 2009


Hey everyone, Shanky Here,

So far, this season has been just like last season except even more extreme- more trash talk, less objectivity, rants between players fighting senselessly over stupid things like which GOTW judge who graciously volunteered their time has a secret grudge against who and which one is too stupid to be allowed and whether some game is overvalued or undervalued. Oh and lets not forget the heated debates on whether GM Stripunsky is a blithering idiot who really did mean to play Qa8... its an extremely close call (of course), although I'm going to have to lean towards... NO, NO, and NO! Let the man play the move he intended! Mouseslips, of course, are again the subject of huge internal squabbling, just like last year, it's nice to see nothing has changed. I mean seriously, isn't chess a violent enough game on its own? Do you really need to fight OFF the board? I'm guessing within 24 hours this post will have somewhere between 5 and 15 hostile comments saying that I'm talking trash about people just because they are passionate, or biased against Boston somehow because I believe Stripunsky deserved to win his game or something else I can't even anticipate, and quite frankly I don't want to deal with it or anything like that so this will be my only report for the season. Now, that I've vented my anger, I'll do a brief recap of SF's match against Chicago.

Coming into the match, SF was 2.5-.5 and in first place in the west, while Chicago was bringing up the rear. Coupled with the fact that we had a large rating advantage on boards 1-3, we were probably reasonable clear favorites to leave victorious. While in the end (somehow) we won the match, for awhile it looked about as pretty as a racoon lying in the middle of the highway after losing its right with an 18-wheeler. On board 1, while GM Joshua will of course never admit it, he seemed to have a worse position with the white knight salivating over the f5 square and the rook on c2 controling the cfile. However, Josh found some good ideas and even seemed to have a nominal advantage at some point, although soon enough the game petered out to nothingness. On board 2, Jesse played his usual exchange Kings Indian which he claims "makes for small plus". Although I'm somewhat skeptical of his evaluation, he played a fine game and ground out IM Felecan in a drawn yet difficult roook endgame, one which, by the way, sparked the same kind of fighting over ICC where people were passionately arguing the result to the point of making proposition bets amounting to $10,000. Discussing games can be all fine and good, but next time try giving variations and actually explaining your thoughts, rather than "It's winning!!" or "It's drawn!!" or "I'm a total idiot but my super strong computer/tablebase says win/draw (pick one)!!" My own game was rather saddening but there were some key lessons I learned from it. My opponent played a couple strange moves, and it felt like they just didn't add up and after Qa4? 0-0 I thought I should have some advantage with my lead in development and a knight soon going to c4. However, although white played somewhat odd and perhaps inaccurate moves for the first part of the game, I was still playing black in a quiet opening- there is no reason to expect an advantage. Couple this with the fact that because of these silly looking moves I may have underestimated my opponent who is an IM and has had great results in the league- disaster was waiting to happen. I played too ambitiously, and after Qc6 I had an unpleasant position, although I probably could have held a draw in the rook ending after exchanging queens. Instead I blundered that very move and lost promptly, and while I'm sure many would disagree I believe for at least part of the game my opponent played extremely well. On board 4, our little kid got a bad position but fought back hard, defending seemingly foreever, and when time pressure kicked in he ended up on top. So in the end we somehow won 2.5-1.5, although it was not looking good for awhile. NY is up next, be sure to watch on ICC and make obnoxious comments during the games!


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