Monday, September 21, 2009

Chiv Chat

  • For players such as myself, who put the rank in rank amateur, scalping titled players is about the extent of our chess dreams. And lo, at only the gazillionth attempt, I have beaten an International Master. Yes, in a serious tournament game - not a friendly or on the internet, yes where money was at stake, potentially; no, he wasn't drunk, isn't decrepit, doesn't have a triple-digit age . . . so why aren't I jumping for joy? OK, I have to finally tell you. There is indeed a but. But, it was only a rapidplay event. They all count, except those. And there are no others, not in my case.
  • Still, I enjoyed the game itself, especially before I looked at it with Rybka. Here it is.
  • How did the rest of the event go? Well, I beat two weaker players, drew with a 235 ECF (2331 Elo) FM, and . . . lost to two juniors. Actually I can't remember the last time I beat a junior. Is it just me who looks at a tournament chart and shrugs at the FMs, IMs, and GMs written against the top names - only to shudder like a skeleton on a rollercoaster at all those JNRs instead? Perhaps my new chess dream should be to actually win a game versus a child, or even just somebody younger than me.

  • And now for something completely non-chess, via one of the world's best chess bloggers, Elizabeth Vicary:

  • Ah, the consolations of internet comedy! Not that for all its agony I'm tempted to give up chess for such untorturous amusements. Having not played seriously over the summer at all, the effect of the tournament on my mental alertness is obvious: as I write this the next day, I feel like I've had espresso beans injected into my eyeballs. I'm starting to think those who say chess staves off alzheimer's may be right - now that I am actually starting to think again, that is.

  • One thing I didn't have to think about for very long was the advert from on the right. Can you play like Tal? it asks. To which, Of course I can is the answer we can all give. Think I'm joking? But it's easy. All you need to do wait for your opponent to castle, then castle the other side, point your bits at the enemy king, never move your knights backward, sacrifice all but the three pieces required for mate, and drink vodka for the first half of any tournament. It really is that easy to play like Tal. The difficulty is winning like Tal, and doing so against the world's best.
  • Finally, haters of Boring Systems such as the Colle and Torre may be pleased to know I demolished one in twenty moves at the Richmond Rapidplay event.

    If only juniors were as avoidant of the mainlines as us older players, we might even stand a chance.


Anonymous said...

1. In Chess, it is not that winning is so good, but losing is so bad.

2. It is not that having a lot of money is so good, but that having none is so bad.

3.I could go on.

Adam FF said...

Nice one Tom, great result!
So now you have no excuse for any game you haven't won inside 30 moves for Streatham this season! Except against juniors of course.

Anonymous said...

Tom, I managed to beat Gavin Wall recently in Round 1 of a Tournament. I knew the draw beforehand and saw from previous games that he played the Opening he played against you.
My game had the same moves as your game until move eleven I played
11 ... Qc7 (I was copying a game v Murray Chandler)
I bet you didn't have inside knowledge of his Openings like I did.


rgh said...

Doesn't playing like Tal involve removing a couple of fingers?

Ryan said...

Great games! You're pretty Tal-like yourself. :-)

Tom Chivers said...

You're right Alan - I was out of theory after 4.a4, in fact!

Elizabeth Vicary said...


Anonymous said...

It is not that having a lot of money is so good, but that having none is so bad

In Chess it is not that winning is so good, but losing is so bad

A skint Chess Loser

Tom Chivers said...

Crosstables now up!