Destruction on a Chess Board

My opponent plays very poorly here and gets wiped out in 18 moves.

/* [Event “Let’s play chess”] [Site “”%5D [Date “2012.12.16”] [Round “-“] [White “hscer”] [Black “Black”] [Result “1-0”] [WhiteElo “1200”] [BlackElo “1372”] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 e5 4. Bxc4 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 exd4 7. cxd4 {Black has done everything White can hope for out of the opening.} Qd6 {Threatens Qb4+ but loses a pawn.} 8. Qb3 Be6 9. Bxe6 Qxe6 10. Qxb7 Qc6 11. Qc8+ {I wasn’t sure whether to trade queens and slog out an end game, but I took the forcing opportunity instead, already planning Nf3 as the first non-checking move in the sequence.} Ke7 12. Ba3+ Kf6 13. Qd8+ Kg6 {The wrong square–Ke6 is probably best–as 14. Nf3 is a double threat (Nxe5+ and Qg5#). Even if the king went to e6, 14. Nf3 Qc3+ 15. Ke2 Qxa3 is bad for Black due to 16. d5+ Kf5 17. Qg5+ Ke4 18. Qe5#} 14. Nf3 Qf6 {14…f6 holds up better.} 15. Ne5+ Kf5 {Again the wrong square for the king, with 15…Kh5 16. g4+ Kh6 lasting a bit. Now Black is out of chances. Meanwhile, if 15…Kh6 then 16. Ng4+ and if 15…Kg5 then 16. h4+ Kh5 17. g4+ Kh6 18. g5+} 16. g4+ Ke4 {if 16… Kg5 then 17. h4+ Kh6 18. g5+; if 16…Ke6 then 17. d5+ Kxe5 18. Bb2+} 17. f3+ Kxe3 {Only other legal move is 17…Qxf3.} 18. Bc1# 1-0 */ makeChessApplet ( null, { LightSquares: “FFCC99”, DarkSquares: “CC9966” } );


Two chess games from yesterday 12/15

Unrated blitz games at

Time control was 3 minutes for the game, with a 10 second bonus for each move

/* [Event “GameKnot Blitz”] [Site “”%5D [Date “2012.12.15”] [Round “-“] [White “White”] [Black “hscer”] [Result “0-1”] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. Bc4 e6 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. d3 c6 7. a3 Be7 8. b4 Qc7 9. h3 O-O 10. O-O b5 11. Bb3 a6 12. Ne2 Bd6 13. Be3 Nbd7 14. Qd2 Bb7 15. Bf4 Nd5 16. Bxd5 cxd5 17. d4 Nb6 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. Ne5 f6 20. Nf3 e5 21. c3 Nc4 22. Qd3 e4 0-1 [Event “GameKnot Blitz”] [Site “”%5D [Date “2012.12.15”] [Round “-“] [White “hscer”] [Black “Black”] [Result “1-0”] {Time Control: 3 minutes plus 10 second move bonus.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. Nf3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. e4 Bb4 7. Nxc6 bxc6 8. Qc2 d5 9. exd5 cxd5 10. Bd2 {10. Qa4+ immediately wins a piece, which I realized waiting for 10…d4} d4 11. Qa4+ Bd7 12. Qxb4 dxc3 13. Bxc3 Rb8 14. Qa3 Qb6 15. c5 Qb7 16. Be5 Qe4+ 17. Qe3 Rb4 18. Rd1 Nd5 19. Qe2 Qxe2+ 20. Bxe2 f6 21. Bd6 Rxb2 22. Bc4 Nb4 23. O-O Nxa2 24. Rfe1 e5 25. h3 Kd8 26. Rb1 Rxb1 27. Rxb1 Nc3 28. Rb8+ Bc8 29. Ba6 {Oh, no! After the game, I realize that 29. Be6 is mate in 2! At least I eventually end up a pawn ahead with an endgame to study.} Kd7 30. Bxc8+ Rxc8 31. Rb7+ Kc6 32. Rxa7 Kd5 33. Ra3 Ne4 34. Ra7 Nxc5 35. Bxc5 Rxc5 36. Rxg7 h5 37. Rh7 Rc1+ 38. Kh2 Rf1 39. Kg3 f5 40. Rxh5 f4+ 41. Kf3 Rd1 42. Kg4 Rd4 43. Kf5 f3 {Rd2, either now or on the next move, would probably have given me more trouble. I was slightly ahead in time here, maybe with a minute vs. 20 seconds or so.} 44. g3 e4 45. Kf4+ Kc4 46. Re5 e3+ 47. Kxe3 Rd3+ 48. Kf4 Kc3 49. Re3 1-0 */ makeChessApplet ( null, { LightSquares: “FFCC99”, DarkSquares: “CC9966” } );

Chess Game 1

Note: This game, and most others in the future unless otherwise noted, was played at

In 2009 and 2010 I played quite a few games hosted by on Facebook. The best and worst can be found at the pages linked to in the right column.

Yesterday, I started out playing online chess again by taking the black pieces in an open challenge. It was accepted by an 1135-rated player (+948 -1348 =38). He played like it in the opening, but I really started over-thinking in the middle game. Up a bishop and three pawns (although the third pawn was a bit greedy, and the extra bishop was long useless, as you might see), I had some trouble bringing the point home. Hopefully, it’s just part of shaking off the rust.

My notes as taken during the game are included as annotations.

/* [Event “Let’s play chess”] [Site “”%5D [Date “2012.12.13”] [Round “-“] [White “White”] [Black “hscer”] [Result “0-1”] [WhiteElo “1127”] [BlackElo “1200”] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. h3 d5 3. d4 e6 4. a3 c5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. e3 Be7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. Qe2 c4 9. Bxh7+ Nxh7 10. e4 Re8 {(This note is from a post-game thought) I remember thinking I might need either the knight or bishop on f8, but reviewing the game immediately afterwards, it’s possible 10… dxe4 was better. Allowing 11. e5 was what made my Ra8 and Bc8 so useless for so much of the game.} 11. e5 Ng5 12. h4 Nxf3+ 13. gxf3 Nxd4 14. Qf1 Nxf3+ {Didn’t like 14… Nxc2 because of king side concerns and extra rook would currently be the inactive one on a8.} 15. Ke2 Nxe5 16. Qg1 Bxh4 {Seems to be nothing for White after this, but we’ll see if I did something horribly wrong.} 17. Bf4 Ng6 {Through 17 moves, having some difficulty, but still think 8… c4 had to be correct.} 18. Be3 e5 19. Bc5 Qg5 {Looking for 20. Qh2 Qf4 21. Qg2 Bg4+ 22. Ke1 (or Kf1) d4 – he can’t really trade queens. After the move, I realize the d-pawn is now hanging. Should still be winning if he goes for 20. Nxd5 Qxg1 21. Raxg1 (or Rhxg1)} 20. Qh2 {Yeah, he plays 20. Qh2 to avoid the queen trade. But now I must reconsider 20… Qf4. 20… d5 now is a no-no due to 21. Ne4. Only difference between him taking at d5 now than one move earlier is his rook ends up on h2, which I think is better for me? Except then he can play Rah1 and I gotta be careful at h8. (In meantime, found something a couple silly lines: first, 20… Qf4 21. Nxd5 Qxh2 22. Rxh2 Bg4+ 23. Ke3??–f3 ruins the fun and keeps his rooks connected–Bg5+ 24. Ke4 f5#; second, 20… Bh3?! 21. Qxh3?? Nf4+). Okay, obviously not 21. Qxf4 Nxf4+. THIS SHOULD NOT BE SO HARD HE IS RATED 1135 WHAT THE HECK IS THE ISSUE??? YOU ARE UP THREE PAWNS AND A BISHOP. Getting really tempted to “hang” the bishop at h3 and hope he takes it. Screw it, the original move from however long ago (half an hour would not surprise): Qf4. Don’t care if I lose to this patzer, just means I’m more of a patzer. Now really hoping for 23. Ke3.} 20… Qf4 {Now thinking that 16… Bxh4 and opening the h-file was definitely going too far in the name of material.} 21. Nxd5 {Yep, now Nxd5. Just came to me: would Qe4+ work here? Going to analysis board. Quickly, no, make the queen trade. Seeing a g7-f6-Bg5-f4 structure which should hold after 21… Qxh2 22. Rxh2 Nf4+ 23. Nxf4 exf4+ 24. Kf3 Bg5 25. Rah1 f6 26. Rh8+ Kf7.} 21… Qxh2 {Having played the move (of course), continued and saw 27. Rxe8 Kxe8 28. Rh8+ Kf7 28. Rf8+ but I think Black is okay and can break the pin at some point with …b6 and …Bb7. Things should move pretty quickly here, I think. Think. I might yet still have missed something.} 22. Rxh2 Nf4+ 23. Ke3 {His 23rd move is Ke3 after all! Just in a different situation. But it appears that it’s a blunder in this line too. He plainly hangs the Knight. Does he think he sees something? He can’t actually see anything can he? Well, could be looking for 24. Ke4 Nf6+ and hope to work out that doubled rook theme? Well, maybe he’ll choose e3 again (allowing Ng4+). If he does f3, then Bg4+ connects rooks. Is there time to get away from the Rh8# idea? Bh4-g5-h6 should work.} 23… Nxd5+ 24. Ke4 Nf6+ {Okay, we can force a few moves for white with 25. Kf3 Bg4+ 26. Kg2 (26. Ke3 Bg5+ ends it) and at that point e4 and Bf3 can be a threat if he has a rook on h1. Combined with the bishop maneuver, this should be entirely survivable now.} 25. Kf3 Bg4+ {Seeing this currently: 26. Kg2 Bg5 27. Rh1 (27. Be3 Bxe3 28. fxe3 e4) Bh6 28. Be3 e4 29. Bxh6 gxh6 30. Rxh6 Bf3+} 26. Kg2 {He keeps finding the correct alternatives to survive just a little longer.} 26… Bg5 {Not much thought to go into Bg5, I don’t think–must save the piece. Thinking he has to move the king one more time to avoid this skewer. How can I best use that tempo? Waiting for his 27th move, realizing he has 30+ games active, I’ve probably put a ton more effort into this than he has. Crap, 27. f3? He hasn’t played yet. Well, if that happens, 27… Bf5 28. Rh1 Bh7 should work. Maybe.} 27. Be3 {Well, it’s Be3, so the capture comes quickly, to be followed with 28… e4 and 29… Bf3, regardless of whether it’s 29. Rh1 or a King move.} 27… Bxe3 28. fxe3 e4 {28. fxe3 e4 comes really quickly, probably one minute real time. 28… Rad8 29. Rh1 Rd2+ probably also would have worked, except THEN a king move on the 29th poses more problems. I think it’s over now. He better not make me play a long end game. Still waiting on White’s 29th move, but this is over. Still waiting, and wondering if he actually thought he had me.} 29. c3 Rad8 30. Kg3 Bf3 31. Rf1 Re5 32. Kf4 Rdd5 33. Rxf3 Rf5+ 34. Kg3 Rxf3+ {Him: I think Its about time for me to shake hands. Me: Yeah, mate soon. Good game. I think I pushed it with 16…Bxh4, you gave me a run for my money after that! (Although, instead of resigning, he moved, and the conditional moves I had put in applied and the game indeed finished with checkmate.)} 35. Kg2 Rg5+ 36. Kh1 Rf1# 0-1 */ makeChessApplet ( null, { LightSquares: “FFCC99”, DarkSquares: “CC9966” } );

11 Old White Men Against Rice for Sec. of State

No, not Susan Rice; Condoleezza Rice, in 2005.

The eleven sexists and racists who voted “No” were:

Evan Bayh (D)
Robert Byrd (D)
Mark Dayton (D)
Dick Durbin (D)
Tom Harkin (D)
Jim Jeffords (I)
Ted Kennedy (D)
John Kerry (D)
Frank Lautenberg (D)
Chuck Levin (D)
Jack Reed (D)

The other two “No” votes belonged to Asian male Daniel Akaka (D) and white female Barbara Boxer (D).