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61 Posts in 24 Topics by 20 Members
Latest Member: rupertdo
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1  General Category / General Discussion / Re: may be coming through bloomington might stop into your club on: February 15, 2010, 06:49:43 PM
Hello there. We'll be happy to have you over. We're playing a small unrated tournament, but many of us finish our games before time limit, so we'll be glad to play you.

There's a faster way to see your current rating. The USCF posts it online after the thournament is rated. Check

Just enter your name and that's it.

2  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Annoying behavior while playing on: February 12, 2010, 06:05:59 PM
I had an opponent many years ago who would lean forward over the board to make his move, and then stay that way--the verb "loom" comes to mind--so that he actually cast a shadow over at least half of the board.  I don't think his behavior was meant to affect me.  It was just a habit he had developed.  But it did bug me.

Funny you mention that because I caught myself doing that at times when playing Mike last Tuesday. Fischer was known to do that also. I think it's part of a primal feeling of the attack that may be ingrained. In that game I noticed that I don't "loom" over the board constantly, but only at times. I also noticed at one point late in the game that I was bouncing my leg up and down. I guess it's all part of body language and that it gives away how we feel about the position. I don't make noises or say anything that I think would give away my feelings when playing, but I obviously give away some of my feelings about the position with body language. I always pay attention to my opponent's behavior and body language, and try to use that against him/her. I once played a teenage girl who was in a tough position and she flushed. She couldn't help it, but I knew she was very uncomfortable. There are things you simply can't hide.
3  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Annoying behavior while playing on: February 12, 2010, 04:58:20 PM
I have been accused of annoying behavoir while playing.  I have a habit of writing down my moves before making them over the board.  This is the way I have been doing it for almost forty years.  I don't know why this should annoy my opponents or why it is anyone else's business but I was surprised that one of my opponents complained to the tournament director about it.  Even more surprising was that the tournament director upheld his complaint and gave me a warning.

This happened in 2006 and there was a provision in the Official Rules of Chess that specifically stated that writing down the moves before making them over the board was acceptable.  I didn't know about it at the time and I tried to write down the moves after making the move at the board.  I won the game but my concentration was lost as I not only had to think about my move, I had to think about moving before writing it on the scoresheet.

This rule is totally arbitrary.  The reasoning is that it is forbidden to refer to notes while playing chess and by writing down the move, you are referring to seeing the move written on your scoresheet as a note.  (I've heard that writing commentary or even putting a question mark or an exclamation point after a move is forbidden under the rules.)  While I agree that the players shouldn't resort to books or outside notes, this is not what the kind of behavoir that a TD should enforce.

I call this the "Sore Loser" rule because I've never had anyone call me on it unless their position over the board was resignable.   Currently, the newest edition of the ORC says that you have to write down the move after making it at the board.  One of the reasons for the change is "to make the rule conform to FIDE."  I am not so sure that we should even worry about conforming to FIDE, an organization that awarded Karpov the title of World Champion in 1975, consistently ruled against Korchnoi in 1978, annulled the Kasparov-Karpov match in 1984-5, and played politics at every turn.

I agree with you. The rule is pretty stupid. The rule was conceived most likely after electronic gadgets for score-keeping came into the market. I'm thinking MonRoi. I think that with those players were able to input their move and see graphically the resulting position after that move. By applying the rule to all players, including those keeping score on paper, they just created this idiocy. The problem is that every TD must uphold the rules as spelled out in the USCF rulebook. Failing to do so can result in a TD losing his/her certification. TDs are advised by that rulebook to give a warning the first time, as it happened to you. I think most TDs think that rule is just crap and shouldn't be imposed on players that aren't using electronic devices. Actually, I would just rule out the use of any electronic device for score-keeping, but I guess MonRoi has too much clout over official chess organizations.

Your opponent was simply an idiot to invoke the rule and call the TD. Now that we'e talking about idiots summoning TDs unnecessarily, I remember a tournament game.

I was a clear piece up right out of the early middlegame. The guy just kept playing while I kept up the pressure. Lots of pawns were on the board and at least two minor pieces plus queens on each side, plus we were playing with my Chronos and a 5 second delay. My opponent was on time pressure with only two minutes on his clock in a SD time control and he suddenly told me: "Stop the clock". I looked at him bewildered while he raised his hand to summon the TD. Since it was he who decided to summon the TD, it was obviously he who should stop the clock by the rules. I just ignored his command, made my move, and hit the clock. The TD came over and this guy claimed a draw by insufficient losing chances, which can't be called with a 5 sec delay. Seeing that I had ignored his command, now he was in the funny and pathetic situation of discussing his claim and making moves. I covered my ears to muffle his chat with the TD, and after the TD dismissed his claim and an extremely pathetic position on the board with a few seconds left, he resigned. That's the worst case I've faced of a sore looser.

It later dawned on me that he may have not known how to stop the Chronos. Had he asked me to stop the clock because he didn't know how, I would have done that for him. That's why I always explain to my opponent before the round starts how to stop the Chronos if he needs to when I play in a tournament. I also ask my opponent to explain to me how to stop his clock if we're using his equipment.
4  General Category / Chess Software / Re: Shredder Chess for the IPhone/IPod Touch on: February 07, 2010, 08:19:29 AM
The maximum set strength is 2400, but I'm not sure how strong Shredder really is in comparison to other programs, especially running on the iphone processor.
Wow! 2400 seems way too strong for such a device. The iPhone processing speed is about 400 mhz. I guess the device can pipe most of that power to the app, but still sounds like a rating in ideal conditions. It would be interesting to set up a match between that app and others made for portable devices like Fritz for Windows mobile, Chess Tiger, etc. I bet they all suck at endgames since endgame hash tables are probably left out. Anyway, it sounds like you got yourself a nice app that would give most of us a run for their money. My guess is that under normal conditions the program plays at 2000-2200 strength, which is an expert strength and nothing to sneeze at.
5  General Category / General Discussion / Re: New Members on: February 03, 2010, 04:52:45 PM
It was great to meet you, Murali. Don't lose heart. The more you play, the better you'll get. Also, your opponent is a strong player, so you shouldn't feel bad. Keep coming to our meetings and play against as many different players as you can. I'll see you next Tuesday.  Smiley
6  General Category / Scholastic Chess / BCC & Help Local Middle School Chess Team on: January 30, 2010, 12:28:27 PM
Tiffany Tsui, a parent and local scholastic chess organizer, is asking our club if we could play the Tri-North Middle School chess team during one of the BISCC (Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club) meetings before the State Championship. The MS team placed in third and fourth place at the state finals for the last two years and they feel they have a good shot at winning the state championship.

The kids meet bi-weekly at the Hoosier Energy Training Center (see for directions) and their meetings run from 1:30 to 3:30. Their next meetings are Feb 7 and Feb 21. On Feb 7 they'll have a class with a chess coach from Indy from 2:50 to 3:30, so we would need to play them between 1:30 and 2:30. The time control would be G/40, since it's the same one used for the scholastic state events. I'm leaning toward visiting them on Feb 21. Anyone else willing to help them out? The more, the better.

7  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Team match? on: January 30, 2010, 12:13:23 PM
If we go by USCF ratings, these would be the top 6 players with non-provisional ratings.

1. Mike Zabawa (1862)
2. Danny Presicci (1711)
3. Adrian Polit (1702)
4. Hal Kibbey (Floor at 1500 so we can safely assume that his last published rating was at over 1700)
5. John Dillberger (1673)
6. Juan Manuel Soto (1601)

Members sorted by most recently active to least. Date of last tournament in parentheses. Ordered by activity, rating.

1. Danny Presicci (Jan 2010)
2. Mike Zabawa (Aug 2009)
3. Juan Manuel Soto (Aug 2009)
4. Adrian Polit (October 2008)
5. Hal Kibbey (Unknown; pre-1991)
6. John Dillberger (Unknown; pre- 1991)

We have 9-10 players who show up regularly although a few are unrated and starting out. We can put together two teams of 4-5. I'm sure the IUCC can do the same.

Scholastic players are training for the Scholastic State Championship and will be playing at the end of February and during March. After that, baseball and other seasonal sports start and the parent organizer told me it would be tough to get them to play chess. I don't blame them. Too much stress.  Cheesy My hopes were to challenge a strong group of HS players, but we can just forget about that for now and talk to the IU club.

On a related note, we are being asked by the scholastic organizer if some of our members could play some of the middle school team to help season them for the state championship. See my post under scholastic chess.
8  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Welcome to our new site on: January 30, 2010, 11:28:30 AM
Thanks. I've added a pic for him.
9  General Category / Books / Soltis' book on Marshall on: January 25, 2010, 11:53:58 PM
Got the book via Barnes & Noble (hard cover for $44) and I've been going through it for the past week. The book is a mixture of bio and annotated games. Not great as a pure annotated game collection, not great as a bio. Nevertheless, it achieves a good enough mixture of both to give a good picture of Marshall's play. That guy could be just plain nuts in the opening and had some wacky (sometimes purely disturbing) ideas, but all he wanted to do was get to the middlegame and go crazy or go for swaps and beat players at endgames.

In terms of openings, he used the Staunton Gambit against the Dutch and I'm wondering if I can play that in tournament play. I guess I can get away with it for a while in class tournaments, but I'll have to look at the theory in more detail. I'm wondering also about his beloved "Franco-Sicilian". I guess I'll have to hit some opening theory and look more into this. As we know, his attack on the Ruy Lopez as Black is sound although his Marshall Defense against the Queen's Gambit was refuted a long time ago. Once I blundered with the move order (paying more attention to the moves I was recording than to the moves made) and after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d5?? ended up on the Black side of the Marshall Defense. I never got even started in that game.  Tongue

Anyway, it's a good book to get a taste of Marshall's play, but not a definitive bio like Winter's on Capablanca. The problem with going over his games is that his attacking madness can be contagious. I just played a game online and sacked two pieces for two pawns and to keep my opponent's king in the center out of my usual 1. c4! Well, he asked for it. He wanted to transpose to the Slav and then he got all greedy with that extra pawn on the queen wing. Yep, I won it with a pretty slash & burn mate. Grin
10  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Interested in a weekly tournament? on: January 25, 2010, 09:35:32 PM
I've put together a kind of convoluted but flexible tournament schedule leading to a club championship. See attached pdf. Let me know what you think.
11  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Team match? on: January 25, 2010, 05:52:03 PM
Ok, guys. Lasker says he's in. Who else? I'm trying to figure out the team & number of boards. We can challenge either club first, but I would like to go for the IUCC first. We should figure out the number of boards (plus one alternate) and who will be playing in those. Are we going by USCF ratings or a voting decision? Give me some feedback, guys!!
12  General Category / General Discussion / New Members on: January 25, 2010, 03:59:17 PM
I am a newbie here and want to play chess OTB.. Please count me in for the unrated tournament.  I will be there and if anyone is interested in an easy win .. I don't disappoint.  Grin


Welcome! Hope to meet you at our Tuesday meetings.  Smiley

Thanks Capablanca,

I will meet you tomorrow!  Do I need to bring anything for tomorrow's meeting?  How long will it lost?


No need to bring anything. If you have a set & board, it would help but it's not required. Most players bring their own equipment and we generally have room for most people to join in without any equipment. Last time we ran out of clocks, but I'll try to remember to start bringing a spare one to our meetings.

We usually play from 7:00 pm until they kick us out at 10:30 or 11:00 pm, but you don't have to be there the whole time. It's not a class.  Grin Anyone is welcome to come and go as they please.
13  General Category / General Discussion / New Members on: January 25, 2010, 02:52:42 PM
I am a newbie here and want to play chess OTB.. Please count me in for the unrated tournament.  I will be there and if anyone is interested in an easy win .. I don't disappoint.  Grin


Welcome! Hope to meet you at our Tuesday meetings.  Smiley
14  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Interested in a weekly tournament? on: January 25, 2010, 11:33:24 AM
I'm in. I'll be giving Becks' odds as always. Cheesy

I'm expecting more people to start attending our meetings soon, so we should set it up so that other players can join in later. Maybe we can set up a Group A and a Group B that starts later. Then the two top scores from each group play in a separate tournament. Quad format maybe with more than two groups? Then the two top from each group can qualify to play in a Club Championship tournament to take place some time in the fall and crown our first BCC Champion. Tie-breakers can be used or a rapid play (10 mins per game, no delay) play off match for any tied players in the qualification tournament. Don't know. Just throwing some ideas around.
15  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Annoying behavior while playing on: January 19, 2010, 02:11:46 PM

Then, I realized that he was a piece down and my pieces surrounded his king.  It was a lot easier for me to look at this position than he could.  I decided to spend fifteen minutes before moving even if I knew what I was going to play.  I waited those fifteen minutes before playing my next move.

He made his move quickly.  I spent another ten minutes.  I didn't have to make another move.  He resigned.

Great solution! Now, he had a tough skin. I wish I could develop such fortitude to keep playing in lost positions. Usually I get so mad at myself that I end up resigning in disgust at my own play.
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