Bit of a mixed bag at the Congress for me. Won a couple and drew a couple and lost one. Will lose a few rating points. Still was an enjoyable tournament overall. Can't wait for next year.

posted on October 8, 2018microposts


Only a few more days to the Cork Congress. A good result for me would be to perform to my rating (around 1500).

posted on October 2, 2018microposts


Incredible that Carlsen can effectively give piece odds to a strong GM and still win!

posted on January 22, 2018microposts


Club Championship Round 3

I got another win in the club championship. This was a mad game - my opponent was very aggressive and I was on the defensive for the whole game.

Really I should have lost this game. I grabbed a couple of pawns but gave up lots of tactical opportunties. Luckily for me however these weren't taken but I don't think I could get away with that again.

posted on December 15, 2017chess


The Deep Mind vs Stockfish result is amazing especially given how the new AI works. I've always felt that the opening/endgame tables used in modern chess engines were kind of cheating - why couldn't Kasparov take his notes into the Deep Blue game? To see a AI learn and dominate the game from scratch is incredible.

posted on December 6, 2017microposts


Munster League Division 1. Rounds 3 & 4.

Not a great day at the Munster League. In my first game I got a good position and played well enough for a while. Then I went all in for an attack that didn't work and ended up in a losing endgame. I think a crucial moment was when I captured on a4 with my king. This allowed him to trap my king on the a file. Instead the computer suggests b3 as an alternative way to capture the pawn without getting my king trapped.

Should have played b3 here

In the second game I had a repeat against my opponent from the last round last year. This went into the same opening but I was more prepared this time and got a much better position (technically any position would be better than horribly checkmated on the kingside). One interesting moment was when my opponent captured on e5. My heart sank as I thought I was either dropping a bishop or losing loads of pawns. I said to myself that as the line losing the pawns was so bad, I may as well analyse the line that dropped the bishop. Then I realised that it couldn't be captured as Re8 would trap the queen.

Lucky the bishop can't be taken due to Re8

After that I got a good position and was possibly better when my opponent offered a draw. Given my bad run against higher rated opponents I took the offer.

Unfortunately the B team lost both games although with Adare getting thrown out our odds of survival next year have probably improved.

posted on November 26, 2017


Club Championship Round 2

I bounced back in this round of the club chapionship. My opponent played a kind of King's Indian with c4. I was completely unprepared for e5 and thought he should have pushed on with e4. Once he traded into the isolated pawn position I think I started to gain an advantage and then once he dropped a piece, realistically it was all over.

I do like my last move Re1. I've been doing tactics on Chessibility and one of the things that I've started to learn there is quiet moves to increase the pressure when there is no knockout blow. Simon Williams is also stressing this kind of thing in his courses. If you don't see an immediate win then bring in the reinforcements.

posted on November 13, 2017


Club Rapid Play

The club held a 5 round rapid play the other and I think it was a great success. The games are just long enough to be meaningful and the five rounds gives a bit of variety. I think something like this or a blitz night would be better than the Saturday night round in Irish weekender tournaments.

posted on November 3, 2017


Club Championship Round 1

My first game in this year's club championship ended in a loss. I was kind of ok out of the opening but ended up in a cramped position. I played well enough to get out of that and gave myself a shot with a tactic on move 27.

Critical Position: Qh3 was a must here

Unfortunately I wasn't able to calculate it well enough. I felt that Qh3+ was the move to play but I didn't see what to do after Qg2. Putting it in a computer it says to just grab the f pawn and even if white picks up the exchange, I still have three pawns for it. Once I missed the tactic, I was wiped off the board. Players are ruthless that way at the 1800 level.

posted on October 30, 2017chess


Saw this great video on Boris Spassky by Lucas Anderson. Looks like there is a whole series on all the world champions.

posted on October 29, 2017microposts


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