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Month: October 2014

Chess.com U1200 Tournament Update

Some games are beginning to wrap up in the Chess.com U1200 Annual Tournament. Three of my games have finished, leaving me with a current score of 1-2-0, which I think is ok considering that this is my first tournament. However, there is a difficult element in this tournament that I believe is a negative side-effect of online tournaments: participants well outside of the ratings cap. The current person in the lead has an ELO approximately 100+ points higher than the rest of us participating in the tournament. That has not lent itself well to myself and the other participants. Still, the tournament continues and it looks as though it may come to a conclusion late next week.

Crosstable for Chess.com U1200 Group 2

Group #2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Score Tie Break
1. YellowCakeInc (1304) _ _ 1 1 _ _ 1 1 1 1 _ _ _ _ 6 10
2. Yashaman (1200) 0 0 1 _ _ _ _ 1 1 1 _ _ _ _ 4 6
3. RevvedPatzer (1200 0 0 _ 0 0 _ 1 1 _ 1 _ _ _ _ 3 3
4. AmishHacker (1161) _ _ _ _ _ 1 0 _ 0 _ _ _ _ _ 1 3
5. RexIbnMadinat (1126) 0 0 0 _ 0 0 _ 1 _ _ _ _ _ _ 1 1
6. Heleyson (1111) 0 0 0 0 0 _ _ 1 _ _ _ _ _ _ 1 1
7. jrlanders (1070) 0 0 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
8. Mischa8 (884) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0

Current Position of AmishHacker Games

jrlanders – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – jrlanders 1-0
[fen]r5k1/2p4p/b1p1p3/p2p4/2P1P3/N3Brq1/PP2Q3/R5K1 w – – 1 21[/fen]
[fen]r5n1/pppk1pp1/2np2q1/1Nb1p3/2B1Pp2/3P3r/PPPQ1P2/R4R1K w – – 1 14[/fen]
Mischa8 – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – Mischa8
[fen]2kr1b1r/ppp2Bpp/2n2n2/q3pb2/8/2N2N2/PPPP1PPP/R1BQR1K1 w – – 2 9[/fen]
[fen]r1bq1rk1/ppp2pp1/2np1n1p/4p3/1PBbP2N/P1NP4/2P2PPP/R1BQ1RK1 b – – 3 9[/fen]
RevvedPatzer – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – RevvedPatzer
[fen]rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq – 0 1[/fen]
[fen]rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq e3 1 1[/fen]
Heleyson – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – Heleyson 0-1
[fen]3r1k1r/p4p2/8/7p/1n1P1P2/3Q4/PPP2PBq/R1B1RK2 w – – 2 24[/fen]
[fen]1rb5/pp1pbkp1/7p/4p3/4P3/3Pn2P/PP4P1/6K1 w – – 1 22[/fen]
YellowCakeInc – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – YellowCakeInc
[fen]r3kb1r/p1p2pp1/2p1pq1p/5b2/3P4/2N2N2/PPP2PPP/R2Q1RK1 w kq – 1 11[/fen]
[fen]r2qk2r/ppp2pp1/2np1n1p/4p3/2BPP3/2P2Q1P/P1P2PP1/R1B2RK1 b kq – 1 10[/fen]
RexIbnMadinat – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – RexIbnMadinat
[fen]3qkb1r/1pp2ppp/2n2n2/1PPppb2/3P4/2N1P3/1P3PPP/r1BQK1NR w Kk – 1 9[/fen]
[fen]r1bqkb1r/pp2pppp/3p1n2/2p5/8/2NP1N2/PPP2PPP/R1BQK2R b KQkq – 2 8[/fen]
Yashaman – AmishHacker 0-1
AmishHacker – Yashaman
[fen]r3kb1r/ppp2ppp/2n5/3Np3/3P2nP/4P1N1/PPP2qP1/R1BQKB1R w KQkq – 2 10[/fen]
[fen]1n2k1nr/r1p2p2/p5b1/1P2Q2p/3pPPP1/3P3N/Pq5P/R2K1B1R b k – 1 18[/fen]

Current Standings for Chess.com U1200 Tournament

Name Record Score Tiebreak Status
YellowCakeInc (1421) 6-0-0 6 10 Active
RexIbnMadinat (1180) 4-0-0 4 6 Active
Yashaman (1146) 3-4-0 3 3 Active
AmishHacker (1136) 1-2-0 1 3 Active
RMadness (1217) 1-0-0 1 1 Active
jrlanders (1083) 1-5-0 1 1 Active
Heleyson (1086) 1-5-0 1 1 Active
p_square (1298) 1-0-0 1 0 Active
Panchromatic (1143) 1-1-0 1 0 Active
tommykolb (1012) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
coryajenk (1137) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
yashdeotale (Unrated) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
RevvedPatzer (Unrated) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
firefox7605 (1178) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
Marylebone99 (1063) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
Mischa8 (884) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
arnarpje (1229) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
lloydrook (Unrated) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
Tallica360 (1286) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
CoolChess2006 (1179) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
desertfoxd7 (1156) 0-0-0 0 0 Active
finkyy007 (1124) 0-1-0 0 0 Active
Fanch (1134) 0-1-0 0 0 Active
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Happy Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite time of year! Although this year was too busy for me to go “all-out” with decorating my home, I did find time to sit down and carve a pumpkin for my kiddos again this year. Halloween is that special time of year when spiritual forces once again take the center stage and most people participate in the age-old ritual of dressing up and hunting down candy in their neighborhoods. I have spent many weeks researching appropriate topics for a Halloween post, but obviously there are no elements of chess that are overtly terrifying, except if you are playing as black and find yourself faced with the position below.

[fen]8/3pk3/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq e6 1 5[/fen]

Although many people believe that chess is just a game, there are many scientific and artistic applications that the game has to offer. Halloween lends itself perfectly to the artistic elements of the game. So, in honor of Halloween, here are three horror-themed chess sets to celebrate this beautifully macabre season!

Freddy vs. Jason Chess Set

Pamela Voorhees would be proud of the craftsmanship that went into creating this gem. Though not entirely devoted to Freddy and Jason, the board itself is designed as a makeshift Elm Street where Freddy, Jason, an Alien, and other icons of horror film battle each other out on 64 squares of bloodshed.

Abomination Chess Set

This particularly gruesome set looks like something straight out of an H.P. Lovecraft novel. Each of these abominations have risen from the grave in the eternal struggle to find checkmate after death.

Horror Icons Chess Set

I had some reservations about posting this chess set simply because it does not have the striking quality of the other two. In fact, this set is the reason I chose not to include hyperlinks to purchase each of these sets. While it is obvious that the creator of this set intended to honor icons of horror, the quality of the set is significantly lacking considering the $3,000 asking price tag for the set and matching table.

So, there we have it! The obligatory Halloween post! I hope that everyone out there gets out of their home and gets some candy on this fun holiday season!

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OMC Weekend Review (Volume 1, Issue 11)

It has been a very exciting week here at OffMyChess.com! Of course you might know that I finally managed to break through my plateaued blitz rating and pass into 900 ELO territory! This is very exciting for me because the last time I had a 900 ELO was back in the summer as my ratings dropped rapidly to equalize from the standard 1200 ELO given to all new players on Chess.com. Once I broke through the barrier I have had relatively little trouble maintaining a 925-940 ELO range. The game below is an example of some of the interesting and competitive play I have faced recently.

Of course, this week was not without its scares, which I guess is appropriate for the Halloween season. The next game was a heart stopping affair in which I managed a dramatic comeback with the help of some blunders by my opponent and sheer blessings from the chess gods.

In addition to this week’s ratings rise, there are new wallpapers available on the newly renovated Downloads page. The official pages for OMC Weekly Review and OMC Quarterly Review have also been moved out from underneath the downloads section and now have their own link under Publications on the main navigation bar. This is to facilitate the growing number of publications and related activities coming down the road.

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New Downloads Available

The downloads page here at OffMyChess.com has grown considerably over the last few weeks. Today I am pleased to announce the addition of new wallpapers and a new downloads page layout that will facilitate additional downloads in the future. I am also working on updating some of the Chessbase databases I offer on the site and should have them available for download soon.

You can access the downloads page by clicking the link above or by going to the Downloads >> Main Downloads Page link at the top of any page on the site.

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Chess.com U1200 Tournament Rages On

The 3rd Annual Chess.com U1200 Tournament rages on, but yours truly has yet to finish any of the ten games in progress. Some players have already completed their first set of games and have earned points for their individual rounds. Click here to view all currently active games in this tournament.

Current Standings for Chess.com U1200 Group 2

Group #2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Score Tie Break
1. YellowCakeInc (1304) 1 1 _ _ _ _ _ _ 1 1 1 1 _ _ 0 0
2. Yashaman (1200) 0 0 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 1 _ _ _ _ 0 0
3. RevvedPatzer (1200) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
4. AmishHacker (1161) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
5. RexIbnMadinat (1126) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
6. Heleyson (1111) 0 0 0 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
7. jrlanders (1070) 0 0 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
8. Mischa8 (884) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0

Current Position of AmishHacker Games

jrlanders – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – jrlanders
[fen]r1bq1rk1/p1p4p/2pbp3/3p1p2/4P1p1/N1PQ4/PP2NPPP/R1B2RK1 b – – 2 12[/fen]
[fen]r5nr/pppk1pp1/2np2q1/1Nb1p1p1/2B1P3/3P1P1P/PPPQ1P2/R4RK1 w – – 1 12[/fen]
Mischa8 – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – Mischa8
[fen]rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq – 0 1[/fen]
[fen]rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq e3 1 1[/fen]
RevvedPatzer – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – RevvedPatzer
[fen]rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq – 0 1[/fen]
[fen]rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq e3 1 1[/fen]
Heleyson – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – Heleyson
[fen]rn1q1k1r/pp3ppp/2p5/2b5/B3Q3/2N5/PPPP1PPP/R1B1K2R w KQ – 2 10[/fen]
[fen]r1bqk2r/pppp1pp1/2n4p/2bNp3/2B1P3/3PPN1P/PPP3P1/R2Q1RK1 b kq – 1 10[/fen]
YellowCakeInc – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – YellowCakeInc
[fen]r2qkb1r/p1p2pp1/2p1pn1p/5bB1/3P4/2N2N2/PPP2PPP/R2Q1RK1 w kq – 1 10[/fen]
[fen]r2qk2r/ppp2pp1/2np1n1p/4p3/2BPP1b1/2P2N1P/P1P2PP1/R1BQ1RK1 b kq – 1 9[/fen]
RexIbnMadinat – AmishHacker
AmishHacker – RexIbnMadinat
[fen]r2qkbnr/ppp2ppp/2n5/2Pppb2/3P4/4P3/PP3PPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq e6 1 5[/fen]
[fen]r1bqkb1r/pp1ppppp/5n2/n1p5/2B1P3/2NP1N2/PPP2PPP/R1BQK2R b KQkq – 3 5[/fen]

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Reaching 900!

Today has been one of the worst days in recent memory, but it seems that there is always a silver lining to a darkened cloud. The game above was played today on Chess.com and although it is not much to look at, it represents an important milestone in my chess training because it is the first game to ever place me above 900 ELO in blitz! As I blogged about recently and followed-up with in the current edition of OMC Weekend Review, 900 has always eluded me, but today is a day for celebrating the fruits of hard-earned labor.

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OMC Weekend Review (Volume 1, Issue 10)

Earlier this week I posted an entry where I bragged about breaking my personal-best blitz winning streak on Chess.com. At the time, my ELO was up to 878 and I had not lost a game in four days. However, that streak came to a screeching halt after that post. In fact, my blitz ELO suffered a 60 point loss within 24 hours and I felt as though I was back to square one. However, fate was not so cruel and allowed me to maintain an 850-870 ELO throughout the week. The first game I would like to examine was played on Saturday and was quite the heartbreaker.

On Monday of this week, my seminary studies begin again after a long hiatus. I am curious to see how having school work affects my chess studies and blogging responsibilities. Since I have so much to prepare for this week, I will leave this edition of OMC Weekend Review with the game above and wish all of you nothing but success on and off the board!

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Chess.com U1200 Tournament Underway

Yours truly has enrolled in the U1200 section of the Annual Chess.com Championship. Although I do not expect much from the tournament, it is my first tournament and I am excited about the prospect of finally playing in one. This is a relatively low-rated tournament with no cash prizes, but it does have the opportunity to increase my Chess.com ELO a few points, but the real challenge is that there are eight games being played at the same time. So, basically I am playing an eight-game correspondence simul.

Initial Standings for My Group

Group #2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Score Tie Break
1. YellowCakeInc (1304) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
2. Yashaman (1200) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
3. RevvedPatzer (1200) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
4. AmishHacker (1161) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
5. RexIbnMadinat (1126) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
6. Heleyson (1111) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
7. jrlanders (1070) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0
8. Mischa8 (884) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 0

Click here to view all currently active games in this tournament.

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Approaching 900!

Normally I reserve these entries for the weekend reviews, but things have been so exciting over the last few days that I could not wait to share. As most of you know, the primary purpose of this blog is for me to document my chess studies, improvements, and interests. Yes, I am probably one of the lowest rated people you will meet that maintains a regular chess blog, but that is the beauty of the game! Everyone starts somewhere and improvement is part of everyone’s game strategy, even Magnus Carlsen or Bobby Fischer. Since June, my blitz ELO has hovered between 700 and 850 and my win/loss ratio overall has consistently stayed at a 25 to 30 game deficit. However, things began to change earlier this week:

The game above is just one example of the wins I have managed to crank out against opponents of varying strengths and playing styles. As of writing this post, I have destroyed my previous blitz winning streak of 6 and replaced it with a current streak of 11 games in a row, now sitting on a blitz ELO of 887. My hope is that sometime tonight or tomorrow, I will be able to break through my next barrier and proceed into the 900s. For many seasoned chess players, this may not seem like much, but to a man who spends much of his time studying, researching, and playing the game, any milestone is another milestone crossed off the list.

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OMC Weekend Review (Volume 1, Issue 9)

The chess world has been very busy this week! The Millionaire Chess Open in Las Vegas is underway, the FIDE Grand Prix rages in Baku, Azerbaijan with everyone’s eyes on the new world #2, Fabiano Caruana and his continued domination on the board. Each of these tournaments have provided some exceptional kibitzing opportunities on Chess.com and Chessbase. I have some reservations about the concept of the Millionaire Chess Open and that is why I have been reluctant to cover it in depth. I might post some thoughts on it later, but for now…on to the amateur stuff.

In OffMyChess.com Land, the chess successes have wavered through successes and failures. This upcoming week will be my first night at the San Antonio Chess Club and I am very excited about it! I was supposed to go two weeks ago, but life got in the way and I had to postpone it until this Thursday. Now, let’s take a look at some of this week’s games…the good, the bad, and the ugly:

Of course, not everything this week was rose pedals and victory dances. The following game demonstrates the depths of despair I experienced in some brutal losses.

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