Monday, June 4, 2012

Spassky Photo

I finally got around to framing my Spassky photos and autograph from the 2005 Western Open. I have been meaning to find a frame for some time and I envisioned three openings with the Fischer/Spassky photo on top, the autographed place card in the middle and the photo of Boris and I on the bottom. I found a four opening frame and therefore decided to put in both pictures from the event.

On the office wall
I'm pleased with the result. The Walmart frame was $5 and the prints were $.88. While the pre-formatted matting wasn't perfect (couldn't avoid catching some of the black outline around the place card) it certainly is more then sufficient for a quick and cheap DIY project. Considering I had put it off for over 6 years, it was about time to get 'er done.

The event was in October of 2005.
The bottom photo is the one I prefer, showing the two books that GM Spassky autographed for me at the event: "Spassky's 100 Best Games" and "Bobby Fischer Goes to War." Here's a closer look.

Me with the 10th World Chess Champion!
The Fischer-Spassky match in '72 marked the start of my interest in chess and has provided me with a very pleasant lifelong hobby. I really enjoyed the chance to meet GM Boris Spassky at the Reno event. The Q&A session was very nice and the autograph session was smoothly run.  Hopefully this momento will provide moments of happiness for years to come.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Village Elementary Simul

Starting Lecture

I was invited to perform a simul against 24 members of the Georgetown Village Elementary school chess club on April 30th. The club started just a few months ago and most of the players were new to chess. I started with a short talk describing how to enter your first USCF rated tournament and some upcoming scholastic events in the Austin area. The chess club members were eager to play and I believe everyone enjoyed the event. It took just about three hours to finish the simul with the final two boards lasting around 70 moves.

Always assume the person in the hat is a ringer!
Except for one player who had to leave early, almost all of the games ended in checkmate.

There was a variety of skill levels and several games were interesting and close. I blundered a couple of times but was only down material unintentionally in one game but lucky for me my opponent allowed a bishop fork of his rook and king leaving me up a piece instead of down the exchange.

Last Players Standing
 The chess club presented me an wonderful photo of the club members as a thank you gift. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to visit the club and would look forward to any future events.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm Back, But Not Better Than Ever

It's been a long tough slog since my last post. I think I got to the point of a little burn-out regarding chess. I let several months of Chess Life issues stack up and didn't seem to do much more then show up at the club events often with dull dread.

The last six weeks have been a revival period however. I managed to catch up on about seven issues of Chess Life bringing me current on the March issue. I finished "Chess Secrets: The Giants of Chess Strategy" and feel the chess energy flowing back. I highly recommend this book to anyone under 2000. I feel like I was able to incorporate several of the themes discussed in a few of my recent wins. My rating has slumped from 1861 down to 1772 during the last six months but I feel better about my play going forward. I've had about 4 especially costly (i.e upset) losses during that time. A couple due to time or time pressure, a couple due to tactical mistakes. Although most recently I won one that I shouldn't have but we tend to remember the ones that got away.

I have great plans of chess activity for the coming spring and summer. I would like to try to play in slower time control events and plan to attend the US Senior Open in Houston in July. If possible using the Austin Chess Club Summer Open as a warm up for the Senior. I would also like to play more often in our local events but life often gets in the way. Hopefully the stars will align in my favor regarding availability for these events.

Still debating on the large events such as the Chicago Open, National Open or US Open. Unless I hit the lotto, that much time off isn't likely. As always, may you play well!