Man de la Maza

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Bowing Out

I believe this will be my last entry in this blog. Rather than just let it fade away, I thought I'd bring it to a close. Though I'm still having fun playing chess, I don't really want to actively work on chess improvement, and that's what the Knights are about. It has also become apparent to me that I am no longer the right person to lead the Knight's Errant Order. I leave the choice of a successor open to the active knights. Whatever you decide, please post it in the comments to make it easy for future newcomers to find you.

Thanks to all. It's been a hoot!


PS after reading some comments
Dear Knights,

You speak as though I am resigning my membership which I am not. I am and will always be a Knight Errant de la Maza.

My decision not to post is in my own blog is more a decision not to water down the record of my experience. It has been challenging and rewarding, and I want it to stand on its own. I don't want it to divert attention though from the active body of Knights.

I will still post in your comments, and if something particularly noteworthy happens (making class A comes to mind), I will post. I just want to make sure that someone who stumbles on my blog doesn't think the Knights are dead because I haven't posted in 3 months.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

And another one

Welcome to Mousetrapper. A self-described lurker, he has been doing the program since December. It seems his name derives from the concept of setting a mouse trap for the king. King of the Spill's fundamental checkmates provides a nice visual representation.

I wonder how many other questers are out there lurking in the shadows. We welcome all, so come on in. The water's fine!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Welcome Knightwiz and Vic

Welcome to our newest members Knightwiz and Vic. I was just beginnning to think that membership was on the wane. New members seem to come in clumps. Must have something to do with solar flares.

Knightwiz seems well connected already having joined in conversations with a few of the knights. I hope he soon posts about the derivation of his name. I should think it short for Knight Wizard. There is the possible cheesewiz scenario or perhaps a habit brought on by a fondness for barley and hops.

Vic has actually been around for a few weeks, but his email has been languishing in my inbox. Should be an interesting blog to watch since he is a class A player working solely on endgames. Another interesting angle.

Welcome all and good luck!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Welcome Blue Devil Knight

Sheesh! My phone line went out late last week, and I come back to find all this. A warm welcome to Blue Devil Knight. He appears to have jumped in with both feet. I have some bad news for you, J'Adoube. I was Duke class of '88. You are outnumbered, Sir!

Congrats to Celtic Death on his wild Danish win. That one looks like it must have been fun. I haven't played the Danish in a while. Perhaps it is time to get back to it.

Go Fussy! Go Fussy! Don't give up Fussy Lizard! You are getting close. Give him a shout, Knights, if you have a minute.

Friday, April 08, 2005

More reason to study rook endings

Played a fine Closed Sicilian last night at club. Worked hard to win a pawn and get a protected passer. Then I fumbled in a double rook and pawn ending and had to take a draw. I messed up because I was pushing an advantage in time trouble.

This is another reason to study the endings. It's a rare person in time trouble in the opening, but most end games are played when one is short on time. Gotta get them to the point that they are like multiplication tables. On second thought, they probably should be better than my multiplication tables which are kinda crappy. Perhaps I should work on my math skills instead.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Rook Endings

I have become interested in rook endgames of late. I think this shows that perhaps I should seek professional help. Who in their right mind would willingly study rook endgames?

I think it is because rook endings are a puzzle to me. They are quite common, and yet I usually don't have any idea what I am aiming for. I started by reviewing the offerings in "Essential Endgames Explained Move by Move" -- Lucena, Philidor, and a few other war horses. I also take more time playing through the endings in Saddler's book (which I 'm still moving forward with). I have Nunn's "Secret's of Rook Endings" if a question should come up. Ultimately, I 'd like to know the endings well enough that I could know in the late middlegame whether I should transition to a rook endgame because it is a winner. Since this level of knowledge is basically unknown at the club level, it would give me quite an edge.