Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Sunday, February 01, 2004
Go to the new DM blog.

Alternative To The Super Bowl

Ah, screw it. I'm going to post my chess move here for now, and will copy it to the OSP Knowledge section for completeness when the technical issues are worked out [Update: finally cross-posted at OSP]:

N. Todd Pritsky finally escapes the quantum singularity preventing him from making his chess move. Believe me, it was well worth the wait.

It's About Time!

When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity. - Albert Einstein

Well, I wasn't sitting with a pretty girl, but teaching an intense class for an exhausting couple of weeks made me totally lose track of time, so my recent trip to Dallas flew by. Apologies to Rook (aka Guy) and the seven of you who have been following our Bloggers Chess match. Now that I've been home for several days, I can finally get my head around the latest developments.

First of all, I didn't expect Guy to chose the safe, conservative route of castling, given all his "Bring 'em on!" rhetoric leading up to his last move1. I thought maybe he would force the issue in the center, bringing up his pawn (P-Q4), for example.

Shoring up his defense of the King is a pretty good move, doesn't really cost him any tempo, and means he's not taking any chances of losing the opportunity later2. Quite honestly, that's what I generally do, so I must conclude that Guy is very wise. Heh.

I wasn't quite sure how to respond. My usual inclination as Black is to push toward the center. Maybe move my King-side bishop, or my remaining knight? That would start opening up my back row so I could mirror Guy's move and give my King some more protection.

b05.jpgThe problem I face, of course, is that Black starts at a disadvantage and needs to shake things up to take tempo away from White. I'm thinking that maybe I need to attack Guy's castle, force him to spend energy defending that part of the board instead of attacking the center himself.

Okay, it's settled: B-KN5.

I consulted my Chess Openings book, and I see this is really the one Ruy variation3 that is pretty much equally good for both Black and White at this stage. I still haven't grabbed any advantage from Guy yet, but hopefully I've stalled any attack he was planning.

If Guy stays with this variation, I expect him to pressure my bishop with P-KR3, but he could surprise me. My hope is that I can create an opening in his defenses and end this quickly - sort of the Hail Mary approach, which works in football4, so maybe it will be effective here.

And since today is Super Bowl Sunday5, I might as well offer another prediction: Patriots over the Panthers, 24-17. I'll probably be proven wrong, and it wouldn't be the first time.

Previous Move | Next Move

1 - Sounds like an apt metaphor for Iraq, actually: despite our Commander-in-Chief's bravado, we've essentially retreated to the Green Zone, and have reduced the number of patrols as resistance to our occupation increases. Could work for Afghanistan, too, now that I think about it.

2 - Some of our more experienced kibitzers might take issue with this assessment.

3 - Horowitz calls this "practical variation 37" in Part 9 of the Ruy chapter (all about the Exchange Variation).

4 - Not to mention Gulf War I.

5 - I'll be heading over to my folks' house to watch on Dad's big plasma TV. Apropos of nothing, I think Howard Dean might be having a Super Bowl Party...

[Update: I added a couple footnotes that I failed to save in my original draft.] 

June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 April 2007


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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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