Tracking Goals for January 2012

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January has come and gone. So how have I tracked to my goals for 2012. Here are some highlights:

  • Have lost 4 of target 25 lbs to lose this year
  • Ran 57km out of 1000 for the year (I’m 26km behind going into February)
  • Have read translation for first 3 chapters of Quran (al-Baqarah and part of al-Imran). Am on track to finish 30 by years end.
  • Multiple posts to (this) my personal blog (mostly on chess), as well as on the QuickSchools blog.
This is what I have not done this month:
  • Only managed to memorize half of a new surah (al-Qadr). I should finish this up and start a new one.
  • As mentioned above, I am 26km behind on my 1000km run goal for the year. Need to catch up!
  • I have not posted anything to my Family Blog or Melur’s YouTube channel.

Let’s do better next month!

2012 Kingston Chess Club Championship Round 4

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I won my round 4 game against Dave Gordon, a very strong player at our chess club. The first 3 opening moves looked like the King’s Indian Defense, but we digressed to something else after Black played c6. Against my better judgement, I opted for an early Queen Side attack before fully developing my pieces, but I seemed to have gotten away with it this time.

Black had some pretty strong counter play after I gave up control of the center. I exchanged my knight for a bishop, thinking it would shatter Black’s pawn structure with double pawns. Instead, Black ended up with a strong pawn mass in the centre. And the double pawns could not be exploited. Black played very tactically, with material sacrifices for position and tempo, but I managed to pull through in the end.

My key takeaways has to do with complacency. The tides can turn very quickly, if you’re not keeping your eye on the ball. So I should always watch the centre, and stifle Black’s counter play, if possible, especially if I have a winning position. I should also always think VERY carefully before initiating an attack if my pieces are not fully developed.

My game with commentary is on my site:

2012 Kingston Chess Club Championship Round 3

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I lost my round 3 game against Peter Sibbald today. It was a very close game. I played the Gruenfeld against White’s d4. The opening was pretty solid. White had a strong attack on f7, but the Bishop ended up stranded there, blocked in by his own pawn on e6. We reached a comfortable middle game for Black, in my opinion, but there was a lot of counter play on both sides. Some inaccuracies led to a winning end game for White.

I think in this game, I would improve 2 things. There was obviously a lot of tactics in the middle game, and a lot of calculation. But once I felt comfortable with my middle game position, I stopped thinking about what the opponent was planning to do. I just kept pushing my passed a-pawn, hoping for a Queen promotion. Some of his attacks came as a surprise to me.

Secondly, I did play very positionally, which was good. But I don’t think I used my advantage very well. I need to think up more strategic advantages, instead of going for the tactical win every time. This game was by far very tactical with lots of opportunities and many different possible lines. But it made for a pretty exciting game.

I’ve updated my website with this latest game, along with my commentary. Link is below:

Chess Goals and Commentary

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2012 is underway, and one of my goals for this year is to win a few Kingston Chess Club tournaments. We’re halfway through the 2011/2012 season, and I managed to win the first 2 so far. I thought I’d be ambitious and aim to win the last 2 of the season. The 2012 Club Championship, which is the third of 4 tournaments, is currently underway.

I’d like to give a shout out to the KingsCrusher channel on YouTube. I have to say, I’ve learned a lot about positional play, and a bit about theory, through his commentary. I used to be a very tactical player with little to no regard for playing the position. I now have more tools at my disposal when playing chess.

Anyway, I thought I’d post my own commentary for the games I play this year. I’ve put together a web page for this. We play one game a week. I just finished Round 2 last Monday against Harry Jordan, and this coming Monday, I’ll be playing black against top-seeded Peter Sibbald. Our players are rated internally via CXRChess, so strength is relative to the other chess club members, which aren’t many.

Here’s the link again to my chess commentary and PGN:

Wish me luck! And let me know what you think…