It has been almost a year, but I finally got around to putting up a custom header. I was waiting for a rainy day to do this, and today was the perfect day. The “Misty Look” header just wasn’t me.
To the left is Anna (in red) running a cross country race. To the right, Joshua is launching a rubber powered model airplane.
In the center is a still life which I called “Too Many Hobbies” before I knew it’s real name, which is “Still Life With Chess Board” or “Allegory of the Five Senses,” by Lubin Baugin. I chose it originally because it has a chessboard and a mandola (a forerunner to the mandolin), but as you look at the painting, there is a lot more to it than just some randomly placed objects.
Also, Nikita suggested that I post some of my chess games. Here are two that are pretty short and not too difficult to understand. Click on the link to open the game in a new window.
In my first game, Ray_D vs. Gregorybyers, my second move (2. f4) makes the opening a King’s Gambit. White gives up a pawn in return for getting his pieces out fast, controlling the center, and attacking Black’s king. Black needs to defend carefully, and has to choose whether to keep the pawn, or return it in a way that stops White’s attack. Black’s 3rd and 4th moves neglect developing his pieces, and allow me to get my pawn back with a big advantage already. His check with the Queen goes nowhere, and his 6th-8th moves are pawn pushes that weaken his King side.
My 10th move Bd6 blocked his Queen pawn, and ensured that his pieces on the Queen side would have difficulty getting out, so I could focus my attack on his King, which was stuck in the middle. My move 13. g3 prevented his Knight from breaking free with Nf4. 13. … Bf8 was an attempt to trade off my dangerous Bishop, but with 14. e5, I defended my bishop while attacking his Knight, and also threatened to open up the King file. His move 16. …Rg8 missed the checkmate that was coming (16. … Bxd6 was better), but the end was coming soon in any case.
My second game, Ray_D vs. papyjoe001, is also a King’s Gambit. Black’s 4. … Nd5 is a mistake, since his Knight will be chased all over the board. Of his first 7 moves, 4 of them were with the Knight. He should have played 4. …Nh5, hanging on to the pawn.
By my 11th move, I had a pretty good attack against his King. His 11. … f6 is a desperate attempt to blunt the attack, and it leaves him with an isolated pawn and no chance to castle. Qe7 may have been better.
After 13. Qh5+, Ke7 was a decisive blunder leading to checkmate. 13. … Kd7 would have allowed him to retreat his King to c8. I still would have a better game, but he wouldn’t immediately get checkmated or lose more than a Pawn.
The lesson of these games is, get your pieces out fast, and get your king to a safe place early.