Friday, June 03, 2005


Tonight I've finished my 7 circles.
1680 problems in 83 days.
Now I can sleep again on decent times, do something in the house, feed my pets and husband with home coocked meals, do some trout fishing, see the sun again, (is it still hanging there?) hang out with my choir friends and have a beer after singing, instead of running home to do my circles.
I think I have family somewhere, I hope they did not forget me.
I feel like a chess-junk, I do even dream of chess positions.
In my mind was all the music gone, I didn't compose a note.
But now I returned from dwelling in this misty chess limbo, Princess Errant came back to good old earth.
Tomorrow when the sun shines I will take my canoe and relax on this magnificent water in front of my house.
Rest at last.
For a short while.
Now in july we shall see if the work was usefull or not.
Then we do 2 big tournaments, each 10 days, with only 1 day rest in between.
Now I will start with a cd from Renko, ánd start studying endgames. but I will take the time.
I have to prepare new music for my 3 choirs, for the next season, and that is a lot of work.
By the way, I've loved doing tactics, after all you can only do these things if you enjoy them.
And now, my fellow knights, I would like to thank you for being there.
Keep courage!
Lady Caissa is maybe a little relentless for us, poor dwelling souls, but yet she is an inspiring Goddess.
See you back in the Hall of Fame, guys!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Again Hurray!

On my last tournament I had 2 draws against stronger players!
Me: rating 1420
He: rating 1674
Another he: rating 1726 !
Ok the other games where not so good, allthough I gave away good fights, but all my opponents where very, very strong.
This is a begin.
I have good hope for the next tournaments.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

People you meet at chess tournaments

What I like most at chess tournaments is to see such a diversion of people.
People of all ages. My oldest opponent who beated me was 90, and the youngest was an 8 year old boy. Beware of such children! During the game they look totally uninterested, while drinking their lemonade, and when they move they never seem to think about it. You allways loose on time with them.
In the chess-world you get to know a lot of people. And on every tournament you see your old friends.
And if you have won from them or not, after 1 game they remain friends.
Some people have a handicap.
I play often with a blind guy, because we have allmost the same rating, and we both like the tournaments. He has his own little chess board, where he can touch the fields and pieces, and to record our moves he uses a cassette-recorder. He is a specialist with his laser-beam bishops, they seem to pop up from everywhere.
Sometimes there are hilarious situations: One time a blind guy was placed against a deaf guy........(computers have there own handicap)
I played a few years ago against somebody in a wheelchair who could not do his moves by himself (he was paralysed). I had to do the moves for him.
He won from me, so at the end I had to checkmate myself.
It is nice to see the really old men and women play their game. They are old-fashioned polite and so relaxed, they just play for fun. They still have their sharpness of mind, which makes me conclude that playing chess is good for us.

About the circles:
Step 1-4, completed the 7 circles
Step 5 :
circle 1 for all levels, average 88 %
circle 2 : level 15
circle 3 : level 13
circle 4 : level 11
circle 5 : level 4

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Blind as a bat

The good news: I have my new second hand computer. No more fighting with TS whose turn it is, to use it.
Result: I've finished step 4, all 7 circles !
One step to go.
One problem I have, there is no internet yet, and my music programs are not installed. I cannot do this myself, I'm blind as a bat with computers.
It took me 3 months to make my first music sheet. There were so many buttons in my music program, and they never did what I wanted.
When I install a new program I have allways difficulties with it.
So TS must do all this work for me.
I would like to make my blog nice with pictures, music, links. But I simply don't know how.

There is maybe a new knight on the way.
Satishtalim, from India, wrote several times commentary. He has his own chessblog. But my computer gets hick-ups when I visit his blogs. I don't know why.

Now, back to the tactics. I've only one week to prepare for the big tournament.
7 Rounds, 2 ours pp. and the opponents are strong!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Alive, well and buzzzzzzzzzzzzzy

No, I did not forget my fellow knights. And yes, I'm working hard on my tactics.
But I have to do a lot of work for my two choirs. And I have formed a new small group, we are going to sing madrigals and close harmony. With a lot of work, I hope. Also I did a lot of composing, and that costs a lot of time.
For chess I prefer to do training, and so that leaves not much time left for blogging.
Besides, with only one PC Tempo and I struggle a bit who can use it.
Now this week I'm getting a second hand computer (yahoo!) so there is time again for blogs.
Nice to see our family has extended with new knigts.
For all of you: Welcome, brothers.
I'll ask Tempo to put your links on my list.
And now, back to my trainings!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Positive Discrimination ?

Hurray, I got a prize!
Last saturday I got a prize.
We play every year a tournament with all the members in our area. Nine games, on different saturdays. Each player got two hours. So it was a hard tournament.
Saturday was the last day, and totally unexpected I was given a medal.
Because ???:
First you must know that the chess game is not so populair amongst women. So when you are female, the chess clubs give you an overextended heartly welcome when you visit a chessclub. They do everything to keep this lady, and on tournaments there are often extra prizes for female players.
They call it positive discrimination.
This I like.
In my cupboard I have more bocals and plaquettes than Tempo.
So to visitors I can prove that I play better. (they don't know the difference between ratings and different groups!)
I have allso a prize for the nicest game of the day (King's gambit ofcourse).
I'm proud of it.
Now about last saturday.
Here you see that I have mixed feelings about it:
I got a medal, yes.
I got a prize for being the best of the older woman playing this tournament.
Best woman?
Best older woman?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

An unfaithful lady.

The truth I must tell at last.
I have been unfaithful.
I have forsaken my first love. Oh yes, I will allways love her, her kindness warms my heart.
But I was weak, and I yielded for the strenght of a cold hearted Lady.
Her exactingness gives me no rest. I have to work to the bone to please her.

I have abandoned Lady Cecilia for worshipping a new Goddess: Caissa.

This coming summer I was offered to do a course of music.
At the same time there is an important chess tournament.
Not so long ago I did not have to think about it: I would choose the music.
Music was my greatest love.
And now?
Instead of the sweetness of heavenly musical grounds I go to the battlefield. You all, knights, can understand it, when you have worked hard to sharpen your sword, you want to fight.

So, my fair Goddess Caissa, I hope you will reward me, and stand aside me in the chess arena.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Tactics and openings

Well my dear friends knights, I'm back after a week hard work:
monday: music theory and orchestration lessons, then at evening my choir
tuesday : going to play chess for my club somewhere in the country. did not play, car stopped halfway, was lucky to get home with leaking dynamo? or something? ?
wednesday: music theory lessons, then going to play chess for my club somewhere in the country. lost from somebody with a rating 350 more then mine.
thursday: my other choir
friday: chess at the club. victory, hurray (blessed is king's gambit, again)
saturday: extended housework, shopping and visitors
Every day : working on my circles : 480 for the 5 time, 300 for the 4 time, all 100 %, yahoo ! and 200 for the first time 90 %. Oke the problems are not to difficult but if I could see them in real games allways I would be a much better player.
But now the thing is how to get the situations on the board?
With somebody who plays weaker than I do, I have the chance and tempo's to create attacs according my tactical lessons.
With stronger players not. It seems like I only can follow his moves and defend.
My openings are for this reason quite agressive so my opponent have to follow my rules. But....
This guy who I met last week with 300 points more rating turned the situation after 5 moves.
From attacker I become defender. I hate this. I want to keep control, so I have the time and tempo's to set up a sneaky trap.
The question is now:
What is a good opening in relation with tactics?
By exemple, the games where my bishops are both pointing from the queenside on to my opponents kingside are usually won by me. In the famous books from Mr Max Euwe is keeping the bishop pair highly recommendend. He gives allso a lot advices about openings.
I understand his ideas a little but it seems to me that his ideas are for the long range. In the books of Gallagher I found more openings (especially the Kings' Gambit) which create the situations where I can find all these tactical possibilities. Mr Euwe did not like kings gambit at all.
He recommanded for black Kings Indian. I quotate:"with good chances for black". I tried to played this with result: my opponent shuffled all the pawns in the center until we both did not have a move at all, untill we have to sacrifice to break in the centre. Then it was only exchanging peaces and an endgame with some pawns. For my tricks I learned from my tactical course I need open lines. Oke I know there must be more in the game but I cannot see it. For me is: the more chaos the more I like it. In the complications are the double attacks. My queen can skate around when she has the space. I need my knights to jump around on unexpected locations.
With closed games it is to difficult (yet) to see. As long I am not a grandmaster I have to mess around in open, complicated (?) games, where everything could happen.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Why do I blunder so much?
In my games it goes well in the openings. In the middlegame often I have the inititiative.
And when the moment is there to finish it off, it happens........
The blunder......
I work so hard to learn the tactics, on the club some good players asure me they see improvement in my playing. As fathers they support and advice me; they are even proud at me when I win a game. (This happens when you are the only woman at the club, I'm a kind of mascotte.)
When they saw me growing fast they even think I was talented ( ha ha, it was the training! no talent!)
The last year I don't know what happened to me, I've lost 70 ratingpoints, all because of blunders.
I give an example of my last game:
I played white.

white black

  1. e4 c5
  2. c3 e5
  3. Bc4 Kf6
  4. d3 Be7
  5. Kf3 d5
  6. exd5 Bd6
  7. Kd2 0-0
  8. Ke4 Re8
  9. 0-0 a6
  10. Bg5 Kh8
  11. Kxf6 gxf6
  12. Bh4 e4
  13. d3xe4 Rxe4
  14. Bd3 Rg4
  15. Re1 Be7
  16. Qe2 Rxg2 +
  17. Kxg2 hurray! Qg8 +
  18. Kh1 Bh3
  19. Rg1 Bg4 I do not dare to tell, I knew that I had to be carefull for mate. but I was eating my sandwich, and was focussed on his e7 bishop, to catch than after Rxf7+, and that was it, in a winning game
  20. I took the bloody $%%*^!#** bishop

He took of course my knight and it was over. I have seen this move. I knew it, but why do I allways have a mind absence at "le moment suprême"?

I'm happy with my optimistic character, otherwise I would have give up the whole chess thing and concentrate on my music.

But I will overcome this blundering, and I will play heavenly.


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Ladies in Chessland (part two)

(Sorry, I accidently deleted part 1)

At my chessclub I'm the only woman.
No problem, everybody behave as knights to me. After the games we drink a beer or four and play blitz, and conversations are all about how refined we beated our opponent. Fun.
When we play with other clubs we have sometimes to go to villages where they live with medieval standards.
Mother stays home knitting and father has his weekly chess evening amongst other man.
when they see me, they first think that I am with somebody as a fan.
But when they discover I come to play too, they are shocked. They are really shocked when they get an agressive King's Gambit against a nice friendly looking lady. ( I'm a very agressive player, my club friends told me)
In the university towns there are more women who play serious chess. I'm not shure but I think it's about 10 %.
I wonder how the situation is in other countries.
At the youth departement of our club both sexes are equally represented, so what happens with all those girls when they get older?

About my games: Allmost all my games I've won took no more than 27 moves.
For me is a draw not an option, except against a much stronger player.
In games where we opposite castled I take often great risks when we both start a storm attack with our pawns. I discovered that if I take more risk my opponent switches to defence instead of attacking. One time my king was only defended by one pawn while all the other pieces where gathered around the king's fort of my opponent. This guy's rating was 200 above mine.

The problem with my style of playing chess is that I don't know much of endgames, I don't have enough experience from real games, the check-mate is in the middlegame.
And against other agressive players I found out that my tactic skills are not sufficient yet.
Watch me, guys , untill I finish my exercises.
Princess Errant is on her way!

Hard work on a Sunday

Today I did only 70 Papa Polgar exercises, (third time, the first and second were long ago)
and 110 exercises from a Dutch program, for the fourth time. Now, at 2.10 in the night I look back satisfied on an accomplished task.
'Thou shall not work on Sunday" is written somewere, but was it work? I like much doing exercises, and all the things which are called "work" I have to do are fun. For my choirs I have to work, preparing midifiles, making easy arrangements for my "popchoir", and study and preparing for my renaissancechoir, a lot of work, but all this is fun to do. ( I'm a choir conductor)

The problem is more that a day is too short, there is simply no time to do all the things I want.
That could give me the illusion that I am busy, but I found out that there is only one thing too do, and that is what you do at this very moment.
So I don't feel work as hard labour, I forget about all the other things which will come later, and then I give them as much attention as I give to what is here now.
Stressing is only a state of mind, thinking about work, never the work itself.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Tonight I've done it again....
##%%!for crying it out loud!
Tonight was my weekly chessclub evening. The game went optimal for me. After ten moves I won the bishop of my opponent. I trained "slaying the defender" a few weeks ago, and so this was the result. After an our playing came the stage how to finish the opponent by checkmate.
This I trained last week.
Checkmate in 3. Piece of cake. First the sacrifice, then the check, then the finishing move.
Cheerfully I took his f7 pawn with my bishop, my opponent took cheerful my bishop and that was it. I've never seen it back.
How is this possible? The whole week I trained sacrifices but..........
in the exercices they worked!
In a real game not allways.
The problem is with training you do your moves without thinking because the initial moves are of the same kind. The pattern I've developped is perhaps in the wrong part of my brains.
So, I must learn not to move fast but see fast what is on the board.
Tonight was a good course, educational, but I hope not to repeat this 7 times.

Chess improvement and a lazy lady

In 1998 my husband told me he wanted to play chess at the local chessclub. He allso thought it was good for me to join. there was just a little problem to solve: I had to learn the chess-game.
So enthousiastic I started to learn the difference between a pawn and a bishop and how to catch a king with two rooks. I worked hard and my husband was (and is) an understanding and good coach. In 1999 I played my first tournament, with not even a bad result.
At our local club I was for years(!) the worst player. I 'd never won a single game, but because I wanted to learn the game I did not gave up, allthough I was sometimes desperate.
The first openings I learned : king's gambit with white and sicilian with black.
From the time I'd study tactics (5000 +1 problems by daddy Polgar) there was some progress.
In 4 years I reached from nothing to a level of 1400 rating points. Not bad because I don't know much middleaged ladies who started for the first time with chess.
I won from older guys who played 20 to 30 years.
Daily I try to do at least 200 tactic problems, (intensive course tactics, from George Renko) but it is difficult to withstand doing other things, like playin computer games and make music (I'm a composer too).
I have a dream or two: beat my hubby on the board, I did this one time, and become on the list of top 50 female players in our country.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Amateur choir conductors

We, amateur conductors have a difficult but delightfull task.
We like to share are love for choirmusic with a group of people and try to make them sing as professionals.To do so we need ourselves to learn.
15 Years ago there was a small group of ladys who asked me to teach them a few songs and that was the beginning .
From that time I worked with different choirs: a church youth choir, a musicall choir, a pop-music choir, and a Renaissance choir.
I would like to share with fellow-amateur conductors our experiences.