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.