Friday, November 30, 2007

Sinterklaas and Chess

For our friends who live at the other side of the ocean a little explanation:
Sinterklaas is an old bishop (350 year or so) who lives in Spain. He comes every year to Holland to celebrate his birthday on 5 December. From the day of his arrival (around 16e November children can set their shoes near the fireplace and the next morning they find presents in it.
People who don't believe in Sint Nicolaas anymore make funny presents (never expensive) for eachother and write poems. The poems allways have a little teasing in it. On 5 December we drink hot chocolate milk, and eat candies like 'speculaas', and 'pepernoten'.
This is how Sint Nicolaas does his work

At our previous chessclub there were all kinds of happenings, like Sinterklaas playing against the whole club, and we played Fischer random. Another round we were switching every five minutes boards with our right neighbour. Imagin what happens then ! every time a totally new situation, good or bad. Fun!
There was allso a round were some people (random numbers) had to move their King if possible or get an extra bishop! There was of course hot chocolate milk, and our traditional candies.
Traditional the servant of Sint Nicolaas throws everywhere! sweets around so this happened at our chessclub too; big mess!
It makes such a difference if the management of a chessclub is a group of enthusiastic, fun-loving guys!
Alas, after we did not have a car anymore this club was to far away. So we play for only one club now.
I wonder if they do something special on sinterklaas evening, I really hope so!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Who is Princess Errant

For the new ones in the Knights blogosphere, I became a chess player in 2000.
To learn the rules etc. Tempo advised me to do Tasc, which I did. When we discovered La Maza method, we allso discovered The Knights,a bunch of fanatic patzers.
Like Me.
My favourit opening is the Kings Gambit with white, and Islandic Scandinavian with black. I'm allways happy when my opponent coöperates to get those positions on the board.
My favourite (?) mistake is the classical BLUNDER. For that I developed a strategie:
During the game, when it is my move I hold my coffeecup with two hands, or I sit on my hands, or eat my sandwich, holding it with two hands, anything to keep me away from this nasty habit, of moving to fast.
I saw in the chessblogs all kinds of well thought, theoretical and psychologicall explanations why we blunder.
I see it much more simple. I watched carefully and I saw every time this impatience, not to look around the board for three seconds, but moving to quick.
We, Tempo and I play on a chessclub, and our favourit holliday is playing a 10-days tournament. For us no tropical, palm cocktail barbeque vacation. That is for us boring torture.
The absolute top for us is CORUS tournament. where about 1700 people play. If you ever have the chance, to participate: do it, and allso write yourself in for the hefty peasoup meal on the last day, with about 800 people, grandmasters and patzers, sitting at long tables, all satisfied, because it was so great playing with all your friends.
Because our country is so small, we know half of the country's chessplayers, and a tournament is never far away.
So, now you see, my blog is totally different from Tempo. May be not so interesting, allthough I'll write sometimes about my battles. but hé it's perhaps the female touch, talking about the things around chess and people who play chess. Which I think is as important as the game.
For now, Im going to practice PCT, and I start all over. On my chess club I asked for a chesscoach, and we shall see if this will help for the next Corus tournament in February.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Preparing for the battle

Well, my fellow knights, Margriet is back.
I never left my chessclub ofcourse but the improvement goes slow..
In february there is The tournament, so from now on I am going to train again.
This time I use PCT. so it is nice to compare our progress, and exchange our experiences with you, my brother knights.

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!