Thursday, 29 December 2016

First two games on the board I made for Grandad's pieces

I made a wooden board to fit Grandad's pieces. Henry and I christened it today with a couple of games. I beat him quite quickly in the first game, but in the second he had the cunning plan of copying my first eleven moves, and potentially had the better game at one point...

1. h4 e5 2. h5 c5 3. d3 d5 4. e3 Nc6 5. c3 c4 6. dxc4 dxc4 7. e4 Qxd1+ 8. Kxd1 Bd7 9. Rh4 O-O-O 10. g4 Bxg4+ 11. Ke1 Rd1# 0-1

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O O-O 5. d4 d5 6. c4 c5 7. e3 e6 8. b3 b6 9. Ba3 Ba6 10. dxc5 dxc4 11. cxb6 cxb3 12. Bxf8 Kxf8 13. Qxd8+ Ne8 14. Ng5 Nc6 15. Qxa8 Bxf1 16. Qxc6 Bxg2 17. Nc3 $2 Bxc6 18. bxa7 e5 19. axb3 f6 20. Ne6+ Kg8 21. Nd8 Bd7 22. a8=Q g5 23. Qd5+ Kh8 24. Nf7+ Kg8 25. Nh6+ Kf8 26. Qf7# 1-0

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Third game on the board I made

I've had quite a few games with Rod this year. This game is quite typical - he'll often put together a nice combo or gain an advantage somehow, but I can normally get him due to a miscalculation somewhere further along the track or just more experience with the end game.

1. e4 d6 2. Bc4 e5 3. Qf3 Nf6 4. d3 Bg4 5. Qg3 Nbd7 6. h3 Be6 7. Bxe6 fxe6 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6 Nxf6 10. Qf3 d5 11. Nd2 Bb4 12. c3 Ba5 13. exd5 Qxd5 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Qh5+ Kf8 16. dxe4 Qxe4+ 17. Ne2 g6 18. Qf3+ Qxf3 19. gxf3 Rd8 20. Rg1 g5 21. Rd1 Ke7 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. h4 Kf6 24. hxg5+ hxg5 25. Ng3 Rg8 26. Ne4+ Kf5 27. b4 Bb6 28. a4 a6 29. a5 Ba7 30. c4 Kf4 31. Rg3 g4 32. Rxg4+? Rxg4! 33. fxg4 Kxe4 34. g5 Kf5 35. g6 Kxg6 36. f3 Bd4 37. Ke2 Kf5 38. Kd3 Kf4 39. c5 Kxf3 40. c6 bxc6 41. Kc4 Ba7 42. b5 cxb5+ 43. Kd3 e4+ 44. Kd2 e3+ 45. Ke1 e2 46. Kd2 Kf2 47. Kc3 e1=Q+ 48. Kb3 Qxa5 49. Kc2 Ke2 50. Kb2 Kd2 White Resigns

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Grandad's Chess Pieces

An old boarded-up shed on my parents' farm contained what was left of my Grandad's bakery.

I used to love exploring old sheds when I was young. I had previously considered this shed inaccessible, but about thirty years ago managed to find a way in and slithered through the small gaps between the tightly-packed furniture, eventually discovering some wooden chess pieces in a drawer. I've had them with me ever since.

I lost a pawn from the set under the house that Davina and I were living in about twenty years ago. Our cat Malamba (or Malamber, as Davina insists it should be spelt) had a litter of kittens, and one of them knocked the pawn down a hole in the floor of the old house.

So, for a while, the set was one pawn down.

The set remained incomplete until maybe a couple of years later - I forget how long now - when I was sitting down to a game of chess with my mate Evan at Chez Eelco, the cafe that used to be at the top of Trafalgar Street in Nelson.

The cafe had a mismatched set of chess pieces. As soon as I picked up a pawn with a sudden intake of breath, I looked at Evan and he said, "Say no more, mate, say no more," understanding me completely - it matched my lost one, and I quietly slipped the pawn into the pocket of my jeans. The mismatched set still had enough pawns to make a full set and then some, so I didn't feel too bad about taking the piece.

A storm destroyed the old shed at some point through the years, so I'm glad I found and rescued the chess pieces when I had the chance.