Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Raid Week 6/12-6/18

Got a few things this week.  My Hunter's pulled ahead of my Shaman again (395 to 393), but it cost me 10k to do it. *laugh*

Dust: LFR: Healer Legs
Jab2: LFR:  Vial of Shadows.  GDKP Run: Tier Helm for 4k, Kiril for 13k.  Got 7.5k back at the end.
Amashan: Nada.
Token alliance character:  Ok, this was frustrating.  I got into a 10-man DS PuG, blasted through it smoothly (only 1 wipe), and not a single Protector token dropped.  Didn't get anything out of it at all.  (Other than her Destroyer's End title, which was nice).

I think HWNN is doing Firelands this week instead of DS, so I'll take Dustweaver through the GDKP run instead of Jabarii this time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

John Palermo Game #4

Another game, another loss.  This one I played very poorly, other than the opening.

This was a King's Indian, which is probably the opening I know the best of my d4/c4 repertoire.  (The other one that I see a lot of is the QGA, so I'm very comfortable there as well.)  He played the opening quite poorly, and I have a completely won game on move 14.

Of course, I blew it.  Multiple times.

Not much to say about this one, it's definitely the worst of the four that I played.  Black's moves weren't any great shakes, either, but good enough to win.

John Palermo Game #3

Here's the third game.  This started as a QGD orthodox, and ended up as a draw with an interesting material balance.

I was correct to trade my queen for his rooks, but then messed up the tactics a bit and held on to my king by the skin of my teeth - he then made a mistake to give up a very strong passed pawn, but I didn't see how I could make progress and it ended up a perpetual check (mostly by choice).

Interesting game, for sure.

- Analyze the position after 17. Nd2.  I thought I had to be better, computer disagrees.  Interested to see what other people think, and why.
- Any good resources with a bunch of sample Q vs 2R endings?  That's the second time in two tournaments I've gotten that imbalance (had the Rooks both times) - drew this one, lost the previous one.

Opening analysis per Palliser's "Play 1.d4!"

John Palermo Game #2

This is game #2 from the tourney.  White plays the Grand Prix against my Sicilian, but we get "out of book" really, really quickly.  Again I get a good position, but I can't figure out how to break through on the queenside and I get into major time trouble.  There were a couple of times I could have broken through, but I missed them both times (well, I looked at the first one and rejected it for some reason).

Specific questions
- I really wasn't worried about my king at all this game.  Does that seem reasonable?
- Move 9 suggestions?
- Any other breakthrough ideas other than the ones found by Shredder (in the notes)?
- I used a HUGE amount of time between moves 12 and 18 - nearly 30 minutes of my 55.  Most of it was on moves 16 and 17.  Any tips to try to find candidate moves more quickly?
- I kept looking at breaking with f6 at various points - is that even a good idea, and when should I have done it?  I ended up deciding against it as it would have let his bishop back into the game.

Opening analysis according to "Experts on the Anti-Sicilian", by Aagaard, Shaw, and others.

John Palermo Game #1

Here is the first game from the tournament (G/55, 5 sec delay).  I had White, and it went into a Benoni.  I misplaced a couple pieces in the opening, but still ended up with a decent position.

At the end, I had all his pieces cramped up on the queenside, and I started dreaming of a kingside attack (roll the pawns, swing the rooks over).  Problem is that I missed that his Qc7 cleared the b6 square for his knight to come in and his queenside pawns just ran me down.  If I play b3 there, I'm totally fine.

Questions (other thoughts welcome of course!):
- After 12 ... a6, pros/cons for immediately reacting with 13. a4?
- Anything better than liquidating the minor pieces after 17 ... Ne5?
- Shredder didn't like my 24. Qc4.  I was worried that he was going to sac a pawn with 24 ... c4 in order to get that beautiful c5 square for his knight, and he'd probably control the c-file as well.  Was that really a "threat", and what should I have done there?
- What should the plan be after I go back in time and play 26. b3 like I should have?

I'm not too disappointed in this game, really.  I got a decent position against a player 250 points higher than me, from a totally unfamiliar opening (I don't study openings hardly at all, and almost never see the Benoni).  Going over it afterward, he didn't seem particularly happy with his position until I screwed up with g4, so that's comforting at least.

Opening notes from Richard Palliser's "Play 1. d4!".

Tournament Results 6/16

Reasonable play (or so I thought), poor results.

Ended up in the U2000 (which was the top section), and only got a half-point out of 4 games (and that's with 3 Whites, to boot!) I'll post the games when I get a chance, hopefully later today.  I haven't gone over them with Shredder yet, but I think that I was probably clearly winning two of them, was even in one until a bad strategic oversight, and would have been fine in the fourth except I took too much time to pick a poor middlegame plan.

My USCF rating dropped from 1678 to 1649.  Bleh.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Oh yeah, my Hunter finally lucked out in LFR - Vial of Shadows is mine!

That thing is totally ridiculous - it dropped from Zon'ozz, and on the final two fights there it was doing nearly 8% of my (personal) damage, so probably about 5% when including the pet.  That's crazy.

FICS Game #1 w/ RockyRook

Played the first game (of hopefully 4) against RockyRook on FICS last night.  Grabbed the first pawn of many, making a horrific tactical error in the process.  I thought I was ok against the pin, but d4 wasn't the only square that White's queen could attack the knight from.  BAH.

Rocky missed it, and I showed my immense pawn-grabbing skills, totally ignoring my queenside development in the process.  I was able to lock up the kingside though so my king was safe, and eventually was ready to give up an exchange to completely develop (for like 4 pawns though, including a monster on c4.  Rocky let me extract my queen a different way which would have let my QB out without trouble, and then left a piece en-prise trying to save more pawns.

Time control was 75 minutes with a 15 sec. increment for each move.  I had the Black pieces.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Raid week: 6-5/6-11

Bleh week.

Dust: HWNN only got through Blackthorn - for some reason we didn't have nearly enough DPS for Spine (when we need Lust to get a tendon down in one shot, and barely at that - that's not good).  She got a Seal Trinket for her healing spec at least.

Jab2: GDKP run tried Morchok on heroic a few times.  Didn't kill it - we didn't have nearly enough healers for the first few attempts, then the Korchom-group kept dying.  (I was in the Morchok-group, and we were consistantly fine).  That, combined with a large pile of Ultraxion wipes only got us through Blackthorn as well.  Picked up the Tier Legs for 3500, got 4200 back at the end.

Nothing at all from LFR for those two, either. :(

Mashy: Ilvl 386 flower picker. *laugh*.

Token Alliance character: Went through LFR, got nada.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Upcoming Chess Stuff

Few games on the horizon:

Thurs. 6/14 on FICS vs RockyRook (see sidebar link).  75/15  I go as "Jabarii" on FICS.
Sat. 6/16 - 4 round USCF tournament, 55/5.  Don't know the sections yet as they wait on the entry pool before dividing it up.

Obviously will post all the games after they happen!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Raid Week 5/29-6/4

For each week raiding, the characters usually go as follows:
Dustweaver: Horde with No Name weekly raid + LFR.
Jabarii: Lazzy's GDKP run(*) + LFR.
Amashan: LFR (usually, not always)
Alliance Dust: LFR.

(*) Lazzy does a 25-man GDKP run every Sunday at 1:00 server that I've gotten in to for the past few weeks.  The way GDKP (aka: "gold run") works is that when stuff drops he runs an auction where people bid gold to buy the item - for these runs it's 3000G min and 500G raises.  It's an "out loud" auction, not silent.

At the end of the run (5:00 server, regardless of which boss you're on), all the gold collected is then split evenly among the raid members.  For his runs, Lazzy keeps an extra share (so it's split 26 ways instead of 25), but he provides Flasks and Feasts for everyone.  He also keeps the Maelstroms for everything not bid on.  It works surprisingly well, and the runs tend to go fairly smoothly as people that AFK or grief or are terrible players get kicked out so they don't get gold at the end - that's a great incentive to "play nice".

Not a bad week at all raiding.  Took Dust through on a 10-man PuG as the whole guild was playing D3 instead. *sigh*

Dustweaver: DPS Ring, Healer Belt
Jabarii: Tier Chest and Shoulders.  Paid 7000 for those, got 7200 back at the end.  Perfect!  Would have been better if DW didn't drop TWO of the stupid rogue daggers though, or if we'd had any Warriors at all so that the two Experimental Specimen Slicers and great trinkets went for more than 3k.
Amashan: Nothing that I remember.
Token alliance character: Finally got her LFR Maw.  About time!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Every good story starts in the middle...

... since nobody can go back to the beginning of time!

So we'll pick up with where I am now. This is going to track my random doings and thoughts on gaming, mostly with World of Warcraft and Chess (as those are what I'm playing at the moment). Will track what I'm doing of course (isn't that why everyone blogs?), but also post my thoughts about theory for both with an eye to generating discussion. I'll also likely touch on other games as the mood strikes.

At the moment, I'm a Class B chessplayer - current USCF rating is 1680, but it's a pretty "rusty" 1680 as I'm just picking the game up again after completely dropping it for nearly 20 years. Started back up about six months ago and am just now feeling like I remember something about how to play.

For WoW, I played Vanilla and BC, then missed WotLK and most of Cata, just re-starting that six months ago as well. I'm mainly on Kilrogg Horde, with a token alliance character on Gnomeregan. Guilded immediately with Horde with No Name as it has a bunch of old friends and co-workers and is a great group to boot.

I was originally going to play a Moonkin as my main as there weren't any spell-leather users in guild, but the spec just does terrible DPS so I switched to an Enhancement Shaman instead (even though we have 2 Hunters and a Resto Shaman in the 10-man). The Shaman is 5000% more fun, and almost 5000% more effective than the Moonkin is! So we'll pick up the story from here (or last week, in any case!)