Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I gained two points in Saturday's Indy Tornado chess event

Saturday was a good day. My buddy Luke got my butt down to the Chess Castle, as this would be his last tournament in Minnesota in awhile (he's crossing the country now). I hadn't played a rated tournament since February, but I woke up in a super relaxed and happy mood, so this helped me play more inspired chess than usual.

I think everyone of the five games I played featured my exchange sacking a piece. I'm analyzing game four against uberkid Andrew Tang, who is about 1750. Attached is the game before my error.

I got to play a quick game against Luke, too. This was our first one against each other in a tournament.

I ended up with a score of 1.5 out of five, but my three losses were against three people who ended the tournament with ratings of 2009, 1778, and 1759. I played some respectable chess, which is not my end goal, but is certainly sufficient for my satisfaction.

Friday, May 29, 2009

OMG! Actually chess content

Tomorrow I plan to play at the Chess Castle for a Tornado tournament. My folks just visited, and my dad and I played a series of games--G/45, G/45, and G/30. This is not my usual speed, but considering that I ended up with an even score against him (he's rated 1534 after his last tournament), I feel comfortable for grinding out five games at 45 minutes apiece.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Update: Fringe will get a second season

This morning it was reported that Fringe will have a second season!

(And life has been going well, but I've been too busy to stop and write about it!)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fringe and Dollhouse on potential chopping block?

I am uncertain how my tastes in television fall with the general population, but it seems that some of the shows I enjoy don't necessarily enjoy a long shelf life. I remember being saddened when Northern Exposure was going away, but I suppose six seasons was actually not a bad run.

In this article, the writers discuss ten shows that might go away, including Fringe and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, two shows I have become quite fond of. (Rock of Love is on that same list...who knows why?)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Three good bands last night

I went to the Cabooze last evening to catch three bands: The Bill Mike Band, Greg Ginn and the Taylor Texas Corrugators, and Jambang. The first group is local, while the last two feature Greg Ginn, Steve LeLollis on drums, and Bobby Bancalari on mandolin.

Greg played bass in the first set, which was an improvised country music set.

For Jambang, he switched to guitar. As Steve explained to me between sets, Jambang uses a pre-recorded bass and synth track around which the three of them improvise.

Anyhow, these guys worked hard, played well, and have a bunch of dates ahead of them. Check them out!

Apr 3 @ Aquarium in Fargo, ND
Apr 4 @ Railyard Ale House & Casino in Billings, MT
Apr 5 @ Otherside in Missoula, MT
Apr 7 @ The Mix in Seattle, WA
Apr 8 @ Tonic Lounge in Portland, OR
Apr 9 @ Stillwater in Ashland, OR
Apr 11 @ The Inn Place Laytonville, CA
Apr 13 @ Red Fox Tavern in Eureka, CA
Apr 14 @ Bombay's in Redding, CA
Apr 15 @ Lost On Main in Chico, CA
Apr 16 @ Java Lounge in Sacramento, CA
Apr 17 @ Divided Sky in Meyers, CA
Apr 19 @ Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco, CA
Apr 20 @ Plea for Peace Center in Stockton, CA
Apr 22 @ Monterey Live in Monterey, CA
Apr 23 @ Fishlips in Bakersfield, CA
Apr 24 @ Fais Do Do in Los Angeles, CA
Apr 25 @ Blue Cafe HB in Huntington Beach, CA
Apr 26 @ Hensley's Flying Elephant in Carlsbad, CA
Apr 29 @ DiPiazza's in Long Beach, CA
Apr 30 @ Winston's in San Diego, CA

Monday, March 23, 2009

Caught a Willie Waldman show last week!

Happy Spring, everyone! I'm glad warmer weather has returned.

Last week was very nice. After finishing a school assignment the week before, last week was relaxing with school out. I went out on St. Patrick's Day with a couple of friends at Kieran's, and on Wednesday night, I caught the trumpeter Willie Waldman for the first time. What a great show! He played with Steve Molitz from Particle, Kris Myers from Umphrey's McGee, and a few other terrific musicians. The painter Norton Wisdom painted while the band played.

As always, I am happy to experience some new art and music!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Round One: Shaking the Dust Off

The first round last Friday night was my first rated game in over a year. I have had slow time control games in chess league, but in chess league there is no expectation of playing six games in a weekend. Understanding and modifying your pace after the first game is helpful.

Chris N. and I played. He played Black and we played a French Advanced game. Due to an opening miscalculation, I won the d5 Pawn on move 13. But he had more active and better placed Bishops during the middle and endgame.

Anyways, I lost that game, but I found it helpful. I used too much time in the middlegame, which I think led to a stressful time in the endgame. I used that lesson to adjust my time for the rest of my games, which were much more relaxed as a result, at least time-wise.

Monday, February 16, 2009

She was listening to Taylor Swift; I was listening to the Flaming Lips

This weekend I competed in the Sophomore section of the 116th Annual Minnesota Open. Including this weekend, I have played in it six times since 2003. (I only missed '04 when I was living in Phoenix.)

I had a very enjoyable weekend, and I wanted to share some anecdotes, which may or not be in chronological order.

In round two I sat down to play a girl, who I guessed was younger than my own daughter. As we were both donning on iPods, I asked what she was listening to. (See title again.)

Other than the little smile in recognition of divergent tastes in music, we began our game. She played the English. It turned into a very wild reversed Sicilian variation, in which I was under constant attack. As I expected that she knew these lines well, I was shitting bricks for quite a while. Unlike the game I had played the night before, which was much more balanced, this game was completely about defense for me.

When I finished playing move after accurate move grinding down her attack, we had nothing more than a drawn position. I was relieved to escape this tense game with that draw!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Arts funding in Minnesota

One of my friends informed me about potential cuts to the arts proposed by Governor Pawlenty. Here is one perspective in the University of Minnesota's paper on it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Five long years

Boy, have these last five years been tough at times. I'm glad to say that I'm through the hard part.

In memory of my brother, Michael -- April 17, 1970 - January 16, 2004.

Love you, bro!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Times has an interesting article on "24."

I wanted to share this article I found on "24." It deals with human rights, torture, and related ideas depicted in the show.