How do you measure your life? Recently, I started measuring my life by the number of razor blades I use… one per week, 52 per year… if I figured on living until 90 or so… that meant I had about 1560 razor blades left in my life… round abouts. So, I thought, what if I could use one razor blade every 2… no, every 3 weeks. Well, either that would be a lot cheaper, or, I would extend my life to the ripe old age of 150.
Its what they call a win-win. Once I did this, I noticed that I played better speed chess… because, of course, time for me was running 3 times slower.
Immediately, it struck me that Chess players have the option of measuring their lives by the number of chess moves… for example, most USCL games are 40/90 with a 30 second increment… or about 40 moves in 2 hrs… 480 moves per day… 3360/wk… 174720/yr… Or, for me, 5,241,600 chess moves left in my life.
Well, I’ll never reach that number of moves, I thought, and combined with my razor blade theory, I was in good shape. Actually, this leads to several insights, for example… Jorge, in showing up late for each USCL game and having to make 40 moves in an hour, has increased the number of chess moves in his life by one third to about 7,022,744… a pretty high number… thus, extending his life by one third to about 120 years on average.
Amazing, now I think I understand why he comes in late… and, as a result of this insight, the USCL is considering shortening the time limit to 40 moves in 60 minutes for the benefit of all of us. Certainly, not as good as counting razor blades, but, a nice beginning all the same.
By now, you are pretty fed up with me… and may be asking… What does all this have to do with the great Blitz win over the Philadelphia Inventors (2.5 – 1.5) in Monday evening's USCL week 5 match. Well, everything… as Eugene showed up just enough late for his game to extend his life… and slow down time… thus, making his time pressure moves seem easy… as he drew the last-to-finish, critical game… and won the match.
But, lets not stop here... Lets see how other Blitz players used my unconventional theory to win games and extend their lives in their match with the Philadelphia inventors… maybe, just maybe, we’ll find a way to live forever.
The first to finish and best game of the match (not counting Eugene’s great draw of course) was Kazim’s fine Reversed Benoni? Well, it looked like one to me. Now, Kazim can measure his life in trips to the Harvard SOCH hall vernding machine… which may not extend your life, but does make you happier…. And his smooth play in the opening proved this theory absolutely correct.
SM William Fisher (PHI) vs FM Kazim Gulamali (BOS) 0-1
Not using a board, and with his laid-back slouch, Kazim gives the impression he is watching a documentary TV show... Something like "The Universe"... or Morgan Freenan's "Through the Wormhole". Whatever it is... it's very interesting, as he hardly says a word, or cracks a smile... even when he is just totally crushing his opponent. You tell me... Did White have any moves after move 18?
Wow, I really liked this game... and thought it was GOTW worthy... Well, USCL judges are looking for something more spectacular than just a fabulous opening and overwhelming attack... I guess. Or, maybe they are just out of sync... and can't relate to someone who measures their life (and, consequently, their opponent) just a lttle differently.
Boston (1 - 0)
A wonderful game, Kazim... I am going back to picking you to win every game. Is that a good thing?
Things were looking good after the first game ended. And Misha looked to be in his element... all young players love to attack. However, he wasn't moving fast at all. Perhaps, his measuring was at fault. Keystrokes on a keyboard can't be correct. There are just too many... Oh well, he has time to change his method.
I was disappointed right from the start of this game... a very dull Scheveningen?... God save us. And with Michael measuring in keystrokes... time was at a standstill.
We were that close (put index finger and thumb about 10 millimeters apart) to being up (2 - 0). But with time standing still and all, and Dov's shot from the blue, all I could think was...
What if I went 4 weeks on a razor blade?
Boston (1 - 1)
And that brings us to our puzzle... unfortunately, it's FM Dov Gorman who gets the credit here.
Oh heck! Michael has had some tough luck in these matches. But, all's well that ends well. And Ilya made sure it would end well with a short 21 move mini against a strong opponent, NM Tony Daly. Of course, he had applied my theory correctly. He decided to measure his life in number of beers... very wise decision... you see, you have a lot of fun doing it... and, in Ilya's case, you will live as long as Methuselah.
Ilya was in his prep through the first 10 moves in this game. A really good job of knowing your opponent. And although he was measuring with beer, he hadn't had any yet. So, we were quite confident throughout.
So, you can't brag about this one... so what... it's still a great game... a win is a win... Right? Ilya, have a beer on me... you deserve it.
Boston (2 - 1)
And now, it came down to the two heavyweights... And with Eugene coming in late and measuring in chess moves... we had quite an advantage. After all, tempus fugit faster for his opponent... and this proved decisive... match-wise.
Eugene did not play 1.c4... as I had predicted. No, this did not upset me... I have been wrong once before. However, he did give me a lesson in how to play the main line, as White, against the dreaded Caro-Kahn. And GM Erenburg, I must say, nearly demonstrated Kramnik like technique... we were quite worried at the end of this one... with each player going down to just a few seconds before moving and gaining the increment. Thank goodness we had counted our blessings... so to speak.
Not bad... not bad at all. Some great technique demonstrated on both sides. But, this is always true between these two GMs. And always true in Eugene's games.
Boston (2.5 - 1.5)
Congrats to the team on a much needed win... and I know they are all grateful for my theory... I won't say they wouldn't have won without it, but, we sure will all last a lot longer... yes sir, it's like the fountain of youth. I should charge for this... Really... One dollar for each silly theory... that would be... let's see... maybe $10/wk... $42/mo... and if I plan on living until 90... well, you get the idea, either I'm rich, or I live a long, long time... It's a win-win.
So, if you want to live forever... be here next Weds., Oct 10, 8:30pm... Oh my, I guess I'm taking Thursday off... Harvard SOCH hall, 59 Shepherd st., Cambridge, MA.
when the Blitz take on the LA Vibes. Hey, I hear we're prep-ing with a guru in the Himalayas... you won't want to miss it.