The Give and Take of Learning.

Apr 13, 2010, 11:42 AM |

This all started over a game with a person from Bhutan who, apparently, didn't speak English and I definitely didn't speak Bhutanese. After a few moves of what I, mistakenly, thought was an 'unrated' game I thought I had blundered into either a 'Losers' game or even 'Suicide Chess.' I certainly didn't know how to behave. The game progressed with the occasional remark by me such as, 'This is a strange game ?' when, for instance my pawn was attacked by the Queen (my response PxQ) and so forth. I was embarassed to find that I had gained some points as I had been challenged rather than, as I thought, been the challenger.

Then, on another occasion, I had an unpleasant experience when, having inadvertently switched the 'Game' chat panel to the 'Challenge' I missed a one-sided conversation which became increasingly virulent and, when I corrected my mistake and clicked on the 'Game' tab I found this long set of remarks ending in 'RESIGN RESIGN' I was so angry I did just that without replying at all ... I thought of putting that player on my 'I do not accept challenges from' list (currently empty) but cooled down and thought about how I could learn/gain from the experience. [That's one way to 'strike back' in these circumstances].

The upshot is that (although having a lowly score) I've volunteered for the Greeter program - the following is the conversation of my personal attempt at an unofficial 'greetings' game. The game is viewable at the end of the conversation - I recommend that, if you watch it, you use a one second autoplay delay after having read the conversation between Black and myself. Black was not, of course, his/her/other's real handle. My thoughts as the game progressed, which I almost lost on time because of all the typing, are in square brackets.

GAME - Ericacea vs. Black

Ericacea: Hello there - this s a friendly game - If I spot a blunder I will tell you about it and let you know if I'm trying anything sneaky!
Black: Haha, ok thanks. [
He/She/Other doesn't believe me].
Ericacea: OK, my next move is Pawn to d4 if you take it I've got a central Knight.
Black: ok [He now knows that I mean to give him a helping hand].
Ericacea: If you don't I will try and move that Pawn forward one square.
Ericacea: As promised - now Bishop to b5 - check
Ericacea: Although some people think the Knight is not worth much I value them so I will take yours and then move my Knight out of the say.
Ericacea: My King is a bit exposed so I will castle.
Ericacea: I forgot to move the Knight out of the way. [Blunders happen - He should take advantage of it].
Ericacea: OK I move the Pawn forward. [He did take advantage of the blunder].
Ericacea: Thank you. I now have an apparent response to your Bishop and move the Rook to e1 naturally so that you are not too suspicious.
Ericacea: Right - several choices. Pawn forward 2 you take it and still the same threat. Knight to c3 threatening your Bishop but you bring your 2nd bishop out anyway so I abandon my protection of the isolated pawn with the Rook and go for Rook to d1
Ericacea: Um - You are threatening my c2 unprotected Pawn
Ericacea: So I bring my Bishop to d2 threatening your Queen. If you bring out the Bishop and threaten back I take the Bishop and if you take my Bishop I take your Queen.
Ericacea: Appears a threat lining up on my e2 so I bring my Knight out to c3 threatening your Bishop and the pawn and covering e2
Ericacea: You are forcing my hand - I swap Queens and take the Bishop with the Knight
Ericacea: I ignore the threatened Pawn attack and move my Knight to d6 - check. You take with the Bishop and I move my Pawn forward etc. If you move out of the way I take the Rook, increasing my material gain.
Ericacea: Rook to d1
Ericacea: My next move will be Rook to b3.
Ericacea: Rook to a3 is mate.
                            ---------- +++++++ -------------
Ericacea: So, there were threats that weren't really threats and those that I could afford to ignore. I liked the game and one thing I've learned is I mustn't run out of time.

Ericacea: OK Bi Bi. As a friendly game - your score is not affected.

Can I suggest you carry on playing friendlies until you start to win a bit ?

Black: yeah thanks
Ericacea: Cheers. Ericacea.