Competitive Canadian Chessplayer

Hello all,

I am a Canadian chess player striving for continuous improvement. Lately, I have been transitioning away from playing a lot of blitz and bullet chess and more towards rapid chess and correspondence chess. I'd say that correspondence chess is my favourite because it allows me to always have enough time to make my moves. For this year in 2021, my chess goal is to analyze more of my own games. You never know what you might find when you look over a game you played in depth!

I used to enter a lot of correspondence chess tournaments on this site from 2017 through around May 2020. Due to entering a lot of these tournaments, I ranked highly for the daily chess tournament leaderboard in 2018 and 2019, and in 2020 I just missed the top 100. I probably won't try to do this again - now playing a stronger competition and having fun is more important to me than the ranking. Here are my rankings:

Daily Chess Tournament Leaderboard rank 2018: Rank #56, 101 tournaments, 3011 pts

Daily Chess Tournament Leaderboard rank 2019: Rank #35, 46 tournaments, 3367 pts

Daily Chess Tournament Leaderboard rank 2020: Rank #103, 34 tournaments, 2937 pts

I also like to play custom position chess. I think custom position chess is good fun!

I have posted the custom positions that I have played, tested and/or spent a long time to create down below: Also feel free to challenge me to any of these positions! If you want to join a chess community all about custom chess positions, join the custom positions club!  https://www.chess.com/club/custom-positions-club


1. Ral's Trapped Queens Variant

In this custom position, there are two queens on the board, but both of them are trapped by pawns. The objectives of the position are to develop pieces, sacrifice as little as possible to free up your queen, promote the many pawns on the first 2 files and to checkmate your opponent! There are many strategies of freeing the queen, like just sacrificing a rook right away, but you need to be very careful that the other side does not capture a third or sixth rank pawn resulting in promotion, and in many games, it has been possible to sacrifice a bishop instead, which is less material to sacrifice. Also, there are a few tactics in the position that I did not find out myself until I played this position in a tournament, but I will leave you to find those out!

Tournaments in this position: https://www.chess.com/tournament/rals-trapped-queens-variant-position-made-by-ralral3333 


2. Overly Ambitious

In this custom position, the entire board is blocked, and black only has 1 move to consider until white sacrifices to try and promote the pawns on the last few files. The position is already drawn at the beginning as white can draw by 50 move rule or repetition, but the fun comes when white sacrifices a knight to try and promote pawns. Although black has a queen, either side can win or it can be a draw once white sacrifices, so the question is for white: will you take the risk of losing in order to win?

Tournaments in this position: https://www.chess.com/tournament/overly-ambitious-tournament-position-made-by-ralral3333 


3. Promotion Prevention

In this custom position, each king is behind a bunch of pawns that can easily promote. Each side tries to rush their pawns to promotion while using their pieces other than the pawns to try and prevent their opponent from promoting their pieces. It does take a few moves to release the pieces, behind the army of pawns, but it is well worth it, otherwise the other side can easily promote their pawns


4. Ral's Trapped Kings Variant

This custom position is very similar to my first carefully thought out custom position, my trapped queens variant. In this custom position, the kings take the place of the queens in the trapped queens variant and there are knights instead of bishops. Surprisingly, although the position is very similar to the trapped queens variant one, the game is entirely different!


5. Sideways Chess

I know that there is n upside down chess variant that looks like a standard game except the pawns are one rank from promotion, so inspired by that variant, I created sideways chess! Like upside down chess, pawn promotion will be very important.


6. Ral's Lunar Eclipse Position

The pieces in this position are in the shape of a moon, and there are many pawn promotion strategies for this position as the pawns are on opposite sides of the board. Even if you are down material, you can still break through and promote pawns to win the game!


7. Danger

Probably the craziest position I have made that I like. Very interesting for both sides. You must be careful not to make mistakes though. It is also surprisingly very close to even so it is definitely playable for both sides. Although black is up material at the start of the game, initially, black's king has no squares to go to. White can also try to promote pawns later in the game.

8. Miserable Kings

This is a very attacking focused position as both kings are exposed and can easily be attacked. Early in the game, both sides will try hard to checkmate the enemy king, but if there are no early checkmates, the game will likely go into a pawn promotion endgame.

9. Overly Ambitious Version 2

This position is similar to the original "Overly Ambitious" but black has one less pawn and different knight placement as well as having one less knight replaced with a dark-squared bishop. The dark squared bishop is very inactive in the position, but can defend against an attack on the files f-g especially. The placement of the dark-squared bishop and the one pawn lost for black makes it more ideal for white to attack on the files a-c whereas the original position features a more ideal attack on the files f-g. Black also has some ideas to sacrifice the knight in this position. Note that analysis may say that black is better, but the top variations that the computer shows go to +0 after some moves so therefore I still believe that this is a drawn position like the original.
Tournaments in this position: https://www.chess.com/tournament/fun-special-ii-overly-ambitious-tournament-version-2 

10. Locked

In this position, each side's pieces are locked up with minimal possible moves, so at least 1 sacrifice is required. White has an extra piece, but white must sacrifice it. The center is also very much blocked off. As it is hard to bring pieces across the board, after a sacrifice, the idea of promoting pawns also comes into play as well as the idea of taking the opponent's center pawns

Tournaments in this position: https://www.chess.com/tournament/trapped-custom-position

11. Ral's Trapped Queens Variant Version 2

In the second version of the trapped queens variant, each side is able to sacrifice a knight for pawns to free the queen - if they want to! While one side might try to set up a sacrifice to free the queen, the other side could be busy planning an attack! Each side has two bishops of the same colour. Same coloured bishops tend to interfere with each other, so perhaps sacrifificing one for some pawns can work? One thing is for sure: lots of fun in the second version of the trapped queens variant.