Sunday, March 27, 2005

Three strikes

Left grip is 45 pounds (44, 45, 44), right grip is 95 pounds (92, 92, 95), left leg balance is 7.4 seconds, and inhale volume is 4700 mL.

My standard greeting to other players is:

I voted for Kerry and am playing from California. You?

A fair number of American players who respond regarding Kerry say they voted for Bush. One hundred percent of foreigners who respond say they would have supported Kerry, or else they say something negative about Bush. Every now and then, people from the UK say that Bush and Blair are equally awful. In that case, I always offer to trade. No one has ever accepted that offer.

In this game, I don't know if you can tell, but I was being dominated, and about to lose to white. He hadn't said anything in response to my standard greeting, then during the first situation shown here, he wrote something:

nobody's perfect, but that's two strikes against you already.

The two strike being Kerry and California.

When I moved up the knight to threaten his bishop, he covered with the rook. That surprised me, because I expected him to do something better, like retreat the bishop to the back row.

I think he was confident about tearing up my pawn line on the right side of the board and hassling my king with his queen. I know I would have been. But he made a mistake in thinking that my ploy with the knight would not sway the ultimate outcome of the game. I took the bishop, which looked like just a trade to him, I guess. He was probably thinking it still didn't matter.

He recovered the lost bishop, and removed the check, by taking the knight.

Then my bishop took his knight, threatening to take his rook. In response, the better move would have been to retreat the rook to the back rank.

But for some reason, probably still lulled by his dominance on the right side of the board, white recovered the lost knight by taking the bishop.

Taking the bishop was unwise, because it allowed my queen to take the pawn and threaten the rook. Things are still not untenable for white, but he should have stood his ground with the king and moved the rook to safety, one square to the right, to prevent my queen from getting to the back rank.

Instead, perhaps now reacting without thinking, or still feeling confident, he went for what may have seemed like safety.

I had already typed in my quip, and I sent it just before the mate:

Three strikes and you're out.

White's alias is Phileo. He was rated 1264 at the time of this game, and I was rated 1044. When I used 'fi' to finger him just now, his account notes said:

1: Jesus
2: is
3: The
4: Lord
5: !!!!!

The Kerry supporter from California won the game. It's not such a big deal, I've beaten people in the 1300s and even 1400s before. But it was sweet that he told me about the two strikes against me right before my three strikes against him: bishop, knight, pawn, followed by mate.
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