Chess in the shade

Played out in the shade on a warm, sunny day, 3 shocking games of chess against computer bot ‘Laura’ were followed by a well deserved win. Note, I always play black.
This was a rather embarrassing check-mate on the 5th move.
Once I’d focused on being sensible, I was rather proud of how I played to win this tense game on move 25. (also see below)
Well that was an excellent game!

Chess v bot Aron (game 1)

First game with chess bot ‘Aron’. A convincing win for me having wiped out most of my opponent’s pieces as well as getting a second queen. Put like that it sounds like it was a rather weak opponent. I’ll see how the next game goes. I may have to move up a level.

Chess v bot Elani (games 2 & 3)

My 2nd and 3rd games against chess bot Elani went much like the first game. Elani made some weird moves, reflecting its beginner ranking. I guess it’s easier for a chess programmer to code silly moves into a game than it is to play weak moves.

In this game Elani (white) had lost most of its pieces. The checkmate position uses a queen and knight.

In this 3rd game, Elani (white again) was checkmated using two rooks and a bishop.

It’s time to move up a rung, so next game I’ll try playing chess bot Aron. It’s got a beginner rating of 700, compared to Elani’s beginner rating of 400.

I’ll see how it goes.

Chess v bot Elani (game 1)

I’ve gone back to playing a chess bot rated as ‘beginner’. Bot “Elani” certainly played some rather questionable moves, but overall it was a fun game and I came out with a relatively easy win.

It’s nice to play against an opponent where I have a chance of winning. I’ll give “Elani” at least one more game, but if ‘she’ doesn’t give a good game I may have to return to playing an intermediate level bot.

And the winning position is…..

A new chess board

Our dad gave us a chess set when we were kids. Somehow my brother got the board and I got the pieces. Several decades later I’ve belatedly treated myself to a new board to replace the crappy, cardboardy thing I got from who-knows-where. The new board even has the letters and numbers to assist me when I’m following the games of the grandmasters – cool!

Son, next time you’re over from Berlin, we must have a rematch!

[Note to self: Next time I take a picture of a chess board, ensure the pieces are lined up properly in their squares…]

My chess opponent is called Noam

I’ve begun playing chess again. I learnt as a child and then played friendly games against a work colleague in my twenties and early thirties, but nothing since. I know the rules, some basic principles, but I’ve always been lazy when it comes to studying openings and beyond. But I’m not stupid and I don’t mind losing, two necessary qualities to enjoying playing chess or in fact any game.

I don’t know anyone who is interested in playing chess so I’ve searched the web and found a website, It allows me to play humans or a computer, and my instinct is to play against a computer. On you can chose the level you want to play at, and after trying a fairly low level computer opponent (it made deliberate, silly mistakes – no thanks!) I’ve jumped into the deep end and gone for a computer opponent far beyond my chess skills. That way I’ll hopefully learn more and quicker. So far I’ve slipped up really early in the games and chosen to resign the games rather than waste my time in hopeless positions. I don’t play a continuous game but instead play a move when I feel like it and after due consideration.

My opponent on is called Noam and is described as “a veteran player who can tell you stories about his clashes with stars of the past. In the present, he plays very solidly, so be prepared for a long fight.” I have zero expectation of ever beating “Noam”, but I’m hoping to learn a lot, fast.

So far I’ve tried playing on my mobile phone but I think the small screen has made it too easy to make silly mistakes so I’m going to try using the phone app in combination with my old chess set. See the screenshots below for the current game – I’m already in trouble…..