Kevin's Hetero MFM Poly-Fi V

kdt26417

Official Greeter
5:10 p.m., Thursday the 11th

I did get all caught up last night, even got to bed by about 12:45 a.m. ... I did get up thirty to sixty minutes later than I've been doing ... but I'll probably still get caught up tonight.

I've been somewhat scared (in general; unknown reasons) today. I'm doing better at the moment, but the fear never completely goes away.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
9:11 p.m., Saturday the 13th

I'm having more struggles to keep up with things, and I don't seem to know why. Yesterday (Friday), Snowbunny and I did a grocery pickup, or walked the dog, or both. So that's a partial explanation.

The top level (supported only on one side) of the cat tree, failed to stay up a day or two ago, the brace that held it up is bent and it is now collapsed into the second level. I guess I'm not in a hurry to fix it, I'm lazily waiting for SB to tackle it. The cats can still get to the top of the bookcase, they don't seem particularly put out by the situation. I admit I am guessing ...

Today, this morning, Lady freaked out and suddenly the cats were locked in an epic battle with each other. SB tried to break it up, only to get injured herself. Why did Lady freak out? I'm not sure. The incident did occur near their feeding time, so maybe it had something to do with that.

I might turn in early tonight, but we'll see.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
10:53 p.m., Sunday the 14th

I managed to stay up late yesterday (technically early today), and amazingly got caught up on things. I don't think I'll catch up tonight.

SB tackled the cat tree. She removed the top level altogether. From the second level, it looks like an easy jump (for Rainee) to get to the top of the bookcase.

Today at a little after 6:00 a.m., Lady went psycho on Rainee (again). Mind you, this came completely out of the blue. No feeding times were near, all was quiet, the cats and I were all in bed.

Now one such episode I could forgive, but this is two attacks in as many days. Brutal attacks, no mercy. Since Rainee can't speak for herself, we decided to speak for her. SB took Lady to an adoption clinic. I hope she goes to a good home soon.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
4:49 p.m., Monday the 15th

I actually caught up to a reasonable extent ... on Facebook I got as far as the earliest stuff I had gone through the day before. So, kind of closed the loop. Catching up completely would be going as far (through the news feed wall) as Facebook would let me.

Soon, today's pop culture trivia game will start, the links for that are on Facebook so, I definitely need to wrap up on this forum. First world problems for sure.

Rainee has been much more relaxed ever since Lady departed. That's good to see. I hope Lady's doing okay. I hope things work out for her. I do miss her.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
12:48 a.m., Wednesday the 17th

I got a late start on today (technically yesterday), plus SB and I took Eddie for a walk, and worked on getting Eddie's many Barn Hunt ribbons hung up in the living room. We had a late dinner (c. 7:30 p.m.), and I didn't get started on my Polyamory.com stuff until after that. So I am posting this very late at night, and will not get caught up on all the things before I turn in. I did get caught up yesterday (technically the day before). Completely caught up. As I define it.

Rainee does seem more calm and relaxed, than she was in the last days before we gave Lady away. However, Rainee does cry sometimes, whereas she has never been a vocal cat before. Lady was vocal, and I wonder if maybe Rainee feels that the vocal torch has been passed from Lady to Rainee. Or maybe she just wants things to go back to how they were before those furious attacks. Alas, there's no way we can explain to Rainee what happened to Lady, and why. I feel both sad and relieved.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
9:42 p.m., Thursday the 18th

Last night, I got completely caught up (as I define it) on all my stuff ... with three minutes to spare (before I'd consider it my duty to turn in). Amazing that I could completely catch up when I get such late starts on my days. Before I go to bed, I always hope I'll get up as early as 11:30 a.m. ... but by the time 11:30 a.m. rolls around I just can't stand to roll out of bed (not until at least 12:30 p.m.) ... getting up is so painful, definitely the worst part of my day. If only I could have 48-hour days. Then I could stay in bed to my heart's content.

Today I got my one scheduled game in against the computer. Some days you're the hammer, other days you're the nail. Today I was the nail. I was actually relieved that I got checkmated quickly.

That's all I have to tell you for now.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
10:19 p.m., Friday the 19th

Today I got to be the hammer.

The lesson I've learned, is that I don't need to pay much attention to the computer's ideas and judgments. Instead, I need to trust my instincts and common sense, at least more than I have in the past. In short, I need to have more self-confidence.

Today's game went rather smoothly for me. Not that no stress was involved, but things did seem to repeatedly end up in my favor. If I was playing at a higher level, positional matters would no doubt clobber me, but at 1200 I can afford to play within my comfort zone.

In yesterday's game, I leaned on the computer's suggested moves, and in one case, I went with one such move and then the computer itself said it was a blunder! The whole game was a migraine headache. In today's game, I maybe did a few moves that the computer suggested, only when they made sense to me, and only when there wasn't anything else I hankered to play. The computer was usually less than thrilled with my ideas, but guess what! I clobbered my opponent.

I don't expect every game to go like today's, and Lord knows I still have much to learn. But at least reality gave me a taste of validation for my style of play. Yes, I tend to favor material over position. But at this level, that's okay. Material will always be my strong suit, and that's also okay. I am playing to my strengths. I like to win, especially when I don't have to pop an eyeball doing it.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
12:03 a.m., Sunday the 21st

I've had worse days than today. But today (technically now yesterday) was bad enough. In Chess, my computer opponent wiped the walls with me. Starting with the opening, where I stupidly tried to defend my f7 pawn (I was playing black) with just my queen and my king. As a result, I lost my queen. I've had time to calm down about that, but I was really bloody upset about it at the time. Needless to say, I lost the game. In the future, I'll try to set up better ways to defend that pawn. In the meantime, I've been feeling extra bad pretty much all day. Maybe because I was so frustrated with the game, but for all I know there could be other buried reasons. I feel like there should be something I could fix, I wish I could fix something. But every good thing I try to accomplish turns sour on me. I feel like such a fucking failure. I'll be turning in at about 1:45 a.m., and I'm looking forward to that.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
10:35 p.m., Monday the 22nd

So Chess.com has many possible computer "personas" you can play against. Each persona has its own unique playing style. My last six computer games have been played against a level-1200 persona by the name of "xQc." I won the first game playing as white, lost the second game playing as black (see https://polyamory.com/threads/kevins-hetero-mfm-poly-fi-v.68427/post-474951 ...), won the third playing as white (see https://polyamory.com/threads/kevins-hetero-mfm-poly-fi-v.68427/post-474991 ...), lost the fourth as black (see https://polyamory.com/threads/kevins-hetero-mfm-poly-fi-v.68427/post-475012 ...), won the fifth yesterday as white, then finally today, won the sixth as black ... barely.

Gods know winning feels better than losing, but this had to be the suckiest game of Chess I ever won. Really bloody messy. I made a number of bad mistakes, losing at least two three-point pieces (knight/bishop) with no compensation in the process.

Having won this one game playing as black, I'll "graduate" to the "next" persona on my next game (probably tomorrow). But can I just say, this demonstrates how which color (black or white) one plays as, does matter ... especially when playing against xQc! He's quite a forgiving opponent when he's the black pieces, but when he's the white pieces, watch the fuck out! He really takes advantage of that initiative at the start of the game, and like a bunch of dominoes, that initial advantage topples the first domino, then spoils one's material, position, and composure for the rest of the game.

If I lose playing the next persona, I'll then downgrade my next game after that to, back to playing against xQc. Technically I guess playing another game as black against xQc would be a valuable learning experience, but it's one I'd rather not have. I hope I can win some computer games, and put a "buffer" between me and xQc. Although I have to say, I feel like I don't want to graduate all the way to a level-1300 opponent. 1200 is hard enough, thanks.

That's all I have to tell you for today.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
4:58 p.m., Tuesday the 23rd

Today I played my first game against a level-1200 computer persona by the name of "Ludwig." I played as white. It wasn't easy, but I did manage to pull out a victory. Tomorrow I guess I'll find out how tough of an opponent Ludwig is when I play as black. (Shudder.)

Amazingly, I convinced myself to get up at about 11:40 a.m. today. Someday I hope to be getting up at 11:30 a.m. (or sooner) every day. For me, that would be pretty darn good.

Snowbunny and Brother-Husband both had today off. SB had a colonoscopy, and BH drove her to and from the appointment. They got back here at a little before 1:00 p.m. ... then for lunch we had takeout from Mr. Doug's. Veggie omelets and tater tots. Good stuff.

Don't know what we'll do for dinner. Understandably, SB isn't feeling up to making dinner today. Maybe we'll have pizza!
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
6:35 p.m., Thursday the 25th

No pizza. I believe SB did make dinner: chicken nuggets, green beans, and rice. It didn't kill me, just wasn't very exciting.

I lost in the second game I played against Ludwig yesterday. I was playing as black, although I think my main problem is that I was stoned (cannabis).

I had an early (9:20 a.m.) dental appointment; one of my fillings had fallen out. They were able to examine the problem and fix the problem all in one visit.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
12:50 a.m., Saturday the 27th

I won today's (technically yesterday's) game versus the computer (Ludwig). I was playing as white, what a coincidence eh. A difficult game, but a clean game.

Dinner was fish sticks, broccoli, and lentils. Not bad. I like fish sticks, with tartar sauce. Also we had a drinky-drink, Carolans salted caramel drink (made with Irish cream). Good stuff!

After dinner, BH and I watched a movie, Midsommar. Not bad ... really freaky.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
8:55 p.m., Sunday the 28th

I played again yesterday against "Ludwig," and won. A clean game, with me playing as black. I consider that to be quite a victory. When I say "clean game," what I mean is that I didn't make any mistakes, or at least none that I noticed after the fact.

I only have one level-1200 opponent left to play, and that would be the Chess engine. I assume that the Chess engine has "no playing style," it just plays the logical moves. The Chess engine can be set to any number of levels; I've beaten it at lower levels. Today, as white, I played it at 1200. I won, with just a fly in the ointment: There was a crucial moment in the game where I failed to notice an opportunity to skewer the Chess engine's king and rook, capturing the rook for free. Luckily the "predicted moves" mentioned that opportunity, in time for me to do it. I would have preferred to do it without the help, but that's okay, I'll take the win.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
11:21 p.m., Monday the 29th

I played -- this time as black -- my second game against the level-1200 Chess engine. And won. Barely. The positional issues overwhelmed me, and at a critical point in the game, my defenses fell apart. I struggled to dig myself out of that hole, and as part of that I sacrificed both of my rooks (five points each) in order to get my opponent's queen (nine points) off the board. In the endgame, we both had our kings and some pawns, and I had one knight, and the Chess engine had one rook. So the contest boiled down to a knight (me) versus a rook (my adversary). The rook is definitely a more powerful (five-point) piece, and I'm not great at working a (three-point) knight. Fortunately for me, the computer doesn't seem to be great at choosing moves in the endgame. Trying to remember how I captured that rook, I think I promoted a pawn to a queen, which the rook immediately captured and then my knight captured the rook on that square.

It was a prolonged game, and there was the weekly pop culture trivia game after that, so I got a late start on my forum stuff. I laid down too for, like, two hours. I'm a slowwww man, I can't deny it. I don't think I'll catch up on all my stuff today, although I did catch up on all of it yesterday.

This concludes my riport.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
10:57 p.m., Tuesday the 30th

I played, as white, my first game against a level-1300 computer opponent. This one's name is "Jade." It was a spectacular game, Jade kicked my ass into the rafters, starting with an appalling blunder by me, early in the opening, of letting Jade capture my queen scot-free. After that, what was left of my defenses quickly fell apart, and then I was mercifully checkmated. Well, when you carelessly let your queen get jumped, you kind of deserve to lose. Now I will return to at least two games versus the Chess engine at 1200. I feel like I am playing at the limit of my abilities, but couldn't I at least detect any one-move threats to my queen? Surely I could do that. Surely!

I had extra stuff to do today, including a shopping trip (Safeway) with SB (which I enjoyed). So again I've gotten a late start here on the forum, and I'm pretty sure I won't get caught up on everything. I didn't get caught up last night, but I came rather close. Facebook is always my last order of business, and I made it as far as the beginning of the "final step in Facebook" -- the one where I start combing through the general news feed in chronological order, continuing until the site won't show any more news items. I didn't get all the way to the end of that step, but I got to the beginning, and I'll probably do so again tonight. This concludes my riport.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
9:34 p.m., Wednesday the 31st

I lost another queen.

The circumstances were similar to last time, I just blithely marched my queen into the path of another piece (the opposing queen in this case). My opponent (the Chess engine) snagged my queen free and clear; I was so screwed. Two differences: First, this time it happened later in the game, when things were getting complicated. Second, things then slowly/painfully turned around for me and I shockingly went on to win the game. Overall, the whole experience was so nerve-racking that at the end of the game I was practically shaking. Bleah. I was playing as white, so apparently now I have playing as black to look forward to. Oh boy!

I doubt it's possible to get used to losing one's queen (unless it's a deliberate queen sacrifice that pays off spectacularly -- a type of thing that is way out of my depth). But at the moment, I guess I am throwing up my hands. This type of blunder is clearly my cross to bear. It's not like I can wave a magic wand and make myself get better at queen safety. Maybe I'll slowly get better at it someday -- maybe. Actually in this game it wasn't just that, it was that I kept overlooking the longer diagonals and that nearly landed me in more trouble a couple of times. Diagonals are so much harder for me to monitor than ranks and files.

Analyzing the overall board position, and discovering combinations, are skills I may never acquire. But we're not even talking about that. We're just talking about the simple skill of not accidentally stepping into the path of another piece (or pawn). Jesus, this should be simple stuff. I can't imagine how much higher of a level I'd be playing at if I could master that one basic skill. Failure to detect threats and opportunities has always been my great weakness. I've played a lot of games since November of last year, and done a lot of Chess lessons ... and yet my great weakness persists. It's certainly frustrating, at the least.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
9:33 p.m., Thursday the 1st

I played, as black, against the Chess engine (level 1200), and won ... and it was even a clean game, for me, as far as I could tell. That's not to say it was easy, the positions got complicated, and I had to make a number of difficult decisions. But as far as I know, I didn't make any mistakes. I didn't accidentally throw my queen away this time, although when the time was right for me, I deliberately traded queens with my opponent. Finally, the game reached a point where my opponent's defenses fell apart, I got to gobble up all of my opponent's pieces (except its king and pawns), and finished the game with what for me was a spectacular checkmate, made up of my rooks, my remaining knight, and one of my pawns, all working together. Beautiful. I'm happy. The Force is with me.

Tomorrow I advance (again) to a second game (playing as white) against Jade (the level-1300 computer player). Could easily be another disaster, if the Force is not with me. Maybe I'll end up going back and forth between 1200 and 1300 for awhile. It feels like I'm playing at the limit of my current abilities. But we'll see.

I got completely caught up on all my stuff including all my Facebook stuff. Hopefully I'll do so today as well.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
8:27 p.m., Friday the 2nd

So I won today's game; it was even a clean game. It was a hard game though. Things were hanging in the precarious balance, almost right up until the end. I had a material edge (+4 for quite awhile), but Jade had the positional edge, and for quite a while I felt I was going to lose for sure. I'm glad I made it, but crap. And tomorrow I have to play as black? Help!

BH, SB, and Eddie are gone for the weekend. Eddie has a big Barn Hunt trial/competition he is going to. I prefer to stay home and keep Rainee company, so here I am. I'll probably catch up on everything, and get to turn in "early" (c. 12:00 a.m.) as well. This concludes my riport.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
11:52 p.m., Saturday the 3rd

I don't know why I'm running so late. I laid down for awhile, I didn't think it was that long, but maybe it was. I caught up on everything yesterday, but I doubt I will today.

On yesterday's game, it slipped my mind that it wasn't a clean game after all. There was a moment in the game where I could have jumped a rook with my bishop free and clear, at the end of a long diagonal, and I didn't notice it soon enough to take advantage of it. Once again, we see how diagonals are a particular weakness of mine.

I still won that game, but it probably would have been a significantly easier game if I had caught that opportunity. Sigh. I guess the question is, will I detect such opportunities soon enough in the future.

In today's game, I played as black against Jade, and I was drinking a bottle of port so I expected to lose ... and I won! Woo hoo! It was something of a crazy, chaotic game, but it does look like I have a foothold in the 1300 level of play.

I expect BH, SB, and Eddie to arrive back here sometime tomorrow evening, not too late. I've been keeping up on the dishes, and feeding Rainee, and I did her box tonight. This concludes my riport.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
5:03 p.m., Sunday the 4th

I lost today's game, but that's not the end of the world, I was after all drinking a bottle of Irish cream at the time. I'm more concerned about catching up on all my book and internet stuff today, it's been a few days since I've been able to do that. BH, SB, and Eddie will probably be home soon. I'm drinking some zero-calorie cherry cola right now. This concludes my riport ...
 
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