Kevin's Hetero MFM Poly-Fi V

kdt26417

Official Greeter
4:22 p.m., Monday the 5th

I caught up on everything yesterday (well, technically by a little after midnight). I'll probably do so again today, although we have the pop culture trivia game in about an hour, and that will burn more than an hour, in and of itself.

I won today's Chess game versus a computer bot, and technically it was a clean game, but I guess I was bummed that I took one move more than necessary to checkmate Jade. It was a really close game, which made it stressful. For a long time, we were down to each of us having a king and some pawns and one minor piece. She had a bishop, I had a knight. Because the board was so open by then, I considered the bishop to be more advantageous than the knight, especially since I don't consider myself to be very adept at working a knight. But, somehow I pulled through, and promoted two pawns. Checkmating is always ridiculously easy when you have two queens, so at that point, I was in my comfort zone.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
10:53 p.m., Tuesday the 6th

Not sure why I'm running so much later today, I probably won't get caught up on everything. I did go shopping with Snowbunny, so, that took up some time. But not that much.

In Chess, I played as black against (the bot) Jade. It ended up being a draw by repetition. The game didn't go great for me, my position was all mucked up, and I didn't want to wait around to get checkmated. As in at least one previous game, the key square that pulled me down was my pawn on f7. I just can't seem to get the pieces (read: a bishop) into position to protect that pawn -- not soon enough. Anyway, since the game was a draw, I'll go neither forward nor backward on my next bot game. I'll play as black again against Jade. Sure hope I can find a solution for the f7 problem.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
9:56 p.m., Wednesday the 7th

Surprisingly, I did catch up on everything yesterday. Just in the nick of time: The rule I made is that the latest I would stay up is until the cat's automatic feeder goes off. The feeder's clock runs fast, but it goes off a little after 1:00 a.m. ... and while Rainee eats, I log off (from Facebook or whatever) and do one last pit stop before turning in.

Today, Snowbunny and I got our first of two Covid vaccine shots. (Pfizer.) Brother-Husband has to wait a week to get (the first of) his. SB and I get our second shots in about three weeks, the 28th if I remember right.

In Chess, today's bot game was a draw by stalemate. Totally unnecessary, I could have easily won by then if I'd just been a little more careful. It's like me and losing queens, me and tracking possibilities along diagonals, it's a weakness I just can't seem to overcome. Needless to say I was bummed, I worked hard to get to that point in the game. I had just promoted a pawn, and with that queen on the board, I ... overestimated my position. Meanwhile, I still haven't solved the f7 problem, certainly not in any satisfying way. The game was nail-bitingly close right up until the finish. [hangs head] And I could have won.

So I guess I'll play as black against Jade again tomorrow -- third time in a row. Sigh. Playing on the 1300 level sucks.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
11:33 p.m., Thursday the 8th

I didn't do much on Chess.com today, because most of the afternoon (until about 6:25 p.m.) was consumed by doctor appointments. I did practice a little on my handheld traveling Chess computer. On that computer, I'm currently playing at an easy level -- I think 7th out of 60 "for fun" levels.

For dinner we had takeout from Red Lantern. Rainee has the runs, so we are trying to figure out how to get her to take meds, and we're switching out the food she eats. I hope she'll get feeling better soon.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
12:12 a.m., Saturday the 10th

I lost my Chess bot game today (yesterday). I didn't make any (what to me would be) simple mistakes. Instead, Jade got the best of me on positional (technical) errors I made. An area which continues to be way over my head. I feel like throwing my hands up, I feel disillusioned, either at myself, or at Chess, or both. Level 1300 is the wall that I cannot get past, beating my head against it though I try.

As far as I know, Rainee is doing better. She keeps me company even when I'm feeling down in the dumps.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
8:52 p.m., Sunday the 11th

I actually won my last two bot games (against Jade ... first I played as white, then as black), and I'm glad for the wins, but they were both arduous games, with me behind on material (I lost a rook in the second game, with no compensation) and not in a great position until the endgame. In other words, in both games it looked like I was going to lose, and I'm not sure how I dug myself out of that pit. Anyway the bot I will play next (probably tomorrow) will be "Nelson," whom I played against just one time previous, and lost. Apparently Nelson is very active with his queen. That's a problem for me, I guess I'll have to hope I can trade queens with him early in the game. Jade and Nelson are both level-1300 Chess bots. Not in my comfort zone.

I got completely caught up (including on Facebook) yesterday ... and it looks hopeful that I'll be able to do so again today. There's not much more to tell you. We had chicken fajitas for dinner, and SB made me a drinky-drink (gin and Squirt).
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
4:51 p.m., Monday the 12th

I lost today's bot game. No big surprise there. It's depressing, but not the end of the world. This was always going to happen, as I continued to graduate myself through the various levels until I started to lose. 1300 just seems to be my number.

I can't handle it. I can't handle the complexity of the strategy. Calculating ahead for one or two moves, for one or two pieces, is quite hard enough for me. These 1300 bots are pushing me beyond that, and taking advantage of my weakness. I don't know how to improve. Maybe after a year of painstaking practice I'll be able to measure a difference -- maybe. And maybe I'll get used to losing, but that's not really a healthy goal, is it?

I did not manage to trade queens with Nelson. He hung on to his queen (while capturing mine) until the end of the game (when he checkmated me with his queen), and caused me grief with his queen the entire time. Not fun. And he made zero mistakes, certainly none that I could detect.

I may get forced back down to the 1200 level. That's what will happen if I also lose my next game (against Jade). It's all very depressing, bleah. I know, I need more patience. Yeah yeah yeah patience, what's the fastest way I can get that.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
10:57 p.m., Tuesday the 13th

It shames me deeply to admit that today's bot game was a draw. Stalemate. I worked hard, hard, hard, to get to the point where, after many desperate moments, I could finally, and easily, win. Then I inadvertently trapped Jade's king in front of one of my pawns. I moved my king forward to guard that pawn from behind, and that cut off Jade's king's only escape square. It makes me sick. Sick! I want to double over and vomit. What the hell is wrong with me!?

Technically, when a game is a draw, I repeat the opening circumstances of that game in the next game (usually the next day). So I will be playing Jade again, I will be playing as white again. My confidence is down in the gutter. I think it's most likely that I'll lose that game. Checkmate. Level 1300 is so hard for me. So complicated. It takes forever to get through a game, it sure did today, and frankly I'm less than pleased about that.

Chess. Gotta love it.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
12:10 a.m., Thursday the 15th

Today's bot game (technically "today" = yesterday) started exactly the same way as the game previous, but from there the two games couldn't have been more different. Today's game was almost what I would call easy, it was over much sooner, and I won handily. I guess I've learned that there isn't a single amount of hardness to expect at any given level. Sometimes you get lucky. Other times, not so lucky. And everything in between.

Another thing I've learned is that trading equal pieces is almost always advantageous for me at my level, even if it's not advantageous for advanced/master players. The thing is, for me, the more pieces on the board, the more complicated the overall situation is, and I can't handle that kind of complexity. Therefore I will trade equal pieces at almost any chance I get, and will not lose any sleep over it. In today's game I got to trade a bunch of equal pieces, and I gladly accepted all of those trades. With a whole lot of pieces removed from the board, the game is kind of accelerated into the endgame, in which I tend to be the stronger player and the bot makes apparent mistakes. If that's what will help me win, I'll do it. I can learn the more complicated way of playing sometime in the future -- maybe.

In retrospect, it's occurred to me that what led to yesterday's draw was mental exhaustion. The game took so long, and required me to expend maximum brain power continuously the whole time, that by the time the endgame got under way, I was running on fumes. With a rested mind, there might have been a better chance of me noticing the looming stalemate. Of course, there are also periodic signs over my ever-present tendency to overlook things, and even to misinterpret the information on the board. I'm just saying, a long, exhausting game, taps what little resources I have.

I just hope in my next game I'll be lucky.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
1:27 a.m., Saturday the 17th

Since my last entry (immediately above), I have played two bot games, the first as black against Jade, and the second as white against Nelson. I'm shocked; I won both. I wouldn't call them easy games, and I'm bummed that I made two significant mistakes that I belatedly noticed, one in each game. But, they weren't fatal mistakes, and somehow I went on to win anyway. I did trade away a bunch of equal pieces with Jade, and with Nelson I'm pleased to say that I managed to trade queens early in the game. It was still a tough game, but with his favorite piece removed from the board, I reckon I had just the slight edge that I needed. After losing my first two games against Nelson, winning the third was quite gratifying! My next bot game will be me playing as black against Nelson, and I take that slight/subtle difference very seriously. It was hard enough to win against him while I played as white. So maybe I'll lose my next bot game, but beating him once is still a nice consolation!

The thread "Not on same page about bisexual wife exploring polyamory" is interesting enough, but boy has it turned into a time suck, especially (yesterday) today. That's the main reason why I'm posting here so late. At 2:00 a.m., I'll wrap things up and turn in. Staying up past 2:00 a.m. seems excessive so that is where I draw the line. I fear I will not get around to doing any Facebook stuff, but we'll see. First world problems.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
6:24 p.m., Sunday the 18th

I won both of my last two bot games, but wow were they ever white-knuckle affairs. I came dangerously close to a draw/stalemate on both of them. Which in my opinion would have been worse than losing.

I won playing as black against Nelson, so then I moved on to playing as white against the next bot, "Vinh." I'm still playing against Level-1300 opponents, I can't imagine how tough the Level-1400 opponents must be.

Yesterday we hung out for awhile (outside) with FNG (Friendly Neighbor Guy). That was pretty cool. Later in the evening we had pizza (from Domino's), and after that, BH and I watched a movie on TV, "Birds of Prey." A fun show.

Not much else to tell you for the moment.
 
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