Andy: We might do business on a board, but I want to carve the pieces myself. One side in alabaster, the opposing side in soapstone. What do you think?
Red: I think it’ll take years.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
According to Wikipedia, "dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe." Albert Einstein, frustrated that his original equations of general relativity did not allow for a static universe, added a fudge factor termed the cosmological constant. When Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is not static, Einstein abandoned the cosmological constant, calling it the "biggest blunder" of his life. However, research on Type Ia supernovae revealed that the further away the supernova is from us, not only is the red shift and speed greater, but it is greater in a nonlinear fashion, implying an accelerating expansion as opposed to constant expansion predicted by inertia overcoming gravity or deceleration predicted by everything pulling gravitationally on everything else. The cosmological constant idea has gained new life in theoretical astrophysics as the quantification of this acceleration. What causes the universe to accelerate its expansion? The proposed cause is dark energy.
Last Thursday, in a contest of Blogger vs. Blogger, I had the black pieces against the Dark Tactician. The opening was the King's Indian Defense Four Pawns Attack which quickly transformed into Gunderam's Six Pawns Attack. I struggled with the opening because I mixed up my systems and tried to use Na6 recommended in Joe Gallagher's Beating the Anti-King's Indians after I had already played c5. Even though I was ahead in development since my opponent pushed the c through h pawns inclusive, my pieces had almost no activity and were bumping into each other. In My System, Aron Nimzowitsch wrote of both the passed pawn and the isolated queen pawn having "the lust to expand" meaning they have a tendency to advance. The Dark Tactician used Dark Energy to send six pawns expanding toward me. The h-file became half-open on move 12 and I got the usual paranoid feeling when I defend the Dragon and Bobby Fischer's "sac, sac, mate" begins to echo in my ears. Luckily, the expansion decelerated in a gravity well of undeveloped mass and he allowed me to poke a hole in his Big Bang. A queen-rook battery down the open e-file landed a heavy piece on his second rank and then his whole pawn front imploded in the Big Crunch while I retained three pawns in a battle of rook and knight versus rook and knight. My opponent almost conjured up a mating net or a brutal fork, but I sidestepped these plans and achieved simplification to a winning plan.
I did not consider my opponent at all insolent for refusing to resign. It's an admirable trait in a chess player as I myself have been on the other side struggling for the swindle. As long as someone's not deliberately trying to waste my time by letting his clock run, I welcome the chance to test my technique. In fact, when someone resigns in a position just two pawns down, I feel their resignation is premature as in my game just two weeks prior. I don't think my technique deserves that much respect...yet.
After the game, my opponent pointed out the 26...Rxf2 tactic. I was disappointed that I missed such a thing. Tactics first, then positional considerations.
Self-assessment: 1. My Four Pawns defense sucks. Gotta book up. 2. Tactics like 26...Rxf2! tell me that rooks aren't always so simple. 3. Knight complexities like 40...Nd1+ continue to be a problem. 4. I have to add to my checklist of things to try not to miss #13.pawns running amuck (moves 31 and 41) and #14.king zwischenzugs (move 41). 5. I was heartened by my calculation and move choice at moments like 24...Bxc3, 32...Re3, 38...a6, and 53...Nc3.