Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dark Energy


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.

11 comments:

Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Ernie, one thing I liked about the game was that it was an interesting battle. Next time, when I 'bring the house', I won't be so accomodating.

frenez said...

my observations which aren't very deep or good: when white is trying to take your head off on the kingside, why box the bulk of your army on the queenside? i'm thinking your piece placement right before you played e6.

when white played dxe6 his whole advantage went away. just leave it there and develop the queen bishop or something. black would never capture on d5 in that position. white's position is way easier to play after be3.

regarding exd5 or cxd5 ... since exd5 is immiediately losing, as you demonstrate, cxd5 gives black harder problems.

white lost because he forgot the 1st rule and that's develop your pieces and safeguard your king. white didn't develop his queen bishop until after he was already losing money.

mr eric, if you read this, i don't know how ernie does the replayable board and replayable analysis but it makes it a whole lot easier to read and play over.

Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Frenez, in my opinion, I lost because I hit upon the wrong plan at move 15. That's when my position was compromised. The backward 'd-pawn' in Black's position was a worthwhile target to me, but the plan is too slow.

A better plan, pointed out by Bill Case was to play the 15. a3 and follow it up with 16. Qd3.

In my home analysis, I came up with the idea of 15. g5 to be followed up with 'Nf2-g4' which is also not bad. 15. dxe6 was a terrible move.

In Gunderam's Six-Pawn Attack, White grabs a tremendous amount of space at the cost of development. If you look at most of my games, I am one of fastest in the entire club at developing my pieces, perhaps the fastest. My games on all my chess blogs will easily demonstrate this. I do prefer fast development. I believe you have to 'give' to 'get' and before my erroneous 15th move, White actually has a slight plus, I would play this same position again and with a better result I am sure. I doubt Ernie would 'repeat' this position, or anyone else at the club for that matter. I gave Ernie a chance and he made the most of it, with only a few errors in his technique, but Ernie is coming back from a rather long layoff from chess. As usual, with Chess, there is much going on behind the scenes. For instance, I have been playing 1. e4 a lot recently, but not my usual 1. d4. However, for this game, I was not feeling 'up to' a battle in the Center Counter Defense, Ernie's line against 1. e4 even though I defeated it the last time he played that against me.

That said, I occasionally do like 'unusual' attacks or 'dark energy' as Ernie so aptly put it. Mike Houser said it the best, "I brought the house" so to speak in that line of play. It takes courage. For many years probably, I have sometimes been mistaken to be a passive player, but if one looks at the variations I choose to play, they are anything but passive. In fact, I am actually one of the most aggressive players at the club, most of whom choose extremely quiet lines. I don't play recklessly though. Gunderam's Six-Pawn Attack is sound enough, but it does require one to be 'on his game', and last Thursday, I was not 'on.'

I am working on a better format. I usually use Descriptive Notation, but I stopped using that for the blog because most chess players these days use Algebraic. So my eccentricity for Descriptive would not only be unappropriate, but also self-serving, so changes were necessary there.

If you look at Ernie's blog deeper into the past, many of those games are no longer there. I am not sure why this happens. He puts the games up there, but for some reason, over time, they are gone. I don't think this is Ernie's doing, it rather has something to do with the method.

I will play around with the format I use and see if I can make it easier.

One of my friends in San Diego, Reggie Gates was a real good tactician, before he quit chess, but he also adhered to the belief, you have to 'give' to 'get', therefore in some lines of play, one cannot be too scared to take risks.

The Reno Chess Club is full of players who are scared of their own shadows in over-the-board play, I would prefer not to be like them, as they mostly do themselves a disservice by playing in this manner.

"Fortune favors the Bold"--Virgil

Soapstone said...

@Eric: Yeah, it was an interesting game, especially enjoyable because I was pressing the last 2/3rds. But you're right, we both flailed quite a bit. I think they call that losing the thread. I was expecting the Scandinavian and was worried as you say that Black gives up too much center in that opening. You had a great streak slaying Scandinavian's so why change up? I think I fixed many of the games that disappeared when Chess Publisher 2 went down. I believe all my old games are now playable. Cross my fingers that chessflash.com stays up.

@frenez: I agree that my opening development sucked. As I said I mixed up my systems starting with Na6. I retreated Nf6-d7 because I've had terrible things happen before when I retreated Ne8, but then Nd7 caused my d6 pawn to be unprotected. That's why Qb6 and Qc7: all to prepare e6. I also agree with dxe6 being bad. Before it, my bishop was stuck at c8. dxe6 Bxe6 frees my development. I didn't relish exd5 because White's queen would land on d5 with check, but that was where all my play was going. Luckily Eric helped me with Bxe6. I like the animation and in-line commentary available with chessflash, but it's more laziness at having my chess visualization work during static-board analysis.

frenez said...

this 6 pawn thing ... i don't know. i don't know theory very well, but bunching up the black pieces on the queen side can't be good against that.

dxe6 was the wrong plan and i agree white is better if he doesn't do that.

playing recklessly, means, especially when playing strong opponents, don't forget to develop. the counterattack came pretty fast after dxe6 which doesn't look like a big mistake and wouldn't have been if white was better prepared. not developing the queen bishop until move 22 and the qr until well into the endgame can't be a good strategy.

black missed some quicker wins as he pointed out and beat himself up a bit for it. the only thing black should beat himself up over is maybe being a little too complacent. but this is important to remember, don't stop working hard when you're better ... your opponent is working very hard and looking for every kind of swindle and many times he's successful ... that's why you don't resign until you'lre sure there is no hope.

speaking of lazy, i like the replayable boards because, well, i'm lazy!

Eric Shoemaker said...

Frenez, you need to study more '4-Pawns Attack' theory before leveling too harsh an indictment.

If I don't waste precious time with 15. dxe6? and I also play 15. g5, then perhaps two pieces are then developed.

Now, what if I sac the 'b2' pawn, which has too much pressure on it anyway? A 3rd piece is then developed.

Sure, my problems came from a lack of development, but the Opening had nothing to do with it. In fact, after 14 moves, White easily has a slight edge there and Ernie's lead in development is rather suspect since these same pieces are tripping over each other.

Expert Bill Case, a better player than both Ernie and myself at the moment agrees with this assessment.

By 'your own hand', you admit that your "observations aren't very deep or good", well why not change that by being more objective?

The Four Pawns Attack is an excellent psychological weapon against the King's Indian Defense, how much more so Gunderam's Six Pawn Attack?

If you yourself had been on the other side of Gunderam's Six Pawn Attack, you would probably be shaking in your boots or rushing off to the bathroom. How can you possibly be bold after only one contest? Did you see the Mariotti-Gligoric Game, played in 1969?

It's easy to play "Armchair Quarterback", it's a whole different story when you yourself are on the field, or in this case, playing over-the-board.

We don't even know who "you" are because of your hidden on-line identity. And that's okay, but try to remember then that your BOLDNESS is due to your constant hiding, not any other merit you may or may not have yourself. True Courage does not hide itself.

And by the way, I did not 'forget' the first rule, I chose to break it on my own accord. And you didn't read my earlier post, I am one of the fastest developers in the club, if not the fastest. I doubt you will find club members that will dispute that and once again, my games posted all over my blog pretty much bare witness to that testimony.

If I had won that game, which was certainly possible if I hit upon a better plan at move 15, would you be talking in this manner? I don't think so. Instead, you would remain mysteriously quiet, just as you have whenever it is that I am successful in my games. Only when I take on a defeat do you actually appear.

Yet I am there every Thursday, even giving the little guy a chance to defeat me, when I know there is nothing in it for me to defeat that B, C, D, or E player. Sure, I would love to face only A's and Experts or even GM's every day, but our club and the way it is poorly run on tournaments will not allow for that.

Ideally, the B's, A's and Experts should be one section and the C's, D's, and lower should be another. That will make the club stronger. I saw proof of this in San Diego, but my attempts at this club go unheard or largely ignored.

As a result, the club remains weak and our stronger players do not always play their best games. This is due to the fact that we often have to face inferior opposition and we do face each other, we are sometimes not at our best.

That would all change in a New York second if we didn't have narrow minded leaders at the club and would adopt the format that is logical.

I don't appreciate your biased comments or lack of Theoretical understanding. I've had occasion to witness it twice now and mostly against me. The other time was an earlier game, where you actually commented on my post. It's still there as I have not erased anything in a long time.

It also might interest you to know that my record against Ernie isn't necessarily bad considering the number of times we have actually played. Although I'm sure Ernie has a plus score, I doubt it's anything to write home to Mom about.

If you want respect as a writer or commentator, check your bias at the door.

frenez said...

i'm very sorry that i annoyed you. i was not trying to do that. my comments were meant in a friendly way because i enjoy the debate and my motivation was solely to keep me, just a little, remotely involved in the game.

i enjoy these blogs and will continue to do so ... but since my comments were unsolicited and i, in no way, want to offend anyone, i'll stay quiet from now on.

please, accept my apologies.

Eric Shoemaker said...

Frenez, you're going from one extreme to the other extreme. I actually would prefer you not stay quiet either, but a little less biased in your commentary.

I understand if you don't have time to play. I had to quit for 3 years when I was in college.

Soapstone said...

Gentlemen. I was going to chime in, but it sounds like you've kissed and made up already.

Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Ernie, it wasn't that bad. I know I can be harsh and short sometimes, but I don't really mean to be, it's just my way. I actually thought it wasn't interesting that all three of us thought 15. dxe6 was horrible. It's too bad I didn't reach that conclusion in time over the board!

Usually, if three players, all consider the same move to be horrible, then it is probably really horrible!

ChargingKing said...

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/01/scientist-says.html

Nice post Ernie! This link may interest you, since I see you enjoy ideas of physics and its implications.

Personally the idea of Dark Energy has always seemed a bit fishy to my untrained mind.Seems like a simple out for scientists unable to make their math work.

This other theory seems to make more logical sense to me.