Waterville Chess Club * Under Construction

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New Web Host

We have found a new home for the Waterville Chess Club website! Effective soon (after I have successfully ported all the pages): we will be hosted by AO Industries, Inc.

Welcome to the Waterville Chess Club!

The Tide Can Turn Very Quickly

White is in the drivers seat
White is in the driver's seat - for now. Will White capitalize on his lead, or will a determined Black find a way to turn the tables? Full game on the Featured Game page!

October 20th, 2021. We are back to "normal" again. Arnold has joined us as a regular on Mondays, which always adds a bit of spice to our games. A customer at Dunkin' on Monday challenged Arnold to a game. His comment on leaving: "He's pretty tricky!" We all know that, of course, and he continues his victorious streak for yet another week. Meanwhile, the rest of us soldier on, improving slightly week over week. Good days and bad days, but always enjoyable games. Ryan pulled off a back rank mate while I was gobbling up pieces with an adventurous Queen.

Note: Older posts are grouped below; click the date to show or hide the post. Just click on the date to see the text for that entry.

Older Posts

Victory by Underpromotion on Steroids
Victory by Underpromotion
I have always wanted to win by underpromotion. In this game at Dunkin' on Monday afternoon, I underpromoted three times (a Knight, a second dark-square Bishop and a Rook)!

We have started to settle into a regular meeting schedule after lots of disruption caused by staffing shortages, etc. This past week we met a few new folks interested in playing chess with us; it's always good to have new opponents to keep us on our toes. As the weather turns colder, we might add in some more online playing opportunities. Laughter may be the best medicine, but chess has a way of making our lives healthier too.
Chess Fight Night Blitz Video
Chess Fight Night: Regular live blitz tournaments in Moscow for everyone: from amateurs to professionals. Game: Berdashkevich vs. Fatality

I hope you were able to take advantage of the good weather today. And, if you could find the time, I hope you were able to celebrate National Chess Day appropriately. Life keeps getting in my way, but I did manage to watch a few chess videos today. In addition to my normal fare [Mato Jelic and ChessFactor], I found a few very interesting games played by women on the CFN Channel. And I finally read the New Yorker article by Louisa Thomas about Hou Yifan, the Chinese prodigy; it's pretty long but worth the time (or you can listen to it - time 38:07).
Looks like our optimism about regular meeting places was premature (at Tim Horton's in Clinton on Monday afternoon and at the CBD Warehouse in Oakland on Tuesday night). We showed up to play chess on Monday afternoon only to find that Tim Horton's in Clinton was closed due to "staffing shortages"! Raise your hand if that sounds familiar. And one of our members (who shows up at nearly every single meeting) could not be comfortable at the Warehouse. In a stroke of luck, the Dunkin' lobbies are open once again, so we will return to playing there on Tuesday evenings (beginning Tuesday, October 5th). Some of us have no issues at the Warehouse, so it will continue to be an option for playing by arrangement during the day (before 5 pm).
playing chess endgame at the CBD Warehouse
Playing Tuesday night at the CBD Warehouse in Oakland.

We held our first indoor club meetings this week (at Tim Horton's in Clinton on Monday afternoon and at the CBD Warehouse in Oakland on Tuesday night). Thanks to Sarah for giving us a great place to concentrate! The image above shows a final position in the endgame between Arnold and Don [trading the Rook for two pawns was still not enough to prevent another ignominious defeat]. We will be meeting in Clinton and Oakland on a regular basis for the forseeable future. The latest COVID-19 statistics suggest that we have not seen the last of the coronavirus disruptions to our normal socializing. We are very fortunate to have found a safe place to play in-person chess.
More venue changes for in-person this week. We have been playing outside at Dunkin' because the lobby was closed [due to staffing shortages]. Plan C: I spoke to the managers of this week's locations and they said we are welcome to play at their establishments. Both locations should easily accommodate our relatively small contingent of chess enthusiasts. The owner has graciously offered the club use of the space at the CBD Warehouse in Oakland (826 Kennedy Memorial Drive) on Tuesday nights [details being worked out; hopefully we can start meeting there very soon]. Remember, "change is good". As always, speak up if you have concerns.

Thanks to Rachel for helpful suggestions on the user interface for the site.
Took a vacation from the website last weekend and worked on the chess program (and very little else)! Meanwhile, our venue for in-person chess has been experiencing some difficulties. We had switched to playing at Dunkin' because most people use the drive-thru which gave us a nice clear space to play for a few hours. Last week our Tuesday night games were cut short because the lobby was closed [staffing shortage]. Now all Dunkin' lobbies are closed for two weeks! I spoke to the managers of both locations and they said we are welcome to play outside on their tables, so that is our Plan B for now.
Big thank you to Dan (at AO Industries) and Rachel (at the CBD Warehouse) for suggestions to improve this site. I am continuing to refactor the web site to make it easier for me to make timely announcements and provide additional content. I have tweaked the CSS to make it easier to read on mobile devices. During the transition, I will be maintaining both versions (the Daily Razor version and this one - AO Industries version); they are formatted differently but will contain basically the same content until the transition is complete. I added a lot of images today, but there are still a few to be ported over. Next weekend!
In addition to the web page for the Waterville Chess Club, I will be hosting my attempt to get a Java chess program working (based on the tutorial by Amir Afghani). Amir's version used Java Swing for the user interface to the engine; I am hoping to rewrite the user interface with JavaScript here on this site. There are still some problems with my version of the engine. I am poking away at fixing the bugs, but Rome was not built in a day and it looks like it may take a very long time for me to fix everything. Meantime, feel free to look at Amir's tutorials located on my summary page. Feedback is most welcome. I am already addressing some feedback about mobile devices, but not quite finished with those changes yet.
I began the transfer of our website to a new host. There's a lot more work to do, but at least we have begun the process. Updates to our progress will follow.

Schedule and News

Next scheduled online meeting:
to be announced (we typically use the Camden Chess Club community team at lichess.org); online meetings are available by request only (for the time being).

Next in-person meetings:

  • Monday October 25th, 2021. We will be meeting on Monday afternoon at the Dunkin' in Oakland [848 Kennedy Memorial Drive, Oakland, Maine] at 1 pm;

  • Tuesday October 26th, 2021. We will be meeting on Tuesday night at the Dunkin' in Waterville [339 Main St., Waterville, Maine] at 5:00 pm;

  • (details are in the the weekly email). Give me a call or send me an email to confirm if you can.

Note: I send an email to our regular mailing list shortly before the day of the meetings with information about where and how we will meet.

We began to play in person again (cautiously and with masks in the presence of unvaccinated players and younger players). For now we are limiting the length of the meetings to just under 3 hours. We are keeping an eye on the latest news about the Delta variant and 'breakthrough' cases in Maine.

Let us know about your comfort level to help us decide how best to accommodate all club members.