Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Redskins: Rev. Wilbon's Sermon

What he said:

It wasn't particularly shocking that the Redskins were blown out; the stunner was that they just sat there and took it, that the Redskins were content to be bullied and humiliated. Those of us who've been waiting through the Gibbs II era for the Redskins to develop an identity didn't see them moving in any definitive direction Sunday in Foxborough.

Preach It!

With all due respect to professional hockey, pro football is the most violent team sport in this culture. It's based on mayhem and retribution, an eye for an eye, on sheer pride, even if that pride is occasionally misplaced. WilbonIf Belichick is so bold as to have Brady in the game, sneaking on fourth down and throwing from spread formations when leading 38-0, he also runs the risk of getting his golden boy quarterback mangled. If Belichick has so little regard for the opponent, why should the Redskins have any regard for him and his?

If the Golden Boy stays in the game when the competition is long over, fair enough. But at that point he forfeits any professional benefit of the doubt, and is fair game for whatever comes. This is one place where the NHL gets it right. Half the players in the league would like to hit Belichick right now, but can't.


And maybe it's not the way the Redskins want to play. Maybe they're above that sort of brawling. Perhaps Gibbs wants no part of that philosophy and it's his bust, not mine, that sits in Canton in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But what was highlighted in Foxborough on Sunday is that the Redskins, still a pretty good team with a chance to make the playoffs, don't seem to have the charismatic leaders who can push the team beyond this pedestrian 4-3 start with narrow home field victories over the Dolphins and Cardinals.

Brother Wilbon, attitude in the NFL starts at the TOP. This goes beyond not having leaders on the field. At some point the Head Coach and his Assistant Head Coach for Defense must call plays to go after the model mongering Golden Boy to get the point across to Hoody Bill. The game was out of hand, the Pats were assured of victory. Hoody and the model moocher kept drilling it in...

Gibbs and Williams are the ones who held off the dogs. For the first time in my life, I am of the opinion that Joe Jackson Gibbs is not the right choice to lead the Redskins. The Redskins need a leader at the top willing to lay it on the line with his players. The Redskins did not have that Sunday.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Redskins: Black Sunday: Classless Hoody, No Balls Double G

Yeah, Andre, I agree. redskinsThis was bad. The score, 52-7, doesn't reflect just how bad it was. The four turnovers don't touch the gritty truth of what happened. That the offensive players on the field did not perform as they should have doesn't matter. There will be blowouts. There will be times that the other team has an unbelievable day no matter how good you play on defense. These things happen.

Yeah, the Pats leg whipped Rogers and may have ended a pro-bowl career. Left lying on the Foxborough turf along with Carlos were the chances to shut down Brady and the Pats' offense since Smoot was inactive. rogersBehind the trio of Smoot, Rogers, and Springs there are no CBs to handle receivers like Moss, Welker, and Stallworth. Before the Pats scored a single point, Rogers career was put in jeopardy with abuse to his ACL and MCL requiring season ending surgery. Yeah, once again, hinky things were going on early in the game with the visiting team's communications in New England.

Put all the classless Belichick crap aside, all the dirty tricks and score inflation... All that doesn't matter to the Redskins and their fans. Gibbs showed Belichick the proper disdain for Belichick's lack of character and respect for the game and the opponent by leaving Hoody* groping at mid-field looking for a handshake and then dismissing the whole thing in the pressers. hoody
*I mean, really, wearing sweatshirts that look like someone rolled a homeless Boston drunk as a main participant to events involving multiple millions of dollars... For the love of Pete, you can at least have enough respect for yourself to wear something decent.

Leave all that behind. The thing that Redskins and their fans feel at the bottom of their guts, the thing that I find galling and disgusting is the way Gregg DoubleG(the extra G is for Genius) Williams refused to respond to the play on the field, the fluid nature of his personnel, the outright insults by the Pats to the Redskins manhood... Please! At what point does a team rise up and decide to go after their nemesis, namely Hoody Bill, vicariously through their antagonist on the gridiron, one #12?

Gregg "Double G for Genius" Williams completely failed his defensive players, the other players on the team, the coaching staff, Head Coach Joe Gibbs, Danny Snyder, all Redskin fans everywhere, and anyone connected with the NFL not part of the Patriots* by not going after the QB for the entire second half on Sunday. Hoody Bill has been giving the entire NFL the Martian Salute (known in some circles as "The Birdie") by running up the score for weeks. Assistant Head Coach for Defense G for Genius knew this coming in, knew it in the game, and sat on his thumbs (or that Martian Salute) the entire game.

*The Krafts, sitting in their booth, looked fairly embarrassed by what Hoody was doing.

Any self respecting defensive coordinator would have begun sending the blitzers after #12 (Models are for Procreation) Brady. Hey, Hoody, want to run up the score? Here's a vicarious concussion just for you... And it isn't as if GG didn't have the type of player capable of not only blitzing, but of sending that model monger's mental faculties into the next century. Taylor and Landry have credentials in that regard that are unsurpassed. Ask that Alabama QB that is still looking for his facemask about LaRon (That truck now wears #30, John Parker). Ask Terrell Owens about what the Meast will do to you in his domain. Gregg Williams betrayed Redskin fans and NFL fans everywhere by enabling Hoody Bill his upthrust finger without retribution.

Hey, Double G, how about growing Double Balls, ok?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chess: The Caro Kann as a Weapon

My opponent in this game writes:

Here is another one of my correspondence chess games played at ICC. I just resigned today because the only way to avoid checkmate was to sacrifice my Queen for a Rook. I am now 0-2 in this section. My new correspondence chess rating is 1551 and my opponent's is 1959. I ended up in an opening that I don't know against a much higher rated player. I used MCO 14 as my guide to the opening but my opponent got me out of book early when he prevented my Knight from going to b5. My opponent's first name is Steve. I don't know his last name. He lives in TN. I am not posting this game to my chess site because I don't normally play either side of the Caro-Kann.

Mike's comments are illuminating on several fronts.

First, the viability of the Caro Kann is enhanced by the fact that club level players (and that is most of us) don't see it very often. King pawn players typically concentrate on their e4 opening of choice and the variations of 1...c5 and 1...e6 they are sure to see. 1...c6 is usually an afterthought in their opening repertoire. In OTB play this will lead to uncertain play from many White opponents and in correspondence play the undeserved reputation of the Caro Kann will lead to a bit of carelessness from players less than Class A.

Second, when White uses a lesser known variation (in this case 2.c4) they are often at a loss as to the subtleties of the opening while the Black player is completely at ease with his position, having seen, studied, and played it before. Mike states that he was out of book (using MCO-14) early on. When, as White, your opponent plays a lesser used opening, you may be certain that he has various sources to choose from for opening theory. We are in the computer age and players should avail themselves of the databases that are on the net, at the very least. Chessgames.com and Chesslab are excellent sources for quick access to master level games on almost every opening.

In our game, I have to wonder if Mike knew that this variation involved having an Isolated Queen Pawn.

The Caro Kann has a reputation of being a dull, uninspired opening. It is not. It is a tough defense that turns into a dangerous attacking weapon if White plays carelessly at any point. It attracts players that have based their play in sound positional theory and that are willing to be patient and accumulate advantages as they come along.

[Event "ICC correspondence 2007Seven.02.06"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2007.08.25"]
[Round "-"]
[White "OnGoldenPawn"]
[Black "sdo1"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B10"]
[WhiteElo "1549"]
[BlackElo "1969"]
[Opening "Caro-Kann: anti-anti-Caro-Kann defense"]
[NIC "CK.01"]

1. e4 c6 2. c4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. cxd5 Qxd5 5. Nc3 Qd6 6. d4 Nf6 7. Bc4 e6 8. Nf3 a6


I have no intention of allowing White to get at b5 and c7.

9. O-O Be7 10. d5


White here wishes to sac his ISO to open lines for his better developed forces. My conclusion is that this forcing is too early, he isn't that better situated despite being castled. 10...b5 allows me to disrupt the pieces he has developed. 12. dxe6 was a better try than retreating the Knight and at that point we are completely out of theory.

10. ...b5 11. Bb3 b4 12. Ne2 Nxd5 13. Bg5 Bb7 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. Ned4 O-O 16. Re1 Rd8 17. Qc1 Nd7 18. Qd2 Rac8 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Bxd5 Nc5 21. Bxe6+ Nxe6?


I understand why saccing a piece here is attractive, and it might work in blitz play. However, in correspondence is simply loses a piece for a pawn. From here out it is simply a matter of translating the material advantage to a win. This was aided by White falling for the trap of 25. Qxa6.

22. Qe3 Bxf3 23. Qxf3 Qf7 24. Qe2 Nf4 25. Qxa6 Nxg2 26. Kxg2 Qd5+ 27.
Kg1 Rc6 {White Resigns} 0-1

Chess: London System vs. the KID

[Event "ICC correspondence 2007Seven.02.03"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2007.08.25"]
[Round "-"]
[White "sdo1"]
[Black "AntonioMendonca"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A48"]
[WhiteElo "1959"]
[BlackElo "1656"]
[Opening "King's Indian: London system"]
[NIC "QP.03"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 Bg7 4. e3 O-O 5. Nbd2 d6 6. Be2 Nbd7 7. h3 Re8 8. c3 e5 9. Bg3 Nh5 10. Bh4 Nhf6 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. O-O


Again, a classic position for the London player.

12. ...Bd7 13. Nxe5 Rxe5 14. Bf3 Rb8 15. Ne4 h6 16. Qd4 b6 17. Rfd1 g5 18. Bg3 Re6 19. Nxf6+ Bxf6 20. Qd3 Qe8 21. Qc4 c5?


21...c5 ruins Black's game. White had sallied 21. Qc4 to see if the light squares could be exploited. 21...Qc8 gives Black plenty of recourse and the game is about even. With 21...c5, Black has left the d6 pawn en prise, permanently weakens light squares across the board (exacerbated by 17...g5), and leaves f7 and g8 open to pressure from a Queen-Bishop battery via a pin on the Rook. Instead of grabbing the pawn, I decided to take the exchange on the e Rook. Even without the support of the light Bishop, the Queen will invade the Queen side via the light squares and force Black to give up material after attrition of forces.

22. Bd5 Rd8 23. Bxe6 Bxe6 24. Qe2 d5 25. a4 Bg7 26. Qa6 Qe7 27. a5 Bc8 28. Qb5 Bd7 29. Qe2 Bc6 30. axb6 axb6 31. Qa6 Qb7 32. Qxb7 Bxb7 33. Bc7
{Black Resigns} 1-0

With no possibility of preventing White from accumulating further material, Black resigned.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chess: My First Result Using the London System

[Event "ICC correspondence 2007Seven.02.01"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2007.08.25"]
[Round "-"]
[White "sdo1"]
[Black "John3v16"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A40"]
[WhiteElo "1969"]
[BlackElo "1807"]
[Opening "Queen's pawn"]
[NIC "QO.17"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 c5 4. e3 Be7 5. c3 b6 6. h3 Bb7 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. Bd3 d6 9. O-O Nbd7 10. Re1


This is the setup the London player wants as White against almost any defense.

10 ...h6 11. e4 cxd4 12. cxd4 a6 13. Qe2 b5 14. a4 b4 15. Rac1 Nb6
16. a5 Na4


I thought Black's 16th was a positional mistake. I would have favored Nbd7 instead. His Knight is on the rim away from the action and will not be able to escape to re-enter the game. The attacks on the Knight will draw Black's pieces away from the action, and I don't see how Black could avoid losing material in the Knight's defense, anyway.

17. Bc2 Bc6 18. Qc4 Qd7 19. Qb3 g5 20. Bxd6


Black's 19 ...g5 allows White to win the d pawn and possibly remove a defender (Bishop) of b4. Black's choice to keep the Knight instead of the Bishop (on 21. e5 Nd5) is also a poorer choice. The Bishop had more range and is needed in defense more than the Knight.

20 ...Bxd6 21. e5 Nd5 22. exd6 Qxd6 23. Ra1 Nf6 24. Ne5


The Knight at a4 is en prise. Ne5 attacks the defenders, but more importantly, clears the way for the Queen to enter the King side to attack the King's open position and unsecured f6-Knight.

24 ...Bb5 25. Qf3 Qxd4 26. Qxf6 1-0


Black falls for the trap with 25 ...Qxd4. After 26. Qxf6 Black resigned, as he pointed out 26 ...Qxd2 27. Ng6! wins for White. Black must either sacrifice his Queen at f2, or be mated.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

McCain on Hillary

I'm not a McCain fan as I tend to run a bit more conservative, but this is too good to pass up...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Redskins: Packers Accept Gift From Santa Moss, Win 17-14

Santana Santa "Claus" Moss was wearing the wrong uniform again Sunday. The Skins were up 14-10 and the defense, other than one big play, had completely stifled the NFL's leading passer for the second straight week. Santa Moss had also continued to afflict the Skins with his dropsies, so the Skins thought they would let him try to run the ball without the nuisance of actually having to catch it. Imagine that, a wide receiver not having to receive the ball...

There he goes, blockers in front and on the way!
Oops, Santa Moss decides that protecting the ball is not in his job description, just like that arcane idea of wide receivers catching the ball.
And that is Charles Woodson strolling untouched in to the end zone with the ball you so graciously placed on the grass for him.
Great Teamwork, Santa! You are the Packers' MVP this week.

You deserve it! You took a 14-10 victory away from the Skins and were the key player in the 17-10 Packer win!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Redskins: Skins Silence Lions 34-3


Anyone get the number of that truck?

Kenoy Kennedy, you have been DE-CLEATED!

Watch it while it lasts...