zwischenzug (ZVI-shen-tsoog) — noun

A chess tactic in which a player, instead of playing the expected move, first interpolates another move, changing the situation to the player's advantage (such as gaining material or avoiding what would otherwise be a strong continuation for the opponent).

Showing posts with label solitaire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label solitaire. Show all posts

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Better Late Than Never

Wow.  This has been a pretty different year.  Lots of things in my personal life have worked against my gaming, which is why I haven't posted as much.  Here's a quick recap.

So far, I am on pace with last year.  In other words, I am having another bad year in terms of number of games played.  At this point in time last year, I had played 28 games of twelve different titles.  This year, I have played 27 games of 14 different titles - though seven of those games are a special case as you will see below.  It's amazing to me that I have dropped off that much.

I have received a lot of fun by learning new games.  I have found that I learn a new game, and I am much better able to teach a new game, by playing the game through by myself with several players.  It's a sort of "multiplayer solitaire", but it's been good.  Of course, that's also kind of sad; I am getting the most gaming enjoyment from playing a game by myself.  Ugh.

The good news is that the gaming group is managing to meet every month.  The group was very hit an miss last year.  Right now, we are hitting on all cylinders, and it looks like there isn't anything to get in the way this year.  That's great, because my gaming outside of the group is down.

We also finally got the chess club started at the school.  With only a month left, there was some question as to whether or not it was worth doing, but the kids really wanted it.  We are just going to play, and not give much formal instruction.  I played seven of the kids at once this past Wednesday, which is what I was referring to above.  So instruction will be on an individual basis, as I point things out to the kids as they play. 

We are going to try something different this year.  I play a lot of chess on, which is a great site.  (My number of plays doesn't include online chess games.)  They have an associated website for kids, on which parents and coaches can control the amount of contact their kids have.  I will be introducing it to the parents, so that the kids can continue to play over the summer with each other, and with me.  I will be able to comment and keep track of their progress.  If I can keep them playing, I will.

It's their move!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Revising my collection...

A few years ago, in my initial rush of enthusiasm, I managed to collect a good number of games that I was keen to play. These games included war games, fantasy games, sci-fi, and a few other games that would provide an epic story to tell. Here I am three years later, and some of them still have the shrink wrap on them.

It's because I am a geek.

It turns out that the same personality trait that provides all of the games for my gaming group is the same trait that makes me interested in fantasy, sci-fi and epic-length games - the genres that the rest of my group is not interested in playing. So, I am changing my collection. After all, a game that no one will play really doesn't have much value.

I have traded away most of my war games for very light war games. My boy loves fantasy, and I have conceded that he will probably take most of those with him to college. Some of my two player games will just have to go.

My wife tends to prefer abstract games, and I am okay with that. I like abstracts, some of them very strongly, even if it isn't my favorite genre. Our gaming group likes European style games, and there are a lot of fantastic games that I enjoy from that vein too. I have bought a few solitaire war games to satisfy that particular itch.

My dad always said, "To have a friend you have to be a friend", and that has always stuck with me. And so I salute those great games I no longer own, even as I go join my friends a game a can all enjoy.

It's your move!


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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

That time of year again...

It's that time of year when things get so busy that gaming just seems to fall by the wayside.  Not that I want it to, but our family life is dominated by one thing - American football.  No, I am not one of those football fanatics who watches constantly.  (I am only a Notre Dame fanatic.  There was a lot of positive in last week's loss, but I digress...)  However, our 8th grade son plays on a team, and with practices four nights a week, we are running him around a lot.  Furthermore, with homework added on to that, I have lost my primary gaming partner.

This past weekend was a holiday weekend here in the US - Labor Day.  There certainly was labor (which seems to defeat the whole purpose of a holiday!), but there was picnicking and fishing too.  As a result, I missed my normal Tuesday post.  This day-late and dollar-short post will have to do.

Onirim (image by Shadi Torbey)
I did manage to play more games of Onirim this past weekend.  This is a solitaire card game (though it does have 2-player cooperative rules) with a dream-walking theme.  It sounds strange, and it took a couple of games to get into it, but there are definitely some interesting decisions to be made.  I'd have to say it has grown on me, and is my favorite solitaire game at the moment.  While it isn't played with standard playing cards, the game isn't too expensive.  Z-man Games makes a lot of good card games, and this is one.

(For those of you who are curious, Daniel's football team is 2-0.  They beat their rivals 15-14 in a nail-biter, and won last night 33-0.  If they win Saturday they will have had the highest number of wins they have had in four years.  You do the math - they haven't been good in prior years!)

It's Your Move!