I resigned, making Chess with Charles 7 my seventh consecutive defeat in my on-going chess match with the Sun Region. Since I resigned before I was defeated, I’m going to give equal credit to my adversaries Alois Geiger of Huntington Harbour and Paul Mangone of Seal Beach.

Here’s how it ended:

At last report, I moved the White Rook to h7.

Geiger: Black Rook to d1, placing the White King in Check.

White King to f2.

Mangone: Black pawn to d3, placing White King in Check.

White King to f3.

Geiger, Black Rook to c1, capturing the White Rook. That move essentially clinched the game for Black, but I was too stubborn to accept that.

I moved my remaining White Rook to h4, placing Black King in Check.

Mangone: Black King to c3.

White King to e4.

Geiger: Black Rook to e1, placing the White King in Check. (A theme is emerging.)

White King to d5.

Mangone: Black pawn to c1, promoting the pawn to a Queen.

I could have placed the Black King in Check and then captured the Queen two moves later, but I would have lost my remaining Bishop in the process. Then Black would have taken my remaining pawn and my poor King would stand alone on the board, surrounded by enemy chessmen.

Mangone argued, persuasively, that as a matter of respect for my opponents I ought to resign. I saw his point and so no point in dragging out the game. So I resigned. I promised myself I would never do that, but I did and I’m not sorry.

Magone also convinced me to try the other side of the board. So in Chess with Charles 8, I’ll play Black and the Sun Region will play White. Three men have already joined the new game, which I will report on next week.

It’s almost over. Black hasn’t achieved checkmate yet, but things aren’t looking good for White.

Black has seven chessmen on the board. White has four. Black’s chessmen are well positioned to defend the Black King and attack the White King.

White’s forces are divided and vulnerable to attack.

At last report, I moved the White Rook to f1.

Alois Geiger of Huntington Harbour moved the Black Rook to g5, capturing a white pawn and placing the White King in check.

White King to h2.

Paul Mangone of Seal Beach moved the Black pawn to b6, protecting the Black Bishop from attack.

Mangone said White’s chance to win was gone. I think he’s right, but I’m not going to resign. He said there was a difference between quitting and resigning. Not to me there isn’t. Better to fail than to quit.

White Rook to d1.

Geiger: Black pawn to c3.

White Rook to h3.

Black Rook to f1, placing White King in check.

White Rook to g1.

Mangone: Black Rook to c2, capturing a pawn.

The loss of all those pawns has cost me dearly. Pawns may be promoted, but only if they survive to reach the other side of the board. With only one White pawn remaining on the board, that seems unlikely to happen.

White Rook to h5.

Geiger: Black King to c4.

White Rook to h4.

Geiger: Black Rook to d2.

White Rook to c1.

Mangone: Black pawn to c2.

White Rook to h7.

Now things get dicey. Black can afford to loose a chessman or two. I can’t. If Black moves the Rook to d1, the my King will be in check. I could move the White King and then see the Black Rook capture the White Rook. Or I could use the White Rook to capture the Black Rook, only to see the Black pawn capture the White Rook and then be promoted to a more powerful chess piece—most likely the Queen.

Then it’s pretty much over for me.

My only hope, and it is a mighty slim one, is that Black will opt to go for a quick kill by moving the Black pawn to d3. If that happens, White can move the Rook currently at h7 to c7, pinning the Black Bishop in place.

But if Black is willing to take time to destroy White, then I havn’t got a prayer.

I take comfort from this thought: Even if I lose this game, I can’t lose forever.

Your move, Sun Region.

 

Black has regained the advantage in the game. However, it is too soon to predict a defeat for White—although with six defeats preceding this game, it would be perfectly reasonable to make that prediction.

At the end of my last blog, I wrote that I moved the White Bishop to f4, capturing the Black Knight—and standing in the shadow of another Black Knight.

The move was high-risk, because the chessman was placed in extreme danger of capture during the endgame. However, the alternative would have been to leave a White Rook under attack by the other side.

Seal Beach’s Paul Mangone moved the Black Knight to f4, capturing the White Bishop.

(It was the obvious move to make.)

White Rook to f4, capturing the Black Knight. (This was another obvious move to make.)

Mangone: Black pawn to g5, capturing a White pawn. (With both sides playing at less than half-strength, neither side can really afford any losses. A pawn can be promoted if it survives the journey to the far side of the chess board.)

White pawn to g5, capturing Black pawn.

Mangone: Black pawn to c4.

White pawn to a4.

The next day, Mangone said this was a blunder I my part. He said I should have placed the White Rook next to the Black Bishop located at f8. That would have pinned the Black Bishop to the Black Rook, reducing Black’s mobility.

That’s true, but I was concerned that the move would also reduce the mobility of the White Rook, so I passed on an obvious opportunity.

Mangone: Black Bishop to c5.

White Rook to h6, placing the Black King in Check.

Huntington Harbour’s Alois Geiger moved Black King to d5.

White Rook to f56, placing Black King in Check.

Mangone: Black Rook to e5, blocking the Check—and threatening the White Rook.

White Rook to f1. I had to make this move to protect that Rook—but now the two Rooks are spread far apart and the King is vulnerable to an attack by Black’s remaining Bishop. In effect, I’ve retreated into my own territory. Why? I’m worried about the two forward most Black pawns. If only one of them reaches my side of the board, Black gains a Queen and I am in serious trouble. However, in protecting my White Rook I have exposed my pawn at g5 to attack—and that White pawn is the one White pawn with a realistic chance of reaching the other side—a move that would give me a serious advantage.

Everything depends on what Black does next. And that depends on whether the next player to move for the Sun Region is Mangone, Geiger or someone else.

To win, White must regain the initiative, prevent a single Black pawn from reaching the “a” row of the board (the bottom row on the graphic) and pick off Black’s chessmen.

Your move, Sun Region.

At this point, neither side can really afford to make a major mistake. Consequently, both sides are moving slowly. Black has set up a strong defensive arrangement to protect the Black King. White is in Black’s territory. To defeat White, Black must at some point attack the White King. To defeat Black, White must attack the Black King without losing chessmen.

Last I posted, I had the Black King in check.

That didn’t last long and I didn’t expect it to—I just wanted to keep the initiative. Seal Beach’s Paul Mangone countered by moving the Black King to d8, escaping check.

White Bishop to f4.

Huntington Harbour’s Alois Geiger: Black Knight to e6. This move threatened my Bishop.

White Bishop to e5, escaping the threat.

Mangone: Black Knight to e7.

White Rook to f6.

Geiger: Black King to d7.

White pawn to g4. This move is part of a long term plan. My long term plans usually don’t work out well, but I need to move the Black pawn on the far right side of the board and just maybe move one of my pawns to the other side—where a pawn may be promoted to a Queen.

Mangone: Black Knight to d5, threatening the White Rook.

White Rook to f7, escaping the threat and placing the Black King in Check.

Geiger: Black King to c6., escaping the attack.

White pawn to g5, threatening the Black pawn at h6.

Geiger: Black Knight to f4, threatening the White Rook. Only the White Bishop can save the Rook, but then is facing almost certain capture by the other Black Knight.

White Bishop to f4, capturing the Black Knight.

Chessmen are starting to fall.

Your move, Sun Region.