Let’s face it, folks: I need help if I’m going to avoid the dubious distinction of losing 10 chess games in a row. Game 9 is over and game 10 has begun.

This time, I’m making a small change. If you have a suggestion for a strategy, e-mail your suggestions to me at editor2@sunnews.org. Or come into the Sun office and say you’d like to help Black defeat White. I’m playing Black again, you see. Or if you’d rather help the Sun Region community humiliate a newspaper man—and we’re rather hard to humiliate or we wouldn’t work in a job where the entire community and all our competitors get a chance to see our mistakes—then come in to the Sun office at 216 Main St., Seal Beach. and say you’d like to make a move for White. Now, on to game 10—already in progress.

Huntington Harbour’s Alois Geiger opened the game by moving White pawn to e4.

I moved Black Knight to f6.

Seal Beach’s Paul Mangone moved White pawn to e5.

Black Knight to d5.

Geiger: White pawn to d4.

Black pawn to e6.

Geiger: White Knight to f3.

Black Knight to c6.

Mangone: Whie Pawn to c4, threatening Black Knight.

Black Knight to b4, escaping the attack.

Mangone: White pawn to a3, threatening the Black Knight at b4.

Dilemma: lose momentum and time trying to save the Knight or consider the Knight a lost cause and focus on moving other chessmen into the action? I opted for the later. That may have been a mistake.

I moved the Black Bishop to e7, clearing the path for a castle move and leaving my Black Knight vulnerable.

Mangone: White pawn to b4, capturing Black Knight.

Black castled to the left, leaving the Black King at g8 and the Black Rook at f8.

Geiger: White Bishop to d2.

Black pawn to g7.

The next move belongs to the Sun Region. Meanwhile, what should Black do to gain the upper hand?

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, I am not the hero of my chess blog.

I resigned Friday, following a series of disasters.

I got the flu. (Turns out I don’t do my best when I’m under the weather.) I lost several key chessmen. I allowed the board to be accidentally rearranged, leading one of my adversaries into making a huge mistake that he would not have made if I had corrected the error before he made a move. I forgot to take my turn.

Upshot: I resigned, forfeiting the game because the game was no longer valid.

The fault is entirely mine. Here’s a rundown of what happened:

At last report, I moved Black Knight to d4.

Huntington Harbour’s Alois Geiger moved White Bishop to d4, capturing my Knight. And here my defeat began.

Black pawn captures White Bishop.

Paul Mangone’s White Knight captured my Bishop at g8.

Black Queen to f8.

Geiger moved WQhite Queen to f6.

Black Queen to b4.

Geiger moved the white Knight to d1.

Black Queen to b2. I was focused on setting up an attack on the White King—so focused, I failed to see a threat to my Queen.

Mangone captured the Black Queen by moving the White Knight to B2.

Someone knocked over the chessmen. I was in a hurry and repositioned the board based on my faulty memory.

Geiger moved the White Queen to d4.

I checked the board against the artwork I posted for the last blog and discovered that the Black Rooks were in the wrong place. I could have easily taken Geiger’s Queen, but would have felt like a cheater for doing so.

I forgot to move for Black.

Geiger moved the Queen to a7. The game was virtually lost anyway—and I considered resigning.

Someone knocked over all the chess pieces and I decided at that point to resign.

Nine failures in a row has me feeling a bit demoralized and this last round leaves me slightly ashamed—I had an opportunity to do well and I squandered it.

Only one option. Set up the board for Chess with Charles 10.

Your move, Sun Region. But be warned: no one can lose forever.

Neither side has a significant advantage—yet. Each side has lost two pawns. I’ve had to move a couple of chessmen back, which surrendered some momentum to the Sun Region.

Yet it appears that my many adversaries and I are playing a cautious game. Neither side is trying to inflict massive damage on the other. If I see a good shot, I’ll take it. However, I don’t see a realistic opening for an attack. Oh, there are some things I could try—but I think I’d loose chessmen in the fight and have nothing to show for it. Right now, my goal is to protect all my chessmen.

Last we left off, I moved the Black Rook to d7.

Huntington Harbour’s Alois Geiger moved a White pawn to a3.

Black Rook to d8.

Seal Beach’s Paul Mangone mmoved White Knight to g5, threatening a Black Bishop.

Black Bishop to h6.

Geiger: White Queen to h4.

Black Bishop to g7.

Mangone: White Rook to g2.

Black Knight to d4. This move is risky. I could lose my Knight only to capture a Bishop. I could capture a pawn, only to find my Knight alone behind enemy lines. (This would set up a nice attack on a White Rook in Row 1, but would the other side allow me to take that advantage? I doubt it.)

So much for proceeding with caution.

Your move, Sun Region