Monday, March 22, 2010

Wojo's Weapons, Sharpened Teeth

I'm sorry I don't blog anymore. It's the boyfriend: I used to save up my best thoughts to tell you, but now I just tell him: quicker.

We signed a lease on a new apartment in a fancy luxury building with many appliances. It has a gym and a pool table and a freshdirect storage room, which I find hilarious, since you get to choose the time that freshdirect delivers; they're not like some totalitarian cable company. But if you have a tiny little room off the lobby of an apartment building that you don't know what to do with, I guess it sounds like a perk.

We also have a big balcony and a roofdeck and a picturesque view of neighborhood rooftops and Brooklyn's skyline. I will sit outside every morning and drink my tea. I will be very happy there.

Jonathan Hilton was kind enough to send me a review copy of Wojo's Weapons: Winning With White, even after I told him I probably wouldn't review it. (I'm way too busy right now to be reading opening books.) But he sent it anyway, and it's already been useful twice, even though I've only skimmed it.

It covers Wojt's white repertoire: 1. Nf3, the Catalan, the Slav with 4. Qc2. I have a couple of students who play the Catalan, and I know nothing about it, so I was interested. Jonathan and Dean do a nice job of explaining ideas. For example, one of my students always gets the following position

as white and I have never known what to tell him, planwise. But now I can confidently explain that this isn't so good for black because when black plays the intended ...e5, white will take on e5, exchange pawns on d5, and be well-positioned to attack black's isolated d pawn.

The book also talks about this position

which a few of my students have been looking for some new ideas in.

Finally, the Slav sideline Wojt played is interesting: 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Qc2. The idea is that if black takes, white just recaptures with the queen, has an extra center pawn and tortures/ bores/ strangles black to death. It's the kind of position that, if you get good at playing, is just a goldmine, pointwise.

It's already a popular book in my chess club. Miguel ran into my room today yelling "WO WO WO WO WO WO" (he misremembered the name "Wojo"), wanting to borrow it. Miguel is 13 and doesn't like studying, so that means something. I'd definitely recommend it to Catalan players, or anyone who likes boring-but-really-well-explained-d4 openings/ systems.

On a related note, my dentist convinced me to get crowns put on my two front teeth. Crowns are where they drill away like 40% of your tooth, stick a rod into the root, and stick a fake tooth over the real one. This happened because I had a root canals in each of my two front teeth many years ago and since then they've turned grey. My dentist wanted me to look prettier.

They took an impression of my teeth before they drilled them away, and I go back to get the permanent crowns Thursday. When they put on the temporary crowns last week, they slipped them on and then asked if any edges needed to be filed down, or anything felt weird against my tongue.

This questioning gave me an idea. I'm going to ask them to sharpen my teeth before they put them on. Imagine having extra-sharp teeth! almost like a superpower! Some people (ok everyone) I've mentioned this plan to has thought that it's a terrible idea because I might bite my tongue.

please vote in my poll by 4 pm Thursday.


Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth,

At the risk of sounding lewd, I would suggest that sharpening one's teeth, if one engages in certain...ahem...activities with one's boyfriend, is a very very very bad idea!

I am only an expert at chess, but I am a practicing GM in the art of love!

Anonymous said...

Bit tongue bad. Bit opponent... bad or good? you decide!

Also, the commenter below me is a patzer.

Unknown said...

I love that Qc2 slav line, especially the g6 lines. Black players get so bored and generally offer a draw somewhere around move 9, and by move 15 they're much worse. :)

Wojo's Weapons is an excellent book.

Unknown said...

Only problem is that Wojo's 7. Ne5!? petline is only = if black has studied it sufficiently in advance. This book actually has the entire =lizing line(s?) in it so black players should hopefully be fully prepared. The same is true of 9. b3 against the Tarrasch. At least Jonathan and Dean are honest and the Closed Catalan, Early Open Catalan, and Slav sections are great and the mainline Catalan and Tarrasch sections take black out of typical positions (into sharp tactics and hanging pawns respectively).

Unknown said...

This is why you should delete this post Elizabeth. We should try to keep this Wojo book as unpopular as possible so the lines remain sneaky.

Anonymous said...

Still enjoy your blog, even though you're blogging less lately.

A pet peeve of mine is when people refer to important people in their lives using 'the', which indicates a thing, rather than 'my', which indicates a person.

For example, my wife, my family, and my boyfriend is preferred to the wife, the family, and the boyfriend.

Anonymous said...

Get married first..if you're happy with him.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

get married before moving in with him?? why?

Unknown said...

Methinks anonymous has it slightly backwards.

Unknown said...

I've reconsidered my vote for sharp teeth. I hadn't factored in the "Twilight" mania. You might get staked!

Anonymous said...

u r dumb elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Marry him, have two kids, then get divorced - and then move in with him.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks "u" and "r" are words forfeits the right to comment on anyone else's intelligence.

Brian Krakow said...

anjiaoshi, what about someone who realizes that "u" is not a word but thinks "r" is?

katar said...

obv u should write a book about ur sharpened teeth called _Lizzy's Weapons_.

Check2Check said...

At first I thought sharp teeth might be kind of cool for a short while but then I read the part about biting your own tongue off and I reconsidered. Maybe you could get just your canines sharpened and be a vampire for the same time... you've already got the skin tone for it (= (pale skin is hot by the way!)

I've decided that along with working my way through your past blogs I'm also going to keep up to date on your current ones too -don't want to just be someone in your past!, oh and I'm not going backwards anymore either. I went to the very beginning and am working my way back -or forward I guess. It's pretty daunting as I'm playing through most to the games and exercises and looking at a lot of comments. We'll see if I lose interest at some point but so far I'm still captivated. Thank God you're not blogging as much or I think I might never catch up

Disregard the last sentence. In fact disregard everything after the first paragraph. It's way too much for a comment -sorry I sometimes ramble.

Jonathan Hilton said...

Just to get the word out there--Dean and I are finally done with the third and final volume of Wojo's Weapons. It should be out in just a couple of months!