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Mariano Sana vs Calvin Blocker
"Blocker room talk" (game of the day Nov-20-2019)
Cleveland Open (2014), Cleveland, OH USA, rd 2, Aug-16
Caro-Kann Defense: Panov Attack. Fianchetto Defense (B14)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: IM Blocker thinks too much. In every game he ends up having to make moves 30-40 in just one minute. Our game was no exception.

There is a mutual error in move 28. My 28.Bc5? is a blunder (28...Nxb2!) and his 28...Na5? returns the favor.

He made the time control to move 40, and at that point my position is better. It's not so much better objectively, as it is easier to play than black's position. He's the one with problems. But then, with 30 minutes for the rest of the game, he used 28 or 29 on his next four moves. Then:

click for larger view

45...Bxb2? (45...Bd4+ and 46...Nd6=, or 45...Nd6=) 46.Bxf5 and black can't stop the pawn.

Sep-20-14  Strongest Force: Seems like such a dynamic player like Calvin wouldn't play the Caro Cant. His favorite player is Morphy!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli: IM Blocker thinks too much. In every game he ends up having to make moves 30-40 in just one minute. Our game was no exception.>

Some things never change; while we never met at the board, in all the tournaments we played together many years ago, it was typical of Blocker to get into such time shortage.

The above is in no way a criticism, merely an observation; for I too was long addicted to time trouble.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious> <The above is in no way a criticism, merely an observation; for I too was long addicted to time trouble.> I play faster now than when I was younger. Not sure if it's because my confidence grew or I just care less. Maybe a mix of both.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: "An Exercise in Fusilli"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <OCF> Probably because I am not a native English speaker and I am weak on pop culture, but... I don't get the pun. Care to explain?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli>, in the last years of my playing career, I too generally played faster and got in zeitnot much less often, as was routine during most of my time from about 1600 onwards; the irony was that before that, I generally played quickly, and was always an excellent blitz player--I could even beat GMs now and again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  monopole2313: Exercise in futility. Calvin played the Caro Kann 40 years ago. I remember his time scrambles even then. He once told me that he went from 2200 to 2300 after studying Morphy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <monopole2313: Exercise in futility.> Ah, thank you!

<perfidious> I was never very good at blitz, compared to my relative strength in classical. I'm too laid back and brain-scattered for it.

Nov-20-19  Ilkka Salonen: Sure, Blocker room talk is pretty funny concept in an era where some moderators always delete stuff from web arenas.
Nov-20-19  ndg2: C*** blocker
Nov-20-19  jith1207: What's this pun referring to?
Nov-20-19  Ironmanth: Nice game! Remember Calvin as a fascinating individual and a very strong player at several World Opens. Y'all have an awesome day out there in chessland!
Nov-20-19  offramp: <ndg2: C*** blocker>

That is exactly what I thought, but I didn't have the b$%*s!!

It would have been a <much> better pun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <jith1207: What's this pun referring to?>

The expression "locker room talk" (which I assumed Trump had made famous) refers to boasting about one's prowess, usually without base in reality. In this case, it was a bit personal. Blocker is an IM, rated a couple hundreds points above me, and he hated losing to me. At the end of the game he was upset and unkind to me, saying I had not deserved to win because of bloody blah blah. (I had said or done nothing, he just threw that at me.)

So, I submitted the pun as a personal way of getting back at him. He was all locker room talk. Deservedly or not, I beat him.

Sorry about the self-promotion, btw. When the pun occurred to me, it seemed funny. I thought it fit well, since the player named [B]locker was the one who lost.

Nov-20-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: This whole discussion reminds me of Walter Browne, who got into a lot of time trouble, was rude to fellow good players, and was rude to average players as well. I was too low-level to ever play him (the highest rated player I ever got paired with in a real tournament was under 2300), but Browne made a poor impression on me back in the day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Cheapo>, take it from someone who did get to play Browne--as a lower-level master (borderline 2300 in my best days), his behaviour was, at least, consistent. There were other top players whom I faced who carried a bit of attitude, but he was plain obnoxious.
Nov-20-19  Boomie: <Fusilli>

Congratulations on your fine GOTD.

Back in the day, I played the CK and hated the Panov-Botvinnik attack.

After Qb3:

click for larger view

Sans silly cone monster, it appears to me that black's road to equality should be action against the isolani on d4. That fine outpost on d5 should ensure equality. Do you have any ideas where black when wrong here?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Boomie> Oh, yeah, Black was totally fine, probably slightly better most of the game. In the game I felt good when he traded knights on e3 and gave me a decent pawn center, but it still is equal. He blundered with 45...Bxb2. (See my very first post on this page.)
Nov-21-19  jith1207: <Fusilli>: Thank you, Sir, for the lovely story behind the pun. This is one of such sweet moments which enrich this website. That's very funny, and an apt pun for sure. Not that there's anything wrong with getting back.

Now, I would love if one of your games get this pun <An Exercise in Fusilli>. I would love to see that on GOTD in home page one day!

Perhaps, you should choose one of your favorite games, win or loss, and submit the pun? Even a loss where you had tried a great combination or swindle would perfectly suit that pun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <jith1207> Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.

Yes, that's a good pun. <OhioChessFan> suggested it a while ago (scroll down). If we agree on what a game should look like for that pun to be the best fit, I'll be happy to suggest one.

My first thought is that it could refer to a stubborn attack against a solid position, and the attack fizzles out (whether the attacker loses or draws).

Other ideas?

Nov-27-19  jith1207: Just checked this message, looks like today's GOTD perfectly matches the idea. Cheers and thanks!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Fusilli> I only encountered Blocker once, fortunately. As usual, I was playing in a tournament in Chicago. I think I had a fairly low rating at the time, maybe in the 1700s or 1800s. I was playing on a board near, or maybe next to, Blocker's. By coincidence (AFAIK), my opponent and I were playing a line of the Caro-Kann identical to that played on Blocker's board. My opponent was amused by this, and made some comment about it to Blocker. Blocker exploded that he couldn't take responsibility for our game. It was bizarre.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <FSR> Bizarre indeed.

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