Puzzle and Trip Report

In the puzzle here, it is White to play and force mate. There are two main variations.

Hi everyone. I'm back from my traveling. I had a very relaxing vacation in Michigan. When I spoke to some of my blog readers a while ago, I had possible plans to visit my family in South Korea, but that fell through. Hopefully I'll go there next summer.

I spent the last few weeks in Michigan. While there, most of my family from around the U.S. were in town for a family reunion. We rented a big cabin on the lake. We spent time kayaking, playing board games, playing pool, frisbee, horseshoes, eating good food, and reading (my family's #1 passion).

We also made a trip to Mackinac Island located on Lake Huron. It is an amazing place and I have never been there before. I found it very nice that absolutely no cars are allowed on the island, so you must ride a bike or a horse for transportation. My family rented bikes, and we went for a nice 5 mile bike ride.

When I returned to Houston, Ben Finegold (my childhood chess coach), his wife Kelly, and their two children were in town visiting. I took them to a fewrestaraunts and ice cream shops. Everything was great until Ben somehow managed to destroy his rental car backing out of my parking garage. He hit one of the pillars, and he was going very slowly. It seemed physically impossible, but it managed to dent his car in a way that pushed metal into his tire, making his car undrivable. It was very bad luck! We waited all night for the tow truck to take away his car and bring him a new rental car. One thing that was very admirable about Ben and Kelly was the fact that they didn't seem stressed out at all during these unfortunate circumstances. I knew and they knew that this would cause them a lot of hassle, as well as a lot of money. Maybe part of being a great chess player is to have a very relaxed and care-free attitude when it comes to trivial things like totaled rental cars. For many other people, the accident might have ruined the visit, but not them.

Right now I'm looking forward to a great semester. I know all of you chess players are eager to improve and I am sure this year will be the year many of you make huge rating jumps.

I will try to post to my blog more often. If you don't see me post in a while, just keep bugging me about it and I will. Posted by Picasa