But the queens we use would not excite you

[Event “First Dad Bill game w computer”]
[Site “Chappell Rd, Charleston, WV”]
[Date “2013.12.10”]
[White “Dad Bill”]
[Black “Ippon RelWithDebugInfo”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Annotator “John Byrd and Fritz 13 (20m)”]

{This was John Byrd “Dad’s” first game against Superpawn, a cheesy little chess engine that I wrote. Dad taught me to play chess when I was very small. It’s fitting somehow that Dad got to play against this chess software that I wrote. Ippon only understands material and mobility, and so Ippon got his queen out early and proceeded to take all Dad’s pieces away promptly, one by one. Dad’s 71 years old now and I was just happy to have him play chess with “me”.} 1. c4 e6 2. e4 {last book move} Qg5 (2… d5 3. cxd5 exd5 4. e5 $14) 3. Qf3 (3. Nc3 $5 Qg6 4. Nge2 $16) 3… Bb4 (3… Nc6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. d4 $11) 4. Nh3 Qe5 5. Bd3 (5. Nf4 $5 {deserves consideration} Be7 6. Nd3 $11) 5… Nc6 6. a3 {White threatens to win material: a3xb4} Bc5 7. b4 $4 {Hangs the rook on a1} (7. Nc3 $142 $15 {would allow White to play on}) {[%tqu “”,””,””,Bxf2+,””,10]} 7… Bxf2+ $1 {Fritz likes this move a lot, with the double attack on a1 and f2. I’m a little confused why ippon chose it, as ippon can only see 4 ply into the future. Wouldn’t ippon prefer to have kept the bishop instead of trashing it?} 8. Kxf2 (8. Kxf2 Qd4+ {Double attack} (8… Qxa1 {Zwischenzug})) (8. Qxf2 Qd4 {Decoy Double attack} (8… Qxa1 {Zwischenzug}) 9. O-O (9. Rf1) (9. Ng5)) (8. Nxf2 Qxa1 {Zwischenzug}) 8… Qd4+ 9. Ke1 (9. Qe3 Qxa1 10. Nc3 $19) 9… Qxa1 10. b5 Ne5 11. Qf4 (11. Qg3 {no good, but what else?} {[%tqu “”,””,””,d5,””,10] } d5 $1 {takes home the point} 12. cxd5 exd5 13. Bc2 (13. exd5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nxd3+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} 14. Qxd3 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Ne7 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 15. Kf2 { [%emt 0:00:01]} Bf5 {[%emt 0:00:01]}) 13… dxe4 14. Nf2 $19) 11… Nxd3+ 12. Ke2 Nxf4+ 13. Nxf4 Qxb1 14. Nd3 Qc2 15. Rf1 Qxc4 16. Rf3 Qxe4+ 17. Kf2 Qc4 18. Ke2 Qxb5 (18… e5 $5 {might be the shorter path} 19. Kd1 d6 20. h3 $19) 19. Bb2 f6 20. a4 {Dad said, “Might as well play it to the bitter end”} Qxa4 21. Ke3 e5 22. g4 Qxg4 23. Rg3 Qc4 24. Ba3 Qd4+ (24… Nh6 $142 {and Black has reached his goal} 25. Kf2 Nf5 26. Rh3 $19) 25. Ke2 Qe4+ 26. Re3 Qg2+ 27. Kd1 Qxh2 28. Kc2 d6 29. Nb4 Bf5+ 30. Rd3 Qg1 31. Nd5 Rc8 32. Kc3 Be4 (32… Qb1 33. Bc1 Qxd3+ 34. Kb2 Qc2+ 35. Ka3 Qxc1+ 36. Kb3 Bc2+ 37. Kc3 Bb1+ 38. Kb3 Qc2+ 39. Ka3 Qa2+ 40. Kb4 a5+ 41. Kb5 Bd3#) 33. Re3 Bxd5 34. Kb4 Qg4+ (34… Qb1+ 35. Bb2 Qxb2+ 36. Ka5 Qa2+ 37. Kb4 c5+ 38. Kc3 Qb3#) 35. Kb5 a6+ (35… Qc4+ 36. Ka5 b6#) 36. Ka5 Ne7 (36… b6+ 37. Kxa6 Qa4#) 37. Bc1 (37. Rc3 {cannot change destiny} b6+ 38. Kxa6 Qa4#) 37… Nc6# 0-1

Piece by piece

The house is superficially clean.  And the Christmas tree has come out and is decorated with delicate blue lights for the first time since Rachel died.  But the basement garage has been claimed by the spiders, and the swimming pool has become a Petri dish of leaves and ice.  Dad is 71 and he looks and thinks every day of it.  Since Rachel died in 2009 he’s been, I should say, distracted.  

Every day I have seen him in the past two years he has worn the same sweater.  It is stained with… something.  His favorite jacket is stained with… something.

We went shopping today.  First I took him to Target.  Four pairs of khakis (38×29) and a dozens of pairs of socks and undershirts and underwear.  Then to Men’s Wearhouse, and then to a shoe store for three pairs of new shoes.  

Then to a pizza place (Lola’s) that I found on Yelp.  He told me he didn’t remember the last time he had eaten pizza.

It’s the best I can do for him at this point.

I can’t stay here anymore.  I need to head over to see my Mom tomorrow.