Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Q. Considering that a truly perfect chess player would be incapable of making a bad move, and likewise a truly perfect singer would be incapable of hitting a sour note, then how could a truly perfect man such as Adam be capable of committing sin? That Adam chose to disobey God indicates a character flaw in his design.So whenever I play badly apparently I have Adam to blame. Now, how does one become a born-again chess player?
A. Unfortunately, it is your hypothesis that is flawed. There has been no such thing as a perfect anything since the fall of Adam and Eve. With sin came imperfection. Even the best chess player cannot perform 100 percent of the time at 100 percent accuracy.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Just yesterday, I learned through a mutual acquaintance that Peter has moved to California for a year. Mystery solved.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
...so in Two Weeks Notice there's this part where Hugh Grant and another guy are playing chess and they start discussing how women aren't like a chess game. Apparently there are no rules, women follow no set patterns, and men always lose.
Friday, January 27, 2006
...another guy spoke up about how he gets angry when his kids beat him at chess.... "My kids always beat me at chess and I am really getting angry", the guy stammered. Geez guy... how about learning how to play?
World Chess Network is offering "Free Chess Fridays." Each and every Friday, log in as a guest and receive all the benefits of Gold Membership for the entire day for free.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
- 188 people were members of the Boylston Chess Foundation for some period of time during 2005
- 306 different players entered at least one of the more than 140 events held at the club last year
- In total for 2005, 376 people were members or non-members who played in at least one event
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
[Utah State Senator Chris] Buttars ... spoke about his ... bill, which would ban gay-straight alliances from Utah high schools. He said he has received many e-mails referring to him as "[a] bigot" and "narrow-minded" because he thinks the clubs are inappropriate because they involve "human sexuality," even though club proponents say they don't discuss sex.Read "Buttars: Bill won't mention 'divine design'" from the Daily Herald.
"If I have a chess club, I'm going to be talking about chess," Buttars said. "And if I have a dance club, I'm going to be talking about dance."
The champion of the tournament will receive P700, while the rest of the top five will receive P500, P300, P200 and P100.Now, I don't have the slightest idea what a Philippine P is worth, but I'd imagine that here in the States there would be an uproar about providing cash prizes to school children.
Monday, January 23, 2006
I am, perhaps irrationally, still really angry about what transpired at the BCC this past Thursday, when [Alexander] Paphitis re-entered to avoid his third round bye. By doing this, he slaps me with a bye 15 minutes before the round is supposed to start, when I fully expected to play my 3rd round game. [Alexander] knew he was destined for a bye for the whole week, and Bernardo even called him that afternoon to inform him of his likely bye. Instead of accepting his well earned bye, he shows up at the club 15 minutes before the round is supposed to start and re-enters the tournament to avoid his bye.
I am especially angry because after the round, I confronted him and asked that he, in the future, might show a little more consideration for other players, who also would like to play their games. At the VERY LEAST, he could have indicated his desire to re-enter a week in advance, so that I might be aware of my pending bye fate. He refused to admit that he even did anything rude at all, which just infuriates me. When my own bad play earns me an early bye, I take my lumps instead of sticking them to other players who might deserve to play more (either because they have scored some points or they have earned over time a higher rating).
For example, how would [Alexander] have felt if the situation were slightly different? In round 2, [Alexander] has the game of his life against a master, and he wins, while I lost my game in round 2. He now has 1 point, and I have 0. I am getting the bye, and [Alexander] has earned the right to keep playing. However, I come to round 3, [Alexander] is already sitting at the board, setting up his pieces, relaxing after his commute to the tournament. Suddenly, I declare that I am re-entering, which gives me 1 point to his 1 point, and now HE is slapped with the bye, as his rating is lower. He could now do two things:
1) Get his just desserts and go home
2) Take the really stupid step of paying to re-enter, giving him the SAME SCORE OF 1 POINT, and then slapping someone else with the full point bye. In some cases, this would mean that a person who has 1.5 or 2 points out of 2 would have gotten the bye.
In fact, such silliness could have happened on Thursday when [Alexander] re-entered like he did: If I then re-entered, that would have given Sullivan the bye. If he paid to re-enter, then Salomon would have gotten the bye, then Salomon re-enters, giving Godin the bye, and then Godin re-enters, giving one of the players with 2 out of 2 a free bye, which they gladly take.
In other words, by ponying up the entry fee again, [Alexander] bullied us into the same -- you want to play round 3, you have to pay. As most of us are paying 17 dollars to play some chess, not really to win, this just doesn't seem fair.
As a result of Thursday, I think that the BCC must consider more carefully rules about re-entering tournaments, especially for a 4 round event. The rule could be quite simple -- you only get 1 bye, and you have to declare it before round 2. Or if you want to re-enter, you have to declare it a week in advance. At any rate, it is more than just silly to have a player enter half a tournament and have any hope of winning the money. Would this happen in any other competition (OK, I guess in ice skating Michelle Kwan got to be on the Olympic team without qualifying, but that is different)? This late re-entry is also odd in small events with only 10 people, as it could force situations that give the tournament leaders a full point bye.
This also means that the bye rules should be expressly stated for each BCC event. Check out the Marshall Chess Club in New York City -- to avoid confusion, they make it very clear when you must declare byes, and how many you can get. Presumably to avoid such conflicts as the one on Thursday, players rated below 2000 are only allowed one bye in most events there.
I just think that re-entering to avoid a bye in the third round is an abuse of the "right" to re-enter events (which I did not see granted by the USCF in any of the rules, by the way) and should be eliminated.
To highlight the abuse potential, I'm keeping my eyes peeled now for opportunities to force [Alexander] to take a third round bye. In fact, I could go so far as to pay the re-entry fee of multiple players if it slaps [Alexander] with a bye. And I'll wait until round 3 is about to start, and see how he likes it.
Of course this is just silly and spiteful. Shouldn't the BCC adopt rules that keep players cordial?
Sunday, January 22, 2006
This message is for people interested in donating to the U.S. Chess Trust in order to place a plaque on Harry Nelson Pillsbury's grave. Harry Nelson Pillsbury was a Somerville resident and U.S. Champion.
June 17th is the centennial of the death of Harry Nelson Pillsbury. I have started a grass-roots fundraising effort to get the city of Somerville to erect a plaque (perhaps two) in his honor. Donations can be made to: U.S. Chess Trust c/o U.S Chess Federation; 3054 U.S. Route 9W; New Windsor, N.Y. 12553. Please note that because the U.S. Chess Trust is a non-profit organization donations are tax-deductible. Also donors should put "Pillsbury Memorial" in the memo part of their check. My thanks in advance...
Hat tip to Pawn Sensei for sending me the link.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
I had the fortuitous opportunity to be in Queens this past Saturday, where Jen Shahade was "playing against the world" at the Noguchi museum. So my wife and I took in the chess set exhibit and got to meet Jen. She signed a copy of her book and it was a good time. I was thinking of doing a post on the trip, but there isn't much to say about it.More than enough for me to create a post -- thanks.
Friday, January 20, 2006
However, apparently this isn't enough for Clint. Now he is focusing on bringing chess to television. Again, he's not just talking about it. He's building a TV production studio and large scale demonstration boards and set pieces. He's researching and buying high-end camera equipment. And get this, he's hiring swimsuit models to appear in the pilot episode of the program he plans to shoot in a couple of weeks.
So you might be wondering, what does it take to be a Slugfest Girl? According to Clint, they have to be "beautiful, athletic, intelligent" and "all Christians." And that's not all, one of the original girls he hired was let go because she had a tattoo on her back. Exactly what kind of chess show is he creating?
Click here to see more photos of the Slugfest Girls.
hello old chess mates! this is ilya orsher writing to you. i took a look at the site today and had fond recollections of the years gone by. it did make me feel a bit queasy though ;). you know all the losses and nerve racking exploits. but i did want to send my warm regards to the people of the club. especially cris desmarais and jacob rasin and of course all the rest of the fellows like eric godin and everyone else that i had a chance to play....Click here to review some of Ilya's games from the 2000 BCC Championship.
ive been staying in india for the past 4 years or so with absolutely no chess. im probably superstrong now after the rest and could beat you all ! (just kidding)
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Click the "Download the Episode" link and listen (no iPod required; it will play through your computer's media player).
I've never watched the show myself, but our friend Howard Goldowsky has. Here is his report on the chess angle present in this season's series:
I try to avoid TV, but I do watch one show with my wife, called Beauty and the Geek. (I can relate to some of the contestants, if you know what I mean.) .... There are eight geeks. One is labeled as a "Speed Chess Champion". His name is Joe. I did a little Internet research and found out that his full name is Joe Block, he graduated from U of Chicago, and now attends Northwestern as a grad student. His USCF rating is 1590.... Another contestant, "Brandon", was the president of the U of Miami (FL) chess club a few years back. I couldn't find his last name. They showed about 10 seconds of these two playing blitz (with a Chronos) at the beginning of episode one. My hunch is that Joe is stronger than Brandon because I think Brandon lost the game. I have no idea how Joe got labeled as a champion, but I guess if you win one game some where, some time, "champion" you are.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
In HBO's The Wire, D'Angelo Barksdale, disgusted that two fellow hustlers would play checkers on a chess board, explained how each chess piece corresponds to a role in their "business."Read more...
....If Barksdale had been comparing chess to another more legitimate if equally competitive enterprise, he would have had to adjust his analogy slightly.
In major college football, the pawns do often find themselves sacrificed first, which was the fate for four University of Miami assistants after the 40-3 loss to Louisiana State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Yet, after they go, the king tends to stay the king for only one more year.
Monday, January 16, 2006
"It's black and white and we're all equal. Chess is a great playing field where we're all equal, we all start out equalized, and we should all be treated equally, and we can all work together in an equal fashion."
"For me it's a social event," she said. "It's a fun thing, and I even met my boyfriend here."Read "Ankeny Chess Club combines strategy, social interaction" from the Des Moines Register.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
So with all the new chess blogs being created, let me encourage those of you who have yet to include a listing of favorite chess blogs in your sidebar to do so. And for those of you who already have one, why not update it and add a few of your new favorites? A tighter, more integrated chess blogging community will benefit both chess bloggers and chess blog readers.
- The GM exception - That's right, if you are a GM (or are ghost-posting for a GM) then you are automatically included on the sidebar. GM Susan Polgar gets on, IM Ben Finegold does not (yet). Of course, Ben is hoping that it is only a matter of time; take a look at the URL of his blog. The GM exception also has application to the 30-45 day active vs. inactive principle, e.g. GM Chabanon gets more leeway as an on-again, off-again blogger than most.
- The Mig exception - If you are Mig, you get on. Sure I wish Mig would join the greater chess blogging community, but he obviously hasn't been inclined to do so. Nevertheless, I simply can't ignore the most widely read chess blog (by a wide margin) in the world.
- The "Who you calling a blogger?" exception - There are a couple of very influential chess sites which predate the chess blogosphere that I choose to consider as blogs based on their format (dated posts organized from more to less recent). Since they probably don't think of themselves as bloggers, I think it is reasonable to apply different standards to them. Chessbase News and Tim Krabbe's Open Chess Diary currently fall into this category.
- The Knights Errant exception - All active Knights are included in the sidebar listings. Of course, the vast majority of the Knights do link here, often under the phrase "House Reporter." Currently, only two active Knights -- Druss and Guru -- do not. It would be nice if they did, but it's not the end of the world.
In the case of The 64 Square Jungle, I know that Chessdad64 would link here if only he knew how. Here's hoping he finally acts on his plan to move to a new blogging platform and update his template to include links. King's Gambit has been there for awhile, but to no avail. It may very well become a casualty of this year's more disciplined approach. Finally, I just recently added BlueEyedRook, one of my newer favorites. Hopefully he'll take the hint.
While we're still doing sidebar chatter, let me mention a few of the more recent additions: DreadPirateJosh (who sometime back voluntarily relinquished his status as a Knight), Steve Learns Chess, and Ajedrez por Sertal.
In addition, I removed 1.e4 Nf6 from the sidebar based on Michael Goeller's description at the Kenilworth Chess Club blog listings:
1.e4 Nf6 by RobyourcontentI haven't investigated this myself, but Michael's word is good enough for me.
An Indian chess plagiarist and pirate who deserves no traffic.
- A few 404 casualties - All About Chess, GM Maurice Ashley, Echecs & Blog, and The User X Perspective (where the error page states, "We are sorry, this site is currently frozen for a potential violation of our Terms").
- And many new additions to the Active listings including The Buzzbeez, Blog of a Chess Nut, Chess Improvement Efforts, Chess Dude, ChessinTaiwan, Schachblatter, Deutscher Schachbund, and several others.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Do organizers expect participators to sponsor most of the prize fund?
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Saturday, January 07, 2006
As I continued reading down the column, I noticed that the next item was an errata from a story about the National Open in the September issue. The item, highlighted in a box, was titled "J'adoube." Therefore, the word "J'adoube" appears in the column immediately after Jim's name and location.
As I read on in the issue I reached GM Pal Benko's Endgame Lab column on page 48. Benko shared several excerpted positions from GM Jan Timman's book Curacao 1962: The Battle of Chess Minds that Shook the Chess World, one of which Pal titled "J'adoube!".
A coincidence, you say? I think not!
Friday, January 06, 2006
Hello there and thanks. Both are posting with little information, certainly none supporting a controversy. Visa problems are hardly unique to Serbian chessplayers. If they can find out something from the Italian embassy it might be interesting, or it might not. Are Serbians routinely denied entry?Goran, is there any way to get more information on the circumstances to determine whether there is a real story here?
Who knows? Annoying for S&M [editor's note: Serbia & Montenegro] chess fans, but not much of a story as it stands.
Watch as GM Christiansen first deprives me of counterplay and then "storms the barricades" with little regard for material. His 22nd move wasn't even on my radar screen before he played it. Eventhough I was the victim, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Larry's display of attacking chess.
GM Larry Christiansen (2633) - DG (2033)
[C03] French Tarrasch: Unusual Black 3rd moves
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.c3 c5 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.0–0 cxd4?! [8...g5 is the correct move order] 9.cxd4 g5 10.Nb3 a5 11.a4 g4 12.Ne1 h5 13.f4 Qb6 14.Be3 Rg8 15.Rc1 f5 16.exf6 Nxf6 17.Nc5 Bd7 18.Bb5 Bxc5 19.dxc5 Qc7 20.Nd3 Ne4 21.f5 e5
30.Re7+! Nxe7 31.Qxe7+ Kh6 32.Qxf6+ Kh7 33.Qg6+ Kh8 34.Qh6# 1–0
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Goran reports that the Italian Government refused to issue visas to Serbian GMs Miladinovic and Ivanisevic in order for them to participate in the Reggio Emilia tournament. He suggests that this was a politically-motivated act against the country of Serbia & Montenegro.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
And bloggers can play with champions.
More of Steve's photos are posted here.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
First, why bother with ratings...
Kids wearing color-coded badges identifying their skill level (blue for beginner, green for intermediate, and red for advanced) played against kids of same skill level from different schools.
Second, they have different ways to win...
The children played five rounds of games, each lasting a maximum of 20 minutes and ending with checkmate or counting points.
Third, they've developed a pairing approach which makes the Swiss system seem a model of clarity and simplicity...
Everyone played the first two games for points for their schools. Winners of either or both of the first two games, played the third game, and if they continued to win, the fourth and fifth games in the "points" rounds. Players who did not win "points" games played "ribbons" games.
Finally, winners have a special celebration ritual which involves...
...singing and strutting.
Read "Annual chess tournament has all the right moves" from the Westford Eagle.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Lots of chess, lots of chess talk, and lots of food. A terrific opening for the New Year. Really extraordinary thanks to Bernardo Iglesias and Mike Griffin for all their efforts organizing, shopping, setting up, cooking, and running the party like (digital) clockwork. And to FM Paul MacIntyre who came out of a sick bed to help!
Some photos are now available here.
It will be strength against strength ... as Notre Dame brings the best passing offense ... Ohio State has seen all season and a scoring offense that can rival Texas' top-ranked unit.
"It's going to be a big chess match," Ohio State safety Donte Whitner said.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
There were also many regulars and not so regulars around (my apologies in advance since I will undoubtedly leave out many names). I chatted with Bob Oresick, Jon Lee, Ed Foye, Walter Driscoll, and Hal Fishbein among many others. I also caught up with Joe Perl, who I hadn't seen in quite some time.
The newspaper men were both playing -- the Dean of New England Chess Journalism, Harold Dondis of the Boston Globe, and Mike Henroid, formerly of the Boston Herald and for the past six months the chess columnist for the Denver Post. Tony Cortizas (do I have the spelling right?) was also there taking photos.
Even the blogosphere wasn't left out. Knight Errant Takchess made the trip down from New Hampshire to play in the rated section. I'm sorry to say that the locals were showing him no mercy, at least in the early rounds. And, occasional BCC blogger Jason Rihel was also there.
Mike Griffin put out a very nice spread for lunch, as usual. This year's surprise was a large crock pot of Larry C's extra-special Grandmaster Chili.
I left after the third round (so as to maintain some peace on the home front), but not before seeing a few upsets in the rated section. 2005 USCF 11th Grade National Champion Chris Williams took down SM Rasin and Expert Lawyer Times did the same to FM Chase. I'll link to the final results when they are posted.
Finally, let me not forget to mention the (usual) excellent TD work by Bernardo Iglesias and Kent Leung.