Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
As regular members and readers should know, the club was flooded by the torrents of rain two weeks ago. Despite our efforts to keep the club dry, we kept springing leaks.
I am happy to report that the leaks have stopped, and the club has been dry for the last 48 hours. Our phone is also working again.
This is good news, but we are not back to normal yet. Our neighbors still have significant water, the water table is still high, and more rains are predicted this week. We also have our walls cut away six inches from the ground throughout the club that will need to be replaced before we can function. And finally, we will need to clean the club and restore it.
* Although we have hopes for this week, we are still CANCELING our April 3rd quad.
* The Thursday Night Swiss and the Monday Night Paramount ARE STILL PLAYING, in the Go Club Room up the hall from us, as needed.
* We are currently planning a special event for April 10th, either in our restored space or in an alternative, temporary space. Stay tuned here and to the website for more information in the coming week.
* We will need volunteers to whip the club into shape once the walls have been restored. Please keep checking this blog and our website for details as the next two weeks unfold.
Finally, let me assure everyone that the club is in no long-term danger. We will be holding our regular events again soon, and we are pursuing multiple backup plans in the event of a protracted recovery. We understand that our regular players are frustrated by the disruption, but we are doing our very best to restore New England's oldest, largest, and most profilic chess club to full power.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Sunday an emergency board meeting deliberated on short term and long term plans to get the BCF running again.
Although many people helped, Jason Rihel we should acknowledge that Jason has from the beginning been the leader of the response to this catastrophe. He has been at the club almost everyday since the first notice and he has worked tirelessly with wet vac and his brain, energy and determination. Thanks Jason, and all those who have helped.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Unfortunately, the situation in the club has not improved over the week. The water still comes in from seams around the wall, at a slow but steady pace. The hallway is still flooded. Our neighbors are still significantly underwater. The water is clearly coming up from the ground in a way our club has no control over.
This means at the least, the events scheduled for this weekend are canceled. The Go Club is still allowing us access to their space for the Thursday Night event and for the Paramount.
Please keep posted for updates. We are working hard to get our club operational again as quickly as possible.
Monday, March 22, 2010
The leaks from the wall are still significant, and pools of water have formed in the playing area again. At this time, it is unclear what the rains are going to do for the next three days, and if we are going to be able to have our club in playing condition anytime this week.
Please keep checking back for periodic updates on the flood.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
First, a great big thanks to all who came out to help clean up the club today. Without all the hard work, we wouldn't be able to make any progress at all. It was tremendously heartening to see so many care about the well-being of the club.
We were able to bail out most of the club, move out furniture, and mop the floors. Unfortunately, we discovered a few leaks from one wall that we cannot yet totally contain.
Until we have a better picture of how much water will come from the wall, we have suspended moving tables and boards back into place. Please keep an eye on this blog as we check the space on Monday to make a determination. We hope to return the club to full functionality by the end of the week, and I will let people know our plans as soon as possible. We were only able to make as much progress as we have because of dedicated volunteers, and we will ask for your help periodically throughout the week.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Today I was able to get out most of the water from the club. Now we have to mop, disinfect, clean, rearrange, and rearrange some more. On Sunday, starting at 12:30 and ending when it ends, I am going to be leading a crack team of volunteers in the cleanup effort.
Please come by, even if you can only do 30 minutes. We'll find something for you to do.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Despite our Friday efforts, the club will not be in shape for the $10 Open. We are still underwater.
Of course, those who have sent in their checks already will get them either torn up or sent back to them. Please contact Bernardo which you prefer, or stop by on Saturday to see what is happening and maybe offer to help out.
Please stay posted for more news about the club's flood battle and the status of other upcoming events.
Also please be aware that our phone jack was shorted out, and so the club phone is currently not working.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Hello from the Caribbean as my wife and I are cruising among the islands while you guys are weathering record rain and flooding.
Armed with my kindle on this vacation and 1/2 a dozen e-books, I decided to e-buy the chess book entitled "The Art of Boxing in Chess" by Thomas Grady only because I was looking for an electronic chess book. I would not recommend this book because it beats to death the boxing metaphor relating to chess. I would say if you are a boxer and a beginner chess player you would get something from the book. But for the rest of us, including Evander Holyfield, I would recommend to sticking to chess books by either former world champs, theoretical experts, or good teachers.
And while I have seen sports announcers from hockey to curling use the " looks like a chess game going on" expression, its application usually doesn't impress me.
This internet book brings to memory my reading of "Pawn Power in Chess" by Hans Kmoch. This was considered a very important chess book 40 + years ago, but to me was very painful to read. Having four years of Latin in high school and an undergrad with a speciallized study in philosophy I was aware of the fact that Kmoch's book in English was one awful translation. So to cope with that I decided to play thru the positions and not get tied up by the painful descriptions and explanations. Just figure out what the positions are trying to say to me and don't let the language get in the way. This realization was actually a pretty important lesson as I learned to deal with chess and chess ideas in a non language way. Just look at what the position is telling you, under the guidance and direction of the annotations, but look at what the position is telling you. You should be aware what a Capablanca, Alekhine, or CJS Purdy says; but in the end, it's what you think about what is in front of you that matters.
So I think while language is necessary to convey ideas to each other chess; it is really about positions - not language. Do you think the language in chess books or the analysis is as useful to a person as one working thru the positions and trying to derive the lessons?
Thank You and Happy Saint Patrick's Day .
Mike Griffin 03/17/2010
The damage is so far relatively minor, with only a few boxes of items beyond saving. The carpets may also be hard to save. We also have not tried the computer yet, but we hope it is still OK. No books or paper records seem to be damaged. Also, the water appears to be fairly clean at this time.
Our current plan is to be ready for Saturday's $10 Open, but at this time, having the club ready by then is still in doubt. The biggest problem is that our club appears to be under the water table, which means that any pumping out of the water (which is currently underway) has little or no effect-- the water just seeps back in.
That being said, a team of volunteers is planning to mop, pump, wet vac, etc. the club starting on Thursday/Friday when hopefully the water table will have lowered enough to effectively keep the water out. When we get the water cleared, we will require extensive cleaning of the floors and furniture to avoid mold and further damage.
If you are willing to help us out, please contact me at rihel_AT_mcb.harvard.edu or contact another of the board members. The largest effort will probably be on Friday, but I will keep people posted on this blog. We will need many hands, buckets, and mops, so any time you can give will be most helpful.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Morphy vs the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
BCF Unrated Chess Experiment on 03/06/2010
Last Saturday March 6th the BCF experimented with an unrated four round G60 tournament directed by Bernado Iglesias. One would think that non USCF players might be attracted to play but 10 “regulars” that weren’t playing in Sturbridge registered. David Vigorito was nice enough to withdraw early saying “It’s all open to you Mike!”. To which I replied David you forget that I have to deal with Ben Yuan.
Ben and I had a wild Tarrash variation of the French defense; it began very similar to Yuan vs Goldberg Jan 1 at the Herb Healy. The diagram below is our position after move 16.
[place diagram here]
Note: the last two moves were not on my score sheet and are from memory. Ben offered me a draw and I was getting short of time so I took it.
Ben Yuan 2092 vs Mike Griffin 1813 03/06/2010 (unrated)
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 Qb6 8.Nf3 cxd4 9.cxd4 f6 10.exf6 Nxf6 11.0-0 Bd6 12.b3 0-0 13.Bb2 Ng4 14.Ng3 e5 15.dxe5 Ncxe5 16.Nxe5 Nxf2 17.Bxh7+ Kxh7 18.Qc2+ Kg8 19.Nf3 Bxg3 20.hxg3 Ne4+ 21.Bd4 Qh6 22.Be5 Bf5 23.Bf4 Qb6+ 24.Kh2 Nxg3 25.Qd2 Nxf1+ 26.Rxf1 Be4 27.Ne5 Qa6 28.Re1 Rac8 29.Rxe4 dxe4 30.Qd5+ Kh7 31.Qxe4+ g6 32.Bg5 Rh8 33.Nf7 Kg7+ 34.Nxh8 Rxh8+ 35.Kg3 Rh5 36.Qd4+ Kh7 37.Be7 Qe6 38.Bf8 ½ ½
Later I lost to the super hot Max Lu. Max who attended the week before a 362-player New York State Scholastic Championships in Saratoga Springs and won the junior high title with four wins and two drawn games, with a superior tiebreak over five other students.
Ben and Max shared first place with 3 ½ points each. Max for one was disappointed that he was not gaining points for the day.
What is feeling about unrated tournaments as a way to introduce chess to more players?
Yuan vs Goldberg 01/01/2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
"Always make a plan and try to execute it. A bad plan is better than no plan at all. Eventually you will learn to make good plans."
as Ducky Power looks on.
was my third chess book and in a very over simplified way it talked about concepts like Time, Space, Pawn Structure. Upon this book I built the framework on which I hung chess ideas. Looking today at its reviews in Amazon it's obvious old timers reek of nostalgia about the book while contemporaries looking at the book wouldn't understand it's importance. But people have to understand that in the 60's there was no internet; no Barnes and Noble; kids like me didn't know the USCF; and most libraries had a limited chess book collection. The market place was sprinkled with many mediocre/redundant books by Fred Reinfeld and IA Horwitz (although each did write a few very good books). And now people are selling for $25 a New Ideas in Chess originally I paid around $1.50 for the book?!
As we know in the late 1800'ds we had Steinitz, Tarrasch, Lasker, and Capablanca publishing and lecturing their perspective of the key ideas in chess. The classical school was later challenged by the hypermodern Nimzovich and Reti. After World War II the Soviets and the School of Botvinick organized, systematized, and codified chess ideas. Today new dynamics exist, but I feel it's driven more from players sifting the internet cloud for games in the hunt for specific positions that will challenge specific opponents. Kramnik's Berlin variation of the Roi stopping Kasparov in 2000 is an example.
Have all the major ideas in chess been discovered? Will there be any new chess concepts to be developed in chess or are we collecting and creating computer cooks to spring on our opponents? Will Magnus Carlsen give new ideas to us when he becomes world champ?