Saturday, April 30, 2005

Friday, April 29, 2005

Street Chess

Chessboxing and Poetry too!
Playing the Dozens is more than a game of fun--it is a battle for respect. It is an exhibition of emotional strength and verbal agility, a confrontation of wits instead of fists....

This verbal tradition combines elements of boxing, chess, and poetry....

Like chess, playing the dozens requires a strategy. To win a battle, you must stay two or three snaps ahead of your opponent. Even as you are being attacked, you should be setting up your counter-snaps. Should I say something about his Fayva shoes? Or perhaps attack his fat sister? I'll save my best shot for his K-Mart cologne. This is the type of strategic thinking that makes a master snapper.
Read "Playing the Dozens" from Almost Infamous.

Gangsta Chess Rap

Listen to Life in the Chess Lane (mp3).
I check out my uneven trade
I got a knight for a rook
Am I crazy ... Naw
It's called strategy
en passant and battery
Doesn't matter if I take it too far
This is war
with a mate in four
You want pain
Get inside my brain
I'll show you Life ... in the Chess Lane
A surprisingly good song! (Hat Tip: Ben Hammersley's Dangerous Precedent)

WARNING: Some R-rated language.

Chess Chips

Here is VARoadstter's final poker chip design. See also "Poker Knight."

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Chess and Madness - yet again!

Back in the early days of this blog I covered the topic of chess and madness repeatedly (see here, here, here and here). Now, TIME Magazine's Charles Krauthammer (whose chess exploits have been previously mentioned) takes on the topic:
Why such proximity between genius and madness in chess? There are three possible explanations. One is that chess is a monomania. You study it intensively day and night from childhood if you are going to rise to the ranks of the greats, and that kind of singular focus constricts your reality and makes you more vulnerable to distortions of it. "A chess genius," wrote George Steiner, "is a human being who focuses vast, little understood mental gifts and labors on an ultimately trivial human enterprise. Almost inevitably, this focus produces pathological symptoms of nervous stress and unreality."

.... Chess is a particularly enclosed, self-referential activity. It's not just that it lacks the fresh air of sport, but that it lacks connections to the real world outside--a tether to reality enjoyed by the monomaniacal students of other things, say, volcanic ash or the mating habits of the tsetse fly. As Stefan Zweig put it in his classic novella The Royal Game, chess is "thought that leads nowhere, mathematics that add up to nothing, art without an end product, architecture without substance."

But chess has a third--and unique--characteristic that is particularly fatal. It is not just monomaniacal and abstract, but its arena is a playing field on which the other guy really is after you. The essence of the game is constant struggle against an adversary who, by whatever means of deception and disguise, is entirely, relentlessly, unfailingly dedicated to your destruction. It is only a board, but it is a field of dreams for paranoia.
Hat Tip: Neh.

Knight Notes

  1. Fussy Lizard completed the 7 circles. Congrats.

  2. Fatboy put his training on hold -- having to attend to real life can be such a bear. I'll list him as "on hiatus" along with General Kaia, but this is obviously not a satisfactory long-term solution.

  3. Takchess and Viking Sword checked in after long absences. Each was at serious risk for being dropped from the list, but apparently both are continuing to pursue the program. Sancho has also come in from the cold with a few new posts.

  4. That leaves Margriet and Salcido as the Knights who have been quiet the longest at this point (both since 4/11) -- not yet close to the 30-day rule, but not that far away. Of course, you can always glean bits of information about the princess from Tempo.

  5. Finally, Harmless has requested entrance into the Knights and at least one has added him. Having read his blog, I would urge caution. For one thing he has yet to make any post about the program or even about chess in general for that matter. In addition, there are a few other suspicious things I noticed, e.g. his first post is from 2001 and then there is a 3-year gap to his next; he has ads prominently displayed at the top; etc. This may all be explainable, but I'm going to wait on this one.

    Update (4/29): It seems we had the wrong url for Harmless. With the correct one in hand, we can now offer him an official welcome and best wishes for success. A name? The Nasty Knight.

Beyond J'adoube

Last weekend at the club, Mike Griffin and I were having one of those typical conversations about the tactics some players try to use to annoy their opponents. He mentioned the case of a player who intentionally placed his pieces off-center to the square whenever he moved them. The appropriate response, of course, is to say "j'adoube" and adjust them on your own time. However, this opponent appealed to the tournament director citing an ambiguous phrase in an earlier edition of the USCF Rules of Chess that could be read to mean that a player did not have the right to adjust his opponent's pieces. Fortunately, the TD was not persuaded by his argument and informed him that he could be penalized for disturbing his opponent if he continued his off-center piece placement tactic.

An eminently reasonable outcome, but we then began to wonder about how this might apply to pieces which have already been captured and removed from the board. Some players have very specific preferences about where they place captured pieces and how they arrange them. Some organize them by type and value (left to right or right to left). Some like to line them up next to the equivalent pieces captured by their opponents. I suppose some people might like to stack them pyramid-style (though I've never actually seen someone do this during a game).

What if you do not like the way your opponent has arranged his captured pieces? Do you have the right to say "j'adoube" and adjust them more to your liking? I suspect not -- presumably captured pieces are "owned" by the capturer. However, if this is true, when my opponent (in time trouble) is about to queen a pawn can I put the previously captured queen in a place which is difficult for my opponent to reach? Maybe even in my pocket?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


At The Thin Line, a blogger ponders whether stalemate is the best analogy for Catch-22.

I believe "Zugzwang" would be a better choice: Every possible move makes your position worse than it currently is. Yet, you must choose one, since inaction is a violation of the rules.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Who says there's no chess on television? III

At A Patzer's Tale, a rant inspired by the folks at CBS who displayed their ignorance of the game again -- this time in an episode of "Numbers" (see here for the previous incident).

A true story?

Capablanca was waiting in a train station in New York one day, with his coffee, danish, newspaper and set, when a man approached him. Gesturing at the chess set, he asked if Capa cared for a game. Always delighted to play, Capablanca immediately set up the board, then removed his queen from the board, to even up the game. Annoyed, the man blurted out, "Why did you do that? You don't know me, I might beat you!" Unruffled, Capablanca replied, "Sir, if you could beat me, I would know you."

Monday, April 25, 2005

A chess life

From Not Another Word, a series of photographs of Marcel Duchamp playing .


Here's an early catch (although Nezha has already been there) -- let's see if Satish Talim becomes a candidate for the Errant clan.

Chess and Shopping

From a piece on new USCF Scholastic Director Jerry Nash:
Jerry has now relocated to the new USCF headquarters in Crossville, TN. His wife Ruth and daughters Sarah and Rebekah will join him after the end of the current school year. Does his family enjoy ? "My wife hates strategy games! My daughters learned the rules of chess but do not play. Now, if I could figure a way to combine chess with shopping – well, then, I suspect both my daughters would soon become grandmasters!"

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Chess and Baseball III

Apparently the consumer demand is so strong that a game company has decided to launch a new Red Sox-Yankees set to compete with the existing one on the market. Perhaps years from now catalogs of chess piece designs will list Baseball right after Staunton?!
Play Games! USAOPOLY, makers of the popular new MONOPOLY®: Red Sox(tm) World Series® Champions Collector's Edition, bring more head to head game play to Red Sox fans with the arrival of Red Sox-Yankees Chess SetRed Sox vs. Yankees Chess. Packaged in a keepsake collector's tin, Red Sox vs. Yankees Chess takes the classic strategy game and transforms it into the historic Red Sox Yankees rivalry. Baseball players represent the familiar playing pieces, which are dressed in authentic MLB(tm) uniforms and poised for action. Officially licensed by Major League Baseball Properties, it's Chess with an historic MLB(tm) rivalry twist. Available at local specialty stores such as Barnes & Noble, Olympia Sports, as well as online at and Makes a great gift for young Red Sox fans ages 7+.
It's interesting that they are not targeting "young Yankees fans ages 7+." The young New Yorkers, after thoroughly dominating the first half of the game, would probably throw away their advantage by hanging their queen.

Semper Fi

For this Marine, military training supports tournament success:
“At our level of , it’s not so much preparing for tournaments, it’s being able to recognize what must be done in key positions in order to overrun your opponent’s position,” said Farrell. “Your opponent’s formation is consistently changing. You must be able to adapt to their changes, identify and take advantage of their weaknesses, while covering your own, just like fire and maneuver in the Marine Corps.”
Read "Quantico chess player places in recent tournament on base" from Marine Corps News.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The game of life

Sobriety Girl is stuck in a game:
Today, life is like a chess game. Black and white squares make up the patterns of emotion. At times, I feel like the King (or Queen to be correct). Invincible. Strong. The last one standing. Other times, I feel like I am the pawn waiting to be overtaken. Jumping through hoops. Waiting for my fate. In one moment, I am reality checked.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Does the Vatican have a chess club?

Now that the Cardinals have elected a new Pope it seems relatively safe to dive back into topics of Church and Chess. No, this is not another one of those "The Pope is a chess player" posts. Instead, I'm venturing into yet another incendiary religious debate which I'm wholly unqualified to participate in.

catholic cardinals

Rebecca Hartong argues that an all-male Catholic priesthood is no big deal:

If you want a religion that's pretty much like Catholicism but with women as priests become a Lutheran or an Episcopalian. Insisting that the Roman Catholic church ordain women is joining the club and then insisting that everyone should play parcheesi.

For your reading pleasure

New Victorian offers his "best of the best" of literature.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Barbecued Ribs, Beer & Chess

At The Enfranchised, a discussion of the benefits of collegiate basketball leads to this:
I've said it once and I'll say it again: you can't tailgate for a match.

Don is dead! Long live Don!

The man, the Knight among Knights, the most Errant one, Don Que has called it quits (from chess blogging, that is). While some have made arguments for why he should continue, I support his decision to move on -- favoring growth and change over nostalgia and sentiment seems both principled and correct. While Don will likely continue to play and study chess, the objective of his blog has been completed. How often do we get a chance to go out on top? Bravo, Don!

Of course, you can continue to read about Don's adventures in other spheres of human endeavor (no pun intended?!) elsewhere.

Chess Cookies

Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies

Tal and the Hippopotamus

Super GM relates the story of how a hippopotamus found its way onto Tal's board.
I don't know from what associations the hippopotamus got onto the chess board, but although the spectators were convinced that I was continuing to study the position, I, despite my humanitarian education, was trying at this time to work out: just how would you drag a hippopotamus out of the marsh?

It seems that our newest Knight, Scitcat, is familiar with this story as he has titled his blog "To drag out of the marsh the hippopotamus!" Stop by and wish him luck in his quest towards Tal-like chess prowess.

Speaking of Tal, apparently his spirit is alive and well in another Knight's subconscious mind.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Chess Poetry IV

I suspect our resident critic CD will also find this offering lacking, but heh, my job is just to find them. Here's an excerpt from Tara's poem entitled "Chess" from My Poems:
is a game, life is the pieces./ Moms, dads, and uncles. Aunts, siblings, nieces./ All positioned on the checkerboard of time/ Each thinking that the other one is just a ball of slime./....
Compared to some of the others, this one actually rhymes.

Recent finds in the chess blogosphere

  1. Dennis Monokroussos is in the process of setting up his new blog. Here's a sneak peek at The Chess Mind.

  2. ChessFanatic has apparently been around for several years. However, posting has been rather infrequent over the past year or so. The Knights might find this early post interesting.

Pooh Chess


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

"Old Media" mention

Boylston Chess Club Weblog received a plug in the 4/18/05 edition of The Boston Globe:
....Massachusetts, without any governmental money or notable chess charities, still distinguishes itself with its chess activities. It has a number of chess clubs and two very powerful ones -- Metrowest in Natick, which has a very large monthly turnout, and Boylston, which has tournament features most of the week and an active blogging chess site, courtesy of [DG]....

From "Chess Notes" by Harold Dondis and GM Patrick Wolff
No URL was provided so I'd be surprised to see a spike in visitors.

In our neighborhood

New York has Washington Square Park; in D.C., it's Dupont Circle. We've got the Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Extraterrestrial Chess

From n00b Aid's "100 things to do before you die:"
54. play with an alien
Actually, this is fairly easy to accomplish if you live in California, Arizona or many large U.S. metropolitan areas.

Problematic problems

How about some reactions from all the problem solvers on this assertion:
Distinct from the competitiveness of a chess match, the chess problem is posed not to defeat an opponent, but rather to invite the solver on a voyage of discovery in its eventual solution.
On the surface this seems to make sense, though I've read many a Knights Errant post expressing resignation, exasperation, frustration and defeat.

Beyond chess obsession

From a list of attributes associated with Martha Stewart Disease (Hat Tip: Reckless Writer) :
Your hedges have all been pruned to resemble pieces.
Something like this...

Sunday, April 17, 2005


My Own Private Idaho's thought of day:
Beavers can't play , only checkers.
I have no idea what this means.

Chess and Cooking

From Making the Chef:
This question is only brought further into focus after a chef I work with talked with me about how working in a kitchen is like playing game of . You're never thinking about what you're doing now ... you're thinking three, four steps ahead.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Who says there's no chess on television? II

I can't say I've ever watched "Cold Case" on CBS; however, apparently a recent episode included a note with notation. Regrettably, according to En Passant, they got it wrong.

The new and improved knight

Not an Errant one, were talking about the piece...
...I was thinking about the knight, then I suddenly had the urge to improve it (or to use the chess variation lingo, "augment it"). What if, I asked myself, there was a chess variant where the knight is an (n, n-1) leaper? It could still move like the orthodox knight (i.e. n = 2), but it would be far more powerful.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Chess gardening


Card Sharks

Even before he entered kindergarten, Greg Shahade excelled at . In the two decades since, he has worked his way up to the second highest level, just below grand masters like recently retired world champion Gary Kasparov.

After living on a fellowship and then teaching for a couple years, he tired of trying to eke out a living as a professional chess player.

So two years ago, the 26-year-old turned to playing online poker and found, not surprisingly, that his analytical skills were perfectly suited for the card game.

He's made more than $100,000 during that time....

Additionally, Shahade has taken on a new poker project: teaching his younger sister Jennifer how to play. Although she's only been competing online since January, the two-time U.S. women's chess champion has already won some small cyber tournaments.

At first she was hesitant about online gambling, but she embraced it after her mother urged her to. "Jen, you should play poker," the matriarch said. "It's free money for smart people."
Read "Online poker: Easy money for smart people?" from The Poker Gazette.

Chess and Computer Network Security

I know several readers have real-life jobs in the fields of systems, computers, programming, etc. What do you think of this analogy:
There's a popular proverb among players: "A man surprised is half beaten." A classic game of defense and offense, tactics and strategy - in which both analytical and intuitive thinking come into play and knowing your enemy is tantamount to winning - chess has many lessons for those who are responsible for network security. Chess player or system administrator, neither can afford to be caught with his guard down.


The customer is always wrong

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Poker Knight

VARoadstter shares his initial design for -themed poker chips. And here is his updated version.

Chess is dead



Perhaps this is a means for identifying Knights before they are even aware of their interest - Skryking is struggling with how to improve his :
I believe my problem is my thought process and my practice strategy. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have a thought process or a practice strategy.
Why not shower him with suggestions and relevant links from the assembled Knights? I'm looking forward to see how this experiment pans out.

Reading (0) 0 Sheffield United (0) 0

"We were expecting a bit of blood and thunder but it was more like a game of ."
It must have been reminiscent of the game Leko vs. ... well, Leko vs. anyone. Read "Moves fail in 'chess game'" from the Telegraph.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Of mice and knights

The current wave of new Knights Errant continues unabated. Today's addition is Mousetrapper. In his first post, Mouse offers an alternative to the MDLM site drills. As for a name, I'm thinking the Animated Knight (which barely edged out my first idea - Euro-Disney Knight).

Update (4/14/05): ...though the more I read this post, the more Euro-Disney is growing on me... your thoughts?

Chinese Chess exhibit

Have you ever wondered about Chinese ? Check out this Chinese Chess Game and Exhibit at the Malden Public Library on Tuesday, April 26 from 6:30-8:30 pm.
chinese chess

Teaching Teachers to Teach

In response to yesterday's New York Times article on GM Maurice Ashley's innovative course at City College in Harlem where he is using to teach teaching skills, Amy Bowllan at K-F Libra/Tech suggests that chess in schools is about to reach its tipping point.

(Hat Tip: Dennis M's Chess Site)

FICS, PGN & MS Outlook

Too many capital letters, I know, but there is a point. At Randomblings from Rich, Rich discusses a problem he has been having when e-mailing his games from FICS to his computer.

f anyone else has experienced similar problems, Rich offers a fix.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

GM Susan Polgar

Susan's primary blog is the self-titled Susan Polgar Chess Blog.

GM Jean Luc Chabanon

Chabanon (right) vs. Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov

Chabanon and his collaborators have produced a "network" of chess-related blogs in both French and English.

L'univers du jeu sur GMI Shabanovsky - Echec et Mat - Balle de Match - Moogy Friends - Cours d'échecs

Shabanovsky vs Bloggers - Mooggy - Chess Report - Take the Rook - Chess Lesson with a Grandmaster

See also GM Chabanon's list of French chess sites, many of which have sections that are blog-like.

Classic Chess Blogs

Historically important, but no longer active chess blogs:

2004 Boylston Chess Club Championship

Dennis M's Chess Site

Jon Edward's Chess BLOG

Man de la Maza

Other Knights Errant

Quest completed and no longer actively blogging: Man de la Maza - Sancho Pawnza - Pawn Sensei - CelticDeath - Pomaranch Captain - Salcido - Fussy Lizard - King of the Spill - Underpromoted - Rise and Shine - J'adoube

Quest on hiatus or abandoned: Lithium - Hisbestfriend - Cratercat - Allegro - Farhad - Keystor - Sir Rocky Rook - Montse - Grande Merda - Korsmonaut - Hard Days Knight - Karpyan - Abend - Sir Piño - Dr. Munky - Generalkaia - Pendrax - Born Again - Samurai Pawn - Board Scholar - LuckyBobby - Guru - SirJ - Gregory - Druss - JavaManIssa - Smith-Morra - Knightwiz - Hooked - Silver Dragon - Fatboy - Viking Sword - Desperate Measures - Yet Another Patzer

Knight's blogs which went 404: The Common Man - Zeon - Harmless - Pawned No More

Knight's blogs which were hijacked: Blue Rook - Vic (endgame) - Dragonslayer - Dluzewski - St. Patzer - SiliconPawn - Daland - Funkyfantom - Old Fart - Mate in Three - Orange Knight

Other Chess Blogs

Last Updated 7/31/07 - For the most current listing of active chess blogs, click here.


Burning Castles - Chessjamp - Isolanis - Takodori's Entrance to Shogi World - Pale Rider - Knight Skewer - Hardcore Pawnography - Caught in the Fire - The Back Rank - Shakmaty Bereolos - Gambit - Patzer's Corner - Strong Among the Weak - Rook Van Winkle's Chess Blog - CheckMate

Chess for All Ages - Chess Notes - The Chess Coroner - Chess Training Blog - Chess Teaching - ChessExpress - Chess Practice - Chess Apocalypse Now - The Chess Buzzard - The Chess Archives - Chess-Squared - Chess Galore - Chess Musings - Chess Training - Chess Corner - Chess Here - Chess as I see it

About Chess - Gila Chess Blog - My Chess Games - Scholastic Chess Gateway - Blog of a Chess Nut - Mediocre Chess - World Chess Championship Blog - VICKI chess engine - Secrets of Grandpatzer Chess - Potentially boring chess blog - Gothic Chess Hangout - My Road to Chess Improvement! - Learning Chess and Go - Diary of an Itinerant Chess Player - Mostly Chess Tactics

Mike Serovey On Chess - Derik's Chess School - Jim West On Chess - Alec's Chess Blog - Sverre's Chess Corner - SonOfPearl's Chess Blog - Dadian Chess - Mida's Chess Corner - Randy's Chess Blog - Steve's Correspondence Chess Adventure - Shaun M. Smith's Road to USCF Master

Royal Lopez Chess Club - IndianChessNews - BCM Chess - Nigeria Chess Player Forum - Goan Chess - West Coast Junior Chess - FMO Chess Club News - Our Lady of Lourdes Chess Club - Philippine Chess - Buffalo Niagara Chess Corner - Brighton & Hove Chess Club - Altrincham & Hale Chess Club - Chess In Canada's Capital/2007 Canadian Open Chess Championship Blog - Bangladesh Chess - FCPL Chess News - Kenyan Chess Blog - Lansing Chess Club - NI Chess News - The Chess Club - MMU Melaka Chess Club - Delaware Chess Weblog - India Chess - Mill Valley Chess Team - Snodland Chess Club

Sarah's Chess Journal - The Homepage of Ben Finegold - Grow With Chess - Blogs

Podcasts/Video Blogs: PE's Chess Cast -

Commercial: ChessAssistance - The Chess House News - Knight of Chess Academy - Chess Sets, Chess Design, Chess Sales

Catalan: Zeitnot ! - Escacs La Farga

Portuguese: Odivelas Chess Blog Extraordinaire - Viriatovitch Chess - Alverca-X

Spanish: Xake Joko Batzordea - Comisión de Ajedrez (Euskara also) - Super Ajedrez Gratis - Grupo de Ajedrez La Proa - Escuela Uruguaya De Ajedrez - Problemas de Ajedrez - Las Aventuras de Sarakhatkhan (Georgian also) - Amigos del Circulo de Ajedrez de Villa del Parque - CTD Naranco Ajedrez - Nuestro Ajedrez Uruguay - Ajedrez Valenciano - Círculo de Ajedrez peonRey - El Club de Ajedrez - Club de Ajedrez Trovero Marín - Solo Ajedrez - En Jaque - Ajedrez 365 - Ars Defendendi - Danichess - Paranoias de un Tomate - CHESS COACH , ajedrez a la orden - El Blog de ajedrez de Gransiurell - Noticias Ajedrez Tenerife - Comentarios De Ajedrez - LoboChess - Te queda un Peon - Ajedrez en la Escuela - Genios64 - Vídeos de Ajedrez - Caissa Blog

Italian: Jazztrain

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Dutch: HMC Calder - Alberts SchaakBlog - Schaakpraat - Schakend - De Denkwijze Van Een Schaker - NB Chess Blog

German: Schachblog - Schach-Ticker - Rank zero - Chess Boxing Club Berlin

Polish: Wydarzenia Ciekawostki Szachowe

Bulgarian: Nikola’s ChessBoard

Finnish: Shakkiblogi

Estonian: Vaatleja

Persian: رخ در رخ

Tamil: அறுபத்தைந்தாம் கட்டம

Malay: Dunia Catur Saya

Japanese: ロレンの部屋 - Tocoma03のブログ - Nagoya Chess Club


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Vladimir Kramnik - Chess Game in Colour - Clint Prong's Chess Blog - At Least I Tried - - My Chess Training - Hóember Chess Blog - Krannjik's Chess Blog - Improve Your Chess! - Yet Another Chess Blog - Alice's Chess Blog - Karnataka Chess - Carlos Hemmers - The Chess Apprentice - Chess For You - CHESSgenie

FM Marcel Martinez - Chessology - Jepoma's Chess Blog - Best Chess Coach Blog - Piece Shuffler - PlasticBishop - Bobby Fischer Chess Blog - Santa Sophia Academy Chess Club - Neil's Chess Page - Doing Chess - ChessKibitzer - National University of Singapore Chess Club - Chess Maze - Jerry Chess - The 64 Square Jungle - Become a Chess Expert

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DreadPirateJosh - Chess and Analysis - GVSS Chess Club - Delphifire's Chess Blogger - Pawn to rook 4 - Niles North Chess - Zabbura's Games - The Chess Player - Patzer's Mind - The Chess House - Jim Eade's Chess Journal - Chess Tiger Chess Rimau - World Chess Entertainment - Simone's Chess Blog - C's Chess - Texas Chess Association

Just Chess - Chesswitch - Sonja's Chess Journey - World of Chess - BlueEyedRook - Efficient Chess - Brutal-Chess - What's New on Chess Planet? - The Chessic Musings Of The Manley Nick - Victor Reppert's Chess Blog - Chess by Andy - Dagoth's Board Room - Chess Live Blog - Earl's Chess Blog - Pawn's Progress - MagicMadness - Magnifichess

Filipino Chess Players - Carlos Hemmers - Ogden Chess Club - The Royal Game - IM Emilio Cordova Fan Blog - Dinomike's Chess Blog - Chess960 News - Kell High School Chess Club - Modern Defense - Chess In Goa - And Then There Was Chess - Gambits and Pieces - Chessola - Kelab Catur Setia Kuantan - Chess Relearner - Emily's Chess Blog

Chess for Blood - Queen's Gambit - Johnny B's Chess Connection - The Chess-ucation of Raths - Wholesale Chess News - Chessalicious - Chess Chumpion - Dan's Correspondence Chess Blog - The Chessmill - Life of King's Bishop - The Ideas Behind Chess Openings - Claremont Chess Club - Chess Opening for Blitz!!! - NYChessKids

GM Jean Luc Chabanon - GM Pascal Charbonneau - GM Jaan Ehlvest

Bill Wall's Chess Blog - ChessVista

Catalan: El món de Caissa - Games two can play - 64 caselles

Portuguese: Salto de Cavalo - Henrique Pinela's Chess Blog - blogue do Alekhine

Spanish: Ajedrez Mundial - Tactica, Tactica, Tactica - Material de Estudio - Galeria de Arte Caissa - NotiChess Latinoamérica - Club Ajedrez Oviedo'93 - Ajedrez Portaliano - C.D.B. Ajedrez Ateneo Albacetense - Chess Corner(2) - Bitácora De Un Ajedrecista - Ajedrez del compuntoes - Club de Ajedrez Ciudad de Gandía - Club d'escacs Quatre Torres - Celadas de Ajedrez - The ChessProjekt - Torneos-correspondencia/email - Ajedrez:"blog practico"

Italian: Società Scacchi Augusta Perusia

French: Le chess boxing - La Mazette - CapaKaspa - Club d'Echecs de Douai - Stephechecs - Echecs Info - The Chess-Mind - Chess 'n' Co - Le blog à Ludo - Cappelle-La-Grande en Nationale 1! - Le blog de jonathan cayla sur les echecs - Tour à tour

Dutch: Duveltje's Schaakweb - Jeugdschakers op WK's en EK's - Ik stond gewonnen - De Schaakfabriek

German: PDA-Schach Weblog

Russian: Chesswebmaster

Malay: MSSMKL Chess News (English also)

Norwegian: Sjakkforum

Persian: شطرنجباز (English also)

Note: italics indicate no RSS feed available

See also: Kenilworth Chess Club's Blog page - Blogshare's Top 100 Blogs in Chess - Top Blogs from About Chess

Chess Store


Chess and Reading

From Trite Remarks (3/17/05):
Just as one can play too much , playing until the tiled floor at the pub becomes a chess board, and the patrons, the pawns and pieces, so too can one read too much fiction, reading until the others around you become unwitting participants in an unintentional drama of fanciful design.

Chess and Freedom

At My Scribblings For His Amusement, Scott uses to argue that freedom is not simply defined by opportunity, but also by consequence.
In the game of chess, there are twenty possible opening moves. Once one is made, there are many more possible second moves, depending on that first move. Other moves will have been denied you by the very fact of that first move. Would it then make sense to say that your freedom is intact only so long as the board remains at status quo ante?

Research Results

The gnomes have reported back on their research and made a recommendation which seems reasonable if unimaginative: Make it easier to e-mail BCC Weblog (it works for Don). So now there is a contact section in the sidebar. Of course, depending on how this works, I may need to hire some 24/7 e-mail reader gnomes (perhaps this is the United Brotherhood of Gnomes International Labor Union's conspiratorial strategy).

In the meantime, please welcome Vic to the Knights Errant. Before someone looks up from CT-Art and tries to offer a name, I dub him the Queen-less Knight (he is focused on endgames, after all).

Monday, April 11, 2005


The blogosphere is filling up with stories from the 2005 US Chess Federation Supernationals III Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.

The 64 Square Jungle offers a Chicago-centric perspective, while at Mountebank, a parent of a player on the PS282 chess team (from Brooklyn, NY) shares the trials, tribulations, and moments of joy associated with overseeing a group of kids at an event like this:
So far, there has been vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain, headaches, tears, bloody lips, and tantrums, but no actual fatalities.
Apparently the event did not get off to an auspicious start as there are a few reports about serious deficiencies in the organization of the blitz and bughouse tournaments. My favorite story, however, comes from Joel at Not That -- a non- player trying to go from Nashville to Chicago who gets consumed by scholastic chess madness:
... anything would have been preferable to staying on the plane another minute, as I was afraid I was going to have to strangle someone with my iPod earbuds. For whatever reason, there was some national youth chess championship in Nashville this weekend, and my flight out was filled with giddy nerds who wanted to celebrate ... by playing more chess.

Not the chess version of CheeseWiz...

...I hope.

Welcome Knightwiz to the Errant collective. Pawn Sensei actually got wind of his pending membership yesterday, but I independently found his first post this morning (my 24/7 search gnomes have yet to perfect a method for finding blogs of prospective Knights before they are created -- but they're still working on it). Seems as though we are entering a new expansion phase.

Cult TV Chess

From Popular Movie Posts on Message Boards:
The Prisoner - Vol. 3 - Episodes 9 To 12 : In 'Checkmate' there is a game of human , and the Prisoner is invited to play as the Queen's Pawn. During the game he tries to get information from the Queen, but she is as evasive as everyone else. The game continues, overseen by Number 2 (who is played by Peter Wyngarde of Department S).

The Prisoner - chess game

Give me chess improvement ...

...or give me death!

Someone send this guy a copy of De La Maza's book before he does something rash.
I just must...desperately must....improve my playing abilities, at least a modicum. Or give up all hope of ever accomplishing anything in the world. For my theory is that an over-the-hill middle aged geek can at least slightly improve his mastery of chess (not sure mastery is the correct term to use here). And if that turns out not to be the case -- and indeed, if I prove to myself only that my slight mental faculties are in fact substantially on the decline -- then I will have learned something totally useful. I will realize that its time to start scaling back on everything pleasurable in life and go coffin shopping.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Mass Murder


International Relations

In the beginning of the 21st Century, foreign policy tensions even pervaded casual contacts between those from opposite sides of the pond. Secretary Rumsfeld was happy to hear about this encounter where "Old Europe" got put in its place again:
Back at the hostel the beer flowed like wine and we sat around talking to French and German travelers. I saw these three German dudes playing and introduced myself for a game. They had the intensely intellectual, caustic, and borderline-haughty air of Germans playing chess in a cafe. The guy I played, Benjamin, immediately made 2 huge mistakes. 1.) He couched the game in terms of an American/German international rivalry, and 2.) he underestimated me and tried to get me with “Scholar’s Mate,” the oldest trick in the book. Needless to say I dispensed him with ease with a drop kick to the face.

Stiff Competition

A nice turnout for yesterday's $10 Open (4SS, G/60) at the BCC, around 30 players or so including five masters -- Kelleher, Riordan, Pismennyy, Onyekwere and Godin.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


What the h2 pawn sees before the first move.

Where have all the chess players gone?

We've heard plenty of theories on the impact of Internet on OTB participation. But how about this theory on why there might just be a reduction in the total number of chess players:
so few chess players...everybody's thumbing around on their stupid PlayStations all the time.

Intra-game conflict

I guess the people who run the Chess Center wanted them to "Go" away.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Illegal Position


Think like a Grandmaster

Will higher goals and a positive attitude accelerate your improvement? Steve Pavlina thinks it will.
Suppose you're about to learn something totally new to you. Let's say it's learning to play chess. In the first scenario, imagine you don’t care how good you get and that you just want to try it to see how it goes for you. In the second scenario, picture yourself as a next world chess champion, putting even Gary Kasparov's amazingly successful career to shame. Can you see how the second attitude will sharpen your focus for learning chess today -- right now -- even if you never do become a grandmaster? What would you do differently with the second attitude that you wouldn't do with the first?

The attitude of mastery causes you to take a long-term strategic approach to learning. You understand that any early weaknesses will be magnified as you progress, so you take the time to lay a solid foundation with no gaps.

In search of chess problems

Our newest Knight needs your help. First, say hello to Chess Confessions (aka Eric Thomson); then, give him your thoughts on problem sets he could use for his MDLM training since he has concluded that "CT-ART is too advanced for me." I have no doubt that his fellow Knights will have lots of good advice for him.

To infinity


Thursday, April 07, 2005


Some intriguing thoughts by anachronic:
i've read that children, when they begin their careers, immediately know how far they are able (and unable) to take their skills. unlike most activities, where hope springs eternal, chess kids know from an early age whether or not they are capable of being a grandmaster. i'm not sure the reasoning behind this, but it's interesting nonetheless. after all, what kid with a basketball doesn't think he'll grow up to become the next michael jordan? why is it that children realize they cannot become the next kasparaov, the next capablanca, even when they've barely scratched their talents? is the answer "honesty?" is it because young chess players realize that they cannot see past a certain barrier when they play? and that as much as they train, they'll never have that magical "it" that'll enable them to advance to the uppermost levels of chess?


Chess Drama Queen

Amy Bowllan from the Kew-Forest School blog takes her son to the Polgar Chess Center for lessons. As a result, she has established a friendship with Susan Polgar. Recently, Susan sent Amy information about one of her new projects (which Amy forwarded to me):

Susan Polgar has joined the off Broadway play FIT TO KILL as their Chess Consultant. The show will open on April 11, 2005 at the Clurman Theatre located at 410 West 42nd Street in New York City.

FIT TO KILL,Fit To Kill logo a witty and elegant new play in the tradition of SLEUTH and DEATHTRAP, is a suspense-thriller about strategy, deception, and betrayal. Adrian, a charming but self-indulgent master, lives a life of luxury thanks to his marriage to Janice, an older, but still sexy and vibrant woman who has made her fortune as the CEO of an exercise empire. When Amy, a young reporter with an agenda of her own, starts asking too many questions, a whirlwind of deadly schemes ensues, leading to a series of twists and surprises that will keep audiences guessing until the final seconds.

Update (4/10/05): Here is an article about the play and Susan's role from Playbill.

Since chess players can't get dates...

...cennydd loves the Sveshnikov Sicilian:
I love the Sveshnikov since there is absolutely no reason it should work. It's ugly, it contravenes so many of the obvious principles of chess openings. But somehow it works - it's aggressive, it irritates the opponents; a bit like Wimbledon's plastic pitch from the 80s really.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Another chess improvement plan

Follow this link to Mistress Stacie's "Two-Step Path to Chess Virtuosity" (requires Powerpoint). I wonder if the MDLM book would have sold more copies if it was entitled "Mistress Stacie's Guide To Rapid Chess Improvement."

Au Revoir

Time to defrock another Knight - say goodbye to Desperate Measures.

Chess and Gender

Here's something you probably won't read in Jen Shahade's new book:
Katrina says she doesn't see any difference in the way girls and boys play . "Except the girls are the best in our school," she says with a smile.

After watching the tournament for years, however, Michael McIntosh says he definitely sees a difference between the boys and girls.

"The boys come out after a game and say 'I crushed them. I killed them. I wiped them out,'" said McIntosh, chess coach at Bonneville Elementary in Salt Lake City and a former tournament director. "The girls will come out and say, 'She was really nice,' or 'I let her take a piece because I felt bad for her.'"
Read "Tiny strategists match wits in local chess tourney" from The Salt Lake Tribune.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Chess Art II

Bruno LeMieux-Ruibal has been checking out the Art Fair scene in New York City.
...a Maurizio Cattelan in Richard Gray was the sensation of the fair. Titled "Good Versus Evil", it is a set that includes in the Good side figures like Mother Teresa and in the Evil side the likes of Hitler and Stalin. Amazingly crafted and painted, funny and historically responsible, it is a great table-size example of Cattelan's humor without the grandeur and excessiveness of his roomed installations.

George Bernard Shaw on Chess

" is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time." (Hat Tip: Borrowed Dust)

Chess Cognition

There is a significant body of evidence suggesting that experts build mental pictures in a different way from novices. The classic expert/novice study was conducted in 1973 by William Chase and Herbert Simon: they found that expert players could remember board positions much better than novices. However, if the position on the board did not represent an actual game, the experts were no better than novices. So it seemed that, rather than simply having a better facility for remembering chess pieces, the experts were more readily able to “chunk” common patterns found in chess games. More recent research suggests that rather than chunking, experts are probably using “templates” in which most elements are constant, but a few key variables may be changed.
Read "Psychologists predict NCAA basketball results" from Cognitive Daily.

Monday, April 04, 2005

More Chess in Australia

From Sulfury:

Which term are you most likely to hear in restaurants, down under?

Cheque, mate.

Chess in Wichita

players in Wichita have a new place to make all the right -- and sometimes wrong -- moves.

The William Sanders Independent World Chess Championships Incorporated Facility opened yesterday.

The center is named after William Sanders, a chess enthusiast who has contributed time and money getting people, especially children, interested in the game. Sanders is also father of NFL running back Barry Sanders.
Read "Chess Center" from WIBW 13 News.

Mining comments again

1. At Takchess, Jim noted that on CT-Art...
When I make a mistake, it shows me the Red and Blue squares. Next it gives me the simpler alternate problem on the right side of the screen.
Pale Dun explained...
You refer to what are known as "the arrows of shame," "the squares of ignorance," and the ever frustrating "idiot box."

2. Jim also expressed concern about his addiction to purchasing books, to which Don replied...

Don't worry, Jim. Even if you don't read 'em, chess books are a babe magnet.

3. CelticDeath posted on some technology improvements he had installed at his house. Pale Dun's response leaves no doubt that he really is from Montana:

What? No bomb shelter? No American home is complete without the ultimate accessory of global paranoia. I have two.

Chess and Thinking

Does chess teach you to think or do you need to know how to think to play ? Ponder here.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Creating scale

Cross-Eyed Bear claims this is purely fictional, but it seems entirely plausible to me.
Reykjavik (C-BN). Following directly on the heels of a rambling interview by former champion Bobby Fischer, Iceland has decided to cash in on its greatly increased presence in the news by offering citizenship to Michael Jackson.

Magnus Bjorgson, spokesman for the Icelandic government, stated "It has been a long time since Iceland has been in the news; we've awakened to the potential advertising bonanza available by becoming a refuge for all sorts of American freaks and whackos...."

Special rules for Canadians

YOU KNOW YOUR A HOCKEY FAN IF... You're not allowed to play simply because the first time you played, you misunderstood the meaning of the word "Check."
Read "HOCKEY FANS ONLY!" from Life's dandy.

Another depressing thought

...this life is just a chess match, and you are just a pawn. a pawn can be replaced...
Read "Numb" from Depressive Moments.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Hey it ain't checkers, baby

From Vexed In The City, Karyn learns the hard way that is a challenging game.
Some years ago, C. tried to teach me to play chess. Foolishly, I figured that since I could knock off a mean game of checkers, chess would be a piece of proverbial cake. After all, how different could the games be, if they were played on the same board with what seemed to me to be a similar objective?

Suffice it to say that after several hours - long, long hours - of frustration on both our parts, we agreed to put away the chessboard and find another means of recreation, preferably in which the rules were not intimidating in their number, were at least marginally clear and did not require me to take notes in order to engage in play.
Apparently chess has some special rules that even long time players like myself aren't aware of. can move this way but not that way and this piece can only move in this direction but only when the sun is in scorpio and the wind blows northwest and you have the secret handshake and password unless it's Tuesday in which case you also have to have your decoder ring.

Fool me once...

It's hard to know what you can believe in the blogosphere, especially on April 1st. What do you think about this item?
Today at noon Bobby Fischer will be playing a series of concurrent table games at the shopping mall down the hill from where I work [in Reykjavik].
Or how about this one?
Drexel's chess team has been hit with two years of probation from the NCAA after they learned of recruiting improprieties. The improprieties have been occurring for at least five years and include providing recruits with access to controlled substances and women.

Chess and Blood

Families are like chess, [they] require much strategy and make your brain hurt - but ultimately [they're] rewarding.