Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Welcome to BCC Weblog Customer Support

BCF member Mike Henroid is looking for some assistance from the weblog readership:
Can you put up a post asking where the best place is to play free on-line chess against a computer? I am trying to find a good site for a 75 year-old super beginner who doesn't want to play against humans of any level.

Apparently FICS was a bit overwhelming for him. I think he probably also needs something a LOT less accurate than Crafty or Fritz.
Any suggestions?

Chess on ice, for real

What is the next big event in Turin, Italy now that the Winter Olympics are history? The Chess Olympiad.

The 2006 Winter Olympic Games blog notes that the Olympiad matches will be taking place in the same venue that hosted the speedskating competition.

Protect the Children

From the New York Times:
CROSS-GENERATION CHESS, Sunday at 9 a.m., with free matches between mature and young players and music by the cellist Frederick Zlotkin, at the Marshall Chess Club, 23 West 10th Street, Greenwich Village. Registration: (917) 822-3141.
What do you think the chances are that this event was sponsored by NMBCA (The National Man Boy Chess Association)?

Monday, February 27, 2006

A novel use for chess clocks

From the Newark Star Ledger:
Legal strategy is often compared to a game of chess. But in a state court in Atlantic City next month, the comparison will take on new meaning.

In a bid to limit New Jersey's next Vioxx trial to just three weeks, Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee will use a pair of chess clocks to closely track the amount of time each side has to make its case. And neither side will have lots of time to declare checkmate.

Lawyers representing two men who claim Merck's Vioxx painkiller caused their heart attacks will have a total of 40 hours, not counting opening and closing arguments. Lawyers for the Whitehouse Station-based drugmaker will have 35 hours.
So donate your old chess clocks to a local court and help speed up the hands of justice. Of course, they won't need as many as they think as soon as they learn that a single chess clock per courtroom is all that is required, not a pair.

Growing Again

For the past few months, most of the action on the Knights Errant list has involved blogs going into hiatus. Therefore, it was a pleasant surprise today to find a new blogger looking to the join the group (to be technical, King of the Spill seems to have been the first to find him). Please welcome Blunder Prone, the self-named Troubled Knight.

And while we are on the topic of additions, the active listings have continued to grow. Take a click over and you'll find several additional French chess blogs, another Japanese listing, blogs written in Estonian and Tamil, and even a few chess blogs I can actually read like The Sage In The Tower, The Kings Pawn, and Rocky Rook.

Update: You can now find Rocky Rook on the sidebar -- give a link, get a link.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

And Easter is more than a month away

Our second resurrection in as many days -- Andis Kaulins started the Magnifichess blog on May 29, 2004 but stopped after 11 days and 17 posts. Nevertheless, he has been mentioned at least once as an early pioneer in this medium. Today, more than 20 months later, he published his 18th post.

Is he back for good? Who knows? In any case, Magnifichess has earned itself at least thirty days on the active listings.

Don Q returns!

There's a new post on Mandelamaza and while it's not likely to be the start of a trend, any musings from the inaugural Knight Errant are worthy of our attention. Don informs us that he has restructured his sidebar "to make [the site] more of a permanent/static record than a blog." I did something similar when I indexed 2004 Boylston Chess Club Championship.

For those of you who haven't taken the time to read the Mandelamaza archives, this new sidebar will greatly ease your task by taking you directly to the most relevant posts. In particular, I would encourage you to read the items listed under "General Silliness" which include some of the funniest stuff ever written in the Chess blogosphere.

Welcome back Don, if only for a moment.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

You can always move somewhere else

I'm guessing girlinlove16 is from Ontario, Canada but you never know.

hamilton is idiotic....

you know ur from hamilton when... drug testing the chess players is a great decision [but] drug testing the ghetto-gangsters isn't.

What's your favorite chess piece?

Jessica makes the case for the trusty steed:
I like the Knight. It has the best move -- a surprising "L" that one often takes for granted, even forgets. And the elegant neck of the piece; it's most aesthetically pleasing with marble, I'm sure. Very noble, and what masculine should be.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Want to be a mobile online chess mogul?

Now you can...
[The] latest online gambling websites to be offered on ... E Bay are a mobile multiplayer poker platform and and a mobile multiplayer chess game called ChessEverywhere.

... the successful bidder gets all source code to the cell phone clients and Java server, as well as domain names and the ASP.Net Web sites that support wireless delivery of the products....

The base platform also supports chess in both standalone and multiplayer formats. A Telnet-based interface for connection to Internet Chess Services provides a mobile-to-desktop option.

Language limited blogger needs your help

Does anyone know what language this blog is written in?

Update (12:40pm) - That worked so well that I'm inclined to try a couple of more:
  1. I am fairly certain that this blog is written in Indian -- anyone have a different opinion?

  2. This one has been listed under Catalan for quite some time, but I've never been sure that was correct. All I know is that it doesn't translate using a Spanish to English translator. Anyone know the truth?

    Thursday, February 23, 2006

    A suggestion for getting chess into the Olympics

    Chess is like curling on a board.

    Preserving History

    en passant Schachblog posted a picture of the chess scene outside the Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square circa 1998. Any chance that is a young Noah Pang challenging Murray? Recognize anyone else in the picture?

    Thursday Night Controversy - Revisited

    Last night the Board of Directors of The Boylston Chess Foundation took up the issue of re-entries raised in my earlier post "Thursday Night Controversy."

    A motion was passed to the effect that since, in the view of the Board, the USCF rules on re-entries are intended to apply only to events with more than one schedule, re-entries would only be allowed at club events with multiple schedules. Since the club does not currently run any multiple schedule events, this effectively eliminates re-entries at all BCF tournaments.

    In a related decision, the Board opted to make no restrictions on late entries. Though they did opt to give tournament directors the discretion to limit the number of 1/2-point byes given to a late entrant if the TD believed the late entrant would otherwise have an adverse impact on the competition and/or pairings (the specific example discussed involved a player opting to enter the last round of a four round event and requesting three 1/2-point byes).

    Copies of the original post and related comments were shared with the Board members prior to the discussion, making this the first time that the blog and its readers have played an integral role in the policy deliberations of the Foundation.

    Chess and the Church

    "The Pope can never play chess. If he did and lost the whole of the Catholic Church would vanish in a poof of logic." - nut_meg's friend Spike

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    Introductory Chess Course For Adults

    Three-time Boylston Chess Club Champion and current webmaster NM Alex Cherniack will be teaching a six-lesson course for adults who do not know the rules of the game. Sessions will be held at the club Wednesday evenings 7:00-8:30pm from March 8th through April 12th. The price can't be beat!

    Click here for more details.

    NM Cherniack (right) prepares to take on GM Christiansen
    at the 2006 BCC Herb Healy Open

    Photo: Steve Stepak

    Not the old Soviet training model

    If this is going to be our approach to training girls in chess, then I suspect we might create more female adult players but probably not too many grandmasters and champions.
    The All-Girls Chess Tournament is not run like a standard U.S. Chess Federation challenge, with timers and rankings and complicated rules, said Sharon Buttram, chess club moderator at Daniels Run. The format, where the girls play three games each and all receive medals at the tournament's end, emphasizes having fun over winning at all costs, said Buttram.

    "It's a silly game boys play, saying, 'Oh, I'm going to beat you,'" said Oak View chess club moderator Roshna Kapadia. Girls respond better to appreciation of the game rather than pure competition, she said.
    Read "Chess Queens at Daniels Run" from the Fairfax (VA) Connection.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    Caption Contest VI

    I've got to go so bad!

    Post your caption in the comments.


    The burden of history

    Australians are still coping with the modern-day effects of being founded by criminal elements:
    During the recent spate of vandalism and unruly behaviour around Alstonville, seven chess pieces were stolen from the Summerland House With No Steps' giant chess set.
    Read "Chess set theft" from The Northern Rivers Echo.

    Sunday, February 19, 2006

    Chess, girls, study, beer

    I suppose it might be a tough choice for some, but when I was in college, chess was the first thing I gave up. For those who didn't, the USCF has reestablished the College Chess League. Thirty-one teams from 18 schools kicked off competitive matches this month on the ICC.

    Looking for a local rooting interest? At the moment, the best we can do is cheer for the Huskies of the University of Connecticut. Hey, Mr. College Chess in Boston (aka Bob Oresick), what's up with that?

    Trend Analysis

    Thanks to the Olympics Mania blog (which linked to my post on curling), I discovered Blogpulse's Trend Search Tool. The tool allows you to compare the relative interest of various topics in the blogosphere by comparing what percent of blog posts include particular search terms. For example, poker (not surprisingly) is mentioned more frequently than chess or backgammon.

    I started playing around with the tool to answer a couple of questions:

    Who is the blogosphere world chess champion?

    Apparently the championship picture remains unclear (no surprise there!).

    Which of the Polgar sisters is the most popular?

    I'm sure many other questions can be investigated. Suggest some in the comments and I'll test them out.

    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    What a link-ful day

    I've been finding all sorts of new links today. Check the listings and you'll see:
    • The new home of GilaChess - renamed Chess Improvement

    • A number of links to Russian sites that aren't really blogs, but do have blog-like news sections (inversely chronological dated posts). [Update (2/22/06): Upon further reflection I decided that these sites aren't really blogs, so I removed them.] I don't really know what the posts are about beyond what can be gleaned from the photos and diagrams since the common translation programs I use don't seem to do a very good job with Russian. The one "real" Russian blog that I did find, Young-Expert, is unfortunately inactive so I listed it as such

    • Several new Dutch listings which Duveltje discovered

    • ... and a few relatively new blogs that have yet to publish anything that would distinguish them from the crowd
    Not every site listed has an RSS feed, but most do. As a result, I am now up to 195 chess blog feeds on my Bloglines reader.

    Toddler x a5


    Friday, February 17, 2006

    No Bluegrass?

    Kentucky Chess Pie

    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
    1-3/4 cups sugar
    3 egg yolks
    2 whole eggs
    1 cup heavy cream
    2 tsps ground cinnamon
    2 tsps freshly grated nutmeg
    1 unbaked single-crust 9 inch pie shell

    Get the entire recipe.

    Looking For Trouble

    I don't know about you, but if I lived in a country run by a fanatical fundamentalist theocracy I'd be extra careful about what I searched for on the Internet. That's why I was very surprised today when someone from Irancheh, Iran found their way here through an MSN search for "hot girls tehran."

    I suspect the surfer was disappointed to find that BCC Weblog failed to deliver what he was seeking.

    Connection between drugs and chess found

    From MSN Money:

    Nektar Therapeutics, a drug delivery technology company, ... said it appointed former CEO Robert Chess, who now serves as executive chairman, as interim CEO until it names a replacement. Chess joined Nektar in 1991, when the company was still known as Inhale Therapeutic Systems.

    Thursday, February 16, 2006

    Overused Metaphor Alert

    I can't wait for the Olympics to be over, so we can have four straight years of not hearing this:

    ...the sport of curling. It's fascinating. It's a strange melange of shuffleboard, chess, and bocce. On ice. - trotsky nj

    So I have become strangely addicted to curling over the last few Winter Olympics.... They call it "chess on ice" 'cause it's very strategy-oriented rather than being based on sheer brawn. - tinabina3

    I discovered the odd sport of curling at the tail end of the last winter Olympics.... I laughed yesterday because *right* after I thought, "Hmm, it's like chess on ice." one of the commentators said, "...and that's why curling is often called chess on ice..." - The Pretty Bee

    At least this next quote takes a different spin on connecting the two games:

    No, honestly, why is curling in the Olympics? No offense, but it's even more boring than watching chess. - Christopher

    Shoveling after the storm

    Time to clean up the links again...
    • Blogs relisted as Inactive: Schach und nochmal Schach, India Chess, Brighton Chess Club Weblog, the Ruy Lopez show, Correspondence Chess Australia

    • Knights placed on hiatus: Dluzewski, JavaManIssa

    • Recent additions to the sidebar: Loren's Chess Blog, Duveltje's Schaakweb

    • Recent additions to the Active listings: Chessbuff on Chess, Madera Chess Club, Club de Ajedrez Tres Peons, Super Ajedrez Gratis, Ajedrez Mundial, Ajedrez en Puebla, Pasion por el Ajedrez, Also sprach Duveltje
    In a related topic, I would like some feedback from the Knights on what to do about Satish Talim's listing. He has not posted since January 7th and therefore is eligible to be placed in hiatus. However, reviewing his blog (once you get through all the ad clutter) it seems that he really hasn't posted anything related to his personal chess improvement efforts in over six months. As such, the question of possible defrocking is raised. Your thoughts?


    I feel as if I were a piece in a game of chess when my opponent says of it, "That piece cannot be moved." - Soren Kierkegaard

    Hat Tip: Brady's Boring Slice of Suburbia

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    Our intrepid investigative reporter

    Howard Goldowsky sent me an e-mail regarding the Slugfest Chess on TV project:
    This Clint Ballard guy has got me intrigued. ... today I shot off a few questions to him as comments in his latest post, sort of challenging some of the more controversial elements of his project.
    You can read the entire comment thread here; below I've excerpted a couple of Howard's questions (in italics) and Clint's answers:
    Why are you so intent on including only Christian models (what's wrong with other religions, and isn't this discrimination)?

    I do NOT require that the girls be Christian, it just turned out that they all were, at least initially. I do not ask them if they are, or are not before hiring them, and there has been quite a bit of turnover in the cast.
    For the record, what Clint actually said in his January 14th post was "What are the odds of finding half a dozen beautiful, athletic, intelligent swimsuit models in one day who are all Christians? I have been sending out feelers for a week+, but today was the day I met most of them." Perhaps the Christian part was just a coincidence as he suggests, though why bother mentioning it?
    I also want to know why you don't feel hypocritical about using scantily clad models for your show and posting their images to the Internet when you'’re so outspoken about the distasteful spread of pornography. What's the difference between a model with a thong and a model without a thong? I mean, yea, there's a dividing line, but why even go near it?

    In 2006, you see girls in thong bikinis on prime time television. Clearly, girls in thong bikinis is not porn. Now, it is possible for a fully clothed person to be doing some very lewd things and at the same time for a barely clothed person to be doing very good things. For example, what if a person in a jumpsuit pushes another person off of a tall bridge to their death, but a naked person saves them from their fall by catching them? I claim that it is not the presence of absence of clothing that makes a person (image/video) good or evil, but rather what they are doing, or about to do, or in some cases thinking of doing.

    By showing girls in bikinis doing good things, my goal is to counteract to whatever degree that it will, the current negative associations people have about girls in bikinis, eg. they must be dumb, they are probably going to commit some sort of sin, etc. By going near the line, I can make the strongest statement about the fact that there is inherently nothing evil with the image of the human body. The evil comes from what that body is doing.
    Personally, I have few negative associations with pretty girls in bikinis ... other than the fact that they rarely talk to me.

    Stained Glass Chess


    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    More on the chess geek

    According to The Daily Northwestern, Joe Block almost didn't get selected to be a contestant on the second season of "Beauty and the Geek." It was his chess prowess that pulled him through.

    Block almost was too cool to make the show. He said being in a band, Gnome Attic (say it fast), was a strike against him.

    He recovered his title by beating Richard, one of the geeks from the first season, in a “five-minute blitz game” of chess.

    2005 Most Active BCF Members

    Below is a list of all members who participated in 20 or more events at the club during 2005:
    1. FM Chris Chase - 55
    2. NM Charles Riordan - 49
    3. Tony DiNosse - 44
    4. Bernardo Iglesias - 42
    5. Natasha Christiansen - 32
    6. FM Paul MacIntyre - 31
    7. Chris Williams - 30
    8. Bob Oresick - 28
    9. Mike Griffin - 27
    10. Michael Nagle - 26
    11. Scott Didham - 24
    12. Slava Volk - 23
    13. Ilya Rozonoyer - 22
    14. Hal Fishbein - 20

    Where was Moses?

    At The Days of Dark Soup, the story of "Muhammad, Jesus, and Buddha sitting in a tree":
    Muhammad, Jesus, and Buddha were sitting in a tree. Along came a spider, and challenged them all to a game of chess. The three religious guys said, "no way, we don't chess with spiders!" The spider, being a wise spider, quickly put that phrase on a t-shirt. And sold said t-shirt on the Internet. And became a rich spider.
    Read more... (though I should warn you that the story gets increasingly obscure and deconstructed as it goes on).

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Pearls of Wisdom

    It was late last Thursday night and only one game was still being contested. I was playing Black, down a pawn in a Bishop vs. Knight ending against LM Eric Godin -- one of those positions where White had good winning chances and Black good drawing chances at the same time. Unfortunately, I made a careless King move that allowed Eric to fork my King and Bishop and liquidate to an easily won King and Pawn ending.

    As the group post-mortem which followed began to wind down, NM Vadim Martirosov smiled and said, "Dave, you should really try not to blunder at the end."

    "Thanks Vadim," I laughed, "That's the kind of masterly advice you can't pay enough for."


    This photo deserves a great post title, but unfortunately I've not been able to think of one that is good enough.

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    Food for Thought

    From "Chili and chess at Moulton" at The Des Moines Register:
    A couple types of brain food - chess and chili - were served to Moulton Elementary School students and their families last week....

    Many of [the] students invited their families to play a game with them over a bowl of chili at the event.
    Sounds messy.

    Primate Chess

    I'm guessing the game proceeded as follows: 1.g3 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.g4?! Bb4?!

    Saturday, February 11, 2006

    Episode 2: The Empire Strikes Back

    [Note: Yes, I know Empire is technically Episode 5, but cut me some slack and allow me a bit of literary license. Besides, I've found it impossibly difficult to explain to my son that the first film released is now called Episode 4 while Episode 1 was the fourth film in the series.]

    GM Larry Evans has fired back in the battle over whether the Oak Mountain Intermediate School in Shelby County, Alabama bans chess. As you may recall, Larry made this assertion in an earlier Chess Life column. Our very own J'adoube, finding the story implausible, did some research which he believed debunked Larry's contention. He penned a letter, a portion of which was printed in the December issue of Chess Life under the title "Evans' Mistaken?"

    Now in the February issue GM Evans counters:
    I'm glad that the principal of the Oak Mountain Intermediate School in Shelby County, Alabama, doesn't object to playing chess there outside of class hours. I reported the banning incident in my syndicated newspaper column well before she took over in October 1998, so perhaps she wasn't aware of it.

    In 1998 Andrew@see.sig wrote on the Net: "Last year [1997] my kid's intermediate school principal forbade holding chess tournaments on the school's premises on the grounds that it was 'too competitive and does not foster the appropriate spirit commensurate with school principles.' The school also dissolved its newly-created chess club. Mind you, these were 9- to 11-year-olds trying to learn something new. Our son Trey came in second in his peer group at the State Scholastic Championship and did most of his training on the Internet Chess Club and Yahoo games."
    I can't wait for Episode 3: Return of the J'adoube-i.

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Buck, Buck, Buck!

    Have you ever played Chicken Chess?

    Just thinking...

    Now, I'm not particularly prone to conspiracy theories... Wait a minute! I guess it's time to stop saying that since apparently I am (see here and here)... Start again.

    Reports about the demise of the Ajedrez21 chess server are now filtering around the blogosphere after being initially reported at ChessBase. According to the story, the server was forced to shutdown after repeated hacker attacks. Fortunately, the kind folks at ChessBase stepped in to offer displaced Ajedrez21 players free and discounted memberships on their Playchess.com server. Since then, the Internet Club (ICC) has announced that they have reached an agreement with Ajedrez21 to move their membership onto the ICC.

    Sounds reasonable enough, but I have a couple of questions:
    1. Sites face hacker attacks all the time. While they are often disabled for a few hours or days, they generally are not shutdown permanently. Site owners institute defenses, plug problems in their code and get back up and running (until the next time the hackers find a weakness to exploit). So why did Ajedrez21 shut down instead of continuing to work to improve its defenses?

    2. ChessBase's motivation in offering free and discounted memberships was obviously not a purely altruistic act, and the ICC's merger agreement was undoubtedly a reasonable competitive response. Both companies are trying to seize the opportunity to attract new members from their former competitor (nothing wrong with that -- in fact, one might call it good business). But, did this opportunity just fall into their laps or [cue sinister background music] is it possible that one or both had some hand in creating it? Both ChessBase and the ICC are loaded with computer scientists after all. Don't get me wrong, I don't have any evidence of a and I'm not making any accusations; it's just an interesting possibility to ponder.

    Update: In the time since I wrote this, World Chess Network has also made their pitch to former Ajedrez21 members.

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Don Quixote Chess Set

    Currently for sale on ebay -- I expect to see the Knights bidding heavily on this item.

    Hat Tip: The Chess House

    Update: Upon a little more research I've discovered that The Chess House is the one who should be hat tipping me since he is the seller of the item on ebay.

    More fun search results

    Yesterday somebody found their way to BCC Weblog from an MSN search for "michelle kwan has a tattoo?"

    Let them eat cake

    Seoul Hero points out a glaring deficiency in the chess blogosphere (which has been mentioned here on a number of occasions):

    "Speaking of chess blogs, why do the most famous ones never link to each other on their sidebars? One would think chess was a solipsistic activity or something."

    Without naming names that we all know in any case, it is somewhat remarkable that the brand name chess blogs do so little cross-linking. This is not the case in other parts of the sphere where, for example, even the most popular political blogs like Daily Kos and Instapundit link liberally (no pun intended). Perhaps the individualistic nature of the game of chess is a factor, or perhaps these "chess blogging stars" have yet to understand that no matter what your level of readership you almost always get back more than you give by cross-linking. Quite simply, linking with others serves to increase the size of the pie (i.e., visitors) for everyone.

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    Resistance is futile

    I've had occasion to read New Victorian which posts a chess-related item now and again. However, it seems that Caissa's pull on this blog's author has grown increasingly strong to the point where an occasional chess post was no longer enough. In response, he has recently created a dedicated chess blog -- check out Robert Pearson's Chess Blog.

    Chess Notecards


    Why not start a chessboxing club instead?

    Nothing like this happened during the BCC re-entry controversy:

    ...my old high school's chess team got in a fight with another chess club. The other team pulled a move and Lassiter said they couldn't, but their school said they could, so our team started throwing punches. We have the best chess team ever.

    Apparently, they had to make an announcement about having good sportsmanship at chess club meetings.

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    Chess Psychosis

    Maybe this explains the rash of mental illness among top chess players:

    In psychiatry, thought disorder or formal thought disorder is a term used to describe a symptom of psychotic mental illness. It is also known as Knight's Move Thinking referring to the illogical way a Knight Moves in Chess.

    Better late than never

    Rebecca finally learned to play chess and discovered several interesting things.

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    For chess movie buffs only

    The Rocky Mountain News offers a Chess in the Movies trivia quiz. How many did you get right? No peeking until your done.

    We're talking network!

    In my previous post about Clint Ballard's Chess on TV project I asked, "Exactly what kind of chess show is he creating?" Now, Clint lets us in on some of the details:

    ...pretty girls in bikinis playing, learning and teaching chess, along with some friendly sumo all in a scifi plot...

    Here's a picture from the first shoot (see the entire Slugfest photo gallery here).

    Sunday, February 05, 2006

    The Caissa Bowl

    From "Super Bowl XL should be chess classic" at The (Olympia, WA) Olympian:
    Move. Counter. Move. Counter.

    Sunday's game brings back two of the original chess pieces, with Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense matching up against Holmgren's version of the West Coast offense.

    The Agony of Defeat

    From Dr. Detecto's Super Bowl Quotables:

    "The high of a win is never as high as the low of a loss, and the longer you are in the business, the wider that gap becomes." - John Madden on coaching

    "Which is precisely why I never encouraged my kids to play tournament chess." - Dr. D


    Forensic accountant and writer Fred Cederholm is thinking about chess, about the dollar, about oil, about Iran, about the Tehran Bourse, about the Euro ... and, as a result, he doesn't like our position in the game.

    Saturday, February 04, 2006

    Mind over what matters

    "A chess genius is a human being who focuses vast, little-understood mental gifts and labors on an ultimately trivial human enterprise." - George Steiner

    Hat Tip: Daily Quotations - Community Live Journal

    The ball is starting to roll

    Today's Boston Globe reports on Paul MacInnis' efforts to honor Harry Nelson Pillsbury.
    "Probably no one remembers him, outside the chess community," said Chris Chase of Somerville, a three-time New England chess champion and a member of the Boylston Chess Club, which has its headquarters in Davis Square. "Most people know Bobby Fischer, and that's it."
    Read "A move made to remember a chess great." Need a user id and password for boston.com? Click here.

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    False Alarm

    One might have thought that a blog entitled Searching for Mr. Chess would be about our game; but then, one might be wrong.

    What would Geurt think?

    Scholastic chess is rife with non-standard rules and practices. Here is another example:

    I had Chess Club today, my grade 4-6 group. They are a bunch of rowdy boys who want to settle each chess game with a wrestling match.

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Bad chess movies

    Which Hollywood executive thought this idea had great potential:

    The plot of this movie has a forgetful chess editor going off to cover a grape festival.

    Voles -/+

    Things are not looking good for England's vole population:
    Between 2001 and 2003, surveys revealed a 98 per cent decline in the water vole population at the River Chess between Chesham and the M25.
    So I'm wondering, how exactly does one survey a vole?

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    Add it to the list

    Here's the perfect gift for your favorite online chessplayer.

    Goodbye, Hello

    Inevitably, there comes a time when we need to say goodbye to old, inactive chess blogs. Therefore, I have decided that once a blog has remained inactive for over a year it must either be promoted to the Classic Chess Blog listings (surely this will be a rare occurrence) or, in the vast majority of cases, removed entirely. Removal was the decision for two such blogs -- 32 Pieces Of My Mind and Chess Spectator.

    In other news from the listings:
    • Three Knights Errant -- SiliconPawn, Smith-Morra, and Knightwiz -- have been placed in hiatus, as they have not been heard from in well over a month. (Update 2/2: Smith-Morra is back!)

    • Jens at Pawn In The Game has fallen victim to the problems at ModBlog (apparently the service started encountering issues and the developers chose to stop supporting it). In his last post, Jens reported that he will either "move to another service or just quit blogging altogether." [Do let us know what you decide, Jens.]

    • Several other blogs have been moved from Active to Inactive including long-timer KansasJohn5, video-blogger Chess Talk, FICS tournament players Hot Rock Teamchess Teams, plagiarist 1.e4 Nf6, and relatively recent newcomers Glenn's Blog and Chess Cat.

    • Coffeehouse Chess Monster was no match for the 404 Monster.

    • And, lest you think it's all bad news, there are as always some new additions to check out including Royal Lopez Chess Club, JDK Blog, El Ajedrez es Mi Pasion, Ups en downs van een schaakamateur, two Japanese chess blogs, and GM Susan Polgar's 2nd blog -- Chess Blog For Girls.
    On an antipodal note, old friend Logis ran into similar problems at ModBlog. For those of you who don't know him, Logis was one of the early members of our band of chess bloggers who eventually ran out of things to say about chess and moved on in different directions. In any case, he has established a new blog on a different service and is now looking to reconnect with some of his old chess blogging friends. You can help him out by leaving your link at this post. Welkom terug, Logis!