Showing posts with label Humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humor. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Chess Humour

My latest posting at GM Nigel Davies' The Chess Improver.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I'm Now at GM Nigel Davies' "The Chess Improver"

I have begun a weekly "column" at GM Nigel Davies site The Chess Improver. That will likely be my main venue for writing about chess in the near future, but there are some pretty good archives here, if you care to browse.

There are a few pretty bad ones, too, but your odds are good, even if the goods are odd.

My first post there is A Broad View of Improvement.

And remember, there are BIG things in our future!

Didn't he get promoted to Admiral?

Friday, May 04, 2012

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Pawns

Make your own, for free!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bob Dobbs Teaches Chess: On the Vital and Universal Principle of Slack

You may have noticed my new profile pic.  This is of course not my public visage but my "true" face:













If it strikes a chord of recognition, congratulations!

If not, you need to read Le Wik's take on the Church of the SubGenius.  Whatever you do, do not click on this link direct to heaven on Earth, for you are not ready.  Believe me, don't click on this link.

What does this have to do with chess, you ask?  Merely everything.  Wikipedia's tame description of slack does not do this important topic justice.  Think about it--the only reason you can get a glove on and off of your hand, is slack.  Why can you hit a golf ball 300 yards without ball and club exploding into pieces?  Slack.  How did the initial Singularity that spawned the Universe as we know it explode into matter and antimatter, most of which cancelled each other out, with just enough matter left over to make galaxies, stars, planets, people?  By now you well know...SLACK.

Slack is the reason chess is still interesting after hundreds of years of study; there is just enough slack in chess that LOTS of looking has never revealed a White forced win, and a player a pawn down can often still draw the game. Thousands of different opening sequences are "playable" just within the first few moves.  Attackers, defenders, positional players, wonderful weirdos like Nimzowitsch and upright physicians like Tarrasch, magicians, politicians, spooks, cops and criminals--all can touch for a moment the Universal Slack through the chessboard.

Will this knowledge make you a better player today?  Perhaps, if used intelligently.  Feel the Slack in the position, be creative and when in trouble, trust in the positional Slack that allows so many bad positions to be saved; at least you'll enjoy the game more, if you just keep the above picture in mind.  Try not to laugh out loud during the game however.  Your opponent may not yet be in on the Joke...

By the way, if you want some thing that ROCKS, this ROCKS:




ADDED 1/27/10:  For those who don't speak German, here is a rough translation (Feuer frei!" is the German expression used to order weapons to be shot, as in "Fire at will !". Literally it is "Fire freely")

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Priceless Chess Training Video



Via Liz Vicary, who credits Jason Luchan, who I don't know...anyhow, only the creators of this priceless chess training video deserve the credit. And we get to see it for free. How cool is that Internet thingy?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I Invent a Totally NEW Word - Please Make It Go Viral!!!

Over at Liquid Egg Product the Mascot has produced, directed and starred in a Halloween Holiday Classic. In the comments, I write:

Seriously dude, I know you’re loyal to Donnie and all but someone with your combination of churtful yet charming snark, slender physique, immunity to criticism, babe magnetism and tolerance for tasteless violence and gore would fit RIGHT IN with most of the Hollywood crowd.

Churtful? CHURTFUL??? I think I meant to say cheerful, then thought to change it to hurtful, and LOOK WHAT HAPPENED! Ma, I done a good thing!

Cheerful and hurtful. And snarky. Yes, that's Hollywood these days. And Washington. And Brussels, for our European readers. You pay for the privilege of going to the movies and finding out THEY are using YOUR money to insult your values and your beliefs, you pay 20-30-40-50+ percent of your income (how high does it go in Europe? About 25 in America right now, but just wait, my American friends, do you think with a $1 trillion ++ deficits year after year that will hold?) to politicians to tell you you're too stupid, you poor sap, to know what's good for you.

You pay, they play and churtfully enjoy the privileges (root-private laws) of being the elite.

Speaking of the elite, Liz Vicary has been on a tear lately, see people who hold views that contradict mine are stupid (part 2) which purports to show through some truly pseudo-scientific gobbledygook that atheists are (of course) more intelligent than all those God-believing idiots:

It just seems so bizarre to me that otherwise intelligent people can believe there is a man in the sky who controls things. And this leads them to kill each other, wake up early on Sunday mornings, wear funny necklaces, talk to themselves, and not do fun things like have sex and eat certain delicious foods.

There's a sophisticated argument. Since atheists like Hitler, Stalin and Mao never kill anyone, and since it's obvious, for example, that those religious types don't have sex, all that sort of thing would presumably end if people would just go atheist and bring about the peaceful, sleep-late-on-Sunday sex-filled paradise they so richly deserve.

Idiots.

But seeing as that was "part 2," let's go back a bit to part 1--have you ever thought that conservatives are all stupid? wherein Ms. Vicary consults some completely different pseudo-scientific gobbedygook purporting that "Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated." I'd like to quote more but do go read her post, which consists almost completely of the article's introduction. The commenters do a good job of questioning the premises, so I don't have to. Remember, if it doesn't pass the "smell test," check your premises.

The funny thing is that with E. Vicary you never know whether she really believes this stuff or she's just playing with the audience. Look at the blog URL...that's the secret of her success. She writes for Chess Life and gets in movies and stuff, and I toil away here, unpaid except for the warmth of my Dear Readers' comments. So, I must say, kudos to her. She's actually a Raven in disguise.

I do hope she was kidding about this one.

One of the commenters there is, coincidentally (really? - ed.), ChargingKing, who recently asked for some link love in regard to my previous post. Here it is, because Chris Harrington is an intersting person and writer, and we played some good games in the old days in Reno.

It's intrguing to me that he seems to be passionately appealing for moderation and middle ground in his comment: Doesn't it ever wear thin fighting and creating conflict? As a philosophical kind of guy I would think Chris would appreciate the Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis process as described (if not in exactly those terms) by Hegel. It is great conflicts that create great discoveries--just like in chess. Fighting and creating conflict are the chessplayer's bread and meat. Just, after it's over, let's all go have a beer, like those conflicting liberals and conservatives do (when we're not looking).

To bring this whole thing back around to the important point, I'm being CHURTFUL here, okay. Cheerfully hurtful. If you would be so kind as to go forth now and use it over and over and over, with full attribution and links to Robert Pearson's Chess Blog, I would be much obliged. I am hoping to see it show up in text messages all over the world by next week.

UPDATE: Churtful is in the Urban Dictionary as a variation of the verb churting "The act of being dull, boring, kind of grey, and specifically draining to the person that is having to listen to you." As you can see, this has nothing to do with my own brilliantly original coinage and we will speak of it no more.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Calling Chessvine's Colonel Crockett

(For those readers less familiar with United States history, Davy Crockett is a famous figure of the American frontier. He was also a Congressman, but we won't hold that against him).



Nowadays Col. Crockett runs an excellent chess news and opinion blog, chessvine.com. Yes kids, it's true, he secretly escaped from The Alamo and pursued a number of careers, sub rosa, before becoming a leading light of the online chess world.

Did I mention that he wrote a very flattering post about my piece on the Caro-Kann? That has, of course, nothing to do with this post; just coincidence, I'm sure. Then, in "What is Robert Pearson Doing Right?" he explains why this little blog is "well-placed search engine optimized." The funny thing is, it turns out I was optimizing without knowing it! Bloggers, I highly recommend you take the Colonel's recommendations seriously if you want to increase traffic.

Right now, if you Google "Robert Pearson" guess what the very top result is? This blog, beating out various artists, writers and diplomats who share that distinguished name. Is Google really, really smart, or really, really stupid? I guess I truly am optimized!

And by the way, why are you still here reading my drivel?

Hie thee over to Chessvine.com...cool as the other side of the pillow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Four New Moves That Will Make Your Opponent Melt

The one thing that no one can miss as they pass through the check out line at any grocery store in America (and Europe, and probably everywhere else) is the profusion of "women's" magazines that practically block the aisles. Running a store and marketing a magazine are both highly developed sciences, so you know that women are buying these things, People and Cosmo and Us and Soap Opera Digest and Self and Health &tc. by the millions--if not, they wouldn't be there.

Now, I'm the kind of person that likes to observe things like this and notice the little details, the ones that most of my fellow citizens, wandering in a half-daze through their lives and the check out line while chattering on their cell phones or staring at the Cosmo cover cheese cake, don't.

Things like moves.

The check out line mags are just full of moves. "Six moves to flatten your tummy," four moves to tighten your, err, buttocks as "bikini season" approaches and, most emphatically, three-four-seven-eleven moves that will, variously, leave your man panting for more/keep your man close to home/make your guy adultery proof/have your guy wrapped around your little finger for life. Cosmo seems to be the ultimate guide to these "moves," with each and every issue promising some variation on the ultimate sex moves your guy will worship you for.

This has gone on for years, and it occurred to me one day to ask just how many separate and distinct "moves" are anatomically possible that don't result in grievous bodily harm? Are women actually shelling out four or five dollars monthly for 300 pages of glossy non-biodegradable advertising and reading about the same limited set of sexual acts over and over? On the available evidence, I would have to conclude...sadly, yes.

Which brings us to the chess portion of today's post: Are you, Dear Reader, shelling out your chess playing/study time for the same limited set of opening moves, over and over? Do you consider yourself a "d4 player" or an "e4 player" who is somewhat uncomfortable outside his/her repertoire? If you answered "yes," here are four moves that, for the amateur, are well worth pulling out from time to time to give your games the spice of variety and perhaps even throw the opponent off psychologically, resulting in a gain of clock time and more importantly an open battle and a lot of fun playing chess!

AS WHITE:

1. f4 and 1. g3. These moves are pretty rare in tournament play, at least in my experience, especially 1. g3. Internet blitz games will bring out the occasional opponent who opens this way, but that's when you're Black. All the "authorities" say that 1. f4 "weakens the king's position" on move 1 or some such schlock, but it also tells the opponent you're an aggressive player who will try and blow him off the board if given the chance. A lot of Blacks will respond 1. ...d5 and now we have a Reversed Dutch Defense. I'm not going to analyze lines here, but in general I don't go for the Stonewall formation (f4-e3-d4), I like 1. f4 d5 2. g3, the Reversed Leningrad Dutch! Now Nf3, 0-0 and pretend like you've got a kind of super-King's Indian! An attack on the kingside is almost always called for! Also, if 1. f4 c5 2. e4 and you've got an aggressive system against the Sicilian Defense on the board. Against other moves like 1. f4 Nf6 you're almost guaranteed to be in a position that's out of both players' "books" within a few moves, which is the whole idea.

1. g3 is a move that has almost never been played against me in nearly 30 years of chess. Lots of people play 1. Nf3 and follow up with g3 as a way into the King's Indian Attack, but just very, very few people seem to want to allow 1. g3 e5, which is the move that really gives the opening independent significance. I think a lot of Blacks are actually a little afraid to be this "independent" and go in for 1. g3 d5 or 1. g3 Nf6 after which White can go for the Reti-English-Chameleon or 1. g3, 2. f4! (see above). 1. g3 is very flexible and kind of says to Black, "Go ahead, try and knock it off!"

(UPDATE 07/30/08: Taking my own advice, I played1. g3 in a few blitz games on FICS last night and blew the opposition off the board in two of them with a raging kingside attack!)

AS BLACK:

1. c4 b6 and 1. Nf3 c5. These moves are perfectly respectable "main lines" in many ways but against below-master opposition I think both can be good surprise weapons. 1. c4 b6 tempts White to follow up with 2. d4 and 3. e4, something that most "English" (1. c4) players are not all that comfortable with. If White doesn't seize the opportunity to get aggressive and just develops quietly, Black will also develop comfortably and just aim a lot of force at the e4 square. If White does seize space Black must play to undermine and destroy the big center, again with emphasis on controlling e4. A Bb4 pin will be effected if allowed. All in all, Black has to have the right attitude--excessive timidity can see Black's Bb7 buried and the rest of his position uncomfortably cramped. Not for the faint of heart, perhaps, but a nice change of pace for those who are looking for adventure.

1. Nf3 c5 as (again) mentioned here, is only suitable if Black is comfortable in the Open Sicilian, but how many 1. Nf3 players are aiming for the Sicilian? Answer, none. The first good feature of this sequence for Black is that 2. d4 is already neutralized, and that's where a lot of 1. Nf3 players would like to head, a Queen's Gambit or other form of Queen's Pawn Game without allowing the Budapest, Albin or other counter gambits or opening adventures. Black must be prepared for the Symmetrical English after 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 but that is hardly likely to make one quake in one's boots; also in that case, one can try to reach a Tarrasch Defense formation for Black with e6, d5 and Nf6 in some order, even if White holds back on d4.

None of this is offered as a panacea of any kind, but I recommend you try some of this stuff in blitz games to start out; psychologically, these moves will give you some edge in many games; against the less prepared you'll often gain some time on the clock, and if you run up against a speed specialist who knows all the "right" lines the worst you should come out with is equality, since none of these ideas are that really far out.

As always, any reader's thoughts and, especially, critiques are appreciated.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A Bit of Fide Master Silliness

Over at Liz Vicary's place, FM Jon Jacobs goes off in the comments to this post:

They and their blogs carry colorful handles like Liquid Egg Product, blunderprone, Wahrheit, and even Man de la Maza.

(snip)

Less politely, they could be described as a "cult" - the word I used in my first post here. The clincher is, despite the painstaking effort they pour into both the MDLM puzzle "circles" and documenting their progress on their blogs .... few if any of them are actually showing any chess improvement!

Since Jon-Boy obviously doesn't know what the hell he's talking about, I make a comment with a whole paragraph of bold type. I don't need to repeat it here, go ahead and check it out if you like...

Anyhoo, I must say it was all in good fun, I can only hope he'll stop by here and share his response, if he's up to the challenge of explaining what the hell he was talking about.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Change of Pace

The inimitable and unconquerable chessloser riffs on drunken monkey kung fu chess. Inspiring stuff.

Though not directly related, his post made me wonder if I might try to get out of my recent run of losses by doing something different, maybe just playing the opening freely, without preconception from the very first move...supposedly below master the opening isn't where the game is won or lost, right?

Instead of my usual tried and true set of variations, I'll go Dutch, or Reversed Dutch, or get really nutty and go Englund Gambit like BDK. Or maybe 1. Nf3 2. b3, or maybe 1. c4. All stuff I haven't played in a serious game for a long time, if ever.

Danish Gambit, Evans Gambit, King's Gambit anyone?

Changing openings isn't an end in itself, but I need to have more fun playing, loosen up and let it fly. My next opponent should be quaking in his boots or laughing his ass off.

Either way, I'll have 'im right where I want 'im!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Pregame Peregrinations

Here at Robert Pearson's Chess Blog we aim to please, to amuse, to educate, but most of all to enjoy. Andy Soltis has had a column in Chess Life for many years called "Chess to Enjoy," and I must say I have usually enjoyed "Chess to Enjoy" but I haven't always, though I've always enjoyed chess. Except for this game.

Anyway, the title of today's post aims to educate, because peregrinations is a word that's not used nearly often enough, along with peripatetic and perhaps zymurgy, which is the last word in most of those old-fashioned printed dictionaries that nerds like me used to read for fun back in the days before the Internets. We also walked to school in the snow back then, except for the years I lived in SoCal.

I think I've strayed from the subject slightly, but no matter, Blogger apparently has no limitations on word count, since GM James Plaskett once put up a 35,000+ word post with no visible ill effects.

But again, this has nothing to do with my game tonight, which according to the Reno Chess Club website will be as White against Mauricio Amaya IF EVERYONE SHOWS UP (emphasis in the original). Now the odds of "Everyone" showing up appear to me to be vanishingly small since "Everyone" is not signed up for this tournament but let it lie, let it lie. This post is full of pedantic grammar stuff, but not that pedantic. I had a friend who liked to say "Showing up is 80 percent" but I think I can prove mathematically that in chess showing up is only 50 percent--if you don't show up you will, indubitably, score ZERO points, but if you showed up an infinite number of times and played against people of the same class you would score 50 percent. This class of statistical analysis also indicates that if I played V. Anand enough times I would eventually score a win--even if it was only on the day after he finally decided to experiment with alcohol.

But enough; the purpose of these Pregame Peregrinations as I originally conceived them was to mentally prepare for the game tonight and in this they have succeeded admirably. And so, we bring these bloviations to a merciful conclusion.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rated PG

dating

One "F-word" used to get an R rating for the whole movie, but apparently times have changed.

(h/t James Stripes over at Patriots and Peoples. He also blogs Chess Skills.)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Surprise, Surprise

(For full story and annotations see this post at Eternity Road. Don't click on the link to her blog if you're offended by high heels).

Fetiche recently worked up enough courage -- all right, yes, your Curmudgeon helped chivvy her -- to go to a chess club in Santa Monica for a few face-to-face games.

"I walked in not knowing what to expect, but everyone was very nice. I was the only woman in the room; I got the feeling they weren't accustomed to female company. After a couple of minutes, a nice older man asked if I'd like to play. I said yes.

"'Are you good?" he asked as we set up the pieces.

"'I've only been playing for a year, but I love the game,' I said.

"He smiled. 'Well, let's see if I can amuse you a little,' he said."


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An Hilarious Position


Black to move and...be slowly and quietly ground into dust as his king and bishop can never escape their prison cell.

From IM Igor Khmelnitsky's column in Chessville Weekly--you might want to sign up for their free, and enjoyable, email!

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Little Follow-on

My previous post on Ratings Snobs, "Different Games" and Piles of Horse Dung succeeded in starting some stimulating discussion, and for that I am grateful. Today, a brief expansion of a couple of points:

1) Publishing my IQ and my estimated rating at "life" (2300) were both given in a spirit of humor and humility--hmmm, if I'm so smart why am I a mid-level bureaucrat with 1607 USCF rating :)--but Loomis summed up what I was trying to get at very nicely:

The problem is that chess players often try to carry what they've earned on the chess board to the rest of life. When chess players are together, for some reason their ratings impact every social interaction, chess related or not. That to me is bizarre.

Well and succinctly said!

I guess I could also sum it up by saying having a 2200 rating doesn't make you a Master of Life, nor does it make your opinion on who ought to be the next President of the U.S. or any other political or social issue worth more than that of a person rated 1200.

2) I got on Mig Greengard for writing:

I've often said that elite chess is a very different game from amateur chess

but meant the critique mainly for the terminology ("a very different game"). To expand, the difference at the very top (say 2700+ or -; there's no bright line) is that the opponent isn't going to make very many mistakes (though few games will be "perfect"), and so obtaining some advantage as White, or equality as Black, is a lot more important than at lower levels. Even at the 2500-2600 level a GM is going to get more opportunities in most games, with either color, to redress the balance after an inaccuracy or two. So in a tournament like Mexico City openings are more important than for the rest of us, agreed. But the terminology employed seems designed to separate these guys as some kind of demigods or something--us chess proletarians just don't understand what's going on, y'know. But if that's really true, why should the rest of us waste our time looking at the games, buying these guys' books or supporting Superduper-GM chess in any way, when we could be spending it on our tactics exercises and studying our own games? I'm just sayin', that's where the "different game" logic leads.

Anyway, heartiest congratulation to Anand, World Champion. Better get those openings ready for Kramnik...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ratings Snobs, "Different Games" and Piles of Horse Dung

WARNING: Prepare for extreme eclecticism

First, I discovered a real treat in Elizabeth Vicary's USCL news and gossip blog, wherein her sense of humor and the absurd are allowed to shine through in a way that's not appropriate in her very competent reporting for the USCF (example). In a word, I find this blog hilarious. In a recent post though, she makes a semi-serious point:

The most recent issue of New In Chess Magazine has a letter from a reader, David Wright of Sacramento, who takes Jonathan Rowson to task for his condescending review of Josh Waitzkin’s book The Art of Learning. While Rowson makes it clear that he essentially likes the book, his main point is that Josh can’t really be so good at learning or he would have made GM. David Wright’s point is that this attitude is more ungenerous than it is correct, and I think I agree. But it's also par for the course in the chess world: the belief that the higher your rating is, the more you have a right to an opinion. If you’re not at least a master, or in Josh’s case a grandmaster, then your experience is inauthentic and doesn’t really count. And you certainly shouldn’t have the arrogance to write a best-selling book.

Now I happen to love J. Rowson's writing--in fact I'm devouring Chess for Zebras right now-- but Elizabeth hits the nail on the head here; related to this idea that if you're not highly rated you can't write a worthwhile chess book is a kind of "desperate elitism" that's endemic around the chess scene, where 1700-rated people who are mediocrities in the game of life turn up their noses at 1300- rated guys who arrive at the club in BMWs, and are in turn looked down upon by 2200-rated people who can't drive a car, hold a job or take a shower.

I'm exaggerating for effect here, but I challenge anybody who has attended clubs and tournaments for any length of time to tell me this isn't true: For a certain portion of us chess geeks rating is a substitute for failures in other areas of life and lack of self-esteem. And a portion of GMs and IMs have the same syndrome, only worse: "I'm a Chess God, and I don't have time to bother with you Little People." This is not true of all strong players, and I could name several that I've talked to at tournaments who turned out to be very nice people. But when you have a high rating it's tempting to correlate ratings with intelligence and success. As much as I love and enjoy the game I can also see a bigger picture, and I'm not buying into that at all.

On a somewhat related note, over at Mig Greengard's Daily Dirt I spotted some more high-level drivel in this post:

I've often said that elite chess is a very different game from amateur chess

Yeah, I've often read this sort of horseshit before, too. Some old book by Reinfeld made a statement like this, and I laughed then--that's what they would like us to think, so we'll keep stroking their egos and paying them for books and lessons. Now Mig was talking about openings and all the super-duper high-level mysterious inscrutable prep these guys go through in order to keep up--but let's try the sentence with some substitutions:

I've often said that NFL football is a very different game from sandlot football

Well, the players are bigger, faster and more skilled and they spend all freakin' day working out, practicing, watching film and planning their plays. It's the same damned game, but played at a higher level. So is the chess in Mexico City versus what will be going on at the Reno Chess Club this evening.

Back to Elizabeth Vicary for a moment; in the comments to her most recent post "anonymous" (who seems, very, very busy in that thread) says, "What kind of attitude would you expect from someone who has spent 15 years as an A/Expert player. Break 2200 someday, and then, maybe, the grandiose opinions you have for yourself may not be so insulting to people who have earned their ratings, titles and ability." She replied:

Oh, I'm sorry, anonymous. I didn't mean to insult your enormous rating. It's a shame we can't all appreciate it because you are too CHICKENSH*T to post under your own name. You know why I get to express my opinions? Because it's MY BLOG.

Bravo! And this is MY BLOG here, and I have a USCF rating of 1607 and and IQ of 140. I'd estimate my rating at life its own self at 2300, and rising. And I, too, allow anonymous comments, so let the games begin.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Strange Conversation With Zed

I noticed from the referrer log on my sitemeter that this little blog is now listed on the French-language link page Nouveaux liens and discovered a whole world of new (to me) chess sites there.

While I haven't had time to really explore this extensive list, I randomly clicked a few including Zed the Chessbot, which sounded like a hoot. From the entry on Nouveaux liens page:

Est un robot d'échecs hébergé, qui est capable de communiquer sur les échecs. J'ai posé la question provocatrice "nulle?" à Zed, qui a répondu "ce que vous avez dit était trop complexe ou trop simple pour moi", une réponse presque digne de l'oracle de Delphes.

Ha, that's a good one! My experience was similar, and here's a bit of give and take that just cracked me up:

You: What is V. Kramnik's current rating?
Zed: Do you have any conditions I should know about?

You: I have an aversion to the Open Game as black.
Zed: Where did you get it ?

You: I caught it from Fischer.
Zed: I hope it is not contagious. Also I hope you get well soon.

You: I will, with a steady diet of the Sicilian Defense.
Zed: I lost my train of thought.

You: Your train of thought seems to have left the tracks a long time ago.
Zed: it left the station with out me.

Note to programmer--BACK TO THE DRAWING(KEY)BOARD!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chessloser Reflects on His First Tournament

In his inimitable style, here.

I note his descriptions of some chess parents, and I cringe:

outside, i thank him. i tell his mom and coach he played really well, i got lucky. his mom is angry at him, his coach is angry at him. his mom says “you didn’t get lucky, he played bad and let you get lucky.” i thank her and quickly back away. poor kid.

I have some thoughts about this and related subjects which I'll be sharing with you soon...in the meantime, see also his interview with FM Danny Rensch.

What a blogger, what a blog!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Coruscating Brilliance of Chessloser, Again

I've always wanted to use the word "coruscating" in a post but the chance never came--until now.

I mentioned chessloser in terms of laughter a couple of weeks ago, but now he's reached the level of art, of prose/poetry so ravishingly beautiful that lachrymosity is a real possibility.

Chess is fun again.

I'm feeling the bonds of worry over my silly USCF rating weakening, fear of making a blunder receding. A great joy has been restored; I'm seeing the chess world with new eyes, like a babe born at the beginning of the universe, the big bang, which obviously contained the seed of chess within the original constants of nature...otherwise it wouldn't be here. In plain language, chessloser has confirmed the Strong Anthropic Principle for me, somehow, not directly but through the humor, the kind of playfulness G-d showed when He created the Knight, en passant and Nimzovich's Threat stronger than his Execution.

Enough, here's the stuff of genius from today's post:

yesterday i became a real chessman. yesterday, the postman delivered the one thing that makes me a bona fide chessplayer. yesterday, i got my chessclock. that’s like a surfer getting his surfboard, or a postal worker getting his high powered rifle with the scope. anyone can play chess, but only those who are commited (or should be, ha ha) have a chess clock. it is black and sleek, hand crafted out of only the finest in cheap plastic, lovingly and carefully assembled by the skilled artisinal hands of cheap chinese labor. that’s right, just like a lambourghini or fine wine, i have an IMPORT. i have an IMPORTED chess clock. how classy is that?

Tell it, man, tell it...

i think my role in the chess world is to set up challenging situations for people to work out, get out of, then turn the tables and send me and my brand new chess clock home with nothing to show for my efforts.

No my friend, your role is to make men happy...

i will flaunt my cool chess clock pretentiously, like the dorks who sit around in public, “reading” a thomas pynchon novel. (pardon me, i hope my reading “the crying of lot 49″ isn’t getting in your way, is it?”)

(...)

i need to stay mentally alert in the tournament. when i lose, i can’t let it affect my next games. this could be a problem. i’m italian, and so i get passionate. sadly, i’ve become passionate about something i suck at.

at least i have a cool chess clock though.

That was so damn beautiful. Especially the Tom Pynchon reference. I would've used Gravity's Rainbow, though. It's a lot thicker.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The King of Chess Comedy

A few days ago I linked to a new blogger, chessloser, with the remark that "Chess is supposed to be fun, right?"

Well, chessloser is rapidly rising to the top of the chess blogosphere in terms of laugh value per post! Here are a few recent samples:

i'm just like tal, only i lose:

the only difference, really, between him and me is, he knew what he was doing, he calculated and analized and had a plan, and he won the majority of his games, where as i have the wreckless sacrificing down pat, the bravado, but i don’t back any of it up with sound play or a halfway decent plan, i often fail to see the consequences of my moves, and then i lose miserably. but, every once in a while, i catch someone on a bad day, and it works out for me, like in this game here.

(...)

in move 10, i take that damned horse, because he pisses me off, and i want to attack the castle but he gets in the way, so i am a bishop down but in my bizarro world, i now have the advantage...

Also, the hottest chess photo ever (don't worry, not pornographic), is available at the bottom of the post.

holy freakin' crap:

the second game, when i was white, i had sacrificed my pieces like some crazy aztec high priest trying to appease the gods, i was down to a queen and a rook, he had a queen, a rook, and both horses. i did have more pawns, so if i made it to an endgame, i’d be in good shape. i made a final sac of my rook, which he took with his horse, which i wanted. the horse was guarding a square i needed, and he didn’t even know it. that square let me skewer his king and take his queen. all i had was a queen, he had both horses and a rook, and from there, it was a series of forks as i took out piece by piece, like a sniper.

WARNING: If an occasional obscenity or profanity offends you, don't go over there. If Don Imus offends you, don't go over there. Otherwise, for a unique chess blog experience, DO go over there.