Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Potpurri of Good Stuff

For the last week or so a great number of thoughts, links and references have been running through my mind, and so here, in no particular order, are the ones I can remember and/or wrote down or bookmarked during the fallow period (The rest, which I've forgotten or perhaps remembered during a period when I wasn't near a computer and then have forgotten again, will have to be noted later):

Eric Shoemaker, fellow Reno Chess Club member and blogger, deleted his other blogs and intends to consolidate his chess blogging at Shoemaker's Hidden Study...; excerpts from a comment he left here:

I have begun a very ambitious project...

I am going through all of my chess books, one by one and my favorite "stuff" is making it to the blog, so as to create a very lengthy "study session." Naturally, there will be tactics, endgames, games, game extracts, personal successes, etc and much less talk about myself.

Sounds very interesting, and yes, Eric, I will try to assist you on the technical side.

Another Reno player, Soapstone, gives some autobiography in My Chess Career. Capablanca used that title, too; hope the parallels continue, Ernie!

Somewhere in the last week I bookmarked a link to a 2006 post by Kathy Sierra, "How to be an expert;" there is mention of chess grandmastership, but more importantly, the article could inspire anyone in any field, especially the "mature" person (like me). Oh wait, credit goes to J'adoube via BDK's Confessions (comments) for the link.

How can it be possible that I'm the last person in the chess blogosphere to link Reassembler (aka Derek Slater)? One of the best writers and commenters around, on much more than chess. Sometimes I am so lame...

A cool blog that has nothing to do with chess, but everything to do with my other favorite subject, individualism--The Bidinotto Blog:

If somebody spikes the drinking water of Republican primary voters with a hallucinogenic drug, and Huckabee wins, I'd have to seriously weigh the unthinkable: voting for a Democrat. Hell, I might vote for Obama over Huckabee -- then go out and get drunk. And stay that way for four years.

LMAO! And now back to chess...

Ashu Ailani, one of the people who was near the incident described in my A for Asshat post added a comment (scroll down) but I'm still a little confused.

Polly of Castling Queen Side has a lot more fashion sense than most chess players.

The excellent Michael Goeller at The Kenilworthian had a superb post on Chess Amateurism that stimulated thoughtful discussion, including the observation that chess professionals need amateurs, but the reverse is not necessarily true! As I noted previously, if GM chess is a "different game" then:

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.

There is so much free material and instruction available on the Web these days that chess "professionals" are going to have to really add value if they want to get paid for it. Just my opinion.

Streatham & Brixton CC's blog has a continuing series of posts by "Geoff Scorebook, English Grandmaster." Just, frickin,' hilarious. Genius! Here's the latest.

The latest serial post from dk at Chess Improvement is a work of art. Visually and every other way.

Glenn Wilson of Houston has an excellent blog that I have missed linking previously. My bad!

Wormwood on How Deep Do You Look? is worth more than a look. Read the whole thing. I will point you to my comment on this post by BDK:

A lot of good points in comments here but I don't know if anyone has really penetrated to what I feel is the heart of the quote; from my own experience I can say that for many, many years I always tried to do something in most every position, always going forward if possible, attacking something, threatening something, always trying to be "forceful," in a word.

Well, this is often called for, but lately I've had some pretty good success with just "being" (as J. Rowson calls it), waiting for the opponent's mistake before doing something forceful to take advantage of it. I just try to play a healthy opening, not a sharp one, and build up my position while limiting the other person's options and opportunities. This isn't "negative" chess, and I'm no Petrosian, but it does cut down on mistakes from my side.

Now, does anyone have a comment on my comment? I'd love a little debate on the approach outlined here v. "attacking chess."


Derek Slater said...

Hi - thank you for the unjustifiably kind words :) You've done your own blog carnival here, only without the controversy!

I think it's great that you included the non-chess-related link on individualism. That'll help those blend-in-at-all-costs conformists like chessloser, dk-transformation and liquid egg. (heh.)

drunknknite said...

Nice post, a lot of good stuff.

That article is certainly inspiring to all.

As for your comment on 'being', I can appreciate this mentality. For even an attacking player must lie quietly in wait like a lion watching his prey.

Wahrheit said...

Thanks Kevin, and that's what I'm trying to say,I guess; I'm still an "attacking player" if I see an opportunity, but I spend more time than I used to trying to understand the opponent's intentions, and less (or none) trying to "force" the position. The opportunities will come if, as you say, you lie in wait like a lion. Excellent metaphor for what I'm driving at.

Anonymous said...

An occasional change of pace is always appreciated.

@Derek: This is where I learned about conformity