I certainly have no chance in hell to match the wide-ranging polymath Prof. Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, but I occasionally get the urge to bring a bunch of items together here for your (and my) entertainment and instruction. It's not a blog carnival, it's an idiosyncratic mishmash!
Blue Devil Knight, as promised, previews his "last post for a long time," a vlog--he's been one of the best and most popular chess bloggers around for a good long time, and he has been missed, but he's having fun with chess and that's what it's all about, people. Meanwhile, his successor as Sec. of Knights, Samurai, is also bowing out and now passes the torch to Glenn Wilson. And for the trifecta, Pale Morning Dun says Farewell for Now.
Edwin Meyer points out an interesting book by FM Charles Hertan, Forcing Chess Moves:
This rich book on chess tactics proposes a revolutionary method for finding winning moves. Charles Hertan has made an astonishing discovery: the failure to consider key moves is often due to human bias. Your brain tends to disregard many winning moves because they are counter-intuitive or look unnatural.
Right! While I'm no big believer that thinking like a computer is the path to success in practical chess play, the fact is we do tend to overlook strong moves that don't "look right." An example, gorckat in the first round of the Tournament of the LEPers:
"I didn't give b4 enough thought, but it's about a pawn better than my Na4, according to Crafty."
And in the comments, LEP himself says: "That move seems unnatural, and I may not have even considered it. The pawn structure looks ugly, the b4 Pawn simply looks more vulnerable, and the Knight loses its protection." Exactly. I too need to open my mind to more unnatural moves. (For the whole game see here at Glenn Wilson's).
Castling Queen Side (here, here, here and here &tc--how about some labels, Polly?), Reassembler and The Kenilworthian all have reports and photos from the US Amateur Team East. Sounds like a blast--we even have at least one person in my town who used to live back there and returns every year just for this event.
Some blogs REALLY worth your time: Temposchlucker has been working with Phaederus, a certified (Dutch) trainer with a lot of great stuff on his blog for us "improving" players. IM Mark Ginsburg has a marvelous bloggy mix of (personal) history plus quality games and annotations. Journalist, organizer, arbiter and all-round chess guy John Hillery is now blogging at Western Chess. Soapstone pointed me to Dana Mackenzie's great blog. These will be added to the blogroll--if you haven't posted since November 1, 2007 I'm afraid you're about to be cut from the roll of honor.
If you don't see your blog on the list at right, and you'd like it to be, leave a comment and I'll be glad to add.
Okay, I'd better quit blothering and go do some things to help me become a stronger player.
(UPDATE 02.20.08: I added the new and great blogs listed but didn't cut anyone. Yet. I'm such a softy).
(UPDATE 2--Chessaholic commented, and it reminded me that he has a great blog that should also be on the sidebar. Sorry it took so long!)