Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Uselessness of Chess?

From Edward Winter's Chess Notes (4141):

The harmlessness of chess was a theme taken up again by Lord Dunsany the following year in what is perhaps the finest chess poem ever written in English. It marked the death of R.H.S. Stevenson and was published on page 74 of the April 1943 BCM:

One art they say is of no use;
The mellow evenings spent at chess,
The thrill, the triumph, and the truce
To every care, are valueless.

And yet, if all whose hopes were set
On harming man played chess instead,
We should have cities standing yet
Which now are dust upon the dead.

I couldn't agree more. And I encourage you to visit the rest of Winter's superb site, the finest chess history archive on the web

Monday, January 30, 2006

Quo Vadis?

So where am I in chess, and where do I want to go? I just returned to tournament chess a couple of months ago after a lay-off of over two years,and right now I'm trying to play myself into shape for the Reno Chess Club (RCC) class championships and club championship later this year. Also, a fairly large Swiss, the Far West Open is coming in April and I want to represent well there. The overall goal is to raise my rating, which peaked at around 1825 in the early 1990s, up from the current 1600 and have fun doing it.

I really enjoy playing, win or lose, but if I lose I want to give a better account of myself, and of course I do want to win more often. Nothing wrong with that.

So to put it on record in a concrete fashion, my ideal program for the year 2006:
  • Win the RCC B-class championship. Having taken the measure of the other B-players over the last couple of months I don't think this is unrealistic, if I play my best. But it won't be easy.
  • A plus score (at least 3.5 out of 6) at the Far West Open. Given that I'll be one of the lowest rated in my section, this seems a reasonable goal, and would also raise my rating somewhat.
  • End 2006 with a rating over 1700.
How I plan to study and prepare to accomplish these goals will be the subject of the next post.

Corus 2006

Dennis Monokroussos is a strong master and blogs at The Chess Mind, which is, simply, one of the best all-round chess blogs available. Here on one page is his coverage of the recent Corus tournament, with plenty of quality game analysis. Enjoy!

New! Exciting! Chess Blog!

Well, two out of three would be okay. I love chess--playing it, studying it, reading about it. My other blog had a chess item or two, but I've decided my chess life needs it's own blog.

More to come!