Wednesday, May 30, 2007


A beautiful problem from phase 5 of CTB. Black to move.

(White on bottom)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

MIA for a while

I've been gone for some quite some time. Unfortunately, I have not been playing a lot of chess in between. However all of that changed today! I'm back on my regimen full blast :)

Not only that but I received my incredibly cheap copy of fritz a few short days ago thanks to the link hisbestfriend placed on his sidebar. Now I can finally get my Rybka to work! The Fritz/Rybka dual analysis setup is probably the best you can get on a PC. It's far better than my previous Crafty/ChessMaster 10th edition setup thats for sure.

I've also made some progress in my blindfold chess drills. I've learned to break the board up into components rather than trying to visualize a vast maze of alternating colors. Check it out:

Granted, everyones mind works differently and there are infinite ways to break up the board. I find using this approach works well for me. You've got your base squares, one with a black X, one with a white X. Then you've got your connecting pieces, one with whites on the outside and ones with blacks on the outside. And of course you've got the center. Put it all together and you've got the board!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Tournament was a Success!

Best of all my star player showed up! He did a great job representing YMCA Central all by himself :D Check out the pictures below:

I also got word that BASIC will continue on through the summer! I know I would be a lot better teacher the second time around so I'm looking forward to it :)

Teaching chess to kids is HARD. This next time around though, I'm going to try and instill three basic principles by repeatedly saying them every day we meet.

1. Control the center with your center pawns

2. Move all your Knights and Bishops Out

3. Castle

From now on, I won't even bother to tell them about certain things like not moving the pawns in front of their castle, rooks are worth more than bishops, etc. because doing so would overwhelm and ultimately discourage them in the long run. My job is to promote chess and help create a love for the game, not be their coach when they're not even sure they like the game in the first place. I need more of a laissez faire approach to teaching chess I think.

I'm also going to buy a lot more boards so all the kids can play each other. Since we had a shortage of boards it was always me playing all of the kids together on one board. But the kids always had move disagreements and my helpful tips probably came off as discouraging. From now on I'll loudly say those three principles at the beginning of the day, at the end, and maybe a few times in between but the rest of the time I'll just set up the pieces, let the kids play each other and answer any questions they might have.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lots of Pain

Well after a year of needing it, I finally went ahead and got reconstructive knee surgery for a torn ACL + meniscus. I envisioned myself playing a lot of chess in the post op period. Boy was I wrong.

I don't feel so nauseas anymore, but that has only been replaced by an excruciating throbbing pain all over my leg. Needless to say, chess has not been a priority.

The picture above is a very accurate depiction of my current emotional state :(

In brighter news, today is the culmination of all the BASIC chess league tutoring, in the form of a huge scholastic tournament pitting together the best and brightest from all the YMCA's in the city!

Me and Johnny hold down the largest and loudest of the YMCA's at the Central Branch. We've got some dangerous players that not only know how to castle and develop their pieces, but do so on a regular basis ;)

I've got high hopes for our kids, and win or lose it should be a good time with free pizza and trophies for all! :)

Now I'm off to hobble over to the Navy Yard with plenty of Percosets on hand, it should be an exciting tournament :D

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Why haven't retards taken over the chess world?

Now I'm not talking about your run of the mill retard, I'm talking about those autistic savant genius retards. If they really have such incredible mental abilities, why isn't the #1 chess player in the world retarded?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Chessboard Bandana!

This is probably one of the coolest things ever made. For the first time ever, you can be totally badass and ready for some chess action at a moments notice. Although if you sweat a lot it could get pretty gross I suppose.. Nevertheless this is a smart buy no matter which way you look at it.

You can pick up your own at

After reading Blue Devil Knights latest post I've decided to play and analyze a game each day rather than just on the weekends. I need to apply what I've learned each day every day, I think that's some great advice right there.

Also, I've decided to add a cool little google document to chart my progress like the Common Man does it :)

Check it out on the top right :D