Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Grandmaster Envy

Any amateur chess player has a certain respect and even awe for the Grandmaster. It's like the "super hero" of chess...if you will.

But what separates you or me from the GM? Only a few things really...but very important things I'm afraid.

  • mathematical mind
  • undying thirst to solve puzzles
  • parents who promote the chess culture/game
I'm sure there are more factors, but these are the ones identified by several of my IM and GM acquaintances. How this factors come together is very interesting and deserves further attention(!?)...if you will.

Soon I will be featuring a GM that is selfless, innovative, and refreshing to watch. He also doesn't mind sharing some secrets of his!

Stay tuned...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Easy Ways to Chess Posting

OK, please...

Share your experience with the easiest way to post chess games on a site/blog. I have come across several ways, starting with Chessbase 8, palmate, etc...

Please share your exact steps that you use, or can use..to post to a site an interesting game. If you ever want a game published, let me know!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Glimpse At Alternative Openings

Ok, so we want an alternative opening...for whatever reason. Maybe for blitz, maybe bullet, maybe even OTB! (not horse racing :).

Where do you turn to? Most will not go very far in the search honestly. But many will, and they will turn to higher ranked players, namely the GM's on the major chess networks such as ICC.

I recently have been studying a set of openings that a very high ranking GM uses for blitz. His results are amazing, against great competition. What does this mean? A couple things.

  1. The alternative opening is NOT leading to a winning position in classical chess!
  2. The chosen opening DOES lead to LESS STUDIED ideas, leading to some advantage in blitz chess! (Time, psychology, tactics, etc...)
  3. The Human Element: objective equality (computer assessment) doesn't equal REAL World equality ( more later).
It will be nice to explore many of these openings that lead to such positions that lead to complex positions that are assessed as simply =...

More next time, I have several ideas of chess openings that aren't so clear :)

Not So Equal

You know it, I know it...There are endless opening ideas in chess. This is great news!

But look, my idea has nothing to do with exploring the endless variations in the Dragon Sicilian, Najdorf, or even the Ruy Lopez. Instead, I'd rather offer some interesting discussion about the presumed (=) openings that maybe aren't so (=).

A far underrated factor in chess is the principle of surprise value. Not only that, but all that comes with it, namely:

  • Time advantage
  • Familiar turf (pattern recognition)
  • Psychological factors
  • Physio-response (blood pressure, autonomic nervous response..etc)
Over 18 years I have studied on and off with several GrandMasters, International Masters and other notable masters of chess. I have had the priveledge of teaching youngsters in schools and privately for 10 years, thankfully. Whatever the reason (time, interest, family, oppositional defiance!) I have never been a full fledged theory kind of guy in the opening, but I don't reject the value either. So this log is born from the idea that in chess, and especially blitz, the ideas that objective equality result in equality are challenged.

My hope is to examine openings that present real challenges, despite their computer "score." I hope you will enjoy and add to the discussion!