Championship not Super Bowl

Just in case you were tempted to call the Topalov vs. Kramnik match the "superbowl of chess" this article warns you of the dangers of trademarking. Wouldn't want Kirsan and FIDE getting sued by the NFL now would we.

Seriously, Kramnik is a match play giant. Just as he surprised Kasparov in their championship duel in 2000, Kramnik has jumped out to a large lead. Just as in 2000, Kramnik is the underdog. Kramnik's play style is to tend towards precision rather than dynamic play which makes him tough to beat in a match. They say he is a drawing master, but if you make a mistake he will make you pay for it. This match so far is giving me a great deal of respect for Kramnik. I think playing "match style" championships is a completely different game compared to "tournament" style championships.


More Maine Chess! Congrats Ms. Bryan

This essay details a young Maine girl's trip to a national chess tournament. Apparently the experience has really given her an even bigger appetite for the game. When I played Scholastic chess in Maine (ahem 15-20 yrs ago) there were 3 or 4 fairly strong young women who I had to compete against. I'm glad to see the scholastic chess, and women's chess is still going strong in Maine.

This state is difficult to find tournaments in, due to sparse population and winter road conditions. However, theres nothing better to do on a snowy day with temperatures hovering around 0 F than to play chess. I would think Maine would have a stronger chess following.

My original purpose in this blog/website was to try to post some historical information about the Monmouth Chess Teams I was a part of. This post brings back a bit of that desire to chronicle some of the moments that made chess such a big part of my life. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Margaret.

Hat tip to: Chessmaine.net as well for the Polgar tournament coverage.


World no longer like Chess?

We often see things compared to chess. The football game was like a chess match between the two coaches. But this U. Maine Preque Isle student's article says the world is no longer like a chess match between two world powers. Apparently there are too many players today.

Personally I just think Osama is a patzer.


And I thought I was indefensible

Apparently this blogger disagrees. He has other posts about backwards pawns too.

MF Yanks worship Caissa, while cruising to Playoffs

As I mourn my redsox this September the Boston herald decides to illustrate the MFY's composure with this statement.

While pitcher Cory Lidle gave the media a vague-sounding medical dissertation about how his fingers are hurting because he’s throwing a splitter too much, backup catcher Sal Fasano and pitching coach Ron Guidry were enjoying an intense, quiet game of chess.

I bet if Curt Schilling played Chess instead of video games the sox would still be in the post-season chase!


Unification? Whoopty doo

So there's this big match coming up. I guess I should be thrilled, I've kind of followed the destruction of FIDE since Kasparov initially split 15ish years ago. However, as long as Kirsan the criminal is president of FIDE a dubious cloud will hang over any championship.

I guess we can all hope for some good Chess. Starting Sept 23rd Topalov and Kramnik will play a 12 game match in Elista, Kalmykia. Topolov is the FIDE champion having won a tournament for the title early this year. Kramnik holds the "Classical Chess" title when he won a match vs. Garry Kasparov before Kasparov officially came back to FIDE. This match is supposed to unify the titles and again bring the Chess Championship title under FIDE and Kirsans control. I think there is still some animosity about who gets a "title shot" and who doesn't since Kramnik has slid down the world ranking list since he defeated Kasparov.

At least when this is over I will hopefully be able to just say "The Chess Champion of the World" and not have to launch into some lengthy explanation.

Paranoia over the board

This post at the Boylston Chess Club blog revels in a rules changes that mandates a player must move and then write down his move, not vice-versa. Apparently it is "note-taking" if you write down a move before its made. Honestly this doesn't send my blood pressure sky-rocketing to dangerous levels.. but I think its a pretty weak rule.

First let me decribe my typical move process.

1. Write down opponents recently made move
2. Analyze position
3. Select a move
4. Write down selected move
5. Perform "blunder check"
6. Make move
7. Press clock

The action of writing the selected move, then performing the blunder check breaks your train of thought enough to sometime catch overlooked and often obvious mistakes. I find it a useful tool. Its also a tool that may come into play once every 2 or 3 games. I do on occassion change my mind after writing down the move and performing the blunder check, but not frequently enough that it should bother any one.

And that brings me to the real issue I have here. Why does any one care what I've written down. Look at the board and the position instead of what I am doing. That is what chess is all about. It was brought up that people could potentially come to the board and write down reams of notes that they had crammed just prior to a game. To this I call hogwash. In all the tournaments I've ever been a part of I've never seen anything even close to this.

I'm unsure where I actually stand on note-taking .. I mean actual note taking .. not just writing down your move before the move is played. It some respects I don't see the problem with someone writing down a line as they work it out at the board. Its their time on the time control. Why should someone who works better on paper be penalized over someone who works best in their head. Come to think of it, I don't like when someone looks up and to the left during a game. That indicates the brain is accessing long term memory and gives me a distinct disadvantage. Can we outlaw that too?

Anyway even IF note-taking should be illegal I think tournament directors should decide what is and isn't note-taking on a case-by-case basis. This rule is a bit far reaching and misguided in my opinion. At least if it was a TD decision and I didn't like a particular decision I could just boycott tournaments directed by that particular TD in the future.

Anyway let the debate rage on. At least I've tried to formulate a counter argument and I feel a bit better about the whole issue now that I've said my peice.

Edit: For the record while I pre-write my moves, I never have attempted to "cover them up". Either way I direct you to my previous comment, "who cares what I'm doing, study the board bloke".


Oh Em Geee

I read Chessbase just about everyday, and they often have pictorial reports with stunning chess footage but this article takes the cake. I've played chess with an attractive female before a time or two... but not with anybody THAT perky.

Just a fair warning, this could be concidered unsafe for work content.