Sunday, April 01, 2007

Letter to Knights from Michael de la Maza

Last night while practicing tactics I checked my inbox and would you believe, I had gotten a letter from Michael de la Maza, the cause celebre of the Knights Errant! After some very generous and kind words, he shared some interesting thoughts, which I'll include here in their entirety:
I've known about the Knights Errant for a couple of years now, since it consisted only of Don, Sancho, and Pale Morning Dun. It was very uplifting to see the Knights grow, and to see the creative ways that people have modified my original program to fit their schedules. Many people have wondered what I have been doing since I won the U2000 at the World Open. Well, surprisingly, I have found a lucrative career in the world of competitive Tic Tac Toe! Believe it or not, there is a rather large gaming subculture devoted to this most ancient of games, and a huge literature dating back over 300 years. Just like with chess, most of the books are on opening theory, but also like chess, the most important thing to learn is tactics. I have developed a version of the Circles for Tic Tac Toe training, which I call the Nine Squares, which involves playing through a database of all possible games of Tic Tac Toe nine times (there are approximately 1 million possible games of Tic Tac Toe). So far, I have made about 130,000 bucks in this unlikely endeavor.

Well, keep up with the chess, and hope to see you on the 3x3! Oh, and tell J'adoube that he should give up on Carolina: Duke is on the way up, and will go undefeated against those powder-blue smurfs next year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

april fools! ;)

you had me going there for a minute

4/01/2007 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...


I want to believe. But tic tac toe?


4/01/2007 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Go Tarheels!

4/02/2007 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Pearson said...

Well done! That was LOL, man.

4/02/2007 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger XY said...

Funny. :)

4/02/2007 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Dr Munky said...

I can't believe I read all of that and didn't get it until the end,

4/04/2007 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger transformation said...

chessBase9 has a special tool for tick tac toe, following nimzovitch's cannonical treatment of open files, isolani, and further building upon hans kmocks treatment of sweepers and sealers in pawn structure. de maza is now working at google, in data compression, caching and proxying, and has no further time for chess, but evidently tic, tac, toe has a regimine rivaling the most arcain japanense disciplines of Kanzen or continuous business improvement, such as only seen by gargantuan sumo wrestlers at a sunday meal.

4/07/2007 03:09:00 AM  

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