Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The following is an exhaustive system for classifying chess bloggers. Which one(s) are you? Disclaimer: those with thin skin might want to stop here...I tried to insult pretty much everyone. If you suspect one of them was written specifically with you in mind, you are probably right.

1. Phlogiston. A blogger without ego.

2. The scholar. Sucks at chess, but that never made him stop pontificating about the game.

3. The entrepeneur. Someone whose advertising content takes up a larger surface area of his blog than the chess content.

4. The newbie. Usually very excited, and will attack with vigor subjects that have been beaten to death before he got here. E.g., will excitedly let everyone know about this great web site 'Chess Tactics Server' and this guy 'Dan Heisman' who has this great idea of playing 'real chess.' Every six months one will come along and tell us why the Circles are stupid because they ignore strategy, which after all, gives you the types of positions that will lead to tactical opportunities (enough so that we have a FAQ question devoted to this newbie).

5. The workaday. Consistently publishes good content, updates consistently, doesn't whine, and generally offers sympathetic and unsanctimonious help to others. Hmmm....too bad phlogiston is already taken.

6. DK-Transform. Deserves his own category. An interesting mixture of vulnerability, passion, and workaholism. At first you will be tempted to say 'TMI' to everything he says, but he will probably grow on you.

7. The disgruntled grad student. What better way to procastinate writing that thesis than to write about a frivolous game that you shouldn't be playing because you need to write?

8. The cool one. The person who spends hours writing about chess on a blog, but thinks he is not a geek.

9. The outsider. Writes about other blogs, historical treatises on openings, provides annotated games, but never really lets us in. Penny for your thoughts? What are you scared of, Mr Outsider? Let us inside. Let us love you.

10. Resident GM. In the chess blogosphere subculture, the player who is top dog on the board that everyone defers to in ultimate arguments about chess.

11. The gossip. Writes not about chess, but what chess players are doing.

12. The absent father. The old-time blogger that has gone inactive, who everyone respects, and every now and then comes and leaves a cryptic comment on your blog, or even his own blog. Everyone rejoices, "Daddy is home, yeah, maybe he'll pay attention to me again!" But then you hear those words, "I'm just going out for some cigarettes. I'll be right back."

13. The tease. It was a chess blog, but what the hell happened to it? Now all we're reading about is fishing and job hunting.

14. The self-hater. Cannot write a post without reminding us how much he sucks at chess.

15. The egomaniac. Puts (TM) after every phrase, as if every utterance coming out of her mouth were an original brilliant insight that must be copyrighted.

16. The pedant. He will always be very patient in educating you in a condescending manner. If you question him, he will either not reply, or give another condescending answer that ends with, "Hope that helps." Often overlaps with the scholar personality (see # 2).

17. The bore. His finger notes at ICC include a fifteen page autobiographical essay, so you have to spend five minutes scrolling up in the command window just to see his ratings. Typically the notes will include a long list of people he likes and dislikes, as if anyone cares, a long list of physical ailments, and five pages about his opinion on takebacks. (OK, this has nothing to do with blogging: I call artistic license).

18. The Creationist. His confidence in his opinions about chess is three orders of magnitude greater than his actual knowledge of the game. Likes to write reviews of chess books he hasn't read.

19. The cusser. An entry is not done until it contains the word "fuck."

20. Whiney McGee. Would rather complain than improve. Any attempts at help are rebuffed in great detail, a protective mechanism built to maintain the integrity of the whiney personality core.

21. Passive aggressive. Hides his rage behind stupid humor like long lists that make fun of other bloggers. Also likes to use the passive voice to criticize what "some people" say, when it is clear that he is referring to one particular person, but he doesn't have the balls to be forthright.

22. Rat. Talks himself in circles blogging about the same topic for fifteen posts.

23. Circle Jerk. Someone into MDLM to an annoying and overbearing degree.

24. Actuary. Feels compelled to share uninterestingly detailed accounts of his chess progress, usually with annotated graphs.

25. Acountant. Breaks down the statistics from his blog's hit counter every other post, analyzing readership trends and pointing out moments of maximum activity ('And here is when I made that funny post about the Macaque opening').

26. Neglected baby. His blog contains regular tantrums to the effect that, "Whaaahh, nobody is commenting on my blog!"

27. Has-been. Likes to talk about how great he used to be at chess, back in the 70s. Much like those 50 year old guys with no life that can't stop talking about that great play they made in high school football.

28. Beggar. Someone strolling the streets of the blogosphere begging for sidebar links. "Spare a link, sir, got any spare links?" Often a newbie that doesn't realize people link to sites they read and like.

29. Comment fluffer (attention whore). Fills your comments with irrelevant and sometimes lengthy clutter that serves only to distract readers from the main thread. Sometimes acts like a neglected baby when you don't reciprocate at his blog (the latter trait suggests he was leaving comments just to get you to read his own blog).

30. Stalker. Throw him a bone by leaving a comment at his blog, and he thinks you are the best of friends. He will start to email you daily, try to get your phone number or meet in person, message you constantly at ICC, learn all he can about you through Google, and refer to you as a "close friend." All because you left this high-maintenance twit a comment on his blog. Give this batshit crazy stalker a wide radius.

31. Hypersensitive nutball. Rumor has it that if he steps in front of the sun, you can literally see his vital organs because his skin is so thin. God forbid you disagree with anything he says, as it will cause him to have a temper-tantrum like a three year old girl who wants a pony. Logic isn't his strong point, but he excels at ruining discussions by turning them personal and awkward. This person always has comment moderation enabled, and will often devote entire posts to responding to something that hurt his feelings.

32. Blog luddite. He is stuck in paper-and-ink ways of thinking. He refuses to put game graphics on his chess blog, preferring long lists of variations as you might find in an opening book from the 1970s. He thinks anyone who doesn't take the time to work through the variations is just lazy. When he was a boy, before eating breakfast he had to work through 30 lines without help of diagrams, board, commentary, or computers. By Joe, if he didn't need technology, you don't need it either ya' lazy bum.

33. College kid. Only leaves comments at your blog when he has just put up a new post, as he wants visitors at his own blog. Much like a college kid who only calls home when he needs money.


Blogger hisbestfriend said...

Holy Crap, I am ALL of these, I think I have even tried to be DK once!

6/27/2007 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

In that case i'll take 1 and 5. Ofcourse, there are always those who might dissagree, but i don't see myself in any of the other categories :-)

6/27/2007 02:17:00 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

LOL, great post! Every blogger has it's own class. Hmm, let's see which number I can take without making myself ridiculous . . .

6/27/2007 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger Pawn Shaman said...

Ill take 5, 7, 8, two crispy chicken nuggets and a bacon double cheeseburger please. Have to go, the ladies are waiting!

6/27/2007 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tempo: I might have to add a new one for you:

21. The rat. Runs around in circles talking about the same topic for fifteen posts.


6/27/2007 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger sciurus said...

Fun post!

And nice trick, btw ;-) I noticed that you got the trademark (TM) for the blogger-classes, so how much do I owe you if I call myself "Official class X blogotype"?

6/27/2007 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Don Q. said...

Nice post, son. It makes me think that ... hold on, I'm just gonna run out for some smokes.

6/27/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Putting that tm there makes me a passive aggressive entrepreneurial egomaniac (# 3, 15, 21).

6/27/2007 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger funkyfantom said...

How about the "Seven Circle Jerk", who must obsessively list twenty three categories of stats of his daily CT-Art performance, and would probably include his urinalysis results if anyone asked.

6/27/2007 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger David Glickman said...

My blog persona doesn't hide his ego, so #1 is out. I'd like to think I fall into #5, but if so, the description is way too kind. There's also a touch #8 and #11 thrown in there somewhere.

I don't (TM) things, but I do write things that others (TM) for themselves. :)

6/27/2007 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

aauwww, that one hurts. So I'm not #1 after all:)

6/27/2007 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

DG: frankly I had a lot of trouble coming up with something for you. Maybe you are one of the few workadays. #9 I was thinking of you, Dennis Mousakasakatas (sp? :)), and the Kenilworthian, but I think it applies more to them than to you.

FF: hmmmm. A great name! I would want to use a different name for your guy, so we'd have:

22. The Circle Jerk. Someone into MDLM to an annoying and overbearing degree.

23. The actuary. Feels compelled to share uninterestingly detailed accounts of his chess progress.

6/27/2007 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Grandpatzer said...

Phlogiston: very subtle. I see what you did there.

I won't spoil the joke for anyone else.

6/27/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

I'll take 8 adn 24 ...but i still think I am not a geek.

6/27/2007 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger takchess said...

How about the Misunderstood Genius. Believes himself to be the reincarnation of Morphy and Tal and refuses to play any openings that weren't played in 1880. He is confused why his tournament record or online ratings don't reflect his true nature . Sounds like anyone you know? 8)

6/27/2007 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Loomis said...

I fit at least 3 of those and formerly another. (Disgruntled grad student should probably be changed to Disgruntled Academic so that you can be included.)

By the way, you can finger someone and get just their rating and not their notes "finger 'player' r". Well, that works on FICS, I can't be sure at ICC. It's useful on people with large irrelevant notes. I don't know what category giving ICC command line tips falls under. :-).

6/27/2007 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

loomis: cool! At ICC it's

finger -n playername

(-n = minus notes)

6/27/2007 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

I miss:
The burned out.
The one who is sick of his job, sick of chess, sick of his wife which is mutual and who gives vent of his frustrations by writing cranky comments. At ta certain moment they tend to kill their blog but keep their names registered because they can't miss the giving of ill-tempered comments.

6/27/2007 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Wait! We forget 95% of the blog-community!
The anonymous lurker.
The one who visit your blog but never comments. Nor do they have a blog of their own. Must be some kind of voyeurism, I guess.

6/27/2007 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tempo: lol The voyeur!

6/27/2007 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Pearson said...

Pure Gold of a post.

Can I copyright that?

6/27/2007 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Phil Willis said...

Ooh - definitely newbie.

Just posted on "Real Chess" and Dan Heisman today.

Although it's already been done to death - I can't stress too much how much I appreciate Dan.

I had the privilege of having him as my coach while I was in Philadelphia.

He was at least partly responsible for me gaining a few hundred ratings points when I was first starting off.

And he's still the nagging voice of reason inside my head whenever I do something stupid on the board.

6/28/2007 03:50:00 AM  
Blogger funkyfantom said...

phil willis:

You know you are over the target when the flak starts getting heavy.

Chess books, tactical circles are great, noble and lots of fun.

But they are all irrelevant to winning games, unless you have first managed to exercise the supreme self-discipline to play real chess every move of every game, as explained by heisman.

OTOH, there is more to chess than winning games. There is also the aesthetic element, which may be more important in the end.

6/28/2007 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Heisman is indeed great, and while everyone cognitively knows about real chess, it is important to be reminded, as few of us consistently pull it off in our games.

6/28/2007 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Loomis said...

Real Chess is noble and lots of fun. But it's irrelevant to winning games if you don't see that fork (pin, skewer, back rank mate) coming.

6/29/2007 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger funkyfantom said...


The whole point of real chess is to see that fork coming. Of course, it begs the question of "see it coming from how far off...".

Real chess ( in a grossly simplified explanation) means you don't make a move unless you have thoughly checked that you opponent cannot answer it with an unstoppable threat.

Obviously, the more time you have to think, and the stronger your calculation abilities, the farther out you can extrapolate this basic idea.

6/29/2007 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger XY said...

Haha! Funny post, and it wouldn't have been if it hadn't had truth to it. : )

I feel a little like 13 every time I write a non-chess post (even if it is my chess program), which is pretty often these days. Which is kind of funny since I initially never intended to write about chess at all (or play any of it any more, for that matter). But I follow life wherever it takes me.

6/29/2007 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger wormwood said...

I suppose I'm the actuarian then? it's a constant source of amazement to me that my hit counter keeps ticking on...

6/29/2007 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger transformation said...

exactly! bravo! thank you.

i thought of doing a sociology of knowledge of blogging,

just like i thought of doing the twelve step thing before this was done, but bang, you are there first to print again.

my energy now is... current posts, and lots of bullet and blitz, again. :)

stay posted. did you see my part II, not one comment yet!

6/30/2007 03:21:00 AM  
Blogger Michael Goeller said...

Just returned from vacation -- where I read and wrote no blogs -- and so finally got around to reading this. Lots of fun. I figured myself for #9 right away, since I've always been "the outsider." But it likely applies to any of the non-Knights, really....

7/02/2007 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger transformation said...

25. The Heismaninian: Someone who while making note of other bloggers frequent mention of their friend yasser seirawan to intimidate their competition as well as providing too much information, makes much more frequent mention of Dan Heisman their teacher to the obfuscation of all other transparencies, at times, editing out much other information, selectively editing out all references to Adam Smith, Kant, Dionyseus, Dante, and CTS.


7/02/2007 02:06:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

hilarious, you rock....

7/05/2007 09:37:00 AM  

<< Home