Monday, October 15, 2007

Knight Shift

It's been fun being the Secretary King of the Knights Errant. I appreciate that you entrusted me with the sacred duty. Now that I'm done with the Circles, it's time to pass the scepter on to someone else, and Samurai Knight has accepted the responsibility. I leave him the keys to the new Knights Errant FAQ, to tweak and modify as he sees fit. Please take good care of the Knights, Samurai.

It will be very interesting to see what happens as the fourth generation self-organizes with fresh blood. I was the third generation listkeeper (first was Man de la Maza, then Temposchlucker, and then me). With each new generation there comes a change in the style and focus of the Knights. I look forward to watching things evolve.

And if you'll permit an old Knight to wax nostalgic...

In the past two years, the chess blogosphere has progressed from a close-knit hamlet to a medium-sized city. Being a Knight has added some stability to the ever changing and crazy city, kind of like a university or other venue that people with similar interests will congregate.

Even the Knights Errant subculture has changed quite a bit since I joined. The first Knights were hard-core purists in that they did the Circles, Seven of 'em, using CT-Art just like de la Maza. They were badasses. Then King of the Spill used another program (TASC chess tutor). I used CTB, Tempo used Chess Tactics Server. People started doing 'mini-circles': rather than work through all 1300 problems per circle, they hacked away at a smaller subset of problems multiple times before moving on (Celtic Death, J'adoube, and Sancho Pawnza started this trend, and I just copied their lead). Then PCT came on the scene (a program which no Knight has yet successfully finished the Circles on: who will be the first?).

As the chess-sphere has expanded there has been a trend toward less discussion of the Circles and tactics amongst the Knights. For one, back then there just weren't many non Knights out there to stir the pot, so discussion gravitated toward their tactical training. Plus, in those purist days, the Circles were just harder. It was like being in boot camp together, and they talked about the nuts and bolts of Circles training a lot more. Doing all 1300 CT-Art problems in one day was a time for celebration and awe. Now, when we finish, it is often doing 300 problems in a day or something do-able by mere mortals (indeed, this was what I did).

That said, it is clearly a Good Thing that the blogosphere has ballooned: a broader perspective on chess has emerged and there is more great content to choose from. Chess is not only tactics (unless you are Glenn Wilson), and you guys won't let the Knights forget it! Near the end, I found the non-Knights out there to be as much of a source of support and encouragement as the Knights themselves. That's pretty cool.

Anyhoo, before this becomes a dissertation, I just want to again thank Tempo and the Knights for entrusting me with the job of keeper of the lists, and thanks to Samurai Knight for taking over. I'll keep on blogging as my focus shifts to integrating this new knowledge into games.


Blogger transformation said...

personal email to you yesterday, under predictions:

"samurai pawn, C ...L ...Chris is a great guy, and might be your choice, ... he has a tendency to be there regularly ... . A truly fine human with the most human heart of all of us, and [more than a match[for] me in empathy or heartfelt capacity for vulnerability."

thank you for your hard work. and i will migrate over to his place now to serinade him there, but this is your moment now.

you did a great job BDK, and we all love you for it, but, perhaps even better, we APPRECIATE you for it. love can come and go, but appreciate is a steady flame.

warmest, dk

10/15/2007 01:20:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

DK: yes, good call on the prediction. I was worried the word would get out before the announcement :) Thanks for the props. It's been an interesting seven months as the listkeeper.

10/15/2007 01:33:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I really like the new blog header.

10/15/2007 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks Jeff.

Go Sox!

10/15/2007 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

You have done a good job. The Knight-subculture always stayed very agreeable, which is not all that common and simple when you look around the web. It's true that the difference between Knights and other Chess Improvement bloggers slightly fades away. In the mean time it is not all that simple to write about new topics as new knight, since a lot already has been said and tried.

For myself, I'm pretty much surprised that I'm still around. I had not expected that I had so much to say. But the coöperation has been very fruitfull and inspiring.

I suspect there will come a time that new knights will ask "De La Maza? Who was that?":)

10/15/2007 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

God i feel like such an old timer... 4th generation?

I wasa partial badass.. CT-ART all the way but went concentric circles of 7 for each.

Good job keeping the torch and scribe. Godspeed on your journey fellow Knight!

10/15/2007 04:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for everything BDK! Saw that you even tweaked the FAQ for me! Keep up the posting and the good work.


10/15/2007 05:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then PCT came on the scene (a program which no Knight has yet successfully finished the Circles on: who will be the first?).

Well, I'm not an official knight because I don't write anything. I do, however, spend time each evening browsing various knight blogs.

Almost done with PCT part 2, only 4 more to go!

Thanks for your blog, always enjoy it, hope you keep it up. :)


10/15/2007 07:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey man, congratulations on finishing the circles!!! i'm excited to see the new path you and your blog will take...

10/16/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Now that I finally finished writing and publishing book, I have no excuse for not joining you soon in trying to go through all the circles.

10/16/2007 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks chessloser.

10/16/2007 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Paul: that would be great! Our first celebrity Knight. :)

10/16/2007 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to catch the Howard Stern replay today. There was an extended segment regarding Howard, Beth, and chess. Howard rejected Beth in favor of ICC blitz. Very funny.


10/16/2007 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Bill: yes I heard it (for those interested, it was in the first hour). That was really funny yet also awkward. Beth was so mad, and Howard was acting like a little kid.

10/16/2007 02:38:00 PM  

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