Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where is the mad man?

From a commenter on my previous post:
I liked your blog when you were a crazy obsessed mad man.
Yes, I admit my best chess writing accompanied an almost neurotic obsession with the game. Sorry folks that person is taking a back seat for a little while. Luckily Blunderprone and Temposchlucker are blogging a lot right now, and a lot of other great stuff is out there. But I have to admit it breaks my heart a little bit to have my blog be in a down time, to not be in my A-game in chess or chess blogging.

This is such a great game, definitely worthy of being an object of one's obsession. For now I'm focusing on less important things like work. :) (And I'm writing a book proposal, but it isn't about chess).

Eventually I might learn to actually have a balanced approach to chess. I tend to be all or nothing.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

London Chess Classic 2009

Mega-GMs playing for glory including Nakamura and Carlsen. I usually don't do tournament news here, but this tournament is special. They have enacted a different point system to promote fighting chess. Three points for a win, one point for a draw, zero points for a loss.

Great point system, in my opinion. There is little incentive to go for a gentleman's (i.e. lazy man's) draw. It will force the GMs to play out the games, to fight for a win, and in the last couple of rounds things should be really crazy as players six points back still have a chance to tie for first.

In round one, Carlsen got the full three points against Kramnik, as did the lesser-known McShane against Nigel Short in a seven hour battle.

The tournament site is here.


On an unrelated personal note, when I first started playing chess about five years ago my goal was to have a fun lazy past time, something I could do quickly before bed or during lunch break to help me relax. I got my butt handed to me, was simply destroyed in every game. To improve, I bought a book (I think my first book was 'Teach Yourself Better Chess'). Not too long (maybe two months) and I was hooked, I had bought de la Maza's book, and wasted too much time on this crazy hard game (if it weren't a challenge I wouldn't give a crap about it).

Now I'm no longer working on improving at the game, I'm just enjoying it. I've been like this for a couple of months. In other words I met my goal from five years ago, to get good enough to have fun at the game. I sort of forgot that goal as I got obsessed with improvement and ratings. I had forgotten that this game is actually really cool even if you don't care much about it, perhaps especially when I don't care much about it.

That said, good luck to the ACIS people. I'll keep posting infrequently. I requested a review copy of that Zuke 'em book on the Colle Zuckertort as it might be fun to mess around with a new opening, so I'll post a review of that within a few weeks of receiving it.