The Chess Wanderer

"Les pions sont l´âme du jeu" Francois-André Philidor, 1749

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Best of '05

What? You didn't know that I was a band.....wagon......jumper......something? Well I am! Anyway, this one is different than the million other "Best of" posts..........somehow. I'm going to cover a few of my favorite posts from my fellow Knights over the past year. I'll be updating it over the next few days so this list isn't complete yet. Anyway, on to the list!

Don takes on Kramnik
Don lays the smackdown on a World Champion.

Don takes on Walmart
This was one of the first posts I read from Don and was the inspiration for me to join this crazy bunch.

Don takes on everyone
More from the twisted mind of the founder.

PMD abducted in the Badlands of Level 40
This was part four in a six part series I like to call "The Adventures of PMD" that starts with this post. If you haven't read that series I highly recommend you spend a couple of minutes to do so. I like to compare PMD's writing to Don's in creativity. Whereas Don likes to take his writing in crazy unexpected directions, PMD tends to lean towards the more classical approach with plot lines and twists. As far as I can tell PMD was the first Knight to be abducted, although not the first to lose his mind during the crazy quest.

Jim takes on Larry Evans
This one was made famous by "Chess Life". Nuff said.

Supercharge your life
Jim shows us how to speed things up. Hawt!

TS vs a windmill
Do they have a lot of windmills in the Netherlands?

TS vs his garden
TS shows us how a chess couple lives.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Going forward

Hello world! Back from my sniffles adventure. Hope everyone is doing fine.

During the break I had some time to reflect on this past year, my first year in chess. Here is what I have figured out so far.

1. I've run out of things to say. I think in the beginning everything was so new and there were a lot of decisions to make. Every turn had new possibilities. Now that I've got my first year under my belt I feel confident that I know where I'm going and I know, fairly well, how to get there. Now comes the hard part of the journey. I must roll up my sleeves and tread that long and difficult path.

2. ICC really is that good. I've played on a fair number of internet chess sites (MSN, Yahoo, Pogo, FICS, Playchess, ChessAtWork) and ICC has been the cream of the crop. Once I got over their ugly interface things really started rolling. It's the only place I play now. I can usually find a 30 30 game within five to ten minutes, whereas on FICS I could wait more than half an hour to get a game longer than G20.

3. I suck at speed chess. I've honestly tried to like it. I spent about a month playing nothing but quick time controls, but I just couldn't get into it. Even when I won I didn't really feel like I got much out of it. I'll probably play a quick game here and there in the future but I know I won't really care about the outcome and therefore not play my best.

4. Blogs are great. But they are written more for other people than yourself. Blogs != Diary. It took me a while to realize this. I guess in our disconnected society (I'm talking about the U.S.) this medium is the new way of reaching out to people. Let's face it. I wouldn't have met the great people I've met this last year if it wasn't for this blog.

5. I *heart* master games. I really didn't appreciate them in the beginning, mainly because I don't understand a lot of the moves they make, but once my coach taught me how to go through them I was immediately hooked. I currently use my Palm Pilot with Pocket Chess Deluxe to review games and I take it practically everywhere with me.

So that was '05. Here is my study plan for '06.

1. Play at least one 30 30 game every day.
2. Go through at least one master game a day.
3. Review Winning Chess Tactics once a quarter.
4. Review first 450 problems in Polgar's book once a month.
5. Complete Chess Tactics for Beginners.

And that's it. Posting will probably become very infrequent from here on (besides a couple that I have stored up), mainly due to the fact that the above study plan isn't supposed to change much over the next year. If I can master the tactical material then I'll post an update to the plan.