Monday, November 30, 2009

Spotted!

Chess! I was flipping through the channels over Thanksgiving weekend (Happy Thanksgiving, by the way!) when I caught a glimpse of a reality show about prison inmates...and they were playing chess for entertainment! That's just inspiring! I think chess can definitely sharpen the mind--it's a great exercise in which people from all walks of life can participate! Maybe more prisons and jails need chess!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Advice

Dear Readers:

A little while ago, I read a very useful article that can be found here.

The key idea in the article, I believe, is that the best way to get better in chess, in the final analysis, is to go play; as opposed to reading books, studying all the time, etc. which the article makes clear is all very important, but which is all rather superimposed and secondary compared with playing.

The gist of what I took from the piece and a couple of the comments posted by users is that everyone can beat anyone else in any game. I found this to be the case. Okay, it is really easy to get it in your mind that hey, I’m going to lose this game—especially if you’re in a slump. So, just go to each chess game with a clear and fresh mind. Say, hey, I’ve got as good a chance of victory as the person on the other side of the board.

In the final analysis (to use this useful term twice), all one can do is go out and give each new chessing opportunity their best shot. What does it really matter who you’re playing?

~Torero

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Must-see?

Readers, I have been alerted thanks to Uncle Wikipedia, of the existence of a musical called "Chess." There doesn't seem to be a audiovisual recorded version of this musical, which in my opinion is a travesty--somewhere beneath chess on my list of interests is theatre! Not musical theatre, especially...but who cares, this sounds like a winner to me. Oh man, a revival would be great...it was developed with ABBA members' collaboration, so this could be a success along the line of Mamma Mia! They should do it! Or hopefully a theatre in my area will stage a production of this masterpiece...I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed*.


*Left hand fingers only...the right hand's too busy on the mouse busting some awesome chess moves up in here!! ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Look both ways.

Readers, I'm back! And I'm here with another chess tip! I know we all get excited about playing chess--our next move! the possibility of a win! But let me remind you that you must SLOW DOWN. I'm talking quality over quantity here...you could make your next move in record time, but DO NOT! I'm sure you are familiar with the carpentry saying, "measure twice, cut once." Well...go over possibilities for your next move before making it, as you can't take back a hasty move that ends up being a bad decision. We all know a single move can make or break a game--don't let yourself get in a hurry only to end up losing. I mean, you COULD...but I've learned not to, and it has helped my game tremendously!
~Torero

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tidbits

Here are a few fun tidbits I found while perusing chess.com:

· There are 318, 979, 564, 000 possible ways to play the first four moves of a chess game on each side of the board.

· In 1891, a group in Dublin, Ireland formed the “Club of Living Chess,” where live players were used as the pieces. The group performed for charity events.

· The shortest chess game recorded lasted for only one move. It was played between Rogoff and Huber in 1972.

Many thanks to "jojo" who originally submitted an extended version of the list in 2007.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meow

You know how I was talking about cats in an earlier post...it's because I have two of the little scamps. Random thought of the day: name a cat Chess-ter? Queenie? Would that not be *the* *cutest* *thing* *evar*!! Personally, I think I'd go with Checkmate, so I could talk like a pirate and call it "matey" and say "arghh" or nickname it "checker." Whatever!

Post by Request

Readers,
This is a special post, dedicated to a special reader, who requested two specific posts from me, so here is one of them. Here is the request I received: "I would like to see some discussion of chess strategies and ways to size up your opponent's mental hardiness." A fascinating request, I'm sure you will agree. Well, I must say that first of all, one of the best chess strategies is distraction. When playing chess IRL, you can use all sorts of methods to achieve distraction. I like to point at a spot behind my opponent and cry alarmingly, "look at that!" This is, incidentally, a great way to size up your opponent's mental hardiness--surely, they won't be stupid enough to look? But I am a good actor...Now, in online chess, the great way to distract your opponent is to use the chat function. You can try to psych them out by bullying: "you suck!" or behaving like an automaton: "good luck!" (this is what the computer tells you if you are playing it). You can add "you're going to need it" to the end of the "good luck!" comment to combine strategies. Discussing complicated intellectual matters while playing is a good way to distract and size up your opponent, although this is understandably harder online. Of course, I have myriad strategies, and most of them I will be happy to share. In the future. Let's make this a series. I will be back soon with another installment.
Love ya,
Torero

Monday, November 9, 2009

Friendly Reminder

Chesscapades is on Twitter! Follow me @chesscapades on Twitter! See you there.

The best ideas...

Come at such odd times! I mean, I was just standing outside, leisurely peeing in the crisp autumn air as the breeze...well, never mind, but a fabulous idea struck! I love chess! Why not sign up for a chess.com platinum membership! Check this out: http://www.chess.com/membership.html
I feel great now that I can support chess.com! So for you serious online chess players out there, consider one of the subscription membership levels--you *can* play for free...but with benefits and the knowledge that you're supporting a thriving chess community...well, it's just fabulous!!
XO,
Torero

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I mean this in the nicest way possible...

If you don't play chess, then YOU DO NOT KNOW! You do NOT know!! So there.

If you do play chess, then you're cool and it's all good! Let's play...

Monday, November 2, 2009

I haven't forgotten you, reader

Dear Reader,
I haven't forgotten. I have been playing chess, trending ever upward. Please forgive my absence from cyberspace lately. I will return at the earliest possibility, hopefully with good chess news to report. Don't be mad. ;)
Love ya,
Torero