Saturday, May 26, 2007
A special thanks to Duif for her explanation which is found here.
Grandmaster (GM) title awarded by FIDE for GM norms
International Master (IM) title awarded by FIDE for IM norms
FIDE Master (FM) minimum FIDE rating of 2300 after 24 games
National Senior Master (SM) e.g., USCF Senior Master--USCF 2400+
National Master (Master or NM) e.g., USCF Master--USCF 2200+
National Expert or Candidate Master (E or CM) e.g., USCF Expert--USCF 2000+
National US Amateur Classes
National Class A (USCF 1800- 1999) top amateur class
National Class B (USCF 1600-1799) above average tournament player
National Class C (USCF 1400-1599) average tournament player
National Class D (USCF 1200-1399) a strong social player
National Class E (USCF 1000-1199) social/scholastic players
National Class F (USCF 800-999) novice/scholastic players
National Class G (USCF 600-799) beginner II/scholastic players
National Class H (USCF 400-599) beginner I/scholastic players
National Class I (USCF 200-399) early beginner/scholastic players
National Class J (USCF 100-199) minimum rating
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Well, as of today at 11:53am local time, Christopher Newton, 37, was pronounced dead after being excuted by lethal injection. But true to his philosophy, he did not resign. The execution team had a hard time finding a vein that would work because Mr. Newton weighed over 300 pounds. Nearly two hours after his scheduled excution, Mr. Newton was finally "mated."
News links here, here, here & here.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I ran across a Mariners site today that delves into pattern recognition in baseball stats and chess.
This post says,
The post continues,
Human masters — chess, or baseball — are better than AI programs because they know which factor in a position matters.In chess, all strong players are aware of the dozen or so important factors that are in play in a given position. The player who wins, is the player who knows which is the most important factor.
It is not knowledge that makes the difference between two experts. It is judgment.
It is not data-gathering that separates the boys from the men in 2005. It is the use of good judgment to sift the important data from the noise!This latest post refers back to the post mentioned above.
Chessmasters know that this good judgment is rooted in pattern recognition — knowing about similar cases in the past, and knowing in which ways the present case differs from those similar cases.
Unfortunately, in chess you have to take this massive amount of data and experience (pattern recognition) and jam it into your head somehow (The Circles). You can't just retrieve the data (via computer database) during a game. In this regard, chess and baseball are not alike. But once you do mange to upload the data into your head, you can then begin focusing on which positions matter most (which I think is the point of the author over at the Mariners blog).
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
If I was on a roll then I couldn’t stop. And if I was losing, I’d have to keep playing until I started winning again. I’d have intermittent breaks for “meetings” with people who thought they were my co-workers. I’d keep playing until midnight, 1am, 2am, all night sometimes, and stumble home just to change clothes. It was ugly and I was scared.
Scared because the truth finally hit me. It was never going away. It’s not as if this internet chess club was a temporary thing. This was here for ever and it was only going to get worse.
Finally, a friend of mine helped wean me off the online chess server. He showed me a piece of software called Mosaic, which could download and format images and text off the internet. Also audio, but only if you wanted to wait two hours for a download. The worldwide web was just starting and there were maybe a few hundred websites at the time.
During this period, I would take the occasional bathroom break from my
chess games and I’d see another guy wandering the halls around midnight or so. He told me he was working on something that could read text and catalogue it and he was testing it out by retrieving pages from the few websites there were. He was hoping for government funding so he could work on his little hobby during the day.
“Yeah, right,” I thought to myself as I locked my office door behind me for another session of one-minute chess. “Good luck with that.”
He went back to his computer, which was named lycos.cs.cmu.edu and eventually became the computer for the search engine he created, Lycos. It helped his net worth top 9 figures by 1997.
He eventually relates his story to being "one click away from internet fortune."
This is quite a cool chess picture ... it's literally cool.
A landscaping idea for my backyard.
Monday, May 07, 2007
I won my first game and then decided to play another one. My second game was against none other than our Troubled Knight ... Blunder Prone.
He soundly clobbered me.
Here's where my house of cards came tumbling down.
Another thing I learned is that I need to play more. I've been so focused on working on tactics that I havn't been giving myself time to play and practice on the board. It shouldn't be too hard to fix that though.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
There were a couple of parts that I found interesting. The first one has to do with tactics and The Circles.
The more patterns a player internalizes, the more intricate a system ofThe other quote describes chess as such:
combinations that player can access. At lower levels, that allows a stronger player to run through more possibilities than a weaker one would; at the top, there's a quantitative to qualitative shift, with grandmasters zeroing in on the best possibilities, rather than reviewing more possibilities faster than an expert would. But if you ask a top player to remember random positions of pieces on a chessboard, rather than situations that might actually arise in master-level play, his powers of recall don't correlate nearly as well with his skill. In other words, a studiously honed memory for chess combinations doesn't necessarily transfer to better retention of other material.
Ruthless standards and dizzying freedom, all in one package: That is a rarity. And it is a recipe for what experts call "effortful study," or the process of indefatigably tackling ever harder challenges, which many believe is the secret to successfully pursuing excellence in anything.
The author goes on to point out that chess can be an "all-consuming distraction" and cites an example of a boy named Shawn on the Murrow team who is so addicted to chess that he skips school to play blitz games in the park! Horror of horrors! As if chess were the only cause of a boy skipping class.
Playing chess is like any other sport or hobby or carrer in life. You can take it to an extreme and let it consume you or you can be the master of your domain and control your obsessions. I also think that chess can not only provide a person enjoyment and fulfillment, but it can teach one a lot about choices and life and problem-solving.
Overall, the Slate article was a good read.