Sunday, March 16, 2008

LEP Round 5 and "Thanks!"

Again, no big suprise or upset. Polly ate me like a cracker. It was more of a blitz than a rapid game.

I also wanted to thank DK and Chess Teacher for the helpful suggestions. I've increased the number of posts displayed on the main page and I fixed the height of the chesspublisher so that you don't have the scroll bar to the right.

Not much chess for me this past week or this week ... the kids are on Spring Break and I'm working the night shift, so I'm spending lots of time at Chess Tempo.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

LEPers Round 4: Another Loss

No suprise here. Kevin TCB and trashed me. I personally was impressed I lasted as long as I did. The game wasn't really special, so I won't bother posting it.

Friday, March 07, 2008

RockyRook v. ChristofRomyuod

So I got a 60 5 game in this week. My opponent was about 150 rating points higher than me. It was a close game. He had a chance to close the game early at with 31 ... Qxc3 but he let me off the hook. I rallied back and made it interesting, but his advanced pawns were too much for me to manage in the end.

This is my first time using chesspublisher. I hope it works.

3-Way Chess

Check out this version of chess . I've heard of this, but had not really seen it before. Click on the link here to see this blog post on it.

I searched 3-way chess at wikipedia and found a link to Three-handed Chess.

From the above wikipedia page, I found more information on Three Player Chess. It looks like sometime in the mid 1990's this chess variant was invented.

I can hardly manged the normal chess board and complexities. But adding a third player to the mix makes for a very interesting and complex game. As one of the posts pointed out, if two of the players don't like the 3rd, then the 3rd player is doomed.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Dimock Theme Tournament NY 1924

I stumbled on this fantastic site today. It has all the annotated games from a tournament of strong US players, including Marshall, from 1924. From that site there are other links to chess stuff. I might be hanging out at that site for quite some time.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Match Request: March 6-8 @ 18:00 FICS

As usual, I'm looking to play a 60 5 game on FICS.

I'll be available March 6th, 7th and 8th at around 18:00 FICS (Pacific) time.

I'd prefer to play someone in the 1700-1800 range, but will play anyone over 1600.

I NEED the practice! :-)

If you're interested, leave a comment.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Three Rounds, Three Loses

OK. The bright side of this predicament is that things can only go up from here. If I lose, then my streak continues (which is fine ... I like streaks). If I win, then it will be the biggest upset of the tournament. I mean if you can't beat me, then you must really suck! :-)

I played really fast in the last two games. In the last game against LEP, I think I had over 21 minutes on my clock when he check-mated me. I should probably work on time management a bit. But what's even more frustrating is taking all that time, thinking deliberately, being careful and having my clock drip down to a minute, and then I make a mistake ... it floors me every time. But if I treat it like a blitz game, then I can always fall back to the excuse, "well, I was playing fast. No big deal." And if I take that approach, the frustration of losing is much, much less.

Bottom line: I'm a slow thinker and learner. I have to take my time every move or else I will foul it up. And even if I take lots of time, I'm still known to make critical mistakes ... all the more reason for me to play longer games (and why I like correspondance chess so much).

But to all the LEPers ... don't take this the wrong way. If this tourny were a 45 45 or G90, chances are I'd still be 0-3.

How to Think Article

Very interesting stuff.


Entire article:

How to Think
Managing brain resources in an age of complexity.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

When I applied for my faculty job at the MIT Media Lab, I had to write a teaching statement. One of the things I proposed was to teach a class called "How to Think," which would focus on how to be creative, thoughtful, and powerful in a world where problems are extremely complex, targets are continuously moving, and our brains often seem like nodes of enormous networks that constantly reconfigure. In the process of thinking about this, I composed 10 rules, which I sometimes share with students. I've listed them here, followed by some practical advice on implementation.

1. Synthesize new ideas constantly. Never read passively. Annotate, model, think, and synthesize while you read, even when you're reading what you conceive to be introductory stuff. That way, you will always aim towards understanding things at a resolution fine enough for you to be creative.

2. Learn how to learn (rapidly). One of the most important talents for the 21st century is the ability to learn almost anything instantly, so cultivate this talent. Be able to rapidly prototype ideas. Know how your brain works. (I often need a 20-minute power nap after loading a lot into my brain, followed by half a cup of coffee. Knowing how my brain operates enables me to use it well.)

3. Work backward from your goal. Or else you may never get there. If you work forward, you may invent something profound--or you might not. If you work backward, then you have at least directed your efforts at something important to you.

4. Always have a long-term plan. Even if you change it every day. The act of making the plan alone is worth it. And even if you revise it often, you're guaranteed to be learning something.

5. Make contingency maps. Draw all the things you need to do on a big piece of paper, and find out which things depend on other things. Then, find the things that are not dependent on anything but have the most dependents, and finish them first.

6. Collaborate.

7. Make your mistakes quickly. You may mess things up on the first try, but do it fast, and then move on. Document what led to the error so that you learn what to recognize, and then move on. Get the mistakes out of the way. As Shakespeare put it, "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt."

8. As you develop skills, write up best-practices protocols. That way, when you return to something you've done, you can make it routine. Instinctualize conscious control.

9. Document everything obsessively. If you don't record it, it may never have an impact on the world. Much of creativity is learning how to see things properly. Most profound scientific discoveries are surprises. But if you don't document and digest every observation and learn to trust your eyes, then you will not know when you have seen a surprise.

10. Keep it simple. If it looks like something hard to engineer, it probably is. If you can spend two days thinking of ways to make it 10 times simpler, do it. It will work better, be more reliable, and have a bigger impact on the world. And learn, if only to know what has failed before. Remember the old saying, "Six months in the lab can save an afternoon in the library."

Two practical notes. The first is in the arena of time management. I really like what I call logarithmic time planning, in which events that are close at hand are scheduled with finer resolution than events that are far off. For example, things that happen tomorrow should be scheduled down to the minute, things that happen next week should be scheduled down to the hour, and things that happen next year should be scheduled down to the day. Why do all calendar programs force you to pick the exact minute something happens when you are trying to schedule it a year out? I just use a word processor to schedule all my events, tasks, and commitments, with resolution fading away the farther I look into the future. (It would be nice, though, to have a software tool that would gently help you make the schedule higher-resolution as time passes...)

The second practical note: I find it really useful to write and draw while talking with someone, composing conversation summaries on pieces of paper or pages of notepads. I often use plenty of color annotation to highlight salient points. At the end of the conversation, I digitally photograph the piece of paper so that I capture the entire flow of the conversation and the thoughts that emerged. The person I've conversed with usually gets to keep the original piece of paper, and the digital photograph is uploaded to my computer for keyword tagging and archiving. This way I can call up all the images, sketches, ideas, references, and action items from a brief note that I took during a five-minute meeting at a coffee shop years ago--at a touch, on my laptop. With 10-megapixel cameras costing just over $100, you can easily capture a dozen full pages in a single shot, in just a second.

Cite as: Boyden, E. S. "How to Think." Ed Boyden's Blog. Technology Review. 11/13/07. (