Friday, September 28, 2007

The Day Your TV Stops Working

18 months from now, broadcasters will stop sending analog signals in the US. This means that millions of people like me who refuse to invest in hi-def or cable or satellite dish receivers will turn on their TV's and get just snow on all their channels. Me, I just think that I watch TV too much, so I just use some "rabbit ears". If my TV were to stop working, that would probably be for the best.

Interesting angle from the Washington Post today.

Government is worried that Congress will face the "perfect storm" from the public when this happens. They're talking of spending millions in consumer education, and new regulations requiring retailers and others to join in "educating" the public about this. They are also worried that Hollywood may take a big hit when millions like me might simply stop watching TV - or else drastically change our viewing habits.

Unstated in the article is an important question about the job of government. I expect it to protect me - police, firefighters, etc. I expect it to look our for the overall economy. Education, yes. --- But is it part of government's responsibility to ENTERTAIN me, too?

If the entertainment industry fails to educate the public and suffers thereby, is that government's fault? And if I, myself, fail to follow the news, is that government's fault? In short, is it government's job to save the fool from the consequences of his actions?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Chess Blog Carnival: Only 2 Days Left

Sunday Sept 30, is the last day for Chess Blogs and other chess sites to submit articles for inclusion in the October Carnival. It will be published on my blog on October 1. The Carnival is an opportunity for readers to sample chess content from the net and for bloggers to showcase samples of their work. Other chess sites may participate, too.

Here is a link to last month’s carnival:

This is the organizing document for the carnival:

Submit articles to the carnival here:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What Is This Kyoto Treaty Thing?

Can somebody please explain to me what the big deal is with the Kyoto Treaty on global warming? One of the first things George Bush did was to come out against it. He did a trip to Europe in 2001 (before 9-11) and was roundly denounced for it. Afterwards, a funny thing happenned. The obvious question was posed . Why hadn't any of the other countries ratified it?

Before Bush there was Clinton. The treaty had come up for a vote in the US Senate. It was unanimously voted down. This always struck me as a significant fact. Every Democrat had voted NO on the treaty. AND no other nation had ratified it.

After the Bush European trip, where all those politicians had bashed Bush and America for the attention of all those voters back home, European ratification became an issue. So, they had a big meeting in Vienna (rather than just going ahead and ratifying it). There they added a little clause at the end of the treaty. "None of this is legaly binding." Then they ratified it.

This has always struck me as a significant addition. Since then the announcement by one nation or another that they will fail to meet their Kyoto targets has been a routine part of the news.

So, what's the big deal with this Kyoto Treaty thing?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chess My Shakedown Period

I'm baaack!

The new position as Moderator at Chess Discussion has taken up a lot of my time. So, there are some holes in the daily postings. Now that I've got up to speed, I think I can resume my normal schedule here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Arnand Pulls Ahead in WCC

Cartoon by Mike Magnan, courtesy of Susan Polgar's Blog.

Vishwanathan Arnand of India is pulling ahead of the pack in the World Chess Championship in Mexico City. This will be the first time in centuries that someone from the Third World has made it to the very top of the chess world.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Don't Sue God

because he might answer back! This is a funny story in the news that I thought I'd share with you. ... 3986.shtml

This guy in Nebraska - Nebraska! - Aren't they level-headed in Nebraska? This story belongs in California. Anyway this guy in Nebraska sues God. Wants a court order to make Him stop world suffering or something like that. Says he just wants to make a point. But then God answers back. The court official says that His papers just "miraculously appeared" on the desk. - In keeping with the spirit of the story, no doubt. So now, the plaintiff has an actual lawsuit on his hands!

Jay Leno opined that this lawsuit is very unfair to God. God is in heaven. Where in heaven is He going to find a lawyer?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Discussion Forum

A new forum for chess players and fans to talk to one another just went up today. It is called "Chess Discussion" and it is at I am one of the moderators of this forum.

It is owned by Susan Polgar and Paul Truong. I believe that this will become the premier forum for discussing chess in the world.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Special Chess Blog

This is a blog for bloggers. Steve hopes that a small community of chess bloggers will post samples of their work there. It takes the carnival idea and kicks it up a notch!

Go here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9-11 Remembered

The website's copyright notice is here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Forum Moderation 4

Background note: See the background notes to the previous threads. Having laid out my philosophy for the first and the last time in the history of the forum, a mixed reception was given. I decided to use some of the criticisms as examples to further explain my thinking.

This thread is the logical next step in a revolution for these forums. Never before has the members had an opportunity to see a prospective Moderator’s vision, goals, - indeed, total thinking about the forum and the Moderator’s function in it – let alone concrete proposals for implementing needed change – before an appointment is made. Indeed, before the prospect even advanced his name to the proper USCF authorities. This event alone, represents a revolution in the governance of this forum.

Lessons from the election: Need for transparency. Need for specific policies a prospect wants to implement. Need to know prospect’s philosophical leanings. Need for members to discuss these and be informed.

It may be that no other prospect for Moderator or FOC may ever again produce a thread like this one. This was a special election; this is a special time. The chess players of America want the USCF Forum cleaned up. It is time to take the Forum to the next level. The bottleneck is proper policing. This is why this thread and this job is vital.

In this post I will address some of the questions asked and concerns stated up to now.


1) My sanction is a topic that deserves its own post. For now, briefly: As a Moderator, I intend to drawn upon this experience to see things from the other guy’s point of view. I don’t believe that anyone who has not undergone this experience can truly understand how unfair the sanctioning process currently is. A key change that is needed is that the member knows what he is being sanctioned for and has an opportunity to respond. - An opportunity that is meaningful. That is why my original statement about what I intend to do to/for people I put up for FOC sanction. BTW Susan Polgar, who was sanctioned also, can understand, I am sure.

2) Here’s an interesting case study in what’s an attack, what’s not an attack, and how things ought to be handled.

tsawmiller wrote:
If you become a moderator, will you intercede when personal attacks appear? Such as:

While George contaminates everything he touches, some of the rebuttals are getting out of hand. How can concerns about who becomes the next President of the USCF be "micromanagement"? This phrasing is surely just as dumb as anything George has said.
- jacklemoine

Upon reflection, the comment about George is regrettable. Far better to talk about his posts than about him, personally. On the other hand, calling some phrasing “dumb” is the normal give and take of discussion and debate. As in, “this idea is dumb because . . .” In this case, the because is implied in the previous sentence.

We don’t want to over-police. Not being able to criticize ideas and even to characterize them with pejorative words like “dumb” will inhibit discussion too much.

So, to summarize my overall philosophy: yes to attacking ideas/policies; no to attacking people.

3) "Negative Politics" thread. Brian M. actually made some astute observations (from his side’s perspective).

Jack's little description of how he would create a "Negative Politics" ghetto thread and segregate anything he considers to be negative politics already disqualifies him, if any more disqualification were required. The moderators role is to delete posts that egregiously violate the AUG, not to try to implement a personal "vision" of how other people ought to act on this forum.

Even if Jack had never done anything to discredit himself as a poster, his little manifesto of how he would act as a moderator has all the evidence anybody needs to realize that Jack would be rotten moderator.
- Brian Mottershead

And this:

Note that Jack doesn't say he is going to have a Politics thread, or a Positive
Politics thread, just a Negative Politics thread. And who is going to decide
whether a post is "negative" enough to be ghettoized, stigmatized, and ignored
in a "Negative Politics" thread? Jack, of course!
- Brian Mottershead
BM and the others of his crowd are right to oppose this idea. It will revolutionize the culture in this forum. It strikes directly at the low level stuff that does not rise to the level of removal and/or sanctions but still drag us down and hold the forum back.

Attackers’ comments remain public. Those who want attack posts can still see them in all their nasty glory as well as their author’s outrage at having their posts reclassified. And those who don’t want to see that stuff don’t have to look. Transparency of actions and individual choice for the readers - yes a revolution.

We cannot go back to moderating and policing as it was done before. Despite the myth-making, people were NEVER happy with the quality of moderating here. If this forum is to get to the next level, a new model of policing is needed. And we’re going to need people with both the vision and the guts to do the job.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Forum Moderation 3

Background note: Last July 30, I started a thread in the USCF Forum where I offered my ideas on policing forums. I had offered to be a Moderator for the USCF Forum and these comments were in that context. The USCF Forum was and remains a deeply troubled place. At the time most of the Moderators and the Forum Oversight Committee had resigned. They were down to just 1 Moderator and he has since died. I reproduce my posts here.

The trade-off we face is the values we place on freedom of speech and the values we place on civility. We want both. But to turn the dial towards one, we have to turn it away from the other.

My General Priority

As for me, I tend to value freedom of speech more. My skin has thickened in the last few months. We ought not regard things as “attacks” when they arise from the ordinary hurly-burly of discourse.

Application to the Forum

We do have a problem with too much negativity here. There is the outrageous. But there is also the low-level hostility that drags everything down. There is the black area but there is also the grey area, too. This has lead us to too much policing in the past as well as too little. I propose a common-sense middle ground.

People still ought to be sanctioned. Repeat violators ought to be subject to ever more lengthy sanctions. But what do we do with the low-level negative attacks about trivia that irritate more than outrage?

On the first day I became a Moderator, I would put up two new threads. One I would call, “Negative Politics” and the other “Against Moderator Jack”. Stuff like all that hoo-rah about Paul’s Vietnam chess, Susan’s marriage, their laptop, and other stuff like that that are sort of important but not really pertinent to ongoing USCF activities, I would just use the Moderator’s forum powers to reclassify to the “Negative Politics” thread. Depending on your point of view, this thread would become the garbage pit or the gold mine of the USCF Forum. As for the complaints about me, (and you just know there will be plenty), they could go to the “Against Moderator Jack” thread.

I would reclassify on a prospective rather than a retroactive basis.

That way, the readers don’t have to see a screen full of attack threads every time they open the forum in the browser. Also, substantive threads don't have to be hyjacked with attacks. And the attackers aren’t unduly censored.

Legitimate criticism of serious issues should still be untouched. Serious criticism of chess politicians and chess players should also be untouched. For example, see Donna’s criticisms on the USCF finances. It is the stuff of doubtful significance that I would reclassify.

As for ending all attacks/criticisms, no it isn’t going to happen. Heck, even Susan herself has stated that her and Paul have disagreed and voted against each other on issues. I would not be surprised in coming years to see posts from Paul criticizing Susan on some issue and vice versa. All of us will disagree with each other from time to time. A forum restricted to just “happy talk” will be a dull place to visit. A good, healthy debate will have a lot of robust give and take.

P.S. I would find attacks on other people like those attacks on Goichberg and Schultz actionable, too.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Forum Moderation 2

Background note: Last July 30, I started a thread in the USCF Forum where I offered my ideas on policing forums. I had offered to be a Moderator for the USCF Forum and these comments were in that context. The USCF Forum was and remains a deeply troubled place. At the time most of the Moderators and the Forum Oversight Committee had resigned. They were down to just 1 Moderator and he has since died. I reproduce them here.


Our problems with civil discourse in this forum is a part of a larger societal problem in the internet. Folks get online, are anonymous (on the USCF Forum semi-anonymous), have little personal acquaintance with the people they write of, and say mean, unkind things. You don’t need me to tell you how widespread a phenomenon this has become.

Our problems are that we want freedom of speech on the one hand, and civil behavior on the other. Worse, when it comes to civility, we can’t agree where to draw the line.

The USCF Forums

It has a bad reputation. It has a very bad reputation. I discovered first hand just how bad it was. I have a blog. Some people from the USCF helped me on it. Very important people contributed material to it. Susan Polgar, Paul Truong, Don Schultz, Bill Goichberg.

The material I used was positive pieces about the USCF and chess. The things that these worthys let me use contained some important information. But the feedback I got from the other chess sites I approached! They would not link to it or say anything about them to their readers because they would not touch anything having to do with USCF politics. People made the most surprising comments. One Web Editor wrote me that even a reference to USCF politics might bring the “crazies” on the USCF forum to his site.

Even the most innocuous pieces met this kind of resistance. What struck me was that the response had little to nothing to do with me. I could understand someone saying that, “you’re a nobody with a nothing blog.” But that was not it. It was all about USCF politics. Not even a piece written by the President of the USCF himself. Not even if it contained important information about USCF affairs. Maybe it was anti-Goichberg sentiment then? No. No to Truong. No to Jones. No to anybody who had anything to do with USCF politics and the “crazies” on the forum.
This was a surprise to me.

So there is a cost to the incivility of this forum. And this cost is born by every person who posts here. Relatively few people read your posts. So, how can we improve your readership?

The Importance of the USCF Forum: My Vision

I want this forum to build a sense of community among the chess players of the country. I want this forum to be an information engine. I want this forum to become an important part of the chess culture – and there is a chess culture, if we could only be aware of it.

We are heirs to a great heritage. From the Greats like Morphy and Steinitz, to the itinerant cowpoke on the dust-filled plains, though the great sweep of history, chess has been there.

When I first walked into the Seattle Chess Club in 1973, when it was still on Jackson Street in the old district, the relics of the past, of Admiral Byrd, chess magazines, and brick-a-brack from the earliest years of the century, were still there. A poetic eye could still see amidst the dust and the decay all around, ghostly figures from the past, seated at those rotting tables moving long-vanished pieces on the inlaid squares. To them, the tables were still new; the wood held it’s original shine; the square tiles laid down and cemented in by some forgotten artisan, signified the pride those chess players took in their club and the permanence they planned for it.

This is the place where we are with the USCF Forum today. It is a new century and it is a new place. Cyberspace. The Forums can be a real engine for pride and for growth. What is holding us back is the proper policing of it.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Forum Moderation 1

Background note: Last July 30, I started a thread in the USCF Forum where I offered my ideas on policing forums. I had offered to be a Moderator for the USCF Forum and these comments were in that context. The USCF Forum was and remains a deeply troubled place. At the time most of the Moderators and the Forum Oversight Committee had resigned. They were down to just 1 Moderator and he has since died. I reproduce my posts here.

I have publicly mused about being a Moderator in the past. With the election over, it is time to look at the subject of Forum Policing again. I think that I should publicly state my positions if I become a Moderator so that you, the members as well as the ED and the EB can assess whether you want me or not. This is a case where transparancy benefits all concerned. I would not want to be a Moderator if the people on the Executive Board I supported do not want me to be one. But if I were a Moderator, this is how I would run things.

First, anonymity. I don’t believe in it. I will respect other Moderator’s anonymous status; I will not hide my own identity. I believe that USCF officials, whether elected or appointed, should be held accountable for their actions. Accountable to the appropriate superior body within the organization and then ultimately to you, the members. Fire the bum! In fact, this is your chance to fire the bum before he ever even gets in!

That means that not only my identity should be known to you, but my official actions, too. Yes, there are standards of confidentiality any deliberative body must have. We don’t need to spin endless legalese in this area. Millennia of human experience gives us common-sense guidance. A USCF Moderator must act collegially as well as authoritatively.

If I pull a post of yours, you should know what was pulled and why it was pulled. You should have a chance to state your side of the story. It the matter gets referred to the FOC or any other higher body, then they should get both my case against you and your defense. In short, both sides of the story. If they don't get both sides because you don’t respond in a reasonable time frame, then that is your problem.

I won’t go around and around on this stuff. I think that the Moderators and the FOC has generated WAY TOO MUCH work for themselves in the past. Yes, I take into account that they had to pioneer new territory. We have a AUG to go by as a result of their efforts. What I mean here, is that there is a middle ground between no due process and endless process, due and otherwise. I state my charge against you; you write your response; I consider your response; I decide whether to reverse myself or not; then the case goes on to higher authorities for disposition. That’s it for me.

So, both my identity and my official record should be known.

This is a lengthy post and I have a lot of thoughts on this subject. So I shall end this post here. My next post shall be on my philosophy on freedom of speech and civil discourse. In short, about pulling posts.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Religeon vs. Science?

May I suggest a little humility from both sides. Claims of knowledge on the part of science - especially as to what is known about the origin of the universe - are being made which way over reach what is actually known and are belied by the frequent changes in the theories.

As for religeon, I think that we ought to take the Bible literally unless there is significant scientific evidence to the contrary. It seems pretty clear to me that the Bible was not intended to have the scientific exactitude for dating that us moderns are used to. Mankind's very concept of time has evolved since ancient days.

To be fair here, today's aggressors do seem to come from not from science itself but from left-wingers who use science to advance an anti-Christian agenda. Creationism controversies in the news have wanted to include "intelligent design" as well as evolution in the schools. The other side has wanted only their own views taught. Even despite their lack of tolerance for the other side's point of view, the evolutionists would still have my sympathy if only they weren't so militant about it.

Here is an interesting article about the latest developments in this area from science's point of view.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Chess Carnival Fallout

Loomis wrote in comments to Sunday's post:

I like the carnival because it helps connect the chess blog community. However,
I think the format should encourage interaction. A lot of times people don't
check the comments of their old blog posts, so a link to an old post doesn't
lend itself to interaction between reader and author.
To which I have a modest proposal:

1) As for interaction between readers and authors, set up an automatic e-mail every time someone comments to a post on your blog. Blogger has that feature. I think that this is pretty common in other blog engines now, too.

2) To the more general phrase: "connect the chess blog community" (hold onto your seatbelt!) I suggest we use the USCF Forums. Now I know that they have a lousy rep but since the election they have been trying to clean them up. Only a few malcontents cause most of the trouble now and we know who they are.

Another problem is the lack of common-sense that the moderators have had in the past. It wasn't so long ago that posts on chess were pulled "because they didn't concern USCF business". They had trouble connecting in their minds the USCF mission to promote chess and allowing the website to promote chess. (Yes, I was the primary instigator/agitator on that battle.) However, now I think that this is a battle that has largly been won. In fact, the moderator that is most active now, Mr. Vaughn (Tanstaafl) has said that he considered discussion on the Chess Blog Carnival to be okay on the site. Kudos, Tan!

Most importantly of all, the larger chess community (at least in the USA) needs to fundamentally change the attitude towards the USCF. It is not THEIR USCF; it is OUR USCF. We do not have to shell out bucks and spend a lot of time developing a new forum for us to use. We already have one. It is bought and paid for by our membership dollars. All we have to do is use it.

As for the bloggers outside of the USA, I note that the USCF is affiliated with FIDE. With the new site renovation coming any day now, we could all use a public section in the Forum. Someday, the Executive Board may want to set up a seperate forum just for the internet bloggers but for now, I suggest we just use the CLUBS FORUM. And if some of the posts are in French, Russian, Chinese, or any other language, then so be it! Gens Una Sumas!

We ought not to go through any process or anything. We should just start using it. Just to get things started, I'm going to post this in a new thread on the forum. Check out this link for Chess Club Organization:

Monday, September 3, 2007

Wonders of the World

7 new Wonders to match the 7 original wonders. A private group conducted a global poll. People voted, American Idol style. It seems a little interesting as it reflects opinions on such things. As much as I worship Jesus Christ, the statue in Rio hardly ranks as humanities greatest accomplishments. Other entrants were similar. So many for Latin America, so many for the Middle Ease, and so on.

Here is the newest list. This is from the National Geographic.

  • Christ the Redeemer" statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Great Wall of China
  • The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
  • Petra, Jordan
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Chichén Itzá, Mexico
  • Taj Mahal, India
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
  • The Colossus of Rhodes, Greece
  • The Lighthouse of Alexandra, Egypt
  • The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Iraq
  • The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Turkey
  • The Temple of Artemis, Turkey

Just wonder why the Voyager* didn’t make it. Imagine standing in New York and hitting a golf ball to a hole in Los Angeles and scoring a hole-in-one. That was Voyager. One can think of a number of fantastic things mankind has accomplished in recent centuries.
As for the original wonders of the ancients, for the technology of their day, they really were Wonders of the World. The Colossus of Rhodes is an excellent example.


* Voyager is the name of the spacecraft that flew by the outer planets and eventually left the solar system entirely.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Lessons Learned

The big push to get the Chess Blog Carnival out is over and I’ve had a day to think about improving the process for the future. This was the first ever Carnival for Chess Blogs so naturally, there was going to be something of a learning curve.

The E-mail address issue was a surprise to me. I can understand the reluctance of bloggers to give out their e-mail addresses. Upon reflection, I am reluctant to receive e-mail addresses. If someone abuses the address then the question becomes who revealed it? I become a suspect. So, an alternate way for bloggers to submit posts is indicated.

The problem is that without e-mail addresses, there is no way for the host to inter-act with the blogger if the need arises. For example, I sent a post of mine to the History Carnival. I got a nice e-mail back from this month’s host telling me that my submission was unsuitable. He explained why it was unsuitable and what I would have to do in the future to qualify. This was very helpful information and I took it as such. says that they keep e-mail address confidential but they do require them. That’s how they resolved the issue. What do you think?

BTW I did have to reject 2 entries. The trouble was that they were only tangentially related to chess. They were about “brain enhancement techniques”. Mental exercise like physical exercise may be a good thing but in light of the USCF Natrol controversy a few years back, I just decided to pass and take a strict approach to topics – especially on the inaugural edition of the Carnival.

Meanwhile, it is time to look forward to the next Carnival on October 1. I am wondering if I should host it one more time in order to establish it more firmly or to pass it on to another blog. This is really now the property of the chess community, not of me. Now that people can see what a Carnival looks like, they can decide what they want to do.

I would like one of the larger chess sites to host it as soon as possible. This will help give this both legitimacy and visibility. In the meantime, will all the chess bloggers out there please, pretty please, put an announcement of this Carnival on your blogs?

And please give us your feedback by posting a comment below. These comments not only help me but all the rest of the chess community as well.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Chess Blog Carnival – 1

This carnival shows how vibrant the chess community is. A large number of chess web sites have submitted material. A far larger number is active. We hope to hear from them in future carnivals.

This carnival of chess blogs belongs to the larger chess community. Each month it will travel from blog to blog (like the traveling carnivals of old).

Before I begin, I wish to give a very special mention to Susan Polgar of Susan Polgar’s Chess Blog. It was through her blog that I got back into chess after a quarter century hiatus away from it. I met an old friend (Hi, Mike aka “Mulfish”) through it. When my wife came home from her first ever chess tournament, Susan took a break to send a very nice note. (At the time she was recovering from an illness.) Both her and Paul have helped me a lot on different things – and this despite the fact that I have sometimes criticized them – and continue to do so. – See my carnival entry below!

Her blog is one of the very few which talks about promoting the game. Here is an example.

This month:


Have you learned of GMAlexandra Kosteniuk’s Killer Chess Tips? She sent me the index page of her podcasts. Here she analyzes the Paul Morphy’s game at the Paris Opera. You just gotta listen to this!!


Mark Weeks is another go-to guy for chess blogs. This month he submitted Tales of Hoffman from the blog Chess for All Ages. His point: folks may be top writers but when they write about chess, they still need to get the details right.


Boylston Chess Club Weblog is the go-to place for active chess blogs. Here is an essay about the difficulties of keeping on top of the wonderful world of chess blogdom.

This month I’m offering The Executive Board Meeting from my blog. Like it or not, the USCF election was one of the top news stories of 2007. The aftermath was – well, see my statement about Susan above. As a church pastor once said, when a parishioner comes up to him and says, “I am saying this in love . . .” I know to dive behind my desk because something bad is going to be flying at me.

From Steve's Correspondence Chess Adventure comes this USCF / ICCF-US Update. There’s been a lot of talk about the USCF abandoning correspondence chess lately. How much of this is true? See Steve’s update.


Getting to 2000 presents a report on Midstate Open Tournament, Peoria. He gives each one of his games with analysis.

The Billy Colias Memorial Master Invitational Tournament honors his memory and The Knights of Castle Kimbark honors the event with this report: A Young Master Remembered.


Chess Improvement By Effort (Achoo!) presents an interest essay on the general ideas of Endgame play. The money quote:

After 3 month's of middlegame study I formulated that piece activity is the most import in middlegame strategy. After a few months of putting this idea into practice I want to change that in the following maxim: Activate your pieces in order to penetrate in the enemy camp. If I had to summarize the essence of endgame right now it would be: Activate your pieces and king in order to penetrate into the enemy camp. Yet the methods and subgoals are quite different.
Two tutorials/commentary on basic endgames from “likesforests” follow.

In The Endgame Tactician, he covers Rook and Pawn Endgames. This link is to # 2 in the series. Follow his link to #1. In another blog Final Moves, he presents The Curse of the Rook Pawn. The page loads slowly but it is worth the wait as it has all of those interactive diagrams.

We round out this section with two endgame positions analyzed for your pleasure:

Mousetrapper's Chess Log analyzes an endgame position in an attempt to draw the larger morals of endgame strategy in Nailing Down an Endgame Advantage. presents another position to analyze in A Patzer's Approach to the Evaluation of Endgame Positions.


Been to the US Open, lately? Be sure to get paired against Polly Wright after reading US Open Rd 9: One Thing I Hate About Playing in Tournaments in Castling Queen Side. And be sure to show up, too! She ends her piece with some ominous words about “smacking”. -Make that "getting smacked." (Grin!)

Oh, the dangers of blogging! Has the Chess Tyro been outed? Find out at Chess Tyro [.] com. But keep blogging on, CT. We’re all out to get you!

You just got to know that any site titled, hardcore pawnography just is going to be funny. Here is chess outlaw and the consequences of not paying a speeding ticket. Not to mention the failure to capitalize your letters!

And speaking of bad people doing bad things, here’s SonofPearl's Chess Blog with Chess Gamesmanship - a confession...

Maybe those last two guys should run into one another in a dark alley in the middle of the night somewhere. Just my luck, I’d be the homeless bum crawling out of my cardboard box and find myself in the middle of them!


Here’s a psychological look at developing chess ability from The Chess Journey, titled “Without error there can be no brilliancy." – Emanuel Lasker. Interesting technique, using a quote as a title.

Rook Van Winkle's Chess Blog submitted Chess Improvement Plan - Part One: Goals. This kind of goal-driven planning should serve as a foundation for any chess training program. Nice job!

The Back Rank presents Chess Tactics Server Thoughts. I’ve not used this myself as I’m still trying to get through CT-ART. I wonder how the Server compares to tactics software? The question is probably just a quibble. As long as we’re training on SOME tactics program, we’re making progress.


Questions, questions . . .

What’s the point of the opening? Robert Pearson's Chess Blog (the one with the hands!) offers Opening Study: Some Diverse Opinions, Part III. His money quote sums up his thesis:

The purpose of studying the opening is to, as often as possible, reach a good middlegame position without using a lot of clock time and mental effort, thus reserving your time and energy for improving that good middlegame position.

Meanwhile, Online Chess Blog asks, “How does one remember the plethora of chess openings?” in a short piece called Winning Chess Opening Moves. This is the old percentage analysis. This may not be the best. An opening line may have been played successfully a thousand times until someone comes up with a refutation. Then it stops getting played. The percentages would still show 1,000 wins and 1 loss.

P.S. Don’t mind my nasty editorials. Susan Polgar doesn’t listen to me either. And she’s a GM and the USCF Chairman, to boot. So don’t feel bad when I pan something.


Confessions of a Chess Novice asks Are You Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution? Clever title. When studying tactical puzzles, he concentrates on pattern recognition of solutions rather than analysis of the positions. Good points, though I just KNOW that I need all the analytical practice that I can get.

Which is where Reassembler comes in. He presents Calculation Exercise 1.

Problem analysis or solution recognition? Chess Novice vs. Reassembler. My verdict: draw. We need both points of view.


This month’s entry is is more of a statistical analysis of bullet games versus blitz and longer time controls. Thanks, Chess Improvement for The Wealth of Bullets, part 2 of a series.

WRAPPING UP - - - - - -

One last question. Which blog do you think contributed the best article in this Carnival?

There are many chess blogs and many valued chess sites that weren’t listed above. Here’s a couple of favorites of mine.

World Chess Hall of Fame
FIDE The World Chess Federation
World Championship Tournament This is being played this month
The United States Chess Federation This is a temporary link as they are changing their website.
The Daily Dirt Chess Blog Well, you just have to judge this one for yourself!
ChessBase News

Look for the next edition of the Chess Blog Carnival October 1. You can find out more about it at That also gives a link where bloggers can submit their posts for inclusion in the next blog.