But let me again emphasize, to be good at chess, you need to study and read a bit.
But you also have to have the talent.
I used to be, what I thought, was a pretty decent chess player. I easily beat most people I played and could defeat most of those hand-held computers that were coming out in the 1980s.
Then, one day, a friend invited me over for a smoke and a drink. Seeing that he had a chess table set-up, I asked him if he fancied a game. He beat me quickly. Twice.
So I figured I would see how good he was. During the third game, we’re about 30 moves into the game, and he steps out of the room, so I moved one of his pieces to my advantage. My friend Mark comes back in, sits down, and immediately moves the piece back. Somewhat surprised, I ask if he saw me move it.
Mark looked at me curiously, wiped all the pieces off the board, set them up from the beginning, and says to me “In Chess, you either see it or you do not.” He then makes my opening move, explaining “The standard opening for white,” pausing for effect and then adding “and also the opening move Spasky used in his third match against Fisher in the game I was studying last night.” “Boris is a ham and egger,” he tells me.
“I countered with Fischer’s move,” he says moving his piece. “Also very standard.”
“And then you did something very interesting. A very unconventional move, but I’ve seen it used a few times. When I was 13 someone did this to me and it really threw me off my tempo since it was not like any standard opening. I lost that game in 25 moves.”
Mark was 35 and he was telling me about a game he played when he was 13. At this point I began to understand that I was out of my league.
So he looks at me, and says, “I countered your move with the same move I used against the Israeli national champion at the Philadelphia Open when I was 15. He tried your same trick on me too, but by then I had figured out several defenses.”
He moves his piece, turning a gimlet eye to me, he says “And then you made a really stupid move so I knew you didn’t know what you were doing.”
And he goes on the explain each move up to where he left the room. “This was the position of the board when I left, you moved this pawn here while I was out.”
I was gobsmacked.
It is not enough to study the game, you have to have a photographic memory and a massive intellect to really be any good at it. Turns out my friend Mark Coles – who was one of the smartest people I have ever met – was a ranked Chess Master with a long list of merits and trophies. We were both playing chess, but he was playing another game. I never played much chess after that. I’ll play a game or two with a couple of ex-cons I know who learned to play in the joint, but I don’t really consider it as playing chess. I don’t know anything about the game.
posted by three blind mice at 1:33 AM on June 20 [115 favorites]
Archive for the ‘Other Sources’ Category.
Trav’s been talking about this lawyer he’s been interacting with. It’s krazy.
He got BoingBoinged today, bringing down his server (darn it, I was -just- going to mention that he install WP-Cache). The server’s back up and the story is funny. Check it out.
Google for “Raptor Jesus”. I dare you.
Here is the original, the one, the only: http://sweetraptorjesus2.ytmnsfw.com/
It plays smoother on ytmnd but here’s a local archive…
Here is the Raptor Jesus slideshow (click on the image to see an an animated gif) to be played with the video raptor_jesus.mp3. Put your audio-player on ‘repeat’.
Update 3-3-08: The raptor battle just above was painted by Brandon Bird, titled “Killing Machine”. I’m an instant fan! (yes, that’s Bea Arthur grappling that raptor)
This was forwarded to me by my cousin. It’s incredible. I was moved by his singing.
Here’s what I was sent:
Even if you hate opera, you will LOVE this!!!
Paul Potts, a shy, 36 year old mobile car salesman from Wales entered the British version of “American Idol”. He was near bankrupt from a series of health issues [tumor on adrenaline gland, ruptured appendix, and a smashed collar bone from being thrown from his bike]. He never sang professionally and lacks confidence from being bullied as a child. He said, his voice was his only friend at times.
This video was Paul’s audition.
The finals were held on June 19, and that evening, after 2 million viewers voted by phone, Paul won the contest will receive $200,000, sang on NBC’s TODAY SHOW on 6/21/07, and will sing for the Queen later this month.
His first CD will be available in July.
WHAT A STORY!
Originally from Jack Rabbit Speaks Volume 11, Issue 11 June 14, 2007
There are several good resources for buying art and other supplies here
Cool, my friend TJIC’s company, Smartflix.com is offering a chance at winning a free Sherline Lathe.
How do you enter to win? Just rent any metalworking video from SmartFlix between today and June 10th. Every video you rent is a whole ‘nother chance to win.
This lathe is an excellent choice for clockmakers, modelers or others who work on small parts. It is easily used where space is at a premium and can be stored on a closet shelf.
…And, last but not least, it’s the lathe that got the president of SmartFlix interested in metalworking, and led him to start the company!