Browne’s Autograph

by admin on July 5, 2015

Just yesterday I found something that I didn’t know I had: the scoresheet of my game with Walter Browne! I should have included it in My Browne Story, but when I wrote that post I didn’t realize I had it. Omission rectified.

browne autographDoes anybody collect scoresheets of games against celebrity chess players? Just think of all the autographs I could have collected over the years. Hikaru Nakamura, Alex Yermolinsky, Igor Ivanov, Melikset Khachiyan, Jesse Kraai, Roman Dzindzichashvili, … All people I’ve played (and lost to). I guess I could still collect some of them, but others (like Ivanov and Boris Kogan) have departed this world.

I’ve never been an autograph collector, period. The whole scenario of walking up to some famous person, thrusting a piece of paper in his hands and getting some illegible scrawl just does not appeal to me. You really haven’t had any personal contact with that person, so the autograph doesn’t mean anything.

But a chess scoresheet would be different. You’ve had that person’s full attention for three or four or five hours, and in fact you have jointly created a work of art. So the autograph really does commemorate something. It’s a signature, not just an autograph.

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NPR Interview Airs!

by admin on July 3, 2015

My interview for “Only a Game” aired on National Public Radio last Saturday… and they forgot to tell me! You can still listen to it online at the Only a Game website.

Although any publicity is good publicity, I have to say that I’m a little bit disappointed. I hear things like the throat-clearing at the beginning and wonder, “Why didn’t they edit that out?” Also, I think that the story just isn’t told very well. They had to edit a one-hour interview down to 6 minutes, which is next to impossible, and I feel as if the story is told in very short fragments that don’t quite fit together. Partly it’s my fault. In retrospect, I should have told the whole basic story, without frills, one time through at the beginning of the interview, and after that was finished we could have gone into all the philosophizing about beauty and how should we view the computer, as a rival or as a tool, etc.

I also wish they had posted a link to the original Story Collider article that prompted the interview. Or a link to the USCF website. Or my blog. Or any chess website. As it is, the story’s just there and there’s no way for the listener to follow up on it.

But good grief, I shouldn’t complain too much! How many people get to be on NPR? Any appearance of chess in the national media is a good thing, right? So give it a listen and don’t let my comments discourage you.

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ChessLecture: Returns and Farewells

July 1, 2015

One of my readers, Paul B., said that I should record a ChessLecture on my last-round game from the National Open, and I agree with him. I am planning to record the lecture today, called “Returns and Farewells,” and it will probably be posted in a couple weeks. I’m going to announce there and also […]

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How I Got Here, and What Comes Next

June 26, 2015

First, let me make a promise: This will be the last post in which I write the number 2203. I am sure that some readers are getting bored of it by now. However, I do want to write one more entry about how I got my rating over 2200 after these many years, because I […]

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My Browne Story

June 25, 2015

Well, I was going to finish my coverage of the National Open by showing you part of my last-round game… but then the news came yesterday that blew all of those plans to smithereens. Walter Browne, the six-time U.S. Champion, has died. Browne gave a 25-board simul at the National Open, and also played in […]

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This, That and the Other

June 23, 2015

So many things going on at once, and I’d like to write a separate post on each of them but then it would take too long. So here are three separate, unrelated pieces of news at once. This My rating graph since 1991, downloaded from the USCF website. It’s official, my highest rating in almost […]

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Dana 1, Father Time 0

June 22, 2015

This weekend, at the National Open in Las Vegas, I finally returned to the chess Valhalla: a rating of 2200, the minimum (and only) requirement to be a National Master. Never mind that I’ve been rated 2200 before. Never mind that I am already, in fact, a Life Master (2200 plus five master norms). Chess […]

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Trump Cards (in Chess!)

June 11, 2015

Although there are no cards in chess, and no “luck of the draw,” trump cards definitely do exist. A trump card in chess is a dangerous threat that you keep in reserve to play at the right moment — often in combination with another trump card. Here’s a game I played against the computer yesterday […]

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The Fine Print

June 5, 2015

In my last post I wrote about the amazing 2N versus P endgame that Hans Niemann won recently at the Chicago Open. In that post, with help from the computer and especially the Nalimov tablebase, I wrote about the “Niemann maneuver” and generally gave the appearance of understanding what was going on. In this post […]

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Hans Niemann and the Fifth Endgame of the Apocalypse

June 1, 2015

I’ve written before about the Four Endgames of the Apocalypse – the four rare endgames that all chess players dread, which occur just often enough (like once or twice a lifetime) that you really ought to know them. They are: K+Q vs. K+R K+B+N vs. K K+Q+RP vs. K+Q K+R+B vs. K+R There is one other […]

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