New article for Chess Life?

by admin on November 17, 2007

This week I submitted an article to Chess Life that was very closely based on my “Eight-Dimensional Chess” lecture on I’m glad to say that the editor liked it a lot. He said that the earliest slot for publication is in late spring or early summer, so that is probably when it will appear (assuming it is accepted). You heard about it here first!

He did suggest one change, though — he didn’t like the title “Eight-Dimensional Chess.” I agree that it sounds a little bit too academic. So I suggested the following title, which he loved: “Don’t Just Reassess Your Chess — IMPLODe It!” (Of course, the title is a reference to Silman’s How to Reassess Your Chess, plus the mnemonic “IMPLODeS + K” that I discussed in the article.)

One of the great things about ChessLecture is that it gives me a barometer to tell which topics might be popular as written articles. The “number of views” is a useful objective rating system. For some reason, “Eight-Dimensional Chess” absolutely exploded, with something like 600 views in the first three weeks and now over 800. It could end up as the highest-rated lecture posted in 2007, when all is said and done. On the other hand, my lecture on “Hikaru’s Long March,” even though I personally learned a lot from doing it, somehow left the audience deeply unimpressed. So I won’t be sending that to Chess Life any time soon, or ever.

There’s one thing I can’t figure out, though. How do listeners figure out which lectures they want to listen to? What made so many people want to listen to “Eight-Dimensional Chess,” but not “Hikaru’s Long March”? David Vigorito, one of the other ChessLecturers, thinks it’s all in the title. But if so, then “Eight-Dimensional Chess” was a pretty good title after all. (???)

By the way, I love David’s “Taking Out the Trash” series, which I think has the perfect title. (Even though I suspect that half of the openings I play would end up on his garbage dump.)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Hayes November 17, 2007 at 11:22 pm

Ah, how to decide which lecture to listen to… I find I am more inclined to listen to a one-off lecture than one that is part of a series. I know some lecuturers (possibly all at some time or another) like to have “Part I”, “Part II” etc. as part of their lecture titles. But I tend to shy away from those more. I listen to them occasionally but not as often as the “stand alone” lectures.

Also, perhaps the skill level of the lecture plays a part. It could be that there is a far higher % of players who fall into one skill category who use If that is the case, then a good number of them probably just ignore some of the other lectures. e.g. Beginner or low-rated players might ignore any of the advanced (or intermediate-advanecd) lectures.

Finally, I prefer lectures that talk about concepts and strategies rather than those that just play through a game (even if the game was played between two GM’s). I DO watch some of the lectures that go through a specific game, and I like to play through games in my own time, but somehow I feel the lectures about tactics and strategy do more to improve my own game. That’s why I tend to gravitate towards them.

At least, I hope they are improving my own game!


Carina J. November 19, 2007 at 4:24 am

I think the reason 8-dimensional chess got so many hits, is that the title is so strange you just have to check it out. 😀 I remember my own reaction to it before I viewed it was: “8 dimensions of chess? Damn, and I can’t even mention one. Here’s something improve quickly”.

Whereas Hikaru’s Long March literally sounds like it might take a while to gain from, even if it’s just a simple concept of King-marching that would actually be priceless to incorperate in one’s own games.

If you do make an article of it, make sure to add the stunning illustration of the concept! With this, how could it be anything but a success?


As for how I choose my lectures, it’s based on 2 things: the length of the lecture and my mood. About the length, I prefer long lectures because they give me more time to absorb the themes dealt with. The ones close to an hour suit me excellently. Sometimes, at work, I pick the coffee break lectures, though. That’s when I don’t have time for a full one.

About how I choose based on mood, I think that every lecturer on brings something special to the site, and it’s usually based on which of these things I need at the moment.

Just to mention some, I like to listen to Vigorito’s theoretical lectures when I’m sitting with my board, and run through the openings he recommends with my pieces instead of looking at the screen. It’s much better than reading an opening book!!

When I feel like just sitting back with a master’s game and just learn and absorb from their wisdom, I’ll usually pick a lecture from Wallace and have a lot of fun decoding the ideas as he goes along with it.

If I’m in an introspective mood, I’ll usually listen to Kraai because his lectures are usually sprinkled with invaluable psychological chess insights that always means looking away from screen and board alltogether, to look inside instead. I often put those lectures on repeat, so I can walk around, clean up my apartment and stuff while considering what’s spoken about, instead of looking at a lot of analysis.

Paschall’s lectures are always fascinating in a way I can’t quite put a finger on. The zeal with which he engages chess always grips my attention and leaves me completely engrossed in the game and fourty minutes fly past as though they were five.

I like to watch your lectures when I’m feeling a bit down and can’t handle instruction other than kind and encouraging instruction. Watching your lectures when I’m already happy and cheerful feels a bit like gluttony, so I like to save them for when my perspective has strayed and I need it back on track. If your library chess club is a happy place, that makes your lectures happy pills. 😛 Feeling cheerful is something valuable to me, and is why I, as you know, like your lectures the best. 😉

But generally, I think all the contributers to the site to an awesome job and I mean to watch through all the videos there. At the moment, I don’t have internet at home, and the only thing I miss about the internet, is watching your lectures morning/evening. But I’ve watched through 270 lectures in the 2½ months I’ve been a member, so I think that’s alright. 😀


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