World-class chess is largely a celebration of great moves (Topalov-Shirov: 47…Bh3!!!). For most of us, though, it’s a series of decent moves punctuated by total stinkers. Boldi (1750) – Slater (2130). Here I found a powerful calculation: 21…Qf6 22.Rf3 Qxd4! 23.Qxd4 Re1+!! winning the queen on d4! [Psst: Derek, you gave up your queen too. So you’re … More Howlers

Klytus, I’m bored. What plaything can you offer me today?

There’s something for everyone. There really is. Long, long ago we mentioned competitive Rock Paper Scissors tournaments. You may have seen news or video of  14-year-old Lucas Etter set a world record for solving Rubik’s Cube in less than 5 seconds. Just for fun, here he is doing 2×2 cubes. (Yes those exist too.) I … More Klytus, I’m bored. What plaything can you offer me today?

Fourth position

Played another G/45 at the Mechanics Institute club this past weekend. Here’s a final-round game that’s kind of comically inept, although that sounds harsher than I mean it. But there’s a long sequence where every move by either of us improves the other guy’s position by a half-pawn or more. C’mon gang, let’s count the wrong moves! Mays … More Fourth position

Chess and the Quantified Self (aka tracking the disintegration of your own brain)

Date of highest blitz rating, FICS: September 1996 Then: 1937   Now: 1608 Date of highest standard rating, FICS: February 2008 Then: 2123   Now: 1946 Date of highest standard blindfold rating, FICS: January 2010 Then: 1796   Now: 1559 Date of highest blitz blindfold rating, FICS: August 2004 Then: 1371   Now: 1078 Date of highest tactics rating, September 2007 Then: 1792  Now: 1658