A very short story

Man: There’s nothing magical about the couch. It just helps people to be comfortable. So they can focus on their thoughts.

Death [lying back, fidgeting]: I know there’s nothing magical about the couch.

Man: Okay. Great. So tell me what’s on your mind. … More A very short story

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

Second position

Another recent position that shows a pretty significant gap in my chess understanding. Here I thought white has a pretty strong advantage. The knight is good, black is underdeveloped, and white has potential pressure on the queenside down the b- and c-files and perhaps a Bf3. Stray thought during the game was that Kramnik would win this … More Second position

First position

A position from a recent game. My move, as black. Where should black put the hanging bishop? I mentioned staring down my technical deficiencies. Well, this isn’t technical exactly, but it’s a position I didn’t play very well. Here’s my analysis as I remember it: It seemed to me that black’s position isn’t comfortable, or at any … More First position

Stats and illusions

I picked up the King’s Indian defense about 18 months ago. It’s the kind of hypertheoretical stuff I’ve avoided for three decades, so imagine my suprise when I started scoring left and right (I thought). Made for each other, the KID and I (I thought). Won 4 of my first five attempts and, despite a … More Stats and illusions