Friday, March 04, 2011

Chess Blog Carnival III: The Renaissance Faire Edition

Welcome to the third installment of the Chess Improvement Blog Carnival meant to stir up some interest and traffic. I’m following some big shoes with Chess Blog Carnival I and Carnival II. We have yet to have a host for April’s installment of the carnival. So feel free to step up to the plate it’s pretty cool and you will get introduced to new bloggers.

First up is Chris Harrington’s Humanity and Chess Blog entry He takes a “private eye” approach and cleverly disguises this annotated game as if it were Guy Noir himself reporting about a swindle on dark and rainy night in Reno. Its an interesting game with lots of action. A nice sample of creative chess annotations. He Also drew my attention to another “creative writing piece relating a game to a crusade:

The Pied Chessman, Bob Lenning , gives us a look at the finer details of a Bishop’s of opposite colors and how it actually favors the Attacker. Typically these games tend to draw, but as he points out, having the initiative and the attack could turn that game into a full point on the score board. The illustrative example of Rubinstein versus Speilmann underscores Rubiunstein’s contributions to the world of endgame theory in this Slav Defense game.

Chess Blogger, fellow knight errant, Temposchlucker always has some insightful reflections of his own inner workings. In this submission , he gets into the finer details of how he practices visualizing the board through Blindfold practice. His convincing claim is that it helps solve a calculation problem of keeping track of pieces without having to physically see them. The exercise of blindfold play is not meant to be an impressive parlor trick when you have guests over, rather its another useful tool to transfer anther task from a thinking skill. Taking some leads from Dan Heisman, he gets into some detail on the differences of the 3 types of vision DH suggests: Board Vision, Visualization, and Tactical Vision.

If that isn’t enough, Chaos Monolith takes us down a variant path called Crazy Chess which introduces a concept called “denial” where the opponent can “deny” one move at any time in the game. It’s an interesting concept and sometimes I wish I could throw that one at my opponent AFTER I blunder.

Derek Slater at Reassembler submits this rather Zen-like approach to facing the French by denying the hostility that the troubled Black player seeks. “Don’t try to win. Just Play good moves and accept that a draw may be the logical outcome.” He goes on to mention how this Zen-like approach goes on to CRUSH the exchange variation.

Next up is a Blogger at Chess Skills who submitted a post about Keeping it simple .James relates a simple concept from Baseball to chess. Since it’s spring training time, I welcome this analogy and his tactical volley “when the ball is thrown” is a nice example.

Lastly, the one I call the energize, the empirical rabbit, keeps going and going with is tireless Design of Experiment approach to tactical training and how he is concentrating on memory training using a methodical staggered refresh interval. His post tests the Dan Heisman’s tactical advice of learning the Bain tactics. With all those charts and results, I was almost expecting a Cpk on his process. I admire this discipline and rigor he brings to pattern training. Bravo.

As always, I respect Mark Weeks input. This month he submits a behind the scenes look at looking at Chess improvement blog content and gives the pros and cons of blogs at versus elsewhere. In an effort to distill the volatile nature of the chess blog world in general he presents a short list of quality blogs based on the following criteria: Written in English, On topic, at least one post in the last month, more content than a single uncommented game in a viewer, at least five posts total, and (as specified for the carnival) instructional. This is all very good input and meant to help the chess improvement blog world in a qualitative way. Thanks for the feedback Mark!

Well, that wraps things up here. I hope you all enjoy this month’s Renaissance Faire edition and visit the links presented here. If you do visit, please drop a comment or two and add to the community! Until next time , HUZZAH!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting the carnival and introducing so many folks that are new to me, looking forward to reading the links in more detail Just starting out on my blog, but hope to contribute to the April carnival.

Eric Thomson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Devil Knight said...

Great month of chess blogging, and a great carnival blunderprone!

Pawn Shaman said...

Love the Carnival. Its too bad Renaissance Faires are my arch nemesis.