Friday, November 12, 2010

No Hindi required

Hat tip to ChessBase.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Let's be less obscure....

Chess is certainly not a substitute for a liberal education (see the sad example of Bobby Fischer), just as, contra Wagner, a healthy culture requires a lot more than opera.  But chess, like music, adds immensely to a liberal education.  

One small example: in this information age, chess gives us insights into both the tremendous value and the sharp limits of computing operations.  My friends and I can't hope to compete with Rybka, but there's lot of chess understanding that we have--that YOU have, gentle reader--that hasn't be programmed into Rybka. and won't be, for years to come.  The human brain is uncannily good at "instinctive" knowledge: recognition of "fuzzy" patterns that computers can't interpret.  A simple example: CAPTCHA.  Experts often find it difficult to articulate the nature of their expert knowledge: see Jonah Lehrer's How We Decide for a wonderful introduction to this topic.

So what was the link to protein folding in the previous post all about?  Molecular biology is an information science, one in which computers are essential to research.  But humans can sometimes outperform computers in protein folding!  Keep in mind that the computers, as in chess, can calculate millions of more "variations" per second.  

And now I must do my football picks for the office pool....I picked New England, Detroit, and Buffalo last week, and finished dead last in a field of nineteen.

"Top Titled Players Endorse ICA's Program for Chicago Public Schools"

Jerry Neugarten reports on his group's proposal to bring free chess instruction to all of Chicago's Title I public schools.  

Bringing the joy of creative thinking to disadvantaged children is one of the greatest things we can do as a community!  Chess education will never be as popular as music education, another medium for prodigies.  And if you'll permit me a bit of heresy, chess education shouldn't be as important as music education.  (I rest my case.)  But I know from personal experience that chess introduced me to certain new ways of thinking that are particularly important in an information economy.

Of course, Chicago will soon have a new mayor, and Chicago Public Schools will soon have a new CEO, so it's hard to say how this proposal will play out.   (Did you know that the outgoing Ron Huberman is only 38 years old?  He probably knows something about developing prodigies....)

Check out the endorsement letter itself: cool signatures!

Original blog entry edited to correct hyperlink errors....any remaining weird hyperlinks are deliberately obscure. :-)

Oh, let's go ahead and embarrass Trevor

Follow the link for the charming explanation....Mom looks great then and now.  

Your present blogger, on the other hand, needs to lose weight AND grow hair.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Blaze Game of the (final) week"

NM Jeremy Kane annotates a creative struggle between Grandmasters Gurevich and Becerra.

Calling all computer gurus

If one were looking for a meat-and-potatoes laptop mainly for chess (ChessBase / Rybka, etc.), is this Toshiba a reasonable choice?  There's already an AMD Toshiba in our family: price (about $450) and features (4 GB RAM) seem just fine .

But I was wondering if there was a better price/performance sweet spot.

Helen Warren honored at ICA banquet

From left: Les Bale, Tim Just, ICA president Tom Sprandel, Vince Hart, honoree Helen Warren, Jerry Neugarten, Jim Warren, 40% of Jim Brotsos...
Photo Betsy Dynako

Banquet organizer Andi Rosen reports....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Chicago Poised to Shine at Illinois All Grade"

Mike Cardinale previews this Saturday's event on the ICA website.  Rumor has it that preregistrations are already over 450 players!

Register here!   No onsite entries!
This event is free for the first 300 K-8 children on the Illinois Free and and Reduced Lunch Program. Verification from participating schools is required.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nakamura may have missed a win against Kramnik today....

Hikaru Nakamura
Insane game against Kramnik today. Gotta love how we both didn't know what was going on and Rybka is like, "haha, you stupid idiots!"

Nakamura breaks into top ten on live ratings list

How about that!

We had fun yesterday!

Check out Betsy Dynako's photo gallery (you may need to enter your email first).

Our condolences to the Taylor family

To lose a loved one is always painful.  But to lose such a fine young man as Choice Taylor, who was a senior at Maine West....there are no words.

Story here.  Our condolences to the Taylor family and to his friends at Maine West.

"Florida Hurricane"

Tom Panelas wraps up the Blaze's playoff loss to Miami (so I don't have to...!)

Evanston Chess Club Tri-Level

Thirty players turned out for Saturday's Tri-Level.  NM Ken Wallach, NM Jon Burgess, and Robby Hecht tied for first in the Gold Section with 3-1 scores.  Eduard Baev, Mark Spitzig, and Haoyang Yu tied for first in the Silver/Bronze section with 3½-½ scores.

Crosstable here!

North Shore Chess Center Game/45

Miomir Stevanovic won yesterday's four-player quad at the North Shore Chess Center. Crosstable here.

Best game prize: 1982 Midwest Masters

The Midwest Masters tournaments are one of Helen Warren's great legacies.  Here's Erik Karklins's amazing game that won the best game prize in the inaugural event.  Look for notes to this game (based on the gracious loser's annotations in the Illinois Chess Bulletin) in the December 2010 Chess Life!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

If you're not going to the banquet today....

G/45 + 10/sec increment tournament
We are holding a G/45 + 10/sec increment tournament today at the North Shore Chess Center. Based on numbers this can be a series of quads (3-rounds) or a regular swiss tournament (4 rounds). 
Entry fee is $20 for non-chess center members and $15 for chess center members. 
Registration starts at 12:30pm with Round 1 @ 1pm. All equipment is provided. 
  • 1st place - Free entry to the 2010 Illinois Class on 12/4/2010 and a 3-month extension to a 1 year chess center membership
  • 2nd place - 50% off entry fee to the 2010 Illinois Class on 12/4/2010 and a 3-month extension to a 1 year chess center membership
  • 3rd place - 3-month extension to a 1 year chess center membership
The North Shore Chess Center is located at 5500 West Touhy Ave Suite A, Skokie, IL 60077. You can visit our website at or our Facebook Page at for more details on memberships, events, etc. 

Quad tournament in Elgin November 20th

Details on the ICA website!

Leonid Bondar posts an even score at the World Senior

Chicagoland's Leonid Bondar scored 5½-5½ at the World Senior Championship in Arco, Italy.  The 11-round event just ended yesterday.  Crosstable here.

Larry Kaufman tied for first once again, placing fourth on tiebreaks.  He reports at Chess Life Online.