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Consumed by Chess
Saturday, 2005 January 15 - 1:59 pm
Just what I needed, something else to take hours out of my day.

As I mentioned before, I've been getting back more into chess lately. My Mac has a built-in chess program, probably based on the venerable Gnu chess program. Right now, I still lose a lot. The computer likes to play the French Defense, Winawer variation, and when I go to attack with the Poisoned Pawn strategy, the computer eats me up in the middle-game. This is probably utterly meaningless to most of you, but the point is: although I still remember a lot of the theory from when I was younger, I seem to have lost the ability to put it into practice.

Partly it's lack of patience. I've become so accustomed to the instant gratification of other video games, it's hard to sit and just stare at the computer screen, thinking. So I move too quickly, and I make a dumb mistake, and it's all downhill from there. Sometimes I do something that turns out to be brilliant, but COMPLETELY BY ACCIDENT. That's almost as frustrating as getting nailed for a dumb mistake, because I don't want to win based on sheer luck.

But bit by bit, I'm rebuilding my mental discipline. I let that be my justification for the fact that I've spent my entire Saturday morning playing computer chess. It's like going to the gym for my brain, so it's good for me, right?

I've gone so far as to order the latest edition of Modern Chess Openings from, along with another book on strategy. I don't know if I'll ever put all this chess training to use. But then again, I go running even though I'll probably never face a situation where it will be necessary to run a mile in under six minutes. It's the exercise that's important. Yeah.
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Posted by Ken in: life


Comment #1 from Crouching Hamster (Guest)
2005 Jan 17 - 1:27 pm : #
There's a Weezer song for everything:

chess is such a difficult game
there are so many pieces
so many squares where you can go
so few promises
never you mind all the others
anticipating your next move
i know it's hard cause you got a lot to do
street signs and traffic lights ever confusing me it's you
stop left, go right, no U-turn, where's the goddamn exit
never you mind all the others
influencing your next move
i know it's hard cause you got a lot to prove
Comment #2 from Timothy Ross (Guest)
2005 Jan 21 - 5:59 pm : #
I have always wanted to learn to play chess.

Scratch that... I know the rules. I have always wanted to learn to play chess well.

I had a friend in college (I had several, he was just one of them) who started playing chess a bit.

(Interesting side note: He also started playing Magic: The Gathering about the same time)

He was a smart fellow, but I also thought I was smarter (he was a communications major!), but he used to beat the pants off me.

That still pisses me off!

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