Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Letters to a Not So Young Blue Devil Knight: Where to Go Next?

As many of you know, our most esteemed friend BDK--truly along with wormwood one of the smartest, most practically armed 'guys' around in our chess blogesphere--is about to become a father.

No longer able just to think of his wife and himself alone, he judiciously told us recently that its NOT that he cannot afford the US $70.00 for an ICC annual membership, but rather in comparison to other priorities such as responsibly paying down a VISA [1], ‘triathlon’s, and physical health’, seeks other venues.

I had long felt that I was the one among us who needed to write a narrative comparing all major chess playing venues in the English speaking world or among its friends where English is not the primary language, but well spoken (Netherlands, India, etc), and that time is now. With a few exceptions, I have either played many of them and in real size or viewed them.

* *

Major Providers:
ICC or The Internet Chess Club is the best, there is no escaping it. But it is also the most expensive, and to the many of you where ‘best’ must be right sized to family and/or individual budgets, myriads of FIDE masters, International Masters, Grandmasters, Experts, and hoards of ‘class C’ to ‘class A’ club level players with such intricately clever finger notes [2] that their marvels bar as high creative literature, despite all that, in comparison to other options and lifestyle choices, it just doesn’t seem worth it. I heartily disagree, but to each his or her own:

You can see the likes of Rabjabov, Nakamura, Aaronian, or Morozevich, and at times even Carlsen, Dreev, Mamedyarov, or Kamsky. FICS or Playchess either don’t have it or if they do, to a much less degree. Some say, ‘what do I care if GM’s play where I play?’ Well, “don’t knock it till you try it”--watching GM blitz at 3/0 or 3/1.

Play: Top ranks also for ease of getting a game. In fact, I venture to say, that ‘the pool’ for 5/0, 15/0, and—for those who like it—1/0 is so deep that this alone justifies the membership. What is so good about it is that you click, for example, 5/0 and you are put in a pool matching you by color and rank with a similarly paired player. It is fast, it is fair, and it doesn’t take long. No-play lists cannot be regarded—it chooses for you. This negates the factor of boosting by avoiding certain types of players—you get the low, you get the high, you get your peers, we all do. It’s fantastic. Who has time to sit and wait for games or, in-turn, inviting ad-infinitum? Who? Problem solved.

Advantages: many titled players; a large and increasingly comprehensive library of trainings and videos, a rich culture of wry comments from a richly woven community of really smart people from countries round the world; good recall of player data, easy to access and use game histories on not only your last twenty games, but your opponents, and their opponents; and a low rate of lag, or connectivity failure. All this makes for a rich virtual learning community or online community of knowledge, with rich and rewarding social intercourse.

Disadvantages: some find $69.95 to be too expensive (or 19.2 cents or about 0.142 Euro’s per day). Tolerance for rudeness, despite avowed implicit if not stated policy against it, is actually quite high.

I have heard Yermolinsky make explicit racist statements about Tiger Woods referencing Magnus Carlsen that I wont repeat here, but suffice to say, not only wrote ICC and printed his words, but positively spoke with Joel Berez, President of ICC, reaching him and talking at length with him on his mobile phone. Nothing done. Celine Rules [6 insert].

I am inclined to stay unsettled by this sort of thing and not forget, but recently, seeing his photo at the site, as one of the commentators for the current WCC between incumbent Anand and challenger Topalov, knew that he was already being well punished. As Gurdjieff once said, ‘people are their own punishment’ and the very hatred and vitriol he puts forth, told to stop it by no less than me directly more than once, shows in his physiology.

You know the type, very Russian and very bitter. Nevertheless, all that said, let me close our first review by noting that I have made many wonderful and lasting friendships there.

FICS or Free Internet Server first and foremost attempts to replicate what ICC set out to do, but to sustain what was once a free service, and was established as a breakaway faction.

Its main advantage, other than being ‘the low cost provider’ (and it naggingly shows), is its apparent similarity to ICC yet it lacks its imprimatur, volume, or capacity. I do admit, it’s the most community oriented social group, and if you play there, you will get to know the names and faces, perhaps much easier than at ICC and certainly Playchess or chessCube--by far the far largest volume providers.

Disadvantage: if you are on the west coast or in Europe, its player volume drops off after 11 PST and obvious very early 7 am CST near the center of Europe in the Netherlands will find yourself light on play.

Playchess is also free and the shear volume leader. While it lacks the volume of titled players and GM’s as ICC, it is the clear volume leader. Having said that, its player volume is very cyclical and is not continuous through the day and your ability to instrumentalize that will depend a lot on where you live or some as to when you can sleep.

This great site has a very great advantage--even without premium membership with ensuing access to videos and broadcast commentary channels and narratives--and that is its putting you half way to chessBase, when chessBase lite and PlayChess coordinate perfectly. They have it set, most favorably, so that you cannot use the one while you use the other [3], chessBase in their infinite wisdom (and perhaps no small marketing savvy) has seen fit, so that when you are off playchess, the games easily are stored in chessBase light [4].

If I wasn’t already a tenured user at ICC, FICS, and now chessCube, I would make it my first choice barring ICC.

Despite its lack of heavy credentialed players does not mean there are not tons of class B's and A's so this is not Yahoo! on steroids. No. But again, despite missing all the IM's of ICC, it does offer a compensating benefit--Fritz8 when viewing match games. When you play, it is fully disabled. But when you are watching, you can select Fritz or Crafty or whatever client you want among an array of choices, and without having a separate window for chessBase or separate application, it is BUILT IN. It's the bomb. So when Dortmund or Linares or Wijk aan Zee is showing, you have built in analytics. A+ to team chessBase! And again, its free. Good god.
[tempoary Insert: I am told this is not true, that to get RATED you need a premium membership at 29.90 Euros, about US $38.47--about 0.10 cents per day]

Disadvantage: Playchess is very light in the wee hours, and its very, very heavily weighted towards European players.

Click to enlarge, photo courtesy of chessBase
But if you like me, view Europeans as superior to many American’s (I am NOT being sarcastic), then this is not all bad! And if like me, you are a night bird, it’s a no go unless you play at work, at lunch in the States, OR emphasize the weekends.

Playchess totally lacks features like finger notes at ICC and FICS, which add no small part to their great color.

ChessCube also has great volume. The apsx/java GAME BOARD interface is very, very slick which is a GREAT positive, but the game room and reporting interface sucks a big weenie. Such beta between greatness and paltriness!

Disadvantage: integrity is the lowest [5]. The shear volume of disconnects and take backs is mindblowing. I say, no way. The reporting is a dinosaur. PGN’s are available, but only if you touch the top of you head, spin three times, and get a PMP Certification or are a Certified Dell technician. You also need fifteen fingers. Need I say more. How unfortunate—they didn’t get it all wrong, and yes, its free.

* *
The Zoo:
Yahoo chess: the volume of strong players CAN be very good, if you know WHERE or when to go, but it can still be hard to get a game. Nevertheless, most of you would be shocked HOW strong the intermediate room is, Challenging Café—a tough, tough place as distinct from Yahoo! Social, a real zoo if ever there was one! Rudeness is maximal, its the McDonalds of chess or as they say, 'what do you want, its the internet?' Degraded is another word.

Disadvantage: pgn reporting via email has, despite showing availability that I know of, has been disabled. Terrible.

* *
Odds and ends:
I don't pretend knowledge or experience of chess.com's PLAYING venues, but certainly have been a member there for a long time. I respect them greatly, but just like I am a veterate ICC person and never concerted bypassed playchess, so here: I have done all my posting at blogger, and used it as my source of chess contacts and conversations.
I had no idea chess.com had such volume, but I cannot but be skeptical of the quality of the interface and ability to access, retain, and view games, or get player data. That is to say, as much as the some 1,000 games that I could see being played today, its not to ask WHY NOT play here, as why play there when those same sort of volumes are available playchess or chessCube for free also.
On the fly, the board like chessCube's is very sweet, with a nice replay feature (unlike chessCube). But its also very, very hard to see the whole room. If I am playing, I want to see who is who, and what is what. It has some of chessCube's volume, if you want a simple web hosted player, but without the ability to see the whole venue on one page. Very critical.

Good environment but weighted for correspondence chess, usually three days per move. I suspect they MIGHT have internet chess, but can hardly be expected to have volume.
If I were both a professional writer with duty to verify all data, I would join JUST to get this data, but enough, I have too much already, AND if my life afforded the leisure of disciplined rewriting and polish, I would gladly do so, but I have not had income for 1.5 years.
Sorry. If gameKnot or its affiliates wish to notice me about this, I will gladly insert this here.

Same as gameKnot except I know that no internet (blitz or standard, etc) chess is played there, save correspondence. Very, very smart community. Very active message board. I suspect a lot more programs and chess engines are used than is acknowledged, but that is not our matter today. Smart record keeping, smart interface and heck, wormwood loves it--'works for me'. I left, but respect it--I can play or do deep analysis on computers here at home without involving others. Forgive me if I am wrong.
I will gladly paste clarification here also. Please advise. Write David underscore _ Korn at cable speed dot com; cablespeed is one word.

* *
Stats and comparisons:
1:30 am PST, 4:30 am EST, 9:30 am CST:
Times are obviously late but A. I am wide awake and can measure it calmly, and B. proportions are larger in the day but similar.

ICC: ‘403 players displayed of 891’, assume means 488 not counted, so 244 games. ICC has a Spanish speaking set of options in play and training that they purchased.

FICS: ‘305 players displayed of 831’, assume means 528 not counted or 264 games.

Playchess: ‘1375 main playing hall, 2,444 online’.

ChessCube: ‘2,237 online, 557 live games.

Yahoo, Social: 1,460 in top seven room, and next set several hundred et al.
Yahoo, Intermediate: 167 in Challenging Café
Yahoo, Advanced: two room about 200, sum: 2300 with odds and ends (often more like 4,000 in day time, i.e. EST, latter in day from India/Philippines, Europe, Japan.

9:45 am PST today, 12:45 pm EST, 8:45 pm CST in Amsterdam:
These second set of measure were taken was during the peak of the Anand-Topalov game 8 (Topy win!), and was an excellent way to measure peak users among the aficionado or chess cognoscenti crowd:

ICC: '500 players displayed of 3,901'; WCC game 7 had 1,606 viewers when these measures were taken, so 894 games were being played:
(3,901-1,606= 2294-500=1794/2= 894)

FICS: '793 players displayed of 1,733'; WCC game had 427 viewers, so 257 games (players are those shown NO playing, i.e. list of those available for invites, ostensibly)

Playchess: '7,446 online, 2506 main playing hall; Broadcast showed 3,004, so assuming most were viewing match, that’s about 1253 games, but hard to say.

chessCube: '2,675 players, 982 games' (no WCC broadcast)

chess.com: '3,547 players online'.

* *
I cannot say who, but spoke with an executive from one of these companies who told me, he ‘wouldn’t let his kids play at this site’, that’s how bad it is, as far as nasty language and behavior goes—and is looked upon with truly blind eyes, or benign neglect.

* *
To conclude, what you want to be able to do is play chess, not be disconnected too often, be able to complete or avoid disconnected games, be part of a social fabric or dimension, however large or small, be able to save or record your games, then be able to access them, and view them, and be able to obtain and sustain play at the time of day or days of week which suite your work, lifestyle, and economic budget preferences.

If all you want is a place for straight chess—for fun—with no regard for post-mortem or reporting, chessCube has the volume and a great playing board. Its allows premove and is sweet to look at, in all senses.

If you want to be a serious student, my vote is you go straight for playchess and skip FICS. It has real player volume and puts you immediately within easy reach of the foothills of chessBase through its baby version, chessBase light (same software, but disabling of some key features in file management! [5]) and is also free.

Click to enlarge image!!!!
And lastly, if you can spend not so much spend $70 per year as drink one beer less per week or forgo eating lunch out, at work, say twice per month, then there it is, the bar none, top choice but some of you, I know, think $150 for a sport for three years is too much yet the hours you spend on it says otherwise!

* *
Kant rules [6].

Love dk

[1] The leading credit card provider VISA is a provider of 'revolving credit', known for increasingly pernicious annual fees and/or penalties, easy 'get in terms' with limited conditions, but hard to get out of without belt tightening, due to not only higher rates, but very high rates relative to FED [7] Fund Rates. Those rates are near zero and the banks are having a pig fest.

[2] Finger notes are personal notes giving reign to free speech, self expression, settling grievances, or giving thanks!

[3] Total inability to view the one during the other is not quite true, but believe me, I have been using chessBase daily for over four years, and cannot tell you all I know at once, but its MOSTLY TRUEAgain, its not quite that simple but it is...more or less how it is: You need chessBase lite, another highly recommended free application, to READ those games from playchess. Suffice to say, if you do both, they make it easy and painless.

[4] Top marks here.As always, I can get you past that, but alas, a story for another day.

[5] Chess is not played by grabbing a piece, putting it down, then moving it, and saying 'I didn't mean that. Its not chess if it is. Chess is heavy and tense and irrevocable. Attracting a mass of persons who ask for TB's is not flattering to chessCube, no fucking way! They do laps around all other sites therein, its a fact. Why? The TB button is built in the screen. Bad, bad, bad design. Its like providing a brothel at a methodist isolated offshore drilling site. Flames. Light the match.

[6] Just kidding. Fritz Perls, and the Upanishads rule, take your pick.

[7] The FED does NOT set interest rates in the market [8]; rather, their charter purpose is price stability, one of the major tools of which is monetary policy, that is to say, setting rates that they charge to major money center banks in overnight loans. The trickle down affect is that banks loan THOSE funds, AKA 'injecting liquidity into the market. The FED can apply brakes or add fuel to this flow, by selling bonds or in turn buying bonds by taking money out of the system or re-injecting it.

[8] In the long run, the FED cannot control rates, but market forces do. The FED sets and communicates policy, meeting every six weeks and three weeks latter, making the minutes of the preceding meeting available, also every six weeks. The FED sets policy; buyers and sellers, that is to say, market forces set rates. And guess who or what is the market? It’s the currency market, enormous tranches of Euro’s, Yen, Yuan [9], Reals, Pounds, Wan, Peso’s sloshing around the planet, between buying and selling by major central banks such as the ECB, BOJ, European Central Bank or Bank of Japan. These markets dwarf even the most gargantuan USA stock markets, in global financial super novae.

[9] The currency of China, AKA Rimbi.


Anonymous Derek Slater said...

Chess sites, the Fed, and the Upansiheds - you're in fine form :)

I play at FICS just so I feel better about squandering the money in Parsippany every year.

Used to play at chesshere.com from time to time - not sure whether that's a going concern.

Tue May 04, 05:55:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Great post - very informative!

2) A post of why you view Europeans as superior to many Americans would be interesting.

3) In the photo of the woman holding the pheasant, what is the contraption on the left side?

Tue May 04, 06:51:00 PM PDT  
Blogger wormwood said...

hi dk,

nice summary. about the relative cost, playchess is actually by far the most expensive. it's true the basic fee is only 30 euros (you don't get rated with the free trial) against ICC's 50 euros. BUT, playchess charges extra for videos & tournament commentary. how much? -not that long ago, I made a conservative estimate of how much my personal video & commentary usage would total up to on playchess, and the result was a staggering 200 euros a year. mindboggling. of course you just not use the videos & commentary, but that's the real cost of the corresponding level of service on playchess.

about RHP, the engine situation has gotten much worse in 2 years. engine use at the top level is rampant, only a handful of top 30 are legit. the #1 has been a known engine user for years, yet the admins refuse to act on the evidence. the same situation is typical for game moderation in general: regardless of the damning statistical evidence delivered (sustained matchup rates far exceeding that of any super GMs ever), the admins simply don't act on it. the problem is not identifying the cheats, but the unwillingness to ban them. furthermore, dealing with the cheaters in public meets a quick deletion of related posts and often score a forum ban for the brave individuals fighting for engine-free correspondence chess. for these reasons I've resigned my subscription, and can't recommend paying it for anyone near 2000 level or higher. (below 2000 the point is moot, you won't meet engine users there.)

Wed May 05, 05:49:00 AM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

@derek: i have had to work hard to claim what is rightfully mine and to fully surrender (if not 'lock, stock, and barrel' wholly discard) what is not mine, and i dont mean material things, but spiritual things--character, personality, creativity. its cultivation and tons of pruning.

there is a saying: 'dont use the same coffee grinder to grind your spices' but i rather like the excitement and stimulation!

details not available, but i am struggling with illness. my general physical health is very good, but things happen.

@Anonymous: thank you most sincerely. i felt duty bound to write it, so that others could make better, more informed decisions. i am most honored for your readership.

i still have tons of ideas and motivation in chess and blogging, but alas, i am no longer comfortable typing, i have to psyche myself up to do this.

@wormwood: thank you. first, i was confused on playchess and here is why: my freeware megabase got corrupted, and decided in November 2008 to 'throw down the gauntlet' and just go buy a Megabase from chessBase, which i did on the web from a distributor near home. boy, was i glad.

i use chessbase so much, that the USA $50 or so was worth it. from there, i assiduously downloaded TWIK weekly, very carefully and with devotion, so my 4M game database is now 4.27M games.

you see where this is going. the megabase GAVE me a years membership to playchess, which i never used much but go two nice ratings fast, being in form at the time, so i just left it, and ICC had most if not all of me, truly.

it was confusing. they said i would have a years free downloads, but because i had cBase9 and cB10 had come out, it was disabled; so twik is 90% of what they have, and the missing 10% are the tertiary high level games, with few secondary exception. of course, TWIK gets 99% of all the top events.

then they introduced premium membership. every time i log in, they ask for an id, and now, it says, your password has expired, from my old chessBase. himmmm? but i just say cancel, it lets me in. i just go there now, to view a high level game THAT i am already viewing in ICC, but to get it downloaded to my kibitzing file in chessBase (their term).

that way, i can for example see Topalov-Anand, Round 8 and see the game end before resignation, and run fritz fast.

@Redhotpawn et al: i figured as much. i do note, that i suspect engine use 1600 to 1900 is less uncommon than some might suggest. i wanted to run higher in rating, but let me membership lapse, figuring it was less clean than thought.

i will revise my post, after letting more feedback come in, based on your clarification on playchess not being free TO PLAY RATED.

love to all, dk

Wed May 05, 10:33:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous http://charlesgalofre.com/about/ said...

great article David. a post needed in the chess community. i found it insightful.

personally i have never been too active on playchess, and for a titled player that should be noted. i think it has a lot to do with the timing of the interfaces. ICC has been available for ages, and then only later ( not too long ago, maybe 6 years ago?) playchess was made available.

i find it that playchess never really makes an effort to market their interface in a aggressive way, and it also feels like its made hard for you to join.. i could never recall of a free trial ( like ICC)

Yahoo Chess definitely seems some what archaic but i guess this is where you could find a large community of chess lovers. "limbo chess lovers" i guess we could call them, unaware of the true chess world.

the rest of the programs have their charisma, with chess.com being, if this were a yearbook, the one with the title under the picture "most likely to succeed".

Wed May 05, 03:41:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Liquid Egg Product said...

But if you like me, view Europeans as superior to many Americans

Don't you worry. As we continue to saturate Europe with McDonald's and KFC, we WILL bring the Europeans down to our level.

Thu May 06, 06:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Just a couple more thoughts after my initial response at my site in the comments section a few posts back.

1. I have settled on FICS because of the price, and people are not assholes, and people are pretty serious about chess there. However, when I get some money to spend, I will check out the non-ICC options you mentioned, with Wormwood's great comment in the back of my head.

2. I don't like thinking in terms of 17 cents a day or whatever, that's how advertisers talk. :) In reality I have to decide whether 70 bucks, right now, is a good use of my money (given all my other debts, not-distant future child care costs, etc).

3. In general, I love your analysis, the statistics are off the hook helpful. I love it! I would never even think to do that, perhaps because I'm always locked into one provider of chess action have never thought to do a quantitative comparison.

4. Footnote 5 is great, like a miniature existentialist perspective on the game of chess.

5. Still no 'Infinite Jest'? I've been reading it five months, am about 3/4 done. It is hard, yes, but also once you get about 400 pages in you find a rhythm. But by then it is emotionally hard. Horrible, absolutely horrible, things happen, gut-wrenching. But in the middle he throws in these crazy jokes that just make me laugh out loud. Sometimes I just need a week off it is too much for my fragile psyche.

One of my favorite jokes is about this poor homeless guy, just sad. Then talking about how they just let him leave the emergency room after having a siezure, because he felt OK. Then DFW kicks in this hilarious description of how doctors suddenly become extremely trustworthy of indigent folks' self-diagnosis, take it with grave seriousness and trust when an indigent says "I feel fine", take it at face value how could they ever be wrong?

It's a really crazy jumble, I think you are his doppleganger in many ways.

Mon May 17, 12:11:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Chess is heavy and tense and irrevocable."

Dude, this must be straight from Caissa herself. Good muse. Should be an epigraph at the beginning of every chess book.

and take backs are for weenies.

Fri May 28, 08:43:00 PM PDT  
Blogger rpd said...

FICS IMHO is the best!
Stop by my new chess blog si tu vieux...

Hope all is well with you, take care

Sat May 29, 02:10:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Games said...

FICS .. FICS .. why not FIC'G'S ? nice place for correspondence chess : www.ficgs.com

Tue Jun 01, 04:11:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Europeans vs Americans, with the descent of the Euro below a 1.20, haughty Europeans are about to be punished mightily for their fiscal mismangement by having to endure hordes of fat American toursists.

Sun Jun 06, 08:37:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

@BDK: nice to see you sir. hope mrs BDK is not in too much discomfort, yet? sure it will all work out for you, a great person.

1.1 about playchess. interesting juxtaposition of timing... i had access for 1.5 years, not sure how THEY do it, but its chaotic in all cases. youd think chessBase would lead in clarity, but that's like saying Microsoft leads in computing. i love my chessBase. i really do. but the company is a bit zoo like...

so with my megabase, i had the access, till weeks ago. not for a year, but more. i even played some new rated games again, to test that i had access without paying. whatever it was, whoever has to organize those boundaries finally figured it out or decided to lay the law down, and now i cannot view broadcasts, the benefit being THOSE that are NOT on ICC are often there. if i were working, i would pay the $40 for that, since i can open games and then see them in cBase, w/out having to migrate from icc...

plus broader broadcasts, no pun intended. but thats over.

i want to buy chessBase10 with a new membership or extension, since if cb10 costs 400 and membership is 40, its like getting chessBase for 360 in a way... or paying 400 and getting access to playchess.

for some, buying megabase might do it, and give you a year for $50 (i am winging the numbers, and no need to check, you get the idea) when you buy it AND give you a great database.

1.2 fics never did it for me, but again, i have thousands of games there. but as i said, community is probably the best there.

2.i respect your budget, but i DO think like 18 cents per day. less than beer or dining per month, by far. i feel, that IF I CANNOT SPEND 18 CENTS A DAY ON CHESS, ITS TIME TO GIVE IT UP.

3.1 the stats are interesting. chess.com, i tried, and while the volume is very high, and the reporting (pgn's) is good, the quality of play is poor, the interface sh_t poor. but its a good warm up.

3.2 per my recent post, i now use ICC chess960 as my warmup or exercise, so not much left for chess.com.

3.3 playchess is staggering in its user base, but, again, very centered on europe. thats good. lot of fine players. but its now 5 am there, and now is when i want to play, 9 pm PST or 12 EST. big factor.

4. thx; takebacks are evil.

5. have not had a chance to check out infinite jest, yet. but plan to. your opinion matters a lot to. but maybe the afinity between--as you have long suggested--the author and me is a deterant to prompt investigation or attraction. how do you read infinite jest, in part living it?

@annon, i was tempted NOT to publish this but a. more than should be, americans are FAT not only physically but PSYCHICALLY, b. and the deft reference to the Euro won my heart. i follow all major world markets.

that said, i do humbly suggest, you are missing a LOT and its not my place to fix you. life is love. life is understanding, not hatred, loving your hate. but the core of what you say has real truth, but maybe HOW you say it gets in the way a bit. i am still glad you read, and hope sincerely to see you again.

why sign annon? i stand in my boots, me is me. i am david korn, seattle. to hide behind an annon makes it doubly suspect, but would rather keep a reader than close a door, even an antognistic person with a potentially SPIRITUALLY IMMMATURE PERSPECTIVE.

THAT said, i have much to learn, and god give me the strenght to face my demons, my flaws, my failings, of which there are many.

love to all, dk

Sun Jun 06, 09:36:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why post Anonymously? Because I have no idea how to comment other than anonymously.

I thought I was being humorous, or satirical. And, as an American with a Southern heritage, I think I'm allowed certain liberties.

My take on the Euro (subject to change at a moments notice), is that the unpegging of the Yuan to the dollar will only add further inexorable downward preassures to the common currency, which has been permanently tainted. Gold in particular will contiue to benefit as Europeans seek to preserve their purchasing power. Of course, the greenback will not be exempt, but it's the least bad alternative at present. But none of this is original. And this gets to the real point as to why I post anonymously, because I hate everything I write, after I've written it.

Peace out brotha :)

Tue Jun 22, 09:54:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

u r a fucking loser i hope u stay unemployed because u r worthless piece of shit

Sat Jul 03, 02:06:00 AM PDT  
Blogger ChessAdmin said...

I much appreciated the topic, both for your personal views on the playing sites and for the additional commentary it generated.

My related experiences in the past were rather unsatisfactory, both with Yahoo chess and with a brief foray on the Playchess server; I am glad to see from comments here that I am not the only one that thinks Playchess is somewhat obtuse to use.

Anyway, some good food for thought in case I look to take up internet-based chess again.

P.S. I recommend deleting the random anonymous hateful comments. This being the internet many people get them and there's no benefit to your readership in seeing them, other than reinforcing their low view of humanity, which is a view that seldom needs reinforcing.

Fri Jul 22, 02:03:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

sorry chessAdmin, my blog is inactive. i still use the gmail, but not into the blogger settings often, so did not mean to disregard your comment.

i have not been working, taking care of an ill parent. and before that, was running a cloud computing company in the spring, a start up on a consulting basis...

i am looking at your blog as we speak. seems active, will continue there in sec, constructively.

i loved blogging. but as my guru joy said, 'enlightenment is embodied in physicality'. i dont have the energy i once had, and what i do have, i have to use. that doesnt mean i dont run for two or 2.5 hours once a week, but i feel emotionally tired at age 53. our society is one gigantic overstimulation, and the stimulation i craved here, years ago, has transposed to another area.

blessings and thanks for your note.

oh, BTW, i used to look askance at chess.com and now am totally sold. it is amazing, it keeps growing.

of course, i play my real chess at icc dk-transform, but i have my students (two aspiring club players, one a gifted 11 year old of Indian descent, best student in his class of 28 children and actually nicely behaved, i expect him to be president. i am not teaching him chess as chess, but chess as a concommitent to greek or latin or physics or music, as an avenue to the mind..., the second a club player)...

i have my students play at chess.com, and i can always 'select all' and see their last 50 games, and page page, can be 150 games. very powerful, then i load the pgn's to chessBase.

so chess.com went from 3,500 to 4,800 to 5,000+ users, now two nights ago it was 8800. 10,000 is round the corner.

bad behavior on the web is standard in chess. and chess.com has to least of it, to none, says a lot.

volume rules in internet chess, just as it does in price change in the stock market.


Sat Dec 31, 07:52:00 AM PST  

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