Friday, July 06, 2007

Prolegema: The Blue Devil Dialogues. Chess Relearner, or How I did Strunk and White: Essay Nine

Chess Relearner, The Complete Human: Essay Nine

We have Hegal, Kant, we have Kasparov, and Capablanca, we have big science, big finance, and big ideas philsophy, but we also have normal folks, tinkering away in humility, day after day at chess while leading exemplary lives of... we cannot always do everthing big, and sometimes...

BDK (Blue Devil Knight): Hey transformation, how goes it?.

DK: Greetings to you sir. You--what is in your true heart today?

BDK: Acknowledging all these new knights properly as befits a knight, then adding them to my tool bar is killing me!

DK: But you at once, were voted in and nominated yourself. And as Sartre says, 'existence precedes essence', and as you well know, 'life is choices', is it not? Have you tried the circles to calm yourself or to relax from the tool bar and announcements? I mean, from the Ray of Creation, galaxies, through organic compounds, DNA, RNA, etc, then latter the Neolithic revolution in progression from hunter food gatherers to more agriculturally settled people involving language, culture, tool making... In time Homer, Dante (La Vita Nuova and his love of Beatrice), Proust evolved, then complex adaptive systems, if not integration of layers of meditative healing release... Then after Adam Smith and Kant who were precursers to the Knight Errants, they...

BDK: Wait!

DK: What?

BDK: Hey, ground control to DK! Check, check. Halt! You said something about a Strunk and White?

DK: Yes, simple, clean, clear declarative English sentences. Just as I am doing now, as you just heard me.

BDK: You can do better than that DK. So lets have it. You promised.

DK: Oh, yes, thats right--sorry, ok. Let me start over. Chess Relearner is...

BDK : I am all ears!

DK: Where to start with Chess Relearner? There are so many good things to say! To start, he is the kind of person who makes the best sort of friend.

BDK: How is that? I mean, you seem to always have so many superlatives--about people, about everybody here in our circle.

DK: Yes, such as Temposchlucker being the practical sort of person, or Wormwood talented, or evenhandedness, in your case.

BDK: Or Peter Norvig so widely accomplished, or Grandpatzer as ...

DK: ...highly relevant! And, to round out our 'cast of characters':

BDK: ChessDog as being--?

DK: fierce and having great human potential. So now: Chess Relearner.

BDK: Can I interrupt for second?

DK: Of course BDK, I trust your judgement as to what needs to be said. Please go ahead--

BDK: I mean, all these cats are bloggers, with ample posts. And as fine as Chess Learner's reputation with you, and what little I have seen, and all impressive, we haven't seen him blog since, was it, March?

DK: Exactly. Not here anyway! Ok. Chess Relearner is a balanced man. I mean this man writes a leading checkers column, evidentially with more subscribers than any other newsletter globally (of course, I don't play checkers, but you kind of have to like that!) with the longest sustained uninterrupted record of publication of any of it's kind, he is an accomplished computer engineer who went to the best school of it's kind ON THE PLANET, does fast and mean cross word puzzles (he eats them), and, of course, in addition to being a chess player is alos a committed student there, mainly at CTS, ICC, and FICS, and reads Hebrew EVERY DAY.

BDK: 'Hot damn!'

DK: Yes, or as 'you all say in the south', 'he is a high brain dude'.

BDK: 'Lord have mercy'.

DK: Lets quote him directly:

"In March 2005 I completed a very long term project, the reading of the Babylonian Talmud. In the tradition started back in the 1920s, the "Bavli" as it is called is read over a period of just under seven and a half years (2711 days to be exact). There is a reading for each and every day, seven days per week with no days off, no sick leave, no vacation".

BDK: Some heavy weight cogitation.

DK: Yes, but BDK as I like to say, 'Brilliant minds come a dime a dozen, but great minds with big hearts are rare'.

BDK: Truer words were never said.

Wormwood (WOR): Can I get a word in?

DK: I believe that you already have!

WOR: I am 1900 at Red Hot Pawn. That is pretty good. I only started playing chess three months ago.

BDK: Weren't we talking about Chess Relearner?

DK: I thought so.

ChessDog (CDG): Did I hear something! 'Woof', 'woof', 'woof!' Where is the bong? Where is DK? I want to show him this cool iPod video of me boxing a guy into the ground!

DK: Oh, ChessDog, I am glad you are here. Right when we needed you. See, god exists!

Worlds Ugliest Dog Competition: Sqiggy

DG: At your service. Wormwood. Guy keeps saying he is 1900 at RHP and but only 1152 ICC blitz and 1130 5-minute. See any contradiction? I mean, is this honest? How can I buy a program? Where is the or Rybka website? How can I get an AutoCAD workstation in my brain or a Blackberry brain? If I get my hands on him...

DK: ChessDog, you are 'the shinning light of god's love', and god loves all beings. Have compassion.

CD: For you?

DK: Me or him? Well I meant Wormwood; but for me also cannot hurt. Why, yes, even I can use some of that, if you wish. I am a recovering arrogant, recovering narcissist, just as some are recovering alcoholics. And we need to give everyone time. The larger the ego, the more raw head similar to natural irrigation systems.

BDK: DK! Like in the Roman aquaduct, or Roman Emperor Hadrian's Villa?

DK: Yes. It all rolls down hill. Entropy. Old age. Ratings. Regression to the mean. The Ray of Creation permeates...

BDK: You promised me to stay on subject, and brief.

for athletic events, upper body strength is critical

DK: Ok. Sorry. I was gettng excited. But ChessDog in his incommensurable potential needs walking around the Agora.

BDK: When did all this Greek stuff start? Now Rome. Some kind of message here?

DK: With you.

BDK: [silence]

DK: So, where were we? Oh, yes, brilliant minds with a heart!

BDK: That was it.

DK: And this is why Chess Relearner is so exquisite. Well, one of the reasons. Blunderprone has this. Yasser has this.

BDK: What is that?

DK: Sorry--and Temposchlucker has it. All of them. A human heart.

WOR: I had three hours sleep last night, and five beers. And just did 340 CTS problems and selected moves for forty correspondence games, five minutes per move.

Chess Relearner (CRL): Balance. Balance. Balance.

Blunderprone (BLP): Balance!

DK: Balance? My goodness, it is getting crowded. I have a lot of things, but NOT balance. I have excess and imbalance.

WOR: And I don’t? Who cares? I write for me, and for alone.

DK: Wait a second. Everyone here, even ChessDog is interactive with me, and with you, it is like a thread that leads nowhere, in a conversation with itself.

CRL: Sorry guys, but I am listening and cannot help but comment with emphasis please.

DK: Yes?

CRL: It is best to never say anything about anyone unless it is good.

DK: So this is what chessDog taught me?

Temposchlucker (TEM): Absolutely.

DK: And I am?

TEM: Really, a lot like him. Similar polarities attract--so as to mutually demonstrate character, or 'chief feature' in the 'Gurdjieff Work' [which DK and Tempo both studied, a system of awakening that says man lives in 'sleep'].

DK: [silence. Thinking quietly, 'I used to have an anger problem 15 years ago'].

BDK: Where were we after the 1900 thing and the beer thing and the Ray of Creation?

DK: Chess Relearner.

BDK: Yes.

DK: The second thing about him is that he has never said one bad word about anyone, and I swear, I have never once heard him complain.

BDK: Not once?

DK: Not hardly. The man is a saint. He is a devoted father, and told me that at his job--

CRL: David, don’t forget my privacy.

DK: No worries.... that at his job, he supervised 500 persons and, when they asked him to step down, THEY SAID THAT HE WASN’T HARD ENOUGH ON PEOPLE. Can you imagine.

CDG: Sounds like some oversized place to work, as they all are. The bastards.

DK: [pause...] Chess Relearner has recently faced a major life challenge, and never complains. Maybe why this is why he stopped posting, yet of course still comes to visit, to the benefit of us all when he does. All this man wishes is to be able to ride his bicycle sooner rather than latter. If only MY life were that clean and crips.

BDK: What is all this Love stuff you always say?

DK: Ah, love. A man can love many things, not just conjugal union

CDG: I am ready man! Where is she?

TEM: Sec. I think DK wasn't talking about either Eros, or Agape. He means Philia
full link to all three, here:].

DK: Exactly. I feel so much love for everybody, even Wormwood! But sometimes...

BDK: Stay on track DK!

DK: I feel a deep love for Chess Relearner. A man can love his wife, or a mother her son, a girl her cat, a student his vacations--

CRL: Or a man his books...

DK: Amen brother!

TEM: Amen to that!

BDK: ditto!

DK: Or a man can love the beauty of nature, or risotto, but the sincere and regular and honest exchange between two persons, when sincere, and with respect, is a beautiful thing.

TEM: And helping others!

CDG: the bong!

BLP: Eating!

DK: ten minute naps after short sleep! Two a day!

BDK: Getting attention at blogger! Especially from Temposchlucker!

DK: Ok, ok children. Back to class.

BLP: But we were just getting start!

DK: Where was I? Oh, yes--Chess Relearner is a man with whom I can discuss anything.

CDG: Even?

having a little chat about missed assigned work at school :)

DK: Yes, all the body functionality. But not in a crude way.

BDK: DK you have shared many an email, and often with us. But wasn't Chess Relearner the only one among us outside your very dearest and oldest personal friend Robert (the wildman in big, southern, conservative law who once left intelectual property and international law to go homeless, then his firm took him back after his hiatus) that you offered to write Yasser an email, to introduce him ? So that the door was open?

DK: And make an appropriate, gentle, but committed introduction. Yes, I was ready to write Yasser about Chess Relearner.

TEM: And how did it go?

DK: He didn’t want to bother him. Can you imagine? Who your friends are is what says the most about you--outside perhaps personal appearance or way of speaking to others.

CD: Wow. Serious man. Dude.

BLP: Amazing.

DK: I now copy Chess Relearner to some emails, just as the good Grandmaster copies me with notes to or from Silman occassionally.

BDK: About Chess?

DK: Heck no! You think we discuss chess? uTube videos, Bush, the immanent US collapse or the real estate mortgage bubble.

TEM: Hey DK--

DK: Yes?

TEM: What, after all, does Chess Relearner want? For it is aim that is the second way we show who we really are.

DK: He wants to go to his second home on a far off island, and soon take an early retirement, read his chess books, lord knows Spanish and French and German, and VA Linux, or what else he can cook up that he has not yet told me much of...

BLP: Sounds good. Better than the World Open, office park oasis of King Prussia Pennsyvania! [nice informative report linked at left through Blunderprone's post on the World Opens, to Steve Edden's]

DK: You bet. But he has to sort a lot of stuff before he moves his family and--

TEM: And?

DK: All his books, including the three hundred chess books.

BDK: And what else does he want. Surely more?

DK: To be a good husband and father.

CDG: Might I suggest?

BDK: Please.

TEM: Go for it.

WOR: I did 90,000 CTS. I set the record for the fastest comment at DK's prolegema post, in proportion to his effort and time expenditure.

BLP: Yes? Go ahead DK--

CDG: DK, you have said enough. Let some mystery be. And...

DK: consecrate...

CDG: ...the divine in man.

DK: Chess Relearner is not our most noble or highest exponent of chess improvement. Many others can represent that. But like GM Seirawan, I honor his friendship and treasure it, and hope that I never let him down, and it is his character, both these men, that I approach. Not Yasser's chess, nor his wins, nor his books, but it is his character that attracts me. And Chess Relearner like Temposchlucker has a good character that is gold, for me, and I honor him deeply and hope that you do too.


Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

LOL. Just when I thought it was safe to go to DK's blog....

Tue Jul 03, 05:42:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Have you been sniffing glue again?

Fri Jul 06, 11:21:00 AM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

No, just 245 bullet games in eleven of the last twelve days AFTER not reduced blogging activity.


I am still giggling when I read this...

But on a tiny serious note, I am on a three day long weekend holiday-vaction, and for me, this is like ten weeks I can do so much!

And I took a very deep acting homeopathic remedy two weeks ago, and now wake after only five or six hours sleep. I added a few spoonfulls of non-fat plain yogurt to my diet off and on throughout the day, and I have the energy of four twenty-five year old men. The advise of my friend Susan who was a dietician.

And, my love and appreciation for Chess Relearner is proportionate.

But we still have blunderprone and underpromoted knight.

Every time, I think: 'one more essay, and I can rest' but rest is not in view!

And lastly, just as it takes a year or two to get the basics of chess, while hating not being able to do my job at the highest level, after eight months finally know enough about tools that I can advise your average person without bumbling. My company put me there because of my being higly organized and good with taking care of customers, caring about customers. The tool knowledge part was not a factor. I am a highly visual learner. I remember all I see, each time, and my problem set is repeating! In tools! And, of course, am one of the few out of 170 employees who know where the 38,000 items are located and can find them all quickly. Literally.

At work, they think that I am a chess master, and I never said such a thing. That is what the District manager thinks!

Thank you tempo.

Fri Jul 06, 11:34:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bungerting Baloner said...

Very unusual post. As it does tend to ramble about a bit, let me clarify a few issues.

First, chess to me is a hobby and is something I do for challenge and enjoyment. Since I do many other things as well, I spend only a certain amount of time on chess, knowing full well that this will limit how far I will be able to progress. I think if in my lifetime I reach USCF 1600 that will be as far as it goes. I don't know, but in a way it doesn't matter. An hour a day for chess is enough to keep up but to maintain a high enjoyment factor.

DK's story about being a manager is pretty close to correct. I was indeed criticized for not being "hard enough" with staff. I operated from a belief that management is there to serve the staff; that the staff is important and deserving of respect and good treatment; and that "doing the right thing" was more important than anything else.

In one respect, I followed this philosophy and lost--- I was, after a while, no longer welcome in the management ranks. But in a more important way, I won. To this day, the men still shake my hand and the women give me hugs, and a lot of nice things are said when I'm not around, when it really counts. My approach was appreciated by the people who really count, the staff I served and for whom I always tried to give my best.

DK perhaps gives me too much credit when he says I never say anything bad about others, and never complain. But it is true that gratuitous bad comments about others serve no purpose. As I learned from the great Rabbis, such talk harms three people: the person spoken about, the person spoken to, and the person doing the speaking. There is simply no point in it, and no return except harm all around.

Complaints? It's something like this. When I found I had prostate cancer back in March, I was of course quite upset. Suppose I had complained and yelled and carried on. When I was all done, I would still have prostate cancer. Nothing would have changed. How much better is it to spend my energies instead trying to face the situation and come up with a plan of action? That is what I did, and I am optimistic about the future. having undergone surgery that appears to have been successful.

Yes, I do wish to retire to our Honolulu location, and will do that in less than a year and a half. But I will be busy. There will be a little more time for chess, time for the writing I'd like to do, and more time for the study of Rabbinics. I have done that the morning of every working day for a long time, and it is easily the most important and productive part of the day. It gives me the learning that I live by, and that I believe has made a real difference.

Thank you DK for writing your essay; however strangely it may read, you did capture some essential points. My only criticism is that you were too flattering. We all have our unique characteristics, you, and I, and everyone else. That is cause for celebration, of course; but we all have our "other" side too, and I am no different.

Fri Jul 06, 03:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Hey DK, that's true! Why are you always too flattering?

Fri Jul 06, 03:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

what i am ABOUT TO SAY, IS NOT MEANT TO BE PLEASANT or unpleasant. BUT THIS IS THE REAL ME. thank you.


great zen master say:

"When living,
live thoroughly like a dead man (that is to say, practice non-attachment)

"Then, whatever you do,
will be right"

or was it Goethe who said it similarly, and the exact quote escapes me:

"Unless you know how to die in this world, then you will never be of much use in this world".

i say, without any hyperbolae, and without any exaggeration, in a way, i have already died on earth, and this is my crisis.

when i left wall street, i was completely shattered. i could shave, pay my bills, eventually, have enough ego (read need) to TRY to find a job again, and more or less become a functioning adult again.

then 9-11 happened, and i was meditating when it happened. my very dearest and oldest friend, the same man who took me to the airport when I left for korea, the one who was there six months latter to pick me up, this same man who stood and saw it happen (9-11), whom i tried to call on the phone ALL DAY LONG, finally called me on his cell phone. telling me how upset at me he was.

for i had only taken $100,000 US and turned it into $500,000 in four years, and it had somehow declined (after i left wall street and in no uncertain terms told him i could not advise him at all, nor was psychologically to be depended on for good judgments there for not only he, but ever for my very own self) to a mere $300,000 or 350k LONG AFTER i was gone, and the same man in the wedding photos took care of him!

this is the last time we ever spoke, telling me how upset at me he was, and how i had abandoned him....

psychically, i had hundreds of persons thinking of me, and i could 'HEAR' their thoughts all at once, after 2000 and the and Y2K bust, where my only sin was LOSS of incredibly large UNREALIZED GAINS (read not one cent lost, but prodigious money made, but by then not quite as much).

i had told my guru that i was willing to pay ANY PRICE FOR FULL AWAKENING, and--literally--the migraine stintley san Francisco lawyers started calling me twelve hours latter at my office, and whatever happened after, my heart is way bigger. I just didn’t know how it would turn out! I formally consecrated myself, and got what I needed. :)

then i meet all you guys, so kind, so good, so smart, so funny, all of you.

so in my heart, all i have is tears, and boundless love in tandem, so that, as i just left the beach now, seeing all 14,400' of mount rainier across the bay, raising almost straight up out of the ocean (not literally, but from a low point, not intercontinental), and bill gates house two miles directly across the water, at my swimming spot, i pause, and stare at it,

and remember all the climbs in my mid 30's and even early 40's and my heart could burst,

so much feeling, so much longing, so much life gone by, what ever happened to my life? where did it all go?

i am not ready for retirement, nor married, nor have a daughter, nothing.

in America, if you focus was on doing the best job possible, instead of 'playing the game', you may not win. And I have lost this game. And now I don’t know if i want to play it any more. If only I had the incentive to 'get better'.

Some never have money, or power, or throngs of persons pursuing them, much as beauty queens have men chasing them for their bosom or cheekbones, but I had this, with throngs chasing me for my brain, my ability to see deep and large long term patterns or tendencies, my psychic ability to deeply metabolize that content. So after that, what, you are gonna go somewhere else and do it again, or build a 'territory', or a 'customer base', just so the boys upstairs with all the lawyers, compliance officers, and accountants, and regional and corporate apparatus can take it from you, as is the law in most States here, "at will". And to "get in", you sign a big contract indemnifying them? So that after they took all the profit you can be the one sued and resolve all claims, for them, ten years latter after they sent the money to their mistresses in Bonn?

I only have:

just chess, my writing, my food, my knowledge, my heart, my love, my regard for others.

my surrender of my ignorance, arrogance, and great stupidity and heedlessness for, instead, hopefully,

love, compassion, and kindness.

Fri Jul 06, 04:50:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

DK gets a snapshot of our ideals rather than our reality. I don't mind. I don't want people to see what I do behind the curtain :)

Fri Jul 06, 06:42:00 PM PDT  
Blogger takchess said...

Stopping by to say heh. This post is a trip! 8) As to your past post on Radio, a good radio station that is not tethered to commercial playlists and independently owned is a treat. I have very fond memories of a small commercial FM station in Peterborough NH WMDK in the 80's (now defunk). Folk, Lou Reed, Waterboys, Worldparty, and what ever the DJ's felt like playing.

Mon Jul 09, 04:20:00 AM PDT  

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