Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peak Hours Of Internet Chess Play, on the Web

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Quickly. Lots of work tonight. There was a question on chessPublishing.com as to volume of play, at specific hours at FICS. Deductively, here is the data. Got to work. Bye, dk

Click here to Spreadsheet, indicated above.

To replay above.  Amazing

Monday, December 10, 2012

Magnus Carlsen on beating Garry Kasparov's rating record

I am starting to feel like I am short changing my blog by recently reporting more about chess grandmasters, than my own results, intentions, and process.  At the same time, what Carlsen has done recently and has accomplished is amazing.

And his attitude is so good.  Here is going to be the last one of its kind for awhile.  Here note how he says that he has a lot more to learn, and wants to improve further.  That is why he is the best.  Who among the top four or five go out publicly and say they plan to improve?

Note video at 5:35 mark.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

400 Points in 4,000 Days: Not so rapid chess improvement for the adult class player: A five-year program (Update)

A few minutes ago, I just finish ALL 1,209 of the CT-Art 3.0 problems. What a beast. I will be writing about this extensively in the next few weeks. Quickly. No edits or rereading. Here it is, in the raw:

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That my attained rating there of 2597 has no real signficance to others, nor is to suggest this reflects my OBP strength does not need comment.  But what does matter, is that the last time I tried this cycle AND the time before that, I found it very, very hard to get past 2250 and 2300.  I can see more now, calculate a lot better.  Relative to me.  That is what matters here, worth noting.  Study helps.  Hard work helps.  Refusing to quit helps.  It sinks in, believe me it does.  I can see it.

I will be moving in a tad over four weeks, so will do my best to share as I promise. Its not so much that there is so much packing--after a serious liquidation cum storage blitzkrieg in Seattle two years ago, this will not be a problem--as prep. Lists of places to submit job applications, drop by and make appropriate in person introductions. All that. Just want to go up there very integrated. The folks who are furnishing the condo are VERY high level, and its not that there are strings attached--there are not--but, rather, want to be in sympatico.

A three hour run at Forest Park tomorrow, I cannot wait to get out there, carb loading last two nights, a glass of wine (or two) now--tiny pours, but still...

Had a serious call from Dubai Friday night. Hotel very, very upset. I stayed 90 minutes after my shift ended, to help them. I basically took a very, very irate customer--supplier-partner, ready to blast us, and with good reason, and left him feeling, as was honestly true, that I would spare no effort to help them. Called Lodging Support at our parent company, and talked to two persons.  All great persons.

You all know my acerbic side in blogging, but in the day to day work world, I like to be the nice guy with customers and coworkers.  It gives me comfort.  I get to forget me.  Those of you in Customer Service know what it is all about.  You either like it, or you don't...

Always Planning.  More like a sketch of possible performance benchmarks WITH results, than raw results.  I am a spreadsheet maven, and sketch with it.  The main L column is the actual daily work.  I cannot help but be this way.  Sh_t.  I am half German.  What, with a name like Korn.  Mit ya plan, ya!

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...What mattered is, is that our customer knew finally someone cared, and drilled into the bottom, 'here is the name to call, here is their number, their email, here is my full name (in call centers you are told not to, I am just David at HHL--acronym for my area, not telling who or what it is--and here are my hours').

If I could have given him my mobile, without getting into trouble I would do that. 'Yes. If I were in your situation, I would be VERY, very upset, too'. Well, it felt good. I truly love customer service. I am able to subordinate my ego, which is far more comfort than you can ever know, and stand for my customers. I am in on-line travel, at least now :).

Our RETAIL customers are NOT my customers, but our supplier customers are. I tell them, 'I am here to help you. You are my customer. This will be easy'. That I almost did a project for The White House need not be said, but believe me, whatever this sovereignty saw in me, I bring it with me, wherever I go.

OK. More soon. dk

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Formula For Getting to 2860

Getting to 2800++ is not hard to do.  In fact, Magnus Carlsen recently showed us how easy this to do.  Just follow these steps:

March your Wht K up to the 6th rank.  If you cannot do that, 5th rank is adequate.

In so doing, scatter yours and opponents pawns around the board, preferably with no apparent pattern.  Notice the word apparent.

When possible, relate these pawn structures around a mind boggling dance of simple R, B, & N endgames.

If step one does not work, try for the 4th rank is OK.

Reverse process when playing the black side.

Do not exhaust yourself in opening theory.  Of course, have a prodigious memory where you use lots of that also, just don't fixate on it.  Create lots of imbalance and uncertainty.  In a Lasker like way, 2nd rate moves are OK, just pose little problems sequenced on end which ultimately start to turn into intractable ones.

Trade off major pieces.  Go for an endgame whenever possible.  Use superior stamina,  combined with a relentless will to win, to push and push subtle nuances Karpov like, till the opponent breaks.  Instal Ken Thompson's entire Six Piece Tablebases into your head [1].

And when you are in equality, start to create the feeling that if the game is forced to go on, or is it, your opponent will begin to expect that you will force the issue by not seeking a draw, so that he is intimidated into thinking that sooner or latter they could be at risk by cracking.  What, he's already seen it near countless times in the last year.

This is history in the making.

[1] 'Lunch With Magnus', a wonderful article from the Financial Times, linked here.  If this does not amuse, nothing will.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

My God! When Two Giants Meets...

Carlsen is making a historic breakout. This video shows the beauty of his mind.

Click image to expand.

Also, here is a video of Kramnik discussing his game with Luke McShane. Now this guy is a real chess genius. It is not for nothing that some, including Kasparov, I think it was, said that Kramnik had the deepest understanding of chess, of All persons. Just listen to this guy. The ease with which he calls forth what he had thought. This is not just thinking, but a brilliant replay. And this is just what he had time to tell us. He does this for four or five hours, not half an hour. A thousands and tens of thousands of thoughts and assessments:

Kramnik is a truly beautiful mind. He once said that he loved to joke back and forth with Aronian with sarcastic quips (not in an unkind way). You can here him respond to Nigel Shorts quip, as to whether he had ever heard of the concept of Rook's worth five, and Knights three, at the 17:00 mark, at 17:30. Can start this segment at 16:40. Outrageous. He is so sharp and quick to come back. His humor is well known, and he shows it here.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Pax Magnus

Double Click Image to enlarge [1]

Carlsen hit 2855.7, a full clear 51 points down to Aronian whom he beat today in good fashion in London.  It is only fitting that this occurred with Big Bad Vlad back over 2800.  Great times for chess.  How far will Magnus get to, how far will he go?  Whatever it is, he is clearly taking chess to a whole new level right now.  That this has occurred two games in a row through his tenacity if not great cleavorness in endings cannot figure in a small way into his hegemony [2].

[1] Showing the top of my browser here, in this image cannot be an accident.  If you are not using Google's Chrome Browser, the best thing on the web, then you are missing out.  Do you know, that I could go to Iceland or Brazil, maybe even China if they let us go so far, and my bookmarks will be waiting for me?  This is so valuable to me.  I have EVERYTHING THERE.  My whole life [3].

[2] I am not sure what it means to say Pax Magnus.  But the interlude is to suggest not so much that he has been at war with everyone, but quite the contrary, after a long period of climbing, he sits on Mount Olympus, if but for a day or a week, a year, or an entire era.  We cannot know.  But in its own funny way, I feel a sense of peace from this.  I know some of you will understand:

'Pax Romana, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Extent of the Roman Empire under Augustus. 

'Pax Romana (Latin for "Roman peace") was the long period of relative peace and minimal expansion by military force experienced by the Roman Empire in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Since it was established by Caesar Augustus it is sometimes called Pax Augusta. Its span was about 207 years (27 BC to 180 AD). 

'Origins of the term
The Pax Romana began with the accession of Augustus in 27 BC, which marked the end of the Roman Republic and its final civil wars, and lasted until 180 AD at the death of Marcus Aurelius. The Latin word pax, most often translated "peace," also means "treaty" or "accord." The Roman legal system, which forms the basis of many Western court systems today, unified the administration of justice in the courts throughout the provinces. 

'The Legions patrolled the borders with success, and though there were still many foreign wars, the internal empire was free from major invasion, piracy, or social disorder on any grand scale. The empire, wracked with civil war for the last century of the Republic and for years following the Pax Romana, was largely free of large-scale power disputes. Only the year 69 AD, the so-called 'Year of the Four Emperors' following the fall of Nero and the Julio-Claudian line, interrupted nearly 200 years of civil order. Even this was only a minor hiccup in comparison to other eras. The arts and architecture flourished as well, along with commerce and the economy.'

[3] Some say, 'Do I want Google to know that much about me???' Well, they already know it all. Who cares. There is nothing to get from me. If I like women with body hair (I do), who the fu_k cares? I hope she likes chess and looks me up.

ChessBase Light or Euclid (Part Two)

Things come in fads, and in the late 80's writer Stewart Wilde was one of them.  He focused on empowerment, manifestation, and did so with the wry, cleaver mark of a man who made himself out of nothing with not a small dose of street smarts.

What makes the mark of a fad?  At the time his books-- each and every one of them--seemed essential to read.  At the time they helped me a lot, but would never read them again and quite confident he is no longer topical, if not nearly forgotten now as far as best selling goes.

Very much like Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra [1], and most particularly, Carlos Castinada, the work was very good, and as promised to inspire, was both very effective and worthwhile.  Dyer knew how to incent the baby steps of self realization, Chopra early on was very clear about the approach to treating the temple of our body with respect, and Castinada guided the way to showing how mundane life was within arms reach of real magic.  OK.

But what each and every one of them did was try to turn this into a money machine.  Lets be clear.  Making money is OK.  But they had other roles, and spoke to things from those roles, until they supplanted message making as and end in itself into a business--to the point of over-saturating the marketplace, diluting early, very primary work.

Now, lets be clear.  I am not saying this about ChessBase.  Quite the contrary.  They have come a very long ways from the clunky little nascent windows driven environment of version six, to the svelt and sophisticated tools of taking the Cloud to your chess desktop, allowing one to take raw chess data and compare and categorize games according to history, results, pawn structure, and motif.  Good for ChessBase, and staying in business and handily deserve they do.  Back to heuristics, before we get back to chess.

Despite Wild's loosing his imprimatur, this does not mean that he didn't say a lot of very wise things.  The most memorable on was:  'The trick about money is having some', well neigh the title of a book.

What this means is that you can talk all you want about investment selection, growth, asset classes, and diversification, but you just plain need money to start out.  And if you don't, getting it is the first step, whereby no amount of manipulation or magical thinking can create large energy out of little to no energy.

So the first step is to have your games recorded, and it is to that, to which our next post, Part Three turns.  After that, we will discuss where to do it and how.  And most of all--and I say this as a veteret ChessBase user--this means knowing what other alternatives exist, some while not as sophisticated are a lot cheaper.  I don't recommend that route, but I will need to show you other options.

[1] How very far he got off track.  His first book, Return of the Rishi was written by a practicing physician, steeped in the work of Ayurveda [2].  He went from the focus of medicine with messaging, to messaging with medicine.  At some point, given enough Oprah and Dr. Phil the message gets sadly cheapened.  Tapes, trainings, meetings, credentialing, consultations.  A real fu_kign money machine which becomes the focus of attention.

[2] Sanskrit: आयुर्वेद; Āyurveda, "the knowledge for long life"

Saturday, December 01, 2012

ChessBase Light: Ad--Toward, Addition To, At, Near. You Must. You Simply Must (Part I)

If you are an aspiring, serious chess player, and not using ChessBase, then you are missing out. Big time.

You can do no better than to dive headfirst into getting familiar with ChessBase by downloading ChessBase Light 2009. It is free and it is very, very good.  It is NOT dated.  Lets be clear--this is not a limited time offer, a thirty day trial, or a deeply disabled version of chessBase. In actual fact, IT IS CHESSBASE. Trust me on this. I know exactly. I have had multiple students download, explore, and use this. It is fantastic, works very, very well, and is actually pretty easy.  It was integral to our work.

Here is the link, to Download ChessBase Light 2009.  Like a very special fishing hole, known to few if any but to you or a few locals in the know, as handed down over time, you would be very, very hard pressed to find this link without either great tenacity and resourcefulness in trying to find it, or knowing where and how.

Lets be clear.  ChessBase has an easily found toggle for downloads--downloading various versions of chessBase and other programs, for a fee, or patches or service packs for earlier versions.  But the link is not shown at the list of available downloads.  But IF you scroll down a short ways on the slider bar, you will find it, sure enough--the selection for downloading chessBase Light.

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They don't just make it hard to find, but to my eyes, darn right hidden.  I expect the day to come that this will be removed, but their clear expectation is that if you use this, you will buy it.  Fair enough.

What the difference between chessBase proper, and the light version, it must be natural to ask?  Well, as far as features goes, not a lot.  Then how can it be free?  One thing--they make it so that you cannot create files in chessBase, cannot modify them.  There are a few little tricks around this, but this is very far from our purpose.  If you like it, then buy it.  This will get you started.

Try being in Medieval Europe without Latin in the world of learning.  Try not knowing French in sixteenth century Europe.  Try living in South America without Portugise.  Try doing business far and wide in 2012 without English.  Same here.  ChessBase is the lingua franca of chess as it is.  Forget ChessDB, WinBoard, or SCID.  Crap.  Anyone, and I do mean anyone who says it serves their purposes is either stupid or cheap, or stupid AND cheap.

Well, this is the beginning of a lot more to say.  I am at step one in this sharing.  All I want to do is help.  It is time.  I have thought about this for years.  YEARS.

PS, I finished Part II of my Four-Hundred Points in Four-Thousand days series, but Google ate the revisions.  That was about ten days ago, as I got to problem1,039 at CT-Art 3.0.  But now I am set to finish the whole darn thing, so will rework the part I lost, not massive, but an emotional investment.  Most of it was already written.  I will publish in a few days, so stay posted!  Tonight, I am at problem 1,174, out of the entire 1,209 so waiting won't help.  I started Part III, and there will be a Part IV.  Lots to say in parts two and three, not biographically, but more of the whats and wherefores.

That's one thing.  Secondly, the next part on this ChessBase Light post (Part II), will take you past why you need it and what it means, as I intend here, to discuss what you do with it, and how  This part is the real important part.  Stay posted.