Monday, December 29, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Nevertheless, not long ago he challenged me to a game. I don't know why my son found it necessary to play that day. Perhaps he just beat all of his friends and was looking for stiffer competition. Maybe he ate a box of Wheaties and found new confidence. I may never know the why, but play he did! Retired Pawn II didn't start out timid either. No, sir! He was talking trash while setting up the White pieces.
In this position, as Black, I made a simple draw by repetition. The real reason is obvious....I like our time together and want to encourage my son to play more often. However, he did play rather well. I may have a passed b pawn, but I also have the weakness of three pawn islands...a direct result of my son's play!
How does Black proceed from here?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I had hopes of coming away this year as my class champion, but this year they changed the format at the last minute, thereby making me play against much higher rated oponents. I never gave up, nevertheless, I lost in each round. I let Mr. Fritz analyze my games. In some of the games I added anotations. Someone please help me!!!!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Let me be real. After a hard year of doing tactical exercises until I am sick of chess and seeing the PCT program interface, I still suck at chess. Why do I say this? First, there is the annoying realisation that I still miss elementary tactics. I don't mean the positions I see in training. If any opponent would have the misfortune to walk into one the those he would be dead meat. No, I mean those new positions; the ones I haven't trained myself to see. I miss about a third of those altogether, and of those I can find something....hmm...tactical, I have about a 50 percent failure rate of seeing the correct solution from start to finish. So my fellow Knights, what is the payoff? Why do we (I) push so hard to improve? Maybe the answer is in the next tournament or perhaps in the next game even. I do know I have improved, but I feel I fall a bit short of the ideal.
This is my Playchess ratings chart. As you can see, I have improved over the course of the last year. At the start of this Knights Errant adventure, my rating was around 1250. The chart shows steady improvement until I reach my present peak of 1520. That might be all the payoff I ever receive...lol.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Chess has positive benefits for students because it forces the full utilization of an individual student’s cognitive ability. According to chess master Jerry Meyers (2005), chess increases a student’s intelligence by teaching them important skills that, while not specific to chess, are part of the game. Students learn the how to observe what is happening, and how to respond in a logical manner. Further, students learn how to think ahead, develop and weigh options, analyze concretely, and handle and prioritize multiple considerations. In a New York Times article, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley asserted, “A lot of times [in] education we try to teach kids the one right answer [to a given problem] and that leads….to robotic thinking. We need kids who know how to think.” Grandmaster Ashley believes that chess encourages students to think of candidate solutions to problems before choosing the alternative that offers the best solution (as cited in Saulny, 2005). In a recent Rocky Mountain News article, Colorado chess master Todd Bardwick emphasized, “The time management and logical-thinking skills required of a chess master can be applied to any business or field of study.” Mr. Bardwick declared that the skills he had taught to one of his chess students made it possible for this particular student to complete law school in two and a half years and enjoy considerable success as a lawyer (Bardwick, 2007).
The benefits of chess are not just for students; educators have much to gain by incorporating chess into their curriculum. Mr. Stephen Lampkin (2000), in a Chess Life magazine article wrote about how the North Tonawanda School District, a city located near Buffalo, New York, introduced chess as part of the school district’s program of study, and how chess was responsible for the remarkable gains in the district’s standardized test scores at the elementary school level. Dr. Calvin Deyermond, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, reported, “We have seen improvement in mathematical reasoning skills as well as critical thinking as a result of this [chess] program” (as cited in Lampkin, 2000). Additionally, studies demonstrate that chess-in-school programs in New York City, Houston, Texas, and Bradford, Pennsylvania, have led to higher scores on the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (Ferguson Jr., 1995, pp. 8-11; Meyers, 2005).
Friday, February 8, 2008
I have added this chart of my progress on Playchess. A good eye for detail will notice that I don't play many rated games; however, let me assure you I do play everyday! I usually play against guests while learning an opening. Then I try it out in a rated game. So far so good.
One item of note: There is going to be a free chess tournament in the Kansas City, Missouri, area with a prize of $300. It doesn't sound like much, but if you are in town it doesn't cost you a thing, except your time.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
In an important study in the mid-1920’s, the psychologists Djakow, Petrowski, and Rudik concluded, from their observations of chess grandmasters, that accomplishment in chess came from “exceptional visual memory, combination power, speed of calculation, power of concentration, and logical thinking” (as cited in Ferguson Jr., 1995, p. 1). Further, other psychologists have theorized that besides requiring the aforementioned attributes, chess essentially cultivates them. John Artise draws upon his years of psychological research in chess to identify the contribution chess makes in mental development. In his article Chess and Education, Mr. Artise asserts, “Visual stimuli tend to improve memory more than any other stimuli…chess is definitely an excellent memory exerciser the effects of which are transferable to other subjects where memory is necessary” (as cited in Ferguson Jr., 1995, p. 1).
In an effort to confirm that chess does develop mental abilities, Dr. Albert Frank conducted an experiment at the Lisanga School in Kisangani, Zaire, during the 1973-74 school year. This groundbreaking work became the article Chess and Aptitudes or the Zaire study. The experiment had the following organization:
"Ninety-two (92) students, 16-18 years of age, were selected from the fourth year humanity’s class and distributed at random into two groups (experimental and control) of 46 students each. All of the students were given a battery of tests which included the Primary Mental Abilities test (PMA) in the French adaptation, the Differential Aptitude Test (DAT), the General Aptitudes Test Battery (GATB), and a Rohrschach test. The tests were administered to all of the students both before and after the school year, except for the DAT which was administered only before
the school year and the Rohrschach which was given only after the school year. At the end of the first semester, a partial retesting was made. The experimental group was given a required chess course of two hours each week with optionalplay after school and during vacations." (as cited in Ferguson Jr., 1995, p. 2)
Robert Ferguson Jr., (1995, p. 2) reported that Dr. Frank had two hypothesis concerning chess and its affect on cognitive development. The first hypothesis concerned itself with the necessary skills that form the basis of the ability to learn how to play chess well. The second hypothesis theorized that learning to play chess well contributed to the development of the ability to learn other skills. The result confirmed the first hypothesis, specifically, “There was a significant correlation between the ability to play chess well, and spatial, numerical, administrative-directional, and paper work abilities.” Additionally, confirmation of the second hypothesis, in particular: “… learning to play chess had a positive influence on the development of both numerical and verbal aptitude.” Dr. Frank found that playing chess assists in mental development because chess makes the most of an individual’s potential and enhances it further, therefore, making chess beneficial in education.