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Posts Tagged ‘Shameless Plugs’

Directing My First Adult Tournament

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

My leg is still bothering me a little bit (after thinking, foolishly, that it had gone away.) A combination of headache on Monday and then a Tuesday spent catching up on some personal stuff.

So now I’m at Wednesday, and it’s time for a Shameless Plug… In one month I’m going to be TDing my first adult event here in Bloomington. Another TD will be on the computer and I’ll be taking care of the floor.

Exciting! But I’m going to have to knuckle down now to settle some loose threads of the tourney, as well as begin my final review of the rulebook and rules supplements.

So, here’s the details as we’ve posted them at the Illinois Chess Association. (We submitted an online TLA at USCF as well, but I’ve still got to edit it for a couple of typos… :o !)

* * *

Twin-City Chess Club April 2010 Open Quarterly Tournament.

Northbridge Baptist Church, 2413 Ziebarth Rd., Normal, IL 61761.

1 Open Section. 4 Rd Swiss, G/60 w/ 5 second delay.

EF: $20, $2 disc. to TCCC members.

Prize fund: 80% of EF’s.
1st 25%, 2nd 15%, A,B,C,D & Below: 10% each.
Top upset, top unrated: Book prize.
Players 18 and below are eligible for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies in addition to overall/class prizes.

Registration: 9:15-9:50.

Rounds: 10:00, 12:30, 2:30, 4:30.

Half point bye available any round, Round 4 byes must be chosen before Round 3 starts.

Other information: Bring sets, clocks, boards – none supplied. Lunch may be purchased onsite. Email advance entries to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Include name, phone number, and USCF ID number.


* * *

See you there? ;) :D

From Off Blog to Off Physically

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I’ve been down with a bad cold since Tuesday afternoon. Almost off work yesterday and today (spent an hour both days doing absolutely necessary things then getting out.)

So now I’m lying in bed with my laptop. How does one enjoy one’s chess when sick?

Well, there are things which can be done. For example, I call up Fritz 12 and run it in “Friend Mode.” Fritz has various training capabilities. Among them are “Sparring Mode” and “Friend Mode.”

Training modes in Fritz 12

Training modes in Fritz 12

In Sparring Mode (as I understand it,) Fritz will occasionally make deliberate moves which will allow the human to take tactical shots.

“Friend Mode” adjusts the playing strength of Fritz according to your wins and losses. On choosing the option, a window opens:

The "Friendly Game" Mode of Fritz

The "Friendly Game" Mode of Fritz

What this window tells me is that I have played 37 “Friend Mode” games against Fritz, and my win percentage is 39%. It also shows my current handicap. While I can adjust this up or down, it keeps track for me. If I win, it decreases the handicap and Fritz plays stronger. If I lose, it increases the handicap and Fritz plays weaker. While this can lead to some odd situations (like when I see Fritz has a win on the board I can see, but it intentionally plays a move by which I can draw,) it nevertheless allows me to not have to always experience the futility of playing a computer.

The mode is designed to be a “friend” against whom you both win and lose against. (It also has the side effect of ‘progressive resistance’ training – building up a player’s strength by presenting challenges just above one’s current playing level.)

So, even when down-and-out, I am able to enjoy my chess. Until I return from my sickness, I hope that you’re able to find ways to

Enjoy your Chess!

Making a Chess Screen Saver dream come true…

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

The last couple of days I’ve been playing around with an idea and making it real.

What I wanted to do was have a screen saver that would present games where the moves would be animated on a board. (Historically significant games, games with openings /tactics / endgames I’m working on, my own games, whatever.)

ChessBase has the capability to take a game and create an HTML/javascript replay, and an option to animate the board in replay. (For an example: )

Then a bit of careful Googling led me to Web Screen Saver 2010. A quick install later, using ChessBase to create 50 games from 1700-1863 to start with for display, pointing the screensaver to them, a little more configuration, and voila! I now have my chess screen saver.

When running, you don’t see the browswer frame – it’s all full screen. It’s also interactive – I can click on the moves and replay them from that point. (And I’m not sure if it’s bug or feature, but clicking correctly stops the replay until the next game in the screen saver loads or one manually refreshes the page – I can actually manually step through the game. I’ve configured the program that mousing and mouseclicks don’t wake it up, but pressing any keyboard key.)

The screen saver program is good enough that I’ll be coughing up the $19.99 for it. ;)

Having historic games replay on my computers when they’re idle is another way I’ve found to enjoy my chess. Creatively adapting existing solutions is yet another way to

Enjoy your Chess!

Live from Colley’s, 1/11 Version

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

So, another night for Twin Cities Chess Club at Colley’s.

Tonight it was fun, as all of us were present at some point Saturday’s tournament. We had a look at the beautiful Gelfand-Nakamura game in Round 5 of the World Team Championship. Go Nakamura! From there we, as a group, played through a game from Saturday’s tournament.

Then we all just talked for awhile as a group, and then had a G/10 ladder event. Can’t say that I won any games (my perfect record at Quick remains – no wins!) It was still pretty fun to descend down the ladder.

A little more chat, some consolidation of my games from the tournament into ChessBase (since I still don’t have my 2009 Light Premium running,) and then it was a little over three hours later.

Shameless plug: Come on down to Colley’s Chess Cafe on Monday nights! (Or Tuesday nights. Or just stop by!)


Personal log: I’m deeply considering attending the tournament down in Decatur this Saturday. A lot of us are. :)

Originally I wanted to go to the fun event in Peoria on Sunday at Hardee’s, but I’m attending a hockey game instead. (Another nice thing about Chess: Nobody ever went to a fight and a Chess Game broke out. Though the reverse has sometimes been regrettably true…)

Then Monday is the MLK Scholastic tournament, and I’m working the floor there.

I am taking Tuesday off, too, and am going to a play with my Mom.

Then the following Saturday is another tournament I’m assisting at.

So it will be a busy couple of weeks for LaughingVulcan. The blog may suffer a little… but it can.

If you’re out there reading, I’d appreciate a comment saying you are. (Note: NO commercial spam links allowed or obviously spammy email addresses.) But I appreciate knowing I’ve got actual readership. :) Until I hear from you

Enjoy your Chess!

“Live” from Colley’s, Again!

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Another Monday night, another meeting of the Tri-Cities Chess Club at Colley’s. The evening started off with fast blitz action and slow games alike, moderated by a couple of slow games with others. Five of us were present.

Mondays and Tuesdays are different environments at Colley’s Chess Cafe. On Tuesdays the play is lively and the talk is loud. Kids are playing and the din is something to behold. On Mondays it is (mostly) deep games and a lot more quiet. It’s also something of a more intimate atmosphere, at least for the time being.

Some players can’t take the volume. Others can’t take the quiet. Me, I like both in their own fashion. (Though I do admit that absolute silence doesn’t work for me – I’ll use my MP3 player if it is dead quiet in a playing room.)

Personally, I wish every player could take time to try both ways. Either may work, or both. At any rate, I had a fun time playing – I enjoyed my chess, and hope that you

Enjoy your Chess!

Slow Day…

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

I had hoped to have something to post for today – usually I try to stock up a couple of days posts in advance on the weekends, since Monday and Tuesday evenings I am playing Chess.

But, since I don’t, I’ll give a shameless plug for where I play chess: Colley’s Chess Cafe. There is a link on the sidebar at the right to Colley’s.

If you’re ever in Bloomington, Illinois, please drop by and see us on Tuesday nights! There is also open play on most Saturday mornings (but the cafe does close on scholastic tournament weekends,) and I don’t think it will be open this Saturady because of Christmas.

The Twin Cities Chess Club is now meeting again, on Monday nights. I believe visitors are certainly welcome. :D

Being part of a chess club, or a regular place to play, is a great way to

Enjoy your Chess!