Tag Archives: beginner

Game 17: SmithyQ-Gavacho_Iberico: A Beginner Analysis

The game I’m about to share isn’t especially interesting.  My opponent made a silly mistake, losing a pawn, then a sillier mistake, losing a piece.  That’s about it.

Rather than trying to explain advanced strategy or positional nuances behind unforced blunders, I have instead annotated this game for beginners.  It has lots of commentary, few variations and a constant stream of what I’m thinking on most moves as well as my goals.  I hope it’s useful for you improving players.

So, without further adieu, let’s take a look. Continue reading

The Wonderful World of Object Manipulation

Today I will attempt to describe magic. Words will likely fail me. After all, if you can adequately describe something, then it is no longer magic. I am talking about a love I’ve only recently discovered, the wonderful world of object manipulation.

What is object manipulation? As the name suggests, it’s the art of manipulating objects. Okay, so that wasn’t very helpful. Basically, you have a certain object (be it ball, staff, hoop or whatnot) and perform tricks with it. Hmm. That’s certainly a more useful description, but it’s also unfair. ‘Tricks’ cheapens the art, as it is almost a dirty word, something base and unappealing. Object manipulation is so much more.

Well, when words fail, use images. Even better, here’s a video!

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Overcoming Beginneritis

People are afraid of a number of silly things, from insects to the dark and everything in between. These fears are irrational, we all know that, but we still fall victim to them. We all have our own little quirks, but one fear that seems near universal is the fear of looking stupid in front of other people.

Somehow, this is seemed as the worst thing that could ever happen to you.

This is the root cause of the fear of public speaking. It’s not the act of speaking that we fear but rather the possibility that we mess up with everyone watching us. If we flub a line or mispronounce a word then everyone will snicker at us, our faces will go scarlet and soon more mistakes will follow. Soon the entire audience will know that we are incompetent and laugh us off the stage. That’s the fear right there. Continue reading

The Joy of Being a Beginner

You perhaps won’t agree with me right away, but there is nothing better than being a beginner. The more beginner the more better. Most people, I imagine, think the exact opposite. Being a beginner is the absolute worst: things are more fun the better you are. I agree with this, but only to a point, and in fact it actually supports my original position: being a beginner is better.

I taught a martial arts class last night, and in that time I showed someone how to use the bo staff for the first time. As the name implies the bo staff is a long staff, generally 5 to 6 feet high and used as part of our weapons training. We teach both the traditional strikes as well as more flashy and modern spin techniques. The student I taught had never used this before, and she absolutely loved it.

The feeling is universal. Who doesn’t love being Donatello?

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A Rant on Openings

I have a rant today. I apologize in advance.

Making this expression makes it feel better. Honestly.

Recently, the Remote Chess Academy released a new course on the Bogo-Indian opening. I have nothing against this. In fact, I highly approve such opening courses, and I hope we see more in the future. I have nothing against the course. Rather, it is the reasoning behind making the course that infuriates me. Continue reading