If you hear a seasoned chess player talk about chess, it’s usually one of two things: either about famous players or openings. What else is there to talk about? Everybody has his or her own favourite player, be it the dauntless Tal or the dominating Capablanca or the demolishing Fischer. Finding your favourite player is generally pretty easy as well. Go through a collection of famous games, see one that catches your eye and presto, your favourite player.
For the record, my favourite player is Siegbert Tarrasch.
Openings, though, are completely different. While you might enjoy going through your favourite player’s games, you need to play your own openings. You need to study hard and memorize lines if you want to avoid opening traps, especially in the heavy theoretical lines. Each opening is different, leading to different positions, and it can seem overwhelming. Where to start? Which is best? How can I possibly know any of this? Continue reading →
I wrote yesterday how some inventions become ubiquitous, to the point we can barely imagine life without them. Computers are the obvious example, as they have and continue to revolutionize the way we do everything over the last 30 years or so. Advances in travel, safety and medicine all fall in the same category.
It’s hard to believe, but this was once the height of technology within most of our lifetimes.
In my post yesterday, though, I used the example of cell phones and smartphones. You will be hard-pressed to find someone under the age of 30 who does not have one of these devices. They go everywhere and they do everything. In less than a decade they have completely changed how we interact with people and institutions. They may be the most important technological advancement ever. That might seem like an exaggeration, but think about it: you have a portable device that lets you communicate instantly with virtually anyone and access a wealth of information at any time, assuming you have service. That’s pretty incredible. Continue reading →