1. My job tonight is to compile the 318 Secret Openings Book for 2008-2009. Every year I leave this task inexplicably late. The 318 Secret Openings Book is a collection of all my opening handouts (or at least the ones currently in circulation). Because I know my students can realistically learn about 2-3 pages of information, I condense each opening (that they are allowed to play) into what I consider the fundamental important stuff to know. Depending on the opening, that might be variations, lists of ideas, model games, or rules to follow. (really, the format depends mostly on my mood at the time I wrote it.) Then the copy lady (who hates me and for some reason thinks I steal tape) makes them into spiral bound books. They are about 100 pages long and she makes about 70 books.
It's half an enjoyable, self-congratulatory, memory lane stroll through the teaching materials I've produced in the last year, half insanely boring, cutting, pasting and reformatting drudgery.
But it's very important and so I'm doing it.
I'm just writing to you as a break.
2. honestly, I wasn't a big fan of the first part of my recent US chess school article on chess life online. I thought I made one decent point that Yury was good at making comparisons to classic games, but the rest of the article was superficial, flat and mostly worthless.
The second part I haven't reread online at all. I'm really nervous to do so-- I feel like I started on this resolutely human interest angle with the grade nationals/bird story (which I thought honestly was quite good) and then it grew into some weird obsession with people's inner thoughts. I started asking questions like 'how has chess changed you?' 'compare playing basketball/cello/judo to playing chess?!' and I'm scared I will feel creeped out that the article seems so centered around showcasing the inner thoughts of 13 year olds.
And, please don't get me wrong, I'm actually never really scared that I'm a creepy person, it's just that I get so bored writing chess articles, the genre is so unbearably narrow, the range of things you can say is so miniscule. it's very frustrating. add to that the fact that people seem to praise what I write no matter what, and I actually don't get paid for the USCS articles, so I feel no obligation. but maybe I'm getting a little too creative with genre-invention.
also, can I say that I feel like a lot of people do a very bad job of tournament reporting? It's one thing if you are asked to write a blog, but it's annoying when people are supposed to write about a tournament and the winner of the tournament and they write about themselves instead. it's not even annoying because I don't care about the person, it's annoying that the person is so lazy.
really I'm just sick of writing about chess, especially scholastics. When I write scholastic articles, I just feel such temptation to go off about some ridiculous theory. (I do this in april's article about grade nationals.) I think it's because I think adults are all 100% bored by scholastic chess and so I overcompensate. but no more. I'm just saying no next time.
sorry if this post seems absolutely self obsessed. I feel like it's my blog, sometimes I can do that.
ps I wouldn't normally pick such an easy target, but I have to draw your attention to the news item Disgraced pastor Haggard admits second relationship with man, just because I find the beginning of the second sentence utterly hilarious.
Evangelical pastor Ted Haggard described Thursday as "fundamentally true" an assertion that he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a 20-year-old male volunteer in 2006.
The incident occurred when the two men were in bed together, Grant Haas said in a videotaped interview played on CNN's "Larry King Live."