We signed a lease on a new apartment in a fancy luxury building with many appliances. It has a gym and a pool table and a freshdirect storage room, which I find hilarious, since you get to choose the time that freshdirect delivers; they're not like some totalitarian cable company. But if you have a tiny little room off the lobby of an apartment building that you don't know what to do with, I guess it sounds like a perk.
We also have a big balcony and a roofdeck and a picturesque view of neighborhood rooftops and Brooklyn's skyline. I will sit outside every morning and drink my tea. I will be very happy there.
Jonathan Hilton was kind enough to send me a review copy of Wojo's Weapons: Winning With White, even after I told him I probably wouldn't review it. (I'm way too busy right now to be reading opening books.) But he sent it anyway, and it's already been useful twice, even though I've only skimmed it.
It covers Wojt's white repertoire: 1. Nf3, the Catalan, the Slav with 4. Qc2. I have a couple of students who play the Catalan, and I know nothing about it, so I was interested. Jonathan and Dean do a nice job of explaining ideas. For example, one of my students always gets the following position
as white and I have never known what to tell him, planwise. But now I can confidently explain that this isn't so good for black because when black plays the intended ...e5, white will take on e5, exchange pawns on d5, and be well-positioned to attack black's isolated d pawn.
The book also talks about this position
which a few of my students have been looking for some new ideas in.
Finally, the Slav sideline Wojt played is interesting: 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Qc2. The idea is that if black takes, white just recaptures with the queen, has an extra center pawn and tortures/ bores/ strangles black to death. It's the kind of position that, if you get good at playing, is just a goldmine, pointwise.
It's already a popular book in my chess club. Miguel ran into my room today yelling "WO WO WO WO WO WO" (he misremembered the name "Wojo"), wanting to borrow it. Miguel is 13 and doesn't like studying, so that means something. I'd definitely recommend it to Catalan players, or anyone who likes boring-but-really-well-explained-d4 openings/ systems.
On a related note, my dentist convinced me to get crowns put on my two front teeth. Crowns are where they drill away like 40% of your tooth, stick a rod into the root, and stick a fake tooth over the real one. This happened because I had a root canals in each of my two front teeth many years ago and since then they've turned grey. My dentist wanted me to look prettier.
They took an impression of my teeth before they drilled them away, and I go back to get the permanent crowns Thursday. When they put on the temporary crowns last week, they slipped them on and then asked if any edges needed to be filed down, or anything felt weird against my tongue.
This questioning gave me an idea. I'm going to ask them to sharpen my teeth before they put them on. Imagine having extra-sharp teeth! almost like a superpower! Some people (ok everyone) I've mentioned this plan to has thought that it's a terrible idea because I might bite my tongue.
please vote in my poll by 4 pm Thursday.