Saturday, July 28, 2012

olympics trivia

Which country has the fewest athletes competing in the London Olympics?

I had never heard of the answer-country, Nauru, which turns out to be a small Micronesian island with an unbelievably informative government website.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I love the DMV

So I lost my non-drivers licence. I went to a Counting Crows concert on Tuesday and wanted to bring as little as possible in my pockets, so I just had keys, my iphone, my non drivers license loose from my wallet. and of course I lost it.

I invented reasons not to go on Wednesday and Thursday (too hot) but on Friday, I went to the DMV on 34th st/Herald Square. As I stood in the introductory "information" line, where they direct you inside the cavernous room to the second, purpose-specific line, as I stood at least 7 twists away from the counter, only in that state of desparation did I think "maybe I can do this online?!"

I just ordered a replacement nondriver's license online in under 2 minutes for $8.

bravo, NY State government!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

a very strange advance delegate motion

ADM 12-20(Jim Berry, OK)
Add to Article III, Section 8 the following:
The USCF will offer any person under the age of 13 a USCF life membership which will receive publications online only upon payment of $500. Explanation: Upon receipt of the $500, $400 will go to LMA and $100 will go to USCF operations. This member will have all of the rights and privileges of USCF membership except publications will be online only. The purpose of the ADM is to extend
scholastic tournament activity into chess players teenage years.

A life membership is $1,500 for adults and $750 for seniors.

7/23 -- To my confusion, most members of the scholastic committee are voting for this. I am not sure if they think:
a) Kids will stick with chess as teenagers if their parents buy them a life membership, and we will have more active members.
b) Kids will not stick with chess, and we will make a lot of money.
c) It takes until you are 31 for buying this to make economic sense anyway, so it's well-priced. But in this case, why are we charging adults $1,500 and seniors $750? Wouldn't it make more sense to have an ADM bringing all the prices into line? If I was an adult life member, I would be annoyed.

amazing dance video

we remodelled our bathroom! also I am right.

nice tiles, right?

Also, the ultimate arbiter, Geurt Gijssen at Chesscafe, agrees with me that James Black's first round repairing at junior high nationals was weird (4th question).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

chess teacher quiz!

Want to test your chess teacher skillz? See if you have what it takes!
Start by downloading the following chessbase file. (or pgn here)

In the first part, you have a collection of games, one but sometimes two from a player*, and you need to figure out what the player's main problem is. You can choose from:

looks only one move ahead
doesn't look at what opponent is going to do
doesn't develop pieces
doesn't castle
doesn't know typical opening traps
trades too much
makes pawn breaks too quickly
doesn't make pawn breaks

Not all weaknesses are used.

In the second part, labeled "Whose Opening is Better?" you have a few positions that an engine or theory calls equal, but which in scholastic chess strongly favor one side. Determine which side is winning and explain why.

it's for a teacher training I'm doing. thanks.

*especially notice Bryan Parra is the first and last game.