Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NY Knights lineups: you choose!

I'm excited about the upcoming USCL season! The NY Knights roster is below, as well as some of our possible lineups. Now's your chance to vote on who you'd like to see playing, in the poll to your right!

1.GM Tamaz Gelashvili2720
2.GM Giorgi Kacheishvili2681
3.GM Alex Lenderman2665
4.GM Pascal Charbonneau2565
5.SM Matt Herman2394
6.FM Michael Bodek2345
7.NM Justus Williams2255
8.NM Alexander Katz2222
9.Isaac Barayev2027
10.Nicolas Checa1942

Watch our first match against the Manhattan Applesauce, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 7 pm on ICC! I'll be online: kibitzing, trash-talking, and posting photos!

Thanks to our sponsor, ChessNYC!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

IS 318 visits Jane St. Hedge Fund

Last Friday, I took a small group of kids to visit Jane Street Hedge Fund. Sandor Lehoczky, our kind host, gave us a quick but extremely informative lesson on stocks, currencies, and trading, and then took us on a tour of the trading floor.

Danny, Alexis, Miguel, Tommy, Anita
After the markets closed, we played bughouse with the traders.

On a quick break, near Battery Park City
A German Enigma coding machine from World War II.
more photos here

I finish last and go to Storm King

I am inordinantly proud of myself that I've started running. We bought a treadmill in June, and I am running 4-5 days a week. I like to run while watching 24 on netflix on Jonathan's ipad: I find the chase scenes very motivating.

On Wednesday I ran in a 5k at prospect park, and was proud to finished in 28:25, down two whole minutes from my two-week's-ago time of 30:36.

At least, I was proud until I saw the results page and realized I am on the very last page: last place (5/5) in my division of women 35-39. ouch.

Jonathan's time was 19:30. He finished 25th, and 5/17 in men 35-39. well done.

Today we went to Storm King Art Center, which is a easy day trip from NYC (njtransit). Below are a few photos, more on facebook here

Sunday, August 12, 2012

success, balance, comments

Paul Tough's second book, How Children Succeed, is coming out September 4. The third chapter is about chess, specifically the IS 318 chess team, James Black, Matan Prilleltensky, the Polgars, Gata Kamsky, and myself. You can read a fun excerpt here of me going over a game at nationals and being a bit psycho.

 As you know, I love the Democracy in America blog, and I was especially struck by a recent article on balance in journalism:

       The problem of balance is neatly explained by a British hack, Nick Davies, who wrote a seminal (and underrated) book on falsehood, distortion and propaganda in journalism called "Flat Earth News". Mr Davies does a bit of teaching, and he has his students imagine that they are asked to write a report on what the weather will be like tomorrow. They interview a woman in one room who says it will be sunny. Then they interview a man in another room who says it's going to rain. Your job, as a journalist, is not to simply write up what you have been told, he says. Your job is to look out the window.
       Writing a "balanced" version of this story would produce an article that reads “he says it will rain” but “she says it won’t”. You have all these quotes fluttering around like “butterflies in a jar”, going nowhere. But there is a bigger danger lurking. What if the man who says it is going to rain is lying? What if he is an umbrella salesman? Your options are to either make a judgment about the truth, or print what you have been told. But if you balance an article when you know that all the evidence points to a sunny day tomorrow, then you are participating in a denial of truth.
And finally, is anyone else disturbed by the wildly inconsistent comment policy at the New York Times? Some articles allow comments; others don't, purely at the whimsy of the department editor, for reasons completely opaque to me. May I comment on a Science article? DON'T EVEN TRY IT. Racial profiling at airports? SURE! Assisted suicide? ABSOLUTELY NOT! A 17 year old Ambassador's daughter who falls to her death at a party in a high rise after drinking? NO PROBLEM.

someone explain it to me

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

adults and children

I am thrilled to tell you that my video, IM Greg Shahade vs. 10 year old chess master has over 50,000 views!

I am less thrilled to tell you that Chess in the Schools has kicked IS 318 out of their program (after fifteen years). I have no idea why. Their stated reason is that we are too successful. (?!)

In June, I had heard rumors from three different people (including one eighth grader) that this was going to happen, so I called my friend Shaun Smith, Chess in the Schools Vice President. He gave me his word, emphatically, insistently, over and over, that he had heard nothing about any plans to drop us and the rumors were completely unfounded.

One week later, after school is out, they sent us a letter saying we are out of the program.

Back to happy, I have been working hard on organizing my files and preparing some teachery materials for the Brooklyn Castle website. The first document, Advice for Teachers, has a number of google docs links within it that link to other word documents and chessbase files. The (much shorter) Advice for Parents has some ideas for setting up a club. I hope it is useful to you and appreciate any feedback you have for me!