Tuesday, July 6, 2010
CHESS HELL, CREATED FOR THOSE WHO ENJOY LOSING
Sorry I missed yesterday. This blog isn't promised everyday, the only promise is that I don't write on Sunday.
But yesterday was full... on top of that by evening I had a cold and headache, but kept pounding away. I've finished the ChessBase Basic, 13-14 page instructional booklet for the Chess Clinic, the Last One.
I worked quite a bit on this Friday's The Chess Reports.
Also, for several hours I listened to two DVDs, long ones by Shirov. The first on the Advance Caro-Kann (2nd ed.) and the second on the Tkachiev Ruy Lopez. While in the past Shirov's mumbling bothered me, he didn't do that these times around. And now he looks at the camera from time to time too! This IS engagement and it made the whole experience hugely improved. I watched a half dozen games but the most interesting one was Leko-Caruana, 2010 in the Tkachiev Lopez, of which, according to Shirov, Caruana is an expert. However, Caruana lost that game and once he made a "decision" mistake, Leko's technique took over and buried him. The funny thing? No games on the Tkachiev Lopez by Tkachiev. Shirov says that Tkachiev plays everything and doesn't concentrate just on the Lopez.
Anyway, just to let you know I am still cooking up brochures for sending to people about the Chess Clinic. Ron Nurmi is talking some people into coming, I hope you will too.
Over the years I have always priced Festivals and Clinics too cheaply and I still couldn't get enough people to come to make the expenses. When I ran Chess Festival 3, the most incredible one, my expenses were around $20,000! No one had ever complained about my events being too expensive. That doesn't mean they don' complaint, but they don't say anything to me. The ones who return are the most important.
So if someone you are trying to encourage is resisting coming because of the recession, being gone for two days, the cost, value, etc. it is clear to me they have no idea what it is worth. Oft times one clue or one sentence can change everything about your playing ability and successes.
On Friday night there with be a Q&E session with Andrew Martin and so far I have received ONE question! You have the opportunity of a lifetime here and you aren't using it. Andrew just wants the questions in advance so he can do sufficient research and give you a good answer. This could be amazingly valuable.
When chess historian ace Ken Whyld was here we had a Q&A and some great questions but after 30 minutes, that's all he had because, why? Everyone expected some one else to come up with the questions. One of the questions was intriguing: Is it true that in the 1927 Alekhine-Capablanca match they played in a room with just a referee, long before Fischer-Spassky? The answer was YES, it was true.
Doesn't matter if it is history, openings, tactics, endgame, etc. feel free to ask. Imagine how you will feel when he starts discussing YOUR question. Submit more than one if you feel like he may not have enough to choose from. He has thousands of reference volumes so don't worry.
Anyway, if you can't convince your friends to come, I will be more disappointed than you should be and I won't be disappointed much. The world has always been dominated by wimps and those who just let things happen and then want to complain to anyone who will listen. One of the most boring topics I have ever been engaged in was politics because if you don't vote, you can't do a whole lot about much anything (and no one wants to listen to you--really!)
I love what I do, the friends I've made, the folks I know. Those who like to waste my time, perhaps there is a chess hell somewhere for them. Maybe it's continuing to lose after missing opportunity after opportunity to improve because of a few hundred dollars. How much money do people shed on big screen TVs, XM radio, booze... yeah, a few hundred dollars is nothing.
Everyone who comes tells me what a great time they have. Are they lying? Could be, but I doubt it. But some are afraid to enjoy themselves as guilt rises and they think, "I could have mowed my grass today."
Chess Clinic... Oct. 22-23, 2010. Clarion Hotel in Davenport: 563-391-1230.