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Readers’ Games, Questions and Comments, Part 2

  • IM Silman
  • | Feb 18, 2014
  • | 10649 views
  • | 51 comments

WHY I WRITE ABOUT THE CHESS GREATS

In my view, it’s important for chess fans to embrace a chess hero, and after studying his life and games, moving onto another chess hero. It’s fun, you learn a lot, and it makes the whole chess experience richer and far more interesting.

When I write about any of the chess greats, I try and do it in a way that makes people want to know more about the subject of the article. I want them to rush to a database and look at his games. And I want them to buy a book on that player so they can go in-depth into his life and art. I want people to get as excited by chess history and chess legends as I am.

ALEKHINE PART 4

In the fourth installment of my seven-part Alekhine series, lots of people took sides, some feeling Alekhine was the bomb, and others joining the Capablanca camp. And that’s great! It’s fun to root for your hero and insist he was the best! But the one thing I want people to understand is that each champion was close to untouchable in his ultimate prime, so picking a “best of all time” is purely a matter of taste.

The problem I found in the comment’s section wasn’t that many felt Capablanca was the best of all time (it’s as good a pick as any!), the problem was their bizarre anger over my claim that Alekhine was by far the best player on earth from 1930 to 1934 (though he had a tiny drop-off after 1932). They (childishly) insisted that Capablanca would have beaten him in a rematch and that Capa was always better than Alekhine. Their “proof” was the two players’ overall score: 9 wins, 33 draws, 7 losses in favor of Capablanca, and one guy insanely added, “Numbers do not lie!”

 

DO NUMBERS LIE?

php0cHP7V.jpeg

Well, I’m afraid they DO lie. Capablanca was indeed a much better player up to 1920, and just a bit better from 1921 to 1927. And that superiority (which Alekhine acknowledged) gave Capa a 5-0 lead (with various draws) before their World Championship match. BUT... let’s look at those numbers:

Capablanca won his first four games over Alekhine in 1913 and 1914, and the Cuban’s massive superiority was obvious to everyone, including Alekhine! In Part 2 of my Alekhine series, I pointed out:

“With the World Championship and nothing but the World Championship on his mind, he mapped out a clear plan: Play against the world’s best and win every tournament, thus showing that he was the true challenger to the title. And, at first he would also avoid Capablanca until he felt he was closer to him in strength.”

After their 1913 and 1914 games, they didn’t face each other again until 1922, when Alekhine finally tossed away the “No Capablanca” strategy and they both went at it in a very strong tournament in London. Both players dominated everyone else. However, Capablanca won more games than Alekhine (both were undefeated) and so Capa came in first, and Alekhine second. They didn’t play again until New York 1924 (they drew both their games in that event), and New York 1927 (where they drew three and Capablanca won one).

After New York 1927, Alekhine beat Capablanca in their match 6-3, and after that they each won one tournament game against each other.

Capablanca: 1913 – 2 wins. 1914 – 2 wins. 1927 – 4 wins. 1936 – 1 win.

Alekhine: 1927 – 6 wins. 1938 – 1 win.

If you feel that beating up on a vastly inferior foe (which Alekhine was in 1913 and 1914) proves Capablanca’s eternal superiority, you clearly lack the logic gene. However, when they played on a more level field (Alekhine didn’t reach top 3 status until 1921), Alekhine’s numbers are better.

A press photo from the 1927 match. The man standing is the arbiter, Dr. Carlos Augusto Querencio | Image Wikipedia

In short, one can chew on these numbers in many different ways and come up with an opinion that suits your particular prejudices/tastes. That’s fine, but don’t insist that your view is proven fact, and smack down anyone that dares think differently than you do.

I’ll end this topic with a wonderful comment by mrmibs:

“Two great champions - completely different styles - who is better? Who cares - just appreciate the artistry - these were difficult times that we could not fathom - WWI - the Great Depression and the onset of WWII. One thing for sure - we are all better off that these two geniuses existed and clashed on their chosen battlefield.”

Amen to that, mrmibs!

 

COACHING

In my article How to Turbo-Charge Your Game some readers took offense at me recommending a coach since not everyone can afford one.

Well, I also tell people that Spagos Beverly Hills is my favorite restaurant and anyone that goes there will have a very enjoyable meal. I’m well aware that most can’t afford it, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a fantastic place. 

I’m also well aware that most people can’t afford a coach, though nowadays one can get a grandmaster coach online for a very reasonable sum.

When I just started, I was coached now and then (for free) by a 1600 level player, and he was very helpful. Other than that, I never had a coach until after I turned pro, and then a far more experienced player (around my own strength at that time) gave me some pointers (also for free… keep in mind that I didn’t have enough money to feed myself, let alone pay for lessons) that had a huge effect! He was able to see a major weakness (I moved too quickly in key positions), and once I realized it, my game improved enormously.

If you can’t afford lessons, you will have to read books, articles (I’ve written at least 2 zillion articles on Chess.com, and they are all free), and play people a bit better than yourself if you want to improve. You put in the work and improvement will happen!

If you can afford lessons, it’s important to find a coach that is right for you! Just because others like him, or that the coach has a monster rating or title, doesn’t mean you and that teacher are a good match. Coach/student is a relationship, and not all relationships are meant to be. If you hire a coach and find you just don’t communicate with each other very well, get a divorce and look for a new one.

 

CHESS ENGINES DON’T AGREE WITH EACH OTHER

One guy was disappointed that a computer assessment I gave (Houdini) didn’t match up with the assessment of his computer (GarboChess). For those that think all chess engines like the same moves, I have startling news: they often totally disagree with one another! If they agreed on every position’s ins and outs, then every computer vs. computer game would be drawn. But that’s clearly not the case.

Chess engines have different styles (some are more tactical while others have more positional finesse), vastly different programming, and even different “tastes.” For example, take a look at the following position:

If I give Houdini 5 minutes to ponder this situation, it insists that 22...Ra6 is the best move.

If I give HIARCS Chess Explorer (Deep HIARCS) 5 minutes, it gives thumbs up to 22...b4 with 22...Ra5 coming in second and 22...Kh8 third (HIARCS seemed to like 22...Kh8 right off the bat, while Houdini spits on that move).

That’s why, if I’m doing a serious analysis, I will use two or three engines at the same time since each one has its own insights into the position I’m looking at.

 

YET ANOTHER TALENTED CHESS.COM ARTIST

Chess.com member Fischermylife once again shows that this site’s readers are talented artists. Here he tries to show me that, “There are many ways to reach your goal from a point. The straight (shortest) line is preferred over any other.”


phpgIc9HT.jpeg

 

I will cherish this forever, and put it next to my Wolverine on a Lounge Chair Smoking a Pipe drawing. To be fair, Fischermylife also seemed to think that I had no knowledge of the Soviet School of Chess (Why does everyone read one book or article and think they are an expert in that subject?). But I won’t comment on that since I find his drawing to be much more interesting (in a way it’s like an X-ray into Fischermylife’s brain). In fact, I was using it as a meditation tool for a while (the image completely covering my field of vision while I laid in weightless bliss in a Lilly tank with Stairway to Heaven blaring in my ears), but had to stop when I woke one night in a zoo wearing some form of animal hide, with copious amounts of jet black hair growing on my back and chest.

Me entering my Lilly Tank

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Me waking up at the zoo

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WRESTLING WITH TROLLS

 StevieBlues wisely said:

“Mr. Silman you must not take the bait of trolls. It’s literally fighting with a child, and you would not do this if you saw them face-to-face! Just ignore it, and don’t worry – the rest of us do the same.”

Okay, okay... I won’t fight them. But is it okay to hit them with several Taser blasts to their gonads? Please say it’s okay!?

 

Jimmy-the-Hand uses the word “muppet” for “trolls.” Why is Jimmy-the-Hand using a sweet, cuddly creature’s name for the disgusting stench of Internet trolls? For the love of god, leave the muppets alone!

 BTW, why not stay with “troll”? It’s a perfect word for their behavior. Of course, I expect some misguided group will announce that the use of the word “troll” is cruel, and that one can only say “t-word” in the future (as in, “Oh no, that t-word is doing it again!”). It’s clear to me that political correctness is destroying the English language.

Can’t we ban these guys from from making comments?

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THE NAME GAME

I’ve always been fascinated by the various made up names (and interesting avatars) that most Chess.com members use (though I wish they would also give their real name on their page). What’s particularly hilarious is how one made up name attacks another made up name as being fictitious (just as one dude with a bizarre avatar laughs at another person’s bizarre avatar).

A great example is the recent troll infestation that appeared in batgirl’s latest chess history piece on the first U.S. Woman’s ChampionOne guy wrote: “I think aliens have again sabotaged Mr. Silman’s brain into believing that fictional characters can participate in real world discourse. ‘Batgirl’ is not a chess historian, she’s not even real!”

Though I won't mention the name of the dude who's been belittling batgirl’s moniker, when you see his comments and avatar in BatGirl's post (linked above), you'll know why I found it hard to stop laughing. He uses Ivanchuk’s image as his avatar, but I think an avatar of a village idiot falling off a wall would be more appropriate.

BTW, if you aren’t reading all of batgirl’s chess history articles, you’re missing out on one of the best things on this site!

PLAYING COMPLEX OPENINGS THAT NEITHER PLAYER UNDERSTANDS

Amateurs do this all the time, and it’s actually a good idea to do so IF you are able to get a strong player to point out the pros/cons/ideas/patterns/plans of the opening in question, and the flaws in your thinking. Suddenly a badly misplayed game becomes a master class of instruction.

 

Shoshonte (1558) – Travis Alverio (1327)
National Chess Congress 2013

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3

This position might seem to be simple, but it’s actually ripe with extremely complex possibilities.

 


4...Bf5!?

This is often considered to be inaccurate, but that might not be the case.

5.Bd3

Though very playable, this goes a bit easy on Black, who shouldn’t mind swapping off his potentially bad bishop for White’s bishop.

The critical reply to 4...Bf5 is 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Qb3 and now:

  • 6...Nc6 7.Qxb7 Bd7 8.Qb3 Rb8 9.Qd1 e5 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.Be2 0-0 gives Black a lot of compensation for the sacrificed pawn, though whether it’s 100% sound remains to be seen. 

  • 6...Qb6 7.Nxd5 Nxd5 (7...Qxb3? 8.Nxf6+) 8.Qxd5 Qb4+ (The pawn sacrifice 8...e6 9.Qb5+ Nc6 is also tried on occasion.) when White has tried both 9.Bd2 Qxb2 10.Rc1, looking to take advantage of White’s lead in development (or, if development fails, then to gain a positional advantage based on White’s extra center pawn and central space), and 9.Kd1, holding onto the extra pawn like grim death.

  • 6...Qd7 is risky, as shown by the following game: 7.Nf3 e6 8.Ne5 Qc7 9.Bb5+ Nfd7 10.e4 Bxe4 11.Bf4 Bd6 12.Nxe4 dxe4 13.Rc1 Nc6 14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.Rxc6 1-0, Ivan Sokolov (2656) – C. Quaranta (2151), Vienna Open 2013.

  • 6...Bc8 This looks a bit strange, but it’s not so bad (White’s probably only a little better) since Black’s position will turn out to be quite solid: 7.Nf3 Nc6 (7...e6 8.Bd3 Nc6 9.0-0 Bd7 10.Bd2 Qb6 11.Qd1 Bd6 12.Rc1 0-0 13.Na4 Qd8 14.Nc5 Bxc5 15.Rxc5 Ne4 16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.Ne5 Nxe5 18.dxe5, ½-1/2-1/2, Alexander Alekhine – Jose Capablanca, New York 1924) 8.Ne5 e6 9.f4 Be7 10.Bd3 0-0 11.0-0 Nd7 12.Bd2 Ndxe5 13.fxe5 Bd7 14.Rf3 Nb4 15.Be2 a5 16.a3 a4 17.Qd1 Nc6 18.Bd3 g6 19.Qe2 f6 20.exf6 Rxf6 21.Raf1 Kg7 22.Be1 Rxf3 23.Qxf3 Bf6 24.Bg3 Na5 25.Bc7 Qe7 26.Bd6 Qd8 27.Bc7 Qe7 28.Bd6 Qd8 29.h4 Nc6 30.h5 Be8 31.h6+!, 1-0, Matthew Sadler (2625) – Sipke Ernst (2581), [D10] Oslo 2011.


Naturally, all these move 6 possibilities for Black are just barebones basics. One could easily write dozens of pages on each one.

Other than 5.cxd5, White’s most logical move is 5.Nf3 when 5...e6 6.Nh4 is very popular since it goes after the two bishops (and a safe, small positional edge) right away.

 

Of course, I very much doubt that Black was aware of the pitfalls surrounding his 4...Bf5, and White was, apparently, also in unknown territory. 

5...Bxd3 6.Qxd3 dxc4?

Just 6...e6 7.Nf3 Nbd7 is fine for Black. The capture on c4 gives up the center for no reason and isn’t something that an experienced player would do.

7.Qxc4 e6 8.Qb3?

I can only guess that White played this move as a reaction to a possible ...b7-b5 (it also attacks b7, but it’s not hard to defend). The fact is that White should not fear a one-move attack against his queen, and he should also be aware of the negative aspects of ...b7-b5, namely the weakening of the c6-pawn on an open file and the creation of a hole on c5. Once you realize that ...b7-b5 can create a lot of problems for Black, you will not only try to prevent it, you’ll actually beg Black to do it!

Instead, White should have demonstrated that chess is an easy game by playing the obvious 8.Nf3, developing, preparing to castle, and also putting pressure on the important e5-square.

8...b6?

Terrible. Black saw his pawn was attacked and defended it in a way that, other than making sure the pawn is safe, has no redeeming value (it wastes a move and creates a weak pawn on c6).

Instead, 8...Qb6! is a complete answer to White’s innocuous 8.Qb3. The pawn is guarded, Black’s queen takes up an active position, and Black threatens to chop on b3 and give White doubled isolated b-pawns. Of course, Black didn’t do this for the same reason White didn’t worry about ...Qb6 – both players thought that White would answer with 9.Qxb6 and give Black the doubled pawns. But this is 100% incorrect thinking. After 8...Qb6 9.Qxb6 (Black actually wants White to do this!) 9...axb6 Black’s doubled pawns aren’t weak at all, nor have any squares been weakened in Black’s camp. In fact, that pawn will gain queenside space with an eventual ...b6-b5, and the capture on b6 has also turned the do-nothing a8-rook into a powerful canon spitting fire down the half-open a-file.


9.Nge2

Of course this is playable, but 9.Nf3 is far better since it affects a key central square (e5). Yes, “little” details like this do add up! 

9...c5?!

It’s normally not wise to open the center when one’s king is still there. Simply 9...Be7 or 9...Bd6 followed by 10...0-0 was better, while 9...Nbd7, retaining some flexibility, is also fine.

10.0-0 Nc6 



11.dxc5?

Another sub-par decision created by the fear of losing a pawn or, at the very least, getting an isolated d-pawn. But by reacting to Black’s “threat,” you are helping him develop and then castle. Instead, 11.Rd1 turns his threat into your threat and also brings the dormant rook on f1 to a hot open file.

As I constantly say (for players from beginner to 2100), one of the worst chess crimes is to react to enemy “threats” that, more often than not, aren’t threats at all or can be dealt with in a positive manner. Taking on c5 is NOT positive. Here’s a sample: 11.Rd1! cxd4 (11...Qc8 is probably better, when 12.e4 cxd4 13.Nxd4 Nxd4 14.Rxd4 Bc5 15.Qa4+ Nd7 [15...Kf8 is better, though White retains an edge] 16.Rd3 a6 17.Bf4 b5 18.Qd1 keeps Black under pressure) 12.exd4! (White wants to use the pawn to rip open the center and go after Black’s uncastled King.) 12...Be7 (12...Nd5 13.Nf4!) 13.Qb5! (13.d5 also gives White a nice initiative) 13...Qd7

13...Qc7 is a mistake and takes us to our first puzzle:

14.d5 Nxd5 15.Rxd5 Qb7 17.Nd4 Rc8 18.Nf5 0-0 19.Bd2 intending Rd1 and perhaps Bc3 in some lines with Black finding himself under enormous pressure. 19...Rcd8?? is a blunder that takes us to another puzzle:

 

Here's the analysis of 11.Rd1


Everyone should play over these lines since it shows you, in very clear fashion, the difference between just making moves that avoid confrontation and taking hold of the game and imprinting it with your own vision and energy.

The rest is worth a glance since it shows how a position can slowly get worse and worse:


The game was eventually drawn after Black missed a couple of winning continuations. But none of that matters. What DOES matter are the very common mistakes that both players made in the opening:

  • Giving up the center for no reason (6...dxc4).
  • Opening the position when one’s king is in the middle (9...c5).
  • Wasting time to create an obvious pseudo threat (8.Qb3).
  • Reacting to threats in a self-destructive manner (8...b6).
  • Fearing doubled pawns (8...Qb6! was the way to go when the pawn structure after 9.Qxb6 axb6 actually favors Black!).
  • Failing to place pieces where they control an optimum amount of central squares (9.Nge2 instead of the superior 9.Nf3).
  • Allowing fear to make you actually help your opponent (11.dxc5 developing Black and helping Black castle quickly).
  • Not trying to punish an enemy who has left his king in the center for too long (11.dxc5 instead of 11.Rd1!, turning up the heat!).
  • Making a move that actually makes an enemy piece more active, while also weakening a central square (14.e4, which turned the c5-bishop into a laser beam, and left d4 vulnerable).

One or two of these things isn’t the end of the world, but when you do these “invisible/innocent” and all-too-common errors too many times, your game often slides away into oblivion and you are left wondering what went wrong.

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RELATED STUDY MATERIAL

Comments


  • 10 months ago

    I_Am_Second

    One of the great debates of chess..."who was better?"

    Personally i have always been a Capa fan.  But i also acknowledge Alekhine's greatness.  I only know what i have read about these two, and why a rematch never happened.  I will say that Capa did take the match way to lightly.

  • 10 months ago

    JohnnySaysThankYou

    I for one like Mr. Silman's bouts of courage against the common troll.

  • 10 months ago

    capakarpova

    capablanca had a 4 to 1 record against euwe.  alekhine had 28 wins vs 20 losses against euwe.   can you seriously imagine capa losing 20 times against euwe???  plus capablanca alternated wins against botvinnik.   Alekhine never won and lost 1 game against botvinnik.    Capablanca also has the best win loss ratio of any grandmaster in history.  As late as 1936 when capa was 48 years old he won the great nottingham tournament while Alekhine came in 3rd.    These are the facts.

  • 10 months ago

    Mosca_Perruna

    @   LaserZorin

    Wow, leave it to a Russian to believe something as ridiculous as Capablanca wanting most of the money for a rematch. He was extremely bitter about Alekhine's tactics to avoid him and that soured the relationship between both men.

     Capablanca was playing the match under the London rules that all the great masters playing at the London Congress had agreed to, namely Alekhine, Bogoljubow, Maróczy, Réti, Rubinstein, Tartakower and Vidmar.

    http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/london.html

     

     Alekhine initially offered a re-match in which he would take more than half the money even if he lost but then even that was retracted. Alekhine asked for more money to play even in tournaments where Capablanca was going to play. Who was avoiding who? And now they were in the Great Depression and he was asking Capablanca to come up with almost twice what he asked Bogoljubov for the match.

     

     

  • 10 months ago

    Mulaton

    @lasersorin

    I have to be fair with Mr. silman and clarify that he never wrote that alekhine avoided capablanca after he became world champion of chess and it is my own conclusion based on logic and let me explain why.

    Mr. Silman wrote

    "In Part Two of our Alekhine series, I described Alekhine’s plan to force a match with Capablanca: “Play against the world’s best and win every tournament, thus showing that he was the true challenger to the title. And, at first he would also avoid Capablanca until he felt he was closer to him in strength.”"

    Now, let's say that alekhine avoiding capablanca is a myth but how can you explain that after the championship match they only played like two games only which occured after several years since the last time they met? I mean, who is the one who has a history of avoiding the other. It might be a myth but at least it is a myth with huge sense and logic. Really hard to refute based on evidences.

     I also have to say that I have heard and read a lot of stories about the two players. I have heard a lot of people claiming the myth is not a myth and vice versa but I have never heard any story about capablanca avoiding alekhine.

    Rumor has it!

  • 10 months ago

    Atakattu

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 10 months ago

    famousstep

    these are good.

  • 10 months ago

    I_Am_Second

    TheGreatOogieBoogie

    You forgot Karsten Mueller :-)

  • 10 months ago

    TheGreatOogieBoogie

    Silman, have you thought about doing a sequel to your Endgame Course?  Like a multi-volume work similar to the ECE but arranged by rating and use words instead of hieroglyphics?  For example you could have a pawn ending volume, rook ending volume, minor pieces of the same type volume, bishop vs. knight, rook vs. knight, and rook vs. bishop volume, and queen vs. queen, queen vs. rook(s), and queen vs. minor pieces volume (five volumes) where you say, "beginners start with queen vs. pawn(s)/rook vs. pawn(s), class B works on queen vs. two rooks, the two rooks generally win but in xyz special cases the queen draws with xyz pawn distributions"

     

    I think it would be a great addition to endgame knowledge and if you work with Nunn, Dvoretsky, and Komodo it'll be a dream team multi-volume textbook. Your current Endgame Course would be a great introduction to it.  Since five volumes cover a huge amount of material you'll be able to target every rating range, though since most positions are complex and require a great deal of technique maybe half of it would be filed under master and above? 

     Volumes organized by material, chapters organized by rating. 

  • 10 months ago

    LaserZorin

    @Mulaton

    Silman has already addressed the myth that "Alekhine avoided Capa" several times in his articles, and debunked it as the nonsense that it is.  Alekhine himself offered Capablanca a return match, but the Cuban legend insisted on the majority of the prize fund.  This, despite Alekhine being the World Champion.  Alekhine then offered a match with an equal monetary split between the two.  

    Capa refused.  

    Since you claim to like IM Silman's articles so much, why do you ignore that part of them?

  • 10 months ago

    Mulaton

    Capablanca and Alekhine are both great. The reason I pick capa over alek is for 1 simple reason. As you stated in your previous articles it was alekhine the one who avoided capablanca before the championship match, it was alekhine the one who prepared himself to beat Capablanca in the match and also the one who avoided capa after the match,  not the other way around. it looks like alekhine was orbiting around capa's legacy his whole life, even after becoming a world champion.  

     

    I like history and it has been fun to read your articles. excellent job!!!

  • 10 months ago

    resting12345

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 10 months ago

    Mosca_Perruna

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 10 months ago

    Jimmy-the-Hand

    @ IM Silman, thanks for the name drop! First step on the road to fame and glory, right? It's Mendes, by the way, as you have a penchant for real names...

    Can't really remember my exact comment about the trolls on the other article, but this side of the Pond the word 'muppet' does not have those connotations of sweet and cuddly animals. It just simply means a silly or stupid person, as in 'Oi, muppet! You realise your trousers are inside out?!'

    I wasn't comparing the word 'troll' with the N or R-word which got brought up in the comments to a different article. Political correctness may or may not be ruining the English language, but perhaps more important is whether it's contributing to progressive change in society or not. Again, this side of the Pond at least, I would say that it has.  It can be taken too far of course.

    Troll and muppet are perfect slurs as they don't actually exist, I believe! It's important to remember though that it is possible to move beyond name-calling, if you buy in to the idea of enlightenment.

  • 10 months ago

    ressalois

    as always. your article is nice to read eventhough it's very long. Thanks. 

  • 10 months ago

    Bxe6

    Very instructive.

  • 10 months ago

    Ranx0r0x

    6...Nc6 7.Qxb7 Bd7 8.Qb3 Rb8 9.Qd1 e5 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.Be2 0-0

    I looked at that one because I have played a few games recently with that sort of move order question. Just checked that with Komodo 3 64 and the position is equal in its estimation up to Be2. 

    But it considers 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. Be2 a better move order for white to maintain a miniscule pull but 11. Be2 e4 is considered a small advantage for black.

    Neither move order seems to result in anything very dramatic. As a matter of personal taste I'd prefer the position with the extra pawn after 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. Be2.  White seems solid enough and black is down a pawn and has the isolani.

    Is it a strength or a weakness?

  • 10 months ago

    Ranx0r0x

    Back in the olden days when we were all on the UseNet and green screens I believe we referred to the act of making obnoxious or inflamatory comments on a thread as "trolling" as in fishing for comments.  They'd make an obnoxious comment and then kick off a long digression from the topic at hand.

    An example would be someone coming onto a Chess Forum and posting "BOBBY FISCHER IS THE GREATEST EVUR!"

    They invariably disappeared after making the comment having hooked their fish and those fish flamed one another about the comments.

    From there they just became "trolls".

    If memory serves right.  My memory isn't what it used to be.  I think.  I can't recall if it was ever that good.

  • 10 months ago

    ex0du5

    Silman: "However, you are taking this too seriously. I was having fun with the idea of the tank (and also tying it in with a very famous movie... wonder who will figure out which movie that is) and mixed things together for the sake of humorous imagery."


    Heh.  No, I knew you were on the Altered States route and all that.  I thought it would be humorous (to me, really the only one I ever think about in my responses) to be indignant about your use of the tank and completely ignore the actual content of your article.  Sometimes, I think that is the point of commenting - to hyperfocus on something said in passing and completely miss the intent.  I get a lot of corroboration for that idea on this site.

  • 10 months ago

    IM Silman

    ex0du5 said I was doing “the Lilly tank thing wrong. John intended it for sensory deprivation, not music immersion or visual field expansion.”

    I used Lilly tanks a lot in my youth, and we tried to experience many things with it. Pure sensory deprivation – yes indeed. How sensory deprivation mixed with various visuals affect a person – yes indeed. How certain kinds of sounds/music affect a person in the tank – yep. Using the tank as a meditation device. And the effect of various drugs while in a state of sensory deprivation. Keep in mind that Lilly’s goal was to study the nature of consciousness, so we decided to push the envelope (in the name of science, of course).

    However, you are taking this too seriously. I was having fun with the idea of the tank (and also tying it in with a very famous movie... wonder who will figure out which movie that is) and mixed things together for the sake of humorous imagery.

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