Hey chess.com friends!!
I wanted to update you on some stuff that's going on on the site, which I'd like everyone to know about; so please help me out by passing on some of the things you'll read in here. I also promise this blog includes a very interesting chess component! so, you can learn from it!
The first thing I wanted to mention very quickly is that I put up a photo album from my time in Europe this summer (the Biel tournament, which I played, and some nearby wanderings). I know I still haven't blogged the last round of the event-- it's just not that pressing when it's a loss, is it?-- but I will!
Ok, on to chess. One big thing we are trying to add to chess.com are some more fun events in live chess. Danny has been pioneering this with a series of *free* simuls, followed by game analysis for the best game. This is the subject of the new chess.com/tv show that he unveiled this past week, "the Big Show". Yesterday, I also tried my hand at such a simul, while live on chess.com/tv, and the results were pretty thrilling. I don't think it made the most enlightening TV since I was so overwhelmed by it that I could not explain much about the games as they went, but for those who like seeing other humans suffer, it was probably good fun. Anyway, after all the head-clasping, hand-wringing, and hair-pulling, we did do some brief analysis of the games, which I will present here. The games were played with 20 minutes per side. So if I could have smoothly switched between boards, I would have effectively had about 3.33 minutes per game... but I think with all my difficulties recognizing when it was my move, and clicking around, it felt a bit more like 3 minute games?
Here are all games, in the order in which they finished:
By the time that third game finished, it was a mad scramble on the three remaining boards, with probably less than a minute on each one!
Fun stuff, right?!?! I'll have to do more in the future, can't let Danny have all the pain.
Now, two even more important simuls are coming up this Sunday, at 10 am and noon pacific, respectively. These are two simuls being conducted by GM Dejan Bojkov to raise money for the cancer treatment of a fellow member of the Bulgarian chess community. I strongly, strongly encourage you to participate, or to make a small donation if you can't make it at that time. Chess.com will be handling the funds, and we can promise that this is no fraud, and that GM Bojkov is donating his time to help. These two simuls will be played at 60 minutes per side, so the full game could take up to 2 hours. It will be a great opportunity to play a fairly serious game with a Grandmaster, so don't miss it. You can find more info here and sign up here.
Here's another new thing we have just launched at chess.com-- a Youtube channel with full free videos. These videos are not as long and involved as the videos lessons we produce for diamond members, but they are complete, and separate material-- so even if you are a diamond member you might want to check these out if you don't get enough already! Non-diamond members should hopefully enjoy the chance to see some high-quality, entertaining chess videos!
The channel is in its infancy, and we are producing a variety of new videos for it, so we would really appreciate
1) feedback: let us know which of these formats are working well, which aren't, and what we should add or do differently.
2) get the word out: help ensure that these videos get a good audience! subscribing to our channel, sending video links to your friends, etc. will help us.
**edit** I think the most instructive video I've put up there so far is this one!
Thanks in advance! and now onto my next call for assistance :-)
We want to also expand the reach and market for chess TV. To do so, we want to select some good clips of shows to share and feature on youtube. So the clips probably need to be about 15 minutes long. What we'd like to know is: what are the best videos in our on-demand archive (to see the archive, click in the upper right on "videos" next to "chat")? Please tell me the show name and/or date of a show that you think would best serve the purpose of showing people what chess.com/tv is like at its best. Thanks again!
Also out yesterday!! Intermediate (1400-1800 USCF) level Study Plans!! This is another huge task, and I'm very happy that another big set of them is available now. Enjoy!
In my last blog, I mentioned the return of Silman as columnist; I'd like to share a funny story about what my work as article editor is like. When I was editing today's article by Iryna, I found a problematic error-- the fourth diagram was a direct copy of the third diagram! Luckily, as readers of my blog will know, I have been studying the exact same book as Iryna! So rather than call her up, and tell her she needed to replace that diagram, I hopped over to my bookshelf, pulled the relevant game, and put in the sequence of moves that Iryna had meant to enter!
Also, have you guys noticed what ridiculously sick games Bryan Smith has played?!?!? I mean, people have often told me that I play wild or irrational chess, but I think this guy tops me for sure. Just look at the games he used for his last two columns! (here and here) Seriously, you played these games? In his new Attack and Defense column there have been several other such games, played by him. Wow, makes one wish one were Bryan Smith, right??
Well, at least we can read what he writes. And tomorrow, we will be publishing... his first chess mentor course. Enjoy!
Any suggestions, feedback, comments about where chess.com should be going with its content and events is always welcome!