Yes, Folks, back by popular demand, my ever-popular random thoughts!
Sometimes things occur to me, and, with no place particular to express them, I tuck them away in some dark, dusty corner of my mind. Well, as you know, my mind is only so big and once in a while I need to clean house to make room for more.
(disclaimer: the thoughts expressed here are simply my personal ones and may or may not be shared by others.)
10 Random Thoughts
1. Using computers to analyze your games expecting to improve your chess skills is a waste of time. Computers may help you understand some reasons why you lost or won a particular game especially if those reasons were tactical in nature, but only by analyzing with your slow, plodding, inaccurate mind will you develop your skills. The quality of the analysis is far less important than the process.
2. People who claim they've only been playing chess a year or two and sport a 2200 rating have some explaining to do. (yes, there are some here).
3. Sycophants are an insipid lot.
4. There are people who genuinely enjoy helping others. There are people who are genuinely too lazy to help themselves. There are people who mostly contribute and there are people who mostly complain. There are a few people who are truly funny and there are masses of people who think they are funny. In the end, it all works out.
5. Anyone who likens another person to a Nazi for whatever petty reason has conceded all intellectual high ground.
6. Anyone who has the patience and the intellectual fortitude to master (or even make an honest attempt to master) endgames has earned my total respect.
7. chess.com Live needs a lot of work. (I know, I know! it's in the beta mode).
8. Using the excuse, "This is the internet," to condone bad, or even borderline behavior doesn't cut it in my mind (not even in this dusty, dark corner). Behind every handle, every avatar, every typewritten word is a fellow human being.
9. At one time Chess was more than a mere game. It was a thing all to itself. Practioners generally valued chess for its intellectual value, its recreational value as well as for moral value. In doing so they not only elevated chess but approached it with respect bordering on reverence. The internet has jet-propelled the popularity of chess. The internet has, in its bull-in-the-china-shop manner, managed, in turn, to reduce chess to a mere game.
10. G.A. MacDonnell wrote about John Cochrane:
"Some men affect brilliancy, because, though endowed with a small amount of imaginative power, they are thoroughly conscious of their incapacity, to make profound combinations or conduct a game throughout with uninterrupted soundness - so to conceal their mental deficiency in these respects they persistently aim at prettiness, and occasionally have the good luck to achieve it. Others " go in " for sacrifices, because their primary object is to delight appreciative galleries and elicit from them eulogistic comments. But others are brilliant simply because they are born so. Their chief object is not to win games, nor to have their praises sounded forth by half-educated admirers, but chiefly, and indeed we may say wholly, to put forth beautiful pictures on the chess board. These players can no more refrain from so doing than the violet or lily from emitting their perfumes, or the heaven-inspired poet from pouring forth his imaginings in "words that burn," and songs that charm all kindred souls. Such a chess-player was Cochrane; in one word, he was a genius."
I think no chess player could ask to be remembered any better.