Friday, March 30, 2012

Sexism in Chess?

This blog is just a little lighthearted silliness about a silly little game, so I try to stay away from my sometimes dark thoughts on religion and politics, even chess politics. But sometimes some trivial item that is, silly, shows up that one tiny comment is hard to resist. So this time I won't.

What is it with all the different rules for how women and men play chess?

A rule for how many buttons of a female player's blouse can be left unbuttoned? A big hullabaloo about that recently. Are you serious? And this morning I'm reading about the European Senior Teams Chess Championship, now underway in Rogaska Slatina, Slovenia.

Being a certified senior citizen myself, I thought I'd check this out. Turns out my man Viktor Korchnoi is on top board for Switzerland, Wolfgang Uhlmann likewise for Germany. Sounds like my age group. Heck, with about 600 more ELO points, a Swiss chalet, and a better back I might qualify. So I checked. I couldn't believe the age restrictions.
"Entitled to participate are men from the ECU Chess Federations who shall have reached the age of 60 and women who shall have reached the age of 50 years, by December 31st of the year in which the tournament will commence."
Last time I checked the stats, males have shorter life expectancies than females. But there must be some rational explanation for this age discrimination. Could it be that, perhaps as in the case of the blouse buttons rule, allowances are being made for differences in upper body strengths?

I need another cup of coffee.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Maybe I'm jealous

Updated 26 March 2012 to correct the name of this variation from Pietrowsky to Pöhlmann. (Thanks, Jack) More later.
I try not to be, but maybe I am a little jealous. I'm talking about all those Jerome Gambiteers over at Rick Kennedy's blog. All those quick little knockouts. Sure some of them are Black wins, but still...
Worse yet, the BDG looks to be on its way to losing its title as the most disrespected opening in chess. But all we can do is fight on.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You made me do it...

Actually, I was kinda hoping for a good old-fashioned Evans Gambit, but you forced me into a Blackmar-Diemer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You call it a Caro Kann...

Yeah, you call it a Caro Kann, but I call it a BDG. Fresh from yesterday’s TWIC, for your dining pleasure:

Sorry, I almost forgot the dinner music:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I don't worry about a thing

Long ago and far away I sat one day in an architectural history class, anticipating another dull lecture from another dull professor. Was I in for a surprise. This new prof walks in, flips off the lights, cranks up a slide show of historic buildings, and starts the music. "Sit back and soak it up," says he.

I did. It was my introduction to Mose Allison. I was, as they used to say, gobsmacked. In the more than five decades since that intro I can no longer remember what that album was, but I believe it must have been his first, Back Country Suite, released in 1957.

Later, when I began to play a little chess, I considered adopting this number as my theme song.

I believe it was this game that convinced me...