Category Archives: Chess

Is This Blog Dead?

Short answer: pretty much, but I’ll still keep it around for the archived material, such as my bicycle trip across the USA, and my Kenmore dryer mounting hardware post which seems to be of use to many. Also a couple of posts on using Open Street Maps and using my Garmin for on-bike navigation seem to be of interest to more than me!

I’d say that I don’t have the time to post, but that’s not entirely true. It’s just that, in general, I’d rather not spend the time writing about doing something, when I could be spending more time doing it! Continue reading

Original iPad 1 Battery Replacement

I have to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed after purchasing the original iPad about five years ago. I bought it with the intent of leaving it on the coffee table and using it as shared internet/app device for the family. But Apple did not design it with multiple user profiles, which was a major disincentive to loading my personal and work email accounts and calendars on it. Apparently Apple’s vision was for the iPad was as a single user device. Eventually the iPad was essentially taken over by my young son as a toy.

Later I found a use for it as a portable chessboard of sorts, being able to move the pieces to analyze games and variations much faster on an iPad app rather than a physical chessboard. That was around the same time my son got frustrated with not being able to install the latest and greatest apps on iOS 5 (at the time of this writing, iOS 9 is the latest). So the iPad was pretty much mine again.

Meanwhile, the battery couldn’t hold a charge anymore and needed replacement, and while the iPad was too old to justify paying Apple $99 to replace it, the iPad still had enough value to me to make a cheaper DIY battery replacement worthwhile. Continue reading

Un-retiring from Chess, Twenty Years Later!

I haven’t spoken much here about my past life as a tournament chess player. To sum up my prior post on the topic: I started playing in the early 1980s, rose to NM (National Master) level (a rating over 2200 – the top 1% of tournament players in the US), and then a short time later, abruptly left the game in the early 1990s when other things in life became a priority.

I’ve never really had the game seriously call me back, but on occasion I have given it some thought. Then I remember that in my latter years of playing, I had some holes in my opening repertoire which needed plugging. With the passing of time and with increased knowledge due to computers, those holes would be major breaches, and I might be lucky to make it out of the opening alive. The thought of retooling my entire opening repertoire just to be able to sit in the tournament hall would be a major disincentive to return after a long absence. Continue reading

The Rise and Retirement of a Chess Master

I don’t recall exactly how I learned to move the chess pieces. Given that I lived in a small suburb on the East Coast in the late 1970s, I’m sure it was from reading a book in the local library. Around the time I was in fifth grade, my dad saw something in the newspaper about a local children’s chess club which met on Friday nights. He took me there every week, and he’d also take me to the occasional Saturday scholastic chess tournament. The story ends here for most people who learn chess as a child, but my path would be different. Continue reading

Chess with Friends on iPhone

I’ve started playing Chess with Friends on the iPhone. While the user interface is not the greatest in terms of finding opponents, etc., it works well if you already have chess friends with iPhones. I played a lot of tournaments over twenty years ago, but I “retired” due to other commitments. Now that online play is so much easier, I’m somewhat “back in the game”, so to speak. Revision3 did a review of the app here: Continue reading

Embed Chessboard Plugin for WordPress

I found the Embed Chessboard plugin for WordPress and figured that would be a good excuse to move a couple of my old chess games from my old HTML pages over to here on the blog.  (For some reason I was originally having problems with version 1.0.6 which was released today, so I reverted to version 1.0.4 which works OK. Then I chatted with Paolo and found out there was a general WordPress configuration problem on my end. So now I’m running 1.0.6 again.)

The first game is from the last round of the Expert Section of the 1990 Massachusetts Open. It was a must-win game to get first place – a draw or loss would instead have given my opponent the honors. Continue reading