Posts Tagged ‘chess’


hopkins_chessI really enjoy (and highly recommend) the Tactics Time newsletter by Tim Brennan. A few times each week, he sends an email with a tactical conundrum from a real game, something that you might actually see over the board–not just tactical compositions. He also includes a little bit of interesting commentary on the game itself.

Each newsletter features an inspirational quote. I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

“In chess, attention is more important than concentration.” – Frank J. Marshall

“When you strike at a king, you must kill him” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All great achievements require time.” ― Maya Angelou

“Tactics are it. People under 2000 shouldn’t study anything else. You need to work on the ability to count and calculate.” – Mig Greengard

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge

“The weaker the player the more terrible the Knight is to him, but as a player increases in strength the value of the Bishop becomes more evident to him, and of course there is, or should be, a corresponding decrease in his estimation of the value of the Knight as compared to the bishop.” – Jose Capablanca

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I’m back at the Koltanowski Conference. Since I’m cheap, I found a loophole to parking at the expensive Anatole Hilton. I parked across the highway near the Renaissance hotel in a vacant lot, and made the trek to our conference. Take that, expensive parking lot.

At the beginning of today’s first session, Alexey Root told everyone she would distribute a pdf of the presenters’ lecture notes. It should be available on the conference website. However, I still want to take my own notes as well. Read more


I’m attending the 2nd Koltanowski Conference on Chess and Education. I was going to live blog the event. However, since I can’t find an open Wi-Fi connection, I’m doing a pseudo-live blog. I’m typing it now and will upload it once I get home (UPDATE: I’m home). It’s a two day event. Maybe tomorrow you’ll get a more authentic “live blog” experience, if I can find a Wi-Fi signal. I’m sure Hilton Anatole has available Internet. But like everything else, they will probably charge $1 for every minute you use it. I’m still a little bitter because I paid $16 to park there for three hours. Next conference, can we meet at the Howard Johnson?

Here we go: Read more


I decided to simplify the Chess Club of Arlington website and remove the blog, shifting some of the chess-related posts over here: I would hate to lose my commentary on the Saint Louis trip. All in favor of a complete That David Hopkins, now with more chess. Read more


Tonight, we hosted our first Chess Club for Kids. About 17 young ones were there, ranging in age from 5 to 14, from nine different schools in Arlington. Some were learning chess for the first time (I think I said “it moves like an ‘L’ ” at least twenty times), and a few were experienced tournament players.

All the kids received a sparkly chess pencil and a chess piece keychain. From the abundance of remaining bishops and pawns, you can guess which pieces are the most popular! All the parents received… a boring newsletter from me, pleading for their time and resources. Read more


What can chess teach us?

As a public school teacher, when a student raises his or her hand, asking “When will we ever use this in real life?” — this is no small question. The short answer is: “It will be on the test and you need to know this to pass my class.” And then, I can continue with my lesson. However, the true answer is a little more complex and much more vital. We’ll get to that in a second.

Fact is chess in itself isn’t that useful in real life. I know. Shocking. Hear me out. Read more


We had a good group for our first Thursday night meeting. About 12 people were there, mostly folks I haven’t met before. Some arrived at 7 PM. Some showed up later in the evening. No one sat around for too long to wait for a game. There was a lot of 5 minute blitz (big surprise) and slower untimed games. I think everyone had a good time.

In particular, I’m very happy with our locale. After an entire month of searching Arlington for an ideal location, I feel vindicated. Read more


The whole purpose of my Saint Louis trip was to learn something, to get ideas and a little bit of inspiration that I can bring back to Chess Club of Arlington.

1. I don’t want a club that just meets at a diner somewhere on Saturday mornings. Although, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that model. It’s simple and builds a nice community of chess players. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s possible to reproduce what’s happening in Saint Louis. There’s only one Mecca. And when it comes to US chess, Saint Louis is where we make our pilgrimage. Certainly, there’s  mystique with the chess tables at Washington Square Park, and there’s the tradition of clubs like Marshall and Mechanics. However, in Saint Louis, we have a world-class modern chess facility and across the street an absolutely gorgeous World Chess Hall of Fame. Chess Club of Arlington must find its own identity somewhere in between. Read more


My last day in Saint Louis was a good one. I spent the morning packing my suitcase , trying to cram all my new swag into it. At 10 AM, I walked to the Lenox Room in the hotel for the Chess Fair, hosted by Chess Collectors International. Vendor had specialty chess sets and historical chess items. One vendor had the chess board used during the first World Chess Championship between Steinitz and Zukertort in 1886. Also, one vendor had the heaviest tournament-size wooden chess pieces I’ve ever held. Read more


The third day of any long weekend trip is a dangerous one. By now, I feel like I live here at this hotel. This is my place, and I’m beginning to wonder where my wife and daughter are. Crepes Etc is my local hangout… even though I’ve only been there twice. I say hello to people I met yesterday and think we’re old friends. In my head, I start making up friendly nicknames for the people I see. My entire world has been reduced to Central West End. And I’ve gotten a little too comfortable. Read more

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