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Chesscademy

Chesscademy is a chess teaching website modelled on Codecademy. As such, it gives a sequence of short puzzles and exercises which help you build up knowledge of everything from how the pieces move to the intricacies of positional play. Sections of each 'course' are introduced by a short video. It's like a well-written chess book with interactive diagrams!
posted by kaibutsu on Aug 10, 2014 - 11 comments

I just never want to let my gender down

As a single woman, I received a lot of attention. ... It felt that I was either pissing people off with my bubbly attitude or breaking hearts. All that said, the most difficult part of all was having everyone think I was bad at Magic simply by looking at me—and them being right. This was by far what drove me the most.
There and Back Again: A Wizard's Tale — Feminist gamer/producer Tifa Robles writes candidly about her journey in, out, and around the world of competitive gaming. [more inside]
posted by annekate on Jul 31, 2014 - 11 comments

Alderaan Gambit or Mothma Opening?

The complete animations for Star Wars Chess on Sega CD: Rebel Alliance and The Empire.
posted by griphus on Jun 19, 2014 - 25 comments

"Chess has been called the drosophila of artificial intelligence"

How To Catch A Chess Cheater: Ken Regan Finds Moves Out Of Mind [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Jun 10, 2014 - 13 comments

I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine

Randy Olson is conducting an analysis of chess since 1850. What's the advantage of playing white? Are games getting longer? What openings have fallen in and out of vogue? Are chess players becoming less focused on capturing pieces?
posted by Chrysostom on May 29, 2014 - 26 comments

“the machinery that was built up for computer chess is pretty useless"

The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win
The challenge is daunting. In 1994, machines took the checkers crown, when a program called Chinook beat the top human. Then, three years later, they topped the chess world, IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer besting world champion Garry Kasparov. Now, computers match or surpass top humans in a wide variety of games: Othello, Scrabble, backgammon, poker, even Jeopardy. But not Go. It’s the one classic game where wetware still dominates hardware.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 26, 2014 - 72 comments

Avoiding analysis paralysis

Chess Clock Jenga
posted by Jpfed on Apr 24, 2014 - 23 comments

How about a nice game of chess?

Chess has been played in a lot of movies. I mean, a lot. Some of the more notable matches include Ron Weasley kicking ass, HAL stealing from Schlage, a Bond villain stealing from Spassky, and Death just screwing with the audience. Then there is Thomas Crown, who might just have been named for a promising young British player who tragically died at the age of eighteen.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 23, 2014 - 29 comments

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again.

In his series of blog posts How to Make Master in 300 Difficult Steps, John Chernoff, with humour and modesty, recounts his numerous attempts to surpass 2200 USCF and become a Candidate Master in the game of chess. (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8)
posted by Quilford on Mar 15, 2014 - 4 comments

Magnus Bill.

Bill Gates loses a chess match in 79 seconds to the new World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen.
posted by feelinglistless on Jan 28, 2014 - 92 comments

My game with Magnus Carlsen

My game with Magnus Carlson: On January 16, 2014, Magnus Carlsen, the newly crowned world chess champion and the highest rated player in history, paid a visit to Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA, to give a talk and play a ten board simultaneous exhibition.

Includes the annotated game. (via)
posted by starman on Jan 23, 2014 - 17 comments

Beautiful Moves

Chess Portraits — a glamourous costumed set by photographer Francesco Ridolfi.
posted by cenoxo on Nov 26, 2013 - 17 comments

I started competition at age 11, and left at 16

Framed as a letter in words and pictures to Magnus Carlsen, the new World Chess Champion, French comic artist Fanou recalls her experiences as a girl with an interest in chess and all the reasons why she still holds that world at a distance.
posted by Narrative Priorities on Nov 25, 2013 - 46 comments

Anand's knightmare...

Magnus Carlsen, the 22 year old Norwegian prodigy, is the new World Chess Champion. Yesterday's game 9 was the most exciting of the tournament; a desperate Viswanathan Anand played very aggressively and appeared--to most human commenters--to have an advantage (though the best computer programs saw the Carlsen was always fine if not slightly ahead); however, Anand made a serious blunder and lost. All Carlsen needed today was a draw--which he got. Many have called it the end of an era.
posted by whatgorilla on Nov 22, 2013 - 54 comments

Microphone Check and Mate!

Hip Hop Chess Federation (HHCF) Presents: Street Games Vol. 1 [more inside]
posted by jammy on Nov 21, 2013 - 5 comments

"Match of the Century"

It's black's move, move 11, and Carlsen has a decision to make - move his king queenside or kingside? With little hesitation, Carlsen moves queenside. His opponent, Anand does not visibly respond - kingside was the more common choice. The game is pulling away from textbook play into strange territory. As black, Carlsen is playing at a disadvantage. He knows that this is his chance to improve his odds, leading Anand into an unfamiliar middle game. After two beats, Carlsen bolts from his chair and walks away from the table. The chair swivels around lazily and the camera remains on Anand, who studies the board, either ignoring or oblivious to the young player's exit. [more inside]
posted by lubujackson on Nov 13, 2013 - 62 comments

Ernie is so happy, Bert is 'meh'

The National Toy Hall of Fame has added its two latest inductees: the Rubber Duck and the game of Chess.
While featuring many interesting facts, the site does fail to mention Florentijn Hofman's giant rubber duck (featured multiple times here) or Tim Rice's "Chess" (seen here). [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Nov 8, 2013 - 25 comments

Chess 2: The Chessening.

Chess 2 - How a street fightin' man fixed the world's most famous game. The rules are available here for free.
posted by empath on Nov 3, 2013 - 108 comments

It's Friday somewhere, right?

Friday Flash Fun: Ending, a hybrid of roguelike and puzzle game, or chess, or something. Maybe "it's like turn-based Gauntlet" would be a good description? There's an on-your-phone version if you're willing to spend a buck, too. DANGER: Very addictive to certain types. You've been warned.
posted by DoctorFedora on Jul 4, 2013 - 24 comments

"Stalemate."

Greg Shahade, an International Master of chess, plays an impromptu blitz game with Samuel Sevian (age 10).
posted by SpacemanStix on Jul 4, 2013 - 50 comments

Beat the Cheat

Nicholas J. Johnson is a no good dirty rotten cheat. So when he invites you to play an incredible new game that he’s invented, you probably shouldn’t come…
posted by filthy light thief on May 17, 2013 - 18 comments

And so the World New Chess Championship begins.

How to play chess properly, as explained by the BBC. Written and performed by John Luke Roberts. Directed by Steve Dawson.
posted by Wonton Cruelty on May 3, 2013 - 15 comments

The Weird and Wonderful World of Chess Now

For four years and seventy-nine episodes, Manhattan Neighborhood Network's public access show Chess Now was a revolving door of exuberant hosts (including fan favorites as Tana and Checkerboard Phil), technical difficulties, prank calls, and remarkably little chess. The complete archives are on YouTube.
posted by Shadax on Apr 7, 2013 - 9 comments

Magnus Carlsen will play Vishy Anand for the 2013 World Chess Tournament

Magnus Carlsen will be playing Viswanathan Anand for the 2013 World Chess Championship. [more inside]
posted by whatgorilla on Apr 1, 2013 - 28 comments

It's Linguistastic! Or Linguistalicious!

Arika Okrent (previously here on sign language interpreters and her 352-page book about 'Invented Languages') is currently kicking ass and taking etymologies at the Mental Floss site with a flurry of listicles* on the 'invention' of today's English/American language:
The solidly informational "11 Weirdly Spelled Words—And How They Got That Way"**
The entertainingly snarky "11 Creative Suffixes That Inspire New Words"
The just plain fun "From Y’all To Youse, 8 English Ways to Make “You” Plural"
plus one non-linguistic piece of pure pedantry: "11 Movie Chess Scenes Where The Board Is Set Up Wrong"*** [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Nov 16, 2012 - 52 comments

The queens we use would not excite you

Imagine a school where the cool kids are on the Chess Team... Welcome to I.S. 318. where 60% of the students come from families with incomes below the federal poverty level. BROOKLYN CASTLE tells the stories of five members of the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country. One of those students and the only female, 17 year-old Rochelle Ballantyne, is poised to become the first African-American female master in the history of chess. An interview with Miss Ballantyne.
posted by spock on Oct 30, 2012 - 19 comments

Chess: A Musical

CHESS MOVES [27m14s] was a 1985 VHS release hosted by Sir Tim Rice comprising of the five music videos made to promote the 1984 album Chess. The individual videos are One Night In Bangkok (Murray Head), Nobody's Side (Elaine Paige), The Arbiter (Björn Skifs), I Know Him So Well (Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson), and Pity The Child (Murray Head). [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Sep 17, 2012 - 48 comments

'You're a pretty good player, but you're too pessimistic.'

Rooked: The evolution of cheating in Chess
posted by Groundhog Week on Sep 12, 2012 - 59 comments

Kubrick In The 60s

Stanley Kubrick didn’t like giving long interviews, but he loved playing chess. So when the physicist and writer Jeremy Bernstein paid him a visit to gather material for a piece for The New Yorker about a new film project he was writing with Arthur C. Clarke, Kubrick was intrigued to learn that Bernstein was a fairly serious chess player. The result was an unusually long and candid recorded interview for the New Yorker. (77 min)
posted by The Whelk on Jun 17, 2012 - 8 comments

Judit Polgár

Judit Polgár is the greatest female chess player in history. The product of an educational experiment by her father, she was the first to break Bobby Fischer's record as the youngest-ever grandmaster - by which time she had already stopped competing in women-only tournaments. In 2002, she avenged an earlier controversial loss to Garry Kasparov - the first time in any sport that the No. 1 ranked female player has beaten the No. 1 ranked male player. At her peak, ranked 8th in the world, she became the first woman to compete for the World Championship. After several years of reduced activity spent raising her two children, Polgár returned to full-time competition - making it to the quarter-finals of the 2011 FIDE World Cup. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Apr 24, 2012 - 55 comments

Human chess

Every other year since 1923, the town of Marostica in Italy has staged a recreation of a human chess game played in 1454 between two noblemen for the hand of the castle lord's daughter. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Apr 15, 2012 - 13 comments

"One of the most brazen moves in the chess world since the Najdorf Sicilian Defense"

Just hours after winning a second consecutive national championship, a legendary college coach decamps to a Division I program with a brighter future- and takes her entire team with her. A college chess coach makes a move that even the most cutthroat men's basketball coach would envy. [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo on Apr 6, 2012 - 19 comments

No checkmate for you!

Only two buttons from the top: The European Women's Championship in Gaziantep, Turkey is the first where the brand new European Chess Union Dress Code regulations [pdf] apply. The men’s championship, which will take place this month in Plovdiv, Bulgaria will follow. ECU General Secretary Sava Stoisavljevic answers some questions. Players respond. [more inside]
posted by procrastinator on Mar 14, 2012 - 27 comments

Chess with no opening book

A major element of serious chess play is the study of openings* -- of known series of moves from the starting position whose effects to the later stages of the game are well established through previous games and through manual and computer analysis. Chess960 a.k.a. Fischer Random Chess was introduced in 1996 by chess genius (and reclusive paranoid anti-semite) Bobby Fischer as an alternative that aims to remove the emphasis on this laborious element while keeping other central aspects of the game intact. The tagline of one blog dedicated to the game calls it 'a return to the pleasure of the first move in a vast unexplored wilderness'. Some of this wilderness is being explored with new theory, linked below the fold among other things. [more inside]
posted by Anything on Feb 2, 2012 - 34 comments

Prison Chess

Photographs of the Prison Chess series were taken in 2008 and 2009 in a maximum security facility of the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 27, 2012 - 18 comments

Annals of chess history

Alexander Alekhine lies dead. Little Samuel Reshevksy gives a simultaneous exhibition. Mikhail Tal presents his most chilling death stare. Fischer plays Fidel. Che meets Miguel Najdorf. Reuben Fine cavorts with a beauty on a beach, showing her his moves. Anatoly Karpov hangs out with Salvador Dali. The grave of Jose Raoul Capablanca. Klaus Junge plays in his Nazi uniform. Sometimes hit and miss, but it has to be said that this a great epic thread of vintage chess photos.
posted by rahulrg on Jan 27, 2012 - 17 comments

Chess Notes Archives

Chess Notes Archives
posted by Trurl on Jan 23, 2012 - 15 comments

The spectrum of Human-Computer competition

A recent XKCD comic charted the difficulty of various games for computers, from Tic Tac Toe and Nim being solved for all positions, to computers mastering the physical game of Beirut and mental game of chess (the 2006 Deep Fritz vs Vladimir Kramnikin games, previously). There are other games that are basic on the face, but whose potentials for move combinations is so vast as to be beyond the scope of computers. Marion Tinsley was the last great human checkers player, matching off against Chinook in the last 6 games of his life, each ending in a draw (previously). Checkers was finally solved in 2007 (Google quickview; original PDF), and is largest game that has been solved to date, at 8x8. Solving Othello might be possible, if the decision tree were truncated, as the 10x10 board game tree complexity is very huge. The 19x19 Go board is is often noted as one of the primary reasons why a strong program is hard to create, though some programs are getting better at optimizing move evaluations. More: computerized gaming solutions previously, and the Wikipedia page for solved games.
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 11, 2012 - 57 comments

A Gross Miscarriage of Justice in Computer Chess

On December 4, 2005, the computer chess community was astonished by the initial release of a free, downloadable chess program named Rybka 1.0 Beta, which within days took a sizable lead on all then-existing chess program rankings, surpassing all commercial programs, including renowned engines Shredder, HIARCS, Fritz and Junior.
[snip]
In early 2011 sixteen chess programmers, many of whose programs were direct competitors of Rybka, signed a letter wherein they asserted that Rajlich copied programming code from another engine, Fruit, authored by Fabien Letouzey and released to the public in June 2005, about six months before Rybka 1.0 Beta.
A four part analysis of the International Computer Games Association decision. (full paper in pdf) [more inside]
posted by rider on Jan 6, 2012 - 47 comments

There’s games and then there’s life. They ain’t the same thing.

David Hill is a gambler. Each column will tell the story of a single bet that he made and examine what that bet reveals about life in America. The most recent is $5 Chess Game, Best of 3, Zuccotti Park.
posted by davidjmcgee on Nov 28, 2011 - 23 comments

The Master Game

The Master Game was a BBC production of televised chess tournaments that ran for seven series on BBC2 from 1976 to 1982. [more inside]
posted by night_train on Nov 26, 2011 - 7 comments

A young boy from Louisiana named Paul Morphy

This is the story of the birth of modern chess - when the possibilities of chess as an art, a science and a sport all converged. The point of convergence was a young boy from Louisiana named Paul Morphy. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Sep 7, 2011 - 37 comments

Maroczy vs. Korchnoi

A New Meaning for “Soul Mate” [PDF] - the curious case of a game of chess between Hungarian Géza Maróczy and Russian GM Viktor Korchnoi... curious, at the very least, because it began more than thirty years after Maróczy's death. The game itself, and further analysis [PDF again].
posted by Wolfdog on Aug 3, 2011 - 18 comments

I failed to make the chess team because of my height.

Magician Derren Brown admits his chess game is shit. Nonetheless, he plays nine world-class chess masters, simultaneously, and wins more matches than he loses. But how? (via) [more inside]
posted by JPowers on Jul 6, 2011 - 62 comments

What is the title of this post?

92 years young, the delightful Raymond Smullyan is a mathematician, logician, magician, concert pianist, and Taoist philosopher - who also pioneered retrograde chess problems.
posted by Trurl on Jun 26, 2011 - 22 comments

Chess mates' cheating checked

Three grand masters have been caught cheating at a chess Olympiad. The team members communicated using instructions disguised as phone numbers and and an ingenious system relating positions within the room to positions on the board. Details of the system and the way it was revealed can be found here, and the French Chess Federation's report (in French) here.
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 24, 2011 - 74 comments

Unicorns and Pegusus and Sharks and Snakes oh my.

Claymation of the Roesch - Willi Schlage (Hamburg, 1910) chess game featuring fight scenes between the pieces. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Mar 15, 2011 - 10 comments

Chess Music

"For absolutely no good reason, I found myself wondering what a chess game would sound like if played on the piano"
posted by rollick on Mar 5, 2011 - 15 comments

Let's Do It All Over Again

Why do we enjoy prodigies? Barney Ronay asks in reference to the latest footballing wünderkid, Raheem Sterling while Gary Kasporov reflects back on the life of perhaps chess' most interesting one, Bobby Fischer.
posted by yerfatma on Feb 19, 2011 - 29 comments

Checkmate!

GameKnot, in addition to being a generally wonderful site to play and study chess, has a page which show nothing but checkmates from recently-played games being carried out. Watch as fate is inexorably sealed.
posted by Wolfdog on Jan 18, 2011 - 14 comments

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