May 042011

The Jedi Knight School Edition

Yoda and Obi-Wan practice their over-the-board
psych-out technique regularly
Welcome to the fifth edition of the Chess Improvement Carnival where (today being Star Wars day) we are deeply honoured to welcome two very special guests to host and introduce this month’s content. That’s right. Two of the finest tutors a chess improver could wish for, legendary Jedi Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan-Kenobi are here.

Obi-Wan: Welcome to “Jedi Knight School” my Padawans. We will begin our studies by considering the works of a great Jedi master, Dr Emanuel Lasker. Padawan Blunderprone has studied the career of Dr Lasker and shares his thoughts across a most excellent series of four posts. In his first article “The Beginnings of the double sacrifice” Blunderprone illustrates that this legendary Master was even prepared to make a double-Jedi-Knight sacrifice in order to achieve victory. During his win over Mieses he sacrifices one knight to trap the enemy king in the centre and then a second to gain the time he needs to bring his second rook into the attack. Exemplary!

Yoda: Yeesssssss, very strong in that one, the Force was. Master Lasker was it who said: “When you see a good move, for a better one look”. As in his writings Padawan Intermezzo shows, for alert Jedi students these wise words still hold their truth. Awww.

Obi-Wan: Sadly all Jedi Masters, even the greatest, must one day meet their nemesis. Dr Lasker met his when he fought the Sith Lord Capablanca in 1921. Padawan Mark Weeks has spent long days studying their great battle and extracting interesting lessons for all of us to consider.

Yoda: With the help of analysis by the great Jedi Kasparov even, complete understanding of the endgame position he his studying Padawan Weeks struggles to find. Mmmmmmm.

Obi-Wan: Young pupils, we must continue to consider and learn from the wise writings of the great Jedi Masters which every student knows to play a most important part in improving their skills. This month we have included presentations from two experienced Jedi scholars who advocate slightly different approaches to their learning.

Yoda: Awww. Most diligent and thoughtful a student, Padawan Bright night is. Begun a new training regime he has. Call it “The Woolum Experiment” he does. Using Al Woolum’s “Chess Tactics Workbook” a methodical approach he takes. Helped him achieve significant progress it has. Herh herh herh.

Jedi Master John Nunn ponders and teaches

Obi-Wan: In addition, Padawan Chess Tiger reminds us of the significant literary contributions made by Jedi Master John Nunn and asks us to look at them afresh. He reminds us that what can at first seem to be indigestible and remote transpires to be of infinite value on closer inspection. Padawan Chess Tiger goes even further and explains how he has incorporated Master Nunn’s teachings into his daily contemplations and gives some useful practical examples.

Yoda: Difficult and arduous task can learning to teach young Jedis be, but also very rewarding it is. Doubly so is this when the student in question your own child be. About a critical lesson every young Jedi must learn Padawan A Chess Dad writes. “Part of the cycle of continuous learning and improvement” he explains failure is, and to a most useful resource reinforcing his point he directs us.

Obi-Wan: From a distant and troubled world The Closet Jedimaster still finds the time to contemplate the abundant ruminations that he finds on the web and illuminate them for us so that we can increase our own understanding.

Yoda: Been pondering the lessons we can learn from the little ones, he too has. Explain in his post he does how “ignorance virtue is” when considering creativity. Mmmmmm.

Star Wars Chess (Flickr/origamiguy1971)

Obi-Wan: Be mindful of what you see my Padawans for every true master knows that having sight of the board and pieces can be both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes looking at the things you can see can prevent you from perceiving the things you can’t.

Yoda: Learn to visualise the board and play the game in his mind, a young Jedi should. He free himself from the disability of sight and find the true path, only by doing this can. Herh herh herh.

Obi-Wan: In his “Don’t look now” post Padawan Intermezzo considers the benefits of learning to play without seeing and illustrates his point using examples from the works of two great Jedi masters, Tal and Ivanchuk.

Yoda: To the delirious ramblings of Padawan HeinzK, at last we now come. To a new Dutch word this month he introduces us all: “geestverruimend”. Awww. For the mind the same thing as psychedelic drugs, he goes on to suggest that chess playing does. Taking drugs himself I think he has been! Agree with these methods I do not, yet to provide us with great entertainment and instruction his games of online blitz chess continue. Hmmmmmm.

Obi-Wan: So ends our Jedi Knight class for today Padawans. All that remains is for me to bid you farewell and say “May the 4th be with you!”

Yoda: Next time see you we will. Herh herh herh.

A big “Thank you” to all those bloggers and surfers out there who contributed material for this edition of the Carnival. Keep your ears to the ground for information on next month’s edition.

  3 Responses to “Chess Improvement Carnival V”

  1. Very creative. Bravo! Thanks for taking it on this time.

  2. You forgot one very important piece of advice: Next time, let the Wookie win.

  3. That's very true. How remiss of me! Thanks for that important addition.

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