An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chess on linux

Chess on Linux, well, is possible. Since my windows installation went down last week, I've been experimenting with running different chess (and other) software on Ubuntu 7.10 and learning whether migrating to Linux is really as painful as people say. A few discoveries:

- Wine does miracles. Both Chessbase Light 6.0 and Chessbase Light 2007 run in Wine (the 2007 version must be installed via Wine, the ancient 6.0 version can run from a windows partition)

- Blitzin does work from Wine, but moves get input with a bit of delay (very fast UI is the main benefit of Blitzin)

- Jin is nice, but I lost a 3 minute game on time, and I want to blame it on the 0.5 delay that the UI has for displaying the moves - you hear the sound of opponent's move first, and only later see the actual move on the board. Note that I had tried the web based version of Jin before on Windows, and it worked perfectly.

- There are a lot of tools that are still missing and that I have not tried to find an alternative for yet, like Palview, Windows media recorder, and Windows live writer - I pretty much relied fully on them for making blog entries and videos for my youtube channel.

All in all, the amount of free software on Ubuntu, and decent interoperability with windows programs really put me on the fence as to whether or not to go back to windows full time for my home computing needs.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Corus 2009 is in progress

One of the major chess tournaments of the year is now in progress, and as usual you can follow the games online (with your engine running the background) and see annotations rapidly appearing on different websites and so on. I'd like to emphasize one amazing resource though - youtube press conference videos from last year's event. Carlsen, Anand and Topalov go over their games, show what they saw and what they missed during the game. It feels like you are almost present there and want to help them pick up the magnetic pieces that those super-GMs keep dropping on the floor. I really hope they put up this year's post-mortems on youtube the same way!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Attacking Chess - seeing the entire board

Jiganchine - Trotchanovich, Fraser Valley Championship, 2008.


White to move.

How can White bring his bishop and knight effectively into the game?

Again, a video is worth a thousand pictures:

See my youtube account for a couple more chess videos.

Attacking Chess - opposite coloured bishops (video)

If you have read a few of Mark Dvoretsky's books (like I have), you'd know that opposite coloured bishops are his specialty both in the middlegame and in the endgame. Positional Play volume has a special chapter about importance of middlegame initiative whenever you have bishops of opposite colours.

Here is a simple position that could have also illustrated his ideas fairly well:

Jiganchine -Trotchanovich, Keres memorial, 2007


White to move.

For a detailed explanation and solution - watch this video I made:

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