30 November 2011

Crowbarring the kingside

Crowbarring the castle

Play chess online

31 October 2011

One month later

I have made some progress. My TPR for this season increased by 550 points in two games plus my chess seems somewhat better in the opening phase. I've also collected some extra scalp material to boast of. Altogether I'm happy. That's all for now. Am I missing some developments in the blog world?

30 September 2011

Reluctantly stubborn

The times of pretence are over; I can no longer make up for my analytical superficiality with my overdose of blind fanaticism. More effort is needed. My bluffs are called. More selfteaching is ahead. As another step, I decided to openly publish these short losses below, all of them suffered in the past 30 days... naturally these were the 30 days in which I have known chess the best ever... assuming chess knowledge is accumulative - what has been seen cannot be unseen. The next step is checking up with the theory behind the openings and see where I went astray. Obviously I haven't bothered checking this before this moment - as I already said, my superficiality is not sufficient to keep up my appearances. Hopefully, the shame of showing these will lead to a stronger performance when playing out these basic openings in the future. I'd rather pretend most of them never happened and deny all connections; but I must be honest with myself. I'm sure to check the databases for these games now. The dirty laundry is out in the open, I hope some will give you some giggles:
Play online chess

Play chess online

Play online chess

Play chess online

Play chess online

Play online chess

Play online chess

Play chess online

31 August 2011

New times

Dear reader of this blog, I refer you to last month's entry The Truth for the updated text-food. Below is some chess-food from the past few months. On review maybe I have played some better games chess-wise but these are funny in their own ways, too.

Play online chess

Play chess online

Play online chess

Play chess online

Play online chess

31 July 2011

The Truth

Truth in chess and in life

As a follow-up question to my remark that all grandmasters naturally play more logical and therefore more beautiful and more truthful chess than me, this month's central question is: what are some things I used to see as truth in chess when I was younger, but now we are further in time, I have changed my mind on?

Maybe I am not far enough developed to give a real answer. There simply are too many things on the chessboard I believed in back then, that I still believe to be true. Maybe one thing that I changed my mind on, is that Chess can only be used as a tool to search for truth in something else; for myself I use it as a tool to search for truth in reality; ...whatever "real truth" may contain, even if it isn't so terribly relevant. Searching for the ultimate truth in Chess itself may very well lead to a disappointment, even when some of it is found. Hopefully though, the associated truths in reality will lead to more peace of mind and a better experience of life. :) One mistaken assumption that I've made too easily myself, is that improving one's dexterity in chess simultaneously improves one's agility (analytical skill, problem solving, think-before-you-act...) in a different environment in a similar way; while during the time spent playing all that chess, all other things are on hold instead. :)

A few basic examples that I can give of changed - purely technical - opinions in chess for myself are some considerations in the opening phase of the game: the first example that I can give is that I used to believe that the Danish gambit is a pretty nice way of developing all white force in a nearly optimal way. However, with normal black play (i.e. just the known old mainline) it leads to an at least slightly advantageous endgame for black, and there are other options to neutralize the whole white initiative early on. I guess that's the way with all openings once you exhaust them too much... too much objectivity leads to unpleasant positions. :) I am not at all saying the whole gambit is altogether refuted - just that I have seen enough of the resulting positions to choose for other things in the opening phase. (i.e. right now I would play the Evans gambit instead, but it's not altogether sound either, when you play it too much)

I can also say that I am simply too stubborn for my own good; too rejective when it comes to other people giving me well-intended advice. This refusal to learn - also a refusal to learn from previous experiences - is something that is holding me back in chess, and in life as well. Advice could be given to me by someone "weaker", someone about as strong as me, or by someone stronger in chess (or life!).

Advice from a weaker player: Pfft, your rating is xxx, hahaha, you think you can tell me what to do? What do you know about me? What do you know?
Equal strength: look where it took you, this proposed modus operandi didn't take you too far either, did it? :p
Stronger: yeah yeah, of course, since you are stronger, it's only logical that you have put in more positive effort than me and that you are comfortable in more openings and play more sound and flexible games than me, that's why you have a higher rating and why you get more satisfaction out of the games you play, duuuh, do you have anything else to say?

In the end, my actions are nothing different compared to before receiving the golden advice. This altogether reluctant attitude is decreasing others' willingness to work with me and share ideas with me - which is one of the most important aspects to improve in any field.

Another thing I can say is that ALL is true that is said to beginners, but for me it's altogether more subtle and nuanced than when I read it when I was the p1200 Heinzk. I.e. a rule of thumb such as "develop knights before bishops" has a more subtle meaning than its blunt appearance as a one-liner. It is better to leave a bishop sitting on its home square, just waiting for the right new square to announce itself, keeping out of reach of the opponent's knights and not wasting any tempo. You leave them on f1/c1 just to keep the bishop pair even if they haven't done anything positive in the position yet. Supposedly it's advantageous.

One old positional consideration may very well save your life in the future. On the other hand, forgetting about one old positional consideration may very well unnecessarily kill your position.

You have to apply all the factors and elements that have passed during the years (there are so many) in the current position without losing the thread - the current position that is more important than anything else until the moment you have made the decision which piece to move where... after which this position becomes irrelevant again.

And at the same time there's a factor "opponent" you have to consider, a guy who is having all those thoughts at the same time but who has opposite preferences for what the resulting position should look like...

It's hard to admit, but when I think about this infinity in chess, it still scares me as some sort of fear of the unknown. There are so many chess positions, and, considering that all those positions could be displayed in thousands of ways on my computer screen, apparently I could see any and all of them at any given moment: and I can perceive any position in multiple ways too. This means that my own imagination, located somewhere in my infinitely small head, must be of "infinite" proportions as well (even further as from one position I can make all kinds of associations). And I know I should be careful with what I imagine, as before you know it, this imagination could become something tangible in reality. And that's only on an 8x8 board shown on a computer screen. In the wider world, billions of chessgames on miniature scale per every squared kilometer are moving semi-randomly without giving any attention to any sort of FIDE rules they should be abiding. Frightening!! How can I survive in such an unpredictable environment with infinite amounts of mouseslips going on, effecting others and, most importantly, effecting ME each single second of my life...? Scary!!! At the same time, I try to reassure myself by thinking that I will only ever have to consider just that ONE position out of that - apparently infinite (...while actually not so much is going on at all in there...) - pool of self-pitying misery in my brain, apply some logic to that position and make the corresponding move of my liking. That's all there is to it. It's quite within the width of my grasp. Horsie moves like an L. :)

"Develop all your pieces" is another general rule that I used to misinterpret. It does not necessarily mean you have to actually move all your pieces. A rook on h8 can be fully developed, being worth its full five development points, if it just contributes to the position in one way or another. Moving it may very well lead to it being less effective than it was on its home square. I thought I had to "wake up" all pieces by moving them from their home squares (I still do it like that quite regularly). It was even worse when I started out: when I was at the end of theoretical lines, I used to fancy moving all pieces to my own preferred squares instead of the squares they landed on, after my knowledge of the "theoretical line" had reached its end.

Also it is important to know that you don't have to reach the "perfect position" with the move you are going to make every time; it just has to be the "perfect reaction" to the move that your opponent has just played, the perfect continuation in the situation that you and your opponent have created together, i.e. covering and countering all your opponent's threats and ideas - both tactically and strategically - and simultaneously making positive progress in your own position. In day to day life, I try to give the "perfect reaction" in all situations that I am involved in, both in tolerance and good spirits, while my passive wait-and-see attitude - quite suitable for chess ;) - can be considered as lazy and indifferent. (which it might well be)

All in all it's all quite nuanced and not so crystal-clear as we would like to pretend it to be.

29 June 2011

Fear and loathing behind the chessboard

Fear and loathing behind the chessboard

Last month, upon submitting "my stuff" to the RLP carnival (and it being ignored/rejected, haha), I realized that this blog may very well be more incoherent and superficial than I imagined. This blog is more of an ego document than that it really entertains the reader, or at least gives the reader some things to evaluate his own (chess) thinking. Note that this blog was not started with intentions of improvement, though. (Yesterday, Mr. Wahrheit made a nice follow-up post about my submission, by the way)
Heinz de Graphic Novel
I also realized that all things I want to say about chess/life probably have been said before by others who have thought better about it - I still need to find the places where those things are said, though, and to which extent I agree with what is said. I've got to keep on searching! My last try to find out more of these contemplations was successful, as in the political satire/children's film (take your pick) Gulliver's Travels (1995), the following is said (maybe I should have read the book version instead):
"Over the next few nights, I bore witness to the resurrection of the greatest heroes of history. But I must confess I was astounded to see how many villains had been raised to the highest places of trust, power, dignity, and profit, and how many revolutions in the world were due to the most contemptible accidents."

Or in my own words, how much of day-to-day life is influenced as well by an incomplete, hidden and/or mistold truth. It is another matter how important this small fact is, though... (it is important in chess games, if only somebody would tell you in advance because of what exactly you are going to lose your next game!)
Other episodes in the book/movie show the complete uselessness of an academy full of supposed intelligentsia, the stupidity of wanting to avoid death, the strange human concept of telling lies and some more of such wise things... All in all, I liked the film and the insights it offered.

Recently, maybe a few months ago, I set myself a new concrete aim in the world of chess: to reach a 2200 rating within the next ten years. Even if the goal is solely a number and given the time-frame, a very relaxed one, I'm telling myself that it's a declaration that I am intending to play more rated chess, and that I am intending to put in more serious effort to learn more about and understand more of what I am supposed to be doing in The Royal Game. At the same time, I am wondering why I can't just leave the higher ratings to those guys who can actually play some chess, and just be contented with the occasional checkmate I reach by the crappy moves I am currently capable of playing.

To elaborate a little bit on this last statement: last week, I showed some of my games to an IM, and he commented on some of my pointless moves - we were just playing through games and he just would ask me "why did you make this particular move?". This made me realize that I am playing such ugly and unharmonious chess, which is only ever justified when the other guy becomes optimistic, and allows me to mate him! He didn't notice this last part either... I only realized it some time after we had split up. Of course, this scenario is a little bit of an exaggeration, as of course it is not the only way in which I manage to "win" games of chess... but at the same time, there is quite some truth in it. If there are one hundred ways of winning a chess game, I only use 2 or 3 of them - the other 97 I only exclusively use to lose. If my opponent plays a decent opening, keeps his king safe, avoids the few tricks on the road and does nothing else, he can watch me squirm and randomly drop material (while I'm hoping that my opponent will become careless and let me do my thing with his king). I play many ugly and weak games like that. Luckily this secret is not known to anybody (nor will I tell anyone, oh oops :p), nor is every opponent of mine always patient and classy enough to play chess in this way. Discovering such a weakness is strange, as at the same time I have found out my greatest strength. It's just the small fact that it is my only strength that makes it my weakness.

Also, I discovered my great dislike for my own king to be checked. Many times, it means the difference between winning and losing. Threaten to check my king twice in a row, and I'd rather cry and resign, than play on with calmness and objectivity. 8-)

Around all this chess doubt, last month I reached my highest Internet rating ever, reaching a top-50 place in the server's bullet rankings at the summit, which also awarded me the "GM-rank" on the server (which looks quite nice for such a weakie - it had been a minor goal of mine too). I also played two "real" tournaments in June, I scored individually a shared 1st place (with an IM), and in the other tournament, quite a strong team tournament, together we scored a 2nd place (I sat on board 4). Combined income: a little bit over €150. Soon, I will be able to make a living playing chess! (well OK, at least it's more than nothing)

A positive point for myself in these tournaments: I appeared to be quite calm, a lot less of a nervous wreck than I think I am. However, in the individual tournament, I more or less had an overload of nervousness in my last round of the final group, when I played against the guy with 0.5/6 and appeared to be losing some pieces. Fortunately though, I held up my poker face, he didn't take any of my pieces, and instead allowed me to mate him three moves later. Good.

Here are some games I won last month. Notice I only win because I get some activity against the other guy's king going. (or those are the only games I like enough to be willing to show them)

Play chess online

Play chess online

Play chess online

29 May 2011


Hai! I have little new to tell, while it would be untrue to say that it has been a quiet month. Maybe this has been the most turbulent month of i-chess so far! Many dozens of tough games against superior opposition; with some ups and many downs, with a short draw as the summit of my efforts. Thing is that the number thingy we are all so unanimously striving for, "the highest internet rating ever", for me again has shot through a few roofs after some days of practical chess, some determination and a little bit of luck. I have grabbed my opportunity to donate the extra points back into the pool, in return for games against superdeluxe opponents. At least I have achieved some of my new year resolution goals in the i-chess field; if only I had had such ambitious plans in life!
But what I currently have to say sidechess-wise about chess being a fantasy trip still has to be worked out more carefully and thoughtfully. Right now, chess is quite a stressful endeavour. When performing on a higher level there is even more "frustration" instead of less - secretly I had hoped that when you reach a higher level, you will reach a happier state of mind too; but, unsurprisingly, that is not the case - for an outsider it does not matter if you have 1200 or 2500, you're the most amazing chess player of the street. And for yourself, it's just the same old crap with the same dreaded pieces. There's not any more insight involved than when you were rated a thousand points lower, you don't have more power, you don't have more money, you don't have more friends, you aren't more eloquent, you aren't more socially accepted, you are still restless... - you still will have to figure out a way to progress in all of those fields outside the board. For some reason, at the start of the journey, years ago, I subconsciously expected inner peace, salvation and seventy-two virgins as the final reward. ;-) Right now I'm not so sure. But despite the periodically returning frustrated feelings, I have been having a blast in the meantime anyway.


1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nc3 Qh4+ 4. Ke2 d6 5. Nd5
This is a vaguely known position in the Steinitz Gambit, with black winning 2.0/2 after the reasoned 5. ... Qd8.
David - Romanishin, Italy 1998. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1080209
Rubinchik - Kaidanov, USA 2000. http://www.newinchess.com/NICBase/Default.aspx?GameID=577364

Winning is not enough. What is the appeal of such a wimpy retreat when there is the possibility to sacrifice a rook instead? It's novelty time!!

Play online chess

Mudslide chess

That position after ...d5 I would like to refer to as "mudslide chess". Who cares about previous objective assessments when the mudslide maneuver on the king wins by force?
Check out a similar position that was reached in the game between Hou Yifan and Li Chao, Danzhou 2011. We start here after the limp 26. b2-b3
26. ... Bxb3 27. cxb3 a4 28. Bc4 axb3 29. Bxb3 Rxa2 30. Bxa2 b3
31. Bxb3 Qa3 32. Kc2 Qb2+ 33. Kd3 Ba5 34. Bc4 Rxc4 35. Ne2 Qc2+ 36. Ke3 Bb6+ 0-1
OK, he played that a little bit more grandmasterly than I ever could; I would never have dared to go for it as the resulting position after ...b3 is not clear enough for me, even when it is already on the board. Live footage and post mortem of this game can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMJiibdVYjE. Poor little girl. Must have got in his way on one of his bad days. The full game can be found on TWIC.

Big chess

OK, as you may know, this blog is intended to blow off some chess-steam: to discover what I actually have to share in context of this game and most of all to discover why I bother playing it. So with all that in mind, here's a nice instructive Youtube video featuring the rising star Big Chess. Highly recommended, it's quite a pleasant tune. Warning beforehand though: it may contain some explicit language, although I am unable to tell as I can't transcribe whatever cool southern London dialect they are employing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-xyG5zsK6s. Also check his mixtape full of strong & powerful rhymes to be downloaded here: http://thegrimereport.blogspot.com/2011/04/free-download-big-chess-slap-snitch.html.
So his name is Big Chess and it appears he won't let no computer program tell him what moves to make, nor won't he let his sense of selfworth depend on a computer's assessment. There is no engine available to assess the strength of knights on the Big Chess board anyway.
big chess

...and that's it for this month.

21 April 2011

Dreaming of better times

A dream within a dream

the chess vanishes

Hey ya Guys. Last night, I had another lucid dream, clearing up a large portion of what has been keeping me busy the last months... no actually, years. Recently, I remarked that when I find out the reason why I play chess, I will quit immediately. And last night, I heard a random word on the radio, a word that for some reason I had not considered in the chess context before. I was very sleepy and I wanted to write down my thoughts in order not to forget, but it seems that by memorizing just that key word I managed to retrogradically analyze the rest of it as well. That's good. For once, I didn't forget much. The dream that followed after my pondering was a dream within a dream, in which I woke up, and then had to wake up once more, so I could write down what had happened (waking up accompanied by a cacophony of incomprehensible words flowing from the radio). I remembered the one word that I needed. And here I am, writing this, for myself, and for you! (you're so lucky)

Wait for it... chess is "geestverruimend"! That's a Dutch word word that is (euphemistically) used to describe the effects of soft & hard drugs. It is very much a mild term; literally translated as "broadening the spirit and awareness", it doesn't seem so bad, does it?
The context in which it was used is that the ability to formulate thoughts in a different language than your native one helps in disengaging yourself from being stuck in your limited set of speech patterns. Basically, it broadens your general awareness (it is geest- or bewustzijnsverruimend).
The ability to formulate "moves of chess" somehow is a similar experience; you become unstuck from your own limited set of thought habits. Awesome, right?
However, having your mind stuck in chess isn't that hot either. The English language is more aware of the negative consequences of drug addiction, and its translation for the word "geestverruimend" is less condoning: chess is mind-blowing (hallucinogen), or psychedelic.
So, that's it - chess is like a mind-blowing drug and playing chess is a clean rush for which you don't need to insert any kind of substance into your body. A totally non-offensive way of having your pleasure, without having to bother other people. Chess is simply an addiction to a certain type of intoxication... where the chessboard is the desired drug, injecting you each time when you are lured into reaching out to move a piece (the pieces are the needles and very much infective upon contact with your hand's skin). When, after hours of strain, you are finally allowed to touch the opponent's king briefly (the check-mate) before resetting the pieces to the initial position, you reach your much-desired climactic culmination, a satisfaction in the form of a miniscule exaltation (a nonsexual "orgasm"). paintskillz
Maybe this actually is what solves it for me. I found an apparently very well researched five-page article by a gentleman named Gilbert Cant who describes similar reasons for obsessively involving oneself with the game of chess. But what I described above can't POSSIBLY be my final answer to the problem posed by chess. I can't quit now, I was just about to get the hang of it all. It's always been a good way of bringing a fantasy world into and diversifying my otherwise quite dull and alienated life. I can't quit. I will quickly hide this answer for no-one to see and hopefully I will forget this soon. I want to touch more kings. I guess I'm addicted for life.

The games

Thanks for reading all that, I'm not sure if all my Reuben Fine-ish thoughts appeal to you. Maybe I can cheer you up with a couple of games of chess

Play chess online

Play online chess

Play online chess

Play chess online

Play chess online

I am just showing these; not the literally hundreds(!) of other even uglier chess games I have been part of last month. And only games as white because I was too lax to review my black wins :p

31 March 2011

Blitz Review

Blitz Review

or: how I learned to stop worrying about ugly-looking losing chess

Hi guys. In this month's blog I will be presenting some more positions from my games. Most of the time when discussing games of chess, the approach consists of giving a few moves and then saying "in this position I had a very pleasant idea which increases my advantage", continued by showing how the opponent's position collapsed in the next few moves (yes, I always do this too). And the public can never really deny that the showcased idea is a very nice one. It is wonderful...! Well in this blog I'll do more or less the same, but not exactly the same. I will give a decent position in which my brilliant ideas quickly led to wonderful prospects... for my opponents.

What was I thinking? I didn't slip or anything like that... I was there myself all the time. There were no signs of a black-out, no disturbances nor lapses of the memory. I'll give those moments where the chess pieces heavily disagree with their controller's assessments. Of course the most important thing is that I didn't bother to double-check my moves carefully enough before making them... to notice something was wrong.

Just like you, I haven't fully figured out chess either, and losses are bound to happen all the time. However, when objectively reviewing these moments, considering what I had seen compared to what I allowed to happen... sometimes it just appears to be so darned ugly. If you play a game and end up losing, you can never be really satisfied, that's true. I'm not the ultimate chess playing entity, no false pretentions here. I, the mighty Heinz K., losing a game of chess. This is inconceivable!! Well... of course not. I'm more of an observer & commentator/pranker than a real chess player... this is how chess imitates life.

When all the scenarios that you are always supposed to be avoiding are taking place on the board... you know something went horribly wrong.

OK, let's just start with the chess here. What was I thinking? I have just played 44. Kg1-f2:

Play continued: 44. ... f3 (ooh that looks sooo scary) 45. Re7+ Kf4 46. Rxe4+ Kxe4 and easy -/+
Sure, Rh2+ looks scary, but why did I sacrifice the Rook so recklessly? Oh my. I don't even know why. It was just instinct, while I knew it was losing. It had just taken three more seconds of thought to verify a move like 46. Rf7+ turns out to be just OK. But no... blind FEAR took over.


After 17. Rhe1 R8c7, the following position arose.

18. Kb1 or 18. c3 looks OK. But that's not how it went: 18. h4? (completely aimless move) Nb4 19. Kb1? Nxc2 20. Nf5+? Kh8 21. Rxe7 (sure, move like that, how come I can possibly think I can survive such a position without any defender?) Na3+ 22. Ka1 and mates after 22. ... Rc2 23. Rb1

23. ... Qxb2+ 24. Rxb2 Rc1+ 25. Rb1 Rxb1#
h2-h4? was a totally lousy move. Safety first, and if not: I should at least pretend to threaten something that is sufficiently countering the oncoming attack.

White's position has been better throughout the whole game. Now after 25. h4-h5 I could play ... Qb6 and swap queens and pretend to be safe. But: 25. ... Nf8? 26. hxg6 hxg6 27. Qh3 Qd7 28. e6 fxe6 29. Be5 Qf7 30. Rf2 Rad8 31. Rh2 Nh7 32. Qh6 Rd7 33. Bxg6 1-0
Was I seriously expecting I could survive that queen kingside assault?? No, actually I wasn't expecting that. But I just didn't feel like doing something about it. Such an attitude is completely inexcusable when you yourself are moving the pieces behind the board.

Fairly normal position, after 12. dxe5 white might even have a decent advantageous position. But no: 12. d5? b4 13. Ne2 cxd5 14. exd5 (I'm not afraid of e5-e4 because I can check on b5) O-O 15. c4?? e4 resigns 0-1
WHY the need to protect a worthless pawn? Completely conveniently forgetting about the easy pawn fork that was already threatened anyway. Oh man, a completely miserable way of giving free points to my opponent.

This position is already quite bad for white, but I have a sneaky idea to neutralize: 22. exf5 gxf5 23. Nh4 (inciting e4) e4 24. Qxf4 Qxf4 0-1
The same idea would've worked if I had played 23. Kh1. But no.

After a game that already was quite tough, black has just played 32... Qb6+

33. Kh2 Nh5 (oohh he's threatening a scarycheck on d6) 34. g3? Qd6 35. Qg2 Rd2 36. Be2 Nxg3 37. Qxg3?! Rxe2+ 38. Kh3 Qd1 and 0-1

Let's pick up here.
12. exd5 e4 (reminding white of what happened a couple of games before) 13. Bxe4 Re8 14. Qd4+ Nf6 (now panic strikes) 15. Ng5?? h6 16. Ne6+? fxe6 and 0-1

Obviously something went wrong in black's setup. Diagram given after 9. Bc1-e3

9. ... Bf8 10. O-O-O+ Bd7? (Kc7 is to be preferred) 11. Ne4 b6? (must...protect...pawns) 12. Nfg5 (hitting f7) Nh6? (must...protect...pawns) 13. Nf6 1-0

30. Rf1 Bd4? 31. h3?? (Rxf5! because the d pawn is about to promote - h3 is just a panic move giving useless luft to king) Bb6 32. Rxf5? (too late) Nf2+ 33. Rxf2 Qxf2 34. Rd1? Qf1+ and 0-1: 35. Kh2 Bg1+ 36. Kh1 Be3+ 37. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 38. Kh2 Bg1+ 39. Kh1 Bf2+ 40. Kh2 Bg3#

Black to move. Pretty much resignable. 37... Qf6 38. Qe5! (threatening a queen exchange always catches me) Qh4 39. d6 Qh3+ 40. Ke4 Qxg4? 41. Qh8#
Losing in ridiculous ways is all part of the deal, fortunately it doesn't stand in the way of enjoying chess at all.

26 February 2011

The big comparison

The big chess comparison

For me especially, one of the more interesting side-traits of the game of Chess is that, despite its independant nature, you can compare it to just about everything. You can associate and elaborate and it just looks natural... almost as if the comparison (blunder?) was waiting to be made.

These comparisons are always being made, and many a oneliner has been dedicated to it; quite a few of them are collected over here. I like those oneliner quotes; scroll through them. Some of the comparisons I made in the long list below may be a little bit far-fetched, and other ones might seem to be less irrelephant. It's a mix of old clichés and new original thoughts. I have taken many of these comparisons from the scetch I have been preparing for many months for the "original chess©" blog (which still isn't finished at all either, by the way :p). In fact, all this drivel below is one of the main thoughts behind starting this blog in the first place. Maybe you already know half of the analogies I made below, and already know all those LINKS. Still, that other half remains which you may find to be of interest. Plus, a little bit of repetition isn't necessarily all that bad.

Your own corrections and additions - there should be plenty of deficiencies - are most welcome in the comments, if only just to give me some more feeling of "feedback" on this blog. I've sent in this blog for some sort of blog collection too, just to generate a little bit more traffic. I'm such a sellout. But really at the moment I feel like I'm standing on a soapbox for two people and five spambots. T.I.A.


chess vs. winning - winning is right, losing is wrong. Winning is not everything... but losing is nothing.
chess vs. losing - lost games are easily forgotten. In fact, very much of what happens on the chessboard is quickly forgotten, even by the players themselves... until "something" triggers them to remember it. Lost games quickly end up in an even smoother partition of the waste processing process.
chess vs. egocentrism - yes, it is very important to think you are the best chess player ever... especially much better than your current opponent. It's also important to think it's a highly unusual event to lose. It would be highly inappropriate to think such a thing to be even possible for someone as smart as you.
chess vs. strength - chess gives you a feeling of strength. This strength is expressed in Rating points.
chess vs. confidence - chess gives you a placebo feel of confidence based on the numbers you and your opponent carry. "Chess is a terrific way for kids to build self image and self esteem." (Saudin Robovic)
chess vs. ratings - oh dear, don't we love ratings. Especially when receiving a handful of them for free. "Elo was invented by the devil." (Georg Meier)
chess vs. satisfaction - will chess ever satisfy? Sometimes it actually does, but only for a short period of time. Try to captivate such a moment, and mentally rerun it many times. Sadly, the most satisfaction I have ever gotten out of chess is purely based on the "I win!!" feeling, based on a couple of results from some otherwise meaningless games of chess.
chess vs. balance - it's the chess player's task to try and keep the position balanced. Much-disliked grandmasters like Kramnik know what to do to keep a position in balance. The amateurs simply don't understand what he's doing (=>keeping a drawn position drawn). If the person behind the board is not in balance, his position soon won't hold either. Kramnik is a well-balanced person.
chess vs. war - chess is war... among friends. Your opponent isn't actually the enemy. Of course he's a bampot trying to steal your points... but that doesn't make him evil. Maybe YOU are the evil while you were trying real hard to be the shepherd.
chess vs. good and evil - you might just happen to be the evil part on the board trying to ruin the joy of what's considered "good and rightful". Good does not only face evil... sometimes good faces good, too. Good is not only Anand & Friedel. Evil is not only Topalov & Danaïlov.
chess vs. health - chess is like aids, easy to catch and very hard to get rid of. Once you have been caught by the chess virus, you'll never recover.
chess vs. laughing - chess is the battle of wits. And exchanging moves with someone else (or even with nobody but yourself) can be quite witty at times indeed.
chess vs. happiness - does chess make one happy? Sure, when winning, you'll get this unexplainable feeling of exaltation. When losing, not quite as much. Sadly, most of chess's reward/happiness lies solely in this plain "winning" feeling.
chess vs. friends - if you lose a game of chess to someone, you know you have found yourself a new friend.
chess vs. love - I'm in a relationship and it's complicated!
chess vs. sex - chess requires involuntary involvement of another heavily recalcitrating person in a prolonged mating ritual. In that sense... chess might be called rape. But most of the time, the opponent sits there entirely voluntarily, eagerly awaiting to have his/her clothes ripped off. Actually, the complete absence of sex in chess is quite dangerous... look at what happens with those priests in Catholic church. Thankfully, people like Natalija Pogonina & Peter Zhdanov stand up and write books called "Chess Kama-Sutra"... discussing how your unambitious opening repertoire reveals all your preferences in bed.
chess vs. smoking - I have little to add to this link to Marshall vs. Burn.
chess vs. alcohol - chess makes you feel dizzy as if you are drunk. It is quite hard to sober up after a longwinded chess game. Look at Ivanchuk. He was recently asked how much time he spends on chess. His evasive answer seems to be a way of saying "I can't relax, 24-7". And actually that's one of the main reasons why I like him.:) He's constantly chess drunk and makes little effort of hiding it.
chess vs. addiction - chess surely is addictive. "Addiction can also be viewed as a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it. Pleasure and enjoyment would have originally been sought, however over a period of time involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal." This describes many chess players with a merciless accuracy.
chess vs. drugs - Don't Do Drugs!
chess vs. beauty - is chess beautiful? Yes, at times, it is profoundly beautiful. As beautiful as a lady's smile? Much more beautiful and much more meaningful. But don't tell the lady.
chess vs. mortality - sadly, after all that chess, you will still die.
chess vs. immortality - chess is immortal. No matter how many times captured, the pieces will always survive. Some games stand the test of time, and are said to be "evergreens".
chess vs. history - there has happened A LOT in the history of the game of chess, and all of that has been documented rather well in books and periodicals. For examples on the Internet, check out this database with games played since 1485 and Edward Winter.
chess vs. poetry - "let the reader be forewarned: this was one of the tourney's most interesting games, and the recipient of a brilliancy prize. Both of its phases - opening and middlegame - were conducted by Najdorf with such a high degree of erudition and mastery that the need of a third phase never arose." (Vainstein/Bronstein/Jim Marfia - Zurich 1953) Isn't it wonderful even if something like this only vaguely applies to the relevant game. Many games of chess are lauded with delicate superlatives.
chess vs. fantasy - you can let your mind flow, flow out on the board. The chessboard makes for a wonderful outlet for all your perverted fantasies.
chess vs. religion - there are millions of followers of Ruy Lopez. Some chessplayers treat their copies of MCO as if it is the holy bible.
chess vs. God - god does not play dice with the universe. He plays chess.
chess vs. infinity - the board and pieces form an infinite well. Don't fall in it. You'll surely drown.
chess vs. the universe - the number of individual atoms in the entirety of the observed universe is 10^30. The amount of possible chess positions is about 10^46.7. Don't believe what they teach you in school: chemical reactions are actually miniature chess games played on microscopic scale.
chess vs. chemistry - mixing a few pieces may lead to explosive results. User discretion advised.
chess vs. physics - this guy here explains it more eloquently than I ever could. But he uses chess as a way to explain physics, while I want to use physics as a way to explain chess. Anyway, Richard Feynman nails it perfectly here.
chess vs. mathematics - well, you actually have to calculate quite a bit behind the chessboard.
chess vs. combinations - one weak spot on the board can usually be defended properly. Two weak spots can't. A "petite combinaison" in chess is doing just that: Combining both of those defects in your opponent's position for personal gains.
chess vs. problems - chess represents a perennial problem, that can't actually be solved, but that is present anyway. It's like flatulence which has been itching and troubling you all your life. You try to hide it while seeking a solution that isn't there. In a way, chess represents how we let our problems continue to exist.
chess vs. importance - the current chess position in which it is your move is more important than anything else in the world. The next move is fully demanding all your attention. Nothing else can happen until you have made your move. Nothing can happen until the game has ended.
chess vs. acting - the cliché Sun Tzu advise comes to mind: "appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak." Chess is a role playing game.
chess vs. work - a bad day at chess is better than a good day at work. Chess will always remain a freelance job... for which you'll have to pay expenses yourself.
chess vs. life - "of chess it has been said that life is not long enough for it - but that is the fault of life, not chess." (William E. Napier). Others claim that actually, chess is life.
chess vs. music - chess and music are really two separate things, but they can complement each other quite well, like Morphy and a good piece of Opera. And check this Youtube vid by an Italian dude - he combines music, art & chess and adds a little bit of his love. Good tunes are like good smoothless attacking games, but with many songs I'd like to be able to claim the draw by threefold repetition... just so that it STOPS. By the way, you can also use music as a wicked kind of mnemonic - study an opening while playing the same song over and over. Then when you are sitting behind the board, just hum that song and all memories will come back (!!EXPERT TIP!!: be sure to assign key notes in the ditty to key moves in the desired opening). By the way, have you ever noticed how similar a chess opening database is to a service like Spotify? "Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make people happy" (Siegbert Tarrasch)
chess vs. critics - your opponent is your heaviest critic. He is apt to nullify everything you have ever achieved in just a few moves (words).
chess vs. games - is chess a game? It's not a game like any other game. No dice required, no physical input required. Just thought... lots of thought. Chess is a game in the sense that it is a leisure activity with no real purpose. But not really a game. Keep it away from children.
chess vs. entertainment - chess is wonderful entertainment. Chess never fails to entertain. It will never lose its interesting aspects.
chess vs. boredom - chess is the most boring game ever.
chess vs. relaxation - well, The Game just absorbs so much energy unseen that the shifted focus may help in relaxing from other worries in one's miserable life.
chess vs. poker - chess is similar to poker in the sense that both players keep raising the stakes until the point of checkmate. Plus there is bluff, stamina, body language, and a little bit of calculation involved. A chess game's stakes consist of the K-factor: your rating will be K points higher after winning than after losing.
chess vs. tennis - both are individual activities. One vs. One, trying to beat the other guy. They're both turn-based in the sense that your opponent makes a move and then it's your turn to do something - except in tennis you can't take some time off to think over the situation... you have to make your move immediately or the ball will have long gone. To score a point, you have to make a good move that leaves your opponent gasping for breath, lacking a sufficient reply or that simply leaves room for him to make a mistake - and every ball you strike has to be custom-made... I mean it has to be based on how exactly your opponent just passed the ball to your side (speed/angle/effect), your opponent's position on the field, and based on your own capabilities/options. For a good shot you need to set up the rally properly first - just as in chess... before you attack, you have to develop all your pieces. And exceptions are made when the exception scores a point. The thing is if you would play chess as accurately as you play tennis, you'd lose each and every single game. If you play tennis as slowly, weakly and undecidedly as you play chess, you'd lose each and every single game. Just as in chess, in tennis you can score because your opponent makes an unforced error (random blunder), make a winner (strong attack) score with a smash (sac & mate) or with a shrewd dropshot (pawn fork). Or a lob (passed pawn). Or an ace (opening prep).
chess vs. football - "football is like chess, only without the dice." (Lukas Podolski) "Football is like chess, lose your focus and you're dead." (Sir Alex Ferguson) Well, both are team activities. In chess it's 16 vs. 16, in football it's 11 vs. 11. In football, the home team should win... that counts... that overrules all individual preferences. That's what attracts the people to the stadium. Same as with chess. It doesn't matter how it happens, the points must be scored in one way or another. If not, the hooligans (voices in my head) will become troubled. The coach is in control of who moves where, and will be held responsible for his men messing up.
chess vs. fighting - chess is (semi-)intellectual karate!
chess vs. gender - the two most important pieces, the king and queen, definitely have some man/woman connotations. The woman is the most powerful piece of the board! Of course, in real life such a notion is ridiculous for some, but maybe it will incite them to rethink their point of view... although in the end, they still might say it's all about the man (King).
chess vs. racism - sometimes you play 1. e4 and your opponent responds 1... e5. You're all for white's position. Black = bad. Black sucks. Everything that's black should be exterminated. But then the very next game you have black and your opponent opens 1. e4. You play 1... e5. How bad is it to be black? This is just another way of opening one's narrow eyes against racism.
chess vs. crime - solving crime is a game of strategy. The worst crime in chess is to intentionally not play your best move... then the whole purpose of the game ceases to exist. Another chess crime is not following the chess rules properly (i.e. moving a knight like a bishop).
chess vs. logic - chess ultimately is a logical activity. Some devotees even say that chess is the ultimate logic. You go here, I go there. You go there, I go here. Logical. See?
chess vs. intelligence - does chess make intelligent? According to some, yes, since chess trains your brains and it widens your horizons. According to others, chess's repetitive activity numbs the brain.
chess vs. patterns - it's all 'bout them pattems
chess vs. brains - chess is a sad waste of brain.
chess vs. mistakes - avoid them at all costs. "Of course, oversights happen, but I can't allow myself to let them happen." (Magnus Carlsen, about his game against Anish Giri)
chess vs. science - if chess is a science, it is a most inexact one.
chess vs. sport - chess is too physically undemanding to be considered a sport. Look at a guy like Yochanan Afek!
chess vs. art - chess is wonderful art, and, at times, mighty fine. The interactive aspect of it all gives this art even more meaning... opposed to inert paintings and sculptures at which you can only just look and gaze, chess MOVES and you can add your tidbits yourself. Together we make the experience a worthwhile one. "Chess is like art; sometimes a masterpiece, but most of the time just worthless crap."

Did I say, all? No! One half was still left out... because otherwise this blog would be even more way too long (and the other part isn't finished anyway). Did I come to the core of what I want to share with you? Maybe I did not yet achieve that. Using this format, I made a good step in the right direction, that's for sure. :-)