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By gzt (Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:46:44 PM EST) gzt, chess, stuff, things (all tags)
So I was on the elevator after lunch, I've been playing over chess games at lunch lately and I had my chess book out, and this guy was like, "Hey man, do you play chess?" And I was like, dude, totally. So he told me they had a few people who played chess and all that and they had a team in the $CITY Industrial Chess League. Basically, once per month, they play a match against some other team that's downtown. So I'm on their mailing list.

Anyway, so then I was like, you know what, I'll see if there are any chess tournaments around. I saw the places that are out in the burbs that have tournaments once per month or so and ruled them out, but then thought, "You know what, I'll just look at the location of the tournaments that are in the suburb that's directly north of here, if it's right by the train it wouldn't be too bad to get to." See, public transit sucks for going north/south in this part of the city and you can never depend on busses to cross the boundary. It wasn't near the train, it was directly north of me, like 4 miles. That's okay for a bike, I suppose. So, just to see how it would be, I hit the public transit button and it turns out there is a bus that goes directly there and takes like half an hour, including the 4 block walk from house to bus. It wasn't on my radar because that north/south bus line stops just south of my place or something like that. So I guess I'm renewing my USCF membership and going to a chess tournament every couple months now (though some months it's a rapid tournament, which isn't ideal, so may be skipped). That's even more convenient than going downtown. Anyway, so, tournament March 5th. Mark calendars.

There's a place in $OTHER_SUBURB that isn't very far as the crow flies, but would be a pain to get to without a car. They have some fairly regular tournaments, some pretty serious (FIDE rated, minimum rating requirements which I don't quite meet yet).

So, anyway, looks like I'll be getting some practice at chess. This is what's necessary for improvement. This is a very good city for it, really. There are a couple big tournaments per year here and plenty of opportunities for play in small tournmanents. It's not New York, though, in that there's no big, famous chess club downtown like the Marshall Chess Club.

Just heard a decent quote: "You can tell a man’s health by what he takes 2 at a time, pills or stairs."

UPDATE: just got an e-mail, apparently they'll be playing over lunch 12-1 tomorrow. Enough for a short game, which isn't ideal, but it's good. I mean, we're not going to play a long game at lunch...

In the stochastic processes class, it looks like everybody else is getting taken for a ride. We're all getting beaten up, but I think I'm doing a little better than some of the rest. I didn't finish the homework, but he made it due next week because he hadn't covered all the material in lecture and hadn't graded last week's yet. Most people hadn't and the ones I skipped were ugly computations that I couldn't be bothered to do in my limited time (proving what the variance of some ugly thing was that required remembering chain rule and crap) rather than conceptual problems I couldn't hack. The lecture did get me thinking, though, that solving these problems is a bit like playing chess, in that you have these commonly-used tactics and you're trying to manoeuver the pieces in such a way that you can bring the victory home with some combination. eg rearranging terms so that you have something that converges to ex and then you're done.

work work work. Bleh.

This sounds like my city: Yeah, the train prank really is not a great idea on a date.

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