Monday, August 31, 2009

United States Chess League Starts Tonight!

The United States Chess League has its Opening Day today, with three matches scheduled!

I am the manager this year of the New Jersey Knockouts. That being said, I will not be doing power rankings this year, but I will be continuing with the USCL Rating list.

Here's the top 10 of last year's (2008) rating list. For the whole list, click here.

Top Ten Final 2008 USCL Rating List

1 2635 Davorin Kuljasevic
2 2633 Jaan Ehlvest
3 2617 Julio Becerra
4 2611 Marko Zivanic
5 2607 Sergey Erenburg
6 2599 Hikaru Nakamura
7 2579 Larry Christiansen
8 2577 Josh Friedel
9 2565 Vinay Bhat
10 2564 Pascal Charbonneau

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chess For Life at Panera

At the Panera today in Montclair New Jersey, the new organization Chess for Life! hosted a chess demonstration. They had a a vendor area where they were selling chess books and t-shirts. They also had a quasi-blindfold simultaneous, where a local master and expert each played four boards. I say quasi-blindfold, because the simul-givers were actually writing down the moves of each board. I don't know what the final score was.

Also, a section of Panera was devoted exclusively to chess where members of the West Orange Chess Club were playing and giving mini-lessons -- in fact, my son was showing his skills against an 1800, and was doing pretty well.

Chess for Life! is an organization that gives chess lessons in the schools, arranges private instruction, and so forth. It is run by Damon T. Garrett, a personable and dynamic guy who had a cadre of genuinely friendly and helpful assistants.

As for me, I played a five-minute game against someone (of whom I did not get the name) -- and they game was pretty equal. Ended with me dropping two pawns and getting into a hopelessly lost endgame. Typical!

They are doing another exhibition on Saturday August 29 at the Panera in West Orange, NJ.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

USCF Title Norm Calculation Spreadsheet

I've created an Excel spreadsheet that figures out whether one's performance in an event will garner one a USCF title norm. The USCF title norm system will be implemented soon, and when it is, you can see whether or not you will gain a norm from an event.

The spreadsheet has been checked by the chair of the USCF ratings committee, Mark Glickman, and is posted on his website. You can access it here.

Feel free to download it and use it. Should you have feedback, please leave me a comment here, or email me at...

bioniclime [at-sign] gmail [dot] com

Thanks! I hope it works for you.