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  • Vermont Chess News

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    Rutland Herald: Rutland Vermont News & Information

    For a school that banned playing chess, Fair Haven Union High School has a pretty good chess team.

    Senior Dillon Russell-Kenniston and junior Oliver Chase went 5-0 in the Vermont State Scholastic Chess Championship held April 8 in Richmond, sharing honors as the state's high school chess co-champions. One of them will represent Vermont at the national tournament in mid-August, and two other members of the Fair Haven team placed at states.

    Fair Haven has sent a team to the tournament for the past three years, according to coaches Toby Milne and Betty Russo, each time returning with a champion player.

    Sunday, April 23, 2006

    Vermont Chess Camp Celebrates 10th Anniversary

    Tiny, rural Vermont is best known for maple syrup and ice cream, but inside its idyllic borders live hundreds of avid young chess players.

    Many of the players simply expect to play chess at school. They are too young to know that twenty years ago, a quiet gentleman by the name of John Balch first seeded the love of chess in Vermont's schools. Retired from business, John took to the road, organizing chess programs in more than 60 of the state's schools. He became known as Vermont's "Johnny Appleseed of Chess."

    Read more...

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Touraments coming up in Vermont


    81st Western Mass/Connecticut Valley Championship

    Date: March 11th and/or 12th, 2006

    Location: Chicopee, MA

    Organizer: Western Massachusetts Chess Association

    Summary: 5 round Swiss in one or two day format.

    2006 John Balch Vermont State Scholastic Championship

    Date: April 8, 2006

    Location: Camel's Hump Middle School, Richmond, VT

    Organizer: Everett Marshall, Tournament Director, vt_chess@gmavt.net (802) 434-4872; and Diane Guertin, dguertin@middlebury.edu (802) 462-2548

    Summary: The biggest scholastic tournament of the year! Hey, it's the State Championships, and everybody's welcome!

    Monday, January 23, 2006

    Chess Master Takes On Ten In Fund-Raising Event



    "Chess Master Takes On Ten In Fund-Raising Event

    ST. JOHNSBURY -- To walk into the Unitarian Universalist Church in St. Johnsbury around 2 p.m. on Saturday, one would have seen chess master Doug Grant circling 10 different chess boards, each with a black king turned on its side.

    But keep one thing in mind: Doug Grant always plays white.

    Grant, a Littleton, N.H., resident, is certainly what one might call a prodigy, though he acknowledged that his skills did not come without a lot of practice. And at 63 years old he said it cannot be denied that age has made him a little slower.

    Still, that doesn't stop him from simultaneously playing 10 different opponents as a fund-raising effort for his church on Cherry Street in St. Johnsbury."

    Sunday, January 22, 2006

    The Game of Chess


    Chess is probably one of the oldest and most famous games in the world. It is believed to have originated from India as early as the seventh century, although the exact origins of chess are unknown. Chess has appeared in many shapes and forms. Today most people play what is known as Europeans chess. Chess is a universal game - universal in the sense that it is accepted and played in every country and culture. There are many tournaments held worldwide and many more in each individual country.

    The basic rules of chess are simple, however to be able to play strategically and master tactics requires skill and dedication. In its modern form the game consists of an eight by eight board of alternating black and white squares and chess pieces. Each player has sixteen different pieces, which are used to play the game with. A player starts off with a king, a queen, eight pawns, and two each of bishops, knights and rooks. The aim of the game is to corner and immobilize the opponent's king so he cannot make any further moves.

    Modern chess is also known as the 'queens chess' as the queen is the piece with the most power. It can move any number of squares in any direction, given there is enough space to maneuver. All pieces move in straight or diagonal lines with the exception of knights. A knight's movements are similar to the shape of the letter 'L'. When the opponent's king piece has been immobilized it is known as "checkmate".

    Chess has many benefits and it is now being taught in many schools over the world to children from a young age. It has many academic benefits and improves ones ability and skill. Chess improves a child's thinking ability by teaching many skills. These include the ability to focus, plan tasks ahead, thinking analytically, abstractly and strategically and consider all the options before making a move. They also improve one's social and communication skills by playing against another human player. Research has shown that kids that play chess regularly have a significant improvement in their math and reading ability.

    Nowadays chess can be played pretty much anywhere. All you need is the board and pieces and somebody to play against. If you cannot find another person to challenge then there are plenty of computerized versions of chess. The software comes in many different versions such as 2D or 3D and with nice animated effects or just as a plain board and pieces. It is possible to play against a computer player and up the difficulty level if required. With the advent of the Internet it is now easily possible to search for many other players online whom to play against.

    Garry Kasparov is one of the world's most famous chess players. He is a chess grandmaster and one of the strongest chess players in history. He has the highest ranking on the FIDE listing. Ranked first in the world for nearly all of the 20 years from 1985 to 2005, Kasparov was the last undisputed World Chess Champion from 1985 until 1993; and continued to be "classical" World Chess Champion until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000.

    In February 1996, IBM's chess computer Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in one game using normal time controls, in Deep Blue - Kasparov, 1996, Game 1. However, Kasparov retorted with 3 wins and 2 draws, soundly winning the match. In May 1997, an updated version of Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in a highly publicized six-game match. This was the first time a computer had ever defeated a world champion in match play. An award-winning documentary film was made about this famous match up entitled Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine.
    About the Author
    Copyright 2005 Dave Markel
    For more great articles about the game of Chess visit http://for-more-info.com/chess/chess-intro.html

    Monday, January 09, 2006

    California's Central Coast a Hotbed for Chess

    California's Central Coast is a hotbed for chess. This small community has come alive in recent months with many new chess clubs and players. One key factor is the free online chess playing site ChessManiac.com. This site was started by Dennis Steele as a way to connect chess players from the California's Central Coast to other chess players in the local community. However, it did much more than this. The website has connected Central Coast chess players to the world chess community through its free internet chess server.

    Here is a listing of the current chess clubs in this area:

    Morro Bay Chess Club
    Paso Robles Chess Club
    San Luis Obispo Chess Club
    2 Dogs Chess Club
    Cambria Chess Club
    Cal Poly Chess Club

    New Chess History Site!

    There is a new chess history site. ChessHistory.net

    This site is going to chronicle the most interesting world chess history events. So far it looks pretty good.

    Monday, January 02, 2006

    CHESS-PLAYING TO-DAY (PART II)


    One very satisfactory outcome of all this match-playing has been a very much wider application of the "time limit," which had only been enforced in great masters' tournaments and in isolated games of any special importance. In the ordinary way a player might take ten minutes--and as many more as he pleased--over every move; in many games he can and does still. This is all very well if you have a whole evening and a night before you, but otherwise one of two things will probably happen: either the game will result in a draw for want of time to develop it, or the faster player will throw it away in sheer disgust. After analyzing a position for any length of time, a player ought to be able to proceed for the next few moves with tolerable rapidity, and in order to prevent him from examining every possible variation after every move, the "time limit" is introduced. The standard varies according to the quality of the chess expected. In the great masters' tournaments twenty moves in the first hour and fifteen moves an hour afterwards is the general limit. In the league matches twenty-four moves an hour is the rate, and in some contests even thirty is not considered to be too fast.

    A "time limit" of twenty-four moves an hour means that each player has one hour at his disposal wherein to complete his first twenty-four moves, an hour and a quarter for his first thirty moves, an hour and a half for thirty-six moves, and so on. If he has made more than the required number in the hour, the time he has gained is added on to the time allotted for the next series of moves. For instance, supposing a player has made thirty-six moves in the first hour and he has a difficult position to analyze, he can if he likes examine it for half an hour, and yet will not have exceeded his limit of thirty-six moves in an hour and a half. On the other hand, should a player exceed his "time limit"--that is, should he have failed to complete twenty-four moves in the first hour, or six additional moves for every quarter of an hour afterwards--he forfeits the game.

    Hour-glasses or "sand-glasses" were formerly used for the purpose of measuring time at chess matches, but now specially constructed clocks are in general use for this purpose. These clocks consist of two clocks mounted on a common base, which moves on a pivot, the two clocks therefore being on the arms of a sort of see-saw. The beam or base is so constructed that when one clock is elevated it stands perfectly perpendicular, whilst the depressed clock lies over at an angle. But as the mechanism of each clock is so constructed that it only moves when the clock is perfectly perpendicular, it follows that when the upright clock is going the depressed clock is at rest.

    Another and more modern variety has the two clocks fixed on the same level, but with a small brass arm reaching from the top of one to the top of the other. This arm acts as a pivot, and can be brought down into actual contact with one clock at a time by a touch of the finger. When it is thus in contact, by an ingenious device the clock is stopped, and the desired result is attained. The working of the clocks during a match is simplicity itself. At the commencement of the match the hands of each clock point to twelve, then at the call of "time to commence play," the clock of the first player is started. Then as soon as he makes his first move he stops his own clock, either by depressing it or by touching the arm referred to, the same motion starting his opponent's clock; so it goes on during the entire course of the game, each move being marked by the stopping of one clock and the starting of the other.

    To fight for one's club in matches is one of the most pleasing of a chess-player's duties. True, there are a few strong players who invariably decline to take part in these contests, and who reserve their skill for the club tournaments. In the one case you play for the honor of your club, in the other for your own reputation. The club secretary always thinks more kindly of the man who will do both. It is no uncommon thing for a London chess-player to be a member of one or two local clubs, and also of one of the more important central organizations. In the league and Surrey trophy matches a man must decide at the beginning of the season for which of his clubs he will fight, and he must stick to his choice. Not a little friction is sometimes caused by a valued member of a local club turning up to do battle against it. But the grievance is only imaginary, for a man is clearly at liberty to join as many clubs as he likes, and to please himself as to which he will play for.

    Of great central clubs there are three: the St. George's, in St. James Street, S.W.; the City of London, 19 Nicholas Lane, E.C.; and the British, of Whitehall Court, S.W. The St. George's is the oldest existing chess club of the metropolis, having been founded as far back as 1845. It is the club of the "leisured and lettered" class, and from time to time has attracted to it many of the stronger university players. At one time it took the lead in London chess matters, but of late it has not been so much in evidence, and its members now mainly content themselves with quiet afternoon chess, though they occasionally still try conclusions with other metropolitan clubs.

    The City of London Chess Club comes next in point of age. It was formed in 1852, and at this moment stands at the very head of English chess as a great fighting organization. It is aptly named, for it is and has always been a city club for city men, busy men all--stock-brokers, merchants, lawyers, accountants, managers and others, all representatives of the busy hive wherein they toil. In every way the "City" is a great chess institution, great alike in its membership, its aggregate playing strength and its enthusiasm for the game. Its membership totals up to something like four hundred and fifty, and it is ready to play a match, one hundred a side, with any chess club or organization in the world. The quality of the play in its championship tournament, and in the first-class sections of its great winter tournament, is of the highest; and what the "old City" can do when put upon its mettle was fully shown some little time ago when a team of master players (including Lasker) could do no more than effect a draw against a team of "City" players.

    We next come to the British Chess Club, which was founded in 1885. The British is much less a fighting club than a great gathering-place for the wealthy middle-class chess-player, who loves his dinner as well as his game.

    Of other foremost clubs we may mention the Athenaeum, the Ludgate Circus, the Metropolitan and the North London, all strong and vigorous organizations, and each boasting the possession of players of great skill.


    To be continued...
    Read Part 1

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    About the Author

    This article by J. Arnold Green is from the journal, THE LIVING AGE (Sixth Series, Volume XVIII, April, May, June, 1898), which is in the public domain.
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