Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Links Added

I comb over many blogs and chess sites every day. I've seen a lot of chess sites, but I'm sure there are those who have seen more than I have. Regardless, I occasionally stumble on an unknown (to me) chess site and it turns out to be a real gem ... loads of info about chess as well as lots of instructional stuff.

Today I ran accross Tim Krabbé's site. I've added it to my links.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Chess Around the Net

Prisoners of war in WWII received smuggled mini chess sets. Each set had tools to escape the POW camp ... very interesting! One is up for auction. Read here for more.

These kids get up early every day to play chess at 7:00am. I wonder if blunders are more prevalent in the morning than the evening?

I don't watch Dancing with the Stars, but for what it's worth, a chess player was a finalist on the show ... until she was accused of taking lessons and being a professional dancer.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

David Shenk, The Immortal Game, Interview & Posts

Last night before my last class, I was in the bookstore selling my books back as well as browsing the chess section. I picked up The Immortal Game by David Shenk and started reading bits of it. I think I'll read this book in a few months when I finish what I'm reading now.

Today I found an article about an interview between David Shenk and Kenneth Kidd. Now a couple of blogs have picked it up and have been discussing chess and religion.

JollyBlogger picked up the interview and had a little discussion on it. A Mormon blog ... Dave's Mormon Inquiry also discusses the topic.

All three articles are interesting reads.

I'm Done!

No ... not with chess! I'm done with school! Last night was the last MBA class I'll ever attend. It may very well be the last "school" class I will ever attend ... I doubt I'll go for a PhD.

So now I can wholly focus my spare time on chess!

Graduation is December 9.

I've started the Level 20 tactics the other night. The long tactical haul continues. I haven't had much time to play on-line. I might be playing lots tomorrow, however, because a huge winter storm will be passing though and when it snows in Dallas, everyone stays home. So if you see me on FICS, I'd be happy to play a few 2 12's or something.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Round 6 Fall 2006 OCL

I'm satisfied with my effort in this game. What I'm not too happy about is my time management. After not using enough time the last few games, I decided to use as much time analyzing what I deemd were critical positions. The problem, however, is that I thought all my positions were critical and I ended up using too much time.

I used to think that 45 45 and 60 15 were too long. Now I think they are too quick. Had this game been 90 15 or something like that, I think I would have won. But towards the end of the game when I needed to use more time to analyze, I didn't have enough minutes on the clock to allow myself that comfort. Subsequently I missed a sweet tactic that Fritz pointed out. Up to that point, my game was pretty good. But as Mr. Heisman says, "you game is only as good was your worst move."

Here is the tactic I missed.

Again, because of time constraints, I didn't analyze all the checks, captures and threats. One of the candidate moves was indeed Nf5. But since I was rushing (and it was late at night so I was mentally tired) I didn't fully follow through on this line. I saw that I would hang my H rook and then failed to see that my D rook would win a queen if I moved Ne7+ (assuming he didn't move his king).

There is only one more round left in the Fall OCL. About Tal is dead last.

I've organized my studies a bit. I'm continuing to work on the tactics, but I'm not going to focus on them exclusively. I'm going to keep working on them for about 30-40 minutes a night. After tactics, I'll be reading through some games. I still need to finish Logical Chess Move by Move Every Moved Explained by Chernev. So I'm reading that book every night until I finish it. I've got all the games on pgn so I have the games in front of me as I read.

Also, I've been reading several Knight Errant posts & comments about positional play (especially Tempo's posts). You read read them here, here & here. I've also been reading Dan Heisman's Chess Cafe article entitled "A Positional Primer" from September 2002. Interesting stuff.

Lastly, after the Fall OCL, I don't think there will be any (on-line) tournaments for a while. I plan on trying to find one long game a week to keep up that end of the chess front. So if anyone wants to play some long games between November 12th and December 17th , post a comment and we can arrange a game. I play on FICS.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Chess Around the Net

Read this enjoyable article about The Wonders of Chess.

Play chess, improve in math:

students in the [chess] club improved their math scores on the Connecticut Mastery Test by 30 percent between fifth and sixth grade.

Be good to your kids if you want them to be good chess players,

Chess is not merely a brain game. It is also a game of neurons against
neurons. Obviously neurons with superior dendritic connections and complex networks would win. For building a superior neuronal network there are three requirements - a happy childhood, the right brain stimulating stimuli and a genetic endowment of excellent genes. A happy childhood depends on loving, caring and understanding parents.

A little more backgroud for the previous link.

My wife bought some of these the other day ... I had no idea they existed. Not only do they have chess symbols on them, but they are very delicious! Pepperidge Farm has some good stuff!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Round 5 Fall 2006 OCL

What a pathetic excuse for a woodpusher I am!

First I want to thank my opponent for a good game. I'm sorry I couldn't give you a better match.

Second, Mr. Heisman would be gravely disappointed about my lack of safety for my pieces (see image below pennance). As pennance, I will write the following phrase 50 times: "I will strive harder to keep my pieces safe."

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Thirdly, the CT-ART 3.0 is going well. I've just about mastered the Level 10 problems. My progress in this area is tracked over here.

Fourthly, I think I need to play over more games to get some ideas about what to do when I don't know what to do. Here is where I went blank ... I didn't know what to move. I just didn't know how to further develop my pieces. I lacked a long-range plan. I always get stuck in this scenario. To counter this problem, I'm planning on going back and reading some of Hesiman's articles to see what he says on the subject. I think Silman might have some advice too. Does anyone else have some advice for me?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Chess Around the Net

"Deep" Kasparov runs on 23 watts,

Q: Let me try to ask the question differently, then. If our brains are
computers, how are they different from the computer that's sitting on my desk?
A: Ahh, that's a great question. So, how does my brain, as adapted
biological computer, differ from the thing that sits beside my desk? Let's think about the time Garry Kasparov, the world chess champion, played the chess-playing machine called Deep Blue. In 1996, Kasparov beat Deep Blue quite soundly, but in 1997 Deep Blue eked out a victory, 3.5 to 2.5 in a match. One big difference between Kasparov and the computer is that he remained warm to the touch. This is a guy who can play chess better than anyone, and he can also read books, write poetry and have political opinions. Deep Blue, on the other hand, was a one-ton device with an enormous amount of air conditioning blowing on it, and 256 specialized chess-playing computer chips. If you turned off the air conditioning to Deep Blue it would burst into flames. To my mind, the most amazing thing is that Kasparov could even play that computer. What it means is that Garry Kasparov's brain is freakishly efficient, it's running on about 23 watts while Deep Blue doesn't know how to use energy that efficiently. So, one of the problems that biological computers have solved is how to take in energy and turn it almost into, magically, freakishly efficient computation.

I'm still trying to find a picture of the chess piece.
George Condo has painted the monarch in nine surreal images, including one with carrots sticking out of her ears and another where she's shaped like a chess piece.

Mmm, Pumpkin Chess Bars

A homeless man who used to play chess (Randy Dolinger - 1971) is running for a spot on the city council in Ashland, Oregon.
And while I compare him to his homeless peers, I should add that Randy's
intellect is on a par with many college graduates I have known as well. It
surprised me to find out he was a child prodigy. His favorite focus was chess. It was a game he would master on a par with the great Bobby Fisher. I found his name on a list of champions in North Carolina. In 1971, Randy was great.

Round 4 Fall 2006 OCL

So I played board 4 in round 4. I was looking to earn my first on-line tournament win since 2004. It turned out well, but how I got there wasn't too satisfying.

My opponent put proper pressure on me and I probably didn't have the best position. For a long time I thought I would lose the game ... I felt that my play just wasn't solid. Then came this position (see below). I totally missed seeing the fork and consequently did not protect against it. To my suprise, my opponent forked me. From then on, I just gave the game a half-effort. I continued with my plan to double up my rooks and try for a mate in the corner. The only chance I would get would be if my opponent blundered.

He didn't blunder any pieces, but he did miss mate in one. At this position, I was expecting Kf8. Instead he moved e2. I rubbed my eyes and verified the mate and then proceed to move Rh8#.

I was expecting my oppenent to put more pressure on my king such as b4 and then getting his rooks and queen all lined up for the mate. I lucked out and that is why I'm not entirely satisfied with this performance.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chess Around the Net (Articles About Greatness)

To learn how to achieve greatness in chess, read this.

Another similiar article related to greatness.

Here is an example of complicating the complex.

Interesting blog about chess and business.

Do you think this is a good idea to keep your kids or students from losing interest in chess?

Even then losing the game continuously (and that too by good players who don't make mistakes so often) makes some of us get bored. So, how to carry on the motivation to try forever with out quitting? My dad had the great timeless answer for it. In the middle of the game, he used to just exchange the sides. He takes my king's army which is in a very weak position and I am offered his powerful strong one. It’s Very Simple. Hey, it's also not an easy task to be in the strong side. I used to lose all my army before winning the game. But gradually it made me to learn how to play the winning game and finally the game itself.
Mmmm, chocolate chess pie.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Round 3 Fall 2006 OCL

I lost. But I'm more satifsifed with my effort this week than last week's effort.

Here is the position that I faced that could have made me a hero. Instead, I dropped the ball. But even if I made the move, my opponent was a very solid player and probably would have made it tough to finish him off.

I was pretty concerned about the knight posted on a5. I could see myself tripping up and getting forked someplace. Plus I saw him possibly checking my king while releasing an attack with his rook on my queen. Seeing all that, I focused a lot on the lower-left rather than the upper-right.

I was also using a lot of time. I had about 30 minute on my clock at this point.

Anyway, the correct move should have been Ng6. My opponent said so after the game and Fritz confirmed it.

More tactical studies this week. I should be finished with my first circle and then I'm going back to concentrate on the first level to get those down pat.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chess Around the Net

Fischer v. Karpov for $15 million? I do not know all the details on this, but here is the link.

Another link from the same blog ... this post was back in July of this year.

Here's a short video of Karpov speaking of Fischer:

Monday, October 09, 2006


Today is the 30th anniversary of National Chess Day in the United States.

On October 9, 1976 President Gerald Ford declared National Chess Day.

The USCF has a bit on it too.

I'm celebrating today by working on my tactics and playing chess with my kids. Then after they go to bed, I'll log on to FICS and play some more.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hope Chess at its Finest

Here's the definition:

Hope chess is when you make a move and don't look at what your opponent might threaten on his next move, and whether you can meet that threat on your next move. Instead, you just wait until next move and see what he does, and then hope you can meet any threats.

Yes, I may have been half asleep during this game and yes I do have a final in school that is coming up, but the truth of the matter is that I was unprepared and it was quite an embarassing loss. Kudos to my opponent for playing so well.

Here is where I lost the game:

For the life of me, I didn't know what to do. So I just moved Nc6. From then on it was over.

I took advantage of this loss and actually looked up the correct book moves for this opening. I can't remember what it's called, but the proper move would have been d5. So this defeat wasn't a total loss.

You can replay the whole game. Just click on my "Some Standard Games" link. The match was against RobertRoy. I have two games in the DB. One is annotated by Chessmaster 10th ed. while the other is by Fritz 8.

I've been so busy with other things lately, that I've not been practicing my tactics for two days now. I think I need to correct that.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Quote Applicable to Chess?

I'm a BYU Cougar fan ... especially when it comes to football.

Anyway, I read an article today linked from and it was referred to some close games that BYU should have won (vs. Arizona and vs. Boston College). Otherwise, they'd be undefeated and possibly ranked in the top 20. But the article goes on to say,
close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
I got a laugh out of the quote.

And so to link to back to chess ... I imagine the same is true with chess. You can always say, "look at this game ... I had mate in 3!" but you didn't actually move the pieces to capture the win. It's our actual moves that define us as a chess player. Everything else is just analysis.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Chess Around the Net

Funny story about Bob Baladan
Balaban says he was browsing through chess books at the tournament hotel
when he posed a question to a woman he didn’t recognize.“I said, ‘Do you read any of Susan Polgar’s books?’ ‘No,’ she said. ‘I write them.’ ”

"The ICL says it will increase fines and penalties against chess 'goons'" ... click to read entire article ... very funny!

It looks like this blogger is intent on explaining all the openings. It has potential.

You may have seen this before, but here is a cool site where you can play chess and watch the computer think ... you'll be amused.

Interesting read about chess. Has anyone seen this chess set before?
There once was a Soviet chess set manufactured in porcelain during the first half of the twentieth century. The theme was, of course, capitalists versus socialists. Socialists were red, capitalists were white (probably echoing the Russian Revolution). The communist side spoke in the language of Soviet propaganda and mythology, and featured a wholesome, corn-fed farmer king and his chaste queen. On the other side of the board/world, the capitalists took up arms with a whorish queen, pawns bound in chains, and a king with a skull for a head.
I Googled it (the above described chess set) and found this link.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Chess Around the Net

The Politics of Chess is an article that offers similarities between real life and life on the 64. For obvious reasons, I was curious about what the author would say about rooks. He says,
"Ahhh… the safety and security of bricks and mortar are the lesson to be learned here. How solid and dependable are the rooks? They occupy and guard the outer edges of the world, keeping the other players safe from invading paws of curious kittens and insurgencies of spilt beverages. But how high is the price of such security? I’ll tell you – it’s a terrible toll. Severely restricted movement, and a mindset programmed to think in unbending lines. Compare this to the United States, where the price of freedom is restrictions beyond their wildest nightmares – a government hellbent on tying down its own people to protect them from themselves, and others.Thus, the Rooks are the US Government of the chess world. Bulky, cumbersome and programmed to defend and destroy, or die trying.
Go take a read ... you'll be amused.

Aladdin (as in the Disney character) now teaches chess. I guess since he's off the streets now, he has lots of time on his hands. It looks like this software is geared towards teaching children chess.

Interesting blog (and wiki).

A sketch of a couple playing chess.

Does anyone use bit torrents? I'll have to read up on this. If you use them, here is an interesting link. It looks like they have something to do with file sharing.

Friday, September 29, 2006


This blog has been demoted over at the Boylston Chess Club Weblog.

In the "upper class" links are the power chess blogs. The "2nd class" links below the "upper class" links are the non-English chess blogs. Following them are the "worker class" blogs (Knights Errant). They are the ones who do the real work. Thankfully, my other blog is listed there.

Lastly is the lowly "kibitzer class." This is the class whose blogs are not entirely focused on chess. They might occasionly comment on chess or they are related to the BCC in one way or another. This blog was once a member of the "upper class" but has since been relegated to "kibitzer." Maybe it's because I talked so much about my MBA classes with a smattering of chess topics. Who knows ...

Anway ... I'm pretty much done with school. In fact I rarely talk of it. This blog will now focus mainly on chess. Maybe, just maybe if this blog is special enough, it will receive it's upper-class status again.

Chess Around the Net

Software for blind chess launched - Talk 64 will be released next month. This software is designed to help the visually impaired improve in chess. Another link to story.

Can the Knight's Tour be considered a magic trick? This article seems to suggest that it can.

Bush v Bin Laden in chess? - entertaining read.

How "White N' Nerdy" are you? - chess is considered the geek sport by many. But exactly how nerdy are you?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Video About the Benefits of Chess

Here are some links to the video (google, youtube).

I just read the article about the new book out by David Shenk.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Getting Ready for the Fall OCL

I've been trying to play more slow games and (trying to) avoiding blitz. Now even the 20 5 games are too fast for me ... this is a good sign that I'm thinking more than reacting.

Tonight I took advantage of one blunder from my opponent, but missed out on a second opportunity to score a sweet tactic. I havn't run the game through Fritz yet, but I think this would have been a good tactic.

I'm Black and it's my move. After I moved Nxc4, I saw a better move. I should have considered Bh4! threatening mate as well as attacking the queen. To my credit, I was running a little low on time and I did see the move immediately after moving Nxe4 ... moral of the story, always look for a better move as Dan Heisman has advised many times.

Tomorrow I'm signing up for the Fall 2006 OCL. I've recruited one person so far for our team. I'm hoping we'll be able to pick up a couple of others.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Official Opinion on Takebacks

Occasionally I receive a takeback request on FICS.

Basically, my take on it is that unless it's an unrated game or if I know my opponent (if he's a personal friend or on-line acquaintance) then I don't ask or give tackbacks. I assume that my opponents can properly and carefully handle a mouse during an on-line game of chess. Any rated OTB game would never allow takebacks.

Some might argue that the game would be more interesting if I grant the takeback. I agree ... therefore if we want to have a really interesting game, then let's play an unrated game and grant unlimited takebacks on both sides of the board ... we'll do a full analysis of all the positions. Along those same lines, we could finish the game without granting the takeback and afterwards we could go back to the move where the blunder occured and analyze the game from that point on.

Additionally, careful play is part of the game. If you drop of piece because you weren't careful, how can you expect to never repeat that blunder again if you're given a tackback every time? At some point, the line must be drawn.

I Googled "takebacks" and "chess" to see what others' opinions were on the subject.

The first one I found concerns advice to parents of children learning chess.

Finally, my number one recommendation for ALL parents:
always play touch-move and touch-capture, even in offhand games. This is a
critical factor in developing the kind of cause-and-effect thinking that leads
to both improvement and a great enjoyment in a much deeper game. Even a five
year old can learn to play touch move, and it will make everything go much more
smoothly if you always follow this practice. Similarly, discourage the use of
"takebacks" or "undo" options in computer chess games. In the long run, it is
better to resign a game and start a new one if you make a really bad blunder
then to use an undo and play on without the mistake.

The second one comes from the ICC.

IMPORTANT: Nobody, ever, is obligated to grant a takeback.
Refusing to give a takeback is NOT unsportsman-like. Takebacks are NOT in the
rules of chess. You, and you alone, are responsible for making your moves and
avoiding "mousos" and "typos". If you ask for a takeback from your opponent,
he/she is not even obligated to respond to your request. It is inappropriate to
criticize your opponent for not giving the takeback. ICC will not tolerate
harrassment or complaints against an opponent who would not give a takeback.

The third hit came from a site dedicated to chess ettiquette.

This is a subject of great controversy. Nobody--aside from perhaps chess coaches--ever wants to grant a takeback, but, sadly, it is fairly common to hear requests for them in casual games. A good rule of thumb is to move carefully so that you don't need to ask. If you're playing a friendly untimed game against someone weaker than you, it's usually ok to preempt their request by pointing out quietly and without fanfare how they would have hung their rook or queen or stepped into checkmate. I've done this with friends many times and they are usually very happy to be able to continue the game. With strangers, though, they're typically on their own.

So there are a few other opinions on the subject. I also found that one of the variables on FICS is takeback. If it is set to 1, then any takeback request will automatically be declined.

I set mine to 1.

Does anyone else have a hot opinion on the subject?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I've a Long Way to Go ...

So I'm trying to play more slow games. I read on the Chessville forum how someone suggested taking baby steps towards longer games, because the main reason for playing so much blitz is because one only has time for a quickie.

I don't have two hours every night to spend playing a 60 15 game. So I've been seeking 20 5 games.

Last night I played a solid player.

I learned a few things:
  1. I need to pick an opening for black ... for a response to both d4 and e4. Then I need to practice and study a bit of that opening.
  2. In the middle of the game at some point, I'm at a loss for tactics and general stratgey. I arrive at a postion and I just simply don't know what to do.
  3. I need to continue to practice calculating all possibilities for my moves. For example, if I see a good move, I tend to think what my opponent would respond with ... but what I think he'll respond with and what he does are two different things ... this is because I didn't clearly think all the way through my calculations ... so I need to practice more of that and that can only be done in slow games.
  4. Last night's game was lost on a "sacrifice" that I didn't think all the way through. It worked a bit, but I didn't keep up the pressure. But my real 4th point is that I didn't miss any major tactics ... this is encouraging. What I did miss and lack was a solid game plan.

Anyway ... here is the critical (in my opinion) position that broke me last night.

I sacrificed my bishop at f2. I was able to flush his king out and put a lot of pressure on him. But like I said, I didn't think it all the way through.

I let Fritz analyze the game and here are some of the annotations he gave me:
"simply worsens the situation"
"Black crumbles in face of a dire situation"
"does not help much"
"doesn't do any good"
"is not the saving move"
"a fruitless try to alter the course of the game"
and my favorite "praying for a miracle"

So my que haceres (to do's) before my next game ...
  1. find, study a litte and practice a response for black to d4 or e4.
  2. continue to study and look for tactics in games (especially combos)
  3. determine a game plan early in the game
  4. calculate deeper before moving in a "critical" position, especially if it involves a sacrifice.
  5. saftey ... defend the king at all costs.

The answer to the previous tactic is Qxd8 Rxd8 followed by f4. Since the knight is pinned, all you need to do is drive off the extra defenders and you win the knight.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back to Slow Games

Lord of the Rings is on my mind today. I've already posted once today referencing Gandalf. Now I'm thinking of Samwise Gamgee when he returns home from the Grey Havens and says, "well, I'm back."

I'm back to playing slow games. I'm hoping to toss my hat into the OCL Fall 2006 tournament. I emailed a friend of mine asking him if he wants to join me in forming a team. I haven't heard back from him yet. If he decides not to, then I hope I can be put on a team. It's been exactly 3 years since I started playing in on-line tournaments. The Fall 2003 OCL tourney was my first ever on-line tournament I played.

So last night after working on my Circles, I logged on to FICS and played a 20 5 game. It was so refreshing being able to think and ponder rather than think under time pressure. I used almost my entire clock. I played solidly. I missed one tactic. My opponent ended up dropping a piece in the end game and later resigned. I would have liked to given him back the move and kept on playing because that is what I need to work on ... endgames.

Anyway ... here is the missed tactic. I'm white and it's my move. I didn't see it until after Señor Fritz enlightened me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Summer Term Grades and Fall Term Outlook

MBA Update

Summer term 2006 was the best semester I've had so far!

I earned an A- in security valuation and an A- in managing teams, so all A's and A-'s this term.

The Fall Semester will be a cakewalk.

For the first mod, I'll be taking International Financial Markets with Amar Gande. This is his first semester teaching at SMU. He just came from Vanderbilt. His first class last night was boring ... especially compared to the last two classes I took. Hart and Gande are stark contrasts ... Gande will bore you with a PowerPoint lecture while Hart was constantly writing on the board and the students had to keep up.

That is the only class I'm taking this mod. Next mod I'll have just one class too ... Advanced Master Negotiations with Robin Pinkley.

Quixote Update

I've already mentioned that I finished it. I found that Blue Devil Knight is reading the same Edith Grossman version that I read. He posted a quote from the book regarding chess. I found a few quotes from the book that are applicable to the 7 Circles quest. I'll be posting those quotes as I continue my quest.


I hope to be able to start playing some long time control games again in the next few weeks. Besides the quest, there isn't much else I'm doing right now.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Summer Term is Over

I had finals this week.

The managing teams final was just a quiz worth 15% of our grade. I think I did better on this one than the first. Our paper, worth 50% of our grade, is due tomorrow. I've already written it and just need to email it to the teacher.

It was a good class. I think I'll get an A- or A in that class.

Security Valuation is over. I did a complete review of all the material over the last two days. My friend and I worked on the practice exam last night. The exam was tonight. It was all quantitative except for 3 points. If I did my calculations correctly, then I think I will have earned close to a 97% on the final. Assuming I earned a 100% on the project, then I would get an A in this class. Otherwise it'll be a B+ or A-.

I finally finished Don Quixote. It was a good read. I'm reading Life of Pi now.

As for chess ... I'll be posting a lot more chess now. I'll only have one class a week from now until I graduate in December. I'm working on the Circles and will update the Circles blog more frequently as I progress through the levels on CT-ART 3.0. I think I'm up to problem 180 as of today.

It feels so good to have the summer term over with.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

Summer Week 12

Managing Teams

I expect to do well in this class. With that said, it is starting to be a really boring and predictable class. The first few weeks were "fun" and we learned quite a bit. Now it seems as though the teacher is struggling to come up with a decent lesson plan. Last week he lectured quite a bit. Then he sent us off for a half hour to work on this case. The case was very vague and most of the people on our team were grumpy and really didn't want to be at school. We put in a half-effort. After we worked on the case, we had to present it to the class.

During the other presentations, we were to be evaluating them on how well they presented. There is this one team that is very good at presenting. I think they have most of the "bonus" points from all the presentations and challenges. Anyway, it's been really tiring listening to them give their "perfect" presentation week after week. However this week, their presentation was probably the worst of all presentations given in class. I was feeling a little snarky, so I sung their praises and applauded how well their slides looked and how short and consise it all was. That's when it dawned on me that I'm really bored with this class.

One last item ... we got our quizes back and I scored a 91%. The average was 86%.


He assigned our project to is this week. Then he lectured on DCF's ... more specifically, free cash flows to the firm and free cash flows to equity.

He also handed back our mid-mod exam. I got an 87%. The average was 88%. I was expecting to get in the low 80's or even 70's, so I was happy about hitting close to average. He said the final will be more difficult because there is a lot more to put together.

Saturday morning, my friend called me to see if I wanted to work on the project and knock it out this weekend. We started working on it Saturday afternoon at 1:00pm. By 7:00pm I had still not finished it. By Sunday morning, we were very close to finishing it. Last night, I think we finally fine-tuned our numbers and got the right answers.

Family Update

Squid #4 is still doing well. My sister-in-law came into town to help out. Sunday afternoon she went into some sort of seizure. We called 911 and she was submitted to the hospital. She's doing much better now and hopefully she can continue to help out with squids 1, 2 & 3 the rest of the week before she heads home on Friday.

Chess Update

Which leads me to chess ... because life keeps getting in the way, I've not been able to concentrate on chess very much. I did manage to get in 3 games Friday night. I lost 2 and won 1. I posted a couple of those cames on my blitz games link.

This Friday the 11th I'll begin the Circles. During lunch this week, I will do some chess vision reviews.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Summer Week 11

I survived.

Managing Teams

We had a mid-term exam this week. He had given us an outline of all the relavent points from the book. I spent a lot of time memorizing the bullet points because I thought that he'd ask us a question and then we'd have to spit out the bullet points and then comment on them. Instead, he gave us the bullet points and asked us to explain them in detail. So I didn't do as well as I would have liked.

After the exam, we did some team-building challenges. The topic was creativity. He gave us about 25 problems and we had to figure out the solution. The problems were in a box with words in different parts of the box. For example, one of them had the word "world" repeated several times. The answer: World Series. Our team did pretty well. The next challenge was for each team to do a review of the chapter in a creative way. So we took about 15 minutes and discussed the chapter and did something creative with the paper he had given us.


We had an exam in this class too. It wasn't too difficult. I think I may have missed about 20% of the questions. He threw us a few curve balls. I knew the material very well, but I just don't do well on exams for some reason. This morning I reviewed my notes and realized that I had made a few mistakes. I'll still do well in the class. We just have two more classes with new material before the final. The final isn't comprehensive, but it will build a lot on the first exam.

Family Event Update

We had our 4th. She is doing very well. I've been catching up on my blog readings this week and it looks like a few other bloggers had new borns this week or in the last month. Heavy Lifting had a girl, Hungarian Knight's sister had a new one, and I also found out from ChessBase that Judit Polgar gave birth to her 2nd on July 6th this year.


Well, what can I say. I havn't been playing at all and I haven't been doing anything with The Quest. Now that school has quieted down a bit and that #4 has safely arrived, I plan on reviewing some chess vision drills during lunchtime. I should be ready to start the circles on August 11.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Summer Week 10

This next week will be a bit stressful.

Managing Teams

Not much of a class this week. We did an activity at the beginning of class. As a team, we were supposed to assemble a helicopter out of Lego parts. We could send one person to look at a finished model sitting in front of the room. But other than that and a picture of the model, that was all we had to work with. Our team finished 3rd which means we get one bonus point.

The rest of the class was a review of the chapters. We have a mid-term on Monday.


Tonight's class wasn't too difficult. A lot of what we covered was review. We have a mid-term in this class next week too. We got into WACC and how to derive all the parts of WACC.

Family Event

My wife is giving birth to our 4th child tomorrow, so studying for my exams and tending to her and the new one will be a bit stressful. I'm pretty prepared for the managing teams class, but I'll need a few more hours for the finance exam.

Needless to say, I won't be playing a whole lot of chess or studying chess for the next few days. As soon as life settles down a bit, then I can do my chess vision drills review before I start into the circles on August 11th.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Summer Week 9

The 2nd week of mod B is done.

Managing Teams

Not much of a class this week. We had a new team member join our group. Then we did another team-building exercise. We had to design our logo. Next we discussed Brigg-Meyers stuff and related that to last week's Marooned exercise. Then he had each group do a presentation. The topic: a chapter from the text book. After all the presentations, every had to rank the groups ... this would determine who gets the bonus points.


More note-taking. We got deeper into the topics. Nothing is "complicated" but we will have to memorize a lot for the final. As long as you know CAPM and WACC, it isn't too tough.

Quixote Update

Still plugging away. I have about 300 pages to go.

Chess Update

Not much of an update. I've been playing on and off. Not too many rated games though. I'm still working on the Quest.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

ROCKY BALBOA Official Trailer

The official trailer has been out since July 7th when Pirates of the Caribbean 2 came out in theaters. Now Yahoo! has the trailer online. Go check it out!

Also, I've updated a link to the side. There's a blog for Rocky 6 and it has lots of pictures and info.

Can't wait for this movie to come out in December!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Summer Week 8

Both my grades are finally out. My leadership class grade was posted earlier this week, but my database grade wasn't posted until late last night. I found out the grade in that class this morning.

Leadership: A- I expected this grade. I aced the paper, so the points that I got docked on were from the presentation and my participation points.

Database: A I usually get A-'s and B+'s. So getting this A made my happy. It was an easy class. I think most people in there got A's.

So now on to Mod B.

Security Valuation & Selection

Jeffery Hart teaches this class. I've heard he's a pervert. He lived up to his reputation for the first class. He doesn't hand out notes. Everything he talks about he puts on the board. I ended up writing 3 pages (front and back) of notes the first night. We're not going to really learn anything new per se, but he is going to show us some usages of all the models out there.

At one point in the class he lost his train of thought and then stopped to tell us that on Thursday nights when he gets home from a late class and his family is all asleep, he watches adult movies on cable TV. Now I don't know if he is joking trying to shock everyone or if he is serious. I tend to think he's serious but making a joke out of it. I think he personifies the typical financial, greedy, business whiz who doesn't really have a balance in life. That's my first impression of him.

Anyway, the class will be tough. We have two tests and a project. Lots of fun. At least there isn't any required reading, so I can just focus on knowing the notes.

Managing Teams

George Ritcheske (rit-chess-kee) teaches this MNO class. He's a good guy. Sitting in his class is like going to one of those Covey seminars. Lots of pro-syner-activeness and sharing feelings and thoughts and openess. It's a feely, touchy, get-to-know you kind of class. For social outcasts like me, it isn't that much fun. I did enjoy the first class. It wasn't too bad.

Our first class was on a Friday night for crying out loud! Since the school shut down for not only the 4th of July, but the 3rd of July, and since our first class would have been on the 3rd, we had to make it up by going to class on a Friday night! Not that that was bad enough, but Georgie boy kept us there the entire time. Most merciful people, in that situation, would let the class out early.

Anyway, we were placed in teams, got to know our teams and then did one of those "you are lost and have to survive so prioritize these 10 things (given) and make sure there is consensus among the group" things. Our team wasn't the best, but wasn't the worst.

I've already got names for the other five people on my team. Pigpen, MG, Emmy, Arizona and Fester. Maybe at the end of the mod I'll explain how I came up with these names.

Quixote Update

I've been reading on and off lately. I'm probably not on schedule to finish in August. But the book is really good and I'm enjoying it a lot.

Chess Update

I play every now and then. I'm still working on the quest. This month I'm going through the other chess vision drills outlined in de la Maza's book. August 11 is the day I'll start the Circles.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Summer Week 7

Mod A is over! I am so happy that I only have 4 classes left!


I worked on my huge paper Friday night and Saturday afternoon. I made some modifications to it on Monday. Tuesday night, we handed in our papers and then discussed them. I didn't feel like talking about mine.

After that, we did evaluations and then we were out of there by 7:15pm.

I think I'll get an A- in that class. I could understand if I get a B+ though.


It was fun taking the test. Before he handed it out, he said that his two kids scored like an 80% on it. His kids are fairly young. I'm not sure if he was making a joke or if he was being serious. He gave us all the time in the world. When we handed in the test, he took a look at our normalization problems. If they didn't look right, he handed the test back to us. I was almost the last person to hand in my test. He had me change one thing.

I feel really confident about the final. I got a 53.8 out of 55 on the homework and quiz (97.8%). I think I scored at least a 90% on the test. Therefore I think I'll get an A in the class. He's going to send our final grade via email to those who signed a waiver, so I'll know by the weekend what I earned in this class.

Mod B

The next mod starts next week ... no rest for the weary. Because of the 4th of July holiday, I'll be having class on Thursday and Friday. Thursday is security evaluation. This is the 2nd half of Kumar's class. My other class is managing teams. That should be interesting.

Seven more weeks and I'm home free.

Quixote Update

Still on track to complete it by August.

Chess Update

Still working on the Quest. I've also been going through the Polgar puzzles. Yesterday I played a few blitz games. I lost to a lower rated player, but then beat a much higher rated player. I lack consistency. Click on the link 'My Recent Blitz Games' to see what a patzer I am.

I don't do the puzzle on this blog anymore. Instead I've been putting them in FEN format in a pgn file. I've got a file for each day of the week (except weekend days). It's a nice way to work the puzzle and learn a few things. I'm thinking I might post the pgns in a month or so.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Huge Chessboxing Article on ESPN

It looks like it's gaining recognition. has an article on chessboxing. Go check it out.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summer Week 6

Last week of classes.


Our group finally presented. We were the very last group to present. It was OK. I wasn't having a good day and so I didn't feel into it at all. The rest of the class was somewhat boring. I really don't remember much of it. I was watching the Mavs score on What a disappointment.

All that is left is the final paper. I'll be working on it Friday night and Saturday. I should be done with it Saturday night. So far I'm earning a 91% in this class. Our presentation was a B+ and that is where I've lost most of my points.


The last class was boring ... yaaaawn! We had our quiz. I aced it. During the rest of the class I played games on Yahoo!

Tonight I'm going to finish the 3rd homework. I just have to review chapter 6 and then do the problems. I think it'll take about 3 or 4 hours.

The final is next Wednesday. He said it will take us between 90 minutes and 2 hours. I'm pretty confident that I'll do well on it.

Quixote Update

I'm still reading about a chapter a night before going to sleep.

Chess Update

Still plugging away on MDLM program. I finished the vision drills and am now working on the knight sight.

I played a blitz game the other day. He had just moved his rook. The vision drills are paying off. I immediately saw Qe3+ ... forking the king and bishop.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Summer Week 5

The first mod is almost over.


More presentations to begin with. This week's presentations really sucked. I was bored out of my mind. I hope ours isn't boring. The first one was about servent leadership ... they talked about the usual suspects ... Gandhi, Jesus and other leaders. It was very un-memorable. The 2nd was about charismatic leadership. It was a little better. After the presentation, Rasberry was asking us questions and he asked what an un-charismatic leader was like. Just before he asked that question, I was thinking to myself about Michael from The Office ... how charismatic he is, but just an awful leader. So I was chuckling to myself when Rasberry asked what an un-charismastic leader is like. No one was answering. So he said, "Rocky?" He made it sound like I was an example of an un-charismatic leader. So I said, "what, you think I'm an un-charismatic leader?" The class got a laugh out of it. You had to be there to really get it ... one of those moments.

The other presentation was about volunteer leadership. Boring. All three groups were painfully boring. Maybe it was the topics.

After the presentations, we took a break and then came back and discussed the movies. Then he let us go an hour early since the Mavs were playing. I thought that was really swell of him!

The Mavs lost however ... pitiful.

Next week, our group presents. I also have to start on my final paper. I'll be taking a bunch of self-assesments today and gathering data. I really want to have my rough draft done by Monday.


Rogers talks way too fast. He had a ton to cover last night, so he kicked it into overdrive. It was a blur. And this is supposed to be the most difficult part of the course! We talked about first, second and third normal form. 1st ... make sure all the "cells" have data. 2nd ... are there subsets? Can you make a lookup table from it? 3rd ... I'm drawing a blank right now. He gave us a quiz and it turned out to be just a practice quiz. So next week we'll have the official quiz. It'll be over update anomolies. He said something about secondary keys too. He assigned us the 3rd and final homework. It will take us the longest. We have to fix a bunch of tables and it's supposed to take us a long time. I'll be working on that all day tomorrow.

Quixote Update

I'm a few chapters into the 2nd part.

Chess Update

The number one reason BabasChess is better than Winboard (in my opinion) is that BabasChess has the ability to use a different port other than 5000. Port 5000 is usually blocked by firewalls. Port 23 is used for telnet sessions and is probably not blocked by most firewalls. BabasChess has this option under 'Preferences' (hit F11) then go to the 'Server' tab and click on the 'Advanced' button. Select 'Use alternate server tcp port (23)' and now you can probably log onto FICS from places where the firewall blocks port 5000.

Winboard may have this option, but I never found it.

Discovering this setting really made me happy this week.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Summer Week 4

Another week comes to an end.


The final push to complete this class has begun. The 4th class was decent. As with the previous week, there were three presentations. The first one was about corporate ethical conduct. As expected, the group discussed Sarbanes-Oxley and provided some examples of proper conduct as well as unethical conduct. The second group discussed forming character in the military. It was a very interesting presentation. They emphasized that the military tries to break each person and then build them up again according to standards. While they are building them up, they try to instill in them the proper character of a soldier. This was an interesting presentation in light of the recent on-going investiagations in the war in Iraq. The third presentation was about social entrepreneurship. It was an OK presentation. What was really funny about this one was that the group mentioned Ben & Jerry's and how that company tries to import materials from 3rd world countries. After they finished presenting, they informed us that they had brought some ice cream (trying to influence us on our feedback forms). Anyway, Dr. Rasberry is talking to them and the class when one of the presenters starts to get the ice cream ready! Rasberry is trying to tell us something vastly important about ethics and this guy is over there getting the ice cream out of the ice chest ... making noise ... dropping spoons ... unwrapping cups and Rasberry kind of glances over and the student keeps going! One of the other presenters notices and he just puts his hand over his eyes in disbelief. It was kind of comical.

The rest of the time, Rasberry talked about ethics. We talked about Stew Leonard too ... that is an interesting story.

It was a good class.

This week(end) will be busy. I have to watch Gandi, write a paper on it, read 3 chapters and get ready for our group presentation (in two weeks). Fun.


The fun begins. We've left the basics of Excel and Access and now we're getting into referential integrity and normalization. This is still a review for me, but I am learning a few new things. I finished my 2nd homework after the game last night.

We still havn't had our official quiz yet. We may very well one next week.

Quixote Update

I'm still reading it. I need to read about 8 pages a night to finish it before I begin The Circles.

Chess Update

If anyone is reading this, you may know that I created another blog to track my progress with Michael De La Maza's program. His program just isn't about doing 1000 tactics 7 times. Before doing that, he suggests doing some vision drills for a few weeks. To remain true to his program and to honestly test his theory, I am going to go through these drills.

I played a few games with my friend from school. He won twice and we drew once. Upon review, I should have won the two games I lost. He is a very good player ... much more consistent than I am. You can review those games by clicking on the link 'My Recent Blitz Games.'

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wrong Set Up ... Again

Among the chess community, there is generally known pet-peeve ... setting up the board incorrectly in advertisements, movies and videos such as this. Chessbase News posted a link to the video found on Google's Video site.

As you see, the author of the video overlooked this detail.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Summer Week 3

The Summer term rolls on ...


The 3rd class meeting began with 3 presentations. Groups of three people present on a designated subject. If I recall correctly, the three topics were "Corporate Succession", "Executive Coaching" and "Level 5 Leadership." I remember that two of the groups did pretty well. The 3rd group wasn't all that great.

After the presentations, we got into the main topics. We discussed the chapters we read (style and situational leadership).

We have one more movie to watch and review. He gave us a few more options to choose from. Instead of "Goodnight and Good Luck," we can now choose "Gandi," or "Stand and Deliver." If we don't do a movie review of those listed above, then we have to watch and review "Elizabeth."

This week, we have an corporate ethics paper due. We were to review and major corporation's website and read its corporate governance statement. Then we were to compare that to some information from a database about directors of boards.


We discussed SQL in this class. Just before the break, he gave us a mock quiz over the Excel stuff we had learned about the previous week.

He assigned the 2nd homework assignment. He said that the first two HW assignments are easy and that the 3rd will take us several hours to complete. So tonight, I'm going to try to get the 2nd HW assignment completed.


I'm still plugging away. I've finished about half the book.

Chess Update

I played my friend in class last week. We played a 3 0 game. He won. Both of us missed huge tactical moves.

Last night, I was planning on playing a few games, but I turned on the TV and ended up watching the National Geographic Channel presentation "Space Race." I found it highly fascinating. Anyway ... I watched that instead of playing chess.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Commentary on MBA & Chess

Before I went back to school to work on my MBA, I played lots of chess. I would go running in the morning, get into work by 7:30am and be home by 5:00pm. We would eat dinner and hang out and play with the kids. Then after the kids were tucked in and asleep, I would dial-up, fire up Winboard, log onto FICS and play chess. Eventually, there were little reprimands from my wife about how long I was on-line playing chess. This was completely understandable since she wanted to use the phone and I was clogging it up (we couldn't quite afford high-speed in those days). But we came to an understanding and worked it out.

Anyway, I eventually joined a couple of slow time-control on-line tournaments and I would play my games on the weekends. I enjoyed the slower time controls. I could think, reason and calculate without pressure. I won a few games and lost a few games. Our team did average.

On occasion before a game began, I felt that I was going to win. I was confident that I could beat my opponent and win all the glory for our team. I made my moves carefully ... making sure not to blunder or mis-calculate. But despite all my efforts to play a tight game, I occasionally blundered. Sometimes that blunder occured with about 10 to 15 minutes on my clock. I knew I would lose the game, but I played on and eventually lost anyway. I would get so angry and frustrated with myself. I just couldn't believe what a patzer I was! How could I do such a thing! What an absolute waste of time!!

This last rant bugged me the most. I felt that after spending over 2 hours playing a careful chess game, only to throw it down the drain ... it was almost unbearable. I began to think of all the things I could have done in those two hours that would have been "better." I expressed my frustration to my wife and she would just agree that it was a waste of time ... that I should be working on something more meaningful. Out of this line of thought (and plenty of prodding from my wife) came the desire to get my MBA.

Instead of studying and playing chess, I could devote those two or three hours a night to studying the GMAT and working on homework. The guilt from playing chess and not working on my MBA was unbearable, so I did something about it.

If I always won those games, I don't think I would have started my MBA.

As odd as it sounds, the main (deep down) reason I decided to get my MBA was so that I didn't have those feelings of guilt of wasting time. I was motivated to get my degree so that I could focus on chess without the guilt. I wasn't motivated to get that MBA so I could earn more money or to move up the company ladder. I did it so that I could play guilt-free chess.

There now ... I've admitted it. I am addicted to chess.

It does not disrupt my life, but I do think about it a lot.

However, my addiction to chess just may turn out to be one of the best things that has occured in my life (that and the fact that I am a totally horrid chess player). Because of my addiction (and lack of ability to play real chess), I became motivated to go out and get that MBA degree. Upon graduation, I will have accomplished one of the biggest events in my life. I will be a Master of Business Administration! It will undoubtedly affect my career and has already affected my competitiveness.

After December 2006, I will either focus on moving up in the IT world or I will make a lateral jump over to the finance industry. With those moves I hope to find greater fulfillment in my career and be able to make a greater contribution to the company. Regardless of the move I make, my salary will increase significantly. With that increased salary comes greater financial freedom and security for my family. I might even be able to afford a subscription to Playchess and ICC as well as register with the US Chess Federation.

Besides affecting my career, my MBA has affected my competitiveness. My competitive spirit has always been mild. I like to compete, but I am no shark, who when smelling blood goes for the kill. That has changed now. I took a few classes that have turned me into a more tenacious competitor. The class that helped me the most with this aspect was the negotiations class with Pinckley. That increase in tenacity helped me become more mentally tough and less of a wallflower. I am thick-skinned now and I can handle a lot more crap and then bounce right back and ask for more.

I have matured. I have matured more by earning that MBA than if I hadn't.

When I play and lose a game of chess now, it just motivates me more to get back into the game and improve. My hunger to improve my tactical prowess grows each day. I am looking forward to devouring those 7 (or 10) circles of tactics. When I waste a bunch of time losing in chess, it doesn't affect me like it did a few years ago.

I view losing a game of chess like I do losing a game of pickup basketball. I play three times a week and our games get very competitive. The Saturday morning group is the most competive ... there are about 5 Harvard grads who play in that group. When our team loses a game, usually no one is upset. Rather we are eager to get back in and beat those bas****s! I've learned from MBA school and the Saturday morning bunch to channel those frustrations. This has not only helped me in chess, but in my work and home life.

So you see, my addiction to chess is a good thing.

Some might say as Abraham Lincoln once said, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother." Although I too can say that of my mother, I can also say, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to chess!"

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Summer Week 2


The 2nd class was interesting. As part of our grade, we are to contribute to the discussion. I've always have had a hard time making a meaninful comment in any class. I'm there to learn ... to receive input. After receiving input, I go home, review and internalize. That's how I learn. At one point in the discussion last week, he called on me and asked me a question. I didn't know what to say. The first thing that popped in my head was the movie Patton. So I said something about that and he stopped me saying that he didn't want to get into the movie yet. Oh well.

Another thing about the comments ... he asks for examples. He wants us to recognize these traits and skills in our working environments and other life experiences. I had a hard time thinking of examples last week. So when I was reading the chapter this week, I tried to think of examples so that I would be prepared to comment.

I think I have my final project planned out. I am going to use the questionaires at the end of each chapter to evaluate my leadership style. I am going to have my team lead, supervisor a co-worker and my wife fill out the same questionaires. Then I am going to compare my answers to their answers and then produce a plan to be better in those areas where I lack. I think it will be interesting.

I've got to start on my ethics paper today. It's due next week.


Last week, we worked a lot with Excel. He showed us all the tricks and neat things Excel can do as a database. We did VLOOKUPs, text replacements, string commands, pivot tables and a few other things. It was a really good class.

He assigned us our first homework assignment. We read the 2nd and 3rd chapters and did some questions from the end of the chapter. We also imported some data from Excel to begin working on our database for the rest of the homework assignments. I finished last night. It's due Sunday night.

Quixote Update

I'm still reading it. I don't think I'll do chapter reviews any more. I'm not going to be posting here every day. Right now, I'm on chapter 47 (according to the on-line version).

Chess Update

I found out that friend from school teaches and plays chess. I told him about FICS and he signed up. If you're reading this, Todd, then you probably found my finger note with a link to this blog. When are we going to play?

I was able to play a few games this weekend. Nothing serious. While I was reading for the database class, I logged on to the Chessmaster site (UBI). I found a game and lost. The server isn't that robust. Plus, there aren't that many people who play there. At night, there are just a handful on-line.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Summer Week 1


Dr. Rasberry seems like a nice enough professor. He was a little sick the first night and could not talk well. He let us out early. The class will be busy. We'll have 3 short papers, 1 presentation and 1 huge paper to write. On top of all that, we have to really participate in class discussions. It will be a good and enjoyable class. The key (for me) is to get a head start on that final paper.

This weekend, I watched Patton the movie. Today I wrote the 2-page report on it. I framed it around the trait and skill model outlined in the book. The first two chapters of the book dealt with these models.

I think it will be a good class and I'm looking forward to the remaining weeks.


Stewart Rogers teaches the database class. I took the Excel seminar from him. He talks a million miles an hour. He is very smart.

The class wasn't too boring. It looks like I'll have my nose in the textbook a lot during this class. All that we have are a few homework assignments, a pop quiz and a final for the class. I think I'll do well enough in this class.

I have a feeling that I'm going to really enjoy this first mod and really hate the 2nd mod. We'll see.

Quixote Update

It is still sitting there. I'll be getting back into my routine this week and so hopefully I'll find some time to read.

Chess Update

I worked from home on Thursday. I played a couple of games during lunch. I can't remember what happened.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Summer Term Is Here

The week-long break was very welcome and needed. I feel ready to start the last big push. A mere 14 more weeks of school and then I can relax a lot more. I'll only have one class a week from September to graduation in December.

Summer Term

The first two classes I'll be taking are Organizational Leadership and Database Design for Business Applications. In my mind, I think OL will be easy and DDBA will be the tough class. So in reality, it will be just the opposite. By the end of the course, I'll be hating OL and loving DDBA.

For Mod B, I'll be taking Managing Teams and Security Valuation and Selection. The SVS class is the 2nd part to the PTAP class. So I am a bit leary of that class. The MT class will be interesting. After reading the class description, it sounds like the teacher is an HR nutcase. The class is restricted to 35 students and if I remember correctly the teacher is pretty anal about showing up on time and stuff. This has me a bit worried because by the time I'll be taking this class, we'll be having our 4th child (sometime at the end of July and early August.) I hope the teacher won't be a jerk about the situation.

Last year's Summer term was very layed back. That's the way Summer semesters are ... most of the students are home or on internships and there are just a handful going to class. So the campus is really quiet.

I rememeber during orientation back in August 2004, the librarian was taking us newbies on a tour of the library. While we were walking through the study hall, she mentioned that it was finals week and we saw a few students studying hard on a Friday afternoon. That will be me this year.

Quixote Update
Chapter 40

I finished the chapter last night. I'm really lost concerning this Captive story. There is one more chapter before the story ends. It sounds like he is still in prison and is able to communicate with some lady who is also being held captive in a Moorish land. They are planning to make their escape. The next chapter deals with the escape I belive.

Chess Update

The NBA playoffs are on and as such, I'm not playing much chess. In fact, I don't think I've played in almost a week. The Mavs are up 2-1 on the Spurs. Tonight is the big game 4. I hope the Mavs can pull this one off and finish off the Spurs in SA.

The May 15, 2006 puzzle is 24. ... ? Qxe1+ 25. Rxd1 Nc2+ forking the K and Q. Black gains a rook

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Second Clip Out on ROCKY BALBOA (Movie)

The second movie clip is out.

It shows Rocky walking to the ring before the fight. The music in the backgroud is (I think) the song that those street guys were singing in the very first movie.

Pretty cool clip.

Summer Break

I've really been enjoying my Summer break. Last night I stayed up and watched the Dallas Mavericks rip the Spurs apart. If only the would have won game one ... At least the Mavs have homecourt advantage now.

Chess in the News

Much like the BCC, I will be posting some articles I found that are chess-related.

Kids in Tucson are really getting into chess.
"My favorites are the bishop and the knight," Kyle said. "I like the bishop
because it moves diagonally . . . I really like diagonally. And I like the
knight because of the cool way it moves, in a L-shape."

This quote reminded me of my daughter (5 yrs). She loves to say the word diagonally.

Math, Reading, Spelling ... and Chess? AF4C's goal is to make chess another subject in elementary school curriculum. AF4C recently won an award for its First Move(TM) chess curriculum on DVD.

Chess Update

Tonight I'll be able to play some chess. My wife has a party planned for the evening, so she and all her friends will be invading our home. After I get the kiddos to bed, I'll going on a date with Dell and FICS.

The May 10, 2006 puzzle is 34. ... ? I'm pretty confident that Ng3+ is the correct move.

Oops ... Bxe4, then Ng3+

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Spring Semester in Review

Spring Term

The grades finally came out.

Game Theory ... B+
Portfolio Theory & Asset Pricing ... B-

This was my 2nd worse semester since the very first semester. I've always earned at least one A- since that first term. This term ends that streak.

It was a tough semester. The spreadsheet class and PTAP kicked my hide. The negotiations and game theory class were enjoyable and I feel like I learned a lot from them.

I hope the Summer Term will go better. I am shooting for an A in both MNO classes.

Quixote Update
Chapter 38

Weird chapter ... Quixote is at the dinner table and delivers a discourse on the difference between a man of arms and a man of learning.

Chapter 39

This chapter begins the story of the captive traveller. A footnote states that this could be a semi-autobiography of Cervantes. It is a wild adventure and I don't see how it adds to the story.

Chess Update

I'm itching to get back in the ring (on-line tournaments). I haven't been able to play as many games as I would have liked. I've been doing a lot of projects around the house and helping out the wife and kids. By the time I have a few free minutes, I am too tired to log on to FICS and play. Instead, I just watch TV or read a book.

The May 9, 2006 puzzle is 38. ? At first, I think the pawn needs to advance to g6 to defend f7 and h7. But I think that there must be some sacrifice. Rh8+ would probably be my best bet. Then on the next move, advance the pawn to g6.

The answer ... Rh8+.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Mod B is Over


The PTAP final was brutal.

Just imagine Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago both fighting Rocky in the same ring at the same time ... just imagine what Rocky would look like at the end of the match. His left eye would be completly closed. He'd have cuts above his eyes, blood gushing out his nose and maybe even missing a few teeth. But Rocky would still be standing. That is what the PTAP final did to me last night. It was the hardest test I've taken at Cox.

Kumar said that we should manage our time and that it would take at least 2 hours. The test started at 6:30pm. It was around 8:10pm when the first person got up and handed in his test ... he's probably the smartest student in the class and he was in our group. 8:30pm rolls around ... everyone is still there. 8:45pm and a second exam is turned in. 9:10pm and Kumar comes back in and says that the morning class was pretty much done by this time! One student said, "they just gave up early!" Everyone laughed. 9:20pm and I am done. I can't take it anymore ... my brain is fried, my hand is numb from writing and I'm tried of flipping between the 15 pages to see if I answered all the questions. I go through the test one more time and count up the points (what I think I'd get). I estimate that I'll get a 30/50 (60%). I add our project scores and I estimate I'll get about an 85% in the class ... a solid B. Anyway, I'm the 4th person to turn it in ... I give up. One other student turns in his exam at the same time. As we are leaving the building, he says that the test was a beast and that it was the hardest test he's taken. I agree with him.

I drive home and just sit on the couch. It wasn't until I woke up this morning that it sunk in that I'm done with the Spring semester.

Now I play the waiting game ... grades should come out early next week.


Quixote Update

Didn't read.

Chess Update

Tonight I play chess! After I put the kids to bed and do some light reading, I am going to play for a full hour. I can't wait!

The May 3, 2006 puzzle is 55. ? Nxc4+ Black would capture the knight with a pawn and then the white queen would check the king at d6. Black must block with his queen so white checks with the queen on b8. At this point, black will lose the queen and the game.

The answer is Nxc4+ and it follows as I said.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Portfolio Theory and Asset Pricing: Judgement Day

Game Theory

The test went OK. There were more than a few suprises on the exam. He threw a couple of questions at us that I had never seen before ... they fell under the topics we discussed, but the type was different. So I had to take my time and think about the answer.

I don't know if I did as well as I was expecting. It was more difficult than I had imagined. I think I'll get a B+ in the class. I wouldn't be suprised if I get a B. Nothing I can do about it now.


Five and a half hours to go for tonight's final. Ready or not, I'm just glad to get this class over with.

A buddy of mine finished his last class ever. He's done with Cox. He is one happy man now. I can't wait for that day in December.

Top Programs

BusinessWeek came out with a new ranking for undergraduate B-schools. I'm proud to say that the Marriott School of Management is ranked 8th in the nation!

Of course SMU's Cox PMBA program is right up at the top too. Forbes ranks the PMBA program #10 in the nation for return on investment. US News and World Report ranks the program 10th in the nation.

My resume will look really nice to have those two programs listed on it.

Quixote Update
Chapter 37

I read one chapter last night (couldn't fall asleep). Basically, Dorotea brought Luscinda and Don Fernando up to speed on what they are trying to do for Don Quixote. Don Fernando thinks it's a good idea to help the Loco Quixote. Anway ... Quixote wakes up and there's some dialogue between Sancho and Quixote and the others. They are able to keep up the guise. Then there comes another company of travellers ... a man and a wife. They are Moors. Then they all eat dinner and Quixote expounds on the difference between a life of combat and a life of learning.

Chess Update

I almost played a game last night ... but I thought that if I played one game, I'd play another and then it would be late and I wouldn't get enough sleep. So I just read. I before that, I watched the Mavs dismantle the lowly Grizzlies. The Mavs were the only team to sweep in the first round.

The May 2, 2006 puzzle is 39. ? Removal of the guard (knight). Rxd6.

The answer is Rxd6. That took me 2.3 seconds.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Game Theory: Judgement Day

Game Theory

About 4 hours and 10 minutes before the final. I think I'm ready. I admit, there are a few types of problems I hope don't show up on the exam. But for the most part, I'm well prepared.

I anticipate I'll get around a 90% on the final. I honestly think I'll get a B+ or A- for the class. But an A sure would be nice.


Saturday night, our group met and studied. I stayed for two hours and then left. I studied practically all day Saturday for this class. I'll do well on the number problems, but the short-answer questions will give me a hard time. I fully expect he'll throw some question about some obscure fact in one of the many articles he assigned to us. All I care about for this class is to get at least a B out of it.

Quixote Update

No updates today. I'll have more time to read after finals.

Chess Update

Believe it or not, I didn't play once this weekend ... not even for a study break. But the first thing I'm going to do after finals are over is play a dozen blitz games.

The May 1, 2006 puzzle is 38. ? Looks like Rxc4 and black will eventually lose his queen.

The answer is Rxc4.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Game Theory: The Real Practice Exam Q36

Game Theory

After work, I ate some dinnner and then studied some more. I got an email response from Dr. Smith and he answered my questions (very well I might add). So I went over those problems again and then did a brief review. After that, I sat down and took the 3rd practice exam. I didn't stop for any breaks or to look at my notes. I took it as if it were the real exam.

I started at 6:30pm and finished just after 8:00pm. I didn't go back and review any answers. My biggest worry about the final is the 20-question true/false section. Inevitablly, I get a little confused on a few questions and my confidence gets shaken. One strategy I've been told of regarding T/F questions is that you answer it once and you never go back and re-think it. You would think T/F are easy, but you have to be very weary of the wording. Anyway, after taking the exam, I graded it and found that I got an 86.8%. Combine that with my averge 87% quizes and I get roughly a B+ or A- ... not good enough for an A. I need to get in the middle up upper 90's on this exam to get an A.

Anyway ... I'm done studying for GT. I'll review again Sunday night and again before class on Monday.


Tonight and tomorrow are crucial for PTAP. I need to read all the articles, go over notes, go over the practice exams and shore up any loose ends. Tomorrow will be difficult because I'll be at home and my focus will be lacking. I just don't know how to study for this class. I think it is pointless to go over book problems at this stage of the game. My strategy is to know the practice exam material very well and then to know some general stuff about the articles. Also, I need to know everything about the equations sheet ... know what each equation is, what it does and why. It's not going to be pretty. These are the times when you just have to buckle down and git 'er done!

Quixote Update
Chapter 36

I read one chapter last night since I couldn't fall asleep. It was a very interesting chapter. After they finished reading the novel, the innkeep saw that there was a group of people coming toward the inn. A lady with a mask on as well as a man with a mask. There were other men travelling with them too. Well, to cut to the chase, the lady was Luscinda and the man was Don Fernando! Of course Cardenio and Doratea were both at the inn. They all heard each other's voices and there was a grand reunion. It turns out well. Don Fernando pledges himself to Doratea and the two lovers Luscinda & Cardenio are reunited.

Chess Update

I didn't play chess last night. I did log on to the server and dinked around while I was at work yesterday. I read up on variables and changed my time zone variable.

The April 28, 2006 puzzle is 39. ? I'm clueless.

See the puzzle for the answer. It's a beauty.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

An Evening of Game Theory

Game Theory

I studied and studied GT last night. I finally made it all the way through the first two practice exams. He didn't cover auctions in any of our lectures. There were several questions on the practice exams that delt with auctions, so naturally, I didn't do so well on those parts.

Before I went to bed, I sent him an email and asked for an explanation on a few questions from the practice exams. I haven't heard back from him yet.

Tonight, I'll do one more review of the first two practice exams and then I'll take the third practice exam from start to finish. After that, I need to read the case. He's assigned us a case to read. He'll be asking some questions about the case on the final.

Quixote Update


Chess Update

After studying for about 3 hours and before going to bed, I played a few games. I think I won one blitz game and then I played about 4 crazyhouse games ... and lost all four.

The April 27, 2006 puzzle is 33. ... ? Looks like the queen needs to be sac'd. Qd1+ 34. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 35. Ka2 .... woah, woah. Wait a minute. What about Rxb3+. I think that move is better. Ka1 Ra3+ Kb1 Qd1+ and the game is over.

The answer ... nailed it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Portfolio Theory & Asset Pricing - Last Lecture


Finally ... no more lectures for PTAP! It was very painful enduring that last lecture. One of our group members had a countdown program running on his laptop. We watched as it ticked down ... second by second ... minute by minute ... it was brutal.

We're getting together one last time to review for the final. We'll meet Saturday night.

I'll be working on PTAP Friday night and all day Saturday. I'll be sick of studying come Sunday.


Today at lunch, I started my review of GT. I worked on one problem for about an hour. I think I may have finally got it straightened out in my head. I'll work on GT tonight and tomorrow night.

Quixote Update

Didn't read last night. I probably won't get into the book until after finals.

Chess Update

Same thing with chess ... I won't be doing much until after finals.

The April 26, 2006 puzzle is 31. ... ? It looks like the queen has to take the rook. I really don't see anything for this one.

The answer is Qxd1+ followed by Bxd1 with Rd2 and white resigns. After looking at this, it seems to me that it was a basic exchange R&Q and R&Q. But if Nxe3, then it looks like black actually wins a bishop.