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!"