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August 16, 2004



I used to play a lot of chess and got my rating to around the same level before plateauing also. After leaving my Queen en prise during a tournament game after coming out of the opening with a winning position, I stopped playing :/ I had played on and off for years, and studied, and was at the time getting tutored by a Spanish International Master online, but I realised I had hit the ceiling of my ability and would never be any better. It was humbling and depressing.

Chess is war, and it's a brutal game psychologically if all you ever do is lose. A quick tour of the game's big names, or the local chess club emphasises that pretty clearly. I decided it was best left to the odd casual game with friends.

If you're determined to continue with the mental flagellation however, I can recommend the following books: Guide to Good Chess by CJS Purdy (fundamentals, but excellent and worth rereading every so often), Simple Chess by Michael Stean (a study of positional chess, and an absolute gem), and My System by Aron Nimzowitsch (a classic). Of course there are many others, including any games by Bobby Fischer and Mikhail Tal (two of my favourite players), but those are immediately useful.

Good luck, and I hope you do better than I did ;)


Didn't _Kavalier and Clay_ win the Pulitzer Prize? Well, I guess it's neat that a book about comic books can win. What's next, I wonder? A movie about Wizards and Elves winning the oh.


Indeed it did, Rich. Michael Chabon is the man.

Sucks that Garden State wasn't your favorite though. I'm going to need to see it soon. I'm a huge fan of Scrubs and am curious to see what Braff can pull off.

Oh, and if we're making recommendations and any of you enjoy comics, I suggest Image comics' recent anthology, Flight. As I'm in Florida (and currently have no electricity, thank you Charley, ) I'm catching up on my reading from the ComicCon. Between this and Derek Kirk Kim? I love comics again.

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game