April 30, 2008

Activities in playchess.de

Dear friends,

I return to playchess.de after almost a year's and a half absence. I feel sorry to discover that nobody has taken advantage of this great opportunity that Thomas offers to his public – I mean all of us – by implementing this fantastic chess blog. The blog has been silent since January 2007 and I think that some of you might need some special encouragement to contribute your own chess writings.

It is true that writing chess related articles with this tool (I mean the blog's administrative environment) requires some programming knowledge for reproducing diagrams and games, but Thomas can send you a detailed manual if you really want to step on and share your opinion with the rest of us. Additionally, I intend to write some articles and upload them here, so that you only need Thomas to give you access to the blog.

Apart from the chess blog, the playchess.de site has another interesting section that you should visit more often: the annotated games section. I can see that a lot of players still publish their comments upon finished games. Unfortunately, players of the M class are not so frequent contributors compared to players from lower categories. Only 4 games annotated this year. That's a pity. BTW, Thomas has just fixed the bug and all M class annotated games are available in "Master games" section.

I believe that more experienced players should try to annotate their games in public for two reasons:

a) An effort to express chess thoughts with words slows down the speedy procedure of the mind when reassessing a position or calculating variations. It helps to understand better a position or a theme or even to discover a missed opportunity or threat in post game analysis.

b) Not all of the chess games should be annotated. However, there are games that really must be commented and become public knowledge, because one may discover interesting ideas that can be applied in different occasions. In other words, if you have played a game here in playchess.de that meant something special to you, you must annotate it and share your point of you, even if you only want to annotate just one move or comment a singe position.

I admit that the annotation section lacks an organized presentation of its content (for example positional or tactical themes that make one game more interesting than another). Well, if an optimum presentation of the games is required to make annotations more popular, I believe that Thomas would be glad to make yours/ours wishes come true!

Two years ago somebody asked who I am and why I dare to write so often. I'd like to reintroduce myself to the playchess.de community. Well, I am a hobby chess player from Greece. I discovered chess some ten years ago and never visited the local chess club to play OTB. I am a computer engineer and an expert user of ChessBase products. Since 2006, I contribute articles to the Greek chess magazine “Skaki gia olous” (Chess for all). I started with the history of computer chess and continued with a series of articles about ChessBase and Fritz environment. I also do chess related reportage for the magazine. For example, last summer, here in Athens, I covered the open hearing of the FIDE Ethics Commission regarding the Kramnik-Hensel vs Topalov-Danailov “toiletgate” case. Finally, I interview people (I actually started here in an old chess blog article) the most important being an interview of the mighty Fritz chess engine. (Don't ask me how! Just think who might be the one who has the right to speak as if Fritz was a human being!).

Your comments are useful. Something good is being cooked here. Let's make it better.

Posted by Michalis Kaloumenos at 12:13 PM | Comments (6)

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