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The Magic of Chess

Another chess related post today. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it on this site but for the past 4 or 5 years I’ve been the President of the Lethbridge Chess club. Last Christmas I was demoted to President Emeritus and Klaus Jerricho has taken over the job.

Anyway, today’s post is about The Magic of Chess, which is a short documentary that shows young chess champions revealing how the game has enriched their lives. The four minute movie was shot by director Jenny Schwitzer Bell on location at the 2019 Elementary Chess Championships, a high-stakes tournament held annually in Nashville.

From The Atlantic:

In attendance—and interviewed in the film—was Tani Adewumi, the 8-year-old Nigerian refugee who, while living in a homeless shelter with his family, beat elite-private-school kids in the New York Chess Championships.

The children interviewed in the film are articulate and wise beyond their years. “When I asked the kids questions like, ‘What has chess taught you?,’ I was surprised, given their limited life experience, that they could formulate a response beyond the obvious mechanics of the game,” Schweitzer Bell told me.

Chess “teaches you how to make a plan,” one child says in the film.

“When you lose, you learn from your mistakes,” says another.

Photo credit: David Pacey CC 2.0
(via The Loop)

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games

The Knight’s Tour

The Knight’s Tour is a sequence of chess moves by a knight on a chessboard such that the piece visits every square only once. How hard could it be?

Animated chess board with a single Knight and no other pieces going to every square on the chess board once

Here’s one possible path that I worked out starting at e1.

e1, g2, h4, f3, e5, g6, h8, f7, d8, b7, a5, c6, d4, b3, a1, c2, b4, a2, c1, d3, c5, a6, b8, d7, f8, h7, g5, e6, f4, h3, g1, e2, g3, h1, f2, e4, c3, d1, b2, a4, b6, a8, c7, b5, a7, c8, d6, e8, f6, g8, e7, d5, e3, c4, a3, b1, d2, f1, h2, g4, h6, f5, g7, h5

The trick is (as far as I can tell) you’ve got to move in a pattern such that at the halfway point your board looks like this:

Chess board with one knight halfway on the Knight's Tour

There might be other ways to complete the tour, but regardless, if you can get sets of two in the block pattern similar to the image above then the rest is just as easy as getting here in the first place. Also, notice that only two corners have been filled at this point, A1 and G8 while at the same time in the centre four squares D4 and E5 are filled while D5 and E4 are not yet taken. The other general idea is to choose the move that has the least options to move to next (beware there are exceptions).

The knight is randomly placed at the outset but this pattern is buildable from any of the start positions I’ve worked on. Give it a try: The Knight’s Tour. The source code is at github if you’d like to build your own — created by Reddit user psrwo.

(via BoingBoing)

Categories
games

Talent is universal, but opportunity is not

Nice piece by former World Champion of chess, Garry Kasparov about 8-year-old chess prodigy Tanitoluwa Adewumi and how to create more chess champions.

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games

Two Grandmasters in Lethbridge

If you’ve watched my one second everyday video, you know that I’ve been playing quite a bit of chess lately. I’m excited to say that the activity level at the chess club in Lethbridge has been picking up and they’ve even secured two Grandmasters for an event next weekend.

Grandmaster Eric Hansen and GM Robin van Kampen will be in Lethbridge on Sunday, March 30, from 1:00 – 4:00, at the Galt Museum.

Eric has graciously volunteered to play as many players as we can muster. We will pack the house and have 25+ adult players and 10-15 juniors play him simultaneously.

The fee to play will be $10 for adults and free for junior players. All players are welcome!

See more details on the Lethbridge Chess Club’s page.