Thinking about what is important today

This is my what I think about the state of our country (USA) right now repository. I don’t know what will end up being here, but most of it won’t be scripted or crafted. Perhaps I may throw in some thoughts about the rest of the world too. That will remain out there on the horizon somewhere.

There probably won’t be a lot more here for someone looking for deep political insight or thinking. I think we have a lot that needs fixing in our country and the rest of the world too, and I do not think a vote in November changes anything of note.

We have some serious problems that need our attention. I think the years of passing it forward are over. It is time to dig our heals in the sand, take a deep breath and get serious about our country and our future as a race of mammals destroying themselves in a state of artificial wealth and prosperity. True wealth is found in the state of being human, not in things.

Chess Tactics, walking before running?

It appears from my scores my tactical chess knowledge is well behind my positional chess knowledge. How this relates to the chess board is interesting. I know good position from bad position, but I miss opportunities that I should not be missing such as simple forks, pins, and skewers.

For example, I miss a two move checkmate, or a simple pin or skewer. I did some web research on Tactics, and there seems to be general agreement that Tactics are what makes a player strong up to the average or strong club player level.

So I have the Positional knowledge of an average club player and the Tactical knowledge of a beginner. No surprise there, or I would not be struggling in games I should easily win. I am not the expert though as I do not have enough experience. There does seem to be a general consensus the only way to improve tactical knowledge is to practice tactics.

Sounds kind of funny to read, and it sounds obvious, but it is/was not, at least not to me. I thought learning how the pieces move around the board and work together could be better learned by playing many games with opponents slightly worse, and slightly better than my level of play. My plan may work, but obviously not as quickly as skipping most of the game and simply solving tactical puzzles.

What I have learned to this point helped me become aware of stronger positional play, and still be quite ignorant of attacking play – or tactics. I have started practicing tactics. I can see already, I have some major gaps in my learning. I seem to be able to solve problems of a stronger recreational player level, but I do poorly on problems just above the beginner level.

This has taught me that walking fast does not help me to walk slow. On the bright side I find tactics a lot of fun. They are quick puzzles. Some are obvious, and many are not. Solving Tactical chess problems is almost like playing a game with a lot of action.