Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Pandolfini Effect

I'm not a very voracious reader (except when I'm traveling, I normally only read for an hour or so each day before I go to sleep), so on Wednesday when I finished reading two books on the same day I was left feeling particularly satisfied. It helped that one of these books, American Rust, which right up until the day before had seemed destined for a truly unhappy ending, actually ended on a quite optimistic note.

There's hope for my chess game, too. The other book I finished was Pandolfini's Ultimate Guide to Chess. Although as I mentioned the other day this book is easy to follow, I probably only took in something like half of what was written. Still, this was enough to help me beat the chess game on my iMac for the first time ever (although admittedly I had the difficulty level set lower than normal), and so when my brother challenged me to a game I accepted, thinking it would be a good opportunity to see how much progress I had really made.

Black to move...

Two days later this game is still in progress. I think we're either at the end of the middlegame or the beginning of the endgame. Despite my brother's rather flattering comments and the surprising result of the poll on his blog, I think the longer the game goes on the more of an advantage he, as the vastly more experienced player, has. There should be a result later today.

Also on Wednesday I received the copy of The Imperial Cruise which I'd ordered from The Book Depository. Not only did I get free shipping by getting it from The Book Depository instead of Amazon, but I also got the paperback version, which isn't officially out yet and didn't even appear on Amazon until very recently.

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