Skip to content

Tournament: 2017 Utah Nifty Under Fifty

Last Saturday I attended my first tournament since my recent re-interest in chess: Utah Nifty Under Fifty in Salt Lake City as part of the Utah Senior Championship festivities. It was both a slap in the face and an incredibly fun, encouraging day.

My estimate of my strength back in high school is somewhere around 1200 USCF. Nothing amazing, by any means. After playing and studying quite a bit for the last 6 weeks or so, I was secretly hoping I might perform that well or even better at my first rated tournament, despite the decade+ since I’ve been remotely serious about chess. There was an Under-1400 section, so I signed up for that, optimistically thinking I might even be one of the stronger players in that group. Read more…

Minimum Wages and Lefty Science Denying

My default stance is to say only a small fraction of what I think when it comes to politics. There’s usually no way to come out ahead. But this is my blog, designed for me to write about what I want to write about. So eff it. Of course I’m really not altogether qualified to evaluate the research first-hand, but I’ve had enough economics training to talk out of my ass in a vaguely informed-sounding way. Read more…

Recursing History

It occurs to me, my newly rediscovered (and still going strong!) interest in chess is the latest in a string of returns to activities I’d let lapse in recent years. Musical theater, bodybuilding, using a handgun, riding a motorcycle, actually considering the remote possibility of not necessarily returning to New York to live (I mean, maybe), are all things that remind me of my life before moving away from Utah. Or at least they could have flowed directly from those days without much influence from my decade-plus away. Read more…

Dinner With Beatriz

What’s there to like?

To be honest, Dinner With Beatriz started a little slow for me. I wasn’t quite hooked in. Salma Hayek is more off-putting than appealing as a frumpy holistic healer. But then Jay Duplass and Chloe Sevigny (what a pair!) show up as a striving, hopeful, 1%-wannabe couple, and I knew I would enjoy this thing. Read more…

Nutritional Injustice!

As I read more and become more convinced of the insulin resistance model of why people get fat, I find myself becoming disappointed at what Gary Taubes (in Why We Get Fat) calls the injustice of it all: for those more predisposed to get fat by eating carbohydrates (like I am), there’s probably no way of completely getting over it. It’ll probably always be the case that carbs will make me quite fat. Read more…

Land Of Mine

What’s there to like?

I’ve been hoping to get to Land of Mine for a while now. It was nominated for the best foreign film academy award this year. I remember seeing previews for it at some point. (Must have been when I was still in New York?) But I’ve liked most of the several Danish movies I’ve seen, even though I’ve never seen any of the work of director Martin Zvandliet. So, put all that together, and I was happy to be able to see this one. Read more…

American Chess Players #gettingafterit

This probably isn’t news to anyone following chess in the last few years, but I’ve just come to realize that it’s a great time to be following the elite international chess circuit if you’re an American. There are three(!) Americans in the top ten rated grandmasters right now. I’m not enough of a chess historian to know whether that’s ever happened before, but I strongly suspect this is the first time. Read more…