Sunday, January 30, 2005

Day 35 - A New Book

Today I did 18 problems in "The ChessCafe's Puzzle Book."

Lately I have been struck by how chess is really a game in which two players try to make the optimal move in a position. To do this, the players try to make straegies and plans, and gain advantages through tactics. This view of chess has helped me put my opponents' sub-optimal moves into perspective. I used to feel sort of cheap when I won because my opponent hadn't made the best moves. But now I realize that we were both doing our best, and that when I win, it is because I saw something my opponent didn't.

61 days left
2 hrs. completed, 36 total
1036 out of 1373, 337 left


At 4:28 AM, Blogger Don Q. said...


You're really cranking them out. Congrats on making it over 1000 problems. That's a lot of chess.

I've been meaning to ask you for about 35 days now, what's the meaning of the name Generlkaia? I assumed it was concatenating of General Kaia.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger generalkaia said...

Hi Don

The handle Generalkaia comes from my dog's name: kaia. I felt that it was a good generic title for online purposes (I use generalkaia at every site that I visit or use!). That's where it comes from :-).


At 5:52 PM, Blogger generalkaia said...

Hello all

I just got an email from a guy from chessville. Please let me know if it is okay with you that he writes an article about us. It would be great if you could let me know asap.


this is what I wrote back to him. Let me know if I made any errors or if you would like me to add something.


The De la Mazan Bloggers at this point are: Sancho Pawnza, Man De la Maza, Pale Morning Dun, Generalkaia (myself), PawnSensei, and J'adoube.

I'm glad too hear that you are interested in an article. I think that it would be interesting and beneficial to other players. I personally give you full permission to write that article (you might have to email or send messages via the comment link at the end of each blog to the others).

I wanted to let you know that I am not the originator of the De la Mazan bloggers (aka Errant Knights). I would suggest that you contact Sancho Pawnza and Man de la Maza for more information if I do not give you enough here.

The Errant Knights live in many parts of the country. I live in California, PawnSensei lives in Hawaii, and Massachusetts. The ages of all of the Knights vary also. I am only 15, while the others are in their 20's through 50's.

The purpose of writing a chess blog is to keep yourself working. I find that if I have a record of the progress I have made and what I have done, I am encouraged to continue working. Additionally, the network of support that the Errant Knights provide is very helpful. It is extremely helpful to know that the other Knights struggled at the same time that you do. We also have running discussions as to how to fix or adjust Michael De la Maza'a improvement plan. I think that we all have changed the way that we study the game, but we all have the same base of studying many chess problems each day. If you would like to see the changes that the Errant Knights have made, I suggest that you browse through each Knight's archives and recent posts to see the modifications. In your article, it might be helpful to suggest this to the readers as well. Also, I find that many of the Knights have developed a good set of chess links that they enjoy and use.

I personally was inspired to begin the Maza and blogging proccesses when I came back to chess after about a 3-month break (not too long, but enough to refresh me!). I had read the 2 De la Maza "400 Points in 400 Days" again and happened upon a forum at Gameknot which suggested visiting the sites of 4 bloggers who were involved in the process. I was inspired when I saw each of the sites (especially Sancho's and Man De la Maza's). I decided to start my own blog with Google's free Blogger website. Soon after I arrived, PawnSensei and J'adoube also joined our blogging community.

Just FYI, I have noticed some serious improvement in my game. My rating has risen about 100 points and my knowledge of the game has increased immensely. I feel very proud of my achievement. I am currently vying to make the spot on my the school team headed for the California Scholastic Chess Championship. I am hoping for a better performance this year (I was 4-2-0 last year), and am enjoying beating many of my fellow chess-players at school quite handily.

I also wanted to suggest to all who wish to do the MDLM plan to remember to change it to fit their needs. I personally added problems to the 7-Circles. I would also suggest not to use exclusively mate problems or purely tactical problems. A mix of both is needed, in my humble opinion.

Also, another suggestion for your article is to provide a little bit of info about the MDLM plan itself. You may have already have been thinking of doing that, but if you weren't, I would highly recommend it. I would also provide links to the two online articles "400 Points in 400 Days", which are linked from my website.

Thanks for the offer to write an article, it is much appreciated by this Errant Knight!

Thank you,

P.S. I will try to talk with the other Knights and let you know if they give their permission. Thanks again!"

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Hey GK. . .bring 'em on- let's do the article. Let's spread the misery (just kidding). Seriously, let's do it. It will be our 15 minutes of fame and then we can be the subject of jeering bloggers and flamers across the web. . .[grin]

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Sancho Pawnza said...

Fine with me too!

At 1:26 AM, Blogger Pawn Sensei said...

Hey Generalkaia,

When you respond to your contact please let him know that I love their site and the changes that I made to my study program were inspired by articles on their site by Tom Rose and S. Evan Kreider. Especially Tom Rose who is trying to prove that age should not hold anyone back from trying to reach their full potential.

I had (and still do) many doubts about pouring in many hours into study when everyone says to become a great chess player you need to start in your teens. Tom is trying to disprove that, and I for one am cheering him on!


At 4:31 AM, Blogger Don Q. said...

It is fine with me if he wants to do an article. In fact, I encourage it. If I wanted to be private about this, I wouldn't have taken the trouble of keeping a diary that is accessible to the world! (Imagine the same is true of the other knights). Also, no one put a gun to Michael de La Maza 's head to write the "400 Points in 400 days" article. As a beneficiary of his knowledge, I feel the least I can do to repay him is to share my experience wiht as many people as possible.

At 7:34 AM, Blogger generalkaia said...

Hey guys

I am now just waiting for Pale Morning Dun. Just fyi to you all, my real name is Calvin. (The chessville writer thought that it was Greg, which is my dad's name.) I am personally excited to hear that we will be included in an article. Adios!


At 9:45 AM, Blogger Pale Morning Dun - Errant Knight de la Maza said...

That is perfectly fine with me also. I am slightly concerned this might use up a substantial portion of my 15 minutes of fame though. I'll have this article, my blog, and my obituary as my stake on immortality. Not looking good.

At 4:25 PM, Blogger generalkaia said...

hello again-

I emailed Jens again. Here is what I wrote:

"Hi Jens-

I just wanted to give you a little more info about the Errant Knights (a title I have no problem with btw).

We have meetings at chess rooms in which we discuss problems with the De la Maza plan and to talk about other chess-related items. I also sometimes organize a game between myself and PawnSensei.

I think that is about all that you need to know about us, from my point of view.

Thanks for everything,


At 12:57 AM, Blogger Pawn Sensei said...

Hey Generalkaia,

Not to split hairs or anything, but technically it's Knights Errant, or knights-errant. It's taken from Don Quixote. The man of La Mancha. Here are two quotes:

"A man who could look back upon an ancestry of genuine knights-errant extending from well-nigh the time of Pelayo to the siege of Granada was likely to have a strong feeling on the subject of the sham chivalry of the romances."

"....or with eyes brimming over with merriment gazing at one of those preposterous portraits of a knight-errant in outrageous panoply and plumes with which the publishers of chivalry romances loved to embellish the title-pages of their folios."

Anyway, not that it matters. Just thought you'd like to know where we got our title from. Have a good one!


At 4:25 PM, Blogger generalkaia said...

Thanks for the info PS, it's good to know!



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