postheadericon The Scotch Gambit, And Why You Should Accept My Kindness

Aye lass, doont try'un deny me.

I simply do not know why people “decline” the Scotch Gambit (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 [something stupid that’s not exd4]). Is it because they know the Scotch is good? No, because if the Scotch is good down a pawn, it would be even better with that pawn. Is it because there’s a good way to decline the gambit? No. There’s only one other move that makes any sense, Nxd4 and it's not very good. (d6 is just a bad version of Philidor, and Nf6 leads to bad position).

What’s so menacing about taking a pawn? It’s not like, say, the Cottage Trap or Pratt Trap where taking the proffered pawn is clearly dubious. After 3... exd4, White’s biggest “threat” is to have a long term positional advantage, but if you feared that so much why'd you play 2... e5?

So what is it then? It seems like after I play 3. d4, my opponents assume I want them to take the pawn and that alone leads them to decline the gambit. If they thought about the position for a few minutes, they’d see that exd4 is clearly the best move. But no, instead of checking out a position, they simply avoid it using the “That’s what he wants me to do” reasoning. This is not the way to play chess.

To illustrate my point, I will post some of my games in which my opponents devise some whacky ways to decline the Scotch, and how they quickly get a bad position. The following game was against a 2200+(!) player, demonstrating how worthless the online ELO is.

postheadericon Bristols, And Why They're Sometimes Boards

Billboards that is. According to The Examiner, Russian adult actress Anna Morgan has signed a deal with a MMO gold-selling website to have its name and URL tattooed on her boob(s).

You could probably fit an almanac on those

The website, - which by the way sells WoW gold in exchange for real money - will pay Ms. Morgan $500,000 (real money, not WoW gold) for her (b)rea(st)l estate. Why? According to the website, porn is to internet gaming as "peanut butter [is to] jelly". The company hopes that while "solo questing on Mt. Wank", WoW users will notice their website, finish what they're doing (or not), log on, and buy some stuff.

Behaviourally this makes perfect sense. The pairing of a novel stimulus with a familiar stimulus (unconditioned or conditioned) allows for the established response to generalise to the novel stimulus. For most people watching pornography is or leads to a pleasurable experience, so associating one’s website with porn seems like a good move.

That said, this marketing ploy is doomed to fail. No, not because it degrades women, reducing their bodies to marketing space (although I’m sure that's a legitimate complaint). And no, not because it degrades MMORPG players, depicting them as sweaty nerds who are so socially isolated and sexually depraved they’ll buy anything you put on a boob (because they probably are, and no one cares about them). The reason why this will never be successful is because 98% of internet porn is so low resolution, I doubt anyone will be able to tell the difference between a website and an oblong mole.

postheadericon Internet Chess, And Why It Sucks

Internet chess is not fun.

"High level" play has me playing against the same three opponents: Shredder, Rybka, and Fritz.

Seriously though, I’m not saying that everyone who beats me is proging, but some things just give it away.

Playing the objectively best move every time.
You know who plays flawlessly? No one. If you’re that good, why are you playing me? There’s plenty of money and women to be had in the world of professional chess. Apparently ICC has a something that analyzes if your moves are too computer-y, but I’ll be damned if I pay for that shit.

Knowing the main line of every obscure opening.
One? Fine. Two? All right. Every single one? Come on. The worst is when they’ll go into a closed main variation when an open one would be perfectly acceptable.. and it’s a blitz game. And while you’re scratching your head they’re...

Continuously passing up obvious moves for ridiculous combinations.
I’m okay with tactical shots. What I’m not okay with is some guy passing up a perfectly fine move to find a 14 move combination that leaves me with half a pawn. In a blitz game.

Honestly though, what's the point? Computers can beat the strongest players in the world - beating me using a chess engine is like beating a blind person at Scrabble using a dictionary.

The only other option is to play bullet chess, but that’s as much fun as Simon but without the colours.