28 oktober 2008

NIC 2008-2009, Round 1

NIC is short for National Interclub Competition. It's an eleven round team competition between the clubs of the royal belgium chess federation, the national organisation of chess in Belgium. This competition has 5 divisions. One starts in division 5 (teams of four players), the highest division is the first (teams of eight players).

Two years ago my club's first team won it's serie in fourth division (teams of four players). I contributed with a 8.0/11 score on board three. That means that last year we played for the first time in clubhistory in third division. We didn't do badly with a 4th place at the end of the competition 2007-2008 out of the twelve teams in our serie.

Our goal for this years NIC 2008-2009 is not to end on one of the two spots that will give us a ticket back to fourth division. This because our first board of last year, a 2300+ player, will only play a few rounds this year. This fact makes that our team is one of the teams with the lowest average rating in our third division serie.

The first round was played on oktober fifth. I played on board six and had the burden to win my game against Philipsen Mathias, rated 1666, since i sport a rating of 1916 elo. It didn't help me that i had to play black. It didn't help that my teammates on board four and five lost so that Geel 1, the team that we played, had a two points lead halfway the round. So extra stress was added to my restless mind.

NIC 2008-2009, ROUND 1.pgn

Thanks to my victory and a beautiful game out of one piece by our first board player (2048 elo) against a 2100+ player and two draws on board two and three we managed to play 3.0-3.0 against the lowest rated team in our serie. Not a good start but the spirit in the team is still good since we didn't lose and the competition is only started. Still ten rounds to play, so the worries and nail-biting can be postponed for a later round.

A narrative: Opponent knows all

With a disgusted gesture of my hand i pushed over my king. With a hard 'clak' sound wood touches wood. People from the other side of the room are looking up to see what is happening. This was the last chess game i played against myself. It's to hard. My opponent knows all my plans and thoughts.

BDK's Blog cred advise

I am still a newbie in blogging, especially about chess. So i was pleasantly surprised to find the entry "getting-people-to-read-your-blog" in the archives of the superb blog of Blue Devil Knight. With that entry he launched a new fashion two word namely blog cred. The funny thing is that after a few hours BDK was already tired of his own created fashion two word: "I'm already starting to get sick of the term 'blog cred.' And I was so excited about it at first".
In this entry our beloved and highly appreciated chess blogger BDK gives 8 points to get people to your blog. I will list them all and will comment those that i want more explanation on, want to know your thoughts. So lets get started.

"1. Be patient. It will take a few months, most likely, to get to levels of readership you want."

A blogger does it indeed to get comments on what he has written. Otherwise he could just keep a paper journal or diary. But i am not sure if its good to go for a big pool of commentators. Afterall one wants insightfull and explanatory comments on how other people see what you have written down. So for a specialized blog, for example about chess, many commentators i dont find usefull, 15 to 20 people, with the same intrests as you, who write down their thoughts on what you have written down is more then enough in my eyes.

"2. Post frequently. At least once a week. Of course, if you have nothing to say, don't publish scat (see #3)."

I agree that one must post frequently will one be able to have a blog where people return to after the first few visits. Afterall, a blog that isn't updated at a regular interval will lose visitors and eventually will be described/declared death.

"3.Provide consistently good content. It will get you noticed. In an ideal world, this would be number 1. "

I wonder what 'good content' is. Afterall what one finds good another one finds complete garbage. So could somebody give me the definition of what good content is, especially chesswise.

"4. Let people know about you, but not with the pathetic 'Hey check out my new blog; hey why didn't you cross link to me?' Rather, post helpful comments at well-established blogs, comments that make people want to find out who you are."

True, if you are invisible people will not come look for you. You have to knock on the door and hope they let you in.

"5. Do something original that involves other people. Review other blogs. Post about other blogs. The first-and-only axiom of blogger-psychology is bloggers are pathologically narcissistic."

"6. Respond promptly to comments. When someone posts a comment on your blog, especially a substantive comment that obviously took some time to write, respond quickly. Don't wait two days, as it will be taken as a snub."

I agree but then there are people like me who dont have internet in the weekend so if somebody comments they will have to wait a few days to get a response and that has nothing to do with the owner of the blog being snub. But all by all one must respond as quickly as possible so that the commentator knows his effort of leaving a comment was appreciated by the blog owner.

"7. Don't have intrusive ads. Nobody is reading your blog anyway. Consider putting in ads once you get more than 500 readers a day."

To many clicks of the mouse to get to the real stuff makes most people click on the red x in the right hand corner real quick. Adds, using to much color and other fancy things that makes the blog hard to load and let the reader have to organize a search to the content that matters makes visitors put a cross over your blog and they will not visit again. The content, for which the reader visited the blog in the first place, must be easy accessable.

"8. Submit your best material to carnivals. If the entries are good, the well-established bloggers will see this, and bring you into the loop, where we want you anyway. "

I know of the carnival of Rio in Brazil but a blog carnival? What is that? A blog in Halloween style?
That's it. I hope i will get some excitment comments that will let me learn much more about this thing that we call blogging. See you all after the weekend which for me is OTB chess time!