This is Harvey Blume, aka check_off.
Welcome to my blog.
I am a writer who has lately returned to an early love, chess. In addition to enjoying the game, I’ve come to believe that chess is a golden thread, a sort of Silk Road winding through history, logic, literature, technology and art. The thread seems endless, and the view along its route is always rewarding.
My first post was about chess and computers — or more precisely, the literature of chess and computers. I worry that the polemical passion that has marked even the technical literature of the game will dissipate now that computers are the final arbiter. In the old days, changes in chess style were often announced with a manifesto-like fury. What sort of chess manifesto does it make sense to write in the age of Deep Blue and its offspring?
The next post is about Chinatown, and Xiangqi, or Chinese chess. If you come to Chinese chess from western (properly known as international) chess, Xiangqi can seem like a rich and strange — not to mention confusing — cousin of the game you know. But it happens to be by far the most widely played variant of chess on earth. That’s not just because there happen to be lots of Chinese people but more because lots of Chinese people — and other Asians, including Vietnamese — play Xiangqi.
Some of my other writings about chess, including an interview I did with Garry Kasparov, can be found at: