January 24th, 2005

abstract butterfly

small nibbles

Saturday I mailed off the copy of my CD that I sold on eBay. Today I'm waiting for buyers to paypal their payments, so that I can mail them their chess books. I like doing these auctions in small nibbles, so that they are not a burden. Yesterday I read some once again portions of Kasparov's book about Petrosian and Spassky. Petrosian, perhaps the subtlest of the modern chess grandmasters, always intrigues me.

I am also interested in the idea of chess style and personality. I think of the Swedish grandmaster Ulf Andersson. He plays in an extremely quiet, safe style. At one time, he was virtually unbeatable, but he also would rarely win. He played into drawish positions, from which he hoped his superior endgame skill would create winning chances. Usually they ended in long, drawn-out but ultimately pacific draws. Is Mr. Andersson risk-averse in the other aspects of his life? Is chess instead a litmus for a way of being entirely different than the way in which he imagines himself? It's like that old literary conundrum--does the life matter at all when assessing the work?

I'm reading a poet who writes villanelles and thinking about going to work to write legal materials. I am ready for warm days and more time in the outdoors.