Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

Chess and Baseball have one thing in common. Numbers and statistics are a large part of both pastimes. In past posts, we have talked about the value of diligent study. After you have studied numerous books and have developed a style of your own, you will find that there are still players who consistently beat you despite your best efforts.

The US Chess Federation has added new functionality to the Players and Rating section to help you chart your progress. The ratings history graph has been part of the site for a long time, but provides a quick overview of how your rating has evolved over time. This can be useful to see if you have reached a plateau or if you are steadily improving. If you are involved in an event where you know who your opponents are, you can check their history to see if they are on the rise or at their rating floor. Remember a rating only represents a point in time, it doesn’t show how people have performed over the past few months. The graphing feature will answer this question very quickly.

The new addition to the Rating section is the link to “Show Game Statistics”. The data provided can be very useful in evaluating your performance across a number of dimensions. Information is broken out for your entire career as well as for the past 12 months. Performance is mapped out across rating levels as well. This allows you to see if you consistently beat lower rated players or if you are more of a “slugger” who has built their rating by knocking off unsuspecting higher-rated players.

Best of all, you can click a few buttons and see you actual record against the top 30 people you play against most often. This will let you confirm who your biggest nemesis (or nemeses) are! Once you know that, it’s time to check your notes, find some tendencies, and hit the books again! Or save up and invest in the newest copy of Fritz!


So, I had this idea for a new article.  Why not search the web and find various sites that sell t-shirts related to chess?  Even though it’s a niche product, there must be hundreds of websites with cool t-shirts, right?

Well in the end, after a bit of surfing the web, I did find a few sites.  But the truth is, there were only two websites which had merchandise that was worth mentioning, and only one of them had the variety and odd sense of humor that I found appealing.  So, without further ado, here are the two sites in question:

Endgame Clothing (

This site has shirts for men and women and also has an accompanying blog.  Shirts cost $22 each.  The blue “horsey” design is the tamest of the bunch.  Most of the others have either a “goth” look or a kind of “biker chess” feel to them.  The designer’s heart is in the right place, but to me, “tough guy” and “chess player” don’t really go together.  That doesn’t mean I’m right or wrong, it’s just not my style. 

Endgame-plainchessshirt - endgame2











Cafe Press (

This site offers a variety of merchandise from a ridiculous number of vendors.  Their website claims they have 6.5 million members who create, sell and buy T-shirts and other products.  They say they’ve been around since 1999 and are based in San Mateo, California.

Most of the shirts on this site also sell for $22 (seems to be the going rate), however what struck me was the sheer variety of content.  There are thousands of designs to choose from and the best part is, many of them are funny, others are minimalist ideas that will appeal to fellow chess players, and some make chess seem (dare I say it) … cool.

So if you see me at the club in a few weeks and wonder where I got that t-shirt, it was probably from Cafe Press …

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