Online Chess With GameKnot

play chess onlineI recently started playing chess again, joining GameKnot after receiving an invitation from a co-worker. From GameKnot‘s site:

An online chess community where you can play chess even if you only have 10 minutes. You choose when to move and how often to move in your chess games.

They use the ELO rating system:

All players starts off with the same rating (1200), which gets adjusted based on your completed games and the ratings of your opponents. A special formula is used to quickly approximate your playing ability during the first 20 rated games, so even if you are much higher rated, it won’t take long to establish your real rating on GameKnot.

Things I like about Gameknot:

  • Their rating system.
  • They include functions to analyze the board while playing, allowing you to easily test future positions without picturing them in your head.
  • You can annoate moves and take notes about games, although I don’t see myself using that.
  • The interface is clean and intuitive.
  • The site is quick and responsive.

Things I don’t like:

  • They display ads, and when you disable them (via AdBlock Plus or similar tools), GameKnot will send you a message that your membership could be deleted if you continue to use ad blocking software. So I’ve learned to live with the ads, which I’ll never click.
  • Free membership is limited to 12 or so concurrent games.

I used to play chess a lot in Junior High school, where Paul Cooper and I led our team to provincial championships. I haven’t played seriously since then, although I’ve dabbled with it every couple of years using Chessmaster. Gameknot has piqued my interested in it again.

Sign up and challenge me (user name is “jcairns“) to a game!

For The Horde!

world of warcraft box coverI started playing World of Warcraft in October, 2006. I have friends who’ve been playing since the game was released in November, 2004. I played it for a couple hours last night after taking a three month break, and I didn’t find the playing experience as fun as I once did, which prompted me to create this post while I have that kinda objective opinion about it in my head.
Continue reading For The Horde!

Book Title Game

Here’s the CACSUBTFFDA game (i.e. Create A Coherent Sentence Using Book Titles From Five Different Authors):

Given five authors, you have to come up with a coherent sentence that uses one book title from each author. The rules:

  • Book titles must be in one sentence.
  • You can use as many other words as you need, but not within a book title.
  • The best entries are those make sense, and that use well-known titles rather than obscure titles.
  • Entries must be one sentence, although you may use punctuation where appropiate.

For the first (and probably only) round I’ll use easy authors:

  • Stephen King
  • John Steinbeck
  • Isaac Asimov
  • Charles Dickens
  • Margaret Atwood

Here’s an example answer:

It was East of Eden where I, Robot, had Great Expectations for finding The Blind Assassin.

(Thanks to J-Walk, where this idea was blatantly stolen and plagiarized from.)

The Biggest LEGO Set Ever

lego millennium falconUltimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon™:

This is it – the biggest, most spectacular LEGO® Star Wars model ever! At almost 3 feet (90cm) long, it’s the ultimate centerpiece to any Star Wars collection!

$680 Canadian at the LEGO website, but $1,074.95 at’s American site. Odd.

I hope it comes with a manual.

By the way, “LEGO” is from the Danish phrase “leg godt”, which means “play well”, according to Wikipedia.