Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ancient Chess - The Website

Hola darlings!

Well, I'm very disappointed this evening. I had $20 worth of "Kohls Cash" which I thought expired tomorrow, plus a $10 Kohls gift card sent to me in the mail (for being a valued customer? Yeah, right...) which became effective today. So, I determined to trek down to Southridge Mall after work tonight and shop for a new pair of shoes for the upcoming New York trip.

Arggghhhh! As the bus headed southwest from downtown, I thought "you'd better check the dates on your Kohls cash again, just to be sure. Well, I'm glad I checked because it sure would have been embarrassing to arrive at the checkout counter only to discover that my Kohls cash expired YESTERDAY. Damn! A free $20 down the drain.

I weighed my options - continue my journey, now armed only with $10 of free money, and pay the rest in cash (I'm off credit cards these days), or forget about it and save my hard-earned cash. I decided to save my hard-earned cash. Using $30 of free money toward the purchase of new shoes on sale is one thing; using $10 of free money is another thing.

But - no new shoes. Boo hoo hoo!

Anyway, earlier this evening I was paging through the April, 2009 edition of Chess Life magazine. I didn't find the contents particularly interesting this month, but perhaps you all thought otherwise. I did think that the three/quarter back cover ad - in beautiful color - for the International Chess Festival in Last Vegas, which also includes the Susan Polgar World Open Chess Championship for Girls and Boys and several other tournaments and special events was absolutely gorgeous! The hotel choice - off-strip. Not cool. I wonder what was the thinking of the organizers was behind that decision?

On page 70 are the Classifieds - two pages from the end of the magazine. I usually do not look at the classifieds. I do not have any idea why I decided to look at them today, but it was interesting! Who, for instance, is the "*Legendary Chess Instructor*" whose website address is printed so tiny I cannot read it even with my magnifying glasses on? And what do those asterisks before and after mean? Are they simply meant to be marks of emphasis? Or are they meant to designate some particularly large footnoted joke?

Then there was an ad for "Chess-Player Scholars" - offering university scholarships to certain qualifying chessplaying high school students. The university is the University of Maryland, Baltimore County - famous for its championship-calibre chess teams.

Then there was an ad for Ancient I said to myself, "Self, you must check this out," because anything with ancient and chess connected together are like an interesting scent to a bloodhound. Okay, not a particularly attractive analogy but heck, it fits. LOL! So, I visited the website. It's primarily a vehicle for selling chess sets on ebay, but I do have to say that I thought the section on "Chess History" was well done. I particularly enjoyed the detail the writer went into about some of the moves of particular pieces in chess as it was/is played in various countries around the world, including China, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Korea, etc. It was informative and entertaining without overwhelming one with too many technical details. Good job!

As for the merchandise - well, I'm not in the market and, not being a collector of sets, I only took a quick look at the offerings under a few categories. There are a few sets that are the several hundred dollar range, but also many sets that are more within the price range in which I would consider making a purchase.

In sum, I think the website is well put-together and worth a visit.

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