10/29/2010

WHAT DOES CHESS DO FOR YOUR MIND?

BY MAURICE ASHLEY, CHESS GRANDMASTER




Question: What does chess do for your mind?

Maurice Ashley: Chess is intellectual karate. It’s a discipline that you practice and you can’t help but develop your mental powers. If you’re practicing martial arts or basketball or soccer your body is going to develop. Chess is the same way. You’re mind…but in having your mind develop that way, so the focus, the concentration, problem solving, goal setting, all these things are things you have to do at the chess board. You have to practice and it just hones those qualities. Also there is that self esteem. There is nothing like saying checkmate. I mean that is a magical sound wherever you are. Boom, mate fool, you know that is just a good feeling and when kids do that they feel empowered. It’s like let’s play again. I love that. I want to do that again and once you get hooked and you start to see yourself getting better. I remember coaching kids and a kid would take a checkmate that I showed him or a tactical idea, a double attack, especially those because it’s so frequent where you attack two pieces at the same time and you go and you play a game and suddenly you do it and bam, you’re hitting two pieces and only one can move and so you’re going to get the other one and they come back and their eyes are lit up, like wow, I just used what you showed me and won the game, show me something else and that is irreplaceable. I mean that is what you want for kids for them to be excited about learning and chess does that constantly. It’s I love the main point of chess that it’s applied knowledge. It’s not just you’re learning something and maybe sometime 10 years from now it’s going to be good for your character and you better learn these declensions in Latin. You know it’s chess. It’s like I get it and then I use it and that is very powerful about the game.

Question: How do you keep your cool at the chessboard when you’ve blundered away an advantage?

Maurice Ashley: I don’t know. No, I’m kidding. Yeah, you do beat yourself up pretty bad. There are a lot of mood swings in chess. It’s very difficult. It’s that anguish. You’ve as you said massaged. You’ve probed. You’ve calculated. You’ve sweated all this time trying to figure out what to do to beat this guy and then boom, one move you blow it and now you’re realizing that you are no longer hunting, but you are the hunted. That is a strange place for a chess player, but thankfully it happens so often. It happens often enough in a game that you learn how to deal with it. You realize it’s part of the game. It’s just momentum swings happen. It’s not science. It’s two human sitting across in battle and whenever you have that you’re going to have imperfection, so there is a lot post game analysis in chess. One of the great things about chess is you can look at your game afterward, but you can also look at yourself afterward and you can say, “Well how did I react?” “What did I do?” “How do I do it different next time?” It’s not about playing perfect moves because it’s never going to happen. It’s about training yourself and that is part of the discipline that I talked about with chess. You get that. You just get that discipline. You just learn that from experience, the school of hard knocks. There is no other way. It’s just you do it. You fail. Get up. Do it again, but make sure you learn from that failure so that you can be ready the next time.

Question: How have computers changed the way top chess players prepare for tournaments?

Maurice Ashley: Well when I was growing up you wanted to get… and you wanted to get the latest games you had to wait three months for a magazine, Chess Life Magazine or any. If you could somehow smuggle Shakhmatny Bulletin out of Russia or something you had to wait to see the great games getting played and that is important because it’s knowledge. It’s ideas you can use, so that is something that you just had… there was no choice. Now if one of the top players, if it’s Anand, if it’s Magnus Carlson plays a great game I’ll know in five minutes. I mean I come home. I just download it. Bam, there is the game. I can look at it, so the proliferation of knowledge based on the internet probably even more important than computers themselves. I mean computers, but the ability to go and get those games, get that knowledge, feed your mind that has transformed the sport of chess dramatically and on top of that the databases that you can study where all these games are collected, put in one database and you can sort and search based on opening lines, based on piece configuration. You can do any… with a player you’re playing against, what they like to do with black, what they like to do with white. You know you get an immediate psychological profile of some of the best players in the world just at a click of a mouse, so computers have dramatically transformed the landscape. Just that… You can see it in kids now becoming grandmasters at 12 and 13. Kids just sit home and they just push buttons, feed me, feed me and the knowledge just goes right in. Well we had to read books and do that slow turning on the pages and painfully digest the knowledge. They just get it in streaming color right into their eyeballs at a computer screen and that has totally changed the sport and if you don’t study using a computer you might as well be a dinosaur.

10/12/2010

LEARNING FROM FAILURE - WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM A BAD BOSS

Robert Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, where he specializes in organizational behavior. His research includes the links between managerial knowledge and organizational action, organizational creativity and innovation, organizational performance, and evidence-based management. Sutton has written five books including New York Times bestseller "The No A**hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't," which won the Quill Award for the best business book of 2007. His most recent book is "Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst."





Robert Sutton: It’s been astounding, especially my last book before "Good Boss, Bad Boss" was "The 'No Asshole' Rule," so I have received literally thousands of asshole stories. And there is a certain genre, which I just love, which is that "I learned from my boss how not to act the rest of my life." And I’m telling stories about medicine, but my favorite one, one of my favorite ones I got and this is in actually the new paperback edition is a surgeon wrote me—now he is an attending, so he is a senior... he is like the boss of the surgeon basically for his area, practice area—and he wrote me how when he was in medical school every Friday afternoon him and the other surgical residents they would get together and they had this book which apparently had gone back for many generations, which was the asshole of the week, the biggest asshole attending of the week and they would keep track of it. And apparently at least according to the email I got from this guy this book still exists and the doctors in this hospital, the residents are still doing this, but the key part about learning from a bad boss in this case is they all have vowed not to treat the people who work for them, the residents like dirt and they keep sort of track and monitor each other to make sure it didn’t happen, so I like that case because it appears to be a case of people who sort of learn how not to do stuff and I think that there is other cases of famous bosses who will sort of describe that they’ve sort of patterned their management style after how not to do things.

Recorded September 13, 2010

Interviewed by John Cookson

10/11/2010

Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile

In 1987, at the age of 26 and seeking a little "joy of life," Chip Conley founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality by transforming a small motel in San Francisco’s seedy Tenderloin district into the now-legendary Phoenix. Today, Joie de Vivre operates nearly 40 unique hotels across California, each built on an innovative design formula that inspires guests to experience an "identity refreshment" during their visits.
During the dotcom bust in 2001, Conley found himself in the self-help section of the bookstore, where he became reacquainted with one of the most famous theories of human behavior -- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which separates human desires into five ascending levels, from base needs such as eating to the highest goal of self-actualization, characterized by the full realization and achievement of one’s potential. Influenced by Maslow's pyramid, Conley revamped his business model to focus on the intangible, higher needs of his company's three main constituencies -- employees, customers and investors. He credits this shift for helping Joie de Vivre triple its annual revenues between 2001 and 2008.
Conley has written three books, including his most recent, PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, and is at work on two new ones, Emotional Equations and PEAK Leadership. He consults widely on transformative enterprises, corporate social responsibility and creative business development. He traveled to Bhutan last year to study its Gross National Happiness index, the country's unique method of measuring success and its citizens' quality of life.

http://www.chipconley.com/#




10/10/2010

Charlie Simpson: Fundraising All-star

Charlie Simpson, a schoolboy from London, England, isn’t one to sit idly by. He’s changing the world, at the tender age of seven.

Charlie was understandably upset by the TV images of children being rescued from the rubble in Haiti. His mother, Leonora Simpson, said her son “burst into tears. Then we had a chat about the things he could do, and how he could go about it.”

What did Charlie do about it? He raised over £136,000 (about $233,650 Canadian) for UNICEF UK and the amount is still climbing. He did it by riding his bicycle five miles (8 km) around his local park. Charlie set out to raise £500, but thanks to the Internet, public generosity and his kind heart; he raised £50,000 in a single day and the money hasn’t stopped coming.

His mother can’t get over the response.

“We put it on the Web and that was it, it suddenly took off and we can’t believe it.”

Charlie’s efforts have attracted the attention of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Wyclef Jean and the world.

“Children in Haiti are by far the most vulnerable in a situation like this,” said Haiti Appeal director, Michael Newsome. He has been moved by Charlie’s efforts too, “It’s always heart-warming when any child starts to respond, and there’s something quite special about a child in the UK reaching out to the children of Haiti.”





His web site is: http://www.justgiving.com/CharlieSimpson-HAITI

10/09/2010

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

A voracious reader from age three, Adora Svitak's first serious foray into writing -- at age five -- was limited only by her handwriting and spelling. (Her astonishing verbal abilities already matched that of young adults over twice her age.) As her official bio says, her breakthrough would soon come "in the form of a used Dell laptop her mother bought her." At age seven, she typed out over 250,000 words -- poetry, short stories, observations about the world -- in a single year.
Svitak has since fashioned her beyond-her-years wordsmithing into an inspiring campaign for literacy -- speaking across the country to both adults and kids. She is author of Flying Fingers, a book on learning.



10/08/2010

AFGHAN ENERGY

Without a national power grid, some isolated communities in Afghanistan rely on wind and solar systems to generate affordable energy. (3:50)
Courtesy of: Assignment Earth

10/07/2010

SUN TZU

SUN TZU es el autor de El arte de la guerra, un influyente libro chino sobre estrategia y táctica militar. También suele ser considerado uno de los primeros realistas en ciencias políticas.




Se deduce que Sun Tzu nació hacia el 544 a.C. en el estado de Qi, uno de los Reinos Combatientes de la historiografía tradicional china. El relato dice que llevaba el nombre de Sun Wu y que su familia pertenecía a la clase de los shi, aristócratas que habían perdido sus tierras durante las luchas del Primaveras y Otoños. En esta época era común que muchos shi viajasen como estudiosos en los diferentes reinos de China, pero Sun Tzu prefirió desempeñarse como mercenario. Después de haber combatido en diversas regiones, el gobernante del estado de Wu; el rey Helu solicitó sus servicios como general en el año 512 a. C. Como resultado de su experiencia militar al servicio del monarca, Sun Tzu redactó "El arte de la Guerra"

10/01/2010

IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING - JONAH LOMU

Visa World Cup´s Most Impactful Player

Visa Rugby Legends choose Jonah Lomu as the player who had the greatest impact on the Rugby World Cup in its twenty year history.

video



www.jonahlomu.com