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JJHenderson
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Fri Jul 22, 2022 8:23 pm

Was introduced to this forum by John Isbell and Fliss and decided to check it out. I spent a good 8 years in my late-teens to mid-20s studying, writing, and reading poetry. Then life (and other discouragements) happened and I stopped writing, and have only recently returned after some dark times drove me back into the arms of my muse. I mostly play poker for a profession. Besides literature I'm also a passionate fan of music and film and occasional fan of video games. I have more than a passing interest in science, philosophy, theology, math, chess, audio, criticism (I wrote film criticism for years non-professionally); and am an inveterate collector of music albums, books, and games for which I'd probably need 10 lifetimes to experience. My scatter-brained interests usually find their way into my poetry, even when I try to keep them out.
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Leaf
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Fri Jul 22, 2022 11:25 pm

Howdy yourself!

It's an interesting intro, and I'm intrigued about the poker. I like the word 'scatter-brained' too. I look forward to reading more of your poetry here :)

Best wishes,
Fliss
Last edited by Leaf on Sat Jul 23, 2022 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Macavity
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Sat Jul 23, 2022 5:33 am

Welcome/Howdy JJ. A chess player! I'm currently addicted to one minute chess, though, on occasion it is more a game of anti-chess! :lol:

As regards, music you may be interested in this chain...

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16920&start=650

Good to have you here. Having read your first poem, I have a feeling your work will be interesting.

cheers

Phil
The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
JJHenderson
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Sat Jul 23, 2022 9:06 pm

Hi Fliss,

The poker is probably more interesting than I am! :D

Hi Phil,

I've never tried my hand at bullet and blitz chess. What I love about the game is really having the time to sit in a position and calculate through variations. It's why I love working through chess puzzles as much (probably even more) than I love playing competitive games. Plus, failing at a puzzle doesn't make me feel quite as much of an idiot as blunders do in competitive games. No game like chess to make you feel like a genius one minute and a moron the next!

Thanks for the link and I will probably be joining in that game.
Macavity
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Sun Jul 24, 2022 5:37 am

Plus, failing at a puzzle doesn't make me feel quite as much of an idiot as blunders do in competitive games. No game like chess to make you feel like a genius one minute and a moron the next!
:lol: Learning curve JJ :D I was hopeless when I played for a team, not being competitive, I tended to 'watch' the game I was playing...bore my opponents with the French Defence :D

I find I have winning and losing streaks in bullet so the ego investment is not there, but when being in the zone - seeing the picture with instinctive play - that's a great clarity!
The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
JJHenderson
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Sun Jul 24, 2022 10:05 pm

Macavity wrote:
Sun Jul 24, 2022 5:37 am
:lol: Learning curve JJ :D I was hopeless when I played for a team, not being competitive, I tended to 'watch' the game I was playing...bore my opponents with the French Defence :D

I find I have winning and losing streaks in bullet so the ego investment is not there, but when being in the zone - seeing the picture with instinctive play - that's a great clarity!
I still play the French (and Semi-Slav against d4, and, when I can, e4/Ruy with white) but I like the Winawer variation, so sharper than most lines. My big problem is that I hate studying anything in chess apart from positional/strategic play. Memorizing openings and endgames is like pulling teeth for me so at most I know a handful of short lines in a handful of openings and basic ideas behind a handful of endgames. As is I'll probably just chill around my 1600 ELO in games and 2700 (lol) rating in puzzles.

My whole thing with chess is simply that losing feels so more bad than winning feels good, especially when a loss comes from me blundering something bad; or a win comes from the opponent blundering something bad (that as opposed to me, say, taking advantage of smaller positional mistakes). I also just don't think my brain works well for bullet because I feel like most all of my brainpower got pushed towards what Daniel Kahneman called the "slow" (rational) part rather than the "fast" (intuitive/instinctual) part.
Macavity
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Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:54 am

A long time since I studied opening variations and my focus was on the French, and occasionally the Kings Indian. I liked the repetition and the subtle nuances. I had a book of Spassky games and it was fun to play through them. My grading was about 1400. I played in the Welsh Championship and was frequently trounced by wonder kids 🤣

I do feel the 'intuitive' keys into a repository, our subconscious, where lessons have been absorbed (consciously or otherwise). The athlete analogy of training to produce those moments of being in the zone. The subconscious holds far more than conscious thought. Same with writing poems😏

Cheers

Phil
The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
JJHenderson
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Mon Jul 25, 2022 9:48 pm

I had a bit of the opposite problem when I first got into chess as a young kid in that I couldn't find much equal local competition around my age, and only did when my mom took me up to play at the local community college's chess club. By the time I got the internet my interest was already waning, and I just recently got back into thanks to The Queen's Gambit.

Very true about the intuitive/unconsciousness, but I've spent years being very skeptical of anything my unconscious spews forth having studied even the little bit of cognitive science that I have. Doing that will drastically lower your esteem for human instincts/intuition! Still, it's necessary for many things in life, and masters of any discipline make great use of it.
Macavity
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Tue Jul 26, 2022 4:50 am

Interesting JJ. The use of 'spew' suggests 'nonsense', which I understand. What have you learnt from 'cognitive science' that has persuaded you to a skepticism of intuitive processes?
The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
JJHenderson
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Tue Jul 26, 2022 11:23 pm

I alluded to it earlier, but Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman was a big one. It's a summation of his Nobel-prize winning work in cognitive biases. There's also been my years spent reading through the website LessWrong, which was a site devoted to "the art of rationality." There's also been my own reading through stuff like the enormous Wiki page on cognitive biases. The subject interests me in part because it links up with my interest in philosophy in general and epistemology specifically, and it also dovetails nicely with my profession of poker where rational thinking is necessary to be a winning player. It's a game that harshly punishes (over time) deviations from rational, mathematical-based play.

Now, all of that is mostly only relevant to subjects in which objective facts matter, in which we're trying to get our "maps" (our minds/beliefs) to match the "territory" (objective reality). That's not entirely relevant to art like poetry, which is as much to do with how things feel to us rather than how things are. So I do think the unconscious can have a much more productive/useful role in the arts. One reason Wallace Stevens is one of my favorite poets is because he spent much of his life writing about this relationship between the imagination and reality, and what place could the former have in a reality that was coldly indifferent to our existence and feelings.
Macavity
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Wed Jul 27, 2022 4:45 am

Thanks for that JJ. A self-awareness of bias is sensible in decision making (and interesting). Obviously there is a time factor in game playing, but then that can be an excuse for lazy defaults (which an opponent can exploit). In Bullet chess I can play the irrational chaos move, but timing is key. I like to checkmate a player playing 'chaos' chess. Rational play feels superior 🤣
The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
JJHenderson
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Wed Jul 27, 2022 10:53 pm

One lesson I've taken from poker and applied to chess is that while there may be an optimal way to play that's (nearly) unexploitable, it's often best to deviate from that if you can either capitalize on your opponent's mistakes or put them in a position where it's difficult to make the right call/move. Of course, in both the danger is that it's possible they will respond optimally and exploit your failed attempt at exploitation. In chess it's often good to pose practical problems that have a narrow range of optimal responses that it will be difficult for your opponents to find, as it's their wrong responses that often swing games towards a win.
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