Understanding Common LISP

LISP is the perfect programming language. It is so perfect, it is shit. Well, okay it is not shit, it’s awesome, but when you first try to learn it, it is completely shit. It is the most obscure, abstract, whacked out language ever thought up. But it’s perfect. It is so elegant, and so simple, that  you just can’t believe it works that way. What makes LISP difficult to learn is that you spend half your time unlearning deeply ingrained prejudices about how things can or should be done. Getting over this initial hump is the hardest thing about learning LISP. Oh, and the documentation can sometimes really suck. If LISP had PHP style documentation, it would totally rule. It would rule everything.


Getting Started with SBCL and Quick Lisp

First run apt-get install curl sbcl Second run curl -O http://beta.quicklisp.org/quicklisp.lisp Third run sbcl –load quicklisp.lisp Fourth Inside the REPL run (quicklisp-quickstart:install) Fifth Inside the REPL run (ql:add-to-init-file) And you are good to go! I would suggest running (ql:quickload “cl-ppcre”) to get easy PC RegEx in your environment, as a programmer, PCRE is a must, and basic language requirement for just general purpose programming.      


The Black Grimoire – Chapter 02 – Remember, remember

What is necessary to learn chess, and to become good at it, is to take on a kind of chess apprenticeship. Of course finding a chess coach is one way to do this, however; the problem with a chess coach is that he monetarily benefits the slower you learn. In the old days of an apprenticeship, the faster you mastered your trade, the more valuable you were to the master. This system[apprenticeships] arose as a solution to a problem: As business expanded in the Middle Ages, Masters of various crafts could no longer depend on family members to work in the shop. They needed more hands. But it was not worth it for them to bring in people who could come and go – they needed stability and time to build up skills in their workers. And so they developed the apprenticeship system, in which young people from approximately the ages of twelve to seventeen would enter work in a shop, signing a contract that would commit them for the term of seven years. At the end of this term, apprentices would have to pass a master test, or produce a master work, to prove their level of skill. Once passed, they were now elevated to the rank of journeymen and could travel wherever there was work, practicing the craft. Because few books or drawings existed at the time, apprentices would learn the trade by watching Masters and imitating them as closely as possible. They learned through endless repetition and hands-on work, with very little […]


The Black Grimoire – Chapter 01 – Chess, the absurd game

Chess is absurd. Philosophically it is the ultimate proof that strategic thinking is inherently, and morally flawed. Whatever you have been told about chess, you need to forget it very quickly because it is wrong. Most people think that the point of chess is to checkmate the opponent’s King, this is completely naive. The point of chess is to acquire advantage, and then destroy everything except what you have. This advantage becomes smaller and smaller the better at chess you become, until at high levels, the mere possession of a well placed pawn decides victory. The point of the Opening in chess is to establish a basic position and snatch an advantage, however small. The point of the Middle Game is to perform a series of equal exchanges so that you maintain your advantage. The point of the End Game is finish destroying whatever your opponent has left, then marching your pawn to the other side of the board and converting it into a Queen. At which point check mate is an epiphenomenon. Very few chess games get to this point. Normally the opponent simply resigns once it becomes obvious he cannot win. The reality of chess is that check mate is a secondary consideration, it only occurs outside of the End Game when either party has made a serious error. The method of chess has very little to do with anything approaching strategy. Chess is, or at least has in the last 100 years become, the art of memorization. This doesn’t mean that there […]


The Black Grimoire – Chapter 00 – Introduction

This book is the chess book that I have always wanted. I have managed to collect together many chess books, all very good, but each has its flaws. I am not writing this book as a master attempting to explain good chess, but as a student who is learning. Here is where I will gather all the knowledge I have learned thus far, in the hopes that it will help others, as well as myself. Black is the most important side of the game, because its response to the opening move of white determines the game, the lines, and all the strategies to be employed. White is, in a sense privileged with the first move, but at a disadvantage if black is well prepared. A well prepared black player will also be a well prepared white player. It is for this reason that this entire book will be from the perspective of black, and that is why it is called The Black Grimoire. Style Guide There are many different ways to present and annotate a chess game, most of them are rather irritating. The first is the practice of using chess piece dingbats, which in this book will be conspicuously absent. I prefer the letter notation, it is clearer, and more in line with the internet and fonts. The next issue which I have, and perhaps I am alone in this, is that annotations usually serve to confuse and irritate you when trying to play through the game. Most annotations are completely useless, sycophantic, or […]

If the white Queen makes it to e8, it's all over.

Chess Traps

So the first trap we’ll be looking at, is the Lasker Trap which comes about from the Albin Counter Gambit Variation of the Queen’s Gambit. Lasker Trap – Queen’s Gambit Albin Counter Gambit


Learning Chess: Recent game with annotations.

Here is a game I played, and lost earlier today. This is the first game that I have gone through and really analyzed from start to finish. Should do this more often, it’s very instructive to see all your blunders, or sometimes good moves.


An intermediate introduction to chess

This article will assume that you understand the basic moves of each piece, that a pawn can move twice at the beginning, and only once afterward. That the pawn captures diagonal, or that the knight moves in an ‘L’ shape and so on. The most important shift in thinking about a piece is from how it moves, to how it attacks. In this sense, we think of a guard as any piece that is “attacking” one of it’s own pieces. Of course it’s not really attacking, but it is threatening an attack on any piece that attempts to take its compatriot. It is attacking an empty square in the sense that any piece that moves to that square will be attacked. Next to the Queen, the Knight attacks in the most directions, but it is shorter range than the Bishop. There are differing opinions about which piece is more valuable. The old belief is that the Bishop, which controls a diagonal is more valuable, however you can get stuck with a wrong squared bishop late in the game and his effectiveness becomes 0, whereas a Knight can attack the backrank of the opposing side within four moves. The Bishop is also powerful because novice players, including myself, have a tendency to think in obvious and straight lines of attack, therefore checkmates like this one are common. Here of course is another example using both the Bishop and the Knight. But notice that the Knight is the key piece that seals the deal. Personally I think […]

How the Knight Attacks

Print this out and fill in the squares. Permission granted to use for education.

Learning to play chess at chess.com

Latest Game(2015)   Well, due to reasons I can’t really fathom, a loss of heart maybe, I stopped playing chess for awhile, but am back at it. I am only winning about 51% of my games there, I sunk pretty low(down to 690) but have managed to climb back up to 717 in blitz. For standard chess, my rating is 1365, but I’ve only played one game, which I won. I have purchased two books on chess, Mikhail Tals biography, and Robert Fischer’s My 60 memorable games(the newest one with updated notation). I am also trying to use the analysis board more often, and going through some grandmaster games, specifically Fischer’s but also any games showing the KID, which is my chosen opening to practice. I have decent results(50-50) with KID. I am also working on some learning aids, and thought I would share them. Instead of a new post for each one, I’ll just add them here at the bottom as I come up with them. The first one is for learning the squares and the algebraic notation.