House of Staunton Collector Series Luxury Chess Set

I am an admitted gear-hound. I like stuff. While that in and of itself isn’t a problem, I suffer from a more sinister condition; I like nice stuff.

I blame my dad. I can remember him telling me that if I had narrowed my purchase down to a particular model, I should always buy the next better model. He advised that I would only feel the pain of the increased cost for a short while, but I’d enjoy the better item for years to come. Additionally, the better model often meant better quality as well, which would help to ensure an even longer lifespan for my purchase. Sage wisdom.

Today it seems that purchasing the “better” item rarely buys increased quality, but instead offers increased functionality. In the world of electronics, that can make sense. Electronics though, has become the epitome of mass production. Not only are hand-made electronics now the realm of boutique builders, those boutique builders are becoming more scarce every year. (more…)’s Travel Chess Set

I enjoy a good game of chess, but when I travel, I only play on the computer because most chess boards are too big to take with me when I travel. The problem with playing on the computer is that it’s just not the same as having a board with real pieces in front of you. Luckily, many companies make travel chess sets that cater to whiny traveling nerds like me. The problem is, they all suck. (more…)

My Other Daughter Beat Me at Chess

It’s official. Both of my daughters are chess prodigies. That is, of course, the only plausible explanation for the fact that they have now both beaten me.

It has been said that chess is life. I don’t know who said it, but I’m sure it’s been said. Heck, I just said it, so now it’s been said. Actually to be painfully accurate, it’s now been written, but rest assured, I said it just now for good measure.

If chess is life, and both of my pre-teen girls have beaten me at the game, then is it not therefore true that they have both beaten me at life? It sure feels that way.

Beating your dad at chess is supposed to be a big deal. You’re supposed to work for years before you finally rend that hard-won victory from the old man’s weathered hands. That’s the way it’s been since time immemorial, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be now. It’s not supposed to be like this! (more…)

My Daughter Beat Me at Chess

Be it known, that on this day, April 13th, 2010, my daughter, Colleen, age nine, beat me at chess.

I of course took it with all the grace and humility of a world-class diplomat. I accused her of hacking into the town computers in order to alter the softball schedules without updating the parents. In this way, Lauren would then have to call me repeatedly while attempting to drop Meghan off at practice, thus distracting me from our game. It was brilliant really, but her tremendous hacking and social engineering skills didn’t detract from the fact that she was a filthy cheater.

Yeah, she didn’t buy it either. She even refused my offer to issue a statement on national television refuting my earlier claim of foul play. That kid is a class act. (more…)