Monday, August 27, 2007

Rook's Rudimentary Resources -

Josh Specht called my attention to his excellent ChessVideos.TV site back in February of this year (at that time it was called What is ChessVideos.TV, you ask? Josh explains:

ChessVideos.TV is a community driven site where anybody can record and upload and videos of themselves playing chess or analyzing games. Of course, our resident chess expert, Josh Specht is always there to provide his expert analysis whether in the forum or through his videos.

Did I mention everything on the site is FREE! All you need to do is register for access to the discussion forums and from there you can view the entire collection of videos - which are organized into the following categories:

  • Beginner's Videos

  • Int/Advanced Videos

  • Game Analysis Videos

  • Endgame Lesson Videos

  • Chess Puzzle Videos
In the realms of education (I'm a former teacher) we had the saying "Tell me I forget, show me I remember, involve me I understand." Well, the "show me" part is definitely here, but what's even better is the "involve me" part is also present thanks to this neat little twist:

Our secret is to embed the videos directly in the forum, so you can conveniently view and discuss the videos at the same time!

There is a lot of interesting stuff here. Of course, the quality of the material varies quite a bit (both the presentation and the information) but this is to be expected given the "community' nature of the site. Even so, you are bound to find some items that will not only entertain you, but educate you at the same time. With the recently added live "chat room" and the ability to search for a particular video the site keeps getting better.

In addition to the videos, you'll also find a "puzzle of the day" and a set of very useful chess blogging tools:

  • Puzzle of the Day - An interactive chess puzzle (you can make the moves right on the board). Currently, there are over 100 "Past Puzzles of the Day" you can also try.

  • Diagram Generator - Simply set up the pieces on the board (or generate them from FEN) to create a Chess Diagram which you can add to your blog (the resulting chess diagram is hosted on the server and you then link to it).

  • Game Replayer - Paste your PGN chess game into the text box and your are given a link to play back your game using their replayer, or you can post the game in their forums, or you can grab some code to display the game on your blog or website (Like the diagrams, the games are hosted on their servers permanently - the won't be deleted unless you ask.)

  • Puzzle Creator - Uses a wizard to set up and generate a chess puzzle - complete with hints. You can replay the puzzle from their link or grab the code to use in your blog or website.

  • Qoute of the Day - "Every day we will pick a new chess quote, which you can insert right into your web page or blog. Inserting it is simple and every day it will update automatically with a fresh quote!" Cool - I'm using it now - look in the upper left of this blog page.
Overall, because of the usefullness of this site and that fact that it is free, I would rate ChessVideos.TV a definite 4-out-of-4 stars!

Look for the next installment of the series Rook's Rudimentary Resources each Monday.

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