A snowy and cold night here in Belpre, OH and I've been thinking about what it takes to excel and gain that all-important edge in any endeavor. Recently Alexander Moiseyev of Dublin, OH competed and won the Gold in the first ever Mind Sports played in Beijing. Alex is our current Three-Move Restriction World Champion in 8×8 English-style Checkers. Players came and entered from all over the world and rounds were played all week. Players had to make and submit hand written notations of their games played after each completed round. Players of Alex's caliber use the vast literature on Checkers which goes back to the 1500s to locate obscure lines of play to introduce against unsuspecting opponents. Or the player will find an improvement to published lines and use that when the opportunity arises. This "springing" of improved play in a game is called a "cook" in the parlance of the game. Players today have programs with six or 10 piece databases that will analyze billions of possible combinations of moves. Recently Dr. Richard Beckwith (also on the USA Beijing team) came down from Cleveland for Thanksgiving at our home and spent the night. He pored over my Checker library during his visit. We played four games and we both wrote down our games. He is a top Master player and I know he will review our games when he gets back to his home. Top Master players look over and study all the past games played that they can amass in their own manuscripts.

A carryover to the market exists from Checkers in that the astute Market player keeps detailed notes of current and past performance of stocks in order to have well organized and easily accessible notes for research. Chair recently commented on DailySpec how the late Richard L. Fortman had a massive index file of games that he could easily refer to for game annotations. "Knowledge is Power" and the well-organized person in anything will over time develop and maintain that ever important 'edge'.


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