Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How to Read the Chess Blog Posts

By Josh
You may be confused looking at my chess blog posts. You may wonder what 18. Nxf7!! means. In this blog post I'll be teaching you how to read my chess blog posts! First, I'll be breaking down 18. Nxf7!!.
This is the number of moves there have been (so this would be move #18 for white and black has moved 17 times)
N is for Knight, so this is a knight moving. If it was a Q, it would be a queen moving. If it was a B, it would be a bishop. If it was R, it would be a Rook moving. If it was a K, it would be a king. If it is any lowercase letter, it is a pawn
x simply means that a piece is being captured
f7 means that the knight landed on the square f7 if you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a picture an empty chess board with markings of squares.
image found here
In the beginning of the chess game, white's pieces are on the squares that have 1's and 2's on them and black's pieces are on the squares that have 7's and 8's. The f7 means that the knight is landing on the square that has f7 on it.
The !! means that this is an absolutely SPECTACULAR move! One ! would mean that the move is a great one. A ? would mean that the move is a mistake. A ?? would mean that the move is absolutely TERRIBLE.
What do 0-0 and 0-0-0 mean?
0-0 means that the move is a king side castle. 0-0-0 means that the move is a queen side castle.
I hope you enjoy my other chess blog posts (now that you can read them)!

Friday, May 26, 2017

How to Do Well at Chess Tactics

By Josh
To start I'm going to tell you the three types of puzzle

  • Checkmating
  • Material Winning
    • Avoiding Checkmate and/or Capture
    The biggest thing in tactics is deciding what type of puzzle it is.
    These are usually easy to find, but can be mistaken for material winning puzzles
    This is an example of a checkmating puzzle that can be mistaken for a material winning puzzle. That mistake would be 1.Qxd4?? which would lose your queen after 1... Ba5+! 2. Ke7, Qxd4. Instead, the correct move is 1. Qg3! which will checkmate the opponents king after 1... Ke2, Ba6+ 2. Nb5, Bxb5#. Mate.
    Material Winning
    These puzzles are about giving yourself an edge by stealing pieces.
    This is an easy tactic that probably won't give you many points. If you don't know what to do, the answer is 1. Ne3 which will take the queen in the next move.
    I couldn't find any easy ones, so I went with one that even after completing the moves it still makes 0 sense to me. You can ALWAYS tell when a puzzle is about defense.
    I have told you the biggest thing in chess tactics! Happy puzzling!

    Friday, May 19, 2017

    Potion Brewing in Minecraft

    By Jeremiah the 6th grader

    Potion brewing in minecraft is quite complicated, so I'm going to show you how to make a few easy to make potions.
    First of course you are going to need 1 blaze rod Image result for blaze minecraft
    And 3 cobble (cobblestone) to make a Brewing Stand, andImage result for brewing stand minecraft
     blaze powder
     Image result for blaze powder minecraft
    for the fuel. In order to make most potions you need to make an awkward potionImage result for awkward potion minecraft, and in order to do that you are going to need nether wart Image result for nether wart minecraftand water bottlesImage result for water bottles minecraft
    1.Potion of Swiftness. add sugarImage result for sugar minecraftImage result for swiftness potion minecraft
    2.Potion of Poison, add spider eye Image result for spider eye minecraftImage result for poison potion minecraft
    3.Potion of Invisibility, add Golden carrotImage result for golden carrot minecraft
    ➕ Fermented spider eye

    Image result for minecraft invisibility potion
    Image result for fermented spider eye=          
    I hope this was helpful to all of you minecrafters out there!

    Friday, May 12, 2017


    By Josh
    I almost never play chess in person because I have almost nobody to play it with. I have a few friends that play chess, but they're not always in the mood. I took up Chess.com mainly because I was starting to get to old for ChessKid, which is a part of Chess.com. I instantly noticed a change in the playing style. I also noticed there were a lot more things to do. The most popular timer on ChessKid was 15 minutes, where on Chess.com it is 3 minutes. There were analysers, which were completely alien to me. This is a very fun website, with over 17 million members on it! There is lots of stuff to do to help with your chess skills. The link for the website is here. If you want to you can also look at my profile, which is here, feel free.

    Friday, April 21, 2017

    How to Win Fast Chess Games

    By Josh
    This time I'm going to talk about games with 1-5 minute timers. I hope you'll find this helpful!

    Keep an eye on the clock at all times
    This is a simple rule that can be the difference between winning and losing. Try to keep your timer higher then your opponents. If you don't then you can have yourself trying to make up for that time with bad moves.
    navoj98 vs mathkid1
    13. a3, Nc6 14. Nd5,  Nxd5 15. Bxd5, Qxb2 16. Bxc6, bxc6

      17. Rb1?, Qd4? (Both of us completely missed 17... Qxb3) 18. Qd2, c4 19 c3?, Qxd3 
     20. Qxd3, cxd3 (I was very content having won another pawn until to my horror I realized, I only had 4.3 seconds left! I was very panicked which led to bad things.) 21.Rbd1, Rad8 22. c4, f6?? (There it is. I had given my opponent 23.Ne6! putting a fork between my two rooks AND losing a rook would mean I'd lost the pawn on d3, so white would be better off!)
     23. Rf2? (White wanted to win on time!) 23... Bf7 24. Nxf7, 1-0 (Out of time.)

    So, time can play a huge factor. A good thing to do is to:

    Use opening traps
    A personal favorite of mine is this:
    1. e4, e5 2. Nf3, Nc6 3. Bc4, Nf6 4. Ng5, h6? 5. Nxf7
    Creating a fork between the queen and the rook. This brings me to my final point:

    Never Resign
    This is a simple rule because of time. Their time can run out and you can still win.

    I hope you find this helpful!

    How to Play Chess

    By Josh

    Hello! If you are reading this, you have most likely have never played chess, and if you have then you have probably forgotten how to play chess. The game is simple. The game is played on a checkerboard. when set up properly, the board looks like this:
    Let me tell you the names of the pieces

    • Pawn
    • Bishop
    • Knight
    • Rook
    • Queen
    • King
    You go through the game taking turns, landing on your opponent's pieces to "capture" them (taking them off the board) and trying to "checkmate" the opponent's king (I will tell you about that later). You cannot land on your own pieces.
    I will now walk you through how to move them

    The pawn can only move forward one space at a time. If the pawn has not moved yet it can move 1 or 2 spaces. The only way the pawn can capture pieces is diagonal. The pawn cannot ever move backwards, even while capturing a piece. If the pawn reaches the last square on the other side (what I mean is that it can't move forward anymore) it will "promote" which means you take the pawn off the board and in it's place put down a different piece (it can't be a king).

    The bishop can only go diagonal as far as you want and in any direction you want (like, backwards, but it still has to be diagonal). It cannot go over pieces. It captures the same way it moves, diagonal and then stopping at the place that the captured piece was at.

    The knight is the weird piece. It only moves in an L-shape. 2 squares one way, and then 1 square left or right of that direction. This confuses some people, so I'll show you an example.
    The knight is going to move two spaces to the left (our first direction), and one space down (or, left of the first left). The knight is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. It only captures by landing on the piece. The knight can't stop in the middle of the L to capture a piece.

    The same movements as a bishop, but only vertically and horizontally.

    The queen is like a bishop and rook COMBINED! It can go diagonal or straight (it can't do both in the same move)! 

    The final piece, and the most important. It moves just like a queen, but only one square at a time. If the king is in check (it can be captured in the next move) then you must do one of 3 things,
    1. Capture the piece putting the king in danger
    2. Put a piece in between the attacker and your king
    3. Move the king away
    If you can't do any of them then you have been checkmated (you have lost)! So, protect your king at all costs! You cannot put your own king in danger.

    Piece Worth
    Before you win a pawn and lose your queen, take a look at this chart to see what piece exchanges are worth your while.

    Pawn is worth 1
    Bishop is worth 3
    Knight is worth 3
    Rook is worth 5
    Queen is worth 9
    King is worth infinity

    Sometimes, people will do "sacrifices" which lose pieces but give them something else in return.
    I hope you found this helpful and happy chess playing!

    Paper Airplanes

    By Jeremiah the 6th grader

    Paper airplanes are really fun once you get the hang of making them. Here are some simple instructions for 2 simple planes:

    1. Beginner's Plane
    Step 1. Take a blank piece of paper
    and fold it in half like so
    Step 2. Unfold
    (Make sure you can still see the first fold line)

    Step 3.
    Step 4. 
    Step 5. Refold center fold
    Step 6. Fold left wing
    (make sure folded wings are level with bottom of fuselage)
    Step 7. Fold right wing
    Step 8. Flatten out wings
    All are optional: add tape across center fold, and, or cut wind flaps on back of wings for tricks.

          2. Speedy Plane

    Repeat steps 1-4
    Step 1. Fold the left corner again like so
    Step 2. Fold the right corner again like so
    Repeat steps 5-8

    P.S. I will put more planes later

    Book Review on "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    By Josh

    At the beginning of the book, it was a bit dry for me. As I got farther through, I got more into it. I started reading bigger and bigger chunks of the book and before I knew it, the book was over! The book is about two kids that live in a small town during the Great Depression. Jean, the main character, is the younger of the two. A boy named Jem is her older brother. The are both children to Atticus Finch, who is a lawyer. During the summer, a boy named Dill comes and spends the summer with them before going away again. Their summers are mainly spent harassing Boo Radley, who spends all of his time indoors. It's a great book and worth reading all the way through even if it is dry reading for you. I can see why this book is known as a classic.

    Friday, April 14, 2017

    My History of Volunteering at the Food Pantry and Food Bank

    By Josh

    I started working at the food pantry when I was 8. Everybody there was at least 10 years older then I was. We were in Virginia at the time and I started volunteering at the food pantry at the Water's Edge Church. At the age of 9, I was put on the news because I was working at the food pantry at my age.
    The volunteers at the food pantry
     Not much long after, we moved to Washington State. I started working at the food bank there. Unfortunately, I stopped after 2-3 weeks of volunteering at the food bank in Washington. The reason why was because I couldn't go on my own at that age, so my brothers would have to come too and they were too young. But now, at the age of 13, I have started volunteering again. This time, Mom, Jeremiah, Nathaniel and I are all volunteering by driving around and picking up donations for the food bank on Thursdays. Most of the stops are at Starbucks. The only place that we visit that is not Starbucks is an Auntie Anne's that usually gives us 25 pounds worth of food. All 25 pounds of it goes into a red backpack.
    Us after two of the stops
    You'll notice that I am the one carrying the red backpack. We are still volunteering every Thursday.

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    LEGO Ideas

    By Josh
    This is an official LEGO website. What you basically do, is you build something, take a few pictures, and submit it. If it reaches 10,000 supporters, then it goes into LEGO review, where it will be reviewed by the people at LEGO to see if it will work as an official LEGO set. If it becomes a LEGO set, you will get 10 complimentary copies of the set and 1% of the net sales from the set (which is a lot, given how many people buy LEGO sets). You need to be 13 or older to join LEGO Ideas, but there is no fee to join. I think that this is a very cool website. Here is a picture of one I've submitted:
    You can add almost anything! What I mean is if say, you want to do one for a new movie, they will need to make sure that they are licensed to use it. The link is here.

    Friday, March 3, 2017

    How to Collect Stamps

    By Josh

    Before you get to collecting, you will need a few things.
    You will need:
    • A place to keep the stamps
    • Tweezers 
    • A large bowl
    • Hot water
    • A small towel
    There are three ways to collect stamps:
    • The Water Bowl
    • The Collecting Store
    • The Post Office
    Let's go through the three ways

    1. The Water Bowl

    This is if you get a letter in the mail and you want the stamp from it.
    1. Fill the large bowl with hot water
    2. Put the letter with the stamp in the water
    3. Wait a minute
    4. Grab the letter and put it on the towel
    5. VERY CAREFULLY use the tweezers to remove the stamp without tearing it
    6. Throw the letter in the garbage and let the stamp dry
    7. Once the stamp is dry add it to your collection
    2. The Collecting Store

    This is if you want to buy an/some old stamp/s
    1. Search for a collecting store in your area (we have found some at hooby lobby as well)
    2. If you can find one go to it
    3. In there you can most likely find stamps
    4. Buy the stamps you want to buy
    If you can't find one or you don't feel like leaving home then you can always buy the stamps online.

    3. The Post Office

    This one needs no explanation. You literally go to the post office, find some stamps you want and buy them.

    I hope this blog post helps and happy stamp collecting!

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

    Josh's B-Day

    By Jeremiah the 6th grader

    Josh is 13 this year and I decided to do a blog post about what we did on his b-day from my perspective. Around 7:30. I wake up and go downstairs, and start making a card for him.
    Around 8:00. I finish my card and we take Josh his breakfast. I go downstairs again, get some breakfast, and come up again to eat with Josh.
    Around 8:30. We finish breakfast and find out The Snohomish Aquatic Center's first free swim doesn't start until 2:00!
    Around 8:45. We had some extra Reese's rolls so we took some to the Church.
    Around 9:00. After we did that we headed to the local antique store for a bit. Mom got a really pretty pearl necklace and another lavender pouch.
    Around 10:00. We head home.
    Around 10:15. We get home.
    Around 11:15.(I'm guessing) We have Paninis for lunch
    Around 1:15.(I'm guessing) We head to The Snohomish Aquatic Center.
    Around 1:30.(I'm guessing) We go to the nearby Co-op to pick up some bedding.
    Around 1:35.(I'm guessing) We get to The Snohomish Aquatic Center.
    Around 4:00. We head home.
    Around 6:25.(I'm guessing) We eat dinner.
    Around 7:15.(I'm guessing) We go to Blu Berry
    Around 8:00. We Sleep. 

    Friday, February 3, 2017

    Worst Chess Openings

    By Josh

    I have already talked about the best openings for chess, now it's time to talk about the openings that will really mess you up. The side worse off will be white in these pictures.

    First I will talk about the WORST OPENING OF ALL TIME.
    This opening needs no explanation. This is the fastest way to mate. Use this opening if you want to lose fast.

    I put this as the second worst because of it's uselessness
    The reason why I think this is useless is that in the beginning you're trying to control the most squares, and the amount of squares controlled by you is increased by 2 and letting your opponent take all of the other squares. I played a game by myself using the analysis off to the right control my moves, the end result after that opening was this:
    (Note: I didn't even try to finish because white was so hopeless)
    Use this opening if you want your opponent to control the entire board.

    I put this as the third worst because this opening literally depends on the opponent making a bad move
    As this is a great opening for when you are playing games with a short timer, but playing casually this is a very bad idea. I played another game like in the previous one and this was the end result:
    (Note: Yet again, I didn't try even try to finish because white was so hopeless)
    This just goes to show how bad you can lose with this opening.

    I hope you enjoyed my blog post on the worst chess openings!