I used to be crazy about chess. I spent a lot of time studying it but only managed to get to the USCF Expert level (2000-2200). Roughly equivalent to a Category A player in the Russian ranking system.

The highest rated player in the history of chess is a 23 year old Norwegian kid, Magnus Carlsen. He is going to play Vishy Anand in November for the world championship.

I confess that I do not understand chess these days. Carlsen gives up a pawn to a grandmaster for no apparent compensation, wins it back 10 moves later to get a drawn endgame, which he then proceeds to win.

In tournament chess it is touch, move. If you touch a piece, you have to move it. If you just want to adjust a piece that is off kilter, you can say “J’adoube” and adjust the piece without being required to move it.

One add-in everyone seems to love is http://kalx.net/adjust.zip. It only does one thing: adds a right click cell menu item that calls XLL.ADJUST. If an Excel function returns an array, it is always a bit of a mystery figuring out the size of the array being returned. Keep selecting more cells, hit Control-Shift-Enter, then Control-Z when you start seeing #NA’s. XLL.ADJUST figures out the correct size and just blams it into your spreadsheet.

Plop it in XLSTART if you can, or use the Add-In Manager if you prefer that.

There is a better way of doing this. Use RANGE.SET and RANGE.GET to deal with Excel’s limitation of wearing it’s data on it’s sleeve. See http://xllrange.codeplex.com for how to use ancient APL notions to solve your current problems. It uses the modern concept of monads, but they have been around for a long time before people learned they were writing prose all their life.

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