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Archive for the ‘chess’ Category

NH Amateur 2007

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

This weekend saw the 32nd annual New Hampshire Amateur Chess Championship, held in Manchester, NH.

Unfortunately, since my back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004, I’ve been unable to repeat. It was another break-even tournament result for me, but I did manage one pretty game.

I’m White here and have just played Qg4, threatening mate on g7. My opponent failed to defend accurately with …g6, instead playing …Bf6?.

Can you spot the petite combination I used to make the win just a “matter of technique?”

Kasparov Makes the Rounds

Friday, October 26th, 2007

While you could argue competitive chess puts excessive strain on a player, there’s no doubt the game Gary Kasparov is now waging is far more dangerous…

Kasparov, World Chess Champion for a whopping 15 years from 1985-2000, has put himself in the precarious position of fighting for Democracy in Russia. He does so despite fully understanding the risk. For his courage, he should be applauded, and we wish him well.

As you know from my reading list on the right, I had the opportunity of reviewing a copy of his new book pre-release. I found it quite an interesting read. Although the connections between chess and life are, at times, tenuous, to get a view of the way such a great mind goes about problem-solving was itself thought-provoking.

Recently, he made the rounds on several U.S. news programs to promote his mainstream offering (he has authored many books on his games and those of his predecessors, which really only appeal to hardcore chess enthusiasts).

In the process, he has become something of a go-to guy for our media when they want an inside, no-holds-barred, perspective on Russian politics.

HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher:

After this interview, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, who expressed deep admiration for Kasparov’s intellect and honesty at the end of the clip, invited him onto Hardball. Unfortunately, I don’t have that one for you.

CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer:

Before both of these, he also appeared on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report. Appropriately enough, it was the same episode wherein Stephen announced his bid for the US Presidency. I was going to present it here as well, but frankly it’s not worth it; too short and that’s even if Colbert had let him get a word in edgewise.

New England Open Sunday Swiss

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Yesterday, I competed in a one-day tournament of three games at G/60. And, I won, 3-0! :) There was definitely a fair amount of luck involved, but that’s to be expected at these faster time controls.

Here’s a critical position from my last round win over the top seed.

I am Black here and have just pushed my pawn forward to e4, attacking his knight. My opponent moved the knight out of danger with Nd4?? How was this move punished?

A most enjoyable day. I like these three rounders. They’re just the right amount of chess to satisfy the competitive craving, and you get home at a decent hour. Four in a day can run kind of late for this homebody!

This chess moment brought to you by watermelon: powering brains everywhere with its healthy sugar. 8 ounces per game. Well, that and copious infusions of fair-trade coffee.


Friday, July 13th, 2007

It’s Friday the 13th! :O

The title is Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day and is defined as “a morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th.” If you’re only afraid of the date and not the number, you have a more specialized case known as paraskavedekatriaphobia.

Is there a connection to be made to food here? Not sure. I’d just suggest staying at home and curling up with the darkest chocolate treat you can find or even some raw cacao nibs. ;)

There is, however, an important link with recent chess history. On this ominous day in October 2006, the World Chess Championship Reunification match between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov was decided in a tense series of tie-break games. My man, Vlad, emerged the victor.

But, I know most of you don’t come here for the chess, so I’ll leave with you with a little gem that looks like it could have potential. Just discovered this site with its clever name (think disco [though I'm sure they'd prefer only some of the connotations of that moniker be associated with their site. Maybe fun and community?])

Anyway, their goal is a laudable one, “to have the most comprehensive directory of restaurants available.” But, it doesn’t end there. And this is where I’m really drawn to their story as a fellow software developer. They are taking their experience investigating the Netflix Prize and incorporating not only reviews and forums, but working the ratings back into a “collaborative filtering” system to make recommendations, ala Amazon. So, head on over, lend your support, and add some local (vegetarian!) restaurants.

My Cookbook:

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