Ding-A-Ling Liren Shares Sinquefield Cup First Place With Magnus

Magnus Carlsen defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

with the black pieces in the final round of the Sinquefield Cup to finish in a tie for first place with Ding Liren.


Magnus Carlsen resigning to Ding Liren after last “hurry-up and get it over” game

The next day the Chess tournament devolved into much faster time controls and the World Champion lost the exhibition, causing some to report the man from China had actually ‘won’ the tournament. Ding had a better performance rating than Magnus, 2845 to 2838. There are many ways, including performance rating, to determine a “winner,” without forcing the best human players on the planet to play Blunder Fest Chess. FIDE has led the Chess world into Mass psychogenic illness. (Mass psychogenic illness (MPI), also called mass sociogenic illness, mass psychogenic disorder, epidemic hysteria, or mass hysteria, is “the rapid spread of illness signs and symptoms affecting members of a cohesive group, originating from a nervous system disturbance involving excitation, loss, or alteration of function, whereby physical complaints that are exhibited unconsciously have no corresponding organic aetiology”.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_psychogenic_illness

Although there are a few sane humans who realize Ding and Magnus were Co-Champions of the Sinquefield Cup we are vastly outnumbered by weak-minded, go along to get along type followers. Maybe things will change after Ding defeats Magnus to win the World Human Chess Championship as the Chinese will then rule the Chess world and could possibly restore sanity to the Royal game. We sane fans can only hope…

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Chess Programs Need People

The title of a new article at the Chessbase website is, Komodo 13 is World Champion of computer chess by by Klaus Besenthal.

8/28/2019 – In Macau (China) the “Chess Events” of the International Computer Games Association (ICGA) came to an end last week. In fact, behind this prosaic name are world championships in three disciplines: the World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC), the World Chess Software Championship (WCSC) and the Speed ​​Championship. At the start were six teams with their programs, including Komodo 13, which won in each of the two main disciplines WCCC and WCSC.

“ICGA Chess Events 2019″ in Macau”

“Founded in 1977 by the Scottish International Master David Levy,


Erdogan Günes and ICGA-Präsident David Levy in Macau

the “International Computer Games Association” is no longer concerned only with chess, but also with, for example, Go. The computer world championship has been around since 1974; It has been held annually since 2002.
Those who have never studied the subject of computer chess will probably wonder what the difference between the World Computer Chess Championship and the World Chess Software Championship is.”

Let me stop here to mention a personal pet peeve. Thanks to an English teacher my stomach churns whenever reading a sentence ending in a preposition. Certainly the sentence should be written, “Those who have never studied the subject of computer chess will probably wonder what is the difference between the World Computer Chess Championship and the World Chess Software Championship.” Chessbase needs an editor. Now back to the usual programming…

“The video below (about one and a half minutes) shows that the championship is not (yet) quite as futuristic as you might think. The operators are flesh and blood

playing out the machine’s moves on a normal chessboard:”

“When we had also sorted things out in the players meeting and after the drawing of lots, the first pairings were announced. You could see how, after the pairings were announced, some programmers rushed to their computers like Usain Bolt and Rambo combined in a single person in order to make the final preparations for the opponents they now knew they would face. I had already done my homework at home and simply remained cool and looked on as the others created a sort of panic.

“My first opponent was no less than the several-time world champion Shredder, a warrior of old which looks as if it is getting on a bit (grey hairs). This time Stefan [Meyer-Kahlen] was in good spirits with his hybrid program and just as in previous years he had come to the tournament with high ambitions. On the other hand, I had prepared a sort of set of marching orders to use against Shredder, well before the tournament. After I had also studied during my work at home the games of my opponents from previous tournaments, I found something from previous years, namely its inclination towards the safer openings. It did not want to take any great risks and especially not at the start of each tournament. Just like a boxer who after the bell first of all starts by feeling out his opponent. Well my motto for Team Komodo is just like my opening book for the tournament: “No Risk, No Fun”.”
https://en.chessbase.com/post/komodo-world-champion-computer-icga-2019

It would be nice if NRNF was the motto of top human Chess players, would it not? The point IS that a computer Chess program IS incapable of “preparing” for any opponent. IS any computer Chess program capable of understanding a future opponent has an “inclination towards the safer openings?” If it IS capable how will the program inform you of its own understanding?

“Hey Joe. It looks like the computer has found something important in the Najdorf.”
“What’s it found, Moe?”
“I dunno, Joe. It cannot tell me…”

Cheating At Chess: “Killing Da Wabbit”

I posted a notification of my blog post, Yet Another Chess Cheating Scandal, (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/yet-another-chess-cheating-scandal/) at the All Things Chess section of the USCF forum on Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:17 am. When checking out the forum this morning I learned posts were still being made as of last Friday, August 23. Something in one of the posts caught my eye:

“Players who frequently go to the bathroom are always suspect.”

This is contained in a post by the resident philosopher of USCF forum, Thomas Magar, known as “tmagchesspgh” on the forum. I, along with many other Chess players “…are always suspect.” As a Senior I must head to the head inordinately more often than a younger player. Upon reflection I must admit to having to go to the men’s room during a Chess tournament far more often than normal even when younger. Copious amounts of coffee no doubt contributed to making the frequent trek. There is a recollection of finding myself on the same schedule as a famous International Master at the Governor’s Cup in South Dakota in 2002. IMJD later mentioned the fact, as he, too, had noticed the synchronicity. At another tournament I was on schedule with a GM with whom I was on speaking terms. After the tournament I mentioned not having played like a GM. “Yes,” he agreed, “But you pee like a GM!”

The full post from Mr. Magar:

by tmagchesspgh on Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:08 pm #337358

Facial expressions, hand and arm movements, coughing, and breathing patterns can convey information in a very subtle way if only to alert the player that the position on the board is critical requiring more time. Before I asked him to leave the playing hall at one tournament, I watched one chess dad be almost a semaphore of hand movements and arched eyebrows. That is low tech and may or may not be confusing for a child. When scanning a crowd of players it is useful for a TD to see who is looking with some frequency at an adult or other player during a game. Players who frequently go to the bathroom are always suspect. If a player locks eyes with me across a room, I always wonder what he/she is doing that he needs to see if the TD is watching his behavior.

The worst incident I have heard of was an adult sitting out in the hallway with his daughter’s position on his tablet. How that position got there was a mystery unto itself. When the girl went to the loo, her father was alleged to have told her to “play what you have just seen” while they were huddling over the device. Other parents turned them in. This was just for a trophy and a few rating points in an under-section. Some people cheat because they can, not just for money, trophies, or rating points. There is an amoral approach to competition which irks other players who play honestly. If caught, the offenders shrug it off as a cost of doing business, much like what we see in the real world. The cynical baseball adage, “If you aren’t cheating you are not trying,” is offensive to real players of every sport and game who bust their brains and bodies trying to prepare for competition.
http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=24887&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=15

by gwschenk on Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:09 pm #337210

Seriously, though. Why would someone pay the big entry fees to a CCA tournament, for instance, knowing that they’ll be playing a computer for prize money in their class? How rampant is cheating? Do we know? I heard of a FM banned from a small local club for using a phone to cheat. If 2300s will cheat for a $50 prize, what else goes on?

During a game I find myself needing to go to the bathroom, but because the game is in a crucial spot, if I leave will my opponent think I’m cheating? Will the TDs have to start issuing Depends to all players and just make leaving the hall forbidden?

by MikeMurray on Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:51 pm #337336

I agree with GM Spraggett that only a small percentage of cheats are caught. All the cases we’ve discussed in this forum have involved players drawing suspicion by improving way too fast, or by taking excessive restroom breaks or other odd behavior. There is no reason to assume that more patient, more careful players are not slipping under the detection wire. “But cheaters are never patient” say the doubters. And we know this how?

by tmagchesspgh on Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:53 pm #337407

As a coach, I cannot watch my players’ games. Inevitably, they look up or turn around if I am behind them to see from my expression what I think of their positions. I have told them when they do this, it raises the specter of my cheating to help them, so I stay a far distance away or not even enter the playing room at all. I have seen coaches use all manner of gestures, both subtle and overt, to prompt their players. To eliminate that, it is wise for scholastic organizers to keep all adults except TDs out of the room and shoo players who are finished with their games out of the playing area. In big money events, TDs have to be alert to all manner of unusual behavior, technology, and tricks. It is just as exhausting as playing. Even if there is only one instance of cheating in an event, it poisons the general chess atmosphere for everyone else who now suspect that even more cheating has been missed.

Just to give an example or two of how easy it is to cheat, all I have to do is quietly hum “Kill da Wabbit” as I pass by to indicate that there is a sacrifice in the position. I do this as a prompt/hint when we are analyzing a position on a board in the dining room of their homes when they are stumped. Humming a few bars from “Night on the Mountain” or “Finding Nemo”

can impart signals of what to do as well. It does not take much to create mnemonic devices to jog memory or alert the player to danger. Dots by moves or notes of encouragement at the top of a scoresheet are passe. Earbuds with music that reflect studied opening lines is much better as a memory aid. Eyeblinks are useful for giving specific information. Messages can come in many forms. As a former school teacher, I have found the ingenuity of children to cheat on tests to be almost limitless. They are really offended when caught out because their methods were so intricate and foolproof that they cannot believe that the teacher was capable of paying attention.

Insiders Partying Like It’s 2007!

Insiders are selling stock like it’s 2007

The leaders of Corporate America are cashing in their chips as doubts grow about the sustainability of the longest bull market in American history

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/26/investing/stock-market-insider-selling/index.html

Chinese investors are pulling out of the US housing market

“The magnitude of (China’s) decline is quite striking, implying less confidence in owning a property in the U.S.,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/homes-for-sale-chinese-investors-are-purchasing-fewer-us-houses/ar-AAGe6Mj?ocid=spartanntp

Stinking It Up At The Sinquefield Cup

The players continue to making headlines at the Sinquefield Cup:

Sinquefield Cup: 6 Games, 6 Draws In 6th Round

By IM Rakesh

After yesterday’s rest day, everyone expected some action at the 2019 Sinquefield Cup! But round six saw an anti-climatic end to a round…

Sinquefield Cup Sees Another All-Draw Day In Round 7

By IM Rakesh

It was a new day, a new round but sadly the same old story at the 2019 Sinquefield Cup. Round seven again ended with all draws. (https://www.chess.com/news)

What do We The Fans of Chess think of the death of Chess by draw demonstrated in St. Louis? The chatterers over at the ChessBomb weighed in with these thoughts:

Sasori: if you look at teh mini match of caruana, nakamura, dominguez and so, it was all drawn

Sasori: no suprise

Sasori: BUT: Naka hasnt won a single classical game against a decent palyer in whole 2019!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

columbeau: thos who preach peace don’t have peace

kambodja: soon they will exhaust, and mistakes will follow

shtighnits: 42 games, 38 draws.

oneEfour: one of the worst tournaments I’ve seen in a long time

oneEfour: draw draw draw

cappiness: if all players become tired and exhausted now, the games are draw anyway

Rambus: Rex has been taken to the cleaners

Rambus: I wonder if he can press charges against them for conspiring to defraud him

jphamlore: Not far off from the decisive result of the Petrosian Memorial 1999.

https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2019-grand-chess-tour-sinquefield-cup

Petrosian Memorial (1999)

So here’s the idea. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the death of former World Champion Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian and the 70th of his birth, a memorial tournament was organized in Moscow featuring ten of his contemporaries:
Yuri Balashov (50); Svetozar Gligoric (76); Vlastimil Hort (55); Borislav Ivkov (65); Bent Larsen (64); Lajos Portisch (62); Vasily Smyslov (78); Boris Spassky (62); Mark Taimanov (73); Vitaly Tseshkovsky (54).
Sounds nice, but think about it. Ten players, ranging in age from 50 to 78, playing in a . So how do you best honor Tigran Petrosian?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts
01 Ivkov * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5.0
02 Portisch ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0
03 Taimanov ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5
04 Spassky ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5
05 Smyslov ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5
06 Hort ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5
07 Balashov ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 4.5
08 Tseshkovsky 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ 4.5
09 Gligoric ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ 4.0
10 Larsen ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * 4.0

This could be regarded as the Least Interesting Tournament in the World, with 42 draws in 45 games and five of the ten players drawing every game.
So who stepped out of line? Larsen, of course, but you have to expect that. The big offender was the youthful Tseshkovsky, with two decisive results in the first four rounds. I imagine his elders sat him down and told him to get with the program, and he took the advice: every game in the last five rounds was drawn.
But mocking and criticizing this tournament is the wrong attitude to take. Instead, it should probably be regarded more as an exhibition than a truly serious competition. Many sports will have “Old-Timers” games, where retired players will dress up in their uniforms and go through the motions. The attraction is not who wins or loses or what the final score is, but just watching the legends of long ago gathered together – here, in tribute to a fallen comrade.
Original collection: Game Collection: Petrosian Memorial 1999, by User: Phony Benoni.
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=80793

Phony Benoni seems to consider the Petrosian Memorial 1999 an aberration, attributing it to the age of the participants. The players stinking it up at the Sinquefield Cup are still mostly young men half the age of those who battled at the Petrosian Memorial. What is their excuse?

Losers In The Game

The endless years and hardluck tales,
and some that have just moved on,
I guess it could be envy
when I wonder what’s gone wrong
Fingers point at all the problems,
but that won’t change my mind
I must have been held back
in hardknox school a few more times

A few more years, a few more tears,
are we the losers in the game?
When time is done and kingdom come,
we’ll not be losers in the game!

No one ever said it’s easy to watch the world go by
Console myself by trying and trying,
and trying just one more time
Put on a smile and fake your way in through another door
But only if you have more luck than a thousand times before

A few more years, a few more tears,
are we the losers in the game?
When time is done and kingdom come,
we’ll not be losers in the game!

Try again, change direction, spend more money,
new horizons, what’s it gonna be?
Take your hits, I hate my job, live like who,
think like what, no thanks I’ll just stay me

A few more years, a few more tears,
are we the losers in the game?
When time is done and kingdom come,
we’ll not be losers in the game!
http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/metalchurch/hanginginthebalance.html#2

All Your Sorrows

Metal Church

[D. Wayne / K. Vanderhoof]

Times like these to people please
Fables spread like some disease
New age gods like old facades
Write a book
You’ll like the odds
Inventing gods
Old facades

Take apart human heart you will start
Through the doorway of all your sorrows
Beginning to pull you away

In the night the sometimes light
The seasons which run out of time
When I press this game of chess
I always end with something less

You’ve made a mess
Of your Sunday best

In search of the answers, what never should be
Laughter erupts from primordial sea
Standing there naked with bended knee
All of your works face eternity

So though I play the same each day
When faced with pain I often pray
Take my hand you’ll understand
The place we go is no-mans land
http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/metalchurch/masterpeace.html#7

GM Igor Rausis says “Chess is a disease”

The post dated July 13, 2019, GM Igors Rausis Caught With The Toilet Seat Down, (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/grandmaster-igors-rausis-caught-cheating/) went viral. The number of viewers was the most, by far, of any previous post on the AW blog. Tens of thousands of people all over the world viewed the post in numbers that dwarfed any other post. The number of viewers is given each day and there is a map of the world in which the number of viewers is color coded. The world map lit up like a Christmas tree, with viewers from almost every country on the planet. This continued for a few days until dropping back to what was previously considered “normal.” Because of the huge daily numbers for those days what was formerly considered a “normal” day is now seen as a tiny blip on the graph of viewers. From this it is more than a little obvious people interested in the Royal game are very interested in the ever increasing problem of cheating in Chess.

I had not intended on writing anything else on cheating but a recent interview with GM Igor Rausis has caused me to have second thoughts about posting anything concerning the confessed cheater. Chessbase published, Igors Rausis: How to quit chess in one move By Andris Tihomirovs, yesterday, August 23, 2019, which was read this morning. (https://en.chessbase.com/post/how-to-quit-chess-in-one-move) The article was, “Originally published in SestDiena magazine, July 26, 2019.” I clicked onto the link (https://www.diena.lv/raksts/sestdiena/tuvplana/ka-ar-ravienu-tikt-prom-no-saha.-saruna-ar-igoru-rausi-14223781) finding it in need of translation, so I headed to Google translate only to learn only the heading could be translated but one cannot cut & paste the article. This is what could be translated:

How to Get Away from Chess A conversation with Igor Rausis

A photo of a chess player in a restroom using his mobile phone during a game

broke a long-standing storm not only among fans of the sport, but also for those who have a simple black and white picture of chess. Chess grandmaster Igor Rausis, who has been trapped in a fraud, says it was his chance to get away from the chess world with a twist.

What follows is part of the translation from the aforementioned Chessbase article:

Has anyone else been accused or suspected of cheating in chess?

Lots. Unfortunately, lots. I don’t want to talk about the others. I don’t want to name any specific surnames. I don’t know why people came up with this idea of making phone apps for chess. It all started with that.

They’ve been around for a long time.

But why? What’s the point?

To play. To analyse. I play on the tram.

But they didn’t think about the consequences. Well, there are a lot of sick people in the world. Previously, this sickness didn’t exist. Gaming mania. Unfortunately, it’s a contemporary illness.

Like casino?

That’s different, because a person goes to the casino and leaves money behind. It’s like drugs.

What exactly? Chess?

Gaming. And the world supports this, because somebody’s earning money from his. (It is possible the word “his” should be “this.” It is printed exactly as found at Chessbase.)

Beyond phones, is chess a sickness?

Chess players never talk about it, because chess fans like other words — like chess is art. Maybe it partially applies to those who compile compositions [chess problems].

So is chess a disease?

In a manner of speaking. A great pyramid has been built. I can now say something controversial aimed at the functionaries.

THE THREAT IS STRONGER THAN ITS EXECUTION!

If Chess is to survive it MUST change in order to adapt to the current circumstances. Over a decade ago I wrote about the need for Chess to adapt but money was flowing into Chess thanks to billionaire bullies with more money than sense, so who wanted to be the first to rock the boat? (I use the term “billionaire bullies” because of people like the Koch bros, etc., and other extremely wealthy people who donate money to political candidates who would obviously be more comfortable in a Nazi-type party than any political party consisting of We The People) At a recent Chess tournament in Atlanta someone mentioned Daniel Lucas,

formerly editor of Georgia Chess before becoming editor of Chess Life magazine. There was laughter upon my mentioning I thought Daniel was still editor of Chess Life. “Because USCF is now awash in Sinquebucks there have been many changes at USCF, Bacon,” said someone who will remain nameless. “Now Daniel’s WIFE is the editor and he has been given a new title of, Senior Director of Strategic Communication for the United States Chess Federation.”

“What does that mean, exactly?” I asked. “I mean, wouldn’t simply Director of Communication have sufficed? Is there a “Junior Director of Strategic Communication?” After more laughter I asked, “What, exactly, is ‘Strategic Communication’ and how does it differ from just plain Communication?” After the uproarious laughter abated someone said, “They just pull those kind of names out of their ass.” This brought the house down, so to speak.

In a capitalist economy it is said, “He who has the money makes the rules.” It is no secret Rex Sinquefield wants much shorter time controls for the Royal game. It has become apparent how little it matters what he, on any other wealthy patron of Chess wants, because now, for the game of Chess to survive, it MUST limit a game to one sitting, with no player allowed to leave the room.

On the very popular, and famous, television show, House, the character of Doctor House

was famous for saying, “Everyone lies.” The way Chess is currently played I can say, “Everyone cheats,” and who will argue? It is too easy to cheat so it is happening in every section by players of all ages. Some years ago at a tournament in Atlanta a player was caught cheating and his response was, “Everyone else is doing it, so I must do it too.” At another tournament, at Emory University some years ago, everyone but the TDs was talking about a group of young boys who would simply leave the playing hall heading for the seats of the cafeteria where they would check out a cell phone in plain sight. Why go to the lavatory when one can sit in the comfort of the cafeteria?

There are signs everywhere pointing to the death of Chess. The recently concluded US Open Chess tournament managed to draw only three hundred plus players. Before a recent round of the Sinquefield Cup Chess tournament in St. Louis, Maurice Asheley talked about the myriad draws in the tournament thus far, contrasting the mostly draw “classical” Chess tourney with a recent “rapid” tournament round in which six of the ten games were decisive. Is the Royal game as it is played by the best Chess players “played out?” How many people will be interested in Chess if it must devolve to “Blunder Fest Chess” to survive?

Walking Is the Best Exercise

30 Reasons Walking Is the Best Exercise
By Hristina Byrnes and John Harrington –
August 9, 2019

Anyone who doesn’t like rigorous workouts can take a deep breath of relief. Research has found that walking is often just as beneficial a workout (and in a few cases even more). What’s more, to walk, you don’t need to pay gym fees or try to adjust to someone else’s schedule. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes — though sandals or even barefoot at the beach would work — and out the door you go.
It’s easy to forget that walking is an aerobic activity. After all, more than 7 billion people do it every day. It’s low-impact, simple, natural, accessible, and has many health benefits. How can it possibly be an exercise, right?
A study from the University of Utah showed that the body may actually be made to walk. Walking is physically easier on the body, but the body still requires to take in more oxygen than in sedentary mode, providing the same benefits as running.
You can add more walking into your day in several ways: take the stairs instead of the elevator; conduct meetings outside while walking; pace around while you’re on the phone; and brisk-walk on your way to get lunch.
Not even a third of American adults exercise on a regular basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just about 23% meet the federal guidelines for aerobic activity and strength training. But people in some places are less active than others — these are laziest cities in America.
The rule of thumb is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week. Breaking the numbers down, that’s 30 minutes five days a week. This sounds like a small price to pay if you want to significantly improve both your physical and mental health.
To compile a list of 30 health benefits of walking, 24/7 Tempo reviewed several sources, including the, the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Arthritis Institute, as well as online reviews or medical research on the benefits of physical activity, including walking.
Click here to see 30 reasons walking is the best exercise.

30 Reasons Walking Is the Best Exercise

Want to avoid an early death? Get moving, a study says
https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/22/health/physical-activity-death-trnd/index.html