The Evil Empire Battles Ukraine

I usually do not comment on a knock-out type tournament, especially one so-called a “world championship,” but the final match between a Russian and a Ukrainian with the situation, Russian encroachments and troops and tanks one the border, is the closest thing the chess world has seen to the situation when American Bobby Fischer challenged the Russian Boris Spassky for the World Championship in 1972 during the Cold War. GM Kevin Spraggett wrote about Natalia Pogonina and Mariya Muzychuk, “…who I understand are friends.” (https://kevinspraggettonchess.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/pogonina-unstoppable/) That friendship may last no matter which player wins the match, but it will not last when the real war with weapons of destruction begins.

Make no mistake, if the insane Rootin’ Tootin’ Pootin’ does not back down, there will be war. The West has no choice but to call Putin’s bluff. “Let us not forget that Ukraine has been guaranteed, in 1994, the protection of its territorial integrity by the United States. Ukraine gave up nukes! Very few people remember it was the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. [Not honouring the gurantee] is very bad, not only for the United States – Bill Clinton’s signature was there. Ukraine gave up twelve hundred nuclear warheads, more than England, France and China combined, in exchange for guarantees from America and Great Britain. This will have implications way beyond Ukraine’s borders, because it destroys the credibility of the White House, it destroys the credibility of the free world, and it sends a message, let’s say to Iran, that you need nukes to protect your borders. Same can apply to Japan, South Korea, countries that are facing a rising threat from China. It will be a totally different world unless we follow the promises written on paper and signed by the leaders of the free world.” -Garry Kasparov
(http://en.chessbase.com/post/kasparov-on-putin-ukrainian-nukes-nemtsov)

The lead story in the magazine Modern War #16, March-April 2015, is Visegrad: The Coming War in Eastern Europe, by David March. (http://modernwarmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/MW16-v5F-TOC.pdf)
It is also possible to play a board game before the real war begins. (http://shop.decisiongames.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=VASS19)

I have followed the games of the Muzychuk sisters because they play the Leningrad Dutch, most of which I have played over in recent years, so I would be predisposed to pulling for Mariya in this prelude to war. After reading the article, and Putin as Warlord, by Gilberto Villahermosa, in the same magazine, I believe Russia will lose World War III, just as I expect the Russian, Pogonina, to be stopped and lose the match with the Ukrainian, Mariya Muzychuk.

rd4-04

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Chess Versus Go

Richard Bozulich is writing a series of essays on various go topics. The first is, The Interplay of Intuition and Brute-Force Analysis in the Game of Go. (http://www.usgo.org/news/2015/03/two-new-books-from-kiseido-and-bozuliuch-launches-online-series/)
The one with interest for the chess world is the second, Chess and Go: A Comparison. (http://www.usgo.org/news/2015/03/spring-sale-at-kiseido/)

“Richard Bozulich (born 1936) is an American author and publisher of go books in English and a college math professor. He co-founded the Ishi Press. Bozulich was born in Los Angeles, California. He attended UCLA and in 1966 graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in mathematics. Bozulich had worked his way through college by buying and selling highly technical used books and upon graduation decided to become a book publisher. He moved to Japan and in 1968 in partnership with Stuart Dowsey founded The Ishi Press, a book and magazine publishing company that primarily published books about the game of go. In 1982 Bozulich founded Kiseido Publishing Company. Richard Bozulich has written or published more than one hundred books and magazine and newspaper articles about the game of go. He is the world’s most prolific author of go materials in English.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Bozulich)

He begins Chess and Go: A Comparison with, “Chess and go are games rich in both strategy and tactics. Because of the relatively small size of the chess board (64 squares), chess is considered to be more of a tactical game than a strategic one, in which gaining a material advantage is the all important first step to the eventual mating of the king. The small size of the chess board does not seem to be conducive to strategic ideas.

Go, on the other hand, with its enormous playing field of 361 points, is generally considered to be a game in which both strategy and tactics are equally represented.

For sure, there are a large number of principles that govern go strategy. With respect to tactics, there are at least 45 different kinds of tesujis that can be used to gain a tactical and, ultimately, a strategic advantage. Many of the strategic and tactical principles of go are encapsulated in a hundred or so go proverbs. In addition, there are a large number of other strategic principles which make up go theory and are instinctively understood by all strong players.

What about chess? What are the principles that guide a player to make sound strategic moves?

When I first started to investigate this, I didn’t expect to find too many strategic principles. I was sure that there would be many more chess ‘tesujis’. ((teh-soo-djee) (skillful play) (http://senseis.xmp.net/?GoTerms) To my surprise, I found more than 60 strategic chess principles, but only 13 chess tesujis.

In spite of the paucity (compared to go) of its tesujis, chess is still a game rich in tactical maneuvers that require deep and accurate analysis. However, due to the small size of the chess board, a small slip in reading is often catastrophic, whereas in go, small mistakes in reading are not necessarily fatal, as compensation can be obtained in other parts of the board.

In a game of chess, there is essentially one battle going on. Only one opening can be played and the opening chosen sets the strategic theme of the game. In go, each corner of the board can feature a different opening (joseki) each with its own strategic theme. Skirmishes also arise on the sides, so there are numerous battles going on simultaneously in different parts of the board, but they are all interconnected and coordinating them into one coherent strategy is what makes go a very difficult and profound game.

There are a number of strategic concepts that exist in go but not in chess. They are analogous to the ones used in decision-making situations in business, geo-politics, or in everyday life.” (http://www.magicofgo.com/roadmap9/chess%20and%20go.htm)

Richard then contrasts Go principles with the principles of Chess in the rest of this highly interesting and provocative look at the differences between the Royal game and Go.

Shocked to Find Cheating on PlayChess.com

Several days ago this notice appeared on the USCF website:

“USCF & Internet Chess Club Join Forces to Provide Online Rated Chess!

The Internet Chess Club (ICC) and the United States Chess Federation (USCF) are delighted to announce the start of USCF online rated tournaments on the ICC. Bonus: 20% off ICC memberships for USCF members!” (http://www.uschess.org/content/view/12816/772/)

Wow, what a “bonus.” How about playing on one of the plethora of places where you can play FREE?

Today a new thread appeared on the forum under “All Things Chess”:

“New form of cheating on PlayChess.com ??”

by MikeMurray on Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:22 am #285620
“The last few days, I’ve experienced what appears to be a new cheating technique on PlayChess.com. What happens is my time seems to simply evaporate and I lose on time the instant my opponent moves. These are rated games. The last occurrence, with a huge material advantage on the board, I had about 25 seconds left and had a “premove” set up. My opponent thought for about 30 seconds, moved, and bingo, I instantly lost on time. This has happened more than once. The first couple of times (with different opponents), I thought I’d simply zoned out and not noticed my opponent’s move. But this last time, I was clearly focused and paying attention.
Anybody else experience this or something similar?
By the way, my premove did execute on the board, so I technically lost on time when it was my opponent’s move!”

A short time later Mike Nolan weighed in, as he does often, with:

by nolan on Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:07 pm #285622
“This doesn’t sounds so much like a way of cheating as a poorly designed or buggy playing interface.”

Next up was Hal Terrie:
by Hal Terrie on Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:14 pm #285623
“This kind of thing is frequently caused by lag. If you have a slow connection to the server your moves (and the replies of your opponent) will not be transmitted right away but meanwhile the server is still counting down your clock. This can result in the sudden disappearance of time as you have described.”
— Hal Terrie

Mr. Murray answered:

Postby MikeMurray on Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:52 pm #285629
“In the past, the server seemed to be able to account for lag. I’m wondering if some other applications I’m running on my PC might #### this up. I had Skype up, as well as gDrive, couple of browser windows and the usual antivirus.”

Hal took another turn with:

by Hal Terrie on Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:12 pm #285631
“I don’t think it’s related to other applications. I have had the exact thing you describe happen to me – I try to move instantly but 30 seconds or a minute just vanish. I have had this happen on both ICC and Chess.com. Some servers have an internal test for lag and won’t let you start a game if your connection is too slow but I don’t think it always works.r
I get broadband internet from Comcast and there’s a tendency to think it’s very fast. However, when overall usage is very high (for example, in late afternoon when all the kids are getting home from school and simultaneously logging on), I have sometimes found my connection slowing to a crawl. It’s not just the chess servers, web pages take forever to load too. All I can do is just log off and come back later. Sometimes, if I try logging in instead using an alternate ISP (I have a wireless laptop card from Verizon), the problem vanishes.”
— Hal Terrie
(http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=20621&sid=70db42d2bdfc049f1cc046fd44d6b0a0)

Blame it on the “kids”!

I do not play chess on the internet and wonder why anyone would do so. But then, I also wondered why any fool would play poker on a website. If you play against other humans you can at least see them dealing from the bottom of the deck. (http://www.pokernews.com/news/2013/05/audio-tapes-expose-ultimate-bet-cheating-scandal-14986.htm)

I had a problem trying to listen to music from the Hearts of Space (https://www.hos.com/). When the music stopped a message appeared onscreen, “Your internet connection is too slow. You must be in the US, which means your 20th century low-speed internet, unlike the twenty-first century ultra high-speed connection in most other advanced countries, like Japan and South Korea, for example, runs circles around your antiquated, obsolete, low-speed internet, while you pay exponentially more for infinitely less service.” Or something like that…

I was talking with a gentleman from another country in a coffee shop just the other day as his frustration mounted. “I cannot believe how slow the internet is here! It takes me many minutes longer to do my work! In my country all I have to do is THINK about where I’m surfing next and the page will appear ten seconds BEFORE I realize that’s where I wanted to go!”
I told him to have another cuppa joe while he waited. “Good idea,” he said.

Casablanca gambling? I’m shocked!