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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some things never change!

We are all hearing on the news about the fact that the world may be currently in an economic recession or headed for one. However, this has not stopped "Big Oil" from making loads of money off of all of us. I say this because one of the largest oil companies in the world, ExxonMobil, issued a press release today stating that the company shattered its own record for the biggest profit by a U.S. corporation, earning $14.83 billion in the third quarter!!! Bolstered by summer's record crude prices, the company said net income jumped nearly 58% to $2.86 a share in the July-September period. That compares with $9.41 billion, or $1.70 a share, a year ago.

The previous record for U.S. corporate profit was set in the last quarter, when ExxonMobil earned $11.68 billion.


Source:http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/earnings/2008-10-30-exxonmobil_N.htm

Some senior citizens in our world are forced to eat cat food, because they cannot afford anything else, yet large corporations like Exxon, are not required to pay more taxes on their extravagent profits.It is time the governments of this world put caps on the the amount of profits Big Oil can make, in order to ensure that the wealth of the world is much more fairly distributed.

The facts about the World's poor cannot be disputed:

"Over one billion people around the world are poor, living on less than one dollar a day.
Many of these poor people survive with much less, say half a dollar a day, and live a very vulnerable life in nearly permanent hunger.
In the year 2000, more than 800 million people were food insecure, and this number has not changed much over the last seven yearsThe prospect for the immediate future is that 700 million people in the world will still be poor by 2015, and 600 million of them will probably not have enough to eat every year.

A very high proportion of those left behind are the children and youngsters, men and, not least, women of Africa. But also a great number in South Asia, maybe as many as 200 million people, will stay in poverty."
(source:http://www.ifpri.org/2020ChinaConference/chconfycstats.asp)

The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income (source2007 Human Development Report (HDR), United Nations Development Program, November 27, 2007, p.25)

According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.” (sourcehttp://www.globalissues.org/article/715/today-over-26500-children-died-around-the-world)

"Water problems affect half of humanity:

Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.
Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day.
More than 660 million people without sanitation live on less than $2 a day, and more than 385 million on less than $1 a day.
Access to piped water into the household averages about 85% for the wealthiest 20% of the population, compared with 25% for the poorest 20%.
1.8 billion people who have access to a water source within 1 kilometre, but not in their house or yard, consume around 20 litres per day. In the United Kingdom the average person uses more than 50 litres of water a day flushing toilets (where average daily water usage is about 150 liters a day. The highest average water use in the world is in the US, at 600 liters day.)
Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhoea
The loss of 443 million school days each year from water-related illness.
Close to half of all people in developing countries suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits.
Millions of women spending several hours a day collecting water.
To these human costs can be added the massive economic waste associated with the water and sanitation deficit.… The costs associated with health spending, productivity losses and labour diversions … are greatest in some of the poorest countries. Sub-Saharan Africa loses about 5% of GDP, or some $28.4 billion annually, a figure that exceeds total aid flows and debt relief to the region in 2003." (source:2006 United Nations Human Development Report, pp.6, 7, 35 )

What does this table say about our priorities in this world?

Spending in the world 1998

Global Priority $U.S. Billions
Cosmetics in the United States 8
Ice cream in Europe 11
Perfumes in Europe and the United States 12
Pet foods in Europe and the United States 17
Business entertainment in Japan 35
Cigarettes in Europe 50
Alcoholic drinks in Europe 105
Narcotics drugs in the world 400
Military spending in the world 780

Source:http://volunteernow.ca/take_action/issues_consumerism.htm

The Hubble Telescope is working again!!


Wonderful News!! The Hubble Space Telescope is back working again, after a computer malfunction shut down the telescope for nearly a month. And what a way to come back online, by sending the world the most beautiful of images of our solar system.This image is of a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies called Arp 147. According to some research I did about it on the internet, "The galaxy Arp 147 belongs to a class of objects believed to have formed a ring as a result of a collision with a second galaxy.source:http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=4338971", "Arp 147 appears in the Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, compiled by Halton Arp in the 1960s and published in 1966." (source:http://www.universetoday.com/2008/10/30/w00t-hubble-is-back-to-work/)

"
Harold C. Arp, a noted and controversial cosmologist of the twentienth century, is recognized for having catalogued 338 galaxy groups whose galaxy shapes do not conform to one of the two standard types (spiral or elliptical) and their associated subtypes which describe the spiral nature of their swirling arms or elliptical eccentricity. These irregular galaxies are believed to be valuable abnormalities which may provide clues into the ultimate formation of spiral and elliptical galaxies and particularly due to our inability to influence potential factors in galaxy formation when attempting to describe or even comprehend these dynamics.

Each of the 338 entries in Arp's catalog is classified into one of six major types, namely Spiral Galaxies, Spiral Galaxies with Companions on Arms, Elliptical and Elliptical-like Galaxies, Galaxies (not classifiable as Spiral or Elliptical), Group Character (Interacting Galaxies) and Miscellaneous. A second subdivision accompanies each of the initial five major classifications and includes, for example, "One-Armed", "Low Surface Brightness Companions", "Repelling Spiral Arms", "Galaxies with Jets" and "Interacting Galaxies" (source:http://www.perseus.gr/Astro-DSO-Galaxies-Arp.htm).

Source:http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/10/30/hubble-images.html

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Prime Minister Harper set to make history

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper may make history on Thursday when he announces his federal cabinet. In his cabinet, experts expect Harper to appoint a record number of women to positions. According to the "Globe and Mail". "

"The Harper Conservatives elected 23 women MPs on Oct. 14, 12 more than in 2006. There were seven women in the Tories' last cabinet, two of whom were junior ministers. Mr. Harper is expected to add four or five more Thursday, bringing to 11 or 12 the number of women in what could be a 30-member cabinet."

In this Government's cabinet, political experts suggest that this could be the largest percentage of women – 36 or 40 per cent – appointed to positions in a federal cabinet.

Women deserve to have more positions in the top levels of Government and Business, if this does not happen,then the World will be losing out. In Canada, many of us are unaware of the fact that October is Women's History Month.Proclaimed by the Government of Canada in 1992, Women's History Month provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn about the many and significant contributions of girls and women to our society – and to the quality of our lives. (sourcehttp://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/whm/index_e.html)

In 2007, women held 13%, or 527 of a total of 4,061 board seats in FP500 companies, up only 1% from 2005. A little more than 40% of FP500 companies still have no women board directors. Fewer than one-third of companies had more than one woman on their boards. The number of companies that have multiple women on their boards is up only 2.5% since 2005. And the number of women board chairs increased 1.3% from 2005, to 3.4% in 2007.

"Leadership positions are still out of reach,"stated Debrorah Gillis, Catalyst vice-president for North America.
The percentage of women chairing key committees on publicly traded FP500 companies rose to 6.8%, up 1% from 2005.
The numbers seem even smaller when you consider women make up almost 50% of the Canadian workforce and hold less than 40% of management roles. Those who make it to the boardroom tend to work for the company: One in five board seats held by women in 2007 were inside seats. This at a time when publicly traded companies in particular have been under pressure to boost the number of independent directors, and the role of the director has morphed to one of a more strategic partner asking the tough questions." (sourcehttp://working.canada.com/soundoff/story.html?id=09e839f9-a7a4-4303-8e57-6c7df0bdaec1)

Recent Chess News

Here are the results of some recent chess tournaments played in the world:

(a) The European Club Cup 2008

The URAL Sverdlovskaya team won the Men's section of the 2008 European Club Cup. The team consisted of the following Grandmasters: GM Radjabov of Azerbaijan, GM Kamsky of the United States, GM Shirov of Spain, GM Grischuk of Russia,GM Malakhov of Russia, GM Motylev of Russia,and GM Dreev of Russia. In the Women's event, the Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo team won. This team consisted of GM Humpy Koneru, GM Pia Cramling and WGM/IM's Nana Dzagnidze, Monika Socko, and Almira Skripchenko.

The official tournament website is at:http://ecc2008.chessdom.com/ Top board performances for this event can be viewed at: http://www.chess.co.uk/twic/twic729.html

(b LiraH Autumn Lichtenrade Open

The LiraH Autum Lichtenrade Open chess tournament was held in Berlin, Germany from October 18-26th. GM Alexander Graf scored an amazing 8.5/9 to win.

(c) Can Picafort Masters

The Can Picafort Masters Chess Tournament took place from October 20th-26th and was won by GM Viktor Moskalenko of the Ukraine with a score of 6/10. The official tournament website is: http://www.chessmallorca.com/
Viktor Moskalenko won with 6/10.

Sokolov wins the 12th Essent Chess Tournament

GM Ivan Sokolov won the top section in the 12th Essent Chess Group. Playing in the Crown section, Sokolov finished the double-round robin tournament with a score of 5/6!! GM Ahmed Adly edged GM Jan Smeets for second place on a tie-break (both had finished the tournament with identical scores of 2.5 points. Marie Sebag finished in fourth place with 2 points (one win and two draws.

The Essent Open Chess Tournament was played at the same time as the Crown section, and in it GM Frisco Nijboer of the Netherlands finished first on a tie-break over GM Alexander Fier of Brazil and GM Stewart Haslinger of England. All three had finished the tournament with scores of 7 points.


The next big event in Professional chess is the Dresden Chess Olympiad, which will take place in Dresden, Germany from November 12th-25th. The official website for this event is "http://dresden2008.de



The Chess Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament in which teams from all over the world compete against each other. The event is organised by FIDE the governing body of chess.Each FIDE recognized chess association can enter a team into the Olympiad Each team is made of up to five players, four regular players and one reserve (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_Olympiad)

A list of teams can be viewed at:http://tournaments.chessdom.com/chess-olympiad-2008-teams (The event is divided into two groups using gender as the basis of this division. However, GM Judit Polgar of Hungary, the World's strongest woman chess player, is playing on the Hungarian Men's team in the Olympiad.WGM/IM Keti Arakhamia-Grant is also playing in the Men's event, on the Scotland Team.

Congratulations to Vishy Anand

World Champion Viswanathan Anand held GM Vladimir Kramnik to a draw in game 11 of the World Chess Championship.Kramnik who had to win with the black pieces, tried the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian defense (one of the most aggressive variations for Black), however Kramnik agreed to a draw after only 24 moves. The final score in the match was Anand 6.5-Kramnik 4.5 (with Anand winning 2 games with the black pieces!) The next World Chess Championship will be between Vishy Anand and the winner of the FIDE World Challengers' Match which is between GM Veslin Topalov vs Gata Kamsky.
Originally the winner of the FIDE World Cup was supposed to challenge Anand, the reigning World Champion, but in a special edict delivered last June the governing body of chess, the FIDE decided that the winner had to play former FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov first. The winner of that match then gets to play for the world championship title against Anand. Are you confused enough? :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Web of Life on Spaceship Earth

All life on the planet Earth is interrelated and interdependent. We as humans forget this on a daily basis, and as a result our actions can have a terribly negative effect on other forms of life on the planet. Today, two news stories in the local paper reminded me of fact that the Earth is a fragile place,especially for plant and animal life forms other than ourselves.

The first story concerns the state of Whitebark pine trees and Limber Pine trees in the Province of Alberta. Biologists and the Government of Alberta's own experts today issued a need on the part of the Government of Alberta, to place the Whitebark Pine tree and the Limber Pine tree species on the Province's endangered species list. These experts claim that the proliferation of the Mountain Pine Beetle, as well as a specific type of fungus and also "climate change" within Alberta has caused these two species of Pine to have rapidly declined in numbers in my province. According to the Alberta Endangered Species Conservation Committee, three-quarters of these two species of conifers will likely disappear from Alberta Forests within the next 100 years, if steps are not taken to deal with the problems which are causing these Pine species to disappear. Whitebark Pine wood is light, close-grained, moderately soft and pale brownish in color. Ironically, it is of little commercial importance, although wood can be used for lumber and mine timber when harvested from commercial sites.


However, The Whitebark Pine is an important source of food for many granivorous birds and small mammals, including most importantly the Clark's Nutcracker, the major seed disperser of the pine. Clark's Nutcrackers each cache about 30,000 to 100,000 each year in small, widely scattered caches usually under 2 to 3 cm of soil or gravelly substrate. Nutcrackers retrieve these seed caches during times of food scarcity and to feed their young. Cache sites selected by nutcrackers are often favorable for germination of seeds and survival of seedlings. Those caches not retrieved by time snow melts contribute to forest regeneration. Consequently,Whitebark Pine often grows in clumps of several trees, originating from a single cache of 2-15 or more seeds. Douglas Squirrels cut down and store Whitebark Pine cones in their middens. Grizzly Bears and American Black Bears often raid squirrel middens for Whitebark Pine seeds, an important pre-hibernation food. Squirrels, Northern Flickers, and Mountain Bluebirds often nest in Whitebark Pines, and elk and Blue Grouse use Whitebark Pine communities as summer habitat. Here is a link to a photo of one of these beautiful trees:
http://i.pbase.com/g6/50/595350/2/71151568.pQgCk6yN.jpg

Limber Pine trees are also being threatened in the forests of my home province. The Limber Pines are coniferous (they bear cones and evergreen leaves) and belong to the genus Pinus, in the family Pinaceae. The tree-line or timberline is the edge of the habitat at which these trees are capable of growing either on its own, or with Whitebark Pine. In favorable conditions, Limber Pine trees can grow to 25 m high, however, on exposed tree line sites they grow only to 5-10 m tall. Limber Pine is a member of the white pine group, Pinus subgenus Strobus, and like all members of that group, the leaves ('needles') are in fascicles (bundles) of five, with a deciduous sheath. Limber Pine is an important source of food for several species, including Red Squirrels and Clark's Nutcrackers. American Black Bears may raid squirrel caches for Limber Pine nuts. Squirrels, Northern Flickers, and Mountain Bluebirds often nest in the trees. Unfortunately, Limber Pine is afflicted with White Pine Blister Rust (Cronartium ribicola), a fungus that was introduced accidentally from Europe. Limber Pine mortality is high in many areas throughout its range because of this fungus. There is no known way of controlling the blister rust in existing trees. Research is under way, locating and breeding from the occasional naturally resistant Limber Pines, and by studying the resistance mechanisms of the European and Asian white pines (e.g. Swiss Pine, Macedonian Pine), which are strongly resistant to the disease. Here is a link to a photo of a limber pine taken in Alberta:


The tree in the photo happens to be the oldest tree in Alberta. Limber pine has been used for construction timber and railroad ties. Limber pine seeds, like Pinyon pine seeds, are large and lack wings. They must be distributed by wildlife. The seeds are eaten by nutcrackers, who also make seed caches, burying the seeds in moist soil, where they may sprout if undisturbed. Sometimes several seedlings will sprout from a single cache, and grow together into what appears to be a single tree with several main stems.

A famous quote about Limber Pines is:
"Limber pines have a way of growing in dramatic places, taking picturesque attitudes, and getting themselves photographed, written about, and cared for, even becoming the core of a legend. This Pine so constantly occurs in the historically significant passes of the Rockies that it was destined to link up with human history." Donald Culross Peattie, (1898-1964) American naturalist and botanist

Humans must find a way to reverse the decline in population of these gorgeous and ecologically important species of life.


The other story which caught my attention in our local paper today, concerns the fact that Genome B.C. (British Columbia) is launching a 2.8 million dollar research project in an attempt to determine why the population of the World's honeybees has decreased dramatically in the past few years. Genome British Columbia "is a research organization that invests in and manages large-scale genomics and proteomics research projects and science and technology platforms focused on areas of strategic importance such as human health, forestry, fisheries, ethics, agriculture, and the environment." (source:http://www.genomebc.ca/)



Beekeepers apparently lose 15% of their hives during the winter months, however over the past two years in Canada, beekeepers have noticed an increase of 36% in morality rates in their bee hives!!! Scientists have determined that a phenomenon called "colony collapse disorder" (in which worker bees from a beehive or Western honey bee colony abruptly disappear). "The cause or causes of the syndrome are not yet fully understood, although many authorities attribute the problem to biotic factors such as: Varroa mites and insect diseases (i.e., pathogens including Nosema apis and Israel acute paralysis virus. Other proposed causes include environmental change-related stresses, malnutrition and pesticides (e.g. neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid), and migratory beekeeping. More highly speculative possibilities have included both cell phone radiation and genetically modified (GM) crops with pest control characteristics though experts point out no evidence exists for either assertion (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_Collapse_Disorder). If bees continue to disappear we may lose many species of flowers,fruits and trees in the regions where they vanish, because these bees pollinate these life forms. Honey bees are responsible for pollination of approximately one-third of the United States' crop species, including such species as almonds, peaches, soybeans, apples, pears, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers and strawberries. Experts also hypothesize that the " main culprit in the reduction of bees is a tiny mite called "Varroa destructor". This mite attaches to a growing bee during the bee's larval stage of development and then like a vampire, sucks their blood. This weakens the bee. These mites also transmit disease to the bee, and the virus makes it impossible for the bee to fly. Attempts to control these mites has sustained a major setback, due to the fact that the mites have built up resistance to the pesticides beekeepers use to keep the mite out of the beekeeper's hives. Genome B.C hopes to be able to determine which bees in a colony have natural resistance to the mites. By doing this the scientists hope to make bee colonies mite-resistant. Genome B.C hopes to identify genetic markers found on mite-resistant bees, so that all bees can eventually be protected from infection.

Update of the 2008 Essent Chess Tournament

Here are the standings after 5 rounds of play in the Essent Chess Tournament (Crown Group):

Rank Name Fed. Rating 1 2 3 4 Score
1 GM Sokolov, Ivan 2650 x 1 1½ 11 4.5
2 GM Adly, Ahmed 2586 0 x ½0 ½1 2.0
3 GM Sebag, Marie FRA 2533 0½ ½1 x 2.0
4 GM Smeets, Jan NED 2604 00 ½0 1 1.5

Here are the moves from Marie Sebag's games from rounds 1-5 (in PGN format):
[Event "Essent Toernooi - Kroongroep"]
[Site "Hoogeveen"]
[Date "2008.10.19"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Sokolov, Ivan"]
[Black "Sebag, Marie"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2650"]
[BlackElo "2533"]
[PlyCount "65"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. g3 Nbd7 6. Bg2 dxc4 7. O-O Bb4 8. a3
Be7 9. e4 O-O 10. Re1 Re8 11. Bf4 a6 12. a4 Bb4 13. Nd2 c5 14. Bd6 cxd4 15.
Bxb4 a5 16. Ba3 dxc3 17. Nxc4 cxb2 18. Rb1 Qc7 19. Nd6 Rd8 20. Nb5 Qb6
21. Be7 Re8 22. Bd6 Nc5 23. e5 Nd5 24. Bxd5 exd5 25. Qd4 Nd7 26.
Qxb2 Nf8 27. Nc7 Qxb2 28. Rxb2 Bd7 29. Nxe8 Bxe8 30. Rxb7 Bxa4 31. Reb1 Nd7 32.
Ra1 Bc6 33. Rc7 1-0

[Event "Essent Toernooi - Kroongroep"]
[Site "Hoogeveen, Netherlands"]
[Date "2008.10.20"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Smeets, Jan"]
[WhiteElo "2604"]
[Black "Sebag, Marie"]
[BlackElo "2533"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8.
Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 Bg5 12. Nc2 O-O 13. a4 bxa4 14. Rxa4 a5
15. Bc4 Rb8 16. b3 Kh8 17. Nce3 g6 18. Qe2 f5 19. h4 Bxe3 20. Nxe3 f4 21. Nf1
Bd7 22. Nd2 Ne7 23. Ra3 Qc7 24. Qd3 h6 25. O-O Ra8 26. Rfa1 Bc6 27. b4 axb4 28.
cxb4 Rxa3 29. Rxa3 Bb7 30. b5 Rd8 31. Rb3 Qb6 32. Rb1 Kg7 33. Qh3 Bc8 34. Be6
Bb7 35. Ba2 Bc8 36. Qb3 d5 37. exd5 Rxd5 38. Qb2 Rd4 39. Nf3 Bf5 40. Nxd4 Bxb1
41. Ne6+ 1-0

[Event "Essent Toernooi - Kroongroep"]
[Site "Hoogeveen, Netherlands"]
[Date "2008.10.21"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Sebag, Marie"]
[WhiteElo "2533"]
[Black "Adly, Ahmed"]
[BlackElo "2586"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qc7 8. Bxf6
gxf6 9. Qd2 Nc6 10. O-O-O Bd7 11. Kb1 Rg8 12. g3 Nxd4 13. Qxd4 Qc5 14. Qd3
O-O-O 15. Be2 Bc6 16. Rhf1 Kb8 17. f5 Be7 18. Bh5 Rgf8 19. Bf3 Rc8 20. Qd2 Qe5
21. Qh6 b5 22. a3 a5 23. Qd2 Rc7 24. Ne2 b4 25. axb4 axb4 26. Qxb4+ Rb7 27. Qc3
Rc8 28. Qxe5 fxe5 29. fxe6 fxe6 30. b3 Rb4 31. Nc3 Be8 32. Kb2 Bg6 33. Bg4 Bxe4
34. Nxe4 Rxe4 35. Bxe6 Rc7 36. Bc4 h5 37. h4 Rg4 38. Rf5 Rxg3 39. Rxh5 e4 40.
Rb5+ Rb7 41. Rxb7+ Kxb7 42. Bd5+ Kc7 43. Bxe4 Bxh4 44. c4 Re3 45. Bd5 Re2+ 46.
Ka3 Re1 47. Rd3 Ra1+ 48. Kb2 Bf6+ 49. Kc2 Ra2+ 50. Kd1 Ra1+ 51. Ke2 Ra2+ 52.
Kf3 Rc2 53. Ke4 Rc3 54. Rd1 Rxb3 55. Rf1 Bg5 56. Rf7+ Kd8 57. Kf5 Be7 58. Rh7
Re3 59. Rh8+ 1/2-1/2

[Event "Essent Toernooi - Kroongroep"]
[Site "Hoogeveen, Netherlands"]
[Date "2008.10.23"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Sebag, Marie"]
[WhiteElo "2533"]
[Black "Sokolov, Ivan"]
[BlackElo "2650"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 d6 7. Bxc6+ bxc6 8.
d4 exd4 9. Nxd4 Bd7 10. Nc3 O-O 11. h3 Re8 12. Bf4 Rb8 13. b3 Qc8 14. Nf3 Qb7
15. Qd2 Rbd8 16. Bg5 h6 17. Bh4 Be6 18. Rad1 Qc8 19. Nd4 Bd7 20. Qd3 Nh7 21.
Bg3 Bf6 22. f4 Nf8 23. Nf3 Qb7 24. Qd2 Ng6 25. f5 Ne5 26. Nxe5 dxe5 27. Qe3 Bc8
28. Qc5 Qb6 29. Bf2 Qxc5 30. Bxc5 Bg5 31. Rxd8 Bxd8 32. Be3 h5 33. Rf1 h4 34.
Nb1 Be7 35. Nd2 Bb7 36. Re1 Bb4 37. Re2 c5 38. Bg5 f6 39. Bxh4 Bxd2 40. Rxd2
Bxe4 41. g4 c4 1/2-1/2

[Event "Essent Toernooi - Kroongroep"]
[Site "Hoogeveen, Netherlands"]
[Date "2008.10.24"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Adly, Ahmed"]
[WhiteElo "2586"]
[Black "Sebag, Marie"]
[BlackElo "2533"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. g4 h6 8. Bd2
dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Be2 Bb7 11. Rg1 Rc8 12. h4 b4 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Qb6 15.
g5 c5 16. dxc5 Nxc5 17. Qd4 Bxf3 18. Bxf3 Be5 19. Qc4 hxg5 20. hxg5 a5 21. g6
f6 22. Rh1 Rxh1+ 23. Bxh1 Ke7 24. f4 Bxb2 25. Rb1 Qd6 26. Ke2 Rh8 27. Kf3 f5
28. Bg2 Bf6 29. Rc1 Ne4 30. Be1 Bc3 31. Qb5 Qd5 32. Qxd5 exd5 33. Ke2 Bxe1 34.
Kxe1 Nc3 35. Rc2 Rh6 36. Kd2 Kd6 37. Kd3 Kc5 38. a3 Rxg6 39. axb4+ axb4 40. Bh3
Rg3 41. Bxf5 d4 42. Rh2 dxe3 43. Rh1 e2+ 44. Kd2 Kd4 45. Bc2 Rf3 46. Ke1 Rxf4
47. Bb3 g5 48. Rg1 g4 49. Kd2 Rf1 50. Rxg4+ Ke5 0-1

2008 Cap d'Agde Chess Tournament

The 2008 edition of the Cap d'Agde Chess Tournament will be held from October 26th-November 1st in Cap d'Agde, France. As you can see in this map at
http://www.capdagdefrance.co.uk/Pictures/map-of-Cap-Dagde.jpg. Cap d'Agde is on the East Coast of France. According to Wikipedia, "Cap d'Agde is one of the largest leisure ports on the French Mediterranean. Development as a tourist resort started in the 1970s before which time the only buildings at the Cap were small houses typically used for weekends by local people," .....and is a resort where nudity is legal." I guess the tournament organizers will have to have shades on the windows of the tournament hall, otherwise the view outside could be a serious source of distraction :).

The tournament is being held in two sections, with the top section consisting of the following players:
Cap d'Agde (FRA), 26 x - 1 xi 2008

Vasily Ivanchuk UKR GM 2786
Magnus Carlsen NOR GM 2786
Teimour RadjabovAZE GM 2751
Maxime Vachier
Lagrave FRA GM 2716
Bu Xiangzhi CHN GM 2714
Hikaru Nakamura USA GM 2704
Ivan Cheparinov BUL GM 2696
Anatoly Karpov RUS GM 2651
Fabiano Caruana ITA GM 2640
Humpy Koneru IND GM 2618
Hou Yifan CHN WGM 2578
Marie Sebag FRA GM 2533
Sebastien Feller FRA GM 2526
Alexandra Kosteniuk RUS GM 2525
Katerina Lahno UKR GM 2488
Almira Skripchenko FRA WGM 2455



The official tournament website for this event is:
http://www.capechecs.com/trophee_ccas.php The top section of this event is being played using the "rapid chess" time controls and rapid chess rules.

World Chess Championship:Game 7

Game 7 of the 2008 World Chess Championship was played on October 23rd.GM Amador Rodriguez (elo 2479), in his analysis of the game at the official WC website states:

"Kramnik opted to play correct chess and relied on a solid line of the Slav that he knows well. However,nothing seems to work for him so far,Anand was well prepared again, leading the game into an early ending where he was able to put pressure until finally a draw was agreed after Kramnik was forced to find many clever moves to
survive." (source:http://www.uep-chess.com/cms_english/images/stories/analysen/round7.pdf). Kramnik even offered Anand a draw in this game on move 21, however Anand rejected the offer and played on.

This draw means that the score in the match is now 5-2 in favor of Anand.Anand needs one more point in the final 4 games to retain his title.

World Chess Championship:Game 6

Anand won game 6 of the World Chess Championship.Playing the white pieces, Vishy once again essayed the move 1.d4 to begin the game, which then entered the Queen's Gambit and Nimzo-Indian Defense:Classical variation (ie 4.Qc2).According to IM Malcolm Pein, Kramnik's 18th move of 18...c5?! landed him in trouble, and his move of 22...c4?! was also a mistake (see Pein's analysis at: http://chesscenter.com/twic/event/wch08/gm6.html.)

In contrast, GM Illescas of Spain, who is much higher-rated than Pein, states in his analysis at the official WC website: http://www.uep-worldchess.com/ that Kramnik made three dubious moves in a row starting 17...Ne7?! then 18...c5?! and 19...Rfd8?! which Kramnik spent 20 minutes on! Not to take anything away from the play of Anand, however this stretch of play indicates that Kramnik is not in his "best" form in this match.

After this game, Anand now seems to have an insurrmountable lead at 4.5-1.5.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Games 4 and 5 of the World Chess Championship

Game 4 of the World Chess Championship between Kramnik and Anand ended in a draw after 29 moves. Anand once again played the Queen's Gambit opening, and this time Kramnik answered with the QG Declined, which Anand tranposed into the Bf4 variation.

In Game 5 of the match, Kramnik again had the White pieces and he lost again with them!
Kramnik decided to try the Queen's Gambit again, and the two players once again decided to play a Semi-Slav Meran variation. Analysis of these games can be viewed and downloaded from http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/twic.html (Analysis done by IM Malcolm Pein)

Analysis is also available at: http://www.uep-chess.com/cms_english/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=8&Itemid=26 (Done by GM Illescas)

It will now take a miracle for Kramnik to come back in this match.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Essent Chess Event 2008

The 12th annual Essent Chess event is being played in Hoogeveen, The Netherlands from October 17th-28th. The event has two tournaments: Crown and Open. The Crown Tournament consists of 4 players: GM Ivan Sokolov, GM Jan Smeets, GM Ahmed Adly and WGM/IM Marie Sebag play in the Crown Group. Here are the results from round one of the Crown event:

round 1 (Sunday, 19 October 2008)

Board White Black
1 GM Sokolov,Ivan 2650 GM Sebag, Marie 2533 1-0
2 GM Smeets, Jan 2604 GM Adly, Ahmed 2586 ½-½

Here are the pairings for round 2:

Table White Fed. Rating Black Fed. Rating
1 GM Adly, Ahmed EGY 2586 GM Sokolov, Ivan Ned 2650

2 GM Smeets, Jan NED 2604 GM Sebag, Marie FRA 2533



The official tournament website is at: http://www.essentchess.nl/

Friday, October 17, 2008

61st Russian Chess Championship

After the 12th and final round of play in the Russian Chess Championship 3 players finished tied for first:GM Dmitry Jakovenko, GM Peter Svidler, and GM Evgeny Alekseev. Because a champion has to be declared, these three players will participate in a playoff. The playoff will be held on October 28th October These three players will play a double-round robin tournament (6 games) at a time control of of Game/15minutes+10 seconds/move. The official tournament website for this event is

European Club Cup of Chess

The 2008 edition of the European Club Cup 2008 of Chess is taking place in Kallithea, Greece from October16th-24th. Some of the highest-rated chess players in the World are participating in this event. This tournament is segmented according to gender, and each player is on a club team. Here are the top players in the event for both genders:
Males:
No. Name Rtg FED Team Bo.
1 NOR GM Carlsen Magnus 2786 NOR MIKA Chess Club 1
2 UKR GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2786 UKR TPS Saransk 1
3 ARM GM Aronian Levon 2757 ARM MIKA Chess Club 2
4 AZE GM Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE URAL Sverdlovskaya 1
5 RUS GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2737 RUS PVK Kiev Chess 2
6 CHN GM Wang Yue 2736 CHN Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov 1
7 ENG GM Adams Michael 2734 ENG Linex Magic 1
8 SVK GM Movsesian Sergei 2732 SVK CC "Bosna" Sarajevo 1
9 AZE GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2731 AZE Alkaloid 1
10 UKR GM Karjakin Sergey 2730 UKR PVK Kiev Chess 1
11 USA GM Kamsky Gata 2729 USA URAL Sverdlovskaya 2
12 RUS GM Svidler Peter 2727 RUS OSG Baden-Baden e.V. 1
13 ESP GM Shirov Alexei 2726 ESP URAL Sverdlovskaya 3
14 UKR GM Eljanov Pavel 2720 UKR Ashdod Illit Chess Club 2
15 ISR GM Gelfand Boris 2719 ISR MIKA Chess Club 3
16 RUS GM Grischuk Alexander 2719 RUS URAL Sverdlovskaya 4
17 UKR GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2719 UKR Linex Magic 2
18 FRA GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2716 FRA SV Muehlheim Nord 1
19 RUS GM Alekseev Evgeny 2715 RUS Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov 2
20 CHN GM Ni Hua 2710 CHN Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov 4


Women:

No. Name Rtg FED Team Bo.
1 IND GM Koneru Humpy 2618 IND Cercle d'Echecs Monte Carlo 1
2 CHN WGM Hou Yifan 2578 CHN Spartak Vidnoe 1
3 CHN GM Xie Jun 2574 CHN Cercle d'Echecs Monte Carlo 3
4 SWE GM Cramling Pia 2550 SWE Cercle d'Echecs Monte Carlo 2
5 BUL GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2548 BUL Spartak Vidnoe 2
6 CHN GM Zhao Xue 2518 CHN Spartak Vidnoe 3
7 ARM IM Danielian Elina 2513 ARM MIKA Yerevan 2
8 RUS IM Kosintseva Tatiana 2513 RUS Spartak Vidnoe 4
9 LTU IM Cmilyte Viktorija 2512 LTU Finek St. Petersburg 2
10 SLO IM Muzychuk Anna 2508 SLO T-com Podgorica 1
11 GEO IM Dzagnidze Nana 2503 GEO Cercle d'Echecs Monte Carlo 4
12 UKR IM Ushenina Anna 2496 UKR Economist SGSEU Saratov 1
13 GEO GM Chiburdanidze Maia 2489 GEO MIKA Yerevan 1
14 UKR GM Lahno Kateryna 2488 UKR MIKA Yerevan 3
15 UKR WGM Zhukova Natalia 2488 UKR Finek St. Petersburg 3
16 HUN GM Hoang Thanh Trang 2483 HUN EPAM 1
17 UKR IM Gaponenko Inna 2473 UKR T-com Podgorica 3
18 GER IM Paehtz Elisabeth 2471 GER Economist SGSEU Saratov 3
19 RUS IM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2468 RUS Spartak Vidnoe 5
20 IND IM Harika Dronavalli 2462 IND Economist SGSEU Saratov 2


The official tournament website for this event is: http://ecc2008.chessdom.com/

2008 World Chess Championship Game 3

Game 3 of the World Chess Championship between GM Kramnik and GM Anand was played today, and resulted in a win for GM Anand. Anand playing Black, chose to defend against Kramnik's Queen's Gambit by playing a Semi-Slav Defense. The players chose to play one of the most complex variations in chess...The Meran Variation. Anand played a move which has never been tried before on move 14. Both players must have been in severe time pressure at the end of the game, because according to analysis of the game, posted at the www.chesscenter.com/twic website by International Master Malcolm Pein, Kramnik and Anand both made some bad mistakes on move 33. IM Pein's analysis can be viewed at http://chesscenter.com/twic/event/wch08/gm3.html or his analysis can be downloaded in PGN format at: http://chesscenter.com/twic/event/wch08/gm3.html .Game four of the match will be played on Saturday, with Anand having the White pieces.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

2008 World Chess Championship Game 2 analysis

I have posted my analysis of Game 2 of the 2008 World Chess Championship between Kramnik and Anand at the chessdiscusssion.com website. To play through the moves of the game and my analysis go to: http://www.chessdiscussion.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1539

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Analysis of 2008 World Chess Championship games

The 2008 World Chess Championship has begun. In game one, Kramnik opened with 1.d4 (instead of what we have come to expect from him...1.Nf3). The players flashed out the moves in what became a Queen's Gambit with Anand chosing to play the Slav Defense and Kramnik deciding to play the Exchange variation.I have posted some analysis of game one below.I used the very strong chess program ZappaII Mexico and a large database of games of the Slav Defense, to assist me in this analysis.I will continue to post games in the match.See my analysis below.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kramnik gets to try for first blood

According to the website this is the allocation of the colors for the 2008 World Chess Championship between Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand:

Kramnik will have the white pieces in games 1, 3, 5, 8, 10 and 12. Anand will have white in games 2, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 11.

According to the online chess database: in eleven games in which Kramnik had the White pieces against Anand he started the game by playing 1.Nf3, in two games Kramnik began the game by playing 1.e4 and in 3 games Kramnik played 1.d4 to start the game.

In the second game, when Anand has the White pieces, he has played 1.e4 in 34 games against Kramnik, played 1.d4 in 3 games and 1.Nf3 in two games.

Source:Chesslive.de

Two articles about the World Chess Championship

Two new articles about the World Chess Championship between Kramnik and Anand have been posted to the Chessbase.com website. The first article at http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4955 talks about the playing site and the second deals with the pre-match press conference. It has some candid comments by Kramnik and Anand about the match and about their feelings for their opponent: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4956

Friday, October 10, 2008

Where are the watchdogs in our Governments?

The present financial crisis in the world, has to be examined carefully by experts, politicans, bureaucrats within the government, by consumer groups and consumers so that it never will occcur to the magnitude that it has occurred. Regulators of banks in the United States and other World countries have to be scruntinized so that explanations for their willingness to allow banks to operate as they have been are given, and acted upon.

Anyone who has taken any economics courses in an education system, knows that the World economic structure is such that cycles in the World economy exist. However, when the head of a bank in this World states the following, I have to wonder, who is watching over these banks for the sake of investors and consumers?

"Richard S. Fuld Jr., chief executive officer of Lehman Brothers, declared to the
United States Government House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
that "I take full responsibility for the decisions that I made and for the actions that I took." He defended his actions as "prudent and appropriate" based on information he had at the time.

"I feel horrible about what happened," he said.

When Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee questioned Fuld on whether it was true he took home some $480 million in compensation since 2000, and asked: "Is that fair?"

Fuld took off his glasses, held them, and looked uncomfortable. He said his compensation was not quite that much.

"We had a compensation committee that spent a tremendous amount of time making sure that the interests of the executives and the employees were aligned with shareholders," he said. Fuld said he took home over $300 million in those years -- some $60 million in cash compensation.

Waxman read excerpts from Lehman documents in which a recommendation that top management should forgo bonuses was apparently brushed aside. He also cited a Sept. 11 request to Lehman's compensation board that three executives leaving the company be given $20 million in "special payments."

"In other words, even as Mr. Fuld was pleading with Secretary Paulson for a federal rescue, Lehman continued to squander millions on executive compensation," Waxman said before Fuld appeared as a witness."

When someone in the position Fuld is in,formally states: "In the end, despite all our efforts, we were overwhelmed, others were overwhelmed, and still other institutions would have been overwhelmed had the government not stepped in to save them," he said.

If the head of a bank admits he and his employees are incapable of handling the demands of his occupation, we can only ask why was he and his staff permitted to be in these positions in the first place? Why did these business leaders not have plans in place to deal with the circumstances which occurred in the economic structure of their country?

Source:http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D93L5G002.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_news+%2B+analysis


According to the article, "They Warned Us About the Mortgage Crisis":

"More than five years ago, in April 2003, the attorneys general of two small states traveled to Washington with a stern warning for the nation's top bank regulator. The AGs from North Carolina and Iowa said lenders were pushing increasingly risky mortgages. Their host, John D. Hawke Jr., expressed skepticism.

Roy Cooper of North Carolina and Tom Miller of Iowa headed a committee of state officials concerned about new forms of "predatory" lending. They urged Hawke to give states more latitude to limit exorbitant interest rates and fine-print fees. "People out there are struggling with oppressive loans," Cooper recalls saying.

Hawke, a veteran banking industry lawyer appointed to head the OCC by President Bill Clinton in 1998, wouldn't budge. He said he would reinforce federal policies that hindered states from reining in lenders. The AGs left the tense hour-long meeting realizing that Washington had become a foe in the nascent fight against reckless real estate finance. The OCC "took 50 sheriffs off the job during the time the mortgage lending industry was becoming the Wild West," Cooper says.

This was but one of many instances of state posses sounding early alarms about the irresponsible lending at the heart of the current financial crisis.North Carolina and Georgia, passed laws aimed at deterring rash loans only to have federal authorities undercut them. In Iowa and other states, mortgage mills arranged to be acquired by nationally regulated banks and in the process fended off more-assertive state supervision. In Ohio the story took a different twist: State lawmakers acting at the behest of lenders squelched an attempt by the Cleveland City Council to slow the subprime frenzy.

The Bush Administration and many banks clung to what is known as "preemption." It is a legal doctrine that can be invoked in court and at the rulemaking table to assert that, when federal and state authority over business conflict, the feds prevail—even if it means little or no regulation.

There is no question that preemption was a significant contributor to the subprime meltdown," says Kathleen E. Keest, a former assistant attorney general in Iowa who now works for the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit in Durham, N.C. "It pushed aside state laws and state law enforcement that would have sent the message that there were still standards in place, and it was a big part of the message to the industry that it could regulate itself without rules."

(source:http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_42/b4104036827981.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_news+%2B+analysis)

The crisis in the banks was not confined to within the borders of the United States. In Iceland, despite the government's seizure of top banks, the country may face bankruptcy, with dire effects for huge Icelandic investments overseas."Iceland is emerging as the biggest casualty of the global financial crisis. On Oct. 9, the government took control of the country's largest bank, Kaupthing (KAUP.ST), and halted trading on the Reykjavik stock exchange until Oct. 13. the vast majority of Iceland's once-proud banking sector has been nationalized. The government has taken control of Kaupthing, Landsbanki, and the No. 3 bank, Glitnir. Kaupthing also was forced to take an emergency $702 million loan from Sweden to prop up its Swedish arm, while the Norwegian Banks' Guarantee Fund offered $819 million in liquidity support to the local unit of Glitnir.

Now some believe that Iceland, which has transformed itself from one of Europe's poorest countries to one of its wealthiest in the space of a generation, could face bankruptcy (BusinessWeek.com, 10/8/08). To avert financial disaster, the country—which is a founding member of NATO—may turn to Russia for help. The Russian government has said it would consider lending Iceland $5.5 billion. "We have not received the kind of support that we were requesting from our friends," Haarde said. "So in a situation like that one has to look for new friends." (Haarde was adamant, though, that any deal did not extend to military cooperation, refuting the suggestion that Russia might be given access to an airbase vacated by the U.S. Air Force in 2006.)

In just five years, the banks went from being almost entirely domestic lenders to becoming major international financial intermediaries. In 2000, says Richard Portes, a professor of economics at London Business School, two-thirds of their financing came from domestic sources and one-third from abroad. More recently—until the crisis hit—that ratio was reversed. But as wholesale funding markets seized up, Iceland's banks started to collapse under a mountain of foreign debt. (Source:http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/oct2008/gb2008109_947306.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_news+%2B+analysis)


If all of these circumstances are happening in more than one place simultaneously, to me it suggests that it points out a fact about our world. In order for all of us to survive on this planet in the future, the governments, and peoples of this world are going to have to cooperate and work together.If we donot begin to work together,then we can only expect more "crises" like this to happen.

Ben Steverman in an article entitled, "Stock Market Crash: Understanding the Panic." states, " The (recent) day-after-day declines in the stock market are unprecedented.
Normally even falling stock markets take a break from time to time, as the vultures swoop in to pick up stocks at bargain prices.

But now, the market's psychology is anything but normal. Every time the stock market rallies—as it did on the morning of Oct. 9—"there are tons of sellers everywhere," says Dave Rovelli, managing director of equity trading at Canaccord Adams. "People just want out."

Panic in financial markets—just as in everyday life—is explained by the fight-or-flight instinct. "That makes people overreact," says Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, a professor and expert on market psychology at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Not only are stock traders running scared, so are financial institutions. "You've got panics not only among individual investors but panic in the industry itself," says John Merrill, chief investment officer at Tanglewood Capital Management.

Dysfunction in the credit markets means financial firms lack the confidence to transact business with each other. Subrahmanyam is more convinced the markets are behaving irrationally. It's not as if we've had a nuclear war and "real" assets were destroyed, he says. Rather, problems are in the financial sector, not the "real" activity in the rest of the economy. "The real, nonfinancial base of the economy is still fairly strong," he says—far stronger than during, for example, the Great Depression."

Steverman concludes, "By its nature, a crisis is a time of uncertainty. It could be months before we know whether markets are crashing because of irrational fear or because of real economic problems. And that's scary." ( Ben Steverman is a reporter for BusinessWeek's Investing channel.)

(source:http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/oct2008/pi2008109_360708.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_news+%2B+analysis)


Yes it is scary,for those of us who rely on financial experts to manage our money. If those of us who are investors cannot have faith in financial experts to come to some sort of understanding of why the present financial crisis has happened,then is it not a natural reaction on the part of investors, to want to withdraw our money from the World Financial market altogether?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How will the opening begin?:Kramnik vrs Anand

An important part of any chess game is how a player plays the first few moves of the game. These days in professional chess, and even at the club level, many players have favorite openings they play, and tend to play repeatedly due to the fact that they like certain aspects of the opening. Modern Chess programs such as Chessbase 9 allow the user to create opening books of a player so you can learn what kinds of openings that both the user and his or her opponents favor.

As most people who follow professional chess known, GM Vladimir Kramnik likes to begin games with the White pieces by playing the move 1.Nf3. In looking at the career of Vishy Anand, I discovered using the program Chessbase 9, that when playing the Black pieces, and facing the opening move 1.Nf3, Anand most frequently responds by playing the move 1...Nf6. When Kramnik's opponent plays 1...Nf6 then he usually continues with the move 2.c4 and now alternating moves using Chessbase 9, a game between Kramnik and Anand in which Kramnik is white should follow this course in the opening:

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 (although Anand could play 2...g6 and hope to transpose the game into a Grunfeld Defense). 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.a3 Bxc3 6.Qxc3 b6 7.b4 or 7.d4). This opening is named English, and it is a positional opening,where both players are interested in moving their pieces around to get them in the best possible positions afforded by the play of their opponent.

Vishy Anand, in contrast to Kramnik, favors playing the opening move 1.e4 with the White pieces. This results in an open game, where files and lines open up for his pieces to attack his opponent. In looking at the opening book file for Kramnik, when he plays the Black pieces and his opponent playing White begins with the move 1.e4, Kramnik favors opening the game with the move: 1...c5 (The Sicilian Defense). However, of late and in recent years, Kramnik has more often than not played the move 1...e5 to begin the game. If Kramnik were to begin with 1....e5 then Anand would respond by playing 2.Nf3, and play then would either continue with Kramnik playing 2...Nf6 (Petroff's Defense) or 2...Nc6 which would probably result in Anand playing 3.Bb5 (The Ruy Lopez Opening).

If instead of 1..e5 Kramnik played 1...c5 (The Sicilian) the two players favorite opening moves are:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 e6 ( and the opening has evolved into the Richter-Rauzer variation of the Sicilian Defense).

For those of you not familiar with chess openings, here are some good websites on the internet which talk in more detail about the openings I have discussed above:

(A)Grunfeld Defense: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%BCnfeld_Defence
http://www.sudburychess.org.uk/GrunfeldDefense.htm,
http://www.chess.com/article/view/chess-openings-grnfeld-defense


(B)English Opening:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Opening,
http://www.exeterchessclub.org.uk/Openings/engidea1.html ,
http://www.eudesign.com/chessops/engo-app.htm


(c)Sicilian Defense: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicilian_Defence
http://www.5min.com/Video/Chess--Learn-the-Sicilian-defense-1499
http://thesiciliandefense.com/
http://www.chess-poster.com/openings/sicilian_defense.htm
http://www.kidschess.com/sicilian/sicilian_defense.html

(c1)Richter-Rauzer variation of the Sicilian Defense:
http://chesscoach1950.blogspot.com/2006/06/chess-understanding-sicilian-richter.html


(d)Ruy Lopez:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruy_Lopez
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/adam.bozon/ruylopez.htm
http://www.squidoo.com/Chess-Openings-Ruy-Lopez-Opening

http://www.eudesign.com/chessops/ruyl-app.htm



(d)Petroff's (Petrov's)Defense:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc9x8qNmGX0,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrov_Defence
http://chesspetroffsdefensee-book.blogspot.com/
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Petrov%27s-Defence
http://www.powerset.com/explore/semhtml/Petrov%27s_Defence?query=Petrov%27s+Defence

World Chess Championship:Anand vs Kramnik in Bonn

There are only a few days remaining before the start of the World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand of India and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia! This match will consist of 12 games (unless the players are tied at the end of 6 games, in which a tie-breaker will be played). Here are the days in which the match will be played:
Gm1: Oct 14th, Gm2: Oct 15th, Gm3: Oct 17th, Gm4: Oct 18th, Gm5: Oct 20th, Gm6: Oct 21st, Gm7: Oct 23rd, Gm8: Oct 24th, Gm9: Oct 26th, Gm10: Oct 27th, Gm11: Oct 29th, Gm12: Oct 31st, Tiebreak Nov 2nd. The official World Championship website is: http://www.uep-worldchess.com/ I am pulling for Kramnik. An interview of Anand is at:
http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4933

Recent Chess Events

Here are some results of some recent chess events played in the world:

17th Croatian Team Chess Championship
-------------------------------------
The 17th annual Croatian Team Chess Championship was held in Sibenik from September 27th-October 5th. Some of the players who participated in this tournament included: :GM Sasikiran, GMK.Georgiev, GM Malakov, GM Dreev, GM I.Sokalov, GM P.Nikolic, and GM Almasi. The official tournament website for this event is: http://www.crochess.com/turniri/sibenik/liga_08/index.shtm with results available at: http://chess-results.com.

4NCL (4 Nations Chess League)
----------------------------
The annual 4 Nations chess league kicked off its season with rounds being played on October 4th and 5th. Among those playing in this years's event are: GM Mark Hebden, GM Peter Wells,GM Chris Ward, GM Jon Speelman,and GM Jonathan Rowson. The official tournament website for this competition is: http://www.4ncl.co.uk/

Results of Recent Chess Tournaments

Here are some of the most recent results from Chess Tournaments all over the world:

SPICE Cup
---------
The SPICE Cup took place September 19th-28th 2008 at the Texas Tech Student Union Building in Lubbock, Texas USA. The winner of the event was GM Pentala Harikrishna on a tie-break over 3 other players: GM's Akobian,Onischuk and Kritz. All four players had finished the event tied with 5.5 points. (All those in favor of a playoff system to decide tournaments of this nature say aye..... AYE!

Commonwealth Chess Championship
-------------------------------
GM Nigel Short of Great Britain won the 2008 Commonwealth Chess Championship. Here is a partial final crosstable of the top-rated finishers in the event:

COMMONWEALTH CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP 2008
Rank after round 10
Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Club Birth Typ Pts BH. BH.
1 1 GM Short Nigel D 2655 ENG 1965/00/00 8½ 47 59
2 9 IM Arun Prasad S 2492 IND TN 1988/04/21 U20 8 52 65
3 2 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2631 IND MS 1983/00/00 8 51 63
4 15 IM Venkatesh M R 2462 IND TN 1985/05/20 7½ 52 64½
5 4 GM Kunte Abhijit 2554 IND MS 1977/00/00 7½ 50½ 63½
6 7 IM Laxman R R 2498 IND RLY 1983/02/05 7½ 49½ 61½
7 10 GM Hossain Enamul 2489 BAN 1981/00/00 7½ 48½ 62
8 6 GM Negi Parimarjan 2529 IND DEL 1993/00/00 U16 7½ 48½ 61½
9 24 IM Ashwin Jayaram 2436 IND TN 1990/08/14 U18 7½ 48 60½
10 21 Thejkumar M S 2441 IND RLY 1981/01/01 7½ 48 60
11 14 GM Neelotpal Das 2462 IND 1982/00/00 7½ 46 58½

Hungarian Chess Championship
---------------------------
The 58th Hungarian Championship took place in Nyiregyhaza Hungary. GM Zoltan Almasi won the event in a playoff over IM Csaba Balogh. Source:http://dodicsek.unsoft.hu/2008/0912ferfiko/menkoch2008.htm.


Categoria Internacional Chess Tournament
----------------------------------------
The FEFCD Chihuahua Mexico Chess Tournament was held from September 26th-28th 2008. The tournament was won by American GM Jesse Kraii with a score of 5.5 points. GM Kraii was a recent visitor to Edmonton, where he played in a sectional tournament, the 3rd Annual Edmonton Chess Festival. See: http://ecf2008.com/


No. PNo. Name Score WP PS rat. TPR W-We LUGAR PREMIO
---- ----- ---------------------------- ------ ----- ------ ------ ----- -------
1 3 Kraai, Jesse 5.5 24.5 20 2513 2596 0.31 PRIMERO $15,000.00
2 4 Martin Del Campo C., Rober 5 23 19.5 2420 2526 0.71 SEGUNDO $10,000.00
3 6 Fernandez, Daniel 5 24.5 19 2401 2533 0.71 TERCERO $5,000.00
4 5 Almeida Saenz, Alfonso 5 24 18.5 2419 2467 0.3 CUARTO $3,000.00
5 16 Tinajero Tristan, Dante 5 22.5 18 2128 2565 2.12 QUINTO $2,000.00
6 10 Morales Garcia, Sergio Jos 5 21.5 17 2280 2383 0.4
7 14 Mendoza, Gandara Jose Davi 5 18 16.5 2161 2396 0.6 MEJOR CHH $1,000.00

61st Russian Chess Championship

The 61st Russian Championship is presently being held in Novkuznetsk, Siberia.It is being played from September 3rd-14th.The top-rated player in this event is GM Alexander Morozovich, who has climbed into the #2 position on the FIDE October ratings list behind Topalov. After 4 rounds of play in this event, GM Peter Svidler is alone in first play with a score of 3.5 points. Here is a crosstable after 4 rounds of play:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2
1 Svidler,P 2727 +301 * ½ 1 1 1 3.5/4
2 Lastin,A 2651 +179 ½ * ½ 1 1 3.0/4
3 Jakovenko,D 2737 +26 * 1 ½ ½ ½ 2.5/4 4.00
4 Vitiugov,N 2638 +157 * ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/4 3.50
5 Alekseev,Evgeny 2715 -42 0 ½ * 1 ½ 2.0/4 4.00
6 Morozevich,A 2787 -118 0 ½ * ½ 1 2.0/4 3.75
7 Riazantsev,A 2656 -18 0 ½ * ½ 1 2.0/4 3.00
8 Timofeev,Arty 2670 +57 ½ 0 ½ * 1 2.0/4 2.75
9 Sakaev,K 2640 -69 ½ 0 ½ * ½ 1.5/4 3.00
10 Tomashevsky,E 2646 -72 0 ½ ½ * ½ 1.5/4 2.75
11 Maslak,K 2544 -86 0 0 ½ ½ * 1.0/4
12 Inarkiev,E 2669 -314 0 ½ 0 0 * 0.5/4

Average elo: 2673 <=> Category: 17
gm = 4.84 m = 2.53

The official tournament website is at:http://www.russiachess.org/ Sadly, the official website is only written using Russian, as clicking on the ENG designation at the top of the page gives the viewer chess news which is very old.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Firebombing killed 25,000 in Dresden in 1945: German commission

A special commission in Germany says the Allied firebombing of Dresden in 1945 killed no more than 25,000 people — far fewer than scholars' previous estimates running as high as 135,000.

The team of a dozen experts, including university professors, archivists and military historians, reported Wednesday that four years of research so far has confirmed 18,000 deaths and showed that police and city administrators at the time believed there were about 25,000 victims.

Recently, neo-Nazis in Germany have offered a sharply inflated figure of 500,000 to one million victims, calling the raid a "bombing Holocaust" and comparing it to Adolf Hitler's murder of six million Jews.

But when a far-right party won seats in Saxony's parliament in 2004 and began promoting such claims, state officials decided a commission was needed to put the matter to rest.

Source:http://www.cbc.ca/

British historian Frederick Taylor, author of "Dresden: Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1945", argues that while the raid was cruel and ruthless, the city was a valid target because its industries contributed to the war effort.

Sir Arthur Harris,who was Air Marshall for the Allied forces in WW2 and ordered the attack against Dresden stated in his autobiography, "Bomber Offensive: "In February of 1945, with the Russian army threatening the heart of Saxony, I was called upon to attack Dresden; this was considered a target of the first importance for the offensive on the Eastern front. Dresden had by this time become the main centre of communications for the defence of Germany on the southern half of the Eastern front and it was considered that a heavy air attack would disorganise these communications and also make Dresden useless as a controlling centre for the defence. It was also by far the largest city in Germany - the pre-war population was 630,000 - which had been left intact; it had never before been bombed. As a large centre of war industry it was also of the highest importance. Harris concludes: "Here I will only say that the attack on Dresden was at the time considered a military necessity by much more important people than myself, and that if their judgment was right the same arguments must apply that I have set out in an earlier chapter in which I said what I think about the ethics of bombing as a whole."

Internet comments about the Dresden bombing by the BBC rationalize the bombing in this fashion:

" Churchill thought that the bombing of communication centres in eastern Germany might aid the Soviet advance on Berlin. Bomber Command was ordered to attack Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig and other east German cities to 'cause confusion in the evacuation from the east' and 'hamper the movements of troops from the west'.

This directive led to the raid on Dresden and marked the erosion of one last moral restriction in the bombing war: the term 'evacuation from the east' did not refer to retreating troops but to the civilian refugees fleeing from the advancing Russians.

Although these refugees clearly did not contribute to the German war effort, they were considered legitimate targets simply because the chaos caused by attacks on them might obstruct German troop reinforcements to the Eastern Front.

It is significant that only a few weeks after the raid on Dresden, on 28 March 1945, Churchill tried to dissociate himself from the destruction, and drafted the previously cited memorandum in which he denounced the bombing of cities as 'mere acts of terror and wanton destruction".

(source:http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/area_bombing_05.shtml)

Can the actions of any person or group of persons during a war or during peace be moral if they cause pain and suffering upon others?

Spanish Championship ,Lausanne Young Masters

Spanish Chess Championship
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The Spanish Chess Championship is being held in Ceuta, Spain from September 27th - October 4th, 2008. The official website is at: http://www.feda.org/ .


Lausanne Young Masters
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The 9th annual Lausanne Young Masters Chess Tournament took place from September 19th-22nd 2008, in Lausanne, Switzerland. GM Alexander Dgebuadze of Belgium won the event on a tie-break over WGM Cristina Foisor of Romania, after both had finished tied with 6 points in the seven-round event.

Russian victory in the 5th China vs Russia Chess Match

A team of Russia chessplayers defeated China a team of chess players from China in a match held in Ningpo, China from September 18th-23rd. The players played in regular time control games,active time control games and blitz chess games to determine who was superior at playing chess.

The games from this match are available in PGN format from:http://chesscenter.com/twic/chnrus08.pgn

Here are some of the results from other chess tournaments which recently concluded:

1.SPICE Cup
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Four players (GM's Harikrishna,Akobian,Onischuk, and Kritz) tied for first in the 2008 Spice Cup Chess Tournament, which was held from from September 19th-28 at the Texas Tech University Student Union Building. GM Harikrishna of India won the event after tie-break rules were used.

2.Four Nations Chess League
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The 2008 edition of the Four Nations Chess League begins play on the October 4/5th weekend. Among those playing in this year's event are GM's Speelman,Chandler,Davies,Mestel, and Michael Adams. It is nice to see that a Canadian is participating, Jan Teplitsky is playing on board 4 for the "White Rose" team. GM Pia Cramling is playing board one for the Wood-Green 1 team. Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant is playing on board 7 for this team.

The official website for the 4NCL is http://www.4ncl.co.uk/

3.Hungarian Chess Championship
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The Men's Hungarian Chess Championship was held from September 12-23rd in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary. Top-ranked GM Zoltan Almási won the championship, defeating third-ranked GM Csaba Balogh by a score of 2.5-1.5 in the final.
Source:http://dodicsek.unsoft.hu/2008/0912ferfiko/menkoch2008.htm Games from this event are available for viewing at: http://dodicsek.unsoft.hu/2008/0912ferfiko/g/dgt_chesstheatre.htm

4.Commonwealth Chess Championship
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This year's Commonwealth Chess Championship takes place from September 28th-October 6th in Nagpur, India.The top-rated player in this event is GM Nigel Short of England (elo 2655). After 6 rounds of play, two players are tied for first place: IM Deep Sengupta (2454) and IM Anup Deshmukh (2284) both of India (4 points). The official tournament website for this event is:: http://www.commonwealth-chess.com Games can be watched live at: http://www.monroi.com/watch/?tnm_id=1120

Scientists trace AIDS virus origin to 100 years ago

" NEW YORK (AP) -- The AIDS virus has been circulating among people for about 100 years, decades longer than scientists had thought, a new study suggests.

Genetic analysis pushes the estimated origin of HIV back to between 1884 and 1924, with a more focused estimate at 1908.

Previously, scientists had estimated the origin at around 1930. AIDS wasn't recognized formally until 1981 when it got the attention of public health officials in the United States.

The new result is "not a monumental shift, but it means the virus was circulating under our radar even longer than we knew," says Michael Worobey of the University of Arizona, an author of the new work.

The results appear in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. Researchers note that the newly calculated dates fall during the rise of cities in Africa, and they suggest urban development may have promoted HIV's initial establishment and early spread.

Scientists say HIV descended from a chimpanzee virus that jumped to humans in Africa, probably when people butchered chimps. Many individuals were probably infected that way, but so few other people caught the virus that it failed to get a lasting foothold, researchers say."

To read the entire news article go to:http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/10/01/aids.virus.origin.ap/index.html

Now all of these religious hypocrites who have blamed the existence of AIDS on gays and on people who have to have blood transfusions,well, these "ignorant persons" will have to eat crow.

Visit GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's Women's Chess Blog:Please click on the image below:

Visit GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's Women's Chess Blog:Please click on the image below:
Chess needs more women and girl participants and administrators!

Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.