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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ancient Amazon Civilization Discovered

Evidence of the existence of an ancient civilization has been found within the Amazon region of South America. The evidence(see photos below) was uncovered after satellite imagery being used to detect deforested areas of the Amazon Basin revealed more than 200 geometric earthworks in a specific region where the satellite was taking images. According to a report by Michael Reilly at the following website:http://news.discovery.com/earth/deforestation-unveils-lost-amazon-civilization.html

 

 




"Researchers found mysterious geometric trenches and other earthworks carved into the landscape as early as a decade ago, but satellites have paved the way for the discovery of over 200 giant structures."


"Writing in the journal Antiquity, the researchers say the the formations stretch for some 250 kilometers (155 miles) across the upper Amazon basin east of the Andes mountains and appear to be of a similar style throughout, suggesting one vast, united civilization that could have totaled some 60,000 inhabitants."

"Researchers also found stone tools, bits of ceramics, and other artifacts buried in mounds along the trenches. So far, the uncovered areas date to between 200 and 1283 A.D., but the team thinks they've seen "no more than a tenth" of the true extent of this archeological wonder. More from an article which appeared Tuesday in the Guardian":

"These revelations are exploding our perceptions of what the Americas really looked liked before the arrival of Christopher Columbus," said David Grann, author of "The Lost City of Z," a book about an attempt in the 1920s to find signs of Amazonian civilizations. "The discoveries are challenging long-held assumptions about the Amazon as a Hobbesian place where only small primitive tribes could ever have existed, and about the limits the environment placed on the rise of early civilizations."

According to Rory Carroll in his article at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/05/amazon-dorado-satellite-discovery

"Spanish conquistadors ventured into the rain-forest seeking fortune, followed over the centuries by others convinced they would find a lost civilization to rival the Aztecs and Incas."
"Some seekers called it El Dorado, others the City of Z. But the jungle swallowed them and nothing was found, prompting the rest of the world to call it a myth. The Amazon was too inhospitable, said 20th century scholars, to permit large human settlements."
"Now, however, the doomed dreamers have been proved right: there was a great civilization."

"Spanning 155 miles, the circles, squares and other geometric shapes form a network of avenues, ditches and enclosures built long before Christopher Columbus set foot in the new world. Some date to as early as 200 AD, others to 1283."

"Scientists who have mapped the earthworks believe there may be another 2,000 structures beneath the jungle canopy, vestiges of vanished societies.
The structures, many of which have been revealed by the clearance of forest for agriculture, point to a "sophisticated pre-Columbian monument-building society", says the journal Antiquity, which has published the research."

"The article adds: "This hitherto unknown people constructed earthworks of precise geometric plan connected by straight orthogonal roads. The 'geoglyph culture' stretches over a region more than 250km across, and exploits both the floodplains and the uplands … we have so far seen no more than a tenth of it."
The structures were created by a network of trenches about 36ft (nearly 11 metres) wide and several feet deep, lined by banks up to 3ft high. Some were ringed by low mounds containing ceramics, charcoal and stone tools. It is thought they were used for fortifications, homes and ceremonies, and could have maintained a population of 60,000 – more people than in many medieval European cities.
The discoveries have demolished ideas that soils in the upper Amazon were too poor to support extensive agriculture, says Denise Schaan, a co-author of the study and anthropologist at the Federal University of Pará, in Belém, Brazil. She told National Geographic: "We found this picture is wrong. And there is a lot more to discover in these places, it's never-ending. Every week we find new structures."

To read more about Eldorado (the City of Z), please go to the following websites:


http://www.crystalinks.com/lostcityofz.html

http://www.geographicus.com/blog/rare-and-antique-maps/el-dorado-lake-parima-patiti-and-the-lost-city-of-z/

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/01/the-city-of-z.html

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1880630,00.html

Here is  a link to a  video in which David Grann, talks about this civilization:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_wRFeU8l2I
Here is a link to a video which shows some of the photos of the discovery from a bird's eye view:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUjZfoAPcTY

Here is a short documentary about El Dorado I found at Youtube:Thanks to user absalutevalue for posting this video there.



source of images:National Geographic

Gibtelecom Chess Festival 2010:Masters tournament:round 6 results and standings, and round 7 pairings

The sixth round of the Gibtelecom Masters Chess Tournament was played today in Gibraltar. Here are the results from the top boards (the player on the left had the white pieces in the game):

Table White Flags Score Fed. Rating Black Flags Score Fed. Rating Result
1 GM Gustafsson, Jan
4.5 GER 2627 GM Adams, Michael
4.5 ENG 2694 ½-½
2 GM Bacrot, Etienne
4.0 FRA 2713 GM Felgaer, Ruben
4.0 ARG 2591 ½-½
3 GM Speelman, Jon S
4.0 ENG 2525 GM Movsesian, Sergei
4.0 SVK 2708 ½-½
4 GM Kamsky, Gata
4.0 USA 2693 IM Lenderman, Alex
4.0 USA 2560 ½-½
5 GM Guliyev, Namig
4.0 AZE 2516 GM Fressinet, Laurent
4.0 FRA 2670 ½-½
6 GM Fridman, Daniel
4.0 GER 2654 GM Malakhatko, Vadim
4.0 BEL 2549 ½-½
7 GM Dzagnidze, Nana
4.0 GEO 2506 GM Sandipan, Chanda
4.0 IND 2622 0-1
8 WGM Zhukova, Natalia
4.0 UKR 2462 GM Edouard, Romain
4.0 FRA 2608 1-0
9 GM Cheparinov, Ivan
3.5 BUL 2660 Battaglini, Gabriel
4.0 FRA 2411 1-0
10 GM Vallejo Pons, Francisco
3.5 ESP 2705 IM Zatonskih, Anna
3.5 USA 2466 1-0
11 GM Koneru, Humpy
3.5 IND 2614 IM Krush, Irina
3.5 USA 2455 1-0
12 GM Istratescu, Andrei
3.5 ROU 2607 IM Vernay, Clovis
3.5 FRA 2442 ½-½
13 GM Geetha Narayanan Gopal
3.5 IND 2584 WGM Karavade, Eesha
3.5 IND 2405 1-0
14 GM Halkias, Stelios
3.5 GRE 2566 IM Hirneise, Tobias
3.5 GER 2421 1-0
15 GM Maze, Sebastien
3.5 FRA 2554 IM Houska, Jovanka w 3.5 ENG 2401 1-0
16 GM Siebrecht, Sebastian
3.5 GER 2468 GM Stefanova, Antoaneta
3.5 BUL 2545 0-1
17 GM Bhat, Vinay S.
3.5 USA 2540 IM Benitah, Yohan
3.5 FRA 2390 1-0
18 GM Cramling, Pia
3.5 SWE 2528 FM Camus de Solliers, Guillau
3.5 FRA 2356 1-0
19 FM Degtiarev, Evgeny
3.5 GER 2374 GM Naumann, Alexander
3.5 GER 2525 0-1
20 GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra
3.5 RUS 2523 IM Saravanan, V.
3.5 IND 2356 ½-½
21 IM Peek, Marcel
3.5 NED 2342 GM Bindrich, Falko
3.5 GER 2512 ½-½
22 IM Zozulia, Anna
3.5 BEL 2321 GM Hoffmann, Michael
3.5 GER 2508 0-1
23 IM Javakhishvili, Lela
3.5 GEO 2493 FM Dittmar, Peter
3.5 GER 2341 1-0
24 IM Cori, Jorge
3.5 PER 2483 FM Wantiez, Fabrice
3.5 BEL 2315 1-0
25 Tozer, Philip
3.5 ENG 2119 IM Harika, Dronavalli
3.5 IND 2471 0-1

These results mean the following standings exist after 6 rounds of play:

Rank Name Flags Score Fed. M/F Rating TPR W-We 123456
1GM Adams, Michael
5.0 ENG M 2694 2822 +0.93 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½
2GM Gustafsson, Jan
5.0 GER M 2627 2815 +1.38 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½
3GM Sandipan, Chanda
5.0 IND M 2622 2772 +1.06 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1
4WGM Zhukova, Natalia
5.0 UKR F 2462 2749 +2.16 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1
5GM Bacrot, Etienne
4.5 FRA M 2713 2681 -0.12 ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½
6GM Movsesian, Sergei
4.5 SVK M 2708 2660 -0.28 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½
7GM Vallejo Pons, Francisco
4.5 ESP M 2705 2683 -0.09 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1
8GM Kamsky, Gata
4.5 USA M 2693 2676 -0.07 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½
9GM Fressinet, Laurent
4.5 FRA M 2670 2713 +0.37 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½
10GM Cheparinov, Ivan
4.5 BUL M 2660 2545 -0.63 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1
11GM Fridman, Daniel
4.5 GER M 2654 2686 +0.28 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½
12GM Koneru, Humpy
4.5 IND F 2614 2654 +0.37 1 ½ 1 1 0 1
13GM Felgaer, Ruben
4.5 ARG M 2591 2628 +0.47 ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½
14GM Geetha Narayanan Gopal
4.5 IND M 2584 2632 +0.40 1 1 ½ 1 0 1
15GM Halkias, Stelios
4.5 GRE M 2566 2612 +0.42 1 1 0 1 ½ 1
16IM Lenderman, Alex
4.5 USA M 2560 2565 +0.19 1 0 1 1 1 ½
17GM Maze, Sebastien
4.5 FRA M 2554 2654 +0.37 - + 1 1 ½ 1
18GM Malakhatko, Vadim
4.5 BEL M 2549 2619 +0.56 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½
19GM Stefanova, Antoaneta
4.5 BUL F 2545 2661 +0.94 1 1 ½ 0 1 1
20GM Bhat, Vinay S.
4.5 USA M 2540 2510 -0.17 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1
21GM Cramling, Pia
4.5 SWE F 2528 2562 +0.34 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1
22GM Naumann, Alexander
4.5 GER M 2525 2543 +0.24 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1
23GM Speelman, Jon S
4.5 ENG M 2525 2523 +0.11 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½
24GM Guliyev, Namig
4.5 AZE M 2516 2490 +0.00 0 1 1 1 1 ½
25GM Hoffmann, Michael
4.5 GER M 2508 2588 +0.68 1 1 ½ 0 1 1
26IM Javakhishvili, Lela
4.5 GEO F 2493 2489 +0.08 1 ½ 1 0 1 1
27IM Cori, Jorge
4.5 PER M 2483 2531 +0.38 = 1 1 0 1 1
28IM Harika, Dronavalli
4.5 IND F 2471 2539 +0.66 1 0 1 1 ½ 1
29GM Edouard, Romain
4.0 FRA M 2608 2601 -0.01 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 0
30GM Istratescu, Andrei
4.0 ROU M 2607 2485 -0.77 1 0 1 1 ½ ½
31GM Lopez Martinez, Josep Manu
4.0 ESP M 2593 2454 -0.85 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 1
32GM Lemos, Damian
4.0 ARG M 2556 2450 -0.67 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 1
33GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra
4.0 RUS F 2523 2557 +0.33 1 1 ½ 0 1 ½
34GM Bindrich, Falko
4.0 GER M 2512 2538 +0.27 1 1 ½ 0 1 ½
35IM Kapnisis, Spyridon
4.0 GRE M 2510 2454 -0.31 1 1 0 ½ ½ 1
36GM Dzagnidze, Nana
4.0 GEO F 2506 2475 -0.06 1 1 0 1 1 0
37IM Shankland, Samuel L
4.0 USA M 2491 2529 +0.37 1 1 ½ ½ 0 1
38GM Carlsson, Pontus
4.0 SWE M 2476 2492 +0.25 1 0 1 1 0 1
39IM Boskovic, Drasko
4.0 SRB M 2454 2375 -0.44 1 0 1 ½ ½ 1
40IM Vernay, Clovis
4.0 FRA M 2442 2544 +0.85 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½
41GM Bellon Lopez, Juan Manuel
4.0 ESP M 2440 2443 +0.12 1 0 1 1 0 1
42WIM Cori T., Deysi
4.0 PER F 2412 2382 -0.06 = 1 0 ½ 1 1
43 Battaglini, Gabriel
4.0 FRA M 2411 2602 +1.49 1 1 0 1 1 0
44IM Sarkar, Justin
4.0 USA M 2378 2343 -0.19 0 1 1 1 0 1
45FM Zaremba, Andrie
4.0 USA M 2360 2323 -0.20 1 0 1 ½ ½ 1
46IM Saravanan, V.
4.0 IND M 2356 2427 +0.69 1 0 1 1 ½ ½
47FM Lovik, Lasse Ostebo
4.0 NOR M 2343 2299 -0.23 0 0 1 1 1 1
48IM Peek, Marcel
4.0 NED M 2342 2370 +0.30 0 1 1 ½ 1 ½
49WGM Reizniece, Dana
4.0 LAT F 2341 2317 -0.14 0 1 1 0 1 1
50IM Sedina, Elena
4.0 ITA F 2335 2342 +0.20 1 0 1 1 0 1
51 Kantans, Toms
4.0 LAT M 2303 2251 -0.27 0 1 1 1 0 1
52IM Kozlov, Oleg
4.0 RUS M 2279 2427 +1.14 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 1
53FM Avalos Parra, Joao
4.0 CHI M 2245 2300 +0.50 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1
54 Tate, Alan
4.0 SCO M 2211 2292 +0.50 0 0 1 1 1 1
55 Ivanov, Stojan Emilov
4.0 BUL M 2198 2222 +0.33 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1
56 Demac, Elias
4.0 NOR M 2104 2383 +2.11 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1

Here are the pairings for the top boards for round 7 (the player on the left has the white pieces in the game):

Table White Flags Score Fed. Rating Black Flags Score Fed. Rating Result
1 GM Adams, Michael
5.0 ENG 2694 WGM Zhukova, Natalia
5.0 UKR 2462
2 GM Sandipan, Chanda
5.0 IND 2622 GM Gustafsson, Jan
5.0 GER 2627
3 GM Maze, Sebastien
4.5 FRA 2554 GM Bacrot, Etienne
4.5 FRA 2713
4 GM Movsesian, Sergei
4.5 SVK 2708 GM Bhat, Vinay S.
4.5 USA 2540
5 GM Malakhatko, Vadim
4.5 BEL 2549 GM Vallejo Pons, Francisco
4.5 ESP 2705
6 GM Stefanova, Antoaneta
4.5 BUL 2545 GM Kamsky, Gata
4.5 USA 2693
7 GM Fressinet, Laurent
4.5 FRA 2670 GM Cramling, Pia
4.5 SWE 2528
8 GM Naumann, Alexander
4.5 GER 2525 GM Cheparinov, Ivan
4.5 BUL 2660
9 GM Speelman, Jon S
4.5 ENG 2525 GM Fridman, Daniel
4.5 GER 2654
10 GM Guliyev, Namig
4.5 AZE 2516 GM Koneru, Humpy
4.5 IND 2614
11 GM Felgaer, Ruben
4.5 ARG 2591 IM Javakhishvili, Lela
4.5 GEO 2493
12 GM Hoffmann, Michael
4.5 GER 2508 GM Geetha Narayanan Gopal
4.5 IND 2584
13 IM Harika, Dronavalli
4.5 IND 2471 GM Halkias, Stelios
4.5 GRE 2566
14 IM Lenderman, Alex
4.5 USA 2560 IM Cori, Jorge
4.5 PER 2483
15 GM Edouard, Romain
4.0 FRA 2608 IM Sarkar, Justin
4.0 USA 2378
16 Battaglini, Gabriel
4.0 FRA 2411 GM Istratescu, Andrei
4.0 ROU 2607
17 GM Lopez Martinez, Josep Manu
4.0 ESP 2593 FM Zaremba, Andrie
4.0 USA 2360
18 IM Saravanan, V.
4.0 IND 2356 GM Lemos, Damian
4.0 ARG 2556
19 FM Lovik, Lasse Ostebo
4.0 NOR 2343 GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra
4.0 RUS 2523
20 GM Bindrich, Falko
4.0 GER 2512 WGM Reizniece, Dana
4.0 LAT 2341
21 IM Peek, Marcel
4.0 NED 2342 IM Kapnisis, Spyridon
4.0 GRE 2510
22 IM Sedina, Elena
4.0 ITA 2335 GM Dzagnidze, Nana
4.0 GEO 2506
23 Kantans, Toms
4.0 LAT 2303 IM Shankland, Samuel L
4.0 USA 2491
24 GM Carlsson, Pontus
4.0 SWE 2476 FM Avalos Parra, Joao
4.0 CHI 2245
25 IM Kozlov, Oleg
4.0 RUS 2279 IM Boskovic, Drasko
4.0 SRB 2454
26 IM Vernay, Clovis
4.0 FRA 2442 Ivanov, Stojan Emilov
4.0 BUL 2198
27 Tate, Alan
4.0 SCO 2211 GM Bellon Lopez, Juan Manuel
4.0 ESP 2440
28 WIM Cori T., Deysi
4.0 PER 2412 Demac, Elias
4.0 NOR 2104

You can see all of the results from round 6 and all of the pairings for round 7 by clicking on the following link:

http://www.gibraltarchesscongress.com/gib2010/results/masters/index.html

Best wishes to all of the players for round 7!

Corus Chess Tournament 2010 : Final Report

The last rounds of the 2010 Corus Chess  Tournament were played today in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. I have already talked about the last round of play in Grandmaster Group A in  my last blog post,however, here are the results from all last round games in the three Grandmaster Tournaments, as well as the final crosstables:

(the player on the left had the white pieces in the following games:)

Group A: Round 13 - Sun. Jan. 31st
Loek van Wely - Vishy Anand ½-½
Nigel Short - Jan Smeets ½-½
Hikaru Nakamura - Sergey Tiviakov  1-0
Magnus Carlsen - Fabiano Caruana ½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk - Peter Leko ½-½
Alexei Shirov - Leinier Dominguez ½-½
Vladimir Kramnik - Sergey Karjakin ½-½

Final Crosstable for Grandmaster Group A: The 4 digit number to the right of the player's name is that Player's elo rating entering the tournament. The number directly to the right of the player's elo rating when added or subtracted from the player's elo rating gives the player's performance rating for the tournament.If two or more players are tied with a certain point total,then my Chessbase 9.0 program calculates who wins the finishing place based upon a tie-break formula.Congratulations to GM Carlsen (pictured below) for winning, and also congratulations to GM Kramnik for finishing second and GM Shirov for finishing  third!



(Photo credit  AAS, ERLEND/AFP/Getty Images)

Grandmaster Group B:
-------------------------
Here are the last round results from the games played in Group B: (the player on the left had the white pieces in the game):

Group B: Round 13 - Sun. Jan. 31st
Arkadij Naiditsch - Erwin l'Ami  1-0
Wesley So - Anna Muzychuk ½-½
Varuzhan Akobian - David Howell  1-0
Parimarjan Negi - Anish Giri ½-½
Pentala Harikrishna - Tomi Nyback ½-½
Liviu Nisipeanu - Emil Sutovsky ½-½
Dimitri Reinderman - Ni Hua ½-½

These results mean the following final standings occurred in Grandmaster Group B: Congratulations to GM Anish Giri (pictured below)  for winning the B tournament! His rating perfomance for the tournament is 2773! Congratulations to GM Naiditsch for finishing second and to GM N Hua for finishing in third place! By winning the Grandmaster B tournament, Giri gets to play in the Grandmaster A tournament next year!


 Source of image:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anish_Giri

Grandmaster Group C:
-------------------------
Here are the results from the final round of play in Grandmaster Group C:
(the player on the left had the white pieces in the game):

Group C: Round 12 - Sat. Jan. 30th
Soumya Swaminathan - Abhijeet Gupta  0-1
Ray Robson - Nils Grandelius ½-½
Robin Swinkels - Kjetil Lie ½-½
Mariya Muzychuk - Robin van Kampen  1-0
Stefan Kuipers - Li Chao ½-½
Peng Zhaoqin - Sjoerd Plukkel  0-1
Benjamin Bok - Daniele Vocaturo  1-0

These results mean the following final standings occurred in Grandmaster Group C:Congratulations to Grandmaster Li Chao (pictured below) for winning Group C.His rating performance was 2652. In second place was GM Abhijeet Gupta of India and in third was International Master  Robin Van Kampen. GM Chao gets to play in Grandmaster Group B next year as a reward for winning this section of the tournament.


Source of image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Li_Chao_chess.jpg

Source:http://www.coruschess.com/index.php

You can play through all of the games played in all three GM tournaments by clicking on the following link:

http://www.coruschess.com/pgnviewer.php?year=2010

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.