Magnus Carlsen

Faldt lige over et par videoer fra Wijk Aan Zee. En af vinderne, Magnus Carlsen (han delte førstepladsen med Levon Aronian) analyserer her sit første parti:

Del 2 og 3 (begge loader betydeligt hurtigere end første del, det gjorde de i hvert fald for mig) her og her. Uanset om man kan lide skak eller ej, er det svært at komme udenom, at han er et bemærkelsesværdigt menneske. Selvom han er i den absolutte top af verdenseliten, er han ekstremt ydmyg, nede på jorden og opmærksom på egne begrænsninger – helt igennem sympatisk. Mange amerikanere sammenligner ham i disse år med Fischer – det mener jeg er en stor fornærmelse. Carlsen er alt det, Fischer lige netop ikke var; at sammeligne en utroligt talentfuld ung, velopdragen og ydmyg spiller med en utroligt talentfuld jødehadende tosse med storhedsvanvid og en gennemført ubehagelig attitude er fjollet. I dette tilfælde betyder forskellene uendeligt meget mere end lighederne.


January 29, 2008 Posted by | skak | Leave a comment

Another milestone

The first one was this one. Now, for the first time in my life, I have beaten an IM in chess. No, it might not be a big thing for you guys, but it is for me. Well, I didn’t just win – I crushed her:


The end position, I played black, 1+0 bullet game. She blundered a bishop in the middle game and afterwards came into severe time trouble that cost her the Queen.

Update: Dang! I see now, after checking the FIDE database (here she is), that my opponent Iozefina Paulet is not technically an IM – she’s ‘just’ a WIM. And as the WIM title has lower requirements than the FM title, it’s not really a big leap forward. Still, it feels pretty good – only 46 Elo-points separates her from one of the contestants in the Corus C group.

January 28, 2008 Posted by | Chess, Personal | Leave a comment

Quote of the day

People are always amazed by how much “free time” I have. They’re also amazed that I don’t know who Ally McBeal is. Frankly, I’m amazed that they can’t make the connection.

Robert Wenzlaff, quoted here.

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Personal, Quotes/aphorisms | Leave a comment

This is the stuff that makes international chess so entertaining…

Remember a year ago when Topalov and Danailov made an uproar about Kramnik’s frequent visits to the mens room during the match for the World Chess Championship (visits that were most likely smoking breaks)?

During the last couple of days another stupid incident took place in Wijk aan Zee, once again with the Bulgarians in the headlines:

[Nigel] Short came to the board, and with his opponent absent, he played the move 1.e4, and walked away. A few minutes later, Cheparinov came to the board, sat down, and played 1…c5. As Short came over, and held out his hand for the traditional pre-game handshake, Cheparinov pointedly kept his head down over the board and his scoresheet. After a few moments, Short sat down, and waited for Cheparinov to raise his head. When he did so, Short again extended his hand, only for Cheparinov to shrug in refusal.

Short then stood up and approached the arbiter, pointing out that his opponent’s actions are a breach of FIDE rules, which prescribe an immediate forfeit as the penalty for refusing the handshake. […] “It was clearly a calculated insult”, said Short. The arbiter was forced to agree, and the official tournament record now shows the game Short-Cheparinov as having gone 1.e4 c5 1-0.

That was not the end of it though…

In case you were wondering, I was being ironic in the headline. The last thing international chess needs right now is a bunch of dimwits destroying the sport while acting like a bunch of teenagers (hint: by ‘dimwits’ I mean Bulgarian topplayers affiliated with Danailov). What Cheparinov did was despicable. Luckily, even if the game should never, never have been replayed, it did turn out reasonably well. However I’d have preferred that Cheparinov had been thrown out of the tournament altogether. If so, the message would have been clear enough even for Danailov to understand it: If you behave like an asshole, don’t expect to be allowed to participate in top tournaments.

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Chess | Leave a comment

Technological progress

In case you have forgotten, we sure have come a long way in the last 10-15 years…

January 21, 2008 Posted by | fun, technology | Leave a comment

Random fact of the day

Almost 40 percent of America’s children are born to unmarried parents.

A lot more here, HT: Tyler Cowen.

January 18, 2008 Posted by | marriage | 1 Comment


The Corus Chess Tournament has started. Information, games, commentary ect. here. Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan provides live commentary on the playchess server – I followed his commentary on the WC some time ago, and he was very good then.

The A-group standings after three rounds: Aronian and Carlsen in the lead (2.5/3), Topalov and Anand in the bottom (1/3).

If only this wasn’t in the middle of the examination period 😦

January 14, 2008 Posted by | Chess | Leave a comment

Dagens tåbelighed

Al den videnskabelighed, der ikke til syvende og sidst hjælper dig og mig til at se os selv i forhold til Gud, er ligegyldig. Simpelthen. Er ualvorlig, ja nærmest umenneskelig nysgerrighed. En art nyfigenhed, som man ikke kan bruge til noget som helst.

Eller, for nu at blive ved citatet med vognen i den mørke nat fra før. Den viden, som spærrer for udsynet til stjernerne og uendeligheden, den er ligegyldig, uanset, hvor ophøjet den videnskabelighed selv føler sig. Det gælder om at bevare udsynet til stjernerne. Viden eller ej.

Skulle den logiske videnskabelighed stille sig hindrende i vejen for din udsigt til evigheden, så læg den væk og sluk lygterne, for at du kan få øje på uendelighedens stjerner.

Kathrine Lilleør.

Hvis hun havde magt som hun har agt ville vi stadig leve i jordhuler.

January 13, 2008 Posted by | citater, Religion | 1 Comment

Just beautiful

Here’s the link, thanks to Sandmonkey. If you don’t like the music then just turn it off and put on a piece of, say, Debussy instead, the visual imagery is too great to be discarded solely because of the audio.

Here’s another link (with pictures instead). If you don’t think all of them should be on the top list, give a vote or two yourself.

January 13, 2008 Posted by | Nature, Random stuff | Leave a comment

Dagens citater

Fra en julegave, Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Stalinbiografi, som jeg forsøger at stjæle mig tid til at læse lidt i:

i) “Sagerne Eismont, Smirnov og Rjutin er fulde af alkohol. Vi ser en opposition, der har ligget i blød i vodka. Eismont, Rykov. På jagt efter vilde dyr. Tomskij, jeg gentager Tomskij. Brølende vilde dyr, som knurrer. Smirnov og andre Moskva-rygter. Som en ørken. Jeg har det forfærdeligt og får ikke megen søvn.

Fra en note Stalin skrev til Vorosjilov en måned efter Nadesja (Nadja) Allilujeva‘s død i 32.

ii) I Pravda blev Stalin omtalt i halvdelen af alle lederartikler mellem 1933 og 1939.

Nej da, der var slet ikke tale om nogen personkult i Sovjet under Stalin. Overhovedet ikke…

iii) Alene i 1934 var der […] 62.000 uheld på jernbanerne.

Som kilde angives E. A. Rees’ Stalinism and Soviet Rail Transport 1928-1941, London, 1995, s.118. Et kort review af bogen her. Den sætning fortæller efter min opfattelse en hel del om Ruslands udvikling i 1930erne.

January 10, 2008 Posted by | bøger, historie | Leave a comment

Government Failure?

Biofuels are expected to eat up about a third of America’s grain harvest in 2007.

More here.

HT: Arnold Kling

January 5, 2008 Posted by | global warming, regulation, stupidity | Leave a comment

Quote of the day

“The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
“Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
“I did,” said Ford, “It is.”
“So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?”
“It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
“You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
“Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
“But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
“Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in.”

Yudkowsky is writing about politics and democracy at the moment and I encourage all readers, if you can spare the time, to follow these posts closely. I quite think I’d rather you read his posts than mine these days, and I’m not sure dropping another three or four blogs to follow his posts is at all a bad trade-off.

I am finishing up on Douglas Adams now, and I remembered the bit above very well when I reread it. The quote is from Yudkowsky’s post Stop Voting for Nincompoops, and the rest of the post is very much quotable too. I will restrict myself to one more quote, from the conclusion:

If you vote for nincompoops, for whatever clever-sounding reason, don’t be surprised that out of 300 million people you get nincompoops in office.

The arguments are long, but the voting strategy they imply is simple: Stop trying to be clever, just don’t vote for nincompoops.


To boil it all down to an emotional argument that isn’t necessarily wrong:

Why drive out to your polling place and stand in line for half an hour or more – when your vote isn’t very likely to singlehandedly determine the Presidency – and then vote for someone you don’t even want?

January 3, 2008 Posted by | politics, Quotes/aphorisms, voting | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia facts of the day

i) In Saudi Arabia, for each earner there are 6 dependents.

ii) 6% of the workforce are women.

iii) It is estimated that almost 50% of all marriages end in divorce.

iv) More than half the country’s graduates are women.

v) There are very few things women are allowed to do without asking for male consent first. Women are not allowed to vote or hold political office in Saudi Arabia.

All facts are from Sharmeen Obaid’s documentary Women of the Holy Kingdom, a program sent on DR2 this evening.

January 3, 2008 Posted by | Geography, islam | Leave a comment