Econstudentlog

A game

Not against a very strong opponent, but all but 3 of my moves were either the first or second moved recommended by Fritz (The three moves were 3.c3, 4.Bd3, and 9.a3 – the fact that I did not chose one of the main lines in the Sicilian account for the two first “deviations”. As a comparison, only half of the moves made by my opponent matched Fritz’ recommendations). I liked 16.Nb6 in particular, I doubt I’d have found that move a few years ago – back then I’d probably just have checked on e7 and contented myself with the fact that I would be up a pawn and have the bishop pair. The move I employed in the game is much stronger.

US – anonymous player, unrated blitz 3+0:

1. e4…c5,
2. Nf3…d6,
3. c3…Nf6,
4. Bd3…Nc6,
5. Bc2…e6,
6. d4…cxd4,
7. cxd4…Be7,
8. Nc3…0-0,
9. a3…a6,

chessblog

10. 0-0…Re8,
11. Bf4…Qc7,
12. Rc1…Nh5,
13. Be3…d5?,
14. exd5…exd5,
15. Nxd5…Qd6

chessblog2

16. Nb6! …Nf6?,
17. Nxa8…Ng4,
18. Nb6…Nxe3,
19. fxe3…Bg4,
20. Nc4…Qf6,
21. Qd3…Bxf3??
22. Qxh7+

resigned, 1-0

March 31, 2009 Posted by | Chess | Leave a comment

Quote of the day

In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to
shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.

Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

From Lionel Giles’ translation of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Quotes/aphorisms | Leave a comment

(…yet another reason) Why chess is more complicated than you might think

Black to move. Is this position won for black?

amber-2009

It is. Here’s why. In a pawn vs. two knights endgame, the player with the knights has a theoretical win if he can block the pawn with a knight behind the Second Troitzky line. If black was to play Ne4, followed by Nc5, he would be able, with correct play, to win the game within the 50 move limit. A kibitzer confirmed this when the game was being played by plugging the position into a Nalimov Endgame Tablebase.

The position if from a game from the last round of this year’s Amber Chess Tournament. You can play the game here, choose round 11, then select game #4, between Wang Yue and Vishwanathan Anand. The game was a blindfold game – all the players had to look at when they were playing was an empty chess board without pieces on a computer screen – notice that the game nevertheless went on 85 moves. The player that had the black pieces is the current world champion; human players don’t get much stronger than this. He played 61…Kc5, and even if the position is perhaps still winnable, he didn’t find the win.

This is one of the many reasons why I object when people call chess “just another game”. It’s not.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Chess | Leave a comment

Fiscal responsibility

fiscal-responsibility

(Click the image to view it in a higher resolution)

More here.

March 29, 2009 Posted by | Economics, USA | Leave a comment

Æv!

Jeg har fået resultaterne fra den øjenscreening jeg fik foretaget for et stykke tid siden. Resultatet: Det kan nu for første gang ses på mine øjne, at jeg har diabetes. Efter 21 år uden forandringer, er de første nu dukket op. Selvom forandringerne er nogen alle (diabetikere) får, hvis de lever længe nok, og de er stærkt variable over tid og almentilstand (forbigående højt blodtryk eller højt blodsukker kan, som jeg har forstået det, have indflydelse på testresultaterne) og de således mest er at sammenligne med rynker, hvilket var den analogi, lægen brugte, da jeg fik forelagt resultaterne, er det lidt træls at få at vide, at man har fået sine første “rynker” som 23-årig.

Givet resultaterne af undersøgelsen vil Tilma godt have mig med i sit projekt. Jeg skal nok skrive mere herom løbende.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Diabetes | 2 Comments

Uniqueness

I just got thinking about the answer to this question: How many factors do you need to include in your descripition of individual X, in order to separate an average individual from the rest of the human race (I ban the option of simply giving relevant x, y, z and t values here, they should be at least second order variables)? At first, I was thinking the answer must be somewhere between 10 and 20. Assume there are ~6.5 billion people. Assume every factor rules out 99%, and assume that the factors included in the description of the individual are independent. That would mean you’d need to include five factors to be sure you had the right person (these assumptions are of course ludicrous, as there’s ie. no way the factor distribution functions are independent. To get results that corresponded closely to real-life circumstances, you’d need to both define some factor distribution functions and deal with the massive overlaps using some very non-trivial mathematics from set theory. However, the fact that we know of the existence of multiple rare and non-independent uniqueness factors makes finding combinations of these easier, rather than the opposite. I take advantage of this in my own attempt below, which consists of one initial factor with very low population incidence (a) combined with two factors that are like (a) both rare on an absolute level and very unlikely to overlap with the initial factor).

Can you come up with a few sentences about yourself that make you a unique individual in the human race? My attempt would be the following. I assume I’m the only individual on earth that has:
a) read Lenin, en biografi, by Georg Moltved and
b) Read A concise history of the Russian Revolution, by Richard Pipes, and
c) read Relativity, by Albert Einstein.

I doubt anyone else has read this exact combination of books, even if I can’t know for sure. If those 3 factors are not enough, I’d probably add Aristotles’ Nicomachean Ethics and/or More’s Utopia – maybe I should throw in Growth of the International Economy 1820-2000, by Kenwood & Lougheed, just for the hell of it. If those factors aren’t enough, add the fact that I have type 1 diabetes and/or the fact that I’ve played Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C sharp minor. If that still isn’t enough, add the fact that I know what Jensen’s inequality is, I know what autocorrelation is and I’m an atheist. The list shrinks very rapidly…

I know my take on this is very “knowledge-centric”, and of course there are other ways to do this. How about you? Why/how are you unique? I would find comments using my “book approach” very interesting, but other ideas/approaches are welcome as well. (as always, responses/comments in Danish are of course welcome too)

March 21, 2009 Posted by | Random stuff | 7 Comments

Health and happiness in the US

Via Will Wilkinson, I came across this map:

0311-economix-well-being-map

Two remarks:

a) As Wilkinson demonstrates, there’s a positive correlation between income and wellbeing (Willkinson uses the words money and happiness, I’m not sure that’s correct given the way the data is defined).

b) The inter-state variation is relatively low; every single one of the states fit into an interval (from 61.2 to 69.2) that is less than a tenth the size of the scale used.

March 12, 2009 Posted by | Data, Demographics, Economics | 4 Comments

L’eau des collines

I’ve just been watching the duology Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources for the first time since my second year in high school. It’s a duology made by Claude Berri, after Marcel Pagnol’s novel(/s). I remember that back when I first watched it, when I had just seen the end of Manon des Sources, I had tears in my eyes and thought to myself that this had to be one of the best movies ever made. Then I saw a lot of other good movies, and basically forgot almost all about it, until the death of Claude Berri two months ago. Then I decided I had to see it again. This evening I did.

I didn’t remember the whole story well, only bits and pieces, and luckily I didn’t remember the ending. Therefore the emotional impact of the two movies was at least as big, if not bigger, than the first time I watched them.

My message is simple: Watch these two wonderful movies! You won’t regret it.

March 6, 2009 Posted by | movies | Leave a comment

Muslims – USA vs EU

This is not a new idea, at least not to me, but I think this factor, when evaluating the relative merits of the US’ vs European immigration policies and results, must be somewhat overlooked in general if it’s the first time Razib thought about it (and thus – had not encountered the idea elsewhere before):

religion-us-vs-eu

Here’s the link.

March 6, 2009 Posted by | immigration | 5 Comments

Hmm…

correlation

xkcd.

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Statistics, xkcd | Leave a comment

History repeats itself…

I was just in a bad mood and decided to take a dive into the collection of cartoons I have stored on my computer. This one is from 2002.

2590strip

March 3, 2009 Posted by | Cartoons, politics | Leave a comment