Coffee, Potpourri and other Nonsense
Coffee with a passion…
The last Sunday of the year! And what a year. We have managed to survive Donald Trump , atleast so far, out-finessing his relentless drive to knock us back to Neanderthal standards. Someone once said that a good half of the art of living is resilience…and 2017 is evidence of this! Congrats to all, and let us keep it up in 2018!
Sports Feud in Armenia: Football versus Chess
Armenia is a small but very proud people who love chess. When Tigran Petrosian won the World Championship in 1963, he was already a national hero. Generations of boys were named Tigran in honor…today the President of Armenia is a chess player (and is also the President of the Armenian Chess Federation).
Today, though Armenia is one of the powerhouses in the world of chess and its strongest player, Levon Aronian, has been called by CNN the ‘David Beckham of Chess’ , other Armenian sports stars are beginning to demand their rightful recognition. Especially when deciding upon the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ award…read the following story:
”His failure to win the annual awards raised serious questions about the fairness and transparency of the selection process, forcing the ministry to change its rules earlier this year. The winners of the 2017 awards were decided not only by reporters but also ordinary Armenians voting by text message.
Thanks to the popular vote, Mkhitaryan scored more points than any other sportsmen nominated for the awards. Three-times world wrestling champion Artur Aleksanyan and chess grandmaster Levon Aronian came in second and third respectively.
The Ministry of Sports did not single out Mkhitaryan when it published the results of this year’s contest on its website. It only listed the names of the ten athletes in alphabetical order.
“The best athletes were chosen by the public, not the chairman of the weightlifting federation or the sports minister,” Ruben Hayrapetian, the Football Federation chairman, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) in an interview.
Hayrapetian denounced the previous contests as a “farce.” “For at least four or five years our national sports bosses pocketed Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s chances of being chosen among the ten best athletes,” he charged.
Hayrapetian dismissed arguments that unlike Armenia footballers, wrestlers, boxers, weightlifters and chess players have won medals in European and world championships. “Mkhitaryan has made Armenia much more recognizable than other athletes,” he said, arguing that football is by far the most popular spot around the world.
The current ministers of sports and youth affairs, Hrachya Rostomian, is widely regarded as a figure very close to Gagik Tsarukian, a wealthy businessman heading the Armenian National Olympic Committee. Tsarukian and Hayrapetian have a long history of mutual dislike and feud.”
”All I want in life is a nice ass…”
”I think this sort of tension among females…is…to the advantage…of …every male.”
–Sawako Ariyoshi (1931 – 1984)
Fighting for our humanity!
World’s top Go player wants to take on AI, again!
The Chinese news service China.org.cn announced yesterday that 2018 will see some exciting human vs AI action in Go!
”Ke Jie, the world’s top-ranked player of the Chinese chess game Go, announced that he will resume playing against Artificial Intelligence (AI) Go players and will battle with domestically developed AI player Tianrang in April 2018, according to China Youth Daily.
In May 2017, Ke Jie announced that he would never again compete with AI Go players after a 0-3 defeat by Google’s AlphaGo. He said that the experience of playing against an AI opponent was too painful.
Ke Jie announced that he will play against AI Go player Tianrang, developed by Shanghai Tianrang Inc., in the 2018 world AI Go competition, after getting his fifth world championship in Langfang, Heibei Province on Tuesday.
Ke, the world’s youngest Go champion, said that 2017 had been a period of self-doubt after his defeat by the Google AI. But he said that he has recognized it is as important to try one’s best as it is to win the game.
The 2018 world AI Go competition will be held in Fuzhou, capital city of China’s Fujian Province, in late April 2018. AI competitors for the tournament include Tianrang from Shanghai, DeepZenGo from Japan, and CGI from Taiwan.
The AI Go player Tianrang will be helped by a mechanical arm developed at China’s Fuzhou University, instead of relying on a human to place the chess pieces on the board.
Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo has since retired from competition, and will not be playing in the tournament.”
Those fuck’n FIDE rules…
FIDE RULE CHANGES VICTIMIZE EVERYONE
By now everyone knows the incident from the first round of the blitz tournament in Riyadh the other day. But few understand the origin and root cause of this story. And not surprisingly, our favourite narcissist pundits jumped at the opportunity to share their stylishly premature and ejaculatory insights:
IA Carlos Dias, the deputy-arbiter in the photo collage above, is one of the two or three most respected arbiters in the world. (He is also a close personal friend of mine) Dias’ professional record speaks for itself.
The question that nobody has asked is how is it possible that BOTH Carlos Dias and World Champion Magnus Carlsen did NOT know this precise rule? Could it be that, just like Inarkiev himself, they did not know the subtle difference between an illegal move and an illegal position?
FIDE arbitrarily keeps changing the rules every six months or so. How can anyone keep up? Add to this, in Riyadh they were not using the standard FIDE time controls for either rapid or blitz. This incident has shown that they have to stop this nonsense of constantly and unnecessarily changing rules.
And did anyone notice that the Chief Arbiter, even though the correct outcome was reached, violated formal FIDE procedures in the process? (I leave this item to my next blog)
To be continued…