Coffee, Dubai and match predictions
How are you today? Here in north-central Portugal it snowed for about half an hour just a day or two ago. Of course, the snow quickly disappeared, but that is par for the course. The important thing is that the weather is trying: winter is just around the corner!
Coffee and Dementia. Good news?
Another one of those coffee studies made the papers a week or so ago. I swear, is it fair that coffee has been subjected to more tests than any of the covid vaccines?
A team from Tianjin Medical University studied the long-term health of 365,682 participants from the UK Biobank, recruited between 2006 and 2010.
Researchers followed them until 2020 and each person self-reported their daily coffee and tea-drinking habits. Over that time, 5,079 participants developed dementia and 10,053 had at least one stroke.
I realize that this may not come as good news to those of my readers who have desperately been drinking large quantities of coffee with the hope of one day coming down with premature dementia and/or suffering from a stroke. But I digress…
Based on the data, study authors determined that people drinking two to three cups of coffee, three to five cups of tea, or a combination of four to six cups of both beverages each day had the lowest rates of both stroke and dementia in the group.
Jeff Goldblum is a coffee traitor!
I must confess that I have never been a big fan of Jeff Goldblum. I felt that he was perfectly cast as a deadbeat in the 1983 hit film The Big Chill, and his subsequent films confirmed this assessment. However, to his credit, Jeff seems to have learned to accept his medioctrity, and has even been quite successful at it.
Recently the 69 year old was in the news for declaring that he had long ago given up drinking coffee and that he has not once regretted it since.
I used to drink coffee, but now I’m straight as an arrow. Coffee is too much for me. No caffeine at all. I find that I have to go all-natural. The quality of energy that I get from caffeine—it just cheats me from the process of trying to come up with whatever I think I need to come up with.
All my steam you see now is from my own imagination and my own having gotten a night’s sleep. I like to have a nice night’s sleep and a nice breakfast. And then I figure out how to put some attention on the challenge and opportunity at hand and see if I can solve it that way. I don’t do it with any enhancement.
Carlsen vs Nepo: My Predictions
The World Championship match between challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi and title holder Magnus Carlsen kicks off on Friday in Dubai with game 1 of the scheduled 14 games match.
In keeping with long standing tradition, members of the chess public over on social media have expressed their views on the eventual outcome. Much as in the football world, hero-worship, bias and favouritism easily beats out cold objective assessment.
- For example, while the overwhelming majority of non-Russian commentators have noted that Carlsen has almost 80 points in Elo more than Nepo, almost none of them thought it might be worth mentioning that Nepo has the best score of any active grandmaster against Carlsen in ‘normal’ chess: 4 wins, 1 loss and 8 draws. Or that those 14 scheduled games do NOT include any rapid or blitz games!
- Of all the modern World Champions, Carlsen stands out as having one of the worse winning match records. Carlsen failed to win his last two World Championship matches in regulation time (Karjakin in 2016 and Caruana in 2018) having to resort to the faster playoff games to finally squeeze blood from a stone.
I believe that the chances are about equal. I would not be surprised if the Russian succeeds in bringing back the World Championship to his native Russia, any more than I would be surprised in Carlsen drawing all of his games in regular time and then finally winning in the playoffs.
So, in essence, I do not want to make a prediction of a clear winner. As a trainer and sports psychology buff, I am more interested in seeing the effects of the pandemic lockdown on the players’ play. It is unheard of for elite grandmasters to play virtually non-stop blitz and rapid chess 24/7 for 18 months or so.
Has anyone ever heard of burn-out? It destroys the skills and performances of athletes. I suspect that we (the public) will see many one move blunders.
Finally, I will look forward to this match. Both players are at the best age for chess competition. I wish both good skill and success, and may the better player (finally) win!