Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I'm reminded of my middle-school chess club. Our faculty sponsor had just learned how to play. Everybody in the club could beat him. He had so little interest in chess, I could only suppose he sponsored the club because that was the way teachers got ahead in their careers, by doing extracurricular crap, and chess sounded easy and air-conditioned as opposed to strenuous basketball, etc. The extent of his involvement with our chess club was posing for the yearbook photo.

I read in TIME magazine the other day that in Norway teachers are respected professionals like doctors and lawyers. They are not crapped on by politicians as they are here in the U.S., where the rich want the poor to be ignorant slave labor like it was in the good old days, before the War of Northern Aggression. In Norway, teachers are required to have Master's degrees. That means they have something going on upstairs. In my schools, there was some dead wood along with the good teachers. I mean, there was good and bad. It was a mixed salad. Some people went into teaching because it was their true calling, while others did it because they couldn't do anything else.

I think teachers should earn a minimum of $50K per year in today's economy (and no, that's not too much money) with excellent medical and dental benefits, and their jobs should not be guaranteed (I don't believe in tenure). I think Master's degrees are a good idea actually. Anyone who teaches should be pretty damn comfortable with academia. I remember one of my teachers told us he scored a 1000 on the S.A.T. That was on the same day that he told the class we were all a bunch of losers destined to dig ditches. Yep, I've had some crappy teachers in my day, but you know what, the system is rotten because the system put them in the classroom.

Spend more money on education and less on bombing faraway countries, and the country might become more intellectual and capable of understanding and thriving in this complicated world. People have been saying this for decades--all my life--but most people continue voting conservative, Republican, anti-progress, anti-hope and every which way to ensure that the U.S. will continue its long and steady decline.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

N.O.M. Morons

The morons in the National Organization for Marriage (and Scotland for Marriage) should be for people getting married, if the name of their organization meant anything at all. Instead, they are opposed to people getting married. That suggests to me that they misunderstand the meaning of the word "for". I suggest that they return to elementary school and learn English before getting involved in politics.

People that do not have a basic intelligence, say at the fifth-grade level, should not be permitted the vote under any circumstances. A simple one-question test should be given to every voter in the booth to ascertain that he can solve a quadratic equation, one that is randomly created by a computer program. Anyone that cannot solve a quadratic equation has no business deciding who will lead the country. Their votes should be discarded, and they should be referred to the nearest elementary school to continue their education with their peers.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments


It is disconcerting that players that normally would never win against me are able to beat me on my bad days. My playing strength varies a great deal. I think it has to do with stamina and physical fitness. Chess is extremely demanding intellectually and even physically due to the great strain of making fast and accurate calculations in games that often permit less than twenty minutes per side. On certain days, I see many moves quickly, but on bad days, my thought processes slow down, with devastating impact to performance. I would characterize my strength as erratic.

I would like to be more consistent, of course, but there are many things one would like to happen. . . The best I can do is to manage, avoiding chess on my slow days and only playing when I feel strong.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is a good show about a bad man I just started watching. It's about a guy who lives a normal middle-class life until he decides to start manufacturing meth for profit and to bolster his own self-esteem. I think he does it not for the money but just to show to himself that he could do it, make a fortune and get away with it. He is trying to validate his sense of self-worth, which has been battered by unfavorable comparisons to his brother-in-law and more successful old acquaintances.

It is strange indeed how the audience sympathizes and identifies with a manufacturer of meth. I consider meth possibly the most dangerous scheduled recreational drug in existence. I had to specify 'scheduled,' because there are more dangerous legal substances that our government has overlooked in its ignorance, incoherency and negligence. I feel no need to mention them here. They are not of interest to me.

Before watching the show, I felt that dealers in meth were dealers in death, the scum of the earth. After watching the show, I note shades of gray in their business. Their product I researched on Wikipedia. Meth has been around for about sixty years or so and was stockpiled by the Japanese military during WW2. It was used by their kamikazi pilots. In the short term, it offers certain benefits in terms of alertness--if dosage is measured precisely in order to avoid paranoia, the jitters and other side effects. I suppose small doses might make a front-line soldier more effective for a few hours before his death, if he is suffering from malnutrition or injury. For a country at peace, meth has no real purpose and, worse, is toxic to the human body, even in its pure form. I did not like the word I saw on the Wikipedia article, "neurotoxic."

I would place meth dealers in a similar category as manufacturers of cigarettes, except meth dealers are worse, because their product is more dangerous. Are they evil? Yes. But do they deserve prison for manufacturing or distributing meth? That is the tricky question, fraught with baggage that has implications for civil rights.

Should meth be legal? Do I have a right to ban it just because I despise it? Reluctantly, for the sake of consistency, I would say, meth should be legal, but its sale controlled, just as we control the sale of alcohol, but with even more controls in order to make assurances for purity and safety. I believe legality removes much of the violence and poisoning associated with the meth trade. It is a bad product, yes, used by fools, but fools will find their poison. I think that is the point of the show. Make something illegal, and it sometimes becomes more attractive than would otherwise be the case. The crime associated with illegal drugs is worse than the illegal drugs themselves. If all drugs were legal, the cartels would be placed in a very difficult situation. They could turn their hand to prostitution, but that is a far more difficult trade than the drug trade. Drugs are comparatively easy money, and whenever there is easy money, wicked men will kill for it.

The reason not to use meth is simple. It is toxic and harmful and capable of killing the user. It is also extremely addictive. The only reason I can see for people trying it is that they have a death wish, they are flirting with Old Mr. Bones. People have their reasons for wanting to die. The pleasure meth might bring is short-lived and just not worth the trouble. All these things are immediately obvious to most people. Most people would not be willing even to try meth. That is why making meth legal is not a bad thing. I would not use it even if it were dispensed in vending machines on every street corner for twenty-five cents. Just knowing it is bad for you is enough. For the same reason, I avoid coca-cola and cigarettes, although their harm is much less.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Simple Truth

The simple truth is that if you do all the right things, work hard, study, make good grades, and show initiative, you get nowhere in America. Hard work means nothing, and initiative means nothing. The owners decided a long time ago to outsource jobs to China. So all of the old mechanisms such as college don't work anymore for the middle class. You either have money or you don't and you never will. This is no longer the land of opportunity. It is the land of the McJob. And if you get cancer or some other ailment, best get ready for the boneyard. That is why the birth rate is down in this country, way down.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments


Our atoms were once part of a multitude of things and beings before becoming us. The notion that we have a soul that survives death is a charming illusion nurtured by the ego, which fears its inevitable annihilation and yearns for permanence. People are ruled by fear to a large extent. As a myth, reincarnation is not without value, because it encourages sympathy with animals and encourages us to look for human traits in animals. I have found that cats and dogs have a certain intelligence that is different from ours in some ways and similar in others. I do not understand it completely. They grasp certain things at once that might elude a human, but are forever mystified by things that seem obvious to us.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Monday, November 28, 2011

Herman Cain

Herman Cain's sexual conduct is not germane to his run for the Presidency. As far as can be discerned, all of the candidates running for President are in possession of genitalia that they probably have used at one point or another in their long, sweet and easy lives in a manner that they would not wish everyone to discover. I won't vote for Cain because he does not understand. Period.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Alekhine's Defense

I love Alekhine's Defense, specifically the Brooklyn Defense, which wins me games in part due to its obscurity. There is considerable shock value in resetting Black's position on the second move. It is quite natural for White to feel contempt for the opening, which apparently achieves nothing after the second move, but is the contempt justified? In the following game, my opponent underestimated it--and me--and was shocked to find himself on the losing end.

I am not sure whether I played the best moves in this game, but I have no complaint with the result. I would hazard a guess that my opponent played too passively. Alekhine's is a scrap, nothing else to say about it, and those who expect the initial peace and calm of something along the lines of a Benko's Opening are in for a surprise.

[White "anon"]
[Black "igor"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1856"]
[BlackElo "1882"]
[TimeControl "900"]

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Ng8 3. d4 d6 4. exd6 Qxd6

To recapture with a pawn is just too passive for Black in my opinion, although it may appeal to players of the Sicilian.

5. c4?

A mistake, in my opinion, albeit a tempting move for White because it resembles the usual pawn structure of the Queen's Gambit.

5. .. e5?!

I don't see why I can't play this move, but I have a strange feeling there could be a refutation out there. Until someone shows me the error of my ways, I intend to continue. Perhaps 6. d5 is White's best response, but I'm not quite sure yet.

6. Nf3? exd4!

White's center takes a hit. I believe I have at least equalized. White's pawn on c4 merely deprives his King's bishop of a good post. I actually tried 6. .. e4? in the past, but it's a bad idea to leave White's center intact, and defending the pawn on e4 is not really feasible.

7. Qxd4 Nc6 8. Qd3?

White would be better off trading Queens rather than giving me more tempos.

8. .. Bg4

No unnecessary pawn moves for me. After my first two 'crazy' moves, I adhere to the maxim of rapid development.

9. Nbd2?

Just too passive and reactionary. White needs to play bolder moves and sooner rather than later.

9. .. O-O-O!

Not looking good for White. I imagine he is sweating now.

10. Qxd6

Finally White wises up and gets rid of my irritating Queen.

10. .. Bxd6 11. Be2?

Again, just too passive. One does not win games through defense alone.

11. .. Nf6 12. O-O Rhe8

My development is complete, but White has a bishop stuck on the bottom rank and his rooks are idle.

13. Re1 Nb4!

Threatening a fork.

14. Nd4

I found this position complicated and spent three minutes pondering it, which seems excessive. I hadn't drunk enough tea this morning. White's potential Bxg4+ kept coming up again and again in my calculations. In the end, I decided I had to take the bishop and be done with it or else risk giving White a critical tempo.

14. .. Bxe2 15. Rxe2 Bf4!

My dark-squared bishop was idle, so I found employment for it. White's weak spot is clearly the knight on d2. White wants very much to move it to a more profitable square, but I do not wish to allow that. If 16. N2f3, then 16. .. Rxe2 17. Nxe2 Rd1+ and mate in the next move.

16. Rxe8 Rxe8 17. Kf1 Nd3 18. N2f3?

My opponent was moving too fast, angling for a time advantage, since I was down by four minutes. 18. N4f3 seems better for White. 18. .. Ne4 can be countered by 19. g3! and I don't get much more than a pawn for my trouble.

18. .. Bxc1 0-1

He could have played on, but I think he was annoyed at losing a piece to such an "inferior" opening. At any rate, with almost eight minutes remaining, I think I could have won. He challenged me to a rematch immediately after, but I don't like to play rematches immediately. I need downtime after a game to collect my thoughts. I like to engage in post-analysis of my games as well.

I must admit the chief appeal of Alekhine's for me is that it is not the Sicilian. Playing the most popular openings exposes one to prepared lines and novelties. Alekhine's lures White into playing Black's game. I feel that the Brooklyn Defense may be the optimal variation of the Alekhine's, if for no other reason than shock value and breaking out of book early. One of the things I never liked about the traditional Alekhine's was how White gets another free tempo (c4) and exiles Black's knight to Siberia over on b6, where it is of minimal use.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Friday, November 25, 2011

Playing for Time

I am not especially proud of this win. I feel that Black played better moves on the whole, but he was too slow in our timed 15 minute game. This game showed me some of the vulnerabilities of the Polish (Sokolsky).

[White "igor"]
[Black "anon"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1868"]
[BlackElo "1887"]
[TimeControl "1200"]

1. b4 c6

A most unusual response to the Polish, but as a Caro-Kann advocate I respect it.

2. Bb2 a5?!

A typical move that many players believe to be effective against Flank openings. It aims to create an isolated White pawn on the a-file, as well as gaining an open file for the Black rook. These supposed advantages often prove insignificant, and I feel that it wastes time on the whole. I would advocate developing a piece as being more in keeping with hypermodern theory.

3. bxa5

a3 may be better, but I did not see any future for the b4 pawn once Black has unleashed his dark-squared bishop. It seemed to me I would have lost time trying to defend the b-pawn in order to avoid a relatively small weakness in my pawn structure.

3. .. d5!

Black demonstrates savvy about the Polish, anticipating that I want to play c4. I begin to sense there will be no easy gotcha's for me in this Polish.

4. e3 Nf6 5. c4!

If Black takes, my bishop can recapture, obtaining a decent development. If he doesn't, then cxd5.

5. .. e6!?

Hemming in his light-squared bishop. While this is solid, I have my doubts.

6. Nf3

I'd love to play Bc3, supporting a5, but that confounds the development of my Queen's knight. Furthermore, it seems rash to delay development of my other pieces. Better to cede the pawn than delay development to such an extent.

6. .. Bd6

Aiming at an eventual e5.

7. Nc3?

Not an ideal square for my Queen's knight. Better may have been 7. Na3?! aiming for Nc2 and tempting Black to exchange his active bishop for a passive knight.

7. Qxa5

Might as well scoop up the pawn now and begin applying pressure to my weak Q-side.

8. Be2?!

Dismayed by Black's awareness of the Polish, I play a passive move out of character for me, with an eye to rapid castling. Stronger I think is 8. d4.

8. Nbd7 9. O-O dxc4

Black forces my bishop to move twice, emphasizing my waste of a move. Black prepares for an eventual b5. However, he does not realize that I can prevent that move if it is not played immediately.

10. Bxc4 O-O

Although Black neglects an immediate b5, he obtains sound, solid development. I see nothing amiss in Black's position and cannot come up with a plan, so I simply defend.

11. a4

With an isolated pawn, it is better to advance it, and a4 seems like a safe square. It also prevents the much-dreaded b5. It is at this point I notice that Black is taking far too long on his moves. He is not managing his time wisely and that suggests an alternative method to victory--time. I need only defend, not attack, and his clock will run out at this rate.

11. .. e5

Black liberates his light-squared bishop and threatens e4.

12. Qc2

Necessary to prevent e4.

12. .. Nb6!

Black gains a tempo and increases the pressure on a4.

13. Bb3 Bg4!

Black gains another tempo.

14. Ng5

The only reasonable move.

14. .. Nbd5 15. Nge4 Nxe4 16. Qxe4?

I should have recaptured with the knight, attacking the bishop and gaining a tempo. The Queen has no business moving.

16. .. Nf6?

16. .. f5! is stronger by far, forcing my Queen back and seizing control of the center. Perhaps Black fears the resulting pin of his knight, but his King could simply move to h8 and he'd be okay. Black's knight has an excellent post at d5, and there is no reason to move it.

17. Qc2 Bh5?!

A bit passive, although I sympathize with the goal of improving the bishop. Black could have developed the idle rook on f8 to e8, preparing for Be6 to get rid of my strong light-squared bishop.

18. Ne4?

I'm careless--nothing else to say about that move.

18. .. Nxe4 19. Qxe4 Bg6!

Black gains a tempo and a pawn.

20. Qc4 Qxd2

Chomp! Ouch.

21. Bc3?

I was hopeful this move might win some material, but no dice. As a matter of fact, it makes my position worse. Counter-intuitive Ra2 may have been preferable.

21. .. Qd3!

Black forces the trade of Queens and gains a powerful light-squared bishop. This should be the end for me, but should and is are two different things in chess. My opponent is behind in time by about a minute, and I hope to expand that time advantage through quick, skillful defense.

22. Qxd3 Bxd3 23. Rfd1 e4 24. Bc4? Bxh2+!

Ouch! I make my second goof. Black wins another pawn. I saw this shot immediately after Bc4, and premoved Kxh2 to save a few seconds. Time, I think to myself, is the only way I can win this game. Not pretty, but a fact.

25. Kxh2 Bxc4 26. Rd7!

If I expect Black to eat up his clock, I need to get some counter-play in this game, even if it ultimately leads nowhere.

26. .. Ba6?

Passive. The post at d3 is stronger and protects the e4 pawn. Better is 26. .. b5.

27. Re7

Not a good move, but a quick one. Speed is its only virtue. Black ponders one minute, far too much for my juvenile move.

27. .. Rfe8 28. Rd7 c5? 29. a5!

Now it is going to be difficult for Black to play b5. Black banked on the goal of capturing my a-pawn, and that dogma obstructed his reasoning.

29. .. Rac8 30. Rad1!

Now Black can no longer attempt a trade of rooks. It is not in my interest to simplify. I want the position to remain locked down and as complicated as possible.

30. .. h6

Black consumes thirty seconds to come up with a fairly humdrum move. He is ahead in material, but needs time to plan a breakout. I do not intend to give him much time.

31. Kg1?

A pointless move, but so what? Black spends twenty-two seconds pondering his next move.

31. .. Kf8

Black is desperate to trade rooks, and who can blame him? Time is running short.

32. g4

Probably unnecessary, but again, so what? I'm spitting out moves that are fairly innocuous, but Black ponders them like I'm Kasparov.

32. .. f6

A continuation of Black's cumbersome plan to trade rooks. I ignore it. I just want to get my King into play somehow. I found that Kg1 did not help me at all.

33. Kg2 Rc6?

I'm not sure what Black is doing here. He probably isn't sure either.

34. Kg3 Re7 35. Rd8+!

I decline the trade of rooks, of course. Too simple.

35. .. Kf7 36. R8d7!

Now if he takes my rook, I force his King to the last rank and positional Limbo, a prospect he doesn't much like.

36. .. Bd3!

Black imperils my rook and obtains a superb post for his bishop, but is it enough? I don't bother thinking about it, I just make the obvious move.

37. Rxe7+ Kxe7 38. f3!

I fear pawn and bishop chains. This one is much too threatening to tolerate, even though it can be replaced by another.

38. .. Ke6!

Effectively preventing me from playing Kf4 for the moment.

39. fxe4 Bxe4 40. Kf4 Bc2 41. Rd2 g5+ 42. Kf3 Bg6

Black blew another forty seconds coming up with that easy move.

43. Rb2 Kd5?

With less than a minute left, Black drops an important pawn.

44. Rxb7 f5 45. gxf5 Bxf5

Black has less than ten seconds left. I have four minutes. I could go take a bathroom break and still win. There's no point in notating any of the other moves. I could have played anything at all.

46. Rd7+ Rd6 47. Re7 Re6 48. Rxe6 Kxe6 49. a6 1-0

No, not a pretty win, and my play wasn't brilliant, but I was cunning and used time to my advantage.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Alekhine's Defense

Perhaps it's the lingering traces of chess romanticism obtained from studying the games of the old masters, but I'm in favor of White's push to e5, attacking the Black knight in Alekhine's Defense. It seems a bit passive, not to mention unromantic, for White to give Black's knight a pass. At any rate this is what my opponent did in the following game, which I like because I feel I played strong moves, relative to my ability. In truth, if my opponent had found better moves, he could have easily drawn the game or even won the game, but he played too passively and lost as a result of that and a blunder involving a knight-and-bishop combination of mine.

[White "anon"]
[Black "igor"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1857"]
[BlackElo "1870"]
[TimeControl "900"]

1. e4 Nf6 2. d3

Had White pushed the e-pawn, I would have retreated my knight, choosing the Brooklyn Defense, which most players believe cedes an advantage to White. Perhaps it does. I am curious to find out. If GM Joel Benjamin favored it, then it cannot be that bad, in my opinion, and the regular Alekhine's isn't all that great, either, with the King's knight exiled to Siberia on b3.

It is better to lose than to play boring chess.

2. .. e5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Bd2 O-O 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. a3 Ba5 7. b4 Bb6 8. Na4 d5 9. Nxb6 axb6 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Be2 Bf5 12. O-O e4 13. dxe4 Bxe4 14. c4 Nf6 15. Bg5

My Queen is in a sticky situation here. I spent a lot of time on the next move, a quiet move intended to avoid the trade of Queens and permit a rook to be placed on e8. I suspect that with better moves, White may have obtained an advantage over me, because he has a potential pin of my bishop.

15. .. Qe7

16. Re1 h6

I sense danger. A trade would be to my advantage, so h6 does not lose time. I planned to follow up with g5, if necessary, to drive the accursed bishop away. However, g5 weakens my King position.

17. Be3?

White obliges me and negates the need for g5 by placing his bishop on a passive square. This is clearly a mistake, handing me the initiative.

17. .. Rfd8!

I seize an open file.

18. Qc1 Ng4

I begin my attack using the unpinned, idle knight.

19. h3?

I do not understand why White wastes a move in this way. I blogged recently about my detestation of such moves.

19. .. Nxe3!

Eliminating that pesky bishop and along with it White's two-bishop advantage. The knight on f6 had been too passive.

20. Qxe3 f5!?

I am not altogether sure about my aggressive f5 push, but it proved extremely useful later. White salivated at the idea of trapping my bishop, but did not find the right moves. Perhaps such a trap was possible, but I did not see it on the immediate horizon.

21. Nh2

I believe the safer route for White would have been to initiate a trade of bishops and knights. It is commonplace to trade down in order to neutralize an attack, and this situation is no different. In an end game, White might have a small advantage due to my doubled pawns.

21. .. Nd4

Threatening a deadly fork of his Queen and rook. White does not view this threat with sufficient urgency.

22. Rac1

The trap White lays is transparent and easily countered. He expects me to launch the fork immediately and risk my Queen. I think not.

22. .. Qe8

Now my lady is secure.

23. f3?

My opponent figures a bishop and knight for a rook is a good deal, but he neglected to note that my knight has a suicide attack.

23 .. Nc2 24. Qb3 Nxe1 25. fxe4 Nxg2!

This is the pivotal move that launches a killer attack against White's King, which is no longer safe.

26. Kxg2 Qxe4+

White has already lost, but does not know it yet. All of the pieces are already in place, and there is no possible way he could win. It is almost like magic how all the pieces are aligned perfectly to my advantage. I must confess that I did not foresee everything unless it was by intuition. I am not clever like a computer. I wouldn't say the win was luck, but I just aimed for general positional and material advantages, and somehow everything lined up to my advantage.

27. Bf3 Rd2+ 28. Kh1 Qf4 29. Bg2

White defends his King in a competent manner, but it only delays the inevitable.

29. .. Rxg2 30. c5+ Kh8 31. Kxg2 Qxc1 32. Nf3 Rxa3

My material advantage is mounting in sync with my positional advantage.

33. Qf7 Qc2+ 34. Kg3 Qe4 35. Qh5 f4+!

Now the f-pawn serves a most valuable purpose.

36. Kh4 Rxf3 37. Qg4 g5+ 38. Kh5 Qe8+ 39. Kxh6

I spent over two minutes studying the next move, because I was well ahead in time and did not want to make a careless error that might lose my game, as I have done in the past through overconfidence and a desire to press a time advantage. It is better to play slowly and carefully when one has the time available to do so. Arrogance does not win games.

39 .. Qf8+ 40. Kxg5

White does not have a better move than this.

40. .. Rg3 41. Qxg3 fxg3 42. h4 g2 43. h5 g1=Q+ 0-1
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Black Friday & Pepper Spray

Pepper spray, that accursed torture device of the modern era, made the news again, this time not in conjunction with police brutality, but with competitive shopping at Wal Mart.

Wal means pig, and Mart means sty. I don't care about Black Friday, and I don't care about their sales. I don't want any of their video games, and I don't want their shiny plastic gadgets. Would you wish to be caught dead in Wal-Mart? At any rate, I'd rather be pepper-sprayed by the police than by a goofball in Wal-Mart. In the former case, I would have an injustice committed against me that would make me stronger, and that is a story I would repeat a hundred, no make that a thousand times before I die. In the case of a Wal-Mart spraying, it is embarrassing in the first place to admit that one was in Wal-Mart with the other pigs trying to feed at the trough.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Worm Food

On the November 3rd, 2011 episode of the Daily Show, I watched a Republican get up in Congress and say we had to have "In God We Trust" as our national motto, or else we're just worm food, and government is pointless, and anarchy might as well prevail.

I don't care about the contents of his cranium or even the stupid bill that they passed by a landslide.

The only thing interesting about the little kobold is his remark that we could just be worm food.

I think about Death. I can't imagine he thinks anymore than he has to in order to work his scams. The only thing I imagine a Republican caring about is power, money, and sex, in that order; I don't expect anything else out of them. If anyone is just worm food, they are, for sure, no doubt about it, take it to the bank and cash it. If they have a soul, up is down, left is right, and white is black. I'd sooner believe my cat has a soul.

However... there is a mystery about life, death, and the universe. The question, "why are we here?" occurs to anyone who thinks about things.

As far as I can tell, there's no one keeping score, but that doesn't mean the Golden Rule is no longer applicable. Karma's not negated.

I wonder sometimes at night if I will die in my sleep or if I'll wake up with some kind of cancer. I suppose anything could happen at any time. Game over. I imagine myself being remembered by a handful of people until the end of their lives, and then forgotten forever as though I never existed, just like everyone else except for luminaries like Shakespeare, although they, too, will probably be forgotten in due course. But no one is keeping score. Life is not win-or-lose. It is an opportunity to create beauty and happiness and pleasure. That seems to be the most logical course of action. Of course there are many who prefer to do otherwise. They want to create strife. There has always been evil in the world.

When my atoms have finished with me, they will be reused for other beings, until eventually Earth is done with and finished as a living planet.

I don't know the answers to the ultimate questions, such as what created the universe and why and how and when. But I don't need to know. I am just a small being of limited resources. I have just enough ability to wonder, but not to discover the answers on my own, unassisted. I can't say it's satisfying to me, because I like learning and I like knowing things, but I have no option other than to accept life, death, and the world as experienced. I think life and the universe are good in general, and I would rather be alive than dead. Death seems frightening, and I dread it, and I think it's horrible that I have to face it along with everyone else, but on the other hand, birth too must be horrible. It is such a drastic and rapid change to go from nonexistence to a human baby. Yet all of us have done it, and we have no bad memories about the experience, because at the time we were not thinking at all about becoming alive or about being born into the world. The answer I suppose is not to think too much about the finality of life, but simply to accept death when the time comes like one accepts hunger, thirst, satiation and pleasure. Just do it.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

a3 & h3 & a6 & h6

Too many chessplayers are infatuated with unnecessary pawn moves. The purpose of the opening is development. I see too many players fiddling and farting around with a3 and h3, if White, or a6 and h6, if Black. These moves have two motivations. One is to complicate the development of the other side's bishop. That's okay in some positions, where the opponent's bishop is not likely to find a better post, and if the knight that would otherwise be pinned is deemed useful to the position. The other purpose is preparation for a flank attack. That's okay too, in certain positions such as those common to flank openings such as the Grob or the Polish. However, nine times out of ten, I feel contempt for these moves, because time is being lost with little gain. In too many games I have watched, one side has some pieces loitering on the back rank due to this sort of negligent behavior, and their opponent has obtained a superior position with attacking chances.

Due to this bias of mine, this urgency I assign to development, I was extremely reluctant to play h3 in the Grob. It was only after literally hundreds of games that I determined it was sometimes necessary to prevent the pawn at g4 coming to grief. I will postpone or avoid it altogether if possible, but I will play it if need be.

One of the problems with White's position in many games where Black plays Alekhine's Defense is that he has squandered so many moves on his pawns, whereas Black, if he is wise, has developed enough pieces to mount a counter-attack.

The ideal in the opening is two pawn moves, the minimum necessary to develop all minor pieces.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gedult's Opening

After further practice, I'm willing to concede that Gedult's Opening, if challenged with competent play by Black, proves to be a passive opening. It's not my favorite anymore. White's King position is just too precarious for my taste, and White's development is retarded. However, Wikipedia really goes overboard dumping on it. The truth is White can play anything at all on the first move and be okay. That simple fact is hard for chess snobs to swallow. Black's options are limited by White's first move.

Gedult's has value to chessplayers as a surprise weapon and a novelty that explores different lines. I fall asleep watching the Sicilian. To me, it's boring. Everybody plays it. I hate it. I hate the Sicilian, the Ruy Lopez, Guicco Piano, and Queen's Gambit. What's wrong with them? Nothing. Nothing at all from a theoretical perspective. They are solid, sound, and strong. Unlike Wikipedia, I won't dump on openings I don't care for. They're just commonplace. Old hat. Boring to the point where the first eight to twelve moves are pretty much known beforehand. I've played those openings for decades.

Chess needs bizarre openings. Every single possible first move can and should be fully explored. There are many I've not tried yet. My favorites so far are the Grob, the Polish, & Gedult's for White. For Black, I am currently exploring the Brooklyn Defense, which seems to me the optimal line of the Alekhine Defense.

Chess needs to be stimulating, fresh, and challenging. Bizarre openings may even come with defects that require extra care and patience, but that's okay. I think it is good exercise to play a difficult opening, and it may even be a way of giving a weaker opponent a small advantage.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Alekhine's Defense

One secret that players of the White pieces seldom grasp when playing against the Alekhine's Defense, Caro-Kann and other openings is that, by erecting a pawn wall, they inhibit their own pieces as well as Black's. I see no reason to solve White's problems for him by exchanging pawns within that wall, at least until such time as I have completed my own development. In my opinion, wall-builders waste time with their excessive pawn moves and have an unfocused game.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Pepper Spray & the Founding Fathers

by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fascists Vs. Freedom Fighters

Reading the news tonight, all around the world, the fascists are killing and harming freedom fighters, whether in Egypt, Syria, or the U.S. of A.

But I've got a feeling in my little pinkie finger that in the end, freedom wins. Because fascism is stifling & sterile. It isn't any fun at all. It's anti-human. Eventually even the fascists come to realize that. It just takes them more time. They have to suffer a great deal. They have to feel pain. Fascists are like animals in that way. The only thing they understand is pure physical animal pain. But they will learn, because Karma is a teacher that is willing to accommodate their special needs.

In the final analysis, a robot would be the perfect fascist, because it has no conscience, but only a human being would be the perfect freedom fighter.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Pepper Spray?

When a police officer pepper-sprays nonviolent American citizens, that police officer has declared himself a traitor. He is worse than Al-Qaeda by about fifty thousand to one. I think all pepper spray should be confiscated from all police departments, because it is the most abused torture device in the world and it is used exclusively by fascists.

The UC Davis Police Chief, Annette, sounds like she would machine-gun anyone who littered and drop a nuclear bomb on any city that had above-average pollution.
Cowardly pig torturing unarmed protesters. He should have been shot.

I think the entire police force at UC Davis should be fired, because it is probably all rotten from the top on down.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Grob

Today I was amused by the 'refutations' of the Grob (1. g4) offered by a Mr. Silman on his web site. I have played the Grob a long time and have encountered all of the little tricks that Silman finds devastating against 1. g4. I do not find any of his ideas particularly threatening. I have seen online players pause for two minutes in order to check out one of the 'refutations' online. I know they're checking the book, and it doesn't bother me. I have seen players borrow one or several of his ideas and use them in our game, but they often lose anyway, if they're near my rating or below. The truth is there is no refutation.

My win ratio is high with both the Polish (1. b4) and the Grob. The Grob boosts my strength considerably against chess snobs by taking them from their cozy memorized lines and forcing them to think from the first move on, so I'm more than satisfied with it and have no intention of abandoning this sound, solid, and safe line of attack.

Some claim the Grob is unsound. I don't know why, but they do. Detractors have a tall task before them. They must first overcome their arrogance, not an easy thing for a chess snob who believes the opening must involve the c, d, or e pawn or else a knight. Even if snobbery is overcome, the Grob's underlying principles continue to mystify outsiders. No amount of memorization will ever prepare them for the Grob. International Master Basman summarizes the strategic theory in a few paragraphs in his excellent book, "The Killer Grob", which is recommended reading.

There is an advanced lesson in the game of chess. Most players think they must castle. But castling is not always a good idea. It is not always necessary. One must evaluate the situation with great care. Castling is a major operation, forever changing the configuration of two key pieces, a rook and a King. For my part, I am not sold on castling as something to be done automatically. There are positions where the King is better off in the center. In Grob games, this is often the case.

Many players fret about the weakening of White's King position, as though it is a fortress where every brick must remain in place. That is okay if you have a defensive mentality, if you believe you must hold your fort against the mighty barbarians. The player who plays the Grob does not have the bunker mentality. He is not a defender, but an attacker. He perceives a fluid and dynamic nucleus from which he launches attacks in all directions. He is not overly concerned with King safety because it is felt that the other player should worry about his King safety instead.

By 1. g4, White enables superb and safe development of a Bishop. He prepares an attack on Black's knight, if developed to f6. He may complicate the development of Black's Queen bishop. And he seizes control of two squares at the frontier. Thus, 1. g4 is more aggressive than 1. g3 and for that reason preferred. As an added bonus, he tears his opponent out of book from the first move, which is always, always a very good thing to do. So many players have memorized the first ten moves that chess openings do not always involve much thinking. Openings like the Grob change that. Thank goodness there is not an overabundance of theory surrounding this precious obscure opening.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Why I Didn't Vote

I didn't vote in my local election because there was no one to vote for. The incumbent was a right-wing business criminal who has stolen money for his personal enrichment, and his challenger was another right-wing business criminal. Which would you prefer, to be robbed by X or robbed by Z? I decided I didn't care who did the robbing, but the heck if I was going to waste any time trudging to the polls. At least I was not robbed of a half-hour of my time.

Such is the normal state of affairs in our "republic," better termed a kleptocracy. There is no one to vote for but criminal "A" or criminal "B", each of whom wants to steal the maximum amount of money without being detected, or if that is not possible, at least without too many negative consequences.

In my locality, voter participation was 8%, meaning that the candidates failed to interest 92% of the electorate.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Naga Air Elementalist

By analyzing the attributes chart, kindly provided by the Crawl developers in the documentation, as well as the species descriptions, I determined that the most optimal race for Air Elementalist, and possibly for all other magical professions, is the Naga. Although this seems counter-intuitive at first (kenkus and drow elves are much better at Air and Conjurations), there is a simple reason for the choice. An Air Elementalist absolutely must be robust in order to cast Static Discharge with relative impunity, and kenkus and drow elves are not, but Nagas are. Static Discharge is the jewel in the crown of the Air Elementalist, the workhorse, the bread and butter, akin to Mephitic Cloud for Venom Mages. A kenku or drow elf will die soon; a naga will endure. The supposed disadvantage of the naga (slowness) is mitigated when the Naga can zap every creature surrounding it. However, Nagas must study shields and must learn defensive spells in order to thrive. The slower rate of learning in magic for the Naga is no great hardship anymore, now that players can direct their learning. Also, Ashenzari will assist the skills of his devotees.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments


When I went to school, teachers drilled into our little brains that our country was a democracy. The smarter teachers preferred the term republic. The country is a republic, but it's also a kleptocracy. There are only six honest members of Congress.

Perhaps one day, after the world is blown up, and it probably will be, some record, maybe even this one (who knows all the finer details of the Internet archives?) will survive to help historians of a future age piece together what went wrong with the U.S. of A. I think the work of people like Gore Vidal is more likely to survive in some form. Basically, the problem with the U.S. has always been corruption, negligence and complacency. People at the top spin their wheels without really accomplishing that much or addressing any of the national problems. The people at the top only care about enriching themselves and their friends. That is why the country is in bad shape.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Diary of a Call Girl

Billie Piper is simply amazing as the lead in Diary of a Call Girl.

I do like that show, although it is very exploitative, obviously. I am in favor of legalizing prostitution, in a similar style as in Holland, so do not object to the show on moral grounds. Nevertheless, I do feel a trifle guilty watching a show about the petty and often silly life of a high-class escort, whose world seems to revolve around appearances and sex.

I mean, I know the show ain't Shakespeare. But on the whole, the show is amusing and it is impossible to keep one's eyes off of Billie Piper. She is dazzling to behold. I thought so in Dr. Who and I think so in this show.

Diary of a Call Girl does seem formulaic though, and I probably lose a few thousand brain cells every time I watch. In every episode, Billie is getting stick from someone. In many, she has a little tear trickling down her face. Sometimes I find the situations contrived and ridiculous, even absurd. I think the writers are trying to conceal her limitations as an actress and their limitations as writers by using such a formula.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

The Polish

When I first heard of the Polish, I thought it was pronounced pahlish, as in scrub in order to let shine. It's a very good surprise for White to spring upon an unsuspecting opponent. I like it better than Gedult's Opening (1. f3) which is slow at best and dangerous against higher-ranked players. Gedult's is good for a surprise, but not much more. It seems to be neutralized by 2. e4 f5! which presents several problems for White.

With the Polish, many of White's moves are intuitive, at least to me, because I am accustomed to playing the Grob as well. Here is one of my games against a good player who seemed to be winning all through the game--up until the end, that is. Unlike him, I had a long-term plan and stuck to my guns.

[White igor]
[Black anon]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1804"]
[BlackElo "1811"]
[ECO "A00"]
[TimeControl "1200"]

1. b4 d5 2. e3 e5 3. Bb2 Bd6 4. c4 c6 5. c5 Bc7 6. d4 e4 7. f3 Qh4+ 8. g3 Bxg3+ 9. Kd2 Bc7 10. Nc3 Nf6 11. Bg2 exf3 12. Nxf3 Qf2+ 13. Qe2 Qxe2+ 14. Nxe2 Ne4+ 15. Kc1 Bg4 16. Bc3 a5 17. bxa5 Bxa5 18. Bxa5 Rxa5 19. a4 Na6 20. Ng3 Nf2 21. Rf1 Nd3+ 22. Kd2 Nab4 23. Ne1 Nxe1 24. Rfxe1 O-O 25. Kc3 Na6 26. Reb1 Bc8 27. Bf1 f5 28. Bxa6 Rxa6 29. a5 f4 30. exf4 Rxf4 31. Rb6 Rf3+ 32. Kb4 Rf2 33. h4 Rf3 34. Ne2 Rh3 35. Rxa6 bxa6 36. Rb1 Rxh4 37. Kc3 Rh3+ 38. Kb4 Bf5 39. Rb2 Rh2 40. Ka3 Bd3 41. Rb8+ Kf7 42. Nc3 Bb5 43. Nxb5 cxb5 44. c6 Rc2 45. Rb6 Rc3+ 46. Kb2 Rc4 47. Rxa6 b4 48. Rb6 Ke7 49. a6 Kd6 50. a7 Rxc6 51. Rxc6+ Kxc6 52. a8=Q+ 1-0
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Republican Debates

I wish the Republican debates centered around real issues rather than imaginary ones. This country could use good leaders. I look at the GOP candidates and the so-called front-runners appointed by the media are an old can of assorted nuts. Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have some good ideas, but the others are flakes. How many more flakes can the U.S. withstand in the top job? Bush wrecked the country already, and the GOP proposes wrecking it some more. Apparently a large number of people are completely incapable of learning from prior mistakes.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Friday, November 11, 2011


Those who know chess tend to know nothing else. Art, literature, philosophy--all blanks. Chess tends to attract narrow souls, one-note Charlies with no discernible sense of humor. It is often thus with war games.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

School Violence is Typical

When I read stories about beatings and other assaults associated with bullying in the schools, I think it is typical. That is the purpose of school, to brutalize new generations. It is why society is so violent and will continue to be violent. In America, schools train future criminals, not future scholars. Our system of education is designed to promote violence as the solution to all problems. Lie, cheat and steal are the three primary subjects of study. The other subjects are mere window dressing designed to distract parents from the real program. The best parents take their children out of the school system and arrange for a private school or a private tutor. When I think back to my days in school, all learning stopped at grade 8. After that it was just four years of detention, learning nothing except street smarts. Just marking time, is what school is mostly about.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Low, Middle and High Brow

Vidal makes frequent references to the human race being divided into three classes--low, middle, and high- brow. Judging by who he sorts in the middle and high category, surely the bulk of his readers must know where he'd place them.

Oh, Vidal must have many detractors, I'm sure. I suppose my humility is such that I don't really mind being placed in one of the two inferior categories. Acceptance is more my style. I'm a bit amused, also. Because if Vidal and a thousand-odd are all that's high-brow, then in the first place I'm in the majority, and in the second place, high-brow ain't all that, by Vidal's own admission and with numerous supporting details straight from a high-brow himself.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Criticism of Jon Stewart

The worst that can be said of Jon Stewart (and it's not that bad) is that he hosts Jew after Jew, and some of those Jews are tiresome. Adam Sandler is one boor that I prefer to skip. He is never funny, never bright, and harps on his conservative style of Jewishness when he's on the show. Then Jon hosts a lot of writers I've never heard of whose only badge of merit appears to be Jewishness. I can think of about a hundred other guests I would like to see on his show, such as Gore Vidal before he kicks the bucket. I think being a Jew compensates for mediocrity in Jon's book. He will assist the career of anyone who is a Jew.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Even More on Gore

In Gore Vidal, I have found a wit that I could never hope to equal in a million years. He is funny, fresh, careful (when he feels he must be), and vigorous. I can only imagine that he spends enormous amounts of time concentrating his energies upon his writing. When I have done so, the end product has not been nearly as good as Gore's, I think. If I had started out in college by reading Gore instead of second-raters like Anne Rice and Ayn Rand, then I would have abandoned any pretense of becoming a writer, so far above me is Gore. The prose of Anne Rice and Ayn Rand gave me hope, along with other bad habits.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gore Vidal, Entertainer

I think Gore Vidal must be understood primarily as an entertainer. He seems to know what certain people, his audience, want and how to give it to them. He's a showman, a world-class gossip, and a chatty guy if there ever was one. He leaps from one subject to the next with the abandon of an acrobat, and he never seems to tire of harping on the same themes from essay to essay. He has a long list of strongly held beliefs that he wishes to emphasize again and again in an attempt to make converts to his particular view of the universe. Do I agree with all his opinions? No, I do not.

He exaggerates things in order to obtain sweeping generalizations, and for all his criticism of others for playing loose with the facts, he inevitably gets facts mistaken himself from time to time, in part because he deals with so many facts, ideas, and opinions; they are his bread and butter. His sentences are strewn with jeweled thoughts with many dimensions. That is why I love reading Gore Vidal. He provokes thought when he is introducing a new idea or article of historical evidence to the reader. Of course I delight in his gossip and his narcissism. His arrogance is most becoming. He is rather like a peacock. He wrote an essay on a peacock, Thomas Love Peacock to be precise. He is a pure delight to read on certain subjects, most of all literature, academic criticism and history.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gedult's Opening

Recently, while watching other people play, I discovered a bizarre and fascinating opening known as Gedult's Opening, which begins 1. f3?! Nobody in their right mind would play it, of course, or so conventional logic would have it. I have found it to be a surprisingly effective weapon. From the first move, one's opponent is knocked out of book, and Black must ponder each and every move, consuming much more time than usual in the process. Meanwhile, a player such as myself accustomed to the difficulties posed by 1. f3 can sail along in comparative ease, consuming little time to make what have become intuitive moves. The truth is that although 1. f3!? seems wrong (and in fact the Wikipedia page slams it as "White's worst possible opening" which I thought reactionary), it disorients a significant number of human players who make less than optimal moves in response. I often obtain a strong center from the opening and good fighting chances, although the king position is typically less secure as a result of a weak f2 square, and White must take care not to fall victim to an early King-side attack.

Here are three of my better Gedult games:

[White igor]
[Black anon]
[Result "1-0"]
[TimeControl "1800"]

1. f3 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. fxe4 Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. d4 Bf5 6. c4 Nb6 7. Nf3 e6 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. Bd3 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 Qxd4 11. Bxf5 Qxd1+ 12. Nxd1 exf5 13. b3 Bb4+ 14. Kf2 Bc5+ 15. Kg3 O-O 16. Rf1 g6 17. Bh6 Rfe8 18. Nf2 Bd4 19. Rad1 Bxe5+ 20. Bf4 Bxf4+ 21. Kxf4 Re6 22. g4 fxg4 23. Nxg4 Rae8 24. Kg3 f5 25. Nf2 Re3+ 26. Kf4 Re2 27. c5 Nc8 28. Rd7 Rxa2 29. Rxc7 b5 30. Nd3 a5 31. Re1 Rd8 32. Ne5 Rd4+ 33. Kg5 Rg2+ 34. Kf6 Rd8 35. Rd1 Rf8+ 36. Nf7 Re2 37. Rdd7 f4 38. Kg5 Rg2+ 39. Kh4 Rxh2+ 40. Kg4 h5+ 41. Kg5 Rg2+ 42. Kh6 Re2 43. Ne5 Re8 44. Rg7+ Kf8 45. Nxg6# 1-0

[White igor]
[Black anon]
[Result "1-0"]
[TimeControl "120+12"]

1. f3 d5 2. e4 c6 3. d4 e6 4. e5 Qh4+ 5. g3 Qd8 6. Be3 Ne7 7. Bd3 Na6 8. Ne2 Nb4 9. a3 Nxd3+ 10. Qxd3 Nf5 11. Bf2 Qb6 12. b4 a5 13. c3 axb4 14. cxb4 Be7 15. O-O Bxb4 16. Nd2 Bxd2 17. Qxd2 O-O 18. Rfb1 Qc7 19. g4 Ne7 20. f4 b6 21. h4 Ba6 22. h5 c5 23. dxc5 bxc5 24. h6 g6 25. Ng3 Rfb8 26. Rc1 c4 27. Rc3 Rb7 28. Bd4 Rab8 29. f5 Nc6 30. fxg6 fxg6 31. Re1 Nxd4 32. Qxd4 Qb6 33. Qxb6 Rxb6 34. Ne2 Rb1 35. Kf2 Rxe1 36. Kxe1 Rb3 37. Kd2 Rb2+ 38. Ke3 Rb1 39. Nd4 Bc8 40. g5 Rh1 41. Rc2 Rh3+ 42. Nf3 d4+ 43. Kf2 Rxf3+ 44. Kxf3 Bb7+ 45. Kf2 Bd5 46. a4 d3 47. Rc3 Kf7 48. Ke3 Ke7 49. a5 Kd7 50. Kd2 Kc6 51. a6 Kc5 52. Ra3 Kd4 53. a7 Kxe5 54. Ra5 Kd4 55. Rxd5+ exd5 56. a8=Q c3+ 57. Kd1 1-0

[White igor]
[Black anon]
[Result "1-0"]
[TimeControl "120+12"]

1. f3 d5 2. e4 d4 3. e5 c5 4. Bc4 e6 5. d3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Nge7 7. Nd2 Ng6 8. Bg3 Ngxe5 9. Bb5 Bd7 10. Ne2 Bd6 11. f4 Ng4 12. Ne4 Bc7 13. Bxc6 Bxc6 14. Nxd4 Bxe4 15. Qxg4 O-O 16. dxe4 Qxd4 17. Rd1 Qxe4+ 18. Qe2 Qf5 19. O-O Rfd8 20. c4 Rd4 21. Rxd4 cxd4 22. Rf3 Rd8 23. Qd3 Qa5 24. a3 f6 25. b4 Qa6 26. c5 Qxd3 27. Rxd3 e5 28. fxe5 fxe5 29. Kf2 Kf7 30. Kf3 Ke6 31. Ke4 b6 32. cxb6 axb6 33. Rd2 Rd7 34. Rc2 g5 35. Rc6+ Rd6 36. Rxc7 d3 37. Rc1 d2 38. Rd1 Rd4+ 39. Ke3 Kd5 40. Rxd2 Rxd2 41. Kxd2 e4 42. Bf2 b5 43. Kc3 h5 44. g3 Ke5 45. Be3 g4 46. Bf4+ Kd5 47. Be3 Ke5 48. Kb3 Kd5 49. a4 Kc6 50. a5 Kb7 51. Kc3 1-0
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Give a Darn

I like this editorial from Petula Dvorak (what a name!).

I like to think that I would have intervened on behalf of the victim. At the very least, I would have dialed 911, but I suspect I would have walked over to at least assess the situation and determine whether the attacker had a firearm.

I give a darn. If you die, you die, but everybody's going to die, anyway. Better to save a life if possible, even at the risk of one's own. Who knows, you might make a friend for life, if you save someone's life.

I don't have a high opinion of Apple iJunk or any other iJunk. When out and about, one should focus upon one's surroundings, not on an interior world of internet, email and texting. It is impractical to venture out into the world without making full use of one's ears and eyes. Computers should be left at home.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

The Prophet Mohammed and His Dogs

A French satirical magazine was firebombed for posting a picture of the Prophet Mohammed.

Frequent incidents like this around the world have left me with a low opinion of Islam and its practitioners, whether "moderate" or not. I have yet to hear about anything very good in the world being done by a Muslim that does not, either as its primary or secondary objective, further the narrow interests of the Islamic mafia.

I'd place a picture of the Prophet Mohammed on this blog if I could find a good one. The West will not place curbs on freedom of speech. It is the Muslims who need to adjust to our way of life, not the other way around. Otherwise, they should go to Iran or Saudi Arabia, depending upon their particular flavor of Islam.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gore Vidal, Prophet

Essays Gore Vidal wrote thirty years ago still apply today. He noted in one essay that Democrats promise change, while delivering the status quo. I was immediately put to mind of Obama, who lied his rear-end off in order to become President, then promptly reversed himself on a dozen different issues and gave away the country's treasure to rich bankers. Obama is more cunning than usual for a modern President, but that's all that can be said of him. There's no way I can vote for a man whose arrogance is so great, he decides that he knows better than a state's voters and assumes dictatorial powers over certain states. I would rather see another Republican in office, so that the Democratic candidacy will become vacant again.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments
techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions