Anton Kovalyov takes 1st prize in Dallas

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Twenty-two year old GM Anton Kovalyov took sole first place in the UT Dallas FIDE Open that took place between November 21 and November 26. Congrats!

resultsAnton is currently studying at UT Dallas on a full chess scholarship. Ontario IM Aman Hambleton also participated, scoring 5 points and ending in 18th place.  I will post some games/tactics if and when the games become available.

 

How do you SPELL your name?

in-slummibus

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kramnikNow here is something that I can relate to, having been brought up in OPEN tournaments.  This was Kramnik’s first OPEN tournament in 20-years or so…at the Qatar Masters taking place right now. LIFE in the opens is VERY different from the relaxed (not to say incestuous) atmosphere of the SUPER tournaments where each opponent KNOWS each other SO WELL!  For example, when Kramnik finally played Anand for the World Championship back in 2008 (?) both players had ALREADY played each other more than 100 times!  The only thing being decided in that World match was a WORLD RECORD for having played each other so many times!!

 

gm  KRAMNIK

ok

gm HALKIAS

IN ANY CASE, Kramnik’s opponent was GM Halkias, one of the most under-rated Greek players. The opening was an Evan’s Gambit, an opening that Kramnik had NEVER encountered before. The game was a draw, but only after some VERY difficult moments for Kramnik….who conceivably was lost at one point!

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Photo by D.Rukhletskiy

Moral of the story: LIFE at the top is pretty ROSY compared to slumming the OPENS…but that is true of most things in LIFE!

slums

”Slumming (derived from slum) originally referred to a practice, fashionable among certain segments of the middle class in many Western countries, whereby one deliberately patronizes areas or establishments which are populated by, or intended for, people well below one’s own socio-economic level, motivated by curiosity or a desire for adventure. Most often these establishments take the form of bars or restaurants in low-income areas.  

However, slumming has come to refer to many activities that involve interaction with the less fortunate, especially when motivated by curiosity, adventure, laziness, boredom, and even outright greed and miserliness.”

LINK

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POSTSCRIPT: Kramnik also only drew in Round Two.

Today’s winning VINTAGE!

 

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Click on photo to enlarge.  Victoria Valentino – Playmate of the Month, September 1963  She was born on December 13, 1942 in L.A, California.  In 2014, the 71-year-old Valentino came forward to allege comedian and actor Bill Cosby had drugged and raped her in 1970, shortly after the drowning death of her young son. Valentino is one of several women who have made public sexual-abuse allegations against Cosby

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Wednesday potpourri and other nonsense!

PUTIN ATTENDS CLOSING CEREMONY!
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World Championship closing ceremony in Sochi saw Russian president Vladimir Putin make an appearance.  There had been considerable speculation about whether he would attend or not…

IMG_2338_0Putin’s mere presence elevated the status of the match before the world media.  He was his usual charming self, calling Carlsen a ‘genius’ (which he is!)

genius

 putnOFCOURSE, not everyone was happy that Putin attended (for some, Putin just breathing is sufficient to get them going…!)

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MEANWHILE, WHAT WAS GARRY UP TO?

kaspThough I doubt Kasparov would have attended the Sochi closing ceremony even had he been invited (Putin is on record as saying the Garry is ALWAYS welcome in Russia), the former world champion was in Tokyo attending/inaugurating a prestigious SHOGI match!

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But Garry did not let the opportunity pass to make some interesting comments  via the social media on the Carlsen vs Anand match.  It also appears that Kasparov had some involvement in Carlsen’s opening preparation, though how much (if any) of it was useful in this match remains to be clarified.

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”The quality of the games was not so high, due to nerves, though for some fans this uncertainty and the potential for mistakes creates drama. Anand missed quite a few chances, and had he found them all, Carlsen would have been pushed to the limit. As it was, Magnus did not have to play his best chess to win the match.”  Kasparov today on ChessBase.

Regardless of the match success, an increasing number of top chess grandmasters and chess fans are beginning to suspect that Sochi might NOT have seen the two best players in the world today taking part. Kirsan has promised that the next world championship match will be held in 2016 in the USA. With a bit of luck, Caruana will qualify!

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AND WHERE WAS KRAMNIK ?

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 The 39-year old former world champion (who wrestled the title away from Kasparov back in 2000) was in Qatar playing in an OPEN tournament!  (Qatar Masters)  Canadian grandmaster Eric Hansen is also participating…

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THE HUMAN BRAIN IS INCREDIBLE!

brain

 

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LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT?

batmobile

 LINK TO ARTICLE

Back in February I published a blog article about Sid and Alicia Belzberg’s latest venture into collectibles LINK. That is right, the Belzbergs have restored the original BATMOBILE!  Now they are about to auction it, but it will cost you a pretty penny! 

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 Somethings are PRICELESS!

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MEANWHILE, BACK IN SIBERIA !

frozenLINK TO STORY

”Siberia air passengers have had to get out and push their plane in temperatures of minus 52 degrees after its chassis froze, Russian prosecutors say.

The extraordinary story emerged on Wednesday after a passenger posted a video on YouTube showing a group of cheery travellers pushing the Tupolev plane on the snow-covered runway in Igarka, which is beyond the Arctic Circle.

“Let’s go,” passengers in thick winter coats shout and whoop as they put their hands on the wings of the plane and shove it several metres along the runway.

“Everyone wants to go home,” one man says.”

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tumblr_mg7vkyKJPM1rpttr7o1_1280”When LIFE serves you lemons…”

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