Friday coffee…





I used to laugh at all  those deliciously silly  ”How many people does it take to change a light-bulb?”-type jokes  because they were just that: so silly!   Light-bulbs were designed by  genius to be used by idiots…how hard a task  can it be screw one in?  There must be something fundamentally wrong with you if this task becomes challenging…and that is what is  intrinsically FUNNY! 

Light-bulb jokes are basically about laughing at ourselves for turning something that should be relatively trivial into something that resembles the Rubik Cube.  CASE IN POINT  is FIDE’s recent ‘solution‘ towards  increased computer-aided cheating in chess tournaments.


Borislav Ivanov has turned the chess establishment on its head!

An anti-cheating committee was set up to figure out what to do.  A smart start, or so you would think, but then you would be missing my light-bulb analogy!  Not only is there NOT a single IT person on the committee who would know what hardware to look for in Ivanov’s case, but try to grasp this: any suspected cheater would have to PROVE his innocence!  The committee has decided that a cheater can be anyone who plays enough strong computer-chess moves!   Professor Ken Regan says he has the math to prove it…

Just this week there was a new  escalation to the anti-cheating question.  David Levy, a well respected individual in the chess world (founder of the Computer Olympiads and the Mind Sports Olympiads, amongst other notable achievements) decided to add his 2-cents to the issue  by suggesting to treat  chess-cheating  on par with  state sponsored TERRORISM!


David Levy getting to the heart of the matter, as usual.

I kid you not!  Levy wrote an article that was published on ChessBase that has already outraged more than a few freedom loving individuals.    Levy starts with light-bulb screwing enthusiasm:

”I believe that the problem could be solved, without too much difficulty, by the addition of a new rule, in five parts, to the FIDE Tournament Rules. Perhaps this could be inserted in Section 12: “Conduct of the Players”….

Levy then goes on and describes a horror list of civil-rights abuses ”every player must sign a standard FIDE document, presented to them in their own language together with an English translation, in which they agree to submit to airport-like security checks, immediately and on demand from the tournament organizers and/or the Chief Arbiter.   Such checks may be carried out, at the organizers’ or Chief Arbiter’s discretion …”

Later Levy adds salt to the wounds  ”A player who appears prima facie to fail such a security check is entitled to make an immediate appeal by demanding to be strip-searched by one or more medical practitioners of the same sex…”

000-0927133649-BenDoverDavid Levy, fortunately, stopped short of volunteering to conduct said searches…

I am certain that most of my readers are as shocked as I am to see suggested –by a respected opinion in the chess world–that dealing with the few cases of cheating that occur in tournaments should now result in standardized strip searches and TSA-like manhandling tactics FOR EVERYONE who wants to participate in a chess tournament! 


Is this the chess world that we want for our children?  I say it is time for FIDE, Ken Regan and David Levy to go back to the drawing board and try to discover a less anally-invasive way to screw in a light bulb!







A poll conducted by Quinnipiac University was published this week showing that most American’s view NSA/CIA turncoat Edward Snowden to be a whistleblower (ie. a hero). You can read more HERE. But the jist of the poll is that 55% of those questioned consider Snowden a whistleblower while just 34% consider him a traitor. Almost every party, gender, income, education, age and income group regards Snowden as a whistle-blower rather than a traitor. The lone exception is black voters, with 43 percent calling him a traitor and 42 percent calling him a whistle-blower.”


“The massive swing in public opinion about civil liberties and governmental anti- terrorism efforts, and the public view that Edward Snowden is more whistle-blower than traitor are the public reaction and apparent shock at the extent to which the government has gone in trying to prevent future terrorist incidents,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.




I must be getting old!  Until today I did not know that twerk was a real word, let alone a phenomenon that is all the rage amongst those with a pulse!  According to wikipedia, twerking is a dance move that involves a person shaking their upper hips and lower hips in an up and down bouncing motion, causing them to shake, ‘wobble’ and ‘jiggle.’ To “twerk” means to “dance in a sexually suggestive fashion by twisting the hips.”

HEY,  I am all for that!  Live and let live, I say!


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