Coffee,cigarettes,sex and chess


‘Morning comes whether you set the alarm or not.’

Ursula K. Le Guin



Good morning, Reader!  I had a little chuckle while doing my favourite thing in the morning: drinking black coffee and surfing the news on the ‘net. I came across an article in ‘Mail Online’ about some recent study on coffee that stated the most obvious:


Why am I NOT surprised?  Isn’t caffeine supposed to do this to you?  But more important, how do such studies get funding? Seems to me that there must be a zillion better uses for this same money…


Here is a cute (sexy) little video about getting out of bed and having a cup of hot black coffee…ENJOY!




09.08 Olymp!

The chess community is often  described as a ‘nerdish’ group with their heads happily buried up their ass in the sand, blissfully unaware of what is happening around them… Case in point is the international chess community’s reaction to the Azerbajan aggression that is being directed against the predominantly Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh…BUT perhaps few chess players realize that the 2016 Olympiad is slated to be organized in September in Baku, the capital of Azerbajan, not very far from the centre of hostilities!


For how long will the chess community be able to ignore what is happening? The recent Azerbajan aggression against the predominantly Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh has resulted in a shakey ceasefire brokered by Russia and the US (April 5) but nobody expects this to last to the end of the week.



ISIS is reportedly already in Azerbajan!  Now that Turkey has come out and decided to support Azerbajan’ aggression ‘at all costs‘, analysts are worried that the entire Caucasus could explode before summer, with Russia and the US being at opposite sides of the conflict. (Russia has sworn to intervene should Armenia be attacked, while Turkey is a rogue member of NATO.)

Should this happen, then there will be no commercial flights in the Caucasus or anywhere near!  FIDE will be forced to CANCEL the 2016 Olympiad.  There is no doubt in my mind that some in the FIDE leadership are already considering plans to move the Olympiad to Khanty-Mansiysk should the situation on the ground deteriorate….and if they aren’t doing this, then they SHOULD get off their asses quickly.  


Click on above pic to visit Kirsan’s Blog





One of my favourite all-girl bands ALL SAINTS recently performed at London’s  KOKO. One of their hits is called ‘BLACK COFFEE‘…





I think this story is an excellent example of why so many in the chess world are constantly looking inward and as a result often miss the bigger picture. Sergey Karjakin, who had just scored the biggest success of his career last week by winning the gruelling Candidates Tournament in Moscow, decided that he would withdraw from the Norwegian Altibox tournament (April 18 to 30) and–at least for the short term, while he recovers physically–dedicate himself entirely to the preparation of his World Championship match with Carlsen in New York in November.

His representative wrote to the Norwegian organizers, politely explaining Karjakin’s reasons:

“Karjakin won’t play in the prestigious tournament in Stavanger. It was with great pleasure that Sergey accepted the invitation from the organisers of the Norway Chess, after being the winner in 2013 and 2014. But the explanation for withdrawal put quite simply is: no-one in advance could have guaranteed Karjakin’s victory at the Candidates Tournament. Now Sergei has a different status and has decided to concentrate fully on preparing for the match for the world crown. Also the Candidates Tournament cost him almost all his energy.”


The Norway Chess organizers, who already have a somewhat dubious relationship with the media, decided to exploit Karjakin’s withdrawal and milk it for all it is worth, trying to gain free publicity for their tournament.  A number of defiant press communiques attributed to the organizers appeared in the international press, and I quote a few here, published today on ChessBase:

“The hosts behind the Altibox Norway Chess tournament are surprised that Sergey Karjakin withdraws from the upcoming tournament in Stavanger. Karjakin has a signed contract with us and it does not state that he can withdraw from the tournament if he qualifies for the World Championship in November, states Jøran Aulin-Jansson.

”This action feels disrespectful to us as the organizers of the event as well as the other players in the tournament, not to mention the entire chess world that were looking forward to the dress rehearsal for the World Championship match between Karjakin and Magnus Carlsen, says Aulin-Jansson.

”The message that Karjakin is withdrawing from Altibox Norway Chess was received from the Russian Chess Federation only 12 days before the start of the tournament. Aulin-Jansson makes it clear that the last words in this matter have not been spoken.

”Sergey Karjakin is a great chess player and he is still welcome as a participant in Altibox Norway Chess 2016. He has, after all, won both times he has participated, says Aulin-Jansson.

”Karjakin obviously has a lot of nerves before his first World Championship match, however, we truly wish Karjakin and his advisors understand that one can not just run away from agreements because it suddenly does not fit in preparation for a match that does not start until about half a year later.”

Soon a number of well known chess bloggers blindly joined in the chorus of the Norwegian charade:





Somewhere lost amid this theatrical display of ‘self-righteous indignation‘ by the Norwegian organizers is the FACT that the Norwegian organizers SCREWED Karjakin last year by withdrawing his invitation to the 2015 edition of the same event.  Even more scandalous given that Karjakin was the outright winner of the 2013 and 2014 events! Apparently the organizers argued that Karjakin’s invitation was verbal, and not written!  (You can read more about this on the ChessBase link above)













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