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September 30th, 2003

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04:58 pm - Ten-spot, takin' care of business
1. Spent last night working on the Middlesbrough Gamers' Club's new Wiki system, which will permit the rest of the committee to make changes to our web site very simply directly from their browser. Not much content there yet, but what there is is pretty good. Jobs applied for in past week: 2. Further jobs to apply for: 3. Interest in actually applying for them: not terribly high. Whoops.

2. The coolest place in the world to be next weekend is Seattle, for the Richard Hugo House's festival celebrating games. "A festival of arts and ideas exploring the nature of games, competition, deception, design, and more." Very impressive-looking line-up of events.

3. My predictions for round two went 5-2, with two correct scores from seven. Not great. St. Petersburg Lentransgaz upset second-seeded Bosna Sarajevo; their match featured five draws and a slight surprise victory on board five. Tbilisi of Georgia improved almost immeasurably overnight to pull the same five-draws-and-an-upset-win over Kiseljak of Bosnia.

My team, Asker Schakklubb of Norway, had a satisfying win over Finnish rivals; my tips, NAO Paris, comfortably dealt with Werder Bremen. However, it should've been more comfortable still. Michael Adams, playing black as NAO board three, had an opponent sacrifice a bishop and a pawn against him for no apparent reason in the first 12 moves. Then Michael decided to accept the draw. An extremely disappointing lack of fighting spirit.

Today's highlights: NAO Paris to overpower Minsk, if they can be bothered; Tbilisi's 3½-2½ winning streak ends at two as they come up against Kasparov's Ladya-Kazan-1000; a huge all-Russian clash Tomsk-400-Yukos face Norilsky Nikel, which very weakly favours Norilsky, Polonia Plus Warsaw can't afford to lose to Clichy Echecs 92 and Bosna Sarajevo start their recovery by swatting Schachfreunde Neukölln from Germany. Lower down, Asker take on Werder Bremen, most notable for a board one clash with Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen facing British former-prodigy-making-good Luke McShane. Luke ought to deal out a lesson about what little prodigies who work hard can grow into.

4. Two weeks to go until the start of the World Puzzle Championships. I predict 23 teams and the United Kingdom team to finish eleventh. Lots of lovely WPC-style puzzles are available. I also predict an open team-based timed competition in 2004.

5. Sweeping up some old polls, the consensus of opinion is that I sleep like a starfish, or at least dance by Raising The Roof. This SCIENTIFICALLY PROVES the theory is a load of old clap-trap, for I actually sleep like a soldier (and dance a gentle Hippie Sway). You had clues, not least following how dinahrae who slept next to me at Nimbus voted.

6. On the "worse to come last in a tournament or not to enter at all?" issue, the results are pretty close; 44% (11/25) of you are over-competitive, whereas 56% (14/25) are not competitive at all. I'm with the 56%. Surprisingly close, though. (My boss is with the 44%. Oh dear.)

7. Let's wrap up the entries for the "How many entries will I have made by the end of my second year of LiveJournal?" prediction pool.

bateleur: 249
leiabelle: 250
lnr: 262
amuzulo: 294
daweaver: 397
missingdonut: 398
songmonk: 426
expetesso: 488
sincelastjuly: 503
cygnusfap: 507
addedentry and 2ndavemusic: 512
trebro: 519
jumbach and glissando: 536
drbear: 811
lambertman: "lots!"

Two matches, which seems somewhat coincidental as coincidences go. This really doesn't seem to be as interesting as I thought it might've been at the time. The winning answer is looking 400s-ish to me.

8. A little over three weeks to my birthday. I'm actually really looking forward to it this year, more so than I have done for a while. *rubs hands*

9. Was sent a pair of hugely entertaining and very silly home-made DVDs yesterday, full of tremendously funny but improbably complicated, hard-to-explain in-jokes. Hopefully I can persuade the author to release at least some of the mock film trailers he has done to the Internet, which you would love.

10. Err... need a spacefiller. Oh yes, aren't people with funny names funny?
Current Mood: hungryhungry

(14 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2003 10:16 am (UTC)
10. Err... need a spacefiller. Oh yes, aren't people with funny names funny?

I actually know someone called Dak Iwanko, who has a brother called Kermit. Poor boys.

Oh, and a friend's godfather's name (he's Swedish) is pronounced more-or-less as "Stiff Cock" (and his wife's name is Ima), although the name is actually Steve Coch.
Date:September 30th, 2003 10:22 am (UTC)

These puzzles on the World Puzzle Championship website... quite a few of them are _extremely_ easy =\

Is this the difficulty one would expect at (what appears to be) the hardest puzzlegame in existence?

If so, where the hell can I sign up for the USA's team =\
[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2003 03:49 pm (UTC)
I had a friend who was in the World Puzzle Championship back in the ... oh, early 90s? I think Team USA won one of the times he was on it, and came in third or fourth the other time.

I think he got on it by doing something with Puzzle Magazine, but I don't know if that's still how it works or not.
[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2003 04:18 pm (UTC)

Ooh, cool! Who, if you don't mind me asking?

See the comment below to find out more about how the US team is decided these days.
[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2003 04:25 pm (UTC)
Daniel (Dan) Johnson. In perusing the list, I see he finished individually 3rd in '92, and 6th in '93. :)
[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2003 04:16 pm (UTC)
Try the tough ones as well. :-)

This is the official site for the US team. Good luck in next year's qualifying test - and do expect to hear lots about it here (and elsewhere!) before it takes place.

The US team are, frankly, the hot favourites to win, so long as they all remain healthy throughout the competition. Accordingly, it's very difficult indeed to qualify for the US team - you simply have to face an extremely strong level of competition to get there.

You might enjoy the seventh iteration of the PQRST puzzle contest, taking place in October. Not sure exactly when.
Date:September 30th, 2003 04:52 pm (UTC)
Some of the puzzles are not my "forte", aka the word ones, etc. as they are mainly trial-and-error and less logic, but as for the logic ones, thats my game right there. The japanese puzzle where you have to remove all the white stones... that type of thing is what I am amazing with. I solved the three in one of the puzzle packets in about 8 minutes, and I was distracted.

Will check out the other link, yes, and will try out for the US team for next year, indeed I will =)

[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2003 11:04 am (UTC)

re: Funny Names

Or, indeed, William Shakespeare

I imagine an ancestor of his was some man-at-arms of some kind ... or an inveterate coward. ;-)

[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2003 12:42 pm (UTC)
512 is a power of two, of course - what did you expect?

A reader came to register at the library yesterday, called Samantha. Apparently there are many Sri Lankan men called Samantha. huskyteer says this is useful information if you've a blind date in Colombo. (Or Constantinople.) I don't know what Humph would think.
[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2003 04:24 pm (UTC)
512 may be 29 but 536 is 2*2*2*67 and that seems to be a very random number indeed - unless I am to average exactly 67 entries per quarter for each of eight quarters. It's as if I was to make the same number of entries in the second year as the first, plus forty for good measure. Forty?

Samantha Bandaranaike would be a very good, and very Sri Lankan, name, but it registers not even a single hit as a phrase. Would "Samantha" be pronounced the way we would in British English?
[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2003 05:33 pm (UTC)
What scares me is the 397 right behind my 398. And I thought 398 was a strange guess.

That's even freakier, in my opinion.
[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2003 04:58 pm (UTC)


What a cool way to conquer the world!
Date:October 1st, 2003 12:41 am (UTC)
4. Two weeks to go until the start of the World Puzzle Championships. I predict 23 teams and the United Kingdom team to finish eleventh.

Not sure about the number of teams - I have been given an indication at some point, but have mislaid it, but 23 might be too high - but I'd be willing to stick my neck out and say we'd finish top 10 out of 23 if it is 23.

Other Nick and I have both finished in the top half of the rankings twice, I think we've both improved in the meantime, and our personal bout for bragging rights should drift us upwards. Middle of the second quartile each, I would think. All the evidence points to David finishing well clear of the pair of us, and I'll conservatively tip him to be in the lower part of the first quartile.

That leaves Alan as our wildcard. Now, although he is in the team only really as a wildcard, my feeling is that he's put in as much effort preparing as the other three of us put together. He really wants to not finish fourth in the team, he often does well in the (admittedly more leisurely) PQRST, and that should lift him above what you might expect at first glance. I'll put him high in the third quartile, which would be absolutely fine.

I think a top 10 finish is achievable, and I'll actually be slightly disappointed if we don't manage it.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2003 08:48 am (UTC)

I got to 23 from "22 WPC members, minus only one or two who won't come because the Netherlands is so accessible, plus some team who aren't listed on the WPC membership but turn up anyhow, plus one or two UN teams". :-)

Great attitude! I'm thrilled to hear it. Here's to the top half!

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