It takes less than half a minute to fill this bottle with ink and less than a minute to empty it. By tipping the bottle can you discover how long it takes to empty it? Related reading: Sunday Puzzle-3 Sunday Puzzle-2 Sunday Puzzle
Candidate master Peter Zhdanov's column at Pogonina.com
Lately chess is experiencing competition mainly not from other board games, but from PC games, especially MMORPGs (massive multiplier role-playing games) like WorldofWarcraft, LordoftheRingsOnline, Lineage, etc. As I like both the pastimes, today I will try to decide what is better: chess or MMORPGs?
Competing and being a fighter. Most chess players hate losing. One always wants to offer rematch and prove to himself and everyone else he is capable of performing better. Similarly, after a terrible 1 vs 1, failing to beat a strong boss, or getting ganked by a group of foes, one feels like grinding his teeth, leveling up and kicking the enemies' butts.
Team Spirit. To be truly successful in MMORPGS, one has to cooperate with other players. Go raiding, share items and craft them for the members of your clan, fight shoulder to shoulder. Chess players rarely compete in team events, and one can become a World Chess Champion without being part of a large community. Of course, having a few assistants is beneficial, but it's not a must-do.
Result: 1-0 in MMORPGs' favor
Level of entertainment. At first glance it seems that venturing within the beautiful landscapes in 3D is more exciting that staring at a 2D chess board online. However, a lot depends on the person's taste. I've seen many chess players who get lots of adrenaline playing online blitz, while being indifferent towards PC games.
Ian Nepomniatchi (on the left) is not only a 2700+ GM, he is also a strong DOTA player; nickname - FrostNova
Finances. Chess is an evergreen game with rich traditions. Of course, it's hard to become a pro, but, given a certain determination and ability to work hard, pretty much anyone can find a way of making one's living doing something chess-related. In MMORPGS there is also a market where gold, items and characters are traded. In China alone thousands of people are living off farming in WOW. Nonetheless, chess is a more stable and attainable source of income.
Result: 1-0 in chess' favor
Searching for your significant other. According to the public perception, both chess players and online gamers are nerds. Also, in both industries girls are strongly underrepresented.
Opportunities for self-development. Online games teach us to manage our budget well, cooperate with other people, develop our ability to work hard and reflexes, etc. Nonetheless, numerous PhD dissertations and articles dedicated to the utility of chess will convince us that playing chess is more beneficial for self-development. Also, MMORPGs have a significant shortcoming: your character is usually getting stronger and stronger over time. Of course, if you don't intentionally equip second-rate gear/slot the wrong traits/etc. It is also important to progress faster than your competitors. Chess is more like real life: sometimes you will discover that today you are worse off than yesterday in absolute terms, not relative.
Result: 1-0 in chess' favor
So, my half-serious review ended in a 3.5-2.5 victory for chess. Naturally, if one chooses different criteria and asks someone else to express his opinion, the result could be the opposite. It's up to you to agree or not!
The author is a lvl 75 (max) Champion in LOTRO, server - Riddermark, nickname - Otdanon
Friday was a rest day at the Governor's Cup in Saratov. Some of the participants decided to spend the day on their own; others met at the university to play soccer; while three grandmasters agreed to face amateurs over the board.
When one is playing in such a tough 11-round supertournament, it makes sense to save as much energy as possible. A rest day is meant to be spent relaxing. Nonetheless, Alexander Moiseenko, Evgeny Tomashevsky and Pavel Eljanov decided to make Saratov's chess fans happy and hold a simul. Each of the GMs was challenged by 10 opponents. Some of the players were relatively experienced - 1st category or candidate masters. Therefore, it didn't come as a surprise that not all the maestros achieved perfect victories. Evgeny Tomashevsky got 10/10, while Pavel Eljanov and Alexander Moiseenko scored 7.5 and 7 respectively.
The simul took place at the SGSEU chess club (pictured below):
After the 3-hour simul the grandmasters proceeded to the sports hall to play soccer. Alexander Morozeevich, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Evgeny Alekseev, Alexander Moiseenko, Pavel Eljanov, Ni Hua - these brave people decided to spend the rest day in an active way.
Alexander Morozevich is a fierce attacker
Evgeny Tomashevsky arrived late and is anxious to find asap how to join the game. The goalkeeper is tournament director Dr. Alexei Vetrov
Pavel Eljanov on the defensive
"Economist" team in action
The soccer game was very competitive and exciting. Fortunately, nobody got hurt, except for Alexander Moiseenko's glasses (luckily enough, they didn't get broken, were just bended a little).
Saratov Governor's Cup as Seen by Natalia Pogonina
Written by Administrator
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Saratov is a chess city that can boast the highest number of grandmasters in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg. The team of the Saratov Social-Economic University won the European Club Cup twice in 2009 and 2010. The general public also likes chess. Alas, our city doesn't host many chess festivals. Earlier, before 2007, there was a strong open called Aratovsky Memorial at which many strong grandmasters from different countries competed next to amateurs. In 2006 an interesting round robin was held, featuring such players as Bareev, Sutovsky, Moiseenko, Tomashevsky and other leading GMs.
2011 is a special year for Saratov's chess fans. SGSEU turns 80, so the university's authorities and the governor of the city decided to host a respectable XIX-category super tournament. The line-up consists of the players of the team (except for Ian Nepomniatchi, who couldn't come) and a few specially invited grandmasters: ex-FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov, vice-champions of the World Alexei Shirov and Peter Leko, Alexander Morozevich. 11 out of 12 participants have or had a rating over 2700.
The tournament is taking place in my home city, but I managed to visit it for the first time only during the 3rd round. The playing venue, a large hall, is located in the SGSEU itself.
Spectators are welcome; there is no entrance fee. One can stretch and relax in comfortable seats and observe the players and the games thanks to special monitors. The only trick is that the acoustics of the hall is so excellent that one has to whisper as quietly as possible in order not to be heard at the stage.
Every year in Europe the strongest chess club among men and women is determined. This event is rather short, but very exciting. Among the participants you can see both elite grandmasters and pure amateurs. The main prize is a cup that the team gets to keep forever-- if it wins the championship thrice in a row. Given how competitive chess is, this is a real challenge for any ambitious club.
The playing venue
This year’s championship was held in a beautiful place, Rogaska Slatina in Slovenia. The city is famous for its mineral springs, mountains and forests. The weather was also warm and nice, so the participants could enjoy their stay. We had a chance not only to play chess, but also to relax. For example, I loved taking walks in the forest. In the evening many of the teams assembled in a large street cafe in the center of the city to discuss chess and soccer matches while watching the Champion’s League and the European League.
7 rounds is a short distance. A lot depends on the pairings. In the men’s section there were 62 teams, so it was obvious in advance that not all the leaders would get to play each other. Naturally, this offers fuel for talks about the legitimacy of the champion. Among women only 11 teams were participating, but even here not everyone got to face all the competitors. The number of teams was odd, so the worst fear for the leaders was to get a bye (2 team points without playing the match, but with just 2 board points).
I was playing for AVS (Russia) for the 5th year straight. Our team is very friendly and supportive. This year we had a spectacular line-up: ex-Women’s World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova, Women’s World Blitz Champion Kateryna Lahno, European Champion Viktoria Cmilyte, myself, and Mariya Muzychuk, a member of the Ukrainian chess team. The captain was GM Vladimir Georgiev. Nonetheless, we were seeded only second by average rating. The top dog was the three-time winner of the European Cup, Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo: Hou Yifan, Anna Muzychuk, Pia Cramling, Monika Socko and Elmira Skripchenko.
Our club had never won the European Club Cup before. This time we were determined to go for it. After a victory in the first round we lost the match to SHSM that looked won or at least drawn. This defeat infuriated us in the good sense of the word, so we won all the following matches, including critical encounters against Monte-Carlo, Mika and AEM. So, with 12 match points out of 14 we earned the trophy! By the way, the cup itself is very heavy, and we had a hard time trying to lift it above our heads during the awards ceremony. My personal result was 4/6 (2 wins, 4 draws) and a silver individual medal.
Gold medalists, 12 MPs out of 14 - AVS (Russia): Antoaneta Stefanova (2528), Viktoria Cmilyte (2525), Kateryna Lahno (2554), Natalia Pogonina (2446), Mariya Muzychuk (2456)
In the men’s section before the final round six teams were still in contention for gold. Among them was the Saratov Economist club (Russia), which has won the previous two championships. However, in a tough struggle the St. Petersburg (Russia) team clinched the trophy. The team was headed by Peter Svidler, who has won the Russian Superfinal, World Cup and Europan Club Cup in a row.
Gold medalists, 13 match points out of 14 - Saint-Petersburg Chess Federation (Russia): Peter Svidler (2740), Nikita Vitiugov (2726), Sergei Movsesian (2715), Zahar Efimenko (2703), Vadim Zvjagintsev (2666), Ildar Khairullin (2642), Maxim Matlakov (2630)
The next European Club Cup will be taking place in Eilat, Israel.
Today I will show you my game vs WGM Irina Chelushkina from the 1st round. We were playing against BAS (Serbia) and won 2.5-1.5.
White got too excited about playing on the kingside. Irina didn’t solidify her position on the queenside well enough and then gave away a pawn for no reason. Later in the game the material became equal again, but Black got a decisive positional advantage. White was on the verge of zugzwang.
Four different digits 1–9 are required to open a safe. The first and third numbers total ten; the second number is no more than four; the third number is a prime number; the fourth number is three less than the first; and the second number is one less than the fourth.