Thursday, February 7, 2008

2008 Moscow Open Round 6 Results

Hooray - a cross-table is now available! Rank after round 6 Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts Fide 1 1 IM Ushenina Anna 2484 UKR 5Ѕ 20 2 7 IM Muzychuk Anna 2460 SLO 5Ѕ 19 3 26 WFM Bodnaruk Anastasia 2317 RUS 5 18 4 24 WFM Girya Olga 2342 RUS 5 17 5 4 IM Lahno Kateryna 2475 UKR 5 16Ѕ 6 14 IM Tairova Elena 2386 RUS 4Ѕ 19 7 20 WIM Vasilkova Svetlana 2359 RUS 4Ѕ 18 8 8 WGM Zhukova Natalia 2457 UKR 4Ѕ 18 9 25 WGM Manakova Maria 2331 SRB 4Ѕ 17 10 21 IM Gvetadze Sopio 2352 GEO 4Ѕ 17 11 5 IM Krush Irina 2473 USA 4Ѕ 17 12 19 WGM Melia Salome 2362 GEO 4Ѕ 16Ѕ 13 9 IM Harika Dronavalli 2455 IND 4Ѕ 16Ѕ 14 18 WFM Malgina-Sterliagova Tatiana 2374 RUS 4Ѕ 16Ѕ 15 2 IM Danielian Elina 2480 ARM 4Ѕ 16Ѕ 16 17 IM Turova Irina 2377 RUS 4Ѕ 16 17 38 WIM Iljushina Olga 2268 RUS 4Ѕ 15Ѕ 18 33 WFM Gunina Valentina 2295 RUS 4Ѕ 14Ѕ 19 41 WFM Yanjindulam Dulamsuren 2256 MGL 4Ѕ 12Ѕ 20 22 WGM Kovanova Baira 2348 RUS 4 17 21 49 WFM Severiukhina Zoja 2199 RUS 4 17 22 30 WFM Fominykh Maria 2305 RUS 4 15Ѕ 23 13 WGM Mongontuul Bathuyag 2389 MGL 4 15Ѕ 24 10 IM Matveeva Svetlana 2433 RUS 4 15 25 16 IM Vasilevich Irina 2378 RUS 4 15 26 3 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2476 RUS 4 14Ѕ 27 15 WIM Charochkina Daria 2383 RUS 4 14 36 WFM Tomilova Elena 2276 RUS 4 14 29 61 WFM Fakhretdinova Margarita 2160 RUS 4 13Ѕ 30 62 WFM Repina Varvara 2158 RUS 4 13 31 34 WGM Fatalibekova Elena 2293 RUS 4 13 32 45 Ostertag Galina 2210 RUS 4 13 33 56 Kuzevanova Evgenia 2167 RUS 3Ѕ 16Ѕ 34 57 Pustovoitova Daria 2166 RUS 3Ѕ 14 35 40 WIM Cherenkova Kristina 2256 RUS 3Ѕ 14 36 6 IM Javakhishvili Lela 2470 GEO 3Ѕ 14 27 WFM Paikidze Nazi 2311 GEO 3Ѕ 14 38 66 WFM Karpova Lyudmila 2139 RUS 3Ѕ 14 39 55 WFM Kharmunova Nadejda 2170 RUS 3Ѕ 13Ѕ 40 37 WGM Semenova Irina 2270 RUS 3Ѕ 13Ѕ 41 12 WGM Grabuzova Tatiana 2392 RUS 3Ѕ 13Ѕ 42 43 WIM Gromova Iulia 2219 RUS 3Ѕ 13 43 39 WGM Golubenko Valentina 2264 CRO 3Ѕ 13 44 29 WGM Shaidullina Sandugach 2306 RUS 3Ѕ 13 45 48 Savina Anastasia 2202 RUS 3Ѕ 12Ѕ 46 53 WFM Bogumil Tatiana 2186 RUS 3Ѕ 12Ѕ 47 52 WFM Shulakova Svetlana 2190 RUS 3Ѕ 12 48 50 Kudriashova Irina 2192 RUS 3Ѕ 12 49 54 WIM Sazonova Elena N 2183 RUS 3Ѕ 12 50 59 WFM Airapetian Tatevik 2162 RUS 3Ѕ 12 51 69 WFM Yakovich Yuliya 2130 RUS 3Ѕ 11Ѕ 52 47 WFM Kineva Ekaterina 2204 RUS 3Ѕ 11Ѕ 53 42 WFM Ambartsumova Karina 2228 RUS 3Ѕ 11 54 28 WIM Strutinskaya Galina N 2309 RUS 3Ѕ 11 55 58 WFM Suslova Alena 2165 RUS 3 13 56 67 WFM Kostrikina Anna 2138 RUS 3 13 57 35 WGM Huda Maryana 2278 UKR 3 13 58 23 WIM Burtasova Anna 2345 RUS 3 12Ѕ 31 Borisova Elizaveta 2305 RUS 3 12Ѕ 60 76 Dobrzhanskaya Irina 2087 UKR 3 12 61 44 WIM Dolgova Olga 2217 RUS 3 12 64 Drozdova Dina 2149 RUS 3 12 63 60 WIM Mouradian Knarik 2161 LIB 3 12 64 63 WFM Karibaeva Elvira 2153 RUS 3 11Ѕ 65 46 Krestianova Tatiana 2208 RUS 3 11Ѕ 66 51 WFM Abramova Ekaterina 2190 RUS 3 11 67 71 WFM Kalmykova Anastasia 2124 RUS 3 11 68 131 Sergeeva Viktoria 0 KAZ 3 11 69 89 Miloserdova Irina 2015 RUS 3 10 70 87 Aganesova Evgeniya 2038 UKR 3 10 71 83 Avdeyeva Viktoriya 2054 AZE 3 9Ѕ 72 65 WFM Khropova Larisa 2143 RUS 3 9Ѕ 73 90 Semenova Elena 2012 RUS 3 9 74 84 Abramova Yulia 2053 RUS 3 9 75 96 Shalukhina Tatyana 1972 KAZ 3 8Ѕ 76 101 Blokhina Elvira 1947 RUS 3 8Ѕ 77 105 Dogodkina Julia 1917 RUS 3 7 78 72 WFM Kuzmenko Elena 2118 RUS 3 6 79 79 Bukhteeva Viktoria 2065 RUS 2Ѕ 9Ѕ 80 74 WFM Larina Marija 2109 RUS 2Ѕ 9Ѕ 81 75 WFM Ivanova Daria 2104 RUS 2Ѕ 9 82 78 WFM Dzhabrailova Inara 2065 RUS 2Ѕ 9 83 73 Gorbunova Alexandra 2113 RUS 2Ѕ 9 88 WFM Beliaeva Natalia 2020 RUS 2Ѕ 9 129 Maliutina Yulia 0 RUS 2Ѕ 9 86 108 Frantsuzova Lyudmila 1899 RUS 2Ѕ 9 87 99 Koroteeva Ksenia 1955 RUS 2Ѕ 8Ѕ 88 86 Ognerubova Anastasia 2041 RUS 2Ѕ 8Ѕ 89 104 Severina Maria 1918 RUS 2Ѕ 8Ѕ 90 80 WFM Melnik Galina 2063 RUS 2Ѕ 8 91 94 Kovalenko Yulya 1980 RUS 2Ѕ 8 92 113 Niks Yana 1865 RUS 2Ѕ 8 93 85 Kabanova Irina 2044 RUS 2Ѕ 8 94 93 WFM Kalashnikova Larisa 1983 RUS 2Ѕ 7Ѕ 95 77 WFM Gvanceladze Anna 2069 RUS 2Ѕ 7 96 118 Nazarian Marina 1811 RUS 2Ѕ 7 97 95 Volkova Ekaterina 1974 RUS 2Ѕ 6Ѕ 98 68 WIM Vrublevskaya Olga 2137 RUS 2Ѕ 6Ѕ 99 112 Braun Elina 1870 RUS 2Ѕ 6Ѕ 100 100 Andreeva Elena 1954 RUS 2Ѕ 5Ѕ 101 115 Forova Tatiana 1857 RUS 2Ѕ 5Ѕ 102 111 WFM Styazhkina Anna 1878 RUS 2 8Ѕ 103 103 Bavina Lyudmila 1945 RUS 2 8 104 82 WFM Zarivkina Victorya 2056 RUS 2 8 105 91 Kluchik Julia 2002 RUS 2 8 106 98 Grigoryeva Olga A. 1955 RUS 2 7Ѕ 107 70 WFM Kiseljova Marya 2129 RUS 2 7Ѕ 108 97 Gavrjuchenkova Angelina 1957 RUS 2 7Ѕ 109 135 Tereshechkina Maya 0 RUS 2 7 110 133 Sorokina Nadejda 0 RUS 2 7 111 106 Golban Ludmila 1910 MDA 2 6 112 126 Karimova Karina 0 RUS 2 4Ѕ 113 125 Grishina Irina 0 RUS 2 4 114 136 Vanchikova Dulma 0 RUS 2 3 115 114 WFM Mestnikova Varvara 1861 RUS 1Ѕ 8Ѕ 116 81 Zaryvkina Anastasia 2063 RUS 1Ѕ 6 117 102 Chernyshova Natalia 1947 RUS 1Ѕ 6 118 124 Gataulina Svetlana 0 RUS 1Ѕ 5Ѕ 119 128 Kvirikashvili Sofiko 0 RUS 1Ѕ 5 120 107 Butneva Larisa 1904 RUS 1Ѕ 4Ѕ 121 127 Kukushkina Angelina 0 RUS 1Ѕ 4Ѕ 122 132 Soboleva Anastasia 0 RUS 1Ѕ 4 123 120 Afanasieva Elena 0 RUS 1Ѕ 3Ѕ 124 116 Belkina Oksana 1853 RUS 1Ѕ 3 125 92 Lein Marina 1991 RUS 1 5 126 109 WFM Della-Rossa Anastasia 1898 RUS 1 4Ѕ 127 117 Milashevskaja Valentina 1816 RUS 1 3 128 123 Chernyh Yana 0 RUS 1 2 129 11 IM Paehtz Elisabeth 2420 GER Ѕ 3 130 122 Cherniavskaya Klara 0 RUS 0 0 134 Tarasova Maria 0 RUS 0 0 132 32 WGM Saunina Ludmila 2303 RUS 0 0 110 Hamza Amira 1884 ALG 0 0 130 Samigulina Renata 0 RUS 0 0 135 119 Ivanova Marianna 1773 RUS 0 0 136 121 Bokova Irina 0 RUS 0 0

Ahhhh, the Chess Scene in "The Thomas Crown Affair"

From Variety 100's "Just for Variety"
1967: Duo set for 'Crown' By ARMY ARCHERD, Thurs., Feb. 7, 2008, 12:16pm PT

-->Sept. 14, 1967
GOOD MORNING: Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway were showered and sauna'd yesterday in a semi-nude scene by Norman Jewison on "The Crown Caper" set. The nervous stars were calmed by the director with "You only have to worry with what the camera sees." ... The stage was, of course, closed - "to everyone except me," noted Harold Mirisch ... A sexier scene, claims Jewison, was lensed earlier -- a chess game between McQueen and Miss D., latter in a sheer gown sans bra. Yes, this film is a change of pace for McQueen. Chess? ...

(2008 Update: "Everyone still talks about that scene," Jewison tells me today. "I got away with murder!" The well-reviewed film was released under the title of "The Thomas Crown Affair" and included the Oscar-winning tune, "The Windmills of Your Mind" by Michel Legrand and Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Alan tells me, "Norman asked us to write a song to underline the anxiety of Steve McQueen in his glider. And Michel wrote music reflecting the windmills of your mind." The songwriters are re-teaming for a B'way musical based on Paul Gallico's "The Man Who Was Magic." ... And Jewison is teaming again with screenwriter John Patrick Stanley on an adaptation of "Bread and Tulips" to be titled "The Accordion" which will film in New Orleans once the financing is completed. (That's why he's in town.) Jewison and Stanley also teamed on "Moonstruck" for which Cher and Stanley won Oscars. Jewison, 81, recently completed "The Statement" with screenwriter Ron Harwood who is Oscar-nominated this year for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" screenplay. On Monday, Jewison presented Harwood with a "Movies For Grownups" award from AARP at the Hotel Bel-Air gala.)

Archaeology and Myths: Romulus and Remus

From USA Today
Does a cave prove Romulus and Remus are no myth?
February 7, 2008
By Andrea Pitzer, Special for USA TODAY
(Photo: Italian Culture Ministry via AP
An underground grotto believed to have been worshipped by ancient Romans as the place where a wolf nursed the city's legendary founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus. Is this the lupercalex?)

The discovery of an ancient Roman cave has unearthed a debate about its historical purpose and delved into a deeper question for scholars: Can archaeology prove mythology?

The cave was found when a camera was lowered through a hole in Rome's Palatine Hill during restorations of the palace of the Emperor Augustus, who ruled from the late first century B.C. until his death in A.D. 14. The Palatine Hill was a seat of power in ancient Rome; today it is home to the fragile remains of palaces and temples.

The discovery of the vaulted cavern, more than 50 feet underground and covered in mosaics, was announced in November. Some believe it is a shrine of the Lupercale, the sacred cave where Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome, are said to have been suckled by a wolf —lupa in Latin.

According to Roman mythology, the twin sons of a priestess and Mars, the god of war, were set adrift in the Tiber River. Instead of drowning, the infants washed ashore.

Francesco Rutelli, Italy's Minister of Culture, says the cave is the Lupercale celebrated in Augustus' time, as evidenced by references in 2,000-year-old texts.

Archaeologist Andrea Carandini of Rome's La Sapienza University calls the finding "one of the greatest discoveries ever made" and says the chances are "minimal" that the cave is not the site revered by the Romans as the Lupercale.

Carandini and others point to discoveries such as the cave and earlier findings of ancient structures as evidence that myths about the city's founding reflect history, and say that the founder of Rome may actually have been named Romulus.

Subject to interpretation
But linking artifacts to legends is risky business, say historians and other archaeologists.

"Everyone always wants to think that archaeology has proved the Bible is true, or that there really was a Trojan War, or that King Arthur was a real character," says historian T.P. Wiseman of England's University of Exeter.

"Archaeology by its nature can't provide such evidence."

He says that when archaeologists interpret an artifact, their expert perspective is essentially a best guess, because there's no means of confirmation.

Historian Christopher Smith of Scotland's University of St. Andrews notes that even if artifacts clearly reference the Romulus and Remus story, all they will show is that the cavern is a place where first-century Romans celebrated the legend — not that the story is real.

"It is tempting to argue that the finds support historical events," Smith says, "when in fact they merely support ancient beliefs about events."

Wiseman says everything we believe we know about the ancient world must be treated as a hypothesis, one that may be disproved by future finds. The only concrete relationship between an artifact and a myth is "what people create with their own will to believe."

Earlier discoveries linked to Romulus and Remus, who supposedly founded Rome in 753 B.C., have divided experts.

In 1988, Carandini discovered a section of wall in Rome dating from the eighth century B.C., which he linked to a boundary found in the legend: Romulus killed Remus when he mocked such a wall. Other archaeologists and historians have recognized the validity of Carandini's find as an archaeological discovery but don't see it giving credence to mythology.

The Capitoline Wolf, a bronze statue of a wolf suckling a pair of infant boys, has come under fire. Long believed to be a fifth-century B.C. Etruscan statue, it may be much younger than that. Last year, Anna Maria Carruba, who was involved in its restoration, published a book claiming the process showed that the wolf was made outside Italy during the medieval period.

If so, Wiseman says, the statue is no longer proof that fifth-century B.C. inhabitants knew the story of Romulus and Remus, which had added weight to the argument that the legend might have historical roots.

Archaeologist Adriano La Regina, also of La Sapienza, who was in charge of the city's archaeological excavations from 1976 to 2005, is among those who argue that the newly discovered cave is not the Lupercale. Ancient sources, from the writings of Dionysius to Cicero, indicate otherwise, he says.

Historian Mario Torelli of Italy's University of Perugia suggests the chamber is only a grotto of the Palatine palace, included in the historical record since the 16th century.

More to discover
Augustus saw himself as a new founder — Romulus and Remus combined, according to Stanford University scholar Adrienne Mayor. And with written references to an actual Lupercale site during Augustus' time, Mayor believes it's fair game for scholars to try to find it.

Mayor says more study has to be done before drawing conclusions about the underground chamber. Experts have been investigating the cave with endoscopes and laser scanners, fearful that the grotto — already partially caved in — would not survive an archaeological dig.

Still, Mayor is impressed that the ancient story of the nurturing wolf has survived at least 2,000 years and has meaning for people today. Trying to connect with the past, "humans return again and again to archaeology to confirm the reality of myth," she says. "It's a timeless impulse."

Contributing: The Associated Press

At the Mercy of Rain

Archeology Writer Warns of Drought With Climate Change By Grant Rhodes, Guest Writer, 2-05-08 Brian Fagan, a leading archaeological writer, said at a lecture at the University of Montana Tuesday night that one of the key ramifications of climate change will be its effect on the world’s water. “Many millions of people in the world today live at the mercy of the rain,” Fagan said. “And because of that, one of the great issues of climate change is our vulnerability.” As part of the 2008 Wilderness Institute’s Lecture Series, Fagan’s presentation was entitled, “The Great Warming Drought and the Flail of God: An Archaeologist Looks at Climate Change.” It focused on how, until recently, we knew little about ancient climate change. But now archaeologists are able to illustrate how civilizations survived and adapted to different warming and cooling periods hundreds of years ago. Fagan noted at the beginning of “The Little Ice Age,” which lasted from the Thirteenth to the Seventeenth Century, storms and rains destroyed crops, forcing people to adapt to the changing conditions. “It was a period of serious famine but also a period of agricultural innovation,” Fagan said. “In short, there was an agricultural revolution.” Fagan uses these historical examples as a lesson that climate change forces people to be innovative. “It is the social and cultural impact of climate change that makes all the difference.” Fagan warned that it is not just Africa and other under-developed regions that will suffer from a water shortage. Parts of the Southwest United States and Southern Rockies, along with parts of the Midwest along the Eastern slope of the Rockies, are considered arid or semi-arid regions. “In the next century, extreme drought will affect 30 percent of us on Earth, which will be up from 3 percent,” Fagan said. Moderate drought would affect half of all of us, he added. “These are reasonable forecasts for the future. We must learn from the lessons of climate change in the past.” So how do we deal with global warming and impending crisis of water shortage today? “The issue isn’t if we can stop global warming. The issue is how do we live with it,” Fagan said. It is important to not let the issue become the “silent elephant in the room,” Fagan warned. There is a need to address it on a personal level as well as on a governmental level. While trying to stay as apolitical as possible on the issue, Fagan did say, “We spend so much money on stupid wars, and we don’t spend it on our future.” Fagan assured the audience that despite an impending water shortage, life will go on. “Humans are adaptive, and capable of making changes, but at the expense of great suffering,” he said. While saying nobody knows what global temperatures will do—whether they will continue to increase or begin to go down—Fagan admitted to being scared at the possibilities. Not scared for himself, but for future generation, because they will be the ones that have to live with it. Speaking to a crowd of mostly students, Fagan warned, “We are playing a huge game of Russian Roulette, and you guys are right in the middle of it.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Goddess Pele

From Pele and the Calabash of Poi Adapted by Amy Friedman February 5, 2008 People say the goddess of the volcano known as Pele was born in Tahiti, one of six daughters. But Pele's father, the powerful god of heaven and earth, grew tired of her explosive temper, and so at long last he gave her a canoe and exiled her from his land. Led by her eldest brother, Kamohoali'i, king of the sharks, Pele made her way to Hawaii. When she reached the islands, Pele used her pa'oa, a long, sharp stick, to strike deep into each place she landed, creating great pits of fire wherever she went. Pele's oldest sister killed her in a great battle, but when Pele died, she transformed into a goddess and settled on the island of Hawaii, where she lives to this day, inhabiting the crater at the summit of the Kilauea volcano. When Kilauea erupts, people say it is Pele's temper bursting forth, and they speak of the face of the goddess that appears amidst the volcanic eruptions. People also tell tales of seeing her wandering out in the world, sometimes disguised as a frail old woman, other times as a beautiful young girl, often leading a tiny white dog. People see her on long, empty roads in Kilauea National Park, but usually when they turn to look again, she has mysteriously vanished. And so it was that one day, disguised as a hag and leaning on a gnarled cane, Pele walked down the mountain toward a village to wander among the people. She came to a large home thatched with ti-leaves, a sign of the family's high rank. The windows of the house opened out onto a lovely garden of taro, coconut palms and bananas. The setting was beautiful, and so Pele peered inside. She saw a family of well-dressed people sitting around a table, clearly enjoying a feast."Aloha," she called, and the man of the family turned, startled to see a stranger at his door. "Aloha," he said, but he did not sound happy. "Can I help you?"Pele nodded. "I have walked a long way," she said, exhaustion in her voice. "I am very hungry. Perhaps you would be kind enough to offer me a calabash of poi. I see you grow a great deal of taro in your beautiful garden." Now the women at the table had spent many hours pounding the potatolike taro root and cooking their delicious poi; the men had worked hard at their harvest. And all they could think was that if they gave some away, that would be less for them later. "I'm afraid we have too little left to share," the man said. "This will have to last us for a long, long time." "Then perhaps a piece of fish," asked Pele. "Ah, it's all gone, I fear," said the man. This time he lied. "A few berries for an old woman?" she asked. "To quench my thirst." "Oh, our berries are green," the woman of the house lied, hiding the pot of berries. "You probably cannot see they are green because your eyes are so old." Now Pele's eyes were anything but old, and now they gleamed with fire, but she stopped herself from exploding with rage. Instead she simply bowed and backed away. Pele continued down the road until she came to a neighbor's house, this one a small hut on a narrow patch of land. She stopped at the gate and watched as a family talked and laughed together in their little garden. They were enjoying the sight of the setting sun beyond the slopes in the distance. "Aloha," Pele called. "I see you have finished your supper, which is a shame since I hoped to have a little poi. I'm very hungry." At once the poor farmer smiled at Pele, and everyone in the family smiled as well, each one radiating warmth, as if they had inhaled the sun. "Come in," said the man. "You are more than welcome. Please, make yourself comfortable." Before he had finished speaking, his wife had prepared a calabash of poi for the old woman and led her to a mat on the floor. Pele sat and ate heartily, dipping her fingers again and again into the delicious poi. When she had devoured the bowlful, she looked up and asked, "Have you any more?" Without hesitation, the woman filled the calabash with another helping of poi, and once again Pele devoured the treat. Then she looked up. "Any more?" Again the woman did not hesitate to fill the calabash as full as she could. "I'm so sorry," she apologized, "this is the last of our poi. As you can see, we have a small garden and little taro." When Pele finished eating the third calabash, she rose from her place on the mat. She moved more slowly now, for she was full, but her face glowed with the fire of pleasure. "From this day on," she said, "whatever you plant in your garden at night will be full grown by morning, and you will have as many crops in your garden in one day as your neighbor will grow in 10 years." Then she walked outside, and when the family turned to wave to her, she had vanished. The next morning the poor man awoke and walked into his garden. He stared in wonder, for everywhere he looked, ripe bananas hung on new, sturdy plants, and full-grown taro stood ready to be harvested. His sugarcane plants reached so high he could barely see their tops. Then the poor farmer looked across the road toward the beautiful garden of his rich and powerful neighbor, and saw that the rich man's garden was bare. And so he understood that he had been blessed by the goddess of the volcano because of his hospitality to a poor old woman.

2008 Moscow Open Round 5 Results

Bo. Name Pts Res. Pts Name 1 IM Tairova Elena 4 Ѕ - Ѕ 4 IM Ushenina Anna 2 IM Gvetadze Sopio 3Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 3Ѕ IM Krush Irina 3 Kuzevanova Evgenia 3Ѕ 0 - 1 3Ѕ IM Muzychuk Anna 4 WGM Zhukova Natalia 3Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 3Ѕ WGM Kovanova Baira 5 WIM Vasilkova Svetlana 3Ѕ 1 - 0 3Ѕ WFM Severiukhina Zoja 6 WGM Manakova Maria 3 Ѕ - Ѕ 3 IM Danielian Elina 7 WFM Bodnaruk Anastasia 3 1 - 0 3 WGM Pogonina Natalija 8 IM Lahno Kateryna 3 1 - 0 3 WFM Fominykh Maria 9 WFM Paikidze Nazi 3 0 - 1 3 IM Harika Dronavalli 10 IM Matveeva Svetlana 3 1 - 0 3 WGM Fatalibekova Elena 11 WGM Huda Maryana 3 0 - 1 3 IM Vasilevich Irina 12 IM Turova Irina 3 Ѕ - Ѕ 3 Pustovoitova Daria 13 WFM Tomilova Elena 3 0 - 1 3 WFM Malgina-Sterliagova Tatiana 14 WGM Melia Salome 3 1 - 0 3 WFM Karpova Lyudmila 15 WFM Suslova Alena 3 0 - 1 3 WFM Girya Olga 16 IM Javakhishvili Lela 2Ѕ 1 - 0 3 Dobrzhanskaya Irina 17 WGM Mongontuul Bathuyag 2Ѕ 1 - 0 2Ѕ WFM Bogumil Tatiana 18 WIM Burtasova Anna 2Ѕ 0 - 1 2Ѕ WFM Kharmunova Nadejda 19 WGM Shaidullina Sandugach 2Ѕ 0 - 1 2Ѕ WFM Yakovich Yuliya 20 WFM Gunina Valentina 2Ѕ 1 - 0 2Ѕ WFM Kalmykova Anastasia 21 WIM Gromova Iulia 2Ѕ 1 - 0 2Ѕ WGM Semenova Irina 22 WIM Iljushina Olga 2Ѕ 1 - 0 2Ѕ WFM Kostrikina Anna 23 Kudriashova Irina 2Ѕ 0 - 1 2Ѕ WIM Cherenkova Kristina 24 WFM Shulakova Svetlana 2Ѕ 0 - 1 2Ѕ WFM Yanjindulam Dulamsuren 25 Sergeeva Viktoria 2Ѕ 0 - 1 2 WGM Grabuzova Tatiana 26 WIM Charochkina Daria 2 1 - 0 2 WFM Khropova Larisa 27 WFM Kiseljova Marya 2 0 - 1 2 WIM Strutinskaya Galina N 28 Borisova Elizaveta 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 Gorbunova Alexandra 29 WGM Golubenko Valentina 2 1 - 0 2 WFM Larina Marija 30 WFM Ambartsumova Karina 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 WFM Ivanova Daria 31 Bukhteeva Viktoria 2 0 - 1 2 WIM Dolgova Olga 32 Abramova Yulia 2 0 - 1 2 Ostertag Galina 33 Krestianova Tatiana 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 WFM Dzhabrailova Inara 34 WFM Beliaeva Natalia 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 WFM Kineva Ekaterina 35 Savina Anastasia 2 1 - 0 2 Semenova Elena 36 Frantsuzova Lyudmila 2 0 - 1 2 WFM Abramova Ekaterina 37 WIM Sazonova Elena N 2 1 - 0 2 Kluchik Julia 38 Miloserdova Irina 2 0 - 1 2 WFM Airapetian Tatevik 39 WIM Mouradian Knarik 2 1 - 0 2 WFM Kalashnikova Larisa 40 WFM Styazhkina Anna 2 0 - 1 2 WFM Fakhretdinova Margarita 41 WFM Repina Varvara 2 1 - 0 2 Grigoryeva Olga A. 42 Maliutina Yulia 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 WFM Karibaeva Elvira 43 Drozdova Dina 2 1 - 0 2 Severina Maria 44 WFM Zarivkina Victorya 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 2 Niks Yana 45 Kovalenko Yulya 1Ѕ 1 - 0 1Ѕ WFM Melnik Galina 46 Chernyshova Natalia 1Ѕ 0 - 1 1Ѕ Avdeyeva Viktoriya 47 Kabanova Irina 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ Shalukhina Tatyana 48 WFM Mestnikova Varvara 1Ѕ 0 - 1 1Ѕ Ognerubova Anastasia 49 Aganesova Evgeniya 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ Nazarian Marina 50 Gataulina Svetlana 1Ѕ 0 - 1 1 WIM Vrublevskaya Olga 51 WFM Kuzmenko Elena 1 1 - 0 1 WFM Della-Rossa Anastasia 52 WFM Gvanceladze Anna 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 Braun Elina 53 Zaryvkina Anastasia 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 Forova Tatiana 54 Volkova Ekaterina 1 1 - 0 1 Milashevskaja Valentina 55 Kvirikashvili Sofiko 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 Gavrjuchenkova Angelina 56 Koroteeva Ksenia 1 1 - 0 1 Afanasieva Elena 57 Blokhina Elvira 1 1 - 0 1 Grishina Irina 58 Bavina Lyudmila 1 1 - 0 1 Kukushkina Angelina 59 Dogodkina Julia 1 1 - 0 1 Soboleva Anastasia 60 Sorokina Nadejda 1 1 - 0 1 Golban Ludmila 61 Butneva Larisa 1 0 - 1 1 Tereshechkina Maya 62 Belkina Oksana Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Andreeva Elena 63 Ivanova Marianna 0 - - + Ѕ Karimova Karina 64 Vanchikova Dulma 0 1 - 0 0 Bokova Irina Chernyh Yana 0 1 - - Bye 65 IM Paehtz Elisabeth Ѕ - - 0 - 66 WGM Saunina Ludmila 0 - - 0 - 67 Lein Marina 1 - - 0 - 68 Hamza Amira 0 - - 0 - 69 Cherniavskaya Klara 0 - - 0 - 70 Samigulina Renata 0 - - 0 - 71 Tarasova Maria 0 - - 0 -

Ancient Seal Inscription Re-translated


Feb 4, 2008 20:26 Updated Feb 5, 2008 17:14
Archeologist revises read of ancient seal inscription

A prominent Israeli archeologist said Monday that she has revised her reading of an inscription on an ancient seal uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem's City of David after various scholars around the world critiqued her original interpretation of the name on the seal.

The 2,500 year-old black stone seal was found last month amid stratified layers of debris in the excavation under way just outside the Old City walls near the Dung Gate, said archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, who is leading the dig.

Mazar had originally read the name on the seal as "Temech," and suggested that it belonged to the family of that name mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah.

But after the find was first reported in The Jerusalem Post, various epigraphers around the world said Mazar had erred by reading the inscription on the seal straight on (from right to left) rather than backwards (from left to right), as a result of the fact that a seal creates a mirror image when used to inscribe a piece of clay.

The critics, including the European scholar Peter van der Veen, as well as the epigrapher Ryan Byrne, co-director of the Tel Dan excavations, suggested in Internet blogs that the correct reading of the seal is actually "Shlomit," also a biblical name.

Mazar said Monday that she accepted the reading of "Shlomit" on the ancient seal, and added that she appreciated the scholarly research on the issue.

"We are involved in research, not in proving our own opinions," Mazar said.

She noted that the name Shlomit was known in the period from which the seal dated, and that other contemporary seals had been found that bore names of women who held official status in the administration.

It was not clear whether the name on the seal had any connection to the daughter of Zerubbabel, mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:19, since the name was apparently common in the period.

The grandson of Judean King Jehoachin, Zerubbabel, led the first band of Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity, and laid the foundation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

"What we can say for sure is that this woman was an important woman in the society," Mazar said.

The seal, which portrays a common and popular cultic scene, was bought in Babylon and dates to 538-445 BCE, Mazar said.

In contrast, Byrne suggested that a date in the late seventh or early sixth century was more probable, noting that scene was typical of the Iron Age Levant and that there was no reason to surmise the seal had been made in Babylon.

The 2.1 X 1.8 cm elliptical seal is engraved with two bearded priests standing on either side of an incense alter with their hands raised in a position of worship.

A crescent moon, the symbol of the chief Babylonian god Sin, appears on the top of the altar, Mazar said.

The fact that this cultic scene relates to a Babylonian god seemed not to have disturbed the Jews that used the seal, she added.

Mazar gained international prominence for her recent excavation that may have uncovered the biblical palace of King David.

The three-year-old east Jerusalem dig is being sponsored by the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem research institute, where Mazar serves as a senior fellow, and the City of David Foundation, which promotes Jewish settlement throughout east Jerusalem.

Snow Bound!

They said it was coming - and it did. It started at 4 yesterday afternoon and it's still snowing hard outside, more than 24 hours later. So far about 18 inches has piled up in my driveway - not including the five foot tall pile of nasty plowed into the end of my driveway courtesy of the demon plow driver (I will kill him with a stake through his frigging heart if I can ever catch the plow). I didn't expect that they would, and I already knew there was no way on Goddess' green earth that I was going to attempt to make it to the bus stop today and travel the 11 miles downtown - guess what - they closed the office! The first time in the more than 5 years I've worked there! so, I didn't have to use a vacation day today after all, thank goodness for small favors! I shoveled 3 times, all to no avail. Once starting at 6 a.m. this morning to go get my newspaper - when there was only half a foot of snow on the ground; once around noon when I foolishly through I might be able to get down to the supermarket and pick up some more peanuts - the squirrels were ravenous this morning and for the couple of hour window while the back deck stayed unburied under snow, they miraculously appeared out of nowhere (perhaps they fly when we are looking?). Well, I should have gone, despite the blowing snow and unplowed roads. It just got worse at the day wore on. What was supposed to end at 6 p.m. is now forecast to end at 9 p.m. With winds gusting out of the east, and then the northeast, and now north/northeast up to 40 mph, the drifing is fierce. Things got so bad, the county transportation system pulled its buses off the road, service ended at 5:30 p.m. I really feel for all the people working who missed their last bus and are waiting, waiting, waiting... Not everyone listens to all news radio or television while at work, and those are the places where the announcement of suspension of bus service were made. There might even be people out there who didn't hear the announcement while still at home getting ready to go to work, and they're out there at bus stops waiting, waiting, waiting... Oh Goddess! I think I hurt my left shoulder shoveling, it hurts like the dickens. This last time, I shoveled from 5:38 p.m. until 7 p.m. and managed to open up about a 3 foot wide path from my front porch down to the road, where it narrows to about 2 feet because I don't have anywhere to go with the snow in the hill plowed into the end of my driveway - I can't toss it up any higher, about 4.5 feet high along the left side of the driveway. My mail box and paper box are buried - that means I won't get any mail until I can get it dug out - and that means it will wait until spring! I can't toss the snow up any higher than it already is. I may be able to hire someone to come and plow me out, about a week from now.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

2008 Moscow Open Round 4 Results

Bo. Name Pts Res. Pts Name 1 IM Ushenina Anna 3 1 - 0 3 WGM Manakova Maria 2 WFM Severiukhina Zoja 3 Ѕ - Ѕ 3 WGM Zhukova Natalia 3 IM Tairova Elena 3 1 - 0 3 WFM Bodnaruk Anastasia 4 IM Danielian Elina 2Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 3 Kuzevanova Evgenia 5 IM Krush Irina 2Ѕ 1 - 0 2Ѕ WIM Burtasova Anna 6 IM Muzychuk Anna 2Ѕ 1 - 0 2Ѕ WIM Iljushina Olga 7 WGM Kovanova Baira 2Ѕ 1 - 0 2Ѕ WGM Mongontuul Bathuyag 8 WFM Fominykh Maria 2Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 2Ѕ IM Turova Irina 9 WGM Semenova Irina 2Ѕ 0 - 1 2Ѕ WIM Vasilkova Svetlana 10 WFM Kostrikina Anna 2Ѕ 0 - 1 2Ѕ IM Gvetadze Sopio 11 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2 1 - 0 2 Krestianova Tatiana 12 WIM Dolgova Olga 2 0 - 1 2 IM Lahno Kateryna 13 WFM Bogumil Tatiana 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 IM Javakhishvili Lela 14 IM Harika Dronavalli 2 1 - 0 2 Savina Anastasia 15 Ostertag Galina 2 0 - 1 2 IM Matveeva Svetlana 16 WGM Grabuzova Tatiana 2 0 - 1 2 WFM Suslova Alena 17 Pustovoitova Daria 2 1 - 0 2 WIM Charochkina Daria 18 IM Vasilevich Irina 2 1 - 0 2 WIM Mouradian Knarik 19 WFM Malgina-Sterliagova Tatiana 2 1 - 0 2 WFM Repina Varvara 20 WFM Fakhretdinova Margarita 2 0 - 1 2 WGM Melia Salome 21 WFM Girya Olga 2 1 - 0 2 Bukhteeva Viktoria 22 WFM Karibaeva Elvira 2 0 - 1 2 WFM Paikidze Nazi 23 WFM Kalmykova Anastasia 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 WGM Shaidullina Sandugach 24 WFM Karpova Lyudmila 2 1 - 0 2 Borisova Elizaveta 25 WGM Fatalibekova Elena 2 1 - 0 2 Drozdova Dina 26 WGM Huda Maryana 2 1 - 0 2 Miloserdova Irina 27 WFM Larina Marija 2 0 - 1 2 WFM Tomilova Elena 28 Dobrzhanskaya Irina 2 1 - 0 2 WGM Golubenko Valentina 29 WIM Cherenkova Kristina 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 Sergeeva Viktoria 30 WFM Melnik Galina 1Ѕ 0 - 1 1Ѕ WFM Gunina Valentina 31 WFM Yanjindulam Dulamsuren 1Ѕ 1 - 0 1Ѕ WFM Zarivkina Victorya 32 Avdeyeva Viktoriya 1Ѕ 0 - 1 1Ѕ WIM Gromova Iulia 33 WFM Kineva Ekaterina 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ Abramova Yulia 34 Ognerubova Anastasia 1Ѕ 0 - 1 1Ѕ Kudriashova Irina 35 Shalukhina Tatyana 1Ѕ 0 - 1 1Ѕ WFM Shulakova Svetlana 36 Severina Maria 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ WIM Sazonova Elena N 37 WFM Kharmunova Nadejda 1Ѕ 1 - 0 1Ѕ Aganesova Evgeniya 38 WFM Airapetian Tatevik 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ Frantsuzova Lyudmila 39 WFM Khropova Larisa 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ WFM Styazhkina Anna 40 WFM Yakovich Yuliya 1Ѕ 1 - 0 1Ѕ WFM Mestnikova Varvara 41 WIM Strutinskaya Galina N 1 1 - 0 1 Volkova Ekaterina 42 Gavrjuchenkova Angelina 1 0 - 1 1 WFM Ambartsumova Karina 43 WFM Abramova Ekaterina 1 1 - 0 1 Koroteeva Ksenia 44 Golban Ludmila 1 0 - 1 1 WFM Kiseljova Marya 45 Gorbunova Alexandra 1 1 - 0 1 Blokhina Elvira 46 WFM Ivanova Daria 1 1 - 0 1 Bavina Lyudmila 47 Grigoryeva Olga A. 1 1 - 0 1 WFM Gvanceladze Anna 48 WFM Dzhabrailova Inara 1 1 - 0 1 Dogodkina Julia 49 Niks Yana 1 1 - 0 1 Zaryvkina Anastasia 50 Nazarian Marina 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 Kabanova Irina 51 Kukushkina Angelina 1 0 - 1 1 WFM Beliaeva Natalia 52 Semenova Elena 1 1 - 0 1 Butneva Larisa 53 Kluchik Julia 1 1 - 0 1 Tereshechkina Maya 54 Maliutina Yulia 1 + - - 1 Lein Marina 55 WFM Kalashnikova Larisa 1 1 - 0 1 Sorokina Nadejda 56 WIM Vrublevskaya Olga Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ Ѕ Forova Tatiana 57 Belkina Oksana Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Kovalenko Yulya 58 Andreeva Elena Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Gataulina Svetlana 59 Karimova Karina Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Chernyshova Natalia 60 WFM Della-Rossa Anastasia Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ Ѕ Kvirikashvili Sofiko 61 Soboleva Anastasia Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ Ѕ Braun Elina 62 Bokova Irina 0 0 - 1 0 WFM Kuzmenko Elena 63 Chernyh Yana 0 0 - 1 0 Milashevskaja Valentina 64 Grishina Irina 0 1 - 0 0 Ivanova Marianna 65 Afanasieva Elena 0 1 - 0 0 Vanchikova Dulma

Whiz Kid Furtado Back in the News

From The Navhind Times Ivana, Anirudh win U-9 crowns NT Sports Reporter Margao, Feb 5 Double World Under-8 champion Ivana Furtado created another record by winning the state Under-9 chess championships for the third consecutive time at BPS Club, Margao. In the last round Ivana beat Gauri Hadkonkar to finish with a perfect score of 5 out of 5 matches and Gauri had to remain content with the second place in a keenly contested event. Ivana was felicitated on the occasion by reputed table tennis coach Subodh Shevde and presented a cash award as well. She will now represent Goa along with 4 other girls - Gauri Hadkonkar (4), Riya Sawant (4), Saloni Bandekar (4) and Sakshi Prabhu (3) - in the upcoming national U-9 girls chess championship to be played in New Delhi from April 28. Riya Sawant, who stood in the top 10 in two National Championships in the same year, was also felicitated and was given a cash award. In the boys section, it was Anirudh Bhat of Margao with 6 points who stood first after drawing with Ritviz Parab in the crucial last round. Anirudh built up a strong position and actually was slightly better when Ritviz offered him a draw. He gleefully accepted as he knew that half a point was suffice to give him the title. The boys team that will represent Goa in the upcoming nationals includes Anirudh Bhat, Ritviz Parab (5.5), Saish Bandodkar (5.5) and Snehil Shetty (5). The tournament was jointly organised by Curchorem Chess Club and BPS Sports Club. Santosh George, who is the secretary of BPS Sports Club, was the chief guest. Dattaram Pinge and Avinash Malvankar were the chief arbiters and Standrik Colaco did the pairings. Incidentally, both the winners Ivana and Anirudh - are being coached by Dronacharya awardee Raghunandan Gokhale.

Music for a Goddess

From UCLA International Institute Posted February 4, 2008 A new release from Center for India and South Asia (CISA) ethnomusicologists Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy This narrated DVD explores the sacred music, dance and rituals of devidasis and devidasas, women and men dedicated to the goddess Renuka/Yellamma. Worshipped by millions of devotees in the border regions of southern Maharashtra, northern Karnataka, and adjacent areas of India, this fertility goddess is best known through media representations and social activism protesting practices linked to sexuality and prostitution. Her musical and social traditions have parallels in the devadasi (women dedicated to male deities) system in Tamilnadu before its reform and classicization in the early twentieth century. The DVD attempts to balance the typically negative representations of the tradition, which tend to focus on controversial practices and to exclude the unique musical forms essential to the worship of the goddess Renuka/Yellamma. “Fictive documentary” techniques employed include the autobiographical voice of the Goddess, who reflects on elements of her own varied histories and some of the practices of her followers, and the voice of her son Parasuram. Virtuosic performances by women and men practitioners (jogtas and jogappas, including transgenders) are featured in ensembles including the chaundke, a one-stringed variable-tension ‘plucked drum’ believed to have first been fashioned by Parasuram from a demon’s skull. These musical ritualists are necessary for calendrical festivals shown in the video such as pilgrimage during Rande Purnima (“Widows' Full Moon”), when the goddess and her devidasis are temporarily widowed, processions in the “Baby-Dropping Ritual”, and for biweekly mendicancy rounds and oracle rituals. Police threats to confiscate musical instruments, and protest songs sung within the tradition against the dedication of children, attest to contemporary conflicts surrounding the goddess and her music, the endangerment of her chaundke, and the human rights issues at stake. Purchasing information and more at Apsara Media.

Antiquities Smugglers Busted in Bulgaria

19-member treasure hunt group busted in Bulgaria 20:26 Tue 05 Feb 2008 - Rene Beekman Bulgaria's anti-organised crime unit busted a 19-member group of treasure hunters on February 1, the Interior Ministry announced in a media statement on February 5. The group was involved in illegal archaeological excavations and selling cultural artifacts, said. The operation took place in Rouse, Varna, Dobrich, Plovdiv and Bourgas. The three leaders of the group had been released on bail, the Interior Ministry said. The group had found a collection of more than 2800 coins, more than 790 archaeological artifacts, seven antique matrices for coinage, glassware, bronze and ceramics, said. The artifacts were said to be intended to be sold abroad.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Lewis Chess Pieces Back in the News

Again! A really long article - too long to reproduce here in full - also lots of graphics - and a lot more back-story than I've ever read about the pieces before. It's definitely worth taking the time to read. From the Sunday Herald Online: Stale mate Allan Burnett February 3, 2008 WHO OWNS the Lewis Chessmen? For the SNP government in Edinburgh and their Labour opponents in London, squabbling over whether this huddle of priceless medieval artefacts belongs in Scotland or England, the answer might seem obvious. But the fact they are contesting the issue at all, and that their conclusions directly contradict each other, only goes to prove that the answer is very far from clear. In fact, the truth about the Lewis Chessmen is infinitely more complex and colourful than the usual black-and-white certainties common to the games of politics and chess. The full story of these enigmatic little figurines, where they come from and why their ownership matters, begins about three centuries ago, with a mysterious ship caught in the jaws of an Atlantic gale off the west coast of Lewis. The vessel narrowly avoided shipwreck by sheltering in the mouth of an inlet called Loch Resort. That night, while the crew rode out the storm by drinking, blethering and playing board games, a sailor boy in their midst made plans to escape his personal hell of confinement and on-board bullying. But not before grabbing the most tradeable things he could lay his penniless hands on - the captain's precious ivory chessmen. It may have taken more than one trip, but the boy managed to swim ashore with almost 100 of the fist-sized pieces in a bundle on his back. Unknown to him, however, a cowherd was watching from the shore. When the boy made his final landing, the cowherd sprang to the chase, determined to get his hands on whatever riches the soaking sailor had under his arm. In the struggle that followed the boy was killed. The herdsman buried his victim's remains on the moor and lugged the loot home. Read more.

2008 Moscow Open Round 3 Results

The English translation isn't the best, but the article is a heart-toucher. Unaffected emotions Female tournament is one of the most important events of Moscow open 2008. Such a competition is not only a decoration of the festival, but also a taking breathe fight: all girls have got used to struggle up to the last – that is why we can observe both high result and unaffected emotions. Check out this photographic essay by Oksana Kosteniuk (GM Alexandria Kosteniuk's younger sister). From the official website for the 2008 Moscow Open. Bo. Name Pts Res. Pts Name 1 WGM Melia Salome 2 0 - 1 2 IM Ushenina Anna 2 IM Danielian Elina 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 WGM Kovanova Baira 3 WIM Vasilkova Svetlana 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 IM Muzychuk Anna 4 WGM Zhukova Natalia 2 1 - 0 2 WFM Girya Olga 5 WGM Manakova Maria 2 1 - 0 2 IM Harika Dronavalli 6 WFM Bodnaruk Anastasia 2 1 - 0 2 WGM Grabuzova Tatiana 7 WGM Mongontuul Bathuyag 2 Ѕ - Ѕ 2 WFM Fominykh Maria 8 Borisova Elizaveta 2 0 - 1 2 IM Tairova Elena 9 WIM Charochkina Daria 2 0 - 1 2 WFM Severiukhina Zoja 10 Kuzevanova Evgenia 2 1 - 0 2 WFM Malgina-Sterliagova Tatiana 11 WGM Golubenko Valentina 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ WGM Pogonina Natalija 12 IM Lahno Kateryna 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ WIM Cherenkova Kristina 13 WIM Gromova Iulia 1Ѕ 0 - 1 1Ѕ IM Krush Irina 14 IM Javakhishvili Lela 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ Ostertag Galina 15 IM Turova Irina 1Ѕ 1 - 0 1Ѕ WFM Kineva Ekaterina 16 IM Gvetadze Sopio 1Ѕ 1 - 0 1Ѕ WFM Kharmunova Nadejda 17 WIM Burtasova Anna 1Ѕ 1 - 0 1Ѕ WFM Airapetian Tatevik 18 WFM Paikidze Nazi 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ WFM Fakhretdinova Margarita 19 WGM Shaidullina Sandugach 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ WFM Karpova Lyudmila 20 WFM Gunina Valentina 1Ѕ 0 - 1 1Ѕ WFM Kostrikina Anna 21 Krestianova Tatiana 1Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ 1Ѕ WGM Huda Maryana 22 Aganesova Evgeniya 1Ѕ 0 - 1 1Ѕ WGM Semenova Irina 23 WIM Iljushina Olga 1Ѕ 1 - 0 1Ѕ WFM Mestnikova Varvara 24 IM Matveeva Svetlana 1 1 - 0 1 WFM Ivanova Daria 25 WFM Gvanceladze Anna 1 0 - 1 1 IM Vasilevich Irina 26 Bukhteeva Viktoria 1 1 - 0 1 WIM Strutinskaya Galina N 27 Zaryvkina Anastasia 1 0 - 1 1 WGM Fatalibekova Elena 28 Kabanova Irina 1 0 - 1 1 WFM Tomilova Elena 29 WFM Ambartsumova Karina 1 0 - 1 1 Dobrzhanskaya Irina 30 WFM Beliaeva Natalia 1 0 - 1 1 WIM Dolgova Olga 31 Savina Anastasia 1 1 - 0 1 WFM Dzhabrailova Inara 32 Kudriashova Irina 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 WFM Melnik Galina 33 Miloserdova Irina 1 1 - 0 1 WFM Abramova Ekaterina 34 WFM Shulakova Svetlana 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 WFM Zarivkina Victorya 35 Lein Marina 1 0 - 1 1 WFM Bogumil Tatiana 36 WIM Sazonova Elena N 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 Avdeyeva Viktoriya 37 Koroteeva Ksenia 1 0 - 1 1 Pustovoitova Daria 38 WFM Suslova Alena 1 1 - 0 1 Semenova Elena 39 WIM Mouradian Knarik 1 1 - 0 1 Gavrjuchenkova Angelina 40 WFM Repina Varvara 1 1 - 0 1 Golban Ludmila 41 Blokhina Elvira 1 0 - 1 1 WFM Karibaeva Elvira 42 Drozdova Dina 1 1 - 0 1 Maliutina Yulia 43 Bavina Lyudmila 1 0 - 1 1 WFM Kalmykova Anastasia 44 Sergeeva Viktoria 1 1 - 0 1 Gorbunova Alexandra 45 Tereshechkina Maya 1 0 - 1 1 WFM Larina Marija 46 Andreeva Elena Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ WFM Yanjindulam Dulamsuren 47 Chernyshova Natalia Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ WFM Khropova Larisa 48 WIM Vrublevskaya Olga Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Severina Maria 49 Braun Elina Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ WFM Yakovich Yuliya 50 WFM Kiseljova Marya Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ Ѕ Grigoryeva Olga A. 51 Kvirikashvili Sofiko Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Abramova Yulia 52 Gataulina Svetlana Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Ognerubova Anastasia 53 Sorokina Nadejda Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ Ѕ Kluchik Julia 54 Kovalenko Yulya Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Frantsuzova Lyudmila 55 Shalukhina Tatyana Ѕ 1 - 0 Ѕ WFM Della-Rossa Anastasia 56 WFM Kuzmenko Elena 0 0 - 1 Ѕ WFM Styazhkina Anna 57 Ivanova Marianna 0 0 - 1 0 WFM Kalashnikova Larisa 58 Volkova Ekaterina 0 1 - 0 0 Afanasieva Elena 59 Dogodkina Julia 0 1 - 0 0 Chernyh Yana 60 Butneva Larisa 0 1 - 0 0 Grishina Irina 61 Bokova Irina 0 0 - 1 0 Niks Yana 62 Forova Tatiana 0 Ѕ - Ѕ 0 Karimova Karina 63 Soboleva Anastasia 0 Ѕ - Ѕ 0 Belkina Oksana 64 Milashevskaja Valentina 0 0 - 1 0 Kukushkina Angelina 65 Vanchikova Dulma 0 0 - 1 0 Nazarian Marina

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Goddess Brigid and the Birds

Heh heh, thought I was just kidding about the goddess/bird connection? Nah! I wouldn't try to fool you like that. (Image: a crios Bride, or Brigid cross)

Brigid's birds and biddy boys
By Joe Kennedy
Sunday February 03 2008

MOST of the folklore surrounding St Brigid, including various pious practices associated with her, seem at this time to have been forgotten. The practices themselves, visiting holy wells, making 'stations' at specific places linked to the saint's memory, have drifted off into a netherworld of the forgotten like a bank of dispersing fairy mist. It is the opposite in continental Europe. There local saints are publicly commemorated vigorously with colourful pageantry -- and perhaps a bit of religion as well. It's an example to us all.

Anyway, we still have St Patrick, though we are moving him about this year, I hear. And then, of course, St Brigid might not have been a saintly lady after all! But more of that later.

This is her month now, and the time of her traditional birds, the oystercatcher and skylark, to be making themselves more noticeable to mark the beginning of spring and the start of the traditional agricultural year.

Larks, however, have seriously fallen in numbers as have linnets, another Brigidine songster. The lark's soaring notes in the clear air were usually taken as a sign of good weather on the way. There may be fewer of them but oystercatchers are plentiful and have been a common coastal sight over the winter months. Most will be moving off to northern Europe and Iceland now but several thousands will remain to breed.

The oystercatcher's link with Brigid is in one of its old Gaelic names (Ireland and Scotland) of giollabride, or Brigid's servant, and the thinning of the great winter flocks of yesteryear indicated that her feast day was nigh.

But back to the folklore of customs, cures, processions and straw crosses and far from pious practices as house calling by 'Biddy Boys' collecting money for feasts of their own! These groups used to be common in Kildare, Brigid's native heath, and south Kerry where an effigy of the saint called a brideog was carries about. The catchcry was : "Here comes Brigid dressed in white, give her something for the night."

These used to be territorial feuds, especially around the big estates in the Killarney area such as Muckross House. The local gentry encouraged the biddies for their after-dinner amusement!

More innocent children's visitations were recalled on the Great Blasket kin 1922 by Tomas O Crohan who once found two pilgrims on his threshold, a little girl with a figure of a child in her arms and a little boy. He gave them some sugar and they gave him a blessing. But the most widespread custom still remembered and practised was the making of a crios Bride -- it became RTE's symbol -- to hang in the home. These crosses were diamond or lozenge shaped and some primary school teachers still encourage children to make them for the feast day.

However (shock, horror!) there may never have been a St. Brigid in the first place as the original lady was a pagan goddess! According to Sean O Suilleabhain writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of the Antiquaries of Ireland, the saint's feast "would seem to be a Christianisation of one of the focal points of the agricultural year."

Whether she was saint or goddess we all look forward to better weather now that spring is here. After all, she did promise "every second day fine, from my own day onward..." And may it dry up the sodden landscape.
- Joe Kennedy

More on Brigid:

A totally Roman Catholic Church gloss on the history of the "real person" Brigid - see how she single-handedly took over the sacred oak sanctuary of the Goddess Brigid, extinguished the perpetual flame in honor of the Goddess, "re-dedicated" the sactuary to a Christian church and re-lit the flame in honor of Jesus. Yeah, right. And my current measurements are 38/23/34. Ahem.

Check out Spiralgoddess' information on Brigid - if you can stand the never-ending music (turn your speakers off)...

Brigid at GoddessNet

A comprehensive overview of Brigid

Ninja Squirrels - Oy!

From The Mercury News online Squirrel 'Matrix' Contra Costa Times Article Launched: 02/03/2008 02:17:01 PM PST Queen: I believe in ninja squirrels. There, I said it. Driving to work Wednesday morning, one of the furry creatures darted across Oak Grove Road. He scampered quickly and was sure to clear my lane when, for some reason, he stopped. He stood there, right in front of me, head tilted to one side as if he'd suddenly remembered something he left at home. There was no time to brake. I screamed (a little). I lifted my feet up (I always do that, not sure why) and BAM! At least, I expected a bam or maybe even a bump, but no. I caught sight of the squirrel in my rear view mirror. He wasn't flattened, or even ruffled, he just stood there. Somehow this little guy had the intestinal fortitude to stare down the Royal 'Rolla's bumper and duck. Well done, furry grasshopper. Well done. Commuter: Every morning I drive from San Ramon down southbound Interstate 680 toward Pleasanton. I go over the connector ramp from I-680 toward eastbound I-580 and take the first exit, (Exit 30) Hopyard Road, in Pleasanton. There are some barrel barriers to the left immediately after you exit, and one of them has a metal rake stuck in it. This barrel could easily be hit by a vehicle, and the rake head is at just such a level that it could go through a windshield and cause great bodily harm. Or the rake head could deflect off onto another car. In either case, much damage would be done, as it is the hard-metal teeth type of rake, not a leaf rake with softer tines. If you have any trouble with the location of the rake head, let me know. I could get my husband to take a digital picture if that would be important, but it is in plain sight so no one could miss it if they take the proper exit and look left to the barrels. Thank you for any help you could provide to get this removed before someone is injured. Linda Julos, San Ramon Queen: I decided to take advantage of the brief sunshine Wednesday to see the rake for myself. It appears the recent rain and wind has shifted the rake's position among the "CrashGard" (that's how they spell it) barrels. When I drove by, it was leaning off to the right, which made it harder to spot. Hence, my newfound familiarity with the area's onramps and offramps. Good times. Contra Costa maintenance superintendent Michael Terry says he doesn't know why the rake would be there. "Sometimes CHP removes debris and sets it out of the (roadway) as does some private citizen," he said via e-mail. The area in question is out of his region, but Terry sent a request to the appropriate supervisor to have the offending yard tool removed. "We do not always get the call that the item is there," he said. "Those extra eyes out there are sometimes a help." This was one of those times. Ask and ye shall receive, Linda. Before I could finish writing this answer, the rake was removed by Caltran's Livermore maintenance crew on Thursday, under the direction of Bill Kimball. Kudos to all. Surprisingly, rakes along with other yard tools are frequently "left behind" on the highway along with a myriad of other items, Terry said. "The easiest way to say what is dropped on the road would be to look in any major department store catalog," he said. "We do get a lot of repeat offenders though (such as) mattresses, box springs...all sorts of garden tools and ladders, car hoods, dozens of bags of lawn/garden clippings each week and sleeping bags and kiddie pools are popular summer items." There are also life vests that blow out of the back of boats, camper shells that were "bought six years ago" and haven't been tightened down since, he said. Household items such as couches, recliners, washing machines, bookshelves, tables and dressers are also popular roadside finds. Last year, in Contra Costa alone, local Adopt-A-Highway groups picked up over 3,000 bags of trash along the highways to improve their communities and the Caltrans Delta Region litter programs picked up over 29,000 bags. To make matters worse, the figures above don't include the 1,000-plus cubic yards of debris that are intentionally dumped on the highway. "Multiply this times the nine Bay Area counties and this is an expensive process when factoring in manpower, equipment and dumping fees," Terry said. Caltrans and the CHP will be teaming up again on March 4 for a Litter Enforcement Day. ************************************************************************************* Through confidential squirrel sources, I have learned that the California Society of Ninja Squirels Anonymous is sending a contingent to help with the highway clean-up in March. I have also learned (through those same confidential squirrel sources), that it was the squirrels of Oak Grove Road themselves who, in a playful mood, set up the so-called dangerous rake situation. Upon closer inspection, it was revealed that the rake was imbedded in cement inside the barrel and wouldn't have flown out for hell nor high water - any car crashing into the barrel holding the rake would have bounced off of it, and not the other way around. The squirrels say the odds are much greater for one of them to be hit and smushed by a speeding motor vehicle than for a driver of one of said speeding motor vehicles to be injured and/or killed by a flying rake embedded in quick-set cement. Thus sayeth the squirrels.

The Cardiff Giant Hoax

I saw this in my local newspaper yesterday: In 1870, the "Cardiff Giant," supposedly the petrified remains of a human discovered in Cardiff, NY, was revealed to be nothing more than carved gypsum. I had to think about that for a minute. I mean, seriously, people were fooled by carved gypsum? Well, here it is, in all its er, rigid glory, lol! I just love this part: Speculation ran rampant over what the giant might be. The central debate was between those who thought it was a petrified man and those who believed it to be an ancient statue. The ‘petrifactionists’ theorized that it was one of the giants mentioned in the Bible, Genesis 6:4, where it says, “There were giants in the earth in those days.” Those who promoted the statue theory followed the lead of Dr. John F. Boynton, who speculated that a Jesuit missionary had carved it sometime during the seventeenth century to impress the local indians. That was the conventional wisdom of the day. Sort of reminds me of today's conventional wisdom about the origins of chess...

2008 Moscow Open Round 2 Results

Okay, I was going to do a straight-up report on this big event in Russa, but then I saw this photograph of a chess wunderkind I had not heard of before, Ilya Nizhnik of Ukraine - I mean, come on darlings, are they sure this is a boy? She, er, he, looks very feminine to me, hmmm...

Anyway, here are pairings/results after Round 2 in the "C" Event - Women's Tournament. Cross-table was not available as of the time of this posting:

No. Name Pts Res. Pts Name
1 IM Ushenina Anna 1 1 - 0 1 WFM Ambartsumova Karina
2 FM Tomilova Elena 1 0 - 1 1 IM Danielian Elina
3 WGM Pogonina Natalija 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 WIM Iljushina Olga
4 WIM Semenova Irina 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 IM Lahno Kateryna
5 IM Krush Irina 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 WGM Golubenko Valentina
6 WIM Cherenkova Kristina 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 IM Javakhishvili Lela
7 IM Muzychuk Anna 1 1 - 0 1 Savina Anastasia
8 WIM Dolgova Olga 1 0 - 1 1 WGM Zhukova Natalia
9 IM Harika Dronavalli 1 1 - 0 1 Kudriashova Irina
10 WFM Severiukhina Zoja 1 1 - 0 1 IM Matveeva Svetlana
11 WGM Grabuzova Tatiana 1 1 - 0 1 WFM Shulakova Svetlana
12 WFM Abramova Ekaterina 1 0 - 1 1 WGM Mongontuul Bathuyag
13 IM Tairova Elena 1 1 - 0 1 WIM Sazonova Elena N
14 WFM Bogumil Tatiana 1 0 - 1 1 WIM Charochkina Daria
15 IM Vasilevich Irina 1 0 - 1 1 Kuzevanova Evgenia
16 WFM Kharmunova Nadejda 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 IM Turova Irina
17 WFM Malgina-Sterliagova Tatiana 1 1 - 0 1 WFM Suslova Alena
18 WGM Melia Salome 1 1 - 0 1 WIM Mouradian Knarik
19 Pustovoitova Daria 1 0 - 1 1 WIM Vasilkova Svetlana
20 WFM Fakhretdinova Margarita 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 IM Gvetadze Sopio
21 WGM Kovanova Baira 1 1 - 0 1 WFM Repina Varvara
22 WFM Girya Olga 1 1 - 0 1 Drozdova Dina
23 WFM Karibaeva Elvira 1 0 - 1 1 WGM Manakova Maria
24 WFM Bodnaruk Anastasia 1 1 - 0 1 Koroteeva Ksenia
25 WFM Karpova Lyudmila 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 WFM Paikidze Nazi
26 WFM Kostrikina Anna 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 WGM Shaidullina Sandugach
27 WFM Fominykh Maria 1 1 - 0 1 Bavina Lyudmila
28 Gavrjuchenkova Angelina 1 0 - 1 1 Borisova Elizaveta
29 WFM Mestnikova Varvara 1 Ѕ - Ѕ 1 WFM Gunina Valentina
30 Kluchik Julia Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ WIM Burtasova Anna
31 WIM Strutinskaya Galina N Ѕ Ѕ - Ѕ Ѕ Blokhina Elvira
32 WGM Huda Maryana Ѕ 1 - 0 Ѕ Kovalenko Yulya
33 Frantsuzova Lyudmila Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ WIM Gromova Iulia
34 WFM Della-Rossa Anastasia Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Ostertag Galina
35 WFM Khropova Larisa Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Krestianova Tatiana
36 WFM Kineva Ekaterina Ѕ 1 - 0 Ѕ Chernyshova Natalia
37 WFM Airapetian Tatevik Ѕ 1 - 0 Ѕ Braun Elina
38 WFM Styazhkina Anna Ѕ 0 - 1 Ѕ Aganesova Evgeniya
39 WGM Fatalibekova Elena 0 1 - 0 Ѕ Sorokina Nadejda
40 WFM Yanjindulam Dulamsuren 0 Ѕ - Ѕ 0 Shalukhina Tatyana
41 Grigoryeva Olga A. 0 Ѕ - Ѕ 0 WIM Vrublevskaya Olga
42 WFM Yakovich Yuliya 0 Ѕ - Ѕ 0 Andreeva Elena
43 Severina Maria 0 Ѕ - Ѕ 0 WFM Kiseljova Marya
44 WFM Kalmykova Anastasia 0 1 - 0 0 Dogodkina Julia
45 Golban Ludmila 0 1 - 0 0 WFM Kuzmenko Elena
46 Gorbunova Alexandra 0 1 - 0 0 Vanchikova Dulma
47 WFM Larina Marija 0 1 - 0 0 Butneva Larisa
48 Niks Yana 0 0 - 1 0 WFM Ivanova Daria
49 Dobrzhanskaya Irina 0 1 - 0 0 Forova Tatiana
50 Belkina Oksana 0 0 - 1 0 WFM Gvanceladze Anna
51 WFM Dzhabrailova Inara 0 1 - 0 0 Milashevskaja Valentina
52 Nazarian Marina 0 0 - 1 0 Bukhteeva Viktoria
53 WFM Melnik Galina 0 1 - 0 0 Ivanova Marianna
54 Afanasieva Elena 0 0 - 1 0 Zaryvkina Anastasia
55 WFM Zarivkina Victorya 0 1 - 0 0 Bokova Irina
56 Cherniavskaya Klara 0 - - + 0 Avdeyeva Viktoriya
57 Abramova Yulia 0 Ѕ - Ѕ 0 Gataulina Svetlana
58 Chernyh Yana 0 0 - 1 0 Kabanova Irina
59 Ognerubova Anastasia 0 Ѕ - Ѕ 0 Kvirikashvili Sofiko
60 Grishina Irina 0 0 - 1 0 WFM Beliaeva Natalia
61 Karimova Karina 0 0 - 1 0 Miloserdova Irina
62 Semenova Elena 0 1 - 0 0 Soboleva Anastasia
63 Kukushkina Angelina 0 0 - 1 0 Lein Marina
64 WFM Kalashnikova Larisa 0 0 - 1 0 Tereshechkina Maya
65 Maliutina Yulia 0 1 - 0 0 Volkova Ekaterina
Sergeeva Viktoria 0 1 - - Bye

Chess Informant Celebrates 42 Years!

I haven't had a New York Times Gambit column here for awhile - but this one, by guest blogger GM Joel Benjamin, is a real good one! February 3, 2008, 2:04 pm A Milestone for Literary Chess Institution By Joel Benjamin The Serbian publication Sahovski Informator (Chess Informant) recently marked 42 years of operation with its 100th volume. Appearing three times a year (twice a year over most of its run), Informant provides hundreds of deeply annotated games, as well as combinations and endings. To render the commentary internationally understandable, the editors invented a language of symbols to evaluate moves and positions (e.g., “+=” means white has a slight advantage) still in wide usage today. The chess community is particularly grateful for the openings classification system known as ECO codes, after its five-volume work “Encyclopedia of Chess Openings.” In the 70s and early 80s, Informant was considered the chess bible, and for many fans and competitors, it presented the only access to game scores from foreign tournaments. Players were greatly honored to have a game published in its pages. A lingo even developed around Informant terms: If someone spoke of a “box” move, you knew he was referencing the symbol for a forced or only move. Its “biblical” status began to fade in the mid-80s with the advent of commercial chess databases. The Internet dealt an even more serious blow. Annotated games from major competitions are generally available online the next day. Many events are even covered live. Moreover, the wordless analysis of Informant may not differ much from the output of chess engines owned by most serious players. Most young players today do not subscribe to Informant, if they even know of its existence. Far fewer Western grandmasters contribute analysis than in the periodical’s heyday. Amateurs rarely dream anymore of making it into Informant. Yet Informant soldiers on, changing to remain relevant in the digital age. All of its products can now be purchased in CD form. Informant has already survived the political troubles of the 90’s, which forced its editor to publish from Cyprus to sidestep embargoes on Yugoslavian products. With its games grouped by opening codes, Informant is still the best tool for monitoring developments in opening theory. I serve on the jury for the “Ten Most Important Novelties of the Preceding Volume” primarily to keep up with the latest trends. Some fun facts reported in Volume 100: * 101,033 games, 3,128 combinations, 2,503 endings and 108 studies * Most games: Viktor Korchnoi 1,709 (and counting) followed by Jan Timman 1,703 (also still going) * Most common opening: 1,498 ECO code B33 (Lasker-Pelikan Sicilian, Sveshnikov Variation) * 3,000 total contributors * Longest game: van der Wiel-Fedorowicz, Graz 1981, 143 moves (With adjournments, the game took several days to complete. Fedorowicz was so sick that after each session he went back to bed.)

New Chessville Column by JanXena

Hooray, darlings! My latest experimental column for those cute guys over at Chessville (macho men, every last one of them - too bad they don't know that macho means "stupid goat" in Spanish, but then, I don't hold that againt them - much) is now online!!!!! TA DA! If I do say so myself (and I do), it's a great column, please read it and pump up my ego to even more enormous size than it presently is... I'm experimenting with the formatting of the column - within the somewhat antiquated confines of Chessville's design (they are working on that, thank Goddess, perhaps we will see something new and updated within the next 50 years). A running gag will be the photo icon for JanXena, which will change regularly - we'll see if anyone notices. Well, now, no fair since I tipped all my two readers off :) I am working on yet more ingenious ways to present my bona fide Xena doll astride (or whatever) in various poses with her bronze horsey (not a matched set). I'm trying to keep it clean, but having way too much fun shooting what appear to be x-rated photos with my digital camera. But - ahem - since Chessville is a family-rated website except for the occasional profanity that they allow yours truly, I deleted most of those shots from my memory card :) Now - about that name - JanXena on Les Echecs des Femmes (literally, JanXena on Women's Chess) - it wasn't my first choice. After some kicking around with my editor who disguises himself as Alekhine's Parrot over at Chessville, we had pretty much settled on JanXena's Girlie Chess News (long story) - but that caused a sort of mini-revolt amongst the other editors and principals of Chessville and so it was decreed by the Webmaster himself that the name of the column should be blah blah blah. However, I'm still a fan of JanXena's Girlie Chess News. So, if you like that title better than the oh-so-presumptious Les Echecs des Femmes (I mean, darlings, it's FRENCH) then write to Chessville and let them know what you think about their censorship, er, choice of title.

Girls' Chess in Marin County, California

From The Marin Indepdent Journal

Chess is king for girls at Saint Mark's School
Jennifer Upshaw
Article Launched: 02/02/2008 11:36:01 PM PST

For 6-year-old Julia Schulman, it was a comeback year.

"Last year I got fifth place," said the Saint Mark's School first-grader, one of 72 players at the CalChess Girls' Chess Championship, who placed fourth in her age group at the tournament Saturday hosted by the San Rafael school.

"I'm really excited, yeah, because there's lots of people and I haven't played chess with timers," she said of her lack of experience against the clock. "I thought I'd get lower but actually I got higher."

The second annual event, spearheaded by the school's chess coach, Ray Orwig, is a rare tournament exclusively for girls. Students from across the Bay Area participate.

Open to girls from kindergarten through 12th grade, the tournament is a qualifying event for high schoolers for a national contest and, for the younger kids, "just another opportunity to play," said Orwig, who handed out trophies Saturday. Play continues Sunday for middle and high school competitors.

"It's just a great opportunity to promote the game for girls," said Orwig, who estimated that about half of the school's students play chess.

"I always joke that in order to graduate you have to know how to play chess," he said.

Among the winners from Marin was Audrey Zhao, a Novato 9-year-old, who tied for first place in the fourth- through sixth-grade division.

"Well, I want to win other tournaments," Audrey said following Saturday's victory. "It was a really, really nice tournament."

Her father, David Zhao, said she didn't get her chess prowess from her parents.

"She taught us," he said. "Not a lot of girls can achieve that," he said of his daughter's tournament victory. "She really has a lot of courage."

Here are Saturday's standings for Saint Mark's participants in the CalChess Girls' Championship. Play continues Sunday.
- Kindergarten-first grade: Sydney Lewis of Novato, first grade, second place overall; Julia Schulman of San Rafael, first grade, fourth place overall.
- Second-third grade: Sophia Leswing of San Rafael, third grade, second place overall; Taylor Powers of Novato, second grade, 12th place overall, tied for first place among second graders.
- Fourth-sixth grade: Audrey Zhao of Novato, fourth grade, tied for first overall; Annalise Schulman of San Rafael, fifth grade, 10th overall, tied for first among fifth-graders.

Cartosemiotics - Who Knew?

Pimander a/k/a dondelion explodes on the scene like the meteorite over Tunguska - leaving behind miles of flattened trees and scorched earth - but no clues as to what he's really talking about! LOL! (If you read the post below this one you'll see to what I'm referring).

So, I pulled out my trusty old Webster's dictionary to try and get a grip on Pi's true meaning. I usually need help in interpreting Pi's thought processes - something that I can sometimes almost but not quite understand - for me, an intellectual process rather akin to Parcifal's physical quest for the Holy Grail. Fitting, I guess, since what we're after is, in essence, the Holy Grail of Chess to chess historians: ORIGINS (cue spooky music here....)

Semiotic or semiotics: (paraphrasing here) from the Greek semeiotikos observant of signs, from semeiousthai to interpret signs, from semeion sign; akin to Greek semu sign - more at SEMANTIC: a general philosophical theory of signs and symbols that deals esp. with their function in both artifically constructed and natural languages and comprises syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics.

Semantics: 1. the study of meanings: (a) the historical and psychological study and the clasification of changes in the signification of words or forms viewed as factors in linguistic dvelopment; (b)(1) SEMIOTIC; (2) a branch of semiotic dealing with the relations between signs and what they refer to and including theories of denotation, extension, naming, and truth 2. GENERAL SEMANTICS 3. (a) the meaning or relationship of meanings of a sign or set of signs; esp. connotative meaning (b) the exploitation of connotation and ambiguity (as in progaganda).

So, now that I know (sort of) what semiotics actually means (I have distilled it down to the study of signs and symbols to determine their meanings), I understand (I think) what cartosemiotics means. I know that "carto" has reference to maps - but, interestingly, "carto" is not a defined term in my Websters. The closest terms are cartogram (a map showing statistics geographically) - from the French carte and gramme; cartographer (one that makes maps), and cartography (the science or art of making maps) again referencing the french word carte card, map + graphie - more at CARD. There is also the highly suggestive definitation of cartomancy - literally from the French carte card + mancie -mancy: fortune-telling by the use of playing cards. It's quite probable that the earliest board games had divinatory significance - so this much later linkage of playing cards/fortune telling is like a distant echo of practices having much greater significance in the past.

Under CARD, the etymological roots of the word are fascinating: Middle English carde, modification of Middle French carte, probably from Old Italian carta, literally, leaf of paper, from Latin charta leaf of paprus, from Greek chartes. It's most common meaning is a small stiff piece of paper.

However, there is also cardi or cardio - HEART which, although not shown as related to the root words for CARD, caught my attention because of the concept of the axis mundi The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar and center of the world), a symbolic concept representing the mythical point of connection between sky and earth. One of the definitions of HEART is CENTER. The concept of the axis mundi reflects man's thought of a necessary and vital connection between the center of the universe and the center of our world. Out of man's desire to build his local "world" around this centered concept arose, I think, the first mathematics and geometry.

Pulling all of this together, cartosemiotics - simplistically (the way I like it) - the study of the meanings of symbols and signs on maps was, to the ancients, the study of signs and symbols encompassing their understanding of the mystical and/or
spiritual connection (or attempting to understand such a connection) between the Heavens and the Earth as embodied in the axis mundi, as well as using practical means (via divination, for instance) to discern the meaning and intent of such signs and symbols, which they understood to contain messages from the gods.

If we can understand that, then we can begin to understand the significance of the earliest surviving representations of what we call board games. Pimander mentioned two of them: the "Scorpion-man" board game of 16 playing spaces excavated at Jiroft, Iran, and I think he had in mind the second game board show here, excavated
at Beth Shemesh (Stratem V), dating to the Middle Bronze Age, c. 2200 - 1570 BCE. Dating of the Jiroft artifact is uncertain, but is generally thought to be from between 3,000 to 2,000 BCE, the midpoint being 2,500 BCE (about the same date as the game boards discovered by Woolley in the "royal tombs" at Ur and the wooden "serpent" game board excavated at Shar-i Sokhtah (the Iranians call it the "Burnt City" because it was destroyed at least 3 times by catastrophic fires). Shar-i Sokhtah is located in the border area of where modern-day maps show Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan all meet, near the Helmand River.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cartosemiotics - Who Knew?

Cartosemiotics tackles the same fields - the math, geometry and the pictures - as chess and other board games - comes from the same roots - but it avoids discussing games - except obliquely. It's not like they don't know about games though - because I found Wim van Bimsburgen's mancala & etc. in the midst of a bibliography and he's pretty goddess friendly. At least he's an open mind. Their problem - like ours - is decipherment - "orientation" - what these maps/games really meant - not just their friggin "historical origins". Not that history isn't useful... BUT - What I mean is - there you have all these references to Ashtapada in Indian chess and no one discussing chess history seems to have a clue or a care what that system meant. It's part of a whole cosmic system, an entire canon, not just a game left dangling out there with no strings attached. It was part of their sacred means of orientation and very scientific too. Chess history is not chess anthropology, nor is it semiotics. It's seldom very comparative beyond the immediate needs of some scholars to jack up a hypothesis - that's for sure. It gives us dates and moments - OK good enough - but mostly, it's like tearing a page out the Bible and saying you know something about the book. Cartosemiotics admits that "imaginary" maps or maps that use just images to explain locations (like games) are valid and there is lots of crossover. Take a look at THIS! The cloak is interesting.. using stones to triangulate location - totally logical. Precedents? Well... Piccione does a spectacular job on the linen folding ceremony in senet and senet cross references the Egyptian 30 day calendar - not to mention the way they regulated EVERYTHING according to the stars. In cartosemiotics stars come first - earth second - maps of the mind - a little later. Remember those old magician's cloaks of stars? Unh huh. Oh yeah! And, when required, you could probably turn the capes inside out so nothing was showing and use the pointy black caps to do a few tricks too. Ptolemy's maps were done in conic section. What ho! Linen! So, when Pirates (or the Pope lol!) showed up on the high seas, or for dinner, you either turn your cape inside out, fold it, ditch it, burn it - whatever... hmmmmmm... This goes hand in hand with the Phoenicians deliberately beaching their ships if they thought the Greeks were following them to the tin and gold mines. The reason cartosemiotics is important to us is that it gets INSIDE the distant past - into the heads of the people who were making these maps - confirms the practical side of hermetic methods of remapping stars into giant earth maps and smaller stuff too - like chessmen and dice. Also, it shows methodology, which means they scoop the goddess stuff right out of the sky and cross reference like crazy. I know we can find some of that in Pennick - but there is nothing much about cupholes and really old starmaps there. Here there is.... Scroll way way down and after you have had your mind blown several times over at Kaulin's blog (I'm still reeling) you'll see the Chinese cup hole map of Ursa Major!!!! Major find for Chinese chess IMHO. Betcha Banacheck thinks it's a game.... Maybe it is (lol!) - but it's other things too - not just more "old games we don't understand". Duh! We already know that the scorpian man of Jiroft was the scorpion lady of Egypt and at least one game of twenty squares takes after that pattern - the one with the "J" attached to a set of 4x4 squares. Instant cartosemiotics! We're already there! a bientot Pimander

Stolen Goddess Recovered in Belgium

From Idol of Goddess Laxmi worth Rs 10 cr recovered Saturday February 2 2008 13:10 IST BELGAUM: The city police have arrested three people and seized an ancient idol of Goddess Laxmi, estimated to be worth Rs 10 crore in Belgaum on Friday. Superintendent of Police Hemant Nimbalkar said that the seized idol is figured to be of Trichy town in Tamil Nadu, and is about 800 years old. He said that the three accused have been identified as Asgarali Mohammadali Tahashildar (35) of Uchagaon, Laxman Balawant Kuri 42) of Kaulge village, Kolhapur district (Maharashtra), and Vilas Laxman Patil(45) of Uchagaon. During the inquiry, it was disclosed that the three accused were attempting to sell the idol to a tycoon in Mumbai, he added. Nimbalkar said that on a tip off, Tilakwadi CPI Mahanteshwar, Market CPI S K Marihal, Camp CPI S M Nagaraj and PSI Vishwanathrao Kulkarni and team kept a watch on the movements of the accused and grabbed them, seizing the idol and two Hero Honda bikes near Hindalga Ganesh temple. There were five of them, but two managed to escape, he said. Nimbalkar said that the idol, weighing about 50 kg, is made of copper and bronze.

If God Isn't a "He," Why Call It a "He?"

From The Cornwall Standard Freeholder (Canada) The God versus Goddess argument Posted By Vakily, Abdollah February 2, 2002 Back in the early eighties, when I was an undergraduate student in Religious Studies, a popular discussion among students and professors centred around whether God was male or female. Those who followed a more traditional outlook argued that God has always presented Himself as male, particularly in Western monotheistic religions (i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Yet those whose feminist tendencies were stronger insisted that God must necessarily be female since a male God is less capable of having the tenderness and loving tendencies necessary for a caring, nurturing and forgiving deity. Since this issue periodically reappears and is discussed here and there, I would like to shed some light on Islam's teachings on the nature of God. To begin with, in the Quran the masculine pronoun is used to refer to God and thus one gets the impression that God is a male being. However, a more precise description of God is given in one of the shortest chapters of the Quran called "Sincerity": "Say God is One; God is eternally self-subsistent; He begets not, and neither is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him." (112:1-4) The word translated as "One" is "Ahad," which has a very peculiar characteristic to it. It is not the kind of "One" that could become two be adding another one to it. Rather it is the kind of "One" that is the only one, better understood as "unique". Another connotation of "Ahad" is unity. God as "Ahad" is a being that has united all contradictions and all opposing tendencies in itself. Just as in Taoism's concept of yin and yang, both female and male dimensions are present, united and in constant interaction with each other. To better understand this issue one should look at the 99 names of God presented in the Quran. Each name represents one of the characteristics of God, with Al-Rahman (the Merciful) being the pivotal one. Another characteristic of "Ahad" is that it cannot have any counterpart. If God were a male, it would necessitate the existence of a female deity, and if God were a female it would anticipate the existence of a male deity. But God, as the Creator of everything, is above the male/female polarity that He introduced into creation. This is what is meant by the fourth verse of the above-mentioned chapter, that rather than being a simple polemic against Christianity, it is a clear statement about the particular uniqueness of God. The question comes to mind as to why the Quran refers to God as "He". It should be understood that the language of the Quran is Arabic, which like French uses feminine and masculine pronouns for everything (lacking the neutral pronoun of "it"). Therefore out of necessity God is referred to by one of the pronouns already existing. Moreover, the masculine pronoun for God already existed in the Arabic language and the Quran had to use that tool to convey its message. If the Quran had been revealed in my native language (Persian or Farsi) we could have avoided this problem, since my language has no masculine or feminine pronouns and everything is referred to as "it" including God. Although the discussion of God versus Goddess will probably continue for awhile, the Islamic perspective is that God is above and beyond male and female polarity, and any use of the pronoun "He" is simply a necessity of language convention. Questions and comments can be addressed to Abdollah Vakily at ************************************************************************************ It should be understood that the language of the Quran is Arabic, which like French uses feminine and masculine pronouns for everything (lacking the neutral pronoun of "it"). Okay then, why not translate the word in such as way that IT does not HAVE a gender - as in "One" or "Ahad"? I think that rendering any concept with a gender specific determinitive is, ipso facto, sexist and a throw-back to patriarchal times when the warrior male god was attempting to overthrow the female goddess. Can't we just get beyond that? Er, evidently, not yet. Language expresses THOUGHT. When the language says HE, the thought becomes HE in the minds of most (if not all) of the hearers and/or readers of that language. If we can just get beyond the HE concept of CREATOR, then we may begin to understand the true depth, awe and wonder of creation, the universe - and - just possibly - chess.

2008 Venezuelan Women's Chess Championships

As reported at The Week in Chess: 1. Ubaldo Suarez, Maria Gisela wm VEN 2078 6½ 2. Hernandez, Zaida VEN 1999 6 3. Han Wong, Irene Estefania wm VEN 2096 5½ 4. Sequeda, Nancy wm VEN 2034 5 5. Otazo, Annyd VEN 1940 5 6. Moreno Garcia, Elizabeth Paola wf VEN 1889 4½ 7. Araujo, Yesmar VEN 2012 4½ 8. Tellechea,Jessica VEN ---- 3 (1886) 9. Rincon Gonzalez,Luzalba VEN ---- 2½ (1845) 10. Rincon, Drina VEN 2059 2½ Great to see two unrated chess femmes participating in the championship, but guess that doesn't say a whole lot about the state of chess for women in Venezuela (Macho, Macho Land, I sure as hell don't want to be in Macho Land, sing the verse again, ladies...)

2008 Armenian Women's Chess Championship

As reported at The Week in Chess: 1. Galojan, Lilit wm ARM 2307 6½ 2. Andriasian, Siranush wm ARM 2228 6½ 3. Aginian, Nelly wg ARM 2308 5½ 4. Gasparian, Narine wm ARM 2172 5 5. Kharatyan, Anahit ARM 2115 4 6. Gasparian, Mariana ARM 2070 4 7. Martirosyan, Lia ARM 2111 3½ 8. Movsisian, Naira wg ARM 2152 3½ 9. Aghabekian, Liana ARM 2191 3½ 10. Karapetyan, Lusine ARM 1957 3

What Happened to Michael Vick's Dogs...

Dogs have been men's faithful, helpful companions for at least 14,000 years, possibly longer. Dogs have helped mankind in untold ways, and yet, how cruel we are to them. Utterly, indescribly and despicably cruel. But why should I be so surprised, when we are so cruel to each other.

From The New York Times

Given Reprieve, N.F.L. Star’s Dogs Find Kindness
Published: February 2, 2008

KANAB, Utah — A quick survey of Georgia, a caramel-colored pit bull mix with cropped ears and soulful brown eyes, offers a road map to a difficult life. Her tongue juts from the left side of her mouth because her jaw, once broken, healed at an awkward angle. Her tail zigzags.

Scars from puncture wounds on her face, legs and torso reveal that she was a fighter. Her misshapen, dangling teats show that she might have been such a successful, vicious competitor that she was forcibly bred, her new handlers suspect, again and again.

But there is one haunting sign that Georgia might have endured the most abuse of any of the 47 surviving pit bulls seized last April from the property of the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick in connection with an illegal dogfighting ring.

Georgia has no teeth. All 42 of them were pried from her mouth, most likely to make certain she could not harm male dogs during forced breeding.

Her caregivers here at the Best Friends Animal Society sanctuary, the new home for 22 of Mr. Vick’s former dogs, are less concerned with her physical wounds than her emotional ones. They wonder why she barks incessantly at her doghouse and what makes her roll her toys so obsessively that her nose is rubbed raw.

“I’m worried most about Georgia,” said the Best Friends veterinarian Dr. Frank McMillan, an expert on the emotional health of animals, who edited the textbook “Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals.” “You don’t have the luxury of asking her, or any of these animals: ‘What happened to you in your past life? How can we stop you from hurting?’

“So here we are left with figuring out how to bring joy to her life,” he said of Georgia, known to lick the face of anyone who comes near. “We want to offset the unpleasant memories that dwell in her brain.”

Mr. Vick, once the highest-paid player in the N.F.L., is serving a 23-month sentence in a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., for bankrolling his Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting operation and helping execute dogs that were not good fighters. Dogs were electrocuted, hanged, drowned, shot or slammed to the ground, according to court records. Two mass graves with the remains of eight pit bulls were found on Mr. Vick’s property in rural Virginia.

Pit bulls seized from illegal fighting operations are usually euthanized after becoming property of the government. The Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recommended that Mr. Vick’s dogs be euthanized, but many animal rescue organizations urged the prosecutors to let the dogs live.

The government agreed to give them a second chance after Mr. Vick agreed to pay $928,073 for evaluation and care of all the dogs. They were seen by animal experts, who named the dogs, and were eventually dispersed to eight rescue organizations for adoption, rehabilitation or lifetime care in sanctuaries, where they have been neutered. Only one of the Vick dogs was euthanized for aggression against people.

Best Friends, which is caring for more dogs than any other organization, received about $389,000. Many of their dogs are expected to be adopted after they are rehabilitated and matched with the right families. Vick’s 25 other dogs are in foster care all over the country.

“This is a great opportunity to highlight the fact that the victims in the case are the animals themselves,” said Rebecca J. Huss, a Valparaiso University law professor, animal law expert and court-appointed guardian for Vick’s dogs.

Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls, or BAD RAP, which helped evaluate the dogs, has 10 in foster care. Donna Reynolds, the group’s executive director, said, “There are dogs that are able to handle and survive the past with a good attitude, then ones that are going to be shut down and not take it anymore.

“Best Friends got the dogs that pretty much aren’t going to do so well,” she added, noting that those dogs included the known fighters and Mr. Vick’s champion pit bull, Lucas, who, by court order, will live out his days at the sanctuary.

Once Abused, Now Pampered
Life at Best Friends is nothing like it was at Mr. Vick’s property on Moonlight Road in Smithfield, Va., where many of the dogs were found chained to buried car axles. They slept on concrete. Their water, if any, was kept in algae-covered bowls. Most were underfed. Some showed recent lacerations.

Here, they live in a 3,700-acre sanctuary that is covered by juniper trees and sagebrush, and surrounded by canyons and red-rock formations. They have food called Canine Caviar, squeaky toys, fluffy beds and four full-time caregivers. The caregiver on the night shift curls up with the dogs for naps.

They are assigned to an area of the sanctuary called Dogtown Heights, what Best Friends calls a gated community. Vick’s dogs have their own building with heated floors, sound-absorbing barriers and skylights. Each has an individual dog run because, for now, the dogs must remain isolated, for safety’s sake.

Little Red is a tiny rust-colored female whose teeth were filed, most likely because she was bait for the Bad Newz fighters. Handlers cannot explain why loud noises make her jumpy.

Cherry, a black-and-white male, has what seems to be chemical burns on his back. His file at Best Friends says he loves car rides and having his backside rubbed. But like many of Mr. Vick’s pit bulls, he is petrified of new situations and new people.

Oscar cowers in the corner of his run when strangers arrive. Shadow runs in circles. Black Bear pants so heavily that he seems on the verge of hyperventilation.

All but one of the Vick dogs at Best Friends wear green collars, signaling that they are good with people. But Meryl, who arrived with a rap sheet, wears a red collar.

She was aggressive toward the veterinary staff at a previous shelter. When Best Friends evaluated her in November, she lunged at a veterinary technician, snapping at him three times. By court order, she must stay at Best Friends forever.

Mr. Vick paid $18,275 for the lifetime care of each of his dogs here but one. Denzel was deemed highly adoptable, so his fee was only $5,000.

The actual cost for personnel and medical staff to care for the dogs, said Best Friends officials, is much higher at the sanctuary, a no-kill, nonprofit facility for 2,000 animals. For example, Denzel needed a blood transfusion to treat a tick-borne virus. Donations must make up the difference.

Bred to Be Friendly
John Garcia, the assistant dog care manager of Dogtown, which houses about 500 dogs, said pit bulls that are withdrawn or aggressive toward humans break his heart because they are bred to be people-friendly. “With most of these dogs, even Meryl, their actions are based on fear,” said Mr. Garcia, who communicates with the dogs in soothing baby talk. “The biggest job we have with these guys is teaching them that it’s O.K. to trust people. It may take months or years, but we’re very stubborn. We won’t give up on them.”

Because the dogs are still adjusting to their surroundings, it is difficult to predict how many of them will become adoptable. They arrived Jan. 2 from Richmond, Va., on a chartered airplane, stressed after eight months in shelters. In initial evaluations last September, many lay flat and looked frightened. Now, many respond to caregivers by wagging their tails and giving sloppy kisses.

“They have improved by light-years,” Mr. Garcia said, adding that it would take patience and a lot of time for these dogs to be happy and safe in an adoptive home.

Caregivers walk the dogs several times a day and spend time in their kennels, praising and caressing them. It is progress when a dog like Cherry does not need to be carried, because he is afraid to walk on a leash. It is monumental when Shadow approaches them instead of retreating.

“We want to get them to understand that being around people isn’t necessarily a bad thing; that we won’t hurt them,” Mr. Garcia said. “The worst thing we could do is push them too hard, too fast.”

Mr. Garcia, an expert in working with aggressive dogs, said getting some of these pit bulls accustomed to other dogs would be the toughest task.

Initially, 10 were evaluated as aggressive toward other dogs. So far, there has been only one fight. Layla was put accidentally into the same dog run as Ray. She immediately attacked, biting his shoulder in a death grip.

One of their main caregivers, Carissa Hendrick, pried Layla’s jaws from Ray. She said it would take a lot of positive reinforcement to teach these dogs to coexist. “There’s just so much we don’t know about them, and that’s frustrating,” Ms. Hendrick said, adding that she wished she could talk to the men involved in Mr. Vick’s operation to find out what these dogs have endured.

"Oh, Ellen Belly, what happened to you?” Ellen arrived at Best Friends overweight, looking more like a sausage than a fighter. She was a breeding dog but had spent time in the ring. One side of her face droops from nerve damage, but she is still affectionate and loves to offer her belly for rubs.

Lucas was Vick’s champion, a 65-pound muscular brown dog with a face mottled with dark scars. He is so friendly and confident that his trainers suspect he was pampered.

“I bet you ate steak every day, didn’t you, Lucas?” the caregiver McKenzie Garcia, who is married to John, said. “I bet they took care of you because you made them money.”

Every Vick dog here has a Personalized Emotional Rehabilitation Plan. Caregivers rate each dog in several categories. How fearful was Little Red today? How confident was Black Bear? How much did Meryl enjoy life?

Recording the dogs’ progress will help Dr. McMillan, the veterinarian, track their well-being. “DogTown,” on the National Geographic Channel, also plans to follow the progress of several of Mr. Vick’s dogs, including Georgia.

“The successful rehab rate for these kinds of dogs is unknown because nobody has ever studied it until now,” Dr. McMillan said. “You might see an incredibly friendly dog, but does that dog’s personality change over several weeks, over several months, after psychological trauma? Are they hard-wired to be aggressive, or can they change? What’s the best way to work with them?”

The plan is to determine how to keep these dogs happy, even if a real home is not in their future.

Coping With Past Trauma
Whether Georgia will find happiness is a big question. Dr. McMillan said she exhibited behavior that might be coping mechanisms for past trauma.

Georgia gnaws on her doghouse. She flipped her bed over so much that her handlers removed it. When toys are around, she often ignores people.

Georgia, who was called Jane at Bad Newz Kennels, was sold to Mr. Vick in 2001 to help start his dogfighting business. She is thought to be his oldest dog, but her handlers can only guess that she is about 7. Dogs’ ages are usually estimated by examining their teeth, but she has none.

Having those teeth extracted, Dr. McMillan and other vets said, must have been excruciating. Even with medication, dogs are in pain after losing one tooth, which may take more than an hour of digging, prying and leveling to pull.

“These dogs have been beaten and starved and tortured, and they have every reason not to trust us,” Mr. Garcia said as Georgia crawled onto his lap, melted into him for an afternoon nap and began to snore. “But deep down, they love us and still want to be with us. It is amazing how resilient they are.”
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