Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Goneim announced to the world that he might have uncovered the untouched tomb of a previously unknown pharaoh named Sekhemkhet -- potentially the most significant find since Howard Carter unearthed the virgin tomb of Tutankhamen 30 years before. Among the many burials Goneim discovered atop the pyramid, one in particular caught his eye: the unmummified body of a woman, wrapped in a simple reed mat. Her remains, which dated to the Nineteenth Dynasty, were badly decomposed, but she wore an elaborate mask over her head and shoulders. Her face, covered by a thin sheet of blended copper and gold, peeked from beneath an intricate resin wig molded into plaits. The diadem that crowned her head was made of glass, as were her eyes and nipples. In each hand she held an amulet symbolizing strength and welfare; etched across her folded arms was a scene depicting the encounter between Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead, and the woman's spiritual double in the afterlife, known as her ka. Goneim dubbed the woman Ka-Nefer-Nefer: the Twice-Beautiful Ka.The AP story updates the fight being waged by Zahi Hawass, secretary general for Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, against the SLAM and its current director, Brent Benjamin. In the current story, Benjamin reiterates the argument he made to Gay in 2006 -- asserting that "[t]o date, we have not seen information that we believe is compelling enough to return the object." Counters Hawass, per the Associated Press: "This stupid man [Benjamin], he doesn't understand the rules here." Archaeologist Goneim, meanwhile, never achieved the worldwide fame his discovery had augured: In 1958 he was accused of looting artifacts, and though a friend and colleague came to the rescue with exculpatory evidence, he arrived too late. On January 12, 1959, Goneim threw himself into the Nile River and drowned.-Tom Finkel
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- Kudos to GM Susan Polgar who did triple-duty - not only reporting information at her blog, but also serving as Chess Ambassador and English-Language Press Liason, as well as holding great interviews daily with players and personalities from the Olympiad. Thanks also to Paul Truong, the official photographer for this Olympiad, for his fantastic and candid photographs, round after round, from off days, the official opening, the official close, and everything in-between. I am appreciative of the great job that both Polgar and Truong did.
- I was very happy that Chessdom went back to its "live" blog for coverage of Round 11. I did not like the "live chat" experiment - most of the comments were boring, common, and disjointed. It was hard to follow what was going on. In the "live" blog, on the other hand, it was easy to follow the action as the time counted down toward the end of the games.
- The Week in Chess has set the standard ever since I've been online (December, 1998) and no doubt from before! Mark Crowthers lets nothing stand in his way of going the extra mile, whether it be going over games move by move to create and/or correct PGN notations or correctly identifying otherwise sometimes obscure players.
- I was very impressed with Chess Vibes - very current reports, great photographs and a slamming lay-out. How'd you do that?
- Europe E'checs provided much-needed information - in French (but they have English translation on some pages).
- Mig Greengard has such a wicked sense of humor! His Daily Dirt blog (part of Chess Ninja) provides much-needed insight and lots of laughs, but be warned: all types hang out there, compensated for with a collection of wits and sparkling commentators, most of whose commentary probably whizzes over the ignoramus heads of the thankfully relatively few a-holes. I believe (but have no proof) that a lot of chess femmes read the commentary there but generally refrain from commenting themselves - only a brave few every now and then wade in.
- Daaim Shabazz's The Chess Drum is a must-read for keen insights into the chess world in general and, in particular, for news about chess players that generally aren't covered elsewhere.
A few final thoughts: I'm still absolutely amazed that the American men were able to repeat their miracle Bronze performance from 2006 in 2008 Dresden! More incredible, at least to me, is the US Women's Team performance. I honestly did not think they had a prayer of winning a medal. I'm quite happy to say I was SO SO WRONG. And I will eat my wool beret tonight for supper. Hell, I need a new one anyway, this one was looking rather ratty...
I am absolutely convinced that what happened to the Russian Teams (Men - oh, I mean "Open" - and Women) was Divine Justice being meted out to Miniputin, the ass! LOL - do you hear laughter, Pharaoh er, Miniputin? That's the sound of millions of chess fans falling off their chairs and rolling on the floor busting a gut in hilarity at the performances of the oh-so-vaunted #1 ranked teams entering the Olympiad: Russian Men and Russian Women. Bwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaahhhhhhaaaaaaaa!
The Georgian Women won the Gold Medal The Georgian Women won the Gold Medal The Georgian Women won the Gold Medal
They're the only team other than USA and India I would care to see win the Gold. Sweet! Particularly Sweet since the Russian mobsters who put together the Women's World Chess Championship INSISTED that the female chessplayers of the world assemble in Nalchik, Russia, mere miles away from the GEORGIAN WAR ZONE after Russian invaded Georgia in August, 2008 a few weeks before the Championship was to convene. Those Russians particularly pooh-poohed the Georgian Women chessplayers' concerns - and the concerns of other Federations on behalf of their players - about sending their players to Nalchik.
Ha ha, Miniputin. The best is yet to come. Just watch what happens to your "vaunted" Ruble (Rubble?) in the coming months. Nothing personal against the players on the Russian chess teams - I suggest you emmigrate to Manhattan before President-Elect Obama takes office on January 20, 2009...