Friday, August 1, 2014

The 2014 Chess Olympiad

Hola!  It's here, at last. 

I remember when Susan Polgar was pushing for Tromso to be chosen as the situs for the next chess Olympiad, seems like a scant few years ago. 

The next two weeks in the teeny world of chess will be filled with our equivalent of blood, sweat and tears, after what was, no doubt, the payment of a considerable amount of "compensation" [bribes] both to allow Tromso the right to host this Olympiad and to allow the admittedly illegal registration of the Russian Women's chess team on July 21st, far after the June 1st deadline for submitting full team rosters.  You can read Mark Crowther's remarkably sanitized version report of what happened here.  Perhaps it is the most reliable -- I don't know.  Personally, I smell filthy gutter sewer rot coming through the ventilation fan on my trusty Toshiba laptop, and that's saying something!  Someday, I may look up this stuff at Chessbase and see what its take is.  Sadly, I am left shaking my head believing that we will never know the full truth of the matter. I used to be a fan of Lahno -- emphasis on the past tense. Stupid, stupid girl.

As you know, I've been up to my eyebrows in this moving/downsizing thing and let me tell you, it is an absolute pain in the ass/arse/butt/bum/buttocks.  I've scant use for chess right now; I'm far more worried about where the hell to put the books that survived multiple purging processes in this house that is two-thirds the size of my former home.  Where DOES one park hundreds of books -- with no room for bookshelves?

Well, let's get back to chess and I'll stop feeling sorry for myself temporarily.  Who are the women on the American team, that's what I want to know!  And do we stand a snowball's chance in hell of medalling this year? (HA!)

Let me put it this way:

7. USA (RtgAvg:2405, Captain:KHACHIYAN Melikset)
1GMKrush Irina2474USA
2IMZatonskih Anna2466USA
3WGMAbrahamyan Tatev2366USA
4WGMNemcova Katerina2315USA
5WGMFoisor Sabina-Francesca2252USA

Good luck, chess femmes, you're going to need every ounce of luck you can get just to maintain that number 7 initial team ranking.

USA's chess dudes team -- wonder how much they had to pay Nakamura to show up?

6. USA (RtgAvg:2701, Captain:Donaldson John W)
1GMNakamura Hikaru2787USA
2GMKamsky Gata2706USA
3GMOnischuk Alexander2659USA
4GMAkobian Varuzhan2653USA
5GMShankland Samuel L2624USA

Sam Shankland?  He who so famously quit chess a few years back after he didn't like his whaa whaaa finish at the U.S. Chess Championships?  Did I wake up in Neverland?  Well, perhaps some of his chessboard derring-do ala Morozevich will come to the fore and he'll be a Grand Star on Board 5.  Fingers crossed.

Stay tuned.

Tunisian Lake Appears Out of Nowhere?

Don't know about this one -- it may be the Tunisian equivalent of an April Fools' joke!

Lake mysteriously shows in drought-torn Tunisia

Hundreds enjoy new lake despite warnings that the water might be radioactive

Only Immoral, Unmodest Women Laugh in Public in Turkey

This politician should run for office as a Republinazi in Alabama or Mississippi.

BRAVA! to these Turkish women who laugh in his face and in the face of ANY person who stupidly believes this kind of garbage.

Turkish women laugh online to protest deputy PM's remarks
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Hundreds of Turkish women posted pictures of themselves laughing on Twitter on Wednesday to protest comments by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, who had urged women not to laugh in public to "protect moral values".
Melda Onur, a lawmaker from the main opposition party CHP, said on Twitter that Arinc's comments portrayed laughing as a dishonourable act and left women exposed to violence.

Arinc criticised the media on Wednesday for taking his comments out of context and focusing on a small part of his speech, in which he said he advised both men and women to adopt "ethical behaviours".

"Some people criticise me by picking up only a part of an 1 1/2-hour speech. What a baseless and disgusting claim. People who have listened to all of my comments have realised this," Arinc was quoted as saying by Hurriyet newspaper.

"I believe I have made a useful speech," he said. "If I had only said women should not laugh then I have done something irrational. But my speech was about manners and moral rules." [Yeah, right.  As if some decadent female NOT wearing hijab forced his mouth open and shoved those stupid thoughts and words down his throat!  The bottom line:  HE SAID WOMEN SHOULD NOT LAUGH IN PUBLIC AS A MATTER OF 'PUBLIC MORALS.']

Opponents accuse Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government of ruling in an increasingly authoritarian manner and meddling in people's private lives, which has long been a source of conflict between the country's secularists and Erdogan's conservative supporters.

Erdogan is running to become the first directly elected president of predominantly Muslim Turkey.
Arinc, one of the co-founders of Erdogan's AK Party, said this week at a celebration of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan: "The woman should have chastity ... She should not laugh in front of everyone and not be inviting in her behaviour. She should protect her honour."

One women's organisation said it would file a criminal complaint against the deputy PM.
His comments, in which he also criticised television soap operas for promoting decadence, drew criticism from opposition presidential candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as well. He tweeted: "Our country needs our women to laugh and to hear everyone's joyful laughter more than ever."

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Larry King)

Darlings, if you have not yet read "The Handmaid's Tale," by Margaret Atwood, I suggest you do so.  Very prescient, was Atwood...

Monday, July 28, 2014

"Bubble Magic" Sent by Isis...Do Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales Read?

Sent to me by Isis.  As Mr. Spock says - "Fascinating..."

I'll be back as I can find time.  Right now I'm just trying to shoe-horn myself into this down-sized house and TONS of unpacking and organizing and trying to make sense of it all yet to do!  The worst of all horrors, darlings -- I have NO ROOM FOR ALL MY BOOKS!

And no bookcases, either, as I left behind the three really junky ones K-Mart lovelies purchaed in 1987 in the upstairs den at Maison Newton, and also the two extremely large bookshelves that were purchased at Sears in 1990 that I somehow managed to put together and actually raise all by myself (that was when I was still relatively young and STRONG LIKE BULL) that would never fit into this house, the very same much loved 16 inches deep and 6 feet tall bookshelves that I did my "leopard print" sponge painting on eons ago...

I've still got my ginormous Oriental-inspired china hutch (no way am I evah parting with this piece of furniture) which will be loaded with books in the glass-sided and back-mirror hutch and covered storage for lots of crap in the cabinets below.  The rest - the best of my books - the most precious to me - that I saved after countless rounds of donating (sure do hope those beautiful donated books of mine find a good home eventually, because each and every one of them is very special) - will be shoe-horned into the "China" hutch (pun pun pun!) and I've got a room I will set up as a den/library, but I need to get new bookcases.  Except there is no space for bookcases. But I will have to make space, one way or another, as I am not going to put my precious books down in the wreck room in the basement.  Even with the best humidity controls that I can afford.  If the power goes out, my books would be ruined below stairs.  Can't do it.  Won't do it.

Couldn't help but think that those ancient and wise sea mammals would be able to give me some good advice, if only I could speak their language.  I almost get it, almost - well, that's how they make me feel whenever I watch videos of them, but we're too fricking stupid to get it -- like they have something so important to let me know, but there's just a part of my brain closed off, or something.  Sooooo frustrating. And here I am, so frightened of water I'd pee my panties at the first mention of dipping more than a toe into an ocean.  And, seriously, I live right on top of Lake Michigan.  The last time I was even on one of its beaches was when I was 14 and wearing my first semi-bikini, and wanted to show off to the young, cute life guards (who were all male back then).  Geez.
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