When 3 is greater than 5 – Chessbase News

10/18/2020 Star columnist Jon Speelman explores the exchange sacrifice. Speelman shares five illustrative examples to explain in which conditions giving up a rook for a minor piece is a good trade. As a general rule and in fact (almost all?) of the time you need other pieces on the board for an exchange sacrifice to work. | Pictured: Mikhail Tal and Tigran Petrosian following a post-mortem analysis at the 1961 European Team Championship in Oberhausen | Photo: Gerhard Hund

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[Note that Jon Speelman also looks at the content of the article in video format, here embedded at the end of the article.]

During the Norway tournament, I streamed commentarya couple of times myself at twitch.tv/jonspeelman, but mainly listened to the official commentaryby Vladimir Kramnik and Judit Polgar.

Both were very interesting, and Kramnik in particular has a chess aesthetic which I very much like. In his prime a powerhouse positional player with superb endgame technique, he started life much more tactically and his instinct is to sacrifice for the initiative whenever possible, especially the exchange: an approach which, after defence seemed to triumph under traditional chess engines, has been given a new lease of life by Alpha Zero.

So I thought today that Id look at some nice exchange sacrifices, but first a moment from Norway where I was actually a tad disappointed by a winning sacrifice.

At the end of a beautiful positional game, which has been annotated here in Game of the Week, Carlsen finished off with the powerful

42.Re8!

and after

42...Qxe8 43.Qh6+ Kg8 44.Qxg6+ Kh8 45.Nf6

Tari resigned

Of course, I would have played Re8 myself in a game if Id seen it, but I was hoping from an aesthetic perspective that Carlsen would complete this real masterclass and masterpiece with a nice zugzwang.

You start with c4 to prevent 42.f3 c4, creating some very slight confusion and then it goes:

42.c4 Kg8 43.f3

And for example: 43...Qd7 44.Qh6 Qe6 45.Kg3 fxe4 (45...Rg7 46.Nf6+ Kf7 47.Qh8 Qe7 48.Kg2) 46.dxe4 Rf4 47.Nxf4 exf4+ 48.Kxf4 Qf7+ 49.Kg3 Qg7 50.Qxg7+ Kxg7 51.Rxf8

Black can also try43...Rh7

and here after 44.Rxf8+ Kg7

as the engine pointed out to me, its best to use the Re8 trick:

45.Qxh7+! (45.Rf6 is much messier) 45...Kxh7 46.Re8!

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The black queen is trapped.

For todays examples I used my memory and the ChessBase search mask when I couldnt track down a game exactly. For instance,for the first one byBotvinnik [pictured], I set him as Black with 0-1, disabled ignoring colours, and put Rd4 e5 c5 on the board which turned out to identify the single game I wanted a hole in 1!I also asked my stream on Thursday for any examples, and one of my stalwarts, a Scottish Frenchman, found me Reshevsky v Petrosian (I couldnt remember offhand who Petrosians opponent was) and drew my attention to the beautiful double exchange sacrifice by Erwin L'Ami from Wijk aan Zee B.

Before the games themselves, which are in chronological order,it might be worthwhile to consider what makes an exchange sacrifice successful. Whole books have been written on this and Im certainly not going to be able to go into serious detail. But a couple of points:

The need for extra pieces applies particularly to endgames. For instance,this diagram should definitely be lost for Black:

Its far from trivial, but as a general schema the white king should be able to advance right into Blacks guts and then White can do things with his pawns. Something like get Ke7 and Rf6, then g4 exchanging pawns if Black has played ...h5. Play f5, move the rook, play f6+, and arrange to play Rxf7.

But if you add a pair of rooks then it becomes enormously difficult. And indeed I really dont know whether God would beat God.

Select an entry from the list to switch between games

Master Class Vol.11: Vladimir Kramnik

This DVD allows you to learn from the example of one of the best players in the history of chess and from the explanations of the authors (Pelletier, Marin, Mller and Reeh) how to successfully organise your games strategically, consequently how to keep y

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When 3 is greater than 5 - Chessbase News

COVID-19 Is Driving The Uptake Of Chess — And Of Surveillance Tools To Stop Online Players Cheating – Techdirt

from the checking-the-checkmate dept

Techdirt has been noting some interesting tech trends arising out of the increasing number of people who work and study from home because of COVID-19. One that few of us saw coming is a greatly increased enthusiasm for playing chess. That would be a good thing, except that life is never simple, as the Guardian reports:

Chess has enjoyed a huge boom in internet play this year as in-person events have moved online and people stuck at home have sought new hobbies. But with that has come a significant new problem: a rise in the use of powerful chess calculators to cheat on a scale reminiscent of the scandals that have dogged cycling and athletics. One leading 'chess detective' said that the pandemic was "without doubt creating a crisis".

When life moves from in-person to online, there is a loss of many subtle aspects that arise from being in the presence of other people. Back in May we wrote about a problem in the field of education, where some have concerns that students might be cheating when taking exams online, since there is no invigilator around to check on them. This has led to the rise of remote proctoring services that aim to cast a beady virtual eye over students who are sitting exams. According to the Guardian, similar ideas are starting to enter the world of chess:

At the heart of the problem are programmes or apps that can rapidly calculate near-perfect moves in any situation. To counter these engines, players in more and more top matches must agree to be recorded by multiple cameras, be available on Zoom or WhatsApp at any time, and grant remote access to their computers. They may not be allowed to leave their screens, even for toilet breaks.

Other approaches include tracking the movements of players' eyes, to see if they are looking away with suspicious frequency, and algorithms that are claiming to be able to spot "deviation from the proclivities of an honest human player". The fact that the once-staid world of chess is resorting to these kinds of advanced surveillance techniques is a further indication of the extent to which COVID-19 is changing the world, and deepening digital technology's impact on our lives.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter, Diaspora, or Mastodon.

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COVID-19 Is Driving The Uptake Of Chess -- And Of Surveillance Tools To Stop Online Players Cheating - Techdirt

Chess’s cheating crisis: ‘paranoia has become the culture’ – The Guardian

In one chess tournament, five of the top six were disqualified for cheating. In another, the doting parents of 10-year-old competitors furiously rejected evidence that their darlings were playing at the level of the world No 1. And in a third, an Armenian grandmaster booted out for suspicious play accused his opponent of doing pipi in his Pampers.

These incidents may sound extreme but they are not isolated and they have all taken place online since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chess has enjoyed a huge boom in internet play this year as in-person events have moved online and people stuck at home have sought new hobbies. But with that has come a significant new problem: a rise in the use of powerful chess calculators to cheat on a scale reminiscent of the scandals that have dogged cycling and athletics. One leading chess detective said that the pandemic was without doubt creating a crisis.

The problems are not confined to chess, with similar issues reported in poker, bridge and even backgammon, but they are perhaps most disruptive for a game with a reputation for gravitas and class.

The pandemic has brought me as much work in a single day as I have had in a year previously, said Prof Kenneth Regan, an international chess master and computer scientist whose model is relied on by the sports governing body, Fide, to detect suspicious patterns of play. It has ruined my sabbatical.

Fides general director, Emil Sutovsky, described it as a huge topic I work on dozens of hours each week, and its president, Arkady Dvorkovich, said computer doping was a real plague.

At the heart of the problem are programs or apps that can rapidly calculate near-perfect moves in any situation. To counter these engines, players in more and more top matches must agree to be recorded by multiple cameras, be available on Zoom or WhatsApp at any time, and grant remote access to their computers. They may not be allowed to leave their screens, even for toilet breaks. In some cases they must have a proctor or invigilator search their room and then sit with them throughout a match.

Sutovsky has also suggested eye-tracking programs may be a way to raise a red flag if a player appears to be looking away with suspicious frequency.

Chess.com, the worlds biggest site for online play, said it had seen 12 million new users this year, against 6.5 million last year. The cheating rate has jumped from between 5,000 and 6,000 players banned each month last year to a high of almost 17,000 in August.

Gerard Le-Marechal, the head of the sites fair play team, said he had brought in three new members of staff to deal with the problem. I think its to do with people being cooped up. Its just so easy to do, so alluring, and its without doubt creating a crisis.

The growth in cheating and a corresponding explosion in social media discussion of the problem has created a new atmosphere of suspicion and recrimination. Paranoia has become the culture, said Le-Marechal, whom a friend declared the cyber chess detective when he got the job. There is this very romantic vision of the game which is being scuppered.

While chess.com is reluctant to reveal details of its system, Regan describes his as a model that detects cheating as the deviation from the proclivities of an honest human player. With enough evidence, such models produce a high level of confidence that a given player could not possibly have played a particular set of moves unaided.

The most prominent of the recent disqualifications came in the PRO Chess League when the St Louis Arch Bishops, a team made up of top American players, lost in the final to the underdog Armenia Eagles.

The Eagles victory rested on the performance of Tigran Petrosian, an Armenian grandmaster and the world No 260, who stunned commentators with his victory over Fabiano Caruana, ranked second in the world.

Petrosian attributed his play to the gin he sipped during the game. But suspicious observers suggested he seemed to be glancing away from his screen frequently, and chess.com later overturned the teams wins and banned him for life.

Petrosian later called the claims idiotic, invented allegations. He posted a lengthy rant addressed to another opponent, the world No 8 Wesley So: You are a biggest looser [sic] I ever seen in my life! You was doing PiPi in your pampers when I was beating players much more stronger than you! you are like a girl crying after I beat you!

So, for his part, told the Guardian in an email that he felt sorry for Petrosian. Perhaps thinking of Lance Armstrong, he added: I was a big fan of a certain cyclist and a part of me understands the pressure to succeed at all costs. At the same time I feel pain for other competitors ... Who will restore what was taken from them?

Conrad Schormann, who has covered the cheating crisis as news editor of chesstech.org, notes that Petrosian did not appear to get help on every move, making the suspicious behaviour even harder to spot. In his games there were abnormalities, sequences that he played godlike, but there were blunders as well, he said.

Such controversies have been replicated even in the lower-stakes world of junior play. Sarah Longson, a former British ladies champion who runs the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge, said at least 100 of 2,000 online participants cheated.

The cheating was blatant, she said, with mediocre preteens at the level of the world champion, Magnus Carlsen. But only three of them admitted it, which is pretty disgusting. After realising the night before the final that the top three qualifiers had all been cheating, she said, we stayed up til 3am deciding what to do and nearly cancelled altogether.

Its the children from the private schools, sadly, she said. When I ring their parents they just get angry with me. Theyre under such pressure to succeed.

Without a significant culture change, most say, the cheats are unlikely to go straight. Regan is realistic but determined. If you cheat on a single move I will disclaim any ability to catch you, he said. You can fly under the radar. But if you keep going at the same rate, you will come into the radar in the end.

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Chess's cheating crisis: 'paranoia has become the culture' - The Guardian

Google searches help infectious disease experts track the spread of coronavirus – My London

Coronavirus has made many people across the country feel powerless, with lives restricted and rules preventing individuals doing the things they love.

After the Government's recent announcement that England would be placed under a coronavirus three tier alert system, it would not be wrong for people to start questioning how these crucial decisions are being made.

London was placed in Tier 1, 'medium risk', but the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has already hinted that London is just days away from entering the 'high risk' Tier 2 level in which meeting people from other households indoors would be banned.

One of Pubic Health Englands (PHE) roles is to ensure that it has the right information available to make informed decisions and put strategies in action.

For more news and features about London directly to your inbox sign up to our newsletter here .

To help understand the spread of Covid-19, PHE uses a wide variety of real-time data at both local and national level.

Data to establish coronavirus prevalence in the community and which demographics are being affected is gathered from a wide range of sources, such as GPs, hospitals or even Google searches.

In a recent blog from PHE it said: "Surveillance systems are chosen so they can be measured regularly and consistently. No single piece of data tells the whole story of any outbreak, nor can any system provide a definitive figure for exactly how many people could have Covid-19 as many will have a mild illness and never report it to the health services.

"By bringing together a wide range of data we can make well informed judgements about emerging trends, geographical variations and the groups of people most affected."

Here are the different ways that PHE build its understanding of coronavirus in London and England:

Across the country teams of experts and scientists in infectious disease outbreaks are on the lookout for outbreaks in venues like schools or care homes.

The information gathered is used to build an understanding of the pandemic movement and initiate responses both locally and nationally.

Internet-based surveillance also tracks the volumes of people searching for typical symptoms of coronavirus on search engines like Google, and PHE look for evidence that numbers of these searches are increasing above normallevels.

PHE also use an online FluSurvey which is completed by members of the public and tracks self-reported respiratory symptoms.

The tool has been adapted to monitor community prevalence and the amount of symptoms related to Covid-19.

GPs across the country submit data to PHE regarding coronavirus in the community.

PHE monitors the daily number of GP consultations where patients have presented a range of respiratory symptoms including Covid-19 cases.

Around 4500 GP surgeries are submitting data daily with out of hour contact also being recorded and analysed.

Cases in hospitals are also monitored by PHE to help build a picture of the prevalence of coronavirus in the country.

The Emergency Department Syndromic Surveillance System monitors the number of daily visits (from people suffering with respiratory illnesses) to a network of around 70 emergency departments across England.

Another system called the Covid-19 Hospitalisation in England Surveillance System, or CHESS, was set up specifically for surveillance purposes and is used to help estimate the daily rate of new hospital admissions for people with coronavirus.

PHE also use a laboratory surveillance tool for monitoring major respiratory viruses circulating in England.

Samples from laboratories based in all parts of the country are analysed to gather the percentage of tests that are positive for Covid-19.

Changes in the proportion of tests that are positive are an early indicator of changes in the number of infections.

Information on the number of people who have been hospitalised with confirmed Covid-19 in England and subsequently died is recorded along with as monitoring any abnormal increases in other causes of deaths that may be linked to the pandemic.

PHE also looks at confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the world including the overall number of deaths.

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Google searches help infectious disease experts track the spread of coronavirus - My London

Winning with the King’s Indian and our summer special! – Chessbase News

9/2/2020 The second-to-last week of our Summer Special has arrived, and we are offering yet another great DVD bundle, this time with Fritztrainers by Victor Bologan. The Moldovan grandmaster teaches us how to win with the Kings Indian attack, an opening which is very popular amongst several titled players. We have also added his DVD Kings Indian: A modern approach, where Bologan presents a full repertoire in over seven hours of instruction. To sum the bundle up, you will also get the openings 2019 Powerbook and Powerbase DVDs, with over 100,000 games. And finally, we add another signed-DVD raffle to all buyers!

Play it like former World Champion Bobby Fischer!

I have always loved the Kings Indian. My trainers, Ion Solonar and Vyacheslav Chebanenko, taught me to play it with Black, and also showed me how play the Kings Indian setup with an extra tempo. An important extra tempo: Black plays the Kings Indian Defence, White plays the Kings Indian Attack! This opening was also a favourite of chess legend and 11th World Champion Bobby Fischer, who is known for his aggressive play and his wish to win every game. With the Kings Indian Attack he scored 8out of 9, creating a number of fine modelgames that teach us how to attack with the setup.

The Kings Indian Attack is mainly reached via the French Defence (1.e4 e6 2.d3) and the Sicilian with 2e6, but it can also arise from the Reti Opening, when Black plays e6 and d5 to reach structures from the Queens Gambit Declined. Thirty years ago the Kings Indian Attack was considered to be an interesting and original way to avoid theoretical battles. But todays theory sees the Kings Indian Attack in line with the modern approach to postpone the fight for the centre to the middlegame. The Kings Indian Attack is full of positional and tactical ideas and is often an unpleasant surprise for the opponent. The opening is easy to prepare but its important to remember that the Kings Indian Attack is more about ideas and plans and less about forced and complicated lines. Since my junior days it has been a reliable weapon and it still serves me well today.

Video running time: 4 h 27 min(English) With interactive training including video feedback Extra: Database with more than 50 model games Including CB Reader

Author Victor Bologan about his DVD: If chess players are in Iceland, they usually pay tribute to the genius of Bobby Fischer, the 11th World Champion, by visiting his grave in Selfoss in Reykjavik. With this DVD I also want to express my gratitude to Fischer: for his great contribution to chess in general and because he helped to make the Kings Indian more popular in particular. As a junior, when I was ten years old, my coach advised me to study the openings of Fischer and I discovered the Kings Indian. Later I learned about the different approaches Black has in the Kings Indian. He can keep his structure flexible and put his pawns on d6 and c6; he can play the sharp and principled Nc6 in the classical lines and in some sidelines he can sacrifice a pawn with b5 as in the Benko.

Top players such as Geller, Smirin, Kasparov, Radjabov, Nakamura and Ding Liren all played and play the Kings Indian and they all have a different style, a different approach. When preparing the material for this DVD I studied the games of these experts, checked analyses with modern engines and used a lot of material from correspondence databases. Every day my Kings Indian vocabulary got better, richer, and more varied. At the same time my confidence and my belief in the Kings Indian also got bigger. If you study this DVD carefully and solve the interactive exercises you will also enrich your chess vocabulary, your Kings Indian vocabulary, build up confidence in the Kings Indian and your chess and win more games.

Video running time: 7 hours 14 min (English) With interactive training including video feedback Database with more than 50 instructive games, extensive analysis of the theory shown on this DVD Including CB 12 Reader

If you want to play for a win with Black against 1.d4, 1.c4 or 1.Nf3, the Kings Indian remains a good choice. Of course the risk is correspondingly somewhat higher. That was recognized even by Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov who for years had the Kings Indian opening in their repertoire, but did not employ it in their WCh matches. Our powerbook gives you the chance to make valuable discoveries: variations which are above averagely successful for White as well as secret weapons for Black.

The Kings Indian Powerbook 2019 is based above all on 252 000 games from the engine room of playchess.com, supplemented by 99 000 games played by human beings. Setting the threshold average Elo of both players at 2375 guarantees the high quality of the statistics. But what makes the Powerbook so valuable is that it is possible to find lovely secret variations for both sides with only a minimum of searching.

The 754 selected annotated games offer an incredible amount of material for study. Top players such as Carlsen (1 annotated game), Caruana (1), Ding Liren (2), Giri (4), Mamedyarov (1), Anand (1), Aronian (1), So (2), Radjabov (6), Kramnik (1), have analysed their own games, with in addition Kings Indian experts like Hazai (221), Stohl (101), Krasenkow (100). There is a total of 9780 games, where the average rating of the players was 2575.

The database shows the games list. With a double click on a game, the game is loaded. By clicking on the tab Players you can sort the list by frequency. By doing this you can examine the games of Kramnik or Aronian further who have played the opening a lot.

Games can be replayed and examined with an engine or likewise with a powerbook.

Two chess grandmasters who both reached a rating of over 2800 have signed our chess engines Fritz 16 + 17. While Fabiano Caruana signed the Fritz 16 DVD, Garry Kasparov autographedFritz 17. Anybody who buys the Kings Indian Attack bundlewill get achance to win either one of these signed DVDs. Good luck!

Whoever bought our bundlesSummer Special - The power of the Nimzo Indian,Play the Najdorf with the help of GarryorSommer Spezial I - Franzsischer Reichtumhad the chance to win a signed DVD by either Kasparov, Sarin or Gukesh!

With the big help ofour cats, wefound our four lucky winners.Congratulations!

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Winning with the King's Indian and our summer special! - Chessbase News

Space Crew Will Officially Launch On October 15th – Bleeding Cool News

Curve Digital revealed this week that their upcoming indie space simulator title Space Crew is coming out next month. Along with developer Runner Duck, the game is essentially a sci-fi sequel to the sandbox hit Bomber Crew. This should make fans of the game happy as you're getting a lot of the same gameplay and mechanics as the first title, now with a space theme and a few added bonuses that will make any sci-fi fan happy and also laugh hysterically. The game is set to be released on PC via Steam as well as all three major consoles on October 15th, 2020. You can read more about it below and check out the latest trailer before the game arrives in six weeks.

The United Defense Force will allow you to set across the galaxy on a campaign to defend Earth. It will be your responsibility to help stop all of humankind being wiped off the intergalactic stage by the mysterious extraterrestrial threat known as the Phasmids. The U.D.F. is doing their part, are you? Join the Space Crew today!

Ship-to-ship combat is strategic and deadly; manage your resources and crew abilities to stop ship invasions, repair systems, tackle fires and take evasive action. From captain to comms officer, weapons officer, engineer and more you will create your own unique crew with customisable equipment, loadouts, appearances and names. Personalisation doesn't end at your crew, customise your spaceship from weapons, armour, engines, escape pods, liveries, and more to make your ship your very own. Precarious asteroid fields, harmful radiation, the freezing vacuum of space and black holes all pose a danger to even the most experienced space crew. Travel throughout the Galaxy and defeat the threat to humankind through a range of single player missions from reconnaissance to bounty hunts, reclamation and more.

Gavin is the current Games Editor for Bleeding Cool. He has been a lifelong geek who can chat with you about comics, television, video games, and even pro wrestling. He can also teach you how to play Star Trek chess, be your Mercy on Overwatch, recommend random cool music, and goes rogue in D&D. He also enjoys hundreds of other geeky things that can't be covered in a single paragraph. Follow @TheGavinSheehan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vero, for random pictures and musings.

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Space Crew Will Officially Launch On October 15th - Bleeding Cool News

FIDE declares India and Russia joint winners of the Online Olympiad – Chessbase News

by Carlos Alberto Colodro

8/31/2020 The 2020 FIDE Online Olympiad came to an end on Sunday, with an internet outage prompting FIDE to declare finalists Russia and India as joint winners. The match had started with a tie in the first six-game mini-match. In the second encounter of the day, however, Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh disconnected towards the end of their games and lost on time. First, the Russians were declared champions, but after Indias appeal, on the grounds that their players lost connection as a consequence of a massive internet outage, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich decided to grant gold medals to both teams.

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It was a strange end to a unique edition of the traditional Chess Olympiad. Due to the restrictions imposed amid the covid-19 crisis, FIDE decided to organize a massive online event in which each national team had to present a lineup including a mix ofmen, women, juniors and girls. Organizing such a large-scale tournament online was a brave decision, given the difficulties related to potential cheaters and unpredictable internet-connection problems.

Already during the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, connectivity issueshad slightly disrupted the normal flow of the events, with Ding Liren losing a couple of games on time after his connection was lost. Luckily, the problems were solved and normal service was restored.

In the Olympiad, things did not go as smoothly, particularly in the incident that involved India and Armenia during the quarterfinals. Nihal Sarin had defeatedHaik Martirosyan after the latter had lost his connection. The Armenian team appealed the result, pointing outthat the specified player was connected to the Zoom call during the whole incident, and the video call was not interrupted.

Citing that the quality of the internet connection is the responsibility of the player, the Appeals Committee rejected Armenias request, noting that the Indian national teamhad previously lost two games against Mongoliafor similar reasons.

Fast forward to Sundays final, which kicked off with a thrilling first mini-match. All games ended drawn, but only after Ian Nepomniachtchi and Kateryna Lagno showed great resourcefulness in defence to save half points against Vidit Gujrathi and Humpy Koneru respectively. Nepo gave up his rook to muddy the waters in a complex position:

Winning against the Grnfeld

The Grnfeld is a highly dynamic opening in which Black's position often seems to hang together by a single thread; and yet, this apparently precarious equilibrium appears to be enough to make it entirely viable up to the highest level.

White is a pawn up and has the initiative. Vidits best move here was 24.c5, the kind of crucial manoeuvre that can only be precisely calculated with plenty of time on the clock. The Indian went for thenatural 24.Qe5 instead, and saw his opponent lash out with 24...Rxf2 the engines do not like this picturesque sacrifice, but from a human perspective Black is now the one calling the shots. In the end, it was Vidit who gave perpetual check to secure the draw.

After the 3:3 result in the exciting first mini-match, the teams made key substitutions for the second round. Anand and Praggnanandhaa replaced Harikrishna and Nihal Sarin in the Indian squad, while Dubov, Goryachkina and Esipenko replaced Artemiev, Lagnoand Sarana among the Russians.

The one decisive result that was nota direct consequence of a disconnection in round two saw Aleksandra Goryachkina beating Humpy Koneru with the white pieces. Nonetheless, Humpy did lose her connection for a while, and although she managed to reconnect she had lost some valuable time in the 15-minute game.

Then came the main incident of the day. Nihal Sarin andDivya Deshmukh lost on time against Andrey Esipenko and Polina Shuvalova after losing their connections. Nihal had equalized what had been a worse position for most of the game, while the young Indian girl had a superior position with the white pieces.

The Fashionable Caro-Kann Vol.1 and 2

The Caro Kann is a very tricky opening. Blacks play is based on controlling and fighting for key light squares. It is a line which was very fashionable in late 90s and early 2000s due to the successes of greats like Karpov, Anand, Dreev etc. Recently due to strong engines lot of key developments have been made and some new lines have been introduced, while others have been refuted altogether. I have analyzed the new trends carefully and found some new ideas for Black.

The Indian team immediately sent an appeal to the committee formed by Arkady Dvorkovich,Michael Khodarkovsky and Sava Stoisavljevic. Since Dvorkovich is Russian, he recused himself from involvement in the decision. Nevertheless, after the remaining two members were unable to reach a unanimous decision, the FIDE President declared both teams as joint winners and published the following official statement:

The Online Chess Olympiad has been impacted by a global internet outage, that severely affected several countries, including India. Two of the Indian players have been affected and lost connection, when the outcome of the match was still unclear.

The Appeals Committee has examined all the evidence provided by Chess.com, as well as information gathered from other sources about this internet outage. After being informed of their considerations and in absence of aunanimous decision, and takinginto account these unprecedented circumstances, as FIDE President I made the decision to award Gold Medals to both teams.

In their official report, FIDE mentions thatthe internet outage was caused by a Cloudflare crash.

Of course, the fact that Dvorkovich is Russian put him in a particularly propitious spot to negotiate with the team that would have been granted tournament victory had the appeal been rejected it was informed that Russias team captain was contacted and accepted the decision. Had other teams been involved, it would have been more difficult for the FIDE President to make that call.

Not all members of the Russian team were happy with the decision, however. Ian Nepomniachtchi tweeted:

Smart decision to please Indian chess community, meanwhile forgetting about other fans & players. Selective nobleness.

Former womens world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk also shared her thoughts:

Lets clarify one thing: India didnt win the Olympiad, but was rather named by FIDE a co-champion. Imho, there is a huge difference between actually winning the gold or just being awarded one without winning a single game in the final.

Master Class Vol. 12: Viswanathan Anand

This DVD allows you to learn from the example of one of the best players in the history of chess and from the explanations of the authors how to successfully organise your games strategically, consequently how to keep your opponent permanently under press

Let us not forget that, although the Russians are the traditional chess superpower, they have not won the Olympiad since 2002, so getting this gold medal without controversy would have been a major success and would have rewarded the fact that they presented an impressively strong lineup inthe online event.

For India, on the other hand, this was a great achievement. As it is already indisputable, the incredible work made to promote the game in the Asiancountry during the last decade or so has shown impressive results. Once over-the-board chess fully returns, the Indian squad will be surely among the favourites to take gold in the next Olympiad, when they will most likely fight neck in neck with chess superpowers Russia, China andUnited States not to mention Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Poland and others.

Vishy Anand, the man who started it all,spoke to DD News:

Obviously Im thrilled with this result. Today was quite eventful, and its one of the features of the new format, but I think, in the whole, in the Olympiad the Indian team showed a lot of spirit. Especially I can say that [to get] this medal the biggest contribution came from the youngsters and it shows the bright future we have for chess in India.

Link:

FIDE declares India and Russia joint winners of the Online Olympiad - Chessbase News

Development in a cube. 20 new digital education centers opened in the country – Pledge Times

IT Cubes are opening all over the country. This new project aims to develop digital education for children. This became possible thanks to the implementation of the national project Education.

The key goal of the project is the availability of quality education regardless of where the child lives. At the same time, a good education includes not only the opening of new modern schools, but also the development of additional education for children, including in promising areas. Special attention in the national project is paid to the development of a digital educational environment, including the creation of digital education centers IT-cube.

IT-cube is a center for the education of children for programs aimed at accelerating the development of relevant and demanded knowledge, skills and competencies in the field of information technology. The project forms a modern educational ecosystem that brings together leading companies in the IT market, experienced mentors and novice developers from 7 to 18 years old. Education in such centers is free of charge and available to every child. The project is a modern educational ecosystem that unites the leaders of the IT market, experienced mentors who have been trained by partners participating in the project, and most importantly, schoolchildren who plan to connect the future with modern technologies and the digital economy. Now there are more than 20 such cubes in the country, by the end of 2020 there will be 70, and in 2024 340.

On September 1, the IT-cube of Tambov was opened. It has, according to the first visitors, a qualitatively new level of equipment and modern design of educational spaces. Training here will go in six areas: Mobile Development, Python Programming, VR-AR Development, Cyberhygiene and Big Data, System Administration and Robot Programming. In addition, the site includes a coworking area and a chess lounge. It is planned that annually 400 children and adolescents aged 7 to 17 will be able to study at the center. More than 1,500 children from all cities and districts of the region will be involved in the events held by IT-cube of Tambov together with partners.

In the Republic of Tatarstan, on September 1, a new center for digital education of children IT-cube.Almetyevsk was opened. This is the second such center in Tatarstan. 400 students aged 8 to 18 years will be trained here this year. At the center, children will be taught the basics of programming in JAVA, programming in the SCRATCH language, developing VR / AR applications, cyberhygiene and big data, mobile development, PYTHON programming and system administration.

In the Chuvash Republic, from September 1, classes will continue in IT-cube.Kanash. With the support of Yandex.Lice, the guys will learn programming in Python, and with the support of the Samsung school, mobile development. Also for children are available directions for developing VR / AR applications, system administration, basic programming skills in C-like languages. According to Anna Keshko, head of IT-Kub.Kanash: The goal of IT-Cuba is to interest the child. Small victories that motivate a person to do something are given almost immediately in IT. We give what a person will encounter in the profession, so that the guys can actually work in their specialty, so that they immediately have an idea of industrial programming. Now knowledge of a programming language is the same as knowledge of at least one foreign language. The threshold for children to enter the IT specialty is getting lower.

In the Lipetsk region IT-cube. Lipetsk is also ready to teach children in the new academic year. In addition to programming and mobile development, children here can get acquainted with artificial intelligence technologies: schoolchildren will perform laboratory work using a pre-trained set of neural network models and will take a full production course for creating a neural network model. They will develop standard gaming networks for chess, checkers and a chat bot for communication, which will respond to key phrases, conduct a simple dialogue, and answer questions using search engines.

Continued here:

Development in a cube. 20 new digital education centers opened in the country - Pledge Times

We Can Sue, Too: An Interview with Brooke Goldstein, Founder of The Lawfare Project – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Photo Credit: Mark Harkin / Wikimedia

When Kuwait Airlines refused to sell tickets to Israelis, The Lawfare Project sued, forcing it to cancel all its inter-European flights and its popular JFK-London route.

When Saudi Arabia wouldnt allow Israeli players to participate in a chess tournament two years ago, The Lawfare Project again sprung into action, and the International Chess Federation ultimately moved the tournament to Russia.

Numerous Jewish organizations protest insults against Jews or Israel, but The Lawfare Project was founded 10 years ago to fight back in a very specific way: through the courts. And so far, it has achieved some remarkable victories.

To learn more, The Jewish Press recently spoke to its founder, Brooke Goldstein.

The Jewish Press: Whats your background?

Goldstein: I was born and raised in Canada. I went to McGill University and then to Cardozo Law School.

I come from a very proud Zionist Jewish family. My grandparents are Holocaust survivors, and I was raised with a love for my identity. I hope to give the same love for Jewish history and the Jewish people to my children.

Why did you start The Lawfare Project?

When I was in law school, I worked as in-house counsel for Daniel Pipes at the Middle East Forum, and I was also running The Legal Project, which was a litigation defense fund for people in the counter-terrorism and moderate Muslim communities who were being sued for speaking about radical Islam.

I started studying where the money for these lawsuits came from and learned that there were hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars being funneled through organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Muslim Legal Fund.

I also studied how organizations like the ACLU and NAACP operate, and it occurred to me that the way that you really make change in this country is through seminal civil rights lawsuits.

I realized, though, that there has never been a Jewish litigation defense fund or a Jewish civil rights movement in this country. So in 2010 I founded The Lawfare Project, and since then we have filed over 80 groundbreaking civil rights cases in almost 20 jurisdictions around the world.

What would you say have been your biggest victories?

The most recent significant victory was a settlement we entered into with the National Lawyers Guild. We sued the National Lawyers Guild which is one of the oldest lawyers guilds in the United States for discrimination against our client, an Israeli company.

The guild had passed a resolution not to do business with Israelis, but enforcing such a resolution violates New York States anti-discrimination law. Just like you cant have a restaurant with a sign No Chinese allowed or a bar with a sign No blacks allowed, you cant have a business and say, No Israelis allowed.

Our client had attempted to buy ad space in the National Lawyers Guild annual journal, and the guild sent an e-mail back saying: Sorry, we dont do business with Israelis. So we sued them. The National Lawyers Guild realized it didnt have a case, so it settled with us and changed its anti-discrimination policy.

Its quite significant because it shows that if you engage in BDS, you will be held accountable, you will be sued, and eventually if youre stupid enough to go to court you will be held liable. In this case, they did the smart thing and settled and reversed their policy. Theyre doing business now with the Israeli company.

Is it true that you once successfully sued Google?

We have a lawyer who operates out of Europe, and he filed a legal action against Google. We ended up reaching an understanding with Googles lawyers to block defamatory content against the Jewish people, including material that promotes Nazi ideology and denies the Holocaust.

Our lawyer in Europe is now working very closely with Googles in-house counsel to make sure Google is following its own policy and abiding by European law, which is actually much more strict on Internet providers and search engines [than America] when it comes to content that defames people because of their race or ethnicity.

You also apparently once successfully blocked Hamas or Hezbollah from broadcasting in America.

Yes, that was actually one of our first legal actions. An intern who was working with us pointed out that Hamas TV and Hezbollah TV were being broadcast illegally in the United States through two U.S.-based companies. So we were able to put together a legal memo and share it with law enforcement, and they took down the two channels.

One of your more impressive victories is one you scored against Kuwait Airways. Can you talk a bit about that?

Its actually an ongoing action. We forced Kuwait Airways to cancel its route from JFK to London because its illegal in this country to discriminate against someone based on his or her national origin, which is exactly what Kuwait Airways is doing. [It bars Israeli from its flights.]

Weve also filed several actions against Kuwait Airways in different European jurisdictions. Some have been more successful than others, but we were successful in the sense that we got Kuwait Airways to cancel all its inter-European flight paths.

The last challenge is to work with European countries to ensure that their anti-discrimination laws are enforced even for Kuwait Airways flights that fly to Kuwait because we believe its completely unacceptable in the 21st century in the West to allow companies to do business in our countries and make money while engaging in barbaric discrimination.

Your organization has also been involved in fighting European laws that require products made in the West Bank to be labeled as such. Can you talk about that?

We were retained by Psagot, which is an Israeli winery in Judea and Samaria, and we challenged a French regulation that required Jewish products made in Judea and Samaria to be labeled a certain way which is discriminatory.

We ended up going all the way to the European Court of Justice, but in a really stunning ruling last November, it basically said that consumer protection requires labeling products to indicate anything a consumer may desire to know vis--vis ethics, and this includes whether or not a product is made by a Jew or a Muslim in the so-called disputed territories.

It was an outrageous and shocking decision that will have enormous implications and ripple effects. It has really opened the floodgates for consumers to sue companies for all sorts of things. For example, if youre buying a product form the United States and you want to know whether the owner of the manufacturing company voted for Trump, you should be able to demand, as an ethical consumer, that that information appear on the label.

I think courts are quickly going to realize how untenable enforcement of this European Court of Justice ruling really is.

Whats the most recent case youve taken on?

Well, we recently filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to find out what was really was behind the blatant discriminatory treatment of the Jewish community when it came enforcing coronavirus regulations.

I think its pretty obvious that [Mayor Bill] de Blasio singled out the Jewish community. He blamed the Jewish community for the spread of the coronavirus and threatened members of the Jewish community with arrest.

You cant treat two categories of people differently based on their religion or viewpoint. The government cant say its okay to gather to protest for Black Lives Matters, but its not okay to gather to pray. If you have a regulation, it has to be applied equally across the board to all people regardless of their religion or skin color.

How many lawyers does The Lawfare Project have?

Right now, we have four full-time in-house staff including myself. We have one lawyer who works for us based out of Europe, based in Spain. And then we have a network of over 400 lawyers and over 35 major law firms that have dedicated themselves to working pro bono, or reduced rate, on cases we bring to them.

Why would they work pro bono or at a reduced rate?

Ive spent the last 11 years of my life recruiting firms and lawyers really, the best of the best. We have the top law firms and minds in the world working on our cases.

I think our cases appeal to them because were really at the forefront of the Jewish civil rights movement. Were using the legal system in a way that enforces the basic civil rights of the Jewish community which should have been done 50 years ago.

I think theyre also very moved by the quality of the cases and the plight of the plaintiffs that we bring to them. One of our clients, for example, was punched in the face at Temple University and subjected to anti-Semitic epithets. Theres no place for this in the United States or in the 21st century.

You once said the change you can make with one lawsuit or even one legal letter is enormous. So you dont even have to go to court? A letter does the trick?

Yes. And Id like to think that most of the time the people we write letters to have just forgotten what their obligations are under the law. Were just reminding them, and they do the right thing.

How often does a letter work?

Very often. Id say nine out of 10 times. A lawsuit is always the last resort. You dont want to waste your time and money in a court.

And were not in this game for monetary damages. Were in this game to change the national dialogue, to remind people and educate people that Jews deserve equal protection; that the civil rights laws that apply to other communities to the black community, to the Muslim community, and to women also apply to Jews.

Some people believe our country is too litigious. By taking all these actions, are you contributing to this litigious atmosphere? Or is it your contention that if every other group is doing it, we have to do it as well and that the benefits outweigh the costs?

The beautiful thing about living in a liberal democratic society is that the way you enforce change is not through violence. Its through lobbying, legislation, and the court system. Its a beautiful thing that if you have been wronged, you are able to negotiate a settlement with someone or go to a court of law and have a judge rule on the dispute.

Were not rioting. Thats not how we enforce change in this country. We enforce change civilly by using the court system. And Jews have every right to enforce their civil rights. The rights enjoyed by women, by blacks, and others in this country are all products of seminal civil rights cases that were brought to the courts, and they changed the fabric of our society.

When people accuse us of being a litigious society, the last thing I think theyre talking about is civil rights litigation. Were not talking about ambulance chasers. Were talking about plaintiffs bringing extraordinarily important cases before the courts of law of this country to enforce principles that every other minority community will benefit from.

As a minority community, we deserve equal protection. And thats the way forward to launch a civil rights campaign in this country to demand that we be treated with respect like every other minority community.

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We Can Sue, Too: An Interview with Brooke Goldstein, Founder of The Lawfare Project - The Jewish Press - JewishPress.com

2021 Genesis GV80 Preview: Hands On With the New Luxury SUV – AutoGuide.com

Ive seen the Genesis GV80 more this year than some family members.

Some of that has to do with, well, you know, but the other reason is that this mid-size SUV is a monumental model for the fledgling luxury brand. Ask anybody on the street what sells in the 2020 car market and theyll tell you its SUVs. Genesis has been racking up awards pretty much since inception for its cars, but the volume play was always going to need to be a high-rider.

Thats why we spent a portion of a day with the GV80as well as the G80, which will get its own preview articlepoking around the impressive new rig. Since its debut at the start of the year, Genesis has slowly trickled out more information on what prospective buyers can expect when it touches down soon. Its still a little while before we can drive it, but here are the highlights from our hands-on time with the new SUV.

Photo by Harry Zhou

Both Kia and Hyundai have been killin it with sales of the Telluride and Palisade. It wouldve been easy for Genesis to simply crib that platform for its first SUV. Instead, the brand is underpinning the GV80 with a foundation of its own design, one that also supports the 2021 G80 mid-size sedan. The rear-drive-based architecture should afford the GV80 the necessary level of dynamicism to challenge the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLEthough of course, well have to wait until proper go behind the wheel to know for sure.

Of course, the GV80 will also offer all-wheel driveand in fact, only that in Canada. Two turbocharged engine options will be available in both markets: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V6. The larger engine will only be available with AWD. These are both powerful engines, with the smaller model putting out an even 300 hp and 311 lb-ft, while the six-pot produces 375 hp and 381 lb-ft. For those keeping score at home, those stats compare favorably to the four- and six-cylinder models from the Germans.

Photo by Harry Zhou

Genesis may have debuted its current design language on the facelifted 2020 G90 sedanfull review on that coming later this monthbut the GV80 is the first clean-sheet example of the look. The face, with the bold diamond-shape grille and the twin-line headlights framing it, isnt subtle. But move around to the side and the flanks are clean and unfussy. The designers have split the difference between upright practicality and high-angle style for the rear hatch glass too, emphasizing the rear haunches. Enormous wheels are par for the course these days, and the GV80 obliges with massive 22-inch wheels in this pre-production form. Smaller rolling stock will be available too.

While Im sure not everyone will dig the new family look, its just that: familial. With the opportunity to look at the GV80 and G80 together, theres a cohesiveness to their looks without falling into Xerox territory. The GV80 is not simply a higher-riding G80 station wagon.

Genesis Canadas Jarred Pellat explains that designer SangYup Lee looks at the lineup as a chess set. When you look at a chess set, maybe its a marble set or a wood set, you can tell that all the piecesthe pawns, the rook, the queen and the kingtheyre all from the same family, explains Pellat. They all have the same finishes, they all have that same identity. But theyre all a different shape, they all have their own unique character. Thats what the Genesis lineup is becoming.

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Photo by Harry Zhou

Coming in either two- or three-row forms, the GV80 will likely be more of a family-hauling road trip machine than any Genesis before it. So the automaker has loaded it up with a laundry list of features, both standard and optional, that should help melt away the miles for driver and passengers alike.

Lets start with the Road Active Noise Cancellation (RANC). The system uses sensors and microphones dotted around the car to pick up exterior noise, and then pumps opposing sound waves through the sound system to cancel it out. It results in what Genesis is calling one of the quietest cars you can buy. Optional massaging seats should also go some way to relieving stress on the road.

The GV80 features an augmented reality navigation system. Similar to other setups on the market, this displays a live feed from the front camera on the central infotainment screen, with arrows overlaid. The nose of the GV80 also houses sensors to scan the road ahead to pre-emptively adjust the suspension for any uneven surfacesa segment first. Again, well have to reserve judgment for our first drive, but all of the above should combine to provide a serene mile-muncher.

Not all of the GV80s family-friendly appeal comes from high tech toys, either. One of the simplest design features is the height of the exterior door panels. The door takes the sill section with it on opening, ensuring no mud or road grit gets all over your pant leg on entrance or exit. Clever.

As I mentioned earlier, the GV80 will be more of a family vehicle than previous Genesis models. To that end, it comes with a panoply of standard safety features to keep you and yours safe. These include the usual automated emergency braking, lane keep assist, and blind spot warning systems. The latter uses side-mounted cameras to show a live feed in the infotainment screen whenever a turn signal is active. In addition, the GV80 will feature a rear cross-traffic alert and a driver attention warningon every trim.

Higher tech includes a machine learning-powered adaptive cruise control. This world-first application learns from the driver and then applies their habits to its own driving when active. Highway Driving Assist II is a partially-autonomous driving aid that helps in heavy traffic, including performing safe lane changes when the driver activates the turn signal.

Should the worst happen, the GV80 is equipped with 10 airbags. These include a segment-first central airbag between the driver and front passenger, keeping them safely separated in the case of an accident.

Photo by Harry Zhou

If youre considering the GV80, please do yourself a favor: buy one of the unique interior color schemes.

Nothing says old money quite like another somber, black leather interior. The GV80 offers a unique green-and-brown interior scheme that sets it apart from the pack. Diamond-quilted leather seats look good and are eminently adjustable. Even the little kneepads lining the center console are diamond-quilted. The fit and finish, even on this pre-production model, feels well on par with the establishment.

The overall interior design is calming and minimalist. A huge 14.5-inch touchscreen sits atop the dash, though users can also interact with it via a center console-mounted dial. Thisand all the dials found inside the GV80has that sort of tactile response found on a classic iPod. It clicks as you spin it, but can also be poked and prodded for simpler four-direction navigation. The center of the scroll wheel also accepts handwriting.

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These multiple input options were an intentional part of the design according to Genesis; the goal is to allow users to interact with the GV80 in whichever way they find most comfortable. Thats important: this is the biggest rethink of the brands infotainment since launch, and these systems ease-of-use are increasingly important to customers. Look no further than the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, where Genesis scored as the top luxury brand for 2020. On initial encounter, the new system is naturally more complicated than the current one, but not so much that a few minutes of fiddling doesnt fix.

Theres other trick tech in here too. Look ahead of the steering wheel and youll find a head-up display and the worlds first 3D digital instrument panel. Its a clever bit of kit that I cant trick during my short time with it, but those that prefer a flat display will be happy to know it can be turned off.

Photo by Harry Zhou

So a static poke around the GV80 suggests the upstart will upset the established order when it lands later this year. With an entry price of $49,925 for a rear-drive four-pot in America including destination, it will seriously undercut rivals while maintaining a level of luxury buyers expect for that sort of sum. Canadians will be looking at $64,500 to hop inthough part of that has to do with standard all-wheel drive and added features. But the most important question remains: how does it drive?

Like it did to so many other car launches this year, COVID-19 delayed the GV80s roll-out too. Well be getting behind the wheel soon though, and then well really know for sure whether or not Genesis has another hit on its hands. Based on this latest meeting with the GV80 however, and the young brands track record, we wouldnt bet against it.

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2021 Genesis GV80 Preview: Hands On With the New Luxury SUV - AutoGuide.com

35 ways to keep your kids entertained and stimulated while learning remotely – New York Post

While many parents in the U.S. have had their little ones home during normal school for months, many are preparing for their children to continue remote learning into the new school year. In fact, major school districts such as LA and San Diego have already made the decision to go fully-virtual this fall. Even schools that do open up for in-person teaching are likely to have strict social distancing guidelines and the elimination of traditional after-school activities.

To help you out during this time, we rounded up 35 ways to keep your kids entertained and stimulated while learning virtually.

Tangiplay: Tangible Coding Toys + Interactive Puzzles Solving Games for Kids, now on sale for $84.99 (14% off)

Boost your childs coding, spatial awareness, and math skills with this games 120+ puzzles and 12 interactive robot toys.

Dragon X5 Bluetooth Gaming Controller, now on sale for $39.99 (29% off)

Pair this gamepad with the smartphone, tablet, or console of your choice to defy traditional controlling limitations.

H102 Velocity High-Speed Remote Control Boat, now on sale for $59.99 (14%)

This 13 boat can fly across pools and lakes at a whopping speed of 20mph.

SunFounder Robotic Arm Edge Kit for Arduino, now on sale for $54.99 (21% off)

Create your own functional robot arm with this DIY electronic kit.

DIY Robotic Art Kit for Ages 6 to 9, now on sale for $44.99 (34% off)

This introduction to STEM learning kit allows kids ages 6 to 9 to explore an infinite number of DIY projects.

Crowtail STEAM Educational Basic Starter Kit (with Microbit Board and Tutorial), now on sale for $65.99 (11% off)

Learn the ins and outs of programming by following along to any of the 12 included STEAM modules in this awesome kit.

ARCKIT Multi-Stadium Model Building Kit, now on sale for $149.99

This Architeizer A+ Award-Winning kit allows you to build your very own 3D sports stadium.

ARCKIT Architectural Scale Model Building Kit, now on sale for $99.95

Recommended for ages 14+, this A90 open-ended design tool allows you to build your own impressive structure up to 960 square feet.

DIY Coding Kit for Ages 8 to 12, now on sale for $79.99 (19% off)

Let your child learn how to code while having fun with this super STEAM kit and corresponding mobile app.

Glitzy Glamping Kit, now on sale for $54.99 (35% off)

From dress-up games to scavenger hunts, this glamping kit will keep your little one busy for hours on end.

Go Plus 2.0 Kids Architect Scale Model House Building Kit, now on sale for $59.99

This open-ended architecture kit allows you to explore vast building design possibilities such as curved floors and walls.

ArckitPLAY Cityscape Architect Building Kit for Kids, now on sale for $69.99

Empower your childs inner architect with this cityscape scale model miniature kit.

MAKERbuino Educational DIY Game Console (Standard Kit), now on sale for $69.99

Have your child build their very own gaming device with this DIY kit.

Go Colors 2.0 Architect Scale Model House Building Kit for Kids, now on sale for $59.99

Perfect for ages 8+, this kit allows your child to play with colors and shapes to create a 3D model miniature house.

Planetary System Set, now on sale for $109.95 (14% off)

Perfect for any kid obsessed with spacethese polished gemstones are cross-referenced with NASA satellite images to ensure they are accurate representations of their corresponding planets.

Little Architect Kids Model City-Building Kit, now on sale for $49.99

This open-ended little city building kit allows kids aged 4+ to create skyscrapers, roads, and parks.

Circuit Scribe: DIY Circuit Kits, now on sale for $32.99 (44% off)

This kit allows you to build exciting circuits using Circuit Scribes conductive ink pen, sweet magnetic modules, and plain old printer paper.

SparkMaker Original SLA 3D Printer Starter Bundle, now on sale for $259 (34% off)

This easy-to-use 3D printer creates high-resolution models using SLA and UV LCD resins.

Speech Blubs Language Therapy: Lifetime Subscription, now on sale for $59.99 (40% off)

Rated 4.4/5-stars on the Apple App Store, this app offers a variety of fun, educational activities that will boost your childs speech and social development.

Zubi Flyer: Hackable Frisbee, now on sale for $89 (10% off)

With 12 games and real coding, this frisbee combines STEM learning with physical activity.

Remote Control 2-Wheeled Jump Car Toy, now on sale for $119.99 (13% off)

This Jump Car, which features 360 rotation, 7Kph speed, and flexible wheels, packs enough fun for the entire family.

Crowtail Starter Kit For Micro:bit 2.0, now on sale for $89.99

This pocket-sized computer can be used to create everything from robots to musical instruments with just a little bit of coding.

Dancebot Dancing Robot, now on sale for $49.99 (37% off)

This super-cute, AI robot doubles as a Bluetooth speaker!

Mokuru Card Game, now on sale for $34.99 (25% off)

This card game can help sharpen your focus and improve your hand-eye coordination skills.

Ringo DIY Mobile Phone Kit + Tools, now on sale for $179.95 (7% off)

This Kickstarter-funded gadget allows your child to build their own mobile phone complete with apps and games.

3-in-1 Folding Wooden Chess Set, now on sale for $18.95 (24% off)

Stretch their minds while having fun with this 3-in-1 game set that includes the necessary pieces for chess, backgammon, and draughts.

3D VR Headset with Built-in Stereo Headphone, now on sale for $85 (15% off)

Immerse yourself in a virtual world with this 3D VR Headset.

Elecrow Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit, now on sale for $108.99

This kit includes everything you need in order to build a tiny gadget that can surf the web.

Bandai Kamen Rider Drive DX Ride Crosser, now on sale for $23.99 (23% off)

Start your engines! This four-wheel car is sure to keep your little ones entertained.

Arduino Automatic Smart Plant Watering Kit 2.0, now on sale for $69.99

Watch your plants grow with this DIY smart watering kit.

Papumba Fun Learning App for Kids: Lifetime Subscription, now on sale for $49.99 (86% off)

This app offers 500+ interactive games and learning activities that will give your kids a head start in STEAM skills.

Ninja Dragons Powerful 5G WiFi FPV Drone with 4K HD Camera, now on sale for $199 (20% off)

This palm-sized drone is not only fun to fly, but it can capture incredible ariel videos from above.

2.4Ghz Remote Control 4WD High-Speed Monster Truck, now on sale for $154.99 (22% off)

This Remote Control 4WD High-Speed Monster Truck lets you bring insane stunts to life.

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35 ways to keep your kids entertained and stimulated while learning remotely - New York Post

In Honor of August and Art – Yakima Herald-Republic

Its August, which means its time for our annual art issue.

It probably sounds odd, but when I see August and art in the same sentence I cant help thinking about a couple of long-passed relatives. My grandfathers name was August, and I had an uncle named Art.

August Schwardt could build or fix pretty much anything. One of my most prized possessions is a beautiful, hand-carved wooden chess set that he made. I keep it in an old round, wooden tobacco box, which he also made with a homemade lathe that he rigged up in his shop. When you open the lid to the box, you can still catch a rich whiff of his pipe tobacco.

He was a quiet, thoughtful man who could be comically absent-minded. He once spent months building a boat in his shop, and as he showed it to one of his friends, the friend asked, Howre you gonna get it out the door, Gus? Grandpa said nothing for days, but spent hours examining the boat, the shop and his tools. Finally, he tore the boat apart and never spoke of it again.

Math fascinated him, and he loved talking theories and equations with the math teachers at the Kansas school where he worked as a janitor. Hard times and family moves had forced him to quit school early.

My Uncle Art, on the other hand, was an engineer with a big oil company in Kansas City. He and Aunt Marge would come out West to visit our family every summer, and Art would bore the pants off my father and me as he threw open the hood of his enormous sedan and started holding forth about how fuel really worked in internal combustion engines.

Art was also a Scoutmaster, and he insisted on taking me on tortuous hikes and quizzing me on the knots hed tried to teach me to tie the summer before. But I never listened and usually forgot everything he said within minutes. Which hole was the bunny supposed to jump through to complete the knot again?

But Uncle Arts true passion was barbecuing. Seizing control of our patio grill to set off the inescapable family cookout portion of his visit, he often sent flames curling high above the eaves of our house. There now THATS a fire, Art would say triumphantly as my father watched in horror and my mother retreated to the kitchen.

Wow sorry. Guess I kind of wandered off there. But maybe that gets us to the real point anyway. While August is generally one of the best months to be in the Yakima Valley (normally, of course, wed be in the thick of a packed schedule of festivals, concerts, wine-tastings and other events), this year is clearly different.

It doesnt mean art and creativity arent still thriving, though.

Far from it. Maybe all this isolation and social turmoil is actually forcing us all to think a little more creatively than usual.

Consider local art teachers like East Valley Central Middle Schools Ken Weyrick. As he tells our Glenda Tjarnberg, hes had to redouble his own professional creativity to teach creative arts to his students. Or think about people who long to be on ocean cruises or exploring exotic places this travel season, but are stuck at home during this global pandemic. Christine Conklin reports that theyve had to turn up the creativity, too which for some means taking virtual trips and seeing the sights from their computer screens.

The creative challenges have been just as great for the artists who look forward to annual events like the Downtown Yakima Chalk Art Festival. Molly Allens story offers some colorful memories of past festivals and addresses when artists might return to the citys sidewalks.

If theres a lesson here, its that nothing seems to crush creativity for long. Despite our current situation, art adorns most of what youll read about in this issue. From the handsome designs of Timberloom that Shannon Mahre describes, to the sweeping beauty and captivating paintings of Robert and Lisa Vickers home, which Melissa Labberton tours in this months Yakima Abodes feature, the Yakima Valleys artistry is flourishing.

See? Arts as vibrant and vital as ever, and it can take you a lot of places. Lets go see some of them

- John Taylor

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In Honor of August and Art - Yakima Herald-Republic

Who Are The 8 Best U.S. Chess Players Ever? – Chess.com

On July 4, the day the United States of America celebrates its independence, let's take a look at the best chess players in American history.

The United States has long produced top chess talent, with some of the game's finest players, authors and theoreticians calling the U.S. home.

In recent years, the U.S. has been a force on the international chess scene, and its "big three" grandmasters are staples at the world's top tournaments. The United States had a world-championship contender in 2018, with GMFabiano Caruana coming up just short against the world champion, GMMagnus Carlsen.

Caruana obviously makes the list of the best-ever U.S. players, but where does he rank? And who is ahead of him?

There are many ways to make a "best-of-all-time" list. Your selections will be different from mine. I am using peak playing strength as my primary metric, not overall career achievement because I am most interested in the best possible chess produced by each American on this list.

Peak rating: 2763

Gata Kamsky is a true chess prodigy. He became a strong grandmaster at age 16 and reached his peak in the 1990s. His career pinnacle was in the 1996 FIDE world championship bracket, where he made the finals but dropped the championship match against the reigning FIDE world champion, GMAnatoly Karpov.

Kamsky was born in the Soviet Union but moved to the United States early in his career. Kamsky won the U.S. chess championship five times (1991, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014), cementing his status as an American chess legend.

Here is a 22-year-old Kamsky beating the super-GM Nigel Short in 26 moves.

Peak rating: 2768

Even with much recent success, Leinier Dominguez Perez remains an underrated American chess talent.

Dominguez Perez officially became an American chess player less than two years ago, in December 2018, when he transferred federations to the United States. Before that, he was the five-time Cuban chess champion.

His career peak was likely his sole first place in the 2013 FIDE Grand Prix leg in Greece, finishing ahead of 11 other super-GMs, including three others on this list.

Dominguez Perez's attacking prowess was on full display in 2014 when he practically wiped future-compatriot GMWesley So's kingside off the board in this brutal miniature.

Peak rating: 2811 (estimated by Edo)

It's not a stretch to call Paul Morphy the father of American chess.

A true prodigy, Morphy was not just a chess force at an early age. His game was also about 100 years ahead of its time in terms of style and even tactical strength.

GM Bobby Fischer called Morphy "the most accurate player who ever lived," which should tell you something because many chess fans give that title instead to Fischer.

Morphy's game peaked quite early, and the apex was his European tour in 1858 at age 21. Morphy pretty much destroyed every strong player the European continent could throw at him, and by the time he returned to the United States, he was recognized as the unofficial world champion.

Morphy retired from competitive chess a year later to begin his law practice, never returning to the game before his death at age 47.

Morphy is the author of arguably the most famous chess game ever played, an exhibition against the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard at an opera house in Paris. If you're going to show a chess beginner one game, use this one.

Peak rating: 2816

Hikaru Nakamura, while quite a formidable traditional chess force, is truly a chess player of the modern age.

Nakamura has made his mark as unquestionably the best American blitz chess player ever, and also the best American online chess player ever. Since most chess games in 2020 are both played online and at fast time controls, these are fairly important arenas.

Nakamura has also established a tremendous following on the live-streaming site Twitch and was called "the grandmaster who got Twitch hooked on chess" by Wired magazine. On Chess.com, Nakamura has won the two most recent editions of the Speed Chess Championship (2018-2019).

Of course, Nakamura has enjoyed solid over-the-board success as well, winning the U.S. championship five times.

No game quite captures the modern, fun, and online-friendly nature of Nakamura's style like his thorough trolling of the computer engine Crafty back in 2007, when Crafty was one of the world's strongest engines and Nakamura was just 20 years old.

Peak rating: 2822

Wesley So transferred to the United States federation six years ago, and since then he has established himself as one of the world's best players.

So is 26 years old and it's reasonable to think that his chess peak is just getting started. So's style of play is precise and safe, rarely getting himself into trouble. This less-risky approach has been cited (mostly unfairly) as evidence that So is not an exciting chess player.

That argument went right out the window last November when So destroyed the classical world chess champion, Carlsen, in the finals of the first FIDE world Fischer random chess championship. So ran up the score, winning the match 13.5-2.5, putting to rest any doubts of his brilliance and creativity.

In this famous game against the top Chinese GM Ding Liren, So answers any lingering questions you might have about whether three pieces are better than a queen.

Peak rating: 2844

Fabiano Caruana is currently at the top of his career and sits just 28 rating points behind Carlsen on the live list. Caruana and Carlsen are the only players above 2800. The pair fought a close battle in the 2018 world chess championship, with Carlsen needing the tiebreaks to retain his title.

Caruana is still in contention for the next world championship whenever that process resumes, with the American one game off the lead of the 2020 candidates' tournament at the time of its postponement halfway through the schedule.

Caruana's chess highlight reel is too extensive to fully appreciate in this space. He won the U.S. chess championship on his first try in 2016, and he was the four-time Italian chess champion before transferring to the U.S. federation.

Why pick a draw for Caruana's showcase game, when all the other players get wins?

This game against Carlsen in the 2018 world chess championship represents the peak of chess on two levels. On the surface, you have the tremendous underdog Caruana outplaying and pressuring the world champion Carlsen, who was lucky to escape with the draw and maintain an even match.

On a deeper level, there is a beautiful and inscrutable endgame lurking in this game that astounded everyone who analyzed it. The chess super-computer "Sesse" found a forced checkmate for Caruana in 30 moves in real-time, as millions watched the game around the world. The legendary former world champion GMGarry Kasparov said no human could ever spot the win. Yet it was in there, on the board as surely the 64 squares themselves.

I still get goosebumps playing over this endgame.

Peak rating: 2785

Bobby Fischer stands as the most legendary U.S. chess player ever and is universally considered one of the three greatest world champions, along with Carlsen and Kasparov.

Fischer was responsible for a renaissance in American chess in the 1970s as he racked up ridiculous winning streaks on his way to the world title over GMBoris Spassky in 1972. Fischer elevated the game of chess to geopolitical philosophy, representing American individualism against the Soviet chess machine.

The most striking aspect of Fischer's chess was how far ahead he was of his competition. His peak rating of 2785, earned before the considerable rating inflation in the 50 years since would place him near the top of the chess world even today.

Computer studies have confirmed Fischer's strength and accuracy as other-worldly for his time. His style was universal, elegant and above all, accurate. His fierce competitive spirit is something the computer engines can't measure; Fischer had one of the strongest wills to win in chess history.

Fischer's career was cut short by disagreements with chess organizers along with mental and physical health problems. Nonetheless, in the short time he spent at the top of the game, he changed it forever with the millions of American players he inspired.

Almost as a side note, Fischer invented Fischer random chess (chess 960), which is considered one of the most creative chess variants. Fischer also held a patent for a chess clock with an increment, which is the preferred time control today of many players.

The below game, one of the most famous in chess history, shows the stunning chess clarity possessed by Fischer even as young as age 13 when he eviscerated a leading American chess master, Donald Byrne.

Peak rating: 3500+

I can already see the objections in the comment section. But the headline in this article said "chess players," not chess humans, and I am a big fan of non-human chess.

AlphaZero is an artificial intelligence project that plays chess. Given just the rules of the game, AlphaZero taught itself to play chess to superhuman levels in mere hours using machine-learning techniques.

It stormed onto the chess scene in late 2017 when its operators released the results of a 100-game match with Stockfish, the traditional champion chess engine.

AlphaZero plays chess differently from most computers, possessing an almost-intuitive understanding of the game and handling many positions in a beautiful, human-like manner. Of course, AlphaZero is stronger than any human, but if you played through its games you'd think it had a distinct personality. Maybe it does.

AlphaZero inspired a whole wave of neural-network chess engines, including the international open-source project Lc0, which currently sits second behind Stockfish on the computer ratings list. The machine-learning approach pioneered by AlphaZero transformed the scientific basis of computer chess, and it will be the neural-network engines that evolve the game to its next levels, wherever that may be.

Is AlphaZero American? AlphaZero runs on American TPUs. The project's inventor, the AI company DeepMind, is headquartered in the United Kingdom, but the company has been owned by an American corporation (Google/Alphabet) since before there was an AlphaZero.

If George Washington was born a British subject but can still be considered a founding father of the United States, we can extend that same leeway to AlphaZero, especially on the American day of independence from Great Britain.

Of course, there are many other American chess engines, most of them far stronger than the human players on this list, but here they are collectively represented by the intrepid AlphaZero, which changed computer chess forever.

I'll never forget where I was when I saw this game by AlphaZero against the reigning top computer engine Stockfish, and if you care about the evolution of chess, you might not either.

Who do you think are the top chess players in American history? Let us know in the comments.

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Who Are The 8 Best U.S. Chess Players Ever? - Chess.com

Letter to out-of-school youth of blended learning – Philstar.com

Letter to out-of-school youth of blended learning

Before K to 12, there was blended learning. Now that school as we know it, traditional face-to-face is indefinitely out until someone comes up with a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, there may be no other way to continue ones education but through blended means: a combination of indoor and outdoor, online and offline, giving credence to the gospel of hard knocks, claiming theyve learned as much if not more outside the classroom than in it.

Maybe nows the time to catch up with the classics theres only so much one can watch on Netflix, cable or free TV, and when thumbs get tired from Playstation what else can one do but twiddle them? By classics we mean the required reading from the old school, whether or not these be the tangible hard copy or digital soft, whichever is accessible, many of them having accompanying Cliff or Monarch notes for better understanding and analysis to guide discussions.

In the high school of the old days, there were, in fact, comics or graphic versions of the Rizal novels Noli and Fili, perhaps our first exposure to a kind of blended learning. And while Google and similar search engines have all but made the once-indispensable encyclopedia go the way of the dinosaur, there can still be found some quaint wonderment while perusing editions of Britannica or Book of Knowledge displayed on the creaky shelf indeed as if they were museum pieces.

Meanwhile the karaoke joints have all emptied, no one daring to pick up the mic or insert a coin into the machine, lyric book ready. Even the billiard halls are no longer the hangouts they once were, though in some backstreet dives in Mandaluyong the hustlers continue to hold fort, waiting for a chance to spring a quick buck. The chess puzzles on the sidewalks of Sta. Cruz mate in three for 20 pesos havent seen those in a while. Underneath the LRT, theres still a ghost of a chance of purchasing a Seamans Book, but what for? Many ships are in dry dock due to COVID.

But blended must continue, whether whisky rum or knowledge, or a combination thereof. Back In the day we learned as much drinking our first beers under an aratiles tree by Juniors sari-sari store in UP Village, trying to figure out what the acronym printed on our bottles stood for: Sa Aming Nayon, May isang Grupong Umiinom, Eh Lasing. Never did remember what Pale Pilsen meant, lost in the rap style burp of a buddy breaking into laughter.

These days on TV we catch the marathon hearings on whether to grant a franchise to ABS-CBN, which, as kids, we understood to be Alak, Babae, Sugal, Cabaret, Babae Na naman, and not at all associated with oligarchs. A chance here to get reacquainted with the Panatang Makabayan citizens oath, which an anti-oligarch pro-dictator congressman wanted the dual citizen broadcast owner to recite, in thought word and deed, how he loves the Philippines land of his parents birth. The home of his race, which has given him shelter and help in order to be strong, nationalistic and ever reliable.

Not everyone can have the comfort of drinking beer under an aratiles tree, at least not in places with lingering liquor ban under GCQ (gift certificates quarantine). Pag Aratiles Lang Eh Palibhasa Inumin Lang Sana Eh, No?

In the US the race riots unravel a deep-seated confusion. On home soil the Anti-Terror Bill debate has divided a COVID-wracked nation. The Philippine Collegian has just released a collectors edition which editors said could be the last in a long while in the time of virus and terror. If anyone has a spare copy you know where to send it, certainly not the last gasp of the fourth estate.

Back to the classics, then. Apart from Noli and Fili, we remember Hectors kid Astyanax thrown down the burning walls of Troy from where Aeneas fled with his father Anchises on his back. Which image was used by Nick Joaquin for the unseen painting in Portrait of the Artist as a Filipino. Whose other story, May Day Eve, is read aloud annually at a bookstore in Baguio City almost lost in the clouds. Blended with or without internet or Wi-Fi is the only way to go, for the tailor who thought he looked like Thomas Mann, and the portrait of the artist as a Mangyan. (Last two puns courtesy of Cesar Ruiz.)

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Letter to out-of-school youth of blended learning - Philstar.com

Macomb Center for the Performing Arts to host drive-in concert – C&G Newspapers

Blues rocker Laith Al-Saadi will perform July 31 in a drive-in concert at the Macomb Center for Performing Arts in Clinton Township.

Photo by Doug Coombe

CLINTON TOWNSHIP Audiences might know Laith Al-Saadi from watching him perform at venues around the state, or maybe fans will recognize him from season 10 of The Voice on NBC.

This Friday, Al-Saadi and his band will bring their flavor of blues, soul and classic rock n roll to the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts for a drive-in concert from 7 to 8:30 p.m. If youre in the mood for some Memphis groove or could use a shot of classic rock, the show is for you.

The July 31 drive-in concert is a first for the Macomb Center as a way to provide live entertainment in a safe environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The center is located at 44575 Gareld Road, on the Macomb Community College Center Campus in Clinton Township.

First State Bank is presenting the concert, which will be held in parking lot no. 10, located on the west end of the campus, parallel to Dalcoma Road.

Tickets cost $45 per car, and the limit is four people per vehicle. Since the box office is currently closed, tickets are available online only at http://www.macombcenter.com.

Since March, Al-Saadi has been entertaining his followers through virtual shows at 8 p.m. Friday evenings from his Facebook page. The upcoming Macomb Center show will mark Al-Saadis second live performance since the shutdown; his first was at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts in the Petoskey area. Al-Saadi cant wait for showtime, something he has been missing since live music was mostly silenced due to the pandemic.

I am incredibly happy were still able to go forward with this new format. Im excited to play with the band, the Ann Arbor native said. Music is a unifying force. It puts smiles on peoples faces. It brings people together.

Al-Saadi has been bringing people together since age 4 when he joined the Boychoir of Ann Arbor. He also honed his talent on the local musical theater circuit and began playing piano although he admitted that he didnt practice. By the time he was a teen, Al-Saadi was writing songs and learning guitar.

I wanted to sit around the campfire singing Beatles songs with friends, the musician said. Al-Saadi also found his calling playing guitar and upright bass in the jazz program at Community High School in Ann Arbor.

It was bands like Led Zeppelin, Cream and Pink Floyd that influenced the budding musician, as did Motown artists and blues greats Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon and Robert Johnson.

At age 15, Al-Saadi was in a band known as Blue Vinyl, which cut a CD and once opened for bluesman Buddy Guy in Battle Creek. Before the show and carrying his Stratocaster, Al-Saadi knocked on Guys dressing room. For about 30 minutes, the pair bonded over stories about Chess Records and the Chicago blues.

He was excited about cultivating my love for the blues, Al-Saadi said.

Feeling he had nothing to lose, in 2016 Al-Saadi auditioned for The Voice, got on the show and was coached by Maroon 5s Adam Levine.

It gave me some good exposure and increased my gigs around Michigan, said the guitarist, who has played all around the country and even in the Netherlands. I was able to play live blues on national television. Adam was nice to work with. He was a cool guy.

The Voice also paved the way for him to perform on stage with Joe Walsh of the Eagles and Keith Urban on Walshs Rocky Mountain Way. Another highlight came in 2019, when Al-Saadi opened up for another homegrown artist Bob Seger, who also grew up in Ann Arbor. While having a pre-show conversation with Seger back-up singer Shaun Murphy, he met the Ramblin Gamblin Man himself.

Someone tapped me on the shoulder and said Laith, Laith, Al-Saadi recalled. I turned around and its Bob Seger. It was really wonderful to be tied in with that rock n roll history.

Event officials have set forth procedures for the concert that meet COVID-19 state-mandated guidelines. Only passenger vehicles will be admitted. Full size vans, recreational vehicles and trucks with campers are not permitted. No one may enter by foot, bicycle or motorcycle, and every vehicle must have a ticket. Attendees must present their printed ticket at the entrance tickets on phones will not be accepted.

Vehicles will be parked at the discretion of the event manager and within distanced markings. Vehicles with an overall height of over 5 feet, primarily pickup trucks and large sport utility vehicles are to park in the back half of the parking area.

Attendees may open a rear hatch and sit if the hatch does not go higher than the roof of the vehicle. Those in attendance may sit in the bed of a pickup truck. Attendees must remain in their vehicles except to use the restrooms provided. When outside of a vehicle, concert-goers must wear masks and maintain six feet of distance from others.

Alcohol is not permitted, and all vehicle engines must be turned off until the end of the performance. Anyone not complying with the regulations or the directions of event staff will be asked to leave. The event is subject to change based on inclement weather conditions or a change in COVID-19 state regulations.

More information about the July 31 concert is available at http://www.macombcenter.com.

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Macomb Center for the Performing Arts to host drive-in concert - C&G Newspapers

These are the best Chess games you can play on Android phone – The Indian Express

By: Tech Desk | Updated: July 20, 2020 9:27:04 am There is an abundance of chess games available on Google Play Store (Source: Play Store)

There can be a million first-person shooter game like PUBG, 3D endless running games like Temple run, graphics-heavy racing games like Asphalt but Chess is still one of the most basic and interesting games around on smartphones. You dont need a high-end smartphone to run this game as they can run on almost any smartphone, not taking too much space.

If you are surfing, looking for a Chess game to download heres a list to choose from as per your needs from the abundance of versions available on Play Store.

Chess (by AI factory limited) is the highest-ranked paid chess game on Android. It has 12 playing levels from novice to expert. Apart from the usual single-player and multiplayer mode it also has a casual mode which helps you understand the game better with hints and move take backs. If you are a serious player, the pro mode is the best as it does not hold back any punches. You can also track your history which will help you improve.

The game lets you play online as well. You can choose between a wide array of 2D and 3D chess boards. You can also review your previous game. It has a 4.7 rating on Play Store. There is also a free version available which has over 1.5 million downloads.

Play Magnus is a two-dimensional chess game where your opponent will be Grand Master Magnus Carlsen. You have control over whether you want to play against a Magnus as young as five years old or a 27-year-old. The chess engine of this one is different as well as it has the same opening as Magnus depending on the age of AI-powered opponent. Features like Brain Power boost and Magnometer help you identify whether the opponent is bluffing with the next move or not. If you are new to the game, there is an option of training videos as well.

To add more to it, you have a chance to qualify to play Magnus Carlsen Live at a secret location. The app has a 4.3 rating on Play Store after over 23,000 downloads.

This version has a more minimalistic approach to the game. Despite being simpler than other versions available it lets you play in analyse mode, choose between different playing engines, adjust the playing strength. It also has different colour themes, animated moves and even a blindfold mode. Third-party engines are also configurable in this game to boost the diversity of moves of the opponents. It has a rating of 4.6 on the Play Store. The game is closing in on 16,000 downloads.

Instead of giving you a head-on game, this chess game gives you different puzzles, situations to solve. The game lets your choose between three modes. Solve daily puzzles mode helps you solve new problems every day. Solve offline puzzle packs is something that comes preloaded with the app. The third one, Progress Mode is an interesting take as it gives you random as per your level. You can also play on different boards, see your level history and bookmark puzzles to solve again. It has a 4.5 rating on Play Store after over 54,000 downloads.

Its not just the 3d style of the game that makes it interesting but a Harry Potter Hogwart-style chess board to add a little drama in your gameplay. It will be a little nostalgic for Harry Potter fans as humanoid chess sets and graphics add another dimension to the game which the aforementioned dont possess.

It has five humanoid chess sets: Barbarian, Dwarf, Skeleton, Orcs & Spartan. There are three difficulty levels. You can also play the game online. However, if you are into the game and not into graphics, this is not the one. The Battle Chess 3D has a 3.7 rating and over 37,000 downloads.

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These are the best Chess games you can play on Android phone - The Indian Express

Sports Snippets – The Shillong Times

Anand suffers fifth straight defeatChennai: Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand suffered his fifth straight defeat in the USD 150,000 Legends of Chess online tournament, going down 2-3 to Peter Leko of Hungary. The former world champion got off to a good start and won the first game of the best-of-four contest. The next two games were drawn before Leko levelled by winning the fourth. The Hungarian then claimed the Armageddon (a tie-breaker) to ensure Anand remain winless and at the bottom of the points table. Anand, who is making his maiden appearance on the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, had earlier lost to Peter Svidler, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik and Anish Giri. World no. 1 Carlsen bounced back strongly to avoid an upset, beating veteran Vasyl Ivanchuk 3-2 to stay on top. Legends of Chess is a unique event where Carlsen, Liren, Nepomniachtchi and Giri, semifinalists at the Chessable Masters, received an automatic invite and are up against six legends aged 40-52, who have been at the top of world chess in their career. The tournament is part of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. The winner of this event will qualify for the USD 300,000 Grand Final scheduled from August 9 to 20. Results of Round 5: Peter Leko beat Viswanathan Anand 3-2; Magnus Carlsen beat Vasyl Ivanchuk 3-2: Vladmir Kramnik beat Ding Liren 2.5-1.5; Anish Giri beat Boris Gelfand 2.5-1.5; Ian Nepominiachtchi beat Peter Svidler 3-1. (PTI)

NASCAR Hall of Famer diesKansas City (US): Maurice Petty, part of a racing dynasty and the first engine builer to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, has died. He was 81. His family confirmed the death on Saturday. No cause was given. He was the son of Lee Petty and brother of Richard Petty, and his ability to turn a wrench earned him the nickname The Chief in the garage. While his father and brother were stars for their ability behind the wheel, Maurice Petty was known more for his mechanical acumen. He helped the famiily win 198 races and seven championships in NASCARs premier series. Hall of Famer Buddy Baker, Jim Paschal and Pete Hamilton also drove Maurice Pettys engines to victory lane. Lee Petty died in 2000 and Maurice Pettys wife of 52 years, Patricia, died in 2014. He also was the uncle of former driver and broadcaster Kyle Petty and Truck Series crew chief Trent Owens. No funeral arrangements were announced. (AP)

Late NBA commissioner earns gloryKnoxville (US): Late NBA Commissioner David Stern has been added to the Womens Basketball Hall of Fame induction class. Commissioner of the NBA from 1984-2014, Stern was Instrumental in the founding of the WNBA and a longtime supporter of the womens game. He died Jan. 1 at age 77 a few weeks after a brain hemorrhage. The enshrinement of the Class of 2020 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic until next year. The ceremony will be held on June 12, 2021. Joining Stern in the class that was selected by the Womens Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors are Tamika Catchings, Swin Cash and Lauren Jackson. The other members of the class are veteran player Debbie Brock and contributors Carol Callan, Sue Donohoe and Carol Stiff. The 1980 US Olympic womens basketball team, which did not get to compete in the Olympics because of the US boycott of the Moscow Games, also will be honoured as the Trailblazers of the Game. Stern previously was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball and the International Basketball Hall of Fame. (AP)

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Sports Snippets - The Shillong Times

The Cockroach’s Carapace (and other opening disasters) – Chessbase News

7/19/2020 Remembrances of his first chess books, analysis of a World Championship game, backstories from a Candidates Match and a squashed Caro-Kann are all part of the latest column by Jonathan Speelman. The former world number four confesses: Opening theory has never been my thing, and I was perhaps lucky to be active at a time when it was much less essential. | Photo: David Llada

ChessBase 15 - Mega package

Find the right combination! ChessBase 15 program + new Mega Database 2020 with 8 million games and more than 80,000 master analyses. Plus ChessBase Magazine (DVD + magazine) and CB Premium membership for 1 year!

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[Note that Jon Speelman also looks at the content of the article in video format, here embedded at the end of the article.]

When I was little, I hada row of chess books on a shelf above my bed. Of course I cant remember all of them, but several are very clear.

After learning the moves of chess from my cousin on Boxing Day (December 26th) 1962, my first chess book was Chess for Children by Bott and Morrison, which gave me the basics.

My first-ever serious chess book though was Bob Wades account of the 1963 World Championship match between Mikhail Botvinnik and Tigran Petrosian. My mum bought it for me in Edgware Roadpresumably the match ran from March to May in the summer of 1963. With a distinctive dark red cover once it lost its jacket (I can see it on a shelf now) Ive enjoyed re-reading and dipping into it ever since.Some of the games especially Petrosian's epic king march in game 5 are truly memorable.

Master Class Vol.10: Mikhail Botvinnik

Our experts show, using the games of Botvinnik, how to employ specific openings successfully, which model strategies are present in specific structures, how to find tactical solutions and rules for how to bring endings to a successful conclusion

Later, I got Euwe and Kramers two-volume work on the middlegame, Bent Larsens Selected Games 1948-69and Peter Clarkes book on Mikhail Tal (which annoyingly, although I can see at least five other books on Tal, I cant at the moment bring to hand).

And a couple of years later, I beat some 200ish ECF (2200ish) player in a simultaneous display at Foyles (the famous book shop on Tottenham Court Road) and won a whole selection of books from Pergamon Press, including Vladimir Vukovics wonderful The Art of Attack in Chessand a book on Petrosian by Alberic OKelly de Galway the Belgian count who as an arbiter at some team competition in the 1970s once attempted to get the England team captain David Anderton to order myself and Jonathan Mestel to get our hair cut!

The Pergamon Tranche also included A Complete Defence to 1.P-K4,a study of the then backwater, the Petroff, by Bernard Caffery and David Hooper.Though our main opening bible in the English speaking world at that time was Modern Chess Openings.

I had the tenth edition (1965, completely revised by Larry Evans under the editorship of Walter Korn). Chess theory was then still very rudimentary compared to today, and there was a wonderfully whooly quote about the Yugoslav Attack against the Dragon which went,Black must react promptly and vigorously just how is not quite clear. I also found the 8th, 11th and 13th editions on my shelves. By the 11th (Walter Korn, 1972), defences had been found against the Yugoslav.

Opening theory has never been my thing,and I was perhaps lucky to be active at a time when it was much less essential. But of course I know lots of general information and in a few lines I was either a trail blazer (quite possibly losing track of the line later) or one of the main protagonists.

As White, these tended to be sneakily wimpy ways to try to get the advantage without having to learn the complexities of the then main lines. For instance,6.a3 in the Symmetrical English, while it wasn't of course a novelty, was new to me when I played it against Jan Timman in the Reykjavik World Cup in 1988 and has since become the main line, slightly surpassing 6.g3 innumber in recent games.

But perhaps the best known instance was against Nigel Short in our first Candidates Match.When a couple of weeks after Mikhail Gurevichintroduced it on the Russian Championship, I was lucky enough to be able to play 10.0-0-0 in the Bf4 Queen's Gambit

This had been published in a Norwegain newspaper which Marianne, my second Jonathan Tisdall's then girlfriend (and now ex-wife), had bought on the way here. And I was able to play it before Nigel or his second John Nunn were able to see it in Schachwokke.

As Black I tend to like to maintain my pawn structure,and have for many years had a love/hate relationship with the Caro-Kann or Cockroach (a mild joke the Russian for cockroach is tarakan). Its an opening which works splendidly if White gives any quarter, since your position is intrinsically sound and eventually, once youre developed, then the extra centre pawn on e6 may come to the fore.

However, if White is suitably dismissive and able to back up his or herscepticism with sufficient kinetic energy then even the cockroach may get squashed as in this game against the great Misha Tal:the only one I lost while qualifying from the SuboticaInterzonal in 1987.

The Fashionable Caro-Kann Vol.1 and 2

The Caro Kann is a very tricky opening. Blacks play is based on controlling and fighting for key light squares. It is a line which was very fashionable in late 90s and early 2000s due to the successes of greats like Karpov, Anand, Dreev etc. Recently due to strong engines lot of key developments have been made and some new lines have been introduced, while others have been refuted altogether. I have analyzed the new trends carefully and found some new ideas for Black.

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The Cockroach's Carapace (and other opening disasters) - Chessbase News

Welcome to the Status Quo of the Streaming Wars – The Ringer

With last weeks long-planned, no-Olympics launch of Peacock, the Streaming Wars have reached something approaching a status quo. For the first time in what feels like all of living memory, there are no upcoming new services to speculate about. The players are all present and accounted for, and as the pandemic has sent us inside and in search of entertainment, streaming has taken on an outsized role in how we decide to spend our spare time. In other words, its the perfect time to check in on the streaming landscape, which finally feels stable enough to evaluate as a whole. Here are some takeaways from the past few months in Hollywoods digital frontier.

Peacocks debut is certainly significant for the long-term aspirations of Comcast and NBCUniversal. But the largely free, somewhat confusing service feels most significant for the era its presence effectively ends. Ever since Apple ordered what would eventually become The Morning Show in the fall of 2017, consumers and critics have been in a state of anticipation. Weve been reacting less to streaming as it is than predicting what it would eventually become. But while the opacity of streaming companies makes some speculation inevitable, our days of reading the tea leaves by way of press releases and trade reports are effectively over. Peacock was the final chess piece to show up on the board. Now, the game can begin.

Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Peacock, and Quibi together form the second generation of streaming services: those designed to capitalize on, and hopefully chip away at, the success of the first. Disney+, Max, and Peacock are all owned by content-rich parent companies who grew tired of leasing out libraries they could be earning profits from; Apple TV+ and Quibi used a trillion-dollar valuation and Jeffrey Katzenbergs pitching prowess, respectively, to start their own production engines from scratch. Collectively, all of these companies have claimed they can take on the more established Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, whove had time to shore up their original offerings as titles like Friends and Frasier return to their home turfs. In the back half of 2020, the noise of the second wave will start to fade, and streaming will begin to settle into some kind of equilibriumone that may well include fewer contenders.

If Peacock is an inflection point, the next few months may well bring some sort of downswing, and not just because of COVID-19-related halts on new productions. What are subscribers actually willing to pay for, or spend their time watching? After years of expansion, the pendulum is due to swing toward contraction. And theres already a prime candidate for where natural selection may start to take its toll ...

Of all the new services, Quibi assigned itself the steepest challenge. Not only were Katzenberg and his business partner Meg Whitman trying to compete with a completely clean slatethey also tried to stand out with a short-form gimmick ill-suited to a premium rendition, plus an emphasis on mobile, on the go viewing caught flat-footed by a moment when almost nobody is going anywhere. The silly name and counterintuitive pronunciation (its short for quick bites, but it rhymes with libby) were just the cherry on top.

More than two months after its April launch, the Wall Street Journal published a report outlining Quibis many troubles, both in overall performance and behind the scenes, followed soon by a similar tell-all at Vulture. In both accounts, Katzenberg and Whitman were characterized as two 60-somethings trying to cater to a demographic they didnt understand as their brainchild burned through cash and lost executives like its head of brand marketing. Katzenberg has tried in vain to shift blame onto the pandemic, while some reports have indicated more than 90 percent of free trial users have opted not to sign on for a paid subscription. And while all publicity is good publicity, most of Quibis publicity consists of viral tweets dunking on loopy concepts like a woman has a golden arm.

The idea of a snappier streaming service that toys with the bounds of traditional TV has its defenders, including myself. But nearly four months in, it seems unlikely Quibi will be able to channel that potential into a sustainable businessas opposed to an outlet like YouTube, which has its own homegrown community of creators. If Quibi does sputter out, itll take floods of investor money with it, after everyone from Alibaba to Disney bought into Katzenbergs track record because of his past ventures like Dreamworks. At least well always have the memes.

In happier but equally symbolic news, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced last week that chief content officer Ted Sarandos, widely viewed as the Hollywood counterpart to Hastingss base in Silicon Valley, would share his title and join the companys board of directors. While a company as big as Netflix having co-CEOs is exceedingly rare, the promotion also cements what outside observers have long known to be the case: Netflix is no longer a tech company with a satellite business in entertainment. Its a tech and media company, one whose original productions play an increasing role in its success. Sarandoss ascent may not change much about Netflix, but it reflects a seismic change in the kinds of companies that now shape the industry, with form and function more intertwined than ever. Our platforms and what we watch on them are now one and the same.

Actual theaters may still be dark, but theater is adapting, if only at its upper tiers. July 4 weekend was dominated by the streaming release of Hamiltonor rather, a version of the Broadway smash starring the original cast and filmed without an audience. Disneys $75 million investment appears to have paid off in the form of a meaningful uptick in new subscribersadult theater fans are a distinct demographic from the families with kids who powered Disney+s first few months (though Lin-Manuel Mirandas contributions to Moana may have trained a new generation of fans).

The success of Mirandas translation to screen naturally leads to questions about its potential replication. Just as stand-up comedy specials are live performances filmed and repackaged for home viewing, could stage plays and musicals enjoy a second life outside their venues four walls? (Netflix tried something similar with its 2019 release of Kerry Washington in American Son.) Such distribution could democratize an art form thats historically limited to those who can afford tickets and travel to a theater, and could draw an untapped market to new services.

Of course, theater-as-streaming is hardly that simple. Hamilton is a once-in-a-generation hit with a massive cultural footprint. Celebrities and politicians routinely stopped by the original Broadway run, where tickets ran into the thousands; the soundtrack alone has sold millions of copies. A built-in audience makes the expense of a professional directing job worth the start-up costs, but almost every other Broadway show operates on much thinner margins; its doubtful theres equal demand for, say, Keri Russell and Adam Driver in a revival of Burn This. In the space between popular sensations and niche adult dramas, however, theres uncharted territory for other content-hungry streamers to explore. And without a path back to Broadway in sight, theater may have to get unorthodox in order to survive.

Last and least, as always, are the self-released statistics selectively offered by streamers to gauge their own success. Andy Sambergs charming Palm Springs is Hulus most talked-about original film; Tom Hanks vehicle Greyhound earned an audience commensurate with a summer theatrical box office big hit on Apple TV+; 40 million people watched Never Have I Ever and Space Force in their first four weeks of release, a term Netflix defines as taking in just two minutes of a single episode. (The company used to tally views in terms of completing 70 percent or more of a single episode, then further lowered the threshold for its metrics.)

These data points mean little on their own, but they start to take on more meaning in context. Palm Springs was a record-setting Sundance acquisition Hulu wants to show was worth the investment, financially as well as creatively. Hulu holds an Outstanding Drama Series Emmy for The Handmaids Tale, but its not yet as established in features, which a streaming-friendly romantic comedy could help to fix. Apple wants to prove itself as a venue for upcoming releases with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Sofia Coppola, whose pivots to streaming will be less last-minute than Greyhounds. Over at Netflix, meanwhile, a full list of its pseudo-ratings reveals some surprising disparities: The ubiquitous Love Is Blind, for instance, was far less widely watched at 30 million views than the magnificently dumb Too Hot to Handle, at 51 million.

The asterisks on these figures remain firmly in place, though its still interesting to see exactly how many eyeballs a supersized meme like Tiger King amounts to (64 million, at least for those first two minutes). Streaming is far from transparent, but with the peacocks coming home to roost, its worth seeing what major players count as a successand how they try to claim it.

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Welcome to the Status Quo of the Streaming Wars - The Ringer

Are You Ready For The Future Of Chess? – Chess.com

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, many people considered it mostly a nuisance that would be gone sooner rather than later. These days, popular opinion has shifted to another extreme. Life will never be quite the same even when the pandemic is finally gone. Indeed, it looks like many companies (especially tech firms) will keep their employees working from home on a permanent basis due to numerous financial and other benefits. It is a sign of times that mighty Microsoft is going to permanently close its retail stores.

A similar situation happened to most tournament chess players. At first, we thought that the migration online was just a temporary thing in order to weather the storm, but by now, it is quite clear that internet chess is our new reality. GM Sosonko even wrote an interesting article on this topic on a popular Russian website. The title of the article is quite telling: "The End?" So, whether we like it or not, internet chess is our future, and we need to adapt. The goal of this article is to underline the major difference between over-the-board (OTB) play and online chess.

Internet chess is our future, and we need to adapt.

An uninitiated person might say "Internet, shminternet... it is all chess." It is more like comparing a seahorse to a horse. They are totally different animals who still have some similarities. They both have a pair of eyes, don't they? Let's start our comparison of chess and internet chess with the most obvious one.

Internet chess allows players from all around the world to play for free in big tournaments and against the best players. It is much cheaper to run many events online, BUT in order to play online, you need to have an internet connection (or should I say a stable internet connection?). Ask GM Ding Liren how it felt when he got disconnected in a recent game vs. Magnus Carlsen and lost what should have been a draw.

In recent scholastic tournaments, I observed many games that were lost due to problems with the connection. I would hate to be in the shoes of the parents who had to deliver the bad news to their seven-year-old kid: "You've just lost due to disconnection, but that's OK, honey, it's just a game."

This special feature of internet chess leads to another phenomenon: People don't resign, and they keep playing completely lost positions until checkmate. It reminds me of an old story that happened some 50 years ago. A master adjourned a completely lost position, and the next day he came to the chess club to resume the game. When his opponent greeted him at the board, the master immediately resigned the game. A friend asked him why he didn't resign the game the day before and save some time. The master's response was quite unexpected: "Well, I just wanted to make sure that my opponent didn't have a car accident or a heart attack. You never know. When I saw him today in good health, I resigned." Players who play until checkmate hoping that their opponent may get disconnected remind me of that master. Of course, I am talking here only about advanced players. Beginners should never resign as I explained in this article.

Justice in online chess is blind. The chess server doesn't care if you are a grandmaster or a beginner, all rulings are the same, however, there is also no human to whom you can raise complaints.

When you play an over-the-board (OTB) game, and you have a concern or a claim, you have an arbiter to talk to. Here is a simple example. In my last article, we discussed a weird case in which two super-grandmasters played an endgame of kings and rooks for 32 moves. Well, people learn from their chess idols, so I wasn't surprised to see the following game only two weeks after the grandmasters' game:

In this article, I am going to remove all the names of non-professional chess players and instead use their rating as an indication of their strength. When the same endgame happened in this game, my student had about 1 minute left (the time control was 30+0), and had it been a regular tournament, she would have claimed insufficient winning chances. In this case, the game would be either declared a draw right away, or an arbiter would provide a clock with a time delay. This used to be a standard USChess procedure some 20 years ago when many people still used an analog clock.In a case of such a claim, you forfeit half of your remaining time, but you get a digital clock with a time delay. In either case, this would be a sure draw in an OTB tournament. My advice here is quite simple: either play with an increment or... see the next topic.

Bullet chess (and even hyperbullet) and insane blitz time scrambles are too chaotic for most in the real world, but they are a staple of online chess, as is their core mechanismthe premove.

I never would have imagined that I would use the term premove during my chess lessons, but it is the reality of the new world we live in. Premoving is a skill any Internet chess player should be proficient in. It is not just about the technique of doing it. It is also about when you should use it and when you shouldn't in order to avoid something like the following popular bullet trap:

Online chess requires precision. There are no knocked over pieces, pieces placed on half a square, or players smashing pieces into each other in a blitz time scramble. Sometimes though, the unforgiving internet can enforce a move that you clearly did not intend. If you have been playing on the internet for awhile, you have definitely had your share of mouse slips. No one is immune against them. Here is a recent example:

This is another reason some people never resign and play until checkmate. Here is a good example from a scholastic game. White showed a very good technique in the endgame king and queen vs. king, but when the moment of triumph was close, disaster happened:

By the way, here White broke the well-known "Chepukaitis rule": In blitz, play short moves since it saves time. Therefore, White should have moved his queen to c8, d8, or e8 which would have also eliminated the danger of a stalemate due to a mouse slip.

Unfortunately, cheating is an elephant in the room that should be addressed. Let me show you the following game:

What a smooth game from Black. If you are wondering if all players rated 700 play like this, I must disappoint you. Here is an over-the-board game played by kids with comparable ratings:

In this game, played by two sub-1000 rated players, you can see all the typical mistakes that players of this level make. We discussed many of them in this article. Of course, I am not even talking about the basics of chess strategy since this is too advanced a topic for players of this level. Indeed, when every other move is a bad blunder, who cares about weak squares or backward pawns? Meanwhile, the player rated 700, who played black in the previous game, was quite different. In the whole game, he made no blunders whatsoever (just like in the whole tournament!), plus his strategical skills were quite impressive. "No blunders?" you may ask, "but what about 14...Nh5?" I know, most players would prefer to protect the pawn with 14...Nd7 or just trade it with 14...exd4. Don't worry, 14...Nh5 is not a blunder but a positional pawn sacrifice that chess engines actually like.

My student ended the tournament with 6 points out of 7 games, and this was his only loss. Chesskid.com later closed this players' account. In fact, Chess.com closed over 10,000 accounts for fair-play violations last month, but the damage is still done.

Many people compare cheating to theft. In my opinion, cheating is much worse. If somebody stole $20 from you, you would be definitely upset about the financial loss and maybe even more by the injustice because you worked hard to earn this $20, and somebody just stole it from you. But I doubt that the theft will alter your life in any significant way. Now compare it to the situation where a kid worked very hard to become a state champion, and the title was literarily stolen from him. It is quite possible that a very young kid becomes so frustrated by this injustice that he can even drop out of chess! I am sure that if more people understood this aspect of cheating, we would have less cases like this. Unfortunately, many players (especially kids) see using a chess engine during a game as some sort of internet trolling without a clear realization that it is completely different. Also, people who consider using chess engines during their games should remember that experienced players can detect cheating quite easily by many direct and indirect hints. In my opinion, it is the duty of chess coaches to explain it to their students.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that there is no point in discussing if internet chess is "better" or "worse" than regular chess. It is just different. Here is what FIDE's general director GM Sutovsky wrote on his Facebook page regarding the mouse slip in the game Lagno vs. Hou Yifan:

Online play is obviously not a real sport. But since it is a mix of a sport and a show, the element of unpredictability is quite good here.

Here is a relevant piece of history for you. The Ford company unveiled its signature Model-T in 1908. Many buggy whip manufacturers probably complained that cars are very dangerous, they would lead to accidents and thousands of people would die. But some of them saw a new opportunity. The famous automaker Studebaker was originallya producer of wagons, buggies and carriages but managed to adopt and became quite successful in the new field. Similarly, tournament chess players should adopt to the new reality... at least till the quarantine ends

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Are You Ready For The Future Of Chess? - Chess.com