Sunday, July 31, 2022
Saturday, July 30, 2022
Friday, July 29, 2022
Thursday, July 28, 2022
A different type of game than we'd see from grandmasters today. Trying to control the center with pieces instead of pawns is an interesting idea. I got a pause the video moment, I really didn't see anything else that could be played there.
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Monday, July 25, 2022
Sunday, July 24, 2022
Saturday, July 23, 2022
This week On Top of The World Justin and Joshua discuss fake friends, Vince McMahon, Kenny Omega, Magnus Carlsen, Thor: Love And Thunder, and much more!
Friday, July 22, 2022
This is a great game, and I don't remember seeing The French Defense being played quite like this before. I'll remember some of these moves in my games going forward.
I’ve gone out of my way to help several people in my life, friends of mine who’ve I have known for years. I’ve always been a giving person, if it’s time or money I was willing to do what I can to do what I thought was helping them. I look back though and see I was just helping them with temporary pleasure, and there’s nothing wrong with that. People should take the time to get together and enjoy themselves.
I had a friend who every time I saw him, he’d demand money from me. He convinced me it was like a payment for his friendship, it wasn’t worded quite like that, but it was his friendship tax. And our friendship ended when I didn’t want to pay it anymore. This guy was the most hilarious person I ever hanged out with. I really appreciate that this guy introduced me to George Carlin, Bill Maher, Bill Hicks, Final Fantasy, Doom, the Civilization series, and so many things that I can’t list it all. We did have fun together, but it shouldn’t have come at such a financial cost to me. That wasn’t a friendship, it’s like I had to pay someone to deal with me for a while, like a hooker or something.
A few years ago, I was reading several self-help books and one of them advised I should be careful who I hang out with, that I should surround myself with people who want to do something with their lives. The idea is that if I’m around people who are negative and do nothing with their lives that I’d be inclined to do and be the same way. And I do fully believe that, but I just felt obligated to help someone though friendship. And you know what, I’ve fulfilled that obligation.
The question became with the second friend is with all their problems what were they doing to improve their life? Unfortunately, the answer was nothing, rather they decided to instead chase the pleasure principle. Let’s not kid ourselves, life is hard, but there’s things worth working hard for. Sure, you can be drunk or stone all day, every day, but what are you going to accomplish?
I don’t know how to say this kindly, the man lives in a pig pen. He has turned his home into absolute mess, to the point where for three years (not in a row) I’d help him take trash out of his home and transport it to our bailor building. We did it again this spring, and I told him get some bags ready and I can help take them away. He wouldn’t do any short of cleaning without me being there making him do it. This guy keeps telling me he’s waiting for this or that before he works on getting his life together. Well, just like his home it’s not going to happen unless he does something about it. I on the other hand plan on being more around people who are capable of cleaning up after themselves.
I felt bad for the last person I’m going to talk about. This person is homeless, and I offered to let him stay at my home while he worked on finding a place to stay. It never happened. He was there for months and by the time he had to leave he didn’t have any place to stay. Much like the last person I guess he expected other people to do the work for him.
The thing that has me upset though is while I’ve gone out of my way to help these people in their time of need, now that I’ve gone through some terrible events in my life these guys are nowhere to be seen. I’ve had to quit two jobs, my brother has died, I had some financial problems, and all I could use was some friends. It’s said that people love to be around when things are going your way, but you’ll find out who your true friends are when you’re going through rough waters. Well, these guys decided to go AWOL on me, and honestly, it’s probably better that they’re not part of my life anymore.
Thursday, July 21, 2022
This was a fun game to watch. I like the name for the new opening The Fabi System. I got the pause the video moment easily, but only because agadmator was talking about the move beforehand.
Yesterday was International Chess Day, a day I missed out on because I was escorting my father on a medical trip to Anchorage, Alaska. I played moves for my daily games and played against Stockfish in a game or two. I saw the news that Magnus Carlsen announced that he was not defending The Chess World Championship. I’ll admit I was very disappointed, the title dates to 1886, and since it’s creation 136 year ago 18 player or so (depending on what lineage you follow) have been World Champion of Chess. For people wanting to see who the best Chess player in any point in recent history was had an easy go to list. That’s why it is disappointing to see the best Chess player ever to pass on the next match.
This isn’t the first time such a thing has happened. After winning The World Championship Bobby Fischer couldn’t come to an agreement with FIDE (the International Chess Federation) on the format of a match with Anatoly Karpov, so he forfeited the title.
Although Carlsen’s reasons for not defending the title is much different than Fischer’s. In his new podcast Carlsen said it was great winning the championship but did not feel motivated in his title defenses. These matches require a lot of study of opening theory, and while Magnus has stated that while he appreciates what being World Champion has done for him, he isn’t interested in defending the title.
But this doesn’t mean that Magnus Carlsen is retiring from chess. While Bobby Fischer didn’t play in any tournament setting after defeating Boris Spassky for the title, Carlsen is keeping a busy schedule with tournament matches. Carlsen has stated one of his goals is obtaining an Elo rating of 2,900, which would be a first time a human has achieved that in history. We’ll get to continue to enjoy Carlsen play chess, which should be a relief for fans of his.
This leaves The World Championship to be decided in a match next year between Ian Nepomniachtchi, who dominated and won this year’s Candidates Tournament, and runner up Ding Liren. Unfortunately for Nepo this does mean that he doesn’t get a chance (yet) to avenge his lost to Carlsen in the pervious World Chess Championship match that took place last year. Whoever the winner is will not only face the same problem Karpov had after being crowned World Champion when Fischer forfeited the title, but the question will be brought up if the new World Chess Champion is even the best chess player in the world. Carlsen will continue to be active in chess and will continue to play and win tournaments. This makes their situation worse than Karpov’s, who felt he needed to prove himself as champion by competing in as many tournaments that he could. The next champion(s) will be in Carlsen’s shadow, and he’s not going away.
There is hope however! Carlsen has stated in his podcast that he’s not ruling out a potential future chase for The World Chess Championship. While it’s not certain, it does leave hope that people will once again whoever holds the title as the best chess player in the world. Whoever the champion is better be ready for the challenge.
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Sunday, July 17, 2022
I didn't see the best move in the pause the video moment. I should work on making sure if I can prevent my opponent from castling that I find the right move.
I wouldn't want to play this position, but I really like what agadmator points out, it's always possible to win if you have a piece, you just have to hope your opponent doesn't play the best moves.
Saturday, July 16, 2022
This week On Top of The World Justin and Josh are joined by their pal Abdel with a run in by Good Justin. The crew discuss Islam's version of Christmas and the happenings in pro wrestling.
George Washington set a huge precedent when after severing two terms as president he stepped down, saying that he didn’t defeat King George the Third to become King George the First. Probably even more important several years later when John Adams lost an election to Thomas Jefferson, we had a change of power without any violence driving it. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for our last presidential election, after centuries of the peaceful transfer of power a mob stormed the capital, hoping to overturn the election and keep Donald Trump in The White House.
Often bringing up this serious issue people who support(ed) Trump will laugh this off, claiming that there’s no way that such a thing would ever happen. Thankfully out institutions were strong enough that democracy won out and the winner of the election Joe Biden was sworn in as president several weeks later. I want to point out when a crime is committed that the result isn’t the most important factor, but rather what the intent was. You couldn’t get off with a slap on the wrist if you shot someone, intending to kill them but couldn’t because you have bad aim. The people who stormed the capital hoped to subvert democracy in order to keep their cult leader in office.
Donald Trump isn’t just guilty of trying to subvert the democratic process, he continues to do so by spreading the lie that the election was stolen. This would still be concerning if only a fringe faction of The Republican Party believed him, but it’s far worse, with half the party not only believing his lie about election fraud. And right now, Trump looks like he will be that party’s nominee in 2024.
Unfortunately, this is a tread of a growing radical Republican Party. A huge story came out recently that a 10-year-old girl was raped and had to cross state lines to get abortion pills. Someone that young cannot possibly live through the labor process. Conservatives went from calling the story fake to blaming Biden for immigration policies, even though the man had lived in this country for seven years. The bigger problem they want us to ignore that Biden has mandated that if it’s necessary to save a mother’s life that they must be given an abortion, but Texas is now suing his administration over the least the president can do. So, does this mean that Texas would force the 10-year-old girl to give birth to the child, even though it would kill her? This isn’t a “pro-life” position, this is using state power to control women.
Freedoms that we’ve taken for granted is now being put on the table. Justice Clarence Thomas has said now that Roe vs. Wade has been overturned this opens the possibly of ending rights like gay marriage and anal intercourse. We thought that abortion rights would be put in danger like they are now, but this is just the beginning for the increasingly radical right.
We can’t even look to The Democratic Party for help, as not only do they continue to do as little as they can, but also prioritize the people who donate money to their campaigns. Things will only get worse if wars like the one in Ukraine cut off supply chains. We may see an economic collapse on a worldwide scale. Neither party is interested in preventing this, rather severing their doners in The Military Industrial Complex. We’ve seen for decades that The United States would rather try to solve issues with military might rather than diplomacy.
The world is becoming a scarier place, which is way it’s going to become necessary to arm ourselves. We shouldn’t trust the same government that’s stripping our rights away with our protection. We’ve seen what the police prioritize when children were getting massacred in Uvalde, Texas. A video has been released showing while kids were getting gunned down in a classroom police hide behind riot shields down the hallway for over an hour. And the response from the mayor of Uvalde was to call the media chickens for daring to release the footage.
The real job of the police is to protect those in power, not help the citizens of this country. While the police were happy to massacre people breaking curfews during the riots in 2020, they failed to act when children were being killed down a hallway. The militarization of the police hasn’t happened to make us safer, but rather keep us in line with fear.
These are increasingly dangerous times. I suggest you do what’s necessary to protect yourself and your loved ones. We’re seeing radicals use the power of the state to take our freedoms away for their nonsense beliefs. We’ve told ourselves before that this or that could never happen in America, but we’re keep being proven wrong.
Friday, July 15, 2022
When I talk to people about chess often a remark will be made about needing to be intelligent to be good at the game. Certainly, being smart and having to exercise your brain really helps you in the game, but I’d argue that experience matters more than intelligence itself. Just like any game in order to be good in chess you need to get good by playing the game. There is no shortcut to becoming great in chess other than to play the game and learn from your mistakes.
In elementary school there was an afterschool chess club that I joined and us kids would play against each other. I don’t remember ever being thought anything like principles of the game, I think I got more of that from my father, but I was able to win at first and I enjoyed myself. But of course, sooner or later I was going to suffer big loses, and I my last game in the club I swiped the pieces off the board and left crying. I’d play the game again off and on, but I haven’t played seriously until late last year.
Gopher and Tuker Lucy did a let’s play of It Takes Two and in one episode of their Let’s Play they played a game of chess. This led to a lot of my online friends and I playing Chess on Lichess. I was losing most of the time, but I didn’t take it as bad decades ago, and it also impossible to swipe the pieces off the board in a online game. A bug bit me, I wanted to get better at the game, so I looked up videos on YouTube and found agadmator’s Chess Channel. His videos are incredible, and I’d argue he posts the best chess videos on the platform.
I made an account on Chess.com and jumped into rapid games, and I had a hard time winning games. I was losing some games to someone playing a Joker’s Mate, and that’s embarrassing! I needed help and searched on YouTube again, that’s when I found Levy Rozman’s GothamChess channel and watched his video on stopping early queen attacks. His videos have really helped me improve in chess, it’s great to see grandmasters games, but his Guess The Elo series and how to win at chess helped me see what I was doing wrong in games that are being played at my level.
I had gotten really frustrated with losing streaks, but I didn’t want to just throw in the towel like I did back when I was in the elementary school’s chess club. I decided I needed to find another YouTube video, and that’s when I discovered Ben Finegold. He pointed out it’s necessary to play games and analyze them. And I remember a video Levy did pointing out that it’s impossible to get better without playing the game and losing. Everyone suffers a loss, even Magnus Carlson. The key to getting better was learning from the mistakes you made.
Chess is like any other game, like many things in life, if you don’t try and work at it, you’re not going to get good at it. Sure, there’s prodigies but they had to play and learn the game as well. What I’m saying here is there’s probably no reason you couldn’t be good at chess, unless you just don’t enjoy the game. I don’t believe people are born any more or less intelligent, some people just have an advantage because they are a member of the lucky sperm club, or they have a great family. If you’re bad at chess and you want to get better, I believe it’s absolutely possible.
When I bought Computer Chess (2013) I was expecting a documentary on the history of chess engines and how they’ve been programed to become so strong in the game. Instead, I what I found was at first some type of mockumentary on a chess tournament between computers set in the early ‘80s. This film felt like something that you run into randomly when you check out what’s playing on Adult Swim.
There’s zero reason to care about anything happening in this film, as nothing has a payoff. The team that built the winning chess engine is hardly focused on, leaving us little reason to care when we get the big matchup between man and machine. The tournament takes place at a hotel over the weekend and the man who organized the event planned the final on a Monday and forgot to book the room for it, so he’s forced to make a deal with a cult… That’s the level of stupid we’re dealing with here. And the guy is so peeved at the people who booked the room to begin with, but allowed the game to take place, that he flips the chess board in anger. There are several storylines that take place in the film, and none of them have any kind of pay off, so no reason to care.
If I had to guess I’d say this film is trying to replicate the surrealist style David Lynch used in Eraserhead and Twin Peaks, but without his talent for filmmaking. There are interesting ideas in this film, but nothing was built on, instead hitting us with as much nonsense the filmmakers can think of. While no one would call chess engines from this period artificial intelligence, this is a fantastical world where wild and outlandish things happen. So why was nothing done with the plot line with the chess engine that seemed to become a sentient being? Because it’s a weird thing that might creep you out, not that it’s important to the story or a concept worth exploring, at least to the filmmakers.
This film isn’t a total wash. There are interesting concepts, the film did grab me in the beginning. There are natural storylines to be told here, but they were dropped for outlandishness. When people say that Hollywood should look back and remake bad films to bring them to their full potential, I think people do mean films like this one. Unless you’re looking to do something like that, I’d suggest you skip this one. 3/10.
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
This was a great win by the Women's World Chess Champion. I didn't see the right move at the pause the video moment. One of my biggest weaknesses is not being able to see necessary sacrifices needed to win the game.
Monday, July 11, 2022
Sunday, July 10, 2022
Saturday, July 9, 2022
This week On Top of The World Joshua and Justin discuss streaming on Twitch, the future of E3, Anime's summer season, and previewing Ring of Honor's Death Before Dishonor.
Friday, July 8, 2022
Thursday, July 7, 2022
Great win by Judit Polgar, who shows us why she's the greatest female Chess players ever. I already saw Gotham's video on it, so I knew the move she made at the pause the video moment.
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Monday, July 4, 2022
What a great game! And it's important because it decided who is playing for The Chess World Championship if Magnus doesn't defend it. I didn't see the move on the pause the video moment, trying to figure out a win here was way above the level I'm at.
Saturday, July 2, 2022
I didn't get the pause the video moment, but Black has such a great position anything is winning. Great game by Radjabov.