tonight's game

At the Brisbane Chess Club tonight I played an interesting game. I had some positions which were hard to evaluate -- I didn't have much development but the computer assesses the positions as better for me.

Arash - me.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 e6 5. c5

Now that sort of move just looks bad. I looked for a way to punish him immediately.

5... b6 6. b4 h6 7. Bf4 Nbd7 8. Nf3 Nh5

I was still trying to punish him for 5. c5 and couldn't see a better way to do it. I wanted either to win a pawn on c5 or gain control over e5. Perhaps I should have played 7... Nh5.

9. Be5 f6 10. Qd3

I started to wonder if I'd missed something and thought about playing 10... Kf7 or 10... Qe7.

10... Nxe5 11. dxe5

I thought about playing 11... Nf4 too but I wasn't sure that I would gain anything from it so decided to block the b1-h7 diagonal. I have crap development, 1 badly developed piece compared to his 3 pieces in the centre, plus I have a weak kingside. But computers seem to think I'm better here.

11... f5 12. g4?

Whoa, did I miss something? I mean he is supposedly rated 1750.

12... Nf4 13. Qd4 fxg4 14. Qxf4 gxf3 15. Qxf3 Qg5 16. cxb6

Apparently not.

I should have played 16... Bxb4, not fearing 17. Rb1 c5, because after 16... Qxe5 he can play 17. b7 blocking things a bit.

16... Qxe5 17. a3 axb6 18. e3?? Bxb4? 0-1


I like some of Apple's products - I'm typing this on a Macbook Pro connected to the internet with a wireless router (Apple Airport Express). The MBP is very stylish compared to other laptops and I like OS X much better than Windows. Microsoft has done many evil things and so someone has to stick it to them, you know? Hence the Mac.

But with the iPhone and the new iPod touch, Apple has been being evil. So far it's been announced in the US, UK, Germany and France - but in each case it's locked to a carrier. This feels like an attack on consumer choice to me. Granted in the UK, Germany and France you get access to wifi networks of those carriers. Still I can wish for Apple to have a flop in Europe with this product to teach them a much-needed lesson. Bring on the competition.

As for the iPod touch, apparently it doesn't come with Mail which sounds pretty dumb -- they want to differentiate it from the iPhone.



There was a competition in the Weekend Australian Financial Review last weekend (1-2 September) with a collage of 45 "key people in business" to be identified. I knew a few of them straight away, like Peter Beattie, John Howard, Kerry Packer, Allan Moss etc. But some of them were really difficult. I asked my boss, a few people at work, my flatmate, and my parents as well and they filled in some more. I searched using Google Images, Microsoft Images, Yahoo Images, Fairfax Photos, and NewsPix and filled in some more gaps. Allison from trivia pointed out one of them was Nicole Kidman in "The Hours". People at the chess club identified some mining leaders for me and also the "alter ego" -- the cartoon character from the AFR. But last weekend I still had four left. I started talking to random people and asking them. What kind of person would know who these people were? The business figures were mainly white middle-aged men, so I asked all the white middle-aged men I saw about the pictures (especially the tall ones in suits with glasses). Tall people earn more so would be more like the people in the pictures and more likely to know them. People with suits are more like to know businesspeople, and glasses because people who read more have glasses :) and I wanted newspaper-reading-type people instead of TV-watching-type people. I talked to lots of people like this on the street, on public transport, in coffee shops reading the Financial Review, and in the libraries. R also asked some people at a Rotary sausage sale for me.

With lots of effort on Saturday night I narrowed it down to two. Then I went to the State Library on Sunday to read lots of BRWs. I didn't get any more then, so I went back to the UQ library on Tuesday night to keep reading -- went through the 1997, 1999 and 2001 issues from 5pm to 10pm when the library shut. I got back home at 10:30 feeling kind of depressed. But then an hour later I had an epiphany and identified one more then trusted my parents on the last identification -- it was more like a choice between a few people rather than an "I have no idea who this is" person. It was fun... I learned lots about Australia's business leaders while doing it too. About indexing, renting vs buying, the stockmarket, how AMP used to be a good share to own before George Trumbull...

It's the kind of problem that cannot be solved by computers because they are no good at facial recognition and cannot be solved by programming, or search engines... like so many of my work problems. It's all about knowing people and knowing people who know people... kind of like facebook and linkedin :)

I also thought about my ability to go up to random people and talk to them. It is not difficult for me but J and R have said it is difficult for them. Their social conditioning in childhood must have been different to mine.