Friday, November 26, 2010

Silver that shines twice than usual

Man, we fought mighty China today. No chance. It was never close. No surprise. But they deserve all the merit. We still belong there on top, among the best in Asia.

After beating India in the semis (proving that their 5th round win against the 2nd seed India is no fluke) to reach the finals, the Wesley So led RP chess team lost to host nation and 1st seed, China, 0.5 - 3.5 in the battle for gold medal. Still the silver finish by the Philippines remains one of their best international performance in many years. They came here in Guangzhou seeded sixth and has beaten the 2nd, 3rd and 4th seeded teams in the process. But still, for many, the silver finish will always be cherished as the team who have beaten a team fielded with all of India's best player had to offer with the exception of the current world champ, Vishwanathan Anand who begged off from participating in the event. India bags the bronze medal nonetheless by defeating the game Iranian team, 3.5-0.5 Gutsy old veteran GMs Eugene Torre and Rogelio Antonio came up with surprising results to help the team reach the finals (Honestly, I'm not sure if it's a good or bad sign for chess in the country).

By the way, Joey Antonio didn't play in the gold medal match. He was down with a flu and was reportedly have to fly home immediately for medical examination. Whether it's due to bad climate or food he had eaten, we can never tell. They're in China where unexpected things can happen at any moment.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Reevaluating ChessHeroes blog

Promotion from work means more obligation not to mention that we're currently conducting an intensive research work on something that will take years to finish. Fact is, our multi tasking skills has failed us to the degree that we literally forgot to update this blog for over two weeks, which is quite unforgivable for those who are following CH regularly. As Garry Kasparov once said in his well received book about business strategy, How Life Imitates Chess, the sport should be a means of transport and not a final destination to better and improve our life other than playing or writing about chess. No wonder why he retires early from playing serious chess to devote his time and effort on other things he believes is necessary for his self improvement and in people in general by entering politics. For now all we can say is we apologize for the inconvenience and we will "rehydrate" CH as soon as everything goes back to normal.

So far, there's not much to talk about Philippine chess, except of course, about controversies. It was as if the sport also came into unexpected hiatus. At the ongoing 16th Asian Games, the Wesley So led team still yet to bag a medal for chess and is not doing fine in the Men's team either. Ex world champ Rustam Kasimzhanov of Uzbekistan won the Men's individual gold while Vietnam has already won a silver medal in chess courtesy of GM Le Quam Liem also in the Men's Individual. GM Hou Yifan took the gold in Women's Individual.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Garry Kasparov: world technology is moving very slowly

You may have probably purchased a new Apple II, or a new iphone and think it's cool to have one of those "state-of-the-art", "space age" gadgets and suddenly you think that current technology is advancing very rapidly in a pace that is quite unimaginable. But ex world chess champ and arguably the greatest mind in chess history think otherwise. So as many other. Kasparov believed that today's technology is experiencing an all time low in progress for the past hundred of years. And he may have a point.

“We are surrounded by gadgets and computers like never before. They are better each time; a little faster, a little shinier, a little thinner. But it is derivative, incremental, profit margin-forced, consumer-friendly technology — not the kind that pushes the whole world forward economically.”

He thinks the problem is that we’ve replaced the drive to innovate by focusing on making incremental changes to existing technologies. Kasparov drew from his own experiences facing off against more and more powerful chess-playing computers, until finally experiencing defeat at the hands (algorithms) of IBM’s Deep Blue in 1997. That was an unfortunate loss, not only for him, but for science as well because progress on building a smarter chess computer effectively ended after that, he said.

Excerpt from