Friday, October 24, 2008

Dealing with Poisoned Pawns in Real Life Situations

Adisa Banjoko (CEO of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation) has been making some bang on videos lately talking about chess and how it relates to life. Here's the most recent one:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blocking your Blessings

Some words from Adisa Banjoko - the CEO of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kramnik Loses again to Anand

The World Chess Championship between Anand and Kramnik took another turn in Anand's favor with another win over the board between two of the world's greatest chess players. The score now after 5 games is Anand 3.5 - 1.5 Kramnik. Interestingly enough, in the latest game Kramnik made some very quick moves in quite complex positions. This is a let down from this chess fan - it's hard to say someone is giving their best effort when they make very quick moves in complicated positions, especially at the top levels of play. If Kramnik would have won, I guess such a strategy would make him look quite brilliant, but when you move quick with plenty of time on your clock in a position that demands complex analysis, and end up losing the game, what can one say really. It's a let down at the very least.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6 9.e4 c5 10.e5 cxd4 11.Nxb5 axb5 12.exf6 gxf6 13.O-O Qb6 14.Qe2 Bb7 15.Bxb5 Rg8 16.Bf4 Bd6 17.Bg3 f5 18.Rfc1 f4 19.Bh4 Be7 20.a4 Bxh4 21.Nxh4 Ke7 22.Ra3 Rac8 23.Rxc8 Rxc8 24.Ra1 Qc5 25.Qg4 Qe5 26.Nf3 Qf6 27.Re1 Rc5 28.b4 Rc3 29.Nxd4 Qxd4 30.Rd1 Nf6 31.Rxd4 Nxg4 32.Rd7+ Kf6 33.Rxb7 Rc1+ 34.Bf1 Ne3 35.fxe3 fxe3 0-1

Official World Chess Championship Site

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chess Software: Rybka 3 Aquarium Overview

Awhile ago now I downloaded the demo for the Aquarium Graphical Interface for the new Rybka 3 Chess Engine, and was instantly impressed by the layout and speed of the application when it comes to a variety of chess-related tasks. I have posted an overview to the software on YouTube, which you can see here:

Unfortunately due to the time limit restrictions on YouTube videos I couldn't spend a lot of time on some of the more powerful features of the interface. For instance, the Interactive Deep Analysis tool is very impressive. A full guide to this tool can be found here and there is a great deal of more information on the official Rybka forums.

If you're thinking of trying a new chess software package that includes the world's strongest chess engine, I definitely recommend you download the demo to Aquarium and play around with it. While the demo has some features restricted, it will give you a good feel for how the program operates, and what kinds of things that it can do to help with your chess pursuits. - Convekta
Official Rybka & Aquarium Forums
Download Aquarium Demo
Purchase Rybka 3 Aquarium
Purchase Deep Rybka 3 Aquarium

World Chess Championship - Game 2 Drawn

Anand,V (2783) - Kramnik,V (2772) [E25]
WCh Bonn GER (2), 15.10.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.dxc5 f5 9.Qc2 Nd7 10.e4 fxe4 11.fxe4 N5f6 12.c6 bxc6 13.Nf3 Qa5 14.Bd2 Ba6 15.c4 Qc5 16.Bd3 Ng4 17.Bb4 Qe3+ 18.Qe2 0-0-0 19.Qxe3 Nxe3 20.Kf2 Ng4+ 21.Kg3 Ndf6 22.Bb1 h5 23.h3 h4+ 24.Nxh4 Ne5 25.Nf3 Nh5+ 26.Kf2 Nxf3 27.Kxf3 e5 28.Rc1 Nf4 29.Ra2 Nd3 30.Rc3 Nf4 31.Bc2 Ne6 32.Kg3 Rd4 1/2 1/2

World Chess Championship 2008 - Game 1 Drawn

Here is an overview of Game 1 with comments by a member of chess discussion:

Friday, October 10, 2008

San Quentin Prison - Johnny Cash

I like pretty much all types of music. From old country, to heavy metal, to some rap, fusion, dance - pretty much anything and everything. If it is good music (and by good I mean touches the soul and makes you move!) then I am a fan. I don't really care if somethings mainstream or not, if it sounds good - then it is good.

That being said, one of my favorite artists of all time is Johnny Cash. I don't even think the man fits into a musical category to be honest. I know he was branded country, but he's a little country, rock, soul, etc. He probably would fit in many categories actually. He has written some of the most powerful story songs of all time, and even covered songs from bands like Nine Inch Nails.

There was a side to the "Man in Black", however, that is absolutely amazing to this day - a side of him that will live on for generations to come. He really wanted to help the lowest of the low in society, and tried to do many good things for them over the course of his career. One of these pursuits was his numerous live concerts within many American prisons, such as San Quentin, and Folsom State to name a few.

For those who don't know, San Quentin prison is the oldest prison in California. It's prison population has held (and currently holds) some of the worst criminals in American history. An entire gambit of prisoners call San Quentin their home, and since it first opened in 1852, many have been reformed and re-entered society successfully, while many others stayed in those concrete walls for a lifetime due to the horrific crimes they committed.

So what was Johnny Cash thinking when he did concerts right inside the prison? The answer is complex and simple at the same time, but the key words are compassion and faith. Johnny Cash was a Christian and actually did the rare thing of walking the walk while talking the talk - something rarely seen. He wanted to go to the "lowest of the low" in society and give what he could, which was his music - his artistry.

To some people who live free, this might not sound like a big deal, but to those within the walls of San Quentin and the various other prisons Cash visited, it was probably one of the best experiences in their prison time.

You will notice from the videos I am linking here that there was no barrier in between Johnny Cash and the prisoners, and he even shakes some of their hands heading to his small stage. So, to help keep the story going of this powerful piece of artistic history, here are some clips of the "Man in Black" from within the walls of San Quentin prison:

Some other noteworthy YouTube Cash vids:

Stars Pay Tribute to Johnny

Hurt (Originally from Nine Inch Nails)

Johnny Cash died less than four months after his wife June Carter Cash, on September 12, 2003, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Links of Interest
Johnny Cash
June Carter Cash
San Quentin Prison
Folsom State Prison
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison
Johnny Cash at San Quentin

One Inch Punch Documentary

If you have ever heard the legend of Bruce Lee's 1" punch - definitely check out this video. It's amazing how he conditioned his mind and his body to produce the amount of power in such a short distance - capable of knocking a large man straight backwards as you see in the video. According to witnesses at another event, Bruce apperantly did this in a ring against someone and sent his opponent flying across the ring.

While it's not chess related, it definitely shows the benefits of a comprehensive training and conditioning regiment. Taking that kind of focus and determination to any passion can only lead to extraordinary results. Plus, it's not about the collapsing global markets which is getting rather depressing to keep hearing about! Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Global Markets Going Haywire

Points of interest:

-In New York, the Dow Jones lost 679 points or 7.3 per cent, while the Nasdaq shed 95 points or 5.5 per cent.
-The TSX composite index closed down 456 points at 9,600, a 4.5 per cent decline
-Japan Exchange fell 7 percent in early trading
-Indonesia trading canceled after the benchmark JSX index sank 10.4 percent. Authorities order market closed following a late night Cabinet meeting.
-Iceland's government has taken control of the country's largest bank as it struggles to prevent a collapse in its entire banking system. Leaders say country is on the verge of bankruptcy.
-Australian Exchange and South Korea's Index dropped a further 5 percent
-Sweden's OSMX All Share down 6.37 percent
-Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 2.8 percent Thursday afternoon
-Iceland negotiates with Russia to secure a $5.45-billion loan.
-Russia's stock markets rebound. Leading stocks on the MICEX exchange gain 16 percent

Regular blog readers might notice something interesting here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Schedule for the World Chess Championship 2008:

Game 1 Tuesday October 14 3 p.m.
Game 2 Wednesday October 15 3 p.m.
Game 3 Friday October 17 3 p.m.
Game 4 Saturday October 18 3 p.m.
Game 5 Monday October 20 3 p.m.
Game 6 Tuesday October 21 3 p.m.
Game 7 Thursday October 23 3 p.m.
Game 8 Friday October 24 3 p.m.
Game 9 Sunday October 26 3 p.m.
Game 10 Monday October 27 3 p.m.
Game 11 Wednesday October 29 3 p.m.
Game 12 Friday October 31 3 p.m.

Tiebreak Sunday November 02 3 p.m.

Monday, October 6, 2008

HHCF's 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational Re-Scheduled to February 2009

The big HHCF event was pushed ahead to February 2009. The following information was posted on their site:

And for some history of the event in the past:
Welcome to the HHCF Annual Chess Kings Invitational & Scholarship Exhibition. Last year over 500 guests from around the globe participated in a variety of events including the HHCF scholastic tournament, scholarship tournament & celebrity life strategies panel.

This years event will offer even more prizes, celebrity guest and other special surprise. Due to high demand the HHCF has expanded its scholastic and adult tournament, for more information on scholastic chess please visit us here.

This year guest will enjoy a variety of special events such as watching chess players battle it out on the boards while blind-folding, grappling exhibition featuring award winning MMA/UFC fighters, panels on Fitness of Body & Mind and Art and Education, RZA of film American Gangster & WuTang Clan defend his belt title in the celebrity tournament and many more events throughout the day.

For more information please visit

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's getting close to the Hip-Hop Chess Federation's 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational!

A number of days ago I blogged about the upcoming Hip-Hop Chess Federation's 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational on October 11th, but the event is now only 6 days away! Once again, here is the press release from the HHCF and also a recent video Adisa Banjoko (CEO of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation) posted to YouTube showcasing a collage of past HHCF events with a powerful song by Sabac Red.

UFC Fighters to Play Wu-Tang Clan at HHCF 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational
Chess Masters, Rappers and MMA Fighters Come Together for Charity Chess & Grappling
Sept. 15, 2008 - San Francisco, CA

The Hip-Hop Chess Federation is proud to announce the 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational. The Hip-Hop Chess Federation fuses music, chess and martial arts to promote unity, strategy and non-violence. The Chess Kings Invitational is a charity chess tournament where celebrities and youth interact through a variety of avenues. Due to the popularity of the event, the HHCF will host the 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational at the San Francisco Cow Palace. Everyone is invited to join the team on Saturday October 11, 2008 starting with a scholastic tournament.

UFC Fighters Rich Franklin and Jeff Monson, RZA & GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, Rakaa from Dilated Peoples and pioneer female MC Roxanne Shante are just some of the stars participating in the celebrity tournament. Best selling author of The Art of Learning and chess master Josh Waitzkin, Rich Franklin, RZA and Ralek Gracie will participate on a panel called “Fitness of Body & Mind “. A second panel “Art and Education” will feature Roxanne Shante, Josh Waitzkin, author of children’s book Chess Rumble Greg Neri and Def Poetry Jam’s Amir Sulaiman.

There will be a standard scholastic chess competition for youth and adults. Additionally, four schools selected by the HHCF will play in the HHCF Scholarship Invitational for scholarship money. A Brazilian jiu jitsu exhibition by MMA fighter Ralek Gracie and Rakaa will also take place. There will be open free chess gaming all day and those who do not know how to play can learn the basics from HHCF chess mentors.

“We are enthusiastic and grateful to all the celebrities, kids and educators coming together for the Chess Kings Invitational” said CEO Adisa Banjoko. “This Invitational is going to be an incredible event. These are tough times for many of America’s youth. Nevertheless the HHCF remains unflinching in our goal to share the countless educational and artistic life options for them in this world. People are flying in from all over the country to participate. We’re are grateful for all the rappers, chess masters and martial artists who have donated their time to teaching kids healthy alternatives to violence on the streets.”

UFC’s Rich Franlkin stated ” I’m excited to a part of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation event. Anything that can help young people better their lives is worth it for me.”

Fellow UFC vet Jeff Monson is eager to attend after missing last years event due to a car accident. “I look forward to coming out to the Chess Kings Invitational and teach the kids about staying focused and having fun” said Monson. “I want them to know that it is equally important to train your brain and body to get the most out of life.”

To sign up for the tournament visit:

Partners for the 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational include Scion and Bay Area Chess. Other sponsors include JW Foundation,,, and Cal To be a sponsor for this event or for more information on how to participate visit

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

GM Lets Clock Tick Down Against Opponent

Whether he was waiting for the noise to settle down, or just playing mind games with his opponent to throw him off, GM Shabalov has a deep think on move one.

There are many interesting stories of people letting their clocks tick down to throw off their opponents. Bobby Fischer was known to do this on occassion - coupled with his solid stare it would definitely be unnerving for the opponent. This is the first time I have seen such a thing on video, however.

Senate Passes Bailout

The United States senate passed a modified version of the $700 billion bailout package with modifications that are expected to solidify support in the house for an upcoming vote. The modifications include:

*Temporarily raising the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000 from $100,000.
*Extends a number of renewable energy tax breaks for individuals and businesses, with incentives for purchasing solar panels.
*Research and development credit for businesses
*Credit that allows individuals to deduct state and local sales taxes on federal returns.
*Relief for another year from the Alternative Minimum Tax.

The house voted down the first bill by a narrow margin. The stock markets had their largest point drop in history, but they rebounded in the following days. It's a tough call if the bailout will change much - some are very adamant for it and others are just as adamant against it.

It should be an interesting vote nonetheless, and no matter which way it goes we will see the results soon in the market. The question will be what kind of results those will be.