Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Puzzle Solution: Red Buttons

No, it doesn't have to do with the position on the board, but I heard a lot of interesting theories, many dealing with how the white bishop got to its improbable position, and the fact that black has merely one pawn as far as his/her third rank. Finally, what is that strange white piece that is being occluded by the white bishop? It could only be another pawn, unless it is a third promoted knight, which seems pretty unlikely.

Some people suggested that the board was actually correctly placed, but the image was flipped for some reason by the newspaper or website. Indeed, this was my initial thought too - and it appears like Susan Polgar, on her blog, actually went ahead and flipped the image so that the board appears properly set up.

Of the private emails that I received with possible solutions, two suggested what I think is the key - the woman's button on her jacket. It appears like the button is on the left and the buttonhole on the right, which is typical for a woman's jacket (men's jackets have the button and buttonhole reversed). So, it does not appear as if the image has been flipped, and indeed, the board was set up incorrectly.

Thanks to everyone who responded!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Puzzle about Chess, Sort Of...

Hampton University's business school is using chess to help business school students plan and prepare for the business world. You can read the story about it here. It is an interesting article, and the teacher seems particularly dedicated to using chess in the schools, even for adults. I've included a picture from the story.

Of course, what do we notice about the picture? The usual problems -- the board is oriented incorrectly - white square not on the right. Ugh; it unfortunately doesn't speak well for the class. However, the queen is on the proper color, so at least they got that right. To me, that seemed a little suspicious.

Looking a little more closely at the picture, there is another detail that raises even more suspicions. If anyone is reading this, put your suspicions in the comments, and I'll post the what I think the answer to this puzzle is in the next day or two.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ice cream

We went out for some ice cream this evening, which we rarely do. It is going to be snowy and messy here tomorrow, so what better way to start the week than with a Duster Sundae.

By the way, ice cream sundaes were invented in my hometown of Ithaca, New York.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

King and Pawn puzzle

Here's an interesting game I played back in October. It lead to a pure king-and-pawn endgame. A key position is displayed here - it is not too hard to find the winning move for white, although I didn't find it in the game.

Click here to replay this game. Notes here are mostly by Dennis Monokroussos, although he incorporates some things that I said (referring to me as RB in his notes, and himself as DM).

Friday, February 23, 2007

Dinosaur Days

This week, my five-and-a-half year old son was out of school due to Winter Break. We enrolled him in a two day course about dinosaurs. He seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, and learned some interesting facts. For instance, there are two types of dinosaurs classified by what they eat, vegetarians and carnivals.

Well, I thought it was funny.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Police - What Else?

Well, one of the things I have pined for many years about doing is seeing The Police live in concert. In case your head has been under a rock (or you've paid no attention to the media), The Police Are Back and touring starting in May 2007. I had an inkling that it would happen some day, but I couldn't have guessed when.

Anyway, I joined the tour fan club, of course, and got a code for the Best Buy presale tickets, but only managed to score one ticket for August 3rd at Madison Square Garden. I have to use my fan club membership to try and get to the other show at MSG.

I would say that it was one of the top five things I've wanted to do, and this summer, it happens.

The Police Tour

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A short game

I saw this today on Chess Cafe.

Jain-Norinkeviciute, Hastings 2007
1 e4 g6 2 d4 1–0
Black’s mobile phone went off.