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US Championship (Women) Tournament

Nazi Paikidze8/11(+5 -0 =6)[games]
Annie Wang8/11(+6 -1 =4)[games]
Irina Krush7/11(+5 -2 =4)[games]
Anna Vitalyevna Zatonskih6.5/11(+3 -1 =7)[games]
Jennifer R Yu6.5/11(+5 -3 =3)[games]
Tatev Abrahamyan5.5/11(+3 -3 =5)[games]
Sabina-Francesca Foisor5/11(+2 -3 =6)[games]
Anna Sharevich4.5/11(+3 -5 =3)[games]
Akshita Gorti4.5/11(+2 -4 =5)[games]
Maggie Feng4.5/11(+3 -5 =3)[games]
Rusudan Goletiani3.5/11(+2 -6 =3)[games]
Dorsa Derakhshani2.5/11(+0 -6 =5)[games]
* Chess Event Description
US Championship (Women) (2018)

The 2018 US Women's Championship took place in St. Louis, Missouri from April 18th to April 29th. Nazi Paikidze won by defeating 15-year-old Annie Wang in the Armageddon game of the US Championship (Women, Tiebreaks) (2018).

Official site: Crosstable:

Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 1 IM Paikidze 2352 * 1 1 1 1 1 8 2 FM Wang 2321 * 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 8 3 GM Krush 2422 0 * 1 1 0 1 1 1 7 =4 IM Zatonskih 2444 0 * 1 1 1 6 =4 FM Yu 2367 0 0 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 6 6 WGM Abrahamyan 2366 0 0 * 1 1 0 1 5 7 WGM Foisor 2308 0 1 0 * 0 1 5 =8 WGM Sharevich 2281 0 0 1 0 1 * 1 0 0 4 =8 FM Gorti 2252 0 0 0 0 * 1 1 4 =8 FM Feng 2243 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 * 1 4 11 IM Goletiani 2306 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 * 1 3 12 IM Derakhshani 2306 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 2

Previous edition: US Championship (Women) (2017). See also US Championship (2018).

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. R Goletiani vs A Zatonskih  ½-½502018US Championship (Women)A13 English
2. Akshita Gorti vs I Krush ½-½702018US Championship (Women)A13 English
3. Jennifer Yu vs N Paikidze 0-1302018US Championship (Women)B07 Pirc
4. T Abrahamyan vs S Foisor  ½-½292018US Championship (Women)B18 Caro-Kann, Classical
5. A Wang vs Maggie Feng  1-0702018US Championship (Women)E00 Queen's Pawn Game
6. D Derakhshani vs A Sharevich  ½-½302018US Championship (Women)B12 Caro-Kann Defense
7. Maggie Feng vs A Sharevich 1-0742018US Championship (Women)A07 King's Indian Attack
8. I Krush vs D Derakhshani 1-0672018US Championship (Women)A05 Reti Opening
9. A Zatonskih vs Jennifer Yu  1-0472018US Championship (Women)D11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
10. S Foisor vs R Goletiani  ½-½442018US Championship (Women)A90 Dutch
11. A Wang vs T Abrahamyan  ½-½382018US Championship (Women)E32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
12. N Paikidze vs Akshita Gorti  ½-½442018US Championship (Women)D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. Akshita Gorti vs A Zatonskih  ½-½672018US Championship (Women)A13 English
14. Jennifer Yu vs S Foisor 1-0722018US Championship (Women)B10 Caro-Kann
15. D Derakhshani vs N Paikidze 0-1672018US Championship (Women)B07 Pirc
16. R Goletiani vs A Wang  0-1552018US Championship (Women)A13 English
17. T Abrahamyan vs Maggie Feng  0-1362018US Championship (Women)C03 French, Tarrasch
18. A Sharevich vs I Krush 1-0422018US Championship (Women)D02 Queen's Pawn Game
19. A Wang vs Jennifer Yu 1-01072018US Championship (Women)A52 Budapest Gambit
20. A Zatonskih vs D Derakhshani  1-0552018US Championship (Women)D94 Grunfeld
21. Maggie Feng vs I Krush 0-1542018US Championship (Women)B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
22. T Abrahamyan vs R Goletiani 1-0302018US Championship (Women)B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
23. S Foisor vs Akshita Gorti 1-0332018US Championship (Women)D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. N Paikidze vs A Sharevich 1-0272018US Championship (Women)B11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
25. A Sharevich vs A Zatonskih  ½-½1122018US Championship (Women)D02 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: But that would be all right - you wouldn't have to join in! Actually, for me it's probably run its course. Thanks <AyerKupp>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <AylerKupp: <<Richard Taylor> Also a probability of 1 is surely always only theoretical like (or as) an infinitesimal probability of 0.0000000000 (many zeroes to a 1) would be equally rare although possible.> The reason that the scoring probability in FIDE's tables are 1.0 is that they round them to 2 significant digits. This made sense during the 1960s and 1970s when Dr. Elo first made his calculations since he probably didn't have access to a computer so he did them with the aid of, at best, a mechanical calculator. And he made oth...>

I did read this. I see what Ayler is saying. He clearly loves mathematics. I once did some stat maths for Telecom Engineering although I never really used it as I was mainly a 'hands on' tech...that said it has some interest.

Thanks Ayler in any case. It seems that in the main a GM such as Anand etc has no or should have no concerns overall...

But I am interested in 'The Philosophy of Chess' (actually I saw a book called something like that in my local library but I was working randomly through the Dewey System selecting books from which I take random interest was not in the content but the style or texture of the book etc.

But in the process I found that almost everything I encountered, even on subjects I thought I hated, had interesting sides...

In the 900s some fascinating biographies and the 500s etc some sometimes bizarre science books but I went through every aspect, including romance and of course chess. But chess turned up under mathematics and philosophy.

The book by the mathematician who solved pi to some ridiculous number was actually quite a beautiful book. He talked about snow flakes, how he helped some poor woman to learn mathematics more easily, about Gould the biologist and his realisation that a Doctor's 'death sentence' could be taken as a probability of 1/2 and how he thus evaded cancer, somehow ignoring his doctor's prognosis; how Tolstoy was interested in calculus and it affected the complexity of War and Peace; the complex-random nature of 'Hopscotch' by Cortazar and also of the (potentially infinite narratives implied in Nabokov's 'Lolita' because of his use of discrete index cards to compose his book. And of course Nabokov was a chess player and composed chess problems. And the number of possible move in chess were discussed. But this was only one of the many interesting books I 'sampled' last year.

Who could be bored by me?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Yes, of course, you cant define a chess player by a number. You can never really have a "greatest chessplayer". It is always ultimately subjective.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <nok: with AylerKupp and Dick Taylor in full swing, this might just be the boringest page ever. Try to read it, I dare you.>

But I wont knock you nok! I agree that some of this stuff is a bit tedious and can be. I was never good at mathematics and altho I played chess for years I still didn't really understand all the rules. In a game I have never claimed a draw by the rules, all I do is keep repeating moves and then put my hand out for the draw or mutter something. I avoid most of these things about rating and who is winning what.

I keep some interest but I am not playing chess at the present so my interest is in chess in general. I mean games, why some moves are better and so on. Despite playing for years I still have no idea why some games are won or indeed lost. I mean the philosophy and psychology of chess and how games transform...something like that.

But even playing in tournaments I often didn't look at the result game by game and just used to play. I also rarely studied any openings. Then urged on by a friend I started studying them a bit more systematically when I was 60 or so...I did study a few openings in 1978 but not intensely. And as for ratings and rules I just used to follow instructions although I know the basic things I suppose.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Richard Taylor> Yes, of course, you cant define a chess player by a number. You can never really have a "greatest chessplayer". It is always ultimately subjective.>

I don't see why both you and <morfishine> say that you can't define a chess player by a number. The totality (playing style, demeanor, etc.) probably not. But playing strength? Why not? And why would it always ultimately be subjective?

This reminds me of a discussion I had many years ago with a guy that was responsible for developing an imaging tracker for missile applications. I asked him to develop a model of the tracker so that it could be incorporated into a missile model to address the missile's lethality. He told me that "It couldn't be done". When I asked him why his answer was "Well, I don't know how to do it". To which I responded "Those are two different answers, and I will certainly agree with your second one."

So it is with chess rating systems. The most popular and well known are probably Elo (of course), Glicko, and Chessmetrics. There are many of them, each claiming to have many advantages and, if their authors are honest, disadvantages. And each claims to be the most accurate in terms of minimizing the difference between their system's predicted results and the actual results. Which one do I consider to be the most accurate? I have no idea.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Richard Taylor> But I wont knock you nok! I agree that some of this stuff is a bit tedious and can be.>

One person's tediousness and boringness is another person's entertaining and fascinating and vice versa. After all, we're all different and have different interests. Another one of my interests is history. I was returning home from a business trip and I was reading a history book. I struck a conversation with a woman seated next to me and after some time she asked me what I was reading. When I told her it was a history book she blurted "How boring!". I laughed because of her immediate and honest reaction; one typically does not react that way when a stranger tells them something like that.

<nok> and I have had some "discussions" in the past related to the topic of appropriate resolution to use in ratings calculations, particularly when I told him that I was using 6 digits of precision. But nothing serious. He has called me a "loony" and "beyond redemption", both of which I agreed with him wholeheartedly. I have since modified my approach to use Excel's 17-digit precision in all calculations mainly because it's easiest to do that, and only round to the nearest integer as the final step when calculating a player's new rating. He then called this precision "illusory" which I don't understand since I express the final result in integer form. And he doesn't seem to understand that the reason for using extended precision in the intermediate calculations is to reduce the effect of roundoff errors as the game-by-game ratings change is calculated.

He's also said that my writing style reminds him of the Bible, and I don't know how to take that. Is that a compliment or a putdown?

Unfortunately, instead of providing examples to show that my use of extended precision is illusory, he has begun to use a form of an ad hominem attack by calling my posts "boring". Which I would readily agree that, to most people, they probably are. But, so what if they're only of interest to a small fraction of the readers at this site? If any regular readers of this site find my posts uniformly boring, they can always put me in their ignore list, something that I have mentioned frequently as showing that they have good judgment. I suppose I should be thankful that <>'s posting guidelines do not include "No boring, overly long, or wording style posts that remind you of the Bible". Then the number and content of my posts would be severely restricted, or even forbidden altogether.

Still, I consider <nok> a friend and someone who has many insightful things to contribute to this site.

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <AylerKupp: ...

I don't see why both you and <morfishine> say that you can't define a chess player by a number. ...>

Does by "a number" mean by "one number"? Pretty one-dimensional view.

Look here at CG, players are partly "characterized" by winning percentage which is already composed out of three numbers. (take the time controls and you have more "numbers"). Then Elo by highest in the database and current. Elo deterioriates over time. Which Elo are we talking about? the current, an average, the one we like?

Why not adding "prize money won" to the numbers?

May-10-18  nok: <Still, I consider <nok> a friend and someone who has many insightful things to contribute to this site.> You're cool in your own devious way.

<I suppose I should be thankful that <>'s posting guidelines do not include "No boring, overly long, or wording style posts that remind you of the Bible".> That you should.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <AylerKupp: <<Richard Taylor> But I wont knock you nok! I agree that some of this stuff is a bit tedious and can be.> One person's tediousness and boringness is another person's entertaining and fascinating and vice versa...>

Of course. You clearly love maths and computations and like to get things a accurately as you can. I understand.

I am into books and have 3000. (I am also quite interested in history although it isn't my main interest but I am trying to correct that and I am interested in many aspects of history) any case as an ex book seller on abebooks (I took them off a few years ago) I put the excess books with my other books. I also have a few "collectors things" but it is a kind of hobby of mine. Not chess books. Now, one time, before I got to this stage, a woman who was a friend of a friend came into my house, I was selling on Ebay then and had them on the floor and all over the place, hundreds of books.

She walked in and said: "I hate books!"

This didn't worry me. I'm not a collector per se but I have put together a library starting with science and going to art and literature and all kinds of categories. I also have books about books and so on.

But I don't expect others to be interested. I like having them there in my old decaying house...

As to chess books I have quite a large collection going back to the 60s when I learnt chess...

What started me was reading Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I asked my father what chess was. He didn't know. So my brother and he got books, first from the library, then we bought them, and I started my fascination with chess. But do you know: the best time was learning chess.

I was that magical time when the pieces seemed mysterious. Then I read Edward Lasker's book about chess, and later various books (Capablanca's 'Chess Fundamentals' and other books). We were amazed at the huge history and interest there was in chess. We got Clarke's book of Tal's games (as he became the World Champion either a little before or after I learned chess).

My brother was very good (he also used to like solving mathematical puzzles which I could never do) but he gave it away and played soccer and did a BsC in Chem.

But when I started there were these fascinating characters who played the game also. It was as if I had discovered a secret. There were not that many chess players where I lived. Rugby was the big thing and still is and few other things. But then, to my disappointment, despite all my study of chess, I found that there were boys my age who were as good or indeed often much better such as Ewen Green who leart the game without a chess board...Later he had the Australasian record for Blindfold chess.

The we got Fischer's first book (not his later 40 Memorable). His first covered one US Champs (poss. 1957) and the Interzonal of 1958. The adults around me were increasingly talking about Fischer. Realising that here was someone who at about my age was a GM I basically drifted out of the game...But I took it up again later....

My point is that there are different aspects of life that interest us in different ways. I think I may have had some kind of ability at design. I recall wanting to learn how to do lettering. I tried in vain to do science and eventually, many years later, moved back to literature. But I think what interested me was yes, the combinations and so on, but also the look of he pieces, even the designs on chess books. When playing I would sometimes blunder as I became fascinated by the way the pieces looked on the board. These were large old pieces on wooden boards. And we had old mechanical clocks. The Auckland Chess Club was a dark, Dickensian place. One board even had ivory pieces. One day someone decided they needed it more than others, and it was despatched to the outside world...and, as I say, there were the eccentrics and characters I played with...

I suspect your fascination is with numbers which interest me also in a general way. In fact mathematical symbols fascinate me more than what they do! But it is your thing, clearly...

I don't think you are promoting:

'A tedious argument, of insidious intent,
To lead you to an overwhelming question' at all...

I think in your fascination with these complex details and probabilities you exhibit the amazing capacity of the human mind. We are, in that way, like cats who seem curious. We are curious. Our drive to knowledge, our curiosity, leads us into what 'kills the cat' but that is what we are. And we are all different...

I also understand Nok's position. He feels you are neglecting maybe the human in your great passion for number crunching and so on...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: The Bible! The Bible has some beautiful parts. Sure there are all those lists. But the Book of Job is quite beautiful. Not that I am religious as such. But the Bible is part of our or maybe the world's cultural store. It is a bit arbitrary of course having been put together by humans not gods or anything but it is a kind of philosophic history or mythology. But I suppose as sermons in churches it could become quite tedious...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <morfishine: No number can ever represent any chess player's "true strength" Nothing definitive can ever be arrived at, so why all the bother over ill-defined numbers?

Please, don't answer that, the conversation will go on for infinity

***** >

I am writing or "doing" what I call "The Infinite Project' so your reference to an infinite conversation whetted my appetite and lipped my smacks. An infinite conversation on chess ratings! The infinite! Could it not morph into say something such as Causabon's 'The Key to All Mythologies' at a pinch, or a kind of Jarndyce and Jarndyce of quibbles and quirks and quips, delving into the intricacies and the interstices of beautifully befogged and endlessly hopeless morass of wonderful futility and intricate and undulate cosmic ripples in the chessiverse? Perhaps delving deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Number and even Being itself, with talk of Bubbles and Spheres and Dasein etc etc...?

'The field of madness is endless.' (Peter Sloterdijk re Donald Trump).

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<john barleycorn> Does by "a number" mean by "one number"? Pretty one-dimensional view.>

Yes and no. <morfishine>'s original comment referred to the impossibility of any number being capable of representing any chess player's "true strength", which I interpret as <absolute> or what I call <intrinsic> playing strength. I questioned that assertion since there are many rating systems in existence that claim to do that, particularly those like Chessmetrics that claim to be able to compare the playing strength of players from different eras who not only never played each other but never played any opponents that also never played others. This is unlike the Elo system who doesn't claim to do that, only to measure <relative> playing strengths between players who have either played each other or have played common opponents.

In that case I would say that a single number to measure a single attribute of a player (their playing strength) should be possible, although any calculated number must of necessity be an approximation to that player's playing strength, since playing strength cannot be measured exactly. Then it depends on the accuracy that we are willing to accept as far as that number being that player's ''true strength". If that makes me one-dimensional, well, I guess it does.

But a player cannot be characterized only by their playing strength, other attributes are needed. I mentioned some of them like playing style and demeanor. Longevity at the top is another one which can easily be determined by one number, for example the number of times that player had been ranked #1 in the world in FIDE's monthly rating list. To this number could be added something like the number of times that player was ranked #2 in the world divided by 2, the number of times that player was ranked #3 in the world divided by 3, etc.

So to define a chessplayer you would need to consider what makes a chess player a great chess player and that requires a lot of attributes, some of them could be easily defined by one numbers and others not. But those attributes that can't could perhaps be broken down into a number of sub-attributes, each of them could in turn be defined by a single number or a set of sub-sub-attributes, and so on. In the end we could define a set of "basic" attributes, each of which could possibly be defined by a single number. You could even define a "basic" attribute as one that could be defined by a single number.

We could then assign relative importance (weights) to each of these "basic" attributes and add all the weighted attributes together to come up with a single number that characterizes a player.

That's a lot of "coulds". And getting consensus on what the proper attributes should be an their relative importance is almost certainly an impossible task. But, in theory, it "could" be done. Not that I am about to attempt it. And it "could" save me and make me multi-dimensional. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<nok> You're cool in your own devious way.>

Well, thank you. I'll take that as a compliment. If I had to make a choice I'm not sure whether I would rather be thought of as "cool" or "devious", but that's my problem, not yours.

And, you're definitely right in agreeing with me that it's a good thing for me that <>'s posting guidelines do not prevent boring, tedious, overly long, or Bible-like writing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Richard Taylor> You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself. Thanks for doing so.
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <AylerKupp: <Richard Taylor> You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself. Thanks for doing so.>

<Richard Taylor> has more of a "wonderfool" way of expressing things.

He is just talking what comes to his mind, if there is one. Even there is no mind he keeps talking about philosophy or what he thinks it is, psychology, mathematics etc.pp..

Thanks for the entertainment <Richard Taylor>. NOT.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: I see what you mean <Morphishine>!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <AylerKupp> Thank you. I thought I wouldn't be interested in these 'dry' maths rating discussions but it is interesting in an oblique way.

[But I don't pretend to be a philosopher as someone seems to be saying somewhere. But I did study philosophy up to a certain level. And I find philosophy interesting if difficult. However we can all and do think philosophically. As in a way I think we are thinking mathematically when we calculate chess variations, although visualisation, however that happens, plays a part in that.]

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Richard Taylor> I remember your 'Infinite Project' at your blog, which I find highly interesting. Some day I would like to visit New Zealand.

I imagine there are lots of people around the world with bucket lists that include visiting Australia, but they neglect New Zealand and other beautiful places nearby. Also, in that region, there are many attractive places in and around the Coral Sea. I would like to visit this region, spend a month or two, (perhaps I should budget up to 3 months to cover travel time!) etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: I challenge anyone to define "player strength" without using numbers

Please respond intelligently within 3 decades

Utto, Alert! Alert! I used a number


Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <morfishine: I challenge anyone to define "player strength" without using numbers>

Magnus Carlsen :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <morfishine: <Richard Taylor> I remember your 'Infinite Project' at your blog, which I find highly interesting. Some day I would like to visit New Zealand. I imagine there are lots of people around the world with bucket lists that include visiting Australia, but they neglect New Zealand and other beautiful places nearby. Also, in that region, there are many attractive places in and around the Coral Sea. I would like to visit this region, spend a month or two, (perhaps I should budget up to 3 months to cover travel time!) etc.>

Yes, a writer (poet) from the US called August Kleinzhaler came to read as far as Australia and got to NZ. I heard him and had a talk with him. But he had come as far as Australia with John Ashbery (from N.Y.) with whose writing at the time I was obsessed. (I had found a book of his in a library and got hooked. Kleinzahler is different but still very good. I have a book by him.). But Ashbery, perhaps fatigued, either had to return or didn't chose to come to NZ. Which was a pity. Although in some ways it is sometimes better not to meet someone like that in person. I did meet Robert Creeley whose poetry I like. He had a wife from NZ I am pretty sure (and thus came twice at least and also gave lectures and so on. His talks and lectures were good and he was good to converse with).

But if you visit say Australia or NZ (very different countries of course) do some reading on the history. The land has changed drastically in NZ due to the colonialization of this country since say 1800. My friend Dr. Scott Hamilton is launching a book about his 'journey' down the Great South Road 'Ghost South Road' it will be called. It will also include a movie. That is a movie and book are part of his project which was funded by a Government arts grant. Hamilton wrote a thesis on the British Historian and Marxist E.P.Thompson who wrote the classic 'A History of the English Working Class'. But Hamilton's focus is also on NZ History and that of the Pacific including Tonga where there is a unique university called Atienisi which is the Tongan for 'Athens'. That was started by the Tongan intellectual and philosopher Futa Helu who studied in Australia (philosophy, lit., science etc) and returned to found Tonga's only University from which some interesting writers, artists and others have come. And it has been associated with the struggle against the bind of the Tongan royalty and the domination there of the Church. Many of the Pacific Islands are infested with hundreds of Churches. There are ongoing struggles for democracy and against the restrictions imposed by the very religious Pacific Islanders. In Tonga there is an interesting 'not bed' called the Seleka Club where radical Tongans drink Kava and make art. Those are the kinds of places to seek out. I wont be as I don't like dogs, I am terrified of them...and they are every where as a are pigs and bit spiders in Tonga and mosquitoes...but that aside a fascinating place to visit. If coming here read Judith Binney on Te Kooti then take a trip to the area of the Tuhoe who never signed any treaties but lost their sea shore land. But they have the interesting radical Tama Iti (means little man, which he is, I met him once) who fired a gun into the ground when Government officials visited his pah and also showed him his backside! Tuhoe are in the rugged and bush clad Uruweras (means something like hot penises or something like that). Te Kooti was a brilliant guerilla fighter who the British could never catch until he "retired". Also interesting is Taranaki. There in New Plymouth they have the motion art of Len Lye. Len Lye was an artist, movie maker and sculpture as well as a writer. Rotorua is an 'obvious' tourist spot but is an amazing place though. But tourists have to be on the watch traveling there and elsewhere so traveling alone is dodgy (because of possible thefts or attacks by criminals). My brother used to all around including the US, Australia and NZ but he is experienced. Also some places are deceptive. Not as safe as they seem at first. But otherwise, and interesting place in many ways.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: [I know I write long 'posts'. I just seem to want always to say everything. It seems always necessary for me somehow that everything be said, but I know that is ridiculous but I still persist...]

So. So many formerly native and beautiful birds are extinct. A big problem right now is river pollution due to intensive farming and overuse of fertilizers etc. There is also, for example, a big unemployment percentage in Northland (which is the warmest part of NZ). Auckland is city with many trees but in West Auckland Kauri trees are dying out. There are the usual problems with crime, homelessness and so on.

I've never been to Australia. My brother lived there for years and he has just visited here again. Australia though has a kind of austere beauty but the history of the colonization of that nation is also tragic. Hence the book 'Terra Nullius' by Sven Lindqvist.

All places are modified by immigration and colonization and the Pacific region is no exception. In many ways indigenous people have been decimated culturally and in other ways here and throughout the Pacific region.

I think travel is meaningless without knowing something of the places you visit. But travelling here is popular with all kinds of people. There are parts I have never visited since I was a child. But then I don't travel to many places.

I am a bit like the Australian novelist Gerald Murnane (whose 'Plains' I liked) who got obsessed with Hungarian but doesn't wish ever to go to Hungary. I believe he hasn't ever been out of Australia (partly as he, like Mohammed Ali) is (I believe) quite terrified of flying. Ali got over his fear enough to get about. I don't know about Murnane. Not that it is flying I fear it is paying for the flying in my case. In fact paying for anything is a problem esp at my age and with my deep aversion to work.

[I see just now] that his reason was he wanted to read a Hungarian writer in his own language...oh well, the 'myth' re flying may have some truth.

But often people heading this way do indeed omit NZ. I met a young woman from Brazil who found NZ very boring. She might have preferred Melbourne Australia which city I believe is very interesting. NZ probably is 'boring' if you don't know much about it. It often depends on age and other travelling experiences. (Re Australia, fascinating place by all accounts but the really hot weather time, I think is best to avoid. But I suppose such a time is better than if it is raining a lot).

Thanks for your interest in the IP.

The above said, NZ is beautiful in many ways, and worth a visit: and this area of the world would be cheaper for someone from the US or Britain as the exchange rate at most times very much favours those from such places.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Richard Taylor> Thank you very much! While in the Navy, I was stationed in Japan and was fortunate enough to visit South Korea & Thailand. The people from these countries are very receptive and generous to Americans, and the food is fantastic!

I appreciate your deep response and great advice!

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Count Wedgemore> And we have a winner!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <morfishine> Thanks. I think people everywhere are thus. Most people. Let us be optimistic in that at least. All the best!
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