|Nov-11-06|| ||Jonathan Sarfati: This was an international tournament in Wellington, 1988, with invited celebrities and leading New Zealand players (as cannon fodder, basically, although a great opportunity). I happened to be drawn to play Boris Spassky in the first round, and as the reigning NZ Champion, there was added pressure.
In the game, Spassky misplayed the opening and I gained the advantage. But given that it was the first round, and I was moderately short of time, we repeated the position and drew. Most thought it was an achievement, but the late GM Eduard Gufeld, one of the leading experts in the King's Indian, berated me in his inimitable broken English, “You had complete win position.” Well, judge for yourself.|
Spassky is widely known as a perfect gentleman, and I totally agree with this impression. He was completely friendly in the after-game analysis, not angry that he had drawn with a much weaker opponent.
|Nov-11-06|| ||Stanley Yee: Wow! A fantastic draw Jonathan, against a legend. Well done. Stan|
|Nov-11-06|| ||ray keene: its very hard for white to break down this sort of position and very easy to overreach-eg reshevsky v bronstein 1953-or euwe v najdorf 1960. i think a draw is quite reasonable-against spassky i wd certainly have seized his hand with glee.|
|Nov-11-06|| ||Jonathan Sarfati: Thank you for your perspective, Grandmaster Keene. It seems more sober than that of Eddie Gufeld's.|
|Jan-05-09|| ||Richard Taylor: <JonathanSafarti>
I recall seeing the bulletin for this tournament -then I played Spassky in a simul - I lost as did everyone else! The draw is justified of course... I would have ripped Spassky's arm off!!
Gufeld was an amusing fellow was he not?
I saw the book he wrote.
|Sep-11-13|| ||Bobby22: That is impressive Jonathan! ... If you had to play on, what were your plans? Nothing as drastic as 21. f4!? Lazar|
|May-20-16|| ||sigmastatistics: Hello. I assisted with that tournament by operating demonstration boards. I remember watching Jonathan Sarfati (who I knew while he still lived in NZ) playing Boris Spassky, and being disappointed that the game finished so quickly. After the game, the two players analyzed that Kings Indian game for a few minutes, using another set in another room. Directly afterwards, I bought that set from NZ Chess Supplies, and I have the board and pieces to this day. I, too, remember Spassky's politeness and modesty. I also recall saying hello to Susan Polgar as we both browsed chess books that were on sale in the foyer. She left me with a very positive impression of a friendly and genuine person (in addition to being a fearsome chess player!). |
|Apr-26-17|| ||Jonathan Sarfati: Hello David; it's been a while. I've moved countries twice, first to Brisbane then to Atlanta. I didn't know that you have the set that Spassky and I analysed on. Yes, Susan Polgar is a friendly person, easily won the World Women's Championship, and now does a lot of coaching in the USA.|
|Oct-06-17|| ||sigmastatistics: Hi Jon. It's been nearly a quarter of a century since we met and nearly 30 years since you came one Saturday night to the Wellington Chess Club, flushed with victory after wining the NZ Championship.|
That Plaza tournament was tough on the NZ competitors, I'm sure you would agree about that!
I have listened to you and others from AnswersinGenesis, but I don't go along with any of it! I follow Dawkins and Hitchens. Please read the God Delusion and listen to Hitchens on religion. That should make you come to your senses!
By the way - is that guy, Carlsen, really better than Kasparov and Fischer - as some people say he is? I don't think he's better (probably as good, though), but he does have the most up-to-date resources. People forget that Fischer in 1968-72 and Kasparov in 1985-2005 were monsters.
Elos measured in different eras and different chess cultures fluctuate from month to month and have large confidence intervals, and precise ratings don't tell us everything about strength. Fischer played less in absolute terms,less frequently and in different settings, so he's hard to compare with the others. However, purely from his games we can judge his strength as equivalent to Kasparov and Carlsen (and Karpov).
Brisbane is OK, but I have never been to Atlanta. Enjoy!
|Oct-21-17|| ||Jonathan Sarfati: <sigmastatistics:>
Hi again David. Yes, it has been a while. Actually you helped me out a few times, e.g. we stayed with your mum in Auckland for one chess congress, and gave good advice in countering my writer's block for my Ph.D. thesis.|
You realize that I am well aware of Dawkins and Hitchens, even writing one book countering the former (https://creation.com/the-greatest-h...). Dawkins' God Delusion displayed such incompetence in philosophy and history that evolution-defending philosopher Michael Ruse said it made him ashamed to be an atheist. As for the Hitchens, he was just a journalist, not any sort of scientist or intellectual, but I did counter one of his attempts to get into science (https://creation.com/christopher-hi...).
I agree with you about trying to compare chess from different eras. Carlsen is stylistically like Karpov, Fine, and Capablanca, and he pulls it off extremely well.
|Dec-25-17|| ||sigmastatistics: Hi again Jonathan.
Coincidentally, I read Dawkins' book (The God Delusion) while on vacation with my 11-year-old son in Darwin, Australia. By the way - my son has no interest in chess, but has demonstrated talent in mathematics, in which he has won gold medals and very high scores in domestic and international competitions (e.g. ICAS).
To be honest - I enjoyed Dawkins' book and I found myself in agreement with him at nearly every point, though I wish he could be more diplomatic here and there. I did not notice any bogus scientific arguments, but I am not in a position to comment on his command of theology. Certainly, I do not believe in a 'young earth', and believe that nature has had billions of years to produce the wonderful diversity of life that we see around us.
I do believe in the evolutionary process and, for example, believe in Dawkins' logic of the evolution of the eye (and, of course, every other part of any living thing). These are not his own original ideas, but he articulates them compellingly.
It seems to me that people who disbelieve in evolution have not yet got their heads around the immensity of time (and the hundreds of thousands of generations) that is available for evolution to play out and enforce change in ways that are favourable for the individual and the species. Where things do not work out so well, first the individual and then the species may die out. Perhaps this picture is somewhat simplistic, but I think that it is largely true.
I believe that random effects play a significant part (i.e. a disease or natural disaster that knocks out the locally best adapted - but who said that life is meant to be fair?).
Nevertheless, I have read the first chapter of your book and some reviews, and am willing to purchase the entire book some time soon and read it with an open mind.
By the way, Hitchens was a scallywag and curmudgeon, but a very intelligent and articulate man, with whom I also find myself in agreement on most points. Like you, he takes no prisoners. It is a shame that he is gone. However, again I will read your responses to Hitchens with interest.
By the way - in 2014 I published my own book (on the subject of graphing). If you would like an electronic copy, please e-mail me at:
Best wishes for 2018.
|Dec-25-17|| ||ughaibu: <people who disbelieve in evolution>|
Does anyone "disbelieve in evolution"? After all, without evolution there is no reason to expect one's progeny to be human, and as there's an infinite number of non-human things, a person who disbelieves in evolution would be doxastically committed to the stance that the probability of any animal having offspring of the same species, is zero.
Is there anyone who accepts this commitment? If not, then there are no disbelievers of evolution.
|Dec-26-17|| ||Petrosianic: <Jonathan Sarfati>: <Dawkins' God Delusion displayed such incompetence in philosophy and history that evolution-defending philosopher Michael Ruse said it made him ashamed to be an atheist.>|
More specifically, Dawkins' book divides neatly into three parts. Like Gaul.
The first part is a ddfense of biological evolution, written from a scientific standpoing. Dawkins is speaking within his field here, and does quite a good job with it.
In Part 2, Dawkins tries to get into the philosophical side, and seems quite out of his league. For example, he seems to equate Anglicism with the entirety of Christianity. He seems completely unaware of even the concept that God is seen as standing outside of the physical world as we know it, and attempts to explain him as a member of that universe. He uses arguments without fully thinking out how they might apply to other situations, such as that the more complex something grows, the next step becomes less likely rather than being beyond our current understanding. He'd never apply that argument to cosmology.
Part 3 is a complete propaganda piece, and probably the part that Ruse was embarrassed by. Dawkins contrasts a theoretical atheist utopia with the real world. Everything wrong done by religious people is an argument against religion while evil done by atheists is discounted on the grounds that "We are not in the business of counting evils heads, compiling two rival roll calls of iniquity." Except when it pleases us to do so, that is.
Part 3 is a complete embarrassment and could easily have been written by an undergraduate.
<As for the Hitchens, he was just a journalist, not any sort of scientist or intellectual,>
I'd object slightly to the term "JUST a journalist". Hitchens was extremely astute about the political scene, and able to discuss religion from that angle. He knew very little about philosophy, however, and seemed totally at sea when he tried to debate William Craig. I can't imagine why he even attempted it.