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Count Wedgemore
Member since Oct-02-17 · Last seen Nov-12-18
I am a proud Norwegian, from a relatively small town not far from Oslo, our nation's capital. My name is Bjørn (not an easy name to pronounce for the non-natives), which means 'bear' in English. In Old Norse: Biǫrn. It's a really old name here in Scandinavia, dating back to the Viking Age. I've never really liked my name, it's too common for my tastes, because I like to be extraordinary in everything I do. But I am proud of the Viking connection: our great ancestors were superior warriors and shipbuilders:

I am honored to be the 12th and current Chessgames Chessbookie Champion of the World. Here is my name in the illustrious Hall of Fame, forever recorded in the glorious annals of Chessgames History:

ChessBookie Hall of Fame

Next winter I will defend my title and become the only player so far with back-to-back wins. As you may rightly suspect if you read this, I may come across as a bit full of myself sometimes..but there's nothing wrong with that if one has a reason to (like I have!)..right?

Norway is the new powerhouse of chess. We currently have the undisputed World Champion (Magnus Carlsen), last year's Junior World Champion (Aryan Tari), and the Chessbookie World Champion (Yours Truly)!

I love chess, it has been a lifelong passion for me. But it has been very much a private matter for me: I played a couple of minor tournaments when I was a teenager and I won two scholastic tournaments when attending the Norwegian equivalent of 'Junior High School'. Scholastic chess was (and still is, I suppose) a rare phenomenon in Norway. The only reason that my school had it was because I organized the tournaments myself! And won, both times. But this was a long time ago, nowadays I only play chess online.

When serving in the Norwegian Armed Forces, I met and befriended GM Simen Agdestein (the 2nd best Norwegian player of all time, our country's first GM and an early mentor for Magnus Carlsen), who came to our camp in Northern Norway to play and promote chess, this was back in the 1980s and not long before he had finished 2nd at the World Junior Championship. We played only one game against each other, a Ruy Lopez that ended in a draw after Simen, uncharacteristically, misplayed a completely won endgame. So my overall score against Simen is 50%, I'm content with that. He is also a really, really great guy:

I've never played (not yet anyway) chess with our beloved Champion, Magnus the Magnificent, but I do have a small personal letter from him where he wrote me some encouraging words (long story). It is one of my most prized possessions. I guess you could say that I'm an avid chess collector: I have a relatively small, but alluring collection of chess books, and some other minor stuff, some rare chess sets, a postcard signed by Karpov (which one of my daughters procured for me), you know, that sort of things.

One of my interests in recent years has been memorization: I've been a National Champion in memory sports. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of memory sport you can read about it here:

A pet project of mine in recent months has been cryptography: I've been working on inventing a form of code that can be quickly learned by a human and easy in practical use, but difficult (or, perhaps rather optimistically, impossible) for a computer to crack/decode. You can read more about cryptography here:

Another great interest of mine is old radio shows, primarily US shows, but also some British and Norwegian shows. I love collecting and listening to shows from The Golden Age of Radio, OTR as we call it (Old-Time Radio), a broadcasting era that lasted throughout the 30s, the 40s and the 50s..

I also love classic TV shows (50s, 60s, 70s), mostly US shows, but also some Canadian and British shows, and I have recently discovered the magical and wonderful world of Film Serials! So not so long ago I started to collect them as well (I love collecting things just as much as I hate throwing things away). Here is Wikipedia's article on Serial Film:

And I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan, so naturally I collect Sherlock-related stuff also! Now, the problem is that my wife also loves to collect stuff, like me, all kinds of stuff: books, perfume, boxes, you name it, so naturally we no longer have much space for all of our things! Oh well..

My wife and I both have a lifelong affection for books. Like her, I used to read 100+ books a year when I was younger. Today my poor eyesight prevents me from such excesses. I prefer listening to audio books nowadays.

Another interest of mine is Geneaology, the study of family lineage and history, an interest I developed from my grandfather who was a leading researcher in the field back in the day. My username is partly due to the fact that I actually have some noble ancestry (which is not so common in Norway as it is in many other European countries), going back to British nobility, even royalty (although most of my nearest ancestors were farmers and fishermen).

Since I am a non-native English speaker I sincerely apologize for my numerous grammatical errors. I do, however, speak several languages. My wonderful wife of almost 25 years is from Italy (although she has lived in Norway for about 30 years now), so naturally I learned to speak in her beautiful native tongue, the most romantic language in the world. We watch a lot of Italian television together. I love Italian movies, TV shows, Italian cuisine, everything really.. I also speak a little German and I learned some basic Russian so I could read Russian chess literature: so many of their books have never been translated into English. For me, being an expert on memorization, learning a new language is not very difficult.

Another major point of interest throughout my life has been politics: mainly Norwegian, Italian and European politics, of course, but American politics has always fascinated me deeply. When I was younger I planned to go to the USA and finish my academic studies there (however, life intervened: I met the love of my life, got married and chose to remain in Norway).

I love both classical and popular music (I play a little guitar, piano and other instruments, but I haven't really practised it regularly in decades). I've written some songs over the years, but lately I've been concentrating on writing poems (I can always add a musical arrangement to some of them at a later date).

I have some serious health issues, so I try to live a rather calm life (in fact, I have to) so me and my wife, we seek to take delight in the simpler things in life, including mental, intellectual pursuits and such (we seldom travel anywhere). So what better than chess? It's an important part of my life, it really is.

Still, the biggest source of joy in our lives are our three children and two grandchildren. And our two gorgeous cats..

I am what you could call a Slav/Caro-Kann aficionado. My favorite chess players (besides Magnus, of course) are Lasker, Capablanca, Smyslov, Petrosian, Karpov and Kramnik. My own playing style is defensive, positional, so no wonder that some of the guys I mentioned are my personal favorites!

For a glimpse into my playing style, here is a recent online blitz game that I played (the time control was 5+3):

White:NN Black:Count Wedgemore

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.h5 Bh7 8.Bd3 Bxd3 9.Qxd3 e6 10.Nf3 Nd7 11.Be3 Ngf6 12.0-0-0 Qc7 13.Rhe1 0-0-0 14.Kb1 Bd6 15.Ne4 Nxe4 16.Qxe4 Nf6 17.Qh4 Nd5 18.g4 Bf4 19.g5 Bxe3 20.fxe3 Qb6 21.Rd3 hxg5 22.Nxg5 Qc7 23.Rf1 Nf6 24.Qf4 Qxf4 25.Rxf4 Rxh5 0-1.

I think the <Chessgames> community is a fascinating and highly interesting microcosm, featuring so many different and intriguing, captivating personalities. A big thank you to the late and great Daniel Freeman and the co-founder, the late Alberto A Artidiello for having created this wonderful meeting ground for chess players. All the best, Bjørn. Full Member
   Current net-worth: 2,552 chessbucks
[what is this?]

   Count Wedgemore has kibitzed 1633 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Nov-12-18 Kenneth S Rogoff
Count Wedgemore: <al wazir: What is the real reason Trump has refused to reveal his tax returns?> A better question is: Why are the US liberals here on Rogoff obsessed with Trump's tax returns?
   Nov-12-18 Caruana vs Carlsen, 2018 (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <Sargon: Maybe <some> of those people are just having a little fun, and really <aren't> draw-haters at all...> Good to know. I may have jumped the gun a little bit on that one!
   Nov-12-18 Carlsen - Caruana World Championship Match (2018) (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <Sargon> Yes he does. They alternate colours until game 7, where Carlsen will play White for the second game in a row. Then they switch for each game again until the end of the match.
   Nov-10-18 Count Wedgemore chessforum
Count Wedgemore: Så flott, <moro>! Det var godt å høre.
   Nov-10-18 Carlsen vs Caruana, 2018 (replies)
Count Wedgemore: Magnus needs to push his f-pawn and get black's e-pawn exchanged for one of White's f-pawns.
   Nov-09-18 Caruana vs Carlsen, 2018 (replies)
Count Wedgemore: Magnus should just have played a king move or something at move 40, and waited to make the decision whether to take that c3-pawn. Then he would have seen that he shouldn't take it..ouch!
   Nov-09-18 rogge chessforum (replies)
   Nov-09-18 OhioChessFan chessforum (replies)
Count Wedgemore: My finely tuned predictions: G1: Caruana - Carlsen 1/2 25 G2: Carlsen - Caruana 1/2 35 G3: Caruana - Carlsen 1/2 45 G4: Carlsen - Caruana 1/2 55 G5: Caruana - Carlsen 0-1 50 G6: Carlsen - Caruana 1/2 40 G7: Carlsen - Caruana 1/2 45 G8: Caruana - Carlsen ...
   Nov-08-18 Annie K. chessforum (replies)
Count Wedgemore: We want our great bookie back! Get well soon, <Annie K.>. All the best.
   Nov-06-18 Kibitzer's Café (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <HeMateMe: He also wrote <A Bride Too Far> which then became the basis for another fine war movie.> Sounds more like a romantic comedy :) <<Glory> True story of all black unit fighting for the north>, <<Gods and Generals> focus on Southern ...
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Count your blessings!

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <Diademas: Har den frie flyt av ideer og tanker en verdi som overgår den enkeltes behov for trygghet fra å bli utfordret?>

Ja, det er et viktig prinsipielt spørsmål. I tillegg så er det jo et spørsmål om hva vi forstår med begrepet trygghet. Dette er jo i høy grad subjektivt. Jeg ser ikke hvordan det å føle seg personlig krenket kan sies å utgjøre et reelt tap av trygghet. Jeg er helt enig med deg i dette. Når subjektive opplevelser, som å føle seg "krenket", eller "utrygg", blir brukt som rettesnor for jus og rettsvesen er dette i høyeste grad problematisk.

<Straffelovens §135 har åpenbart blitt byttet ut med §185 uten at jeg har fått det med meg.>

Det hadde ikke jeg fått med meg heller, <Diademas>. Vi har nok sovet i timen begge to :), men ordlyden er jo svært lik i både den gamle rasismeparagrafen og i denne nye lovparagrafen om hatefulle ytringer.

Forhåpentligvis så vil denne nye paragrafen bli lite brukt. Jeg tviler på at mange personer vil bli dømt for brudd på denne paragrafen. Som du nevnte, så ble den gamle rasismeparagrafen i praksis lite brukt, og det vil nok denne også. Som du sier, så er den altfor generell, og gir rom for alle mulige tolkninger.

Ideelt sett bør hele lovparagrafen fjernes. I allfall revideres fullstendig. Du nevner satire: tenk hvor mye relativt uskyldig humor og satire som iallfall teoretisk sett kan utgjøre et brudd på denne paragrafen?

Nei, dette er tvilsomme saker. Som jeg leste et sted en gang: hatefulle ytringer bør møtes med saklige argumenter og ikke med maktutøvelse. Jeg synes det er et fornuftig standpunkt.

Uansett, det er jo mange lovparagrafer som blir lite brukt. Vet du at vi kan fortsatt bli dømt til opptil 5 års fengsel hvis vi fornærmer kongen vår?

<Straffeloven av 1902, paragraf 101, sier: «Forøves nogen Ærekrenkelse mod Kongen eller Regenten, straffes den skyldige med Hefte eller Fængsel indtil 5 Aar.>

Jeg ser ingen grunn til å vile fornærme Kong Harald (selv om jeg er republikaner. Du skjønner, jeg tilhører en sjelden rase: jeg er vel hva du kan kalle en "konservativ republikaner", ganske så uvanlig, tror jeg, for ellers så er det jo stort sett SV-ere som er republikanere her i landet, eller bare virker det sånn?) men jeg tror ikke jeg løper noen særlig risiko ved å gjøre det :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: Do you guys ever get anything near
-50/-55C winter temps in Norway?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: <diceman: Do you guys ever get anything near -50/-55C winter temps in Norway?>

That's rare, but has happened.
There are two places in Norway in contention for the coldest place in Norway: Karasjok* and Røros**. The record goes back to 1886 and reads -51,4 from Karasjok.***

Where I live, at the southwestern part, it would be abnormal if it fell below -10.




Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: I saw a show about a place in Siberia.
(the "town" was about 600 people)

When the film crew was there, a local
said at -45C, it was a "warm" day.

The lowest they have recorded was -72.3C.


Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Hello <Count> Looks like no new wagers in the bookie game til the World Championship Match :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <morfishine> Yes, so unfortunately there is no way for me to take back my rightful place as no.1 at the moment.

Your temporary leap to no.1 is just a fluke, <morf>. Just wait until the WCC Match starts, and we'll soon be back to business as usual (which, of course, means <Count Wedgemore> at the top of the standings).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <diceman: When the film crew was there, a local said at -45C, it was a "warm" day.>

LOL. Where I live, in the inlands of (south)eastern Norway, it can be quite cold. We've had down to -35C, but that's rare. Usually we don't get below -20-25C during a normal winter. And sometimes not even that.

But I have experienced -45C, twice. Once, in a place called Rendalen in a region called Østerdalen, as a boy. And later, during my military career, in Indre Troms, Northern Norway.

A guy in our squadron had the brilliant idea of, in early morning, six o'clock, with -45C degrees and the wind blowing (which is quite rare when it's that cold, BTW). running from his living quarters to the mess hall, a distance of app. 150-200 metres, bareheaded, without anything to cover his head and face from the biting cold.

I kid you not: they eventually had to amputate his earlobes. By the time he got to the mess hall, it was too late. Gangrene in both his earlobes..

Nov-05-18  SugarDom: The thermometer is only up to -37 C.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Not sure which thermometers you're referring to, <SD>. I recall the old quicksilver thermometers we used back when I grew up went all the way down to -50C, if I remember it right.

And of course, weather stations and such already had much more sophisticated intruments, I suppose. The coldest record in Norway is from Karasjok, Finnmark -51.4C back in 1886. So they had a way to measure very cold temperatures already back then.

I don't know how long down the digital thermometer I have installed on the wall of my house can go, but I hope I don't have to find out :)

I hope we're not in for a long and cold winter up here, but..I guess we are! It is Norway, after all. Spring usually comes rather late here 'North of the Wall' ('Game of Thrones' reference, my daughter forced me to watch it. Didn't care much about it. 'Lord of the Rings' is ten times better)

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Hello <Count>! The American Civil War has been a favorite subject of mine for a long time. I recommend watching Ken Burns 'The Civil War' documentary mini series (if you can get it). It was first broadcast in 1990 and was very well received. It runs almost 10 hours spread over 9 episodes, so take your time and enjoy.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Thanks, <morf>. I will see if I can find it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Count Wedgemore:

But I have experienced -45C, twice. Once, in a place called Rendalen in a region called Østerdalen, as a boy. And later, during my military career, in Indre Troms, Northern Norway.>

Do they do anything special with plumbing and pipes freezing?

The place I saw had no indoor plumbing.
They melted snow when they needed water.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <diceman> There is indoor plumbing everywhere here in Norway, even the coldest parts. On extremely cold days, what is important is to keep the water running all the time. If you don't, then you're in trouble. Then the water in the pipes can freeze up pretty fast.

But there are many places in Norway where this is not a problem. In coastal regions for instance, it never gets cold enough, even in January.

But Northern Siberia has a colder climate than even the coldest parts of Norway. I think we have the Gulf Stream to thank for that, a warm atlantic ocean current that has ensured that even in the far north of mainland Norway, the soil is not permanently frozen like it is in parts of northern Russia, for instance.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Norway is very diversified when it comes to temperatures.

The <count> are accustomed to temperatures that would be seen as extreme where I live.

As the <count> I have had a military service in northern Norway. No medals or mentiions in dispatches, but it did get seriously cold.

When I got discharged on January 4th 1988 it was minus 38 Celsius and we all met up to bugle call in t-shirts and nothing else.

After a four hour flight from Bardufoss to Bergen onboard an old Hercules plain, I will never complain about temperatures.. ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: <After a four hour flight from Bardufoss to Bergen onboard an old Hercules>

Been there, done that :) I had my military service on Andøya, where it could be rainy weather, while at the same time -20 ℃ in nearby Bardufoss :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Greetings from Skjold Garnison 1987 Rogge!

I went to recruit school on Sessvollmoen in January 1987. Got to be a Sargent on a USK course.
My most vivid rememberance is from my train voyage to Sessvollmoen when some f@cking child played the tune "You're in the army now" by Status Quo all the f@cking way...

Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: Lol. I remember the original, by Bolland & Bolland :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Takk for den Rogge!
Her trodde jeg at alle ungdommens traumer var talt opp og holdt regning med, så klarer faen meg et bysbarn å bringe til live alt jeg har prøvd å skyve under teppet ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: He he, at your service :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <Rogge> & <Diademas> Jeg husker godt den sangen jeg også. Den var en skikkelig landeplage, først originalen, deretter Status Quo-versjonen noen år etter.

Moro at du fant frem originalen, <rogge>. Jeg husker som sagt sangen veldig godt, men kan ikke si å huske å ha hørt navnet på den gruppa før.

Bolland & var nok en typisk "one-hit wonder", tenker jeg..

Haha, egentlig har jeg aldri kunnet fordra den låta :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Skulle du, og andre med tilgang til NRK's arkiver, fortsatt ha overskudd til mer sjakk. Så ligger det en ny dokumentar om VM-matchen i 1978 der.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <Diademas> Takk for det! Gleder meg til å se den dokumentaren der.

Karpov-Kortsjnoj i 1978 var en episk duell. Storpolitikk og fantastiske sjakkpartier hånd i hånd.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: I see the Chessbookie Leaderboard is back to normal business, with the World Champion on top, ahead of the always sneaky <morfishine> at 2nd, and the solid player <Touch of Knight> at 3rd place.

<L E A D E R B O A R D
updated Sat Nov 10, 13:14
User Net Worth
(1) Count Wedgemore 2,408
(2) morfishine 2,377
(3) Touch of Knight 1,810
(4) EIDorado 1,708
(5) pandemic 1,684
(6) fivealpha 1,632
(7) FreddyBob51 1,499
(8) PolarCow 1,408
(9) scout118 1,365
(10) dontwakedaddy 1,301
(11) Lost Rook 1,276
(12) WannaBe 1,220>

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Tusind tak for linket <Count> ! Det var et pletskud og gav lige den presseconference der skulle til for at fuldende en stor skakdag!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Så flott, <moro>! Det var godt å høre.
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