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Count Wedgemore
Member since Oct-02-17 · Last seen May-25-18
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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vikings

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), the 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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simen...

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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memor...

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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crypt...

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..https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golde...

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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seria...

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 twenty years is from Italy (although she has lived in Norway for 25 years), 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 iiterature: 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 Daniel Freeman and the late Alberto A Artidiello for having created this wonderful meeting ground for chess players. All the best, Bjørn.

Chessgames.com Full Member
   Current net-worth: -1,019 chessbucks
[what is this?]

   Count Wedgemore has kibitzed 524 times to chessgames   [more...]
   May-25-18 Altibox Norway (2018)
 
Count Wedgemore: <HeMateMe: How about "World champion Woody Allen"?> Nickname: Woody Woodpusher.
 
   May-25-18 WinKing chessforum (replies)
 
...
 
   May-23-18 Carlsen vs O Hole, 2002 (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: <Sergash: This line is called the Panov-Botvinnik Attack and is the most played here. It shares several characteristics with the Queen's Gambit games.> Yes, the IQP position that arises from this variation has indeed many similarities with other IQP positions in ...
 
   May-23-18 OhioChessFan chessforum
 
Count Wedgemore: <OhioChessFan: There's 2 really annoying strategies..> When I, not so long ago, started participating in the prediction contests, these two somewhat unsportsmanlike strategies were something I noticed rather quickly, and it annoyed me too. So I'm with you, <OCF>.
 
   May-23-18 Jessenia Rojas Solano
 
Count Wedgemore: <whiteshark> Thanks, jumped the gun on that one :)
 
   May-23-18 moronovich chessforum (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: Hi, <moro>. Things are certainly looking good for you in the Chessbookie Game. But there is a lot of play left this leg with the upcoming Norway Chess tournament. Good luck! I was wondering, how do you rate Denmark's chances in the World Cup? You think they will ...
 
   May-22-18 lostemperor chessforum (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: My inspired predictions: 1. Carlsen 2. Caruana 3. Mamedyarov 3. So 3. Aronian 6. Vachier-Lagrave 6. Nakamura 8. Anand 9. Karjakin 9. Ding Liren
 
   May-21-18 Kibitzer's Café (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: <Luke Warm> I think I've seen it. The one with Melvin van Peebles? But that was some 20 years ago.
 
   May-20-18 WannaBe chessforum (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: Hi there, <WannaBe>. A World Cup prediction contest, great! I wish Norway was there, but we haven't qualified in 20 years. And to make matters worse, my other favorite national team, Italy, failed to qualify also! I will root for Denmark (their head coach is Norwegian)
 
   May-19-18 Capablanca Memorial (2018) (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: <Sally Simpson: The Olympiad finishes on the 7th of October. The W.C. match starts on the 9th of November.> Good point. I seriously doubt that Caruana will play in the Olympiad.
 
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Count your blessings!

Kibitzer's Corner
May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: And with this post, I am now officially opening my own personal chessforum. Everyone is welcome to drop in at any time. I am open for discussing, well..ANYTHING really. I see myself as a form of 'renaissance man' (no false modesty here..), so feel free to engage me in any topic at your leisure! Cheers, Bjørn.
May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Hello Count Wedgemore!
May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Hi there, <offramp>. Thanks for dropping by, my friend. I love your chessforum bio, by the way! Perhaps, especially the very last paragraph where you write: <I spend many hours listening to Old-Time Radio (OTR).>

Hey, I do too! Ain't that a cool hobby to have? Last night I listened to an old radio western show, "Fort Laramie" starring Raymond Burr (of Perry Mason fame). Radio westerns are great.

May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Hi´Bjørn !

Good to see you open your forum.And your bio is a delight to read.

Will return later and till then
All the best -moro-.

May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Thanks, <moronovich>! Funny thing: I just had a look at the current Chessbookie Leaderboard and there you are, suddenly jumped up to 8th place. Well done, my friend. Hopefully I will soon be back on that leaderboard too..
May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I really like chessgames.com. I really like chess!

There are two things that I can't stand, and I can't UNDERSTAND.

The first is the sad old Kibitzer's Café. It is just a load of crappy old YouTube links to music videos. Are there no music forums on the internet?

Much much worse is the sewer called the Rogoff page. I feel really sorry for Kenneth Rogoff. He is a good player but his page has been made a complete Shize-hole by poeple who have no interest in chess whatsoever.

Luckily, chessgames.com has a good ignre feature. So if I see that someone is regularly using either of those I put him on my beautiful ignore list!

May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: My dear <offramp>, I am in complete agreement with you on the Kibitzer's cafe. What's up with that? Isn't that supposed to be the <chessgames> lobby, where one can drop in and talk about more or less anything (except chess)?

Yeah, you're right. It's really sad. Three, four people posting endless youtube links for who, exactly? I tell you what: That cafe should undergo a complete renovation, out with the lousy, old-fashioned jukeboxes. Perhaps change the name to "Daniel's Restaurant" or something, a new, sophisticated place where no music links are allowed..we can do this!

About the Rogoff page..I'm not so sure I agree with you. There are many good chess players who have their own page here where nobody ever posts anything. I give you an example: Sweden's Gideon Stahlberg, who was among the better players in the world in the 30s, 40s and early 50s. 4--four lousy pages with comments. Russia's Alexey Dreev, former individual European Champion: same. Isn't this even more sad? If Kenneths Rogoff's player page was not used for political debate, how many pages with comments would he have had, you think? Two, three?

Of course, things would look very different if Rogoff himself should express some disdain about his page being used in this manner. Then it would be wrong, no doubt. But Daniel Freeman, the administrator, would naturally not have allowed this if that was the case. So clearly, Rogoff is okay with it, then what's the problem?

But look, I see where you're coming from. The discussion over there is, unfortunately, plagued with insults, ad hominem attacks, etc. which can be very annoying and offensive to some readers.

I admit I have felt tempted to join in some of the discussions there..but I will try to resist! Because I don't want you to put me on ignore, my dear <offramp>. You were the very first person who welcomed me to <chessgames> upon arrival. And now that I have just discovered that we are both OTR aficionados..I don't wanna lose your friendship here..so, please, PLEASE DO NOT PUT ME ON THAT INFAMOUS IGNORE LIST! I WILL NOT BE IGNORED..I WILL NOT :=

May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Congratulations on the opening of your forum!
May-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <thegoodanarchist: Congratulations on the opening of your forum!>

Thank you so much for that, <tga>. You sure seem to like a good debate. Feel free to drop by anytime with whatever is on your mind!

May-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <CW: You sure seem to like a good debate.>

When I first joined this site, one of the debates I enjoyed the most was "Who is the greatest chess player of all time?"

I argued for Fischer for weeks & months, off and on, back and forth. He is quite controversial.

But now, I think the answer is clear - Carlsen is the greatest chess player of all time.

But it isn't as much fun to argue for Carlsen. I liked arguing for Fischer much more.

So I don't debate this topic much anymore.

May-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Sir, you have a very impressive bio!!
May-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <TheFocus> Thank you! Wish I had your scintillating wit, though. You're the funniest kibitzer on <CG>!

This, for instance that you recently posted on <tga>'s page:

thegoodanarchist chessforum (kibitz #844)

#LateLivesMatter..LOL. Hilarious.

May-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <tga: greatest chess player..>

I'm with you here, <tga>. Carlsen is king! But yeah, I suppose it must be more fun and interesting to argue for Botvinnik or Tal or something. It's not at all difficult to find arguments for Carlsen. I think I probably go with Carlsen-Fischer-Capablanca, in that order. Kasparov was great, but Karpov wasn't much weaker, if at all.

There's always a great amount of subjectivity to these lists. It's hard to be completely objective, if it's at all possible.

May-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I have just started rereading a novel by Georges Perec called "53 Days".

It is a detective novel which Perec died before finishing.

The novel takes place in a steaming hot French-African ex-colony called Grianta. The main clue in the novel is a perfectly typed typescript of a novel called <The Crypt>, written in Grianta by a man who has disappeared.

The Crypt is set, perversely, in the town of "Gotterdam" in a Nordic country called "Fernland". It is the depths of winter in this Arctic Circle country, and the effects of ice and snow are constantly mentioned.

It is as if the writer wanted to get as far away from the blistering heat of Grianta as possible....

I thought of that today as London reached 25°C. Not hot, but this is only May, and the weather will get hotter in June and July.

May-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <offramp> Interesting! Going by your description, 'Fernland' sounds a bit like my Norway..

<It is the depths of winter in this Arctic Circle country, and the effects of ice and snow are constantly mentioned.>

Yes, definitely. I mean, we're long into May and there's still a little bit of snow left in a part of my backyard that doesn't get much sun.

I know very little of Perec. I have one book, an English translation of his most famous book I think? It's called 'Life: A User's Manual'.

Would like to read more of Perec. A fascinating. postmodern writer. But I know too little, now you've inspired me to find out more.

May-09-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A woman I know just came back from Denmark.

She said

<London is expensive but the Danish earn 50 to 60 thousand Euros a year, so everything is expensive there.>

SO, as a beer drinker I have avoided Scandinavia like I avoid Rogoff.

BTW when I say Scandinavia I mean in the sense I was taught at school:

Scandinavia is ONLY Norway and Sweden. But I am willing to include Denmark... MARGINALLY.

And they are all massively expensive.

May-09-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <offramp: Scandinavia is ONLY Norway and Sweden. But I am willing to include Denmark... MARGINALLY.>

Yes, technically you are correct: the Scandinavian peninsula doesn't include Denmark, which of course geographically is a part of the European continent (excluding the Danish islands). But here in Norway, it is common to include Denmark when talking about Scandinavia (not Finland, though).

And yes, the price of beer is very high here..fortunately for me I don't drink beer. I prefer a glass of wine now and then. It's just that..wine is even more expensive! You don't go to Scandinavia to live cheap, that's for sure.

But there are at least two other good reasons to take the trip: beautiful scenery and beautiful women..

May-10-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I have listened to a huge amount of Old Time Radio (OTR), but over the years one series has really stood out:
Black Mass by Erik Bauersfeld.
He did them on his own.
All the episodes are available for free here:
https://archive.org/details/BlackMa...
My favourite is the first one on that list, <All Hallows> by Walter de la Mare.
<A Country Doctor>, by Kafka, is also brilliantly done.

Bauersfeld achieved huge exposure late in life. He was the voice of Admiral Ackbar in one of those Star Wars thingies.

May-10-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <offramp: Black Mass by Erik Bauersfeld.>

Oh my, sure looks great. I love the horror/fantasy genre and really perfect for radio, too. I look forward to listening to it. Thank you so much for that, <offramp>. I'll give you some feedback once I have listened to some of the episodes.

May-17-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In London, and probably elsewhere, it was Norway day. The London News said that loads of waffles were eaten. Aren't waffles a Belgian conception?

In England waffles are NOT a big thing. But in general English people know who invaded in 1066. It was the Normans...no one ever says "the French".

Some English people know that the Norwegians had a very strange empire: Norway, Normandy, Sicily and Kiev... How does that work?

England and Wales joined that unusual empire.

William the Conqueror was specifically not French; he would have been puzzled at the concept...

This has been on my mind because the 950 year old Bayeux Tapestry might be loaned to the UK in 2020.

May-17-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <offramp: In London, and probably elsewhere, it was Norway day.>

Yes, May 17th is Norway's big day. Constitution Day, as we call it. The day (in 1814) when Norway got its own constitution and was declared a free and independent country, free from Denmark!

It's just that about three months later Norway was forced into a political union with Sweden..which of course was much worse. I mean, I love Denmark. Danes are the friendliest people I know (and their sandwiches?..mmm.) The Swedes, on the other hand? Uhmm..not so much. Nobody likes Sweden, even Swedes themselves, it seems, given that they seem hell bent on destroying their own country and its heritage, but that's a topic for another day..

But, finally, in 1905 we got rid of them, and thank goodness for that. Have you ever eaten Swedish food? They have this thing called "surströmming", which is basically decayed herring. I prefer waterboarding to ever have to eat that again.

About waffles, I mean, sure, we like waffles in Norway, but it's not a particular tradition to eat waffles on our national day. Ice cream is more the common theme here, especially with the kids.

<Some English people know that the Norwegians had a very strange empire: Norway, Normandy, Sicily and Kiev... How does that work?>

Yes, we Norsemen travelled long and far. Those that went West and South ended up on the British Isles, or the coast of France as you say, all the way down to the Mediterranean. And as you know, even farther West, to Iceland, Greenland, even North America. But those that went East sailed from the Baltic Sea and onto the big rivers in Russia and Ukraine, all the way down to the Black Sea. Places like Kiev as you mentioned. It's really fascinating.

But, of course, you probably know all this stuff about Norway already given that you are the lead singer and guitarist of the Norwegian black metal band 'Dementert Freaks'. Whoo!

Finally, a little tip: if the French really loan you Englishmen the Bayeux tapestry, never give it back! Keep it.

May-24-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  WinKing: Hi <Count Wedgemore>,

<<>Norway Chess 2018<>>

3½ days to go!

Countdown to Norway Chess 2018:

https://www.timeanddate.com/countdo...

♘Altibox♘Norway Chess 2018♗Altibox♗

http://norwaychess.no/en

This tournament will run from May 28th thru Jun. 7th 2018. (9 Rounds)

Participants include: Anand, Aronian, Carlsen, Caruana, Ding Liren, Karjakin, Mamedyarov, Nakamura, So & Vachier-Lagrave

Average rating: 2790 (as of 5/3/18) - Category XXII

*****
*****

<<>Norway Chess 2018<>>

Schedule - http://norwaychess.no/en/program-20...

Round 1 is Monday May 28th & it starts @ 16:30hrs(4:30pm) Stavanger, Norway time(10:30am chessgames time). All rounds begin @ 16:30 hrs.

< 3 Prediction Contests: (Win virtual medals - Gold, Silver & Bronze) >

User: lostemperor (FINAL STANDINGS PREDICTIONS) - Predict the order the players will finish. Run & hosted by <lostemperor>. (3 categories to medal in)

User: Golden Executive - (The Game Prediction Contest) - Predict the result 1-0, 1/2, or 0-1. Run & hosted by <Golden Executive>. (3 categories to medal in) This year will be the 11th Anniversary for this contest! (from 2007 to 2018 - 11 years running)

User: OhioChessFan (Moves Prediction Contest) - Predict the result 1-0, 1/2, or 0-1 & the number of moves. (4 categories to medal in). This contest is run by <chessmoron> & hosted by <OhioChessFan>.

*****
*****

Also, don't forget about <chessgames> ChessBookie game for this event. He can't wait to take some or all of your chessbucks. ;)

ChessBookie Game

Don't miss out on the fun for this Super Event!!!

*****

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