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Count Wedgemore
Member since Oct-02-17 · Last seen Sep-19-18
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), 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:

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 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. Full Member
   Current net-worth: 6,416 chessbucks
[what is this?]

   Count Wedgemore has kibitzed 1205 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Sep-19-18 I Nepomniachtchi vs Ivanchuk, 2018 (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <HeMateMe: was white's pawn sac in the opening sound?> No, I don't think so. White ends up giving away the important e5-pawn with little or no compensation. <It seems later blunders hurt Chucky even more so than Nepo's plan> Agreed. In fact, Nepo somewhat ...
   Sep-19-18 Huebner vs Timman, 1981
Count Wedgemore: <Howard: According to the Informant, 39...g5! would have won.> Surely you mean 39...g4. Anyway, I don't believe it. The move Timman played is probably the best option he had in the position. 39...Qg3 has the advantage that White cannot leave the rook on e1 unprotected.
   Sep-18-18 Kibitzer's Café (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <diceman: Catherine or Johann?> Barbara, of course!
   Sep-18-18 playground player chessforum (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <playground player: I'm a Protestant, and when I see a Catholic ceremony featuring, say, a procession with an icon or figure of Mary, it makes me wonder what, exactly, is going on there. But for the sake of Christian unity--whatever little unity we can still say we ...
   Sep-18-18 Eric Hansen
Count Wedgemore: <PhilFeeley: I still can't find out why Bareev is not on the Olympiad team this year. Did he go back to Russia?> Bareev seems to have all but quit competitive chess, and he is no longer listed as 'active' on the FIDE rating list. The last time he played in a FIDE-rated
   Sep-17-18 rogge chessforum (replies)
   Sep-16-18 Count Wedgemore chessforum
Count Wedgemore: Takk, <Diademas>! Jeg har svart på ditt interessante innlegg i <rogge>s sjakkforum.
   Sep-16-18 6th Sinquefield Cup (2018) (replies)
Count Wedgemore:
   Sep-13-18 OhioChessFan chessforum
Count Wedgemore: <Boomie: Haikus start with five. Next there comes seven sisters. Don't kiss them all.> I'm breaking the rules Don't need the combination To open the safe
   Sep-11-18 Kenneth S Rogoff (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <optimal play: Only a Cultural Marxist would consider that racist.> Yes. <HeMateMe: Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan continue to bitch out, stay silent on race issues.> And only a Cultural Marxist would attack Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan for "staying silent on ...
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Count your blessings!

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: Southern cuisine, eh? Cajun & BBQ comes to mind, else for instance. Yummy!

Round 9 today, So-Carlsen tomorrow :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Count Wedgemore> In Florida or down south, if you are not talking fish or shrimp or crabs, its all about BarBQ. And if you want to get the most out of your BarBQ, you need a slow smoker or at the least a grill large enough to put the food on one side with the charcoal away from the food on the other side (to avoid direct heat).

I like to brine my ribs or Chicken over night. This is important for maximum juicy-ness! but not absolutely critical. Brining for BarBQ is simple: create a solution in a heavy freezer bad with purified water and/or Soy/Teriyaki in even amounts. Add your preferred spices including salt+brown sugar to the solution. Put your meat in the solution then the bag in the fridge for 24 hours.

If you have a smoker, smoke your pork ribs at 200 degrees F for 4 hours or a whole chicken at 250 degrees F for 2 hours. Spray your meat with a 50/50 mixture of water+apple juice frequently while smoking.

*Note: If you are using a grill and its hotter than a controllable smoker, no problem, just wrap your meat in cellophane, poke holes, and smoke that way

For sides I like corn on the cob, cole slaw and bake beans slow cooked with minced onion, tomatoes and green peppers seasoned with garlic powder + brown sugar


Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <rogge> That website looks great! Thanks for the link. Many interesting recipes, but I guess a problem for us is sometimes finding the right ingredients. And as I've told <morf> before, even though I speak very good English, I have discovered that my vocabulary is really lousy when it comes to food.. for instance, one of the first recipes on that page requires something called "thyme"? And "cumin"? I have no idea what it means!

Yes, I know. I can always try google translate or something, but it doesn't always work. Not every word is translated properly. Oh well..

<Round 9 today, So-Carlsen tomorrow :)>

LOL. It would be nice to see Magnus demolish So tomorrow in the rapid/blitz playoffs, but that's not possible, is it? Isn't So only on 3.5/8? So So is out (now that was a funny sentence, right? :=)

No, I think Magnus will crush Hikaru today, and beat Fabiano tomorrow!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <morfishine> Thanks for the information. We Norwegians are also very fond of BarBQ. Of course, outdoors we usually only do it during the summer and early atumnn, afterwards it's too cold, and then the snow starts Much easier for you guys who can do it all year long!

Your BarBQ-suggestions look compelling. I will try this (I've already promised my wife an evening of "Southern Cuisine", based on recipes received through my Florida connections :=).

Just one question: the grill I have is rather big, so I think I can use it as a slow smoker in the way you described. But I also have a crockpot, made for slow cooking. My wife's sister bought it for my wife many years ago, but we haven't really used it that much (we've used it for slow cooking pre-prepared minced meat, though. And that was really good. We mixed it with tomato and mushroom soups and some spice.) It's not very common here in Norway, but as I understand it, it's an American invention and especially used in Southern US, right? So I guess you're the right person to ask,<morf>: can I use the crockpot for slow-cooking some of the BarBQ food you suggested? Or wouldn't that work so well?

Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: Don't know what's wrong with my head today, forget my idiotic remarks about the pairings, he he :)

In fact, i'll delete it myself :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <rogge: Round 10 tomorrow, <Count>, with So-Carlsen :)>

Oh, I see. Sorry, I thought this was the final (regular) round! Obviously I have lost the plot completely :) Thanks, <rogge>!

Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: No, my mistake! I thought it was a DRR, skikkelig kortslutning :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: LOL. After posting my response, I saw your post where you corrected yourself. Okay, so this IS the final round then! At least now we've cleared this up. Heia Magnus!! Heia Norge!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: 👍😂
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Count Wedgemore> I love using the crock pot, but exclusively for stews. Yum, Yum!

The smoker is for slow-smoking meats: Pork ribs/butts, Beef ribs, Beef roasts of all types, whole chickens, etc.

I even smoked a duck! That turned out great.

I completely forgot to mention there are different types of wood to smoke with. Last year a storm blew threw and I gathered up lots of fresh oak branches that have turned out perfect for smoking! I just had to dry them out for about 30 days

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Hi <morfishine> and <Count Wedgemore> !

I am very pleased that you both liked the
Waterboys.And I didn´t know about them either till around 5 years ago.But they are very easy to like,if I should use one expression.The asmosphere has a smell from the ocean,some optimism and a bit melancoly."The Fisherman´s blues"(I think it is called) is my favourite,but many number could be mentioned.

Had(real)money on Aronian combined with Carlsen and it was a funny experience to watch the finish of the Carlsengame this morning,without knowing the result ! A wonderful broadcast from St Louis with the best team on the circuit IMHO.

All the best -moro-

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <moronovich> Yes, I look forward to explore more of their music. I just read a little about them on the internet (wikipedia) and found out that they have made at least a dozen studio albums or so, + live albums, compilations, etc., so it's a lot to explore. So I'm definitely going to check out more of their music. I simply use Youtube, one finds so much there nowadays.

And congrats on picking the Carlsen/Aronian combo! Magnus was not a surprise, of course. But I didn't really expect Aronian to finish at shared 1st. Since winning the World Cup about a year ago, I don't think he's been playing particularly well. He's been rather inconsistent. So well done in getting it right. Beforehand, I thought this would perhaps be Mamedyarov's turn to win a supertournament: he's been in stellar form over the last 8-10 months.

Sep-07-18  SugarDom: My Norwegian Chief Engineer back from the nineties also met the Swede duo.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <SugarDom> LOL. Some guys have all the luck!!

Then again, as the famous Roman philosopher Seneca once said: "Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity" :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I read your profile - congratulations on your draw against the GM.

My only meeting against a GM did not go well. First I blundered away my light-square Bishop to a double attack with check.

Then I walked into a classic smothered mate just before move 20. I was young at the time and had not studied tactics extensively.

So yes, I did lose, but I have an excuse. My excuse is that I'm not a good player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <tga: My excuse is that I'm not a good player>

You are a rare creature, my friend! In my experience, nobody is better at making excuses for a loss than chessplayers :)

But don't sell yourself short. To be able to get a result against these GM monsters you have to play well, of course, but some luck is needed as well. My luck was that he made a blunder that these guys very seldom do, but sometimes they do, and luckily for me, it happened, and I was able to save an almost completely lost endgame.

By the way, there was a little discussion back and forth regarding Stalin/WW2/Eastern Europe & Soviet war casualties on the Rogoff page yesterday. If you have the time, I'd appreciate if you weigh in on this, at Rogoff, in your forum or here, wherever you like. If you have the time.

It all actually started with this post by <al wazir>, which I responded to, and then <HMM> joined in as well. It went on for a little while, 5-6 posts. Anyway here is the link to the <al wazir> post that started it (unsurprisingly, another cheap shot at your current president:

Kenneth S Rogoff (kibitz #348515)

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Count Wedgemore: <<<tga: My excuse is that I'm not a good player>>>

By the way, there was a little discussion back and forth regarding Stalin/WW2/Eastern Europe & Soviet war casualties on the Rogoff page yesterday. If you have the time, I'd appreciate if you weigh in on this, at Rogoff, in your forum or here, wherever you like.>

I am passionate about the subject. It appears that <HMM> is too. <al wazir> is familiar with the conventional narrative.

However, the conventional narrative about the Eastern Front is inextricably intertwined with Stalinist propaganda. An excellent source for learning more about this is < Deathride: Hitler Vs. Stalin - The Eastern Front, 1941-1945> by John Mosier. I <highly> recommend it.

The number of Soviet casualties, military and civilian combined, is a question that Mosier discusses in the book. He cites numerous sources and figures, from the official (and preposterously low) number of 7.5 million (military only, IIRC), to the long-accepted number of 20~22 million, to a more recent scholar’s estimate of about 28 million. IIRC, this scholar is a Russian fellow.

In any event, that number dovetails nicely with your 25-30 million. And, FWIW, 28 million is the estimate I accept, with a considerable margin of error. To play off of Stalin’s quip, one death is a tragedy, but 28 million is a statistic of uncertain accuracy.

Our good <HMM> is no scholar, to put it mildly. His public record of comments is spoiled by countless errors, even regarding things he could have fact-checked in mere seconds. So I am quite skeptical of his 40-60M claim. I’d question his source if I were you.

For now, I will say no more about this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: Antony Beevor has written several excellent books on the subject.

Premium Chessgames Member

<rogge> He certainly has! That's quite a list and on a topic relevant to my interests as well.

I did do a little further google research and I was intrigued to find a Canadian connection as well.

Apparently, <Antony Beever> is Canadian pop star <Justin Beever's> uncle?!

I found that hard to believe, until I uncovered scientific evidence:

Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: Ha ha ha :)

I've read "Stalingrad" and "Berlin - The Downfall" myself. Beevor is a historian, and the books have 50+ pages of references and sources .

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <tga: An excellent source for learning more about this is < Deathride: Hitler Vs. Stalin - The Eastern Front, 1941-1945> by John Mosier. I <highly> recommend it.>

Thanks so much for your recommendation. I've already purchased it and downloaded it to my Kindle. I'll start reading it right away. I'm a speed reader so I will give you my exclusive review of the book very shortly! It looks very, very interesting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <rogge: Antony Beevor has written several excellent books on the subject.>

Thanks for the link. I know about this author but I don't think I've ever read him. Didn't know that he had written several WW2 books. I knew about the Stalingrad book but not the others. I will check him out. Which of his books would you recommend the most?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <jessicafischerqueen> Intriguing Beever-Beever connection! You must have been busy as a beever doing all that research on your own. I doubt this subject has ever been seriously studied before (there is probably a good reason for that).

Groundbreaking work.

Of course, maybe it's all just a big misunderstanding. It happens:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Hei Greven ;)

Jeg kommenterte noen synspunkter du hadde på Rogges forum hvis det skulle være av interesse. rogge chessforum

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Takk, <Diademas>! Jeg har svart på ditt interessante innlegg i <rogge>s sjakkforum.
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