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Count Wedgemore
Member since Oct-02-17 · Last seen Jan-19-19
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), 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: 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 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.

Chessgames.com Full Member
   Current net-worth: 10,458 chessbucks
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   Count Wedgemore has kibitzed 2366 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Jan-19-19 Kenneth S Rogoff (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: <saffuna> From your post: <Hurd believes border surveillance using radar and cameras, and a careful examination of what’s being done and what works is a far more rational approach to take.> That's more or less exactly what we've been saying, <saffuna>. For ...
 
   Jan-19-19 J van Foreest vs V Fedoseev, 2019 (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: If a piece falls in Van Foreest's position but no one is around to see or hear it, does it make a sound?
 
   Jan-18-19 Robert James Fischer (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: <AK: The one thing that makes Carlsen different from previous world champions (excepting Alekhine) is that he has yet to lose a WCC match.> Alekhine did in fact lose a WCC match, to Euwe in 1935.
 
   Jan-18-19 OhioChessFan chessforum (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: Round 7: Fedoseev - Carlsen 1/2 33 Shankland - Van Foreest 1-0 40 Radjabov - Vidit 1/2 36 Giri - Ding 1/2 27 Nepomniachtchi - Duda 1/2 32 Kramnik - Anand 1/2 30 Mamedyarov - Rapport 1/2 37
 
   Jan-18-19 Golden Executive chessforum (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: Round 7: Fedoseev - Carlsen 1/2 Shankland - Van Foreest 1-0 Radjabov - Vidit 1/2 Giri - Ding 1/2 Nepomniachtchi - Duda 1/2 Kramnik - Anand 1/2 Mamedyarov - Rapport 1/2
 
   Jan-18-19 moronovich chessforum (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: (Dramatic, overly sentimental music - FINAL SCENE) I took a major hit today....don't know if I can make it back...but you guys go ahead...I'll be fine...I just need some rest...It's all over for me...don't think I'll make it...but once a Champ always a Champ...They'll NEVER ...
 
   Jan-18-19 Count Wedgemore chessforum (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: <moorfishine> Yes, it is very sad. I didn't know him as well as some of you who have been on <CG> for ages, but I had a couple of friendly and interesting conversations with him about literature, particularly in the realm of fantasy/science fiction. And he sure ...
 
   Jan-18-19 Tata Steel Masters (2019) (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: Anish has really kicked his game into high Gir recently.
 
   Jan-17-19 chessgames.com chessforum (replies)
 
Count Wedgemore: Tomorrow's 'Player of the Day' should be: Gerry McCarthy RIP <Domdaniel>.
 
   Jan-17-19 Domdaniel chessforum (replies)
 
...
 
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Count your blessings!

Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<My good Anteater>

He may have been referring to "Les Miserables" star <Huges Jackman>.

Jan-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <jessicachampionroyalty:

<My good Anteater>

He may have been referring to "Les Miserables" star <Huges Jackman>.>

Of course, Jackman is just his stage name.

IRL he is Huges Johnson, IIRC.

Jan-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <tga: IRL he is Huges Johnson, IIRC.>

Is this based on personal experience?

Perhaps I didn't know you as well as I thought, <tga>..

Jan-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Count Wedgemore: <tga: IRL he is Huges Johnson, IIRC.>

Is this based on personal experience?

Perhaps I didn't know you as well as I thought, <tga>..>

I was talking about his name!

Get your mind out of the gutter, man.

Jan-07-19  ughaibu: Great reply to Harry on the Fischer page!
Jan-07-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Thanks, <ughaibu>. It's not like he didn't deserve it :)
Jan-08-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Count Wedgemore:

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)>

Count, who was your top player in the Fischer era, 1960's-70's?

Jan-08-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <diceman: Count, who was your top player in the Fischer era, 1960's-70's?>

Undoubtedly Svein Johannessen. He was our leading player throughout the 60s and early 70s. A hugely gifted player, but unfortunately the conditions for an up-and-coming chess player in Norway at that time made it difficult for his talent to flourish. Not enough strong national tournaments, difficulty to find good teachers, opponents and such. We were really a very weak chess nation back then, for instance both Sweden and Denmark had many more and better players. So it was hard for Johannesen to get the opportunities he needed to make it to the world's elite.

Johannesen never even got to become a GM, but some say that if he had been born in the Soviet Union he would have become one of the world's best players. But that is, of course, pure speculation.

Here is his player page on <CG>:

Svein Johannessen

Jan-09-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Count Wedgemore:

Undoubtedly Svein Johannessen. He was our leading player throughout the 60s and early 70s.>

That's who I would have tentatively guessed. :)

While I knew he was a strong player, I wasn't 100% sure he was from Norway.

First saw him in the Fischer exchange
Ruy Lopez, from Havana 1966.

Fischer vs S Johannessen, 1966

Ironically, even though his other game with Fischer was at the same Olympiad, I didn't see it until years later.

S Johannessen vs Fischer, 1966

It may have been discussed in the chess publications of 1966/67, but I wasn't playing back then.

Jan-09-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <diceman> Yeah, unfortunately Johannesen wasn't able to put up much resistance against Fischer in the Havana Olympiad. Not so easy to do that against Bobby, of course! But still, Svein's play in these two games was rather lacklustre and a bit below his usual standards, I would say.

A true gentleman, both on and off the board, Svein played 10 olympiads for Norway, and he played several World Champions, at least five, of this I am sure. Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian and Spassky in addition to Fischer. But I don't think he ever won against any of them. He was close to beating Tal with Black in Stockholm 1960, though. Unfortunately he blew a winning position. Even down the exchange, his two connected kingside pawns should have won him the game, but he misplayed the ending. But that's the story of chess: so many lost opportunities..

Tal vs S Johannessen, 1960

Jan-09-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  WinKing: Hi Count Wedgemore,

<<>Tata Steel Masters 2019<>>

2 more days!

Countdown to the Tata Steel Masters 2019:

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

♘Alkmaar♘Wijk aan Zee♗Leiden♗

https://www.tatasteelchess.com/#

This tournament will run from January 12th thru January 27th 2019. (13 Rounds)

Participants include: Carlsen, Mamedyarov, Ding Liren, Giri, Kramnik, Anand, Nepomniachtchi, Radjabov, Duda, Rapport, Shankland, Fedoseev, Vidit & Van Foreest

Average rating: 2753 (as of 1/7/19) - Category XXI

*****
*****

<<>Tata Steel Masters 2019<>>

Schedule - https://www.tatasteelchess.com/play...

Round 1 is Saturday, January 12th & it starts @ 13:30hrs(1:30pm) Wijk aan Zee time(7:30am chessgames time)

< 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!!!

*****

Jan-09-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Dear <Count> Whenever the leg begins, good luck to you!
Jan-09-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Thanks, <morf>. I guess it begins in a day or two, just in time for Tata Steel.
Jan-15-19  john barleycorn: <thegoodanarchist: ...
When I wear my jacket, I look like a rock star.>

I look good no matter what I take off.

Jan-16-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Natural beauty takes at least two hours in front of a mirror.
Jan-16-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: "Freedom´s just another word,for nothing left to lose"
Jan-16-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: <It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.>

-Dolly Parton

Jan-16-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Old very angry lady at a party to Winston Churchill "My god,you are stinking and disgusting drunk tonight" WC:"Yes my dear,but tomorrow I´ll be sober,but you will still look ugly"
Jan-16-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: <moronovich: Old very angry lady at a party to Winston Churchill "My god,you are stinking and disgusting drunk tonight" WC:"Yes my dear,but tomorrow I´ll be sober,but you will still look ugly">

<When Nancy Astor, Britain's first female MP, told Sir Winston Churchill that: "If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee," Churchill famously replied: "Nancy, if I were your husband I would drink it.">

A quote we all know, but it may be a myth.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politic...

Jan-17-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <<When Nancy Astor, Britain's first female MP, told Sir Winston Churchill that: "If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee," Churchill famously replied: "Nancy, if I were your husband I would drink it.">>

Heh,heh-most likely a myth.But it may illustrate the stuff WC was made of.

Jan-17-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: It's incredible how often quotes that are attributed to some historical person turn out to be factually wrong. After some research is done on the matter, a majority of such famous quotes seems to be attributed to the wrong person. Many of them are just myths, and were never uttered by anyone, ever. And this tradition of misquoting goes way back. Take the infamous Marie Antoinette-quote: "Let them eat cake". She never said it!

But they make for great stories, though.

Jan-17-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: And Bill Gates never said : "One apple a day,keeps the doctor away".
Jan-18-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Hello <Count> I'm just devastated by the news about <Domdaniel> its just unbelievable. He was the face of <CG> and such a perfect example of how to handle oneself
Jan-18-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <moorfishine> Yes, it is very sad. I didn't know him as well as some of you who have been on <CG> for ages, but I had a couple of friendly and interesting conversations with him about literature, particularly in the realm of fantasy/science fiction.

And he sure knew what he was talking about. He had some extensive knowledge of that. I can be an arrogant b..tard sometimes :=, and I dare say there are very few I converse with who is more well read than me and has more general knowledge about literature, but <Domdaniel> was one of them. In particular when it comes to sci-fi writers and such, he mentioned names of authors and stories I hadn't ever heard about before. A true littérateur; man of letters. His death is a severe loss to this community, no doubt about it.

And one quickly noticed from his posts that he was a kind and gentle soul..

Jan-19-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Count Wedgemore> That is very humbling your thoughts on <DomDaniel>'s expertise in literature. I didn't know him that well, but I noticed right from the start when I arrived around 2009 that he was a person that deserved respect. Few people attacked him or tried to slander him or discredit him, but I'm proud to say that whenever that happened, I happily stepped up in his defense. A man of his character deserves friends that will defend his character and I was one. Such a loss
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