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twinlark
Member since Nov-17-05
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My wrap of our Chessgames Challenge: The World vs A Nickel, 2006 against ICCF Grandmaster Arno Nickel is at User: World Team Tribute.

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>> Click here to see twinlark's game collections.

Chessgames.com Full Member

   twinlark has kibitzed 16409 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Aug-27-14 Kenneth Rogoff (replies)
 
twinlark: <HeHateMe> The arrogance of your previous post is breathtaking. Never mind, it's de rigeur for you. But in reply to your substantive comments relating to your prescriptions for what "smart" Gazans should do, I note that a cease fire has been agreed in which: <Hamas and ...
 
   Aug-26-14 twinlark chessforum
 
twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor> You'll be interested in this press conference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?featu...
 
   Aug-25-14 Chithambaram V R Aravindh
 
twinlark: Thanks for the info, guys. I've added to his bio to account for his title norms.
 
   Aug-24-14 Wei Yi
 
twinlark: He's basically pacing Carlsen at the same age. Interesting factoid: his rating hasn't decreased even momentarily in the official ratings since Jan 2012, over four months before he became an IM. http://ratings.fide.com/id.phtml?ev...
 
   Aug-18-14 Magnus Carlsen (replies)
 
twinlark: Your absence.
 
   Aug-18-14 Samuel Sevian
 
twinlark: Sevian has won his 3rd GM norm at the 3rd Washington International. All he needs to win the GM title is to find another few rating points (16 I believe).
 
   Aug-17-14 Alekhine Nouri (replies)
 
twinlark: Here are young player with FM titles who are unrated. Awarded the title on the basis of winning continental U8 championship: http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?... and http://ratings.fide.com/advaction.p...
 
   Aug-17-14 Wesley So (replies)
 
twinlark: Updated his bio, at last. Sorry about the delay. What's the story so far with changing federations?
 
   Aug-17-14 Paulo Bersamina (replies)
 
twinlark: <joeyj> The value of K for U2400s was changed to 20 by FIDE with effect from 1 July 2014. I encountered the exact same problem calculating Anton Smirnov's rating from the Olympiad.
 
   Aug-16-14 Judit Polgar (replies)
 
twinlark: <HeHateMe> <Yifan has not yet been able to do this, and probably will not attain that high a performance level.> She's shown she is capable of it. She had a wonderful run of wins against 2700+ players at Gibraltar and Reykjavik a couple of years ago. Now that she can ...
 
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 228 OF 228 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-20-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> The glowing cucumber above seems to be covered by some bioluminescent plant or fungus.

It's amazing what the mass media can do. Suddenly they have stopped printing news about MH17. Like they were telling us- OK folks it's over, the rebels are to blame, now move along. Or perhaps the new message is- let's pretend it never happened. In either case, the mass murder of the passengers is now in danger of being forgotten as though it was just a bad dream.

Aug-21-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>

You're not the first to make that observation. Odessa is another example of something that didn't happen, or if it did, it was tantamount to collective spontaneous combustion.

Aug-21-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <heuristic: - electricity
- transportation
- commercial/residential>

Some links to Wikipedia articles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur...

<The sulfur–iodine cycle (S–I cycle) consists of three chemical reactions whose net reactant is water and whose net products are hydrogen and oxygen. All other chemicals are recycled. The S–I process requires an efficient source of heat... With an efficiency of around 50% it is more efficient than electrolysis... The S–I cycle involves operations with corrosive chemicals at temperatures up to about 1,000 °C>

Other hydrogen producing chemical reactions:

<Cerium(IV) oxide–cerium(III) oxide cycle; Copper–chlorine cycle; Hybrid sulfur cycle; High-temperature; Iron oxide cycle; Zinc–zinc oxide cycle>

Since the S-I cycle requires high temperatures which cannot be reached by today's commercial nuclear reactors, utilizing it would require high temperature 4th generation nuclear reactors, such as PBR and MSR.

If all else fails, simple electrolysis can be done.

Once cheap hydrogen is available, it can easily be transported by pipelines to gas stations and houses/buildings. Hydrogen vehicles already exist and commercializing them merely awaits a cheap and available hydrogen source.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrog...

There is even an existing hydrogen powered plane (the Tupolev Tu-155) which is now in storage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu-155

More than 90% of industrial metal production is iron. It is also one of the most polluting of all industries. Some countries with a cheap source of natural gas (methane) have turned to Direct reduced iron production, wherein instead of coal, methane is used as the reducing agent in order to convert iron oxides in ores into metallic iron. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct...

Instead of methane, hydrogen can also be used in such smelters to produce direct reduced iron (iron sponge). Hydrogen pipelines can be established from the 4rth generation nuclear reactor plant to a sponge iron smelter.

Hydrogen pipelines into residential houses might conceivably be used to provide hydrogen fuel directly to privately owned cars.

Hydrogen is not a greenhouse gas, so releasing copious amounts into the atmosphere should not have any direct global warming effects. Even if there were eventual indirect effects, the biosphere has an efficient mechanism for hydrogen removal near the Earth's surface- soil hydrogen oxidizing bacteria http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrog.... These bacteria exist ubiquitously because the biosphere also releases hydrogen gas all the time, during decomposition and nitrogen fixation. Methanogens also remove and use hydrogen, although only in anaerobic conditions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methan.... Also see http://chemistry.berkeley.edu/publi...

Alternatively human society might turn to electric vehicles. These already exist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electr...

These can be powered by electricity generated from 4th generation nuclear plants. As would most industries. Electricity can conceivably be supplied to households for the use of private electric cars and vehicles.

In such a scenario, hydrogen would be used mostly as a storage form of energy in the nuclear plant. Extra electricity if unused can be converted to hydrogen for storage. The other main uses of hydrogen would be for smelting iron oxide ores (and other metal oxide ores) and as a chemical base for the petrochemical industry.

The main byproduct of hydrogen production would be oxygen. This can also be piped into the chemical industry sector and to hospitals for patient use.

Aug-21-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Did you notice that Putin imposed Russian sanctions on the EU only AFTER he had made business deals with Latin American countries and China? Putin is trying to defend Russia's interests in the geopolitical world game using a Berlin or Caro-Kann, a semiclosed more or less solid opening. No haphazard counter attack for him.

IMO US has committed too much effort and propaganda to the present Kiev government, such that backing out immediately and openly would cause it a lot of embarrassment and a weakening of its psychological hold on its European allies (or subalterns). Perhaps secret negotiations are in the making right now between US and Russia. Or perhaps not. The way things are going Kiev seems determined to totally subjugate Donetz. I believe Kiev will if US guarantees it protection. I do not know how Russia will react if this occurs.

I agree with you that Russia (and China) seems to be stalling for such a time when the petrodollar is further weakened. I think that BRICS is planning to eventually issue its own currencies as an international alternative to the petrodollar. I wonder how US will try to prevent that, or if it can't, how US will react. Perhaps the US is already acting for its own interests to preserve the petrodollar, through the present Middle East and Ukrainian proxy conflicts.

Aug-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>

You've cut to the chase.

<Perhaps secret negotiations are in the making right now between US and Russia. Or perhaps not.>

Perhaps not. Russia may be playing the Caro-Kann, but I believe the US believes it is moving into the endgame. Sergei Glaziev is probably right: https://www.youtube.com/watch?featu...

<The way things are going Kiev seems determined to totally subjugate Donetz.>

Agreed

<I believe Kiev will if US guarantees it protection.>

It will, if it hasn't already. The US has spent 20 years and $5 billion dollars preparing regime change. The investment is significant and will be protected.

<I do not know how Russia will react if this occurs.>

I suspect Russia is happy to provide covert support to the rebels, but won't die in a ditch over Ukraine which is already an economic and political basket case.

The line in the sand will be stationing NATO forces <and especially ABM batteries> near the Russian border.

I suspect that is exactly what is being planned.

Who was it that said, <"Be afraid, be very afraid.">?

Aug-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> A new development, a phase shift. The Russian humanitarian aid convoy has suddenly crossed into Ukraine without the permission of Kiev.

Kiev has done nothing to stop it from reaching Lugansk.

It seems to me that Russia has just told Kiev it is willing to openly intervene in Eastern Ukraine (as opposed to covert action). There is also an implicit threat of Russian military action should the convoy be attacked. Technically this is an invasion of Ukraine's sovereignty. The pro-Russian press justifies it by implying that the issue of saving human lives trumps a nation's sovereignty. Western MSM paints it as an unwarranted outright invasion.

EU has naturally criticized. Interestingly Merkel has voiced that she is 'concerned' without the heavy condemnatory tone of the US. 'I am concerned' is the standard politico's euphemism meaning 'I won't intervene'. (Has Putin and Merkel done some secret negotiation?)

Lots of implications here. One of the more interesting ones- is EU beginning to contradict US foreign policy that it sees as inimical to Europe? Among others, the Ukraine mess has led to sanctions and counter sanctions that have hurt both Russia and the EU, but not so much the US.

Another implication is that this is a precedent (and a threat message to Kiev). If Russia can invade Eastern Ukraine without Kiev's permission today, it implies it can happen again tomorrow.

Let's take a hypothetical worse than usual scenario that the convoy is attacked by Kiev forces. Russia sends in its military to defend the convoy inside Ukrainian territory. How will US react?

Aug-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>

<How will US react?>

US <wants> Russia to invade, so that it can whack some extremely severe sanctions, including cancelling Russia's bond holdings (and a huge swathe of US debt(!)), completely closing down all Russian access to SWIFT, complete economic embargo, and a justificiation to come to Ukraine's "rescue" at the invitation of the Ukrainian "government". Ukraine doesn't have to be a member of NATO to invite assistance.

Moreover, this makes Europe a captive market for US energy and other imports. It's been pointed out that US became a superpower on the top of massive investment flight from Europe during WWI and WWII. Another major european war could provoke another major flight of European capiital to the US when it most needs more capital.

Russia is playing a deep game, and I'm quite frankly not sure why they're sending the humanitarian convoy. It would be easy for the Ukrainian Army to destroy and blame the rebels, which has been standard form, eg: when the refugee convoy was shot up earlier this week.

Maybe it's a bluff, but what they are trying to achieve beyond actually getting humanitarian assistance into the besieged areas is a mystery to me. The only thing I've seen is that this has significant remifications in international law to do with Ukrainian sovereignty, or its diminution.

Let's just watch that space.

Aug-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>

Here is a very interesting point of view expressed by Boris Kagarlitsky in which he notes the change of leadership in Donetsk and Lugansk against a backdrop of competing interests with...Moscow.

His opinion is that whatever nominal alignment and godwill the separatists had with Russia has largely evaporated to be replaced with distrust caused by Moscow's willingness to surrender Donesk in a back room deal between oligarchs.

I'll be curious what you make of it: http://www.informationclearinghouse...

The politics are becoming too labyrinthine to follow.

I'm trying to understand how this narrative fits the arrival of the humanitarian convoy. I suspect that if Kagarlitsky's analysis is on the money, the Moscow is using it as leverage against both Kiev and Donetsk leaderships.

Otherwise I'm not sure why the Ukrainian military would allow the convoy through, unless it was part of a deal between Moscow and Kiev, notwithstanding all the public posturing by Moscow, Kiev, Berlin and Washington that would disguise what is happening.

The essential rationale for all this is a bunfight between Western, Ukrainian and Russian capitalists on how to divvy up the east.

The uprising sponsored by the oligarch Akhmetov, has now gone beyond his control with the wholesale replacement of his people in power, with the people on the ground in the two eastern provinces deciding that they'll determine their own fates. Not sure I like their chances if this is the case, but Russia will have to tread very carefully not to alienate its own people if any deal done with Kiev and the West is seen to sell out the eastern resistance.

Aug-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>

You may be interested in this article in the New Republic by Amartya Sen titled <Stop Obsessing About Climate Change: Environmentalists are ignoring poor countries' needs>.

He comments on:

"...two quite different, but ultimately related, areas of neglected environmental analyses that demand immediate attention.

The first is the general problem of not having anything like an overall normative framework, involving ethics as well as science, that could serve as the basis of debates and discussions on policy recommendations. Despite the ubiquity and the reach of environmental dangers, a general normative framework for the evaluation of these dangers has yet to emerge.

The second is a much more specific problem: the failure to develop a framework for assessing the comparative costs of different sources of energy (from fossil fuels and nuclear power to solar and renewable energy), inclusive of the externalities involved, which can take many different forms."

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/...

Sen is acutely aware of the causes of poverty and inequality and has long been one of the foremost advocates of poverty amelioration and has been called the Mother Theresa of Economics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amart...

Aug-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> First, the good news is that the Russian humanitarian aid convoy delivered its goods and returned to Russia safely. I was afraid of an attack on the convoy that could escalate things.

Regarding your link above, I am unfamiliar with the groups that the article refers to. However, it seems to me that one thing is surely happening. From the perspective of the 4th world, the viewpoint of a captive people, the Donbass people are spontaneously producing ideologically motivated groups whose prime loyalty is to Donbass itself, and whose ideologies will reflect this loyalty.

Aug-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Some thoughts on the the environmentalist article.

1. I agree with the title. Most career environmentalists are from the first world. They tend to think in terms of blue-print solutions. It's like thinking how to properly use drugs in order to prevent the spread of drug resistant microbes... in an area where people die because they can't afford to buy any drugs at all.

2. The writer is critical of nuclear power, but it seems to me she is totally unfamiliar with 4th generation nuclear reactors that have inherent negative feedback safety mechanisms. She never mentions them at all. She seems unaware that there are major differences between types of nuclear reactors, as big as the difference between a coal burning oven and an electric stove, and thus she writes about them as though they were just one dangerous species.

3. Regarding comparative costs of various energy sources, while it's true there has been no gigantic comprehensive comparative study on these, from basic physical principles one can already glean ideas which are cheaper.

Fossil fuels must be one of the cheapest because it represents a concentrated form of chemical energy, built up by millions of years of photosynthesis, that needs only to be dug or siphoned out of the earth. It's like millions of years worth of sunlight trapped by living solar panels and concentrated into chemical form, that we can use nearly instantaneously. However, I believe we have already hit the oil peak and pretty soon the gas peak. Not yet the coal peak.

Using the same logic, nuclear power must even be potentially cheaper. I would dare say based on everything I have read, that it's the cheapest. Why? It represents nuclear energy from exploding supernovas billions of years ago, trapped in the atomic nucleus of thorium and uranium. Furthermore there are lots of it in the Earth's crust; thorium is about as common as lead. Unfortunately it's dangerous and it takes billions maybe trillions of dollars to develop it in a safe manner. Once developed, it should represent a virtually inexhaustible and cheap energy source even with our present-day energy expenditure.

Addendum: I tend to look at environmentalist reports that treat topics such as global warming in an alarmist manner sceptically, even if I do think that global warming is occurring. (You probably know this from my previous posts on global warming.)

I also believe that the biosphere has a huge capacity to recycle pollutants. Perhaps past experience contributes to this. I can still recall the time when Mt. Pinatubo blew up. I could not see the sun for a week. Accumulating volcanic ash threatened to collapse the roof of our house, so that we had to scoop it out daily by the bucket. The day turned into perpetual dusk. Mt. Pinatubo must have unloaded more pollutants than humanity's yearly output in just a few days. There must have been volcanic explosions in the past much greater than Mt. Pinatubo, yet the biosphere has always processed all the pollutants and gone back to normal mode.

Aug-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <heuristic> Since you have mentioned fusion power, you might want to take a look at this.

http://www.alternative-energy-actio...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polywell

The Polywell is particularly intriguing because it proposes to use the reaction

p + Boron 11 → 4 Helium 2 + 8.7 MeV

an aneutronic fusion reaction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aneutr...

It's well known that one of the biggest problems of fusion reactors using traditional deuterium and tritium is the large amount of fast neutrons they produce, which degrade the containers and transmute their elements into radioactive isotopes.

Aug-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visyanbraindoctor>

What are the effective methane sinks? Their seems to be a large increase in methane upwelling from the Beaufort Sea: http://arctic-news.blogspot.com.au/...

Aug-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Stop Obsessing About Climate Change: Environmentalists are ignoring poor countries' needs>

I can already see a potential area of conflict. Say a poor country has a huge coal deposit. An environmentalist might advocate the usual alternative energy sources to coal. Almost inevitably, these sources would be more expensive to develop and use. Unfortunately the impoverished country is in acute need of cheap energy. What to do?

Aug-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: http://www.helsinki.fi/henvi/resear...

Methane sinks

Sinks 492–577 Tg (teragram, 10 to the 12 grams, equivalent to a megatonne)/annum

Tropospheric OH (hydroxyl radicals) 428–507

Stratosphere (OH, Cl, ozone, hv) 30–45

Soils 26–43

Note also methane <growth rate declined since early 1990s =>around zero during the last decade with large interannual variations>

It's unclear why the methane spike is leveling off. I suspect it has something to do with the soil sink. The soil sink is made of methanotrophs (methane eating bacteria http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methan...). It's the least of the sinks and to me that's not surprising because most of the methane is in the atmosphere.

Note however, that methane is a trace gas, and methanotrophs can only consume a food source until it decreases to the point where the bacteria cannot extract it effectively anymore. Perhaps atmospheric methane, if it survives the hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere, are in quantities near to bacterial starvation level when atmospheric convection carries it back to the soil. In such a case, if a methane spike occurs, the 26 to 43 megatons per year that soil bacteria consumes can rocket upwards. More food, more bacterial reproduction, more bacteria, more methane is eaten.

IMO almost anything in the atmosphere that can be consumed by living organisms should theoretically be subjected to a negative feedback mechanism. Living organisms tend to multiply faster whenever a resource increases, thus consuming more of that resource. When that resource deceases, then there is a die off among the organisms that consume it.

Regarding the methane clathrate gun firing a bullet as the article you linked to indicates, there should be further monitoring of the atmospheric methane levels. If the atmospheric methane levels for the next few years after 2014 remain nearly the same, then we will have to conclude that a negative feedback mechanism somehow consumed the extra methane.

On the other hand, if atmospheric methane significantly keeps on increasing after 2014, then humanity as a whole will have to think of ways to cut down on methane production.

Aug-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Stop Obsessing About Climate Change: Environmentalists are ignoring poor countries' needs>

Here's another example, one wherein there is a lack of coal. Brazil has huge iron oxide ore deposits, and is one of the top countries in iron production. But it has few coal deposits. Coal (fossil fuel carbon) is traditionally used to smelt iron oxide ores into metallic iron. Such is the case in coal-rich countries such as China, India, US. Without much coal, Brazil has turned back to charcoal from its eucalyptus plantations as its source of carbon in iron smelters.

The use of charcoal has the following advantage.

1. It's carbon neutral. The carbon used to smelt iron oxide comes from the air taken in by the eucalpytus tree in the past decade or two.

2. For Brazil, which has a huge population on the poverty line, it provides a huge charcoal and eucalyptus industry that provides so many jobs.

To my surprise doctrinaire environmentalists from US have opposed Brazil's use of charcoal in its iron smelters. They announce the typical blueprint critique against charcoal usage, that it promotes deforestation. One cuts down the Amazon forest in order to turn it into charcoal or to make way for Eucalyptus plantations that is turned into charcoal. So there. Case closed.

But the case is not closed. If all the eucalyptus plantations were to be returned to the Amazon wildlife, millions of people will lose their jobs. How will these jobless people make a living? Probably by illegal logging of the Amazon forest. Ultimately more of the Amazon would be deforested.

Another case that I know of in my country. In one of the central Visayan islands, there was a proposed plan to build a geothermal plant. Environmentalists blocked the plan, because the plant was to be built in a forested area near a volcano. Trees would have to be cleared in an area several square hectares. No to deforestation.

I thought it was ridiculous. Many households in that area earn their living by illegal logging. Now consider that residents near a geothermal plant get practically free electricity. It saves them money. Moreover, many family members get to work in the plant. These would allow illegal loggers to stop their deforestation activities as it would provide an alternative source of income. Truth is that most ordinary people would rather choose a legal way of earning and saving money than illegal means.

In the end the geothermal plant was not built. Illegal logging continues.

Aug-25-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark: >

Based on various sources both MSM and pro-Russian, it looks as though the Kiev government launched a serious offensive aimed at taking Donetz by Aug 24, the Ukrainian Independence day. It failed.

I don't know how a mere militia can fend of the military might of an ex-Soviet Republic. Note the military equipment of the Ukrainian army:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrain...

and Ukrainian airforce

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrain...

Even if the above articles are only half accurate, the Ukrainian military will most probably defeat the armies of most other nation-states in just a few weeks. Kiev has thousands of tanks, self propelled artilleries, infantry fighting vehicles, APCs, and advanced warplanes and helos at its command. It certainly is a more powerful military than the Iraqi or Syrian army, or ISIL. Yet it can't seem to march into Donetz and Lugansk without the militia incinerating them.

IMO Russia must have sent in some effective military equipment, perhaps even covert special ops troops, especially in the past week when Kiev was determinedly assaulting Donetz in time for an Independence Day victory parade.

I do not think the Russian public will allow Putin to easily just allow Novorossya to fall. His present high ratings are a direct consequence of Crimea rejoining Russia and the pro-Russian militias' successful (so far) defense of Novorossiya. Allowing Novorossiya to fall without Russian aid IMO would be a political disaster for Putin.

So regarding the puzzling humanitarian aid convoy, the explanation may simply be Putin trying to preserve his own neck. The Russian populace know that Donetz and Lugansk are being shelled by Kiev forces and are lacking foodstuffs and water. Correct me if I am wrong, if these people were Australians, I would assume that most ordinary Australians would expect their PM to help them out.

Aug-25-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>

I think the situation is a lot more complex than a simple comparison of forces. When the conflict started, Ukraine didn't even have the fuel to run their machines, and they were given $5 million by an oligarch just so they could move and fly. Much of their equipment was antiquated and not properly maintained. There has been a considerable amount of extra money and materiel injected into Kiev's resources by the West since then, hence their ability to conduct a war. Not very efficiently, however, as they are relying almost exclusively on overwhelming superiority in their numbers of personnel, weaponry and armour on the ground.

However countering this are skillful guerilla tactics and volunteers who are committed in the way of people who are fighting for their existence on their homelands (notwithstanding any putative assistance from Russia). Most of the Ukrainian soldiers don't want to be there, and there are rumblings of mutinies against Kiev. There is a huge difference in morale.

The militia has grown significantly since the early days of the conflict, most of it from local recruitment and an unknown number of volunteers from Russia and possibly elsewhere. These kinds of conflicts always attract outsiders, eg the internationalist volunteers during the Spanish Civil War, Polish, Lithuanian and at least one Canadian fighting for Kiev, almost certainly some Russians and at least one Spaniard for the militia.

The militia has been using skilful guerilla tactics against a Ukrainain force that has many conscripts and is badly commanded. In addition the militia has captured a large amount of equipment from defeated Ukrainian units and has undoubtedly received arms shipments from Russia, something the West has accused Russia of doing, although it has surprisingly little proof of this happening. Given the number and effectiveness of "eyes in the sky" in low and near orbit, this is quite interesting.

The militia has also had some extremely skilful leaders, not the least Igor Strelkov (until recently), while all the militia fighters are experienced volunteers. The change of guard at the helm of the militia has seen the command taken by locals, rather than Russians such as Strelkov.

The relationship between the militia forces and Russia is complex. When Putin called for the militia to lay down their arms a few months ago, the West thought this was a deceptive feign by Putin, effectively considering he was saying one thing and doing another.

The West should know, they are past masters of this kind of duplicity. Not saying the Russia isn't...it is a major power after all, but on this occasion the Novorussians thought Putin was betraying him and many still consider him with a great deal of suspicion. Putin is definitely not in control of what is happening in NovoRussia, and is probably irked by that fact, but probably cannot afford to cease giving some sort of assistance for all sorts of strategic and domestic reasons, including hard liners amongst his advisers, and popular support for the action to support the Russian speakers in the east.

Regardless of this, the Russians have also provided material assistance in the form of artillery shelling of Ukrainian positions from over the border, while militias have likely been able to cross the border with some degree of impunity. Also, I would think the Russians are providing a great deal of intel informing the militias of troop movements.

The tide is turning. Kiev will not suppress Donetsk, as evidenced by a massed counter-offensive by the militia against positions in the south, especially around Mariupol. It signals a turning point in the war as the militia has been united under a single command since Strelkov was removed and have moved from guerilla only operations to massed actions.

The question is now not whether Kiev can defeat Donbass, but where the boundaries will be drawn and what the implications are for the rest of the region.

Here are two of the most useful sources of information for the situation on the ground that I have found so far. Use them in conjuction with the Western MSM and Russian media sources, and you will be able to triangulate the information you have a lot more accurately. it's worth going through the earlier reports as you'll get information that is difficult to find elsewhere.

http://cassad-eng.livejournal.com/ and http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com.au/

Aug-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Sinquefield Cup Moves Prediction contest hosted by <chessmoron> coming soon. Click on Elvis for details.
Aug-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Kiev is now accusing Russia of sending in regular soldiers after it captured 10 Russian paratroopers near the boundary. Russia replies that they got lost and inadvertently crossed the border; and that hundreds of Ukrainian servicemen have been crossing the border into Russia, and each time were allowed to go back to Ukraine (if they wished) without any fuss from the Russian side. I have even seen pictures of some wounded Ukrainian servicemen being treated in Russian hospitals after they had crossed the border.

I am dismayed when Kiev or MSM push these warmongering issues that can only escalate the war. Don't they ever think that Russia is a superpower with nukes, and that an escalation can lead to a nuclear war? In such wars near borders, regular servicemen from both sides always cross the border, (by accident, defection, desertion, etc.). If Russia were sending servicemen inside Ukraine, logically they would be covert operatives who carry the cover of plausible deniability (also a favorite US tactic BTW), not ten soldiers in Russian military uniforms who give themselves up peacefully to Ukrainian troops when told they are being detained for crossing the border.

Aug-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Thanks for the links. This Colonel Cassad must be a fan of the Hyperion sci-fi series, one of the best sci-fi series I have ever read.
Aug-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: A patriotic war of Grads and Iglas and intel.

Upon some thought, this is my hypothesis on how the Novorossiya militias have fended off Kiev forces.

<twinlark: volunteers who are committed in the way of people who are fighting for their existence on their homelands (notwithstanding any putative assistance from Russia)>

An important point.

Apart from their emphatic patriotism, the Novorossiya militia must still be receiving significant amounts of weapons and equipment from Russia. The most important and significant of these are artillery and manpads.

Most interviews of Ukie soldiers blame Donbass militia multiple rocket launchers (Grads) and artillery for their losses. And pro-Russian sources openly say that Novorossiya militias are using MRL and artillery to decimate invading Ukie forces. Since both sides admit it, there is probably no biased disinformation here.

Sources can be biased in their interpretations and analyses, but if one tries to be objective, one glaring fact is that both the Ukie military and the Novorossiya militia are using the same Soviet era MRL and artillery. In a sense this has become an artillery war. Artillery wars are won by the side with the greater range, the more artillery pieces and ammo, the more accuracy, and the more first strike capability. Technically both sides have the same range. The Ukie side probably has more artillery pieces and ammo. So why is the Novorossiyan militia more effective in the use of MRL and artillery? I can only think that one, their artillery are more accurate; and two, they are striking first.

How? One explanation is that the patriotic civilians of Novorossiya <people who are fighting for their existence on their homelands> must be constantly monitoring and informing on Ukie troop movements. Two, your explanation <I would think the Russians are providing a great deal of intel informing the militias of troop movements.>

How is Russia providing the militias with intel? Satellites, drones, and electronic spy devices?

One advantage of an artillery war from the Novorossiya perspective is that the fire power of tanks, IFVs, APCs are negated since they have much shorter range. The Ukie tanks can't even seem to get close enough to fire on the militias before they are killed by long range artillery. But to do this, the militias must know exactly where the Ukie armored convoys are and must have the capacity to hit them with long range fast moving self-propelled artillery accurately, before the Ukie artillery can fire back.

If somehow Novorossiya militia artillery has grown superior to those of the Ukrainian military, then <Kiev will not suppress Donetsk, as evidenced by a massed counter-offensive by the militia against positions in the south.>

Aside from artillery, it's now apparent that the militias have mostly neutralized the Ukrainian air-force, which potentially can bomb the militia's artillery. They've shot down dozens of planes, attack helicopters, and drones. Amazingly enough, this includes Mig 29s. I suspect Russian satellites and radar can detect every aircraft flying in Ukraine, and convey the info to highly mobile specialized militia units armed with Igla manpads.

Aug-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Thanks for the links. This Colonel Cassad must be a fan of the Hyperion sci-fi series, one of the best sci-fi series I have ever read.>

Indeed. It's one of my favourite ever series. I still remember when I found a copy of the first volume whilst browsing a second hand bookshop and becoming completely spellbound after reading the first page, the Envoy playing the piano on his spaceship in the jungle.

I didn't pick up that Colonel Cassad was into Hyperion. What's the clue?

Aug-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>

Great analysis. It's so much easier putting together information to make sense as a coherent narrative when the interlocutors are basically on the same wave length and seeking to discover the truth.

The endless pointless arguments on the Rogoff page generate endless amounts of heat with scarcely the occasional glimmer of light.

I notice one of the articles posted yesteray on Cassad's blog at http://cassad-eng.livejournal.com/7... explains the dynamics of mutual assistance on both sides.

On the surface of it, given these latest disclosures, it seems to confirm the reasonably orthodox view that this is yet another proxy war between the US and USSR/Russia, yet there is one important difference. The Novorussians may be dependent upon Russia for military supplies, but that will decrease as the rebel forces coalesce, counter attack and start seizing more and more Kievan territory, prisoners, bases and equipment. In other words, the newly forming country has a will of its own - possibly a genuinely socialist repubic - not even beholden to Russia despite its assistance. That would be the ultimate irony, a socialist novo-Russian republic located in the heartland of a sea of Ukrainian and Russian capitalism.

As much as this would be a nuisance to Putin, it must be preferable to the alternatives that are now available. In any case, the entire region will spend years and billions of dollars rebuilding following Kiev's strategy of targeting civilian infrastructure. A kind of aggressive scorched earth policy.

I notice that the talks in Minsk ended with Poroshenko leaving without giving a conference. Seems like he's not a happy camper.

It seems inappropriate to describe the forces of the West as "Ukrainian" military, hence my use of the descriptor "Kievan".

Poroshenko has called a general election for October. An interesting move calling elections while there is a civil war ("anti-terrorist operation") being waged in a significant part of the country that has taken great exception to the regime. They weren't a significant part of the Presidential elections that installed Poroshenko, and there is no doubt they won't be part of the general election.

What's behind Poroshenko's move? Maybe that the <western> provinces are becoming restive, including Odessa, and just lately, the Transacarparthian Oblast which has had a few of the National Guard battalions installed near the border of Slovakia to keep the natives from getting too restless. Cassad thinks the Ukrainian troops that were on disply in Kiev are Poroshenko's praetorian guard kept in Kiev specifically to prevent a counter-coup, though against whom is an interesting question as the left and the communists seem to have self immolated.

Perhaps a general election will provide the regime with a fig leaf of legitimacy that is currently lacking or may be it will be an opportunity to rid the Rada of undesirable elements by engaging in some rigorous vetting and preselections of candidates by such impartial arbiters as Svoboda and the Right Sektor.

Aug-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>

You'll be interested in this press conference.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featu...

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