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Member since Jun-04-08 · Last seen Jan-24-15
Good Day to All! Ma-ayong adlaw sa tanan. And my thanks to for this excellent website. Salamat Opinions:

1. World Chess Championship

The true Chess World Champions are the holders of the Traditional Title that originated with Steinitz & passed on in faithful succession to Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, and Carlsen. The sacredness of this Title is what makes it so valuable.

And how does one become the true Chess World Champion? In general, by beating the previous Titleholder one on one in a Match! Matches are preferred over Tournaments because of the Tradition of the WC Succession & because the chance for pre-arranging a Tournament result is more likely. The only exceptions to this rule:

A. In case where the Candidates and World Champion participate in an event that all the participants agree to be a World Championship event because of extraordinary circumstances.

Thus, the 1948 World Championship Tournament was justifiable because of the death of the Title holder Alekhine.

Likewise, the 2007 WC Tournament was justifiable under the extraordinary circumstances of the Chessworld trying to heal its internal rift over the 1993 Kasparov Schism. Anand himself became the World Champion in this 2007 Tournament & not in 2000 when he won a knock-out FIDE Tournament. Caveat: Some chess fans deem the 2007 WC Tournament as illegitimate, considering that Anand became the World Champion only in 2008, when he beat the previous Titleholder Kramnik in a WC match. From this perspective Anand only became the Undisputed World Champion in 2008.

Karpov lost his Title to Kasparov in 1985, & never regained it in the 1990s events that FIDE labeled as 'world championships'. All solely FIDE Champions that emerged outside WC Traditional Succession elaborated on above, strong as they were, were not true World Champions (eg., Bogolyubov 1928, Khalifman 1999, Ponomariov 2002, Kasimdzhanov 2004, Topalov 2005).//

B. In case the previous Titleholder defaults an event that the Chessworld largely deems as a World Championship event in the Tradition of the World Championship Succession. Thus, Karpov was the true successor to Fischer who defaulted their WC Match in 1975.

2. The strongest chess events in different eras of chess history?

Because of the brain's limitations explained below, the best professional (amateurs don't matter much in top level chess) chess players of each generation beginning in the Lasker era have always played at a similar level - near the maximum allowed by human standards. Now there are larger cohorts of chess professionals post WW2 than preWW2 thanks to government state funding in the Soviet era and presently corporate funding. The result is that large preWW2 tournaments had numerous 'bunnies', relatively weak players. By the Kasparov era, super-tournaments that featured most of the top ten, and no bunnies, had became more common. However, the top 4 or 5 since Lasker's time have always been very strong.

Consequently the smaller the top-player-only tournament, the stronger it gets. For any era. If there was a double round robin tournament in 1914 featuring Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, and Rubinstein, and no other, it would be as strong as any present day super-tournament.

Now weed out everyone except the two strongest players in the world. What we (usually) get is the chess World Championship match.

There has been talk of elite tournaments, composed only of the strongest top masters and no weaker bunnies replacing the World Championship match in prestige, probably because of the assumption that they would be the strongest chess events possible. False assumption. The strongest chess events in chess history generally have been World Championship matches. Even the strongest masters in each generation usually do not match the world champion and challenger in chess strength. In a World Championship match, the contestant has to meet the monster champion or challenger over and over again, with no weaker master in between. Capablanca vs Lasker 1921 was just as strong a chess event as the recent Carlsen vs Anand 2013, and far stronger than Zurich 2014. (Imagine having to play 14 straight games with a computer-like errorless Capablanca at his peak.)

3. The strongest chess players in chess history?

IMO the 1919 version of Capablanca & the 1971 version of Fischer, both of whom played practically error-free chess, are it; updated in opening theory, they should beat anyone in a match.

If computers were self-aware, I have no doubt that they would unanimously choose the 1916 to 1924 Capablanca as the strongest chess player in history. And please no red herring remark that Capa played only 'simple' chess. This young Capablanca played some of the most complicated, sharp, double edged, and bizarre positions possible; and played them without making a single losing error (and by all accounts with unsurpassed quickness), something that has always befuddled my mind when I got to peruse through his games.

We have to take this question in the context of the limits of the human Anatomy and Physiology. A concrete example would be the one hundred meter dash. The human body is designed such that the limit it can run is about 9 seconds. In order for a human being to run faster, we would have to redesign the human anatomy into that of say a cheetah. One can rev up the human Anatomy and Physiology, say with steroids, but this regimen would hit an eventual Stonewall too; the same way that we could rev up human proficiency to learn openings with computer assistance.

Since the Nervous System has physiological limits (example of a limit- neuronal action potential speed don't go up much more than 100 m/s) and so limits the human chess playing ability, increasing the number human chess players, thus expanding the normal curve of players, simply creates more possibilities of players playing like a Fischer in his prime, but will not create a mental superman who plays chess at computer levels. This explains why human and computer analysis indicate that Lasker was playing on a qualitatively similar level as more recent WCs.

'Worse' in chess, any computer assistance ends once the opening is over. After a computer-assisted opening prep, every GM today has to play the game the way Lasker did a hundred years ago, relying on himself alone, with the same fundamental chess rules and chess clock. An Encyclopedic opening repertoire is not a necessity to be a top player. In fact, there are World Champions who did not do deep opening prep; they just played quiet but sound openings that got them into playable middlegames and then beat their opponents in the midlegame or endgame. Just look at Capablanca, Spassky, Karpov, and now Carlsen.

Because of subconscious adherence to the narcissistic generation syndrome, the belief that everything that is the best can only exist in the here and now, many kibitzers would not agree to the above theses. While it is true that there have been more active chess professionals and consequently larger cohorts of top chess masters on a yearly basis since WW2 thanks to Soviet state funding and present corporate funding, the very top chess masters since Lasker's time have always played at a similar level- within the limits imposed by the human brain. There is no physical law that bars a pre-WW2 chess master from playing chess as well as today's generation. The human brain has not changed in any fundamental manner in the past tens of thousands of years.

4. The greatest chess players in history?

A related question is who is the greatest chess player in history. The answer depends on the criteria one uses. Since I place great emphasis on the ability to play world class chess for the longest period of time, Lasker would be it. He was playing at peak form from 1890 age 22 (when he began a remarkable run of match victories over Bird, Mieses, Blackburne, Showalter, and culminating in his two massacres of Steinitz) until 1925 at age 57 (when he nearly won Moscow after winning new York 1924). Kasparov (high plateau from 1980 to 2005) and Karpov (high plateau from 1972 to 1996) would follow. (At their very peak though, I believe that Kasparov was stronger than Karpov, and both were stronger than Lasker; and the peak Capablanca and Fischer were stronger than any of them.)

5. Computers vs Humans, who is stronger?

Another related question is how history's top masters would fare against computers. It's obvious from Kasparov's time that computers would totally crush them all. Opening knowledge would not matter much. Computers swamp human opponents in the middle game, simply by calculating more variations more rapidly by several orders of magnitude. Peak Capablanca probably would have the best score among humans. Talk about another level of playing is fans' subjective and IMO wrong words for their favorite players, unless one talks about chess computers. Chess computers do play at a higher level.

6. On the game and chess players young and old, past and present:

The proposition that an older player would not be able to adjust to the openings and methods of a younger generation is false, as evidenced by the observation of strong masters whose careers happened to span generations beating the tar out of weaker masters of the next generations. Lasker provides a classic example; he was beating Mieses, Blackburne, and Steinitz in the 1890s, and crushing masters versed in the hyper-modern teaching of controlling the center indirectly- Reti, Bogolyubov, and Euwe in the 1920s. In more recent times, we have Victor the Terrible, who learned most of his chess in the 1940s and 1950s, whom we have seen competing successfully with the so-called computer generation even at an advanced age.

The notion that computers are more advantageous to younger players IMO is not quite right. Younger players should have more energy and stamina in studying chess openings and endgames for long hours everyday compared to older players without computers, but the use of computers would tend to make the learning process easier for every one including the older ones.

As a corollary, computers also make it easier today for very young players in their early teens to peak at a younger age than in past eras, although they tend to level off in their early 20s to their high plateau, defined by their inborn talents and determination.

In brief. computers tend to level chess learning for everyone, young and old.

This is not a rigid rule. The best games I have ever seen played by a 12-13 year old are Capablanca's; and Tal, Karpov, and Kasparov reached their high plateau in their early 20s in a computer-less era, similar to computer age Carlsen. However let it be noted that Carlsen reached his peak sidestepping intensive computer-prepped tactical openings and beating his competitors in the old fashioned way in the middlegame and endgame. These masters peaked early not because of computers by because of their immense chess talent. Perhaps normal rules do not apply to these geniuses.

Another false notion is that the nature of the middlegame today is somehow different from the middlegame in the past. The easiest way to prove the wrongness of this proposition is by observing CG's daily puzzles. Do not peek at the names of the players that played these puzzles, and don't look at the dates. Can you glean from the middlegame play and combinations in the puzzles the date they were played? You can't. You would not know if it was played in 2014, 2000, 1950, or 1900. Chess combinations don't just suddenly change their stripes just because a hundred years have passed.

Another observation is that when the best masters of the past, Lasker and Capablanca met the occasional 'modern' structures of the Sicilian Scheveningen and Dragon, KID, Modern Benoni, Benko Gambit, they played strategically perfectly, in just the way these opening structures should be played. So how did these masters play openings and the resulting middlegame structures that are deemed incomprehensible to them by some of today's dogmatically 'modern' kibitzers? The answer is that chess rules and principles have not changed. Center, rapid development, open files and diagonals, holes, weak pawns, piece activity, initiative and attack, positional sacrifices and all types of combinations were as familiar to them as to us.

Instead, it is the frequencies of a few middlegame pawn structures have changed since WW2. Not the Ruy Lopez or QGD, but obviously Sicilians and KIDs are much more common post-WW2. Since so many games nowadays begin with the Sicilian and KID, people associate these with being 'modern' (which is a rather vague undefined term IMO). But certainly Lasker and Capablanca understood the middlegame principles behind them and when they did get these positions they played them excellently, like the top masters they are.

Moreover, Keres is a smoking gun, bomb proof evidence of the fallacy of Watson's speculation that pre-WW2 masters would not be able to learn 'modern' chess, and Larsen's assertion that he would crush everyone in the 1930s. The glaring fact is that Keres is a 1930s pre-WW2 master whose career extended up to the 1970s, and he did learn (and contributed) to the newer opening variations (the most famous of which is the Keres attack which he invented in 1943). Tellingly enough Keres beat both Watson and Larsen.

7. On ratings:

Elo ratings reflect relative and not absolute chess strength.

Chessplayers are naturally arranged in populations partitioned by geopolitical regions & time periods that have infrequent contacts with one another. Within such a population, players get to play each other more frequently, thus forming a quasi-equilibrium group wherein individual ratings would tend to equilibrate quickly; but not with outside groups. With caveats & in the proper context, FIDE/Elo ratings are simply fallible descriptors & predictors of an active player's near-past & near-future performances against other rated players, & only within the same quasi-equilibrium group.

As corollaries: the best way to evaluate a player's strength is to analyze his games & not his ratings; one cannot use ratings to accurately compare the quality of play of players from the past and present, or even the same player say a decade ago and today; & care should be taken in the use of ratings as a criterion in choosing which players to seed into the upper levels of the WC cycle. All the above often entail comparisons between players from different quasi-equilibrium groups separated by space and/or time.

Regarding inflation deniers, they imply that Elo ratings reflect absolute and not relative chess strength. Professor Elo himself would condemn their view. If the top 20 players were to suffer a serious brain injury and begin playing like patzers, but play no one else for the next decade, they would more or less retain their 2700s ratings, although they would be playing terrible patzerish chess.

8. Best Qualifiers?

The credible, fair, tried & tested Zonals - Interzonals - Candidates (with known strong players directly seeded into the Interzonals & Candidates; & here ratings may be used with caveats) over the random World Cup and the elitist Grand Prix. If possible long Candidate matches and 16 to 24 game World Championship matches. However, with the passing of the state-funded chess era of Soviet times, I begin to doubt if the strict money guzzling qualification process above can be re-installed.

9. The 1993 Chess Rift and Kramnik:

Regarding the Rift in the chessworld after Kasparov split in 1993, I believe that Kramnik has done more than any other individual in helping heal it by concrete actions - agreeing to a WC Match with Topalov in 2006 & not walking out when he could have done so with the support of most of the world's top GMs after getting accused of cheating; & agreeing to Defend his Title in a WC Tournament in 2007, the first time a living Titleholder has agreed to do so in chess history. My eternal gratitude to him.

10. Finances of a would-be Challenger:

Regarding all kinds of problems chessplayers outside of Europe & the USA face in their quest for the Title, Capablanca & Anand have proven it's possible for a non-European non-USA chessplayer to be World Champion; but apparently only if you have the chess talent of a Capablanca or Anand! For others, I guess they would have to try to get monetary support & good seconds somewhere to have some hope for a Title shot.

11. Ducking a World Championship re-match:

Alekhine vs. Capablanca - Not definitively resolved. If pushed, I would tend to favor Capablanca given that pre-WW 2, there was no definitive cycle to choose the Challenger &, after all is said and done, it was the Champion who set the conditions & who chose his Challenger. AAA could & should have chosen Capa; & there was ample time, more than a decade, to do so before WW2. On the other hand, Capa's pride may have caused him to behave arrogantly & thus offend AAA. The issue is very much debatable. //

Kramnik vs. Kasparov - For me, it's resolved. Kudos to Kramnik for trying his best to install a decent Qualifying Event. Kasparov for his reasons clearly did not want to go through the Qualifying Event that he himself had pledged before losing his Title; & did not even seem serious in playing the solely FIDE champions. Why? I can only speculate that Kasparov would rather retire than risk a loss in a Qualifier or a match to either a FIDE champion or to Kramnik. If he regained his Title, he would be the greatest Champion in history, but there was risk involved. If he retired, he would still be the greatest Champion in history, but there would be no risk involved. Kasparov chose the latter & no one should blame him for that decision; & more so don't blame Kramnik!

12. Predictions for Hypothetical World Championship Matches:

Lasker vs. Pillsbury, Rubinstein, Maroczy - Lasker wins 2, loses 1 match //

Lasker vs. Capablanca (inexperienced) 1914 - Lasker close win //

Capablanca (not overconfident & not having TIAs) 1929 to 1937 vs. Alekhine or any other master - Capa win //

Alekhine (sober & prepared) vs. Capablanca (w/ severe HPN & numerous past strokes), Botvinnik, Keres, Fine, Reshevsky, Flohr 1939 - Alekhine win //

Alekhine (alcoholic, ill, & depressed) vs. Botvinnik 1946 - Botvinnik win //

Fischer (inactive for 3 years) vs. Karpov 1975 - Karpov win//

Kasparov vs. Shirov 2000 - Kasparov win. (But GKK should still have given it to Shirov. And don't blame Kramnik. Had Kramnik declined, GKK would have chosen another; & Shirov would still be frustrated.)


I have opened a <'multi-experimental' forum> below. Its nature is that of several secret social and psychological experiments, whose objectives and parameters, and the rules that follow, are strictly defined and which I may or may not reveal. Readers of this forum might be able to deduce some of these rules. Accordingly messages shall be retained or removed with or without explanation, even those from my dear friends here in CG, although I am making it clear here that absolutely no offense is intended to any one in this experiment. I may or may not respond to certain questions and messages, also according to the rules. To my friends: Please bear with me in this matter. There can be a certain amount of disinformation and propaganda in the messages that are retained.

The title of this <'multi-experimental' forum> is:

Biased Journal of a Fourth World Brain Operator

Some abbreviations

CiH = the public City Hospital

PrvH = Private Hospital. There are three main ones. So PrvH 1, PrvH 2, PrvH 3.

ProvH = the public Provincial Hospital

SOL = Space Occupying Lesion

SQ = Subcutaneous tissue layer of the skin or scalp

CVA = Cerebrovascular accident = stroke

EDH = Epidural Hematoma, blood above the dura mater, the outer covering of the brain, and beneath the skull.

SDH = Subdural Hematoma, blood beneath the dura mater.

ASDH = Acute Subdural Hematoma, SDH incurred recently, usually less than a week

CSDH = Chronic Subdural Hematoma, SDH that is more than two weeks old

HCP = Hydrocephalus, too much CSF in the brain's ventricular system

CSF = Cerebrospinal Fluid

CNS = Central Nervous System

CAB = Continuous ambubagging

ETT = Endotracheal tube (for airway purposes)

NGT = Nasogastric tube (for feeding purposes)

NOD = Nurse on duty

The Oracle = personification of the CT (computed tomography) scan.

Magic mirror = the computer monitor where one can see CT scan images.

Witching Hour Admissions or Referrals = 12 midnight to 5am

MF = Motorcycle Fall

Craniectomy = neurosurgical procedure that involves removing a portion of the skull

Tracheostomy = a surgical procedure to create an opening through the neck into the trachea (windpipe)

INTUBATE: To put a tube in, commonly used to refer to the insertion of a breathing tube into the trachea for mechanical ventilation

EXTUBATION: the removal of a tube especially from the larynx after intubationócalled also detubation.

Uneventful day = Most likely still a busy day, making daily rounds in the hospitals, following up post-op patients, seeing patients in the OPD, answering referrals, admitting all kinds of patients in the hospitals; nevertheless a day in which nothing interesting has caught my attention.

>> Click here to see visayanbraindoctor's game collections. Full Member

   visayanbraindoctor has kibitzed 6980 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Jan-24-15 Tata Steel (2015) (replies)
visayanbraindoctor: <ozu: Just out of curiosity.. If there was a way to rate players based on endgame skills/results, how would you rate the top players of today?> Here is an exchange between <Caissanist> and myself from my forum: <Caissanist: Regarding the relative strength ...
   Jan-24-15 visayanbraindoctor chessforum (replies)
visayanbraindoctor: <It's a bit unfair to point to an Alekhine or a Tal and say "Oh, that attack wasn't sound." They <won> with such a strategy. How can we fault them for being successful? Fischer and Kasparov likewise would sometimes play aggressive but maybe not sound moves and ...
   Jan-24-15 A Giri vs W So, 2015 (replies)
visayanbraindoctor: From a human perspective Giri's 10. c5! is a great move. It forces Black to make very difficult decisions. After 12. Re1, Black has only two playable choices, to castle in order to tuck in his King into safety or to accept the gambit pawn by 12.. f6. The latter would ...
   Jan-24-15 W So vs I Saric, 2015 (replies)
visayanbraindoctor: IMO the most impressive game of the tournament so far. So displays total tactical control in a sharp middlegame. The succession of tactical moves: 16. Ng5! 17. e5! 20. Qd2! 22. Nc5! 24. g4! is astonishing. In the old days, this game would have won a brilliancy ...
   Jan-22-15 Carlsen vs Radjabov, 2015 (replies)
visayanbraindoctor: <perfidious: <Simon> How well I recall Kotov's discussion; whilst I never played the Black side of a Semi-Tarrasch QGD directly, I had the tabiya commonly reached via the Panov Caro-Kann on a number of occasions.> Nice point. I have had the same experience ...
   Jan-20-15 twinlark chessforum
   Jan-15-15 Annie K. chessforum (replies)
visayanbraindoctor: 'Historic Abundance of Blue Whales Returns in California' Good news for whale watchers. It's probable that the blue whale population in the Pacific west coast of America has recovered and has now reached the ecosystem's carrying ...
   Jan-15-15 Yifan Hou vs Ding Liren, 2015
visayanbraindoctor: An intense battle between the two Chinese in this tournament. Hou sacrifices a pawn right out of the opening. Saddled with an ugly pawn structure, Ding opts to give back the pawn in return for being able to develop his pieces. <devere: 21. Ne5+? was a dreadful ...
   Jan-15-15 W So vs Yifan Hou, 2015 (replies)
visayanbraindoctor: I think this is a remarkably energetic effort by GM So. From a defensive position, he turns around the middlegame and enters a long endgame where is tries every option to squeeze out a win. Note how he delays capturing Black's f3 pawn and prioritizes activating and ...
   Jan-15-15 Carlsen vs Aronian, 2015 (replies)
visayanbraindoctor: A beautiful positional game, highlighting Carlsen's mastery of the art of maneuvering in semi-closed structures in order to exploit positional weaknesses. After 20. b5, Black has two obvious weaknesses. The c7 and the d5 pawn. Carlsen methodically piles up his pieces on ...
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: 17 to 18 January 2015. Four near-midnight and midnight referrals and admissions. One, 5F a child hit by a tricycle while walking. She has a nasal ethmoid fracture, but needs no operation. Two, a backrider motorcycle fall victim 60F. Her brain has herniated and she won't make it. Three, 9M, another child walking along a road, hit by a motorcycle. He has an open depressed bifrontal fracture and pneumocephalus, which means that there is an open connection between his brain and the outside air. Eventually I will have to debride, clean, and plug in the 'hole' in his skull. Four, 62M who suffered from multiple cerebral infarcts in the left medial occipital and the contralateral right temporal lobe. The suddenness of his symptoms and the multiple nature of the infarcts indicates that the cause is emboli. He is comatose, severely aspirated, and he won't make it either. I just intubated him.
Jan-18-15  SugarDom: I don't remember if you have ever posted about a gunshot to the head victim.
Jan-18-15  SugarDom: Maybe once, but you didn't get to operate on the victim?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I think the bigger pool theory is correct. Yes, the Soviets nutured their best players, but just like the Olympic teams of today, the very elite tended to receive the lion's share of resources. The younger players were certainly helped along the way and in that sense created a large pool of potential elites. In so doing, they made pretty sure no potentially great player was overlooked. But those who weren't at the very top received far less support once it was clear they had reached some sort of apex in their career.
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: 18 January 2015. Entry 1. Rarely a septuagenarian survives a serious stroke. Such is the case of 74F, who has a 60cc left basal ganglia hemorrhagic stroke. I usually operate on these cases. However she did not deteriorate, and began to get better after 3 days. Perhaps it's because she does not have diabetes or other serious simultaneous diseases. After a week in PrH2 ICU, she got better, and was transferred out to a private room.

Entry 2. Another stroke patient arrived in PrH2 ER, 62 M. He had multiple infarcts on his left medial occipital lobe and right temporal lobe. The sudden onset of his symptoms and multiple foci indicate that these infarcts originated from emboli. He was comatose, with hopeless prognosis. After I told them an operation would not benefit the patient, the family decided to return to their home city in a neighboring province.

Entry 3. A comatose MF victim 45M died after two days in CiH. The relatives had wanted to go home against advise. The patient was already brain dead, so it would not matter for him anymore. However I convinced the family to allow him to die in the hospital so that I can sign his death certificate, and medico-legal and and insurance papers if any, for the family's convenience.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: 19 January 2015. A MF victim 43M arrived from a neighboring province, decerebrate, in PrH1. He died after a few hours.
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: 20 January 2015.

Entry 1. Senior citizens usually don't ride motorcycles, but 60F backrode on one and crashed. She arrived in PrH1 three days ago herniated, and shortly after became brain dead. The family was in a total state of denial, insisting on multiple second opinions from other doctors. Another way of putting it is that they did not believe me that their patient was brain dead.

In such cases, where I can't stave off a patient's inevitable demise in a private hospital, I usually give a huge discount on my PF because I feel I do not have the right to charge the bereaved family high rates. However, in cases that the family asks for multiple second opinions, I straight away tell them that I will charge the normal rates for private hospitals, which is the room rate (and that's quite expensive if the patient is in the ICU). After all, the other doctors might, and merely for a second opinion that would just confirm my own.

In this case, the family suddenly had the referrals to other doctors cancelled, after my explanation. I also brought them to the patient's side in the ICU and then stopped the ventilator. They saw for themselves that the patient was not breathing anymore. She went on terminal CPA shortly after midnight.

Entry 2. I operated on 4M at noon in CiH. This kid probably got dragged by the motorcycle that hit him because he sustained not only a bifrontal open depressed fracture but also multiple scalp lacerations and avulsions. I removed the dirty part of the frontal bones, and then found out that I could not properly close the scalp because I had to take out dead skin from the avulsions. I did my usual SOP in these cases. I made and incision on another part of the scalp (in this case on the right parietal), and then mobilized (by separating the galea from the underlying loose connective tissue) and flapped it to cover the defect. Afterwards, I had to do several debridement procedures on the multiple scalp lacerations and avulsions.

Entry 3. Right after 4M above, I did a tracheostomy on 53M, who was on a motorcycle that got hit by a ten-wheeler truck 10 days ago. He had a small rigth parietal EDH that did not needed to get operated on. Unfortunately he developed severe pneumonia. I intubated him on day 4 post trauma. He improved and I extubated him after 3 more days. He then again deteriorated. I reintubated him yesterday, and this afternoon I finally did a tracheostomy on him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <SugarDom: I don't remember if you have ever posted about a gunshot to the head victim.> Actually I don't post on most of my patients, just the cases that catches my interest. Which are usually the ones that I operate on, the ones that die, and the critical ones that somehow manage to survive.

Gunshot wounds are rare in non war time conditions, but those that penetrate the brain are usually fatal. They usually don't make it to the hospital, or die shortly after and I don't get to see them. However, they do arrive regularly, if only sparsely, and I have seen more than a score of them.

Jan-20-15  SugarDom: It looks like you're so busy operating. Don't you get tired or stressed out?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I recall the surgeon who operated on a family member meeting us afterwards. He looked like he had just finished running a marathon after the surgery.
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <SugarDom: It looks like you're so busy operating. Don't you get tired or stressed out?>

<OhioChessFan: I recall the surgeon who operated on a family member meeting us afterwards. He looked like he had just finished running a marathon after the surgery.>

The first answer that comes to mind is I am used to it. But sometimes I wonder if there are other reasons.

Here is an intriguing angle. I have seen the film The Hurt Locker. A soldier in a bomb disposal unit becomes addicted to the adrenaline rush provided by his work of neutralizing live bombs. I do know that my body's metabolism significantly increases during an operation as evidenced by my tendency to sweat, and my entering a state of total alertness. Perhaps something similar occurs in the OR for many surgeons.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: 21 January 2015. A toddler 1 3/12M was left toddling beside a road by his parents and was hit by a trisikad (a leg driven pedicab). Fortunately he sustained only a left parietal depressed fracture with a very small underlying epidural hematoma and brain contusion. When I opened up the skull, some dead contused brain popped out, which I duly suctioned off. After cauterizing an actively bleeding cortical vessel, I closed the temporalis muscle over the defect. This should prevent future CSF leaks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Good work, doc. Hope the kid will have a good and full life.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Regarding the relative strength of past and present players--I wonder how much the longer playing sessions and (especially) the end of adjournments made in the quality of play. Certainly endgames at the top level do not seem to be as well played today, especially by players over 35.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <visayanbraindoctor>, certainly you may quote me. Your own assessment of Capablanca's physical condition, from the vantage point of a modern neurosurgeon, deserves to be better known.
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: 22 January 2015. 54M was previously diagnosed as having a brain tumor according to his relatives way back om March 2014, but they essentially did nothing about it. Late at night I saw him in PrH2 ER brain dead, zero BP but still with a HR. I had a repeat CT scan done. It showed a sella turcica tumor (possibly pituitary), but the mesencephalic cisterns and cortical sulci were intact. This means the tumor was not exerting enough pressure to squash his brain dead.

What caused his sudden deterioration a day PTC? According to the relatives, he became febrile and then soon lapsed into unconsciousness. I am speculating he had aspirated, became anoxic, and this caused the brain to die. (Vomitus probably clogged up his windpipe thus asphyxiating him.) It's common for such patients to vomit and aspirate.

54M went into terminal CP arrest after a few hours.

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  visayanbraindoctor: 23 January 2015. I debrided 21F's right dirty parietal scalp avulsion under LA at bedside. She was the usual female backrider that fell off a motorcycle after it collided with a car. The Oracle showed a normal brain, and so I would not have to do any further procedure.
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  visayanbraindoctor: <WannaBe: Good work, doc. Hope the kid will have a good and full life.> Thanks.
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  visayanbraindoctor: <Caissanist: Regarding the relative strength of past and present players--I wonder how much the longer playing sessions and (especially) the end of adjournments made in the quality of play. Certainly endgames at the top level do not seem to be as well played today, especially by players over 35.>

I agree. The lack of adjournments must be having deleterious effects on the quality of present day endgames. The players are more tired and there is no opportunity to analyze the endgames more thoroughly. The fatigue factor must also be affecting older players more.

There could be other factors too, such as a possible general lack of endgame study by a post Soviet generation of chess players. I have the impression that under Botvinnik's supervision (and other top level Soviet masters), the Soviet and Eastern European masters were made to thoroughly study recurring common types of endgames in their chess schools. Nowadays we sometimes see the embarrassing scenario of some masters having trouble mating a naked king with bishop and knight.

It's fascinating but I believe that endgame virtuosi such as Capablanca and Lasker would even be more of a terror in today's no adjournment conditions. They would be playing with more errors, but more so would their opponents. The no adjournment rule essentially puts chess players on their own in the endgame, and I believe that the intrinsically better endgame artists would tend to perform better. Moreover, the super fast players such as Capablanca would probably have accumulated more time advantage by the endgame. They would be a fearsome fast playing beasts with today's time controls.

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  visayanbraindoctor: <Jonathan Sarfati: <visayanbraindoctor>, certainly you may quote me.>


<Your own assessment of Capablanca's physical condition, from the vantage point of a modern neurosurgeon, deserves to be better known.>

I don't have a doctor patient relation with Capa for obvious reasons, but I can say that the symptoms that he was complaining of exactly matches those of my patients who have had a hypertensive stroke- headaches, changes in sensorium, a general feeling of being unwell. Especially the 'changes in sensorium' part, which he described in AVRO 1938. He was also documented as having hypertension at a relatively young age, so it's easy to connect the dots.

It's regretful that Capa and his family suffered from familial hypertension. IMO it prevented him from creating a lot more masterpieces over the board especially during the latter part of his career. In some of his later games, he gives me the impression that he just wanted to finish the games ASAP.

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  OhioChessFan: Just read your profile. I find it very interesting. I don't really agree with your apparent assessment that Capa was much better than Alekhine. I think AA was better, probably gets my vote for best ever, but how can one go about "proving" that anyway?

I agree very much with your assessments of how the masters of old would do today. Of course they'd all be great, from Lasker on, anyway.

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  OhioChessFan: As for computer assessment of the players of old, I think that's a bit of a canard. While I enjoy positional chess, the sharp playing tacticians were very successful without having to play error free chess. It's a bit unfair to point to an Alekhine or a Tal and say "Oh, that attack wasn't sound." They <won> with such a strategy. How can we fault them for being successful? Fischer and Kasparov likewise would sometimes play aggressive but maybe not sound moves and blow players off the board in doing so. An ex post facto computer analysis of their games strikes me as a patently unfair way to determine their strength.
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  visayanbraindoctor: <OhioChessFan: I don't really agree with your apparent assessment that Capa was much better than Alekhine. I think AA was better, probably gets my vote for best ever, but how can one go about "proving" that anyway?>

That's alright, it's just a difference in opinion. I am a great fan of Alekhine myself. You could read my posts in the Alekhine page.

My view is that the young Capablaca was stronger and more accurate than AAA in tactical play, but Capa just did not have as many opportunities as AAA did displaying this prowess because he did not intentionally play for sharp positions. Alekhine on the other hand nearly always tried to play for sharp positions, often right out of the opening. With an Alekhine game, one can be be more than 50% certain that tactical complications would soon arise because AAA was always looking for imbalanced positions, attacks, and combinations.

However, when Capablanca got into tactically sharp positions, he played them nearly perfectly early in his career, I believe more accurately than Alekhine did.

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  visayanbraindoctor: <It's a bit unfair to point to an Alekhine or a Tal and say "Oh, that attack wasn't sound." They <won> with such a strategy. How can we fault them for being successful? Fischer and Kasparov likewise would sometimes play aggressive but maybe not sound moves and blow players off the board in doing so. An ex post facto computer analysis of their games strikes me as a patently unfair way to determine their strength.>

This is a valid point. I have been thinking about this for a long time, ever since <Bridgeburner's> computer studies of the accuracy of WC games.

I am still thinking about it.

Regarding computer studies, it's the only way of reliably assessing the accuracy of chess games, with the caveat that you mentioned above, that some players opted to make subpar moves in order to steer the game into tactically double edge positions. (This is something that Capablanca did not often do; with few exceptions he always tried to look for the objectively best moves.)

Regarding Alekhine, if he were born in the 1990s, I have no doubt that with his fantastic chess memory (able to memorize all the master games of his time and playing 30 blindfold games simultaneously) and unsurpassed work ethic (studying chess 8 hours a day), he would have memorized virtually every important variation in computer openings chess bases, and come out with dozens of prepared sharp novelties. It would be like seeing Kasparov again.

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  OhioChessFan: <(Regarding computer studies, it's the only way of reliably assessing the accuracy of chess games....This is something that Capablanca did not often do; with few exceptions he always tried to look for the objectively best moves.)>

I will agree that he is hands down the most accurate player ever. Maybe Kramnik would be a distant second. Or Karpov.

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