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Count Wedgemore
Member since Oct-02-17 · Last seen Nov-20-18
I am a proud Norwegian, from a relatively small town not far from Oslo, our nation's capital. My name is Bjørn (not an easy name to pronounce for the non-natives), which means 'bear' in English. In Old Norse: Biǫrn. It's a really old name here in Scandinavia, dating back to the Viking Age. I've never really liked my name, it's too common for my tastes, because I like to be extraordinary in everything I do. But I am proud of the Viking connection: our great ancestors were superior warriors and shipbuilders:

I am honored to be the 12th and current Chessgames Chessbookie Champion of the World. Here is my name in the illustrious Hall of Fame, forever recorded in the glorious annals of Chessgames History:

ChessBookie Hall of Fame

Next winter I will defend my title and become the only player so far with back-to-back wins. As you may rightly suspect if you read this, I may come across as a bit full of myself sometimes..but there's nothing wrong with that if one has a reason to (like I have!)..right?

Norway is the new powerhouse of chess. We currently have the undisputed World Champion (Magnus Carlsen), 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:

I've never played (not yet anyway) chess with our beloved Champion, Magnus the Magnificent, but I do have a small personal letter from him where he wrote me some encouraging words (long story). It is one of my most prized possessions. I guess you could say that I'm an avid chess collector: I have a relatively small, but alluring collection of chess books, and some other minor stuff, some rare chess sets, a postcard signed by Karpov (which one of my daughters procured for me), you know, that sort of things.

One of my interests in recent years has been memorization: I've been a National Champion in memory sports. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of memory sport you can read about it here:

A pet project of mine in recent months has been cryptography: I've been working on inventing a form of code that can be quickly learned by a human and easy in practical use, but difficult (or, perhaps rather optimistically, impossible) for a computer to crack/decode. You can read more about cryptography here:

Another great interest of mine is old radio shows, primarily US shows, but also some British and Norwegian shows. I love collecting and listening to shows from The Golden Age of Radio, OTR as we call it (Old-Time Radio), a broadcasting era that lasted throughout the 30s, the 40s and the 50s..

I also love classic TV shows (50s, 60s, 70s), mostly US shows, but also some Canadian and British shows, and I have recently discovered the magical and wonderful world of Film Serials! So not so long ago I started to collect them as well (I love collecting things just as much as I hate throwing things away). Here is Wikipedia's article on Serial Film:

And I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan, so naturally I collect Sherlock-related stuff also! Now, the problem is that my wife also loves to collect stuff, like me, all kinds of stuff: books, perfume, boxes, you name it, so naturally we no longer have much space for all of our things! Oh well..

My wife and I both have a lifelong affection for books. Like her, I used to read 100+ books a year when I was younger. Today my poor eyesight prevents me from such excesses. I prefer listening to audio books nowadays.

Another interest of mine is Geneaology, the study of family lineage and history, an interest I developed from my grandfather who was a leading researcher in the field back in the day. My username is partly due to the fact that I actually have some noble ancestry (which is not so common in Norway as it is in many other European countries), going back to British nobility, even royalty (although most of my nearest ancestors were farmers and fishermen).

Since I am a non-native English speaker I sincerely apologize for my numerous grammatical errors. I do, however, speak several languages. My wonderful wife of 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. Full Member
   Current net-worth: 5,248 chessbucks
[what is this?]

   Count Wedgemore has kibitzed 1745 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Nov-20-18 Vladimir Fedoseev
Count Wedgemore: <sonia91: He will play in Wijk aan Zee Masters 2019:> Great line-up in that tournament. Nice to see Fedoseev, Shankland and Duda making their debuts in the Masters section.
   Nov-20-18 Kibitzer's Café (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <Dr Winston OBoogie: The voice of a generation, Tekashi69 looking at Hard time. How will the kids cope.> The scumbag's real name is Daniel Hernandez. From Wikipedia: <Hernandez is known for his distinct rainbow-themed look, aggressive style of rapping, public feuds ...
   Nov-20-18 Carlsen - Caruana World Championship Match (2018) (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <diceman> LOL. You're right. Greg Chamitoff wins! I even found his <CG>-player page: Flight Engineer and Science Officer Greg Chamitoff He has really taken chess to another level :)
   Nov-20-18 Hindemburg Melao vs C A Martinez, 1999 (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <priyadarshan: What about 14....Ne7 ?> Yes, 14...Ne7 seems like a much better move than 14...hxg4 (which was played). Black ends up playing ...Ne7 anyway, but only after some piece exchanges that favor White (Black gives up his actively placed queen, and White gains ...
   Nov-19-18 playground player chessforum (replies)
Count Wedgemore: "Clergy for Choice,".. Church leaders preaching AGAINST the sanctity of life? Can things get more crazy than this? What's next? Pro-Meat Vegetarians?
   Nov-19-18 Caruana vs Carlsen, 2018 (replies)
Count Wedgemore: On Norwegian TV they said that there was a lot of noise from the crowd, which disturbed and irritated both Caruana and Carlsen.
   Nov-19-18 Count Wedgemore chessforum
Count Wedgemore: <morononvich: I was spot on about the opening yesterday,but today I,for the moment,have no clue.Rossolimo or not...> Neither do I. But I hope for something else! I'm fed up with the Rossolimo :) En fin dag til deg også, <moro>!
   Nov-18-18 Carlsen vs Caruana, 2018 (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <AylerKupp: Just remember to open all the windows to get rid of the burnt smell and get rid of any other incriminating evidence.> Yep, I didn't do that, unfortunately. First thing she said when entering the kitchen was: what happened here? Anyway, thanks for your ...
   Nov-18-18 moronovich chessforum (replies)
Count Wedgemore: <point of money> Well, that expression seems strangely fitting, given that we're talking about betting wagers, so I think you're allowed a little poetic license here, <moro> :)
   Nov-18-18 offramp chessforum (replies)
Count Wedgemore: Why do the ayatollahs dislike chess so much? It reminds them of the Shahk of Iran.
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Count your blessings!

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Skulle du, og andre med tilgang til NRK's arkiver, fortsatt ha overskudd til mer sjakk. Så ligger det en ny dokumentar om VM-matchen i 1978 der.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <Diademas> Takk for det! Gleder meg til å se den dokumentaren der.

Karpov-Kortsjnoj i 1978 var en episk duell. Storpolitikk og fantastiske sjakkpartier hånd i hånd.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: I see the Chessbookie Leaderboard is back to normal business, with the World Champion on top, ahead of the always sneaky <morfishine> at 2nd, and the solid player <Touch of Knight> at 3rd place.

<L E A D E R B O A R D
updated Sat Nov 10, 13:14
User Net Worth
(1) Count Wedgemore 2,408
(2) morfishine 2,377
(3) Touch of Knight 1,810
(4) EIDorado 1,708
(5) pandemic 1,684
(6) fivealpha 1,632
(7) FreddyBob51 1,499
(8) PolarCow 1,408
(9) scout118 1,365
(10) dontwakedaddy 1,301
(11) Lost Rook 1,276
(12) WannaBe 1,220>

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Tusind tak for linket <Count> ! Det var et pletskud og gav lige den presseconference der skulle til for at fuldende en stor skakdag!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Så flott, <moro>! Det var godt å høre.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <morfishine> has suddenly taken a leap again in the Chessbookie game.

How annoying.

<L E A D E R B O A R D
updated Tue Nov 13, 13:15
(1) morfishine 3,617
(2) Touch of Knight 3,183
(3) Count Wedgemore 2,836>

Note to self: take back the lead, pronto!

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Good Evening <Count>! A fairly intriguing World Championship contest so far. Due to the time zone and game schedule, its difficult for me to follow live, but no matter, I catch up fairly well during breaks and lunch. From what I can tell, no deep prep has been revealed. I guess Caruana is planning for a late push, perhaps with the idea that if he's successful, Carlsen will be under a time crunch to respond. We'll see
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: Hi there, <morf>! Yes, an intriguing WCC match so far. I'm just annoyed about all these rest days, I mean, these guys need to take a break after two lousy games? Don't think so! Ridiculous..

And the quality of play is (as assumed beforehand) very high. I don't really understand all the negativity displayed by some of the comments here on <CG>, what did they expect? I certainly do not expect fireworks in every game. Understandably, both players have a somewhat cautious approach, and how can they be blamed for that? It's the World Championship!

But, of course, this is not the only high-profile Norway vs USA encounter going on these the Chessbookie game there is an epic duel going on right now:

Count Wedgemore (NOR) vs morfishine (USA)

One day, the Norwegian guy is leading, then suddenly the next day, that pesky American has taken over! Then the next day..

So, TWO battles going on; between the best and brightest our two countries have to offer..

And, of course, the two proud Vikings will win in the end :)

Nov-14-18  SugarDom: And of course, I'm very well ahead for the last place battle!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <SugarDom> LOL. Only one way from now on!

"So the last will be first, and the first last." --Matthew 20:16

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: The first will be the first
the last did last for a long time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <moronovich> Is that an original <moro>-quote? Brilliant! Sounds like something the great Storm P. could have said (if he had written his reflections in English).

Well, while we're into the 'First and Last' subject, here's another one:

<Men always want to be a woman's first love - women like to be a man's last romance.>--Oscar Wilde

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Good evening dear <Count Wedgemuchmore>

Well you are right it was a moronism which somehow just entered my head today.Toying around is the great privellege of being a human.

Storm P also liked it,albeit on a greater scale and the best part of it was he somehow used it to describe parts of human nature(As you also know).And I am truly delighted that you as a norwegian know our great poet (?) !

A:"Storm,I find it difficult to be a human being"

Storm:"Yes,but try it anyway"

I think my granddad(who knew so many people)met him a couple of times.

And soon they will battle it further on in London.Do you have an idea about the out come and/or the course of the game ? I am still trying to "figure ut out",but for the moment I see so many pros and cons,that the crystallbal is rather filled. But I tend to believe that the videoclip release will influence Fabi but how ?

Good night and see you soon again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <moronovich: And I am truly delighted that you as a norwegian know our great poet (?) !>

My father introduced me to him. He had a couple of his books filled with drawings, with Storm P.s witty remarks at the bottom. I loved it. Storm P. was a genius. The absurdity of everyday life combined with insight into human nature and the human condition.

And he noted, and ridiculed, the platitudes we use when interacting with each other; like, talking about the weather. Here is a favourite of mine, that was in one of the books:

"--I dag er det usedvanlig mildt, til at være så koldt!"

I often use that phrase..:)

<And soon they will battle it further on in London.Do you have an idea about the out come and/or the course of the game ?>

You know, this match is indeed, as you said, difficult to figure out. And now there is a new unknown variable: VIDEOGATE! But what I probably think will happen is that we will continue to see a rather cautious approach from both players; Carlsen knows that as long as the match is tied, he has excellent chances if the match should proceed to tie-breaks, while Caruana knows that too risky play can quickly backfire against a player of Magnus' calibre.

That said, I think Carlsen will try to push a little in his next two white games (Games 6 & 7), if he can do so without too much risk, while Caruana, knowing that he will probably have a hard time in an eventual TB situation, will hope to get some preparation in at some point. I think he knows very well that his best chance in the match is to surprise Magnus in the opening (of course, this plan may be hindered by the Videogate affair..!).

I continue to predict what I also predicted beforehand: a match with many (but interesting) draws. At some point though, I have a feeling Carlsen will get an all-important win, and it may well be in a game where he has the black pieces (remember, "black" has been doing well in the match so far :=). Who knows? It may be tomorrow's game, I've got a good feeling about this Game 5..

Yes, I will stick to my overall match prediction: +1 -0 =11 in Carlsen's favour. I hope and think he has this under control.

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Good afternoon <Count> !

Liked your Storm mot.And in his own way he was a clever guy,and it seems like a clever move from your parents to inspire you in this direction!? Have more or less the same analysis of the game and the match as you.But it seems to me Magnus looks more comfortable than in the start.(There is a reason why it is called comorTABLE;).So all in all I am extremely curiuos to see what they are up to today.And your bet 11 draws and Magnus would be an absolutely bonanza,while mine romantic 2-2 looks quite far away):

My favourite Storm is this one:

A man enters the dentists house.He is rather shaky looking and the dentist asks if he is nervous!?The man replies:"Oh yes I am.I dont come here very often".But now the dentist looks very shaky and bewildered wereas the man asks:"Are you nervous too?".The dentist replies:"Oh yes.It is not very often someone comes here".

By this stormy little story I´ll leave you to your own good company and hopefullly an eventfull game today.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Richard S. Petersen a very interesting fellow indeed
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <morfishine> That's the one! Interesting wiki article. Didn't know he was an accomplished painter as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Morning gents !

Talking about painters:

Do you know how many paintings Van Gogh sold,while he was alive ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: He only sold one, <moro>. Being a huge Van Gogh fan (take a look at my avatar :=), of course I knew that!
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Count Wedgemore: He only sold one, <moro>. Being a huge Van Gogh fan (take a look at my avatar :=), of course I knew that!>

Well that is the classic answer,but-but:

When he was around 15 he worked in his brothers art gallery.And there he sold hundres of paintings ! ;);)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <moronovich: When he was around 15 he worked in his brothers art gallery.And there he sold hundres of paintings ! ;);)>

Nice..I will remember that one. Actually I'm going to use that. I will start with my wife later today and see what she has to say..

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: That is the spirit !
Talkin about V.Gogh.I once was on a train(1977 it was),as I was vagabonding around in France at that time.On the train was a dog.We came from Marseille.A nice and mildtempered dog travelling on its own.But when we came to Arles it left the train!Just like that.Without further notice,nor company.

Later the conductor on the train told me that he did that every day !

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <moronovich: Later the conductor on the train told me that he did that every day !>

Strange indeed. What made him do that, I wonder?

Yes, Van Gogh..the period when he lived in Arles was his most productive. He made hundreds of paintings there. And that is where he cut off his ear. Never been there, but I know it's a beautiful place.

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Good afternoon <Count> ! Yes,a very special behaviour by this dog.

Perhaps its marseillian mother told him "Allez,allez" and it slightly misheard her pronouncation !? ;)

Hope yuo restored your reputaton in the kitchen yesterday and hope likewise for the game of today in London. I was spot on about the opening yesterday,but today I,for the moment,have no clue.Rossolimo or not...What do you think? But Carlsen signals every time he goes 1.e4-c5 that he indeed is ready for a big fight.And if Fabi goes 3.d4 we may have it and some will drop from their chairs ;)A real sicillian ahead.May be…. Wouldn´t it by atypical of Magnus to play the same opening 4 times in a row?On the other hand:if being atypical is the new typical,then… He may well stick to 1-c5.
Håber du har/får en dejlig dag !

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <morononvich: I was spot on about the opening yesterday,but today I,for the moment,have no clue.Rossolimo or not...>

Neither do I. But I hope for something else! I'm fed up with the Rossolimo :)

En fin dag til deg også, <moro>!

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