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Jonathan Sarfati
Member since Sep-27-06 · Last seen Jan-22-17
F.M., Ph.D. (physical chemistry), New Zealand Champion 1988, author of six books and co-author of three more. See also bio

I was club captain of the Wellington Chess Club in New Zealand and Logan City Chess Club in Queensland, Australia for over a decade each. I admire Capablanca and Karpov for the clarity and effectiveness of their styles.

I recognize only the "lineal" world champions as real ones, I.e. those who won their titles by winning a match with the incumbent where available, not the FIDE ones. This means Steinitz to Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, Carlsen. Full Member

   Jonathan Sarfati has kibitzed 1322 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Jan-22-17 optimal play chessforum
Jonathan Sarfati: <optimal play>, of course I don't write my own reviews. There were other pieces on the board, but the photo just zoomed in on the kings ;)
   Jan-21-17 Malcolm L Pyke (replies)
Jonathan Sarfati: More on the sad news
   Jan-20-17 Kenneth S Rogoff (replies)
Jonathan Sarfati: <Abdel Irada> The point is, who doesn't have IDs for driving, flying, meds, alcohol, tobacco? Clearly it is not "racist" to require ID for any of these. Anyway, see this video that shows that white leftists have a low opinion of black voters' intelligence and ...
   Jan-20-17 Richard Taylor chessforum (replies)
Jonathan Sarfati: Well done on CM qualification. A couple of my clubmates in my old Aussie club got them too.
   Jan-16-17 Jonathan Sarfati chessforum
Jonathan Sarfati: The 2017 Oceania Zonal is being held in Auckland, and here is the crosstable. After four rounds, four Aussies are on 4/4.
   Dec-30-16 Kibitzer's Café (replies)
Jonathan Sarfati: Duplicate games Ljubojevic vs L Lucena, 1981 and Ljubojevic vs L Lucena, 1981 .
   Dec-23-16 Jose Raul Capablanca (replies)
Jonathan Sarfati: Some trivia: a giraffe has a systolic blood pressure of about 225 mmHg even when anaesthetized, and can exceed 300 mmHg . From what I can find out, its diastolic bp is about 180 mmHg . This is ...
   Dec-22-16 David Vincent Hooper (replies)
Jonathan Sarfati: I've always been an algebraic user for scoring my own games, but descriptive is probably better for endgame positions because of its symmetry. E.g. "In endgames of Q against a lone P, the Q wins unless it's a Rook's P or Bishop's P on the seventh rank."
   Dec-18-16 F Foster vs B Marsick, 1978
Jonathan Sarfati: Nice combination with 33. Bg7+!
   Dec-18-16 J Sarfati vs F Foster, 1984
Jonathan Sarfati: Really a Pirc by transposition, and a hard line for Black with the early castling. White's attack has an easier target.
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: <Jonathan Sarfati> I find some articles on the Creation Ministries website to be interesting and thought-provoking, but I am perplexed by the apparent need to link Christianity with Young-Earth Creationism.

I wonder if you are familiar with the arguments put forward by the contributing Christian scientists on who have no problem reconciling Christianity and Evolution?

May I ask if you have ever found any evidence in your scientific inquiries which appeared to contradict a literal reading of the Old Testament Book of Genesis?

May I also ask your opinion on what you consider to be the most accurate age of the universe? Would you estimate the universe to be only about 6,000 years old or could it be as old as 10,000 to 11,000 years?

Thanking you in advance for your response.

Dec-02-16  Jay60: <OhioChessFan> Thanks for your reply. I am currently traveling and will answer when I have time. I will post my answer to your OhioChessFan page rather than here. Be well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <optimal play> Once again, of course I am familiar with all the old-earth arguments. I wrote a whole book explaining why they are incompatible with Scripture

I also wrote a detailed article detailing the problems with theistic evolution

Some colleagues have addressed BioLogos

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <Jay60> That's a better idea. I would prefer that my chess page isn't clogged by debates about my profession.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <optimal play:> About the age, see and
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: <Jonathan Sarfati> Thank you for your response.

As per your request to <Jay60> not to clogg your chess page with debates about your profession, I won't pester you with any further questions.

However, may I suggest, in order to prevent any further unwanted intrusions of this nature, you might like to delete the link in your user profile to

At least then people won't get the wrong idea that you're open to discussions on that topic.

All the best.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <optimal play:> I am semi-open to discussions, but would prefer that people use that link so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: <jonathan>, I was following your discussion with <optimal play> and went to visit again. I clicked around and ended up at this video of yours

You explained why Europe overtook China in scientific progress. I though you might find it ironic that I was explaining the exact same thing on the <rogoff> page a few years ago.

<Big Pawn: <Appaz: <<Big Pawn> <appaz> You are ignorant.> Right. Would you care to explain to us ignorants more precisely which part of "Christian worldview" made it into this modern science?>

The topics has been thoroughly discussed just weeks ago: Kenneth Rogoff

A theistic worldview gave rise to the idea that the universe would have order. It was on this assumption that modern science was able to actually be implemented.

The Chinese, on the other hand, were late getting into the game and did not participate in the modern scientific revolution. This is because they did not expect to find order in the universe.

Science still today assumes certain things to be true. You do understand that, right? This is how science works:

1. First we make assumptions.
2. Then we do science

Those assumptions are based on a theistic worldview. It's the implications of a theistic worldview that allowed science to get on its feet in the first place.>

Kenneth S Rogoff (kibitz #126548)

In fact, you may find the discussion that took place on that link quite amusing, and all too familiar.

It's actually amazing that our explanations are very, very close; very similar, not just a little similar.

Theism brings order into the universe upon which we can base the assumptions necessary for science.

Well how about that!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Hi Jonathan do you contest Global Warming? If so, it is indeed one of those things that are not clearly empirically true. But I come at it from a different angle (I think Trump, whether he is right about GW or not is making a big mistake re the general environment and also his other attitudes): my "angle" is more from the problem of knowledge. I keep to a fairly narrow focus on this so that while it looks as though I might be "allied" to, say, postmodernism, it comes instead for me from the general knowledge-truth justification attempts - something has to be true, to be believed to be true, provably so, justified methods and measuring methods etc etc but not from a philosophic viewpoint (which seems like absolute relatavism say of Protagoras who was supposed to have said "Man (Humanan Beings) is the measure of all things." and also to the effect that: "Absolute knowledge can never be known and if it was I couldn't explain it to you." (Something like that...) complex leads me via Wittgenstein to the idea that knowledge is language dependent if not relative.

That said, again, I know that pollution, over resource use (destruction of native Indian lands by this oil pipe seems quite wrong to me) and so on are big issues throughout the world and other issues (clean water if possible), whether or not GW can be reasonably assumed true. _______________________________

On Chess, at approaching 69 thinking of giving up active competitions but I am tempted by the Zonal as it is held in Panmure-Mt Wellington not far from where I live.

All the best for Xmas!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <Big Pawn:> Very good!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <Richard Taylor:> I would like to see market solutions and prioritization on the lines of what Bjørn Lomborg proposes. He doesn't deny AGW but thinks there are far cheaper solutions that will help far more people.

The zonal should be good fun especially so close. Merry Christmas to you and yours too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Regardless of Climate Change. It was very easy to solve all pollution problems in the Capitalist countries at a cost of about 10% of the GDP in the 70s. However the problems are connected also to not only economic problems but to the problem of knowledge. That is to know something the second criteria you have to believe that thing to be true (it has to be true)...regardless of the truth or not of AGW or even the "truth" of various political solutions, in some cases those and in fact people throughout the world have to believe it. Now this isn't to do with religion or anything. Someone simply has to stop believing something to be true (no reason has to be given or even assumed) and they then don't have knowledge.

This makes knowledge a social question not simply a scientific or economic or a measurable thing. In the end we have to go by commonsense!

I don't try to prove GW but I don't think the taxes proposed have much effect. They are the least the UN etc can propose.

But in NZ I think it is good we spend money on protecting species, watching the high levels of river pollution from fertiliser (overuse) and the problems of erosion as well as the need for rabbit and other control. In additon I think subsidies in NZ and possibly the US are almost essential in some circumstances for farmers. As to tax it needs to be weighted against the very rich in my view. But obviously at the moment, in theory, it would be foolish to diminish Big Money (corrupt as they are) so paradoxically Trump has a point...he is a kind of latter day Muldoon. But de facto the usual market forces will continue...

That said, the real problem with Trump is the corrupt nature of the individual and the ideas he and his followers spread. He is someone they need to get out of the way quickly.

[BP thinks I mean he should be assassinated!! I can see he talks on here but I have him "switched off" as he is like a worn out record and very unimaginative and rather tedious.]

Unfortunately Trump is encouraging the downgrading of women, black people, immigrants and ethnicities of many kinds and putting the boot into those who are disadvantaged.

But we will see what happens.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Re the Chess. I am now approaching 69 so I am not sure. When I think about playing, I know I wont improve, but there is always a sense of "what if"....

Each chess game is like a journey...the "road not taken" and all that. But reality kicks in. Bruce Watson isn't playing as he does a mowing round and has to keep working and I think he likes to be on holiday....

But it is one week with 2 days of 2 rounds so I am still deliberating. I wont have another chance. I might beat that GM!

because my rating has dropped it is possible that in Rd 1 I will face an IM or a GM. Of course in all likelihood I'll be leveled but I was glad to get the chance to play the various IMs and FMs as well as GM Rasmussen in 2015 which was an exciting game given the time pressure he was under...!! But I cracked first.

Leonard McClaren is going to play I think. He has some chances of getting good rating points. Bruce Watson had a chance although he always seems to go under against Solomon.

Earlier this year I talked with Gary Lane about his book on the Scotch etc and in fact I mentioned I was playing it during the game I was playing (last round) and he gave me the thumbs up. But then I played a move I had always known was dubious and eventually lost. But I still like the opening as well as the Ruy. If I play I am still an 1 e4 player....

Oh well, I will have to balance it up. I can save $160.00 and work on my house (slowly painting it and repairing etc)...or go on a short holiday the terrible addictive game of chess!

All the best again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Sometimes the liberal Catholic arguments of the likes of <optimal play> aren't much different to those of atheists.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Review of “Creation, Evolution, and Catholicism: A Discussion for Those Who Believe”


December 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Evolutionary theory and its arguably massive negative impact on modern culture has come under closer scrutiny and greater criticism in recent decades. The following detailed, scholarly review of Thomas L. McFadden’s recently published book on the subject would hopefully interest readers in purchasing a copy of the 275-page book. This could help them to better comprehend many of the controversies covered in LifeSite reports. Although the title refers to Catholicism, non-Catholic Christians would also benefit from the book.

Steve Jalsevac

Creation, Evolution, and Catholicism: A Discussion for Those Who Believe, by Thomas L. McFadden, North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Evolutionary theory and its arguably massive negative impact on modern culture has come under closer scrutiny and greater criticism in recent decades. >

The impact of the theory of evolution has nothing to do with whether it is true.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <saffuna: <Evolutionary theory and its arguably massive negative impact on modern culture has come under closer scrutiny and greater criticism in recent decades. >

The impact of the theory of evolution has nothing to do with whether it is true.>

Is "impact" the same as "negative impact?"

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <saffuna>, I never claimed otherwise. Similarly, it is possible to deal with both the negative impact and falsity, as per the review cited. Elsewhere, I have pointed out:

The two main *logically independent* issues that CMI addresses are:

1. Is evolution right?
2. Why does it matter?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: <1. Is evolution right?>

Evolution is a word that lends itself to abuse by way of equivocation. In a nutshell, we have scientific evidence of what can be called <micro evolution> but to extrapolate that to mean there is evidence for <macro evolution> is where the problem lies.

Scientists can show that bacteria evolves, but to then to say that explains how bananas and humans evolved from the same stuff is just too much.

Perhaps animals of like kinds can develop differences, like wolves, coyotes and dogs, but we can't go beyond that and say that one <kind> of animal produces another <kind> of animal.

We have never seen an animal of one <kind> produce animals of other <kinds>. All animals that are of the dog kind produce more dogs etc...

Same is true for birds on isolated islands or spotted moths.

Evidence for <micro evolution>? Perhaps.

Evidence for <macro evolution>? None.




The only <evidence> that exists isn't really evidence at all. You'll have one scientist point to another and say, just ask him, there's mountains of evidence. And then that scientist laughs and scoffs and refers to other mountains of evidence, but there really is no evidence.

All of the evidence, and it's important that people understand this, is in the imagination. We are <asked to imagine> how evolution could be true and that's all there is to it.

Of course, if evolution was true (macro evolution) it wouldn't show that God doesn't exist or that moral values do not exist objectively. It would only show that people have read Genesis wrong or that the bible has errors. However, biblical inerrancy is not an argument against theism either. It's all a dead end, but this dead end is where we find all the arrogant atheist gathered up in one place, trying to comfort each other with fairy tales.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Big Pawn:

The only <evidence> that exists isn't really evidence at all.>

How did we get from evolution to
"The Great Society" and "Global Warming?"

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <Big Pawn:> We advise against the micro- / macro-evolution distinction, because the issue is not the size of change but its direction.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I have read's take on micro- and macro- before and mostly agree. I think the idea of speciation by loss of information and not gain of information is the argument most true to the Scriptures and most logical following a gathering of kinds to survive the flood. Interestingly enough, it's the investigation of DNA that has scientific advances once again confirming the Scriptural position.

FWIW <You have seen sound evidence to indicate that it is in principle capable of making the whole journey, you don’t need to see it make the whole trip.>

is grammatically incorrect. Add a "so" after the comma and all is well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <DNA Agrees With All the Other Science: Darwin Was Right>

<It has been 150 years since Charles Darwin proposed his theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species, yet in some ways the concept of evolution seems more controversial than ever today. Why do you think that is?

It is a cultural issue, not a scientific one. On the science side our confidence grows yearly because we see independent lines of evidence converge. What we’ve learned from the fossil record is confirmed by the DNA record and confirmed again by embryology. But people have been raised to disbelieve evolution and to hold other ideas more precious than this knowledge.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: We reviewed the interviewee's book some time ago
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: The 2017 Oceania Zonal is being held in Auckland, and here is the crosstable. After four rounds, four Aussies are on 4/4.
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