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Member since Dec-31-08 · Last seen Oct-22-20
About Me (in case you care):

Old timer from Fischer, Reshevsky, Spassky, Petrosian, etc. era. Active while in high school and early college, but not much since. Never rated above low 1800s and highly erratic; I would occasionally beat much higher rated players and equally often lose to much lower rated players. Highly entertaining combinatorial style, everybody liked to play me since they were never sure what I was going to do (neither did I!). When facing a stronger player many try to even their chances by steering towards simple positions to be able to see what was going on. My philosophy in those situations was to try to even the chances by complicating the game to the extent that neither I nor the stronger player would be able to see what was going on! Alas, this approach no longer works in the computer age. Needless to say, my favorite all-time player is Tal.

And Tal summarized my philosophy when faced with a stronger player far better than I ever could, and much more eloquently: "You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2 + 2 = 5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one."

I also have a computer background and have been following with interest the development in computer chess since the days when computers couldn't always recognize illegal moves and a patzer like me could beat them with ease. Now it’s me that can’t always recognize illegal moves and any chess program can beat me with ease.

But after about 9 years (a lifetime in computer-related activities) of playing computer-assisted chess, I think I have learned a thing or two about the subject. I have conceitedly defined "AylerKupp's Corollary to Murphy's Law" (AKC2ML) as follows:

"If you use your engine to analyze a position to a search depth=N, your opponent's killer move (the move that will refute your entire analysis) will be found at search depth=N+1, regardless of the value you choose for N."

I’m also a food and wine enthusiast. Some of my favorites are German wines (along with French, Italian, US, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Spain, ... well, you probably get the idea). One of my early favorites were wines from the Ayler Kupp vineyard in the Saar region, hence my user name. Here is a link to a picture of the village of Ayl with a portion of the Kupp vineyard on the left:

You can send me an e-mail whenever you'd like to aylerkupp

And check out a picture of me with my "partner", Rybka (Aylerkupp / Rybka) from the Masters - Machines Invitational (2011). No, I won't tell you which one is me.


Ratings Inflation

I have become interested in the increase in top player ratings since the mid-1980s and whether this represented a true increase in player strength (and if so, why) or if it is simply a consequence of a larger chess population from which ratings are derived. So I've opened up my forum for discussions on this subject.

I have updated the list that I initially completed in Mar-2013 with the FIDE year-end rating list through 2019 (published in Jan-2020), and you can download the complete data from It is quite large (~ 248 MB) and to open it you will need Excel 2007 or later version or a compatible spreadsheet since several of the later tabs contain more than 65,536 rows.

The spreadsheet also contains several charts and summary information. If you are only interested in that and not the actual rating lists, you can download a much smaller (~ 1 MB) spreadsheet containing the charts and summary information from You can open this file with a pre-Excel 2007 version or a compatible spreadsheet.

FWIW, after looking at the data I think that ratings inflation, which I define to be the unwarranted increase in ratings not necessarily accompanied by a corresponding increase in actual playing strength, was real, but it was a slow process. I refer to this as my "Bottom Feeder" hypothesis and it goes something like this:

1. Initially (late 1960s and 1970s) the ratings for the strongest players were fairly constant.

2. In the 1980s the number of rated players began to increase exponentially, and they entered the FIDE-rated chess playing population mostly at the lower rating levels. Also, starting in 1992, FIDE began to periodically lower the rating floor (the lowest rating for which players would be rated by FIDE) from 2200 to the current 1000 in 2012. This resulted in an even greater increase in the number of rated players. And the ratings of those newly-rated players may have been higher than they should have been, given that they were calculated using a high K-factor.

3. The ratings of the stronger of these players increased as a result of playing these weaker players, but their ratings were not sufficiently high to play in tournaments, other than open tournaments, where they would meet middle and high rated players.

4. Eventually they did. The ratings of the middle rated players then increased as a result of beating the lower rated players, and the ratings of the lower rated players then leveled out and even started to decline. You can see this effect in the 'Inflation Charts' tab, "Rating Inflation: Nth Player" chart, for the 1500th to 5000th rated player.

5. Once the middle rated players increased their ratings sufficiently, they began to meet the strongest players. And the cycle repeated itself. The ratings of the middle players began to level out and might now be ready to start a decrease. You can see this effect in the same chart for the 100th to 1000th rated player.

6. The ratings of the strongest players, long stable, began to increase as a result of beating the middle rated players. And, because they are at the top of the food chain, their ratings, at leas initially, continued to climb. I think that they have finally leveled out at ALL rating levels, including the top level, based on their trends for the last several years.

You can see in the chart that the rating increase, leveling off, and decline first starts with the lowest ranking players, then through the middle ranking players, and finally affects the top ranked players. As of today the average ratings of ALL the players, including the average of the Top-10 rated players, has been fairly constant since 2015.

It's not precise, it's not 100% consistent, but it certainly seems evident. And the process took decades so it's not easy to see unless you look at all the years and many ranked levels.

Of course, this is just a hypothesis and the chart may look very different 20 years from now. But, at least on the surface, it doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

But looking at the data through 2019 it is evident that the era of ratings inflation IS over, unless FIDE once more lowers the rating floor and a flood of new and previously unrated players enters the rating pool. The previous year's trends have either continued or accelerated; the rating for every ranking category has either flattened out or has started to decline as evidenced by the trendlines.


Chess Engine Non-Determinism

I've discussed chess engine non-determinism many times. If you run an analysis of a position multiple times, with the same engine, the same computer, and to the same search depth, you will get different results. Not MAY, WILL. Guaranteed. Similar results were reported by others.

I had a chance to run a slightly more rigorous test and described the results starting here: US Championship (2017) (kibitz #633). I had 3 different engines (Houdini 4, Komodo 10, and Stockfish 8 analyze the position in W So vs Onischuk, 2017 after 13...Bxd4, a highly complex tactical position. I made 12 runs with each engine; 3 each with threads=1, 2, 3, and 4 on my 32-bit 4-core computer with 4 MB RAM and MPV=3. The results were consistent with each engine:

(a) With threads=1 (using a single core) the results of all 3 engines were deterministic. Each of the 3 engines on each of the analyses selected the same top 3 moves for each engine, with the same evaluations, and obviously the same move rankings.

(b) With threads =2, 3, and 4 (using 2, 3, and 4 cores) none of the engines showed deterministic behavior. Each of the 3 engines on each of the analyses occasionally selected different analyses for the same engine, with different evaluations, and different move rankings.

I've read that the technical reason for the non-deterministic behavior is the high sensitivity of the alpha-beta algorithms that all the top engines use to move ordering in their search tree, and the variation of this move ordering using multi-threaded operation when each of the threads gets interrupted by higher-priority system processes. I have not had the chance to verify this, but there is no disputing the results.

What's the big deal? Well if the same engine gives different results each time it runs, how can you determine what's the real "best" move? Never mind that different engines or relatively equal strength (as determined by their ratings) give different evaluations and move rankings for their top 3 move and that the evaluations may differ as a function of the search depth.

Since I believe in the need to run analyses of a given position using more than one engine and then aggregating the results to try to reach a more accurate assessment of a position, I typically have run sequential analyses of the same position using 4 threads and a hash table = 1,024 MB. But since I typically run 3 engines, I found it to be more efficient to run analyses using all 3 engines concurrently, each with a single thread and a hash table = 256 MB (to prevent swapping to disk). Yes, running with a single thread runs at 1/2 the speed of running with 4 threads but then running the 3 engines sequentially requires 3X the time and running the 3 engines concurrently requires only 2X the time for a 50% reduction in the time to run all 3 analyses to the same depth, and resolving the non-determinism issues.

So, if you typically run analyses of the same position with 3 engines, consider running them concurrently with threads=1 rather than sequentially with threads=4. You'll get deterministic results in less total time.


A Note on Chess Engine Evaluations

All engines provide different evaluations of the next "best" move, sometimes significantly different. For example, Stockfish's evaluations tend to be higher than other top engines and Houdini's evaluations tend to be lower. This could be because Stockfish typically reaches greater search depths than the other top engines in the same amount of time, and Houdini's typically reaches lower search than the other top engines. Or it could be for other reasons.

If we are analyzing a position we typically want to use the "best" engine as "measured" by its rating,, and that's currently (Mar-2018) Stockfish 10 for "classic" chess engines (I'm deliberately excluding AlphaZero and Leela Chess Zero because they use a different move/search tree branch evaluation approach and the best versions of them use either TPU or GPU support to enhance their calculation capability and therefore are not directly comparable), and it's higher rating has been achieved in engine vs. engine tournaments such as CCRL and CEGT. But the "best" engine as determined by playing head-to-head games is not necessarily the best engine for <analysis> since in analysis we not only want to know the best moves from a given position but we want an accurate <evaluation> of the position. Specifically, we want an accurate evaluation of the position in <absolute> terms in order to determine whether one side has a likely winning advantage (generally an absolute evaluation > [ ±2.00] or 2 pawns), a significant advantage (generally an absolute evaluation in the range [ ±1.00] to [ ±1.99], a slight advantage (generally an absolute evaluation in the range [ ±0.50] to [ ±0.99], of if the position is approximately equal (generally an absolute evaluation in the range [-0.49 to +0.49]).

But when playing a game an accurate <absolute> evaluation is irrelevant, what counts is an accurate <relative> evaluation. This is because all chess engines using the minimax algorithm to determine the best move (assuming best play by both sides) do that by a series of pairwise comparisons between two moves. So if an engine is trying to determine which of 2 moves, A and B is better, it doesn't matter if their evaluations are [+12.00] or [+11.00], [+1.20] or [+1.10], or [+0.12] or [+0.11], it will always select move A as the better move and consider that branch in the search tree to be the better line. So multiplying 2 evaluations by a fixed constant or adding a fixed constant to 2 evaluations has no effect in the engine determining which of the 2 moves is better. But clearly, evaluations of [+12.00], [+1.20], or [+0.12] will give the analyst much different impressions of the position.

In practice the discrepancies in evaluations between several engines is not that drastic, but I suggest that you don't assume that Stockfish's <absolute> evaluations are the most accurate just because it is (currently) the best "classical" game-playing engine (i.e. not using GPU or TPU support) or because it reached the greater search depth in a given amount of time.


TCEC Observations

In response to a question by <john barleycorn> I looked into the 16 TCEC Superfinal matches to date, summarized the results, provided season-by-season summaries, and compiled some statistics. The objective was to see if the "Fischer Rules" as proposed for Karpov - Fischer World Championship Match (1975) (winner first to win 10 games with draws not counting, match would be terminated if score reached 9-9 with no match winner and the champion retaining his title). User <alexmagnus> provided some statistics for the situations of the first to win 4 games and first to win 10 games, and I added some statistics for the situation of the first to win 8 games.

You can see the information starting at AylerKupp chessforum (kibitz #1537) below. You can download a spreadsheet with the season-by-season results, statistical calculations, and trend charts from You will need Excel 2003 or later or a spreadsheet or viewer capable of reading Excel 2003 files.


Any comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc. are both welcomed and encouraged.

------------------- Full Member

   AylerKupp has kibitzed 13504 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Oct-21-20 Bill Wall
AylerKupp: <<Joshka> I've never read anyone talking about the what if, had Spassky just taken his title back to the Soviet Union after the forfeit on Game 2.> Spassky couldn't do that for the simple reason that the title was neither his nor Fischer's to take home. The title was ...
   Oct-21-20 Norway Chess (2020) (replies)
AylerKupp: <<Pedro Fernandez> My bad. I should have said something like <project name> or <XXXXX> to make it clearer that you should substitute the project's name for <XX>. So maybe now we can say that "The second half of the Candidates Tournament will definitely ...
   Oct-20-20 AylerKupp chessforum (replies)
AylerKupp: <25 Thoughts to get you through almost any problem:> 1. Indecision is the key to flexibility. 2. You cannot tell which way the train went by looking at the track. 3. There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation. 4. Happiness is merely the remission of
   Oct-17-20 Computer
AylerKupp: <login> Thanks for the info. The article brought back some memories from my early days of programming, which I learned in my first year in college. My first programs were in <machine> language, not even assembly language, and our sadistic professor told us that he was ...
   Oct-16-20 World Championship Candidates (2020) (replies)
AylerKupp: It seems to me that there's an obvious almost win-win solution for the current problems: 1. Wang Hao is considering withdrawing from the 2nd half of the Candidates Tournament because Russia, the host country, is not "safe" and FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich has shown "rudeness" ...
   Oct-16-20 Magnus Carlsen (replies)
AylerKupp: <<Messiah> I don't like him.> It's a good think that it isn't Wesley So that you don't like (or maybe you also don't, I don't know). If you had posted that comment on the Wesley So page. If you had (a) Your post would have been deleted and (b) You would have been ...
   Oct-16-20 M Villalba vs L P Supi, 2017 (replies)
AylerKupp: <<Brenin> The pun refers to the official rock song of the State of Ohio.> The things one learns by visiting <>! I liked the Ohio state house's Concurrent Resolution no. 16 (Why concurrent? What else were they debating at the same time?). ...
   Oct-14-20 Bibek Thing (replies)
AylerKupp: Back when I was in college (a long, long time ago) the TV show "Addams Family" was popular. They had a gizmo called "Thing" which was a little black box and when you put a coin in the slot it would start to shake, a lid would pop open, and a hand would reach out, grab the coin, ...
   Oct-13-20 J K Duda vs Carlsen, 2020 (replies)
AylerKupp: <<SChesshevsky> This kind of proves my point. No one but computers would, and probably should, go a rook and pawn down for a bishop because they forsee a possible or even probable draw somewhere in 10 to 30 moves.> I'm not sure which of your points it proves. Your ...
   Oct-10-20 Carlsen vs A Firouzja, 2020
AylerKupp: <<MissScarlett> In one of the post-mortems, I think it was Caruana, revealed that the decision to switch from 3 from 1 was made by the players.> Could be. Not being a top player I don't know what their motivation would have been. Perhaps they already thought that a ...
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De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 62 OF 62 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: < But they are mostly right since most wine is not really age-worthy so it's best to drink them young when their fruit-forward characteristics are their peak. For an age-worthy wine however, that is a shame, since there is so little of it to go around.>

But how do you know? How many times have you kept a popular fruity wine long enough to find out? I certainly have not, but it seems to me a worthwhile experiment, if only I was not so old. There are certainly more great young wines about than ever before.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: Old as I am, I remain young-at-heart, so maybe I'll give it a shot. I'll select an inexpensive Oregon pinot noir: Hahn, maybe. 10 years should be long enough to tell the story. (it would take longer for a cab. sauv.)

I think such a wine might well stand comparison with a respectable Cote de Nuits of the same age.

What do you think? Any better suggestions?

White wine maybe: a coastal chardonnay? Or a good Chilean chardonay? Lots of potential, for sure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: During a stay in the Southern part of France almost 50 years ago I tasted red wine bottled sometime during WW1.

Oh la la.
Velvet and angels share.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Tiggler> But how do you know? How many times have you kept a popular fruity wine long enough to find out?>

A few times, most often by mistake because for some reason I put the bottle in either the back of another bottle or in a not easily accessible location and forgot that I had it. And let me try to clarify my comment; it's not that these supposedly non-age-worthy wines were necessarily bad but because their enjoyment is supposedly based on their fruitiness and their fruitiness had died out without them achieving any compensating complexity or additional depth of flavor. The main "criticism", if that's appropriate, is that they were no longer what I expected them to be.

Yet many have surprised me. Yes, they were different than I expected them to be but some did achieve a complexity unachievable in their youth. But some were simply dried out, dull, and somewhat bitter-tasting without any compensating good qualities.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Tiggler> I'll select an inexpensive Oregon pinot noir: Hahn, maybe.>

I was not familiar with Hahn wines. But inexpensive? That depends on your reference. On their web site they currently offer 8 wines, and 6 of them are $ 50/bottle or more. One of them <is> $ 15/bottle but that is clearly the exception. So, as far as I'm concerned, they're not inexpensive. But, not having tasted them, I can't say whether they are worthy of their asking price or not.

Oregon Pinot Noir can age very, very well. I had an experience twice at the Joel Palmer House near McMinnville which specializes in mushroom dishes, which I love. These 2 times their wine list had a special section on 20 – 30 year old Oregon Pinot Noirs at not unreasonable prices given their age. They did indicate that, because of their age, they could not guarantee the drinkabilty of the wine. But they also said that if I didn't like the wine that they would buy it back from me. How could I lose?

So both times I tried one of these 20 – 30 year old wines and each time they were superb. Alas, this special wine list is no more.

As far as how they compare with a "respectable" (or better) Cote de Nuits of the same age is hard to say, although, of course, the fun is in the trying. I suspect that they would be similar but sadly I would expect more variability in the Cote de Nuits wine than I would in the Oregon wine.

A possible reason is bottle-to-bottle variation, particularly in Burgundy wines. I once bought 2 bottles of a 1er Cru Volnay, Fremiets (granted, a Cote the Beaune and not a Cotes de Nuits) which were side-by-side from the same case. I was having a dinner party with some friends and I thought one of these (about 20-years old) would be a good "climax" wine. It was good, but nothing earth shaking.

A few week later I made some hamburgers for dinner. I came across the second bottle and thought that, since the first bottle was OK and not great, that the second bottle would be a good accompaniment to the hamburgers. The second bottle was terrific, far superior to the first bottle. And I've had other experiences along this line.

As far as white wine is concerned that's harder to suggest, California makes several styles of Chardonnay from unoaked to oppressively oaked, and the latter are often not age worthy. You need (IMO) a balance of fruit and acidity with only a hint of oak. And, usually, a French White Burgundy will, to my taste, easily out-age and outclass a California Chardonnay.

Yet there are always exception. I had a chance to attend the NY Wine Experience twice and once I had 3 glasses in front of me; one a Drouhin Marquis de Laguiche Montrachet, one a Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne, and one a Kistler Chardonnay from a vineyard I which I don't remember, but it was probably McCrea. They were all of the same or similar age and, while each of them was different and distinctive, I could not detect any difference in quality. A high compliment to the Kistler I would say. Or maybe just a reflection of my unsophisticated palate.

And I was once at a dinner at Iron Horse winery. It turns out that Napa winemakers, as I suspect winemakers from other regions, regularly trade wines. I had an opportunity to taste a 25-year old or so Ch. Montelena Chardonnay. It was outstanding in every way. The wine had gone directly from the Ch. Montelena cellars to the Iron Horse cellars to my glass, and that was probably a significant factor in how well it had aged.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Tiggler> On a similar but related note, and inspired by your earlier post, I recently had the opportunity to purchase 4 bottles of a 2019 Ch. Gloria as futures, expected to be delivered in Fall 2022. I don't expect to be around in 2049 to see if it matches your experience and, if I was, I would be 100 years old and likely unable to enjoy it as well as I wish I could.

But you never know. My late father in law was the person who introduced me to fine wine. He died in 2013 when he was 93 and in what turned out was the last dinner he had at our house I made some hamburgers (which was a coincidence, I hardly make hamburgers). I had asked him and his wife what wine they would like to have with their hamburgers and she replied "A bottle of cheap Chianti."

Because I love Chianti and at the time I probably had several cases in my cellar I indicated to her that this presented a bigger problem for me than if she had requested a bottle of fine Chianti but I went to my cellar and I picked the cheapest bottle of Chianti I could find.

My father-in-law at 93 had not lost either his palate or his no-nonsense approach to providing criticism when warranted. When I served him a small amount of the Chianti for him to try his response was "This Chianti is garbage!" And he was perfectly right. I just hope that (1) I live to be 93 and (2) if I do that I can still tell the difference between good wine and garbage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<moronovich> You were very lucky to have had that experience with what would have been about a 50+ year old bottle of wine probably vinified under difficult circumstances. I don't suppose that you remember what it was? I suspect it might have been a Hermitage from the northern Rhone Valley which has been referred to by one-time wine connoisseur and writer George Saintsbury in his book "Notes from a Cellar Book" in 1920 as "the manliest wine on Earth" and is known for its ability to age well, particularly for the better ones.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <AylerKupp: <<Tiggler> I'll select an inexpensive Oregon pinot noir: Hahn, maybe.>

I was not familiar with Hahn wines.>

I garbled my message: the Hahn pinot noir I was thinking about does not come from Oregon, but from Monterey. It is comparable to the A to Z pinot noir that is from Willamette valley, OR. Both are ~ $15 -$18 and very drinkable young. They are both well made wines, and for that reason alone, I would expect them to survive well if kept. And yes, I agree, likely to far less variable than Burgundy. But I am not sure whether that is a good thing or not!

Premium Chessgames Member
  nok: <I was not familiar with Hahn wines.>

As a bonus she also plays the violin.

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Hi <AylerKupp> !

There was no label on the bottle.All I had was the old farmerrs word.And then the heavenly taste. The region was around Beziers located in the southern part of France,2-3 hundred km´s away from the spanish border.

Cheers !

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Tiggler> I garbled my message.>

That's both OK and understandable. I have garbled many a message after substantially sampling the wines that I was commenting, or trying to comment, on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<nok> As a bonus she also plays the violin.>

Thanks, also. I was not familiar with Hilary Hahn the violinist. Here is a sample of her playing the Sibelius (whose music I love and I am very familiar with) violin concerto: But apparently saying that she also plays the violin is like saying that Fischer also played chess (I had to say something like that in order to try to keep my post somewhat on-topic).

And to show that she's not just a one trick pony, here's another example of one of her other multifaceted and multitasking talents while playing Paganini's Caprice 24:

There is also a Hahn winery in California who make a variety of high-quality wines. But unfortunately I haven't had a chance to visit them. So many wines, so little time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <moronovich> This seems to be the day to show my ignorance on a variety of topics but I had never heard of Beziers either. But looking it up I see it's not far from Cahors and those wines I am familiar with. It's wines were often referred to as the "Black wine from Cahors" because their color is very dark and they were very dark and tannic, a blend mostly of Malbec with some Merlot and Tannat. Merlot can be relatively soft (not necessarily in France) but Tannat is definitely very tannic, which is implied by it's name and which I can personally verify. So much so that I just read that some Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes blended with it in order to soften it. Imagine, blending Cabernet Sauvignon into a wine in order to soften it!

So that might be what you had the wonderful opportunity to sample. A wine with a high tannic content would age well <provided> that it has a good amount of fruit that does not entirely disappear with age before the tannins soften.

Shoot, now I'm going to have to see if I have any well-aged Malbec-based wines in my cellar for my dinner tonight. As you can see I am very susceptible to the power of suggestion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <AK>: <A possible reason is bottle-to-bottle variation, particularly in Burgundy wines. I once bought 2 bottles of a 1er Cru Volnay, Fremiets (granted, a Cote the Beaune and not a Cotes de Nuits) which were side-by-side from the same case. I was having a dinner party with some friends and I thought one of these (about 20-years old) would be a good "climax" wine. It was good, but nothing earth shaking.

A few week later I made some hamburgers for dinner. I came across the second bottle and thought that, since the first bottle was OK and not great, that the second bottle would be a good accompaniment to the hamburgers. The second bottle was terrific, far superior to the first bottle.>

< As you can see I am very susceptible to the power of suggestion.>

With regard to your two bottles of Volnay: can you be sure it was the same you who tasted them? The first time you had high expectations, the second time you had none; perhaps the first time you had fine hors d'euvres, but the second time you cleaned your palate with french fries dipped in ketchup.

Just saying ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Hi again <AylerKupp>

Thanks for your response !
And it makes sense as I recall the taste could have beeen a merlot.A taste I have allways apreciated.

<Shoot, now I'm going to have to see if I have any well-aged Malbec-based wines in my cellar for my dinner tonight. As you can see I am very susceptible to the power of suggestion.>

Good sugestion.I am in ;) Hope you enjoyed it.

And btw:Cahors was/is the region were the french-"danish" prince Henrik has his/theirs wine chateau.

Cheers !

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Tiggler> can you be sure it was the same you who tasted them?>

An excellent point. I have found in the past that when I have high expectations for something I am usually disappointed. And conversely, when I have low expectations for something I am usually pleasantly surprised. As Yoda might say, "The power of suggestion strong within this one is."

As far as wine accompaniments for the first bottle it was the 4th bottle we opened that evening, following a bottle of (probably) champagne as I typically try to have with hors d'oeuvres, (probably) a white wine as I usually like to have with a first course (typically fish), a Nuits St. Georges with whatever the next course was. I remember that distinctly because one of my guests, which by that time might have been feeling the influence of the 2 previous bottles, after tasting the Nuits St. Georges picked up the bottle, put it under her armpit, and exclaimed "This one is mine!". What can I say, my dinner parties are usually fun, and so are my guests.

I am, however, pretty sure that my taste of the Volnay was not contaminated by French fries dipped in ketchup. For one thing, I seldom dip my French fries in ketchup and for another thing I usually taste a freshly open bottle of wine after opening to make sure that it's OK to serve my guests.

One time I failed. I had brought a bottle of an Oregon Pinot Noir (Brick House) which I had enjoyed at the winery and had bought a case, to one of my next door neighbors. I got distracted and after pouring some wine on my glass I poured some on their glass and they tasted it before I did. They told me afterwards that they didn't think that the wine was very good. When I got around to tasting it I made a face, walked over to their kitchen sink, and poured the bottle down they drain. Then I went home, picked up another bottle of the same wine (from the same case, of course) and brought it over. I was much, much better.

Afterwards they remarked that they had never seen anyone pour a bottle of wine down the sink. But I just know that I was once more a victim of the bottle-to-bottle variation curse. Maybe it only affects Pinot Noirs?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <moronovich> Sad to say (maybe) I forgot about my Malbec comment and, since I was making a pasta dish for dinner, I gravitated towards a bottle of Italian wine. I selected a 2012 Aglianico del Vulture (Aglianico is, I feel, a very underrated Italian grape) and it was delicious, an excellent accompaniment to the fusilli pasta with turkey meatballs in a light tomato sauce with garlic and basil. My wife loved it also. In fact, I liked it so much that today I ordered 4 bottles of another 2012 Aglianico del Vulture.

I'll have to wait until I get a chance to open up that Malbec, maybe when I have a charred NY or Ribeye steak with chimichurri sauce to honor the Argentine connection.

And I have to plead ignorance once again. I had never heard of Prince Henrik or his Chateau Cayx in Cahors. Apparently the wine has a good reputation. I'll have to be on the lookout for it since my wine merchant, alas, does not carry it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Pedro Fernandez> 'So how do we come up with K(x)?>

I first thought that you were literally asking 'So how do we come up with K(x)?', and that you had calculated it about 20 new years ago by an old method, and now there was a new method of calculating it. Since we had both mentioned Google Translate but I doubt that it would help you come up with the answer to what that question and since Google was not generally available until 2002 and Wikipedia was not generally available until 2001, I thought that maybe this "new and novel" method involved looking the answer up using Google to get to the page describing Generating Functions in Wikipedia. So you can get the answer from [ F(x) = 1^x + 2^x + ... n^x = SUM[ (k-1)*x^k where k is in the range <0,n> ] = 1 / (1 - x)^2 ]. A lot easier than calculating it yourself!

But your second post yesterday clarifies that you were not asking about the function K(x) but the phrase "... we come up with ...". So I searched for that in <> and I couldn't find that either. So I still don't know the post that you are referring to and without knowing the context of the post I don't think I can answer your question.

But then I re-read your first post and saw that you mentioned <HeMateMe>'s "virtual awarding moment". So, yes, I think that he was making a joke since in "normal" tournaments they have an awards ceremony to give the players their prizes for the tournament. But, since the players are all isolated and not together, they cannot be present to accept their prizes. Therefore the reference to a "virtual prize awarding moment" instead of an awards ceremony.

And you're right, humor does not always easily translate between languages. One great example is in the movie 'Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan'. Captain Kirk is in the elevator with his subordinate, Lt. Saavik, played by Kirstie Alley. She asks him if she can ask him a question and his response is "You may ask". She in turn replies as in and The 2 clips are slightly different and they are both worth watching because the first one sets up the context of his response to her and the second one offers a good piece of advise at the end.

I still don't understand the reference to K(x) but that is not important. And I hope that <HeMateMe> is having a good time in Fiji. :-)

One final comment. Spanish <is> my mother tongue since that the first language I learned. But I am more proficient in English now than in Spanish because I have been in the US for 60 years and I do not get too many chances to practice my Spanish so I forget a lot. But I still do multiplication in Spanish because that's how I learned the multiplication tables. You never forget your mother tongue.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Pedro Fernandez> Oh, I forgot to mention something important about the two clips whose link I posted above. Lt. Saavik is a Vulcan, an alien race driven entirely by logic. So not only does she have the language difference between Vulcan and whatever lingua franca is used on Earth in the 23rd century, but with the fundamental cultural differences between the two species.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Hi, <AK>

<...But I still do multiplication in Spanish because that's how I learned the multiplication tables. You never forget your mother tongue.>

I was just curious to see how your communication with <Pedro> went on, but I see he has not yet replied here on your forum. Anyway, I noticed what you wrote above and that made me smile.

Why so, I shall tell you now - please bear with me.

From 1864 to 1920 the southern part of the big Danish peninsula Jutland (Jylland in Danish) was occupied and ruled by the Germans - as a result of a lost war in 1864 between Denmark and Bismarck's allies.

My father was born in Haderslev (main city in that "occcupied" region) in 1909 so he was forced to go to a German school. Much later, in my childhood in the 50s, when I saw him making minor calculations I recall him whispering them in German although he was as Danish as you can possibly get. "Drei mal sieben, einundzwanzig".

On an end note, in this year 2020, the 100th year of the "liberation of southern Jutland" was celebrated widely in Denmark. The return of the region to Denmark was a direct consequence of a vote held in 2020 in the whole region, down to city Schleswig. The part north of Flensburg proved to be primarily Danish minded, and so the border was fixed permanently and it was even respected by Nazi-Germany. Since then it has been a world role model of how to settle border disputes peacefully and today Germans and Danes live friendly and peacefully across the border.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sokrates> I am reasonably familiar with European History for the last 300 years or so and I was aware of the events that transpired that caused the annexation of Schleswig-Holstein to Prussia (Germany as such didn't exist in 1866). But I was not aware that Northern Schleswig had been returned to Denmark in 1920 following Germany's defeat in WW I and the two plebiscites held in Northern and Southern Schleswig in 1920. Which was somewhat surprising given the mentality at the time, I would have thought that all of Schleswig down to the Eider river would have been returned to Denmark since I thought that the majority population of Schleswig <as a whole> would be Danish.

And, of course, the 1864 Danish vs. Prussia/Austria war was orchestrated by Bismark to (1) occupy the territory needed to build the Kiel Canal and provide Prussia with a means to transfer its fleet from the Baltic to the North sea without going around the Jutland peninsula via the Kattegat/Skagerrak and (2) create additional tension between Prussia and Austria in order to lay the foundation for the Austro-Prussian war of 1866.

But, given the occupation of Denmark by Germany in 1940 I wouldn't agree that the border between Denmark and Germany "was even respected by Nazi-Germany". I suppose that depends on your perspective. It's probably more accurate to say that the Allies, mostly the British whose zone of German occupation bordered Denmark, respected the Flensberg border at the end of WW II; they could have supported the establishment the southern border of Denmark at the Eider river as some Danes would have preferred.

But, at any rate, I'm glad that my answer to <Pedro Fernandez> made you smile.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sokrates> My source of world-wide data for COVID-19 statistics is 'Our World in Data' and the COVID-19 statistics home page is Today's full data set is in which can be copied and posted into Excel easily. I collect the Total Cases, Total Deaths, New Cases, and New Deaths for most of the word's countries. From that I create charts showing these plus the Death Rate (which I define as Total Cases / Total Deaths), both since the beginning of the year and for the last 60 days. And as you can see the data is irregularly collected, so there are definite spikes and troughs in the data and it should be smoothed to have a better picture of what is really happening. And other sites will likely have different data.

I also chart the <rate> of increase or decrease of each of these parameters along with summary tables and pie charts of the top 20 in most categories, plus additional summary tables and pie charts for these top 20 categories as a function of that country's total population and % of the number of cases. Most charts have both trendlines and 5 / 7 point smoothing of the data so you can see in which categories the trend is improving and in which categories the trend is worsening.

Hey, having retired and with travel restrictions and suspension of most chess tournaments, what else do I have to do with my time? Besides, as you probably know by now, I'm an Excel junkie.

At any rate (no pun intended) on a world-wide basis for the last 60 days the results are as follows:

(1) Rate of Increase (Decrease) of the Number of Total Cases – Declining (good) but stabilizing (not so good).

(2) Rate of Increase (Decrease) of the Number of New Cases – Increasing slightly (not so good) which is unfortunate since it had actually been negative for a period of time before Jyl-22-20.

(3) Rate of Increase (Decrease) of the Number of Total Deaths – Declining (good) and it has been declining since about late Mar-2020. This critical because Total Cases, New Cases, etc. is a function of how much testing is being done (and this can be a political decision) but the number deaths are probably harder to manipulate.

(4) Rate of Increase (Decrease) of the Number of New Deaths – Stable for the last 60 days (good, although it would be better if it was declining. However, the Number of New Deaths for the last 60 days shows a steady decline.

(5) Rate of Increase (Decrease) of the Mortality Rate – Decreasing (bad) for the last 60 days although the Total Mortality Rate has been decreasing steadily since Mar-25-20 (indicating that better treatment of new cases has become available) but it looks like it's stabilizing.

If you are interested in looking at today's data I've updated my spreadsheet (including a tab for Denmark's data) and you can download it from You will need Excel 2007 or later or a suitable Excel viewer or Excel substitute. If you have Excel 2003 or earlier I can upload an Excel 2003 version.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <AK>

Since the mythic age before the vikings there has been a dispute between the kingdom of Denmark and various holders of power in Germany. As you know the concept of a nation is an invention of the early 1900th century. If you had asked a Dane in, say 1726, where he belonged, he would not have said Denmark, but, say Soenderjylland (southern Jutland) or Himmerland (northern Jutland).

The tricky thing about Schleswig-Holstein was the fact that it never formally belonged to the state/nation Denmark. Since the middle ages it had been an inheritance of the Danish kings in the old Oldenburg line. When the last king of that line died (Frederik 7. in 1863) and a king of a sideline was elected, Preussia and Austria used it as a reason not to endorse the new line of heritage and claim the whole area.

This is a very rough undetailed description of an extremely complicated matter, which has requiered many thick books to explain. Historians on both sides were very biased in the past, but in the wake of the 100th celebration neutral and unbiased works have seen the day.

The same goes for the acceptance of the border. On the whole it was never formally disputed after 1920, but there were always strong opinionists on both sides who claimed that the border should be altered to the benefit of either Denmark or Germany.

Nevertheless, the vote of 1920 by the people in the areas in question was such a strong argument, such a powerful statement that it was sealed definitively after WW2. You know, my grand parents also voted in 1920 and the fate of Soenderjylland has been an important part of my childhood and origin. My mother came from Kolding, north of the 1864 border, in 1928 after the reunion. They settled in Haderslev, south of the border, where she met my father. Without the 1920 vote this wouldn't have been possible, and you would not have read these lines.

I think it is wonderful that you have such interest in the details of that small corner of history, my corner so-to-speak, and I have read your post with with joy. What matters is the fact that the border today has become a great example of how to deal with such matters peacefully.

North of the border, German societies and schools were accepted after WW2 in spite of much hatred towards everything that was German. The same goes for Danish communities south of the border. They are visited occasionally by our Queen Margrethe II and supported by well-known Danish companies such as Maersk and Danfoss.

Unfortunately, nationalism has showed its ugly face again in history and you can always find fanatics on both sides, but fortunately they are very very few and, at least by a majority of Danes, regarded as silly anachronisms.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <25 Thoughts to get you through almost any problem:>

1. Indecision is the key to flexibility.

2. You cannot tell which way the train went by looking at the track.

3. There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.

4. Happiness is merely the remission of pain.

5. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

6. Sometimes too much drink is not enough.

7. The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.

8. The careful application of terror is also a form of communication.

9. Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.

10. Things are more like they are today than they ever have been before.

11. Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.

12. Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

13. Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

14. I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.

15. Suicide is the most sincere form of self-criticism.

16. All things being equal, fat people use more soap.

17. If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

18. One-seventh of your life is spent on Monday.

19. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

20. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

21. The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets.

22. There is always one more imbecile that you counted on.

23. This is as bad as it can get, but don’t bet on it.

24. Never get into a fight with a pig. You and the pig are both going to get dirty, but the pig is going to enjoy it.

25. The trouble with life is, you’re halfway through it before you realize it’s a “do it yourself” thing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Hello, <AK>

Interesting, highly heterogeneous collection of wisdom. Some of them I can endorse, others not, but that's how such aphorisms work.

As for no. 24 there seems to exist a variety of versions of it. All expressing the same but phrased slightly differently.

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