Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing User Profile Chessforum

Member since Mar-17-04 · Last seen Jun-11-21
"There Would be No Game"


As he got to know him, Joseph and Mary regarded Doc with something akin to love---for love feeds on the unknown and unknowable. Doc's honesty was exotic to Joseph and Mary. He found it strange. It attracted him in spite of the fact that he could not understand it. He felt that there was something he had missed, though he could not figure what it was.

One day, sitting in Western Biological, Joseph and Mary saw a chessboard and, finding that it was a game and being good at games, he asked Doc to teach him. J and M easily absorbed the characters and qualities of castles and bishops and knights and royalty and pawns. During the first game Doc was called to the phone, and when he returned he said, "You have moved a pawn of mine and your queen and knight."

"How'd you know?" the Patron asked.

"I know the game," said Doc. "Look,, Joseph and Mary, chess is possibly the only game in the world in which it is impossible to cheat."

Joseph and Mary inspected this statement with amazement. "Why not?" he demanded.

"If it were possible to cheat there would be no game," said Doc.

J and M carried this with him. It bothered him at night. He looked at it from all angles. And he went back to ask more questions about it. He was charmed with the idea, but he couldn't understand it.

Doc explained patiently, "Both players know exactly the same thing. The game is played in the mind."

"I don't get it."

"Well, look! You can't cheat in mathematics or poetry or music because they're based on truth. Untruth or cheating is just foreign, it has no place. You can't cheat in arithmetic."

Joseph and Mary shook his head. "I don't get it," he said.

It was a shocking conception and he was drawn to it because, in a way, its outrageousness seemed to him like a new strange way of cheating. In the back of his mind an idea stirred. Suppose you took honesty and made a new racket of it---it might be the toughest of all to break. It was so new to him that his mind recoiled from it, but still it wouldn't let him alone. His eyes narrowed. "Maybe he's worked out a system," he said to himself.

John Steinbeck, "Sweet Thursday"


Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

general Sun Tze: "The Art of War"

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

   Gypsy has kibitzed 10181 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Apr-29-21 Giri vs K Alekseenko, 2021
Gypsy: <40...Nxg4!? 41.Qg3 f5 ... > When going over this game for the first time, I was quite impressed with the boldness of the <40...Nxg4!?> move. After some reflection, however, I now think that <40...Nc4! 41.Nxc4 bxc4 ....> [DIAGRAM] is a calmer and safer route to ...
   Apr-27-21 World Championship Candidates (2020/21) (replies)
Gypsy: <Stonehenge: ... Just play an uneven number of games. The challenger gets an extra white and the reigning champion keeps his title in case of a tie.> This has been tried, Botvinnik - Levenfish (1937)
   Apr-11-21 Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 (replies)
Gypsy: <DouglasGomes> I think you found the win for Fischer, even if Spassky had played the 41.Kh3. (The <more-less forcing sequence> turned out forcing <much less> than I thought)
   Apr-09-21 K Junge vs Keres, 1942 (replies)
Gypsy: <31.Nd6?> This loses a pawn but not necessarily the game [DIAGRAM] 31...a6 32.Rc3 Rxe5 33.Rxe5 fxe5 34.Rxf3 Rxd6 [DIAGRAM] Black has an extra pawn but White piece play is good; he should be able to hold.
   Mar-02-21 Gypsy chessforum
Gypsy: Antal Dodsfall ~= the number of death-cases Ar och vecka ~= Year & week
   Jan-31-21 Tata Steel Masters (2021) (replies)
Gypsy: < metatron2: <Gypsy: Holding this endgame as White is not a trivial matter> Seems like Giri did not agree with you (and me neither). Obviously, if Giri thought that he had any winning chances there, he would have continued to play, since a win would have given him sole-first.
   Dec-24-20 Capablanca vs Allies, 1913 (replies)
Gypsy: <Whitehat1963: Isn't there a perpetual check here?> Well, in the short horizon, White can not hide his K somewhere and force the immediate check-mate. But, after <53...Qd1+ 54.Kg2 Qe2+ 55.Qf2 Qe4+ 56.Qf3...> Black has to trade off his pieces and the extra White rook will ...
   Nov-03-20 Lutikov vs M Mukhitdinov, 1955 (replies)
Gypsy: Black position is totally ruined and different moves easily win here. For instance -- to diverge from the game continuation -- after <36.Qd4+...> Black king does not have a good retreat; e.g; <36...Kg8 37.Rxe7 Rxe7 38.Nf6+...>. Thus, time to resign.
   Nov-02-20 V Eingorn vs E Torre, 1987 (replies)
Gypsy: <DanQuigley: Would 33.Re5 have worked equally well?> Yes and no: The combination goes off, but the presence of DSBs greatly complicates the matters afterwards. White has a healthy extra pawn, but the position is still difficult to win. It actually seems that <33.Bf2!...> ...
   Aug-23-20 Bronstein vs E Rojahn, 1956 (replies)
Gypsy: < jusmail: What is the idea behind 31.Kh1? > It frees the g1-square for White rooks. Black can not really oppose on the g-file, because the position after <31...Rg8 32.g6...> is so transparently embarrassing that Black may just as well surrender. (However, other replies ...
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member

New assessments of regional situations as of May 17.

The usual prediction-curves re-computed and updated as well.

Premium Chessgames Member

Developments in Tx, Az, Fl

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: Thanks for that post <Gypsy>. I have known for a long time that you are the smartest person on (apart from me).

Perhaps you recall, or maybe you don't know, that I live in Tucson AZ. It is exciting to know that the whole epidemiological world is looking at Arizona as we make the first, first world, experiment in uncontrolled Covid-19 spread.

Our Governor won't shut down the state, so it is up to each of us to make our own decisions. We like being responsible for ourselves out here on the frontier.

I am sheltering in place. I have cancelled all medical and dental appointments. No one enters my home, except my daughter, and my wife and I don't leave. Essential supplies are ordered online, and after delivery are left outside for 48 hours. Do not reveal my address, because I don't want others to raid my from porch for goodies.

I am in a vulnerable group, age 75. I am hoping to see the death toll rise among the 15-30 age group since those are ones driving the spread of the virus.

Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

Everybody wants to hear the truth, but still they all want to lie.

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <Gypsy> You have been a member on this site for almost as l long as I have. And we both know who the smartest person on is. And you and I know that this month we will sacrifice the 75 year olds to stop covid-19. You don't happen to know any 75 year old, do you?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <td> Trump and Biden, for instance, are both surplus to requirements.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <Tiggler: <td> Trump and Biden, for instance, are both surplus to requirements.>

And one of them is going to star in the next "No Country for Old Men".

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: That's all we need these days: generational warfare.

Makes one nostalgic for the Cold War. So much simpler.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: Breaking news: Trump has pulled the USA out of WHO. Clearly he is mad as a hatter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Tiggler <Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, confirmed the US had notified it of its withdrawal, effective as of 6 July 2021.>

Hopefully the Mad Hatter will be wearing a strait-jacket after November 3...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: I have been staying out of the discussion of the curves, because the topic has became so politicized that it hurts rational handling of the pandemics.

I will make an exception for the following curve:

It pertains to the weekly death-tally in Sweden, from all causes, since Winter 2015-16. I find that it well illustrates the level of impact COVID-SARS2 has or can have.

The green lines represent the statistical model: the solid green line gives the mean number of weekly deaths while the two dashed lines give the plus-minus 1-sigma zone of statistical fluctuations. The purple line gives the empirical weekly death-count for the country of Sweden.

The horizontal axis gives years, starting with Winter 2015-16, the labels of the type 'v13' say that the datum pertains to the week 13. There is, of course, 52 weeks in the year.

The first thing to note is the large seasonal death-rate fluctuation between the Summer and Winter months. (It is nearly 3-sigma, if measured by the size of the 1-sigma band.)

The second thing to mention are the large seasonal flu death-rate flareups in the Winters 2016-17 and 2017-18.

The third thing to note is the obvious sudden spike in the weekly death-rate due to the arrival of Covid-SARS2 to Sweden in early 2020. It increased the Swedish death rate more than the previous 'bad' flu-seasons did, but it is on a comparable scale. Given that the initial spike came as the effect of the novel corona virus attacking unprepared Swedish population for the first time, it is reasonable to expect that, other things being roughly equal, the next flare-ups due to the virus should have much milder effects.

The fourth thing to note is that the current overall death rate in Sweden has already returned into its normal 1-sigma band. In fact -- partially as a benefit of the season -- it is now well below the average death rate for the year. (Making thus Covid-SARS2 less severe than Swedish Winter?)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <The fourth thing to note is that the current overall death rate in Sweden has already returned into its normal 1-sigma band. In fact -- partially as a benefit of the season -- it is now well below the average death rate for the year.>

It is still true that an individual can only die once, so in a sense there can be no "excess deaths", just early deaths. Most of those, in the case of covid-19, were already aged, so the number of lost years are not so many.

I recall a somewhat similar situation in London in the 1950s and 1960s. There were frequent thick fogs, called "smog", caused mainly by the use of coal. Each time there was a bad smog, subsequent statistical analysis showed many excess deaths, mostly among the old. Totaling some hundred thousand I think.

Most historical accounts mention only the smog of 1952, but I remember regular occurrences up to 1962. Usually the first smog of the winter would occur on November 6: the day after Guy Fawkes' day, also called bonfire day or fireworks day.

Sep-14-20  login:

London particular

The siblings Lady Peasoup and Lord Ffogg
(Londinium episode, 1967)

From the Great Stink to the Great Smog

More curves

Nov-18-20  Everett: < I am in a vulnerable group, age 75. I am hoping to see the death toll rise among the 15-30 age group since those are ones driving the spread of the virus.>

An interesting statement.

Nov-19-20  Everett: Greetings <Gypsy> it’s been a very long time since we shared the same thread on some issue or another. It’s great to see you still around and doing your thing.

Was curious as to your thoughts on the various Covid curves now, in general and perhaps Sweden in particular.

If you’d rather not get into it, that’s of course all good. Thanks for being such a solid kibitzers and voice of reason all these years at <chess games>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Hello <Everett>. I have not been monitoring this for a few weeks, my apologies for the delay.

<Was curious as to your thoughts on the various Covid curves now, in general and perhaps Sweden in particular.>

(1) It is clear now that this COVID thing is a seasonal beast and that Winter is its prime time domain in the Northern hemisphere. Basically, in terms of seasonality, it will behave now as the common cold, from which it has been derived. (The reason underlying the seasonality of corona viruses is that at temperatures close to freezing the beast survives at large a much longer time. The moist, versus dry, environment also plays a role)

(2) COVID is becoming less lethal as time progresses. The underlying mechanism is that those strains of COVID that get people to hospital and even kills them outright, reduce their opportunity to spread. This is a common evolution for many viruses, but does not apply for instance to viruses that kill us only after they spread and infect new victims. (For cultural reasons we tend to fear mutations. But in this case mutations generally work out in our favor.)

(3) It seems that the chief way COVID is using to kill us is by taxing our immune systems already tired from old age, and/or by taxing our immune systems exhausted from fighting other diseases and stresses. (Among young and healthy, COVID seems actually somewhat less deadly than the common cold -- despite of the 'novelty' aspect COVID and the 'commonness' property of the common cold.)

(4) From the standpoint of making rational decisions under uncertainty -- or in the face of large unknown, as here in the case COVID -- the general coping strategies tend to fall into several general paradigms that differently balance the costs of combating the problem and the costs of learning about the nature of the problem.

In our case, most of the Western World went to lock-downs, which could have been the proper response had there been a realistic chance that COVID could have been eradicated by doing so. This strategy resembles an all out sprint and, as such, can not be sustained too long.

Sweden, in contrast, went to a strategy of using only milder restrictions, but such that could be economically sustained indefinitely. Instead of the all out dash, Sweden chose the pace of an ultra-marathoner.

Given that Sweden and Czech Republic, my original home, are both countries of approximately 10 million people, I contrast their respective curves a lot. Here are the respective histories of their approach to COVID thus far:

To me, the most telling graph about the efficacy of the Swedish approach is, again, this one:

Feb-01-21  Everett: Thank you kindly for your response <Gypsy>

Good health to you and your family

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <<> Two moves are recorded incorectly: It should be 54...Ra7 and 62...Ra6. Can you please fix it?>

Alekhine vs Duras, 1910 (kibitz #1)

It's a long time ago, but can you recall what source you had for the game?

As <mifralu> points out, Skinner & Verhoeven, based on the tournament book, have <54. ... Ra8> and <62. ...Ra7>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <MissScarlett> I do remember the source, it was a Czech monograph about Duras written by a team of IM's led by Josef Louma. Of the top of my head, I remember also that the team included Emil Richter. (Given that this was mainly an end-game struggle, E. Richer was likely the one who analyzed the contest.)

I also have a later Duras monograph written by Jan Kalendovsky, but I acquired that one later.

I would love to verify the moves I gave -- I do goof up more often than I care for -- but I am still socially distant, away from my city house and away from my book cases.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Everett> Among the curves the Sweedish Covid 19 Wikipedia page

displays towards the bottom is one that breaks down the all-cause-death-rate by the three largest counties: Stockholm, Skane, and Vastra Gotaland.

The comparison between Stockholm and Skane is quite instructive. In particular, note that the second season of COVID in Stockholm is already much tamer than was the first COVID season there. In contrast, it looks like Skane lucked out during the first COVID season. But Skane is being hit hard now, in the second COVID season.

I believe that what we see in these curves is the effect of COVID attacking an unprepared population cluster for the first time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The first move 54...Ra7 was a part of a key trap that Duras set for Alekhine.>

Did you mean by this that ...Ra7 was crucial to Alekhine's plan? If so, I don't see the significant difference between it and ...Ra8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <MissScarlett>

The trap got completed when Duras played <61...Kd7>. Now, AAA can play his <62.d5?!>, because after <62...exd5? 63.Bxf5+ gxf5? 64.Rg7+ ...>, the rook on a7 is lost on the account of the x-ray.

(Had the rook been on a8, there would not been the temptation for AAA to play the 62.d5... because 62...exd5 is no longer a tactical error)

Feb-09-21  Everett: <I believe that what we see in these curves is the effect of COVID attacking an unprepared population cluster for the first time.>

I agree

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: The all-cause-deaths graph for Sweden has been brought up-to-date. (That presently means week 5, as the system seems to need about three weeks for reporting and processing) The numbers look very promising and the Swedish death rate is now significantly below the null-hypothesis mean for the season.

The speed of the Swedish recovery outpaced even my personal dead-reckoning. (Trying to be slightly on the conservative side of things, I was thinking that mid-March would see us to this milestone)

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Could you translate the last graph's headers?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Antal Dodsfall ~= the number of death-cases

Ar och vecka ~= Year & week

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 14)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific user only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

You are not logged in to
If you need an account, register now;
it's quick, anonymous, and free!
If you already have an account, click here to sign-in.

View another user profile:
Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC