Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sign-Up Closes For Online Chess Match Championships

The sign-up period for the inaugural Online Chess Match Championships is now over. The list of registered players for the two divisions are:

Open Division

Player Rating
ZwaartePaard 1942
Valiantangel 1866
leomalagar 1864
Acho 1861
tseltzer 1850
jonasil 1840
Tensaigg 1759
castleden 1745
SklavinLydia (tentative) 1737
surGeonGG 1660
TonyPrice -
jumong (tentative) -

Under 1600 Division

Player Rating
offtherook 1595
ranban    1576
farbror    1561
jerichob    1530
AHappyLearner    1484
caleblaziken    1456
edwaxx    1413
KasparovsDog    1385
Avie    1021

So, the Open Division will host 10-12 players and the U1600 Division 9.

I was considering different pairing systems for setting up the single-elimination cup brackets, including adopting the system used in the tennis ATP tour. After consulting with FICS user tseltzer, I am instead opting for a Swiss-like cup system where the top seed is not meeting the bottom seed, but instead the top seed from the bottom half.

Pairings will be posted in a couple of days on the Online Chess Match Championships site.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Survival

What if humanity were extinguished right now?

Have you ever considered that scenario?

No one can provide an accurate probability of such an event happening, but the fact that it could happen is indisputable. While personal survival is a major force for the individual, humankind's survival is the ultimate goal for us as a species. Individuals do almost anything in their power to prevent their own destruction, but what are we doing as a species to ensure our own survival?

I would argue that we're spending more effort protecting specific zoological and botanical species than ourselves. Although humanity is not an extinguished species, there are several kinds of events which could wipe us all out in a matter of hours. We cannot continue to neglect the importance of protecting the survival of humankind.

Threats are manifold and I plan to discuss these in future posts as I digest the book Global Catastrophic Risks, which deals with these important issues.

Chapters I have read:

Chapter 2: Long-Term Astrophysical Processes

Chapter 3: Evolution Theory and the Future of Humanity

Chapter 4: Millenial Tendencies in Response to Apocalyptic Threats

Chapter 5: Cognitive Biases Potentially Affecting Judgment of Global Risks

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Off the Back Burner?

How mundane it is to blog. I've put this blog on the back burner for many months now, as I've lacked inspiration for posting. Lately, I have been blogging exclusively about chess, which most likely doesn’t interest most of you. While it is a passion and I intend to keep posting occasionally on the subject, I don't want this blog (nor more life, for that matter) to focus on a board game. It is good to see that the small number of subscribers hasn't dwindled despite the chess focus of late, though.

Why blog? In the end, I want to use this space to improve my writing and also to serve as a two-way communication platform with anyone else out there in the depths of cyberspace.

Since I enjoy the creative process of writing, I will try to produce more stuff here, and perhaps from a more personal angle. I can't guarantee that it will work. But one thing's for sure: I will not promise to write more here; those are classical final words of the last post on dead blogs! But I will try.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Online Chess Match Championships

The Online Chess Match Championships is scheduled to take off on June 1. It is your chance to play in a chess tournament cycle similar to the official World Championships. The main reason that I organize this tournament is to make the excitement of chess matches available to everyone on the Internet. The games will be played on the free FICS chess server.

You can sign up right away!