Saturday, September 29, 2007

Anand is World Chess Champion 2007

Anand played remis against Leko in his last game and is the new World Chess Champion. Kramnik won his last match against Aronian but that did not help. Gelfand, the closest pursuer of Anand, is still playing but even winning will not make a difference.

Here are the results:
Svilder - Grischuk 1-0
Anand - Leko 1/2-1/2
Kramnik - Aronian 1-0
Morozevich - Gelfand 1/2-1/2

Friday, September 28, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 13 result

Anand defends his one point lead. The game between Kramnik and Gelfand ends in a draw. Only a single round left and Anand is ahead one point to Gelfand. Here are the results of today:

Leko - Morozevich 1-0
Aronian - Svidler 1/2-1/2
Gelfand - Kramnik 1/2-1/2
Grischuk - Anand 1/2-1/2

Anand only needs to draw against Leko to be the new world chess champion. Gelfand would need help of Leko and win his own game against Morozevich.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 12 result

Today Gelfand and Kramnik were able to catch up a bit. Both won their games while Anand draws. Well Anand has still one point more then Gelfand, his closest pursuer and there are only two rounds left. Maybe Anand will get a bit nervous and we will have a thrilling final. Anyway here are today's results:

Svidler - Anand 1/2-1/2
Aronian - Gelfand 0-1
Kramnik - Leko 1-0
Morozevich - Grischuk 1-0

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Backgammon - Opening rolls pt. 2

Welcome to part two of the opening rolls at backgammon. If you missed part one you can find it here.

The best possible roll which is not a blocking roll is 6-5. It is called the lover's leap. You can move one of your back men all the way to the secure 13-point.

Bringing your back men into the game is one of the aims in the beginning. Preventing your opponent from blocking them out.

The rolls 6-2, 6-3 and 6-4 are basically all played the same way. Use the 6 to escape your back men to the 16-point. The number of the second die is used to move a checker from the 13-point. This will give you more possibilities to make the 5 or 7-point in the next turn.

You might have noticed that 6-4 could have build the 2-point. So why did we not build an inner board point with this roll. Because the 2-point is not a real blocking point. There is a huge gap between the 2-point and the 6-point. Make sure you do not occupy the 1 and 2-point to early in the game because they might be too far away from the action.

The rolls 2-1, 4-1 and 5-1 are also all played in a similar way. With these slotting rolls you move the higher number with a checker from the 13-point. The idea behind this play is again to have more moves to build the 5 or 7-point with your next roll. The actual slotting play is done by moving to the 5-point. You occupy the 5-point with a single checker. Leaving a blot where your enemy can only hit it with a single number is called slotting. The possibility your opponent hits you is pretty slim but you have got a good chance to make the 5-point.

That is a real aggressive play but it will reward you in the long run. Building the 5-point is a big advantage and getting hit every now and then is not that bad at the beginning of the game.

Hope this will help you all to improve your game and remember there is still one more port with opening rolls to come.

Monday, September 24, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 10 results

Seems like Anand is going to be champion. Well there are still four more rounds but with one point ahead of the field, he is on the right track. Drawing against Kramnik today and thereby keeping him 1,5 points away is a major step. Also his closest pursuer - Gelfand, who is "just" one point behind - could not gain a full point today. Here are the results of today:

Svidler - Morozevich -still running-
Aronian - Grischuk 1-0
Gelfand - Leko 1/2-1/2
Kramnik - Anand 1/2-1/2

Sunday, September 23, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 9 results

Morozevich beats Kramnik while Anand split points with his opponent. So he gains another half of a point against Kramnik. Gelfand, who is currently second, is still playing.

Here are the results:
Morozevich - Kramnik 1-0
Anand - Aronian 1/2-1/2
Grischuk - Gelfand 1-0
Leko - Svidler 1/2-1/2

Thursday, September 20, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 7 results

Anand strikes for another point while Kramnik draws. Now he is a whole point in front of the field. Here are today's results:

Svilder - Aronian 1/2-1/2
Kramnik - Gelfand 1/2-1/2
Anand - Grischuk 1-0
Morozevich - Leko 1/2-1/2

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 6 results

Three games finished so far and all ended in a draw. Gelfand is still playing against Morozevich. Here is the list of all games:

Leko - Anand 1/2-1/2
Aronian - Kramnik 1/2-1/2
Grischuk - Svidler 1/2-1/2
Gelfand - Morozevich 1-0

Gelfand wins against Morozevich

Backgammon - Opening rolls pt. 1

We already talked about the opening goals in an earlier post. Now it is time to see how you the possible opening rolls can be used to perform the first step. In this post i will concentrate on the blocking rolls.

The luckiest roll for your first move is 3-1. This allows you to build the 5-point.

Blocking another point in your home board, so your opponent has one point less to reenter the game if a checker is hit. Making the 5-point also helps blocking the back men of your enemy.

Another good first roll is 4-2. This allows to make the 4-point.

Basically offering the same advantages as 3-1 but leaving the 5-point as a gap. If white is able to reach the 5 point your chance to trap them and to build a prim shrinks.

A little weaker is the roll 5-3 and making the 3-point. I guess you already understand why ;-)
It is building a point in your home board but the 3-point is not a strong point alone and leaving a bigger gap does not help.

The last blocking roll is 6-1. The best move is to make the 7-point also known as the bar-point.

Not considered as strong as 3-1 because it is not building a point within the home board but making the 7-point prevents white from escaping with his first roll. Also building a 3-point prime (from 6 to 9) as a very good start.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 5 results

Three games are already finished and today some players scored full points. Anand and Grischuk were able to win with the white pieces. The match between Leko and Kramnik ended in a draw. Gelfand against Aronian is still on. Here are the results so far:

Leko - Kramnik 1/2-1/2
Anand - Svidler 1-0
Grischuk - Morozevich 1-0
Gelfand - Aronian 1-0

After this round, Anand is leading the scoreboard being the only player with 3.5 points.

And the last game is finished as well. Gelfand also wins with the white stones. Only Kramnik was able to achieve a draw with black today.

Monday, September 17, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 4 results

Here are the results of the 4th round:

Svilder - Gelfand 1/2-1/2
Aronian - Leko 1-0
Kramnik - Grischuk 1/2-1/2
Morozevich - Anand 1/2-1/2

Saturday, September 15, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 3 finished

Here are the results of round 3 so far. The match Leko against Gelfand is still on yet.
Morozevich - Svidler 1-0
Anand - Kramnik 1/2-1/2
Grischuk - Aronian 1/2-1/2
Leko - Gelfand 1/2-1/2

The last game just finished. After over 7 hours of play and exactly 100 moves Leko and Gelfand agreed on a draw.

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 2 finished

Sorry for the late update but i was pretty wasted last night. So here are the results of round two:

Peter Svidler - Peter Leko 1/2 - 1/2
Boris Gelfand - Alexander Grischuk 1/2 - 1/2
Levon Aronian - Viswanathan Anand 0 - 1
Vladimir Kramnik - Alexander Morozevich 1- 0

So Anand and Kramnik scored a full point and are now leading. Today is the clash of the titans as they have to play each other. We will see if one of them will be able to take the lead.

Friday, September 14, 2007

World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) 2007

Today starts the World Championship of Online Poker 2007. The best online players will come together in 23 different events to determine a champion in the different variants like Hold em, Omaha, 7 card Stud or good old 5 card draw. PokerStars will guarantee a total price pool of 15 million dollars for all events and each champion will receive a bracelet. Check out the schedule and buy ins at the PokerStars homepage

Thursday, September 13, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 - Round 1 finished

The first round is already finished. All games ended in a draw. See the results below:

Anand - Gelfand 1/2 - 1/2
Grischnuk - Leko 1/2 - 1/2
Kramnik - Svidler 1/2 - 1/2
Morozevich - Aronian 1/2 - 1/2

So my first bet was already wrong. I did bet 1€ on Anand winning with white.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007

Today starts the World Chess Championship in Mexico City. Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian, Peter Leko, Peter Svidler, Boris Gelfand, Alexander Grischuk and Alexander Morozevich are fighting for the title. Most people expect a head to head race between the current champion Kra
mnik and Anand, who is leader of the ELO table. But maybe "youngster" Aronian will show more of his brilliant play.
Check the official website for updates on the tourament.

Because the official website seems to be pretty slow on updates you might want to check chessbase for regular updates on the games.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Backgammon – Opening goals

In the book "Win at backgammon" by Bill Robertie, he mentions four key goals in the opening:

Hit your opponent
Every checker you send back onto the bar gives you an advantage in the race. If your opponent has to reenter to the board he is missing valuable rolls for other things. But remember, sending a checker back at the beginning of the game might not win you the race. More important is to "steal" part of your enemies roll, so he less options to choose from and you can develop more safely.

Build blocking points
Backgammon is not a pure race. Both players do not run independently around the board. Even more affective than hitting a checker is blocking it out. If you are able to build a full prime your enemy can not move to his home board and win. Even if he hits you again and again, you have all the time to move your checkers back to where you want same to be.
Therefor building blocking points - mainly the 5- and 7- point- in the opening and blocking the backmen of your opponent is giving you a huge advantage.

Build an anchor
An anchor is a point made by your backmen in your opponent's home board. It prevents your enemy from closing the board and makes it harder from him to block your stones out of the game.

Mobilize your checkers
If you can not obtain any of this goals with your current roll make sure to mobilize your stones in a way so you have a good chance to do so in the next move. You may not be able to build a new point with each turn - well must of the time you will not be able to do so - but set up your checkers so you can easily do in later moves. Do not move your checkers from one point to the next safe point whenever possible because then you will never create new points. It is essential to leave single checkers either to move another checker there to make a point or to have more possiblities to build another point.

Next post will be about the best opening moves for all possible rolls.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Checkers solved

In case you have not heard it by now: Checkers is solved. A perfect play of both sides will always lead to a draw. Checkers is the most complex game at the moment that is solved. Have a look at Chinook for a detailed description of the project. It took them 24 years to calculate all 5 * 10^20 possibilities in a legal game.

So checkers solved, chess dominated by computers and backgammon as well. If you are looking for a game where computers do not stand a chance against a decent human you should head straight to Go. There are 4.7 * 10^170 positions possible in Go whereas chess "only" has 10^43. And because computers are still calculating each and every move - more or less - they got to much to do. Humans just have a better "feeling" for a situation - if trained well.

Well i guess in another 30 years or even less chess will be solved as well. And maybe someday Go might fall - but by this time we will all be living inside the matrix anyway.