Friday, September 10, 2010

A Follow-Up Post

My mentor in the sixties and seventies was Larry Evans. He is a Grandmaster and an excellent teacher. I had the honour of watching him play against Bent Larsen in the 1972 tournament I referred to in the previous post. My teacher got taught.

In the after-game analysis Bent explained that he knew that Larry thought (and taught) in terms of concrete concepts. So he deliberately steered the game into complications where Larry's point-count style chess (from Bent's perspective) would not help him. Wow.

Bent Larsen, 1935-2010:

Danish chess legend Bent Larsen died yesterday in Buenos Aires, following a short illness, at the age of 75. He was a leading grandmaster from the mid-to-late 50s through the early 80s, and for a period from the mid-to-late 1960s until his 1971 Candidates match against Bobby Fischer was considered a genuine title contender and even at one point possibly the strongest player outside the Soviet Union.

Read the whole thing.

(Via The Chess Mind Blog.)

Bent Larsen dies at 75

In the glorious days of my youth the greats of chess did battle and we all stood in awe. Bent Larsen was one of those greats. I partly took up the Grand Prix Attack because he was one of the first grandmasters (that I knew of) to practice it.

He played in the Grandmaster tournament on San Antonio in 1972, following Fischer's victory over Spassky. I met him and his wife on a street corner there. They were both so gracious to me and left a positive impression. I am sad at his passing.

Bent Larsen dies at 75:

Bent Larsen photographed in January 2010 by Peter Heine Nielsen.

Hello Everyone,

It is sad news that the great chess player Bent Larsen is no more.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Alexandra Kosteniuk's CHESSBLOG.COM.)

Friday, September 03, 2010

A Rule For Reasoning

is to weight the expert's testimony based on his actual expertise and it's relevance to the topic under debate. So when a big-name sports player tell me to buy something that has nothing to do with his or her sport, I ignore the recommendation.

Enter Stephen Hawking on the subject of Natural Theology:

Fr. Robert Barron: "I confess that something in me tightens whenever I hear a scientist pontificating...":

... on issues that belong to the arena of philosophy or metaphysics. I will gladly listen to Stephen Hawking when he holds forth on matters of theoretical physics, but he’s as qualified to talk about philosophical and religious issues as any college freshman. There is a qualitative difference between the sciences, which speak of objects, forces, and phenomena within the observable universe, and philosophy or religion which speak of ultimate origins and final purposes. Science, as such, simply cannot adjudicate questions that lie outside of its proper purview—and this is precisely why scientists tend to make lots of silly statements when they attempt to philosophize.
Read all of Fr. Barron's piece,"Stephen Hawking & More Tiresome Atheism,"on

Read the whole thing.

(Via Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog.)

Global Warming

isn't what it used to be. The actual data and reasoning about long-term effects of humans on the climate remain opaque to me. But there's still something uncomfortably like the Chicken-Little panic about some of the claims that have been made, not least by Al Gore. So this is interesting news:

The Thing that Used to be Global Warming...:

...and then morphed into the much-harder to grip "climate change" is suffering from severe changes in the climate of public opinion. Happens when you get caught with your pants down.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)