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Merry Christmas to all December 24, 2008

Posted by dorigo in personal.
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Filippo and Ilaria wish you a merry Christmas…


1. Guess Who - December 24, 2008

There are mysteries in that picture: what’s Filippo doing, what is Ilaria pointing to, and do we actually want to know? 😉

Merry Christmas everybody.

2. Kea - December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas! It seems they’ve grown a lot in the last year. I’m spending Christmas with friends in Christchurch, including a very naughty 1 year old German girl.

3. dorigo - December 25, 2008

Hi GW,

well, I asked Filippo to squat since otherwise the tree would not show up in the background. I do not know whether Ilaria was pointing at, but the pic was taken with a flash, and there was almost no light in the room when I took it, only the candles in the tree provided some illumination.

Hi Kea, have fun, and I hope I’ll see you soon in GB!

4. Fred - December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Tommaso, and all that visit this site. Hoping there will be some new presents for the physics world this coming year.

dorigo - December 25, 2008

And merry christmas to you too!

BTW your hotmail handle seems to have been taken literally by a dutch guy last December 1st!


5. Fred Altieri - December 26, 2008

lol. Yes, with the evolution of tow-in surfing it is now possible to surf where it was once inconceivable. Here in Venice, CA we still paddle out to the waves. The only difference for surfing in the winter is the wetsuits get a bit thicker. Today we will have 3-6 foot breakers and hoping for drop in the on-shore breeze to better the set conditions. There are a number of physicists from JPL and Cal Tech try to hit the swell everyday.

Off topic: I finally broke down and for the first time ever played some 5 minute chess games live on chess.com. After about 10 games in one week, I’m not sure I enjoyed the experience.
1. My nerves were shot after each game and my heart was beating like a drum. I didn’t like the feeling.
2. I lost half of the games because time ran out on my side though I had the advantage.
3. In 2 other games I made incredibly stupid blunders when mate was a couple of simple moves away because I was concerned about the time running out on my side.
4. I feel like most of my opponents have the first 12 moves or so memorized within a total time of 40 seconds for various strategies while I am playing like we have 2 1/2 hours each.
5. One of my 3 wins did not feel very rewarding because I felt like I cheated because my opponent’s time ran out.

Do you think that the opening game has a distorted tilt to it due to the time constraints?
How can one prevent an opponent from using stall tactics (playing out the clock) even though they are obviously playing from a weaker position?
Is there a training method to ease one’s way into these blitz matches without developing a neurosis or becoming an ungrateful robot in order to win?
Though I haven’t played for a dozen years, I should be playing to around a 1500 level.
Thanks for any help you can offer, Tommaso.

dorigo - December 26, 2008

Dear Fred,

I would not draw hasty conclusions from this experiment… First of all, are you positively sure that you do _not_ like the adrenaline shots that these games give you ? For me it is like a drug!
Second: blitz games do have this built-in perversion, the short time control, implying one often wins in the worse position and loses won games. If you really cannot stand the concept, I suggest you try longer time controls, like game/30′.
Missing simple tactics is common at all levels in blitz… With 5′ to create a game, it is rare to be proud of each move. I think blitz chess is not for purists! Despite that, it can be a nice way to play lots of positions and train on an opening…
As for your question on how to prevent your opponents from playing on the time: don’t waste yours!


6. carlbrannen - December 26, 2008

Are Christmas trees native to Italy or is this an example of cultural imperialism?

Re the looks on the faces of children when they are photographed for Christmas. Of course the best of these are the small children terrified by Santa Claws. Which reminds me of how a Czech lady at our local chess club described her ability to play. “I will beat you like a foster child!”

dorigo - December 27, 2008

Hi Carl,

the trees come from Croatia, I think. Those are cheaper than the ones we cultivate in veneto, but you can find the latter too. As for the cruel say you are reporting, it makes me laugh – I remember even worse ones being used before blitz games, just for the sake of it, in my chess club. About children I remember the evergreen “Playing you is like stealing candies from small kids” (which can be exchanged for the other “this is like shooting the red cross men!”


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