Thursday, June 21, 2018

Satire: How I became World Chess Champion

You certainly have heard of the World Chess Championship 2018. World Champion Bogolblanca had to fight against me. With new FIDE rules, it was a "best of 10". The first game went like this:

Bogolblanca - Hornecker
World Chess Championship 2018, game 1
Bogolblanca plays the Bird opening, but I have prepared the Englund gambit, to which I want to continue 2.f:e5 f6.
1.-e5 2.g4!
Bogolblanca offered an interesting gambit. I was shocked. I had never seen anyone play this opening before, and I was a master for over 30 years now. So what was to be done there?
Of course, a gambit can mostly be refuted by taking the pawn. The game went on:
3.Sf3! h5 4.g5 Be7 5.h4 d5 6.d3 Bd6
I thought to be safely a pawn up by now.
7.Bg2 Se7 8.Sd4 Sg6 9.B:d5 f3 10.e4 c6 11.g6!! S:g6 12.B:f7+!!
Needless to say, I lost in a few more moves. I analyzed the variation and after an easy draw with White in the second game he played it again. I managed to hold this time. The further games ended in draws, and after game 5 the colors were switched. Finally, in the last night of the match I found a surprising refutation of his gambit.

Bogolblanca - Hornecker
World Chess Championship 2018, game 10
1.f4 e5 2.g4
Now I presented my refutation of this gambit, after which, as you know from the press, even the most stubborn of grandmasters ceased to play it.
2.-Qh4 mate with a small advantage I converted into a full point.

The tie-break match went nice for me, but after a blunder it went into the Armageddon game. As I had Black and had to win the game, my experience with crisis situations came in handy. The venue was during our game robbed, and just as I was about to be checkmated, the robbers broke into our playing room. I quickly made a move, and my opponent didn't realize he was to move as he had to hold his arms up. I paid the robbers nicely afterwards and kept his watch as a memento. Wait, I was not supposed to write this. How can I delete this text?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Emil Joseph Diemer 110

The great German master Diemer, founder of the (propagandist) "Deutsches Kampfschach" slogan ("German fighting chess"), explorer (with Studier, Gunderam, et al.) of the Blackmar Diemer Gambit, an improved version of one of the both Blackmar gambits (1.d4 d5 2.e4 d:e4 3.f3?? was improved to 1.d4 d5 2.e4 d:e4 3.Sc3 Sf6 4.f3!! [!?] e:f3 5.Q:f3!! [again not objectively deserving the exclamation marks, but they are for the crazy idea]). The gambit is objectively refuted (source: Studier 2004, personal talk), but very dangerous at a hobby and club player level below title ranks.

The "Prophet of Muggensturm", as he was jokingly referred to, at the end of his life, as - including me - many of his followers believe, indeed developed prophetic powers. This, however, came after falling for decades of not working esoteric beliefs, such as biorhythms (not to be confused with the medical biorhtythms). Studier told me how his book contians one big error regarding this: Indeed Diemer tried to warn Wolfgang Schäuble of the assassination. The assassination however was on 12 October 1990, two days after Diemer's death.
Was this another itch, which for once was hitting? Barely, as a German chess historian reports meeting Diemer once who said that he would know where Bogoljubov's grave is when he tries to go there. Indeed, at that day the sun shone and there was a reflection that could be seen widely... coming from the grave...

Did Diemer just assume the sun would reflect there? Did he just have intuition telling him of the Schäuble assassination? After the many failed prophetic attempts of Diemer one could attribute it to luck, to just an usual "prophetic" hit rate. On the other hand, one might be inclined to believe that the man who died on 10/10/1990 at 10:10 AM(!) at the end of his life indeed found a truth he was searching for always.

Diemer's legacy is that of an eccentric gambit that brought spectacular wins, brutal losses, a fanatic fellowship, a chess master who - depending on the viewpoint - either totally failed to promote "his" opening and became crazy, or who was more than the human shell was able to show: A soul in searching for the ultimate truth, a predecessor of the fictional Fox Mulder in his stoic believe that the truth is out there and he would eventually find it. Whatever it was, somewhere over the rainbow an old man become young again right now might smile down on us, knowingly and with a smirk.

Happy birthday, Emil Joseph Diemer!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Open source chess engine tries to reproduce AlphaZero algorithms

Some people here probably followed Deepmind's AlphaGo, then AlphaGoZero and finally AlphaZero's achievements. However Google did not release the weights for all thoses networks, so a community has formed trying to reproduce and maybe improve the AlphaZero engine.
To do this, a distributed effort to play self-play games has started, and the training is done on a single powerful computer (It can update the weights in about 5 hours currently).

The developers also allow everyone to play against their engine:

Further information can be found on the website which necessarily is rather technical.

And while people like Magnus Carlsen struggle to reach 2850 Elo, the engine struggles as well... to reach 4250 Elo. Yes, that is a 4, not a 3. But how "real" that number is, is the real question.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Imageboard activists donate possibly several 100,000 Euro to cancer charity

Protesting against an article by cybersecurity "journalist" Brian Krebs, users of a big German imageboard donated - using the pun of "Krebs" as being the German word for cancer - an official 103,000 Euro to the Deutsche Krebshilfe until several hours ago. As the donations are still ongoing, the DKMS received also a lot of donations, and some donations were also made to foreign charities and other diseases' charities, the entire sum of the donations will likely remain unknown but in my estimation could be as high as 500,000 Euro.

The semi official slogan of the action:
Krebs ist scheiße >_

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Using the Google Translate widget to translate almost any foreign website

The following text was written for my "Study of the Month" article for April 2018, but is taken out and published here in advance, so as to not bloat the article more than necessary.

How to get a fast overview on longer foreign websites

Let us talk about how the research for this article was done. While the Google Translate service can only translate a part of the page if entered directly on the website, you can use its widget to translate the entire page, but must modify the code.
First download the website to translate (in this case the Russian article), best might be to download it as “Web page, complete”. Now rename the extension to .html.txt and enter here your widget preference:
In this case, after clicking that you want to add the widget to your website, enter any website in the field - it does not matter, it seems, and use the website language - in this case “Russian” - in the field below. Now click on “Next”. Add all languages or specific languages - I chose specific languages and selected only English, as to make the widget easier to use for me. Choose a preferred display mode, and disable all checkboxes below at “Advanced”. I chose “Inline” and “Dropdown only”, but all should work. Possibly you should not use “Automatic”, but you can try that also to see if it works.
Click on “Get Code” now. Important: You must modify the code by adding a http: after the prior to the website starting with // - if you don’t do this, the widget will try to load it from your file system where no such file exists. Copy this modified code now into the html.txt file under the line </head> or copy the original code and modify it there. You might want to add empty lines prior to and after the code to find it easier if you did something wrong and need to replace it later.

Now save this, close the file and rename the format from .html.txt to .html which enables you to load it into your web browser. If you use a security tool that disables JavaScript, activate the JavaScript for your file system and for and the top left corner of the page should show the widget now. After this, click on it and select the language you want to translate it to - in my case the only option is English. After a few seconds, the entire page is translated. Strangely, the translation is different from what it is on Google Translate directly, but you should still be able to understand some of the content even with the poor translation. Better readable results require to translate small text snippets at once on the Google Translate website instead, making the widget rather an overview tool than a really useful translation tool. In any case I envy those who understand Russian!

Warning: Never download or visit websites you don’t trust, as this can lead to an infection of your computer if the website contains a virus or other malware! Common sense and caution is one of the most important tools to prevent infections, in some opinions even more than a virus scanner (this does not mean you shouldn’t have some form of software that protects you, however. Personally I use a military-grade sandbox/whitelist tool that also protects system files in addition to the built-in Windows Defender). When in doubt, run your browser in a sandbox (see the Wikipedia article), check the safety prior to visiting the page at all with a scan tool like Virustotal and, when you visit it, modify the script in real-time with your browser’s tools.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Gisbert Jacoby (3.v.1943 - 1.iii.2018)

The former CEO of ChessBase, chess trainer from Hamburg, Gisbert Jacoby has died eight days ago. There is an obituary on ChessBase by André Schulz about him with a few photos.

My favorite candidate 2018 is Ding Liren

Just for the record, my favorite candidate 2018 is Ding Liren. I believe that he would be able to give Carlsen a highly interesting match. Could he beat Carlsen? Only if the stars align. But then in spectacular fashion.