A Chess Tournament

World Chess Championship 2004:

The Classical World Chess Championship Match will be played between the Classical World Champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and the Challenger Peter Leko of Hungary. The match shall consist of 14 classical chess games.

Vladimir Kramnik is considered the world’s top chess player by many because in 2000 he beat Garry Kasparov in a 16 game match; however, the International Chess Federation does not recognize his title.

Peter Leko is a top 10 in the world player with a rating of 2743. I had a rating around 1600 when I played a lot in my teens.

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) governs the world of chess, establishing tournament rules and ratings of players. They’ve been critisized the past few years for introducing strict tournament rules (drug testing, for one) and commercialising the game, so other competing chess organizations have been created in protest, such as the Association of Chess Professionals and the Professional Chess Association.

I’ll have to write about chess tournaments sometime. They’re like seedy poker game scenes from movies with weirder characters.

I Buy Computer Games, Sometimes

burnout 3I bought BurnOut 3: Takedown today, a Playstation 2 game, paying $8 in taxes for it. TAXES.

I don’t play games often; I have little time for them and there are few that I have patience for. I like games you can pick up and play for 10 minutes, then continue playing it six months later without relearning how to play it again, which is how I tend to play games.

I bought Burnout 3 because I like car racing games and it received an excellent review (warning: annoying ads at that site).

A review: It’s an excellent racing car game. The graphics and sense of speed are exciting, but the coolest feature is how the crashes are an integral part of the game: the more you cause damage to others, the more points you get; plus, they’re cinematic: when you cause a big pile-up, you can put everything into Impact Time (similar to Max Payne’s Bullet Time), where the crash is put into slow motion, allowing you to steer your wreck into other cars for more damage. There’s one option where you have to cause as much damage as possible in a crash, trying to destroy other cars. However, this isn’t like Carmageddon where you gets points for the carnage you cause; all the destruction is just done to vehicles, and you have to win races to get ahead. It’s similar to NFS: Underground, but better. Read IGN’s review for an excellent description of the game, where they state:

We do not hesitate to say, then, that this is one of the best games there is — not just of 2004 — but of this generation. It’s a bold statement, and there are a lot of factors that make it a truth; and if we had to pinpoint the most obvious one it would be this: Takedown is instantly enjoyable and maddeningly addictive.

Rating: 87/100

Illusions And Things

From Grand Illusionsthe site for the enquiring mind; with optical illusions, scientific toys, visual effects, and even a little magic – can you find the 9 people in this image? (Click for larger version.)

9 hidden people

They also feature Magnetic Torpedoes which I’ve read about elsewhere. I’d like to see them in action.

Test Your Reflexes

The Relex Tester:

Test your Reflex Response time! Click on “Start” first, and wait until the background color changes. As soon as it changes, hit “stop!” Be warned. This is more addictive than any drug you can think of. You’ll see what I mean.

Best I could do was 0.261 seconds.