USATE 2012 round 2: Kissing your sister

We traveled all the way to NJ, and got to play… GM Bisguier’s team, most of whom are Metrowest Chess Club players. I played Dr. Ed Epp, accomplished academic, researcher, chessplayer and Boston Bruins hockey fan. I’ve already played probably 8 rated games against Dr. Epp. On board 4, Matt Phelps squared off against Bill Michaels – I don’t want to guess how many times they’ve played before.

With a high number of Boston teams, it’s inevitable that we run into each other. Doesn’t add a great deal of adventure to the tourney though. This time we prevailed 4-0, with board 2 WGM Anya Corke setting the tone by simply and cleanly overpowering her 2200-rated opponent with the black pieces.


  • There is a team here rated 2198. They are the SIXTH seed.
  • GMs in attendance, in addition to Bisguier: Joel Benjamin, Sagalchik, Ramirez, Yudasin, Hess, Kekelidze, and WGMs Goletiani and Corke.
  • At least two of the 2199 teams have already been clipped in two rounds: Cambridge Springers and Overrated.

That’s it for now. More to come

Hey – if you haven’t seen it, check out my wife’s IndieGoGo project video: 

It’s about accelerating the growth of healthy local food systems. Thanks.

MyFreshLocal on IndieGoGo

IndieGoGo is a website that helps individuals or startups raise money to accomplish a goal. Some of the projects are altruistic, others artsy, and so forth.

My wife, who started learning about the US food system a decade ago to address health issues, is aiming to raise enough money to rebuild as a faster and more powerful tool for helping people find healthy local food sources.

Take five minutes to watch her video!

And if you find the cause compelling, by all means pitch in, blog about it, tweet it, etc.

Thank you!


Hydroponics is raising plants in water rather than soil.

Aquaponics takes that concept a step further. Raise fish or other aquatic organisms in the water and you can make a largely self-sustaining system. Fish waste adds nutrients to the water, feeding the plants.

And at the end of the day you can have tilapia with mixed greens.

(Link goes to an interesting writeup on with an aquaponics system diagram and some ideas of how aquaponics can help grow fresh food in urban settings.)

Dear Mr. Crabby Old Chess Player #10

Help Me Crabby One, You’re My Only Hope:

During long games, I need to snack at the board. So I’ve got a high metabolism! So sue me! My opponents are typically the whiny sort – you know, “You can’t eat here, you’re disrupting my concentration, I’ve got a sensitive stomach, I’ve  got a peanut allergy, wah wah wah.”

I’ll bet those people drive you crazy like they drive me crazy. In a four or six hour game, you’ve got to be able to eat, especially if your last round game went long and you didn’t have time between rounds to go eat a sit-down meal somewhere. It should be about who’s the better chessplayer, not who ate a bigger breakfast. Am I right?

– Sam in Saskatchewan

Hi Sam: You’re an idiot.

Here are the top ten Foods You Can’t Eat During a Chess Game.

  1. Soup (slurp. slurp. slurp.)
  2. Italian sub with hot peppers
  3. Any bean burrito
  4. Any other kind of burrito
  5. Buffalo chicken wings
  6. Stinky feet cheese
  7. Anything with pickles
  8. Any form of frothy supermochafrappalattachino
  9. Durian

You can have water, coffee or soda if you’re able to drink without making noise. If you’re really going to starve, go sit in the corner and gnaw an energy bar for three minutes. Food doesn’t belong at the board.


Frozen assets

Caribou meat, like buffalo meat, is leaner than beef.

Gold is currently worth $1,500 dollars an ounce.

There’s a businessman who owns a slaughterhouse in Texas and raises Caribou in Alaska.

Nome, Alaska has a population of around 9,000 people.

Alaska Airlines flies combi flights with cargo in the front half and human passengers in the back half.

It’s relatively easy to move buildings in Nome because they have no foundations – they just sit atop permafrost.

Industrial gold prospecting in Alaska can involve pumping water into the ground to melt the permafrost, then scooping up huge mounds of dirt and dumping them into a processing machine such as a trommel.

The Texas businessman flies live Caribou out of Nome on combi-flights to get them to the slaughterhouse.

They have to turn on all the air jets in the cargo space to help calm the Caribou.

The Gold Prospectors Association of America will, for a fee, provide you all necessary equipment, food and instruction for six weeks of prospecting “on the gold filled beaches of Nome”.

Nervous Caribou poop a lot.