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Chess Party!

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No, seriously. At the new Trump Soho Hotel, no less. Karpov, Kasparov, and Carlsen all in the same room at the same time, and all for the good cause of Karpov's run for the FIDE presidency. I'm definitely going to be there, toting the new (and still unborn as of this writing) baby if I must! Tell'em the Dirt sent ya.

Oh, and Stephen Hawking has a very important message for Kirsan Ilyumzhinov!


http://www.space.com is the main site for daily updates from science and space. Lots of Mars rover coverae, etc.

http://www.space.com/entertainment/stephen-hawking-dangerous-aliens-100426.html refers to the aloen thing.

C (and space) O

er, coverage and alien -- sheesh.

With all due respect, Stephen Hawking is overlooking a simple point. Regardless of how many aliens there are in the 100 billions of galaxies in the entire universe, we are only visible as an intelligent radio-emitter from within a very small sphere of at best a 100 light years radius centered on the solar system. By comparison, the nearest galaxy is about 2 millions light years away. We can shout as loud as we want, nobody is going to hear us.

Thanks for posting this. I'm seriously considering flying from London to attend it taking the VIP package. Getting a photo opp with these gentlemen is almost too much to resist :)

This is wonderful news for chess. I hope Karpov succeeds.

Guillaume, thank you. That's great information. Some very large and intelligent earthworms somewhere are wondering why no one is responding to their very loud thuddings and have declared themselves the only sentient beings in the universe.

Actually, I think we should do the exact opposite of what Pr. Hawking suggests. We humans are pretty much inherently violent and destructive to others, so that in all likeliness, aliens are the ones who should be wary of us. Instead of trying to stay as hidden as possible, it would therefore be charitable to continuously send a loud radio message around that would basically say: "If you intercept this message, stay away from us; because if we find you, you're dead. We're **** apes, alright!". Hopefully, this message will reach sentient aliens before our greedy space travelers descendants do.

@ By comparison, the nearest galaxy is about 2 millions light years away. We can shout as loud as we want, nobody is going to hear us...

almost correct, the power radiated pe surface area decreses proportionally with the square of the distance (~1/R^2). Thus we may keep shouting like we do now for many centuries on and still it will be in vain since we need to shout billions of times louder so as a whisper be heard that far

Interesting to see that young Carlsen is volunteering. It is probably not his deep interest in FIDE politics which makes him fly to NYC. Some GMs express their standings about the president election when they get a specific question from a journalist or something. A few GMs actually go out with a strong announcement of support. But most of them don’t care or keep quiet. It is rarely that they go as far as take part in fund raising.

I guess this is Kasparov’s idea. Carlsen is marching shoulder-to-shoulder with his coach. Good to see that they are still a team!

Guillaume get on with the program. to wit: Paul Davies, a physicist at Arizona State University, points out that widespread radio communications may prove a short-lived historical phenomenon on Earth. Humans are, after all, increasingly using fibre optics to talk to each other. Moreover, many modern radio devices (such as mobile phones) rely on a technique called "spread spectrum" encoding. It uses signals that look like background noise, except to a receiver equipped with the right unscrambling code. Radio signals that are clearly artificial in origin may, then, be only a transient sign of civilisation.

@Ovidiu: The fact that the power per unit surface decreases with the square of the distance is besides the point. People build telescopes for a reason. The important point is the limited speed of the propagation of the signal (the speed of light in vacuum), which makes us invisible outside of our own light cone, regardless of the magnification power of the telescopes that aliens would use.

@jaideepblue: Yes, I know about this, but I never argued that we would be broadcasting radio signal forever or even in the near future. My proposal of a deliberate warning to aliens by means of a radio signal was a joke.

Not to be lost in the current chess "hub-bub", as Kasparov has warned, Putin and Medvedev are on the brink of bringing back the last remnants of the Soviet Union:


That's as far as our understanding currently, Guillaume. Who knows in what other ways we might be visible. Our visibility depends not only upon our "hand-waving", but potentially "others" ability to "see".

@noyb: Yes, I agree. My point basically stands only if one assumes that general relativity is valid and universal. I guess I'll have to watch Stephen Hawking's documentary to find out but I would be surprised if he was assuming any differently.

Argh, really? Conflicting with the US Champs? Grrr. We could have gotten some American superstars at this thing too.

Wow!! This is an amazing event...might have to break out the checkbook for this!!!

Wow!! This is an amazing event...might have to break out the checkbook for this!!!

Actually Mig, won't Ilyumzhinov, as an alien emissary merely PROVE Hawking's point? :)

Karpov needs money? Thought he was a billionaire.
Anyway, I (of course) wish him well.

People generally don't become rich by spending their own money when they can readily spend someone else's.

Excellent point.

Every good party needs outrageous true gossip so:

Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland apologizes to Dez Bryant for asking if his mother was a prostitute during a pre-draft visit. http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/news/story?id=5140313&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines

I have a hilarious quote relevant both to the discussion about alien threat, wormholes and the possible consequences of insulting someone's mother. It's from Douglas Adams' Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Chapter 31:

"It is of course well known that careless talk costs lives, but the full scale of the problem is not always appreciated.

For instance, at the very moment that Arthur said "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle," a freak wormhole opened up in the fabric of the space-time continuum and carried his words far far back in time across almost infinite reaches of space to a distant Galaxy where strange and warlike beings were poised on the brink of frightful interstellar battle.

The two opposing leaders were meeting for the last time.

A dreadful silence fell across the conference table as the commander of the Vl'hurgs, resplendent in his black jewelled battle shorts, gazed levelly at the G'Gugvuntt leader squatting opposite him in a cloud of green sweet-smelling steam, and, with a million sleek and horribly beweaponed star cruisers poised to unleash electric death at his single word of command, challenged the vile creature to take back what it had said about his mother.

The creature stirred in his sickly broiling vapour, and at that very moment the words I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle drifted across the conference table.

Unfortunately, in the Vl'hurg tongue this was the most dreadful insult imaginable, and there was nothing for it but to wage terrible war for centuries.

Eventually of course, after their Galaxy had been decimated over a few thousand years, it was realized that the whole thing had been a ghastly mistake, and so the two opposing battle fleets settled their few remaining differences in order to launch a joint attack on our own Galaxy — now positively identified as the source of the offending remark.

For thousands more years the mighty ships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the first planet they came across — which happened to be the Earth — where due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog."

Hilarious indeed. Need to find this book.

So it is plausible that a certain FIDE President was in contact with aliens. However, instead of being abducted by them, he simply has them in his shirt pocket (heck, they might still be in there).

For a minute I thought Jeff Ireland was a Grandmaster.

With all due respect, I doubt Hawking is overlooking that particular point; an obvious prerequisite of alien encounter would be the capability of either part of intergalactic travel.

So, Kirsan is no more a nutcase than Hawking.

There's in Anand's shirt pocket. They weren't able to make it the first day; something about bad atmospheric conditions over Europe.

@ggg Yeah, like that whack job Galileo...revolve around the sun, indeed. Where do these eggheads get this stuff?

Now, IF Hawking were just saying that the mathematical probability for life somewhere in the universe was reasonably high AND that this life developed intelligence AND that this life could somehow communicate with us THEN it would be a bad idea to talk back...THEN I would say that sounds reasonable.

@Guillaume One good literary recommendation deserves another. "Blindsight" by Peter Watts. It is under a creative commons license, so even if you can't get the book, its complete text is on line. Watts is a biologist by training so his writing is informed on a certain level. "Blindsight" (which is a Sci-Fi novel) explores the nature of intelligence and its relationship to sentience, with aliens, of course.

That's quite a package on offer. Thinking of heading over from London myself! It would be a no-brainer if it wasn't for the fact that I've spent about 3 weeks in the UK this year so far.

@regondi: Thanks a lot! I've downloaded the PDF, and I'm definitely going to read it :-)

@Leo: The issue is not travel capability. I believe Pr. Hawking mentions wormholes as a hypothetical way to overcome intergalatic distances. Fair enough.

Of course if Aliens just end up at random in our solar system, we're screwed, regardless of whether we were recklessly advertising of our presence around or not.

The issue I was raising is that of detectability. If we assume that the only way through which we can be detected is our electromagnetic (radio) emissions, then we're perfectly safe from detection outside our own galaxy. Even inside it, it would still take thousands of years before we become detectable from the other end of the galaxy.

Ilyumzhinov did it again. On a very serious show (Pozner's) on russian Channel 1 he confirmed he met aliens and had witnesess!

Found it! http://vladimirpozner.ru/?p=3031
Google's translation:

Vladimir Pozner: Well, I for my rather long life, met a lot of people. But I never met a man who himself said that he visited interplanetary spacecraft with aliens, as you said. And it happened, as you say, in April 1997. Correct, yes?

K. Ilyumzhinov: slightly changed: September 18, 1997.

B. Posner: And in September, sorry. But it really happened?

K. Ilyumzhinov: Well, if it is serious, yes it was.

B. Posner: But seriously, of course.

K. Ilyumzhinov: Yes, of course. Transmission serious. Of course it was, I do not deny that it gave a few times in the interview, even channel "BBC", it was in 1998.

B. Posner: Repeats not?

K. Ilyumzhinov: No, there was no repetition. But it happened, and how about that? Possible and with irony. But, on the other hand, I believe it, I communicate with them, I did.

B. Posner: Tell us a little about how it was.

K. Ilyumzhinov: It was a Saturday. In September 1997, I was going to Kalmykia and in the evening came home to an apartment, it is Leontief lane. Here, in Moscow. In the evening read a book, looked at TV and went to rest. And then probably fall asleep, and felt that the balcony was opened and someone is calling. He came up, I look - such as polutruba translucent. I went into this tube and saw people in yellow suits. I'm often asked what language to communicate. Perhaps, at the level of thought, because not enough is little oxygen, and air. They gave me to understand: "Here a little touch, everything will be fine." And then a tour of this vehicle. Even they said: "We need to take a sample from the same planet." Then there was the dialogue: "Why do not you go to a live broadcast on TV and do not say that you are here?" Look, are communicating with us. " They said that "we are not ready to meet." And then just back to back. But I probably would not have believed in it, if there were three witnesses - it's my driver, the Minister, my assistant, who arrived in the morning, and found that I was not there. Things are in place, an open balcony (top floor was). We watched, began to call friends. Also no data was. Then they sat in the kitchen, discussing where to call, where to go - because the phone, things are in place, the apartment was closed, but they have their own key was. And then they see me coming out of the bedroom, directing the kitchen. They both look at me, I say: "Prepare an omelette, you must hurry to the airport." They say: "Where were you?" Well, a normal reply: "Well, he flew. At the plate was. They are upset, saying: "We are asking you seriously." And then sat down, began logically. So this time, about an hour they were, I was not in the apartment. One was in the hall, past him I could not pass. Well, emerged from the bedroom where the door was opened to the balcony. Then a few months they were shocked by this. Well, logically, as if I was not, and I appeared, you can believe it. On the other hand, our mind still, when I talk to them, I do not believe in it.

You can't deny he's got a lot of experience, though :)

V.Posner: If after your death you could return as something or someone else, what would you choose?

K. Ilyumzhinov: I'm already in my 69th life. The 70th, no doubt, will depend on the karma that I earn in this life.

That's weird, I always order the omelette after encounters with aliens too.

The Google translation makes it all the more enjoyable; kind of like the bad English subtitles in old Kung-Fu movies. "You kill my master, now you are having a hard death!"

I know I'm alone here, but I do have some niggling doubts about the above account. I just don't think the aliens would go for the yellow suits. They have mastered interstellar travel-they know all about being "hip" and "down with it".

small fact - September,18 1997 was Thursday, not Saturday, but who cares about such small details in theie 69th life. And you should see his face during all this - absolutly serious!

$750 is a steal compared to the $1000-$2000 required to rub elbows with and get a photo op with U.S. Presidential candidates at their fundraisers, and it's not even a guarantee that they will be President. At least for $750 you get a chance to meet 2 World Champions and 1 future World Champion.

Mig - thanks again for posting a link to the party. I'll be there - secured a VIP package and got a flight from London to N.Y. for this... I got the 'Kasparov vs. the world' book from your via ebay a few months ago - I'll bring it over to get a second Kasparov signature =)
Hope to get a chance to meet you @ this event too.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 27, 2010 2:07 AM.

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