Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Class Champ. Match Round 3 White works the ending!

Hello! I'm happy to report that I came through with a victory in the third round of my match to break a two draw tie. If I win or draw on thursday I defend my title = p
If I lose we play a two game playoff. I played well enough this game. I missed several tactics but converted an even ending into a crushing mate.

Chris Harrington vs. Ricardo Arteaga

Monday, July 20, 2009

Class Championship Round Two Ateaga vs.Harrington

Round two ended in another draw. We will have two games to prove the class championship. This game was played at a fast pace with both players spending very little time analysing variations. As a consequence both of us made critical errors. I equalized quickly and then ended up giving white a game winning advantage in the ending, then white blundered it away.Here is the game

Ricardo Arteaga vs. Chris Harrington

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Brazil's Pirahas

"In the end, not a single one could count to ten."

One of the hottest debate in Linguistics(a major field in Anthropology) today is the research involving the Pirahas people of Brazil. Maybe I can relay the disputes. First of all these people don't use subordinate clauses.

Instead of saying, "When I have finished eating, I would like to speak with you," the Pirahãs say, "I finish eating, I speak with you." Even famed linguist Noam Chomsky has had trouble believing that this is the only language without S.C.

Here is a quote from a recent article:"The debate amongst linguists about the absence of all numbers in the Pirahã language broke out after Peter Gordon, a psycholinguist at New York's Columbia University, visited the Pirahãs and tested their mathematical abilities. For example, they were asked to repeat patterns created with between one and 10 small batteries. Or they were to remember whether Gordon had placed three or eight nuts in a can.

The results, published in Science magazine, were astonishing. The Pirahãs simply don't get the concept of numbers. His study, Gordon says, shows that "a people without terms for numbers doesn't develop the ability to determine exact numbers."

Psycholinguist Peter Gorden: Are we only capable of creating thoughts for which words exist?
His findings have brought new life to a controversial theory by linguist Benjamin Whorf, who died in 1941. Under Whorf's theory, people are only capable of constructing thoughts for which they possess actual words. In other words: Because they have no words for numbers, they can't even begin to understand the concept of numbers and arithmetic."

This interests me since i've put quite a bit of time exploring the theories of the so-called "cultural turn" which basically suggests that words and symbols can't give access to direct experience, but merely highlight the complexity of meaning. Since these people have little symbolism to express concrete numerical value they have a hard time conceptualizing them.

It seems that this culture has a sort of "live for the now" personality that has had a deep effect on their language. Very little abstract thought communicated or the use of numbers or ideas of the past leads one to live in the moment.

These people aren't isolated from other natives and mix regularly. They are as modern and intelligent as any other modern population.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Class Championship match finals Game 1

I played the white side of another Ruy Lopez in my first game of a championship match with Rick Arteaga. The game ended in a draw. I had a winning advantage as soon as the dubious 3...f6?! was played but slowly allowed him to equalize. here is the game:

Chris Harrington vs. Rick Arteaga

Friday, July 3, 2009

Speed Chess-Queen's Indian

I know I should make a better habit of taking my time to find the best moves, but this thursday I had a bye and ended up playing a sidegame against Wesley Situ. Last time I played wesley I mated him pretty quickly and this game wasn't all that challenging. Although I do see he is improving and starting to use his time effectively.

I think I used about 18 minutes for the whole game. I could have found a few better moves but for the most part I equalized quickly as black then built a steady advantage till Wesley made a critical error. I'm not going into great depth in the anaylsis since I didn't go into much depth of thought in the game.

Wesley Situ vs. Chris Harrington

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

unrated side game Ruy Lopez Bird Defense

Well I had the luck of meet a visitor from Atlanta, in town for the Reno Bowling tournament who claimed to be a USCF chess player rated around 1810. We ended up playing a unrated side game with a Game in two hour time control. I had white and he ran into a trap which is part of my repertoire in the Ruy Lopez. the game became complicated and I almost gave it back to him. Here's the game: