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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

chequered Chess game ! ~ patches of deforestation !!

Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests in order to make the land available for other uses. An estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest, which is roughly the size of the country of Panama, are lost each year, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  Deforestation occurs around the world, though tropical rainforests are particularly targeted. NASA predicts that if current deforestation levels proceed, the world's rainforests may be completely in as little as 100 years.  India does not top the list while the most deforested is  Indonesia.  Though deforestation has increased rapidly in the past 50 years, it has been practiced throughout history.

On sporting arena, on a board game, a major event ended in farce after the world's best female grandmaster threw a game after continually being made to play against other women. The Chinese World Women's Champion Hou Yifan was playing in the final round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess tournament when she resigned in dramatic fashion after just five moves. Speaking afterwards, the 22-year-old "Queen of chess" said she had been upset with the "unbelievable and weird" pairings throughout the event as she had drawn seven women players out of 10 rounds.

Back home, in the final T20 at Bangalore, Yuzvendra Chahal  returned scripting an unbelievable story. Was hit for a six off his first ball [the 2nd over the innings] – then took a wicket.  Resuming his spell, third ball Eoin Morgan got out to a googly, top edged, Pant taking his first catch.  Next ball, having crossed, Joe Root got out to a ball that hurried and was plumb in front.  Stokes denied the hattrick.  In 15th over, Jasprit Bumrah got Butler out for 0.  16th over – 1st ball – Moen Ali got out, held out to a googly. 4th Chahal got rid of Ben Stokes. And of his last delivery, Jordan was stumped by MSD and Chahal had taken a 6 for.  His figures read : 4-0-25-6 in a T 20. Chahal joined Ajanta Mendis, the only other bowler to have taken 6 wickets in T20. 

Former Pakistan leggie Mushtaq Ahmed once said of T20 that, "For spinners, this game is like chess. You need to plan every move.”  Chahal is a Chess champ too.   A talent from an early age, Chahal’s proficiency at chess led to him becoming national junior champion and representing India at both the World and Asian youth championships when a teenager. Mike Brearley, was a noted fan of chess. The love can cut both ways. Nigel Short, the British Grandmaster, is a huge cricket fan; and he introduced the game to Russian Peter Svidler.

Moving away, for astronauts aboard the International Space Station, any glance out the window could inspire wonder and awe. One spaceflyer was recently treated to a special sight: a giant checkerboard stretching across part of the planet's surface. The astronaut did not actually spy a giant board for playing checkers or chess, of course. Rather, patches of deforestation in Idaho created the checked pattern, according to NASA. The white squares show where snow had fallen on deforested ground, while the alternate dark areas show dense forest, the agency said.

Dividing parcels of land in a checkerboard pattern was first agreed upon in in the 1800s, when the U.S. government granted alternate 1-square-mile (2.6 square kilometers) parcels of land to the Northern Pacific Railway according to NASA.  "These parcels were later sold off and in many cases harvested for timber. The checkerboard — which has since evolved to the one-quarter-mile [0.4 km] squares shown here — is now seen as a method of maintaining the sustainability of forested tracts while still enabling logging companies to harvest trees," NASA officials at the agency's Earth Observatory wrote in a blog post. In the image, the checkered pattern is bordered to the left by the Priest River, which winds through the Selkirk Mountains in northern Idaho. Historically, the river was used to transport wood from the logging sites, but in 1968, the U.S. government classified the body of water as a "wild and scenic river" and so it is now protected from development.

Interestingly, Chess as a sport has not been affected by the menace of doping which has besmirched reputation of sports like athletics, weightlifting and wrestling. Though they depend more on their brain power than brawn, chess players still have to undergo dope tests during major tournaments. FIDE, the sport’s world governing body, introduced dope testing in 1999 as it wanted chess to be part of Olympics and one of the requirements for that was to have regular dope testing. FIDE’s decision was scorned upon by players as they considered drugs had no performance-enhancing effect in chess. But now there is proof that chess-playing ability of a person can be enhanced by drugs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
7th Feb 2017.

Credit for inputs : and host of other websites

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