Monday, October 31, 2005

Bairro Alto by New York Times

Michael Barrientos for The New York Times

Now Playing in Lisbon: The Late, Late Show
Published: October 30, 2005

IT is midnight on a Saturday in the Bairro Alto, Lisbon's famously raucous High Neighborhood, but the only thing moving is the laundry fluttering in the breeze between the balconies of the grand but dilapidated buildings that line the streets. A few plaintive strains of fado, the distinctly mournful songs of longing that are said to define the collective Portuguese character, waft out of the small neighborhood restaurants geared to tourists. Some cafes and bars are open, but the feeling is that things are winding down, not up.

Don't be fooled. Navigating these lanes an hour later will require a very reduced definition of "personal space" to make any headway through streets teeming with enough high-spirited Portuguese youth to make one doubt - even granting that you may already be seeing double - if this can really be a country of just 10 million people.

See the complete article here


Sunday, October 30, 2005


DARAIN HOUSEN HAS not taken off his hat for the last 20 years. He bathes, he sleeps and does everything possible in it. It is a perfect fit. But unlike other hats, his is not made of cloth but from the very hair on his head which is why it cannot be removed.
The gist of it is this unforgettable picture. Back in my day, hat hair was an entirely different thing. It was the weird helmet shape your hair would assume after removing a hat you'd been wearing all day. See more here.

Chess and Golf

"I think the main appeal golf holds for me is the aspect of personal accountability. Just as in the game of chess, you are responsible for your performance. The element of luck, although not absent, is minimized.
As a long time chess master, I expected to be able to handle the mental challenges of golf fairly easily. I was in for a surprise. I found it very difficult to maintain my concentration on every shot for 18 holes. I also discovered that, if you don't concentrate, you screw up.
The physical fatigue I feel after a golf tournament, is much healthier, I believe, than the fatigue I would feel after a chess tournament. Tournament chess requires you to expend an enourmous amount of nervous energy, which is really quite draining.
People laugh at the notion that chess can be physically demanding, but I can assure you that I have much more energy after a four hour round of golf than after a four hour game of chess. They are both demanding games, but at least you get to hit something once in awhile in golf".

Link: Jim Eade's Chess Journal


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Aprender com os erros

"Houve momentos na minha vida quando eu cheguei perto de acreditar que eu não poderia perder nem um jogo. Aí eu perderia o seguinte e o jogo perdido me traria de volta da terra do sonho para a vida real. Nada é tão saudável quanto uma derrota na hora certa, e de poucos jogos ganhos eu aprendi tanto quanto eu aprendi nas minhas derrotas."
J.R. Capablanca
Campeão Mundial de Xadrez 1921-1927

Quanto a mim, depois do Torneio Alekhine que acabou ontem, vou ter de dedicar algum tempo mais ao estudo de finais ...

"Será visto que o jogador que consistentemente perde, de vez em quando ganha, primeiro um jogo, depois outro, porque de tanto perder ele criou dentro dele um grande desejo de conquista."
René Lacoste
Um dos quatro mosqueteiros do tenis françes cujo estilo lhe valeu o cognome de "Le Crocodile" ou "l'Alligator", que mais tarde seria uma marca de roupa, a celebre Lacoste.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The history of computer chess

The core Blue Team, 1997

This week I have been too busy with all my free time occupied with the Alekhine Chess Tournement in Lisbon, without posting in the blog, butI would to draw your attention to a very interesting site about computer chess history.

The history of computer chess is a five-decade long quest to solve a difficult intellectual problem. The story starts in the earliest days of computing and reflects the general advances in hardware and software over this period. This on-line exhibition contains documents, images, artifacts, oral histories, moving images and software related to computer chess from 1945 to 1997. Start your exploration into the history of computer chess here.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

ART GALLERY - Richard Estes

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Richard Estes, American Photorealist Painter, born Kewanee, Illinois, 1936 - Central Savings, 1975, oil on canvas, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

III Circuito Lisboa - Torneio GX Alekhine

Começa amanhã o Torneio do G X Alekhine inserido no III Circuito de Xadrez de Lisboa que conta com a colaboração da Sociedade Filarmónica João Rodrigues Cordeiro na Rua da Fé 46 A, em Lisboa, em cuja sede se realizarão os jogos, e o apoio da Federação Distrital das Colectividades de Lisboa e da Junta de Freguesia de São José. Contem comigo.

ART GALLERY - Robert Cottingham

Robert Cottingham, American Photorealist Painter, born in Brooklyn in 1935 - Barber Shop, 1988, oil on canvas 32 x 32 inches. Robert Cottingham is a highly regarded American artist and a first generation photo realist as Richard Estes and Chuck Close.

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ART GALLERY - Richard Estes

Richard Estes, American Photorealist Painter, born Kewanee, Illinois, 1936 - Diner, (1971) Oil on canvas 40 1/8 x 50 in. (101.7 x 126.8 cm.) One of the best-known American exponents of photorealism, Estes is noted for his street scenes.

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Bulgaria's Topalov Leaves San Luis as Chess King, Unbeaten

15 October 2005, Saturday.Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov, who became the new World chess champion with a round to spare, ended his participation in the championship at San Luis unbeaten.The brilliant Bulgarian drew his game against Hungary's Judit Polgar in the last fourteen round.The 30-year old citizen of the Danube town of Russe wrapped up his games with 6 victories and 8 draws, making for a total of 10 points in his record. His main rivals - Viswanathan Anand of India and Peter Svidler of Russia - remained joint second, 1.5-point behind the winner.A day earlier Veselin Topalov emerged the New World Chess Champion, 2005, with his unsurpassable score of 9.5 points out of 13 games. The title brought USD 300,000 with it. This is Topalov's biggest achievement after beating legendary Gary Kasparov at Linares earlier this year and a group of top 6 chess players including Viswanathan Anand to lift the M-Tel Trophy in Sofia.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Os Isentos

Sempre achei que os "mini-governos" autárquicos, onde a transparência por vezes é pouco clara, no que respeita aos endividamentos, dinheiros recebidos e gastos, não deviam ficar isentos de participar no esforço nacional de contenção solicitado pelo Governo. Daí que estou plenamente de acordo com Vital Moreira, e também espero que a república das bananas não seja esquecida.

Regresso à blogosfera

Depois de uma revisão e do upgrade à minha máquina, eis-me finalmente de regresso à blogosfera. Entretanto houve eleições autárquicas, Portugal foi apurado para o Mundial, as greves continuam, ainda não há candidato da PR na direita e o FCP continua em 1º lugar na Liga. Tudo normal.

After revision and upgrade of my machine, I can finally return to the blogospher. Meanwhile we had local elections, Portugal team was classified for WorlCup 2006, the strikes continue and we still do not have a Presidential's candidate from the right parties. All normal.

Friday, October 07, 2005

FIDE World Chess Championship 2005

Veselin Topalov drew with Peter Leko to tally 7 points after 8 rounds and maintain a 2-point lead over second running Peter Svidler who played a fighting draw against Michael Adams. The two other games were decisive as Viswanathan Anand beat Judit Polgar and Alexander Morozevich crushed Rustam Kasimdzhanov. See last updated table with links to the games, here.

Would you know God’s voice if you heard it?

Press Releases
God told me to invade Iraq, Bush tells Palestinian ministers

Category: News
Date: 06.10.2005
President George W Bush told Palestinian ministers that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq - and create a Palestinian State, a new BBC series reveals.

In Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, a major three-part series on BBC TWO (at 9.00pm on Monday 10, Monday 17 and Monday 24 October), Abu Mazen, Palestinian Prime Minister, and Nabil Shaath, his Foreign Minister, describe their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003.

Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

Abu Mazen was at the same meeting and recounts how President Bush told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a Palestinian state."

Israel and the Arabs: Elusive Peace - Mondays 10, 17 and 24 October, from 9.00 to 10.00pm on BBC TWO.

For the Next Big Thing, Look to Portugal

FOR a country renowned in the Age of Exploration for its seafaring adventures and colonies, Portugal has lived much of its wine-producing life in splendid isolation.

There is port, of course, made from grapes grown along the Douro River, and Madeira from the island of Madeira. You would be surprised at how many people think of these fortified wines as British rather than Portuguese, and with reason. The British pretty much invented port and have dominated its shipping, though France and the United States are now the biggest port markets.

Today, Portugal is a source for distinctive wines that can be very good values, and some of the best Portuguese red wines, as the Dining section's wine panel learned, are coming from the Douro, the area best known as the home of port.

What makes these wines so distinctive? Look no further than the grapes: not a cabernet, merlot or syrah among them. The Portuguese have stubbornly stuck with their indigenous grapes, which in the Douro means names like tinta roriz (known in Spain as tempranillo), touriga nacional, tinta barroca, tinto cão and touriga franca.

Our Best Value was a $12 2000 reserva from Sogrape, one of Portugal's biggest producers, which makes wines from all over the country. I've always found the wines to be pretty good and excellent values, and this well-balanced wine, with dense fruit and complexity, was no exception. By contrast, the $60 2001 Pintas from Wine & Soul, is in a different league, with tough tannins that ought to soften over time, spicy, earthy aromas and lots of fruit. Ms. Fabricant called it "sophisticated."

That term was previously reserved for port, but no doubt we'll be seeing it applied more and more to Portuguese table wines. Aside from port companies that have increasingly gone into the table wine business, winemakers from France, Italy and Germany have all taken a bead on Portugal as the Next Big Thing.

With continued progress in winemaking, and further research on cultivation of the distinctive Portuguese grapes, it's likely that Portugal will really hit its stride in the next few years. Pretty soon, we'll be remembering those $60 bottles as remnants of a more innocent age. Read the full article in the New York Times.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Magic of Porto

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Portugal's second largest city and economic capital of the north, Porto has not only lent its name to some of the finest wines in the world, it is also one of the most picturesque and delightful cities in existence today. Read more here. (photo picked from a friend blog)


Historic Porto

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Porto, the second largest city in Portugal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), is unquestionably scenic and quaint. But if you come here expecting to find a diversion that will occupy you for more than the truly enthralling 30 minutes that you'll need to take copious, priceless panoramic photos of the hilltop Old Town from across the river, you should have at least a passing interest in two activities; touring countless churches and drinking port. Read more here and here. Other Porto interesting links: this and this. (photo picked from a friend blog)


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Haja Saúde na FPX

O mestre internacional Joaquim Durão voltou a ser eleito presidente da Federação Portuguesa de Xadrez, cargo que ocupara pela última vez de 1988 a 1997. Detentor de 13 títulos de campeão nacional, Joaquim Durão, de 74 anos, foi eleito domingo último, na assembleia geral, realizada no Porto, para um mandato de quatro anos. Durão assume pela terceira vez a presidência da federação, uma vez que já a tinha dirigido de 1968 a 1973. O anterior presidente, Álvaro Costa, tinha apresentado a demissão em fins de Julho, ao mesmo tempo que pedia a marcação de um novo acto eleitoral, pois a direcção a que presidia já tinha vários elementos demissionários e não havia quorum para o seu funcionamento.
Álvaro Costa tinha sido eleito 23 de Outubro de 2004, depois de um período de 50 dias em que a Federação Portuguesa de Xadrez esteve dirigida por uma Comissão Administrativa, que se seguiu à gestão de Luís Costa. Sem ter contas aprovadas relativas aos exercícios de 2002 e 2003, a federação atravessou um período de grandes dificuldades, durante o qual esteve em risco de perder o Estatuto de Utilidade Pública.
"O que pretendo é devolver a saúde à federação", disse Joaquim Durão. (O Jogo Online)