Upcoming events plus more Oslo pics

by admin on March 5, 2009

This weekend a new chess event, the Western Chess Classic, will be held in the Bay Area. This is really exciting, because the Northern California chess schedule has been pretty sparse in recent years. The best northern California tournament, in fact, isn’t held in California at all, but ten miles over the border in Reno! That would be the Western States Open, held every year in October.

You’d think that I would leap at the opportunity to play in the Western Chess Classic, but surprisingly enough I’m not playing. There are two reasons. First, it snuck past me. Usually I scour the Chess Life listings for upcoming tournaments, but I have been so distracted by other things lately that I just kind of missed it. The first time I realized it was coming up was when I looked at Michael Aigner’s blog last weekend!

Of course, at that point I still had time to enter, but I decided not to because I just have too much work to do in the aftermath of this trip to Norway. That has really been the theme for me this year — it’s been the year that Chess has had to take second place to Real Life. However, I do plan to drive to Concord on Sunday (nearly a two-hour drive) to watch the last round or two. Perhaps I will see some good games, and find some good topics to blog about!

One other short news item: In two weeks I am going to take a second trip to Norway! The reason for the first trip was to interview people for a book about Simula Research Laboratory, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary. However, there was one very important interview that we were not able to schedule during February, and it’s important enough that Simula is willing to fly me all the way out there again just to do this one last interview. I will arrive on March 18, do the interview on March 19, and depart on March 22. That gives me a couple of free days, March 20 and 21, when I ought to be able to do some sight-seeing and maybe play some more chess. I’m looking forward to another visit to the Oslo Chess Club. The next time I write about the Oslo Chess Club, I will try to make my account more factually accurate! I’m sort of embarrassed about all the mistakes that Sverre Johnsen pointed out in my last entry.

Meanwhile, here are some more photos that I took on my trip to Oslo. None of them have anything to do with chess — they’re just for fun.

On my first weekend in Oslo I rode the tram up to a place called Frognerseteren, where you can rent a sled and slide down a course that was built for the 1952 Olympics, called the “Corkscrew.”  Sounds dangerous, but there was so much snow on the ground that it wasn’t very fast — but it was lots of fun! This was a view looking back up the course. This picture just says “winter in Norway” to me. If I can use Photoshop to edit out the two power wires, then I’m going to use this photo for next year’s Christmas cards.

Here’s a snowman in the process of being built. No, the little girl didn’t build it — it was actually her mother, who modestly stepped out of the picture.

Here’s another really cool snowman that I saw on my wanderings through the town on Sunday morning. Yes, if you’re wondering, he is sticking his tongue out. When you think about it, what is the most nutritious food for a snowman? Snowflakes! So he’s not being impolite, he’s just eating.

These were some curiously shaped trees that I photographed while walking to work one day. Evidently the snow was heavy enough to weigh down the lower branches, but not the upper ones. For fans of the Babylon-5 series, I think that may actually be an encounter-suited Vorlon in the front. In the background that’s Oslo Fjord, although you can’t really see it.

Quiz: Why did the Vikings wear helmets?

Answer: To protect their heads from falling ice.

Quiz: What do you do with this object?

I’ll leave this one for you to ponder!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

chesstiger March 6, 2009 at 2:21 am

I think the picture to ponder about is a massage chair, modern edition.


Sverre Johnsen March 6, 2009 at 6:12 am


You will be welcome back in Oslo!

On Tursday the 19th of March there is the penultimate round of the OSS club tournament and you should be able to find an opponent for some blitz.

On the 21st and 22nd there will be a training session for Norwegian players above 2300 in the inner room. Except for that I fear that during the week-end there may not be much activity.

On Friday or Saturday I may be looking for a sparring partner for a couple of training games (25 minutes or so per game and player). I really could need some practice as I will soon play my first tournament in four years. However, I dare not make any arrangements as I may simply be too busy (on Sunday I will leave for a month in Thailand).


admin March 16, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Sverre, I hope I’ll be able to make it on either Thursday night or on Saturday. The training session sounds interesting, but alas I am neither Norwegian nor rated 2300+!

If I don’t see you this week, I wish you good luck in the tournament in Thailand.

Chesstiger, you’re right that it was a chair. Not a massage chair, though, just a simple ordinary chair that one is supposed to sit in. I was pretty skeptical, but actually it was quite comfortable. Those Europeans have some interesting ideas about design!


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