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review 2018-06-27 19:25
Alekhine’s Embalmed Body: “Theory of Shadows” by Paolo Maurensig
Theory of Shadows - Paolo Maurensig, Anne Milano Appel (Translator)


“‘Imagine,’ he said, ‘that Stalin, with the complicity of the Portuguese police [PIDE], gave the order not only to kill him, but also to bring his body back to bring his body back to his native soil. Although the man was considered a traitor, his genius belonged to Great Mother Russia. Imagine that Alekhine’s embalmed body is to this day displayed in a showcase in some secret room in the Kremlin. Imagine that, as the conclusion for your novel.’”

In “Theory of Shadows” by Paolo Maurensig


For those of you who don't know, Estoril is near Lisbon. 


Chess is a troublesome game. I gave it up after many years playing at expert level. At club level the element of sheer chance involved means that most players would have more fun and probably considerably more success playing ludo. This does not stop egocentric oddballs from exhibiting a most unbecoming arrogance whenever the dice happen to fall in their favour. This is likely to be true at Grandmaster level equally and explains much about their strange behaviours. Alekhine hated losing and would have fits of carpet-biting rage whenever he did. Weird lot of them chess players! There is of course no chance at any level of chess except for the draw in some tournaments.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-01-14 01:42
Audio Book Review: Beacon
Beacon: Lantern, Book 2 - Chess Desalls,... Beacon: Lantern, Book 2 - Chess Desalls,Janine Haynes,LLC Czidor Lore

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Serah Kettel interviews with Master Machin to be an apprentice, to tend to the lanterns and let him know when one burns out. Machin asks her which new lantern bulb she likes. When she touches the one she picks, it smokes inside and she feels a shock that lands her on the ground. She's to return for her position as apprentice. When she returns, she expects to learn Machin's secrets to the lanterns. She didn't expect to live it.

Janine is a new voice for me. I thought she did well with the accents of Havenbrim and where Serah ends up. Giving each land a different feel from each other. The audio book sounded seamless as Janine narrated.

Serah is from a time when Halloween is very different than it is now, or where she ends up. Halloween scares Serah with all the creatures, blood, and body parts we have at parties. Seeing this new world and the way things are done opens Serah's eyes to what's important in life, and what she really wants with her family.

Of course we get a pleasant ending for Serah, after all. But the journey to the end is different through the globes. It's different for each person. I didn't expect the story to take the turn it did here, and I like it. The globe, the locket that's a door, and the delight to see who's where in the end. I know it sounds like I'm rambling, but it'll all make sense when you read or listen to the story.

Machin is always an interesting catalyst for stories. He creates the lanterns which lead these characters down their paths to where they need to be in their lives. I'm not sure if he finds them or if they find him, but he knows they will eventually find their happy ending.

It's a pleasant story that Young Adults can read/listen to and enjoy what the characters learn along the way about themselves.

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text 2017-09-10 16:48
Reading progress update: All the Errors!
The Mystery of The Crochet Chess Set (Crochet Mysteries Series Book 1) - Pamela Murrey

While the story is somewhat okay, the errors really detract from the story. There are times where I have to stop and really think about what the author was trying to say. I am powering through this story just to say I finished it and to see if it actually contains a pattern to create a chess set. My girls love to play chess and I would love to make each one a set of her own. Mostly so they can challenge more people. 

 

If it doesn't I will figure something out, but that was the whole reason for choosing to take this book as it didn't sound like something I would enjoy. 

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review 2017-09-05 09:54
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz, Dirk Zimmer (Artwork) & Ghosts! Ghostly Tales From Folklore by Alvin Schwartz, Victoria Chess (Artwork)

Both books get 5 stars

 

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz, Dirk Zimmer (Artwork)

This is a "I can read" book, but I feel like books should not have an age limit. This is cute and I believe kids and adults of all ages could enjoy it. I love the artwork by Dirk Zimmer.

"Have you seen the ghost of John? Long white Bones and flesh on g-o-n-e? Ooooooooh! Wouldn't it be chilly with no skin o-n?

 

------

 

Ghosts! Ghostly Tales From Folklore by Alvin Schwartz, Victoria Chess (Artwork)

 

 

This is also an "I can read" book, but who cares! I found it really cute and can see it being a little spooky for some children. It also has interesting artwork by Victoria Chess. There is a story in this about a ribbon that I can remember vividly from first reading it in my childhood. I could have swore that story was in the "Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark" book, but nope! I really loved 98% of these stories.

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review 2017-07-31 15:18
Chess Shenanigans: "Mortal Games - The Turbulent Genius of Garry Kasparov" by Fred Waitzkin
Mortal Games: The Turbulent Genius of Garry Kasparov - Fred Waitzkin

The K-K sequence of matches is unrivalled in competitive sport. In Portugal at the time there was much information regarding this match, but I remember following it on the weeklies chess programms with expert commentary on the chess as well as insights into all the backstage shenanigans. The introduction, playing Prokofiev's Dance of the Nights to the backdrop of snowy Red Square was unmissable and a brilliant entré to the great chess battles that followed. After the resumption in 1985, the climax came with game 16 when Kasparov paralyzed Karpov on move 16. I just had to look it up to freshen my memory. Karpov couldn't move a piece without provoking disaster to his position. Perhaps the most brilliant display of Kasparov's genius and unlikely that any grand-master has ever achieved such a dominant position in a chess championship match before or since.

 

The rating system in international chess (Elo, designed by Arpad Elö) is incapable of comparing playing strength between players from different time periods. It is designed to facilitate a comparing of a closed group of players. More so up until the seventies there was no rating-system in place. You also have to take into account that the rules have significantly changed over time, specifically time-limits. 

 

If you're into chess, read on.

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