Friday, March 02, 2012


Looking at the new othello ratings, I notice not only that mine hasn't tumbled too drastically after last weekend, but also that I've played 492 rated games. I need to do something special for the 500th, like wear a special hat or something.

The average regional has seven games, so maybe it'll be the first game of the regional-after-next, whatever that is - I may or may not be in Oadby, depending whether or not I'm in Spain. I'll tell you about that some time soon.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Giant in the playground!

I've mentioned it before, but you should really be reading The Order of the Stick, the funniest webcomic out there, and also the cleverest and best written.

It recently had a fundraiser on Kickstarter and raised so much money that it broke all the records in the universe, and you can see why - great writing and lots and lots of cool stuff given away to people who donate money.

But look at today's strip, which was one of those that made me think "Oh, wow, that's awesome, why didn't I see that coming?" This is the 842nd strip, and it contains the revelation that the Order's current situation is related to something Vaarsuvius did in strip number 639, which of course he was pushed into doing by the evil and mysterious demons, and now it all makes sense and ties everything together... the whole comic is full of bits like this. And to think it started out with basically just making jokes about the rules of Dungeons and Dragons.

Seriously, go and read it, even if like me you're only vaguely aware of the way the rules of Dungeons and Dragons work. You won't regret it!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life in the Lubbock

Although there are possibly worse global calamities than me coming last in an othello tournament, it's still deeply upsetting. But on the other hand, I don't think I played particularly badly in all but one of my games (my one against Frederic Auzende is one to forget), and I did win three out of ten, and it really was a very strong field. And I only came last by one Brightwell-quotient tiebreaker point, so that barely counts.

I was responsible for taking people's money, which meant knowing who people were - always a weak point for me - so I took the precaution of asking everyone their name even if I'd met them enough times that I should know who they are. I follow Dogbert's rule of etiquette, that if you don't know someone's name it's probably best not to guess. I did start making an effort to remember what people look like: Mark van Heere, my first opponent, is extremely tall, wears glasses and has a Manchester United tracksuit top, so I figured I'd always recognise him in future unless he changed his clothes, started wearing lenses or shrank. But then I noticed that a whole lot of the players this weekend fell into the 'extremely tall' bracket - it was like living in the land of giants, seriously - so I got despondent about my height and decided not to bother remembering people's names after all.

We were strangely short of British competitors, just me and Imre Leader, but had fifteen foreigners to make up for it. I was pretty unspectacular throughout, but Nicky van den Biggelaar was unstoppable and won in impressive style. Maybe I'll practice some more and do better next year.

1: 11 pts [860] VAN DEN BIGGELAAR Nicky
2: 8 pts [832] KASHIWABARA Takuji
3: 7 pts [822] LEADER Imre
[782] MARCONI Francesco
[755] VAN HEERE Mark
6: 6 pts [794] NICOLET Stephane
[781] AUZENDE Frederic
[775] MORENO Borja
[772] SCHOTTE Tom
10: 5 pts [775] HOBO Roel
[693] AUBROECK Patrick
[684] VAN DEN BERG Erwin
13: 4 pts [658] FRANSEN Martin
[656] SNEEK Marcel
[652] STANZIONE Pierluigi
[614] DE GRAAF Jan C.
[613] PRIDMORE Ben

Nicky won the final against Takuji 2-0, and Francesco beat Imre in the third-place play-off. Congratulations to everyone!