Thursday, October 06, 2011

Played US National G60 and G/30 Tournaments in Santa Clara Hyatt

Last weekend I played US National G/60 and G/30 championship at October 1st and 2nd respectively at Santa Clara Hyatt hotel. Bay Area Chess arranged these as usual in different sections. I made 50% scores in both of those at 1800+ (Open) section to my relief. My last month's tournament performance was disappointing (1 win and 3 loss) while this time in G/60 it was 2 loss, 2 win and in G/30 it was 2 loss, 1 draw and 2 win. With this performance now I am a bit relaxed and I think I can still carry on playing competitive tournaments for a few more years even if I don't hit the prize lists.
And here is my G/30 result -https://bayareachess.com/events/11/usg30.php
With this, now I am inspired enough to teach chess to my son and other children from next week.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quick trip to Lake Tahoe


Last month just before Eid, we went to a quick weekend trip to Lake Tahoe to have some breathe out of my busy office works. And know what, we enjoyed the short trip! We stayed in the beautiful David Walley's Resort few miles from South Lake Tahoe. The second day we spent time in South Lake Tahoe, specially on Gondola Ride. Here is a video and some pictures of that beautiful ride which goes more that 9000 feet above sea level.


Just after coming back and just before the Eid day, Ahyan started his first day at public school.



Saiful visited us from Atlanta in Eid night and spent a few days playing around Ahyan and Suhaila. I took him for a sight seeing to Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. He bought an XBox Kinect for Ahyan.


Monday, August 08, 2011

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov (1956) - The Best Short Story I Have Ever Read

Last week I finished Nine Tomorrows by Isaac Asimov which I bought along with a bunch of other books recently from Half Price Books, Fremont. One of the short stories there is The Last Question which Asimov wrote in 1956 and rates it as one of his most favorites. The story is such a master piece by the grand master of science fiction writer that I find my vocabulary falling short to praise it! It shows Asimov's depth and breadth of ideas and his love for twists! I took the whole weekend to get out of the aura of this story and yet haven't succeeded completely (the proof is that I am writing this blog post early in the morning while late for my son's school and my office)! I can't help but share with you the story here in case you wish to read it but forget because everyday life will keep you distracted from reading such a novelty and brilliance! Here is an HTML version of it -

http://reviewsonly.blogspot.com/2011/08/last-question-by-isaac-asimov-1956.html

Let me know if you read it and if you liked it. As of now, I am reading his another short story - The Last Answer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shakil Became IM, Liza WIM and Zia Moves For World Chess Championship

Great news! My playing partner and gentle younger brother-like chess friend Abu Sufian Shakil has become International Master. Liza also became Women International Master, second only after WIM Rani Hamid. Moreover, Ziaur Rahman winning the 3.2 Zonal tournament will play the next cycle for World Chess Championship representing this zone.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=179668

Shamima Akhter Liza became country's second Women International Master (WIM) after Rani Hamid, who won it in 1985, as she earned seven points from nine games in Asian Chess Zone 3.2 Championship in Sri Lanka yesterday.

Liza and Ranasinghe of Sri Lanka earned equal seven points but the latter finished top by virue of a tie breaker. Liza had earned her first WIM norm last year during Six Seasons Women's International Rating Chess in Cox's Bazar.

Apart from Liza, FIDE master Abu Sufian Shakil also earned his third and final norm of International Master from the championship as Shakil secured 6.5 points from nine matches to finish third in the men's section where GM Ziaur Rahman finished top to qualify for the World Chess Championship.

Shakil had earned his first IM norm back in 2009 from the National Chess Championship and then secured the second one from a competition in Indian state Orissa last year, according to information provided by Bangladesh Chess Federation.

http://www.prothom-alo.com/detail/date/2011-03-30/news/142789


বাংলাদেশের দাবায় একটা ভালো দিন গেল পরশু। এশিয়ান জোনাল চ্যাম্পিয়নশিপের ৩.২ অঞ্চলের খেলায় চ্যাম্পিয়ন হয়ে আগেই বিশ্বকাপ দাবায় খেলার সুযোগ মিলেছে গ্র্যান্ডমাস্টার জিয়াউর রহমান ও শামীমা আক্তারের (লিজা)। কাল পাওয়া গেল আরও একটি সুসংবাদ।
এশিয়ান জোনাল চ্যাম্পিয়নশিপে তৃতীয় হওয়া আবু সুফিয়ান (শাকিল) পেলেন আন্তর্জাতিক মাস্টারের খেতাব। এর আগে দুটো নর্ম পূরণ করা আবু সুফিয়ানের তৃতীয় নর্ম পূরণ হয়েছে শ্রীলঙ্কায়। সুফিয়ানের সঙ্গে শামীমা আক্তার হয়েছেন মহিলা আন্তর্জাতিক মাস্টার। রানী হামিদের পর দ্বিতীয় মহিলা দাবাড়ু হিসেবে এমন অর্জন শামীমার।

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

37th People's Chess Tournament In Long Weekend

Last weekend I was quite busy with the 37th People's Chess Tournament in Fremont Marriott. As it was a long weekend, I registered it online through www.bayareachess.com after renewing my US Chess Membership.

After a successful World Cup Cricket 2011 opening ceremony in Dhaka where Bryan Adams, Shankar-Ehsan-Loy, Runa Laila, Sabina Yasmin et al perfomred in the midst of mind blowing fireworks, we gathered in Shahriar's house for the India vs Bangladesh opening match of the world cup in 19th February. He arranged lots of people and we had a nice time gossiping together (Ezaz, Amin, Dhanad, Sayeem, Wali Bhai, Sumit Bhai, Mamun Bhai, Dipu Bhai and some others). Although we lost due to a huge score from Sehwag (175) that took India's total to 370/4 in 50 overs, we gave it a fight by scoring 283/9 without being all out.

That meant I didn't get much sleep for the next morning's chess game in the tournament at 11:30 AM. 
I won the first game nicely, drew a lost game against Kevin, got a win by forfeit in third round, won playing well in fourth game, drew a completely won game in fifth and finally lost a drawn Rook ending in the final (sixth) round. Despite this, I was in the prize list for my group (AB - 1700 to 1899) winning $66. I was jointly 6th-7th-8th for 4.0 out of 6 games. Look at the link below and check the AB section for my name in red in the prize list! I also gained 30 US Chess rating and my new rating now is 1797. I am planning to participate in short tournaments in future as well. This tournament was a 5 hour each game tournament for 6 rounds (move 30/90 + 60 each) spanning 3 days. My colleague Ganesh came twice during the tournament to watch my games and the final evening Amin, Shusmita, Ahyan and Suhaila came. Ahyan was very happy to see this vast gathering of chess players in Fremont Marriott (200+ participants in several groups).


In case you are interested for my games, please check my chess blog for the game notations to replay yourself at - http://chess4you.blogspot.com. I am showing you one game here out of those whichI was very happy to win due to it's attack and counter-attacking nature where I kept my head cool under time pressure.


Finally I purchased Shusmita, Ahyan and Suhaila's Bangladesh return trip air tickets calling Cathay Pacific Airways. They will start at 11th March early morning (5 minutes after midnight) and will come back at 6th May. I purchaseed Suhaila's full ticket instead of saving the money so that Shusmita can go comfortably with Ahyan and her. It will be quite difficult for her to handle such a big trip without me while going from San Francisco to Dhaka with a stop over of 10 hours 40 minutes in. Hing Kong. It will purchase my ticket later next month which will be April 9th to May 6th as I could manage 4 weeks leave from office. I received Ahyan and Suhaila's No Visa Required seal in their passports yesterday from Bangladesh Consulate of Los Angeles.


Monday, February 14, 2011

KChess - Chess For Kindle

Today I found KChess, the chess software for Kindle in Amazon. It's built by Oak Leisure Systems Software and is available for $2.99 only.


It has 10 levels of strength, level 1 being the easiest and 10 the strongest. I was surprised to see how good even Level 1 plays. I have won against that after some accurate play and had to play all through a rook end game to win against Level 2. I am now playing against Level 3 and looks like this is the level where I will be stopped for the moment. The app is surprisingly well designed. I wish I could save the games that I play - that's one thing that can be done as additional feature in future release of this app.

I am so happy to get this. This game itself made me think again - Kindle Rocks!

Update: After a few days, I started winning regularly against the highest level (Level 10). I have been playing it now in both my Kindle DX and the new Kindle 3 that I bought for Shusmita this valentines's day.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Salesforce.com Chess Tournament Round 2: Ashik vs Ron

I won the round 2 of chess tournament in Salesforce.com a little earlier playing with black. My opponent was Ron Pragides who sits in seventh floor in the same building as mine. He is Senior Director of Software Engineering. Shishir and Maithili joined me to watch the game. The chess clock we had actually ran out of battery so Ron did an interesting thing. He downloaded a chess clock in his iPhone where we set 20 minutes for each of us. It served the purpose fine!



Ron made the first mistake but I made a follow up mistake too to bring him back in the game. So it went down to Ron to make the final mistake by him through which I was able to mate him. Unlike round 1, this time I was ahead of time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

World Cup is in God's Hand

As world cup cricket 2011 is approaching, some interesting cricket jokes are also on the horizon. Here is one -



I am eagerly looking forward to the opening game of 19th February that will be held in my backyard in Dhaka between Bangladesh and India!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I won the first round of the Chess Tournament in Salesforce.com

I played the first round of the four round chess tournament in Salesforce.com. I won with White, although I felt I am out of touch by a good margin due to the lack of practice. My opponent was Didier Prophete who is PMTS and sits in 3rd floor in the same building as I do. Also I took lot more time than my opponent to move.

However, I will do some practice before next rounds so that I don't make simple miscalculations.



Soon after this, I exchanged the queens to make sure there is nothing left in the board except my Rook and Didier's Bishop while I have a bunch of queens side passed pawns to march for promotion. So he resigned here while I had some 3 minutes left in the clock as opposed to his 9 minutes.

Last few days I finished Himu Rimande and Kichukhkhon by Humayun Ahmed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New York Trip, Winter 2011

The eve of last year and the whole new year 2011 so far, I have been occupied with my daughter Suhaila and shopping with Ammu for my brother Rasel's marriage. I used my second week of paternity leave from office to visit my Uncle, Aunt and cousins in New York as well as send my Mom to Dhaka with my friend Paul. As a bonus we got snow, lots and lots of snow and snowfall in New York! In that sense this trip during 11th January to 17th January was a highly successful one.


Ezaz dropped us in San Francisco Airport early morning so that we could catch our Delta Airlines flight at 8:30 AM on time. Kakku received us in JFK airport, New York. in the evening. That very night there was continuous snow fall that we watched over the window and enjoyed. As usual Abir, Asif, Roton, Kakku and Aunt were highly delighted to see Ahyan and Suhaila. The next day morning I and Ahyan got down in front of Kakku's house to help him clean snows and take some pictures during that time. The pictures for this trip are at my picasa web album - http://picasaweb.google.com/ashikuzzaman/NewYorkTrip2011#















I went to Paul's house, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, met with Ullash - freely roaming around the streets of New York. Because due to heavy cold and low temparature Ammu, Shusmita, Ahyan or Suhaila couldn't get out of the house much except when we went to Long Island in Dali Aunt house for a dinner invitation. 15th January, Saturday morning Ammu went to Dhaka with Paul and his family from JFK in Emirates. Despite Ammu's recent pain in the leg, she refused to take wheel chair assistance. That same day we went to Nandita's house where Sangita and Beatris were also there to spend time with us. Before coming back to New York, I purchased 2 luggage and filed them with books from Muktodhara of Jackson Heights and all sorts of food from Jamaica. The foods that were outstanding - Sagor Kachchi Biriyani and sweets, Ghoroa Kachchi and Muglai Porota, Pran Mango Juice, various achar and sauces, bhorta, Vapa pitha, Chitoi pitha, Patishapta pitha etc.

We reached back to San Francisco, the next day by JetBlue airport. Dhanad just came from Bangladesh the same day morning. He got healthier as when I last saw him Dhaka, he was as thin as me. Amin and Sumit Bhai picked us from aiport. IN the evening we had a big gathering/party in house as many of our friends with their family paid a visit to us - Ezaz, Shahriar, Sumit Bhai, Amin, Ashfaq, Hasinur.


Saturday, January 01, 2011

Measuring Average Differently: Highest Runs Per Innings Discounting Not Out

Happy new year 2011! Last year 2010 was a very important year for me primarily due to the birth of our second daughter Suhaila. The last few days of the year I spent mostly with Ammu and Ahyan shopping for Rasel's engagement and marriage. It's lot of fun. Also I thoroughly enjoyed the India vs South Africa test series during this time. Sreeshant excellent bouncer to make Jack Kallis helpless in the second test turning him into a C shape will remain in my memory as long as I cherish test cricket.



Here is an important number in cricket for batsmen with some modifications from me as a new year gift for the readers - highest batting average. The traditional way of measuring batting average is to divide the total career runs scored by the number of innings he played excluding the not out innings. This way we know before getting out, the batsmen scores how many runs on an average. Forget about the Bradman's magical 99.94, then the good batsmen averages around 50 to 60 runs before getting out once. Amongst our current players, Sangakkara, Tendulkar and Kallis are top in this list. You can get a pick of that list from CricInfo in the following URL - http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/282910.html

A few writers tries to say that the high average of Tendulkar is due to his many not out innings and Lara for his reason is in the lower 50s because of only 6 not out innings in his career (and o boy, 3 of them I call recall are 400*, 375* and famous 153*)! Instead they were saying that if you measure runs per test (no matter if the batsmen could play in both innings or one innings) and discount not outs, then Lara is quite ahead. That is a very unfair comparison because Lara played almost in all Tests in both the innings while Tendulkar didn't get a chance to play in the second innings in many Tests. Instead I believe the measurement below I gave (Runs Per Innings) will give the view they wanted to have, how many runs a batsmen score on an average in each innings played without giving any special tribute for remaining not out in any innings. I have taken a minimum of 5000 test runs scored to filter out bolwers and batsmen I am not interested about. Bradman again obviously comes first with 87.45. Apart from him there are only 10 batsmen who are above 50 with the second placed Jack Hobbs at 53.03.

Player 
Span 
Mat 
Inns 
NO 
Runs 
HS 
Ave 
Runs Per Innings
100
50
0
DG Bradman (Aus) 
1928-1948 
52
80
10
6996
 334
99.94
87.45
29
13
7
JB Hobbs (Eng) 
1908-1930 
61
102
7
5410
 211
56.94
53.03921569
15
28
4
KC Sangakkara (SL) 
2000-2010 
94
156
12
8244
 287
57.25
52.84615385
24
34
4
KF Barrington (Eng) 
1955-1968 
82
131
15
6806
 256
58.67
51.95419847
20
35
5
V Sehwag (ICC/India) 
2001-2010 
86
148
6
7670
 319
54.01
51.82432432
22
27
12
WR Hammond (Eng) 
1927-1947 
85
140
16
7249
 336* 
58.45
51.77857143
22
24
4
BC Lara (ICC/WI) 
1990-2006 
131
232
6
11953
 400* 
52.88
51.52155172
34
48
17
L Hutton (Eng) 
1937-1955 
79
138
15
6971 
 364
56.67
50.51449275
19
33
5
SR Tendulkar (India) 
1989-2010 
176
288
31
14532
 248* 
56.54
50.45833333
50
59
14
GS Sobers (WI) 
1954-1974 
93
160
21
8032
 365* 
57.78
50.2
26
30
12
DPMD Jayawardene (SL) 
1997-2010 
116
190
13
9527
 374
53.82
50.14210526
28
38
11
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) 
1998-2010 
90
156
12
7530
 223
52.29
48.26923077
24
33
11
JH Kallis (ICC/SA) 
1995-2010 
144
244
37
11677
 201* 
56.41
47.85655738
38
54
10
RT Ponting (Aus) 
1995-2010 
152
259
28
12363
 257
53.51
47.73359073
39
56
14
SM Gavaskar (India) 
1971-1987 
125
214
16
10122
 236* 
51.12
47.29906542
34
45
12
GC Smith (ICC/SA) 
2002-2010 
90
157
9
7422
 277
50.14
47.27388535
22
29
10
GS Chappell (Aus) 
1970-1984 
87
151
19
7110
 247* 
53.86
47.08609272
24
31
12
IVA Richards (WI) 
1974-1991 
121
182
12
8540
 291
50.23
46.92307692
24
45
10
Younis Khan (Pak) 
2000-2010 
65
116
8
5440
 313
50.37
46.89655172
17
21
13
ML Hayden (Aus) 
1994-2009 
103
184
14
8625
 380
50.73
46.875
30
29
14
R Dravid (ICC/India) 
1996-2010 
149
257
29
12027
 270
52.75
46.79766537
31
59
8
Javed Miandad (Pak) 
1976-1993 
124
189
21
8832
 280* 
52.57
46.73015873
23
43
6
KP Pietersen (Eng) 
2005-2010 
70
122
6
5630
 227
48.53
46.14754098
17
21
7
RB Kanhai (WI) 
1957-1974 
79
137
6
6227
 256
47.53
45.45255474
15
28
7
RN Harvey (Aus) 
1948-1963 
79
137
10
6149
 205
48.41
44.88321168
21
24
7
DCS Compton (Eng) 
1937-1957 
78
131
15
5807
 278
50.06
44.32824427
17
28
10
Inzamam-ul-Haq (ICC/Pak) 
1992-2007 
120
200
22
8830
 329
49.6
44.15
25
46
15
CH Lloyd (WI) 
1966-1985 
110
175
14
7515
 242* 
46.67
42.94285714
19
39
4
KD Walters (Aus) 
1965-1981 
74
125
14
5357
 250
48.26
42.856
15
33
4
WM Lawry (Aus) 
1961-1971 
67
123
12
5234
 210
47.15
42.55284553
13
27
6
JL Langer (Aus) 
1993-2007 
105
182
12
7696
 250
45.27
42.28571429
23
30
11
M Azharuddin (India) 
1984-2000 
99
147
9
6215
 199
45.03
42.27891156
22
21
5
AR Border (Aus) 
1978-1994 
156
265
44
11174
 205
50.56
42.16603774
27
63
11
G Boycott (Eng) 
1964-1982 
108
193
23
8114
 246* 
47.72
42.04145078
22
42
10
SR Waugh (Aus) 
1985-2004 
168
260
46
10927
 200
51.06
42.02692308
32
50
22
MD Crowe (NZ) 
1982-1995 
77
131
11
5444
 299
45.36
41.55725191
17
18
9
G Kirsten (SA) 
1993-2004 
101
176
15
7289
 275
45.27
41.41477273
21
34
13
GA Gooch (Eng) 
1975-1995 
118
215
6
8900
 333
42.58
41.39534884
20
46
13
S Chanderpaul (WI) 
1994-2010 
129
219
34
9063
 203* 
48.98
41.38356164
22
55
13
AJ Strauss (Eng) 
2004-2010 
81
146
6
6024
 177
43.02
41.26027397
19
23
12
CG Greenidge (WI) 
1974-1991 
108
185
16
7558
 226
44.72
40.85405405
19
34
11
Zaheer Abbas (Pak) 
1969-1985 
78
124
11
5062
 274
44.79
40.82258065
12
20
10
RB Richardson (WI) 
1983-1995 
86
146
12
5949
 194
44.39
40.74657534
16
27
8
ME Trescothick (Eng) 
2000-2006 
76
143
10
5825  
 219
43.79
40.73426573
14
29
12
AC Gilchrist (Aus) 
1999-2008 
96
137
20
5570
 204* 
47.6
40.65693431
17
26
14
MC Cowdrey (Eng) 
1954-1975 
114
188
15
7624
 182
44.06
40.55319149
22
38
9
MJ Slater (Aus) 
1993-2001 
74
131
7
5312
 219
42.83
40.54961832
14
21
9
MA Taylor (Aus) 
1989-1999 
104
186
13
7525
 334* 
43.49
40.45698925
19
40
5
JH Edrich (Eng) 
1963-1976 
77
127
9
5138
 310* 
43.54
40.45669291
12
24
6
DI Gower (Eng) 
1978-1992 
117
204
18
8231
 215
44.25
40.34803922
18
39
7
CH Gayle (WI) 
2000-2010 
91
159
6
6373  
 333
41.65
40.08176101
13
33
15
VVS Laxman (India) 
1996-2010 
119
196
30
7856  
 281
47.32
40.08163265
16
49
12
HH Gibbs (SA) 
1996-2008 
90
154
7
6167
 228
41.95
40.04545455
14
26
11
PA de Silva (SL) 
1984-2002 
93
159
11
6361
 267
42.97
40.00628931
20
22
7
RR Sarwan (WI) 
2000-2009 
83
146
8
5759
 291
41.73
39.44520548
15
31
10
IM Chappell (Aus) 
1964-1980 
75
136
10
5345
 196
42.42
39.30147059
14
26
11
GR Viswanath (India) 
1969-1983 
91
155
10
6080
 222
41.93
39.22580645
14
35
10
DC Boon (Aus) 
1984-1996 
107
190
20
7422
 200
43.65
39.06315789
21
32
16
MP Vaughan (Eng) 
1999-2008 
82
147
9
5719
 197
41.44
38.9047619
18
18
9
ME Waugh (Aus) 
1991-2002 
128
209
17
8029
 153* 
41.81
38.41626794
20
47
19
SC Ganguly (India) 
1996-2008 
113
188
17
7212
 239
42.17
38.36170213
16
35
13
SP Fleming (NZ) 
1994-2008 
111
189
10
7172
 274* 
40.06
37.94708995
9
46
16
GP Thorpe (Eng) 
1993-2005 
100
179
28
6744
 200* 
44.66
37.67597765
16
39
12
Saleem Malik (Pak) 
1982-1999 
103
154
22
5768
 237
43.69
37.45454545
15
29
12
DB Vengsarkar (India) 
1976-1992 
116
185
22
6868
 166
42.13
37.12432432
17
35
15
ST Jayasuriya (SL) 
1991-2007 
110
188
14
6973
 340
40.07
37.09042553
14
31
15
DL Haynes (WI) 
1978-1994 
116
202
25
7487
 184
42.29
37.06435644
18
39
10
MA Atherton (Eng) 
1989-2001 
115
212
7
7728
 185* 
37.69
36.45283019
16
46
20
JG Wright (NZ) 
1978-1993 
82
148
7
5334
 185
37.82
36.04054054
12
23
7
AJ Stewart (Eng) 
1990-2003 
133
235
21
8463
 190
39.54
36.01276596
15
45
14
MS Atapattu (SL) 
1990-2007 
90
156
15
5502
 249
39.02
35.26923077
16
17
22
N Hussain (Eng) 
1990-2004 
96
171
16
5764
 207
37.18
33.70760234
14
33
14
CL Hooper (WI) 
1987-2002 
102
173
15
5762
 233
36.46
33.30635838
13
27
13
A Ranatunga (SL) 
1982-2000 
93
155
12
5105
 135* 
35.69
32.93548387
4
38
12
IT Botham (Eng) 
1977-1992 
102
161
6
5200
 208
33.54
32.29813665
14
22
14
N Kapil Dev (India) 
1978-1994 
131
184
15
5248
 163
31.05
28.52173913
8
27
16
MV Boucher (ICC/SA) 
1997-2010 
138
194
23
5257
 125
30.74
27.09793814
5
33
16