The Candid Eye

May 25, 2010

Beauty and Brains

Filed under: Fun,Sports — Abhay @ 5:56 PM
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Meet Alexandra Kosteniuk, The Women World Chess Champion.

A devout of chess, Alexandra became Women Grand Master (WGM) at the age of 14.

She became International (Men’s) Grand Master of chess in 2004 and Women World Chess Champion in 2008.


Latest Chess has a nice interview of Alexandra Konstenuik, who also does fashion modeling to promote chess!

She gives simultaneous chess games, teaches online in a blog, has released books and DVDs for children to learn chess.

Here she analyzes the games between Anand and Topolov for the world championship challenge. The beauty of the game of chess is that a game can be enjoyed even after being played already. See how chess is promoted abroad:- !





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May 23, 2010

Vishwanathan Anand retains World Championship

Filed under: India,Sports — Abhay @ 6:00 AM
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As you know, our Vishwanathan Anand has retained the World Chess Champion ship with him for 4th time!! Congradulations, Vishy!! You are the King!!

Here is an article from NDTV:

World champion Viswanathan Anand on Tuesday retained his crown winning the World Chess Championship title by wrapping up the final game against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

Anand achieved an improbable win playing with black in the final game to retain the world title by 6.5-5.5 margin after the end of the 12th and final game here. (Congratulate Viswanathan Anand)

Speaking to NDTV after the win, an elated Anand said: “Nice to know I can wake up as World Champion.” (Watch)

Experts over the world had predicted that Topalov, at his worst, will draw the last game under normal time control and then the match will be headed in to the rapid tiebreaker. (Video: Anand’s jubilant parents)

However, it was not to be as Topalov, trying to look for complications, went haywire in a slightly difficult position and could not recover as Anand kept dealing one lethal blow after another to notch up his fourth world title in 11 years to remain the undisputed king of the game once again. (Profile: Viswanathan Anand)

But Anand refused to play down his opponent’s strength. “Topalov is one of the grittiest opponents,” Anand said. (Pics: Anand’s glorious journey)

The four-time World Champion, who hopes to return to India in a week’s time, gave away his secret to relaxation. “Watching Lord of the Rings helped me relax,” he said.

Earlier, in 2008 Anand had won the world title in a match against Russian Vladimir Kramnik, in 2006 he had won the world championship match tournament ahead of almost all top players in the world and in the year 2000 he had won the championship when it was held on a knockout basis.

Anand, thus became the first official world champion in recent history to win two back-to-back matches in world championships against different opponents.

Vladimir Kramnik can also lay his claims for that but for the fact that the match he won against Garry Kasparov in 2000 was not played under the official FIDE flag.

If the last game was any indication, Anand had indeed reserved his best as he knew Topalov will go all out for a win.

The reason for Topalov’s unwarranted aggression was probably based on the fact that Anand is by far regarded as the best rapid chess player in history and Topalov does not have any great reputation in the faster version of the game.

Naturally, the Bulgarian wanted to avoid the tiebreaker.

Anand came up with another opening surprise as he went back to the basics. The Queen’s Gambit declined as black has a solid reputation and it stood up for Anand’s quest as the Indian ace went for the rock-solid Lasker variation.

Topalov, tried to create complications earlier but when the game headed towards a perfect balance, the Bulgarian lost his cool. The decisive moment of the game came on the 32nd move when Topalov simply lost his cool and blundered.

What followed was a feast for the Indian as he could attack the white king at will. All Anand’s pieces, joined the party and threats of checkmate loomed large on Topalov. For once the support of the home crowd did not matter too.

Anand, apparently, made a mistake on the infamous 40th move but his position was so commanding that it did not spoil his game. Topalov fought on for sometime before giving up as the Indian won in 56 moves.

(With PTI inputs)

Anand’s Achievements

  • 4 World titles: 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010
  • 5 time winner of Chess Oscar
  • World Junior Champion, 1987
  • 1st recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
  • 1st to have won a title at each of the Chess Supertournaments
  • Oldest to become World No 1 for the 1st time!

May 22, 2010

King-size chess event in Ahmedabad!!

Filed under: Sports — Abhay @ 6:00 AM
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AHMEDABAD: Gujarat is planning to give a unique birthday gift to world chess champion Viswanathan Anand. Although his birthday is on December 11, some 20,000 players will gather at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad on December 24 to play chess, and in the process, checkmate Mexico’s Guinness world record of the largest number of chess players playing the game together at the same time.

The chess wizard, who defended his world title against Vaselin Topalov earlier this week, will hopefully be there at the stadium to encourage the players.

El Zocalo, Mexico City’s central square, holds the record with 13,446 players assembling to play chess on October 21, 2006. Former world champion Anatoly Karpov was the guest of honour then. Now, efforts are on to get Anand for the event in Ahmedabad as part of Swarnim Gujarat celebrations.

Gujarat State Chess Association (GSCA) secretary Mayur Patel said, “Today, chess is compulsory in almost all schools of the state. Soon, schools will also have their own chess clubs. Anand’s presence here when Gujarat gets together to create a new world record will do wonders not only for the game, but for Gujarat’s image as well.”

The Gujarat government, NIIT and GSCA also plan to distribute chess CDs to 20 lakh players as part of the event. Gujarat’s only grandmaster Tejas Bakre said, “After Anand’s fourth world crown, there is a debate on whether he is India’s greatest sports icon ever. For Gujarat’s chess players, it can’t get any bigger than Anand coming here.”

In fact, thanks to chess being made compulsory in schools and other initiatives, it has become the fastest growing game in Gujarat after cricket. Players like Ankit Rajpara, Fenil Shah, Hetul Shah, Dhyani Dave are all International Master-norm holders and among top-ranking players in the national circuit. At 9, Hetul was the youngest player to beat a GM when he outplayed Nurlan Ibrayev of Kazakhstan in January 2009 at the 7th Parsvnath International Open Chess Tournament.

May 21, 2010

Gujarat the first and only state government in India to start chess programs in Schools

Filed under: Education,India,Sports — Abhay @ 11:28 AM
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An article from Latest Chess:-

Chess has been part of the curriculum for most Russian schools for over 40 years. Adolescents were encouraged to play chess at a very early age to increase their problem solving and reasoning skills. The game of chess is a terrific way for young people to learn skills of strategy, logic, planning and other important intellectual disciplines in a fun, friendly and mildly competitive environment.
Gujarat government has decided to promote chess in schools. Students in Gujarat would be offered chess coaching to boost their thinking skills under an idea being pushed from within State Government. This has been announced in the last week by Gujarat State Chess Association president and Home Minister Amit Shah. Gujarat is the the first and only state government in India to start chess programs in schools.

In an attempt to promote chess in schools, the Gujarat government will conduct training programs for teachers who would help spread the game in their schools. Announcing the programs, Gujarat State Chess Association president and Home Minister Amit Shah said: “The program of today may be a small affair but our initiative to bring home chess to school children is a giant step.”

As part of the program, a week-long training of 1,500 school teachers began Monday at the Rifle Club here. The first batch comprising 200 school teachers will be trained for a week for five hours followed by the second batch. The training will proceed until the end of July, said Shah, also the president of Gujarat State Chess Association.

“We have undertaken to provide a platform for children to showcase their talents at the national and international level in the future,” Shah said. The Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank is sponsoring the training programme. “What is notable today is that for the first the state government is directly involved in encouraging the game of chess,” said the bank chairman Ajaybhai Patel.

Photo : Gujarat State Chess Association president and Home Minister Amit Shah.

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I think this is a great Move!! Chess originated in India, its world champion is Indian, and India needs to promote Chess from grass root level. Congradulations to the wise people in Gujarat government who implemented this!!

For several decades, World champions came from Russia, because it was promoted at an early age to the children in Russia.

May 19, 2010

Emily Bear

Filed under: Music — Abhay @ 12:34 PM
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I got to know of this little angel from an article by Rashmin da. Its very inspiring to read about her.

Check out videos of Emily Bear on youtube. E.g.

The Northern Lights

See how gracefully and effortless she plays the piano!

Or this one, the journey to my heart:-

This is simply awesome!!

In our busy daily lives, running after getting things done… have we forgotten such finesse within ourselves somewhere!? A Little angel called Emily Bear shows how we can live a life with smile, simplicity and elegance and produce excellence!

May 4, 2010

India’s Electronic Voting Machines Proven Insecure

In a collaborative study, a team of Indian and international experts have revealed that the electronic voting machines used in Indian elections are vulnerable to fraud. Even brief access to the machines, known in India as EVMs, could allow criminals to alter election results.

These research findings are at odds with claims made by the Election Commission of India, the country’s highest election authority, which has maintained that weaknesses found in other electronic voting systems around the world do not apply to India’s EVMs. Less than a year ago, it stated: “Today, the Commission once again completely reaffirms its faith in the infallibility of the EVMs. These are fully tamper-proof, as ever.” [1] As recently as two days ago, the Chief Election Commissioner described electronic voting machines as “perfect” and claimed that “till today, no individual could prove that the EVMs used by the EC can be tampered with.” [2]

Almost the entire population of India votes on electronic voting machines. There are around 1.4 million of the machines in use, all of the controversial “Direct Recording Electronic” (DRE) variety. Such machines record the votes only to internal memory and provide no paper records for later inspection or recount. With DREs, absolute trust is placed in the hardware and software of the voting machines. Paperless electronic voting systems have been criticized globally and more and more countries and US states are abandoning such systems altogether.

EVM : Image Courtesy - http://indiaevm.org/

In a video released today, the researchers show two demonstration attacks against a real Indian EVM. One attack involves replacing a small part of the machine with a look-alike component that can be silently instructed to steal a percentage of the votes in favor of a chosen candidate. These instructions can be sent wirelessly from a mobile phone. Another attack uses a pocket-sized device to change the votes stored in the EVM between the election and the public counting session (which in India can be weeks later).

This study was performed by researchers at NetIndia, (P)Ltd., in Hyderabad, the University of Michigan in the United States, and at a non-profit in the Netherlands that specializes in electronic voting related issues.

Inside EVM : Image Courtesy - http://indiaevm.org/

The researchers were also surprised to find that the vote-counting software in the EVMs is programmed into so-called “mask programmed microcontrollers,” which do not allow the software to be read out and verified. Because these chips are made in the US and Japan, this has led to a situation in which nobody in India knows for sure what software is in these machines or whether it counts votes accurately.

Hari Prasad is a computer engineer and managing director of NetIndia, a Hyderabad-based technology firm. Prasad organized the study and says the findings are the culmination of a seven month investigation. “Everywhere I looked there were more security problems. I am glad that with the presentation of this work, the debate over whether India’s EVMs are secure is over. We need to look forward now. India deserves a transparent election process, which these machines simply cannot deliver.”

Rop Gonggrijp, a security researcher from the Netherlands, also took part in the study. Says Gonggrijp: “Never mind what election officials say, this research once again shows that the longstanding scientific consensus holds true—DRE voting machines are fundamentally vulnerable. Such machines have already been abandoned in Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Florida and many other places. India should follow suit.”

Gonggrijp continues: “In order to have any transparency in elections, you need to have votes on paper. Computers can be programmed to count votes honestly, but since nobody can watch them, they might just as easily be programmed to count dishonestly. How is the voter supposed to tell the difference?”

Professor J. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan helped develop the new attacks along with his students. “Almost every component of this system could be attacked to manipulate election results,” says Dr. Halderman. “This proves, once again, that the paperless class of voting systems has intrinsic security problems. It is hard to envision systems like this being used responsibly in elections.”

The newly released video and technical report can be found at http://IndiaEVM.org.

[1] ECI press release, August 8, 2009
[2] Interview with Navin B Chawla, Rediff.com India news, April 26, 2010

For more information, please contact authors@IndiaEVM.org.

May 2, 2010

The space within

Filed under: Art of Living,Sri Sri Ravishankar — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

A beautiful article on human mind and its nature by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar.

You cannot measure the amount of energy inside an atom. Similarly, you cannot measure the full potential of a human being. The nature of a human being is quite similar to that of an atom. The core of an atom is positive. The negatively charged particles are only on the periphery of the atom. Similarly, the negativity of a person is not their true nature; it is just on the periphery. One is said to be “centered” when he or she is calm, steady and pleasant.

How do we know whether the knowledge that we have is correct or not? Even 10,000 years ago, people knew that Jupiter had 63 moons. They used the subjective way of knowing things — by intuition and quieting the mind. When the mind becomes calm (it is like being in a state of deep rest though one is totally alert), then an intention is taken. With that intention comes intuition, knowledge as well as inspiration. Using this method, ancient sages derived knowledge about the universe and developed mathematical techniques that are valid today. Age-old calendars can still tell exactly what time an eclipse will happen. Ancient societies in the East knew that the sun is at the center of the solar system and planets move around it. They used the method of intuitive awareness in which one feels that every cell in his body is fully alive now, and the mind is quiet. You call that Samadhi.

HH Sri Sri Ravishankar

If we take out some time — say two or three days in a year — to keep silence and simply observe our own thoughts and emotions, then we get a sense of what quietness means. Freedom from the jugglery of thoughts is the basis of intuition. And, intuition is part of innovation.

In our normal lives, we are bombarded with so many thoughts and stimuli that attention and retention is simply not there. Today’s children have problems like attention deficiency disorder and so on. They seem to have lost the ability to focus on simple tasks. When you become quiet in your mind, it is not as if you lose your intellect. In fact, the intellect becomes very sharp and the attention span increases. The first outcome of mediation or any self-development technique should be to increase our perceptual ability, which in turn, should help us in expressing ourselves better.

One aspect is getting rid of stress, the other is seeing that stress doesn’t enter our system. For the latter, we need a change in our attitude towards things happening around us. We can bear the heat — with a sense of humor, a sense of ease, and with confidence. One needs to create barricades so that tension does not enter the mind. But it’s impossible not to have tension; it might slip in through some other way. Just learn to take it easy. The ease with which you are able to handle your environment, or the situation around you, is what I would call being able to utilize your full potential. When you are in touch with your full potential, nothing or nobody can shake you. You will have the smile and the confidence.

Attaining a spiritual mindset is simply recognizing that there is life everywhere, that there is spirit everywhere. I do not see a division between what’s spiritual, and what’s material. The finest aspect of matter is spirit. The gross aspect of spirit is matter. It is like body and mind. You see through the eyes, but actually the eyes are the means through which the mind sees. The mind is the spirit. The whole world is combination of spirit and matter. Therefore spiritual practices too are not something that are any different from you being spirited and being happy and compassionate and being in love.

Atom Quantum

The way of prayer is to be in amazement — looking at the cosmos and saying wow, how many planets! How many stars! How big is this Universe! Your consciousness expands, and this is meditation. The creation and the creator are not separate. The creator and the creation are one and the same. The creation is formed out of the creator, just like dance comes out of the dancer. I usually say we must have the 3C’s in our lives — cosmology, commitment and compassion. These three things make life beautiful.

Billions of years have passed since existence began on earth. Compared to it, the span of human life — 80 years or 100 years — is nothing! In this vast space, where are we?

Seeing yourself in the context of the big creation shifts you to a different level of consciousness. As per one of the scriptures in the ancient Vedic tradition of India, there are almost 112 ways of realizing consciousness. One of them is to observe the sky on a clear day, and let go, and relax. Wherever the mind goes, it makes an assumption and becomes quieter, as it assumes that space. And in that quiet state of mind, an intention fructifies very fast.

A calm and clear state of mind also has capacity to heal and to elevate itself. It is full of joy, ease and love. You can look at your entire past as a dream. Just remember all the activities you did in the morning after waking up. Isn’t it all like a dream? All of those activities are now an impression in your memory — and a dream is also just an impression. See your whole past as a dream. In future, in the next 10-20 years, you will be doing many things, they will all pass like a dream. Knowing this and being aware of it, the space within us starts to open up and we start experiencing heightened awareness. You start seeing another dimension of life. Just wake up!

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