
A Few More Chess Books (2)
Next up are a few more chess books that I have read and recommend to anyone. Chess Fundamentals (Capablanca) The book Chess Fundamentals from former World Champion Capablanca is in the public domain and can be found here. What a remarkable book this is, narrated in such a natural way by a true chess genius…

A Few More Chess Books
Since my last blog post, I’ve read three more chess books, presented below. Chess Evolution 1 (Artur Yusupov) This book is mainly focussing on attacking motifs and coordination between different types of piece pairs (e.g. queen and knight). Highly advisable! Revision and Exam 1 (Artur Yusupov) This book is a collection of puzzles centered around…

Some Puzzles from Boost Your Chess 1
Boost Your Chess 1 is the second book of Artur Yusupov’s chess improvement series. For a review of the first book, click here. I really liked it also, and it felt slightly more difficult than the first book, which is reflected in my personal scores. Puzzles Now let’s check out some cool puzzles. Take your…

Book Review: Build Up Your Chess 1
What structured study material is available for ambitious amateur chess players to improve in a systematic way? One excellent option is the Steps Method, originating from the Netherlands, that is also widely used in Belgian chess clubs to teach chess from scratch. In my opinion, the Steps Method is a great way to learn and…

Sufficiently Small Submatrices of Random Orthogonal Matrices Are Asymptotically Independent Gaussian
Recently, a nice result was proved in the context of random orthogonal matrix approximations. See the paper “Total variation approximation of random orthogonal matrices by Gaussian matrices” or the Youtube video by the author below. The result was shown by Kathryn Stewart during the course of her PhD research. Note that simultaneous work by Jiang…

De waarschijnlijkste Mol van 2021
De populaire tvreeks “De Mol” is ondertussen bezig aan zijn negende seizoen in België. Ieder seizoen start met 10 deelnemers. Indien er in iedere aflevering zonder meer één persoon zou afvallen, is de kans dat iemand van de overblijvers de mol is, indien je geen extra info hebt, 1/(10 – n) na n afleveringen en…

Neural Networks in Computer Chess
Introduction As of December 2020, the top computer chess programs in the world use a neural network for position evaluation. Let’s take a look at two such open source engines: Leela Chess Zero and Stockfish. Leela Chess Zero Starting in January 2018, the initial goal of the open source project Leela Chess Zero was to…

Perl Weekly Challenge 083
Lately I got intrigued by the beautiful hidden depths (maybe some people prefer “atrocious inner guts”) of Perl and I decided to take up the Perl Weekly Challenge for fun (I “joined the club” with challenge 082 last week). This week, the second task is equivalent to the following optimization problem: Problem Definition Given a…

White Has the Edge in Random Chess
We show that white is more likely to win the game than black in chess where both sides pick moves at random. The statistical significance after playing 1,000,000,000 games is higher than five sigma, which is the threshold for CERN to announce the discovery of a new particle, so it is also good enough for…

Falling Magnet in a Conductive Tube
Recently I got captivated by the phenomenom of a falling magnet that is decelerated by its movement through a conductive tube, as shown in the following video. Sure enough, the principle is easy to understand, but I was interested in the details of the problem, i.e. how does the movement look like given all relevant…