Discussion:
Chinese Sweep All Titles in World Championship of Chinese Chess
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samsloan
2011-11-26 13:25:49 UTC
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In a surprising development, the Chinese have won all the titles in
the World Championship of Chinese chess.

Who would have imagined that the Chinese would win everything in a
competition for Chinese chess?

The competition was held in Jakarta Indonesia on November 20-26, 2011.
Each member nation was allowed to send two male players, one female
player and one non-Chinese.

The players sent from China won all the prizes.

The winner and new World Champion is 蒋川 JIANG Chuan of Beijing. He
easily swept all before him, winning his first seven games. I was
hoping he would pull a "Bobby Fischer" by winning all 9 games, but he
gave easy courtesy draws in the last two rounds. (Bobby Fischer
famously won the USA Championship with a score of 11-0 even though
there was no need for him to do so and then blanked his World
Championship competition with scores of 6-0, 6-0).

Second was 许银川 XU YinChuan, also of China, who finished with 7.5 -
1.5. He got one of the courtesy draws given by 蒋川 JIANG Chuan.

Third was 武明一 VU Minh Ngat of Vietnam who scored 7-2. He had been
upset in the second round by losing to 吴宗翰 WOO Tsung Han from
Singapore but after that never lost again to finish third.

The Woman's Championship was won by 唐 丹 TANG Dan of China who won all
her games to score 9-0

Second in the Woman's section was 阮黄燕 NGUYEN Hoang Yen of Vietnam.
(Notice a trend here.)

The title of "World Champion for non-Chinese" was won by 邝伟德 Kon
ISLAND of Hong Kong. There was some grumbling among the non-Chinese
competitors for giving his the title AGAIN because he really is
Chinese.

Most beautiful girl in the Woman's competition and the only one who
would be regarded as "Chessbase Ready" was 杨丽可 Eunike Regina Feby of
Indonesia. Unfortunately, she lost all her games and scored 0-9. Also,
she spoke no English so I was unable to interview her.

The moderator who gave out the prizes in the awards ceremony always
sounded like the most surprised person in the world when she kept
announcing "The Winner is From China". Great Job!

Sam Sloan
samsloan
2011-11-27 02:54:00 UTC
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Eric Johnson, a major chess organizer and former acting Executive
Director of the United States Chess Federation, has a valid point.

However, FIDE, the World Chess Federation, did have almost exactly
that rule at one time. The rule was that no more than a certain number
of players from the same country would be allowed to qualify to the
candidates tournaments for the World Chess Championship. The rule was
designed to prevent the World Chess Championship from being all-
Russian.

Thus, if too many Russians qualified, the bottom ones were dropped and
Western players with lower scores got in.

This had tragic consequences. It twice happened that the same Russian
player, Leonid Stein, was not allowed to play in the World
Championship Candidate's Tournament under this rule even though he had
qualified. Many felt that he was the strongest player in the world.
Then, when he was trying to qualify again and was on the way to the
airport in Moscow to fly to Argentina for a third qualifying
tournament, he died under mysterious circumstance. Some say he was
murdered by the KGB, who had found out that he was planning to defect
so that he would not be subject to the Not-Too-Many-Russians-Rule.

Sam Sloan

On Sat, Nov 26, 2011 at 8:05 AM, <***@aol.com> wrote:



OK, I'll bite. What kind of legitimate sports groups limits
participation by ethnicity? That's pretty sketchy.

Can you imagine the world chess championship....limited to ethnic
Russians....with Anand as "best-non-Russian"? Again, that's sketchy
-- who would participate?

Eric J.
Post by samsloan
In a surprising development, the Chinese have won all the titles in
the World Championship of Chinese chess.
Who would have imagined that the Chinese would win everything in a
competition for Chinese chess?
The competition was held in Jakarta Indonesia on November 20-26, 2011.
Each member nation was allowed to send two male players, one female
player and one non-Chinese.
The players sent from China won all the prizes.
The winner and new World Champion is 蒋川 JIANG Chuan of Beijing. He
easily swept all before him, winning his first seven games. I was
hoping he would pull a "Bobby Fischer" by winning all 9 games, but he
gave easy courtesy draws in the last two rounds. (Bobby Fischer
famously won the USA Championship with a score of 11-0 even though
there was no need for him to do so and then blanked his World
Championship competition with scores of 6-0, 6-0).
Second was 许银川 XU YinChuan, also of China, who finished with 7.5 -
1.5. He got one of the courtesy draws given by 蒋川 JIANG Chuan.
Third was 武明一 VU Minh Ngat of Vietnam who scored 7-2. He had been
upset in the second round by losing to 吴宗翰 WOO Tsung Han from
Singapore but after that never lost again to finish third.
The Woman's Championship was won by 唐 丹 TANG Dan of China who won all
her games to score 9-0
Second in the Woman's section was 阮黄燕 NGUYEN Hoang Yen of Vietnam.
(Notice a trend here.)
The title of "World Champion for non-Chinese" was won by 邝伟德 Kon
ISLAND of Hong Kong. There was some grumbling among the non-Chinese
competitors for giving his the title AGAIN because he really is
Chinese.
Most beautiful girl in the Woman's competition and the only one who
would be regarded as "Chessbase Ready" was 杨丽可 Eunike Regina Feby of
Indonesia. Unfortunately, she lost all her games and scored 0-9. Also,
she spoke no English so I was unable to interview her.
The moderator who gave out the prizes in the awards ceremony always
sounded like the most surprised person in the world when she kept
announcing "The Winner is From China". Great Job!
Sam Sloan
samsloan
2011-11-27 03:58:49 UTC
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Thank you for your posting Eric but the truth is the opposite. They
are doing everything they possibly can to encourage top level European
players from emerging. Offering foreigners unlimited places in the
World Championship of Chinese Chess is just one example of this.

More than that, the late Henry Fok, one of the richest men in the
world, offered a prize of One Million Dollars to any Western player
who could defeat a Chinese grandmaster in a match of Chinese chess.

Nobody was able to challenge this and none of the current players are
anywhere close to being able to challenge the top Chinese players.

To put this into FIDE rating terms, the top Chinese and Vietnamese
players are 2700 strength. The top non-Chinese at best are 2000
strength and that is being generous.

If someone with the talent and inclination such as Hikaru Nakamura or
Ray Robson were to take up Chinese Chess in a serious way they might
be able to challenge the top levels after a few years but that is
nowhere close to happening.

To give myself as an example, after the tournament was over I looked
at my 8th round game against Tanaka, one of the prize-winners for non-
Chinese, and I easily discovered a simple win of a knight that I had
overlooked. Basically, he had left a knight hanging and I had not
taken it and yet he had won a prize. I cannot believe I missed that
especially since I was looking right at the move during the game.

So, we foreigners are just a bunch of patzers, with no chance against
the top-level Chinese players.

Sam Sloan

On Sat, Nov 26, 2011 at 7:19 PM, <***@aol.com> wrote:



Sam, a rule limiting participation by country (i.e. nationality)
is one thing -- it is common in sports precisely because nation-states
are sovereign units.

But why would any sports organization limit its players by
ethnicity? This practice seems designed to keep the Chinese Chess
Championship in Chinese (ethnicity -- not nationality) hands.

It seems wrong.

Eric J.
The Master
2011-11-29 06:26:35 UTC
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Post by samsloan
Nobody was able to challenge this and none of the current players are
anywhere close to being able to challenge the top Chinese players.
To put this into FIDE rating terms, the top Chinese and Vietnamese
players are 2700 strength. The top non-Chinese at best are 2000
strength and that is being generous.
I am curious as to how anyone could achieve the equivalent of
(roughly) 2000 strength while living here in the USA. Are there
tournaments here in which to hone your chinese chess skills? Cash
prizes or a rating system to motivate improvement? Perhaps computer
programs to practice against?

With regard to regular chess, I find it difficult to conceive how
someone might raise the level of their play that high without
competition from other strong players, and considerable study.
Jürgen R.
2011-11-27 13:20:20 UTC
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Post by samsloan
This had tragic consequences. It twice happened that the same Russian
player, Leonid Stein, was not allowed to play in the World
Championship Candidate's Tournament under this rule even though he had
qualified. Many felt that he was the strongest player in the world.
Then, when he was trying to qualify again and was on the way to the
airport in Moscow to fly to Argentina for a third qualifying
tournament, he died under mysterious circumstance. Some say he was
murdered by the KGB, who had found out that he was planning to defect
so that he would not be subject to the Not-Too-Many-Russians-Rule.
Sam Sloan
The reason the KGB used to kill all the top Russian players was mainly
in order to level the playing field. They figured that Russian
chess could only profit from strong foreign competition. That's also
why they always sent free copies of "64" and "Шахматы в СССР" to
Fischer, Reshevsky, Larsen and others.

The reason so many Russian players defected to the West in the
1970's is that it was obviously much easier for a top GM to earn
a living in the U.S., say by selling insurance or washing dishes,
than in the impoverished Socialist Paradise.

Another trick they often used was to put chess players on the
wrong flight. Thus they told Stein that the interzonal was somewhere
in Argentina when it actually took place in Brazil. No wonder Stein
had a heart attack when he found out.
Jürgen R.
2011-11-27 13:36:54 UTC
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Post by samsloan
Eric Johnson, a major chess organizer and former acting Executive
Director of the United States Chess Federation, has a valid point.
However, FIDE, the World Chess Federation, did have almost exactly
that rule at one time.
The rule was that no more than a certain number
of players from the same country would be allowed to qualify to the
candidates tournaments for the World Chess Championship. The rule was
designed to prevent the World Chess Championship from being all-
Russian.
Exactly this problem arose in the Candidates tournament in 1962
in Curacao. Not more than 5 of the 8 players were allowed
to be from Russia. Thats why FIDE invited Sam Sloan to fill one
of the vacant places.

However, Sloan knew that the KGB would ban anybody who accepted
the invitation from chess for 7 years; whereas, if he refused, he
would only be abducted, taken to a remote valley in Afghanistan
and forced to marry the ugliest girl in the village.

That's why Sloan allowed Bobby Fischer to take his place, and we all
know what happened next.
Post by samsloan
Thus, if too many Russians qualified, the bottom ones were dropped and
Western players with lower scores got in.
This had tragic consequences. It twice happened that the same Russian
player, Leonid Stein, was not allowed to play in the World
Championship Candidate's Tournament under this rule even though he had
qualified. Many felt that he was the strongest player in the world.
Then, when he was trying to qualify again and was on the way to the
airport in Moscow to fly to Argentina for a third qualifying
tournament, he died under mysterious circumstance. Some say he was
murdered by the KGB, who had found out that he was planning to defect
so that he would not be subject to the Not-Too-Many-Russians-Rule.
Sam Sloan
OK, I'll bite. What kind of legitimate sports groups limits
participation by ethnicity? That's pretty sketchy.
Can you imagine the world chess championship....limited to ethnic
Russians....with Anand as "best-non-Russian"? Again, that's sketchy
-- who would participate?
Eric J.
Post by samsloan
In a surprising development, the Chinese have won all the titles in
the World Championship of Chinese chess.
Who would have imagined that the Chinese would win everything in a
competition for Chinese chess?
The competition was held in Jakarta Indonesia on November 20-26, 2011.
Each member nation was allowed to send two male players, one female
player and one non-Chinese.
The players sent from China won all the prizes.
The winner and new World Champion is 蒋川 JIANG Chuan of Beijing. He
easily swept all before him, winning his first seven games. I was
hoping he would pull a "Bobby Fischer" by winning all 9 games, but he
gave easy courtesy draws in the last two rounds. (Bobby Fischer
famously won the USA Championship with a score of 11-0 even though
there was no need for him to do so and then blanked his World
Championship competition with scores of 6-0, 6-0).
Second was 许银川 XU YinChuan, also of China, who finished with 7.5 -
1.5. He got one of the courtesy draws given by 蒋川 JIANG Chuan.
Third was 武明一 VU Minh Ngat of Vietnam who scored 7-2. He had been
upset in the second round by losing to 吴宗翰 WOO Tsung Han from
Singapore but after that never lost again to finish third.
The Woman's Championship was won by 唐 丹 TANG Dan of China who won all
her games to score 9-0
Second in the Woman's section was 阮黄燕 NGUYEN Hoang Yen of Vietnam.
(Notice a trend here.)
The title of "World Champion for non-Chinese" was won by 邝伟德 Kon
ISLAND of Hong Kong. There was some grumbling among the non-Chinese
competitors for giving his the title AGAIN because he really is
Chinese.
Most beautiful girl in the Woman's competition and the only one who
would be regarded as "Chessbase Ready" was 杨丽可 Eunike Regina Feby of
Indonesia. Unfortunately, she lost all her games and scored 0-9. Also,
she spoke no English so I was unable to interview her.
The moderator who gave out the prizes in the awards ceremony always
sounded like the most surprised person in the world when she kept
announcing "The Winner is From China". Great Job!
Sam Sloan
None
2011-11-28 15:43:35 UTC
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Post by Jürgen R.
Exactly this problem arose in the Candidates tournament in 1962
in Curacao. Not more than 5 of the 8 players were allowed
to be from Russia. Thats why FIDE invited Sam Sloan to fill one
of the vacant places.
However, Sloan knew that the KGB would ban anybody who accepted
the invitation from chess for 7 years; whereas, if he refused, he
would only be abducted, taken to a remote valley in Afghanistan
and forced to marry the ugliest girl in the village.
That's why Sloan allowed Bobby Fischer to take his place, and we all
know what happened next.
Imagine that.
David Ames
2011-12-03 11:13:57 UTC
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Post by Jürgen R.
Exactly this problem arose in the Candidates tournament in 1962
in Curacao. Not more than 5 of the 8 players were allowed
to be from Russia. Thats why FIDE invited Sam Sloan to fill one
of the vacant places.
However, Sloan knew that the KGB would ban anybody who accepted
the invitation from chess for 7 years; whereas, if he refused, he
would only be abducted, taken to a remote valley in Afghanistan
and forced to marry the ugliest girl in the village.
That's why Sloan allowed Bobby Fischer to take his place, and we all
know what happened next.
Oh, I thought that happened at Sousse.

David Ames
Jürgen R.
2011-12-03 13:12:20 UTC
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Post by David Ames
Post by Jürgen R.
Exactly this problem arose in the Candidates tournament in 1962
in Curacao. Not more than 5 of the 8 players were allowed
to be from Russia. Thats why FIDE invited Sam Sloan to fill one
of the vacant places.
However, Sloan knew that the KGB would ban anybody who accepted
the invitation from chess for 7 years; whereas, if he refused, he
would only be abducted, taken to a remote valley in Afghanistan
and forced to marry the ugliest girl in the village.
That's why Sloan allowed Bobby Fischer to take his place, and we all
know what happened next.
Oh, I thought that happened at Sousse.
Of course not. That was Peter Leko, not Sam (Dung Bi Tel) Sloan.
Post by David Ames
David Ames
Taylor Kingston
2011-11-27 18:37:44 UTC
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Post by samsloan
However, FIDE, the World Chess Federation, did have almost exactly
that rule at one time. The rule was that no more than a certain number
of players from the same country would be allowed to qualify to the
candidates tournaments for the World Chess Championship. The rule was
designed to prevent the World Chess Championship from being all-
Russian.
No, the rule was actually designed to limit the number of
challengers Botvinnik needed to prepare for. Botvinnik used his
political influence to extend his reign as World Champion beyond what
his playing strength alone could ensure. Thus he got first the rematch
rule, which allowed him to reclaim the title twice, then later the
rule limiting to three the number of candidates from any one country
who could qualify for the Candidates round from the Interzonal.
Since at that time no country besides the USSR had more than three
top-rank players, the rule effectively applied only to the USSR. And
because, until the rise of Fischer, it was a foregone conclusion that
the WCh challenger would be a Soviet player, the real effect (and
intent) of the rule was to limit the number of possible challengers
Botvinnik needed to prepare for.
Here's a chronological list of the number of Soviet players and how
they finished in the five FIDE Candidates Tournaments held 1950-1962,
after which they changed to elimination matches:

1950: 7 Soviet players out of 10 contestants, finishing =1st-2nd, 3rd,
4th, 6th, =8th-10th
1953: 9 out of 15; 1st, =2nd-4th, 5th, =6th-7th, =8th-9th, =10th-11th
1956: 6 out of 10; 1st, 2nd, =3rd-7th
1959: 4 out of 8; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
1962: 4 out of 8; 1st, =2nd-3rd, 5th

The rule ended up not helping Botvinnik much, if any. The one year
it had any effect during his reign was 1962, when Stein tied with
Benko and Gligoric at the Interzonal but was not allowed into the
Candidates. The challenger from that cycle, Petrosian, dethroned
Botvinnik and because the rematch rule had been abolished, MMB never
got the title back.
Quadibloc
2011-11-27 22:46:08 UTC
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Post by samsloan
In a surprising development, the Chinese have won all the titles in
the World Championship of Chinese chess.
Who would have imagined that the Chinese would win everything in a
competition for Chinese chess?
I was wondering why you would say such a thing. After all, the Chinese
form of chess receives very little attention outside China.

Of course, there are other countries where Chinese people live,
particularly Hong Kong (now a Special Administrative Region in China,
of course, but for some purposes like another country) and Taiwan and
Singapore.
Post by samsloan
The moderator who gave out the prizes in the awards ceremony always
sounded like the most surprised person in the world when she kept
announcing "The Winner is From China".
But perhaps this simply inspired you to comment in an ironic fashion
at the beginning.

John Savard
Felix Tan
2011-11-29 01:14:35 UTC
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First, I would like to point out a mistake in the winners' list
presented
by Sam.

The 3rd place in the Men's Individual goes to Vietnam's top GM Nguyen
Thanh Bao, and not Vo Minh Ngat (who placed 11th). Yes, Nguyen was
frusrated in the second round, losing to Alvin Woo of Singapore. For
full
ranking details, please visit this website: http://www.xiangqibowl.net/wxc.

One of the World Xiangqi Federation's objectives is to promote the
game
globally, in particulars to the non Chinese/Vitnamese (NCV)
communities.
Since the 1st WXC 1990, an additional ranking is drawn from the Men's
Individual tournament filtering out all Chinese and Vietnamese
players.
The rational is that China and Vietnam are the two "super-power" in
the
xiangqi arena, Cash prizes are also provided for the top eight NCV
players,
There were many NCV players from Europe and North America winning
prizes
under this ranking category in the past series. This year, the 4th
place was
won by Mikko Tornqvist of Finland, 6th place Dmitry Rumyantsev of
Russia,
and the 8th place Uwe of Germany.

It should be noted that all the male players, irrespective of
nationality or ethnicity
are competing in the SAME ONE tournament. The NCV ranking is filtered
out of
the main ranking, which adds encouragement and incentive for the NCV
players.
So one of these days, a NCV player may emerge as the World Champion,
though
they may be patzers (in Sam's oppinion) at the present. One should
not go away
with the wrong idea that these rules are meant to keep the
championship to the
Chinese.

Felix Tan
Singapore
Post by samsloan
In a surprising development, the Chinese have won all the titles in
the World Championship of Chinese chess.
Who would have imagined that the Chinese would win everything in a
competition for Chinese chess?
The competition was held in Jakarta Indonesia on November 20-26, 2011.
Each member nation was allowed to send two male players, one female
player and one non-Chinese.
The players sent from China won all the prizes.
The winner and new World Champion is 蒋川 JIANG Chuan of Beijing. He
easily swept all before him, winning his first seven games. I was
hoping he would pull a "Bobby Fischer" by winning all 9 games, but he
gave easy courtesy draws in the last two rounds. (Bobby Fischer
famously won the USA Championship with a score of 11-0 even though
there was no need for him to do so and then blanked his World
Championship competition with scores of 6-0, 6-0).
Second was 许银川 XU YinChuan, also of China, who finished with 7.5 -
1.5. He got one of the courtesy draws given by 蒋川 JIANG Chuan.
Third was 武明一 VU Minh Ngat of Vietnam who scored 7-2. He had been
upset in the second round by losing to 吴宗翰 WOO Tsung Han from
Singapore but after that never lost again to finish third.
The Woman's Championship was won by 唐 丹 TANG Dan of China who won all
her games to score 9-0
Second in the Woman's section was 阮黄燕 NGUYEN Hoang Yen of Vietnam.
(Notice a trend here.)
The title of "World Champion for non-Chinese" was won by 邝伟德 Kon
ISLAND of Hong Kong. There was some grumbling among the non-Chinese
competitors for giving his the title AGAIN because he really is
Chinese.
Most beautiful girl in the Woman's competition and the only one who
would be regarded as "Chessbase Ready" was 杨丽可 Eunike Regina Feby of
Indonesia. Unfortunately, she lost all her games and scored 0-9. Also,
she spoke no English so I was unable to interview her.
The moderator who gave out the prizes in the awards ceremony always
sounded like the most surprised person in the world when she kept
announcing "The Winner is From China". Great Job!
Sam Sloan
samsloan
2011-11-29 05:25:01 UTC
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Post by Felix Tan
First, I would like to point out a mistake in the winners' list
presented
by Sam.
The 3rd place in the Men's Individual goes to Vietnam's top GM Nguyen
Thanh Bao, and not Vo Minh Ngat (who placed 11th).  Yes, Nguyen was
frusrated in the second round, losing to Alvin Woo of Singapore. For
full
ranking details, please visit this website:http://www.xiangqibowl.net/wxc.
One of the World Xiangqi Federation's objectives is to promote the
game
globally, in particulars to the non Chinese/Vitnamese (NCV)
communities.
Since the 1st WXC 1990, an additional ranking is drawn from the Men's
Individual tournament filtering out all Chinese and Vietnamese
players.
The rational is that China and Vietnam are the two "super-power" in
the
xiangqi arena, Cash prizes are also provided for the top eight NCV
players,
There were many NCV players from Europe and North America winning
prizes
under this ranking category in the past series. This year, the 4th
place was
won by Mikko Tornqvist of Finland, 6th place Dmitry Rumyantsev of
Russia,
and the 8th place Uwe of Germany.
It should be noted that all the male players, irrespective of
nationality or ethnicity
are competing in the SAME ONE tournament. The NCV ranking is filtered
out of
the main ranking, which adds encouragement and incentive for the NCV
players.
So one of these days, a NCV player may emerge as the World Champion,
though
they may be patzers (in Sam's oppinion) at the present.  One should
not go away
with the wrong idea that these rules are meant to keep the
championship to the
Chinese.
Felix Tan
Singapore
Thank you for pointing out my mistake regarding the third place
finisher.

I guess the reason I made that mistake is I knew that the player who
finished third was from Vietnam and not the one I played. I played the
other player from Vietnam. (He beat me.) However, I did not realize
that Vu was the same person as Vo. (I played Vo.)

Regarding the other issue, it was Eric Johnson's rather strange idea
that the Chinese were somehow plotting to keep the World Championship
of Chinese Chess in Chinese hands. I am well aware of the tremendous
efforts you are making to encourage Westerners to take up this game,
including especially inviting us to this competition even though none
of us are really strong enough to contest it at the top levels.

It was just due to the luck of the draw that I got two weak opponents
in the first two rounds and thus won my first two games.

There are three other Americans who are probably about as strong as me
although I have never played them. They are Larry Kaufman, Ray Kaufman
and Marcy Cohen. Marcy Cohen would be an interesting addition as an
American woman player, but she refuses to play in protest of the
woman's section. If you will allow her to play in the men's section
she will come next time.

Sam Sloan
samsloan
2011-11-29 05:41:53 UTC
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I am still in Jakarta Indonesia by the way.

I am staying at the Alpine Hotel. Great place, low price and best of
all free wifi in the hotel restaurant where I am typing this.

I just published four books on Blackjack. I will get to the Chinese
chess tournament in a few days as soon as you finish the bulletins.

Sam
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