Kramnik, t-shirts, Christmas

So, how ’bout that Kramnik blunder? The world champion, famous for careful, flawless play, lost a game Monday in the latest batch of Man vs. Machine matches. He got checkmated in one move with a blunder that, to someone on that level, is similar to forgetting which way bishops move. I wanna see them put Judit Polgar against Deep Fritz so we can have a Woman vs. Machine match for once.

Speaking of womens’ chess, here’s a gallery I stumbled on recently. Alexandra Kosteniuk is the #3 woman in the world and promotes chess as a model. I follow womens’ chess in part because it’s a nice break from the nerdy-guy stereotype and in part because the more I watch it the more I notice gender barriers and subtle biases and the like. There’s a lot that can be said about gender, and it’s not a subject I want to jump into without a lot of free time and maybe a stiff drink, but that’ll have to wait for another day. Kudos to Judit, as always, for refusing to play in womens-only events (for a while, her sister Susan was the womens’ world champion, and their third sister sister Sofia is no slouch either). They’re like the Williams sisters of chess.

I’m really more of an armchair chess player myself. I mean, an armchair without a chess board. I don’t really have the patience and the competitive tension gets to me. But I find the people who play it really interesting and I’ve been having fun learning more about them over the years.

There’s a new t-shirt in the store. It’s based on Comic #55 and will start shipping by next Wednesday. The deadline for Christmas orders is Wednesday, December 13th, but supplies are limited and we may run out of stock in a particular size so order now and so forth!

eBay Explosions

I have no idea what happened with the explosion(s) last night at eBay, and hope everyone is okay and that it all turns out all right.

That said, when I heard about it just now and searched for news, the top two results suggested something alarming: