29 Sep

The American Grandmaster Who Could Become World Champion

Here’s an old Caruana family legend. While traveling in Europe, years ago, Caruana and his parents boarded a plane — one of many planes that he’s boarded in his young life. Once seated, he immediately pulled out a little chess set and began to play the game that has come to define him. The plane taxied and accelerated and took to the sky, cruising high above the earth at hundreds of miles an hour toward their destination. A rapt and oblivious Caruana kept playing, transfixed. Eventually he looked up, turned to his father and asked him a question.“When are we going to take off?” If you search the archives for Caruana, one of his earliest mentions you’ll find is a television news segment from early 2001, when he was 8 years old and living in Brooklyn. “Here’s the story of a boy who could be the next Bobby Fischer,” the host says. Caruana’s mother, Santina, describes her son’s play as art (“I just — I can’t take my eyes off him”); his coach describes him as “mentally quite tough;” and a chess club manager says he’s sure to become a grandmaster and possibly world champion.The 8-year-old Caruana: “I just think it’s a fun game.” Another early appearance was in 2002 in the New York Daily News. That story featured a photo of a 10-year-old Caruana in an oversized T-shirt staring at a chessboard and grasping a bishop. He was taking on 15 opponents simultaneously in Bryant Park in Manhattan. He didn’t lose a single game.When you look at stories like those, Caruana’s championship bid seems preordained, the unavoidable result of an intense, prodigious and celebrated chess upbringing. But another quick search of the archives turns up dozens of other names that have also had their chess picture in the paper, and have also been teased by the press as The Next Bobby Fischer: Josh Waitzkin, Carissa Yip, Hikaru Nakamura, Eric Hicks, Jorge Zamora, Michael Wilder, Steven Zierk, Robert Lau, Gata Kamsky, Vinay Bhat, Ray Robson, Jordy Mont-Reynaud, Alan Tsoi, David Newmuis, Jeff Sarwer, Kayden Troff, Sam Sevian, etc., etc.You almost certainly haven’t heard of most — or any — of these people. None of them has played for the world championship of chess. Caruana will. If you ask the people who know Fabiano Caruana what Fabiano Caruana is like, they will tell you that Fabiano Caruana is, you know, just a normal guy.He likes movies. He likes music. He likes to eat. He works out. He goes on dates.Just a normal guy.Just a normal guy who is ranked second in the world in chess. A normal guy who was pulled out of school after seventh grade to do nothing but play the ancient and intricate game. A normal guy who is a hairbreadth away from prying the No. 1 position loose from probably the best player ever to play the game. A normal guy who, beginning Friday, will sit down at a table in London with this probably-the-best-ever player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, in a grueling, weeks-long battle for the world championship of chess. A normal guy who could be the first American to win the title since Bobby Fischer in 1972. Real 99.99999999th percentile stuff.Just a normal guy. Caruana makes his move during an event with the Turinese Chess Club in 2008. Caruana became a grandmaster at the age of 14. Pigi Cipelli/Archivio Pigi Cipelli/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images read more

10 Sep

2020 Kia Forte GTLine prioritizes thrift over shifts in Chicago

first_imgEnlarge ImageIt won’t win any stoplight sprints, but it looks like it could. Andrew Krok/Roadshow It’s hard out there for a Kia fan who wants to look fast without being fast. If you wanted the sportiest-looking Forte on offer, you’d have to opt for the 201-horsepower Forte GT. If you wanted that look without the hustle, though, you were out of luck — until the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.Kia unveiled the 2020 Forte GT-Line on Thursday here in Chicago. Think of it as the middle ground between outright performance and the standard ol’ Forte. That should also place it between the two in terms of price, but it doesn’t go on sale for a little while, and Kia hasn’t made that information immediately available.The GT-Line trim is fast in appearance only. There’s a gloss black grille up front, and red accents scattered about the exterior. The gloss-black getup also extends to the mirrors, rear spoiler and side sills. Kia also threw in a set of LED daytime running lights and 17-inch wheels that are exclusive to the GT-Line. More From Roadshow 2020 Kia Forte GT-Line focuses on the bark, not the bite Feb 8 • 2019 Chicago Auto Show recap: Big debuts from Mazda, Toyota, Subaru and more Post a comment 2020 Kia Forte GT-Line debuts at Chicago Auto Show with racy accents Review • 2019 Kia Forte Review More about 2019 Kia Forte Tags 0 reading • 2020 Kia Forte GT-Line prioritizes thrift over shifts in Chicago 1:32 See All Feb 8 • Ram’s Multifunction Tailgate adds a 60-40 split Feb 8 • Ram’s Multifunction Tailgate can open like French doors 19 Photos Now playing: Watch this: • Preview • 2019 Kia Forte: Stinger style and more tech Feb 9 • 2019 Ram 2500 HD gets accessorized with Mopar goodies Inside, things are a bit milder. The GT-Line borrows the flat-bottom steering wheel from the GT, including the little GT badge at the bottom, and it wears white contrast stitching. There’s also a set of alloy sport pedals, in addition to some sporty cloth seats with a GT-Line logo stitched in.Under the hood, it’s all base Forte, baby. Its 2.0-liter I4 gas engine has an output of 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. While that might be light on power, it helps the regular Forte achieve over 35 miles per gallon highway, so the GT-Line shouldn’t be too far off from that, either. A continuously variable transmission is the only box on offer. Some people are after the bark but don’t necessarily need the bite, and this is the trim for them. 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Share your voice 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Sedans Chicago Auto Show 2019 Kia Chicago Auto Show 2019 Kialast_img read more

5 Sep

200 flights cancelled in Hong Kong amid worsening political crisis

first_imgProtestors stand preventing Mass Transit Railway’s (MTR) subway train from leaving Fortress Hill station in Hong Kong on August 5, 2019.ReutersAn estimated 200 flights were cancelled in Hong Kong on Monday, as a result of pro-democracy demonstrators calling a citywide strike. The city’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, warned the demonstrations are heading towards “extremely dangerous situation”.Daily transport, including eight railway lines and the airport express, was affected as several protestors blocked trains from leaving stations on Monday morning. Bus and train services were subsequently suspended by officials.Civil servants from more than 30 government departments as well as pilots, teachers, construction workers, engineers, and aviation staff have reportedly pledged to strike on Monday.Carrie Lam, a pro-Beijing leader, condemned the protests and said that the demonstrations are affecting Hong Kong’s economy and stability, in an official statement on Monday. This was the first statement she released in the last two weeks.”Such extensive disruptions in the name of certain demands or uncooperative movement have seriously undermined Hong Kong law and order and are pushing our city, the city we all love, and many of us helped to build, to the verge of a very dangerous situation,” said Carrie Lam.More than 150 flights out of the city were cancelled on Monday morning. Around 100 outbound and 100 inbound flights were cancelled as citywide protests blocked roads, prompting shops and transport services to stay shut. Why People Are Protesting Hong Kong’s Controversial Extradition Bill Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:00/2:48Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-2:48?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … The protests intensified on Sunday after demonstrators and police clashed once again when a flashmob was held at the Causeway Bay. Other key areas such as the cross-harbour tunnel, which is a key link between Hong Kong Island, was blocked. A police station in the outer district of Kwun Tong was surrounded and protesters reportedly shined lasers at the police and threw bricks at the compound.Violent activities such as breaking the windows of a police station in Hong Kong’s New Territories and using makeshift means to launch objects at the administration was also reported on Sunday morning.The riot police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and over 44 people were arrested for participating in the demonstration.On Saturday, a 36-year-old Filipino and a 26-year-old South Korean national was detained for taking part in the protests, according to the South China Morning Post. This was the first instance of foreigners being detained since the demonstration began. Increasing tensionsIncreasing incidents of demonstration-related violence have been reported in the last few weeks, as the government continues to maintain its silence in addressing the central demand of the protestors.A complete withdrawal of the contentious extradition bill and an inquiry into the government’s handling of the crisis has been demanded by the protestors. The demonstration is also a broader political movement that questions Hong Kong’s sovereignty against the increasing pro-Beijing government and the freedom of speech and expression of the citizens of the semi-autonomous city.Lam said she had already responded to the protester’s demands. “Some people may not agree with our response… but we have considered every factor. What is in front of us is Hong Kong’s stability and future and escalated violence,” she said.Experts have claimed that the Hong Kong economy has suffered grave losses due to the protests, including its tourism industry, with falling hotel occupancy rates and markets.last_img read more

3 Sep

Random registration of freedom fighters

first_imgThe government move to verify and register freedom fighters, is likely to face a setback as the guidelines are not being followed properly, the minister and officials admit.The verification process in upazila, district and metropolitan areas began on 21 January. Out of 488 committees, the National Freedom Fighters Council has received recommendations from 341 committees with about 100,000 names. The number will increase to nearly 150,000 after recommendations of all committees are submitted.Officials at the liberation war affairs ministry said a section of ministers and MPs has influenced the recommendations.Officials said it is not possible to make an accurate list of freedom fighters during the tenure of present government by 2019.In last 46 years, the list of freedom fighters changed six times.According to the ministry, the government allocated Tk 50 million to make the new list of freedom fighters.Speaking to Prothom Alo, liberation affairs minister AKM Mozammel Haque said, “Names of 100,000 freedom fighters have been recommended. Many committees have not followed the guidelines. There are allegations of influence by MPs.”The government has a list of 231,000 freedom fighters. There are allegations that many enlisted as freedom fighters are not genuine. Many applied to be included in the list. Under the circumstances, the government issued a gazette on 12 January for verification and to consider the new applicants. Committees at upazila, districts and metropolitan areas were formed to do the process.The committees were not reportedly formed as per the guidelines.According to the ministry, in many areas the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) reportedly did not follow the procedures.Due to influence by local MPs and influentials, many names were included as freedom fighters.Deputy leader of the house of Parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury in a demo official (DO) letter requested the liberation affairs minister to include her name in the committee dropping the name of the local freedom fighter.Food minister Quamrul Islam recommended including a certain Golam Kibria Bakhtiar of Barisal on the freedom fighter list.State minister for women and children Meher Afroz Chumki, who was elected MP from Kapasia of Gazipur, has recommended inclusion of Imtiaz Ahmed on the list.Officials at the ministry said names of fake freedom fighters were not dropped. MPs recommended names for inclusion to their choices.Kabirul Haque, an MP of Narail-1, alleged that the committee of Kalia upazila took Tk 200,000 from each as bribe to include those who were merely 9 or 10 years old during the liberation war of 1971.Speaking to Prothom Alo, Kabirul Haque said, “What has happened in my constituency, happened nowhere else before. President of the committee Imdadul Haque has taken hundred thousands of taka to include people in the list.”*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.last_img read more

3 Sep

UN expert calls for referring Myanmar situation to ICC

first_imgRohingya refugee. File PhotoThe UN’s human rights expert on Myanmar has said the international community must continue to work to ensure that individuals who have been alleged as being responsible for serious crimes and human rights violations are prosecuted by the International Criminal Court or by a credible judicial body, reports UNB.”The (UN) Security Council must come together and refer the situation of Myanmar to the ICC without any delay,” Yanghee Lee, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, told the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.She, however, said the establishment of independent mechanism was an interim step, and was insufficient to achieve justice for all victims of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Myanmar.Lee said the Myanmar government has shown that it is unable to fulfill its international obligations to impartially and effectively investigate the allegations.The UN expert said she was dismayed by the failure of the country’s leadership to take the path of democracy, and at their persistent denials and attempts to deflect attention concerning allegations of atrocities committed against the Rohingya.”What I see is a government that is increasingly demonstrating that it has no real interest and capacity in establishing a fully-functioning democracy where all its people equally enjoy all their rights and freedoms,” she said.Lee said it is not doing what is necessary to bring about true peace and reconciliation. It is not upholding justice and the rule of law. “And, despite the repeated refrain that if presented with evidence, the government will investigate the allegations of human rights violations, it is clear to me that that is not the case.”She acknowledged there was “a glimmer of hope on the horizon for justice for the people of Myanmar”, referring to the Human Rights Council’s recent resolution that establishes a new Independent Mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011.Lee noted reports of harassment and extortion, and of forced labour, and that the government was undertaking an unrelenting campaign to force all the Rohingyas to take National Verification Cards.She raised concerns about the situation in Kachin and Shan, and the government’s plan to close displacement camps around the country.”Disturbing information I have received about the government’s camp closure plan demonstrates that it is not in accordance with international standards,” Lee said.She urged Member States to provide the independent mechanism with adequate resources and to ensure it is fully operational as soon as possible.last_img read more

3 Sep

Fani weakens further may hit Bangladesh today

first_imgUnder the influence of severe cyclonic storm Fani, sea remains high in Patenga, Chattogram on 3 May, 2019. Photo: Focus BanglaVery severe cyclonic storm Fani has weakened into a severe cyclonic one and it is likely to reach Khulna and southwestern part of Bangladesh between midnight and Saturday morning, reports UNB. Fani has moved north-northeastwards, weakened further and currently lies over coastal Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal adjoining area, Met office said on Friday night.Maximum sustained wind speed within 64 kms of the storm centre is about 100kph, rising to 120kph in gusts/squalls. Sea will remain high.The danger level remains 7 for the maritime ports of Mongla and Payra and the coastal districts of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakati, Bagerhat, Khulna and Satkhira and offshore islands and chars.Chattogram port has been advised to keep hoisted danger signal No. 6. The same warning level has been announced for Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni and Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars.The danger level at Cox’s Bazar port remains four.Under the influence of the severe cyclonic storm and the new moon phase, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakati, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by storm surge of 2-4 feet height above normal astronomical tide.Bangladesh has been feeling the peripheral effect of Fani since morning. A number of villages and shoals in coastal districts have already been inundated.Under its influence, sky remains overcast and rainfall is taking place at many places over the country.All fishing boats and trawlers over the North Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.Meanwhile, state minister for disaster management and relief Enamur Rahman has said 1,240,795 people have been evacuated to cyclone centres in coastal districts till Friday evening.As many as 4,071 cyclone centres have been opened in 19 coastal districts while directives have been issued to use schools and colleges as shelter centres.Around 200,000 people took shelter in Khulna while 50,220 in Satkhira, 43,430 in Bagerhat, 25,000 in Pirojpur, 142,325 in Barguna, 3.5 lakh in Patuakhali, 8,120 in Barishal, 1.90 lakh in Bhola, 94,000 in Noakhali, 15,000 in Lakshmipur, 15,000 in Feni, 51,000 in Chattogram, 10,000 in Cox’s Bazar, 12,000 in Jhalakati, 5,000 in Chandpur, 15,000 in Shariatpur, 5,000 in Madaripur, 4,000 in Gopalganj, 4,500 people in Faridpur.The state minister said the district administrations have been directed to take necessary measures to minimise the extent of damage by the severe cyclone.Sufficient dry food, safe drinking water and medicine have been kept at the shelters, added Enamur Rahman.The Navy has deployed 32 ships in Chattogram, Khulna and Mongla for emergency rescue operations and relief work. Naval contingents are on standby for immediate deployment in coastal areas, ISPR said in a press release.The government has also set up control rooms. The National Disaster Response Coordination Centre is providing updates.last_img read more