FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Petrochemical Update:Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical’s long-awaited final investment decision (FID) to build an ethylene-polyethylene complex in Ohio will remain under consideration for an indefinite period.“Due to circumstances beyond our control related to the pandemic, we’re unable to promise a firm timeline” for an FID, the company said in a mid-May email referring to the project to turn shale gas ethane into ethylene to polymerize into 1.5 million tonnes annually of polyethylene.The Bangkok Post had reported as recently as on Feb. 12 that a decision related to the FID was going to be announced by mid-year. It quoted the company’s CEO Kongkrapan Intarajang saying PTTGC was seeking low interest financing for this project as it was a good fit in a strategy to expand overseas revenue.However, an industry expert told Petrochemical Update that conditions needed for such a complex had deteriorated even before Covid-19.“Prior to the pandemic the planned PTTGC project for Ohio faced a cumulative set of troublesome risks,” Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an organization that examines issues related to energy markets. “The pandemic only increased the weak fundamentals and created greater uncertainty about the fate of the project,” Sanzillo told Petrochemical Update on May 25.PTTGC officials have given a number of firm dates for final decision and now they have put the decision off indefinitely, he said. “It would be a very big surprise if this project was revived. The oversupplied market, low prices, increased competition and now an unpredictable demand outlook and uncertain growth path all weigh to the downside,” he added.[Renzo Pipoli]More: Thailand’s PTTGC indefinitely postpones Ohio project amid challenges Thai company indefinitely postpones planned polyethylene plant in Ohio
My friend Ryan Baxter and I are hiking southward up the A.T. Trail on the north side of Mt. Rogers headed towards the Old Orchard Shelter where we plan to stop for lunch. Our hope was to power up a little bit given we are both an embarrassing bit out of shape (shhh, don’t tell anybody), before making the bigger hike up the mountainside to the sweeping boulder fields that occupy the higher altitudes of the Mt. Rogers high country.I’m packing a traditional PB&J and a power bar, but Ryan’s got something else up his sleeve.“Prepare to have your mind blown,” Ryan chuckles as he begins digging through his pack for his lunch at the shelter. “Remember that surprise I was telling you about?”He pulls out what looks like a small yellow sake choko and an 8oz plastic bottle full of clear fluid (presumably sake). Unfortunately there was no sake in that bottle, but there was something close in resemblance. Alcohol.Boiling water via denatured alcoholI knew what he was up to because I had previously been reading up on small DIY survival rigs, although I’ve never made one, and had seen similar set-ups to what Ryan was about to reveal. While I had seen similar set-ups, I hadn’t seen one particularly like this. It was a homemade lightweight alcohol stove crafted out of an aluminum soda bottle. The bottle was machine-pressed into itself giving it a nice rounded rim with near pinhole sized air vents drilled into the side—all in all a much more well-crafted version of what some know as the Fancy Feast stove.Using an old Snow Peak cook pot as a cooking dish as well as a carrying container, Ryan was able to squeeze the bottle of denatured alcohol, the stove, and the windscreen all into the small pot. Minimal size and weighing next to nothing, it’s proven addition to any minimalist backpackers collection.Ryan lit up the stove and got water to boil so he could amaze me with his grand finale, but while doing so an elderly A.T. veteran named Sam wandered up with a couple hiking friends and took interest in Ryan’s contraption.“Did you make that?” Sam eyeballed the stove with curiosity before one-upping Ryan with his own homemade stove.Sam pulled out a very similar cup-shaped stove, only with the walls hollowed out to allow a tightly wound wick to be placed inside for better burn efficiency, and a stainless steel air vent built into it. The two of them marveled the craftsmanship and exchanged stories, clearly sharing a bit of enthusiastic appreciation for innovation, while I stood by observing their creations and enjoying my own personal and latest innovation of adding jalapeño jam to my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.Sam’s Alcohol StoveBut my lunch was about to get better. Ryan had a large plastic bag of dried ramen noodles with dried mushrooms and seaweed and spices just waiting to be doused in hot water in order to spring to savory life. The bag was placed inside a curious looking sleeve crafted out of pipe insulation and duct tape.Step One: Boil water.Step Two: Pour water into bag.Step Three: Sit around and shoot the bull until lunch is ready.The thermal bag could hold enough heat inside to cook for up to eight to ten minutes, even in freezing temperatures, allowing for minimum fuel consumption.After finishing Step Three we began Step Four, which involved me getting a share of the gruel, which I wasn’t about to argue with, I happened to know Ryan was pretty well rounded in the kitchen (you should have been at camp that night for the camp-style chicken alfredo—I’ll be thinking about that for days).Ryan’s successfully homemade stove kit and heating sleeve.While eating lunch conversation drifted into sleeping gear which led to hammocks which led to Sam showing off one more piece of gear before we departed on the rest of our trip.Clearly a man of patience, Sam had crafted a hammock for less than $15 that rivaled many I’ve seen on store shelves selling for 50 bucks, not to mention rivaling most other DIY hammocks I’ve seen in quality.Sam’s HammockUsing two layers of rip-stop nylon, some excellent sewing skills, a custom buckle machined by a friend, and a crafty suspension cord utilizing Chinese-finger-trap technology, Sam had put together an excellent two-layer hammock allowing for a pad to be inserted inside for insulation and comfort while a custom sleeping bag with an open bottom end and straps instead of zippers is wrapped around the outside for cover and warmth. Optional: bug netting and tarp.Sam quickly slung it up between two trees and allowed me to indulge, but I had to quickly climb out for fear of A: falling into an afternoon snooze, and B: developing a jealousy complex.So we bid the guys adieu and hit the trail, moving onward up the mountain to seek out adventure. But on the way up I couldn’t help daydreaming about little contraptions I wanted to build to add to my pack. As cheesy as it sounds, I guess old dogs can teach new tricks as well as learn them.Here’s a couple links you should check out if you’d like to work some quality hands-on time into your schedule:DIY Gear SupplyZen StovesTo The Woods
The Newcastle boss, who remains a popular figure with many Liverpool followers too, said: “My relationship with Liverpool fans comes from years, here it is a fantastic relationship too and I am enjoying every minute.”Sunday’s other Premier League matches saw Burnley pile the pressure on Everton manager Ronald Koeman with a 1-0 win at Goodison Park while Arsenal marked the 21st anniversary of Arsene Wenger’s appointment as their manager with a 2-0 success at home to Brighton.Burnley’s Jeff Hendrick crowned an excellent team move in the 21st minute to score the only goal of the game as the Clarets left the big-spending Toffees, who have won just twice in seven league matches so far this season, a mere two points above the relegation zone.– ‘Flexibility’ –Nevertheless Dutch great Koeman told Sky Sports afterwards: “I’m not unhappy what I saw from the team, they showed today how we had to play.”Burnley boss Sean Dyche added: “I’ve spoken about the flexibility of the side. We can play when we need to, and be longer and stronger when we have to — but we can defend too.”Meanwhile Wenger said “humility” was the biggest lesson he had learnt as Arsenal marked the 21st anniversary of his appointment with a 2-0 win at home to Brighton. Nacho Monreal’s 16th-minute goal gave Arsenal the lead at the Emirates before Alex Iwobi’s second-half strike secured all three points for the Gunners.Victory gave Arsenal their third win in six days, following Monday’s success against West Bromwich Albion and a Europa League victory away to BATE Borisov on Thursday.“For us it was a very testing week, we had two home games, one long away trip in the Europa League.” Wenger told BT Sport. “We won the three games and that’s very positive.”Asked what the one thing above all other that he had learnt from his time in north London, Wenger answered: “I would say humility.”Share on: WhatsApp Liverpool took the lead through Philippe Coutinho’s stunning 30-yard effort just before the half-hour mark only for Joselu to equalise for Newcastle minutes later with the Magpies only clear attempt on goal all game.Klopp then saw Liverpool, repeatedly criticised for their defensive frailty this season, squander several chances to take all three points.“I am disappointed, frustrated, whatever you want,” Klopp told the BBC. “They (Newcastle) got one chance and scored. That doesn’t feel too fair…If you don’t help yourself no one else help you. It will be like this until we score.”This result left promoted Newcastle in an encouraging ninth place and Spanish manager Benitez said: “If you see the points and see we are a promoted team then we are pleased but against Huddersfield and Brighton we could have done something more. We have what we have. We are happy with that.”Before kick-off, Newcastle fans unveiled a huge banner with a message in Spanish in support of Benitez that translated as: “We will follow you everywhere, we’ll always support you. In spite of the lies they tell us, we’ll never doubt you. We are with you.”The message was similar to a chant fans of Valencia, one of Benitez’s former clubs, used to sing in support of the manager. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left feeling “disappointed and frustrated” after a Newcastle held his side to a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park on Sunday.London, United Kingdom | AFP | Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left feeling “disappointed and frustrated” after a Newcastle side under the guidance of former Reds boss Rafael Benitez held his side to a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park on Sunday.Victory would have seen Liverpool leapfrog champions Chelsea into fourth place.But instead Klopp’s men go into the international break in seventh spot, behind unheralded northwest rivals Burnley on goal difference.
20 Sep 2018 Chiltern Forest plans inspirational and inclusive golf event Buckinghamshire’s Chiltern Forest Golf Club is set to host a ground-breaking inclusive competition on Sunday.The club, near Wendover, has been inspired by member Scott Richardson, a below-the-knee amputee, to organise a competition where each of the 21 teams will include a disabled golfer.Club members and guests will play alongside some of the sport’s most successful and inspirational disabled players, raising disability awareness.The event is being supported by England Golf to showcase the inclusive nature of golf and to raise funds for LimbPower for joint projects to get more amputees and physically impaired people into golf.Among the 84 players entered is leg amputee and reigning World Disabled Longest Drive Champion Mike Gays from Cambridge, who recently claimed the title in Las Vegas by driving a golf ball 358 yards!Scott Richardson is joint organiser of the event and commented: “Thanks to its handicap system, golf is a perfect sport for people with disabilities.“It doesn’t matter if you are a one arm golfer or a rubbish one-legged golfer, you can compete on a completely level playing field with anyone, disabled or otherwise. I don’t think there is another sport where you can do that.”Scott summarises his involvement in the sport and why he is so keen to host this competition. “Golf is really accessible. Your disability very quickly goes out of the window when you play against ‘non-adaptive’ golfers, especially if you beat them!”He added “When I first joined Chiltern Forest, I didn’t know anyone, but very soon I found I was amongst friends.”With a full entry, Chiltern Forest Captains, Mark Williams and Maria Darriba, endorse the event’s aims. “We are proud and privileged to welcome all participants to our club, and look forward to cementing this exceptional event next year,” said Mark Williams. Tags: disability. inclusive
Facebook5Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Saint Martin’s UniversityThe dedication of a new flag pavilion built at Saint Martin’s University to honor active-duty and veteran members of the military will kick off the Saint Martin’s Homecoming 2014, set for Feb. 7-9 on the Lacey campus.“We have planned a wide variety of activities to give our alumni plenty of opportunities to interact with their former classmates, as well as meet new people who share their passion for Saint Martin’s,” says Katie Wojke, interim vice president of the Saint Martin’s Office of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations. “They will be able to enjoy these fun events while they learn more about what’s happening now at the University.”The flag pavilion was constructed to recognize military veteran and active-duty students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the community for their service to the nation. The pavilion is located at the base of the Grand Staircase, adjacent to the Jan Halliday Memorial Plaza, a setting that offers tremendous views of the campus and beyond. Saint Martin’s alumni Mary Louise ’60 and Terence Monaghan ’62, who is also a member of the Saint Martin’s University Board of Trustees, sponsored the pavilion project.The dedication, which is expected to be “standing room only,” begins at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, and will be held outdoors at the base of the Grand Staircase. A tent and limited seating will be provided. Attendees are strongly encouraged to bring umbrellas!To register for the dedication and the other Homecoming events listed below, please visit www.stmartin.edu/alumni or call Bianca Galam, fundraising event coordinator, at 360-486-8885.Friday, Feb. 7, following the flag pavilion dedication:5 p.m. Evening Mass – Saint Martin’s Abbey Church7 p.m. Homecoming Welcome ReceptionAll alumni and their guests are invited to join the celebration at O’Blarney’s Irish Pub, 4411 Martin Way, Lacey, WA 98516, with an all-class reunion. This will be a relaxing get-together with complimentary appetizers and a no-host bar.Saturday, Feb. 88 a.m. Mass – Saint Martin’s Abbey Church10 a.m. – noon Department drop-ins, at the following locations:School of Business – 3rd floor, Old MainCollege of Education and Professional Psychology – 4th floor, Old MainCollege of Arts and Sciences – 3rd floor, Old Main near room 318Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering – Cebula Hall10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Alumni pick-up basketball game – Charneski Recreation CenterHosted by Mary Conley Law, registrar emeritus, take to the courts for a friendly game of hoops with fellow Saints alumni.Noon Saints baseball home opener – Saint Martin’s University baseball fieldIn their first home game of the season, the Saints meet the University of Puget Sound. Come cheer on the team!1 p.m. Coffee with the Monks – Harned Hall loungeRelax and enjoy a cup of coffee with the monks of Saint Martin’s Abbey. Don’t miss out on your chance to catch up with your favorite monk and to meet with new members of the monastic community. Complimentary coffee and snacks. Espresso and smoothie drinks will be available for purchase at the Monk’s Bean café in Harned Hall from 1 – 3 p.m.2 p.m. Benedictine Institute Lecture Series – Cebula Hall, third floor, space is limitedKen Butigan, Ph.D., HS ’72, director of the Pace E Bene Nonviolence Service, will be the second speaker of the Benedictine Institute Lecture Series. Contact Father Marion Nguyen, O.S.B., for more information at 360-412-6155 or [email protected]:30 p.m. Hall of Fame / Hall of Honor celebration | $15 per person – Norman Worthington Conference Center. Join us as we honor and celebrate our 2014 inductees!Hall of Honor: Joe Alongi HS ’62 ‘66Hall of Fame: Beth Layton ’06, Brad Hooper, Chris McGeeHigh School Hall of Fame: Dale Behles5:15 p.m. Saints vs. University of Alaska – Hal and Inge Marcus PavilionThe Saints double-header kicks off with the women’s basketball team taking on the University of Alaska Nanooks in GNAC action.6 p.m. Alumni pep rally and reception – Norman Worthington Conference CenterRally around our Saints! Meet new friends, reconnect with old friends and show your support for our men’s and women’s basketball teams. Don’t forget to wear your Saints gear to show off your Saints spirit!7:30 p.m. Saints vs. Central Washington University – Hal and Inge Marcus PavilionCheer on the men’s basketball team against GNAC opponent, the Central Washington University Wildcats, in the second half of the Saints double-header.Sunday, Feb. 911 a.m. Mass – Saint Martin’s Abbey ChurchHomecoming Weekend closes with Mass at the Abbey Church. Come celebrate with us!
Upon return to Jamaica by way of deportation, former West Indies paceman, Franklyn Rose, is claiming racial injustice and wrongful deportation and recounted his story “for public information on racial profiling predominantly in a Caucasian environment”.Speaking in an interview via the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), the Jamaican shared: “I need to let people know what really happened. I am disappointed in the New Zealand immigration system. I am very disappointed,” he said of being locked up abroad and then deported.Rose’s attorney is currently pursuing the matter, and the former cricketer wants Jamaicans to understand he was not a lawbreaker.”I want people to understand my side of the story, to set the record straight,” Rose said.Rose entered a professional contract with New Zealand Cricket playing and coaching at the club level in 2010. He played two years at that level before his contract ended. Rose said he had high hopes of retaining a new contract, but it was not to be.He said that in 2012, he was victim of a traumatic racial assault.According to the Jamaican, four Caucasian men used racially discriminatory words while attacking him in an attempt to steal his car.THEY BEAT ME”They beat me down. One (guy) missed my head and chopped me on the hand,” said Rose, who was subsequently admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at hospital for three days before being released, according to him, prematurely.”The nurses kicked me out; (they) said they needed to care for other patients. After a day my friend had to take me back to the hospital. I was having some serious pains. The doctors told me I had a blood clot in my lungs and I had nerve damage in my hand,” said Rose.The former cricketer said there was no arrest related to his assault, even though the incident was reported to the police.”I reported the incident to the police, but because of the colour of my skin, they thought I was in a gang or something.”By the time he got kicked out of hospital, Rose’s cricket career was virtually over and he was on his own to pay the medical bills.”They thought that I was addicted to drugs or pain medication or something. They knew I was sick, though, that I had a blood clot. I ended up going to a private hospital instead,” he outlined, adding that he felt that his rejection was influenced by his race.Rose added that the private hospital fees were as high at US$1,500 per day, which he paid out of pocket. He was discharged after a week.He explained that the severity of his health condition and the fact that he had to be taking medication disallowed him from flying back home to Jamaica.Thus, he stayed in New Zealand for another two years while seeing various health specialists weekly to assist with his recovery.”I was prescribed very strong medication Warfarin. That’s a blood thinner. I also had internal bleeding in my brain; that meant more hospital fees and medication, and I was advised by the doctors that I could not travel by air,” he stressed.Rose admitted that it was depressing not being able to play cricket.”One morning, the police came knocking on my door. They questioned me about my immigration status and asked for my medical documents. I told them everything and gave them all my documents,” Rose said.”They put me on a reporting order. I had to report to the police station every Wednesday at 9 a.m. I did that religiously,” he said.Rose stressed that everything seemed well until eight weeks ago when the police came to his house at 6 a.m. and “dragged me out”.ALLEGED RAPERose said, to his dismay, he was told that he was under investigation for an alleged rape incident.”I was so confused. I know that it was a lie and they treated me like I was nothing.”Rose said he was advised that, irrespective of his medical condition, he would be deported because of his overstay.Rose added that while in court, the judge advised him there were no flights available for his deportation.”They threw me in prison for 10 days, among murderers, rapists and other convicts. It was crazy; I know I didn’t belong there.” Rose said.”I couldn’t get to use the shower. I couldn’t brush my teeth for 10 days and I didn’t even get my medication until after eight days of being locked up. I could have died in that cell. I was so depressed.”Rose recalled: “I was finally given shower privileges, but no one told me that each shower lasted for only five minutes. They cut off the water while I was soaped up. I had to wash off myself with the water from the toilet.”After spending 38 days in prison, he said he was taken out of his cell and escorted to the airport.”They put me in one of those prison trucks. They treated me like a criminal.”He was then seated at the back of the plane and placed under high security.He added that he is looking forward to full recovery, while enabling him to make a contribution to cricket.
Within a technical context, platform has typically been used to describe the ways computer hard wiring and software frameworks are designed and combined to enable software, particularly application software, to run.More recently, though, the term is being used to describe the sorts of open, freewheeling communications environments that produce significant, often far-reaching intellectual, scientific or technological innovations. While the term platform within this context typically is associated with the social networking that has grown out of Web 2.0, some writers maintain that platforms have essentially been with us throughout the modern age.In his book “Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural Science of Innovation,” science writer Steven Johnson cites Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) as one of history’s best examples of a significant platform, though there have been many others.The shock that followed the Sputnik crisis in 1957 prompted two young physicists employed by the laboratory, William Guier and George Weiffenbach, to test a series of hunches related to the launch, which first involved tracking the satellite’s 20 megahertz signal with equipment available at the lab. This led to another observation: that they could use the Doppler effect to track the satellite’s precise speed and location.Several weeks later, at the prompting of one of the lab’s administrators, they also reverse processed what they had learned: in other words, they discovered that it was possible to locate a ground position based on the precise location of an orbiting satellite.This insight ultimately enabled the Americans to hoist the Soviets with their own petard by developing technology that enabled U.S. Naval submarines to use an orbiting satellite to deliver nuclear-tipped missiles into Soviet territory with devastating accuracy.However, this was only the beginning: these insights formed the basis of what we know today as GPS (Global Positioning Systems), which affects all of us in our everyday lives, from printing Google maps and navigating cars through congested streets, to enabling mountains climbers to negotiate treacherous ascents up steep inclines.Reflecting back more than 50 years later, Guier and Weiffenbach credited the open, freewheeling intellectual environment for producing the conditions in which these sorts of ideas could connect and spawn new ideas and innovations.The APL had served not only as a laboratory, but also as a highly generative, highly innovative platform.As Johnson stresses, one of the remarkable things about platforms is their open-ended nature. The effects that grow out of these environments, while typically unpredictable, often confer humanity with significant, if not immense, benefits over the long-term.Within this networked era, platforms have taken on greater significance. The increasing levels of social networking that have followed Web 2.0 have also rapidly enhanced and accelerated the formation of these types of open-ended platforms.Johnson and other technology pundits believe that the highly generative platforms that have emerged from this networking are only the beginning of a process that will confer immense benefits on humanity throughout the next century.Author: Jim Langcuster This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Instagram/SteeleOver the past few weeks, we’ve all been seeing a lot more of ESPN bureau reporter Michele Steele. Why? Because she’s been given the honor of filling in for Chris McKendry with co-host Jay Crawford during the 11:00 AM ET SportsCenter show. Steele, who is usually based in Boston to cover the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics, has done a fantastic job in her new role, leading many to wonder if she’ll ever be given the full-time gig, like her coworker Cari Champion.Where is she from? How did she get her career started? Is she single? We’ve got those answers and more, along with a few photos of the rising star.In Photos: Everything You Need To Know About ESPN’s Michele SteelePages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7
Twelve-year-old Aidan and his 10-year-old sister, Sarah, live in Brooklyn and took the subway to the match. Aidan was a Carlsen fan, too — he didn’t really have a reason, but he respected Carlsen’s popularity and that he has an app. “As you can see, Magnus Carlsen is down a pawn, and I’m wondering what’s gonna happen next,” Aidan told me between frequent neck-wrenching glances back to the screen where the game was being shown. I asked him to make a prediction. “Oh, I wouldn’t do that,” he said.Sarah admitted that Aidan was the stronger player but said that she’s catching up. Who is her favorite chess player? “I’d have to say probably not one of those people,” she said, gesturing toward the screen. “I like female chess players.”David Brodsky, 14, came in from Westchester County and was standing in the cafe with his mom, watching the game unfold on an iPad. He learned to play chess “a long time ago” and is now ranked fourth in his age category in the U.S. “I don’t think it’s going exactly according to plan for Carlsen,” he said. “I was surprised he didn’t win Games 3 and 4.” This was Brodsky’s first time at the match, but he’d been watching on the internet: “I think I’m rooting for Carlsen this match. I don’t want some boring draw.”At the postgame press conference, another kid, maybe 10, asked if it was “weird” that the two grandmasters were drawing every game. The crowd laughed.“It’s quite normal that games end in a draw, even when there is a fight,” Carlsen told him. “But, yeah, it is unusual that every single game has been drawn. But I don’t necessarily think it will happen from now on. We’ll see.”Game 8 begins Monday afternoon. I’ll be covering the rest of the games here and on Twitter. The line to enter the World Chess Championship venue in lower Manhattan on Sunday afternoon snaked around a plaza in the South Street Seaport. Winter had arrived in New York that morning. Temperatures hovered in the 30s, a stiff wind blew under a gray sky, and a giant Christmas tree stood half-decorated nearby. The shivering sellout crowd was anxious to get inside. They wanted to warm up — and to see someone win a game of chess already.One out of two ain’t bad. The two grandmasters they were there to see agreed to a draw after just over two hours and 33 moves of a largely forgettable Game 7 in the best-of-12 match.With Sunday’s result, this year’s championship is quickly becoming the Groundhog Day Match: All seven games so far have been draws. The race to 6.5 points and chess’s highest title is now knotted at 3.5-3.5.1Wins are worth 1 point, draws are worth half a point for each player, and losses are worth 0 points. If the match is tied after 12 games, four relatively speedy tiebreaker games will be played on Nov. 30. Each player would get 25 minutes for his moves. Despite a few promising chances, the defending champion and world No. 1, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, has yet to break through the brick walls erected by his challenger, Sergey Karjakin of Russia. Karjakin earned a minor victory of another kind Sunday, however. Thanks to this series of draws, he improved his world ranking from ninth to seventh in the ratings, leapfrogging the American Hikaru Nakamura and former world champion Viswanathan Anand of India.At least Sunday’s opening offered something new. Karjakin, playing as white, began by pushing his queen’s pawn forward two squares, and Carlsen returned the favor. Karjakin then pushed a pawn up to join the other on the left, deploying what’s known as the Queen’s Gambit. In this strategy, white offers one of its pawns as sacrifice to black, in exchange for control of the center of the board and promising attacking chances. In this game, Carlsen declined to take the pawn, instead moving one of his own up a square. Declining the Queen’s Gambit like this is called the Slav Defense. The Slav looks like this: The Norwegian slid his rook in the corner over two squares to c8, hoping to get it involved in the fight. But the Russian sparked a calculated volley of captures to his advantage. First, he put black in check by moving his knight to f6, revealing his bishop along the long diagonal in the process. Then all hell broke loose. In quick succession: bishop took knight, bishop took bishop, bishop took rook, bishop took knight, bishop retreated, bishop took rook, queen took queen, rook took queen, rook took bishop. When the dust settled, the board was decimated, and a mass grave of boxwood pieces lay at its side. Karjakin then quietly took Carlsen’s black pawn on a6, coming out of the skirmish ahead.But in the end, the one pawn advantage just wasn’t enough firepower. Karjakin won the battle but drew the war. According to the database of chessgames.com, Carlsen had played the Slav just four times before as black, winning only once. Perhaps he’d cooked up some Norwegian Slavic magic in his chess lab back in Oslo.With Carlsen’s 10th move, the two grandmasters found themselves deep in the wilderness, in a position that had been seen only three times before in top play, per the ChessBase database. Had Carlsen unleashed a secret weapon?The position may have been rare, but the computer engine Stockfish saw the balance of the game as quite even. The only real tactical eyebrows were raised an hour or so later, on Move 16, when Carlsen (black) faced this position: This world championship match has been visited by more than its fair share of problems and scandal: a world chess official’s troublesome Syrian ties, hacking fears, applications for restraining orders, expensive tickets and monotonous results.The chess kids in New York didn’t seem to care.On Sunday, the venue was lively, and in many areas, the floor was littered with backpacks, sodas, snacks, chess boards, chess pieces and cross-legged children.One, sitting in the front row of a cafe viewing area, was poring over a copy of “Carlsen: Move by Move” as if it were a holy text. (The 25-year-old Magnus, who became a grandmaster at 13, was a favorite with the younger set.) A contingent from P.S. 166’s Manhattan Knights chess team giggled nearby. Mothers and fathers watched admiringly over speed chess games, their children sitting on their knees to reach the pieces.Logan, 8, and his friend Kai, 8, were spread out on the floor in the back of the viewing hall, re-creating the grandmasters’ game using a board of their own. They came from the Bronx and elsewhere in Manhattan to watch.“Magnus is my favorite player who’s living, but he’s not my favorite,” Logan told me between potato chips. “My favorite is Bobby Fischer. He made some amazing moves, and I looked over some of his games. There were some interesting moves, and Magnus also made some interesting moves so far.” (Fischer grew up in Brooklyn.) Early on in Sunday’s game, Logan thought Carlsen might have the better position, but he and Kai foresaw a draw. Bobby Fischer at a chess tournament in New York at age 13. Bettmann / Getty Images
On Tuesday, Brazil and Germany kick off the World Cup semifinals, where there are no real party-crashers to be found. Including A Seleção and Die Mannschaft, four of the top five teams in the pre-Cup Elo ratings are still active in the tournament. Sorry, Spain.Brazil vs. Germany: 4 p.m. EDTIn BriefWith such evenly matched squads — and the ever-present specter of randomness — barring a huge blowout, the final four games of the World Cup are unlikely to provide much of a referendum on which side is truly the world’s best. But at the same time, the absence of a longshot entry boosts the chances that one of the remaining four teams is in fact the “true” best team in the field. More important, it also increases the odds that we’ll see a pair of exciting, close matches at the doorstep of the World Cup final.IN DEPTHBrazil was the World Cup favorite before the tournament began, and its championship chances still rank first according to the FiveThirtyEight model. Our official projections even say there’s a 73 percent probability that Brazil will beat Germany Tuesday and advance to the final. But those numbers don’t know that the gifted Brazilian striker Neymar will miss the rest of the tournament with a broken vertebra, an injury he sustained against Colombia in the quarterfinals. If we account for his absence (and that of his teammate Thiago Silva, who racked up two yellow cards and must sit out Tuesday’s match), Brazil’s chances of beating Germany drop to somewhere near 65 percent, numbers fueled in large part simply by the match’s location on Brazilian soil.To put it another way: If this game were staged at a neutral site, it would probably be close to a toss-up between Germany and Brazil-sans-Neymar-and-Silva.To a certain extent, that’s because Brazil has been far from dominant during its run to the semis. First, Mexico played it to a draw in the group phase, then it squeaked by Chile (on penalties) and Colombia in its knockout matches. Over the past month, the gap between Brazil’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) rating and that of second-ranked Argentina has been nearly sliced in half, despite the Argentines playing largely to expectation. That Brazil is still rated first in SPI owes as much to our prior beliefs about its strength as to anything it’s actually accomplished in the tournament.And Germany is a force to be reckoned with. While they haven’t consistently overwhelmed opponents with their ballyhooed offensive prowess (aside from netting six goals in their first two matches — including four against Portugal), the Germans have answered many of the defensive questions that surrounded them before the tournament began, keeping clean sheets against Portugal, the United States and France. And they’ll need to be staunch at that end of the pitch against a Brazilian team that still has plenty of firepower, even without Neymar.One major tactical storyline to keep an eye on will be the philosophical chess between the pass-heavy, possession-focused Germans and a Brazilian side still keenly interested in dribbling through the defense. Among semifinalist teams, only Argentina has maintained ball possession more often than Germany, and nobody makes more short passes per game than the Germans. Germany’s approach is to patiently work the ball into the opponent’s territory, passing it around until its players can create a high-percentage scoring opportunity. Brazil, on the other hand, loves to dribble the ball and create chances by taking on defenders in one-on-one situations.A compelling wrinkle will be how this changes without Neymar, Brazil’s most active dribbler. It’s likely that Hulk and Oscar will be asked to pick up some of the slack, but it will be interesting to see how Brazil adjusts its overall style in the absence of its most prolific offensive playmaker.On balance, Brazil should still be favored — if only because of home-field advantage. In close matches like this, officiating can play a sizable role, and there’s a good amount of research suggesting home teams get favorable treatment from the referees (perhaps more so in soccer than in other sports). In terms of ability, though, these two teams are very close to evenly matched.OFF THE PITCHBrazil and Germany have had good off-the-pitch relations for decades, particularly in the economic sphere. The Observatory of Economic Complexity has information on trade between the two countries that dates back to 1962, and shows that the two nations have been exchanging mostly the same stuff the whole time. Coffee, iron and soybeans were among the top Brazilian exports to Germany both in 1962 and in 2012.Similarly, machinery remains the top category of German exports to Brazil, although the specific products have changed over time. Metalworking and textile machinery reigned supreme in 1962, while cars and car parts took the largest shares of exports in 2012.But what’s most notable is how much these countries’ bilateral trade has grown. In 1962, Brazilian exports to Germany totaled $173 million and German exports to Brazil totaled $161 million. Trade in both directions surpassed the $1 billion mark in the 1970s, and was up to $11 billion in both directions in 2010, when both countries agreed to further strengthen their economic ties. Exports headed toward Germany have nearly doubled since, with $20 billion worth flowing out of Brazil in 2012. But it looks like Germany got the sweeter end of the deal, with Brazil buying $28 billion of its products the same year.FURTHER READINGIt’s a Huge Upset When All the World Cup Favorites WinHow Neymar’s Injury Affects Brazil’s Chances at the World Cup