Monday, 4 May 2020

Crewe Town Centre Dereliction

I took a walk for exercise this morning, going as far as the Manchester Bridge and back. On the course I took these photos of the derelict area around Crewe Bus Station which were due for demolition and redevelopment this summer. No sign of any further action so far. This will serve as a "before and after" record if there ever is an "after".

The first three photos were taken along Delamere Street on the way out and the other three along Victoria Street on the way back.

Monday, 20 April 2020

A Surprise in the Post

Last week I was surprised to receive a copy of this new book from the BCPS:
It consists of a selection of the best problems published in The Problemist over the years, together with history of the Society and biographical notes on prominent members. This will be well worth close study over the coming weeks or months of shutdown.

I was very pleased to find two of my own problems presented. One is my Grasshopper Retro, which is certainly by far my best composition. The other is a Serieshelpmate in 17 with Neutralising King that I composed for the New Ideas Tourney while on the train to the Bournemouth meeting in 1989. To be honest, I had entirely forgotten about this, and never followed it up with other examples.

Being currently in lockdown because of the virus I have started to update some of the neglected pages on my website. These include the History Timeline where many of the links had vanished into the ether. So far I have eliminated the dead links and rearranged the material into 400-year Ages (instead of 500) but there are still many obvious omissions. I'm also putting up more of the 7-man compositions in my Grasshopper Chess Problem Collection.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Magic Knight Tours 8x10 and 8x14

On my 80th Birthday, and shortly after, I was sent a series of 80-cell magic knight tours on the 8x10 rectangle by Guenter Stertenbrink and later some by Awani Kumar. 

Some of the tours in the Stertenbrink list are closed tours with a complete braid along the bottom border. This can be extended, in four different ways, to cover a further four rows forming a magic 8x14 tour. Here is one example that I sent to these correspondents on 18 February.

These tours answer the final missing cases of Magic Knight Tours on rectangular boards.

07 62 07 52 09 56 01 58
06 51 06 61 04 59 10 55
49 08 63 08 53 12 57 02
64 05 50 05 60 03 54 11
09 48 65 04 27 30 83 86
02 67 46 11 82 85 28 31
47 10 03 66 29 26 87 84
68 01 12 45 88 81 32 25
13 44 99 70 23 34 89 80
00 69 14 43 90 79 24 33
41 16 71 98 35 22 77 92
72 97 42 15 78 91 36 21
17 40 95 74 19 38 93 76
96 73 18 39 94 75 20 37

Underlined: add 100.

The formations on the fifth to eighth ranks down are familiar: a double Beverley quad, and a Snake-head formation as in the 12x12 magic tour by the Rajah of Mysore.

I am not able to do geometrical diagrams as yet on my new computer, but have made some progress with installing HTML-Kit and Cute-FTP which will enable me to update some of the pages on my website. I have already begun to update the History section, where a lot of the links no longer work, but have not yet uploaded this work to the website. .

Next Weekend 13 -15 March I am due to play in the Blackpool Chess Congress, though I've been having doubts whether to go in view of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Frodsham Chess Congress

Last weekend I took the trains to Frodsham, near Chester, to take part in the Minor section of the Chess Congress held there. I stayed at the Old Hall Hotel in the town, a twenty minute walk to the venue, which was the Community Centre in Fluin Lane. I won my first game on the Friday evening, lost the next two on the Saturday, then drew one and won one on the Sunday, scoring 2.5/5.

There were quite a few other players from the Crewe Chess Club there as well, though I think some of them were traveling there by car each day. The Arbiter Francis Bowers was staying at the same hotel and we travelled together as far as Crewe on the return journey on Sunday evening. I think that was the first time I'd met him since the World Circular Chess in Lincoln some years ago.

Here are the results of the congress:
Clicking on a player's name shows the games they played and the results.

I treated the weekend as a sort of holiday and spent some time walking around to see the local sights. Such as the Castle Park (though without a Castle) which was full of dog-walkers. Then on Sunday morning along to the river where there is an impressive Victorian railway viaduct, dated MDCCCL in prominent Roman numerals, high up. Unfortunately I forgot to take a camera.

Monday, 20 January 2020

New Computer

This is just a test post using a new computer.
My old Samsung laptop seized up, apparently due to a faulty disc.
The new one is a Lenovo laptop with Windows 10 and WiFi connection.
It is taking me a while to get used to and to transfer files from the old machine.
This seems to have worked so far!