Lies, damned lies

And pgn files.

I haven’t done a lot this weekend. I went for a brief adventure yesterday only to confirm that in Wuxi you’ll end up back where you started your journey sooner rather than later. I did see a drunk man who seemed to have been causing a commotion at a bus stop. He was red-faced and unsteady, but the policemen who were there when I passed through didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. Perhaps it was a despondent droning-top man, who was back in action today after a prolonged absence. As I think I suggested, he was probably advised to be quiet because the last thing a corrupt official wants is a tired, irritable concubine. [01.12.13. I haven’t heard a peep out of droning-top man in quite some time. Either he’s moved on or the police moved him on.]

Meanwhile, it appears that work might be resuming on the half-built buildings on the island. Fences have gone up, blocking access, and someone set off a barrage of fireworks from the empty ground on the far side last night. 

It’s been an uneventful weekend apart from Mr Bamboo pursuing his nerdly activities. I’ve been using ChessBase Light to have a look through the pgn files I’ve downloaded from the pgnmentor site and finding that they seem to have been compiled inconsistently. At best, they contain sets of related openings, but the method I was using for generalising the opening I suppose was the common theme of each file was merely producing the most frequently used opening without revealing the others. 

And just to muddy the waters further, in the course of my investigations I’ve found that there appears to be some inconsistency from one source of openings to another. Perhaps. Not every opening necessarily follows the standard order, but I wonder what the correct answer is when an Old Indian Defence (thus ChessBase Light) is classified an English, Smyslov Defence (thus 365Chess.com). The openings have two moves in common and the Old Indian could become the Smyslov Defence.

A21 English: Smyslov Defence
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 d6 3. Nf3 Bg4

A53 Old Indian Defence
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6

I don’t suppose I’ll ever know or even ever really be that bothered. Nonetheless, my inclination for classificatory rigour is disturbed by the apparent casualness with which the pgn files have been compiled. One opening, one file, kids.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that when an opening is rather vague, the following move is whatever.

I finished watching the first series of Mad Men the night before last. I’m not sure whether it’s really doing anything different or whether the setting – conservative, sexist, chain-smoking America of the early 1960s – is merely disguising the same old human drama. It’s entertaining enough, although the revelation that Don Draper is not who he claims to be ended up being a damp squib when the firm’s senior partner declared that it didn’t matter.

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