Friday, March 29, 2013

Gaming Conditions

I didn't get a full night's sleep last night but I feel like I got a lot less than I'm pretty sure I did. There are five "I"s in that sentence. I'm currently listening to "Look in My Eyes" by The Crystals.

I didn't stay up that late. Maybe just twenty minutes later than usual--I was trying to see if I could beat Dragonborn, the Skyrim add-on, as a werewolf. It was hard to kill the final boss, but I managed it on the second try. The main difficulty is in the fact that the only way to heal yourself in wolf form is to eat people and there's no-one to eat on top of the tower where the battle takes place. No animals, either, which, thanks to the new werewolf talent tree from the Dawnguard add-on, you gain the ability to eat after you've levelled up from eating enough people. The tree also gives you damage, stamina, and health bonuses, too, stuff that was sorely lacking in vanilla Skyrim, which rendered wolf form pointless by a certain level.

Oh, it was so satisfying beating that guy as a werewolf. The inability to heal sharpens the whole experience, I found myself paying keener attention to my timing and what the guy was doing. It's fun running around a Lovecraftian realm of tentacles, fish people and mollusc sorcerers as a werewolf, too. It's a bit Kiernanian.

I achieved this rather unlikely victory against a computer at chess while I was eating breakfast this morning. After accidentally throwing away a knight and rook, I sacrificed a bishop for the mate. It just goes to show . . . uh. Stick with what you're good at, I guess.

There's currently a week long chess "candidates tournament" to determine who qualifies for the 2013 World Chess Tournament, I've been following it with some people at my chess club. I was really excited to see Magnus Carlsen lose to Vassily Ivanchuk. I guess there's no rational reason for me not to like Carlsen--he just seems so smug.

This Ivanchuk, meanwhile, I can dig. The current World Chess Champion, Viswanathan Anand, is quoted on Wikipedia as describing Ivanchuk;

He's someone who is very intelligent ... but you never know which mood he is going to be in. Some days he will treat you like his long-lost brother. The next day he ignores you completely.

The players have a word for him. They say he lives on "Planet Ivanchuk". (Laughs) ... I have seen him totally drunk and singing Ukrainian poetry and then the next day I have seen him give an impressive talk.

His playing style is unpredictable and highly original, making him more dangerous but sometimes leading to quick losses as well.

Sounds like Drunk-Fu to me.

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