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Polish Player Suspected Of Cheating Gets 2-Year Ban –

The Polish Chess Federation has banned 17-year-old WFM Patrycja Waszczuk for two years from competitive chess for allegedly using a phone during play. The father of Waszczuk has appealed the decision, claiming the evidence is circumstantial.

Waszczuk, who is the current Polish U18 Girls Champion, was removed from the Ustron Chess Festival on August 16, 2020 for possessing an electronic device. The result of her round-four game was changed from a draw to a loss. There was a strong suspicion that she used a phone during play, which has now led to the two-year ban.

The penalty by the Polish Chess Federation was announced in a document (in PDF here) by the Commission for Awards and Discipline, which is the result of an investigation over the last two months. The verdict is based on a combination of factors, summarized by IM Piotr Nguyen on the Polish chess website Infoszach and translated here:

Since the spring of 2020, several Polish players have suspected Waszczuk of receiving external help during games. WFM Michalina Rudzinska posted her thoughts on Facebook, while IM Klaudia Kulon was interviewed by Onet, a widely read news website in Poland.

WIM Alicja Sliwicka, who attended a training camp in July 2020 with Waszczuk and other players, provided the following comments to via email:

"During a training session for the women's national team, we played a small tournament for all camp participants. In the first round, I played against Waszczuk, who had permission from the coach to write down her moves on her mobile phone because she claimed she did not have any piece of paper or pen. I spotted she put the moves into a chess mobile app instead of a mobile notebook. Patrycja won that game as easy as her next two games against GM Monika Socko and coach GM Marcin Dziuba.

"When I was in time trouble, I stopped writing moves down, so after the game, I asked Patrycja to show me her mobile phone because I wanted to copy the moves from her notation. First, she offered help by telling me all moves, but when I preferred to see the app, she refused to show it, claiming that some error occurred and she could not restore her notation. After three games, our coach intervened and did not allow her to use a mobile phone anymore. Then she scored only one point in the next 12 games with a much lower level of play."

Sliwicka also mentioned an experience when the players had to solve puzzles: "During the camp, the participants had to solve chess puzzles by themselves. In one of those tests, everybody used the full time (40 minutes) to solve puzzles except her, who finished them after a few minutes and had all the correct answers. Her behavior during the test was very suspicious too. While solving the next test, she was observed, so she tried to solve it without any help. She did not write any solution and left her paper empty."

Some participants in the Polish U18 Girls Championship in Szklarska Poreba in March 2020 had already suspected Waszczuk because of her frequent visits to the restroom, while showing a "super-GM level of play." Waszczuk won with 7.5/8 when the tournament had to be ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The analysis of Waszczuk's moves, which were an important part of the commission's verdict, included this tournament and also her games from the 2019 European U16 Girls Championship in Bratislava where she took clear first with 7.5/9.

Before the Ustron Chess Festival, in early August, Waszczuk participated in the Polish Women's Championship, where she scored 4/9. However, even from the first round, the other participants started suspecting her.

Waszczuk's move 26...Kf8, in her game with the four-time Polish women's champion WGM Jolanta Zawadzka, is well known in the Polish chess scene and has become a meme on social media. It was played after fewer than three minutes of thinking:

"During the game, I couldn't believe it is a good move," Zawadzka told "I was trying to find why it was wrong, why it was not stupid. After the game, I saw it's the computer's first move. Even grandmasters couldn't find it."

Zawadzka experienced more odd behavior from her opponent, such as playing the opening moves quite slow and, after returning from the restroom, quickly finding the best moves.

"All cheaters should be banned forever if there's proof without any doubt as it's too damaging for the sport," said Zawadzka. She agreed that at the women's championship there was no clear evidence of foul play: "Everybody knows it, but nobody can prove it." also spoke to WIM Anna Kubicka, who played Waszczuk in the third round of the championship. Like Zawadzka, Kubicka said that it was the combination of strong moves by Waszczuk and her regular visits to the restroom that raised the other players' eyebrows:

"After the opening, I decided to play quickly to not allow her to go to the toilet. Every time she made a move, she wanted to stand up, but I was blitzing. At some point, it became too much, and she went to the toilet even though it was her move. She came back, and for the next five moves, she went back to the toilet four times, in about 15-20 minutes. I didn't know what to think and tried to find moves that she couldn't have analyzed."

In subsequent rounds, Kubicka and other players started to write down the number of times Waszczuk went to the restroom during her games while afterward trying to check those moments with the evaluation of the computer. They felt that the strength of her play in the tournament corresponded with those restroom visits.

The tournament organizers did arrange for a metal detector to check whether players were carrying electronic devicesa measure that has become more and more common at chess tournaments. However, there were doubts by players about the quality of the machines and how they were used. Sometimes, the detector would make a sound, but players would still be allowed to play without further checks.

Kubicka: "Sometimes players would show their jewelry, and it was fine. But there was also one round when Patrycja didn't have an explanation as the machine went off close to her pants, and the arbiter still let her play. Admittedly, they were not using the best machines."

The atmosphere during the championship was very tense, and most players were constantly distracted by the suspicions. GM Monika Socko stated that she couldn't sleep the night before and after her game with Waszczuk.

The Ustron Chess Festival, where Waszczuk was banned from the tournament, started only a couple of days after the national championship. The event was played under the honorary patronage of FIDE Vice President Lukasz Turlej. He confirmed most of the facts as stated in the document by the Commission for Awards and Discipline.

Turlej told that, apart from the phone Waszczuk handed to the organizers, she had a second one in her purse: "They caught her, and she admitted having a phone with her. When the arbiter wanted to inspect her purse, she said no. Then she said: 'Yes, I have a phone in there, but I don't want to show it.'"

Waszczuk had been asked more than once if she had another electronic device with her. After admitting she did have a phone, she left the playing hall and came back with her grandmother, says Turlej:

"The grandmother said it was not a phone but a power bank, and that she had used the word 'phone' because of stress."

Turlej added: "It is such a pity. This tournament was supposed to be famous because of the honorary patronage and visit of Anatoly Karpov and a great number of accompanying events. I have to say, it was one of the best chess events I have ever seen. But unfortunately, the wider public knows the Ustron Chess Festival because of this incident."

Chess24 revealed that the witness who saw Waszczuk using a phone in the toilet was WFM Katarzyna Dwilewicz. She said that during the fourth round, she followed Waszczuk to the restroom, chose the toilet next to hers, and then started to stand up on the toilet seat:

"My heart was beating so fast when I was climbing on the toilet! I was all shaking. Finally, when I climbed up high enough, I looked down. I saw her sitting down. She was using a phone, and I am sure of what I saw. I saw clearly the phone screen. It was exactly the same position she had had on the board a while ago. She was checking variations from a chess program."

An English version of the commission's report has been sent to FIDE. Turlej provided a statement on the legal procedures, in which he notes:

"When requested by a member federation, the Ethics and Disciplinary Commission will attribute general validity in FIDE to national decisions on violations of FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Code, if adequately motivated and decided in compliance with the fundamental principles of law and fair trial."

FIDE Director General Emil Sutovsky confirmed that both the FIDE Fair Play Commission and the Ethics Commission will examine the report. He expects a formal decision to be taken within a few weeks.

In the case of GM Igors Rausis (now using the nameIsa Kasimi), who was caught with his phone during a tournament game, he wasstripped of his GM title and received a six-year ban from FIDE. Earlier, Georgian GM Gaioz Nigalidze also lost his GM title and was banned for three years, also for using a phone in a restroom during play.

The maximum ban from the Polish Chess Federation for offenses during open tournaments is three years but two for minors; therefore, Waszczuk was banned for two years. If she had been caught during the Women's Championship, the penalty would likely have been higher as the maximum ban for offenses at that type of tournament is 10 years.

Mariusz Waszczuk, the father of the player, has appealed the commission's decision. In an interview with Onet, he states:

"There was a hunt on my daughter. Terrible hate has been poured out on her. We're suffering terribly. People see us as cheaters, and that's not the case. There is no evidence of this. This case is a conspiracy by two direct rivals of Patrycja."

According to the father, Patrycja never admitted to having a second mobile phone with her. He also claims that the second device found in Ustron was a power bank.

Waszczuk senior, who has hired a lawyer, suggests that procedural mistakes have been made by the Polish Chess Federation. He claims that they didn't get proper access to documentation and case files. He also questions the actions of the chairman of the Commission for Awards and Discipline, who is said to have spoken about the ongoing case on Facebook.

While the Polish Chess Federation has three months to decide on the appeal, the case could end up in court. One question is how Dwilewicz's revelation that she caught Waszczuk red-handed, a testimony from just one eyewitness, will be handled. couldn't reach a representative of the federation for a comment. Speaking to Onet, the president of the federation, Radoslaw Jedunak, said: "This type of fraud is very difficult to detect. After all, it is difficult to say what someone could do in the toilet if they went out to it. However, if someone goes to the toilet several times during one game, and then beats one of the best players, and then beats another strong opponent, it gives food for thought."

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Polish Player Suspected Of Cheating Gets 2-Year Ban -

SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Pokemon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra’ Dated, Today’s New Releases, the Latest Sales, and More – Touch Arcade

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 30th, 2020. In todays article, weve got a bunch of news items to look at. Lots of updates, mostly. There are a couple of new releases to look at, though nothing wildly exciting. I mean, its Wednesday. We finish things up by looking at the incoming and outgoing sales, as we tend to around these parts. Lets go for it!

Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion The Crown Tundra Coming Oct 22nd

Well, it looks like my initial assumption yesterday was a safe one. The release date was revealed for the second part of the Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass, The Crown Tundra. The expansion will arrive on October 22nd, bringing a new story, Legendary Pokemon from past games, and the Galarian Star Tournament with it among many other improvements and additions. If you dont own Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield yet, a special bundle containing the game and the Expansion Pass will be available from November 6th at retail.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fall Update Now Available

Its just about time for October, and although there are much scarier things going on this month than vampire and witch costumes, the world of Animal Crossing remains a fine escape from reality. The planned Fall Update has arrived, and after youve downloaded and installed it youll find things have taken a slightly spooky turn on your island. Only slightly, mind you. Its mostly preparation work at this point, along with some cool new decorations and such to enjoy. At any rate, theres no time like the present to start getting ready for the big Halloween event, so grab the update and dive in.

Trials of Mana Update Incoming with New Difficulty Mode

Didnt find Square Enixs lovely remake of Trials of Mana hard enough? Well, the developers have something coming just for you. An update is on the way which will add two new difficulty settings to the game. If you manage to clear the game on the hardest mode, youll get some spiffy Rabite Slippers for your characters to wear. These modes are only available in New Game+, so youll have to prove yourself before you can tackle these ultimate challenges. The update contains a few other smaller improvements and additions, but nothing too game-changing. You can look forward to the arrival of this latest version on October 14th.

The Next Super Smash Bros. Event is for the Lightweights

Another week, another event in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This time around, players can look forward to another tournament event. Kicking off on Friday and running for three days through the weekend, this new tournament focuses on the lighter side of the roster. And by light, I mean the ones that dont weigh all that much. Pichu. Olimar. Kirby. Zero Suit Samus, apparently? Mewtwo. Well, you get the idea. Grab your favorite character that doesnt make the scales tip and see what you can make of it.

Jump Rope Challenge Isnt Going Anywhere, Pal

Originally scheduled to be pulled from the Nintendo eShop at the end of today, Jump Rope Challenge has gotten a reprieve from Nintendo. As so many players have been enjoying it, the game will now be available until further notice. Just as well, in my opinion. Unlike with some other limited items, theres nothing here to monetize through limited availability. There was really no reason to have it available for a limited time no matter what angle you look at it from. Will we eventually see a similar stay of execution for Super Mario Bros. 35, which is launching tomorrow? I sure hope so!

This game feels like a blast from the past in a lot of ways. Its a classic-style point-and-click adventure game featuring a detective and his sidekick clown robot who serves as an almost endless supply of terrible jokes. The humor in this game runs the gamut from stupid to crass, and depending on your mood and inclinations youll either find it wildly hilarious or kind of offensive. Well, thats comedy for you. In terms of the nuts and bolts, its a soundly-designed example of the genre. The price is quite fair as well.

Some companies have trouble counting to three, but QUByte sure isnt one of them. Unlock The King 3 is, as you would guess, the third game in this series of chess puzzles. The new twist this time around is that the boards are three-dimensional, making it that much trickier to sort out the solutions to the stages. There are 50 levels in total here, which means even if you grab the game at full-price youre paying about two cents a stage. I appreciate that they threw the new mechanic in the game, as Im not sure Id really have been up for a third one without it. If youre looking for a cheap puzzler, this wont fail you.

(North American eShop, US Prices)

The folks at Oddworld have announced an October 13th release date for the Switch version of Oddworld: New n Tasty, and to go with that the previously-released Oddworld games are on sale. Aside from those games, theres not a lot of action in the inbox today. The outbox is quite a bit bigger, with Circle Entertainments latest sale coming to a close, the pre-order discount on Ys Origin ending, and a number of other cool titles going back to their regular prices soon. Do the usual thing and check through to make sure theres nothing there you want.

Select New Games on Sale

Oddworld: Strangers Wrath ($19.99 from $29.99 until 10/13)Oddworld: Munchs Oddysee ($19.99 from $29.99 until 10/13)Projection: First Light ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/13)Dude, Stop ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/2)The Dresden Files Card Game ($8.49 from $16.99 until 10/6)Black The Fall ($4.49 from $14.99 until 10/12)Klondike Solitaire ($0.49 from $9.99 until 10/18)Super Battle Cards ($0.05 from $5.99 until 10/19)Unlock The King 3 ($0.49 from $0.99 until 10/19)They Came From the Sky ($0.74 from $2.99 until 10/19)Urban Flow ($8.99 from $14.99 until 10/20)Crocs World 3 ($0.99 from $4.99 until 10/20)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Thursday, October 1st

A Dark Room ($1.04 from $6.99 until 10/1)AER Memories of Old ($4.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)Arrest of a Stone Buddha ($11.24 from $14.99 until 10/1)Artifact Adventure Gaiden DX ($6.99 from $9.99 until 10/1)Bite the Bullet ($11.99 from $14.99 until 10/1)Boom Ball: Boost ($1.29 from $12.99 until 10/1)Brawlout ($4.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)Button Button Up! ($5.99 from $11.99 until 10/1)Chaos on Deponia ($6.79 from $19.99 until 10/1)Cycle 28 ($1.39 from $6.99 until 10/1)Deaths Hangover ($3.99 from $4.99 until 10/1)Deponia ($3.99 from $39.99 until 10/1)Deponia Doomsday ($6.79 from $19.99 until 10/1)Dominate: Board Game ($7.41 from $9.89 until 10/1)Double Cross ($4.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)Drag Racing Rivals ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/1)

Edna & Harvey: New Eyes ($6.79 from $19.99 until 10/1)Edna & Harvey: The Breakout ($13.39 from $19.99 until 10/1)Elemental Knights R ($0.75 from $22.75 until 10/1)European Conqueror X ($5.99 from $9.99 until 10/1)Farm Builder ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/1)Felix the Reaper ($6.24 from $24.99 until 10/1)Flying Soldiers ($14.39 from $17.99 until 10/1)Goodbye Deponia ($6.79 from $19.99 until 10/1)Hand of Fate 2 ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/1)Ice Cream Surfer ($1.60 from $2.00 until 10/1)Incredible Mandy ($8.99 from $14.99 until 10/1)Joggernauts ($3.74 from $14.99 until 10/1)Koi DX ($1.00 from $5.00 until 10/1)Late Shift ($6.49 from $12.99 until 10/1)Liberated ($13.39 from $19.99 until 10/1)Liege Dragon ($13.49 from $14.99 until 10/1)

Lost Artifacts: Golden Island ($2.99 from $9.99 until 10/1)Mable & The Wood ($3.74 from $14.99 until 10/1)Maitetsu: Pure Station ($24.49 from $34.49 until 10/1)Maria the Witch ($0.99 from $4.99 until 10/1)Mercenaries Saga Chronicles ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/1)Mini Motor Racing X ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)Moero Crystal H ($33.99 from $39.99 until 10/1)Morphies Law ($3.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)Nevaeh ($10.39 from $12.99 until 10/1)Pan-Pan ($1.00 from $5.00 until 10/1)Paper Dolls Original ($11.89 from $16.99 until 10/1)Quest of Dungeons ($4.49 from $8.99 until 10/1)Resolutiion ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)REZ PLZ ($11.99 from $14.99 until 10/1)Shadows of Adam ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/1)

Shelter Generations ($7.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)Shift Happens ($3.74 from $14.99 until 10/1)Silence ($7.99 from $39.99 until 10/1)Singled Out ($3.74 from $4.99 until 10/1)Solstice Chronicles MIA ($8.99 from $14.99 until 10/1)Speedway Racing ($5.99 from $9.99 until 10/1)State of Mind ($7.99 from $39.99 until 10/1)Stone ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/1)Super Crush KO ($9.99 from $14.99 until 10/1)Super Korotama ($2.99 from $4.99 until 10/1)Sydney Hunter & Curse of Mayan ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/1)Tallowmere ($3.49 from $6.99 until 10/1)The Forgotten Land ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/1)The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/1)The Jackbox Party Pack ($13.74 from $24.99 until 10/1)

The Jackbox Party Pack 5 ($22.49 from $29.99 until 10/1)The Kings Bird ($4.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)The Long Dark ($31.49 from $34.99 until 10/1)The Long Journey Home ($7.49 from $29.99 until 10/1)The Saviors Gang ($2.99 from $4.99 until 10/1)WILL: A Wonderful World ($8.99 from $14.99 until 10/1)Working Zombies ($13.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)World Conqueror X ($3.99 from $9.99 until 10/1)Ys Origin ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)

Thats all for today and this month, friends. Tomorrow is the first day of a new month, and one with plenty of new releases to get things started properly. Super Mario Bros. 35 will be launching, along with other notable games like Ys Origin, Warsaw, Orangeblood, and many more. Well have summaries of all of them, plus whatever sales and pressing news come along in the next 24 hours. Im hoping Nintendo doesnt drop big news out of the sky again without warning, but that seems to be a fools errand these days. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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SwitchArcade Round-Up: 'Pokemon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra' Dated, Today's New Releases, the Latest Sales, and More - Touch Arcade

The Tatler Guide to Hosting a Luxury Virtual Birthday Party In the Time of Covid-19 – Tatler Singapore

By Helen Yu August 13, 2020

The birthday parties of 2020 in Singapore feature Zoom calls, social distancing and just five guests... but don't let that spoil your fun. We've got the best stay-home birthday party ideas and themes, so inventive that will feel just as special

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Just because were practising social distancing and can't have more than five guests visit, it doesnt mean we cant celebrate birthdays and miss out on all the fun. From curating your own home bar to planning a sumptuous feast and enjoy a relaxing spa session, heres a list of Tatler-approved luxe party ideas and resources to make your birthday celebrations in the time of Covid-19 extra memorable and special.

(Related: Social Dis-Dance: Clubbing Goes Online As Virus Shuts Nightspots All Over The World)

Who doesnt love themed parties? If youre looking to wow your guests and give them something to remember, a fun dress code for your party is essential. Let the birthday person choose the dressing theme based on his or her favourite movie, style, book or decade, and allow the guests to showcase their best looks. Have a small party at home, or get everyone to call in virtually.

Crazy Rich AsiansandThe Great Gatsby are always fail-safe options for a party filled with glitz and glamour, and if you want to make the event a little more Insta-worthy and unique, Hong Kong socialite Feiping Changs K-pop and Animal Crossing inspired celebration will offer some inspiration too.

Is it worth getting a year older without some balloons? We think not. Go all out with fancy decorations that match your theme to create the perfect party atmosphere and set up some beautiful photo booths. If you love Insta-worthy balloons, take a look at Party Days creations. Swoon Soires is another great option that offers a wide range of picture-perfect partyware for both kids and adults, including tableware, banners, lights, party crowns, and more.

For those with a rooftop or terrace, why not give your outdoor space a luxe makeover for a memorable al fresco party experience?

Whats a birthday without cake? A homemade cake is a thoughtful gift that will have the birthday person feeling extra special (try this burnt Basque cheesecake recipe!), but if you dont have the time or are not feeling confident enough to bake, there are still plenty of excellent bakeries offering gourmet cakes with pickup or delivery services providedjust be sure to make your order in advance. Take a look at our roundup of the best bespoke cake designers in Singapore to hunt for the most celebratory decadent sweet treats.

(Related: Chef Beppe De Vito Takes Food Delivery in Singapore to the Next Level With Online Restaurant, Grammi)

Support your favourite restaurant by indulging in a scrumptious birthday feast takeaway! Many of the citys most celebrated eateries are now offering delivery services, allowing you to enjoy restaurant-level food in the comfort of your home. Tatler Singapore's dining team has started an initiative to support local restaurants in this period, called United We Dine. Be it takeaway or dine-in from United We Dine's growing list of over 100 participating restaurants to win staycations.

(Related: United We Dine: How it Works)

Weve listed the best gourmet food takeout and delivery services available in town, as well as the must-order dishes that can be found on the most esteemed restaurants delivery menus.

Of course, your celebration wouldnt be complete without some quality wines and cocktails. We know you miss getting dressed up and going out to your favourite bar for a night of great drinks and conversation with friends, thats why weve rounded up the best cocktail delivery services to keep you satisfied at home. As a bonus, this will help support local shops through tough times too.You can also take the celebration as an opportunity to learn something new, creating your own party drinks with the help of our expert guide and these easy cocktail and mocktail recipes.

(Related: The Best Homegrown Ice Cream Brands That Offer Delivery in Singapore)

We all wish that we could physically celebrate with the people who mean the most to us. If you want to include far-flung family and friends who are not able to join an in-person gathering, hosting a virtual party on platforms such as Zoom, Facetime or Google Hangouts is a good idea that it can still bring you a memorable birthday experienceyou just have to be creative about it.First, send out beautiful e-invitations with this online tool to excite your guests and get them ready to enjoy the event. On the invitation, make sure you put the start time (with your time zone, if youre inviting people from other regions), and the detailed instructions for how to join the call. You can also drop your guests an extra note of the party theme, giving everyone a chance to play dress-up, even its just a celebration happening in front of the screen. Dont forget to decorate your room or set the party mood by creating a Spotify playlist and custom Zoom backgrounds for your guests to use during the party, too.You can even pack all the party essentials such as glassware, party hats, your favourite snacks and drinks and deliver them to the guests as party kits in advance, so that everyone will feel like they are at the same space to celebrate your big day together.

Here are some Tatler-approved in-house party activity ideas:

Whether you are celebrating the big day together with your special someone or girlfriends, theres nothing better than a blissful night of pampering. Put on some music and light a calming scented candle to set the mood, then treat yourself to spa-standard facials with these luxury high-tech beauty gadgets. Looking for more ideas to elevate your at-home spa experience? Weve got you covered with our ultimate home spa guide.

Besides ordering delivery delicacies and support the local businesses you love, why not liven up your birthday feast with one or several dishes crafted by you and your friends together? Not only will you be able to enjoy some quality time together while cooking, but you can also brush up on your kitchen skills and experience the joy of tasting your own delicious creations.

Read our favourite cookbooks or watch the most entertaining food shows on Netflix for some cooking inspiration. If its easy but impressive recipes youre after, look no further than our guides to crafting the latest Instagrammable quarantine food trendsdalgona coffee and sushi bake.

(Related: The Ultimate List Of Stay-Home Activities To Do During The Covid-19 Crisis In Singapore)

Toss your smartphone away and host a fun board game night to enjoy some quality time and create new memories with your loved ones. From poker to chess puzzles and classic Scrabble, weve found the most beautiful and fun game sets for you to celebrate the big day in style.

Not into board games? What about making a fort in your living room to cosy up for a night of movies, popcorn and some good conversations? Whether you want to watch some inspiring travel shows, gripping crime documentaries or comedy shows for a good belly laugh, Netflix has something for everyone. For those who want to wow the guests and enjoy movies at home even more, here are some great ideas to build your own luxurious home theatre. If you're celebrating virtually with your friends, make good use of the Netflix Party extension on Google Chrome to enjoy the same shows together in real-time.

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The Tatler Guide to Hosting a Luxury Virtual Birthday Party In the Time of Covid-19 - Tatler Singapore

Film-maker Amit Dutta talks ‘Wittgenstein’, chess, animation and art – Livemint

Duttas latest film, Wittgenstein Plays Chess With Marcel Duchamp, Or How Not To Do Philosophy (on MUBI), is a 17-minute animation that adapts an essay of the same name by Steven B. Gerrard. The essay examines how Wittgenstein and Duchamp, both keen chess players, used the game to question language and perception. The film has a winking style of animationby the directors wife, Ayswarya S. Duttathat involves the juxtaposition of cutout figures, objects and backgrounds. Its a sprightly investigation into the nature of surface appearances and how we perceive meaning, packed with allusions to art, linguistics, philosophy and chess.

Dutta, 42, who lives in Palampur in Himachal Pradeshs Kangra Valley, wanted to be a chess player before he decided to be a director. He was part of his college chess team in Jammu. Later, he started playing correspondence chess and won silver in the All India Correspondence Championship in 2017. He collects rare chess books, owns a Dubrovnik chess set and composes chess puzzles for children in his free time. Last year, a freewheeling conversation between him and International Chess Master Venkatachalam Saravanan, accompanied by a game of correspondence chess, was published in BOMB magazine. On email, Mint asked Dutta about the making of the film. Edited excerpts:

How did you come across Gerrard's essay, and why did you decide to adapt it?

One of my friends, Jaideep Unudurti, is a wonderful chess player/journalist and science-fiction author. We play chess once in a while. One day, while playing and chatting, he mentioned this article. The moment I read it, it immediately sparked a desire to make something around it. Having moved away from the path of competitive chess, the aesthetics of the game was becoming increasingly attractive and intriguing for me. And the way the essay had connected this aspect with chess players of the calibre of Duchamp and Wittgenstein and their main disciplines was extremely exciting.

After reading the essay, I wrote to Gerrard (who teaches philosophy at Williams College, US), explained the project to him and asked for his permission. He was really kind and readily gave me permission. It took us close to two years to finish the film, all this while he was interested in the project. Once the film was finished, I was nervous showing it to himto my delight, he was really happy with it and wrote back one of the most wonderful emails I have ever received.

From what angle were you approaching this materialas a chess player, as someone interested in Duchamp/Wittgensteins work?

Chess was my point of entry because I wanted to be a chess player when I was young. But, at the same time, I am equally drawn to the interdisciplinary woven-ness of the arts. That was what attracted me to this essay. It provided so many interlinked doorways and windows to ideas and aesthetics behind the facade of a simple chess puzzle. It exactly fits the description of the aphoristic Vishnudharmottara story, where a student seeking to learn image-making is prompted to study painting for a better understanding, and for knowing painting better, he is sent to learn dance and music and poetry and prosody and so on.

You had said in an interview that starting with Nainsukh (his 2010 film), you wanted to make research-based cinema. Was Wittgenstein born out of a similar impulse?

Definitely. I find cinema to be a very good tool for anveshan, to discover, for the archaeology of knowledge. At the same time, research is only the external aspect; no research is exciting unless it supports an inner exploration and a feeling of wonder.

Why did you opt for this style of animation?

It developed slowly, of course, with my wife and partner in this film, Ayswarya. We tried various styles and this seemed most resonant with the theme of the essay, where we mostly juxtapose as opposed to creating. So the sum proliferates into much more than the parts.

It felt like the animation has a touch of Karel Zeman and Terry Gilliam, and if we go back further, George Mlis. Were these or any other artists on your and Ayswaryas minds?

I did not have any style in mind except that I wanted a very rough, hand-made treatment; eventually, I went ahead with Ayswaryas instincts. Our main inspiration was the art of the Dadas and surrealists themselves. The animators I really like are Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling and Robert Breer. There is a reference to Hans Richters work in the film as well. The artwork we have used as motion collages is all connected with the essay; and they have trespassed genres even within their times. They provided the main inspiration for the look and feel. It is an extravagantly derivative work, any influence was welcomed without qualms.

Theres a density of information and reference that makes it difficult to take in everything in one go. For instance, in one frame you have a melted clock, Marcel Duchamps Trebuchet, Max Ernsts The Hat Makes The Man, and Duchamp playing chess. Is the hope that people will return to the film and notice more each time?

Ayswarya has a deep interest in art history and philosophy. She was very excited about finding innumerable details that fitted so well with the themes and ideas of the essay. She is also an illustrator, and I asked her to draw certain portions, so that added an element of exposition also. I also believe that an image must not exhaust itself quickly. Just the way we were returning to the themes and discovering more and more the web of ideas that motivated those turn of the century artists and thinkers, and the brilliant way in which Gerrard has opened up those hyperlinks, we wish the viewer can enjoy and expand those threads too. This is an entirely open-source, digital film.

'Wittgenstein Plays Chess With Marcel Duchamp, Or How Not To Do Philosophy' is streaming on MUBI, along with several other films by Dutta.

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Film-maker Amit Dutta talks 'Wittgenstein', chess, animation and art - Livemint

Indiewatch 5D Chess with Multiverse Time Travel is about as confusing as it sounds – GameCrate

5D Chess has become slang for thinking several steps ahead of someone else. But what would 5D chess actually look like? Well, now you can actually play a game of 5D chess with the release of this new indie game, 5D Chess with Multiverse Time Travel. Its about as confusing as it sounds, and its incredibly addictive.

So how do you play 5D Chess? Well, you start by playing, well, Chess. You get all the pieces you would normally get in a chess game and each time its your turn you can use them like you normally would.

The thing is, you can also move pieces forward and back through time, and this actually requires you to think about dimensions in a different way. For example, you have to think about chess moves as a combination of axes. What does that mean? Let me explain.

A rook can move any number of spaces in one direction. In normal chess, this means up/down and left/right. However, in 5D chess, time is another axis. So your rook can also move any number of spaces forward and back in time. It would say where it is on the board when you move it, it just teleports from one point in time to a previous point in the match.

Knights can move two spaces in one direction and one in another. One of those directions can be time. Move two spaces right and one space back to the past. Bishops can move diagonally which means they can move the same amount of spaces on two axes. So you can move a bishop right three spaces and then three spaces back in time if you want to.

Following me so far?

Now, time is only one axis that you can move on. The other axis you can move on is through multiple dimensions. What does that mean? Well,5D chess resolved time-travel through many worlds. That is to say, if you send a piece back in time, it now spins off its own unique timeline where the future is different. Think about how Dragon Ball Z resolves its time travel paradoxes, and youll get an idea.

Once you have more than one timeline in play, you need to make moves in every single timeline the game exists in. One of the ways you can move is between timelines. So if your king is in check, you can move him one space through the timelines to a timeline where he isnt in check.

The thing is each timeline you create makes the game more complicated. Why is this? Because the rules of chess remain the same. All you need to do is checkmate the opponents king. Any king. In any timeline. Of course, kings can move back in time and across the timeline to avoid this checkmate. However, you can only ever move one king in one timeline at once. What happens if you threaten a king in more than one timeline? Well, you can move one to escape check, but the other remains in check. Checkmate. What if you manage to set up the same check throughout multiple timelines? Checkmate. What if your opponent keeps traveling back in time to avoid checkmate? Then eventually multiple instances of his king will be on one board. Threaten two at once and bam, checkmate.

This might sound complicated and thats because it is. Luckily, you dont have to jump into the full thing. There are a number of different modes that allow you to start learning how to think in five dimensions. For example, chess puzzles are about as classic as puzzles get, but now you can try out 5D chess puzzles, figuring out checkmates in just a few moves through time. Or perhaps you want to play a vastly reduced game on a smaller board with fewer pieces. Thats a great way to limit the number of moves you can make so that you can get used to moving in five dimensions. Theres a number of different tutorials to fool around with, matches against bots, basically a ton of different content you can experience before just jumping into a 5D Chess match with another human.

This is one of those games that is oddly addicting. If I need something to fill time before other major game releases, Ill boot up a game of 5D Chess with a bot and see how far I get. On boardgaming nights Ill play against my friends and have epic matches of trying to outthink each other. What makes it especially annoying are the gotcha moments that you experience. Moves in 5D Chess feel so incredibly intelligent, and even when you are beaten, you end up beaten by some strange multiverse time travel move. Its hard to even be angry.

For $12, its quite the value, and certainly one of Augusts more interesting yet minimalistic indie titles.

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Indiewatch 5D Chess with Multiverse Time Travel is about as confusing as it sounds - GameCrate

You Won’t Believe This Chess-Themed Puzzle –

Most chess players can find beauty in chess puzzles, especially ones with clever tricks in the solution.

Check out this thrilling puzzle from our 2019 holiday quiz.

White to play and win:

That puzzle was tough, especially if you didn't catch the critical theme right away. But this next chess puzzle is not a chess puzzle at all.

Recently a video has been making the rounds in the gaming and math circles of the internet, and many who've watched it are shocked the puzzle is solvable with its stark and minimalist starting point.

It's a sudoku puzzle with some constraints based on chess rules.

If you're not familiar with sudoku, here are the rules:

To these standard conditions, the puzzle-maker Mitchell Lee has added two more restrictions that will make chess players feel right at home:

The expert solver is Simon Anthony, who quit his job at an investment bank to solve sudoku puzzles on YouTube.

He is initially flummoxed at the seeming inscrutability of the puzzle and believes he is being trolled by his YouTube partner. He even mentions stopping the video and calling his friend to berate him for the "impossible" challenge.

It's about this time we realize the old adage is true: There is nothing more exciting than watching a man solve a sudoku puzzle in real time.

The turning point could not have been scripted any better. The solver realizes the power of the chess-based rules and blurts out, "having said that," before getting started on the solution.

The rest of the video, which is absolutely worth watching for its full 25-minute runtime, becomes less about the mechanics of the puzzle and more about the solver's appreciation for the puzzle-maker's genius. The chess-based rules actually empower the solution to the minimalist starting puzzle.

The solver's YouTube channel, called "Cracking the Cryptic," has more of these sudoku puzzles with chess restrictions if you want to go down that rabbit hole. Here's another enjoyable real-time solving video of a chess-based sudoku.

If you'd rather stick to more traditional puzzles, many are available on, including the quite addictive Puzzle Rush.

Give them a try, and let us know your favorite chess puzzles in the comments.

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You Won't Believe This Chess-Themed Puzzle -

Chess Universe App The New Chess Experience, Now Available for iOS and Android – News Anyway

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Are you ready to take a dive into a completely new world of chess?

Chess Universe is not just an ordinary chess game. Its built by gaming experts and chess grandmasters with the idea of presenting the best of both worlds in a unique, gamified chess adventure. It boasts a design and User Experience for the modern generation, while remaining true to the essence of chess.

The days when chess was perceived as a hard and boring game are numbered, because Chess Universe is all about FUN!

Everyone can progress and thrive in Chess Universe. If you are a newbie or an experienced player, if you want to play online or offline, against real live players or against a computer and want to have tons of fun, you have come to the right place. Oh, you just want to solve chess puzzles? Visit the Chess Academy and raid the Checkmate Maze Fischers Kingdom, Sacrifice pit

Earn your own collection of avatars and use your favorite avatars in live games.

Have fun communicating with your opponents during the games with animated emoticons and cannons. And take your pets with you to the games! After all, everyone needs the support of loved ones!

This new mobile chess game will definitely make a chess player out of you. If youve ever wanted to try chess, now is the time.

The game is free and available for both stores iOS and Android!

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Chess Universe App The New Chess Experience, Now Available for iOS and Android - News Anyway

The Case of the Purloined Picture (Christopher Bush) – stopthefud

The purloined picture is by Zurbarn, and may hold a clue to the murder of a town councillor found bashed and buried in a woodpile. Travers, visiting a country cousin, spends most of his time playing bridge and buying antiques.

Bush produced a string of boring books after WWII: Missing Men, Second Chance (both 1946), Curious Client (1947), Housekeepers Hair (1948) and Seven Bells (1949). (From this period, only the lightweight Haven Hotel is moderately entertaining.) Purloined Picture is one of Bushs more tedious books: the first four chapters, Travers admits, are only a kind of prelude, and maybe a dull one at that, and the rest of the book is equally dull. The problem is pedestrian, the detection vague, the suspects faceless, and the solution more convoluted than clever. Skip it.

The book was indifferently received in the United States. While critics acknowledged Bushs ingenuity (as brilliant a solution to a devious alibi-breaking puzzle as we are likely to see for some time), they also complained of the slow pace: Readers for whom the serial reporting of each infinitesimal fragment of a forward move has no charms will slowly fall by the wayside as the maze progresses (New York Times); Sleuths speculations and endless anecdotal asides make cold-molasses pace. Fuddy-duddy, but O.K. (Saturday Review of Literature).

1949 Macdonald (UK)

When Ludovic Travers went to stay with his cousin Bernard Ampling, in the East Anglian village of Stepford, he forgot about crime in favour of golf, bridge and his hosts enthusiasm for antiques. As in all country places there seemed to be one or two curious local undercurrents the feud between Councillor Drew and old Corbit for instance but nothing to concern a mere visitor. Nothing to concern him until he made two discoveries on the same day. First, he found himself looking at a picture that should have been in a distant village church. Second, he was able to identify the sallow young man whose appearance about the district had seemed oddly familiar. It was a prelude both to murder and the timely arrival of Superintendent George Wharton. Our own readers label this new casebook as Vintage, and it is written in Major Bushs best manner.

Observer (Maurice Richardson, 13th December 1949): Ludovic Travers on a quiet holiday in East Anglia, catching the bus into Ipswich and going to bridge parties, runs into a neat little murder with strong vengeance motive.

Kirkus (1st January 1951, 60w)

New Yorker (20th January 1951, 110w): A superior puzzle, but a little unfair, perhaps, in that the reader couldnt possibly solve it himself.

NY Times (Elizabeth Bullock, 21st January 1951, 150w): Travers combines his talents in a mixture of about six parts of brilliant analysis and one part inspiration, and comes up with as brilliant a solution to a devious alibi-breaking puzzle as we are likely to see for some time. However, readers for whom the serial reporting of each infinitesimal fragment of a forward move has no charms will slowly fall by the wayside as the maze progresses.

San Francisco Chronicle (L.G. Offord, 100w)

Sat R of Lit (27th January 1951): Queer goings-on in British village involve vacationing Ludovic Travers in riddles re stolen antiques and church pilferings and finally murder. Chess-puzzle type plus some erudition and plausible characters; but sleuths speculations and endless anecdotal asides make cold-molasses pace. Fuddy-duddy, but O.K.

NY Herald Tribune Bk R (28th January 1951, 180w): Mr. Bush writes the sort of mystery which the publishers describe as chess puzzles. One reads them slowly, but they are likeable because they pose a good mental problem. This one, however, is more intricate than ingenious and not quite up to Bushs usual standard.

Bookmark (March 1951)

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The Case of the Purloined Picture (Christopher Bush) - stopthefud

Online Games to Keep Your Mind Active – Pulse Headlines

One of the best ways to ensure that westay mentally sound well into old ageis by keeping our minds active. Whether thats by fully engaging with our work, throwing ourselves into new hobbies, or simply learning new things, an active brain is a healthy one.

Something that were perhaps all a little guilty of is spending too much unproductive time in front of a screen; but what if you could procrastinate in a way that would be beneficial for your brain? These games prove that having fun can be a great way to keep your grey matter moving.

Poker is famous for being the strategic thinkers game of choice, so signing up to an online provider is a good way to keep your mind busy.

Some sites keep the competition ramped up by featuring players on their game leader boards. For new players, this challenge can seem a little daunting, but they refresh their leader boards weekly so that even new sign-ups get a chance to compete. If youre already familiar with the rules then you might get the chance to see your name up there on the leader board, but even if you dont manage it at first, youll still be getting the benefits of a bit of mental exercise.

Poker playing encourages us to think on our feet, which can help to make us remain calmer in stressful situations. As well as this, our brains need to be sharp to look for patterns and to try to anticipate the other players next move. Using our brains in this multi-faceted way can help us to think more clearly, both in the game and in the rest of our lives.

In our increasingly global world, a second language is becoming more and more important. If youre looking for a change of career, then a second language is one of the most useful assets you can have on your CV, but even if youre happy in your career or already retired its a brilliant wayto keepyour mind active.

Whilst its certainly effective learning from a book or a series of DVDs, online games are actually getting the upper hand when it comes to effective learning. Interactivity is one of the ways that the things we learn sink into our brains the best. So, being able to play mini-games and interact with the environment as naturally as possible, has proven to be the best way of learning a new language.

Sites and apps like Duolingo and Babbel provide totally free language tuition and are as fun to use as they are effective.

Although chess is dwindling in popularity, the competition at the upper echelons is as fierce as ever. Perhaps its because Millennials have masses of computer games to play, and so the humble board games have lost their appeal. Whatever the reason, its high time that chess made a comeback. Its full of great strategic thinking and depending on how you choose to play it can be surprisingly fast-paced.

If the endless pondering over moves is what has put you off learning, then a great way to get past that is with online chess puzzles.

Themost popular site for learning chessallows you to choose whether youd like to play standard games against a computer, against a random opponent, or against somebody you know. The chatbox means that even if you live far apart you can keep in touch with somebody in a moreinteractive way than just texting or emailing.

Of course, if youd like to bolster up your skills first then there are timed chess puzzles available on, which typically require you to reach checkmate in the quickest time possible. They encourage you to be logical, strategic and fast-developing critical ways of thinking that are brilliant for your brain.

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Online Games to Keep Your Mind Active - Pulse Headlines

5 Best Chess Games for Android and iOS – Techlomedia

Chess is a popular indoor game that several people like to play. It is a board game played between two people. Now this board game is also available to play on computers and smartphones where you can play it against a computer player or against friends. If you are bored at home and want to enjoy chess, you can download a good chess game on your smartphone to play. If you are not sure about a good chess app, this article is recommending a few. Here is the list of best chess games for Android and iOs devices. You can download any of these chess games on your phone and enjoy the game.

Also see: Best Ludo Games for Android and iOS

Have a look at the list of best chess games for smartphones. This list contains chess games for Android and Chess games for iOS. You can download any of the games to play. Read the description to know more about a game.

This Chess app for Android and iOS lets people enjoy Chess on their smartphone. The app not just lets you play Chess, but also teaches you so that you can improve your skills. You can use this chess app to play chess with online players around the world or with your friends. You can also play against computer players to improve your game. It also gives you an option to analyze your game and learn where you went wrong. It has thousands of videos and interactive lessons from top Grandmasters along with interactive tutorials.

The game comes with 20+ themes for boards, pieces, and backgrounds for customized play options.

Download: Android | iOS

Lichess brings free online chess on your phone. The app claims that there are more than 150000 individual users on the app to play with. You can find players and challenge them for a game. You can also take part in arena tournaments. The game comes with the bullet, blitz, classical, and correspondence chess. You can practice with chess puzzles. When you do not have an active internet connection, you can also play offline with computer players.

This app is open-source and free to download for all.

Download: Android | iOS

Also see: Best Carrom Games for Android

Really Bad Chess is a different kind of chess game you must try if you love playing chess. It lets you play with totally random pieces. When I say random, it doesnt mean pieces at random places. It means you could get 8 Knights, 4 Bishops, and 3 pawns. It may look weird initially but you will surely like playing this random chess thing. Try this game if you think you are good at chess. If you are still learning, try other chess games on this list.

Download: Android | iOS

Play Magnus is also an interesting chess game for iOS and Android. This game gives you an opportunity to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen. No, he will not be playing against you. You will be playing against a computer player trained by Magnus Carlsen. If you perform well, you also get a chance to qualify to Play Magnus Live.

Download: Android | iOS

Chess Free is also an interesting free Chess game for Android and iOS. It supports 1 player and 2 player gameplay. So, you can play against your friends or challenge a computer opponent. The game claims to have a good AI engine with the configurable difficulty level. It also features board rotation for two player games. When you get a call or exit the app, it saves your game so you can always resume.

Download: Android | iOS

Wrap Up

This was the list of best chess apps for Android and iOS. If you want to learn chess and theres no one to help you, you can try installing a good chess app on your phone. This list has some good chess games for Android and iOS. If you are an expert in chess, I recommend you to try Really Bad Chess. Other games are also good for playing a regular chess game.

If you have any recommendations that I can add to this list, let me know using the comment. I will update this list to add a few more good Chess games.

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5 Best Chess Games for Android and iOS - Techlomedia

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