Friday, October 05, 2007

Russian AND China

Wow, has anyone read the New Yorker article on Garry Kasparov (written by New Yorker editor, David Remnick)? It's looooong so I'm not done yet but it's fascinating. Read this account of the first Karpov v. Kasparov championship match:

This first Karpov-Kasparov championship match, which began in September, 1984, coincided with my first trip to Moscow, and I attended several games at the Hall of Columns, the stately venue where Stalin had lain in state, thirty-one years earlier. Every morning, the two men entered from the wings and walked to a chess board at center stage. They sat hunched over the pieces for hours at a time, inches from each other, breathing the same overheated air, Karpov staring at his position, Kasparov staring at Karpov, or, at times, clawing at his hair, rolling his eyes, expressing his emotions with the eye-bulging theatricality of a silent-film star. In the balcony, nearly everyone was pro-Kasparov. They loved his anti-establishment glamour, his audacity at the board even when he lost.
Karpov dominated Kasparov in the early games, taking a four-games-to-none lead. He needed only two more wins to retain the title. The crowds began to thin out. Then Kasparov did something astonishing: in the course of a championship match, he learned to play at a new level. In Game 15, a turning point in the match, Karpov was up a pawn but could play only to a draw after an astonishingly long game—ninety-three moves. Kasparov was figuring out Karpov the way an astute hitter, after repeated, chastening strikeouts, figures out a pitcher. The next eleven games were draws. In Game 27, Karpov won once more, but, again, Kasparov kept forestalling the end—twenty more drawn games came and went, brutal and wearing—and then, suddenly, he took Games 47 and 48. It was now February. The score was five games to three, but the advantage had turned. Finally, the tournament authorities called it off, claiming that both players were exhausted. Kasparov was convinced that the chess establishment, backed by the Soviet authorities, had rescued Karpov. He was furious, but he had learned his opponent thoroughly. He had mastered him. The next year, again in Moscow, Kasparov won the title.

This article also made me realize that they are so many cool Russian words, especially political ones, like apparatchik. Kasparov is half Armenian and half Jewish, a great combination. And speaking of Jews....I had a Jewish feast last night. I went to Teremok (which I guess is in Foothill Farms? I'm not sure what neighborhood that is) to try to get chopped liver, and they were out but instead I got dense wheat bread, pickles, and this lovely delight:
It's a whitefish salad and it actually tasted a lot better than it looked. It was potatoes and onions and fish and sour cream (I think). The pink is not frosting, it's beet juice and sour cream. Here was the full spread. I made blini with caviar and sour cream. Blini are really tasty and hearty and fun to make. They are yeasted, so it's fun to watch it rise and bubble, and they have half and half buckwheat flour to regular, so they have a rustic, whole-grain taste.
GW labored over delicious potatoe latkes, the Armeniac made a refreshing cold borscht, and BR MADE this beautiful challah, if you can believe that!
And then we watched a video of Wham live in China (follow this link for some good examples of what a knob Andrew Ridgely is) and I peed my pants when I saw this:


beckler said...

Here's the blini recipe if you're interested:

1 and 1/2 tsp. yeast
pinch sugar
add 3/4 cup warmed milk (not too hot)
let proof for like five minutes
add three eggs (I brought them to room temp in hot water)
3 tbl. melted butter
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
whisk until smooth
then add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/3 cup sour cream
cover with plastic wrap and put in warm place for one hour
I turn on my oven and put the bowl on top of the stove. It has to be warmer than room temp to rise properly.

After an hour, warm up a tbl. of peanut oil (olive oil worked fine, too), and drop about 2 tbl. of batter to make a little pancake. Cook for a minute or less on each side. Top with sour cream (of course) and caviar, or lox, or salmon roe, or whatever.

Anonymous said...

Son af a bitch that looks delicious.


leon said...

That looks hecka good heckasac(now I'm hecka hungry)

Speaking of Jew food, there is a Jewish food fair happeneing this Sunday somewhere.

beckler said...

When you say "son of a bitch that looks delicious" I assume that you are referring to Mr. Michael.

Anonymous said...

I was


Anonymous said...

today's non sequitur


Jeff M. said...

Professor Gradgrind here:

hey beckler, if you highlight the text you want to quote and click the quotation mark icon above where you write your posts, it will set the highlighted text off from the rest of the text. that makes it easier to tell what is quoted.

You probably knew that already...

Anonymous said...

I thought that was a Beckler quote about her story of the time she was in the Soviet Union saving the chess playing championship.

fft said...

add some herbs de provence to the blini recipe. or maybe some potatoes flakes and eat them for breakfast.

beckler said...

I ate the leftover blini and latkes for breakfast. It was good. The end.

Anonymous said...

" ...(follow this link for some good examples of what a knob Andrew Ridgely is)"


What sort of knobbish behavior is Andrew Ridgely known for anyway? To me, he's always been the sad-eyed sidekick languishing in the background like John Oates...


Josh Nice said...

Prof. Gradgrind:

RE: trying to get our hostess to set off her quoted text with simple formatting: it's like talking to a wall. I tried it before but she's too (dance) punk to care.

And really we should be more accommodating or she might retire again.

Anonymous said...

Be honest heckasac, it was my stunning rendition of Faith at the karaoke booths that not only relit the flame of love inside you that every ten year girl has expressed for George Michael in her diary, but started you blogging again. Right?
jana 'as if i need to identify myself, who else can karaoke george michael like i can' michael.

beckler said...

ridgely-dressing in plaid zoot suits to reflect his scottish heritage
-pretending to play guitar onstage