Friday, April 28, 2006

Game Theory: The Real Practice Exam Q36

Game Theory

After work, I ate some dinnner and then studied some more. I got an email response from Dr. Smith and he answered my questions (very well I might add). So I went over those problems again and then did a brief review. After that, I sat down and took the 3rd practice exam. I didn't stop for any breaks or to look at my notes. I took it as if it were the real exam.

I started at 6:30pm and finished just after 8:00pm. I didn't go back and review any answers. My biggest worry about the final is the 20-question true/false section. Inevitablly, I get a little confused on a few questions and my confidence gets shaken. One strategy I've been told of regarding T/F questions is that you answer it once and you never go back and re-think it. You would think T/F are easy, but you have to be very weary of the wording. Anyway, after taking the exam, I graded it and found that I got an 86.8%. Combine that with my averge 87% quizes and I get roughly a B+ or A- ... not good enough for an A. I need to get in the middle up upper 90's on this exam to get an A.

Anyway ... I'm done studying for GT. I'll review again Sunday night and again before class on Monday.


Tonight and tomorrow are crucial for PTAP. I need to read all the articles, go over notes, go over the practice exams and shore up any loose ends. Tomorrow will be difficult because I'll be at home and my focus will be lacking. I just don't know how to study for this class. I think it is pointless to go over book problems at this stage of the game. My strategy is to know the practice exam material very well and then to know some general stuff about the articles. Also, I need to know everything about the equations sheet ... know what each equation is, what it does and why. It's not going to be pretty. These are the times when you just have to buckle down and git 'er done!

Quixote Update
Chapter 36

I read one chapter last night since I couldn't fall asleep. It was a very interesting chapter. After they finished reading the novel, the innkeep saw that there was a group of people coming toward the inn. A lady with a mask on as well as a man with a mask. There were other men travelling with them too. Well, to cut to the chase, the lady was Luscinda and the man was Don Fernando! Of course Cardenio and Doratea were both at the inn. They all heard each other's voices and there was a grand reunion. It turns out well. Don Fernando pledges himself to Doratea and the two lovers Luscinda & Cardenio are reunited.

Chess Update

I didn't play chess last night. I did log on to the server and dinked around while I was at work yesterday. I read up on variables and changed my time zone variable.

The April 28, 2006 puzzle is 39. ? I'm clueless.

See the puzzle for the answer. It's a beauty.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

An Evening of Game Theory

Game Theory

I studied and studied GT last night. I finally made it all the way through the first two practice exams. He didn't cover auctions in any of our lectures. There were several questions on the practice exams that delt with auctions, so naturally, I didn't do so well on those parts.

Before I went to bed, I sent him an email and asked for an explanation on a few questions from the practice exams. I haven't heard back from him yet.

Tonight, I'll do one more review of the first two practice exams and then I'll take the third practice exam from start to finish. After that, I need to read the case. He's assigned us a case to read. He'll be asking some questions about the case on the final.

Quixote Update


Chess Update

After studying for about 3 hours and before going to bed, I played a few games. I think I won one blitz game and then I played about 4 crazyhouse games ... and lost all four.

The April 27, 2006 puzzle is 33. ... ? Looks like the queen needs to be sac'd. Qd1+ 34. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 35. Ka2 .... woah, woah. Wait a minute. What about Rxb3+. I think that move is better. Ka1 Ra3+ Kb1 Qd1+ and the game is over.

The answer ... nailed it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Portfolio Theory & Asset Pricing - Last Lecture


Finally ... no more lectures for PTAP! It was very painful enduring that last lecture. One of our group members had a countdown program running on his laptop. We watched as it ticked down ... second by second ... minute by minute ... it was brutal.

We're getting together one last time to review for the final. We'll meet Saturday night.

I'll be working on PTAP Friday night and all day Saturday. I'll be sick of studying come Sunday.


Today at lunch, I started my review of GT. I worked on one problem for about an hour. I think I may have finally got it straightened out in my head. I'll work on GT tonight and tomorrow night.

Quixote Update

Didn't read last night. I probably won't get into the book until after finals.

Chess Update

Same thing with chess ... I won't be doing much until after finals.

The April 26, 2006 puzzle is 31. ... ? It looks like the queen has to take the rook. I really don't see anything for this one.

The answer is Qxd1+ followed by Bxd1 with Rd2 and white resigns. After looking at this, it seems to me that it was a basic exchange R&Q and R&Q. But if Nxe3, then it looks like black actually wins a bishop.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Game Theory - Last Lecture Q35

Game Theory

Class started at 6:30pm. For the first 10 minutes of class, we did teacher evaluations. He, like all teachers except one, said that he and the school take evaluations seriously. But Mel Fugate (Org Behav teacher) said that the evaluations at SMU don't do much. If I remember correctly, the department head or somebody would just look at the tally's. I don't remember the specifics, but he said they were pretty worthless. In fact, Mel created his own evalutation for us to fill out.

Anyway, after the evals, we took our quiz. I've aced my last two quizes. I don't think I aced this last one. Depending on what I got for this last quiz, I either got an 87% or above for my quizes. If I did worse than 8 out of 10 on the last quiz, then I'll get about 87%. If I did better or even aced it, then I'll get around 90%. I'm expecting an A- in this class, but an A is very achievable. In fact, I'm thinking that I ought to spend less time on PTAP and work on GT so that I ace the final in GT and get an A.


The last lecture is tonight. I'm so glad this class is coming to an end. I printed off the practice exams yesterday and started looking over them. I'm feeling a little better about the final.

Quixote Update
Chapter 35

The novella is finally over. Anselmo catches the maid and her man. The maid's man is just leaving when Anselmo discovers him. He is so upset he demands to know the truth from the maid. She tells him to come back the next day and she'll tell him everything. In the mean time, Anselmo tells Camilla about the man he'd seen. From there, the turn of events was rather dramatic. Camilla flees to Lotario, the maid escapes and leaves the city with her man. Lotario helps Camilla find a place in a convent and Lotario goes off to join the war. Anselmo sees all of this happen and realizes the full magnitude of his actions. He goes to a friend's home and dies. Camilla dies at the convent and Lotario dies at war. It was quite a downer and unbelievable ending.

Chess Update

Last night while I was waiting for class to start, I downloaded Personal Chess Trainer. They have a free download. I opened it and tried some tactics. The tactics were extremely easy. I think I may try this app out for a while. I may end up using it for my milion circles training.

The April 25, 2006 puzzle is 23. ? Nxe6+ is what I would do. If he doesn't take me with the pawn, then Qxc8+ Bxc8 Rxc8+ Bd8 Rxd8+ Qe8 Rxe8+ and white is up.

The answer is Qxc8+. The continuation is found on the the first page of comments under soberknight's reply to JustAFish. I didn't see it. I saw the sacrifice, but not the sequence.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Week 7 - Beginning Q34

Spring 2006 Mod B Update

The beginning of the end is near. The last lecture for each class is tonight and tomorrow night. Then for the rest of the week, I'll be studying like crazy for PTAP ... cramming. One of those nights I'll be going to the review. I don't know what day it'll be. I'll be printing off the practice exams today so I can start reviewing those. I'll also have to go back and read all the articles he's assigned to us.

As for game theory ... I still need to read the last chapter today. I don't know what I got on last week's quiz. But I feel pretty confident that I did well on all the quizes. I'm really not at all worried about the final for GT. I'm looking forward to taking it.

So after this week, I'll have two days of finals and then I'll be done! I'll have a week and a half to rest, play chess, do yard work and hang out with The Fam.

Quixote Update
Chapter 34

I read chapter 34 a few nights ago. I'm trying to remember what it was all about. Some of these stories get pretty complicated. If I remember correctly Lothario and Camilla fall in love (everyone saw it coming except Anselmo). So Camilla has this handmaid who also has a lover. Well, this lover and handmaid are sack-mates every night. This causes Camilla some stress, but she can't say anything to her handmaid because she too is seeing Lothario on a regular basis. Lothario sees the handmaid's man come out of Camilla's house one morning. He thinks Camilla is now sleeping with this guy too! So Lothario goes to Anselmo and tells him all. He tells him to watch for Camilla sleeping with this other guy. Lothario feels guilty about snitching on Camilla, so he tells her and she is upset, but she devises a plan. It gets even more complex ... Anselmo hides in the house and spies on Camilla and Lothario who basically act out this little play. Camilla ends up stabbing herself ... the whole gig is to get Anselmo to think Camilla is really faithful. You'll have to read this chapter to understand it all. The next chapter is the end of the novella.

Chess Update

I haven't played chess in a while. This weekend was really busy and this week will be really busy too. But I have updated my Bloglines feed to include all the blogs that the Boylston CC has linked too (well, most of them). So now I read all of them from there and it is quite handy.

Now for the April 24, 2006 puzzle. 34. ? Um ... Qd8+ Rxd8 35. Rxd8 ++ This is probably the most BASIC mate ever. I'd expect a 5-year-old to get this one.

Answer ... the same. As one poster put it, "This was ridiculously easy, even by Monday standards. I think Chessgames could have done better than this."

Both players are GM's. But as noted, this was a blindfold game. I could never do blindfold!

Only 8 more days before my break and then I can play lots of Chess!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

PTAP - Lecture 6 Q32 & 33


I am so glad I only have one more lecture to endure. On the other hand, I am getting more nervous about the final for this class. I keep telling myself that I'll be fine after I go to the review session and cram for this final. I will probably end up studying all day Saturday the 29th for this class. I am really not at all worried about game theory. I'm actually looking forward to that final. I'll need to put in about 3 hours of studying for that final. I'm expecting an A- or possibly an A in GT.

Our group will meet for the last time on Friday. I'm glad to get those Friday evening meetings over with.

Quixote Update
Chapter 32 & 33

Chapter 32 doesn't really do much other than show that the travelling party arrives at the inn where Sancho was tossed up and down in a blanket. They send Quixote off to bed while the innkeeper and the party discuss various things. One of the subjects is chivelry books. There is some humorous dialogue, but nothing worth noting.

They decide to read one of the books. The title of the book is "The Ill-Advised Curiosity." Chapter 33 is wholly dedicated to this story. It begins with the telling of a very close friendship between Anselmo and Lothario. Anselmo marries. Anselmo and Lothario are still close friends. One day, Anselmo approaches Lothario and asks him to tempt his wife. The reason being that he thinks he has a fine wife, but he is unsure if she really is the gem he thinks she is. He wants to test her virtue. So he begs Lothario to tempt his wife. Lothario protests (about 5 pages worth) and he's pretty convincing. But Anselmo insists.

Lothario agrees. At first, he doesn't really try to swoon Anselmo's wife. Anselmo sees this and gets Lothario to agree to really try hard. This time, Anselmo leaves town and sets it up so that Lothario stays in Anselmo's house with his wife. So Lothario begins his temptations. Camilla (Anselmo's wife) is shocked to see Lothario act this way. She tells her servant to never leave her so that she is never alone with Lothario. But there is a day when the two are left alone. Lothario tempts her again. This time she writes a letter to Anselmo telling him that he better get home or else she's going to go live with her parents until he returns. He writes back and commands her to stay. So now Anselmo has not only put his best friend in a tight situation, but he has also put his wife in a hard spot. This is where chapter 33 ends. Chapter 34 continues the story.

Chess Update

The 4/19/06 puzzle is 32. ... ? OK ... after looking at this for a few minutes, I think I've figured it out. Sometimes you have to go down a few levels so to speak. I was just looking at moves that would attack, but I wasn't seeing what those moves opened up.

So this is what I would do. Ng4 threatening mate on h2. Of course white can capture the knight, but when the knight moved, the rook's column opened up. Rf1 mate.

The answer is Ng4. Splendid.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Week 6 - Beginning Q31

Spring Mod B Update

Monday I was sick. I ate two pieces of cheese cake and then I ate a bowl of popcorn before I went to bed. I was up all night with a stomach ache and I almost spewed it out. So I stayed home that day and got lots of rest.

That night I went to my Game Theory class. The quiz seemed easy. I don't know if I aced it, but I did well. Then we talked about bargaining. It got pretty hairy during the discussion on Nash Bargaining ... lots of equations and a pretty complex graph. Very unusual for that class. But it was another good class. I'll be sad that I won't have this class anymore in a few weeks. The final is May 2.

Tonight I have PTAP. We turned in our 2nd case this morning. We have one more project to do. It is about style analysis. It should be easy.

Quixote Update
Chapter 31

In chapter 31, Quixote and Sancho and the bishop and Dorotea and Cardenio and the barber and bishop are all travelling. They meet the boy that Quixote "saved" from his master. The master was beating him up when Quixote came along and "saved" him, when in fact, the boy got beat even worse. So the boy tells Quixote the rest of the story and Quixote is suprised and says that he'll avenge the boy. The boy tells Quixote that the next time that he sees the boy getting hurt, to not lend aid!

Chess Update

While I was resting yesterday, I played a few games of chess. I played two on FICS and a few against Chessmaster. I won the two games on FICS. The first win was won on time. I mated on the 2nd win. Both wins came against the same player.

The 4/18/06 puzzle is 21. ? I'd say that the bishop needs to take out h7, but I don't know what would happen after that.

The answer is Bxh7. The rook would eventually have to move to f6.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Week 5 - Friday Update - Q30

Mod B Update

Last night I worked on getting some data and information for our 2nd case. I've been reading up on hedge funds and short-selling the last couple of days. I also put a spreadsheet together for the 4th question. Today at lunch, I worked on our write-up a little. Tonight our study group will meet and hammer out the rest. I'm really looking forward to this weekend.

Tomorrow I'll do work on whatever I need to do for our case. Then I'll need to study up on game theory. I need to read the next chapter and work on the practice exams. It should't be too much.

Quixote Update
Chapter 30

I read chapter 30 last night, but I don't remember what I read! I think it was about Dorotea and how she made up some story to tell Quixote so that he would believe her. It was another story in a story, only this one was made up.

Chess Update

My friend and his wife and my wife and I are all going out tomorrow night to dinner. After dinner, my friend and I are going to play some chess while the wives do some scrapbooking or something. It should be lots of fun!

The 4/14/06 puzzle is 29. ... ? OK, I see Nxd4 30. Nxd4 Rxf4 31. Bxf4 Qxd4 threatening check with Qxf2.

The answer is Qb2 ... I'm pretty clueless on this one. Seems like white would be just find in taking the queen, but he doesn't and I don't have the patience today to read through all the kibitzes. Check out the game.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Week 5 HW Wed.

I am so looking forward to getting PTAP over with. I really don't like the Friday night group work and the lectures and the book and all the crap. Why can't I have two classes that are enjoyable? Why does it have to be that when I really enjoy one class, the other class really sucks?

I only attempt to study PTAP out of guilt. I love to study for game theory, but PTAP is just a thorn in my side.

The good thing about the module system (and I think I've said this before) is that if you don't like a class, you only have to endure it for a couple of months.

I realized today that my finals for these classes will be on a Monday and Tuesday. That means the week of April 24 will be VERY hectic. I'll go to class on the 24th and 25th and then I'll have to study (cram) from the 26th to the 29th. The bright side of this is that I'll have an extra long break between semesters. I'm not at all worried about game theory's final. PTAP's final will be brutal. But there is hope ... assuming that we continue to get a 100% on our 2nd case and 2nd project and assuming I get all 5 percentage points from participation, then I could possibly get a 66% on the final and still reasonably get an A- in the course. I'm such a bum.

Quixote Update
End of Chapter 29

I read for a half hour last night (finally). The group gets Quixote out of the mountains. There were a few close calls (the priest's fake beard falls off), but they use Quixote's madness to their advantage and make up some crazy excuse which Quixote believes.

Chess Update

I played for a couple of hours last night. I played 3 15 minute games ... which by FICS standards are standard time-control games. My RD was up over 200 for standard, so I decided that I should probably play a few standard games and work to get that RD back below 80 so I can get an accurate estimate of which group to join when I enter the 45/45 and 60/15 tournaments later this year. Last night, I lost all three of them ... due to tactics. Yep, I blundered big time. I was like Santa Claus giving out pieces right and left. Oh ... you want that knight? Sure, I'll exchange my knight for your pawn. Here, please take this rook ... I'm too careless to keep him. It was embarrassing.

After losing 3 straight, I played a blitz game and won ... then I logged off.

The 4/13/06 puzzle is 25. ... ? I'd say Nf6. I'm seeing a fork of the Q and K on g4. Plus both the black Q and B are aiming for g2 threating mate.

The answer is Nd2 ... it was the same strategy, but the knight went the other direction. The queen takes g2. If the rook takes the queen, then the knight moves f1+ thus forking the Q & K. The bishop can then capture the rook and black is up a rook.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

PTAP - Lecture 5

Before class started yesterday, I was sitting outside eating dinner and studying. While I was sitting there, I saw a B-17, B-25 and B-24 fly over. It was so cool seeing them fly over ... they were pretty low because they took off from Love Field. I saw them the day before too. I love World War 2 planes. I loved hearing their engines hum ... so cool!

So I searched with Google and found that they were flying those beautiful birds as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour. They've been in Dallas the last couple of days. They were giving flights to those who paid a $400 ticket. I don't know how long the flights were, but judging by how often I saw them fly in and out, I'd say they were about 30 minutes or so.


Another dreaded evening of Kumar's lecture. I don't know exactly what it is, but I tune out so easily in his lectures.

We got our Project 1 paper back ... 25/25.

The rest of the evening he talked about various subjects, none of which I recall right now. I did score over 35,000 points on Bejewled (yahoo games).

He mentioned a few things about the final. He said that we need to review notes and textbook problems. There will be a review. This final has me stressed out. He said that the final will be challenging but fair. Previous students have aced his finals. There are also those who scored a 25/50 too!

We're meeting on Friday to start working on Case 2. Tonight and tomorrow night I'll be trying to study for that.

Quixote Update

Didn't read. I'm not giving up on the book. I just haven't had time to sit down and read a lot of it.

Chess Update

I logged on to FICS last night during class. I just watched the chatter. I didn't want to start any games in case Kumar started talking about something I wanted to hear.

The 4/12/06 puzzle is 23. ? I'd play h7+ Nxh7 24. Rxh7 Kxh7 25. Qh5+ Kg7 or Kg8 26. Qg6 mate.

The answer is exactly what I said.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Game Theory - Lecture 5

Game Theory

We took our quiz as usual. I think I might have been the first to finish. Most of the questions seemed really easy to me. After the quiz, we talked some more about mixed strategy and then we got into the main lecture about brinkmanship.

We watched a few movie clips that showed examples of brinkmanship. One of the clips was from "The Gods Must be Crazy." I don't know exactly what is going on, but there is this general who is looking for some group of men. The general and his men have a prisoner and they think he knows where the other men are (that the general is looking for). They bind the man, blind-fold him and ask him where the men are. It is important to note that they are all in a flying helicopter. The man says he doesn't know. The general asks again and like before, the man says he doesn't know. Then the general suddenly pushes the man out the helicopter! He falls to the ground ... two feet below. The man is so scared out of his wits, he yells out the location of the men the general is looking for. The general says that the next time, the helicopter will be higher! It was a pretty funny clip.

I really liked the topic of brinkmanship.

After class, I talked to Smith and he answered a few questions I had had about the practice tests.

Quixote Update

I was so tired yesterday, but when it came time to sleep, I couldn't fall asleep. Maybe I should have read Quixote.

Chess Update

Instead of reading Quixote, I played Chessmaster. I'm stuck on the player "Orin." I had him beat a few times, but I blundered at the end. So I need to play him when I'm awake.

Today's puzzle is 28. ? I would say Rxd6. If the king takes the rook, then Bf4 pins the king and rook and white wins a bishop.

I got it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Week 5 - Beginning - Q28 & 29

As I write this, I'm listening to the radio and the current ad is about the Cox PMBA ... I hear them all the time. When I first heard them back a few years ago, they'd stress me out because it was like a reminder that I needed to study the GMAT and apply and get my MBA. It was a constant nagging (like homework is now!) But now when I listen to those ads, I don't stress out any more. It is more of a relief than anything because they remind me of when I used to hate them and now that I'm so close to being finished, I'm not bothered by them anymore.

Mod B Update

Anyway ... on Saturday I was studying for a few hours. Before delving into the HW, I checked out PTAP's practice exam for the final. I was a bit shocked to see that I felt very uncomfortable about the questions. Finals week stress set in. So I printed off all the assigned problems onto paper and started to work on them. I'm taking that d**m textbook with me where ever I go until I finish all those problems. If I don't do well on the exam, it won't be because I didn't try.

I've also kept working on the problems for game theory. I'll be staying after class tonight to ask him a few questions about mixed strategy ... I've covered the problems on the first two practice exams (just the material we've talked about) and there are two similiar problems that I just don't get how the answer is derived. I've gone back to the notes and the book and I'm still stumped. So I need to have him help me out on that.

Other than that, I feel somewhat on top of things.

Quixote Update
Chapter 28 (end) & 29

So the lady they discover is Dorotea. It turns out that she is the one Don Fernando expressed his love to and then took from her what was most precious. She, although it wasn't her best option, wanted to marry Don Fernando. But he skipped town and we know the rest of the story from Cardenio. Well, Dorotea went after Don Fernando and found out that after Luscinda passed out, they found a note saying that she was the wife of Cardenio. When she came to, she ended up disappering too! Don Fernando also skipped town again. It was quite a story. After her story, Cardenio tells her who he is and they form a friendship and vow to find their "other halves."

After all that, the barber and the priest tell Dorotea what they are trying to do (help Quixote). She offers her help saying that she would be a much better damsel in distress than the barber. So she helps them out and they find Quixote. He's just the same as before ... beat up, naked and insane. She tells him that she's a princess and a giant has destoryed her kingdom and she wants Quixote to avenge her.

I havn't quite finished chapter 29, but that is what's going on now.

Chess Update

I continue to work my way up through all the players on Chessmaster 10. I think I've beaten everyone under "Adam."

I figured out how to make the board bigger ... use the scroll button.

The 4/10/06 puzzle is 22. ? Qxh5 gxQ 23. Bxh7 mate.

The answer is the same! Easy.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

End of Week 4 - Q28

I didn't study at all Thursday night. We were going to watch The Office, but NBC had some other sit com on. So I waited around for nothing.

Friday I worked from home. At lunch time, I went outside (it was absolutly gorgeous!) and let my kid ride his scooter while I read my Thinking Strategically book.

Game Theory

The chapter I read was Brinkmanship. It talks about the art of moving down of path that the both players do not want to go, but one is willing to go in order the make the other "blink" or change strategy. The whole chapter used the Cuban Missile Crisis as a good example of brinkmanship.

The main ideas are that there are no well-defined lines that can be crossed. The whole idea is to get the players moving down a slippery slope. One side deliberatly creates risk and then allows control of the risk to loosen to the point that he can no longer control it.

The US or USSR could not make a full-blown nuclear threat because it would not be credible. But if one of them takes small steps down the slippery slope and creates an enviroment where he is slightly out of control, then the other should see this and being rational, he comes to a point where he cannot take it any longer.

It was a very good chapter and I enjoyed it a lot. It made me want to watch the movie Thirteen Days again. The chapter also mentioned that any readers who havn't seen Dr. Strangelove and Failsafe should watch them.


The class I wanted to take since taking my 2nd finance class ... I no longer want to take it. It's not the worse class I've had, but I just don't want to study for this class! Isn't that terrible? I'm getting so lazy as I near the end. I just need to stick it out and finish with these two finance classes and then my other two (one in the Summer and one in the Fall). The rest of the classes will be enjoyable.

I'm going to try to study for PTAP this morning, but I'm stalling big time. I'm just going to review and read the instructions for our next case.

Quixote Update
Chapter 28

The barber and the priest are still in the mountains and they take Cardenio with them. So Cardenio, the barber, the priest and (I think) Sancho are all looking for Quixote. In their search they find what they think is a fair boy with his feet in the water. All of the sudden the boy lets out his blonde hair ... it's not a boy but the most beautiful woman they have every seen. She attempts to escape, but the men tell her not to be alarmed and that they are there to help her. She opens her mouth and reveals by her speech that she is very intelligent.

She begins to tell them a story ... at this point I went to bed.

Chess Update

Back in February, I had a few bucks on a card to spend at Best Buy. I was looking at the software section and noticed that Chessmaster 10th Edtion was only $10. So I bought it. Ever since it's been sitting on my desk. Thursday night I decided to install it and check it out. I can't believe it, but it's been out 3 years already!

It is MUCH better then CM9000. I love the interface and the graphics and all the features. I've just barely scratched the surface. Now that I have a computer that can handle 3D, I've enjoyed playing in 3D. They even included some 3D glasses. I dinked around with the tutorials and a few other features and everything I've seen so far, I really like.

I wish that the board could be re-sized. In my opinion, it is a little toosmall. It may be possible, I just havn't figured it out yet.

So the last couple of days, I've been playing the personalities on Chessmaster. I logged on the UBI game forum to see how many were playing chess. Only a handful were there. FICS will always be the best free option. Eventually I may break down and buy a membership over at the Chessbase/Fritz forum and play the Europeans.

Well, I've stalled long enough. I think I'll skip the puzzle today and start getting into HW.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Week 4 HW Wed.

Game Theory

I started working on the practice final exams. He's provided us a copy of the past three exams he's given in this class. So I've been working on the problems last night and today.


Didn't do anything for this class. I'll work on this class tomorrow.

Quixote Update

I finished chapter 27. The end of Cardenio's story was finally revealed. As suspected, Don Fernando (Cardenio's "friend") desired Luscinda. He sent Cardenio to his brother's place so that he could ask Luscinda's hand in marriage. Luscinda sent a letter to Cardenio. Cardenio arrived in time to stop the wedding. He and she talk and she tells him that she has a dagger and will kill herself before she marries Don Fernando. Cardenio says that he'll come to her rescue if need be ... to the death if necessary.

So the ceremony goes on and the priest begins the ceremony. He asks her if she takes Don Fernando to be her husband. There is a long pause (I think she is waiting for Cardenio to come running in to defend her). Cardenio waits for her to take out her dagger. He is frozen and does not move. Then she says yes! Cardenio goes mad. He leaves then and there. He feels betrayed by Luscinda. He heads for the mountians and of course we know the rest of the story.

Chess Update

I played two games yesterday afternoon. I won one and lost a won game. It was pitiful. I'll upload the latest pgn later today.

The 4/6/06 puzzle is 38. ? wow ... this one has a lot of options, which makes it very difficult. I don't know what I'd do. Maybe d8=Q. If he takes my knight, I take him with my queen. The he has to take one of my queens leaving the other to capture the rook.

The answer is Qf6+ and I don't get it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

PTAP Lecture 4 - Q27


I feel a little bad, but I really don't enjoy the PTAP lectures. After about 90 minutes, I totally space out ... it's like he's speaking Japanese. We talked about arbitrage opportunities ... that was about all I remember.

We got our first case back ... 25/25.


I registered for Summer term on Monday. Today I'll register for the Fall semester.

Mod A
ITOM 6215 Database Design for Business Applications
MNO 6218 Organizational Leadership

Mod B
FINA 6217 Security Valuation & Selection
MNO 6224 Managing Teams

Mod A
FINA 6214 International Financial Markets
Mod B
STRA 6218 Advanced Master Negotiation

Quixote Update
Chapter 27

I read a few pages last night. The priest and barber carry out their plan to dress up as a damsel in distress so that they can coax Quixote out of the mountains. Sancho leads them to where Quixote is. On their way, the cross paths with Cardenio and he tells them his entire story. So now we get to hear the rest of the story. I stopped reading just before he tells the remainder of his story. It should be interesting.

Chess Update

I logged in as a guest last night while I was waiting for class to begin. The reason I logged in as a guest is because sometimes I'll lose my wireless connection and I didn't want to have a "hanging" game. I played one game and lost my queen and resigned.

The 4/5/06 puzzle is 72. ? wow ... this is a long game! Be6+ If the king captures the bishop, then Qc8+ Qxc8 bxc8+ and white is up a queen. If the king moves c6, then Qc8. The black queen can't capture the white queen without the pawn taking her & queening. If the black queen tries to capture the pawn, then white moves Bd5+ and wins the queen.

The answer is Qc8+ ... almost the same result. I went at it in a round about way. Actually,, now that I'm looking at my variation, there is a flaw. d7 for black.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Game Theory - Lecture 4 Q26

Two weeks after the "flood" at SMU and the commons and most of the bottom floor offices are still closed. I've been having to eat and study outside ... which is no problem at all considering the gorgeous weather we've been having.

Game Theory

We had a quiz to begin the class. I think I missed about 3 or 4. A few students I talked to after the quiz think that every answer was true. I had a couple of false answers. I know I missed the second matrix on the second page.

The lecture was good, as usual. He did show the Princess Bride clip. We wrote up a whole matrix for it too. He had a couple of students play paper, rock, scissors. There is a whole book about PRS strategies. There are lots of websites too. This one is pretty good. Anyway, the students were to play to 4 ... first one who wins 4 wins it all (a bag of cookies). The one student was up 3-0 when the other student came back and won 4 in a row ... cheap entertainment.

The rest of the lecture was about mixed strategies. It was a good lecture as usual. I need to print off the study questions and exam prep stuff and start getting ready for the final.

Quixote Update
Chapter 26

So Sancho comes to the inn where he was tossed up and down in a blanket. He comes accross the two men who helped burn a lot of Quixote's books. They see that Sancho is caught up in the madness of Quixote. They devise a plan to get Quixote out of the mountains and back home where they can get him some mental help. Meanwhile, Quixote is up in the mountains writing sonnets and poems while he's half naked.

Chess Update

The 4/4/06 puzzle is 58. ...? I would think Be4+. This defends his pawn and attempts to draw away the king from his pawn so that the black king can move to d3. Eventually, white would be in zugzwang (white is forced to move the king away from his best square) and then black moves in and wins.

The answer is the same.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Week 4 - Beginning

It was another quiet weekend. We listened to General Conferences (as much as we could with kids running around the house!) I didn't do any homework this weekend. I think I opened my Thinking Strategically book once and it was very brief.

Game Theory

Class, of course, is tonight. I really love this class. Two of my study group members from PTAP have this class too and they love it.

Since I haven't read chapter 7 yet, I've been reading it a little during lunch. It's about unpredictability. When you are in a sum zero game, you have to use a mixed strategy and randomize your moves ... much like paper, rock, scissors. If you think too much about it, your strategy becomes one big circle (as does your foe's strategy). So the strategy becomes this: understand the odds and then know your mix ratio and then randomly apply your mix ratio. It also helps to know your foe's ratio so that you know when to change your strategy. I'm sure the lecture will be good tonight. Tonight, I think he's going to show that clip from The Princess Bride where Vizzini tries to outsmart the Man in Black,

Man in Black: All right. Where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right... and who is dead.
Vizzini: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You've made your decision then?
Vizzini: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
Man in Black: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
Vizzini: Wait til I get going! Now, where was I?
Man in Black: Australia.
Vizzini: Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You're just stalling now.
Vizzini: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten my giant, which means you're exceptionally strong, so you could've put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work.
Man in Black: Then make your choice.
Vizzini: I will, and I choose - What in the world can that be? Vizzini: [Vizzini gestures up and away from the table. Roberts looks. Vizzini swaps the goblets]
Man in Black: What? Where? I don't see anything.
Vizzini: Well, I- I could have sworn I saw something. No matter.First, let's drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours.
Man in Black, Vizzini: [they drink ]
Man in Black: You guessed wrong.
Vizzini: You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha - Vizzini: [Vizzini stops suddenly, and falls dead to the right]
Buttercup: And to think, all that time it was your cup that was poisoned.
Man in Black: They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.


Besides trying to finish reading my chapter, I have to put a few numbers in a table for our project. It shouldn't take too long to do that. I'll take care of it tonight before class.

Quixote Update
Chapter 25

As I was saying before, there is a lot of dialogue between Quixote and Sancho. The gist of it is that Quixote decides to punish himself ... so he strips naked and beats himself against the rocks. He sends Sancho to go talk to his Lady Dulcinea (I don't remember why). I'm curious to see what happens next. Quixote tells Sancho to watch him strip naked and beat himself so that Sancho can relay this information to the Lady. But Sancho protests and says he doesn't want to vomit again! That part was pretty funny!

Chess Update

I didn't play chess at all this weekend, so on with today's puzzle.

The 04/01/06 puzzle is 34. ...? And it is simple. Qxa2. The white queen must capture the black queen, but then black's pawn goes on to become a queen ... uncontested and fully defended.

The answer is the same.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Rocky VI Trailer

Here's the first trailer out on Rocky Balboa

As best as I could understand, this is what he says in the trailer,

What is it you said to the kid? The world ain’t always sunshine and rainbows; it’s a very rough, mean place. And no matter how tough you think you are, it’ll always bring you to your knees and keep you there, permanently, if you let it. You are nobody and you’re never going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about hard you hit, but it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take; and keep moving forward. If you know what you’re worth, go out and get what you’re worth, but you’ve got to be willing to take the hit.

It's supposed to come out in December ... what a graduation treat!