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· Undermining the hanging pawns (part...

A Day in the Life of a Chess Journalist 
Posted by: MichelGagné on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 10:28 AM

Editorial: A Day in the Life of a Chess Journalist by Daren Dillinger

Our day starts at the chess club, with a friendly game.

Guess what Pete! Remember that former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Lennox Lewis guy who had his chess article submitted for the Chess Journalists of America awards contest? Well he is doing real well; CHESS magazine just came out with a cover feature article on him. And the Los Angeles Times gave him some good coverage in their June 29, 2006 edition...

Read more in ChessVille

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Karlsbad structure 
Posted by: Goran on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 10:16 AM
Bogdan's Chess Lessons

by Bogdan Girmacea

So far we studied so many types of pawn structures, now it is time to present you a new one, named after the place where it has been played many times. I am talking about International tournament from Karlsbad, 1923. This structure looks like in the following diagram:

This pawn structure derives from some variations of Queen’s Gambit (exchange variation), Nimzowitch Defense, Gruenfeld Defense etc. My job here is to explain you the plans for both sides, plans suggested by this pawn structure. So you see, in every position everything depends on pawns, that’s why some grand masters or great authors named them “soul of the game”. As we can see in the diagram, on the board are 2 pawn chains. First one is d4-e3 and the other is d5-c6, so the plans should be done according to this observation. Nimzowitch said that pawn chains must be attacked starting with the base of them, in our case the base of d4-e3 pawns chain is pawn e3 and the base of d5-c6 pawns chain is pawn c6. Also we notice 2 semi-open files: e file for black and c file for white. After these observation now we can try to determine the correct plan for both sides.

White has to attack d5-c6 pawns chain by pushing b pawn (b4-b5) and to place heavy pieces on semi-open c file. Idea is that after exchange on c6, black will have a weak pawn on c6 which will need constant defense, defense that can only be provided by pieces. So those 2 queenside pawns of white is going to attack the 3 pawns of black. This process is very well known as “minority attack” and that will be our topic for today’s lesson.

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Chess in the Press 
Posted by: MichelGagné on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 10:34 AM

The joy of chess

"Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make people happy." If that claim of famous chessmaster Dr. Seigbert Tarrasch sounds exaggerated, spend a Sunday afternoon at Hebrew College, Newton Centre, where Chess Studio on the Hill is in its fourth season. You might recognize what Tarrasch meant when he explained, "Chess, a form of intellectual productiveness, is one of the greatest joys of human existence."

Read more in the Daily News

An Inspired Chess Master Inspires Black Youths

Chess guru Maurice Ashley has toppled some of world's most skilled players over the past decade, while becoming the first African-American in history to earn the title of International Grand Master.

Read more in the Louisiana Weekly

Road to chess mastery checkered

In university, chess elbowed into my life via my roommate, Chad. He was fascinated with a small electronic chess game, playing against the computer -- a computer -- inside it. Little red lights would flash on the plastic board, indicating the computer's move. Chad spent hours with this beeping machine, honing his chess kung fu. During the few times we'd play together, I was allowed about four moves before he quietly smiled and moved in for the slaughter. The fact that Chad was Yoda with a chessboard -- and had a beautiful girlfriend -- showed me that in life, all things were possible.

Read more in the London Free Press

Britney and Kevin aren't the first to find chess sexy

Phil Maggitti, an editor on the satirical US website Pug Bus, is evidently not a chess player. His site was planning to sponsor a competition to find a name for the four-hour Britney Spears-Kevin Federline sex video, currently the subject of a tabloid and internet bidding war, but Maggitti says his interest initially waned when he read a description of what they got up to: "They did nothing all day but have sex - and play the odd game of chess." "At first we were put off by the 'odd game of chess' reference," says Maggitti, "but then we learned that by 'odd' the source really did mean 'odd'."

Read more in the Guardian Unlimited

A Hands-On Approach to Studying the Brain, Even Einstein’s

Standing in her vaultlike walk-in refrigerator, Sandra F. Witelson pries open a white plastic tub that looks like an ice cream container.

There, soaking in diluted formaldehyde, is a gleaming vanilla-colored brain: the curvy landscape of hills and valleys (the gyri and sulci) that channeled the thoughts of the late mathematician Donald Coxeter, known as the man who saved geometry from near extinction in the 20th century.

“His brain is amazingly plump,” Dr. Witelson says. She ought to know.

Read more in the New York Times

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Identical Twins 
Posted by: Errejo on Monday, November 13, 2006 - 12:00 AM
Evans on Chess

Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe -- Indian proverb

We used to think chess was inexhaustible and that no two games were alike. Indeed, one of the allures of our ancient pastime is that so few games are ever duplicated.

"If the number of feasible games was not so enormous, a computer would be able to play perfect chess. The number of possible games (more than 10 to the 120th power) far exceeds the number of atoms in the universe," marvelled David Levy, a pioneer in computer chess.

Really? Other pundits make similar claims, but who knows how vast the universe is?

One thing we do know is that the annals of recorded tournament games contain some curious coincidences – identical twins spawned many years apart. Every so often opponents unwittingly duplicate games that were played before. The shorter the contest, the more likely someone already played it.

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Chess Puzzle: White mates in 2 moves 
Posted by: Errejo on Monday, November 13, 2006 - 12:00 AM
Chess Puzzle
White mates in 2 moves:
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Check YouTube for opening novelties 
Posted by: Goran on Sunday, November 12, 2006 - 07:50 PM
Chess News

Maybe shared videos are going to be next big resource for opening preparation. Peter Doggers has posted piece of the post-mortem of Polgar-Mamedyarov played at the recent Essent tournament. Some days later, Alexei Shirov playing white against Mamedyarov at the Tal Memorial, runs into the forced draw shown at the video. He should have followed blogosphere more closely.

See Shirov misses opening novelty on YouTube

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Interview with Pavel Smirnov 
Posted by: MichelGagné on Sunday, November 12, 2006 - 11:46 AM

Interview with Pavel Smirnov

Born in 1982 in Mezhdurechensk, Russia. Current FIDE rating – 2623. Two-time European Club team champion with Tomsk-400. Very popular among fellow chess players, an extremely deep opening analyst, a brilliant tactician, and a very sincere and kind man.

Read more in the ChessCafe

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Improve Your Positional Chess 
Posted by: MichelGagné on Saturday, November 11, 2006 - 11:36 AM
Writer's Panel

Review: Improve Your Positional Chess by Carsten Hansen,
reviewed by Rick Kennedy.

"Improve Your Positional Chess, by the well-known Danish FIDE Master and columnist for Chess Café, came out in 2004. If you somehow missed it, I’d like to try to persuade you to give it a look. If Seirawan’s Winning Chess Strategies was a shot in the arm for the new or developing chess player, Hansen’s book is a double shot for the top-club-and-better warrior. If you’ve ever wondered why positional players like Petrosian and Karpov were also excellent tacticians, Improve Your Positional Chess will give you some pretty good insights. What Hansen excels at is choosing the right examples to illustrate his points – and providing illuminating words to make them accessible to the reader. Each chapter then has Exercises at the end to test and expand the reader’s understanding. Let’s take a quick walk through the book..."

Read more in ChessVille

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Anand is a god 
Posted by: MichelGagné on Friday, November 10, 2006 - 11:06 AM

Anand is a god for me: Short

British Grandmaster Nigel Short says India's Viswanathan Anand had a lot of chess left in him, but needs to improve his physical fitness to maintain consistency at the top level.

Read more in The Hindu

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Chess Around The Globe 
Posted by: Goran on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 01:31 PM
Chess Around The Globe

By Jordan S.Berson

Cap d’Adge Concludes

The tacticians came out to play in the Cap d’Adge Rapid Tournament, and GM Timour Radjabov came out victorious. Last week, yours truly reported that former World Champion GM Anatoly Karpov was ousted from the tournament in part at the hands of two girls less than half his age. One of the girls, WGM Zhao Xue of China, made it to the quarterfinals, along with GM’s Sergey Karjakin, Radjabov, Etienne Bacrot, Magnus Carlsen, Laurent Fressinet, Andrei Volotikin, and Harikrishna Pentala.

The quarter-finals saw Radjabov and Carlsen dispatch their French opponents (Bacrot and Fressinet respectively) with perfect 2-0 scores. With the White pieces, Carlsen had a Rook and his Queen en prise, when he made a beautiful Queen offering to force Fressinet’s immediate resignation. Carlsen will be 16 at the end of this month.

The other two quarter-final matches were seesaw battles most of the way with very few draws. Volotikin – Pentala started with two draws, and in the extra games the players kept trading wins until Volotikin’s win in sudden death decided the match at 4-3. Karjakin – Xue started out with the two trading wins for the first three games, but with a draw in game four, Karjakin advanced with a score of 2.5-1.5.

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Nigeria Police Embraces Chess 
Posted by: MichelGagné on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 10:20 AM

Nigeria: Nigeria Police Embraces Chess

Determined to improve the intellect of Nigerian Police and perhaps commence the drive to introduce the game of chess in Nigerian schools curriculum, the Nigerian Police Force Educational Department has concluded arrangement to introduce chess in its schools.

Read more in the Daily Champion

Chess in the Trees

My hope is that when you near the end of this story you find yourself so distracted by some great dream of your own that you have trouble sleeping at night- S. Peter Lewis in Treehouse Chroincles

We know that chess can lead to trees of variations, but for two inspired Maine artists/builders, variations can now be dreamt up in the trees.

Read more in the USCF

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Undermining the hanging pawns (part 2) 
Posted by: Goran on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 - 09:46 PM
Bogdan's Chess Lessons

by Bogdan Girmacea

If in previous lesson we saw how white tried to undermine hanging pawns using the “b” pawn, in today’s lesson we will see how to undermine it using the “e” pawn! In general, the undermining of hanging pawns with “e” pawn can produce favorable effects to the side who initiates such a plan. In case white is able to exchange the “d” pawn with his “e” pawn, he will achieve a more active position and he can look bright into the future. In more complicated case when the “d” pawn moves forward we reach the position in diagram.

As we can see in the diagram, black has a passed pawn on d file which can become dangerous at some point, the c5 pawn is left behind and can become a target for white and more, all light squares in front of those pawns are weak also and can be used by white’s pieces. What else we notice? We notice that now white has 4 pawns versus 3 on kingside, so white’s plan becomes clear now: he must create pawn phalanx “e-f” and push it forward.

But let’s not talk too much and allow me to present you a concrete example. It’s a famous game between Fisher and Spasski, Reykjavik, 1972. The game started as a Queen’s Gambit and after 15 moves we reached position in the diagram.

1. c4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 0-0 6. e3 h6 7. Bh4 b6 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Rc1 Be6 12. Qa4 c5 13. Qa3! Rc8 14. Bb5! a6 15. dxc5 bxc5

This is common position with hanging pawns. The move Bb5 was very strong because it doesn’t allow black to develop easy his knight, since after Nd7 or Nc6 white would capture it and play a better ending. We know now that in positions with hanging pawns the side which fights against it will be happy to exchange pieces. And even more, if white would manage to exchange that bishop for the knight, he will go into a late middle game with a strong knight versus a bad bishop. That’s why Spasski played like in the game:

16. 0-0 Ra7 17. Be2 Nd7 18. Nd4!

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Banker accused of raping daughter 
Posted by: MichelGagné on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 - 09:44 AM

Chess star's suicide after 'rape'

A chess champion tried to kill herself after telling friends she had been raped by her father, a court has heard.

Read more in the BBC NEWS

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Pawn Star 
Posted by: Errejo on Monday, November 06, 2006 - 12:00 AM
Evans on Chess

It seems that the best way to get publicity for chess is a juicy scandal. And now that the fair sex is invading this traditionally male bastion, the tabloids are ever vigilant.

A trivial incident during a party at the Chess Olympiad in Italy last May spread like wildfire around the world. Armenian GM Levon Aronian, 24, was dancing with Filipino beauty Arianne Caoili, 19, when British GM Danny Gormally, 30, took a swing at his rival in a sudden fit of jealousy. "It was just a minor dance hall schuffle," said Aronian, who led his team to a gold medal. But the next day some Armenian chess fans roughed Gormally up a bit, and he decided to return to England.

Meanwhile the gossip-mongers in the press had a field day. "It's probably the best thing that happened to this much-mocked pastime in a generation," enthused a tabloid. The chess blogs and the paparazzi went gaga over Arianne's photos. Who can blame them?

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Chess Puzzle: White mates in 2 moves 
Posted by: Errejo on Monday, November 06, 2006 - 12:00 AM
Chess Puzzle
White mates in 2 moves:
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Cyberchess champ, better than Deep Blue 
Posted by: MichelGagné on Sunday, November 05, 2006 - 10:48 AM

Cyberchess champ has Israeli accent

IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue has nothing on the Israeli reigning world champion in computer chess, affectionately called Deep Junior. The program has won five world computer chess championships, beginning in 1997.

Read more in The New Jersey Jewish Standard

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The Chess/Bridge Divide 
Posted by: MichelGagné on Saturday, November 04, 2006 - 11:37 AM

The Chess/Bridge Divide, and One Who Crossed Over

If a chess grand master is taught to play bridge, and a bridge expert learns chess, which one will do better at the other’s game?

Read more in The New York Times

Kasparov Applauds Turkey Chess Electives

World-famous chess master Garry Kasparov described offering chess classes as an elective course in Turkish public school as an admirable development.

Read more in The Zaman News

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The making of Chess champions 
Posted by: MichelGagné on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 10:44 AM

The making of Chess champions

THE victory of Ivana Furtado in World under eight chess championship should interest child psychologists, neuroscientists and mathematical philosophers. She might also be having outstanding mathematical, programming and computing capabilities. Thanks to her involved and caring parents and the timely and expert coaching by the trainers she got moulded into the world’s first under eight junior chess champion. But she has not so far got the press coverage, which a lawn tennis star Sania Mirza once got. There is always discrimination between games involving muscles and mind.

Read more in The Navhind Times

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Chess Around The Globe 
Posted by: Goran on Thursday, November 02, 2006 - 03:05 AM
Chess Around The Globe

By Jordan S.Berson

Essent It Ironic?

The Essent Crown Group featuring former World Champion GM Vesselin Topalov is in the books, and Topalov was not the winner. Of the four players in this Double-Round-Robin tournament, Topalov finished a dismal third with 2.5/6 points.

The joint winners were GM Shakhryar Mamedyarov, who won by tiebreak formula, and GM Judit Polgar, each finishing with a respectable 4.5/6 and 2900+ performance ratings. Last place went to GM Ivan Sokolov who scored a single draw against Topalov for a paltry 0.5/6.

Polgar showed her prowess by winning both of her games over a weary Topalov, who was clearly out of form and in need of rest after losing the World Championship Reunification a week earlier against GM Vladimir Kramnik.

The 84-player Open Tournament saw a two-way tie for first place. GM’s Ivan Cheparinov and Jan Werle each scored 7.0 points in the nine-round Swiss System event. Behind them at 6.5/9 were GM’s Evgeny Postny, Michail Brodsky, Mikhail Gurevich, and Alexander Goloshchapov.

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Undermining the hanging pawns 
Posted by: Goran on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 02:02 AM
Bogdan's Chess Lessons

by Bogdan Girmacea

The side that fights against hanging pawns can use two more ideas besides the ones I presented so far in previous lessons:
a) undermining the hanging pawns using b pawn
b) undermining the hanging pawns using e pawn.

In today's lesson we will cover first idea and in order for you to understand better I would like to present you a concrete example from practice. I am talking about game Taimanov – Psakhis, Moscow, 1981 and after first 13 moves, the players reached the position in next diagram.

1. Nf3 c5 2. b3 b6 3. Bb2 Bb7 4. e3 Nf6 5. d4 g6 6. Be2 Bg7 7. 0-0 0-0 8. c4 e6 9. dxc5 bxc5 10. Nc3 Qe7 11. Qd2 Rd8 12. Rfd1 d5 13. cxd5 exd5

This is another typical position with hanging pawns with lots of pieces on board, so the game is still complex. White wants to attack those pawns and to simplify the position with exchanges and black wants to prolong middle game and to avoid pieces exchanges.

The game continued with 14. Rac1

This is a small inaccuracy. Maybe better was Na4 in order to attack c5 pawn and to open a1-h8 diagonal, and in case of 14…Ne4 it follows 15. Qc2 and exchange of the dark square bishop, which will facilitate an easier attack over hanging pawns.


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Flash Games
1: Darst (390)
2: KingsX (337)
3: zerodown1227 (273)
4: destroyer (164)
5: orange (163)

Show 'em who's boss!
View more top players...

Smack the penguin
1. LightningChess: 323.5
2. andyplatt: 323.5
3. PhilHarris: 323.5

Bloody Penguin
1. Darst: 1,313
2. Ralphedelominius: 1,276
3. MikeHofmann: 1,265

Seconds Of Madness
1. Darst: 747
2. orange: 587
3. destroyer: 492

1. Pippenger: 911,016
2. JamesFriesen: 313,801
3. Devilz: 239,552

1. Devilz: 98,250
2. aviynw: 98,230
3. KingsX: 98,030

Golf - Hole in One
1. PhilHarris: 7
2. bruno: 7
3. orange: 7

1. Darst: 5,797
2. zerodown1227: 4,580
3. orange: 75

Golf - Beginner
1. rogeliomonillas: 13
2. Errejo: 14
3. zerodown1227: 14

1. Darst: 80,686
2. JamesFriesen: 79,525
3. KingsX: 56,664

Space Invaders
1. JamesFriesen: 242,930
2. DarthWind: 161,770
3. Ralphedelominius: 107,770

1. Errejo: 16
2. lanceanator: 16
3. DarthWind: 16

501 Dart Challenge
1. crowly: 12
2. RoxoHUC: 12
3. PhilHarris: 13

3d Snake
1. KingsX: 309
2. sacan38: 252
3. sacan19: 203

Golf - Medium
1. Darst: 14
2. zerodown1227: 15
3. rogeliomonillas: 16

1. sacan38: 2,848
2. Svile: 2,626
3. IlanMeerovich1: 2,411

Snake 2!
1. sacan38: 2,665
2. Svile: 1,868
3. KingsX: 1,638

Break out (v2!)
1. Darst: 1,000,940
2. JamesFriesen: 983,610
3. perpetualmate: 816,440

Ball Game
1. JamesFriesen: 00:00:19
2. Errejo: 00:00:23
3. Stoicescu: 00:00:28

Smack The Rabbit
1. BulletMercenary: 00:00:03
2. DarthWind: 00:00:03
3. Darst: 00:00:03

1. LightningChess: 21
2. BulletMercenary: 21
3. KingsX: 21

1. eb4258: 8,498
2. Devdog08: 6,254
3. Adam2015: 5,288

All Out
1. SteveJones2: 00:00:02
2. BulletMercenary: 00:00:02
3. BlackEyedPeas: 00:00:02

1. Knightmover: 199
2. BulletMercenary: 195
3. orange: 173

1. Darst: 3,814
2. EricMarine(V)-07: 3,773
3. zerodown1227: 3,757

Blocks 2
1. patricke7: 334,610
2. JamesFriesen: 178,229
3. rogeliomonillas: 116,366

1. Jaspur: 218
2. Mel: 209
3. Darst: 207

1. DusamAdamec: 67
2. PhilHarris: 71
3. zerodown1227: 77

501 Darts 2
1. FIN: 22,000
2. d_ogando: 19,000
3. RoxoHUC: 19,000

Cone Crazy
1. JamesFriesen: 800
2. KingsX: 760
3. Robertogaspar69: 750

1. Darst: 40,960
2. zerodown1227: 28,280
3. KingsX: 28,270

1. KingsX: 9,880
2. zerodown1227: 9,860
3. eb4258: 9,800

Cone Crazy 2
1. JamesFriesen: 2,550
2. KingsX: 1,700
3. felipe12: 1,700

1. zerodown1227: 30,400
2. KingsX: 22,700
3. EricMarineMp07: 21,900

Crazy Closet
1. Th3Donut: 179
2. KingsX: 178
3. JF: 177

1. Daniel_Gabor: 14,200
2. destroyer: 13,500
3. zerodown1227: 13,300

1. zerodown1227: 12,749,000
2. Darst: 10,828,600
3. KingsX: 10,124,600

Mole hunter
1. BulletMercenary: 2,040
2. KingsX: 2,040
3. Darst: 2,040

1. IchbindieBlup: 211,500
2. KingsX: 208,400
3. rogeliomonillas: 207,300

UFO Shoot
1. rogeliomonillas: 26,380
2. Darst: 23,980
3. perpetualmate: 23,970

Word Game
1. Pharaoh: 1,137
2. FIN: 355
3. BulletMercenary: 349

Plasmanout V2
1. KingsX: 166
2. IchbindieBlup: 156
3. Darst: 155

1. Daniel_Gabor: 6,859
2. rogeliomonillas: 6,404
3. Theresa-Lorenzo: 6,356

1. orange: 666
2. EricMarineMp07: 666
3. Darstsucks: 571

Space Game
1. perpetualmate: 2,550
2. KingsX: 2,500
3. erikseiferth222: 2,450

1. rogeliomonillas: 8,824
2. Theresa-Lorenzo: 7,353
3. PhilHarris: 6,430

Plasmanout on Fire
1. KingsX: 183
2. orange: 181
3. perpetualmate: 174

1. NeddieSeagoon: 21,684
2. destroyer: 21,072
3. rogeliomonillas: 17,649

1. eb4258: 2,185,424
2. Darst: 1,670,988
3. zerodown1227: 996,105

Cash It Up!
1. Daniel_Gabor: 129,273
2. Darst: 124,221
3. Svile: 110,773

Mars Rover (Final)
1. KingsX: 1,694
2. solus: 1,481
3. solusi: 1,418

Set your own!

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With all these chess players in a hypothetic tourney of 8 rounds, which player could win?

· Madonna
· Pope John Paul II
· Fidel Castro
· Sylvester Stalone
· Arnold Schwarzenegger
· Marilyn Monroe
· Ray Charles
· Albert Einstein
· John Lennon
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· Billy Graham
· Bob Dylan

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