Writing the wrongs.

Esoteric ramblings from the abyss.

Category: Info

A to Z USA States: Colorado, Connecticut and Delaware

I haven’t updated my blog in ages but I wanted to let everyone who reads it know that the A to Z has continued in the month of December!


Colorado Tomato Soup

photo 2 (1)


Colorado Peach Pie

photo 1 (1)


Summer Squash Casserole with Nuts and a New England Bean Dip

photo 2 (2)


Spinach Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

photo 1 (2)


Strawberries & Cream Shortcake

photo 3

photo 4



A – Z American States Cuisine: California

California Grilled Vege Sandwich with tofu avocado salad.

Source source 2

California is such a gigantic state that I could not do it justice with two dishes. However, the two I chose I was very happy with. The avocado salad was very easy to put together and was refreshing, certainly one of the better uses of tofu I have found.

The grilled vege sandwiches were absolutely lovely. The garlic mayo feta base was divine and the grilled veges had just enough black to add that hint of bbq. These went down very well with the missus.




Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes


STOP PRESS: These are the best puddings i have ever made. Of course I could not use Meyer lemons as intended (organisation skills and budget) so bog standard British lemons (or wherever they’ve been imported from lol) were used. The method was surprisingly easy. The ingredients made six normal sized ramekins.

A word of warning. These puds are like crack. Seriously, we both ate two the night I made them and then polished them off the next night. I’m already dreaming of when I can next make these.



Next week: Colorado.

World Chess Candidates 2014: Aftermath

So the results are in… Vishy Anand is the winner! Written off by many, including me, the veteran former world champion earns a rematch against the World Number 1, Magnus Carlsen.

Karjakin got a very handy second and Andreikin overperformed, but perhaps the other main story from this candidates, apart from Anand, is that the rest of the cast where somewhat disappointing. Kramnik lost three games and Topalov just didn’t show up at all. 

As for my predictions, as with many others I put too much credence on Lev Aronian’s recent form and not enough on his preponderancy to somehow lose form at the candidates. I also failed to predict Anand’s stellar performance… but who did?


Final results of the 2014 Candidates Tournament[8]

Rank Player Rating
March 2014[9]
Points Tiebreaks[10]
H2H Wins SB
  W B W B W B W B W B W B W B W B  
1 India Viswanathan Anand 2770   ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 3 57.25
2 Russia Sergey Karjakin 2766 ½ ½   1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 3 51.75
3 Russia Vladimir Kramnik 2787 ½ ½ 1 0   1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 0 7 3 49.25
4 Azerbaijan Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2757 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0   1 ½ 1 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 7 2 3 48.00
5 Russia Dmitry Andreikin 2709 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0   1 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 7 2 48.50
6 Armenia Levon Aronian 2830 ½ 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 0   1 ½ ½ ½ 3 45.00
7 Russia Peter Svidler 2758 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0   1 0 ½ 3 46.00
8 Bulgaria Veselin Topalov 2785 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0   6 2 42.25

World Chess Candidates Tournament 2014: Predictions Part 2

4. Peter Svidler

– Many will be critical of Peter Svidler’s inclusion in the tournament at the behest of the Russian sponsors. However, to be fair to Svidler he over-performed at the last candidates coming third and has shown an uncanny knack of upsetting higher rated players in tournaments. Note that unlike most other wildcard options, Svidler has actually defeated Magnus Carlsen in a recent classical game. I think he will have a good tournament but that’s all. Prediction: 7.5/14, 4th

3. Vladimir Kramnik

– The legend returns for yet another bite at the cherry. Everyone knows how powerful Kramnik is and like two of the other candidates he has won the world championships before. The only things I see preventing victory for Kramnik are ring rust, he hasn’t played competitavely in 2014, and a certain Armenian who seems unstoppable.
Prediction: 8.5/14, 3rd

2. Sergey Karjakin

– This will be my most controversial prediction. I think Karjakin will rock this Candidates. He seems to have been forgotten or written off by the pundits, despite qualifying on ELO alone. That means consistency. Ok, he had an average Tal Memorial, but he won the Norwegian Tournament, not to mention a string of other good performances. What else is in his favour? He is young, this is his best chance to get at the world championship and he is on home turf. He was born in the Crimea so the only thing that could prevent a good show is if his mind is elsewhere, but I can’t see it. Only issue is, there is one other super GM who I think will sneak ahead of Sergey when the dust settles… Prediction: 8.5/14, 2nd

1. Levon Aronian

– Has been in the form of his life and recently reached his highest ELO rating, the third highest in history. If it wasn’t for Magnus Carlsen Lev would be the poster-boy of chess. Call it written in the stars but I can’t see Lev bottling it this time, unlike at Candidates 2013. Prediction: 9.5/14, 1st


So there they are, my mystical predictions. Lev Aronian to win!

World Chess Candidates Tournament 2014: Predictions Part 1.

The tournament to decide who will play Magnus Carlsen for the World Chess Championship kicks off next week in the Russian town of Khanty Mansiysk, on March 11th.


The participants are:

1. Viswanathan Anand (IND, former World Champion)
2. Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, World Cup 2013 winner)
3. Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, World Cup 2013 finalist)
4. Veselin Topalov (BUL, Grand-Prix 2012-13 winner)
5. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, Grand-Prix 2012-13 runner-up)
6. Levon Aronian (ARM, rating list 2012-13)
7. Sergey Karjakin (RUS, rating list 2012-13)
8. Peter Svidler (RUS, host nominee)


Here are my untrained predictions in reverse order, part 1:

8. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov; 4/14

– A chess player who seems to have flown under the radar to qualify for the candidates; qualifying only because of the best three results out of four rule from the Grand Prix over Fabiano Caruana. Nothing suggests to me anything other than pain for Shaka, his preference for mad positions just won’t fly at the Candidates. Prediction: 4/14, 8th position

7. Veselin Topalov; 5.5/14

– Love him or hate him, Topalov has been there and done it before. Some impressive Grand Prix displays got him the qualification. The only problem is his form has been patchy at best, Grand Prix’s aside, and I get the feeling he may just do a Chucky here, win a couple spectacularly, but completely lose it elsewhere. Prediction: 5.5/14, 7th

6. Viswanathan Anand; 6/14


– Never really showed up in his world title defeat to Magnus Carlsen and has been lacklustre ever since, especially at the Zurich Chess Challenge where he struggled to 2/5. However, his rating still stands him in good stead and he still has the ability to crush his opponents with a technical masterpiece. But unless Vishy has had some kind of divine intervention in recent weeks it’s hard to see him overcome some of the more hungry opponents and will end up nearer the bottom of the table. Prediction: 6/14, 6th

5. Dmitry Andreikin; 6.5/14

– Qualifies courtesy of a world cup final apperance. Although the lowest rated GM here, he certainly has pedigree, being World Junior Champion and Russian Champion in 2012. The only problem is, Andreikin has a bit of a habit of playing it safe and drawing more often than not. That’s fine, but not good enough to win a Candidates. Expect a Grischuk style performance with few fireworks. Prediction: 6.5/14, 5th


That’s it for part 1, part 2 will be posted later in the week. Please comment below your predictions