Saturday, December 8, 2012

DNA Proves Romany Originated in NW India or Pakistan

So, the "Gypsies" aren't from ancient Egypt after all.  That blows up a lot of hypotheses favored by some.

European Romani Exodus Began 1,500 Years Ago, DNA Evidence Shows

Dec. 6, 2012 — Despite their modern-day diversity of language, lifestyle, and religion, Europe's widespread Romani population shares a common, if complex, past. It all began in northwestern India about 1,500 years ago, according to a study reported on December 6th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, that offers the first genome-wide perspective on Romani origins and demographic history.

The Romani represent the largest minority group in Europe, consisting of approximately 11 million people. That means the size of the Romani population rivals that of several European countries, including Greece, Portugal, and Belgium.

"We were interested in exploring the population history of European Romani because they constitute an important fraction of the European population, but their marginalized situation in many countries also seems to have affected their visibility in scientific studies," said David Comas of the Institut de Biologia Evolutiva at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain.

The Romani people lack written historical records on their origins and dispersal. To fill in the gaps in the new study, Comas and Manfred Kayser from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, together with their international European colleagues, gathered genome-wide data from 13 Romani groups collected across Europe to confirm an Indian origin for European Romani, consistent with earlier linguistic studies.

The genome-wide evidence specified the geographic origin toward the north or northwestern parts of India and provided a date of origin of about 1,500 years ago. While the Middle East and Caucasus regions are known to have had an important influence on Romani language, the researchers saw limited evidence for shared genetic ancestry between the European Romani and those who live in those regions of the world today. Once in Europe, Romani people began settling in various locations, likely spreading across Europe via the Balkan region about 900 years ago.

"From a genome-wide perspective, Romani people share a common and unique history that consists of two elements: the roots in northwestern India and the admixture with non-Romani Europeans accumulating with different magnitudes during the out-of-India migration across Europe," Kayser said. "Our study clearly illustrates that understanding the Romani's genetic legacy is necessary to complete the genetic characterization of Europeans as a whole, with implications for various fields, from human evolution to the health sciences."

2012 London Chess Classic Game 7

Holy Hathor!  Is fatique setting in on all of the players?  I've no other explanation today for all draws when, realistically, Aronian behind the black pieces should have defeated Gawain Jones, and Mickey Adams with the white pieces should have defeated Luke McShane!  Oh, Mickey, I sooooo remember you from 1999 Las Vegas (the FIDE Knock-Out Championship that GM Alexander Khalifman ultimately won) -- you were so damn cute, dude! 

Er, I digress, ahem.  Oh Mickey, he's so fine, how I wish that he were mine, Oh Mickey!  Oh Mickey!  Paula Abduhl's one claim to fame...

Judit with white drew her game with Anand (current World Champion) with black.  Wooo wooo!  Well, ordinarily I would be cheering for this draw but Polgar has not played well in this premiere event -- not exactly inspiring.  Okay, gloves off -- she's played like crap.  I mean, come on darlings -- she should have at least six more points on the board and you can't tell me for a second that the organizers of this event didn't have that in mind when they invited certain other players...

Here is the Polgar/Anand game from Chessdom:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O b5 8. Bb3 Be7 9. Qf3 Qc7 10. a3 O-O 11. Qg3 Bd7 12. Bh6 Ne8 13. Rad1 Nc6 14. Nxc6 Bxc6 15. Rfe1 a5 16. Bg5 Bxg5 17. Qxg5 Rb8 18. e5 dxe5 19. Qxe5 Qb6 20. a4 bxa4 21. Bxa4 Rc8 22. Bxc6 Rxc6 23. Na4 Qc7 24. c3 Nf6 25. Rd4 Rc8 26. Qxc7 R6xc7 27. Red1 g6 28. Rd8+ Kg7 29. Rxc8 Rxc8 30. Rd6 Rc4 31. b3 Ne4 32. Ra6 ½-½

From The Week in ChessJudit Polgar was not so ambitious against Viswanthan Anand in a Sicilian [as Carlsen was with black against Nakamura with white] and both seemed happy enough with a draw in an event that is simply going badly for them.

Perhaps the understatement of the year...  Oh - forgot to take off the italics - 'kay, try and do that now, Jan...

Sorry darlings!  I'm rallying what I have of Christmas Spirit despite mourning the death of my beloved Mr. Don, and in between writing sentences here I'm stuffing bags full of paper and putting fluff on top and sticking them underneath my fully loaded and ready to crash through the front window at any moment Christmas tree -- yes, I use FAUX GIFTS!  BWWWWAAAHHHHAAAA!

I also chopped down at least a dozen pine trees today -- well, okay, I'm exaggerating just a wee little bit.  What I actually did was pulled out my clippers, pulled on my ultra-heavy leather I'M GARDENING, SUCKERS! gloves and clipped tons of overgrown branches from a humoungous juniper bush out back, and hacked through some extremely-sharp killer thorns on the barberry shrubs out front that still have red berries on them that even the birds can't get to, and arranged a large basket for the living room to fill a corner and a much more subdued and civilized glittery vase to grace the countertop 'twixt the kitchen and dining area in the back wing.  The house is now filled with the scent of juniper, simply cannot imitate the scent of real fresh evergreenery with a candle or essence of oils, etc.

Judit, she's so fricking beautiful.  I HATE her. 

Polgar-Anand. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Judit was also playing in the FIDE World Chess Championship in Las Vegas in 1999.  The first (and last) time I laid eyes on her in person was on Friday, August 13, 1999 at Caesar's Palace playing venue.  There was hardly anyone there.  I had expected to see hundreds, if not thousands, of spectators.  Welcome to the REAL world of chess, JanXena.  So, it does my heart good to see this photo (above) with what appears to be some "fifties" of spectators, if not "hundreds."  LOL!

From the official website:

Results Round 7 - Sat 8th Dec

Gawain Jones v Levon Aronian ½-½
Mickey Adams v Luke McShane ½-½
Judit Polgar v Vishy Anand ½-½
Hikaru Nakamura v Magnus Carlsen ½-½
Vladimir Kramnik (assisting commentary)

Rankings after Round 7

1. Magnus Carlsen 17 7
2. Vladimir Kramnik 12 6
3. Michael Adams 11 6
4. Hikaru Nakamura 9 6
5. Viswanathan Anand 7 6
6. Levon Aronian 6 6
7. Luke McShane 5 6
8. Gawain Jones 3 7
9. Judit Polgar

Crosstable after Round 7
Nr. Title Name Fed. Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 tot TPR
1 GM Viswanathan Anand IND 2775 1 1 1 3 0 1 7 2730
2 GM Luke McShane ENG 2713 1 0 0 3 1 0 5 2640
3 GM Levon Aronian ARM 2815 1 3 1 1 0 0 6 2699
4 GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2795 1 3 1 3 3 1 12 2962
5 GM Gawain Jones ENG 2644 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 3 2531
6 GM Michael Adams ENG 2710 3 1 3 1 1 0 11 2866
7 GM Judit Polgar HUN 2705 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 2482
8 GM Hikaru Nakamura USA 2760 3 0 1 1 3 1 9 2810
9 GM Magnus Carlsen NOR 2848 3 3 1 3 3 3 1 17 3044

Well, I guess Aronian is having a bitch of a tournament here too.  SIX points? 

Friday, December 7, 2012

2012 London Chess Classic Game 6

Judit had the black pieces today against Magnus Carlsen - yeah, that Magnus Carlsen.  She lost, and it sounds pretty gruesome according to Mark Crowther:  Magnus Carlsen took control of the 4th London Chess Classic after defeating Judit Polgar in deceptively simple style. ...  Polgar played a kind of hedgehog setup against Carlsen's English and was slowly squeezed to death with 22...g6 being a serious error.  The game:

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. a3 Bc5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. e4 O-O 9. Be2 b6 10. O-O Bb7 11. Bf4 d6 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. Re1 Ne5 14. Nd2 Nfd7 15. Be3 Qc7 16. b4 Qb8 17. f4 Ng6 18. g3 Rfe8 19. Bf3 Qa8 20. Bf2 Ngf8 21. Qe2 Qb8 22. Red1 g6 23. e5 Bc6 24. Bd4 Red8 25. Bxc6 Rxc6 26. Nf3 dxe5 27. fxe5 Rdc8 28. Ne4 Qc7 29. Nfd2 a6 30. Nf2 Bg5 31. Rf1 Bxd2 32. Qxd2 Nxe5 33. Bxe5 Qxe5 34. Ng4 Rd6 35. Nh6+ Kg7 36. Rxf7+ Kh8 37. Qf2 Qd4 38. c5 bxc5 39. Qxd4+ Rxd4 40. Rxc5 Rcd8 41. Rcc7 Rd1+ 42. Kg2 R1d2+ 43. Kh3 R2d5 44. Ng4 Rh5+ 45. Kg2 Rd2+ 46. Kf3 Rf5+ 47. Ke3 Rxf7 48. Rxf7 Rd8 49. Nf6 Rb8 50. Kf4 h6 51. Ke5 a5 52. bxa5 Ra8 53. a6 1-0

Game from Chessdom.  Some analysis at The Week in Chess

She has the white pieces against Anand tomorrow.  I can't help but think that Judit will be very glad when this tournament is finally over.
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