Open source software is not too shabby, the journey thus far

elementary os LOKI
elementary os LOKI

The breakpoint and frustration with Windows

Almost 2 years ago I was so frustrated with Windows on my computer that I  decided to replace it completely. I had recently upgraded to  Windows  10 from Windows 8 with great excitement and enthusiasm but sadly this was short-lived after a while it seemed that my  computer had slowed down considerably.  It seemed that a number of users were also having similar issues when I checked online forums and there were varying reasons for this, a number of which could be fixed. However, I guess I had reached my breakpoint as a Windows user.   I had checked for viruses and other bugs using the latest tools but could find none.  One of my big worries was that  my laptop which was quite decent in terms of speed and specs,  was just not performing at its true potential. It was just so sluggish it took forever to get anything done. It never seemed to amazed me how many background processes where running on my computer when I would press CONTROL + ALT + DELETE to restart my machine. Why where there so many processes running in the background. I already knew this was a thing on Windows since I have go through most versions of Windows since in started. My involvement with Windows goes back to the DOS days. I still remember when Bill Gates took out the entire page of the times to advertise Windows 95. So I had been using Windows for a while now and moving to another operating system was a very big deal.

The long search for an alternative

I then spent several hours looking for a viable alternative to Windows. I did not want to do a dual boot where I would have access to 2 operating systems.  I decided on a complete format. After reading many online reviews I  settled on an operating system called elementary os (elementary operating system) which is based on  Linux and feels very much like an Apple operating system. I had tinkered with Linux before so I knew what I was getting myself into with the decision to go for elementary os. However, what I found compelling about elementary os was that it was quite light and seemed to be a hybrid between Linux Ubuntu and Apple Operating system (iOS). It was quite an inspired decision,  replacing  Windows but it’s one of the best things I’ve done on my  computer. I installed elementary without personally knowing anyone who was running the system. The entire process of downloading and installing elementary was a little bit technical but once installed I was sorted.

Changes after installing elementary
I had to change many  things after installing elementary. Almost every  program I used on Windows was proprietary just like the operating system. This had to change after I switched to elementary.  I thought Microsoft Office was very decent in terms of quality but also decided to replace that.  I chose Open Office to replace the Microsoft version. I made sure that when I saved documents they were in the doc format that other people could open.

What about the Windows-based chess software
The biggest challenge with going Open Source was Chess software.  Chessbase has set the bar for Windows based software. I found my replacement in open source by using Chessbase online. There is  Chess online lacks some of the features of the Windows software but the online version does an incredible job. Some open source alternatives to Chessbase are ChessX and SCID and SCID versus PC. The best Chess Engine at the moment,  Stocking 8, is open  source.

Here are a few things Ive learnt about Open source over the years:

You don’t have to be a techie for Open source

It certainly helps you don’t have to be a techie to run Open source. I am not a techie myself but I am very curious about how things work. Initially I thought you had to be very good with code to go with open source  and it’s one of the  reasons I delayed for adopting Open source for a very long time and I was wrong.  However you should be prepared to run a few lines of code every now and then. I was very nervous about the command line interface but it’s not a big deal.  Whenever I need to run any commands I just look them up on Google.
Working online a great deal? Give Open source some consideration
If you do most of your work online,  in the  cloud,  you should seriously consider going Open source. If your work is online based, you might be a good candidate for the Open source experiment.

Old computers work fine with Linux and elementary os

You can use Open source over operating systems with fairly  old computer  specs. A 10  year old computer can run Linux or Elementary OS quite nicely.  I believe that to run Windows 10 and get good performance in terms of speed it definitely helps to have a recent  computer model.

The massive influence on Open source

Working with Open source has piqued my interest in  computers and technology and I have realised just how much Open software and technology is used on a day to day basis and has impacted our working lives.I recently discovered that WordPress, which is also open source, powers at least 27 percent of the internet. (My website, AfricaChessnet, runs on wordpress and the platform is so easy to use.)  That’s good open source is. I run and maintain my own website.I believe that working with Open source Operating systems has inspired me to delve deeper into how technology works. I am learning to code as well. Linux is the most secure operating system and most servers in the world run on Linux OS. My favourite messaging App Telegram is also open source. The base Android system, before any modification by phone manufacturers, is open source.

Look for the open source alternative

When you realise how good open source technology you start looking for alternatives often. I have managed to replace almost all the proprietary software I use. The one tool I am still using at the moment is Evernote. So far its been great but I have already been checking out what the open source options look like.

Take baby steps if you decide to go open source

If you decide to experiment within open source software on your computer try the dual booting route first. This will give you the option to continue using Windows while you try out Open source. Please do not do in a production environment. Do you have an old computer lying around that you hardly use. That would be perfect to try installing Linux or elementary.

Once you are good with open source, going back to proprietary is hard

Once you get used to working with Open source software it’s very difficult to go back to proprietary software. Open source software is not for everyone. Some software  especially graphic and design software is only available for  in  Windows or Apple Operating systems.
Computing the way it was designed to be
Booting my computer takes less than a minute and for the most part my computer is much faster than before.  Moving from one task to another on the computer is basically instantaneous. This is how things should be.

Focus moves from operating system to the work at hand

When your computer is very fast you forget about the operating system you are using. There are very few programs working in the  background that I am not aware of on elementary OS.  Your focus is much more on the work and tasks you are attending to.

The software and technology are so good, but..
The most intriguing thing about Open source software and technology is that a lot of it is not just incredibly good, stable and reliable but it’s also free and that’s something worth thinking about.

Lessons from the 2017 Australian Open Tennis finals

Never give up.
Be prepared to work hard for a very long time.
Stay close to the team and the team will get you through.
If you stick around, your chances will come.
You write-off winners at your own peril.
Try a different plan if things are not working.

Watching Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the 2016 Australian Tennis Open was deeply inspiring. Here were two guys, who have been written off in favour of younger and more energetic rivals. Yet after two weeks Federer and Nadal were doing the unthinkable, they were playing in the final of a Grand Slam. Playing earlier in the Women’s Final were the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena Williams. When was the last time we had an all Williams final? one will have to go back to the archives to check out the last time we had an Williams final. I draw some lessons from these finals. These finals played by 30 year-olds in the era of grueling baseline rallies and brutal service games, were not meant to happen, at least on paper!

1) Never give up

If these players had listened to critics and armchair analysts they would have long since stopped playing tennis. I can’t tell you how many comments I have read where tennis wrote off these players and advised them to hang up their retire. If these players stopped to entertain critics they would have quit their dreams long back.  They were too old, they no longer had what it took to win. It is always fascinating to read articles which proclaim the end of an era. Yet these same players had other ideas. Instead of fading away quietly they have stuck it out. They are still playing with greater hunger, going for every point like the match depends on it.

2) Be prepared to work hard for a very long time

If you talk to these champions they will tell you that they were preparing for a very long time, many months in the gym and on the practice court. There was a story that Roger Federer would practice one of shots for four hours. The fantastic shots and precision that we have come to admire is not only a results of talent but the incredible work that has been put it to refine it.

We the fans see the glamorous results, the Grand Slam tournaments but there are many struggles and battles in betweens. The struggle to regain match fitness after a long time away, polishing up one’s game and overcoming weaknesses, overcoming health challenges. What we witness in a few hours is a result of a lifetime of dedication. Are you prepared to stay the course? If you want to be among the winner, you need the work ethic or a winner.

3) Stay close to the team and the team will get you through

Only those people on the inside really know what they players had to endure. For Federer he had not won a Grand Slam since 2012. He took the longest injury-related-break in his career due to injury. Nadal left the French Open in tears. i had no idea that we might see him again at that level. Venus Williams, we cannot even remember the last time she was in a Grand Slam but she stayed the course. She showed that she still has the mentality and game of a winner. Venus had good reason to leave the game altogether. She has battled illness for a very long time and even her biggest supporters have at times doubt her but the team helped to keep her going. The team helped her to maintain perspective.

Build your team and invest in them. They are your strength and support system. Not everyone in the world needs to know what’s going on in your world. There will be too much attention and too many comments from people who don’t really matter. Keep close to the team. You can trust them and count on them to help you through.

4) If you stick around, your chances will come

There are so many great players now and you never know what will happen in a Grand Slam tournament. However, if you keep taking part, something will happen sooner or later. Watching the matches during the Australian Open, some of the top seeds were upset and this open things up for Federer and Nadal. WIth Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray knocked out, suddenly Federer and Nadal were in the mix, they were playing very well and with the top seeds out of the tournament anything was possible.

It’s quite logical. If you have more attempts you increase the likelihood of your success. Serena Williams has been trying to reach 23 Grand Slam titles for a very long time now and she had come incredibly close to reaching that milestone in the past few years. Each time failed to win a Grand Slam she would just come back in the next one.Put yourself in a position to achieve your goals and one day the stars will align for you.

5) You right off winners at your own peril

Winners stay in the game because they know that they still have what it takes to reach the highest levels. You right them off at your own peril. Everyone time a winner steps onto the court, onto the field, into the ring, into the office, you know great things can happen. They know what it takes to win and will do everything it takes to get onto the podium again.
People may write you off but you know deep inside that you can do it. Nurture that belief but more than that. Live it every day.

6) Try a different plan

The Federer Nadal final was very interesting from a tactical and strategy perspective. These players have played so many matches and the way the match goes is very predictable. Nadal will put massive pressure on the Federer backhand by hitting high bouncing top spins. When Federer returns, he would return with a chip backhand which is quite a soft return. In a typical game Nadal could hit say 70% of the balls to the Federer forehand because technically that is the weakest part of the Federer game. Nadal would then pounce on this easy ball by return withing with a very hard ball. This patten would be repeated in pretty much every game and for this return Nadal would generally dictate the match. However, the Australian Open saw a different game plan from Federer. He stopped his soft chip backhands and instead opted from the flatter backhand which was very close to the net. This return from Federer was very aggressive and Nadal could no longer rely on the success from his tried and tested strategy against Federer. It was my first time seeing Federer dictate Nadal in a very long time. If your plan does not work, try something else. There is no doubt that Federer came to the match with a different game plan.

If you are getting frustrated in life because your plans are not working, have you analysed things to get to the root cause. Why is your plan not working? How about plan B? How do you overcome this failure that is getting in the way of success? Don’t get stuck on an ineffective or inefficient plan, try a different way of doing things.
In summary,
Never give up.
Be prepared to work hard for a very long time.
Stay close to the team and the team will get you through.
If you stick around, your chances will come.
You write-off winners at your own peril.
Try a different plan if things are not working.

One thing at a time, simple as that

Doing one thing at a time has lead to a great deal of efficiency for me. I think the approach works!

Focusing on the task at hand, the race that needs to be run. Nothing else matters during those few seconds before and during the race.
Focusing on the task at hand, the race that needs to be run. Nothing else matters during those few seconds before and during the race.

I feel much more focussed than before in just about everything I do. I have been reflecting on this and wondering what has really changed. I realised what brought about this wonderful change is a simple thing. Now I just try to do one thing at a time. Yes you heard right, just one thing at a time. I don’t aim to be a hero or rockstar when it comes to multi-tasking, just a simple guy who does only one thing at a time. One thing, the approach is as simple as that. I don’t know if it could be any simpler really.

The days or years of multi-tasking are behind me. I don’t try to do many things at once. I focus on one thing at a time. So this means that if I am writing a short article like this one, that is all I do. I don’t allow distractions to get in the way because they break my thought pattern. If I stop to do something else, even for a minute when I get back to the writing I have lost the flow and I have to try and pick up from where I left off again. Some might argue that it would take just a few seconds or at worst a few minutes to get back in the flow but sometimes things are more complicated than that.

Creativity is not something to be taken for granted. Make the most of it when the inspiration comes your way. Doing one thing at a time is really a kind of specialisation if you think about it. For a certain amount of time you become a specialist in that one thing you are doing. You are no longer the generalist writing emails, checking your social media messages and updates, sending a message to a friend, trying to find something in your wallet. No, you are the specialist who stops everything else for that one moment in time.

So now with my articles I committed to at least one thousand words whenever I post something. Initially one thousand words seemed like a huge target but I realised that if I am really committed it is actually not much at all. On average it will not take me more than forty minutes to write one thousand words.

Whenever I get down to writing this is the minimum target in terms of words. Of course the idea is to not have fluff, just adding words so that I can make my target. That would be a real tragedy. I would like to take the reader of a short journey, to share my ideas and inspiration and hopefully by the time they finish reading, they feel much better than before. I want to write something that actually makes a lot of sense and flows nicely from the start to the end.

In the past it would take me forever to reach one thousand words in an article but now I do it one sitting. In fact I lie, it would be painful to try and reach just three hundred to four hundred words and now it feels easier doing one thousand words. How on earth does that work? I start typing and I keep typing until I feel that I have hit my word target. I use evernote for my articles, not the desktop application but the online one. I first post my articles on the web then transfer them to the blog later on. During the actual process of typing I do not focus on the word target itself but the ideas and thoughts that I am exploring. I believe that my time I am done with the exploration I should also have comfortably met my word target.

So back to my theme of doing one thing at a time, this is what works for me now. With the notifications on the phone removed, it means there is no stopping to check messages or social media. No, I will do that when I am doing with what I am doing. This habit on focussing on thing means I am able to really apply myself on anything that I am working with. When I am working with emails, because there are so many emails to deal with on any given day I need a clear mind, sense of purpose and the ability to work in a speedy and efficient manner.

What amazed me about this idea of doing one thing at a time is that it actually seems counter-intuitive. It is tempting to think that if you only do one thing at a time it will take your forever to get through everything but I think not. I won’t quote the scientific research done in this area because I do take that stuff with a pinch of salt (you see the research conclusions and findings are ever changing) , much as I love reading the research. I believe that if you are doing one thing at a time all your faculties are zoned in one thing. Everything in you is working on that one thing.  Imagine the rays of sunlight being focussed by a magnifying glass on a paper. Sooner or later, they burn a hole into the paper. That’s focus, applying all the energy to one thing even for a brief period.

So the idea is that when I am doing one thing at a time, I don’t actually worry about the amount of time that I will take. The focus is on excellence, doing the very best you can. Because what could be better than excellence. And the more you do something, the better you will get at it. I work from home so this idea of doing one thing at a time for me works reasonably well. I am not sure how it would work in an office-type environment where you have to constantly engage with other people. That might be a challenge.

When I moved this article to the blog I had done just over eight hundred words which was obviously short of the minimum one thousand words. however, within a few minutes I had already filled in the gap which felt really great. It is amazing how a high target if attempted often enough soon starts to feel really achievable.

Now what I love to do is if an approach works for me in one area of my life, I try and see how best it can be applied to other areas of my life. So as a chess player I find myself thinking of this one thing at a time, almost as one move at a time. When it is my turn to play, I focus on one move at a particular time. I can have many ideas in mind but I can only work on the merits of one move at a time. In any case that is all I can play at any given time. I cannot play more than one move. That would be clearly illegal.

How about focussing on one thing so much that other things start to become a blur. This could be driving, talking to someone, listening to someone, playing with your children. How much joy would we get from that? Just a thought I simple thought I leave you with, one thing at a time!

Put the guru or expert to the test, with their own advice

If someone claims to be an expert in a particular area, how much of their own advice have they actually followed or tried out.

the-guruWe live in a time when where are many experts and many gurus in many fields. Sometimes gurus or experts in an area can literally spring up overnight or a matter of weeks or days.  It can be difficult and times confusing on deciding when to take advice especially when those giving it are so certain and sure of it What gives people this kind of confidence?  Even coaches who have won World Championships in sports are sceptical that their approach might work but some gurus will almost swear that if you do A and B, you will definitely get C. And some of the gurus will do so with no verifiable track record!

They say the only things certain in life are death and taxes.  I would like to propose a simple test for the guru or expert. The test is quite simple really and hopefully it will not take too long to run it and get results. If someone claims to be an expert in something, determine to what extent their own advice has worked for them. Do they drink their own medicine?  In other words is the guru their own best client, the best proof that what they say actually works.  Let me give a few examples.

Let’s say that someone has brilliant strategies on how to create wealth. How has that strategy worked out for them? If it hasn’t worked out for them, why not? Why is someone who has tried and failed using a certain approach trying to recommend that very same approach to you? Why would it work for you when it has failed for them, who know the strategy and approach better and more intimately than anyone else? Why are they not wealthy if they have such great ideas or methods on how to become wealth? Surely if it was as easy as they say, would you not at least expect them to be able to show how it can be done.

If it turns out that the person who is giving expert advice on how to become wealth is actually struggling with bankruptcy or struggling immensely with their finances, how seriously will you take their advice? Chances are you will be very concerned if that were the case. How can someone be certain of success when they have no idea of attaining in their own life? How does that work?

If the guru is not taking their own medicine or advice, you have to ask yourself why. Some might argue that it is a case of do as I say and not as I do. I do not find this very convincing. Surely it is much easier to convince others with actual results from your own life.  The reason why I suggest this kind of test for the guru or test is that results speak for themselves.  They can say, look here is what I did and this time or period in my life and those are the results. What I am recommending to you is something that I have actually experienced in my own life. It is not just something I dreamnt of. It is actually something I did, I experimented with, I thought about deeply and it actually really worked. Now someone who does not have the results to show for it, how do they manage to convince others to trust them.

The phrase Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence was popularised by Carl Sagan. If you come across someone making great claims, they have to be ready to back it up. If they are extraordinary claims it is only fair that they should be accompanied by extraordinary evidence. We do not live in a theoretical world. Things should be practical. If the guru does not have any evidence of their claims perhaps the way they present or market the claim should be revisited so that those who are listening to it know that it has not actually been proven. This might be necessary because sometimes ideas, products, services are marketed as fail-safe. People are told to do something with a guarantee of results. However, there is absolutely no accountability whatsoever if things go wrong. This might be one of the reasons why some industries are highly regulated. For example in financial services not just anyone can give financial advice to a customer because there are huge risks to this.

A person has to be qualified to give that advice. They need to have gone through the necessary tests and certification before they are worthy enough to talk to customers about the weighty matters of money. Now the guru, what tests or certification has he or she done before he gives you advice. The more we put gurus to the test, the more we stop wasting time on quick fixes and untested things that can ruin lives. We should be discerning in who we listen to and even more when it comes to implementing advice from dubious or untested sources.

It is certainly worth the investing auditing or checking out the source before you take risks in your life. It is easier to stop something before you actually commit than to embark on a wild goose chase and only realise later on that you have been taken for a ride. Often when things go wrong those who were generous in giving the advice are nowhere to be seen. You cannot complain about their advice then because it is too late and the damage has already been done. The hard work and research should have been done before you ran with something you were not completely sure of.

By also putting gurus and experts to the test we force them to raise their game and to take the people they deal with more seriously. Even the term guru should not be used willy nilly. It has to be earned. One needs to have the mileage, the results to show for it before such a term can be associated with them. Maybe some of these terms have become like cliches were anyone can claim to be an expert or guru. Imagine someone working up in the morning and claiming to be a doctor who can treat serious diseases and even more shocking if when someone takes them seriously. Well sadly this kind of thing is happening a great deal. It doesn’t have to be this way if we put our gurus and experts to the test.

Funny that I should be giving advice myself. Please note that I am not a guru or expert but you are free to put me to the test 🙂

Talk talk talk..No wait let me listen, I mean really listen.

Talking non stop and then having that moment when I finally stopped to listen, look, think, reflect then answer.

I love to talk. Ever since I learnt to talk I haven’t stopped talking. Even when I was a little child my uncle once complained to me that I was talking too much. If only I could keep quiet. I was asking questions and when he answered them it lead to more questions. There was no end in sight. my curiosity and wonder in the world had been awakened. As an adult I still talk a lot, much more than most people.

In primary school I would talk for hours walking home from school with my friends. Then when we got home and left our bags it would be even more talking and walking in the neighbourhood. We must have covered serious mileage, I’m talking lots of kilometres in the hood, if only we kept up that incredible fitness regime. It was intense and very consistent. I have no doubt some people wondered what we were up to or talking about it. We would talk until late or we simply had to get on with other things.

Now where am I going with this? Wait for me. Hear me out. This business of talking non stop came to an abrupt halt. How? Let me tell you. I learnt to keep my lips together. I learnt to shut up. I have learnt realised over the years that there is something called silence, yes just shutting up.  I have discovered the amazing power of silence in my life, of being still. What happens when the lips stop moving? What takes place when the mind slows down? Instead of thinking a great many things , how about thinking of a small thing like the dot on the wall. If you can do it how about thinking of nothing. If your mind were an artist’s canvass it would be blank with nothing on it.

I’m not sure when exactly or how  I realised the power of silence. It has come in starts and stops over the years. Maybe it was the struggles I’ve had with a short temper over the years. I have realised that my short temper was linked to impatience. I wanted things done my own way and quickly.

Perhaps it was the time when I was speaking to a friend who after hearing what I had to say who be quiet for a little bit. At first it bothered me a great deal that no one was saying anything in the conversation. Why was nothing happening? Where were the words? Why wasn’t someone talking? When would this nonsense stop? Suddenly I realised something. When I allowed those moments of silence I let the message simmer. I was able to think a bit more about what had been said. The usual ping pong of conversation had stopped. This was a wow moment, an aha for me. There’s so much to learn.

Or could it be the long conversations I used to have with my mentor back in Zimbabwe. Sometimes I would say something and it would seem like he was ignoring me but he wasn’t. He would take time to respond. It was not a rushed reply but a careful considered one. Powerful words that would change the way I looked at things.

As much I loved talking I realised that it should be a two way street. This I was reminded by observant friends as well. A friend had pointed that hey Bruce, you are in such a hurry to express your ideas that you simply do not listen to anything I am actually saying. I really needed that. It was a wake up call. If you love to talk why not love to listen. If you love to talk and don’t bother listening, you might as well talk to yourself. Is this not being self absorbed?

Sometimes I wanted to talk and share my ideas so much that even before someone finished what they were saying I was already sharing my own epic story. Why wait? Just get on with it. It doesn’t help that I can speak or write fast. At the end of the day it just led to consistently poor communication. They say one of the great problems with communication is the fallacy that it has actually taken place.

It didn’t matter whether I was talking to a really good friend or my toddlers. Then I was reminded that everything does not need to be said today, right now. Things can wait. Other people love to be listened to, they love to be appreciated. Who doesn’t? So why try to say everything and miss out on the amazing ideas and thoughts that others have to share as well?

Because of these two late developments in my life, listening and silence, my conversations have changed a great deal. I still talk a great deal, much more than most people I know. But now I go over what the world is saying to me as well. It has affected and influenced the way I use social media in a profound way. In the past it was critical for me to be seen and heard, to try and be the centre of attention, to get lots of likes and comments on what I’ve shared. In a WhatsApp group I had to express my thoughts as well. Now I can be present without saying much but taking a great deal of what’s being shared. It helps me to understand others much more. I find that speaking and talking less also gives others a chance to be heard. I think that I’m much more aware of what’s going on in the world around me, much more than ever before.

I’ve already seen that my boys, my children love to talk. Sometimes we can talk for hours about all sorts and they never seem to get tired. This is very familiar. I suspect they talk much more than I did when I was their age. The next big lessons I would like to share with them are silence and listening. Who knows what it will do for them?  It’s done wonders for me. So I would summarise the approach as: Speak less, listen more, think, reflect and empathise more. Then see what happens!  Hope you have an awesome day and week. All the best in everything.

I don’t have the heart, one moment in time!

Two amazing songs I just listened to

What a way to start my day. The first song I listened to was “I don’t have the heart”by James Ingram. As if that was not enough it was then “One moment in time” by Whitney Houston. Whitney took me away. For a little while I was lost.  That beat, those words, those two songs were quite magical for me. I love music but for the most part work in silence. So when I get to listen to poetry like this it can be a profound experience. “I don’t have the heart” by James Ingram is possibly one of his best songs. It’s one of those songs I enjoyed as a kid even when I had absolutely no idea what he was singing about. So today I looked up the lyrics to get an idea of what it was about. Obviously love was involved. The man was fully invested in that song. You could tell by the way James Ingram sang it. He put his heart and soul into that song. The variation in pitch throughout the song is amazing especially towards the end.I do wonder if he can still sing like that after all these years.

Whitney’s song One moment in time is quite an emotional journey. Her message is incredibly powerful, deeply inspiring. Please read it and see what I mean. You will know what I am talking about. She shares a message that can be a mantra in our lives.  It is a declaration of victory in our doubts dreams over our doubts and fears. I think we should all have this one moment in time.  I realise that the legend is no longer with us but we will always have her with us. I associate that song with the Olympics. I think it was released around the time of the Olympics, which ones I am not too sure, perhaps the 1984. Actually it was 1988.

It is tempting to say they don’t make music like they used to but I know great music is still  being made. Music like many things continues to evolve. However, I believe that the 80s and 90s will always have a special place in my heart when it comes to music. For me it seems extra effort when into coming up with that final product. I suspect that I am very biased because that is the time when I Iistened to music a great deal in my life.

Here are the lyrics:

Whitney Houston (1988)

“One Moment In Time”

Each day I live
I want to be
A day to give
The best of me
I’m only one
But not alone
My finest day
Is yet unknown I broke my heart
Fought every gain
To taste the sweet
I face the pain
I rise and fall
Yet through it all
This much remains

I want one moment in time
When I’m more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I’m racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity

I’ve lived to be
The very best
I want it all
No time for less
I’ve laid the plans
Now lay the chance
Here in my hands

Give me one moment in time
When I’m more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I’m racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity

You’re a winner for a lifetime
If you seize that one moment in time
Make it shine

Give me one moment in time
When I’m more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I’m racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will be
I will be
I will be free
I will be
I will be free

James Ingram (1989)

“I Don’t Have The Heart”

Your face is beaming
You say it’s ’cause you’re dreaming
Of how good it’s going to be
You say you’ve been around
And now you’ve finally found
Everything you wanted and needed in meI don’t have the heart to hurt you
It’s the last thing I want to do
But I don’t have the heart to love you
Not the way you want me to

Inside I’m dying
To see you crying
How can I make you understand
I care about you
So much about you, baby
I’m trying to say this as gently as I can

‘Cause I don’t have the heart to hurt you
It’s the last thing I want to do
But I don’t have the heart to love you
Not the way you want me to

You’re so trusting and open
Hoping that love will start
But I don’t have the heart, oh, no
I don’t have the heart

I don’t have the heart to hurt you
It’s the last thing I want to do
But I don’t have the heart to love you
Not the way that you want me to

I don’t have the heart (Ooh…)
(Baby, I don’t have the heart, I don’t have the heart)
I don’t have the heart (Ooh…)
(Baby, I don’t have)

I don’t have the heart
I don’t have the heart
I don’t have the heart…

The US Men’s Olympic Team wins Gold at the Baku Chess Olympiad

After 40 years the Men’s US Team finally wins the Olympiad

They went, they played, said check and it was mate!

Part of the winning team. Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So
Part of the winning team. Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So.            CREDIT Chris Bauer

They have done it. History was made on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 as the US Men’s Olympic team defeated Canada in the last round to seal a memorable first place and take the Gold medal at the forty-second chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan. As Grandmaster Maurice Ashley suggested in a social media post before before the final round, by winning the Olympiad Open, the US Men’s team now has the bragging rights of best chess country in the world! The question that was on many people’s lips was, can the team pull off what has not happened in 4 decades? 40 years had gone by ever since the US Men’s Team won told at the Olympiad. Now the team is stronger than it’s ever been.

So who was in the men’s team? The team was made up of Current US Champion Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Ray Robson, Sam Shankland. These players showed their mettle throughout the event especially Wesley So who scored a very impressive 8,5 points out of a possible 10 points on board 3.

The belief was already there before the Baku Olympiad that the US had a very good chance of getting gold but would the team deliver? Would the team be able to withstand the pressure finally bring home the gold? Expectation is one thing but performance when it really counts is another thing altogether. The self belief and confidence of not just the players but the fans must have become even stronger towards the end as the US was one of the top teams over the last few rounds. It went through the entire event undefeated. That was a remarkable feat.

US Chess is certainly on a high right now. It remains to be seen what’s going to be next. There is a great deal of momentum in chess. Will this see the US starting to dominate the chess scene. These are certainly exciting times for US Chess. Only time will tell!