The Government has launched an investigation into the circumstances which led to the boat accident last Wednesday in the vicinity of Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), in which four persons sustained injuries.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon revealed on Monday that a Board of Inquiry (BoI) has commenced after Colonel (Retired) Windee Algernon was sworn in as Chairman.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at the swearing-in ceremony with Retired Colonel Windee AlgernonIn brief remarks following the swearing-in of Algernon, Minister Harmon noted that President David Granger had mandated that an inquiry be conducted to probe the circumstances which led to the accident.“It is required that you will look into the systems that were in place and whether in fact, there had been any breaches of those systems. [You would also] have to look at whether there is a need for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the David G vessels,” he stated.Colonel Algernon, in her address, has pledged to do her best, noting that inquiries should be conducted so as to prevent the reoccurrence of such incidents in the future.Reports are the three children injured in the accident – Sheniele Machette, Cleaveloyd Edmonds and Iola Thornhill – are students of the Bartica Secondary School, who would cross the river to attend school on a daily basis.However, they were returning home in the David G boat, captained by 21-year-old Kevin Adonis, when some mechanical difficulties were encountered which led to the accident. The four injured persons were air-dashed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where they received treatment and were reported as stable. President Granger had later visited the Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Unit where he instructed that an investigation be launched into the matter.Meanwhile, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) Chairman Gordon Bradford had indicated earlier last week that the vessel was inspected by the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD).The Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the inquiry state that the Board is expected to investigate, examine, report and make recommendations on the causes, circumstances and conditions under which the accident took place and to determine whether any systematic or regulatory arrangements contributed to the accident and the extent to which, if at all, the Captain and the crew are liable.A report is expected to be presented to the Minister of State on March 27, 2018.
21 February 2012International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, speaking at a G20 ministerial meeting in Mexico on Monday, reiterated South Africa’s call for developing countries, particularly those in Africa, to be given a voice in major global institutions.Nkoana-Mashabane said the G20 could play an important leadership role, based on the values and principles that underpin the United Nations Charter, to address the world’s many needs and challenges.Citing the UN Security Council as an example, the minister said it was one of the global governance institutions that should be more representative – in both composition and decision-making processes – of the international community.“The world is in need of comprehensive reform of the UNSC, which involves an expanded Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, and with improved working methods,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.She said South Africa was committed to working with the G20 and like-minded countries to make a real difference in helping to unblock stalled negotiations, where appropriate, to facilitate the implementation of agreements already reached, and in reforming the multilateral institutions that make up the global system of governance.Pretoria and other African countries are pushing for the reform of the UN, saying the continent’s concerns and voices are not being considered.“In keeping with the principle of equitable representation, Africa, which makes up a considerable percentage of the overall membership of the UN, must be represented in the permanent category of the UNSC,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.“A reformed Council will enhance its legitimacy, representativity and effectiveness in global governance.”Nkoana-Mashabane welcomed Mexico’s focus on “inclusive green growth” for its Presidency of the G20 during 2012, while committing to ensuring that “green growth” was not misunderstood or abused by others to impose additional conditionalities on low-income countries in the area of overseas development assistance.She said South Africa regarded the green economy as a tool to assist the globe in achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.“The approach offered by the green economy could prove useful in assisting with the implementation of policies that provide incentives to production, consumption and resilient economic development, protect and use environmental resources sustainably and promote social well-being in the short as well as the long term,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.Source: BuaNews
Inter Milan look to China for new shirt sponsorby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChinese real estate group Evergrande could become the main shirt sponsor of Inter Milan’s in 2021, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, reports, www.sportspromedia.com/.Exploratory talks have reportedly taken place between the two parties over potential partnerships in the future, including Evergrande possibly replacing long-term shirt sponsor Pirelli when the tyre brand’s contract with the club expires in 2021.The Italian club have had Pirelli’s logo on their kit dating back to the 1995/96 season, which currently earns them €10.5 million (US$11.6 million) per year, but Gazzetta says Inter owner Zhang Jindong is seeking greater revenue opportunities for the team as they bid to stay in touch with the rest of the European elite.Apparently helping Evergrande’s cause is that it has in the past worked closely with Jindong’s company Suning Holdings Group, which acquired a majority stake in Inter for a reported €270 million (US$299 million) back in June 2016.Evergrande is already closely involved with soccer after buying Chinese Super League team Guangzhou Evergrande in 2010, currently managed by former Inter defender Fabio Cannavaro. TagsSerie A NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say
APTN National NewsThe Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will have a decision on First Nations child welfare by the end of January.Children’s advocate Cindy Blackstock gave the news to the Assembly of First Nations special gathering in Gatineau, Que. Wednesday.But Blackstock says chiefs shouldn’t wait and told them to lobby the government now.APTN’s Trina Roache has the story.
During the 2015 regular season, the Broncos and Panthers allowed the NFL’s fewest and second-fewest yards per play, respectively, and finished 1-2 defensively in Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) ratings. It’s only the eighth time the top two DVOA defenses1Using estimated ratings for seasons prior to 1989. have met in a Super Bowl, and the average defensive index of the teams involved ranks third all-time, trailing only Super Bowls XIV and IV. Everyone is obsessing over the study in contrasts at quarterback — Cam Newton vs. Peyton Manning — but it’s the two defenses that should be taking center stage in the lead-up to Sunday, because by just about any measure, this is one of the best defensive matchups in Super Bowl history. BroncosRunning the ball against the Broncos’ defense is like running into a brick wall erected around another, thicker brick wall. It had the league’s fourth-best defensive DVOA against rushing plays during the regular season and was particularly fearsome up the middle, allowing the league’s fourth-fewest expected points per rush between the tackles. According to ProFootballFocus.com’s player grades, defensive end Derek Wolfe was the eighth-best interior run defender in the NFL; Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall also ranked among the top 11 run defenders at linebacker, with Von Miller ranking ninth against the run among edge rushers. If the Broncos have a weakness against the run, it’s in short-yardage situations — they allowed the league’s second-highest power success rate2Defined as the percentage of runs that achieved a first down or touchdown on third or fourth down with 2 yards or less to go, or on first- or second-and-goal from the 2-yard line or closer. — but they offset that with one of the league’s highest rates of stuffing runners behind the line of scrimmage, and they almost never allowed long runs. Only 7.4 percent of carries against the Broncos went for more than 10 yards, the third-lowest rate in the league.And Denver’s ability to stop the run is by far the weaker aspect of this defense. According to DVOA,3Again, indexed relative to the league’s distribution of pass defenses. the 2015 Broncos’ pass D ranks as the 11th-best of the Super Bowl era after blowing away the competition this season. The Panthers’ DVOA against the pass ranked second in the league but was about two-thirds of a standard deviation worse than Denver’s. 2012Chicago140130136 What makes the Broncos so great at defending the pass? For one thing, they led the league in adjusted sack rate, with coordinator Wade Phillips dialing up five or more pass-rushers on 42 percent of opposing pass plays, fourth-most in football. Those plays are statistically graded as blitzes, but in a Denver 3-4 alignment featuring some of the game’s top pass-rushing linebackers, the lines between a blitz and a D-line that simply creates pressure on its own start to blur. According to PFF, Miller was the top pass-rushing edge defender in the game, and his partner on the opposite side, DeMarcus Ware, ranked sixth. Meanwhile, Wolfe and Malik Jackson also finished among the top 11 pass-rushing interior linemen. And when the Broncos do need to blitz from unusual places, safety T.J. Ward can create havoc; he tied for sixth among DBs with a pair of sacks this season.But the front four is only part of the equation — a blitz-heavy scheme falls apart quickly without the ability to cover receivers. This Denver D doesn’t necessarily rely on its secondary as ball hawks; Aqib Talib’s modest total of three interceptions led the roster, and the team’s interception rate was merely average. Instead, all of the Broncos’ primary defensive backs (Talib, Ward, Chris Harris Jr., Darian Stewart and Bradley Roby) and linebackers (Trevathan and Marshall) ranked among the upper quartile at their positions in PFF’s coverage grades, sticking to receivers so effectively that only St. Louis allowed fewer air yards per completion. (“Grading” players is often a fool’s errand, since you can never be sure about coverages and assignments, but when pretty much the entire secondary grades out in the upper crust, those problems are minimized.) And no team allowed fewer overall passing yards per attempt or yards per completion than the Broncos did.PanthersFor all the lofty achievement and outright dominance by the Denver squad, the Panthers’ defense might actually have the edge in star power: Not only will it have arguably the best player on the field Sunday in LB Luke Kuechly, but Carolina’s D also outearned Denver’s in first-team All-Pro selections (3 to 1) and tied it for Pro Bowl nods (4 apiece).It’s indicative of the way these defenses stack up: Carolina’s top defensive players — Kuechly, CB Josh Norman, LB Thomas Davis (playing Sunday with “a plate and probably around 11 or 12 screws” in his arm, which he broke during the NFC championship), DT Kawann Short — can hold their own with anybody on Denver’s roster. But the lesser Panthers defenders aren’t quite as good, which makes Carolina’s statistical profile sort of “Broncos Lite.” Their strengths are similar, but the Panthers are slightly inferior to Denver whether they’re defending the pass or the run.Stylistically, however, the Panthers do operate differently in some important ways. At the most elemental level, they run a 4-3 scheme that relies less on creative blitz packages and pressure from the edges, instead using Short to generate a pass rush from the middle of the defense, and fellow DT Star Lotulelei to occupy blockers and eat up space. The end result was fewer sacks and less pressure overall, but that only makes Carolina’s performance in coverage even more impressive. Despite giving opposing passers the league’s sixth-most seconds in the pocket per drop-back, the Panthers allowed the 11th-fewest air yards per attempt and seventh-lowest completion percentage.It all starts with Norman, who has few peers when it comes to blanketing receivers. Alongside him, the Carolina secondary is littered with such solid cover DBs as Kurt Coleman, Roman Harper, Cortland Finnegan and Tre Boston, all of whom PFF rated among the top half of their respective positions in terms of pass coverage. This depth proved important because Carolina used five or more defensive backs on 463 pass plays this season (26 percent more than the NFL average), more than any other team despite a banged-up secondary that suffered a number of key losses.Speaking of which: The only glaring hole in the DB corps might be Robert McClain, whom PFF rated as one of the worst cover corners in football since signing with Carolina at midseason after a rash of injuries befell the team. But coverage ratings for individual players often don’t tell the whole story, and the rest of Carolina’s roster rates well in pass coverage — Kuechly was graded by PFF as the game’s best cover LB. The all-around cover skills of Carolina’s entire D helped them yield the league’s second-lowest rates of yards per attempt and yards after the catch.Against the rush, Carolina profiled a lot like Denver: It was poor at stopping runners in power situations (worst in the league, in fact), but it also stuffed a lot of runs behind the line of scrimmage. The biggest difference is that, unlike the Broncos, the Panthers did yield some long runs; they ranked 15th at preventing what Football Outsiders calls “open field” yards — i.e., rushing gains starting more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage — per carry (Denver ranked second). That’s one reason why this is a good run defense but not a great one.All told, this is the 15th-most evenly matched defensive matchup in Super Bowl history according to DVOA. And the quality of offensive competition each defense will face ought to help level the playing field even more. Denver’s historically great D is facing a very good Carolina offense led by the suddenly amazing Newton at QB; Carolina’s great-but-not-historically-so defense is facing one of the worst offenses to take the field in a Super Bowl — particularly when it comes to passing.The Super Bowl is all about pomp and spectacle, razzle and dazzle, offensive fireworks and star quarterbacks booking FastPass times at the tea cups. Sometimes that leaves little room for an appreciation of subtler things, like defense. But in this case, all eyes should be on that rougher side of the football — it will be a long time before you see another defensive clash of this caliber on Super Bowl Sunday.Check out our live coverage of Super Bowl 50. 2004Buffalo135129135 Source: Football Outsiders, FootballPerspective 2008Pittsburgh133125133 DEFENSIVE DVOA INDEX 1974Pittsburgh139130138 1982Miami12785143 1980Washington11886132 1998Miami133114137 2002Tampa Bay146114148 YEARTEAMOVERALLVS. RUNVS. PASS 2013Seattle137114140 1970Minnesota135118136 Best pass defenses of the Super Bowl era (1966-2015) 1988Minnesota144121146 1999Tampa Bay12791134 1994Pittsburgh131114132 2015Denver135120135 1977Atlanta127115132 1969Minnesota134123132 1991Philadelphia150147142 1985Chicago135119137 2009N.Y. Jets136114134 2003Baltimore135125132
Entering Denver’s Monday night AFC West showdown with the first-place Kansas City Chiefs, there are few people who hold out much hope for the Broncos’ offense. The unit is perhaps the most beleaguered in the NFL right now. (And there are some really beleaguered units out there — have you watched the 49ers?) After routing the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2, Trevor Siemian and the Broncos have scored just three touchdowns in their past four games — and in their last outing were completely shut out by the Chargers.Now Denver is 3-3, with two more games against divisional leaders looming after tonight. But here’s the interesting thing about the Broncos’ apparent unraveling: The offense may be terrible, but it’s been terrible for three years — including the 2015-16 Super Bowl title run.A closer look at the numbers reveals that the vaunted Denver defense is perhaps not getting enough share of the blame. The Bronco defense is hardly struggling, but Denver’s recent formula for winning allows very little margin for error, and this year there’s been some error.Over the previous two seasons, the Denver defense was truly dominant — No. 1 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA1Defense-adjusted value over average, explained here. for both 2015 and 2016. The Broncos also finished first in passing yards allowed, first in passing net yards allowed per attempt and fourth in total points allowed in both seasons. This despite well-documented struggles at quarterback that limited the offense’s output.While the Broncos’ defense is ranked No. 1 in total yards allowed in 2017, it’s lagging behind the 2016 and 2015 editions in many key metrics. Going into Week 8, the Broncos were ranked fourth in defensive DVOA, and they were allowing a ninth-best average of 5.5 net passing yards per attempt — worsened from league-leading marks of 5.0 in 2016 and 5.1 in 2015. They’re now allowing an average of 19.7 points per game, up from 18.5 in 2015 and 18.6 in 2016.The uptick in points per game might be due to some decline in the unit’s play in high-leverage spots. Per TruMedia, before this weekend’s games, the Broncos were ninth in rate of first downs allowed per pass attempt, down from third in 2016 and first the year before. After two straight years of far surpassing the rest of league in defensive expected points added,2EPA is a metric popularized by ESPN’s Brian Burke, capturing down-to-down effectiveness based on game situation. the Broncos’ 44.84 is a very distant second to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 83.84 — which shows the Broncos are still great at slowing offenses but not quite as great as they’ve recently been.The other culprit is the Broncos’ lack of turnovers. They’ve forced just four turnovers through six games, which currently ranks 30th in the NFL. That’s an average of 0.67 turnovers per game, down from 1.69 in both 2016 and 2015.All these stats paint an almost-complete picture of what’s going on: The Broncos are allowing slightly more yards, first downs and points to come out of the passing game while forcing far fewer turnovers, so they’re less effective at stopping opponent drives.3For the record, the Broncos had the No. 1 per-carry run defense in 2015, fell to No. 18 in 2016 and currently rank No. 2, per Pro Football Reference. But these swings haven’t made much impact on overall defensive effectiveness because of the pass-heavy nature of the NFL — and how dominant the pass defense has been.It’s easy to point to the offense here, too. If you have an offense that can’t win the field-position battle and can’t give the defense time to breathe, it’s hard to dominate on defense. This year, Broncos opponents’ average start position is 32.5 yards out, the furthest-downfield starting position in the NFL.But again, Denver’s defense should be used to this. The previous two iterations of the Broncos’ defense weren’t helped much by the offense and special teams, either; their opponents’ average start positions from their own end zone of 29.5 yards in 2015 and 29.3 yards in 2016 ranked 30th and 23rd, respectively. The field-position woes are also inflating the Broncos’ yardage defense; they’re ranked No. 1 partly because their opponents have the shortest distances to go.Really, the Broncos’ consistency has been remarkable — this year’s dip aside — especially considering the personnel changes. Pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware and safety T.J. Ward were two of Denver’s five Pro Bowl defenders from 2015; the former has since retired, and the latter was released at the beginning of the season. But plenty of superstar talent remains, including All-Pro pass-rusher Von Miller and All-Pro cornerbacks Chris Harris and Aqib Talib — and new arrivals like free-agent DT Domata Peko have made an impact.It’s literally impossible to win when a team’s offense is shut out, as the Broncos’ was in Week 7. But if Denver’s defense can regain the slight edge it had the past two years, the team doesn’t need Siemian to perform like Peyton Manning did in 2014. It just needs Siemian to perform like Manning did in 2015, when taking care of the ball in big games and moving the ball in key spots were enough to win an NFL championship.
If you ask the people who know Fabiano Caruana what Fabiano Caruana is like, they will tell you that Fabiano Caruana is, you know, just a normal guy.He likes movies. He likes music. He likes to eat. He works out. He goes on dates.Just a normal guy.Just a normal guy who is ranked second in the world in chess. A normal guy who was pulled out of school after seventh grade to do nothing but play the ancient and intricate game. A normal guy who is a hairbreadth away from prying the No. 1 position loose from probably the best player ever to play the game. A normal guy who, beginning Friday, will sit down at a table in London with this probably-the-best-ever player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, in a grueling, weeks-long battle for the world championship of chess. A normal guy who could be the first American to win the title since Bobby Fischer in 1972. Real 99.99999999th percentile stuff.Just a normal guy. Sher told me one more chess story. It was about another Soviet former world champion, Tigran Petrosian. Someone once asked Petrosian which was the happiest day of his life. “The day I became world chess champion,” Petrosian said. That person then asked him which was the unhappiest day of his life.“The day after that,” he said.FiveThirtyEight will be covering the world chess championship match, which begins Friday, here and on Twitter. Caruana himself is a hard person to reach these days. After initially agreeing to provide FiveThirtyEight access to pre-championship training sessions, Caruana’s managers (he has two) declined to make him available for an interview. So instead I turned to his father, Lou.It all started with some squirming Lou told me. Caruana was just a normal kid.“He was fidgeting in school,” Lou explained when I visited him this spring in St. Louis. “So to increase his concentration, we thought it would be a good idea if he started playing chess.”The person who ran Fabiano’s after-school chess program in Brooklyn made what was, in retrospect, perhaps the most important phone call in recent U.S. chess history, informing his parents that Fabiano exhibited a remarkable amount of talent for someone of such a young age.Fabiano’s first tournament was soon after, in May 1998, in Queens. After that, he played every day. He played nights and weekends. He got even better. After six months, his dad stood no chance against him.So they turned to a mentor. I met Miron Sher, a Russian-born grandmaster, in the predominantly Russian neighborhood of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, where he has lived for the past decade. He carried a chess magazine featuring Caruana and Carlsen on its cover, so that I’d recognize him.Sher was Caruana’s chess coach for “four years and 10 months, before he left to Spain.” Those were formative years, which saw Caruana’s U.S. Chess Federation rating climb from 1300 (a player in the dubiously named “fourth category”) to 2305 (a “life master”). Sher remembered those exact numbers correctly. We sat on a bench at the boardwalk, talking over crashing waves, staring at an ocean that stretches to the lands where Caruana came of age.“Fabiano does not think about a life without chess,” he said. 12345678hgfedcba 87654321abcdefgh Something like bishop to f4 seems natural (at least to me) here, since it would attack the black pawn. But Caruana opted for something more subtle: He moved his rook to a2, which gives black a very hard time when white later moves his pawn to b4, exposing an attack on black’s bishop. Chess.com called the move “unnatural.” Robert Hess, an American grandmaster, told me it was “spectacular” and “an extremely strong and obscure move.”It’s also the move the computer recommends.But Caruana can also play like a human being. “I think Fabiano’s chess is testy,” Sher said. “He is a sharp player. He is an emotional player.”Just a normal guy with quirks and idiosyncratic preferences. A guy, for example, who favors the Petrov defense. “Frankly, the Petrov is what I think about when I think of Fabi, since that’s ‘his’ opening,” Hess said. “He’s found a way to not just try to equalize with it, but also play for more than just equality.” That opening — in which Caruana has the black pieces and mirrors the white pieces’ first two moves — looks like this and was exhibited to great effect in a game from this year’s Candidates Tournament, which sent Caruana to the world championship. Another early appearance was in 2002 in the New York Daily News. That story featured a photo of a 10-year-old Caruana in an oversized T-shirt staring at a chessboard and grasping a bishop. He was taking on 15 opponents simultaneously in Bryant Park in Manhattan. He didn’t lose a single game.When you look at stories like those, Caruana’s championship bid seems preordained, the unavoidable result of an intense, prodigious and celebrated chess upbringing. But another quick search of the archives turns up dozens of other names that have also had their chess picture in the paper, and have also been teased by the press as The Next Bobby Fischer: Josh Waitzkin, Carissa Yip, Hikaru Nakamura, Eric Hicks, Jorge Zamora, Michael Wilder, Steven Zierk, Robert Lau, Gata Kamsky, Vinay Bhat, Ray Robson, Jordy Mont-Reynaud, Alan Tsoi, David Newmuis, Jeff Sarwer, Kayden Troff, Sam Sevian, etc., etc.You almost certainly haven’t heard of most — or any — of these people. None of them has played for the world championship of chess. Caruana will. Caruana makes his move during an event with the Turinese Chess Club in 2008. Caruana became a grandmaster at the age of 14. Pigi Cipelli/Archivio Pigi Cipelli/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images Caruana, left, and Wesley So, the top American grandmasters, play in the Candidates Tournament in Berlin this past March. Caruana won the tournament, which sent him to the world championship. Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for World Chess Indeed, one way to measure the strength of human players these days is to measure how often their moves agreed with the moves a computer would’ve made. Chess.com has done this with its CAPS system, as did two scientists from Slovenia. Computers are the closest we have to a Platonic ideal of how chess should be played. As a result, top players train with them extensively. The defending world champion Carlsen matched the computer’s moves 85.3 percent of the time — more machine than man. Fischer did it 83.5 percent of the time.Caruana, too, can play like a machine. This summer he faced Wesley So, another top American grandmaster, in a rapid game with hefty pro-chess-circuit implications. After 25 moves, Caruana, with the white pieces, faced this position: Here’s an old Caruana family legend. While traveling in Europe, years ago, Caruana and his parents boarded a plane — one of many planes that he’s boarded in his young life. Once seated, he immediately pulled out a little chess set and began to play the game that has come to define him. The plane taxied and accelerated and took to the sky, cruising high above the earth at hundreds of miles an hour toward their destination. A rapt and oblivious Caruana kept playing, transfixed. Eventually he looked up, turned to his father and asked him a question.“When are we going to take off?” Running on my laptop, Stockfish, the powerful chess engine, assesses black — Caruana, in this case — with about a half-pawn disadvantage after the first two moves. Nevertheless, Caruana won the game. Sher is 66 years old and has taught chess for 47 of those. Caruana was one of his most devoted students. Sher estimates that during Caruana’s years under his tutelage, Caruana solved some 23,500 chess problems. Caruana’s family invested in an early and expensive digital chessboard, imported from the Netherlands, which could be hooked up to a computer. Caruana studied David Bronstein’s classic 1953 volume, 384 pages dense with chessboard diagrams and chess move notation. He studied former world champion Boris Spassky’s collected games. He digested Mark Dvoretsky’s “Endgame Manual.”In 2004, when Fabiano was 12, the Caruana family decamped for Europe. The tournaments were stronger, the competition was tougher, and the top coaches were in greater supply. Caruana flew up the ranks. He became an international master in 2006. He became a grandmaster in 2007. He entered the world’s top 100 in 2008 and has never left. In 2015 he was lured back to the United States. He became No. 2 in the world — one match away from the pinnacle of his game.And now, he’s just a normal guy. I joined Yuanling Yuan, a top Canadian women’s player with a degree in economics from Yale, in a Manhattan cafe. Caruana and Yuan met at (where else?) an international chess tournament in 2016. He’s a normal guy. He’s got friends.I asked Yuan for her best Fabiano Stories — what anecdotes encapsulate this normal guy? “Let me get a moment to collect my thoughts,” she said. Over the next half-hour, a handful of anecdotes, telling or not, emerged.One, he often orders healthy food. Two, he’s ridden on and enjoyed roller coasters. Three, he loves the game Plants vs. Zombies — “It’s his nightly ritual.” Four, he yells and screams when he plays certain strategy card games. And five, if chess doesn’t work out, he’d become a bean farmer. (Or least that’s the running joke, given the purported etymology of his first name.) In other words, he’d be a normal guy. Caruana, age 10, takes on 15 challengers simultaneously in Manhattan. He didn’t lose a single game. Keith Torrie / NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
The Ohio State men’s basketball team scrimmages at J.O. South in preparation for the NIRSA Championships this weekend. Credit: Fallon Perl | Lantern reporterThe Ohio State men’s and women’s club basketball teams, the Ballstars, are set to compete Friday through Sunday in the 2017 National Intramural Recreational Sports Association National Basketball Championships, which are being held at the RPAC for the second consecutive year.The men’s team earned the title of Men’s Club National Champions at the tournament last year. Bryce Spees, men’s club team president and fourth-year in logistics management, said they are hoping to uphold their status as defending champions. The women’s team lost last year to Wisconsin in the final four after beating the team in the regular season.The men’s team has been focusing on different areas, both offensively and defensively, that will lead them closer to their goal of maintaining their status as champions, Spees said.“We’ve been working on playing as a team and always playing with intensity because we’ve struggled to do that a little bit,” Spees said. “We’re just making sure we’re engaged all of the time, but I feel like the past couple of weeks we’ve been doing a really good job of that.”With an abundance of talent on the offensive side of the ball, Spees said he believes that efficient shooting shouldn’t be the team’s main concern.“Ryan Murray and Marquis Gaines played extremely well in our tournament a couple of weeks ago, and they were both on the All-Tournament team for this tournament last year, so we’re definitely hoping for a strong performance out of those guys again,” Spees said.On defense, however, communication and rebounding are points of emphasis..“As long as we take care of the things that we can control, like, taking care of the ball, taking good shots and playing good defense, we’ll be happy,” Spees said. “The main goal is to win the whole thing. We did it last year, and we know we have the guys to do it again this year.”The women’s team, on the other hand, owns a record of 26-1 this year, its only loss being the first game of the season. The team is looking forward to competing and possibly being able to have a rematch with Wisconsin.“We knew we could beat them, but it was just a different time and a different game,” said women’s club team president and fourth-year in exercise science education Megan McKean.In order to better prepare for the tough competition it will face this weekend, the women’s team had the opportunity to scrimmage the OSU women’s varsity basketball team during a training session Tuesday.“It’s just great competition,” McKean said. “We’re trying to get better people in here because we’re not beating up on each other enough. We’re also making it very adamant that people attend practice because just having good attendance here allows us to have more effective drills and better practices.”At the tournament, games will be played constantly from Friday through Sunday, which can make it feel like the club team’s equivalent to March Madness, said Sandra Dickos, fourth-year in marketing.“You’re playing a lot of games in a short amount of time, so sometimes your legs aren’t there, especially for the last games,” Dickos said. “People get hurt, people get in foul trouble because they get tired, so it’s like an entirely different dynamic as you go further down the bracket.”Though the back-to-back games can be taxing, the women’s team hopes it has learned from its Final Four knockout last year.“We have a threat for every position, and our bench is really, really good,” McKean said. “They could be our starting five, which is why I believe we have a lot of depth and ability, and a lot of skill. Hopefully we can win it all, because the goal is always to be able to put our year on the banner.”The NIRSA Basketball Championships begin Friday at the RPAC at 4 p.m.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer addresses the Buckeyes prior to the first practice of fall camp on July 27. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorThe Ohio State football team was just 2 1/2 weeks into the start of fall camp and had reached the halfway point between the start of camp and kickoff for its first game of the season.Then on the weekend of Aug. 12-13, a group of neo-Nazis, white nationalists and the Ku Klux Klan marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, in a rally called “Unite the Right” to protest the proposed removal the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a city park. But rather than view the events going on around them as nothing more than background noise, coach Urban Meyer said he spent time talking with all of his players, trying to make sure they do what they can to control everything in front of them.“We’ve had a couple conversations with what happened in Virginia. It was everywhere. You know, we were kind of buried in training camp,” Meyer said. “There were some tough things going on right here, and we’ve kind of taken the approach — it started last year, and Live Life Wednesdays — was you can’t really control what’s going on out there, but you can be a shining light and kind of a role model for the way you handle your business.”Meyer added though there was a lot going on at the time for his players to be paying attention to, he was impressed by the way they were able to handle the situation.“(You) can’t control Virginia, but you can control what goes on here within the family,” Meyer said.The incident at Charlottesville was by no means the beginning of the political discussions within the Ohio State football team. Though debates within the locker room have raged on for a while, the 2016 presidential election proved to be a catalyst for political discourse among members of the team.“There’s political debates all the time. Especially when, before the election. We used to argue bad about it, actually,” defensive end Jalyn Holmes said. “We can have a full-blown argument and then, you know, tell a joke afterward.”Managing off-field discussions of political issues could potentially pose challenges for a coaching staff. But defensive line coach Larry Johnson said his team does not take the approach of keeping controversial topics quiet. Instead, he embraces the opportunity to discuss the issues with his players, and sees them as chances for his players to grow and mature.“We’ll spend 20 minutes before we talk football just talking about what’s going on in today’s world,” Johnson said. “And just how to be a young man, how to grow up. I think those factors are important. Not just to football players, but growing a young man from the inside out.”Johnson said every day Meyer will speak about some pertinent issues in the world, and that other coaches — including Johnson — hold open discussions with players about issues deemed controversial by many.He added the coaching staff will discuss those issues along with other bits of information about how players can improve not only at football, but develop more as individuals.“That’s what I think makes college football so unique,” Johnson said, “And makes this relationship you have with coaches and players so unique because you can talk more than football.”Though teammates might see issues differently and have disagreements among each other, they know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that they all need to respect and support their teammates regardless of their various stances on the issues at hand.“At the end of the day, we’re teammates,” Holmes said. “Somebody could like (President Donald) Trump, somebody could not like Trump. At the end of the day, I’ve got to respect your opinion, you’ve got to respect mine.”
Ohio State freshman defender Will Hirschman (11) controls the ball during the first half of the Buckeyes’ 1-0 season-opening win over Pittsburgh on Aug. 25. Credit: Joe Dempsey | Lantern Reporter.The Ohio State men’s soccer team (1-0) opened the 2017 season with a thrilling victory on a game-winning goal in the 90th minute by forward Michael Prosuk as the Buckeyes defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers (0-1) Friday evening at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in their opening game of the 12th annual Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic. This was the first glimpse of what might be to come from Prosuk, who appeared in his first game with the Scarlet and Gray after transferring from St. John’s University. Coach John Bluem was not surprised. “Nothing surprises me about Mike Prosuk,” Bluem said. “He’s a very interesting kid.”Prosuk was visibly excited about the game-winning goal, ripping his jersey off as he ran into the corner as he celebrated with the rest of his teammates. Prosuk received a yellow card after not being able to locate where he had flung his jersey.Prosuk and the coaching staff might have been the only ones at the stadium who anticipated Prosuk’s heroics.“Before I went in, (associate head coach Ian Gordona) told me, ‘Just keep going, don’t put your head down; you’re gonna get your chance,’” Prosuk said.Prosuk subbed in at the 72nd minute mark, and shortly thereafter had a breakaway chance at the goal in the 79th minute that ended with him lying on his face without finding the back of the net.Eleven minutes later, Prosuk found another opportunity on a cross from forward Marcus McCrary, where he scored the game-winning goal that electrified the home crowd. Goalkeeper Parker Siegfried played a large role in keeping the Buckeyes in the game. The goalie picked up five saves on the night, diving to block shots on multiple occasions. It was the kind of start the keeper from Granville, Ohio, was looking for to build off his 2016 campaign when he earned All-Big Ten Rookie Team honors.Siegfried said he felt more confident and comfortable in goal than ever before. “When I started tonight from the warmup on, I just felt like I wasn’t going to get scored on,” Siegfried said.Siegfried’s premonition came to fruition as he notched his fourth career shutout. The players and crowd were ecstatic in the aftermath of the Buckeyes’ opening victory, but Bluem wanted to make sure his team stays grounded. “You got to just take them one game at a time,” Bluem said. “Don’t get too high, don’t get too low.”