Links and Notes - March 23rd 2021

The Dewa Kipas chess drama is finally done

Been waiting to see what the end to this would be. If you aren't familiar with the online chess drama, and there's no reason you should be, basically here's what happened.

  1. Famous Youtuber Gothamchess plays against an account named dewa_kipas and on stream, identifies that the account owner is likely cheating. This is identified from the style of play, and the accuracy scores of dewa_kipas' past matches, i.e., what percentage of moves made matched the best possible moves the computer could think of. Dewa_kipas' accuracy was well past that of the best.
  2. A little while later, the account is banned. The banning itself happens thanks to's fair play systems. You cannot really report an account into oblivion. This last fact is important
  3. Turns out dewa_kipas is apparently an elderly gentleman who used to be a champion. His son posts this on Facebook and makes the claim that Levy aka GothamChess was just salty that he got beaten and that he used his popularity to ban his father's account
  4. As part of the claim, the son also claimed that the reason the father's accuracy is so high is because the father studied the computer moves so deeply that he was basically playing the computer's style. The son also said that the connection was poor and the father plays on an old phone, and that's why there was a constant lag between moves; taking roughly the same time over each move no matter the difficulty is one heuristic used to identify cheaters.

Unfortunately, this brought on a barrage of drama against Levy. Large groups of Indonesian netizens descended upon Levy with insults and death threats. The story was a perfect setting for drama, privileged streamer can't handle losing so he calls cheater and sics his fans onto humble village man just trying to enjoy a a game of chess.

For many in the chess community, this actually seemed pretty straightforward. Either dewa_kipas was cheating, or we had uncovered a hitherto unknown legendary level chess player. Mathematically and practically, it seemed more like the former.

Fortunately, it feels like this has been mostly settled. Indonesias' Grand Master Irene Sukandar played Dadang Subur (dewa_kipas' real name) in a live, offline chess match and handily beat him 3-0. There was no competition and from the start, dewa_kipas failed to showed any of the skills he had displayed in his history of chess matches. Which finally lays the debate to rest. Worth noting though that no admission of guilt has been made, it is left to inference. At this point there seems to be only one obvious inference. The other thing worth noting is that dewa_kipas made 7000 USD off this and there's talk that more money was made off all the interviews ever since the drama started.

If you are curious about the match, GothamChess' commentary of the match is an absolute must watch 👇đŸŊ

The full offline match can be watched 👇đŸŊ

And for bonus content, there's an interview with the individual who organised the match, an Indonesian youtube podcaster Deddy Corbuzier and Irene Sukandar in which Levy made an appearance. Levy is an absolute class act throughout despite the crap he had to go through.

The site is now backed by plausible analytics

I turned off analytics some time ago because I didn't feel comfortable with how much data google analytics was collecting. While its nice to not have any privacy invading scripts on the site, I'd also like a general idea of how the blog is performing from time to time — I'm starting to focus on sharing my work now that I'm comfortable with the idea of writing first and foremost for myself.

I've also been looking forward to self host more. So I've gone ahead and set up plausible analytics. I've heard only good things about it and I'm happy to report that the stories are true, it really is awesome. Took a few false starts to get it working but it's all setup and running well and I'm actually seeing traffic coming in. Super exciting. I think the setup process is worth its own blog post.

Homework in the park

Through a series of circumstances, my morning routine changed today. My wife needed to get a quick eye check up and so we all found ourselves out in the morning at the time our son normally does his school work[1]. I thought it would be a fun thing to bring his schoolwork with us so that while my wife was at the optician's my son and I could do the work in the park.

A little bit of wet grass aside, I honestly thought it worked out pretty well. He did the work mostly without a fuss. And he took quick breaks to run around and look at stuff while I was seated and sketching. I'm inclined to do it again where the only change I'd make would be to bring along a mat to lay on the grass.

If you have kids, and you are fortunate to be in a place where you can go out and spend some time in a park, I highly recommend giving "work at the park" a try. I realise some people might argue that work shouldn't be brought to the park in the first place, but I'd disagree; if there's work that needs to be done, why not enjoy the peace of a park while we are at it once in a while?

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Previous links and notes (March 22nd)

Next links and notes (March 24th)

  1. It's not exactly homework. The school has been pretty good that way where they basically do about 30-50 minutes of classes a day. They've also been given basic work to do which is roughly the amount that they'd have to do if they were in physical school. Great choice! ↩ī¸Ž

Posted on March 23 2021 by Adnan Issadeen