First of All - where is your Rook? :-) (well, maybe this question will be obsolete until December 30th :-))
Hi all, first of all: thanks for reading my interview :-)
Well, my rook is gone. I recognized that I tend to participate in too many tourneys and so I decided not to renew my membership when it ran out in September. Someday I will get a new membership but for the time being I enjoy having only enough games as I can easily handle. But when it gets down to 20 and I have only games remaining where the opponents play very slow, well, let's see...
Are you focused on the Achievements? Your score of 1955 is impressive.
Thanks and yes, I am also impressed by that. Seems like I am here for very long... I was focussed on Achievements and played to achieve some them. The introduction of achievements improved by motivation to play games significantly. Unfortunately there are quite a few achievements which are not calculated correctly (e.g. X won games of Y game types and X won tournaments of Y game types) which make the concept rather obsolete, in my opinion. Fencer is aware of it, but there seems to be no fix soon.
How did you come to meet the Brainking?
I played at Its your turn and an opponent informed me about Brainking - but I do not remember anymore who it was. I liked the concept of Ratings to see the strength of players and so I started playing here more and more. As my membership at Its Your Turn ran out I did not extend it but got one here...
Which do you think is the best strategy game of all?
Jolly good question. My answer may be a bit surprising, I don't think it is Go or Chess. I think the most complex strategy game is a specific type of chess, called Bughouse chess. It is like crazyhouse chess, but you play it on board 2 vs. 2. So all pieces you capture gets your partner. Time is a very important factor here, which means you have to take decisions fast and you have to keep an eye on the other board. If you don't know it, you should check it out. Best place to play it is FICS, but you can also find some nice games on Youtube (well, you find everything on youtube, don't you?) The best players at FICS are really awesome, you should visit that playe and watch the >2300 rated buggers. The speed and precision of attack/defense is more than awesome!
Do you have a favorite book or favorite author?
I like fantasy, so for real fantasy I love George R.R. Martin (The song of fire & ice is really great!). More easy readings but always enjoyable worlds come from Kai Meyer. For the funny fantasy stuff I like Walter Moers. This is more than Kapitaen Blaubaer, he has really a wild and funny imagination! Unfortunately I cannot read as much as I would like, but as I am not a member here anymore maybe I can started reading more again. What really makes me laugh is Marc-Uwe Kling. I think it is only available in German, but this is a must read (or must hear as audiobook)
which is your least favorite game and why?
Here at Brainking it is definitely Maharajah chess. It is so unbalanced and even a moderate player can win with black vs. a very good player. It is a forced win for black - period.
What do you think about Pente & other variants?
Interesting game. I am not too much into it, because you need to know opening strategy (which I don't know). Keryo Pente is the most interesting, my feeling is that it is not so easy to win by playing a good opening. But I may be wrong, I am no Pente expert.
SilenBob &, Alterman. What is the origin of these nicknames?
SilentBob comes from the movies from Kevin Smith, which I really liked when I was younger. I have seen Clerks so often... AlterMann is german and means "old man". Enough said :-)
What do you prefer: Fischer's clock, X days per move with vacations or X days per move without vacations & WHY?
In general I like X days per move with X<3. But here are so many players that play too many games and so they only move when there is not much time left. So if they play a game with 5 days per move due to weekends they will move only once per week, which reduces the fun of playing for me. So right now I prefer Fischer's clock with 1 day time added per move. This forces these players to move daily ;-)
What do you think about our BIG BOSS -> Fencer?
Well, great concept and a lot of enthusiasm to keep this site here running. Good job! I would love to see more changes nowadays (e.g. fix for achievements) and of course new games. I don't need 50 games instantly, but every few months a new game would be nice. I like to learn new games. I think it is good that he tries to go for mobile access, because this will be the future of playing, I think.
Do you have "Enemies list"? How long is it?
It's two persons long. First one was very rude (even though he lost our games :-), but he is not active on this site anymore. The second one I had a Go game which was clearly one and she always rejected the Dead stones and Ignored messages. Finally Fencer had to fix it and ended the game. Maybe I should remove her from the list, it's been too long ago...
You're without "Photo albums" in BK. Why? You don't like this option?
Well, I had some pictures here, but as it was "Proud daddy"-pictures with my new born son and I recognized that I am one-of-thousand proud daddys I decided to unshare them again.
How much time do you spend on BK?
Nowadays I logon around 10 times per day and play some moves - at weekends I usually play only in the evening. So I guess in average it is 1-2 hours, continously decreasing :-)
Do you like ponds? What do you think about live pounds?
Ponds - intersting games. I recognize that there is also a change in the strategies, if you compare how it was played at the beginning (in the first round you needed only very few points to stay in the game). I guess it will converge to getting more and more equal points at the first round. I also think there are some weird points in the midgame, seems like some players align before they set their points. And if you can get a round where you set ~3000 points less than all other participants it is a forced win for you again. I have never player in a live pond.
Do you like footbal? What is your favourite footbal club?
As I German I have to like soccer. I am not a fan of a specific club, but I like the championship (Europe or world), then I watch the games. I don't watch female soccer, that is too slow for me. And additionally, well, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5HpFaHrwJc
You are not a member of any fellowship. Why?
Well, I am or I was. As a nonmember at Brainking all fellowship memberships are not visible anymore. But I was not involved in fellowship activities except playing some team tournaments.
Well, Aaru has plenty of questions. Don't you seem they are always the same ? :)
Most of them he also asked in former interviews, but that's okay from my point of view. I also have some standard question I would like to know and I tend to ask them again and again.
Do you like to read books or you would rather watch films?
I like to read books but I don't have enough time for that. So I watch more films and TV series (as right now) while being online in parallel...
What is your view on politics? Favorite subject is it for you?
Not really. I think it is good to live in a democracy and especially we here in Germany know what can happen if you have the wrong leader in another state type. Nevertheless politics is not about doing the right thing anymore it is about gaining power or doing the things that you will get elected again. So e.g. if you take a look at the Fiscal cliff discussion in the U.S. it is about democrats vs. republicans and not about doing the right thing for US. And this sucks, but I don't know how to change that.
Do you have any new years resolutions?
Doing more regularly sports. Currently I play only every two or three weeks volleyball, which is too few. I plan to do two times per week gym at work. Let's see for how long I can keep it...
What did you think of this years olympic games in London?
Great games. Beach volleyball's gold medal for Germany was so... legendary! Well organized, great TV times (due to the same timezone as I live) and a great closing show.
If you could invite 3 people to a fantasy dinner party, who would you pick and why?
Fantasy dinner, hmmm. So for Fantasy I reduce myself to real persons (living or dead): My nominations would be * Barack Obama: I would like to know that no aliens landed on earth and Area 51 is only a legend (or the contrary) * Adolf Hitler: whether he really believed in all things he said and did (after giving his a truth serum :-) * The Undertaker: I would like to know whether he can laugh at all and for whipping the ass of one of the other dinner guests
What countries have you visited in the world and which is your favourite?
Phew, let's see: * Germany * Austria * Switzerland * Italy * Finland * Netherlands * Great Britain * Romania * Spain * France * Egypt * Tunesia * India * United States * Canada * Domenican Republic
Favorite: either Italia for the food and the child-friendliness or U.S. for this great nature and the gorgeous national parks.
What are the top three things on your Bucket List?
* Seeing my sons being fathers by themselves (best thing in life:-) * Teaching people to play volleyball until I am too old for that * Seeing more of the world (e.g. South america, more US national parks, Hawaii, some beaches in the pacific,...)
I am a volleyball coach, being in the training 2x per week and on the weekend (league games, tournaments, training camps). I am also doing Roleplaying (being a Dungeon master since 15 years, AD&D 2nd Edition), but we are only playing 1x per month for one evening. That was better when I was a student ;-) And playing all sort of games, board games or computer games (Brainking included here).
That's more than enough for a full time worker with a family and a house with garden ;-)
If you could take a 2 week vacation starting tomorrow, and you had to travel via plane, where would you go?
This is not a fantasy question: End of Febraury we will travel to Egypt, doing beach vacation for two weeks ;-)
Do you celebrate Christmas, or some other winter holiday?
We did celebrate X-mas. Wow, my older son was impressed by the gifts and that Santa Claus did some predelivery one day ago and put some presents for him under trees by other persons which he got some days later. (Well, explanations are easy for a 3,5 year old. I Guess next year it will be harder to explain ;-)
In real life, what you learn to play backgammon, how old were you when you started playing this game?
I guess I was a bit above 20. I really started enjoying the game when playing online. It is the only game I have a book about basic strategies...
Do you like Christmas with all the great business around it?
5 years ago I would have answered no. But nowadays I will answer yes. The joy and happy surprises on the faces of young children are priceless!
Thing of a time anomaly, which could take you to observe either the future or the past. Where would you go? Why?
Another great question. Two answers: * One time only view: take a look in the future, view the lotto results and the stock prices. Play lotto and adjust the investment strategy and stop working and do only the good things in life. * As many observations as wanted: only the past. I think it is good that we do not know what will happen to us in the future (either good or bad). And there are some interesting things in the past (Egypts, Deaths of Dinosaurs, Murder of JFK, Jesus, Mohammed, Julius Caesar, Area 51,...) There are so many things I would like to know about the past!
If someone were to visit Germany, what would you recommend to do that is not already published in tourist books?
I guess most things are in tourist books. I would recommend two things: * find the right cars, the right highway where you can enjoy the speed which is allowed in Germany (there is no speed limit at certain parts of highways) * Come to the Pfalz and do a wine tasting
Do you giggle to yourself in public , and if so, do you ever feel compelled to explain why to strangers?
Sometimes I at least have to smile if I see funny things. But I cannot remember that I explained this to strangers.
Kraftwerk or Scorpions?
If I had to listen to one I would choose Scorpions (but a fast song, please). But Kraftwerk is also fine. They set the base for "Neue Deutsche Welle", which was hip when I was young and they were some great songs which I still can sing along.
have you ever met anyone who is world famous?
World famous, no. But I met some famous people: * Bam Bam Bigelow (I met him in a pub, awesome appearance. Especially if you saw him somersaulting from the third rope) * Vital Heyen (national coach of the German Men's Volleyball national team) * Wolfgang Niersbach (met him 15 years ago at an Winefest), president of German soccer association
Are there any questions you were hoping to see that you didn't get to answer? Then, what's your answer to that question?
There were no question I hoped not to answer. Well except the questions in a language I don't speak, but I did answer those where I thought I understand the question. The questions that were most challenging were the questions about Hogwarts (thumbs up!) and the Fantasy Dinner. There should be more creative questions of that flavor!
Last but not least, I am done with the questions. I needed more than 3 hours, but it was fun giving the answers. And I guess I also learned a bit about me. Hope you also enjoyed reading my answers. In case of questions feel free to send me a message.
Very last: I hope the interviews will be continued and I would like to see an Interview of Bobes or diogenysos