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Haastateltavana: AlterMann (1. Tammikuu 2013)

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...

Your favorite food?
A lot of. I like Italian food, barbecue, hamburgers and all kind of desserts.

And, being German, do you know/like Czech cuisine?
I have never been there and I don't know it - maybe you should host a Brainking convention, then I will come and try the cuisine ;-)

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.

How old are you?
This year I will get the age which is the answer to Life, universe and everything. (If you still don't know, send me a message :-)

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...

What makes you add someone to PUBLIC FRIENDS?
If I have nice chatting with him, or we played a lot of games and I enjoyed the games. I am always open to getting new friends.

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.

In your opinion - who is the best player in BK & why tenuki? :D
The statistics clearly say tenuki - and additionally he is a very kind player. This is a rare combination, which I very much like.

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 :-)

What is your favourite sport?

What is your favorite game?
I like Dominion as "board game". Roborally is also a fun game, when played on complex boards.

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.

Play for fun or for victory?
Victory - and winning is always fun :-)

Losing is seldom fun, but sometimes, if it was an interesting game where I didn't blunder in the end.

Are you married?
Yes, since 5 years.

Are you fan of STAIRS?
Hmm, not really. I enjoy tournaments more than stairs.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton - why?
I don't know him in detail, but I liked that citation. Aren't we all here mainly for playing?

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

Forums are almost without your comments. Do you read "Discusion Boards"?
I am here for playing, not chatting. So I don't read the discussion boards at all - except the interview page, of course :-)

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.

Are my questions is spam?
Spam, spam, spam....

No, just kidding: it's not spam. I would have been really sad if there would not have been a single question at all to me.

Do you believe in ghosts,have you ever had any experiences?
No and no.
Interesting question, how much persons would answer yes, I guess significantly <1%. Maybe you should make a poll about that?

What is your dream?
Hmmm, good question. Dream, hmmmm. I guess watching my two sons growing up and see having them a happy and successful life. But I guess there will be some obstacles in the way...

Which country you want to visit?
I have never been in South America. So Mexico (Aztecan pyramids) or Brasilia (the beaches) I would like to see...

Do you like to go fishing?
No, I have never been fishing and I am not interested in it.

Favorite movie?
Tough question. I cannot name a single movie, but maybe some films I like:
* Clerks
* Monty Python and the Holy Grail
* Lord of the Rings

And, as TV series:
* Sledge Hammer (yes!)
* 24
* Lost

Do you like music? What?
I am a metal head, but not from my hair cut ;-)
So I like for example Slayer, Van Canto, Blind Guardian, Amon Amarth, Gamma Ray and In Flames.

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...

If you would choose the thing you won't loose at any cost, what would it be?
My family.

Everyone is afraid of something, you what?
See question and answer above.

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 work? What is your profession?
Yes, I am an IT guy...

Tea or coffee?
Tea, most of the time peppermint or Rhooibos-vanilla.

How many languages ​​do you speak?
German (native), english and Pälzisch (german local slang :-)

Favorite animal?
I don't have one specific, but elephants are fun to watch in a zoo. Apes are also fun!

If you were to be sorted into a house in Hogwarts which would it be!?
Don't we all want to be in Griffindor?
Well I guess I would either be assigned by the hat to Ravenclaw.

This question was a really good one, I really had to think about myself to answer it.

Are there any games in particular that you would like to see added here?
Twixt - my wife is no real opponent and I would like to play this game online!

What is your favourite colour?
Rainbow color :-)

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...

Do you have any phobias?
I am a bit afraid of heights. Its no complete phobia, but I feel uneasy.

what is your favourite band?
See above, when having to choose one band I think it would be Gamma Ray or Queen. Ups, even so I was not able to name a single band...

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 is your favourite take away food?

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 do you do as a job and do you enjoy it?

Are you Married?

Do you have any Children?
Yes, two sons: 3,5 and 1,5 years.

And by the way, my mother's first name is "Hannelore" :-)

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,...)

Favorite Food and drink?
Food I already I answered, so let's go for the drinks:
* Wine, I prefer Riesling or any good red wine
* Cuba Libre
* Ramazzotti

Hmm, three times alcohol. That says something about me, doesn't it?

Any Hobbies?
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 ;-)

Have you always lived in Germany?
Yes, even within 20km...

Where did you go on your last holiday/vacation?
Netherlands, the land where they will never win a soccer championship :-)

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 ;-)

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be, and why?
"There's no place like home".

With working it would be on the west coast of the US.
Without the need to work it would be at a warm place at any sandy coast (Brasil or pacific).

Do you like warm weather or cold weather?
Warm weather (but not hot). 25-30 degrees is enough for me :-)

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 ;-)

What are you going to do on New Year's Eve?
Visiting very good friends of us. We will celebrate as in the last 10 years with the same guys and kids.

Do you have any pets?
Except my wife none.

Android or iphone?
Blackberry. I feel like I must explain: it's a business phone.

Do you like to ski or snowboard?
Neither nor. But I recognized in the last two winters, that sleds can be fun, too!

What is the weirdest dream you've ever had?
When I was younger I dreamed a few times that I can start flying by waggling and running. But that's long ago, I know that I was not invented by Stan Lee.

What really gets under your skin/ pet peeves
Coldness and the bad mood.

bonjour, est ce que tu parle Français
non, je ne parle pas Francais.

(This is all what is left from 5 years french in school)

comme nous sommes "voisins", est tu déjà venu en France ?

si oui comment trouve tu notre pays?

je trouve que les Allemands sont beaucoup plus ordonés que les Français, qu'en penses tu?

y a t-il beaucoup de club de jeux chez toi ?

joues tu sur d'autres sites de jeux sur internet?
FICS (http://www.freechess.org)
Its your turn (but I don't play too much there)
Brettspielwelt.de (in the past I played there for online board games)

as tu appris le backgamon à l'école ?

que penses tu de la politique?

que penses tu des relations entre nos 2 pays?

fais tu beaucoup dde voyages ?

si oui dans quels pays et lesquels t'on le plus plu.?

t'interesses tu au handball?
I am a bit interested in Handball, I saw a few games fo the Rhein-Neckar-Löwen in the last two years...

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...

What is the best memory of your childhood?
Don't know.
Having fun playing with freinds and computer games, the great surprises about christmas presents maybe.

Qué opinas de los movimientos de eddiespaguetti?

que os parece el super jugador stefanmallo? Yo creo que deberían darle un premio por su calidad y velocidad. stefanmallo nažive

If you could have a "friend" creature from the legends, what would it be?
Definitely a dragon!

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!

Which country will win the World Cup (Futbol) in 2014?
I hope for Germany, but I guess it will be Brasil or Spain again...

Do you think China will be the world's super power within 20 years?
I don't think it, I am pretty sure about that.

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

Now that the world has survived the Mayan calender , any plans?
Go on with business as usual :-)

Bratwurst or Knackwurst?

Have you ever destroyed an ant hill?

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 privately given to a charity, and if so, which one?
Yes, I did.It was a local charity.

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

Which do you find cuter , human babies or puppies?
Human babies, of course!

Have you ever saved a life?
Nope, at least I didn't recognize...

Have you ever been to New Zealand?
No, but I heard only good things about Australia & New Zealand. It's on my To-Do-List, but not with the highest priority...

What is the one thing you regret doing, and why?
I regret more than one thing, but these things are too personal to be written down here...

What is your favourite place?
My home is my castle - so it's my home.

What I really enjoyed on vacation was Bryce Canyon in the US, that's a place where you must have been.

What do you think of people with really extreme hairstyles and colours?
I like it. I think most people keep too much about the look of people and not about their behaviour.

Was mögen sie an Brainking?
I like the variety of games, that there is a rating system and tournaments.

I do not like that some tournaments last forever, because some people are playing very slow and so the games do not end at all (e.g. started in 2006 http://brainking.com/en/Tournaments?trg=14407&tri=91741)

What is the best advice you have ever received?
Always remember the three words: Think before you speak.

I hope you get the point ;-)

Which of these questions did you not want to answer but answered anyway?
The question about Fencer and what world-famous persons I met. I answered them, so the answers can be read above.

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

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