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October 2004 Archives

Medal Maniacs

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The Olympiad is finally over. It was an impressive showing by the favorites and by the US men. Actually it's not that surprising. They were only the 10th seed, but that's because they don't have a 2700, or even a 2650. But they do have six 2600's, meaning that against any team other than Ukraine or Russia, the USA is as strong or stronger when reserves are in action.

Brain Activation

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Phil Ross sends in a link to the cover of Science magazine. It's not easily available on newsstands, at least not in New York. Nice cover, anyway. There have been many studies of what goes on in a brain that is playing chess. One group was recently surprised to find the flare-ups had less in common with those of doing math problems than of solving word puzzles.

Bring Back the K's?

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When Russia won the Olympiad a few years ago without Kasparov, Kramnik, or Karpov, there was celebration and good-natured singing about how the famous K's weren't needed. With two rounds to go in Calvia, a similarly composed team is on course to finish well behind Ukraine. It will be the first time a Russian team failed to gain the gold medal. (The USSR missed it once.)

Game and Match

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It's interesting that the Olympiad uses board points instead of match points. (I explained this a bit in an Olympiad report.) It makes things more dynamic and could encourage more aggressive play, because beating a team 4-0 is much better than 2.5-1.5.

Look, a Kitty!

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To take your mind of the horrors of chess politics for a moment. Awwwww. Okay now, do you think my cat favors a quadrangular qualifier? Discuss. I guess we can just call this an open thread. Anything on your mind?...

When In Doubt

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I'm not right all the time, but my prediction about Kramnik's attitude toward reunification were accurate. In his post-match comments he states that Prague and Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov should be thrown out in order to have a different qualifier that would include...

Zeus, Guide Your Humble Servant

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The most interesting scoresheet you'll see today comes from the Calvia Olympiad. Iranian women's team member Shadi Paridar signs her scoresheets "In the name of God" at the top. We can see it didn't help in this loss, but she's on 4.5/6 on board one, so you might consider giving it a try.


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I'm surprised and delighted by all the comments, but I have a request. Could we keep the profanity and personal attacks down, please? I don't want to add annoying filters and I don't need moderation as a full-time job. Google...

In the News (Not)

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The news coverage of the Kramnik-Leko match was very disappointing. Coverage in German was 15 times greater than that in English, which means the organizers didn't have very many contacts with English-language media. Basically, unless they are spoon-fed stories it's just too confusing for the press to explain about the different champions each time so they don't bother. Not that chess was front page news before 1993, but things have clearly gone downhill.

A Mohel's Best Friend

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Better information on the latest Fischer chapter. Way too much information on the latest Fischer rants.

Conspiracy Theories

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The latest Fischer news isn't much news. Fischer has a new lawyer, who immediately started banging the conspiracy drum.

Kramnik Wins, Sort Of

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Vladimir Kramnik beat Peter Leko in game 14 to draw their match and keep his classical world championship title. Kramnik joins Lasker, Botvinnik (twice) and Kasparov in the list of defending champs who retained their titles by virtue of draw odds. Quite a few people, only partly joking, said before the match that between these two conservative players having draw odds would likely be decisive.

Leko's Big Day

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Tomorrow in Brissago, Switzerland, is 25-year-old Peter Leko's chance to enter the history books. Even if this annoyingly fractured era in chess history is littered with asterisks and footnotes in the chess encyclopedias of 2050, a match win over Vladimir Kramnik would stand on its own as a formidable achievement.

Calvia Olympiad

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Round one of the Olympiad is today. There is a wealth of information at chess-olympiad.com, which is handling the details for the official portal site 36chessolympiad.com (the English pages don't appear to be up there). The first round is full of slaughters and the favorites won't have tough match-ups until the third or fourth round.

Chess Art

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This almost made the the "dumb chess news" section since idiots are involved, but perhaps chess art is a more interesting tangent. A couple of guys tried to steal a chess sculpture in an Oregon town. (Gee, I wonder if alcohol was involved.) This earlier story has a small pic of it.

Abu Dhabi Doo

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After months of disquieting quiet, an announcement has been made for the Kasimdzhanov-Kasparov FIDE championship match. As previously rumored it will take place in Dubai of the United Arab Emirates in January, 2005. Combined with Leko leading his Brissago match with Kramnik, this is the brightest title unification has looked since Prague, 2002. Leko would have more to prove than Kramnik and a high-profile match against Kasparov would be all he could hope for.

Man-Machine Beef

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Greetings from Seattle. I don't drink coffee so they are deporting me back to New York tomorrow. But first, I've got a beef with these endless man-machine matches. Sure, they put food on the table for many, myself included, and they attract more spectators - chess and non-chess alike - than human-human or comp-comp events. Even a championship match like Kramnik-Leko won't bring out as many online and in-person spectators as Kasparov versus the latest version of Fritz, Shredder, Junior, et al, all of which play at roughly the same level.

2005 US Championship

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That's right, 2005. In order to accomodate the wacky and impromptu 2004 US women's championship, this year's regularly scheduled event (Nov. 24 - Dec 5, San Diego) has been dubbed the 2005.

Chess Guts

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The "management, leadership, and career advice for executives" magazine Fast Company has an article by Garry Kasparov. He's been writing on politics since the early 90's, although it's only in the past year or two that he has branched out...

Kramnik-Leko at the Half

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After seven of fourteen games, the Kramnik-Leko classical world championship match in Brissago, Switzerland is tied up 3.5-3.5. Kramnik will have four whites in the second half, although his three so far have been unimpressive.

Turkey Website

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The Euro Club Cup started yesterday and many of the world's top 20-30 players are there. Kasparov is leading the Ekaterinsk team, but he didn't play in the first round in the typical lopsided matches of superpowers versus teams with...

The Bitter End

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Leko struck back to equalize his classical world championship match against Kramnik. Leko missed a drawing continuation in game one. Adjournments are untenable in this computer age, but in 50 years when players compare the endgames of 20th century with those of today, they'll think we forgot how to play.

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    This page is an archive of entries from October 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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