I'm not sure why they don't wait to rate the many games being played right now, but FIDE has released the January 2005 rating list. As expected, Kasparov's +5 performance at the Russian Championship allowed him to stay above the 2800 level, if barely.
December 2004 Archives
Japanese Justice Minister Chieko Nohno agreed Tuesday to consider fugitive US chess legend Bobby Fischer's plea to go to Iceland to avoid deportation and potential jail in the United States. ... "Generally speaking, the destination of his deportation will be the United States but we will consider his wishes and whether he has a country willing to accept him as we decide where to deport him," Nohno told reporters.
With Corus Wijk aan Zee starting on Jan. 14th, it's tempting to look beyond the current crop of interesting tournaments. Events with obscure names like Drammen and Harmonie are strong and interesting. Traditional tournaments in Pamplona, Hastings, and Reggio Emilia also provide a fun mix of players.
I'm doing a Christmas article on chess jokes for ChessBase.com. Yes, yes, I know just about all the chess jokes you've ever heard, particularly those reprinted regularly in chess magazines, are stupid. But there are a few decent ones and we thought it would be a light holiday piece.
You might wonder what keeps the servers humming around here and what keeps me in cat food and dark chocolate. (Don't worry, the cat food is for the cats.) While there is a "coalition of the willing to pay Mig," the rent is mostly paid by subscribers to the ChessNinja newsletters, White Belt and Black Belt.
I was just looking at the round five games of the Petrosian Memorial Internet Championship. France upset Russia, with a little help from Alexander Khalifman's mouse, so it appears. In this position, popularized by Radjabov last year, Khalifman played the uninspiring 18...Rb7?? 19.d6 1-0.
One of the most popular chess debates, right after "how many GMs can dance on the head a pin?" is who was the strongest player never to become world champion. Discarding for convenience and tradition the recent spate of FIDE titlists, only 14 people have held the highest title.
All the wires have a note reporting that the US government has contacted the Icelandic government about Iceland's offer of a residency permit to Bobby Fischer. The only quote they all give is vague: "We received a message from the...
Nice long chess scene in the 1944 Irene Dunne vehicle The White Cliffs of Dover on my beloved Turner Classic Movies right now. Two elderly players, one English, one American, argue about whether the variation they are playing originated with Blackburne or Pillbury.
Jennifer Lopez and Hikaru Nakamura were on television together a few days ago. No, he hasn't made his Tonight Show debut yet (that still may happen).
I finally posted a large photo gallery at the 2005 US Championship website. It's not exhaustive, so if you want to see a pic of your favorite player, let me know.
With all the talk of changing rules and scoring systems to discourage draws and encourage fighting chess, it looks like putting up some cash works pretty well. Jim Roberts, one of the founders of America's Foundation for Chess, created a $5,000 "Bent Larsen Prize" for this year's US Championship. It was won by Alex Fishbein, who had only one draw and battled hard in every game.
The field for Linares 2005 is complete. It's Kasparov, Anand, Leko, Topalov, Adams, Kasimdzhanov, and Vallejo. Kramnik was on the first and second lists of participants I saw, but won't be playing.
According to TWIC, Iceland has granted Bobby Fischer a residency permit. This could pave the way for Japan sending him to the site of Fischer's conquest of the world title in 1972. Having him on a fairly remote island seems like a good idea.
While perusing the playing field of the upcoming "4th AMPLICO AIG LIFE Rapid Tournament" I noticed that Michal Krasenkow is the second seed, after Short, with a 2676 rating. A few years ago he had jumped up to the top ten, then fell out of the top 100, then back to the top 40, then out of the top 100 again.
If a mantra of the 60's was "don't trust anyone over 30," maybe we need our own version: Never invite anyone over 20." Just look at the challenge match between US champ Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin in Cuernavaca, Mexico. (Nakamura won game five and the match yesterday.) With one game still to play, four out of five games have been decisive and the only draw was a 60-mover that ended in a dead rook endgame. It's enough to help you forget this year's Linares and Dortmund draw-fests.
Here's a thread just for the playa-haters so we can stay on topic in the other posts. To recap Kasparov's recent crimes against humanity:
As has now been documented here at ChessBase.com, the January Dubai match between FIDE champ Kasimdzhanov and FIDE #1 Kasparov has been terminated. At least negotiations with the Dubai guys have been cut off and there is no hope of a match anywhere before April or May.
One thing I missed while I was in San Diego, other than a decent bagel, was Garry Kasparov's book signing at Barnes and Noble on the weekend. Volume IV on Fischer and other Western greats is in stores now.
The same day he wins the US Championship, Nakamura is in the lobby of the hotel playing game after game of 1-minute chess against all comers, mostly with Gata Kamsky! I've never seen Anand play 1-minute games, but let's just say that if Ilyumzhinov's next brilliant plan is to make the world championship a one-day 1-minute knock-out, we could have an American world champion sooner than we think. Unbelievable.