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Chess Is Dead

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We're never prone to hyperbole around here of course, but US Champion (and Black Belt newsletter contributor) Hikaru Nakamura wasn't shy about his feeling on Kasparov's retirement. From a subscription-only Financial Times article on March 12: (I did the free trial so you don't have to. Just remind me to cancel before they hit my credit card.)

Most agree Mr Kasparov's unexpected departure will also leave the chess world spiritually and financially poorer.

Hikaru Nakamura, a 17-year-old US grandmaster who recently won the US chess championship, summed up the mood of many when he told the FT: "Chess is dead." . . .

Meanwhile, there appear to be few candidates to fill the void his departure creates. When asked about successors Mr Kasparov ruled out the current generation of players, naming instead and without conviction two teenagers: Sergei Karjakin of Ukraine, and Magnus Carlsen from Norway. Others suggested Mr Nakamura.

This year's Corus had tons of great chess despite Kasparov's absence, so it's a little early to pack up our pawns. But certainly explosive games like Kasparov's wins against Kasimdzhanov and Adams in Linares won't be as often seen at the top level.


Reports of chess's death are greatly exaggerated. We'll go through a period like the bloated rock 'n' roll of the mid 70's, but along will come some new chess dynamo who'll hit the scene like the Clash.

Is not Kramnik the successor of Kasparov? Now Kasparov is out, Kramnik and Anand divides the Chess.

I just saw a one hour long program with young Carlsen. It ended with a scene where Kasparov analysed Carlsens win over Shirov, so i think the big man maybe want to take the role as Botvinnik to the next generation!?

Kramnik is human ether! Anand is a nice guy, but not "better" than a bunch of other guys. At least Karpov took chess to some place new, and played better than every one else at the time. Who can do that now?

Chess is not dead; it’s just in a vegetative state. It can still blink and respond to stimuli. Much like when I let Fritz analyze a position for me. Place a copy of Shredder in front of her and a fruity little earring in one of her earlobes and you couldn’t tell the difference between Terri Shiavo and her separated-at-birth twin Peter Svidler “finding” a novelty. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43383


Mig, you are friends with Garry. Talk some reason with him. Ask him to give us our feeding tube back. Let him know that political aspirants change their mind all the time, http://www.dawn.com/2005/03/18/int10.htm even in countries where democracy doesn’t flourish. http://am.novopress.info/index.php?p=307


The real post-Friends ratings slump of chess isn’t because the World’s Number One left the show, or even the lack of unification. It’s the lack of fighting spirit found in today’s games. Tournament strategy, I think they call it. Or painting a picture. Kasparov will be missed, but chess will not expire any time soon. The obsessive-compulsive behavior of chess players dies hard.

Blinking, but not responding well to stimuli,
J.A. Topfke

Somehow, I also feel that Chess is dead atleast in US. We need Super GMs who can win international tournaments like Linares. Then only we can hope of any rivival here in US.


Um, Ryan, Hikaru will be Top 50 in the world or so on the next list, and he does not turn 18 for almost another year. I don't think chess in the US is dead by any stretch of the imagination, although certain factions involved with chess in the US may need to better evaluate how they do business. We are not lacking for popularity nor participation in the US, only for truly elite players, and such should not be the measure of whether or not chess is "dead" within a given country.



If chess is dead then Kirsan has killed it finally. A lack of scheduled, unified championships has long been overdue in the chess world. A poor, scheduled system (anyone remember the candidates tournaments and matches? Good times, good times ...) is better than no system at all, but why settle for that? For a demographic that supposedly are some of the most gifted minds in the world, professional chess players act like a bunch of idiots when it comes to compromise. Players Association, yeah right. This sport will never be 'right' until we get it together and solidify the championship cycle (obvious this is), standardize qualification processes, and maintain a certain level of sponsorship for our best players. Nowhere in other sports are personal tantrums so tolerated.

Our so-called best player has finally taken his pieces and gone home.

Now his fight is with Putin.

You know things in the chess world have REALLY declined when Kasparov thinks toppling Putin is more likely than reunifying the World Championship.

No, they have really declined when he thinks it's EASIER!

Nakamura's comment is hilarious. Chess has been defibrillated back to life.

After all this hyperbols, interviews, talk show tours etc., imagine how it will be if Kasparov comes back from retirement!


It's clear that GK will resurface and play against top GMS.
its just a matter of time ( and the right amount of money by the right organizer ).

after all, Fischer resurfaced 20 years later, i'd bet Kaspy will wait not even a fifth of that time.

now, we have to wait for Morozevitch being in the top 3. He's not far off, and clearly very inventive.
Ivancuk never made it to the top 3, but that was more lack of mental toughness in critical times. His raw talent is quite amazing.
He would have made Linares more interesting.

Hear hear on the Ivanchuk file. He's the worst choker there ever was at the super-GM level, but terrifying when on his game. It's difficult to point out an instance in which GK was more thoroughly demolished than when Ivanchuk laid down the lumber with the Black side of a French in '94. Keene's analysis comment after a GK Queen retreat was beautiful: "A counsel of despair."

Compare that with Ivanchuk's club-player level chess against Pono and Nisipeanu and YIKES. No World Champ.

I think Kaspy is being uncharitable when he says that there is nobody to take over from him.

Despite Linares and Russian ch., he wasn't the top player the last two years. In rapids, he was doing even worse and way behind Anand et al. He had been beaten convincingly by Kramnik and lost the title. And Leko has been ever improving. In he has any decency, he shd say that the mantle has been passed on to three extraordinary and deserving players - Anand, Kramnik, and Leko (add Topalov if you will). In that context, the loss in his last game to Topalov is perhaps fitting and appropriate.


It was more than abrupt to say he had past the mantle when he won outright or tied for first in his last two events. Sure it is clear he wasn't the far and away the best player like pre 2000(the K-K match was his first sign of weakening) and even he said this in an interview. But Kasparov also said that it is still POSSIBLE that he plays better than them and there is no one who has shown clearly better results than him even if for the reason he hasn't played all that much. Anand and Leko had their shot to prove in Wijk but came up embarrassingly short. In this sense, the Kasparov sort of left the question open but he certainly had his claims. However, more to the point is that there is no one among the current elite who has the potential to accomplish what he has accomplished to dominate like he dominated, etc. It is in this sense that Kasparov leaves a huge hole in the chessworld.

Whether Kasparov's exit leaves a "hole" in the chess world or makes it "whole" (as in unified), remains to be seen :)

In fact, whether or not Kasparov has really exited remains to be seen :)


We all scream for fighting chess! So I say it again: PAY players to win games not to coast to the top of the standings with draws and chess will be different!

I believe, you mean the game Kasparov-Ivanchuk, Horgen, October 1995:

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 b6 5. a3 Bf8 6.Nf3 Ne7 7. h4 h6 8. h5 a5 9. Bb5+ c6 10. Ba4 Nd7 11. Ne2 b5 12. Bb3 c5 13. c3 Nc6 14. O-O Qc7 15. Re1 c4 16.Bc2 Nb6 17. Bf4 Be7 18. Bg3 Rb8 19. Nh2 Qd8 20. Ng4 b4 21. axb4 axb4 22. cxb4 Nxb4 23. Bb1 Bd7 24. b3 Ra8 25. Rxa8 Qxa8 26. bxc4 Nxc4 27. Nc1 Ba4 28. Qe2 Qa7 29. Ne3 Qxd4 30. Nxc4 dxc4 31. Qf1 O-O 0-1

Ivanchuk had his top rating at the moment.

"In he has any decency, he shd say that the mantle has been passed on to three extraordinary and deserving players - Anand, Kramnik, and Leko (add Topalov if you will)"

Extraordinary? Neither of them has ever reached or will reach the level of Karpov in his prime, let alone Kasparov. You may call them deserving by default (as one of them will happen to be a champion, another will happen to be number 1) but there is nothing extraordinary about either of them. They are just Euwes who sneak in when the true champion is missing.

That's it, Vlad. GK suffered a parking-lot beating in this game. Keene's comment came after White's 28th move.

GK's inability to intimidate Ivanchuk led to several hissy-fits at the board over the years: at the Eurotel trophy in '02 he even whined to the referee about Ivanchuk's clock-slamming before cacking out altogether.

Yes, I remember that Ivanchuk beatdown! Those were Ivanchuk's glory days - I also fondly recall Ivanchuk-Kasparov, Linares 1997, which seems to have persuaded Garry to abandon the KID. And the unforgettable 21. Qg7!! against Shirov at WaZ 1996.

Or...Ivanchuk-Adams, Linares 2002: Fantasia, Ivanchuk-Anand, Melody Amber 2004: Ubi Sunt, or the recent Morozevich-Ivanchuk from the Olympiad: Hearns-Hagler. I'd buy the Ivanchuk iPod any day.

I bet that GK offers to play again one day against the reigning champ. The champ will have a difficult decision. Great to play against GK but GK will be slumming, not really serious anymore. If champ wins, no big deal. GK has retired. If champ loses, big deal. No win situation for champ.

Chess is dead, too. It's way dead. Of course, the chess business doesn't want anyone to know it. Why would they? They make money off your excitement. But, I use to play chess, and I gave it up. I use to be obsessed. I was an A-Class player. 1800s. But, anyway, Hydra is stronger than any human player, and no human player can defeat Hydra in a set match. Chess is only tactics, and once a computer can positionally (about 5% of the game) and tactically calculate beyond the human mind's capability in a set amount of time, there is no way a human will compete. So, I am asking when will they finally wake up and crown Hydra as World Chess Champion?

"So, I am asking when will they finally wake up and crown Hydra as World Chess Champion?"

--About the same time that they'll wake up and crown a top-fuel dragster as the 100-meter dash champion.

Sorry you gave up chess, grandgizmo. The sport will surely miss your excitement and enthusiasm.

Nakacowarda knows he will NEVER be on the level of Carlson, Radjabov, or even Karjakin. He is taking the easy money while he can and the he will run like the coward he is...in real tournaments with Worls class players he has no chance..although he would win more International tournaments of value than Joel Benjamin who ha s won none but talks so much BS.

I use to play chess in a club about 1900 ELO ,till the computers stealed "the magic" of the game, now i play go(computers sux at it).

RIP Chess

Just like what Bobby Fischer mentioned for his uncompromising all-purpose strategy: no matter who your opponent is, just play the best moves on the board. If all chess players adopt this mentality, I am certain there will always be better and better chess grandmasters.
Brandon - http://www.doubledowncasino.com

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 19, 2005 4:23 PM.

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