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Anand's Second Helping

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Srikanth sends in this Newindpress.com item, an interesting interview with Anand's wife, Aruna, on his training habits. It appears to have been dropped into their registration-only archives already. Some clips:

"Anand's preparation before any tournament depends on the format of that particular event. For classics, he would start preparing at least a month ago. He does a lot of physical exercises and frequents the gym. And he spends six hours a day on his game that includes reading because this format requires grasp over the theory aspect as well." ...

"He stops preparation 10 days before a championship for he doesn't want to reach any tournament jaded and over-prepared. Anand generally has around five 'seconds' to assist him prepare for an event but the number varies depending on the tournament." ...

"And to prevent burn-out, he goes for a sabbatical after three tournaments every year. And the decision about participating in a particular tournament is mainly his even though we discuss the matter."

Five seconds?! That's got to be a record. Perhaps a misunderstanding?! Kasparov was always accused of having a galley full of GM slaves and super-computers cranking out novelties when it was him and Yuri Dokhoian with two, maybe three others brought in for big matches. It's hard to imagine what you would even do with five seconds, unless one is a masseur, another a chef...

More importantly, what can Kelly tell us about hubby Ben Finegold's training secrets?


Clearly a misunderstanding. Five seconds is how long he takes on average to move.

Wow such support. I love it! Yermo is super though... I would read his book. :) Now I would never tell Ben's secrets... but an infussion to my suffering bank account would have me talking like a second. Okay maybe that's not true... if the infussion is too little I might have to wait for a second infussion before I gabbed.

The tussel should end though, I love my supporters and my dissenters as they both inspire me. It's true most of us make our money from chess... yours truely included; so we take what we can to feed our children and survive. Like I said at least the US Championship is trying to ammend things in the area of money. The chess community is all the better because of people like Erik Anderson and Alan Ziter. I have seen Erik in action. He is very professional, well organized, and committed to the championship. What a great addition to the chess community. Like I said people should witness this tournament for themselves. It's a good show of support. I went to spectate last year and had a great time even though I was running a temprature of 101 for days.

ok, this officially turned into the daily freak show.

For what it's worth -

I was a mad, wild, crazy tournament player in the 60's - thru - 80's, based in Michigan but playing in several US Opens. That happens to have been the time when Ben (or 'Benjy', as my generation will forever remember him) was starting from a snot-nosed 5-year-old who seemed interested only in disrupting his Dad's Metro League matches by running and screaming all over the playing hall and lobby, eventually becoming a certified Master who could give me - and just about everybody else in the State - time odds at ANY form of chess (including Siamese!) - and whup me 5.5 - 0.5.

I retired from OTB chess when Ben got too good to even CONSIDER beating anymore. But I think I can hazard a good guess. He plays, plays - and then plays some more. Checks his analysis with Fritz, talks to his coach Bob Ciaffone, occasionally shows lines to Kelly, Vladimir, whomever - but mostly plays, and plays, and plays...

Whatever good a state full of fans can do an aspiring GM-elect, we're gonna offer!


Following up on the Marf's comments, I played Ben a few weeks ago at the Ann Arbor Chess Club's blitz tournament and was up a rook with maybe 45 seconds to go. I wasn't able to wrap things up and finally lost on time. However, back in the old days when I could occasionally convert an extra rook, I *did* defeat Ben in the Michigan Speed Championship finals, allowing Eric Torman (now retired, apparently) to take clear first.

I'd also note that Ben is a former Samford Fellow and thus had the opportunity to train with strong GMs. But that aside, just playing as many strong players as you can is a major component to building strength. Capablanca himself famously observed that you have to lose a lot of games to become a strong player. It can be a somewhat punishing and deflating experience, at least if my recollection is any guide, but you do get better.

How can you discuss this swill? It was clearly intended for domestic consumption only.
As they say down there in Cupertino, "we, the Indians, never lie"

Hey, we're all about swill around here. Swill + tequila = DD lifeblood.

Those are the casino Indians tho'. My poor old San Pablo...

Sorry for the identity theft moron posting earlier. Filed a report with his NY RoadRunner ISP.

To clear a few issues here.
First, there was a long standing tradition to invite 3 players to give simuls at the National Open: the US Champion, the US Women Champion and the defending National Open Champion. Why didn't Nakamura, Goletiani and Yermo come to Vegas in June? I can only answer for myself. Back in December Al Losoff told me that the USCF decided to committ all the money to the Polgars, and he couldn't give me more than a free room with $200 deducted from prize should I win any - standard conditions for all GM's. Hardly sounds bank-breaking, does it? Hey, I played under those same conditions for more than 15 years (ok, in some of those years I was a defending something chamopion, so I had my share of simuls, which is btw about $400 anyway, once again hardly bank-breaking), and never complained. I would have probably gone and played anyway, but at 47 I cannot play every tournament anymore, plus I have a day job and a family.
As far as the Honolulu trip, I don't rememeber any kids, sponsors or some guy named Randy. Neither can I rememeber any incidents there - too many margaritas before lunch. To accuse me in destroying chess in Hawaii is as ridiculous as flattering to me. I came there once to play a medium size open in 1997 together with Atalik and Tony Miles. I wasn't even a star attraction there, Tal Shaked and Antoanetta Stefanova were. The next year, 1998, Eric Schiller ran a US Open there. I think Judit attended that one, I didn't, even if I won the US Open the year before.
When I come here to offer my two cents on one subject or another I don't really expect the discussion to swing to debating my character, but if you wish to continue I don't really care

Mig, why did you delete my post? I'm on vacation in NY right now. Is that a problem?

Yermo, of course you don't remember me. I'm only the one who drove you around for 3-4 days when you were in Honolulu. After the event, instead of thanking the sponsors, you insulted them. Because of you, they stopped sponsoring chess. You're probably too drunk to remember. You didn't even bother to thank me for volunteering my time to drive you around and showing you Honolulu.

Many of us went out of our way to make you feel welcome. What you did is a disgrace to all chess professional. What you did took Hawaii chess back 5-7 years.


Long vacation. I deleted it because you have been trolling with different names here in different threads and insulting other posters, including your host. Maybe that's the aloha spirit, I don't much care. It's nice to have people with first-hand information and experience post here and I don't need them driven off by people slandering under different names each day. It poisons the atmosphere. I only ask you keep things to the facts, don't verbally assault anyone, and stick with an identity, anonymous or not. If you claim personal information it gains credibility of you identify yourself as a real person. And if you start bringing up personal attacks you'd certainly better identify yourself or what's the point? We're to take such abuse on faith? And why aren't you just emailing it? Posting as other known people will get you banned and an identity theft abuse report filed with your ISP. I went through too much of that garbage at KasparovChess to deal with it here.

OK, all clear the guy is a troll. We have a share of those at the Oakland A's site....
My experience is, you can catch them lying (like ask Eric Schiller about my "driver") but what's the point?
Go away, troll

Just FYI, the majority of us "simple" amateurs couldn't care less about these types of discussions/quibbles amongst "American" "GM's". Shut up, start winning some real tournaments, and get 2700 ratings. Then we'll give a rip about you. Until then, we'll root for "real" Russian, European and Indian GMs (ok & maybe Hikaru too). 'Nuff sed.

Heh speak for yourself. It is the same on ICC. Clowns with silicon bad mouth every single move a GM makes. Lack of respect for GMs is rampant on the part of people that just barely know that the horsey moves in an L pattern.

I know Ben Finegold's training secret: hookers and blow... ;-)

Yermo was quite high up there around 97 as I recall but you would not know that because so called chessfans have the memories of flies. Maybe thats why you are no good.... He actually as far as I can tell takes it easy these days in terms of playing but you can say he sucks and root for a Russian. Its your perrogative. Also, in general, when you attack someone's character at least give your name man. I don't know what happened in Hawaii but if a guy like Yermo does not remember it.... Finally, if someone said they were Don from Hawaii I may not make the connection that it is my uncle. Just a thought for the nameless attacker... In general I don't see why DD has to be a forum to vent random personal attacks against grandmasters you don't even know. With the exception of a few incidents (computer cheating,showing up to the board drunk,touching a piece and moving another, rating scams, are a few that come to mind straight away) most these guys don't do anything that should so much as raise an eyebrow. GMs are in general very good natured. I guess what I am trying to say is that there is plenty to discuss besides this. g, BF seems like quite the family man so I know your joking.

When it comes to disrespectful anonymous internet chess geeks I have a formula: A big attitude = a teensy weensy rating or understanding of the game. It's amazing to see class "e" players or lower judging anybody much less titled professionals. I'd love to see ICC for instance computer zap kibitzing privileges for players under a certain rating (1200? 1400? 2000?). Luckily DD is a haven away from those sorts. I'm drinking a sturdy double shot to you Mig..thanks. Now, as a class A goof..I'll shut up myself.

Just to prove what Mango and whiskeyrebel know, I've been playing chess for over 25 years, am rated an expert at OTB, Master at Correspondence, have won a State Championship, and have run chess clubs, edited a state newsletter, and served as TD in numerous tournaments. I routinely beat 2500+ American players on both playchess.com and ICC. Read it and weep knuckleheads.

Just to prove what Mango and whiskeyrebel know, I'm and expert OTB, a Master in Correspondence, routinely win 1 min to 3 min. games on both playchess.com and ICC vs. 2500+ American players. I've run chess clubs, TD'd several tournaments, edited a state newsletter, won a state championship, and have played in the US Correspondence Chess Championship twice. So smoke that in your pipes you knuckleheads. Oh, am I'm sure you've done/contributed so much more to US Chess than that, Uh-huh...

Okay, noyb, so what is your point? You are an expert OTB and a postal master? So what. There is a world of difference between an OTB expert and an OTB GM, especially a really strong GM like Yermo was when he was more active. An expert like you telling a GM like Yermo to stop whining and get a 2700 rating is similar to a high school junior varsity basketball player telling Kobe Bryant to "get the lead out." I mean, come on. Get real.

As for accusing Yermo of "whining," what was that about? It came out of nowhere. Anybody who has read Yermo's now sadly defunct postings on the Net knows that he may often be irascible and sometimes writes with an acid pen, but that he also writes with a lot of honesty and insight as well. He is the kind of undiplomatic straight shooter who would state uncomfortable truths/theories about the chess world even when doing so was not to his personal advantage. And being a harsh critic of a messed-up chess world is not the same as being a whiner. If the chess world had more people like him willing to state the bitter and inconvenient truths that everybody seems to prefer to ignore, it would be a much better place IMO.

Your attack on Yermo for getting mildly perturbed at some anonymous poster who flamed him without having the courage to use his own name is pretty mysterious to me, and says more about you than about Yermo, IMO.

Oh yeah, and I'm not afraid to use my real name.

I'm personally suspicious of your supposed chess resume Noyb because of the tone of your earlier Beavis and Butthead level comments. It stands to reason that if you indeed have competed and organized for 25 years you would've learned some RESPECT by now for perennial greats whether they hover above or below the 2700 mark. When you face mere 2400-2500 "losers" at ICC do you heckle them? Do you jeer at them in person at OTB tournaments? Why do you suddenly develope such a cavalier attitude in front of your p.c.? HHm?

Hey Yermo,

Any plans to write any more books. Enjoyed the Road to chess improvement

Maybe "five seconds" refers to the average time taken by Vishy to prepare for an event.

Working on a book for a new series on openings by Gambit. Bigger projects back on the shelf....

Seems to me that you are the only one throwing around insults and acting in a purile fashion at the keyboard. Hmm?!

Noyb, did I insult your intellingence by mentioning that I'm writing the book? It's OK you don't have to read it.
I say you won. I shouldn't be here. It's too painful to read Yuriy's political commentary anyway.
So long everyone

As far as I can tell he didn't even know where he was posting the comment, which isn't in any recognizable context I can imagine.

Evidently neither of you read very far back in the post. Whiskeyrebel and I were having a "dialogue". More like I expressed and opinion and he keeps attacking me. Whatever.

Who are Anand's seconds? Why is this such a closely guarded secret? We all knew who his seconds were when he was playing Kramnik so what's the issue now?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 29, 2005 2:13 AM.

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