Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Leon's Roar

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The 18th Leon tournament is underway in Spain. Anand, Shirov, Kasimdzhanov, and the wunderkinder du jour, Magnus Carlsen, are the players. A typically over-developed and under-functional Spanish chess website hides this interesting and brief rapid event made up of three mini-matches.

Anand is consistently terrifying at this time control, but Kasim is no slouch in rapids. If you remember, this used to be an "advanced chess" event in which humans played with computer assistance. (Still reflected in the site's domain name.) Nobody seems to be mourning advanced chess much. It has potential by letting spectators see what the GMs are looking at during games, especially by downloading the ChessBase files created during play. (Classical time control would be great for this.) So even if the games are boring - no blunders no tactics no fun - the insight would be great.


I think advanced chess is the only chess worth playing, for serious adults these days! It's the twenty-first century already, dude!

Advanced Chess is a great concept exactly because the highly increased quality, IMO.

Thanks for confirming the conflict between "excitement" (in this sense) and quality though. There is a huge problem when correct chess is deemed "boring". Luckily market forces don't yet dominate the chess world as much as other sports, but we're going there.

But OK. Back on topic. Anand is the obvious favourite, especially with the seeding (he got Magnus in the semi). Kasim may not be all that much worse in rapid though.

To me advanced chess ruins the whole point of what chess is supposed to be about- pitting ones own skill and knowledge against anothers. Blunders should not be looked down upon so badly by people, they are a natural part of what chess is truly about. Human against human to see who is the best.

Well, advanced chess is more about the "science" aspect of chess than the "sports" one. I'm naturally not suggesting that it should replace ordinary chess. I'd like to see it more though.

yeah, i cant get excited about it either, advanced chess is like Fischer Random to me, i.e. another game. But I'm confused... is this match advanced chess or not??

No it is not advanced chess. The event that used to be held here was an advanced chess event, and apparently the domain name for the event webpage still reflects that.

IMHO it should rather be called "computer-assisted chess", or "CA-chess" for short. Or is Formula-1 or IndyCar racing "advanced running"?

BTW GMs may not like this form of chess precisely because it lets people see what they are looking up during a game. It may give away their professional secrets, or make the preparation easier for their opponents.

And yes, humans-only traditional chess is still worth playing. Just as altough we have car racing, we still have running competitions, too.

I don't understand this. Shirov lost the first game, but then in the second round, in a must-win situation, he played the effing Petroff!? I can understand people playing the Petroff in hopes that white will overextend, but when White *wants* to draw, it seems a tad ridiculous to me.

It was not a must-win situation, and why assume Kasim wanted to draw with White? It's 4 games, not 2. In a real must-win situation it's probably not the wisest, no.

poor shirov is suffering. Didnt he look OK in game 1 if he played something other than B check and RxP at the end? Just put the rook on the back rank and defend?
In game 3 his tactical vision seems to have deserted him, looked like one of my lightning games.

Kasim is really handing it to Shirov which is to be expected somewhat but still if he wins this one it will be humiliating to the homecourt favorite.

Can someone post the results so far? The tournament home page doesn't show them - it seems to keep wanting to execute some script on my machine. Thanks.

In the semifinal match Kasimdzhanov-Shirov, Kasimdzhanov won 3.0 - 1.0 (2W 2D 0L)

Anand-Carlsen play the other semifinal on Saturday.

Finals will be Sunday.

It is a rapids time control of 25 10, but no computers. Just regular rapids games.

Kasimdzhanov continues to show he is very strong at these fast time controls.

Chess is hurtling toward a dead-end where the very best players must devote their entire lives to memorizing previous games and opening variations -- but all of this info can fit into a DVD much more easily than a human mind! Strategy in chess has lost the battle to number-crunching, and the "average" GM loses the number-crunching battle to the machines. So chess, as we knew it, needs to evolve if it wants to keep its original purpose as a way for humans to match wits (i.e. thinking skills) with each other. Advanced (computer-assisted) chess allows people to match their computer-use skills against each other. As a non-hacker, there's little fun for me in seeing who can squeeze the most out of their souped-up Fritz program. As a chess player, however, I think random chess (like Fischer-random) and pre-chess hold the promise of the future for re-establishing the original joy of a contest of mental skill between humans.

blisscoach -- you're right, the VERY best players have it rough.

But people who complain of opening theory explosion forget that it applies mostly to the VERY best. I've read plenty of interviews with players rated 2600-2670 who do not spend an excessive amount of time studying theory. They can't afford to; they don't get too many lucrative supertourney invites, so they have to grind their way through open tournamenets, where freshness of thought and energy are more important than being up to date on the latest cutting-edge theory.

Only at the stratospheric levels of the very top, where players can afford to play in just a handful of events annually, and can devote more time/budget to opening research, does chess theory explosion become a genuine problem.

For some reason, though, people tend to assume that FischerRandom (or some other solution) is the only way to avert impending chess doom. Probably because they read too many interviews with 2700's.

Its well worth noting that the players who are complaining of "theory explosion" etc are not only at the stratospheric level,but very significantly the majority of them are unwilling to do anything different than play the same old lines over and over again.I think rather than going deeper in search of novelties you should be searching earlier playing less explored lines maybe.
Wonder if Alexei Bezgodov's a3 Sicilian will catch on.

Capablanca too was convinced of the imminent draw death about to overtake chess...chess doom?

People have always been complaining about book and 'memorisation' players; no doubt since chess began. Modern technology has allowed for a different method of searching for TNs, but to suggest chess is "hurtling toward a dead-end" is drawing a long bow indeed.

"Advanced chess" is beloved of rabbits because it allows them to imagine they could compete head to head with a GM. Why devote thousands of hours to study and honing technique when you can spend a couple of bucks on a programme?

Chess is a contest, one way or another.

P.S. Kasimdzhanov - Shirov 3-1? Nice result.

Honorable effort by Carlsen - Anand was unthreatened, of course, but Carlsen wasn't as completely smashed to pieces as a weak GM like him normally would be in rapid against Vishy.

I don't even understand this talk about the death of chess. What about that tournament in Sofia, where there were many decisive games? I actually don't think chess is even close although some tournaments, like Linares 2004 or Dortmund, maybe seem that way, because the GM's decide to play tight. Even this years Linares was fun, despite its bittersweet end.

Carlsen isn't exactly a weak GM, and then again, VA is not a smasher - he rarely beats opponents very quickly. He tends to take his time, but he does get the job done :)

Sure Carlsen is a weak GM, at least the way he has been playing for quite a long time now. He's yet to come back to the days when he used to perform 2600+ regularly.

Anand usually has ridiculously superior scores against this kind of opposition in rapid, even against better players than Magnus. Corsica Masters for example: 7.5/8 against Sulava, Gurevich, Bacrot, Rublevsky.

I can't discuss how strong is Magnus these days, I don't watch his career, but few days ago in Spain Topalov was demolished by IM Sergey Krivoshey from Ukraine.

The median GM is probably rated around 2520-2530. Thus, Magnus is not a weak GM.

"I think advanced chess is the only chess worth playing, for serious adults these days! It's the twenty-first century already, dude!"

This is an interesting comment coming from someone rated 1486. I wouldn't exactly call you a serious adult. For you, the computer idea is a cop-out.

Thanks for the thoughts on classical chess "hurtling toward a dead end." I'm a 25+ year tournament veteran and TD, and find that chess boredom creeps into my play frequently. I am definitely NOT a memorizer, and tend to get punished by enthusiastic young players when I wander into the main lines of the Dragon or Najdorf, for example. We play a variant of random chess (actually pre-chess, where the game begins with pawns and players take turns setting up their own pieces -- or their opponents! -- on the first rank). To me that game is a breath of fresh air in a chess world that, at the club and tournament level, feels stuffy and stagnant to me. Every game is a creative effort from the very first move (placing my piece or the opponent's). It has made chess fun again. Like bughouse, I can imagine playing this variant endlessly. Fischer Random has a similar feel. I guess my vision of the doom of chess has to do with creeping ennui. Maybe I've just played classical chess for one too many years....

Meanwhile Anand wins Leon...

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 9, 2005 6:55 PM.

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