Greengard's ChessNinja.com

2005 FIDE WCh r2

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Today we have Topalov - Anand, a key battle between the early leaders and pre-tournament favorites. If Topalov starts the event with wins over Leko and Anand he becomes a huge favorite. Then it's Adams-Polgar, Kasimdzhanov-Svidler, and Leko-Morozevich. Moro is often more dangerous with black than with white and Leko will need to bounce back from his painful loss. Moro looks very tired in the photos.

An exciting first day of chess, unless you are Hungarian. Polgar was completely outclassed by Anand in a Caro. Leko missed attacking chances with 17.f4 and later 20.Nb6 and finally lost the thread against Topalov in a sharp and balanced position. I wonder if he just missed 23...Rd8! and white has to exchange or lose the Nf5. Suddenly the queens were off and Black had the two bishops, which Topalov handled forcefully.

How have your live experiences been? The official site now has the complete fixture up. Nigel Short's fine stuff is appearing first at ChessBase.com. Games are there too. A rather low-tech list of high-resolution photos is at the official site here: www.wccsanluis.net/fotos/


It is sad if Moro looks tired. I was hoping he would pull a dark-horse upset, but it won't happen if he lacks energy. I also think he needed to beat Kasimdzhanov with white if he were going to pull it off. As early as it is, I have to write him off now.

I was able to watch about 30 minutes live, and found Yasser's commentary interesting. He has a way of taking grandmaster games and making them accessible to non-grandmasters. I hope to spend more time watching tomorrow.

Yah, Yaz is the best. I've been keeping nutty deadline hours and slept through most of round one. I hope they are archiving the live audio commentary at Playchess.com.

Well i had not much luck predicting the results for Round One, but nonetheless here are my predictions for Round Two:
Topal-Anand 0-1 (Topal didn't play well in the first round, Leko played badly the 2nd half)
Adams-Polgar 1-0 (Polgar did play badly and Adams needs a win)
Kasim-Svidler = (i think they're evenly matched)
Leko-Moro 0-1 (Leko's obviously playing it too safe, Moro is a wizard with black)

PS: Was very nice that Garry gave a few comments during the games!

write moro off at your peril!!!! Btw, where are you guys hearing all this commentary?? Playchess server?? Gosh I hate their client program :-( But if GK is commenting, I have to I guess.

i dunno about Nigel Short's "fine stuff". Very conversational, kind of lazy piece with no analysis. Wish he had a bit of analysis.

Where do you listen to Seirawan? How much does it cost?

Leko's aura of invincibility is waning. He lost a bad game to Naiditsch earlier this year and yesterday, he should have seen Black's Rd8 move (if not 20.Nb6!). Overall he is losing quite frequently this year and combined with his lack of winning (as many as Topa and Anand) games, he is ending up 3rd/4th places (or even lower) in tournaments.


pff, endless variation of analysis are trite and can be found everywhere. I like nigels stuff.

Let's see if I can continue my hundred percent prediction record from the first round:

Today Judy Polgar bounces back with a win against Mickey and Leko will come close, oh so close to winning against Morozevich.

Any idea if there is a Playchess interface for Mac? Looks like moving from Windows to MacOS not only meant i lost Fritz8 but also a lot of interesting commentaries...

I suspect Topalov and Anand will make a draw. Adams needs to beat Polgar with white as he faces Anand and Topalov with the black pieces in rounds 3 and 4. I think Leko will bounce back and beat Moro. I can see Kasim and Svidler making a draw also. Therefore I predict:-

Topalov - Anand Draw
Adams - Polgar 1-0
Kasimjanov - Svidler Draw
Leko - Morozevich 1-0

Its all very exciting, tourneys like this only come every 50 years, so we better enjoy it.

It is very interesting to see the Topalov-Anand game right off after they are the only winners from round one! This will be a battle, as Topalov knows he just missed the bullet from Leko! Anand did not seem over worked after his easy defeat of Polgar.
I predict an uneven game and any three of the results could take place!
Adams-Polgar 1/2-1/2
Kasimdzanov-Svidler 1/2-1/2
Leko-Morozevich 1/2-1/2
Topalov-Anand ??-??

Topalov 1/2 Anand
Adams 0-1 Polgar
Kasimdzhanov 1/2 Svidler
Leko 1-0 Morozevich

Well, well. I am not sure whether I should congratulate Anand with a win with the black pieces, or whether feel sad at the embarrasment it caused to the sport. With a forced mate position in a fight for world title, this is something new in chess. Was it because Anand played such an incredible game or was it simply because he was playing against an outsider who should in all fairness stick to her WGM status. Would Anand dare doing the same to Ivanchuk? I doubt it very much. He, to the embarrasment of all fans, played a game which reminded a Grandmaster Simul against club-players. He ingnored her as an opponent is how I would sum it up. It really was an embarrasment to see that this sickening anglo-saxon quota-system has reached the shores of Planet Chess. From now on I am sure it will be proposed to make it compulsory to have females (who are intellectually inferior by difinition) fighting for the World Title. Maybe we should also make it compulsory to have an african-american on wheelchair to make thing even more attractive.

The game of Kings belongs to the KINGS and any gender-related quota-system will make things look wierd and ugly. A female 'grandmaster' is somewhere in the region of 2300 and that's where they truly belong. To bring her suddenly to the world's top is just doing injustice to the likes of Shirov, Ivanchuk but also to the 'imininetse-torzhestva' who was performing the role of sitting duck in World-Title match.


nigel's stuff is great when he has some chess content. Yes, I dont care for reams of computer analysis either, but even I could say "gadzooks, Polgar was doing great until her marauding opponent decided to punish her inept play with a bold Knight sacrifice". I expect some minimal Chess insight from a former World Championship contender.

i agree with Knight about Polgar in this tournament. i predicted that she'd finish above Kasim but see the light about the validity of such a prediction now. Anand flicked her off the board, even easier than Garry flicking off Kasim at Linares.

Thanks for not feeding the trolls.


What are you talking about? Polgar was never a WGM and she almost never plays in women's events.

You don't know anything about professional chess and apparently haven't seen Polgar's games. How long have you followed chess?

African-American in a wheelchair? Are you on something? Haldol maybe?

not going to happen Mig - they have to be fed :)

i liked short's summary, but would have liked some annotations as well. Appeared to be a rather lazy effort. At a minimum I would have liked the f4 and nb6 lines in Leko-Topalov. Mig are you going to put something together for each round? Hint - Some of Kasparov's lines would be very welcome.


Yah, I always think banging out some lines of interest is good, but then I'm not a GM with prestige on the line when someone points out my hour after the game quickie suggestions are lousy.

Garry's not doing much in the way of lines right now. Games are finishing late for him. His summary of round one was "crap" and something about Leko giving up e4 if he can't play f4 instead of Kb1. We're talking on the book every day and trying not to get distracted with San Luis. I'll be hard pressed to find time to pick a few games to annotate for Black Belt. If I have surplus I'll post a few here.

"His summary of round one was "crap""

Harsh but fair, it seems to me.

Yes well, this is what Garry gets when he refuses to play :/ Justice done, i think. But i'm hopeful now that Garry might get back to chess sooner than expected since if Putin isn't going to go for third term. Not to put too fine a point on it, i agree the first round was more akin to crap than beautiful chess.

Sorry about feeding the troll, i'm just too innocent to know if someone's trolling or not, but his underlying point was valid. Mind you, even i thought Knight was stretching it a bit putting Polgar in the same group with african-american in a wheelchair :)

I'll the goulash contingent slide with "nerves" in round one, but will downgrade to "crap" for such games later.

I also can`t understand why anything Short tries to do is given so much respect. His statistical analysis of the likely outcome in Argentina on Chessbase News was laughable - clearly one of his 4 `O`-levels wasn`t maths ...

In sports you can read analysis, comments, interviews in the paper the morning after.
During big chess tournament events, there is nothing. Chess Base produces, but random, late and inconsistent (except when Mig did report).
Now the WCC is on. 47 years since a chess event of the same importance and tension (moreover,there was no 1 mill USD at stake in Haag/Moscow).
A reporting strong chess player can write it home from Reykjavik. No need to be in Argentina.
Anybody knowing WHERE on the net I can read fresh daily, solid reports? (The amateur chess journalists are not interesting.)
I read Shipov's on ChessPro, which are always fast and of an excellent quality.
But no reports in english on this planet?


I think you are two of the following:

1. A sick chauvanist
2. A F*&Kin racist.

What do you mean by an "african-american in a wheel chair"?? That's just a dumb thing to say. You words speak for themselves. Daim Shabaaz is right when he says you might be on haldol.

And what you say about Polgar simply exposes your 13th century chauvanism. How can you speak about a super gm like that? A super GM with proven credentials.

You are just a damn joke to talk in such a prejudiced and racist way. Dispicable.

Now i'm not going to say anything about Mehul because i'm certain he most assuredly is a troll. Moral outrage is a wonderful thing.

For now, there is absolutely no comparison - Shipov's stuff on www.chesspro.ru is far and away the best commentary on this tournament on the planet. It's funny, it's readable - and it's incisive and accurate as well. Pointed, well-spoken indications of where the game is going, who lost and why, with just enough analysis to buttress his points, not so much as to drown us in useless variations.

It's a sad shame that it's not available to anyone who can't read Russian...

Although I await, with a kind of sick, shuddering fascination, to see if the same "auto-translation" used at the top of chesspro.ru is going to be used on Shipov's pieces. It's almost as bad to have his wonderful work reduced to gibbering third-grade vocab, as to not have it at all.

But I suppose it would be too much to expect whoever's financing chesspro to fork over enough to hire a decent (read: "native-English-speaking") translator.

Hey, I remember being approached, a year or so ago, to "do some work" for an unnamed Russian chess group. Of course, they couldn't PAY me - but they did offer me some unbelievable deals on any Russian chess book I wanted! (Too bad I already have more than I can possibly read...)


"The game of Kings belongs to the KINGS and any gender-related quota-system will make things look wierd and ugly. A female 'grandmaster' is somewhere in the region of 2300 and that's where they truly belong."

Dude, I've had periods where I couldn't get laid, too - and you have a natural tendency to get angry at the women who won't give you any. You have to fight that, look at yourself, and figure out what's wrong with you - because reading what you've written there ("Maybe we should also make it compulsory to have an african-american on wheelchair to make thing even more attractive.".), it's clear you're a f***-up, alienated freak. Get some help, man - I hear Scienotolgy works for some people.

Do excuse - that's Scientology


GM Alex Baburin's Chess Today daily newsletter is the closest thing to timely sports pages on chess that I've seen in English. It's essentially designed for that format. You get brief overview coverage of major events, and at least one annotated game (from the previous day's events). The annotators vary, but I enjoy it very much. Comes complete with the Chessbase files so you can open it right with a board, or print out the .pdf version if you prefer.

It is by subscription only, but you can see some older sample issues for free before deciding.


I have no affiliation with them other than as a subscriber.



Here you can follow GM Shipov's analyses in English.
Not sure about the quality of translation.

stany i couldnt agree more. Try TWIC, Malcom Pein and Mark Crowther post some very readable summaries, but unfortunately not always, and not after every round (at least in previous tourneys). fluffybunny you make my mouth water with your descriptions of Shipov's summaries, maybe I should learn Russian.

Who came up with this system of picking the players? Poor Naka is sitting at homr watching conservative news shows like Fox and listening to Rush Limbaugh. It just aint right. Concerning Knight's comment- Are you ignorant of the trouble that the Harvard President got into by comparing the different abilities of the sexes? Your blatently sexist comments are not politicaly correct. Bradford

Who came up with this system of picking the players? Poor Naka is sitting at homr watching conservative news shows like Fox and listening to Rush Limbaugh. It just aint right. Concerning Knight's comment- Are you ignorant of the trouble that the Harvard President got into by comparing the different abilities of the sexes? Your blatently sexist comments are not politicaly correct. Bradford

OK, the www.chesspro.ru site now has the Shipov stuff translated, and I must do the honorable thing and stab myself with a bishop.


There, that feels better. A quick once-over tells me that, No, they're not on "auto-translate"; and while it doesn't sound like Philip Roth, it doesn't sound like my 3rd-grade daughter, either. Readable - it'll do. I can unashamedly point stany and ALL the non-Russian-reading public to the site, because this Shipov is GOOD.


The furor made over the Harvard President's comments was just the usual pc nonsense.

The comments made about Judit Polgar above should just be ignored.

Let us hope that the second round makes up for the embarrassment of round one unless of course 'the strongest female player in history' throws in another Force Majeure. In which case we would probably have to replace her with Morris Sashley for old-timers sake.

So Polgar's bad play was gender-based.

How then do we explain Leko's?

In order to make this happen, invitations needed to go out about 6 months in advance. The players were selected based on the average of their 2004 ratings. The October 2004 list gives a pretty good approximation of that, so you can see just why these particular players were invited. (Both Kasparov and Kramnik declined their invitations.)


"So Polgar's bad play was gender-based.
How then do we explain Leko's?"

The only logical conclusion is that Peter Leko is a woman. :-)

In all seriousness, here are my predictions (and hopes) for round number two:

Topalov - Anand : draw (I love both these guys, so if either of them wins, it's fine by me)

Adams - Polgar : Polgar wins. Adams makes some inaccuracy, Polgar jumps on it, gets an advantage and grinds out a winning endgame. If not, Knight gives me lots of sass and I go home red-faced. (I want Polgar to win; I like her style more than Adams' and would love to see it "encouraged")

Kasimjanov - Svidler : who cares? Just kidding. Draw. Possible Kasim win, if Svidler breaks down. I don't see Kasim losing, though (would like Kasim to win. He's like a mascot for any of us who were one of the weaker members of any group; as long as we're tought as nails, we can hang in long enough to get respect)

Leko - Morozevich : draw, with Leko advantage. (I wish Moro would win; frankly, I'd love it if he won the tounrament)

So all in all, I'm calling 3 draws out of 4, but I'm thinking that at least two of them will be interesting. Kasim - Svidler has a decent chance of being the chess equivalent of an awkward date that ends early before the parties involved really reveal themselves.

I was surprised when Yasser Seirawan said during his Playchess.com commentary yesterday that Svidler was his pre-tournament choice to win the tournament. I don't believe he ever gave his reasons for picking the Svid.

I am almost prepared to call Leko's game today against Moro a must win. If he is only .5 after two whites, he will be in a pretty good sized hole.

Judit is going to lose today but it won't be because of her gender. Go Mickey!

Topalov 0-1 Anand
Adams 1-0 Polgar
Kasimdzhanov 0-1 Svidler
Leko 0-1 Morozevich

omigawd how do u use that crappy chessbase client?????????????????? I log in, cant do anything, everytime i try to say something i get the message I have to have some stupid knowght rank. I cant get the audio commentary from yaz, no idea how to. Anybody help me pls? As long as I live, I will NEVER buy Chessbase products.

where are you all following game live online.. i couldn't find any live site (official site charges $40!)

both icc (www.chessclub.com) and fics (www.freechess.org) are relaying

I am sad to see 'knight' use a name so similar to mine. I hope no one will ever confuse me with him!

Can someone please post the latest results for those of us who can't watch the games from work? Thanks!

Topolov (Bulgaria) - Anand (India) Topalov is winning

Leko (Hungary) 1/2 Morozevich (Russia)

Adams (England) 1/2 Polgar (Hungary)

Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan) 1/2 Svidler (Russia)

Official: Topalov-Anand drawn in 97 moves.

Amazing! Fantastic! Wonderful!

Anand and Topalov gave us chess fans a spectacle we deserve. I dare to compare their game with a Hypothetical soccer World Cup final between Brazil and Argentina. You would not know until the who is going to win.

sh**! What a game!

Must have been the worst game that has been played between the top two active players in a long time. Yes, there were moments of genius, but those blunders ... unbearable.

I saw the Topalov-Anand position after around 50 moves and thought, cool, Topalov is up a few pawns. Then I took the bus home from work to turn on ICC to see if he brought home a point, and I saw the position, with Anand checking Topalov's king around at around move 90, and I read the kibitzing clowns in the message pane, calling Topalov a loser, and I thought "Crap!"
Fun game though. I hope Topalov can defend well against Morozevich tomorrow.
This kind of tournament gets me psyched about playing chess again. I assume it has a similar effect for others. Good stuff.

There are time controls, they are not robots and they get tired. Btw, Yasser Seirawan, at chessbase, gave up commenting before the game finished. Could you do better?

Why did he give up before the game? Got tired?

"not so well played games today" (Rd 1)
"Yes, there were moments of genius, but those blunders ... unbearable." (Rd 2)

I am eagerly awaiting the moment when acirce becomes World Champion so he can delight us with his comments - 'cause he must be better than those GMs at San Luis.

Topalov-Anand was a game that will be remembered for a long time.

Unbearable blunders? That suggests an intolerance for human error that should make just about everyone give up chess, or simply watch engine-engine matches.

I am well aware that Topalov and Anand will both find much to wonder at when they recall their moves, but it was a titanic struggle with an outcome that seems just to me.

It was sometimes excruciating to hear the comments of our weaker brethren on ICC, particularly if they had an engine running that couldn't even begin to fathom Topalov's compensation for the exchange...

Oh well, that's the 21st century, I suppose. Glad it's my last.

Thankfully, I needed to close the kibitzing pane in order to watch the games; had I not done so, I would have threw my monitor out the window.

Really interesting day; it was interesting to see Polgar claw her way to a draw as well as Moro try to bring home the point. Topa-Anand was better than I expected; saying that the game was weak is just a little too cynical, IMO. I mean, if this stuff hurts your aesthetic sense, you must be weeping blood when going over 19th century games... ;-)

I have to admit I don't get the criticism of the Topalov-Anand game. First off, everyone got hot and bothered when they played 20 move draws, now people are disgusted when they err. What do you expect after 7+ hours of play and 97 moves? Perfect chess? The closest we can get to perfect is playing 5 moves and agreeing to a draw. Error-free that way, apparently that's really super. The other thing is, how many mistakes would the ordinary, non-master kiber on ICC actually recognize when they saw one, if they didn't have ol' hummer in the background?

Good grief. Can't we enjoy chess anymore?


Yasser gave up saying something like this: "Engines say it´s a draw. I can´t see it. I am brain dead." Tough to a GM commentating, wouldn´t it be to the players?

To a fan, it was just GREAT!

I saw the pictures of the playing hall on Chessbase.com. Isn't it pathetic that the playing hall is almost empty?

It is a sad thing when the kibitzers get to use strong chess computers, because then they start bashing the greatest players in the world for being only human! If these people could play as well as Anand or Topalov we would be watching them in there- making the same human types of mistakes. That is what real chess is all about, and that is why computers are only tools and should never be allowed in human competition. Chess is for humans.


Thanks a lot to:
- Fluffybunnyfeet
- d
- Penguin with visor
- Duif

Sports reports in netpapers are for free.
So should be the chess reports. I agree that
Chess Today is doing a good job, but you have to pay.
TWIC (M.C.) reports are some improvised solutions with ridiculous reams of comp games instead of analysis. MC is neither a chessplayer nor a journalist and the result thereafter. Apparantly TWIC do not want to pay a strong player to do the reporting.
Chess Base is slow. Sometimes the reports are there only when the next round has begun.
Nigel Shorts first report was of a surprisingly low quality. He produces heaps of words, but is no journalist and he does not use his GM skills. And he is paid for such products....
This morning - 8 hours after the last move in round 2 - still no report. What does the man do in the night? Is he sleeping on job? Overall a lazy impression.
Fortunately I do read russian, and Shipovs texts + analysis are very intelligent, brilliant in all senses. By far the worlds'best. And the speediest! I have complimented him several times and Shipov says:
"Thank you. I try to do my reports for chessplayers like you." (Meaning real meat in stead of the amateurish blah-blah from Mark Crowther and others). Nice to know that he is out in english version also now. But the translation can take time. Shipov is on your door the next morning. Because he works! While others sleep.
I have the solution - for this tournament and for other events -:
ICC assumes the task. Previously they did it to some extent, but obviously they chose to stop.
Hire a strong player with journalistic talents
to give us the meat on the door the next morning.
Applauds will be waiting for them from 30 000 subscribers.

Well said Knight tour. I thought the Topalov / Anand game was oozing with life in spite of what errors will come to light. I felt like I was able to get inside the players heads based on their moves which seemed to "tell a story". Those guys seemed to be working their butts off. What more can we ask from them?

Sergey rocks. Nice guy too. He was our #1 analyst at KasparovChess.com.

But stany forgot to add, "and we will all happily send them money to do this for us". There isn't enough chess traffic to make a CNN advertising-based model viable (even the NY Times is trying subscription-based editorial content now). You have to pay a GM, and a webmaster, etc.

ChessBase get no more traffic by staying up all night and putting up a report five hours earlier. No more traffic, no more money, nothing but grateful chess fans who are unwilling and unable to monetize that gratitude. I don't mean that negatively, it's just there's no real way to pay (say) ChessBase or TWIC for such things. You buy books where it's cheapest, same with software. Nobody says, "wow, the ChessBase report is up already, I'm going to buy another copy of Fritz!" No one to blame here, it's just the nature of commodified information.

I know people love the instant reports; it's how I started out. I was posting rambling daily tournament reports at TWIC back in 1997. It's all good, but how to make a buck? Would people be willing to pay even a dollar for a subscription to daily reports, even very good ones like Sergey's, when there is so much free stuff out there? (Answer: yes, but not many.)

Now, live broadcast commentary you can monetize by making it exclusive to paying subscribers, pace the ICC and Playchess.com. But timely and excellent web reporting is a luxury and will remain one. Event sponsors can hire someone, but is it worth their salary for the negligible amount of traffic it creates? It's hard to make a same-day report that much better. I.e. so much better people will flock to your site in numbers big enough to make a difference to sponsors.

I think we achieved just that for the Kramnik-Fritz match in Bahrain, but it's not the usual pattern. I was willing and able work with the programmers and GM analysts during the games, bang out media-friendly reports immediately after the games, do analysis for the site, post everything to the site with photos, and have dinner at 11pm every night. There were media-savvy PR people working there who pushed the material to news organizations.

There are other ways, and they involve access and investment. The player blog I did at the US Championship site was a big step using official access to create something exclusive. Everyone gets the games, or even a reporter on-site, but you have to leverage that access.

i must say i'm a bit disappointed in the tournament so far. The games are exciting, but i feel a little bit on the expense of quality. i don't want to belittle the efforts of the players and the gruelling task of intense thinking for over 6 hours, but in the end, that is chess, and players in the past have been able to convert their advantages.
Anand-Topalov game was almost painful to watch, and the ending of Leko-Moro was not a happy one.
i've said this before, but to me it seems that the players concentrate too much on the openings and their basic technique is lacking. How many times did it happen to Botvinnik and Alekhine, or even Fischer, Karpov?, that they failed to convert winning positions? Very few. Or Kasparov?
Openings really don't matter in these games at all because whatever advantage they gain, they will let it fizzle out or make an outright blunder. So i would hope someone would concentrate more on refining his technique than in memorizing lines.
Well, perhaps the players have yet to comfortably acclimatize to Argentina, and there's still hope. But so far, even i can see the reduced quality of the games.

i will truly hate it if Topalov will win the tournament, because for one reason or another, he is merely lucky.

Ahh, perhaps this will express what i'm trying to say: Kramnik-Leko match last year was of higher quality than this. Less blunders, more fine technique...too bad, not matched with fighting spirit, but still, so far i preferred that match to this one.

PS: i hate to say it, but maybe when Kramnik's in form, he is better than most of these guys.

Let's not go writing off the tournament and all the top players in the world so quickly, eh? Today's games weren't bad and most were interesting. If people would turn off Fritz for a few minutes they might learn something about the game, its difficulties and its beauty. It certainly wouldn't be painful to watch. Converting an advantage at this level is incredibly hard because they aren't computers but they are very, very strong. Anand is one of the greatest defenders of all time, as Topalov learned today. If every game was won when Fritz said +1.28 chess would be much the worse for it, and us along with it.

Nobody who wins this event will be "merely" anything! A little luck is always required to win an event, and to win a game you also have to press your luck at this level, usually. Topalov risked against Leko and won. Saying someone is lucky that their opponent didn't find better moves isn't very useful. That's the entire game, finding better moves than your opponent.

Unfortunately we know little about Kramnik's top form, so it's a pointless debate. His match with Leko was horribly boring. We've had more of interest on the board in two days in San Luis than we had in the entire Brissago match up till the final two games. The quality has definitely been shaky, similar to the worst rounds of Sofia and Linares, perhaps. But this is still some high level of bad!

stany, yes sometimes the TWIC reports are really strange. For instance, the first round report says that Black has at least equalised out of the opening in the Topalov game, when he has done nothing of the sort. Then there's something about Morozevich xchngng the "bad" bishop in the endgame being good, when it nearly lost him the game. However at least they try, which is more than can be said for Short's offerings. The Shipov stuff is fantastic, gives you a real insight into the game. For instance everyone was in a blather about Leko's kb1 instead of f4. Shipov shows how White still had a comfortable victory with Nb6 later on.

Just about your last, d, a later opportunity does not nullify the relevance of an earlier mistake. f4 was a stronger move as well as thematic one. What happens after that is, on one level, beside that point unless the position before 20.Nb6 is somehow forced after Kb1, which is not the case.

'Kramnik in form, better than these guys'..? You know, that is such a vague comment, people make such comments about every other player, Kaspy in form, Anand in form, Topa...Ivanchuk...and it goes on! So what about having a tournament where everybody is in form :)

Come out of Kramnik's shadow, his best days are gone!


who said it does? However everyone called it a decisive mistake, which I suspect it wasnt.

my point was, Shipov brings some perspective, analysing the entire game, and pointing out key moments. He mentions f4 too, but lets not get into a discussion about what is and what isnt "thematic". Thematic is what brings home the bacon. Leko choose a path which he probably thought was a safer one to victory. Shipov points out that he may have had a point.

If there is anybody on the chess scene knowing everything about the potential and the difficulties (money)when it comes to instant chess reporting - it is Mig.
Means his explanations are absolutely to the point. Greatful for his clearifications.
(Mig never talked about it, of course, but one can assume that he - obsessed by customer satisfaction as a true journalist - has had not few arguings with principals about money throughout his career.)
In normal business it is easily accepted that customer-service, image-building and reputation
are essential. Can have its cost, but normally not much. Of paramount importance in this respect is what they do, the people you already pay.
The major chess sites do not think in this way.
For reasons pointed out by Mig.
Even though I presume that the money needed for instant reporting is not an absolute sine qua non. The reality is more likely to be the choice of the site owner: " OK, I have the money, but should I pay a reporter and a web man to make everybody delighted - or simply stuff the equivalent amount of money in my pocket, because after all I earn it?"
And he chooses his pocket.
So much for customer satisfaction.

But I wonder - accepting the money argument -:
If ICC does it, and explains their subscribers
that "on many requests etc..., and not to squeeze any profit out of it - only to cover direct costs - we hope for your understanding when we will charge you ONE buck pr. tourney for your access to the direct reports".
So easy to accept for everybody.
If only 20 % of the 30 000 subscribers (very pessimisticly) pay 6000 USD, I guess that should largely cover the direct costs. Maybe even give profit. Not to speak about 40 % okeying the proposal...
In worst case, I could do the reporting myself.
As an experienced journalist and chessplayer, having had the d a i l y chess column in the leading paper of my native country for 15 years.
For modest 1000 bucks pr. tourney :)
Because pleasure is more important than profit.

Yes, d, the TWIC reports are really deplorable.
And if MC is himself in San Luis - of which I know nothing - it is a journalistic nightmare.

Well, i'll go so far as to admit that it's hard to be objective when your favourite players seem to be missing all the winning moves. i don't use Fritz, but i listen to commentators who sometimes do.

But not to worry, i admit the games have been very exciting and sitting 7 hours until almost sunrise hasn't been boring or unpleasant.
And it's true i have no idea when the advantage is small or large enough to be "easily" converted, but Yasser, and commentators in general, do make it sound easy and seem to see what should be played. Which sometimes makes me wonder why they are not playing there. (Reminds me when WaZ was on, in a certain game everyone was expecting Morozevich to beat somebody easily, Garry was asked his opinion and he said after some thought that he's not sure Moro is even better...which was to be proven correct since he didn't win the game after all).

So yes, i do see that you have a point and stand somewhat corrected, maybe it's hard to see the quality on this level, and i will look harder from now on.
But still also await for some genuine masterpieces to show up (like the game #14 of Leko-Kramnik match).

Now i'll go make myself feel better by going through some Botvinnik game from MGP.

PS: However, i'll never understand why Moro missed the forced exchange of queens with the check on Qh1+! when Leko's queen was at h5...a lot of people agreed, me included, that the game would be easily won with queens off the board. And the game seemed to end because Moro missed his chance to exchange the queens. Then again, it's possible he saw that it wasn't so easy even with queens off. But i'd blitz that position against anyone less than a master to glory :P
PS2: My comment on Leko-Kramnik match of course excludes the "few" short draws :) i remember the masterpieces..

There was supposed to be a daily Q&A with the players after the games. Does anybody know the link to it?


Amit: i see your point, but i think it's just meant to refer to a time when they played better (which doesn't exactly say much...eg. "when Kramnik played better than these guys he was much better", duh?)
But supposedly i tried to say that with Kramnik's technique he would be able to take advantage of the blunders and not return the gift in the next five moves, or just nurture and convert his advantage from the opening..

On the other hand, the Leko-Kramnik match games were so different in nature to these games that it's of course impossible for me to say if they really were of higher quality, but there was less blunders/missed opportunities...of course, at the same time there was also less creation of opportunities.

To clarify one important point regarding web reporting and content in general. Unless you are on an advertising model, visitors to your website are no more your customers than people who walk by the front your store on the street. They are POTENTIAL customers, which is of course much better than not visiting, but it's only the first step. Unless they buy something (i.e. pay you in some way), and unless your actions in some way encourage them to buy something, you are right to put that money in your pocket, which is another way of saying pay your employees and feed your family.

This was very different back in the 98-2000 glory days of the advertising model. But when the balloon popped - and I was riding in it at the time - advertising rates dropped over 90% and you had to get revenue directly from vistors or find some other way to monetize traffic. So, with this blog, for example, and the Ninja message boards (which rock, by the way), if my traffic went from 10,000 vistors per day to 100,000, that would do me no good unless these 90,000 new people bought newsletter subscriptions, which is the only way they have to pay me.

That is basically the proposition of this site, that enough people who come to read the news and chat on the boards will buy newsletters for me to pay the bills. ChessBase needs to promote their brand and sell software and Playchess subscriptions. TWIC needs to sell books and boards, and they also have a small ad model.

You can see it most directly from the fact that ChessBase pays Yasser Seirawan to do live audio at Playchess and not write web reports. Increasing the end-user value proposition for Playchess is much more in their interest because it runs on a subscriber model. Their web content is free and a great Seirawan web report and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee.

We had subscriber-only content in the final year or so at KasparovChess.com. The "Champions Club" and the newsletters, which I created there and have continued here. The minute those ad revenues dropped 90% the site had to change from a great chess site to a somewhat less great chess site that had the main purpose of converting visitors into paying subscribers. You can't eat gratitude!

The ICC and Playchess and anyone else on a subscription model don't need to sell ancillary items as much as different subscription levels. Gold members get access to everything, silver can play and watch live GM games but no audio/video, standard can only play, that sort of thing. People don't like to pay once and then have to pay for a bunch of other stuff piecemeal. But apparently the chess servers haven't stumbled on to what the rest of the web world found out long ago. You want to know who does this stuff well as far as monetizing traffic and running great tiering schemes? Online dating and online porn. Most of the best case studies for money models on the web start there.

Nice game by two worthy candidates Topolov-Anand...It just shows how much chess battle depends on one's testosterone levels. Nice to see the Austrian Attack against the pathetic club-player's Pirc. It shows how strong and dangerous is Kasim who twice embarrased Anand with the black pieces in the Najdorf on Anand's home-ground (rapid chess) in Leon a couple of months ago. Not being in his best form Mickey accepted a charity draw in a clearly better position but he correctly decided not to waste time with an outsider when he's facing Anand today. Good chess. Anand-Adams to watch.

Thanks, Mig.

to sateca: Morozevich and Leko obviously didn't miss Qh1+ but must have thought it only draws.
And after some time analysing it with fritz I think that is entirely correct so I wouldn't think it is a blunder. Moro played Qh4 hoping for Qxh4 which would lead to a much improved version of the endgame.
In Topalov-Anand game of course blunders were gigantic and can only be explained by fatigue and stress. But at least they gave it all!
In Kramnik-Leko match blunders like this would of course not happen cause they would have agreed on draw some 50 moves earlier

Yanks are generally-speaking clever in marketing, business-management, air-blowing but to their dismay chess is an intellectual game where fans are on average expected to have a higher average IQ than the rest of the populace. Hence, marketing only works with the bottom of the chess ladder. In other words ICC is most likely to to be filled with kids of about 1500 american Elo in strength which is lower than our European 1500...If you want to follow the championship with 50 GM's and IM's including Garry the Great your choice is still the invincible German Mercedes that is chessbase. For live-commentary (as one inquisitive friend seems to have difficulty finding his way) simply go to Broadcasts, click on games, click on live commentary and if your computer is equipped with WMP9 or higher the media window should automatically launch whereby you hear a slow-speaking middle-aged man with a pseudo-american accent that is Yasser Seirawan (a gift from the USSR) a one-time american champion whatever that means.

Gift from Syria, actually. Four-time US champion, which means he won the championship of the US four times.

Marketing only MAKES SENSE to the bottom of the chess ladder. Trying to sell to the top 5% of any pyramid is stupid unless that pyramid represents income. Since 1500 players have the same income level as 2200 players (and probably more than 2600 players, ahem), you sell to the biggest group.

kamiel: Thank you.

I think Short's commentary is overall very lousy. Either he is not payed enough, or he is jealous of the others, wishing to play this World Cup himself. His comments are more of a coffeehouse player passing by San Luis, previously having read the biographies of all participants.

Would *I* do better? Thanks for asking relevant questions! :-) Yes, the endgame in Topalov-Anand was bad. Extremely bad relatively to their #1 and #2 status on the rating list among active players. Much of the game before was great, but let's admit that 2+2 is 4 and start looking for reasonable explanations. These guys are supposed to be on the *top* of their game in a World Championship. "You can't expect perfect play" is a trivial cliché with no bearing on blunders of that magnitude, rarely seen on this level even after 6-7 hours of play. I guess it has to be the nervous tension.

The queen is the strongest piece. Go Judith!

Yes, IMPJ. And 12 hours after last move executed in San Luis, the well paid reporter has still not delivered the goods - how lousy might it be.
Guess he is gone winetasting on the countryside. Then, an argentine lunch can offer the most fascinating steaks - and will take its time...

Boys, before critisizing the quality of Topalov-Anand game, please, open your old books with comments on the great Kasparov-Karpov matches (not to mention earlier great ones) and see how many mistakes happened during these great games.

The game Topalov-Anand from yesterday is one of the greatest battles in the entire chess history. Both fighters played about 100 moves of which about 90 of hihg or amazingly high quality. The game was full of deep tactics, subtle strategic manouvers and unexpecting decisions. Let us study such incredible games and learn how to play better chess.

The only sad thing about yesterday's Topalov-Anand game is that one of these great players will not be world champion. They both deserve to be!

Why didn't Adams play on against Polgar? I suppose it's drawn but certainly only White can win.

Anand - Topolov really was an incredible, fascinating full of fight and great ideas game. A game worthy of the World Title. There are at least 12 exclaimation marks for a game that lasted nearly 100 moves. A tatanic struggle from both, especially Topolov. A game for generations to come.

Once again, I see that there is a daily Q&A, does anbody have the link to it ?

Don't mind the spam, this will be my last post for this query :)


I want to point out that in Botvinnik and Fischer days the Topalov-Anand game would have been surely adjourned. Maybe then we would not be complaining about the "poor technique of these nowadays players".

It's certainly different to follow a game through 90 moves than just to review it afterwards. You really feel the fatigue and tension the players must be feeling. And now they have to go out and do it all over again in a few hours?

I wanted to ask about the lack of spectators. Is there perhaps an analysis room with hundreds of spectators? The spectators don't appear to have earphones for commentary. Or are there just very few fans in that part of Argentina?

Agree with Mig that we non-paying "customers" have no right to complain about perceived slowness or quality of commentary. We're all so spoiled.

Oh, we can always complain! I was just trying to explain the realities behind it.

There simply aren't very many people period in that area of Argentina and the venue isn't exactly in the center of town. It's quite a pilgrimage to get there, not something you'd just drop in on. The city, and even distant Buenos Aires, have many posters up advertising it.

i for one have been very happy with the commentaries provided by chessbase and other sites, and also Nigel's reports. i just wish all commentators would stop saying things like the game is now winning for this and this...it does mislead me at least.
For me, watching these games would be dreary indeed without commentaries, i wouldn't know what's going on most of the time.

Knight, getting your facts so blatantly wrong with such consistency really, really makes you look like a jackass. And tat leaves aside your racial, sexist commentary. Get a job.

I really must add that towards the end of the Topalov-Anand (after more than 6 hours), on ICC "Sweere" (GM Yermolinsky) asked, "Why are they only playing one game a day?".
Really made me laugh out loud!
(To any newbies here, the GM was making a joke.)

Polgar is a strong contender. If she beats Adams...that'll be something on the map!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 29, 2005 12:56 AM.

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