Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Let Chucky In!

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Forget having Kramnik play in San Luis and let Vassily Ivanchuk in instead. The Chuckster has his rating up to 2752 and looks set to add a pile more points. He just scored 6/7 for Polonia Plus in the Euro Cup (admittedly on board 2 behind the solid Boris Gelfand). As usual, his games were great. I annotated his win over Volkov for Black Belt a few days ago, what a game. (See below.) He gives up a knight right out of the opening for long-term pressure against Black's open king and keeps creating threats and nabbing pawns for the next 30 moves until Volkov collapses. Don't show this game to any beginner students; they'll never respect the value of the pieces again.

Ivanchuk,Vassily (2752) - Volkov,Sergey (2622) [C13]
21st European Club Cup Saint Vincent (6.3), 2005

1.e4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 gxf6 7.Nf3 f5 8.Nc3 a6 9.g3 b5 10.Bg2 Bb7 11.0-0 c5 12.d5 b4 13.dxe6 bxc3 14.exf7+ Kf8 15.Qe2 cxb2 16.Rad1 Qb6 17.Rfe1 Qf6 18.c3 Be4 19.Nh4 Nc6 20.Bxe4 fxe4 21.Qxe4 Rd8 22.Rb1 Rd2 23.Nf3 Rd6 24.Rxb2 Kxf7 25.Rb6 Ke8 26.Re3 Rf8 27.Qxh7 Rf7 28.Qg8+ Rf8 29.Qc4 a5 30.Kg2 Rf7 31.Qxc5 Kf8 32.Qh5 Kg8 33.Qg4+ Rg7 34.Qc4+ Rf7 35.Qg4+ Rg7 36.Qc8+ Bf8 37.Re8 Rg6 38.h4 Qf7 39.Rb7 Qf6 40.Ng5 Ne5 41.Rf7 1-0


How did they come up with the list of WCC? It does not follow the rating list even if you take Kramnik out of it.
Was it some kind of Kirsan magic? I thought they were gonna have 128 player knockout again?

I think the correct move order should be 12.d5 b4 13.dxe6 bxc3 14.exf7+ Kf8 15.Qe2 etc, the way the site showed it first before messing up this and other games. (It looked like Kramnik had allowed his queen to be captured for no compensation. He's not really in _that_ bad form.) What sense does 12..Kf8 make, for example?

On the next list Ivanchuk is down to 2744 or something, and a couple of weeks ago he lost do Dreev (and drew Gelfand) in the Spanish Team Championships, so it's not like he's going to break 2800 soon or something. But this game was great.

That's next, this is 'unification' (which what, we're not sure). They based the invitations on an average of the July 2004 and Jan 2005 rating lists.

That Ivanchuk-Volkov game is really frightening. I have spent quite a while going over it, and I still cannot fathom it. (I am a lower-middle-class player, national Elo 1945.)
I am looking forward to analysis by GMs. (Not by Fritz: I think it won't be of all too much use.)

As I remember, FIDE announced San Luis formula AFTER Morozevich's failure in Wijk. And when it was ALREADY clear that Ivanchuk enters top five or so. (In one interview Makro said that they used the same formula as some years ago, I did not understand the point at all.) For approximately one year Ivanchuk, possibly, plays the best chess in his life and looks as one of real contenders for the world championship. Chess fans in Ukraine will not forget that nice FIDE decision... Actually, I called my S.Luis preview for Ukrainian sports newspaper "Don't cry for us, Argentina". What else to say? FIDE may hate Ponomariov, what is known, but it seems that they hate Ivanchuk and Ukraine as well.

If you'd rather read the Kirsan interview in the original Russian: http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?110042

Oops, sorry, last comment was on wrong thread.

Mr. Greengard,

I apologize for the wrong threat but do you know which 3 world championships did Sasha Kosteniuk win as stated on her site? I figure you are one of the most knowledgable people in chess. Thanks and sorry sir.

Alex Kadinsky

Alex: No problem, this thread is having a rough day anyway. Kosteniuk's world titles would be: the girls under-12 in 1996 (Menorca), the Disney girls under-12 rapid in 1996 (Paris), and the Disney girls under-14 rapid in 1998 (Paris). The Disney titles should be considered somewhere between frivolous and spurious. Listing these on the site of a GM suggests that at this point it is time to put away childish things.

In case Mig is busy getting ready for coverage of the Argentina event, Kosteniuk was:

1. tied for 1st at Girls' Under 10 World Championship

2. Girls' Under 12 World Champion

3. Girls' Under 14 World Champion

So she has held three of FIDE's gender-segregated World Championship titles, in different age groups.

This is an idiomatic issue for those for whom English is not a first language.

If someone won the World Junior Championship and then became the World Champion, most American newspapers will say that she "earned two world championship titles" (because the two titles are distinct from each other).

If the same person repeated as World Champion in 2000 and 2004, the same newspapers would say that she "is a two time World Champion."

GM Kosteniuk's site says that she is "3 times World Champion," but it would be more idiomatic to say that she has held 3 world championship titles.

However, that only applies to the US. I don't konw if the same applies in the UK.

Does that answer the question?

As I mentioned in the note below in April, they used an average of the July 2004 and January 2005 rating lists for the invitations to San Luis.


Players have to know well in advance, especially with such an important event and with the likely drop-out by one or two participants. (Kasparov and Kramnik indeed dropped out.) I don't think FIDE had much of a choice other than to use the same formula they used for the rating invitations to the KOs in the past. Changing the formula with such a small field would make it obvious who was in or out based on the change. Averaging quarterly lists doesn't make much sense, and they couldn't wait for the July 2005 list.

I'm very disappointed Ivanchuk's not there, of course. But I don't see how FIDE could have done things differently without being unfair or putting things behind schedule. What's clear is that with a more organized federation and system, they wouldn't have to do things so far in advance, meaning they could use the July 2005 list and get the players who are in the best form instead of those who played well almost two years ago (i.e. the first half of 2004).

Matnadze was the girls U-14 champion when Kosteniuk played, in 1997. Based on the dates given on her site I believe the titles I listed are the ones referred to. I think she's only held one FIDE title, although they may have recognized the Disney rapids; wouldn't surprise me.

If Ivanchuk was in someone else of the current 8 would have to go. They are all great players in or near the absolute top, well, except Kasim but he's there as reigning WC. It's not completely clear to me that Ivanchuk deserves it more than any of them just because he has been successfully beating up on much weaker players lately. But if he was in he would be in the same league as Adams, Svidler and Polgar, IMO: outsiders with some chances, but not one of the favourites.

You're right, of course, she didn't win the Girls Under 14 World Championship in 1998--that was Kosintseva.

Vassily Ivanchuk has performed phenomenally in the past half year over sub-2700 players, granted. But he hasn't played in top tournaments and therefore his ability to compete in playing people Topalekonand's caliber on a daily basis is far from known. I honestly think Chucky would crush and burn in San Luis, finishing above one or two people, tops. This is not a European Cup and there won't be any Volkovs in this tournament.

hey, if anyone knows where (hyperlink) i can find GM-analyses of thats ivanchuk-volkov game, i would appreciate it pretty much. :)


I saw Kramnik played only a few rounds at the Euro Cup. What's going on? Is he still ill?

Thanks - John Anagnost

"girls under-12 in 1996 (Menorca), the Disney girls under-12 rapid in 1996 (Paris), and the Disney girls under-14 rapid in 1998 (Paris)"

she calls that "3 world championships" without specifying what they are?

haha, typical

Don't forget her shared first-second in the 1994 under-10...

I forgot to mention another good thing about Ivanchuk; he almost always plays every round of team events. He played all seven in Aosta, 9/9 of the Euro Team this year (but poorly), and 13/14 of the 2004 Olympiad.

Top board stars often don't play as often as they should in team events. Kramnik played just four games, the fewest of any top board. He's on a star-studded team, but still. Skipping the first two rounds seemed almost standard, but not playing in the final round was weird.

"hasn't played in top tournaments and therefore his ability to compete in playing people Topalekonand's caliber on a daily basis is far from known."

Chucky has more experience playing top-caliber players than anyone (except possibly for Anand) in San Luis. He has beaten Anand and Topalov multiple times - in fact, I don't remember the last time Topalov beat him. But I do remember him crushing Topo in Linares 99 with a French defense.

If anything, I imagine playing against a new cast of characters, as opposed to the usual same few over and over and over, might give Ivanchuk some fresh energy and help him to play better. He long ago proved he can beat anyone at any time.....as long as his imagination doesn't backfire on him. I will miss him in San Luis.

Ivanchuk rules. He has been around for a long time at the very very top. I think he was #3 in the world for a time. I wish he could play.

completely agree with the thesis of this thread. Chuky rocks, he plays dynamic, inspired chess and never backs down from a challenge. Also can think of at least 2 other people who should get in ahead of Kramnik. Peter Svidler and Alexei Shirov.

I think it was as fair as could be, so Ivanchuk should play in the world cup qualifier. Winning a spot that way also helps prove a point too!

Murali, I am sorry if it wasn't clear but I did say in the first sentence I was referring to the past half-year. Chucky has been around longer than these guys, so of course he has played at top level more, however, it is very telling that you refer to games of 1999 to show his ability to compete at this level.

Knight_tour, quality of opposition play is essential for preparation for a major tournament. Beating lesser players can give you energy and self-belief but I imagine also a degree of trepidation, and greater concern after a first loss, when playing your equals and true current masters of the game.

From October 14th to October 23rd Ivanchuk is playing in 2. Samba Cup in Skanderborg, Denmark. It is a 10 player round robin with the following players

2. Samba Cup

GM Vasil Ivanchuk, Ukraine 2752
GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Rumænien 2679
GM Lazaro Bruzon, Cuba 2662
GM Artyom Timofeev, Rusland 2661
GM Kamil Miton, Polen 2636
GM Baadur Jobava, Georgien 2621
GM Zhang Pengxiang, Kina 2616
GM Curt Hansen, Danmark 2613
GM Lars Bo Hansen, Danmark 2567
GM Magnus Carlsen, Norge 2528


The best Danish player Peter Heine Nielsen was supposted to play but cancelled his participation. Instead he is going to Argentina to be a part of "Team India". That is to be second for Anand!

NAO was not in contention for first place before the final round anyway. They would have needed to win with 6.5-0 unless I'm mistaken...

You have a nice chess site and blog, I have over 500 links to chess sites that you and your viewers might like to check out sometime!!

Dear friends, I think that the absence of Chucky from San Luis constitutes a great minus for this tournament. Without a question, he has been playing the most spectacular chess in all world over the last year. His play in the recent game against Volkov is trully phenomenal!He is now #3 of the world for sure.
Also, less or more, two more great players should be in San Luis: first is Boris Gelfand who has been stabilized in 2710-2720 over the last year, with his extreme solid and faultless strategical play-a true "karpovian" player. Second is the youngster of world's top10: Levon Aronian. I think that he is a tremendous player with great tactical skills and extreme positional understanding. He is a great fighter (even though i cant explain some of his draws with lower rated opponents in the recent Italy tournament-first board for winner team Tomsk-2718 performance)and his rating of 2725-2730 is completely justified.
Finally, the case of Alexey Shirov is a curious one. He should be there also, but he is extremely unstable over the last two years, with a lot of ups and downs.

Just reminds me about the Morozevich hype some year ago. He scored marvellous results against sub-2700 opposition, reaching an astronomical rating, but could never prove himself against the absolute top. As for Ivanchuk, we know that he has been very capable of that, but that was long time ago, so we don't know about how he'd do today. As for spectacular, dynamic, inspired chess, do you remember last time he played in a supertournament, Corus 2003? 6 out of his 13 games were draws in 22 moves or less. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but that's what you always hear complains about.

This is still likely to happen the few times Ivanchuk has to play against the real top players instead of crushing 2550-2650 opposition:

[Event "21st ECC"]
[Site "Saint Vincent ITA"]
[Date "2005.09.20"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Ivanchuk, V."]
[Black "Bacrot, E."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D52"]
[WhiteElo "2752"]
[BlackElo "2729"]
[PlyCount "33"]
[EventDate "2005.09.18"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 Nbd7 6. e3 Qa5 7. Nd2 Bb4 8. Qc2
O-O 9. Be2 c5 10. O-O cxd4 11. Nb3 Qb6 12. Na4 Qc7 13. Nxd4 dxc4 14. Qxc4 Qxc4
15. Bxc4 Ne5 16. Bb5 Bd7 17. Bxf6 1/2-1/2

He took out Bologan quite effortlessly.

Yep, also a nice game.

Acirce, while my beliefs as to significance of Chucky's results should be obvious from my earlier posts in this thread, he has not been an early-draw type player. Corus 2003 is just one tournament. I have always believed Ivanchuk to a be more of a firebrand than a 3.5/7 type guy. Mig and co., am I wrong here?


He plays quick draws just as much as any other top player, although when he plays as - relatively - weak opposition as he has done lately, naturally he normally tries to crush them instead when he feels he can do it.

Oops, that link included a few games by Alisa. But still. :-)

Rimfaxe mentioned that GM Nielsen is going to second Anand. does anyone know the second teams for the players? is anyone going in without a second?

Ivanchuk rocks!

"Murali, I am sorry if it wasn't clear but I did say in the first sentence I was referring to the past half-year. Chucky has been around longer than these guys, so of course he has played at top level more, however, it is very telling that you refer to games of 1999 to show his ability to compete at this level."

The reason I used a 1999 example is because he hasn't really played the top-level much since then. But I could have mentioned the FIDE KO semis in 2001, when he knocked out Anand.

I'd think that Chucky's game hasn't deteriorated significantly in these years, and his recent rating suggests he is still top-5 material. Regarding the comment about doing well against weak opposition but floundering against top-10 pressure: IMO, this is characteristic of young players on the rise, not of experienced players who have already seen it all.

Acirce, that's a very large collection of . . . draws. Which doesn't mean much without decisive games listed or comparison to other GMs playing at similar levels.

Murali, Chuck has not performed well in tournaments since 2001, take his Linares losses to Pono and the last Corus he played in. It is possible that he has rebounded since. But we don't have a lot to base that on: his great results against inferior players do not place him there. You are right that Chucky has seen it all. But with him especially floundering in high pressure situation has been a chronic problem. Again, I do not wish to imply that Vassily would be overwhelmed or defeated, what I am saying is that his recent great string against inferior opposition does not make that much of a difference in evaluating his chances at a tournament of this level. The comment I was responding to from knight_tour is that this is better approach for him to bringing his game to top level than playing against his equals. That I also disagree with.

Yes Yuriy. Point is that there are quite a few of them per year recently, and it is very possible to do your own complementary research :-)

In any case I hope he does well in Corus.

Ivanchuk is a fascinating player. He's one of those guys who crushes weaker opponents with brilliant, non-routine play. Unfortunately, he exhibits much less of his brilliancy in games against over-2700's. At least that's been the case in recent years.

It is difficult to pigeonhole his style. Perhaps some similarities to Leonid Stein? He seems to have a universal understanding of the game, along with a certain basic leaning towards attacking/tactical play.

Didn't Kasparov once say during a Linares event "sometimes Ivanchuk plays like a beginning player, and sometimes he plays like Ivanchuk."


I think that statement said that Ivanchuk can play like a 2600 player one day and 2800 the next. Something like that. Maybe Kasparov has made similar statements.

No, Duif is right, I remember that event. Kasparov said "Ivanchuk plays like a 1800 one day, and the next day he plays like Ivanchuk." I think he was exasperated that Ivanchuk had lost to Polgar in like 20 movies, after beating Kasparov the round before, or something like that.

acire, am going to regret answering you, but here goes.. Morozevich was never able to prove himself against the top players?? The only person who has blanked him out is Kasparov, but then again, the only person who isnt owned by GK is Kramnik. And that's because Kramnik was mostly running, not playing. Anyway check Moro's record against the players in the top 20 or so. Sure he has a minus record against some, but he also has a plus record against quite a few. Isnt that the case for all the current top players (except GK of course, and possibly Anand who also seems to have a plus against everybody)? Moro is a mercurial talent. Watch his performance in San Lusie, bet he places in the top three. You heard it hear first!

Mostly running, not playing? Are you aware how many times Kramnik has played Kasparov? Before the 2000 match as well as after - in fact nobody else has played Kasparov so many times after 2000 as Kramnik has. And he's supposed to be scared, oh well.

Yes, Morozevich has enormous talent. Yet he has never been able to prove himself against the very top. I was rather talking about top-5 or something than top-20: when he was #4 on the rating list only a year ago his fans seriosuly thought that this reflected his actual strength, or that he was even stronger! Well, then came Corus - I promised beforehand to eat my hat if he won and I was never too worried ..

Thing is that has some great achievements in isolated games but they have always been balanced by setbacks. He has just never ever been consistent enough on that level to be a danger overall. So, even if he was still rated 2758 I would not consider him a serious contender in San Luis.

acire, i dont expect to convince you of Kramnik's pussillanimity nor Morozevich's genius. I dont think I'll have much success in a discussion with possibly the only person in the world who equates Sweden with police brutality. However Morozevich's record against the top players is a matter of fact. Check it old son.

Comparing Ivanchuk with Morozevich is a bit sily.
We are talking about a 3 times Linares winner who used to beat Kasparov AND Karpov in the same tournament. Chucky is in no way inferior to let's say Polgar Morozevich Svidler and Adams.
And btw Ivanchuk won his last two games with moro if i remember well.

Do you know why Chucky played on board 2 in recent Euro Cup? Cause he told his team's captain that he was out of form and asked for it personally! :)

BTW, I think it's a shame that he doesnt play in San Luis. It's quite obvious that he should.

"i dont expect to convince you of Kramnik's pussillanimity"

Yikes... if you want to show off, at least spell it right - otherwise you just look like a... well, you get the idea.

As for the "Chucky should play" crowd - one of the things almost anyone would like to see in the chess world is transparancy in its administration. On this occasion, FIDE announced its selection criteria and has organized a decent tournament accordingly. No selection criteria that would give the players and organizers enough time to get the tournament off the ground could ever be 'perfect' in terms of including everyone's favourite player, or currently well-performing player.

We have a decent prospect of a sensible world championship cycle now, so lay down your persecution complexes and focus on the positives.


R what's your problem? No, I dont get the idea. If you have nothing better to do than point out spelling mistakes in a blog, buzz off.

Doesn't Gulko have a plus score against Kasparov? Or has that changed?

Does anybody know if the draws have been announced? Who plays whom in the first round (and subsequent rounds)?


Duif, I believe Gulko's score against Garry is 3 wins, 1 loss, 4 draws, if the chessgames.com database is correct.

Two wins (81, 90), one loss (95). They have played six times, plus one rapid, and in every game Gulko had white! Weird. Lautier is also +1 against Garry.

The opening ceremony is this afternoon. That's when the draw will be announced. It will be the first test of timeliness on the official website. I bet it appears elsewhere first...

It's not whether or not Moro has picked up wins against the other top players here and there. It's that he's never come reasonably close to winning an elite tournament. Love his games, but he's simply never done well in supertournaments. Ivanchuk has, albeit quite a while ago for the most part.

Only, after reading Mig's post I realized the stupid idea of forcing the World Champion to play in the Dec, 2005 World Cup. Considering the unpredictability of a knock-out tournament, we may have a shortest-duration World Champion from San Luis. Instead the San-Luis World Champion should be given a direct entry into the Candidates matches of next WC-cycle and World-Cup tournament be simply used as qualification (I don't see the purpose of this tournament when FIDE has already decided to candidates matches from next year)

In my view, the World-Cup should be converted into a rapid World Championship (with shorter time-controls) and the Rapid World-Cup & Classical World-Championship be played in alternate years. This way, we can have both the cycles every 2 years and sub-2700 players can also make some money from Rapid World-Cup which will be less strenuous because of rapid time-controls.


Are they under a particularly heavy stress load now? No reason to kick classical chess when it hasn't done anything wrong. I do think the cycle should be sped up considerably. The problem is finding enough sponsorship for holding a cycle every two years. If they can do it in three that's a good sign.

The purpose of the San Luis tournament is/was unification, to invite Kasparov and Kramnik so they could say loud and clear that everyone had an equal chance to play and if they didn't, tough. Since Kramnik isn't playing it's technically not unifying anything, but it will give the FIDE champion much more legitimacy than he had before.

Amit - I think you have misunderstood. The World Champion crowned at San Luis will not lose his / her title at the World Cup. The World Cup is a separate event, which doubles as aqualifier for the next cycle. The champ can lose in the first round of the World Cup and still remain FIDE Champ till the semifinals of the next cycle.

Heavy stress load? Mig, don't take things literally. When was the last time we saw a tournament with so much at stake the winner will definitely have higher credibility than Libya winner, where people can barely recollect the names of half of the players Topalov/Adams played). I don't know what else you call it of not strenuous!

I have never heard of any other sport, where the World Champion has to defend his/her title in another 6 weeks. Here we are talking about a 2 year cycle and not giving the San Luis World champion even 2 full months.

I feel that a WC with classical time-controls has more credibility and most of the times the national chess federations (with local sponsors) of the players are willing to sponsor the matches. It has happened in the past. The only things that shook sponsor's confidence was the split (Kasparov, Kramnik etc and FIDE), which seems to be gradually vanishing with Kasparov's retirement and Kramnik's performance.

For professional players making money is an important facet, which I believe can be taken care of by a rapid World-Cup.

Take soccer for example, players earn almost all of their money in club matches but every footballer would prefer to win the World Cup more than any club championship, even if he does not get paid as much.


The San Luis tournament is a stop-gap and is one-off. Nobody qualified, unless you want to count Kasimdzhanov. It's a nice event, but no more rigorous than Linares or Mtel, other than the pressure brought on by the title and the money. The winner will hold the FIDE title for quite a while, probably over a year. Not such a bad deal, together with the 300,000 paycheck.

The top four finishers in San Luis go directly into the candidates matches; they don't have to play in the World Cup. #3 and #4 are seeded into the first round of the candidates matches, #2 into the quarters, and the champion into the semis.

The World Cup is no longer a "world championship." It's just a big exciting knockout tournament that ALSO serves as one of several means of qualifying for the NEXT world championship cycle. The winner of the San Luis tournament doesn't have to play in the World Cup at all if he/she prefers.

FIDE has gone back to classical time controls for the World Championship title itself.

The full regulations for the next World Championship cycle are available at the FIDE site, but only in Word format:


The most weird thing about the World Cup is how FIDE announces it with 6 weeks' notice.

What is going to happen with the Russian Championships, scheduled to the same time, by the way? Will the strongest players just not be there now? Will they even consider moving it to a later date?

I heard there were already talks about moving the Russian Ch. final, which was already on thin ice for several reasons. Or it could be the opposite, with Ilyumzhinov taking a stab at Zhukov over supporting Karpov. But no solid dirt.

They announced it on September 21, 10 weeks before the Dec. 3 starting date. Still short notice for such an event, but 10 doesn't equal six. And the rules they released in May specified that the event would take place before the end of the year. ("which will be held before 31 December 2005.") Not that we're used to FIDE missing deadlines...

Right, I forgot a month. ;-)

Anybody else noticed that the official site now indicates that they are "doing it Dortmund'05-style" as far as giving away the action for free...

"In order to watch "all" the WCC San Luis 2005 games online and live you shall pay U$S 40 and fill in the registration form."

From: http://www.ajedrezdepunta.com.ar/mundial_regnr.asp?lang=en

Mig, Gulko did have 1 black against Garry in 1982, and won in 24 moves!

Yah, that forgot that one. Came up a few times during the 2000 match when looking for his previous shortest losses ever. Don't know what event that was, will ask him in an hour or so and see if he hasn't purged it from his mind entirely.


Here is the context of my comment:

Journalist: What can you say about the other finalist, Ruslan Ponomariov?

Kasparov: I don't even know him on sight. Judging from his games, Ponomariov plays very solidly and has good nerves. Such style suits the knockout format and the new time control the best. It is impossible to get past such strong GMs as Bareev, Morozevich, and Svidler by chance. Besides, don't forget that Ponomariov beat Dreev on the black side in the decisive match Russia - Ukraine of the World Team Championship. By the way, Ukraine is the team-champion, so there is some logic in the final of Ivanchuk - Ponomariov. Apparently Ivanchuk is a cut above Ponomariov. However, the younger Ukrainian would not have had any hope against Anand, whereas vs. Vasily he has fair chances. Inexplicable failures that have been haunting Ivanchuk make him an unpredictable player.

Journalist: How would you estimate the finalists' chances?

Kasparov: I would put it this way: Ponomariov demonstrates a stable 2700 level rating. Ivanchuk can play either as a 2800 or sometimes as a 2600 player. A lot will depend on his form. In my opinion the odds are 55:45 in Ivanchuk's favor.

Of course... Kasparov's statement I mentioned above was NOT Linares, but Kasparov has made such statements about Ivanchuk's strength and consistency. I suppose that was really my point, but you're right the "1800 statement" was Linares.

However, one does not have to play like an 1800 to lose to Polgar in 20 moves. In fact, we may see an example in San Luis.

Mig, I know Garry enjoys soccer, have you ever tried to interest him in baseball?

Just my 2 cents regarding Ivanchuk:
1) He has a good score vs. all Argentina participants+Karpov+Kasparov;
2) He "has performed phenomenally in the past half year over sub-2700 players, granted". And we can compare this to Topolekokramnikadams's play in the recent Dortmund (Anand likely got a call from Nostradamus not to play there) ;-)

2) Regarding a question 'what if Ivanchuk played there?': there is only 1 top reason why the legitimacy of this WC is questionable (and comparable to Kramnik's title legitimacy): there was no qualifiers.

And now my question: what would you prefer to see next: match Kramnik - Ivanchuk, match Kramnik - Argentina winner, or something else?

Daaim Shabbaz: Thanks for the quote. It looks like Kasparov has indeed made multiple statements about Ivanchuk's variable playing strength.

About the tournament: to some extent, San Luis is a bit meaningless as a way of selecting a legitimate "world champion." I mean, none of these players (except Anand) has a history of really dominating the others, so if Svidler were to win, would anyone really accept him as the true champion? Doubtful, unless he followed the tournament with a string of similarly spectacular results.

Which is not to say that the winner has *no* significance, but it just isn't comparable to the old champions -- Kasparov, Karpov, et al.

The maximum-crediblity scenario would be for Anand to win. He is easily the closest thing we have to an (unofficial) world champion at the moment, so an Anand victory would at least set us on the path to some sort of meaningful unification.

Anyone know the first-round pairs of SanLuis WCC?

I doubt VK would be so keen to meet Anand in a match. Therefore that might be the least desirable result.

One of the unusual facts about world class chess is that players expect to spend 3 to 6 months preparing for specific individual opponents.

So they want to be asked noticeably in advance.

In other sports, qualification is often within a few weeks of the event itself, based on most recent performance.

So we will always have the situation where people are asked based on year 1 performance, but the event takes place in year 2 when a few other players have done better.

I think the players would probably say that no one (not even Kramnik) should be added within 2 months of the event, because they wouldn't have time to properly prepare.

Is it the same in Go, does anyone know?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 25, 2005 2:31 PM.

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