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2005 Russian Superfinal

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This powerful event started today in Moscow with Svidler, Morozevich, and Kramnik leading the field. Continuing a dubious tradition for this event there were two last-minute drop-outs. Grischuk publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the prize fund days before the event. Najer apparently withdrew due to health reasons but I don't have any more information than that. They have been replaced by Zvjaginsev and Tomashevsky.

The $40,000 first prize was unknown until days before the event started, which only somewhat mitigates Grischuk's bail-out. (FBF posts the full prize list below and this year's event has a larger total fund, so Grischuk's move is bizarre.) Last year the event had Kasparov and a $125,000 prize fund. The first prize he won was more than this year's, $50,000. All these drop-outs are ridiculous. This isn't an open; it's a prestigious national event and one of the strongest of the year. But ad hoc organizing is going to engender equally unprofessional behavior by the players.

Rublevsky and Bareev sprinted in from the World Cup and faced each other in the first round, a win for Rublevsky. Svidler is playing for a win against Kramnik in a R+N endgame right now. Maybe Kamsky could stop by on the way home with some advice?! Svidler missed a pretty winning shot with 40.Rc7! but still has good chances for the full point. (Update: he found it a move later. Now 1-0, I believe Svidler's first classical win over Kramnik.)

Update: Misha posts below that Najer required an operation, but is out of danger. And that the Russian site e3e5 is providing some coverage in English. Games in PGN at TWIC.


Actually, the prize fund has JUST been posted, at the RCF's website - along with other particulars (look under "Polozheniye"). Prizes are (in US dollars):

1 - $40K
2 - 25
3 - 12,500
4 - 10
5 - 8,500
6 - 7
7 - 6
8 - 5,500
9 - 5
10 - 4
11 - 3,500
12 - 3,000

Additionally, there's a "Best-game" prize of $2000.

Total prizes: $130K - which DOES represent a downgrade from last year. I would imagine somebody in GasProm is kicking himself (or being roundly kicked) for "saving" $15K - and losing Grischuk. Frankly, I call that inexcusable.

Haha, Mig! I was just going to say he found it a move later, but you beat me to it.

Oh, LAST year was $125K? Well, so this is an INCREASE in total prize?! What the hell is Grischuk's problem, then? Did he assume he'd win 1st prize in Garri's absence? What's Svidler - chopped sausage?

Gotta have a bit of confidence to get to 2700...

Besides, if you're not playing for first, why play at all?

This was a good game by Svidler but I thougth Kramnik would have been better prepared. Any comments on this?

Agree with alphonse. The 5. Nc3 line has been somewhat popular lately, and I'd have expected VK to be prepared for it.

Whose Kramnik?

Kramnik's sense of danger seems lacking of late. 13... h6 may have had some defensive use. White 15... Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 was another try for equalization. 18... Qe6?! was a bit of a lemon then 24... Re6?! made less than lemonade, while 33... Ne6? bought the stand!

Okay, Mig, yours. He's certainly not mine.

All results now in. I think the SuperFinal was Kramnik's next-to-last chance to show that Yes, he was worthy of a reunification match (Corus will be the Absolute, No More Chances, Drop Dead Deadline Opportunity, Train Leaves The Station Forever After This chance). The way he played the first round (and he's never been known as a Karpov-type Super Slow Starter in the past), he hasn't much chance of scoring 50%, let alone becoming Champion of Russia.

Looks like the continuation of a long, slow fade-out to a brilliant career.

First round loss with black against the top seed. Only a flesh wound.

First of all, I want to say that Evgeny Najer had to withdraw due to a suddenly discovered illness. He was already operated and it is reported that his life is not in danger, but of course he is unable to play. I can not disclose more details.

Also it is worth noting that e3e5.com now has an English language coverage of the Superfinal as well. There is of course more in Russian, with Ilya Odessky's excellent reports from the press center, but at least Konstantin Sakaev's online comments will be translated regularly. The startpage is http://e3e5.com/eng/petersburg/competitions/article.html?137 .

(It is a pity that one can't edit one's own comments - I wish I could correct some typing errors :))

Hard to blame Grischuk or Najer without more info.

The prize fund was announced only days before a prestigious national event. That could suggest failed efforts to raise a larger prize fund.

If Grischuk had been assured that this year's prize fund would be the same as last year's his withdrawl would be justified.

Yeah, losing with Black against a Svidler in good form is not a disaster. Of course not exactly great, but too early to judge Vlad's form yet.

I wonder why 15..Nc4 wasn't played. There were more errors but at the point of 33..Ne6 it looked lost anyway.

Not a good game by Kramnik, but not in the same category as some of those terribly ugly losses he's had this year.

Misha, thank you for posting that information. Mig, At this particular point in his career, a "flesh wound" can cause serious infection.

"Hard to blame Grischuk or Najer without more info."

hehe. The last year was similar: Kramnik and Karpov.
Do you (plural) remember what reactions were?

Mig, what does Kasparov think about this champ?

I dont understand why he played Petroff defence. Such a boring opening. Btw, Kramnik beat Kasparov with this 5.Nc3 few years ago.

Just a first round loss with Black against the top seed?

The big picture looks more and more like what Tim Krabbe said of Kramnik (translated from Dutch) "King without subjects"

In an article with that title Tim K conjectures (among other things) that Kramnik plays badly simply because he doesn't like playing chess anymore.

(my comment, not Tim's) Truly sad story for both Kramnik and chess. It would be worse for Kramnik, but better for chess if Kramnik ends up like Morphy.

Wow, hope Najer is okay.


I disagree with your metaphor.
The mere fact that Kramnik is PLAYING against the top seed rather than BEING the top seed is already a grave injury. And of course the loss means that the rating gap and prestige gap between them is opened further, and VK's bid to climb to the top position of Russian chess (let alone world chess) suffered a setback; this adds salt on an already-festering wound.
"King without subjects" sums it rather nicely, I think.

The Kramnik camp has been quiet, too quiet, since FIDE scuttled the Kramnik-Topalov match.

If FIDE is similarly tying up all the other top-rated active players the only person left to play a championship match would be...Kasparov.

Maybe a big prize fund with an added million dollars thrown in for a "Democracy in Russia" fund might bring about Kasparov-Kramnik II.

Otherwise, with a faltering champion and FIDE opposition, its hard to see how the century-old long-match tradition is going to stay alive.

I'm sure it'll be a great tournament. I watched the Svilder-Kramnik game today- Rc7 was v nice! I predict Kramnik will score around -2 in this tournament and Svilder is the favourite to win.

Well, I too have some doubts concerning Kramnik actually taking first place in this tournament. But I sincerely doubt he'll finish on a minus score! Let's wait and see how the next 3 or 4 rounds go before writing him off yet, okay?

Oh my god, Kramnik first round loss against 2740 Svidler, with black, his career is clearly OVER!

Well I guess there will always be those eager to jump the gun towards Kramnik.

If Grischuk thinks he's too mighty to attend the Russian Championship for at least 5-40.000 thousand dollars he needs a big reality check.

"Oh my god, Kramnik first round loss against 2740 Svidler, with black, his career is clearly OVER!"

No, but on the other hand, how often did the previous World Champion, Kasparov, start a tournament with a loss in the first game, against #6 in the world? Seriously?

Kramnik has now a lot to prove, and he started already badly...

I don't know, but I do not find a loss in the first round any more devistating than a loss in the sixth or seventh round. It is is remarkable how you can say "#6th in the world" and make it sound demeaning.

Svidler outrated Kramnik, if only by a point. Kasparov went 20+ years without facing a higher-rated opponent. There was no reason to be surprised by a similarly rated opponent beating Kramnik.

And yes, I think first-round games can mean more than others. They can set tone, be an indicator of form, or douse or light a fire. But the nature of the game matters too. This wasn't a particularly crushing loss one way or another. He was outplayed by a strong player.

Of course it's a serious handicap when it comes to winning the tournament. Svidler got a win against his strongest competition. Kramnik would now need to win four games - without losing again of course - to reach the +3 likely needed to have a shot at first here. Who knows, maybe this early loss will cause him to dump the Petroff and come out with the Sicilian.

as i see it. kramnik's problem is well summarized by fluffybunnyfeet. Kramnik is between a rock and a hard place getting squeezed.

Starting with a loss only increases the pressure on Kramnik to win. it is hard enough to win when relaxed but I would think much harder under super pressure. But then he does claim to be world champion.

Some words are ringing in the back of my head. they were the words that Kramnik used in challenging Topalov.

It was something like.

so you think you are better than me well then prove it. lets play a match and you try to beat me.

anyway it rang with a good amount of confidence. and here he is losing. not good.

I remember reading articles where Kramnik was saying that after winning the world championship he was having trouble playing chess. that he was losing interest in chess. that he was an artist. somehow he linked that to losing interest.

so maybe the conjectures by Tim Harding have some basis in fact. we shall soon see.

Kirsan has told us that he controls power by making all kinds of promises to people. of course he does not intend to keep the promises. but people are manipulated by his promises. I am positive he made such a promise to Topalov. he told topalov that he was lining up a million dollar match for him and if he lost he would still be champion. but if he lost to Kramnik then he would lose the million for the computer match and also his title. what a manipulator.

Kirsan will never allow the fide champ to play kasparov or kramnik. absolutely. never. he promised he would in the Prague agreement but he never intended to allow it. this guy is dangerous. we can believe nothing that kirsan says. particularily when he is painting a rosy picture.

so Kramnik will fade away with his title. he will fade now or later. but he will never get a match. no matter how much money he comes up with. no matter how many tournaments he wins. no matter no matter. never. and especially no matter what Kirsan says.

and believe me I would love to have a match between Kramnik and Topalov. I think it would generate great interest.

Bessel Kok is our only opportunity to find salvation. he is the messiah. hopefully he will be elected.

of course everything here is just my opinion.

Anyone wishing to claim the undisputed title of World Champion has a problem at the moment. Obviously they don't wish to play a classical match against Kramnik, because he excels at that form of the game and they would probably lose. But he is the still the man who beat the sainted Kasparov. So the solution is to laugh at his tournament losses and lowly status in the world rankings and sneer that he really isn't a serious enough opponent to be worth bothering with.

It's a clever strategy, worthy of a political PR adviser, but it does them no credit. The most disappointing feature is that so many amateurs, including posters here, seem to buy it.

I wonder if anyone ever told Botvinnik that if he didn't win a big tournament soon he would forfeit his moral right to defend his WC title. If so, how do you think he might have replied? The best answers will be considered for a prize.

By the way, Mig, the preview feature is sorely missed.

The difference between Kramnik and Botvinnik is obvious. Botvinnik, regardless of his saintly status in the world of chess, was bound by the FIDE scedule. Even if he did not win any tournaments, it was clear to everyone that once every 3 years, he WILL defend his title whether he likes it or not. If he lost in Palma or Budapest or wherever, it was OK, because we knew there was a Smyslov or a Tal or a Petrosian waiting for him.
As for Kramnik, who's waiting for him? With Kramnik, it's exactly the opposite - "whether he likes it". He doesn't want to play Kasparov? He doesn't play Kasparov! He wants to play Leko (two years after the Dortmund qualifier!)- he plays Leko. Now he wants to play Topalov. Whatever.
And if he beats Topalov and proclaims himself the Undisputed One (TM), what then? When is the next time he will defend his title? Against Aronian in 2009? Against Carlsen in 2012? Against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in 2014? Who's to know?
At least in the case of Topalov, I know exactly when he will defend his title. Topalov will defend his title in 2007, in a tournament of world's 8 leading grandmasters. And Kramnik is invited to play in the Candidates. Good enough for me.
But if the Undisputed Title falls into Kramnik's hands - it's a black hole. There's no hope, no coming back. Vachier-Lagrave is too young, I don't want to wait till 2014. Containing my entusiasm till San-Luis #2 in 2007 is hard enough.

Just seen Tommy's post, much truth in it. But all most people know about Bessel Kok is that he was somehow involved in the Prague fiasco. Of course so was Ilyumzhinov, but everyone knows he's dishonest so no problem for him. If Bessel has something to say he needs to get the word out fast.

I'm betting that Kramnik, Svidler and Morozevich all are getting appearance fees on top of the prize fund, and that Grischuk felt after his 2nd place last year and his performance in the World Cup that he rated a decent appearance fee too.

Just seen Alex's post, and it contains a basic fault. No Undisputed Title can fall into any player's hands, it must fall (back) into FIDE's hands. Of course they must not abuse it, which seems unimaginable with the current bunch in power, but subject to that they are responsible for an orderly transfer, with appropriate prize fund. So no need to worry about WC matches not happening. Certainly not from Kramnik's side, playing matches is evidently what he like doing.

Actually, a better analogy to Kramnik is Tigran Petrosian. By and large, it was made clear by Botvinnik that once he won or retained the FIDE Championship in a match (or re-match) he was not fully devoted to focusing his efforts on a chess career. He played around as an Engineer. Indeed, it is clear that he was not all that well prepared for his 1957 Match vs. Smyslov, or his 1960 match against Tal.

Botvinnik's ntournaments were usually quite successful. He rarely lost tournament games, and he could be counted on finishing in the Top 2 or 3, even if he couldn't muster the massive plus score needed to win first place.

To Botvinnik's credit, those match defeats roused him to be motivated enough to devote the time and energy necessary to prepare for his Rematches, which he duly won.

Petrosian, like Kramnik, was solely a professional chess player. However, during his reign as World Champion from 1963-1969, his tournament record was quite undistinguished. Occasionally, he finished in the middle of the pack at a strong event such as the Piatagorsky Cup, 1966. In any event, he seemed to manifest the same propensity toward relatively poor tournament results that Kramnik now exhibits.

Kramnik, even when he was in fine form, would have found it a challenge to score 4 wins (in his remaining games) from a field as strong as this.
Moreover, he has shown the alarming trend of losing multiple games in a tournment. I don't expect him to lose 4 games, as he did earlier this year. However, a final score of +2 would be about the best that he can reasonably hope for in this tournament. It is likely that he will lose another game before the end of the event.

It's been a long time since he was nearly unbeatable, and he put together that record streak of games where he went undefeated. Kramnik is now losing games with some regularity, and winning games with a bit less frequency as before. Not a good combination...

Svidler looks set to make a statement, seeking to establish himself as the Top active Russian player, ahead of Kramnik and Moro...

Rublevsky seems to be in good form, and scored a big win over Bareev. Morozevich will probably finish ahead Kramnik. Khalifman, Bareev, Dreev, and Zviagintsev will also provide tough competition for Kramnik.

Mig: As for the 'flesh wound', ...the 'top seed' is JUST 2740...what would a 2788, 2802 or 2811 player do to him...I doubt Kramnik would take this loss that easily....doesn't he claim himself to be the World Champion...or maybe his main argument is that the WCC need not even be one of the top players ...Topalov has already made his point abt the 60 pt rating difference...

nick: but this is exactly what Kramnik wants, for the Unified Glory to fall into his own hands. He is the world champion, he is the successor of Steinitz, blah blah, just read his interviews, it's all there. IF INDEED at the conclusion of the Kramnik-Topalov match the unified title would go back to FIDE, I would have no objections; but this is just not the case. A la Kramnik, the title belongs to the holder.

Which is why a Kramnik-Topalov match is dangerous for chess. Should Kramnik win, it's HIS title, and he does with it as he pleases. Did I already say 'black hole'?

Kramnik had his chance in San Luis, but he forgot that 'ninety percent of success is showing up'. It would be a shame if he's given a freebie in the shape of a multi-million dollar match with Topalov, AND a title to boot. A title he will again distance from any organization and embrace to his bosom.

To be the champ you gotta beat the champ.
If Kramnik is so weak Topalov should easily handle him in a match so why not play?
Kasparov was #1 and world champ he quit FIDE splitting the chess world and creating two titles Kramnik won his from Kasparov so Reunification has to go through him as he is as legitimate a champion as Kasparov was. Just beacause your powers fade while holding a title doesn't take away your right to be the champ a loss in a match is required. FIDE-Kirsan can organise any tournament they want and call it a world championship heck they could do it every month if they could get the sponsors and players.
Personally I am not a fan of Kramnik but in the days after his win at San Luis Topalov acted as though he had taken a title from Kasparov and held it not like the winner of a random championship tournament.

By the way if Kasparov really thinks Kramnik is not a legitimate succesor to his title doesn't he become the author of hypocrisy by writing a series of books based on the succesion of the title that he held and passed to Kramnik?

So this is how Kramnik wants to prove he's worthy to face the real champ, Topalov? I'm sorry Kramnik but apparently you can't even draw with the Petroff anymore.

Right on, Carlos!

With this time control Kramnik's loss is hardly earth-shattering. i'm appalled that they use this particular time control for a prestigious tournament such as this.

Mig: As for the 'flesh wound', ...the 'top seed' is JUST 2740...what would a 2788, 2802 or 2811 player do to him...I doubt Kramnik would take this loss that easily....doesn't he claim himself to be the World Champion...or maybe his main argument is that the WCC need not even be one of the top players ...Topalov has already made his point abt the 60 pt rating difference...

Off-topic, but I want to make a remark about Petrosian, who was mentioned above.

He was champion of the Soviet Union four times. And his opponents, at that time, were Smyslov, Keres, Tal, Geller, Spassky and Korchnoi.

Petrosian had a very positional style, but not an inofensive one. He WAS able to win many, many games, if he put the effort.

so whats the point? that Kramnik is so unlike Petrosian?

cum on boyz, what's with the Kramnik obsession?? One of the most naturally talented players since Tal is playing, and he's gonna be the new Russian Champ! Come on Moro!!

Well Grischuk, for 4th place, actually won more money last week than the first prize in the Russian Championship. Maybe that had something to do with his decision that the prize fund was too low.

here is the final line up for the top 16 players.
Prizes US$ (After 20% FIDE fee)

.1 Aronian......... $80,000
.2 Ponomariov.... $56,000
.3 Bacrot.......... $44,800
.4 Grischuk........ $41,600
.5 Bareev.......... $38,400
.6 Gelfand......... $36,000
.7 Rublevsky...... $33,600
.8 Gurevich........ $31,200
.9 Kamsky......... $28,000
10 Carlsen......... $26,400
11 Malakhov...... $24,800
12 Vellejo Pons... $23,200
13 Dreev........... $21,600
14 Van Wely...... $20,000
15 Lautier......... $18,400
16 Sakaev......... $16,800

Round 3 losers...... 11,200
Round 2 losers....... 7,200
Round 1 losers....... 4,800

You only have to look at the activity on Mig's blog whenever anything remotely concerned with who is the real champ comes up.........
Topalov very impressive in San Luis. Kramnik v. impressive in 2000. Both have claims. It would be great to have a cycle under auspices of FIDE - it would be terrible to have a title under the auspices of FIDE too!
Kramnik is certainly under pressure to post good results but the tradition of world championship being decided by matches is very important. At Kramniks peak he never scored +7/+8 but was near unbeatable. Topalov has v. little long match experience. Both have claims. Looks like the mess will continue...... What a pity..... Imagine the interest in a match between the two. People are hugely interested when Kramnik loses as to the effect it has on the battle of words re Topalov. How much better to resolve it in a match...

"Svidler is Kramnik's former second, so he should know how to ..." ;-)

Last time I remember Kramnik offered to play not talk. Is anyone?

Hey all,

Buy my book... that's the only reason I'm posting LOL.

But seriously... I partly made my -2 prediction partly to stimulate debate and be provocative, but I think there's a reasonable chance of it happening. I'm not making this prediction based on just one game- Kramnik's play in general has been below his ususal par for some time now. Add to that poor physical condition and 'nerves' and I think he easily could lose another game or two.

'Online Seduction' by Mark Howitt - could be a nice to follow guide for FIDE I guess ;-) Anytime tried to predict a poker tournament outcome - it is what current competitive chess becomes?

Myself I enjoy how Kramnik attacks very moment - watch for yourself http://www.aeroflotchess.com/russia/online/


Zvjaginsev-Khalifman: 1. e4 c5 2. Na3!? I never saw this in a human vs. human game.

Alex, Topalov will defend the FIDE title in 2007 UNLESS KIRSAN CHANGES HIS MIND AGAIN! There is no reason to assume Kirsan won't change his mind. Hell, he sems to do it every couple of months or so. Remember how the schedule for the current 'cycle' changed right before the World Cup started?

DOug, another point in Petrosian's favor (not that Petrosian really needs defenders, and not that you were 'attacking' him) was that in 1966 he became the first champion in over thirty years to actually WIN a World Championship match. It hadn't been done since the second time Alekhine beat Bogolyubov in 1934.

(I think it was 1934. But I'm getting old, and memory fails, and my books are at home while I'm at work. But that 1934 date should be close to correct.)

Basically, all of us who want a good championship are screwed until we have a good, fair and transparent organization running a cycle. Since I think Kok has no chance of getting elected, I don't think that is happening anytime soon. (And for that matter, everything Kok has been involved with in the chess world has fallen apart, so maybe he isn't the answer anyway.)

Icepick: I agree Kirsan is hardly the most reliable person on earth, but I fail to see how that reflects upon Topalov being (or not being) the true champ. Topalov is the one who won the title in a bout of 8 heavyweights, and right now, there is a clear scedule for title defense. That makes him a real champ to me.

Are you trying to imply Topalov's title is worth less because the scedule MIGHT not be kept? In that case, let me remind you that in Kramnik's case, there is no scedule at all, just the whims of one person, who says he's an 'artist', and if he wishes to create he will create, and if he doesn't wish to create then darn you all. In his case, the scedule CERTAINLY will not be kept - nor will it even be written.

Alex, I say "A pox on all their houses", says I. Kramnik has lost credibility because his poor results since winning the title and lack of an organization don't allow him to have the same pull that Kasparov could enforce by the strength of Kasparov's results.

Topalov's title, OTOH, comes from having a great tournament performance. I thought FIDE was on the way to re-establishing the prominence of the title right up until they said there would be no matchs to determine the disposition of the title in the future. It's all tournaments from now on. (ANd this in direct conflict with the bill of goods they had sold people on to care about the San Luis tournament result.)

So who cares? This is NOT the World Championship title that I grew up caring about. I have no more reason to care about this new FIDE championship than I do about the results of any other tournament. It means no more than CORUS WIjk ann Zee or Linares or Dortmund or Sophia. This year FIDE got lucky and caught a player having the year of his life. (And for those of us who remember Topalov's performance back in the mid- to late-90s know this really means something.)

But next time around who knows? Who cares? It's just another tournament, and given Kirsan's propensities it will probably be run as an American style weekend Swiss system tournament. He's tried just about everything else.

So again, a pox on all their houses.

To clarify, I don't want to go back to the bad old days of the Champion holding the title as his personal possession. How many matches have we missed because of this? Certainly we missed Lasker-Rubenstein and Alekhine-Capablanca II, and probably several other great could-of-beens. (Making such a list would be great fun.)

And even if the old FIDE cycles (from 1948-1996) had their problems, they still had one common feature: they elevated the status of the Championship by elevating the status of the Challenger. To PLAY for a title in those years meant tremendous accomplishment. And post-Curacao it meant tremendous accomplishment at several different types of contest.

The most recent FIDE 'cycles', up until San Luis, were a joke. Okay, Anand is a great player, who had accomplished much at the VERY highest levels. But Khalifman? I like him, and I wish I had half of his ability, but he just doesn't measure up to the players from the past. And while Ponomariov is becoming one of the elites, did his accomplishment in winning his title really compare to what Tal did in 1960 or Kasparov (finally) did in 1985? No.

FIDE has set about intentionally diminishing the stature of the Championship and the winners of same. Diminished title, diminished interest. I just don't care anymore....

I heard a backround noise from a hollywood junk production that fans are like women, they love u as long as you are hitting, if you lose once they'd rather spit on you and turn away..not that i ever liked Kramnik for his style but give the man a break, let him play a couple of rounds before jumping on the wagun to condemn. If Svidler was so cool why is it that 140 people were watching his game on chessbase and 500 Kramnik's? Legitimate question don't you think?

Icepick: why do you write of diminished interest? The San Luis tournament generated huge interest throughout the chess world. Just ask any of the playchess.com regulars; the influx of visitors in the broadcasts room was overwhelming. I think that with the KO world championships FIDE dropped the ball big way, of course, but with San Luis they actually (sacriledge alert!) did something right.

Speaking for myself, I also grew up adoring the magnificent tradition of championship matches. BUT, strangely enough, as San Luis progressed, I found myself more and more interested. I can honestly say that San Luis generated more interest for me than Kramnik-Leko and even (sacriledge alert!) Kramnik-Kasparov.

So, at this point we must respectully agree to disagree. I consider Topalov the true World Chess Champion, and am eagerly looking forward to his title defense in 2007 against Aronian & Co.
Match or tournament? Who cares!? As long as there's exciting chess, and the top players in the world are participating, it's enough for me. Much better than the "pick-your-match-and-your-opponent-and-beat-him-into-drowsiness" games that the 'classical champions' have been playing since the late 90's.

Icepick, you have every reason to be as embittered as you are, and to post in triplicate your rationalizations of same so it doesn't go unnoticed, but the solution could be simple: find another Kasparov, he will win at least twenty of these FIDE tournaments in a roll and so we will have a worthy champion under FIDE supervision!

Kramnik 1 - 0 Volkov.

Alex, I was very excited by San Luis too, even moreso than I had been for Sopiha and Wijk ann Zee. FIDE _was_ doing something right! But for me, San Luis was the way to establish a champion and then build a cycle leading to a WC match, with a suitable challenger having hacked his/her way to glory. When Kirsan announced it was just going to be another tournament in 2007, that took all of the life out of it for me. Now San Luis is just another tournament.

Incidentally, it looks like others are more excited about the status of the new Championship than I am. Here's a link to a CNN article.


Good press for Topalov, FIDE, and the computer chess guys.

Oops, I mis-read. It's a Reuters' article that CNN has up on their pages. This is probably even better because the story will likely get picked up by other news organizations too.

Well if everyone is going to jump on the bandwagon to condemn Kramnik after 1 game, may as well give praise after round 2.

Only one player with 100% decisive games! :-)

Yes! Win or lose, like at true champion, Kramnik at least fights to the death, right?

On a completely unrelated topic, did anyone see Morozevich's game today?

Icepick what a great idea. I agree with you. Let's have the next championship be determined by an American style weekend Swiss Tournament.

that should give us another Champion. we can have a Classical, a FIDE and a American weekend Swiss Champion.

and later we can have a 3 way unification match to build interest in chess.

and by the way. what does it mean to put a pox on someones house. is that like putting on roofing shingles.

I think we should propose this to USCF. they should be owners of the title and decide on the qualifying requirements all leading up to the crowning of the american weekend swiss champion.

then we won't need a classical or fide champion. america will have it own chess style champion.

this entire argument about Kramnik and Topalov is a total waste of time. there will never be a match between those 2. not under Kirsan. Kirsan hates Kramnik and will never allow a match to take place.

Kirsan wants absolute dictator control over the title. and with Kramnik he has to give up at least some tiny bit of control and he will not do that.

Okay, Tommy, but should they allow re-entries?

At press-conference before the super-final of Russia Championship the President of the Russian Chess Federation, vice-premier of the government of Russia A.Zhukov informed, that RCF is interested in carrying out of a world-title match between V.Kramnik and FIDE World Champion V.Topalov, but its organization is prerogative of FIDE. In opinion of the President of the RCF the International federation is obliged to carry out this match, instead of to try to earn on it, laying down to Kramnik additional financial conditions.


well, well, well......

Right now I would rather see the classical title in the hands of Kramnik than under FIDE's control. With Kramnik we would not know when and whom he would play next, but with FIDE in control we could be 99% sure that there would never be another classical match in Kirsan's lifetime.

Well, well, interesting declarations by Zhukov. It seems the President of RCF disagree with Mig coments that the chess world doesn't need Kramink. LOL


You are da Man!!

You reminded me how $%%$& much I hate the ^*&^% re=entries.

Of course I dont have the money for a re-entry but that should be against the Constitution of the US.

I go and pay big money to enter a tournament. and I struggle praying every round that the strong rated player take a loss. and BINGO. one of the top guys takes a hit and my chances increase that maybe just maybe I can hold on and get lucky and win.

then glory beeee. the guy is back up on the top of the charts again. he paid for a re-entry. and by the way I watch him take first place at the World Open in Philly.

^%(*Y^^)_$#$%$ deleted.

So to hell with the World Open. I have not been back since then. Totally Unfair. it is like cheating with a computer.

Maybe they should allow Kramnik a re-entry after his first round loss to Svidler. HaHa. no but You know who that runs the World Open stuffs some money in his pocket and Tommy loses all his chances to win back his entry fee.

The USCF should take a strong stand against re-entry. but of course they will not because you know who is running the USCF.

reminds me of FIDE.

Hit my hot button you did. I love to get off on my hot buttons.

Good topic Icepick. I never talked to anyone else about what they thought about re-entry I just sit here fuming and plotting revenge. haha.

I wonder what other people think about re-entry. just makes it more impossible for the little guy to have a chance to win. gives the sandbagger a 2nd chance also. what about the little guy who just keeps paying and paying and paying and he is never expected to get lucky and win. no. just take his money and help the cheats who re enter. it is a conspiracy between the guy that runs the world open and the sandbaggers who show up.

no more tournaments that allow re entry for me. never again.

And they wonder why adult attendance at tournaments is down. haha. look at the re entry and you will see. GREED by the tournament directors. GREED. they always want to make a profit. and who pays the little guy like me. no more Icepick. I dont pay any more.


I will tell you IcePick

My last tournament was a local one. The locals never had re-entry. well guess what. this one did. and I have not been to a tournament since. been a long time.

and the other thing that killed me. they charged me $100 for early entry. and when I got to the tournament this kid beat me and I was talking to him after and his mother comes over and tells me that the kids get to enter for $18. and adults for $100. and that is only fair because adults have more money. well. I think kids walked off with just about all the cash prizes.

You know what they can do with that. these kids were getting 1 to 4 lessons every week from GM's. that is correct. GM's are training them continuously for years. the parents pay and the kids get the money at the tournaments.

the kid who beat me took the first prize. and he had taken prize money in his previous last 3 tournaments. so that was 4 in a row. then another kid steps up.

Adult attendence is dieing because the tournaments are unfair. they are bleeding the adults. and the organizers only care about an extra dollar now and dont look to the future.

Look at Carlsen. turns 15 on opening day of the World Cup and has a performance rating over 2700. Sandbagger that Magnus. but I love him. haha. rooting for him. fun to watch the kids do so well. The kids at tournaments are brutal today. and they get super low ratings in scholastic tournaments and then kill the adults. and they have GMs training them. not the adults. the GMs usually dont want to train adults. I dont blame them. too hard.

but they are not taking my $100 so easy. if they want to win my $100 then they will have to throw $100 into the pot. not $18. imagine that in Poker. oh he is a kid so he only has to throw in $18 for every $100 that an adult throws into the pot. haha. oh and by the way. the kid gets poker champion training and is allowed to look at everyones elses hand. haha.


It makes sense for kids to have lower entry fees. (you don't want to turn off parents who might not want to fork over $100 for their child's participation). But on the other hand, it doesn't make sense for them to walk off with the jackpot when they've paid a reduced entry fee.

Therefore, I propose that anyone who pays a reduced entry fee can only claim a percentage of the first prize. For example, if first prize is $1000 and you've paid a $20 entry fee instead of the usual $100, you can only claim 20% of the first prize, i.e. $200. The rest would be distributed between prize-winners who have paid the full entry fee.

Of course, kids will still have the option of paying the full entry fee if they want to contend for the full prize.

I am not a Kramnik fan, but hey, the guy is playing, so lighten up & let's see how he finishes. If he goes through this tourney with a weak performance, I'll jump on the beat up Kramnik bandwagon again. However, if he has made a comeback from last year, I'll give him the credit he is due & hope he can start giving respect to his version of the title.

Heck, with some credibility, he and Topalov could correct the dirction of FIDE. OK, maybe they can't turn an aircraft carrier, but it would be nice.

Tommy, I'm in total agreement with you regarding re-entries. Four years back I defeated an opponent in the first round and finished with 5/6. Not bad, and I was happy with the result. Problem was...guess who finished with 5.5 and how? Oh yeah, a difference of $800+ dollars too. He won 1st outright and I split 2nd-4th. I'm not as smart as you, I keep returning to these tourney's like a dog to a bone.

Pardon my stupidity but how can someone have 5.5/6 having lost a game?

I must be stupid but I don't get how someone can have 5.5/6 having lost a game...

Saxo, a lot of big American Swisses (and apparently some smaller ones too) allow re-entries.

Say you lose a game in the first round of the six round tournament. You can then "drop out" of the tourney, pay a new entry fee, get seeded into the second round, and have a half-point bye for Round 1. So, instead of being 0/1 after the first round, you have 0.5/1. Then if you win out you have a better shot at winning the first prize.

I haven't played in the big tournaments, so I haven't experienced this particular horror, nor had I thought about it. Now that Tommy has made me think about it, and ChessTraveler has shared his nightmare, I have to say it sounds VERY unfair.

Question, if someone re-enters, can you end up playing them a second time? If so, you could win one and lose one, but the other guy gets 1.5/2 to your 1/2.

This really does sound suspect!

hey did Moro give a walkover??? game score seems to suggest so.. anybody got any dirt?

Honestly, try and give a guy the benefit of the doubt...

Kramnik back to his old drawing ways, oh well.

Sakaev says he lost on time. (no show)

He says he didn't wake up in time, could be kidding though :-)

try and give who the benefit of the doubt?

Today was certainly drawnik again, from both sides.

Amazing a guy like Marshall used to play the Petroff to get piece play, and now it is a weapon of mass yawning. Not enjoyable stuff to watch. Maybe the paint is drying on the days Kramnik has black?

Thanks for the explanation about re-entries. That's terrible. In fact one can pay to get 1/2 point in the first round.

I have always wonder what wild capitalism is, now I know.

Svidler and Zvyagintsev won their games with black convincingly and reached 2.5/3. Rublevsky seems to be winning vs. Dreev, so he's also going to have 2.5.

This trio looks like the best of the field so far.

Zvyagintsev played a superb Qxg3!! Beautiful.

I just took a look at the report on 64.ru... And, unless my Russian understanding has finally reached its non-existing state, Morozevich's excuse was supposed to be something like "I had such a sound sleep in The Arbatskaya Hotel that I couldn't hear neither the alarm nor the phone when my second called". ROFL... now THAT's Moro Style?. This man is so crazy :)

Sounds like he was paid to endorse the Arbatskaya Hotel.
"Stay at our hotel! In our fabulous rooms, you'll be able to sleep like Morozevich!"

Short draws through round three:

Motylev-Dreev (21 moves)
Svidler-Motylev (26 moves
Motylev-Kramnik (22 moves)
Khalifman-Bareev (15 moves)

Yeah, Morozevich came across as amusingly eccentric in an interview I read with him. I doubt this would have happened to, say, Svidler.

If the money at stake doesn't mean that much to Grishuck, nor does the title, then there is no reason for him to play and no justification for faulting him for it. This isn't his fault or his problem.

Yes I never talked about my experiences with re-entry before. I guess i just kept quiet about it. It never dawned on me before that other people might be having problems with re entry also. but it sure makes sense.

But at the world open you can lose the first 3 games I believe and then re-enter with 1 1/2 points. and then win big money. another trick they do at the world open is to play fast and early. then lose some and then start all over in the last start section maybe from the first game again. that is possible. so now they can actually play the 3 games again and go 3-0 the second time. Money talks. Sportsmanship is dead. Money talks.

well I dont go back because I am not rich. I can not afford to pay $100 to $300 for a few games. and realistically have no chance of getting even a lower prize to help pay the costs. At the world open we used to go 4 people to a room. that cut costs. but still with travel money food etc. one needs to win say $500 to break even. If I ever were to break even I would feel I won the tournament. haha.

and I would look at the list. maybe 280 people in the class. that is a lot of people. and they all are paying say $200 that comes to $56,000. and they really pay more than that. and they will get back I dont know. maybe $20,000. so they lose out on say $40,000 for the group. ( I upped the income from 56 to 60,000. so the payback is only 1/3. if the world open is $300 then the payback to the group is $100 and the loss is $200 to higher up groups and to the organizer. I am just rough estimating.

When I went to the world open I felt so sorry for so many of the 280 players who had ZERO chance to get any kind of prize. then there would be a small group of hot shots who were going for the gold real hard. these guys played differently then the loosers. they really had gusto.

then there were a few that really were good. maybe just a few. and I always suspected as I am sure others did that they were sandbaggers.

I ran into one guy. came from Eastern Europe. a chess country. had played 4 games in usa. he had a provisional rating on those 4 games of say 1300. must have lost some games.

he came in and went to the big money tournaments. traveled out of NY City as I remember it. could not really speak English. Just arrived a few months ago. he went and won all 5 games at a local Continental chess event. Eastern Class Open in early March Boston every year. then he went to all continental chess events and won all his games for 5 tournaments in a row. always a perfect score. GIVE ME A BREAK GUY. he was probably a master at least in europe. comes here and continental chess lets him have the big money on a stupid no cost 4 game tournament and then lets him clean up the first prize money everywhere. after that as far as I know he disappeared or changed his name and started over. by the way. I was suspicious. and watched him win everything every damn game. not one draw. always perfect scores. even though I am sure he had to move up in class some. so what was he doing in the under 1400 class. you and I both know. having a good payday weekend.

and Continental Chess advertised that you were not allowed to play the class unless you had a rating in the class. oh yes. they just fail to say it can be a 4 game provisional rating and you can then win all the money you want. and coming from europe you can start all over. what a farce on all the honest people who paid big money to enter that tournament and all the other tournaments with him entered. And then you know what happened. probably the next month some other guy got off the boat from Eastern Europe and started the whole thing all over.

anyway I came here to commment on Kramnik's game today. Motylev,A (2632) - Kramnik,V (2739) Kramnik is more than 100 points rated over his opponent. I dont think that he should have been going for a draw if he is world champion and wants to establish himself. now Topalov says 60 points is a huge difference. anyway. I would have liked to see Kramnik at least try to win against a player he has an extra 100+ elo points. for Motylev the draw gains him rating points and I am sure he took the draw with a smile.

Motylev is not really an average 2632 he has been rated much higher just last year, is Svidler's second and was named by Kasparov as the future of Russian chess. The fact that Kramnik could show some good preparation probably pleased him quite a bit.

I am sorry, but making a draw with white for Motylev is not an achievement. It is, by far, the most likely result. Making a draw with white for a player with a 2650 rating against anyone in the world is a disappointment, not an achievement. The only achievement is to win. Making a draw with white in the Petroff? Much weaker players can achieve that too.

Kramnik couldn't have been happy with his first game, but he has played well enough since.

The 60-point difference is important in a match, where a player like Motylev would have close to no chances to beating Kramnik. But in a tournament game where Kramnik is black, it will usually be a draw.

Pascal wrote "The 60-point difference is important in a match ..."

Yes, but it is tournament ;-) It is Motylev who forced the draw - it is hardly could be observed for white in any match but almost at any tournament against a potential leader!

I believe Jeff Sonas showed once that the advantage of white pieces is worth about 50 rating points. So even if we factor the white pieces, Kramnik was still a very slight favourite. But a draw was indeed the most likely result, average for both sides.

Yes, he forced it. But that does not mean it is an achievement. It means he was outprepared, achieved nothing, and made the wise choice to make a draw before his position got worse. As white, this is often what one must do when things don't go as planned.

The point about the match is that in a match, Motylev making draws with white would not suffice. He would need to win games because he wouldn't always be able to hold as black every game.


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 19, 2005 10:24 AM.

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