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World Cup 2005 r3.3

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Bleh, I'm feeling a bit sick today. I hope this doesn't have anything to do with my new pet duck from Cambodia. Results and 4th round pairings up now. At least the tiebreak gods were merciful and spared us further sudden-death horror. Only three of the eleven matches even needed blitz. Rapids are ugly enough, but at least they have increment and are much closer to chess. Few surprises of any kind, although there weren't many clear favorites anyway. The last real underdog, America's Yuri Shulman, was duly demolished by Alexander Grischuk in the first rapid game.

Aronian has played the most impressive chess so far in my mind. Bacrot has also been strong, usually better through the middlegame if prone to adventure in time trouble. But his first two pairings were relatively easy. He now has a grudge match against Lautier, so France is guaranteed a player in the final eight. Kamsky never looked healthy on the white side of the Sicilian against Smirin and will need to be at his best to dent Grischuk.


well , among the last 8 ,i am most impressed with MR.Kamsky's performence (nothing to say about Magnus offcourse!!) . even after this huge gap of years, he is playing very confidently and knows his best chance lies in blitz( where it doesnt matter much u have played for years or not)
.I believe he wants to show fide how rubbish their idea of this Blitz World Cup is. one can only do that by playing and winning their championship .only when a champion speaks ,words get some value!
I wish him a very good luck and want to see him come out as a great winner in next round(s) .

Congrats to Kamsky! Making the final 16 is a huge acheivement in an event of this strength, and it should be interesting to see how he does in the final 4 matches against such high level opponents.

Aronian has been the most impressive player till now, but Kamsky "is back". I mean is back, because 10 years ago, Kamsky wasn't too far from Kasparov's level. Kamsky has a huge talent.

But it's difficult to draw conclusions from blitz, semi rapid games, and from a cup system. Even a player with a 3100 performance may just be eliminated for a single bad move.

And even more interesting, you can be thrown away from the world cup if you play 7 draws (2 games, 2 semis, 2 blitz and one final draw with white)...

As a conclusion, you all may notice that it's mathematicaly possible to win the world cup without winning a single game, and afterwards to become world chess champion without anything else but blitz games.

... and by the way, Carlsen has also good chances to win the event because his blitz level is astonishing.

I have said it before, but I will say it again: ELO is amazing! It really, really works. Mr. Sonas would of course be able to tell us exactly how well it works, but just by looking crudely at the results, it is a great way to predict winners (at least a lot, lot better than 50% chance).

Changing subjects, I find it interesting that kamsky is doing so well without a lot of years of recent theory (he says he hasn't opened a book). Maybe up-to-date theory isn't thaaat big a difference, after all.

He may not have opened a book (do super-GM's even use books?), but I'll bet he's consulted a game database.

Anyway, perhaps Kamsky's relative lack of preparation explains why his games have had a rather scrappy feel to them. He seems to emerge from the opening with unclear positions, and if he wins, it's through outplaying the other side from that point.

I suspect the importance of book theory grows sharply at the 2700+ level -- partly because these players mostly play in invitational round robins, so they have much more time to prepare for individual games (and they know in advance who their opponents will be). I seem to recall someone who served as Shirov's second (can't remember who) who also remarked that the main difference between 2600's and 2700's is opening preparation.

I'd think superior opening preparation would be magnified in this type of format... in the classical time controls you could possibly get away with taking a little extra time to figure stuff out in the opening/early middle game.

But with the shorter controls, falling behind on the clock is more likely to be ruinous.

Yes, Elo is amazing... but, how many times in this event (going back to when FIDE called this knock-out the World Championship) did the top seed, or even a Top 5 seed win the whole thing? Anand comes to mind, but I don't think any of the other winners were really considered a top favorite, although I'm just going on fuzzy memory here.... anyone have the stats handy?

Grischuk is no putz at blitz himself and he has gotten the better of Kamsky at blitz on ICC. It looks like it will take a lot of luck for him to beat Grischuk but it's been a crazy event so anything is possible.

Yes I am impressed by Magnus Carlsen also. It is fun to watch someone so young win against these big big names.

I dont feel that Kamsky has yet returned to his former self. I think he still has a lot of work to do. he seems shaky in his games. or at least some of them. he seems to get into trouble frequently. It does show that he is good at hanging on to get the draw. He always seems to have just enough to win and go to the next level.

I am rooting for Kamsky.

I do feel that this tournament is very good for getting the rust out of Kamsky. He will now be ready for a top notch tournament. Next month he will be in Corus and that will tell the story.

It appears that he is able to work out positons on the board very well. but I suspect that he is a bit lacking in the opening preparation for the top level. as he goes up the ladder there will be less and less opportunity to just play any opening and hope to win. he needs to make sure he is in good shape coming out of the openings.

I suspect that Judit Polgar had the a similar problem at San Luis after taking some time off from chess.

My other view is different. it is that maybe he is having some trouble with judgments between different paths to follow in the game. he may be picking a path that is not as strong.

I agree that Aronian seems to have a great chance to win it all. But now he will meet some difficult competition. it will be very interesting.

Aronian has been sort of winning easy. Kamsky has had to work to win. lets imagine they were to match up. who is expected to win. Kamsky would be in the work groove and that might carry him. Aronian might not have had a good enough work out to be ready for some tough games.

Interesting. we shall see.

I hope the best man wins. I will be happy with anyone winning. it is fun to watch and fun to cheer for Kamsky. my other American players are gone including Bruzon.

It would be fun to see Magnus win it all. but that would also be amazing and shocking.

I want to thank Mig for this great web site.

Thanks Mig


I don't believe Carlsen is especially good in blitz, and he is certainly not "astonishing". Carlsen is reasonable blitz player, but he used to lose to mediocre Russian masters, who happened to be blitz specialists. Magnus is first and foremost a brilliant chess player with outstanding memory and fine sense of initiative. He plays very bright chess, but he definitely requires time to build his concepts and calculate his lines.

He is not weak in blitz, of course, I am not saying that. My point is his blitz skill is a part of his chess skill, and not something different. If an example might help, compare Carlsen with Maslak or Shaposhnikov on ICC. I know both guys more or less well and wish them best, but they are nowhere near Carlsen in chess, although have reasonable chances to defeat him in a speed game.

Yes, I was also about to say that Carlsen is not THAT amazing at blitz. He's pretty good on Playchess when he does play, but I'm sure there are a good 30 or so players who are better than he.

Well, now that all my tournament selections are "kaputsky", I would like to see Kamsky continue to do well. I had the pleasure to play him many years ago at an open. Although young, the intensity that is associated with other great players was already there. One of us came away with a 0, I just can't seem to remember which one??? Anyway, performance wise, Aronian looks like the man to beat.

sorry, i know this is not relevant to the post thread, but i couldnt resist:
scroll down for jenn and check last month's scanner for a few super funny pieces about kosteniuk's poetry

You can always post to a relevant item and the comment will be picked up on the left side of the homepage.

Elizabeth, Your right! That has absolutly noting to do with this thread! But on the hand. phew, nice picture Jenn. Now if I could just get paired with her...pun intended.

Apologies for the misspellings, poor grammar and attempted levity. It was a brain freeze that I must attribute to the picture. It won't happen again.

So, Carlsen starts with an easy draw as Black against Bareev. Not too bad... :) great piece of home prep that.

Stunning breakthrough by Grischuck against Kamsky.

grischuk did seem to win with surprising ease. Very high quality game.

Yes, great win by Grischuck. You have this declined Marshall, where white just seems microskopic better, and he builds up an advantage, and a powerful knight sac!

Please note:

Mig we are getting round 4 comments since the first game has ended. and no place to post comments except in your round 3 comments.

Only on the internet. imagine waiting for a comment from Chess Life on these games and then writing a letter to the editor and that getting posted. Probably takes 6 months. times have changed. Now those addicted to blogs need to comment 2 minutes after the games end. Lots of Laughs.


Grischuk played a good game, Kamsky went wrong with 15... Bf6?! and 20... Kf8?. Kamsky was very lucky to win against Smirin as he had only a draw, and after 53... Ke5? in rapid game #2, Smirin missed a clear win with 54.Rxd2 Nxd2 55. Nd3+

Course, getting an item "published" on the Daily Dirt isn't quite the same thing as getting it published in a magazine...

It just occurred to me that if Magnus Carlsen wins tomorrow, he'll be the youngest player ever to qualify for the Candidates' Tournament!

Bobby Fischer was 15 and a few months when he qualified from the Interzonal in 1958. Magnus is 15 and only a few days. But of course, these Candidates matches that FIDE has announced, are not exactly the same thing that BF qualified for in '58. Plus, they may never happen...

thanks macuga. I never thought of it that way. I am a big time publisher for the Daily Dirt. I wonder if I can get a press pass to get into events like San Luis and World Chess Cup.

Mig since I am a reporter for the Daily Dirt it only seems fair for my publisher to pay for my expenses. If I travel with Mig does that give me open bar between games.

If anyone else who loves to post here wants to come. You are welcome. I am sure Mig will not mind picking up the tab.

Tommy official Daily Dirt reporter. haha.

Kamsky is having difficulties in the opening, and is finding it difficult to grind out wins against top level opponents. Still, his form seems to be improving. Corus will be an interesting test for him. However, even reaching 50% there may prove to be a challenge.
Carlsen's success is no real surprise. His "false plateau" of last year has been followed by a nice jump in form and in results. Still, it is hard to see him making it past Aronian or Grischuk. I won't be surprised to see Lautier make it past Bacrot. Mikhail Gurevich could well make it to the Semi-Finals. Ponomariov seems set to eliminate van Wely, and advance to the Quarterfinals, but so far his form has not been as impressive as his nerves and his fighting spirit. Id' be surprised if he managed to win the whole tamale.

Wow! Grischuk really pounded Gata. It looked to me as if the Hope of America was "playing for a draw" by exchanging pieces whenever possible. Of course, I am a patzer, so I can't say much, but Gata just appeared passive to me.


I thought that Gata could have played ... Re8 at some point and held equality, but he possibly did not notice the strength of the later Nf6 move and thought that he could make progress or free his position. As regards his prep, people forget that Kamsky made it to the top before by being a workhorse both at and away from the board. I have no doubt that he will be quite sharp book-wise when he gets to Corus, because he would not otherwise attempt a comeback unless he felt that he could do more good for his legacy than bad. It is clear that he now intends to make a living at chess again, contrary to his sentiments when he first began to play again at the Marshall Chess Club. He is not yet in the form of the Kamsky that we knew before, but he is nevertheless playing at a surprisingly high level for one who has been away from top-level chess for so long and only began his re-emergence by playing in G/30 tournaments against USCF 2400s. Grischuk just hit him with a strong tactic today, but let's not act like he is the first person to have felt the power of Grischuk!



Lets not pretend like Nf6 was such a hard move and that Kamsky just got "tactricked". Kamsky got outplayed positionally and then blundered under pressure.

Kamsky is certainly a brave man to attempt such a comeback. Let's face it -- there's no ideal way of returning to 2700+ form after being away from the game for 8 years. If you take the plunge and immediately try to play in Linares, you will get pounded. If you play USCF 2400's for a while, I'm not sure how much of a benefit that is, except for removing the worst of the rust; you'll still be playing mostly against yourself, as it were, and your own shortcomings. You will not be playing against the real resistance of higher-rated professionals.

Maybe what you need is to set your ego aside and do what promising juniors do -- play through a series of increasingly strong events. My sense is that Kamsky has tried to do this, to some extent, but he's been handicapped by living in the US (where access to high-rated invitationals is limited). Also, it looks like he's been playing cautiously against weaker players, perhaps fearful of making the headlines by losing to a 2400. I'm not sure that's the right strategy, since it takes boldness to attain (or re-attain) 2700+ status.

I should say I'm extrapolating from my own experiences of returning to the game after a 3-year break, and I'm nowhere near Kamsky's level. If anything, though, the maintenance required at the 2700+ level is much higher than at mine, and skills probably degrade much more without practice.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 5, 2005 12:54 PM.

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