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2006 Keres Rapid

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Rapid chess didn't exist professionally when Estonian hero Paul Keres died in 1975. The rapid tournament in the Estonian capital is a strong one, held annually since 1998. (Before that there was one in 1993.) Vancouver also hosted a Keres Memorial that started around the same time, honoring the location of Keres' last tournament. He was on his way back from winning in Vancouver when he died. (The well-known Estonian banknote bearing his image can be seen here.)

Baltic son Alexei Shirov won the event in 2004 and 2005 and was back this year in a field that included excellent speed players Karpov, Ivanchuk, and Kasimjanov. These four were the heavy favorites and three of them finished in a first-place tie. But what people keep sending me mail about is Shirov's amazing score: 0.5/9. Most are in shock, and one even wondered if he had taken ill and left the event, forfeiting the majority. But the scores are all available. It's only a two-day event, so if you're out of form you don't have any time to recover. I'm not brave enough to ask him about it, but if he's feeling up to it maybe the new ACP board member will post a comment before trying to push it out of his mind forever!


You've said it yourself, Mig. There was no time to come back into form after a dreadful start and trying to make some draws wasn't my priority as it wasn't rated anyway.

thank you Alexei for your remarkable honesty and willingness to let us know.

Cool, Mr. Shirov reads this... :-)

I think Mr. Shirov did the right thing in not "trying to make some draws" and it's no shame that this happened - when you're out of form you can play some awful chess and your rating becomes almost irrelevant (at least that's what happens to me sometimes). These things happen. Don't let it get you down, this is obviously not even close to the real Shirov we all know and love for his wonderful attacking play!

And also Alexei's - i dont care for draws strategy- highlights the important of Elo rating formula as concerns as players motivation. Without rating surely we would have less draws , but more careless play. The choice is yours!

ah, come on... just because a guy signs like Shirov it doesnt mean he is really him. Anyway, a guy like him would surely win at least 3 or 4 out of his last games even by taking hufe risks.

Very amusing, "G kasparov". Of course, Garry's English is better than yours, so it is evident you are not "really him".

I try to be careful about identity theft issues around here. Matching IP numbers and ranges is not difficult. Alexei has posted on quite a few occasions. Or are you saying it wasn't Shirov playing in Estonia. That seems more likely!

All players go through bad patches every now and again. Alexei will bounce back! I always enjoy playing through his games. Remember, form is temporary but class is permanent.

He's just trying to lull Adams into a false sense of security...

Also remarkable is Karpov's success.

I still don't think that Anatoly gets the credit that he deserves. This is a great result ! Perhaps Mr Karpov should receive a Candidate's place or perhaps even a Candidates' Final nomination

I think that if Karpov continued to work on chess as much as he did in the 1970's-mid 1990's, he'd still be a top 10 or 5 player.
He's a super-talent.

I was counting on GM Shirov to wrest the title from a far too arrogant GM Topolav. Results like this decrease my confidence, but not my admiration. I will keep on hoping.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 8, 2006 11:22 PM.

    Our Questions for Bessel Kok was the previous entry in this blog.

    Kasparov in the ACP is the next entry in this blog.

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