Mig 
Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Corus 2006 r13

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Topalov drew with Leko and Anand beat Gelfand in a tough game to catch up and create fitting final standings. Topalov and Anand tie for first with impressive +5 (9/12) scores. They were clearly a class above the field, with Topalov's play being the more notable. Watching Topalov and Anand duel for supremacy over the next few years should be a great show. They aren't going to separate from the pack the way Kasparov/Karpov did, but who at this point would pick someone else to win an event? Great chess, great results, hats off. Great tournament, too. Hail Corus.

As predicted, Ivanchuk didn't miss a chance to teach his young countryman Karjakin a thing or two in the final round. The lesson today, the bishop pair. Nice win by Chukky to round out a solid showing. It was still a very impressive event by Karjakin, who had trouble with the supers but was devastating against the tail-enders. No doubt he's the real deal, as is Magnus Carlsen, who won in the final round to tie for first in the B Group. (Motylev won on tiebreaks; TWIC reports Carlsen will also go to the A Group next year. Official site says Anand won the A Group trophy on tiebreaks. This is the first shared first in Wijk aan Zee in a long while, since Kramnik/Anand in 1998.)

Karjakin was the only member of the new school to keep his head above water. That Topalov and Anand dominated was no surprise, but it was great to see Mickey Adams back to his solid self and Ivanchuk keeping his head after a tough loss to Anand in round three. Aronian beat Sokolov in the final round to salvage some rating points, but it was an unimpressive showing all round. He couldn't dent the old guard. Nor could Bacrot or Mamedyarov. Sokolov missed the GM norm.

Speaking of salvage, Tiviakov scored his only win of the event in the final round against Kamsky, who missed saving chances with 28.Qb3. Although quite a few of Kamsky's eight (!) losses were terrible, he came to play every day and scored two wins against the top half of the crosstable. Here's a weird stat: Kamsky was the only player without a plus score to beat someone with a plus score. (Yes, that approaches tautology, but it doesn't quite get there.) -4 doesn't get you a comeback of the year award, but wins against in-form Anand and Gelfand say a lot about the potential of Kamsky's return. No limit.

68 Comments

Does anybody (Mig?) know whether some tie-braking is involved to determine who joins the A-group next year, Motylev or Carlsen?

Or do they have to invite both?

Anand's rating gains from this tournament are going to put him--finally--past 2800. Topalov will tie Kramnik's record of 2809, and may surpass it if he does well enough in Linares next month.

Anand shares first place BUT takes the trophy on tie breaks!

Check www.coruschess.com

Anand's rating gains from this event will put him--finally--past 2800. Topalov goes to 2809 and is poised to tie Kramnik's peak rating on the April list, assuming he doesn't lose anything in Linares next month.

from www.coruschess.com: "Group Bís finish was also dramatic, when Almasi lost to Cheparinov, while both Motylev and Carlsen won, with Motylev taking first place on tie breaks."

So presumably Motylev gets the invite to the A group. Carlsen's time will come.

Should be Motylev, they use traditional tiebreaks. Carlsen may well be there on his own next year anyway.

Motylev is ahead on tie breaks, but regardless of that fact, Magnus will be invited next year, based on extra publicity and based on the fact that he most likely will be around 2650+ until then. Now they also have a very good reason to do so, considering he got the shared 1st place. Radjabov took part in Corus A in 2003, when he was only 15 with a rating of 2624.

"Tautology?" Don't even mention it, now we'll probably have to listen to some more tirades from the "citizen of the world" himself. It must have something to do with freedom fries and that cheap French wine. :o

Anyway, an interesting tournament with Topolov and Anand still in charge of matters; but with some youngsters definately knocking at the door.

What I enjoyed the most was my new found respect for Kamsky and what he's trying to accomplish. Gata, if you can get back in the top 10, after such a long hiatus, I would consider that an amazing achievement.

A great tourney. Also, the Yasservision on playchess was great too. Although it got off to a slow start, I thought it improved a lot in the later rounds.

I hope next year they can pitch a chessbase tent or hire a dedicated room for the peripatetic Yasser. Having him stop in mid-analysis because the photographer wanted his room back was sad. Funny, but sad.

Mig when you talk to the Corus people remember to tell them that Tommy wants to see Magnus in Corus A section next year.

tell them Tommy will make them an offer they can not refuse.

hahaha.

I really want to see Magnus play the big boys. well I will get to see him play in the Candidates.

GO MAGNUS.

Tommy

Just seen on TWIC :

However at the closing ceremony it was announced that Carlsen too will be invited.

You clearly have great influence, Tommy. Now if only you could stop pressing the return key after every sentence, life would be perfect.

I am sure most of us would agree that this years Corus was a pleasure to follow with an exciting battle for first in both the A and B sections. Good luck Kamsky in your next event and thanks for making this one fun to watch!

Bravo Anand and Topalov!!!
But we still have no credible world champion.
So what's new?

Here is what I propose, in the spirit of the 1948 FIDE Title Tournament.

Status : Topalov made a quantum jump improvement, and Anand worked hard to prove plausible equality in CORUS 06. Their ratings are near Kasparov's now. But we have missed out on great matches for nearly 10 years. So let's do it this way:

Four players are worthy contenders:
Kasparov, Topalov, and Anand. Let's add the fourth : either Leko or Kramnik. They tied a match, so either one would do. Kramnik is the traditional champ in a line that had dubious fairness until 1948-1972, after which things became surreal. Thus, let's invite Kramnik for the fourth slot. If he delines, take Leko.

Two phases. Phase I:
12 game matches.
1) Kasparov vs. Kramnik (or Leko)
2) Topalov vs. Anand

With suitable tiebreak games, as in the elimination matches.

Phase II (after a 1-2 month rest for preparation)
24 game match

Winners of Phase I play each other.
In case of tie, a rapids playoff will commence.
The first phase of 6 games will be played during the 2 days following the regular match. If there is still no winner, then a more rugged "cutdown" match will occur, in which the time is reduced successively in pairs of two games.

For the regular match, an alternative to ultra-long games will be used, more consistent with the old adjournments, in order to assure better endgame play. If the game is not decided during the first approximately 6-8 hour session, then there will be a 2 hour dinner break. After that, the game will resume until finished, but with a constant time per 20 moves, rather than the G/30 or G/1 style of timing at the end.

Frank

Just a little note: Anand is past the 2800 mark now, but could lose some points before the next list is out. (Not that I expect him to, mind you.)

I am curious why Mig and most everybody else who writes on chess from the Western world can't avoid (what I perceive to be) a distinct eurocentric bias in all their reports. It shows up one way or other. Believe me I am not writing Mig's opening blog entery only mentiones both "Topalov and Anand tie for first with impressive +5 (9/12) scores." The offiial coruschess.com site report mentions: "In an amazing photo finish, Vishy Anand managed to win today, and catch up with Topalov, share first place and take the trophy on tie breaks."

Wonder why Mig didnt mention that, either in the opening blog entry or even subsequently (I notice some posters even specifically asked). Anyway, here is the clarification.

So, who will play in Linares this year?

Anyone who ever says Americans are jingoistic (and they are), hasn't seen Indians. Euro-centric?!? I'm not even sure what you are talking about. You mean the tiebreaks? First off, I wasn't sure what they were at the time. When started writing that entry the final games to finish weren't even done yet. Secondly, I don't much care since they are formula tiebreaks with no relevance. It's =1-2 to me. I'll add it to the item though, thanks.

If you presuppose that a bias exists, you will certainly find evidence to support it (assuming you also toss away the conflicting evidence).

It is confirmed - Carlsen will play Group "A" next year.

As for the tiebreaks (additional criteria), it was known before the last round that Anand will take trophy if they have same score. Simply, there was no chance for Kamsky to catch Adams.

what was the tiebreak criteria that allowed Anand to take the trophy?

according to some sites:
the players invited to linares
Players: Veselin Topalov, Peter Leko , Vassily Ivanchuk , Peter Svidler , Ettienne Bacrot , Levon Aronian , Francisco Vallejo and one other player yet to be announced.

if that true kramnik and anand not invited ?i wonder!!

Here are some pictures of the final round: http://www.23hq.com/steenslag/round13

according to some sites:
the players invited to linares
Players: Veselin Topalov, Peter Leko , Vassily Ivanchuk , Peter Svidler , Ettienne Bacrot , Levon Aronian , Francisco Vallejo and one other player yet to be announced.

if that true kramnik and anand not invited ?i wonder!!

Here are photos by Carla Amse http://www.carlaa.nl/2006/fotoindex.htm

dragon, I think criteria was score against players with 50% and above.

Last year, I was worried that Kasparov's retirement would usher in an era of lukewarm dominance by Vishy Anand (given his relatively unremarkable results the year before), with Svidler and Leko nipping at his heels.

Luckily, this has not been the case not all. Not only has Topalov been playing some of the most enterprising, lethal chess seen in the last 20 years, but the new competition between Anand and him appears to have inspired both players to new heights.

Great stuff!

Frank, how can you say we still don't have a credible champion? Topalov is as credible a champion you can get. He finished either first or shared first in a bunch of tournaments in 2005, and he started 2006 with a bang by sharing first with Anand by scoring a huge +5! How is that not a credible champion?

what's with the 2600 gm in the C group? kind of lame, and unfortunate for the tied runner-ups.

Regarding Linares:

http://www.moreliachess.com/eng/Linares.asp lists the following eight names:

Veselin Topalov, current World Champion
Peter Leko
Vassily Ivanchuk
Peter Svidler
Ettienne Bacrot
evon Aronian
Francisco Vallejo
Teimour Radjabov

No Kramnik (understandable) and no Anand.

Toplalov had one very good tournament plus a few more excellent tournaments. That's all. He hasn't done what the real chess world champions have done - win a serious match against a worthy challenger - such as the last champion who did the same. I agree with everyone else that his quality of play was superb in 2005. Anand in CORUS matched him in quality. Garry is still Garry, and would still be a terrific championship contender. Whoever came out of the format I propose, which would produce high quality interesting chess - would have the full cachet and mystique that a world chess champion should have. As long as Kramnik is at least invited to the tournament of the four elite, the bloodline is also preserved.

I thoroughly enjoyed the fascinating matches between Kasparov and Karpov, and those between Karpov and Kotchnoi. Kasparov was a true champion, and the match with Kramnik was a serious one. It is unfortunate that we never saw a match between Kasparov and a more mature Anand.

Wouldn't this two-phase tournament of the four elites also have some popular appeal? Shouldn't there be sponsors who would support it? Wouldn't it inspire Garry to make an instant comeback?

Frank

OFF TOPIC: Chess players turned politicians.
http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/62442.htm

Looking at the players invited to Linares..it looks like its going to be a massacre...maybe Leko and Ivanchuk (if they are lucky) can get a draw against Topalov who will out rate his opponents by atleast 50 points..

Yeah, Linares seems like a forgone conclusion. I don't expect Svidler or Leko to get "massacred", but they have little chance of winning it. Topalov will dominate.

"Looking at the players invited to Linares..it looks like its going to be a massacre...maybe Leko and Ivanchuk (if they are lucky) can get a draw against Topalov who will out rate his opponents by atleast 50 points.."

Actually Linares has been a 'tight' tournament over the last few years, with tough competition and a lot of draws. You have a smaller field, with only seven (as opposed to 12) opponents, and each player has to take on the others with both colors. These guys are going to well-prepared for Topalov, I wager. Radjabov and Svidler are back in the mix, and that might make for some trouble right there. I wouldn't be surprised to see Topalov take a slight step back there.

Well my prediction of the WAZ winner is partially correct. I picked Anand this year! Topalov will have the best chance of winning Linares. Anand-Gelfand was a great game, that whole line of the Najorf with Nb6-c4 early needs to be abondoned! The Na5! move is just too good! But maybe 0-0 instead of Rb8 could hold, but playing the Nadorf, black wants to win!

does anyone know which tournament Anand is scheduled to be playing in next?

Anand had a website earlier where he posted this info (on his future tournaments). Not sure if the website is still up and running.

Response to String theory:

MTelMasters

Who are Topalov's analysts, does anyone know? I mean, the people behind him, working day and night on his chess theory improvements?

Many Russians (Moldavians)praised the work of Mr. Chebanenko, who departed recently, as a great analyst, to whom they had to thank for most of their victories in the opening.

hey Mr Adams did great! People seem not to really rate him as one of the very best but his score in this tournament, with this opposition, is amazing. Dont you think?

The result at Corus does raise an interesting problem. Topalov and Anand are both playing wonderful chess, but what happens if they continue to win tournaments together (or alternate winning tournaments) and both stay ahead of the rest of the pack, year after year? It will be far from satisfactory having the next world title decided by having them only play a couple of games against each other? In fact, in a San Luis-style tournament, it is not even the games between each other that are likely to decide the title - it is their results against the other players. I've said before, I'm not particularly interested in seeing a match involving Kramnik. I'd like to see a match between the two best players in the world (i.e. Topalov - Anand). (Kasparov could mess that thought up by coming back, and I for one, would love it if he did!). Any world title system (in any sport) that does not create a likelihood of that happening is wholly inadequate. I hope Bessel Kok/Karpov/whoever addresses that in the next FIDE cycle.

Also, I've not heard anyone comment on it, but one great (if unintended) advantage of Topalov being world champion is that England now has a player who can beat the world champion more than occasionally!!

Mig, ok I will try hard not to hit the return key. Everything looks great in the chess world. I am hoping to see the performance ratins on the players. I am most interested in seeing who performed well over their elo rating. also. I am glad to see that corus saw the light and let Carlsen play in the A group next year. that should prove to be a good tournament with lots of fan participation. as for the world championship. here talked about. I am not in favor of attempting to have 4 players in long matches. the matches might not come off. I too would like to see Topalov have a real good match with Anand for the Championship. However, I feel that will have to come after the Kramnik match. if the match can be set up and Kramnik declines then lets not call off the match. lets ask Anand to play. I think the fans would enjoy a match with Anand and Topalov. My feeling is that Anand did a little better than Topalov at Corus. he won 4 games against the top 7 people. while Topalov took his points from the lower half of the list. I would like to see Anand have a year or so as the full up World Champion recognized by everyone as the world champion. he deserves it. he has played top level chess for so long. I would like to see Ivanchuck play just a little better and join up with topalov and anand. but now we will soon have the new crowd of young people. Of course I am a kamsky supporter. but I also like anand. and Kamsky really messed up Anand's Corus final standings. if not for Kamsky then Anand would have won easily. I also agree that there is a certain unfairness in picking the world champion without a match between the 2 best players. the world championship between topalov and Anand should not be determined by how they do against kamsky. it should be how they do against each other. it is the old problem. if A beats B and B beats C and C beats A then who is the best. haha. good question without an answer. or crummy question.

Mig, ok I will try hard not to hit the return key. Everything looks great in the chess world. I am hoping to see the performance ratins on the players. I am most interested in seeing who performed well over their elo rating. also. I am glad to see that corus saw the light and let Carlsen play in the A group next year. that should prove to be a good tournament with lots of fan participation. as for the world championship. here talked about. I am not in favor of attempting to have 4 players in long matches. the matches might not come off. I too would like to see Topalov have a real good match with Anand for the Championship. However, I feel that will have to come after the Kramnik match. if the match can be set up and Kramnik declines then lets not call off the match. lets ask Anand to play. I think the fans would enjoy a match with Anand and Topalov. My feeling is that Anand did a little better than Topalov at Corus. he won 4 games against the top 7 people. while Topalov took his points from the lower half of the list. I would like to see Anand have a year or so as the full up World Champion recognized by everyone as the world champion. he deserves it. he has played top level chess for so long. I would like to see Ivanchuck play just a little better and join up with topalov and anand. but now we will soon have the new crowd of young people. Of course I am a kamsky supporter. but I also like anand. and Kamsky really messed up Anand's Corus final standings. if not for Kamsky then Anand would have won easily. I also agree that there is a certain unfairness in picking the world champion without a match between the 2 best players. the world championship between topalov and Anand should not be determined by how they do against kamsky. it should be how they do against each other. it is the old problem. if A beats B and B beats C and C beats A then who is the best. haha. good question without an answer. or crummy question.

"The result at Corus does raise an interesting problem. Topalov and Anand are both playing wonderful chess, but what happens if they continue to win tournaments together (or alternate winning tournaments) and both stay ahead of the rest of the pack, year after year? It will be far from satisfactory having the next world title decided by having them only play a couple of games against each other?"

First of all, there is not a high probability of Topalov and Anand both consistently coming in 1-2 in tournament after tournament. The nature of tournament chess is that players have ups and downs.

Regardless of what Topalov and Anand may do, fans are unhappy about choosing the W.C. in a tournament, instead of a long match. But curiously, most of the players don't seem to mind. I suspect that's because, in a given tournament, any one of them has a mathematical chance to have a hot streak, and become the new world champion. In the old system of a candidates cycle followed by a 24-game match against the reigning champ, it took sustained superiority to become the W.C.

IMHO, we should treat the very notion of a "world champion" in chess as being now outdated, so is the idea that one becomes a WC by winning a match between the reigning WC and and a challenger (chosen by whatever system).

Today, there are too many players (at least 10) who are playing at a very top level, they play in a lot of tournaments, and to play a separate canditates cycle as before consumes too much time and money for which they are has been less if not no sponsorship forthcoming. I therefore suggest we should move to a format as in tennis, just rate the players as #1 at any given time, no merely based on ELO rating but perhaps their performances in selected grand-slam and selected professional circuit tournaments (as they have in tennis, I think they are called ATP tournaments). This would mean the rating for this purpose would have to be different from ELO which takes performances in any tournament.

Just a thought.

The "world champion title is dead, long live the World #1 title"

IMHO, we should treat the very notion of a "world champion" in chess as now having become outdated; so is the idea that one should becomee a WC by winning a match between the reigning WC and a challenger (chosen by whatever system).

Today, there are too many players (at least 10, probably even 20) who are playing at the very top level who can be potentially world champions, they do play in a lot of tournaments, and to play a separate canditates cycle as before consumes too much time and money for which they are has been less if not no sponsorship forthcoming. What to speak of the candidates cycle, we do not even see sponsorship forthcoming for the final championship match!

Yet, tournaments are being conducted and prize money being sponsored.

Why not then move to a format as in tennis, just rate the players as #1 at any given time, no merely based on ELO rating but perhaps their performances in selected grand-slam and selected professional circuit tournaments (as they have in tennis, I think they are called ATP tournaments). This would mean the rating for this purpose would have to be different from ELO which takes performances in any tournament.

Just a thought.

Is there a blog as this one, in tennis , too? I would like to see if their comments are similar to the chess ones? Maybe we can both learn from each other?

What is Anand's post WAZ rating going to be? 2801?

I read an interesting comment from

http://www.mrfixitonline.com/readPosting.asp?PostingId=1719683

" In an amazing photo finish, Vishy Anand managed to win today, and catch up with Topalov, share first place and take the trophy on tie breaks. "

http://www.coruschess.com/report.php?year=2006&report=13

"I under normal circumstances I would totally agree with this; however, this case is unique-- Topalov had an extra game with white pieces (7 games vs. Anand's 6 games). This puts Topalov in a better position. Also, Anand had more wins with black, 3 vs. Topalov's 2. I hope that the first was a reason the tie-break was decided that way; I honestly don't care about the second one."

Topalov's current rating is 2809 and Anand is standing at 2802. It's interesting to see how Topalov will manage in Linares (or Morelia, whatever, I got mixed up with this Mexico-Spain confusion...)

Anand scored 5.5/7 (+4, -0, =3) against the top 7 players (?!)
Anand scored 5.5/7 (+4, -0, =3) against the top 7 players that he faced.. !

second statement is more accurate in my previous post.

It's interesting that in the San Luis Championship, Anand and Topalov also played a short, sharp draw, in Round 9. That game was also a Ruy Lopez, in which Anand sacced a piece. Of course, in San Luis, Anand was playing White, and it was Topalov who had the nice opening prep.

I don't quite understand these attempts to show that Anand somehow performed better than Topalov. It also depends on their opponents varying performance in particular games. Compare e.g. how Ivanchuk played against Anand and how he played against Topalov. Also it seems that Gelfand put up a far from optimal resistance in the ending against Anand giving him an easy win.

Can anybody calculate and tell me, how many points Topa needs to score in Linares, so that he does not lose any rating points?

Thanks
Amit

"Can anybody calculate and tell me, how many points Topa needs to score in Linares, so that he does not lose any rating points?"

It's not that simple. In the tournament score, he gets 1 point for a win and 1/2 point for a draw, regardless of the opponent.

But when rating points are calculated, it depends on whom he's played against. A loss to Vallejo would do more damage to Topalov's rating than a loss to Svidler. Conversely, a victory over Svidler would boost Topalov's rating more than a victory over Vallejo.

So, you can't just say that he needs to score a certain number of points to maintain his rating. There are incalculable possibilities, depending on which opponents he scores against.

'I don't quite understand these attempts to show that Anand somehow performed better than Topalov. It also depends on their opponents varying performance in particular games.'

I totally agree. I mean, if you want Corus to institute tie-break systems for the A tournament in the future, then that's one thing. But any other kind of extrapolation, like 'who performed better,' seems to me oversimplified. I think back to some of the games Anand won against the elite, like Ivanchuk, Leko, and Gelfand, and compare those players' correspondending draws against Topalov, and see significant diffences.
drx mentions the Ivanchuk example. But how about Anand having White against Leko, with what looks like the same Leko who lost a terrible game to Svidler in San Luis? Topalov has black against him in the last round and couldn't technique a win out of 6 g3 Najdorf Sicilian. I can't blame him for that.
Or, why does Gelfand play softball against Topalov with the Petroff, but then plays the Najdorf against Anand in the last round, giving him attacking chances?
The list could go on and on, but ultimately it's pointless. I read on the message boards that if only Anand didn't lose concentration against Kamsky, then he would be sole winner?! C'mon, we're doing "if onlys" from round 6? What makes people think Topalov would't step up his game even more so than he did? Or maybe Anand doesn't press as hard in the lead? Who knows? What if Topalov wasn't a stubborn moron with a death wish, trying to prove something in the Najdorf against Adams, only to get slapped down again, for the ten millionth time?
I'm sure Topalov knew that there were no tie-breaks in Corus A, so played the last three rounds practically. All credit to Anand; he played well this tournament, and his victory over Gelfand was clutch. They are both deserving co-champions.
I agree with Mig on who the more notable player of this tournament was. I guess that makes me 'euro-centric' too. Just like I felt Kasparov was the more notable player in Linares 05, even though Topalov caught up to him the last round.
Now it's on to Linares. I can't wait. I'm certainly nervous, expecting Topalov to fall off a little bit. And I believe Svidler is a serious threat.

Marc Sheperd wrote:

"It's not that simple. In the tournament score, he gets 1 point for a win and 1/2 point for a draw, regardless of the opponent.

But when rating points are calculated, it depends on whom he's played against. A loss to Vallejo would do more damage to Topalov's rating than a loss to Svidler. Conversely, a victory over Svidler would boost Topalov's rating more than a victory over Vallejo.

So, you can't just say that he needs to score a certain number of points to maintain his rating. There are incalculable possibilities, depending on which opponents he scores against."

Totally incorrect. It doesn't matter what he scores in what games.

To answer Amit Kureel's original question:
Topalov's opposition is Morelia/Linares is 2722-strong, which means he needs to score about 60% to maintain his current rating - which means he needs 8.5/14.

Any half-point beyond that is a gain of 5 rating points, any half-point below is a loss of 5.

Sorry, John Fernandez, but what I said was entirely correct. Your chess rating is indeed dependent on both your results and the quality of the opposition. Otherwise, Topalov could get a 3000 rating just by playing schoolchildren in Peoria, against whom he would win every game.

John Fernandez is correct. Only the overall quality of the opposition matters. Scoring 1 out of 2 against Pons and Svidler is the same rating result regardless of whether you drew two games, beat Svidler and lost to Pons, or whatever.

Nice try at changing the subject, Marc Shepard, but of course, _in context, yousing your own example_, if Topalov goes 1-1 against Svidler and Vallejo, his rating change is the same regardless of which he beat or lost to (or if he drew against both). Thus, since we know who he's playing against at Linares, we can calulate what score he needs to keep his rating, as Alex Shternshain did.

"Yousing", good god. How did I come up with that typo?

Marc,

You seem awful quick to discount the chances of the Peoria schoolchildren. A brief look through my trusted database revealed that NOT EVEN ONCE has a Peoria schoolchild lost to Topalov, at any time control.

I am pretty sure Topalov would be at a distinct psychological disadvantage facing a bunch of Peoria Schoolchildren - they have been, so far, an impassable hurdle for him, and your comments about him having to win every single game only put more pressure on him and confound matters.

I doubt he would be able to get to 3000 this way.

Ed--

When responding to Marc's post, your subconscious wanted to write, "YOU are a silly dork, Marc."
But you censored that idea.

Then, when you planned to employ the word "Using" in your post, your subconscious, still wanting to write "YOU are a silly dork..." went to work, substituting the word "YOU" for the "U" sound in "using", hence, "yousing".

Marc,

I'm not sure I agree with your response to my post in which you state that "there is not a high probability of Topalov and Anand both consistently coming in 1-2 in tournament after tournament. The nature of tournament chess is that players have ups and downs."

I agree that players have ups and downs and would add that not since Kasparov's days (that sounds weird doesn't it?) has it been possible to predict with a level of confidence who will win a tournament. However, Topalov and Anand are something special. Topalov is playing an aggressive and stubborn form of chess in which he is determined to win every game. This is not only refreshing after 5 years of Kramnik-Lekoism (i.e. play for equality, secure the half-point, only go for a win if the opponent blunders and you can do it without any risk to your own position) but it means that everyone has to fight that much harder to keep up with him. One talented and consistent player, Anand, is clearly capable of that and it looks as though this was the challenge which he needed to excel further.

Before San Luis, Jeff Sonas gave Anand and Topalov a combined 48% chance of winning the tournament. This may not be enough to predict with absolute confidence that one of them would win any given tournament, but it is a massive statistical advantage over the other players. More to the point, today there are no two other (active) players who would have a better probability of winning a tournament before it even started. Since Sonas' prediction, what has happened? Topalov won San Luis convincingly. Anand finished a "disappointing" joint second. Both players have just shared first at Corus. Post Corus, both players if rated today, would have ratings over 2800.

We might have some way to go before we would rank Topalov and Anand with Kasparov and Karpov, but I do believe we are set for a period of dominance from these two gifted players.

Whenever I hear the word "subconscious," I reach for my Browning.

I imagine that Topalov could get to 3000 by beating Peoria school children due to various bounds in the rating formula as well as those used for calculation. This is especially true if he lost a game to each of them first .... in which case he could create an analgous example to the trick played by Bloodgood.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 29, 2006 12:58 PM.

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