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Bozzzna 2006

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It isn't really that boring if you look at all the games, at least not if you do so while being chased around the room by a Bengal tiger. 67% of the games at the Bosna 2006 tournament in Sarajevo were drawn, and this from a fighting group of players, at least on paper. Three players shared first on a mere +1: Malakhov, Carlsen, and Nisipeanu. The last of these finished out his event with draws of 13 and 12 moves, the last coming against co-leader Malakhov. What a joke. Perhaps he was ill? If not I hope he catches something. Ban the draw offer.

Young Norwegian Carlsen, a candidate if the candidates matches happen, added another pack of rating points. He won against the local hope and drew his other nine games. Most of these had meat on their bones and he was very close to a loss against that same outsider, Predojević in the last round. He also had to save a bad endgame against Sasikiran.

Naiditsch blundering into a mate against Malakhov provided some sparse entertainment. Carlsen faced the Dragon against Malakhov and then played it himself against Nisipeanu, both drawn. Sasikiran played two games over 100 moves, both drawn. Malakhov gave Zvjaginsev's 2.Na3 against the Sicilian a try against Nisipeanu. Drawn. (But a very interesting game.) You just couldn't buy a win in this event.


disappointment for sasikiran who was hoping to use this as a launch pad for getting past 2700. I think he needed 5.5/10 not to lose points but he scored only 4.5/10. anyway, he has another chance in the olympiad.
btw, are all the sofia players also going to turin? i know anand will join the team after a few days.

Comparing M-tel tounrnament with others which do not apply the anti-draw rule , the difference is obvious. I think that it is a matter of time for anti-draw rule to be expanded in other tournaments. For institutions that prove theirselves to be optimal usually prevail, that is a benevolent form of social darwinism!

What is also very impressive is the low popularity of Bosna tournament although the high ratings of participants (until today i havent heard that such a tournament was taking place). It seems that M-tel , not unreasonably, has these days overshadowes every other chess event.

And a last comment about the draw rule. In other sports it seems quite natural that the players have not the right to propose a draw, and if this is case it is considered a scandal. Can you imagine a boxing match which ends after the first round by mutual agreement...Then the boxers would have to box against crowd to save themselves!!!!


Bacrot, Kamsky, Anand and Svidler are going to play in the Olympiad. Ponomariov and Topalov are not.


In boxing, fans have to pay to watch the boxers fight whereas in chess they don't.

In the last round, against Predojevic, Carlsen had a threefold repetition at hand on move 28, declined it, and was forced to fight till move 88 to save a bad endgame -- I'm pretty sure he was lost at some stage; imagine this: black has a passed a-pawn in the endgame, supported by a bishop pair, while white's pieces are placed thus: Bh6, Ng5, Kg1. Somehow Predojevic didn't win this... I guess Caissa rewarded young Magnus for his fighting spirit.

While Carlsen's decision was 'impractical' from the professional GM point of view, as a spectator I must applaud him and his opponent for struggling for those extra 60 moves (and a riveting struggle it was!)

Ahh... but we do pay peach. We buy their books, magazine articles, enter big-money tournaments with huge entry fees that support top prizes, etc. etc. I own both of Shirov's "Fire on Board" books, but I will not buy a "Wet Blanket on Board" collection of 12 move draws!


Matt is absolutely right. There is no free lunch in modern capitalism. I have also given ,in an indirect way, a lot of money in chess. Anyway the boxing stuff was just an allegory to demonstrate that quick -draw behaviour shows lack of respect to whom pay you (chess fans; implicit employees and sponsors; explicit employees)

Blaming the players for short draws makes little sense:
--Those who respect the game are punished...they tire themselves playing on for hours in drawish positions.
--Those who disrespect the game are rewarded...they knock off early, save their energy and prepare for the next game.

The M-Tel anti-draw rules work. Blame the organizers for not using them.

Like Kamsky, Mig might be back in good form. If you doesn't like the way someone plays, wish him ill. Tasteful as ever.

I don't think Mig has anything against the way Nisipeanu plays. It's more something against the way Nisipeanu DOESN'T PLAY.

i am a fan, i can blame or praise someone according my tastes. And i am not the only who thinks like that. That is why Shirov is liked and appreciated across chess world although he is not a regular tournament winner or elo gainer. I wonder whose book has sold more Shirov's or Kramnik's.......

Regarding the comparison of chess to boxing, I believe that there is an inherent thirst for blood in both. One is figurative and the other is literal. Now if we could just make boxing more exciting to the general public and cut down on the blood-letting in chess, perhaps we could create a larger fan base for both. ;)

I can't really fault Sasikiran. One got the feeling that he believes that he was the strongest player of the field, and that he was shocked when he got outplayed. Still, kudos to him for his fighting spirit (although his two 100 + move games were more about flogging a dead horse, than pursuing any serious winning chances)
Nevertheless, he had decisive results in half his games.

Naiditsch is scarcely recognizeable as the player who won Dortmund ahead of a field of Super GMs. He seems too talented to be a one-shot wonder, and hopefully his retrogression is temporary. However, he is finding out that it is perhaps more difficult to play second tier opponents, where he must generate winning chances, and play accurately, than it is to play the 2700s, where the Elite GMs strive for wins with either color, and thus are prone to make unforced errors by overpressing in search of a full point.

Quite impressive result for Carlsen, managing to make it through the event without defeat. He'll pick up some ratings points, although he may be at the start of a plateau. Once a player reaches the high 2600s, progress sometimes occurs due to ineffable qualities, which may take some time to develop. Still, it's clear that he'll make his debut in a Super GM tournament within the next year. I'm not sure how he ranks according to a Peter Leko trajectory, or even in comparison to Radjabov.

Predojević is still a cipher. Given that he was seriously outrated, finishing at Even is a fine result. It's nice to see the Local Hero do well. Not only will he gain rating points from this event, he is liable to make a fairly quick surge to the mid- 2600s.

Nisipeanu showed that he is a formidable player, even though this was, for him, an indifferent result. Normally, he is a fiercer fighter, especially at the end of a tournament. However, when he lost, the wind seemed to leave his sails.

Malakhov had another solid result. One gets the sense that he could squeeze an extra 30-40 rating points out of his ability, but he seems to be unmotivated at times, or else sufferig from a lack of inspiration. Generally speaking, not the most exciting of players, so no great loss to the chess world, I suppose.

Obviously someone has to pay to run a tournament, whether it is the fans, sponsors, or organizers. And a tournament with many short draws will not generate much interest. But I agree with Greg Koster that blaming the players is misplaced. If one could tie for first with two quick draws, and do so within the rules, then it is a sensible course of action.

The blame goes to the tournament organizers, who should create playing rules that eliminate the short draw strategy. The M-Tel or Sofia rules have made that tournament much more enjoyable to watch than the average supertournament, and hopefully those rules will start to be used elsewhere.

A player can do whatever he wants to assure a praise or not. The same holds for me, as a fan i care only about things that i like. So i dont give a dime if this was the optimal strategy for him, i just do not like him ! It is a matter of individiual preferences nothing more. In the same spirit if i were a sponsor, i would have invited Morozevich and Nakamura because i just like their style and...Almira because....

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 17, 2006 2:16 AM.

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