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Tiviakov brings home the Dutch championship and Rublevsky took clear first at the Aerosvit-Foros event. The cynical Grischuk disgraced himself by taking a short draw with white against teammate Rublevsky in the final round. (Of Rublevsky's last four games there were draws of 19, 20, and 16 moves. Gee, let's whine about prize funds and lack of sponsorship.) Ivanchuk, needing a win to tie for first, pressed against Shirov but was denied. Rublevsky's Olympiad teammates must be wondering why he couldn't play like this in Turin, where he lost his last three games.

The only decisive game of the final round was between tail-enders Karjakin and Volokitin, and they put on a show. Volokitin's stunning 29..Rd1 wasn't enough to save the game, but it's a hall of fame worthy combination nonetheless. It was Karjakin's only win. Ponomariov's poor -2 result is noteworthy after his recent return to the top ten. Nisipeanu's nice 11.f4!? novelty against Grischuk is worth a look. The principled response 11..gxf4 deserves a test. 12.Qd2 e5 and d5 is a nightmare hole.

Magnus Carlsen and my buddy Sergey Shipov are leading the Midnight Sun event in Tromsø, Norway. They both have 5/6 and will face each other in the next round. Not many GMs made the trip but it looks like a pretty place. ChessBase has a detailed report from a few days ago.

Update: Shipov beats Carlsen to move into clear first with two rounds to play!


Go, Shipov! ChessPro.ru readers ar rooting for their favorite comentator :)
Posted by: soikins at June 30, 2006 06:27

Is there really evidence that sponsors tend to stay away for fear of too many draws? I have believed chess sponsors to be too busy puffing on their cigars to care about the quality of what their money is spent on.

I believe it was Devyatkin who wrote a very sharp tongue-in-cheek piece editorial for chesspro.ru explaining how there was a mass conspiracy to demotivate the Russian players for the Olympiad, to stop them from doing prep work and create a lack of team atmosphere. This is something that fans of Russian teams in this and other sports are sadly too familiar with.
Posted by: Yuriy Kleyner at June 30, 2006 09:24

The Grischuk-Rublevsky draw in Aerosvit Rd 11 confused the heck out of me. I initially thought that Grischuk was an extreme weenie. The final position looked very unclear. If White wanted a "cynical draw", why did he sacrifice the piece and use a whole bunch of time? I asked on the message boards and got no answer. But a couple of days later, GM Mikhail Golubev implied that Grischuk offered the draw because he realized that he had miscalculated a key variation (presumably this was revealed in post-mortem or press conference). So, while I'm always willing to excoriate short non-competitive draws, there may be *some* legitimate reason here.
Posted by: geeker at June 30, 2006 09:58

Volokitin's Rd1 has reminded me of my old game against Maria Manakova, where I missed a similar combination on move 23 (which was the best way to win):

Posted by: Stan Kriventsov at June 30, 2006 10:30

Yuri I'm not sure how you could do a study on this which might give the best evidence.

But certainly viewers are disappointed by short draws. It would seem sponsors want viewers.

More evidence is that it seems organizers believe its important - the organizers of Linares and Sophia both make it clear they don't want short draws. No organizer I ever heard said he *wanted* allot of short draws.

So I think there is some evidence there that short draws are at least not desirable.

My order of priority is this when watching chess:
Primary: I want my favorites to win the event.
Secondary: I want long hard fought games.

This is no different than other sports for me. I want my favorites to take short draws if it is to thier advantage but all things being equal I want long games.
Posted by: Niceforkinmove at June 30, 2006 11:01

sorry Mig for today's loss in the only tournament that counts right now...
Posted by: paul at June 30, 2006 15:13

Posted by: Bill Brock - Chicago at June 30, 2006 16:58

Deutschland vor! :o))
Posted by: Albrecht von der Lieth at June 30, 2006 19:09


I don't think you could do a study on this, which is part of my point--to make an assertion like "short draws (or draws generally) repel sponsors" you have to rely on statements from sponsors themselves or stories.

It is easy for us as chess fans or viewers to say that we want full length battles. But do sponsors generate money from people viewing their events? Maybe a bit for Olympiad or some other bigger websites with lots of commercial links, but even then such traffic is minor and non-existent for a lot of tournament sites.

Sophia is a tournament designed not to have short draws. It is a worthy concept. But for both them and Linares the case seems to be of a chess fan who wants to put forth a certain type of event. Had they been unable to put forth a low-draw affair I doubt that they would have chosen to withdraw their money.

My question therefore is, is there evidence for presence of chess sponsors who would be willing to promote events if only the results were more, shall we say, combative? Or even more aesthetically pleasing? And if so, what is there to prevent them from setting up a tournament under MTel rules.

I am not sure that the presence of a few more chess fans who usually view high profile tournaments anyway, makes difference in revenue of people like Corus and Dannemann.
Posted by: Yuriy Kleyner at June 30, 2006 22:24

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 29, 2006 7:54 AM.

    Aerosvit-Foros Concludes was the previous entry in this blog.

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