Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Friday Cat Blogging - Hot Edition

| Permalink | 24 comments

Actually it wasn't too hot today, but this was taken the other day when it was 40+ and 100% humidity here in New York. Argh. The kitties get even lazier but they still like the sun.

Open thread, topic suggestions, happy thoughts.


You guys on the east coast are a bunch of wimps. How can you possibly think 100 degrees is hot. Nonetheless why the hell is it making news stories around the country. Here in Redding, California, home of the weirdest weather on the planet, its always 110 degrees and my 300 pound grandpa doesn't even complain about the heat and we have no air conditioning. I think its time for the east coast to quit their b*****n and get a tan.

West Coast N*(&(*&( be frontin'!

There's more to discomfort than temperature. I've spent a lot of time in and around Redding. (My father's house is in the mountains outside of Palo Cedro.) 110 there is far more comfortable than the 100 degrees and 100% humidity on the East Coast. Unless you're just lying out in the sun and probably even then. "It's a dry heat" is more than just a saying. The sweat and the sticky air make all the difference. It doesn't evaporate and you are just drenched all the time. Consider yourself lucky, except the part about living in Redding. Nice bridge though.

What's going to happen with all the mess in the chess world? Candidate matches? Tournament World Championship? World Championship match? Another world championship match with Azeri oil/gas/govt/who knows money?

What actually is the title that will be unified?

Are world championship matches history?

Does anyone have any idea what's going on anymore.

Why did some top players back Kirsan. For selfish short-term financial reasons? Did they offer any solid rationale for it?

It's all been depressing silence since the third world non-chess countries beat the developed chess countries and voted Kirsan to continue in his position, which will affect the latter much more. Have there been any initiatives to fight back?

What's going to happen with all this?

It looks like No one has said anything since the defeat in Turin. Kok going to give up? Are everyone going to give up? No rival union, that's for certain, right?

Is it from here on defeatist acceptance of every insane plan Kirsan may come up with to damage the image of chess and to destory the traditional World Championship cycle?

"OK, do whatever you please, we can't stop you."

What are the emotions, views on these questions among the people who were actively involved? Care to lift the lid on this?

Cool... open thread.

Dortmund shows why Kramnik is considered to be one not very exciting GM nowadays. 5 rounds and... ¿who do you think is the only one to have drawn all five games? (I would bet he has also played the least number of moves, but I haven't counted them).
Amos Burn would be proud.

Again, Kramnik played a very short game today. But this time, it's hard to fault him...

Hi everybody!

My apologies for my english beforehand.

I would like to focus on the brand of chess super-gms usually play. When I look at such games like Leko-Aronian then it appears to me that the chess of those guys like Leko is so much highly developed in terms of technique that their games often look dull and draws are the most likely result of the games. You can’t wait for adventures here. They have worked so much on their openings that they know deeply every single variation . Mickey Adams, Gelfand, Kramnik: They are focused on high-technical chess.
Yes, their chess isn’t that exciting Moro offered at Biel. Moro is devastating against 2660 opponents, but when he meets 2740 guys then he meets guys who play chess on a level where his creativity and his inventing-power seemingly aren't the deciding factor. They apparently don’t give him the chance to play his brand of chess and so he usually can’t succeed in becoming first.
I would like to add, that Moro’s games are really exciting to me, they make me happy, but I admire the technical games like Leko-Aronian and Adams-Gelfand too.


Hi Mig - I sent you an email the other day about this. I'm trying to locate a picture that was taken of Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov together. Karpov claimed that it was taken (I think) around 1977 in Japan with the head of the Japanese Chess Federation (at that time), Matsumoto. Has anyone ever seen this picture or is it available online? I collect chess books and have a pretty good size collection (1000+) and don't recall ever seeing this picture. I tried a couple of quick google searches also, but no luck.

Best Wishes,


Hey Mig,

I moved to Redding from the Bay Area 4.5 years ago and its one of the best decisions I've ever made. It's a great place to live. I know that many people in other areas continue to give it a bad rap and that's just fine with me. I will say that the CAT is out of the bag though; as many people are moving here from the Bay Area and Southern CA. causing the demographics to change, but not that drastically. If you're into nature, boating, skiing (both summer and winter), camping, fishing, hunting, you can't beat this place. No chess though, another reason for my handle.

Wow chesstraveler I never even knew anyone else in Redding played chess. Maybe we can meet up some time and play.

TO Richard T., (Richard Teichmann at August 5, 2006 07:59)

You asked excellent questions about the WCC (World Chess Champion) format going forward. My responses:

[1] FIDE began claiming Kasparov was no longer the WCC the day in 1993 when Karpov defeated Timman in their FIDE championship replacement match. I do not think even Karpov agreed with FIDE about who the one true WCC was, as it was obviously Kasparov; who that same year defeated FIDE cycle winner Short to retain his WCC title.

[2] The WCC title is not split, and dating back to Steinitz it has never been split. When Kasparov organized the 1993 Kasparov-Short match without giving FIDE a percentage of the profits, FIDE tried to argue there was at least now a split in the WCC title. All that really happened was people started speaking more precisely about the "Classical" WCC title holder. If there were two "world" champions, nobody cared about the non-Classical title or its holder (so there was really still only one title).

[3] MYTH: Kasparov and Kramnik avoid title defenses, and they avoid the top challengers even when they did defend. This is not only false, it is the direct OPPOSITE of the public facts. From 1993 thru 2006 (counting Kasparov-Short 1993 and Kramnik-Topalov 2006) Kasparov and Kramnik have defended the WCC title on average once every 2.8 years; which is even faster than the traditional 3.0 years. PLUS, Kasparov tried to defend against Shirov in 1998 only to be rejected by Shirov. And Kramnik tried to defend in 2002 by signing the Prague Argreement (that others subsequently ruined with their dubious demands). Kramnik did an extraordinarily unselfish thing by signing Prague, because for the first time in WCC title history he agreed to defend his title against two challengers instead of the traditional one challenger.

[3b] Every WCC challenger, Short Anand Kramnik Leko Topalov, has been the number one deserving challenger with the possible exception of Kramnik against Kasparov in 2000; tho Kramnik obviously proved he was a highly worthy challenger. Short and Anand and Topalov won the FIDE cycles, and Leko won Dortmund (consensus had previously agreed the Dortmund winner would earn a WCC challenge). Kramnik was only the second after only Shirov, who rejected Kasparov's offer (the $650,000 prize fund was not big enough to satisfy Shirov, who had recently been badly mistreated financially during the cycle).

[4] The proper purpose of the FIDE championship tournament or cycle (or whatever format they use) is to generate the challenger for a WCC title match against the sitting current title holder. It had been that way for decades, and indeed it is so in 2006 with the upcoming Kramnik-Topalov match. So what exactly is supposedly the problem with the WCC title matches these past 13 years that everyone seems to believe has been such a travesty? I say FIDE has been the problem, not Kasparov nor Kramnik, who have wrongly been given too much of the blame.

[5] I like the FIDE tournament as an exciting way to generate a WCC challenger. It must also be far easier for FIDE to organize one tournament than it was to organize all those endless Candidate's Matches back in the 1964-1989 time frame. I very much like the WCC title match that comes next. However, Topalov decided to help Kirsan end the WCC title matches, and have only the tournament. I cannot understand why so few in the chess public feel the outrage I do over what Topalov did? I thought people liked the WCC match, as our crown jewel.

[6] Topalov refused to accept Kramnik's offer of a challenge match for the Classical WCC, unless Kramnik signed contracts written by Kirsan. Those contracts gave Kirsan total control of the WCC title after the Kramnik-Topalov match, regardless of who wins. Facing a blackballing threat, Kramnik signed.

[6b] Kirsan made it clear last year that he would eliminate the WCC match. From now on, every other annual FIDE championship tournament would be annointed as being for the WCC title (so make sure you win it in an odd numbered year). What effects will this have. [] Elimination of the WCC title match [] Awkwardness that player AA wins the same tournament as BB but does not get the WCC title because it was an even numbered year [] A loss of prestige for the WCC title [] A loss of the human drama that is at it maximum only in the 1-on-1 format [] The awkward plausibility that player CC could lose his title to DD even though CC beats DD in their individual games [] The likelihood that the list of WCC names, the 14 from Steinitz to Kramnik, will soon be bloated by bi-annual tournament winners in one short decade. Even the best player in the world is not going to consistently defeat the other 7 best players on the planet and always finish first in these tournaments.

[6c] Kirsan wants to eliminate the match format because under his planned tournament-only format it will be far more difficult for the latest tourney winner to take the title away from FIDE! Kirsan has cleverly sneaked this logic by most everyone. That is my theory anyway.

[7] My Prediction: You in the chess public will eventually see this dull tournament-only format for the mistake that it is, and will then demand a return to the match format. But by then much damage will have been done. How many names will be on the list of WCC title holders by then? How many less esteemed names will be on the list? Currently only the name of Max Euwe is ever questioned as to whether he was really the best player at the time. Many more such names may soon be added to the list.

[8] The way to PROTECT THE WCC LIST is to use another modifier term in place of 'Classical', when speaking of the WCC title. Going forward we should maintain the distinction between the 'Match' WCC title versus the 'Tournament' WCC title. Currently Kramnik holds the Match WCC, and Topalov holds the Tournament WCC. Regardless of who wins the upcoming Kramnik-Topalov Match WCC match, this Match WCC title will then go into "dormancy" when the next FIDE championship tournament begin next year in 2007. I should call that the Tournament WCC tournament. This way, the historically glorious list of Match WCC title holders also goes into "dormancy", and will thus be protected from the bloat that will otherwise befall it.

Thank you.
Gene Milener

P.S. Kirsan allows that the Tournament WCC title holder can accept a title challenge match before the next Tournament WCC tournament begins two years later. So the match format is not entirely dead. In fact, Tournament WCC title holders may all want to hurry and accept a match challenger, as a way to make more money before they likely loose their title in the next tournament two years hence.

P.S.S. I cannot be certain I have every fact exactly right. Please do post corrections if anything I said is in error.

Permit me to address just one thing.
Euwe defeated Alekhine in 1935. It is churlish to pretend that he was undeserving of the title. If Alekhine was not at his best - but opinions differ here; many think Euwe should have lost in 1935 and won in 1937, and an examination of the games can indeed bear that out - I cannot condemn Euwe for playing more successfully than Alekhine did, and hope no one else will, either.

Oh yes: And of course world championship chess is going down the drain now, eftsoons and speedily.
The rot is pervasive, my hope is spent.

Keep the cat indoors! Domestic cats kill millions of songbirds every year just in North-America alone

I'll agree that cats should be kept indoors, not just because of the birds, but also because it's safer for the cats. I don't know whether or not Mig keeps his cats indoors, I guess what he could have meant was that they like the sunrays coming from the windows.

They are city cats and are always indoors. Now you can sleep at night.

Thanks Mig.

Great points Gene M. I would add the worry that I don't think it will take long when we will see the first accusations of fixed results. Player losing easily a last round game against a good friend who is chasing the title...

The format is doomed to fail and it's far less exciting than the traditional head to head match.

Mig, do you have your fingers on the pulse of the chess world? Is there anything that can be done about this?

Or is it that Kirsan has won, and that's that for many years to come?

Well the stakes may be smaller than they were in Turin earlier this year, but the fireworks soon to take place in Oak Brook may provide a welcome (or not) distraction from brooding and soul-searching about Kirsan's continued ownership of FIDE.

USCF Delegates will meet this week to decide if and how to overturn results of the USCF Executive Board election that gave a seat to Sam Sloan. At least one state association chair (Bill Brock, who sometimes posts here) has announced he's bolting from USCF. The Polgar Foundation has done likewise, and is even strongly implying they'll sue USCF to get at Sloan, the first time he opens his mouth.

Over on USCF Forums I compared the whole situation that led to Sloan's election to the award-winning documentary film, "The Times of Harvey Milk" -- and I concluded by pointedly suggesting that the Delegates meeting in Oak Brook should have armed guards present. (And you thought metal detectors were needed only for PLAYING HALLS!)

I'm not saying whether Sloan is Harvey Milk or Dan White. (I apologize if my tongue-in-cheek comparison offends any gay activists -- or any homophobic ex-cops -- who happen to read this.)

Hello Shavo,

Another chessplayer in Redding!? The mall or the bookstore might be a good place to meet. Let me know.

I saw the last part of Kasparov on Charlie Rose about a month ago. I enjoyed listening to his views very much.

He was on with a professor who and they sort of were arguing whether Russia was more democratic under Gorbachev or Yeltsin.

One thing that never really gets straightend out in these debates is what they mean by democratic. In other words the ideas behind our bill of rights especially the first amendment (free speech and association) often get thrown in as democratic.

This is true to some extent(which I will explain later) but first these rights need to be recognized as anti-democratic. Taht is regardless of the who wins at the ballot box certain rights won't be taken away. These rights are check on unfettered democracy. A check on "mob rule" if you will.

However certain of these rights are critical for a democratic process to work fairly. For example if you don't ahve free association and free speech then one side will win a landslide election because the other views can't be heard over Government run propaganda. I think this is what Kaspaorv woudl argue is happening now in Russia. So these rights are anti democratic in themselves but nevertheless protect the "democratic process."

the other issue is seperation of powers. Again in and of itself really has nothign ot do with whether a country is democratic or not. But can be a safeguard for the "democratic process"

I think he needs to get more specific and have a more focused message on what he is tryign to accomplish. Does he want Russia to adopt somethign like th 1st amendment? Does he want a constitution that has better seperation of powers? Does he want both and many other things? If the latter I would say pick one two or three things and focus on those.

Is he fine with the actual system but just thinks Putin is corrupt?

I'm not very up on Russian politics or history but hope to remedy (slightly) that by reading a few good books on it. Any suggestions?

8 days, 6 hours and 4 mins left for Mainz chess event.... love their coverage on dgt boards with clocks displayed... should be exciting stuff..

They even have their own CCM rating list and Anand tops atleast this one

1 Anand, Viswanathan 2838
2 Kasparov, Gary 2835
3 Kramnik, Vladimir 2817
4 of Adam, Michael 2784
5 Ivanchuk, Vassily 2780
6 Grischuk, Alexander 2777
7 Fritz 2763 - !, :)

So this commercial comes on TV for 'Rozerem' - a pharmeceutical sleep aid. Some guy is sitting in his kitchen playing Chess with Abe Lincoln and some sort of small animal(!) I look carefully, and BOOM:

as per usual, the Chess set is set up wrong; the board is rotated, and following the usual queen-on-color rule the Kings and Queens are on the wrong side.

Yet another gaffe. Why do they all get this wrong MOST of the time!?

Dan, the dude's talking with Abe Lincoln and a beaver. Why SHOULD the board be set up correctly?

Good point. Better yet, they should go 'whole hog' and set up in 'Fischer random' style; but then, I doubt they'd match white/black pieces.

Gee, I must have missed the point of the advertising - is the conversation with Lincoln and beaver supposed to be some sort of daydream? (I was kind of dreaming when I watched this commercial - couldn't really focus a lot of attention on the show 'Hell's Kitchen').

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 4, 2006 11:50 PM.

    Biel Wrapup was the previous entry in this blog.

    Dortmund 06 Final Round is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.