Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Miskolc Rapid 06

| Permalink | 13 comments

The second edition of this Peter Leko rapid showcase in Miskolc, Hungary ("Mishkolts"), has him taking on Anatoly Karpov in an eight-game match Aug. 30-Sep 3. In last year's first edition, Leko drew with Adams in an unexpectedly eventful event. Adams won the first three, Leko the next three, finishing with two draws. You might also remember the second game saw Leko experiment with 1.d4 with a disastrous 25 move loss. Or, you might not.

Karpov is an interesting target for Leko to choose. He brings the prestige of a former world champion but hasn't played at a 2700 level in years. (This year's Keres rapid a notable exception.) Karpov's rapid prowess outlasted his classical chess success by a significant margin, mostly because he wasn't interested in keeping up a heavy theoretical workload. Just last week we saw he can still shift wood with the best of them when he tied for first with Kasparov in the Zurich blitz. He has tailored his game to rapid, predictably with less success after turning 50. His last-place finish in Cap d'Agde in 2003 was a sign that the wheels had come off. Corsica 2003 and Reykjavik 2004 weren't much better.

But Karpov is Karpov and he shouldn't be an easy mark for anyone if he does some preparation. He still hates to lose and perhaps a match against the world #6 will get his juices flowing. Leko is a prohibitive favorite of course, but the Caro-Kann is a resilient beast. If it's not a wipeout and if we don't get too many short draws this could be fun. (The Mayor's welcome message calls it the "most prestigious rapid chess match in the world." Nobody tell him about Mainz.)


I remember reading Kasparov saying, perhaps in one of his books back on late 80's or early 90's, that Karpov is the only interesting player in the world to play rapid chess with.

In the old days, Kasparov tended to lose to Anand in rapid finals by a narrow margin.

I wonder if Anand can continue to play rapid successfully after he retires (many years from now hopefully) from classical chess.
Or will his sharp style work against him?

They didn't meet in many rapid finals. I think Kramnik was in more than either of them and a few others for Ivanchuk.

1992 Immopar Rapid final: Kasparov 3 Anand 1
1994 New York PCA rapid quarterfinal: Kasparov 1.5 Anand 0.5
1995 Moscow PCA rapid semifinal: Anand 1.5 Kasparov 0.5
1995 Paris PCA rapid semifinal: Kasparov 2 Anand 0
1996 Kremlin Stars PCA rapid semifinal: Kasparov 1.5 Anand 0
1996 Geneva PCA Rapid final: Anand 2.5 Kasparov 1.5
2000 Reykjavik rapid final: Kasparov 1 Anand 1 (Kasparov wins blitz playoff 2-0)

The Siemens "Giants" rapid events were round-robins, so no finals per se. I think they broke even on individual scores in those with a win apiece and many draws. In 1998 it started as a round-robin and then went to matches, but Kasparov and Ivanchuk were 3-4 and Anand-Kramnik were 1-2.

Tacticians tend to age faster than positional players. It takes a lot of energy to crunch lines. But Anand is probably an exception since so much of his tactical gift came so easily to him. It's more about the study work that aging players have trouble with today. It takes longer to memorize things by the time you are in your late 20's.

Ah, so Kasparov actually had an overall 5:2 record vs. Anand. My memory's playing tricks on me -- maybe because Kasparov losses are that much more memorable.

Mig: "Tacticians tend to age faster than positional players."

This is a good observation. I remember talking to a player (who is now an IM) who played in his first international open tournament in the early 90's.. and he said he was most impressed by the play of Smyslov.. said something to the effect that he just sits there and keeps playing and playing (even with no advantage on the board), takes his opponents into an endgame and creams them...

If you consider the present day top player... its probably getting harder to classify players as positional or tactical

While Anand is legendary in his speed of play, he seems to loses quite of few of these blitz play off's/matches. He's lost even to Milov, Carlsen and most importantly to Karpov (for the FIDE world title).. seems like he does need some time to think after all :)

(i.e...) Anand seems to lose a higher percentage of blitz (5 min + x sec) games than rapid games...

Let's give Anand a break on the Lausanne rapid loss to Karpov. He had rather the more stressful run-up to that match.

Yah, that was perhaps the most unfair event in modern chess history. It's one thing if, say, as in the Dortmund 2002 qualifier, your finals opponent demolished his semifinal opponent and earned an extra rest day. But to schedule the grind Anand went through while Karpov waited for him was preposterous. Fitting for the introduction of the KO's, mind. I wrote an admittedly partisan article for the Indian newsmagazine "Outlook" after that match. It wasn't just the Indian fans who were feeling morose though. Everybody thought there would be a quick Kasparov-Anand unification match if he won. Of course we thought that for years...

Re. "...the Caro-Kann is a resilient beast."

I sure hope Leko plays 1. e4. Hasn't "Leko 2.0" experimented with 1. d4 a few times, including once in the Brissago match? If he plays 1. d4 against Karpov, chess fans will be "treated" to an 8-game Queen's Indian snoozefest.

...and as for "Karpov 3.0", I think we can assume he is going to stick to 1) d4 unless he is preparing one of the "Anti-Sicilians"...which should probably be called "Anti-Sveshnikov's" now

Speaking of the Lausanne match, Nigel Short's descriptions (as always) is memorable:
'He [Anand] tried to climb Mt Everest with a man on his back, and nearly succeeded...'

AFAICT, Karpov's White repertoire for almost 10 years has been 1. d4 with a *very* heavy dose of Queen's Indians and 6. Qc2 Anti-Merans. I'd be shocked to see anything different at Miskolc. But I suppose he could vary things if the organizers make it worth his while... ;-)

Let me play Migstradamus for a moment.... 6 draws and an average of 28.125 moves per game.

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 28, 2006 2:28 PM.

    August Winners was the previous entry in this blog.

    Pics 08 - Anatoly Karpov is the next entry in this blog.

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