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NH Tournament 06

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After three rounds the veterans are dead even with the youngsters in the Amsterdam team tournament. It's 7.5-7.5 after three rounds. I tipped Big Al Beliavsky before the start of the event and so far he's living up to it with all three games decisive (two wins with black, one loss with white). Carlsen is leading the junior troupe with two draws and an impressive endgame grind over endgame guru John Nunn. Yussupow showed flashes of his redoubtable best counterattacking against Stellwagen in the first round. These old guys can play, but will they last? And which team is taking more naps?

The seniors have done either a good job of avoiding the latest theory or a bad job keeping up with it. A spot check shows that of the 15 games, only three had most-recent stem games from the past four years. One 2006 and two 2005! Fun games all the way around, despite the 60% draw rate.


Magnus is now in the lead with 3.5 of 5 so far.

It has been told that Magnus Carlsen must spend the rest day tomorrow at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam because he lost a bet with his second Peter Heine Nilsen about Magnus' score at the Norwegian championship this summer. It is no secret that Magnus does not enjoy this kind of cultural stuff.

The web master of Molde chessclub news site knows Magnus personally and today he reports (translated by me): "Thursday is rest day in the tournament, but it is not clear if Magnus will survive the day at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam together with his danish second Peter Heine Nielsen."

Ljubo lost to Wang Hao today. The site reports:

"After the game Ljubojevic remained indignant about the young Chinese's behaviour for a long time, but this didn't change the outcome of the game."

Does anyone know what happened?

"The Serbian grandmaster played a good game and thanks to a rook 'sacrifice' in exchange for a piece and two pawns he got excellent chances. Which he kept until Wang Hao, in an attempt to confuse his opponent, started to play all his moves fast. And succeeded in his aim."

Sounds like a little gamesmanship got to Ljubojevic.

Yes, I read that too, Mendrys. But I really can't feel very sorry for Ljubo. He is a highly experienced GM who should be inured to such ploys.

It's not a Ljubo tournament without at least one good Ljubo explosion after a loss! Usually in at least three languages and involving three kilometers of pacing and four kilometers of hand waving. Playing quickly is certainly not the least offensive thing to have set him off. He has a Latin spirit. Good to know that he's still the same Ljubo despite retirement.

I watched him erupt in Buenos Aires after Salov played an illegal move order in the Polugaevsky Sicilian Thematic tournament in 1994. (It was retracted according to the rules.) Both at the time and after the game, which of course was a loss. He went from the hall to the press room to the player area with increasing volume. Quite a show.

Ah, thank you, Mig. I understand now!

"I watched him erupt in Buenos Aires after Salov played an illegal move order in the Polugaevsky Sicilian Thematic tournament in 1994."

I remember Salov dwelling on this incident in a subsequent _New In Chess_ interview. He was quite bitter about it.

Salov was/is a hyper-sensitive soul. It didn't go well for him over the years, compounded by some physical ailments. It eventually manifested as some seriously paranoid rubbish. A pity. He was an inspired technical player without peer in the 90's, and I'm including Karpov and Andersson. I don't remember that interview, though. I just remember Ljubo going nuts at the time and making a show of avoiding Salov (who won the tournament).

Quite a surprise that Salov won the Polugaevsky thematic, as he didn't seem to be a Sicilian specialist. Unfortunately, things started to go downhill almost immediately: his play in the "PCA semi-final" (I may be wrong about the event title here) vs. Kamsky was strangely weak.

A screw definitely seemed to work loose thereafter, although his "WPC" organization was highly amusing in some sense...

He was a Sicilian player, but he didn't play 1.e4, so it was half a surprise he won. He was also the cliche last-minute replacement invitee who won the event. Who he was replacing escapes me at the moment. Apart from the poster and brochure stuff I have from the event, there is also a very nice book on the tournament.

Regarding Salov, some months ago I stumbled upon his extensive online debate with Yasser Seirawan, all dealing with FIDE politics at the time (late 1990s or 2000, I think).

It was bizarrely funny, but in such a sick, twisted way it made me sad more than anything else.

Salov was already into his "Jews control the world" rant. Yet his style of writing, as I recall, was strangely articulate, even literate -- nothing like the Bobby Fischer urban-trailer-park mode of speech. All the more impressive since I assume English isn't Salov's first language.

Anyway I remember a lengthy exchange where Salov described, in painstaking detail, Seirawan's face all covered with human excrement. He wrote about the texture of the excrement, the color, the smell ... everything. Again, this was evidently a metaphor for what Salov thought of Seirawan's positions on FIDE leadership (I assume their argument had something to do with Kirsan).

What struck me most about all this was, Seirawan actually devoted several screen-pages to responding to Salov's bizarre attacks. He was actually willing to debate a man who began the debate by describing him (Yasser) with excrement all over his face.

Instead of coming off as noble and gentlemanly for stooping to debate Salov in these conditions, it simply made Seirawan (to me at least) look undignified. The mere act of debating a maniac took Yasser down a notch in my estimation.

I was immediately reminded of this incident earlier this month, by the furious debates among USCF politicians and organizers about new USCF Executive Board member Sam Sloan. The various trumped-up charges that Sloan (before and since his election) leveled at numerous chess people, combined with the purple language and even more purple links used by his enemies ("pervert" and "child molester", and links to Sloan web pages allegedly awash in p x o x r x n and advice about how to commit r x a x p x e and get away with it), seemed to me the classic negative-sum-game type of warfare, where both parties were diminished by the exchange -- much like Seirawan debating Salov some years back.

Ah yes, I remember those Salov rants. Funny stuff! Indeed, Yasser should have just ignored them, but then we'd have missed out on some of the hilarity. BTW, I'll forever associate Salov with the term "bum-licker".

I believe Salov could have been replacing Lev Polugaevsky himself, cos Polu was too ill to play. I think originally he was gonna play...Not sure though.

Yah, that was it, X.

+6 was Mig's prediction. I hope he found a bookie who was willing to cover it at reasonable odds!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 22, 2006 12:38 AM.

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