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Essent 06 Flip-Flopping

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For a while today it looked like we were on our way to an amazing crosstable in Essent. Sokolov was winning-ish in the endgame against Mamedyarov with a bishop and outside pawns. Topalov was better against Polgar after she missed the best defense against his sacrificial attack. (Kasparov suggests 28..Qc6 as coming close to sealing the deal for Black. Later he gives 38.Qf4 as very strong for Topalov.) With those results it would have left Polgar, Topalov, and Mamedyarov all on +1 (and Sokolov on -3), which would have made the weird crosstable hall of fame along with Linares 2001. (Kasparov +5, everyone else -1. Other candidates?). Especially since there were only two draws in the entire tournament and Topalov started out at -2 while Polgar and Mamedyarov went 2/2.

But it was not to be, and how not to be it was. Sokolov somehow managed to lose the endgame while Topalov's attacking chances faded away and he missed a computer draw with the pretty 43.Rg7+ Kh8 44.Qe7! Qd1+ 45.Kg2 Qf3+ 46.Kh2 Qxf2+ 47.Rg2 with a miracle save. Polgar played an iron king walk across the board to safety and found several very precise moves to take the full point. That flipped things back to the way they were at the top at the start, with Mamedyarov and Polgar tied for first place. They both finished with +3, Mamedyarov edging her on formula tiebreaks. Topalov dropped back to -1 and will lose another pile of rating points. (I believe he's at around 2790 now.) Sokolov, well, the less said about his half point the better. Ouch.

Topalov clearly had a major Elista hangover and he also ran into a hungry Mamedyarov and Polgar, who is one of the last people on earth you want to face in sharp play when you aren't on form, or when you are. Photos and video clips at the Doggers blog. This entry with some jokes from Danailov.


"some jokes from Danailov"

Whenever I acted like an idiot my first-grade teacher would say, "are they laughing WITH you or laughing AT you?"

Elista hangover could certainly account for Top's performance. But its going to look awfully odd if he continues to show mediocre results in cheating-proofed venues.

Topy may never recover from the loss to Kramnik. I believe he achieved his peak this last two years and it will take a lot to maintain the level of play/confidence he had going into Elista.

Perhaps a subscription to Mig's Ninja newsletter can bring a fresh new focus to what appears like a derailed career.

"would have made the weird crosstable hall of fame ...Other candidates"

Well, the Euwe Memorial in 1993 had Anand, Kramnik, and Short all finish with +1, with Piket at -3. The year before that had Short and Anand at +1 with Seirawan and Timman at -1 in the same tournament.

Some comments on this tournament:

Very impressive preformance from Shako, who has had a lot less attention than Carlsen and Karjakin (though I realize that Mamedyarov is a few years older and so maybe isn't in the same category...but still). I think this tournament could be for him what the World Cup last year was for Lev Aronian. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the top five by the end of next year.

Same for Judit Polgar. Considering that a lot of chess players nowadays seem to peak at her age or even younger (like Ivanchuk), I was starting to get concerned that her window of oppertuinty to the world championship was starting to close. However, she looked as complete a player as ever. Might be this be the best tournament she's played?

Toppy and Sokolov...ouch. Especially for the latter. Vesselin has the excuse of being tired after Elista, but Sokolov has no such excuse. Tikalov and Van Wely might be getting the "Dutch Guy" slots at Hoogooven for the next couple of years.

Oops, forgot to mention this in my post above:

"Mamedyarov and Polgar, who is one of the last people on earth you want to face in sharp play when you aren't on form, or when you are."

Is the end of this sentence supposed to be "or when she is"? Even if you mean "when are are on form or aren't," it's kind of awkwardly put.

"...one of the last people on earth you want to face in sharp play when you aren't on form, or when you are."

I thought it was cleverly put.

I agree, John. Took me a moment to think about it, I admit!

Mig, surely this is the best performance ever in classical play by a woman? And beating the world #1 at classical time controls- twice! Any precedent

>And beating the world #1 at classical time controls- twice! Any precedent

So, now people will suddenly start to recall that Topalov is still number one - because he lost twice to Polgar. Nice. This is how it works.
By the way, who will be the first in the next list? I guess, Topalov - if he and Vishy will not play this year. However it is close now.

God is just punishing Topalov for bad behavior. Notice how the Chess Base web site published a report stating Topalov suffered from a herpes outbreak during the World Chess Championship match. God does not take bad behavior lightly.

Of course, Guido!
God was also very angry with Alekhine because he did not give Capablanca a rematch. He killed him some 20 years later, probably He had other things on His mind in the interim.

Some reports say that "Danailov had a miniature toilet made in Bulgaria engraved with Kramnik 2006". Those reports did not say whether the item "made in Bulgaria" refers to one of or in volume. If the latter, that's not a joke, but a despicable and even illegal act. I hope it's the former.

Charles, God is a partial owner of Stoli vodka, hence his "grace period" with Alekhine.

He got you, Charles!

Regarding the question of whether it's the best-ever performance by a woman, I would first set the question of whether it's her personal best performance ever. According to unofficial Chessmetrics performance rating calculations, I would put it slightly behind her performance at Madrid 1994, where she scored 7/9 (+5) against a tournament field that included four of the top 11 players in the world (Salov, Shirov, Kamsky, and Bareev). Third on the list would be her +3 score at Corus 2003 against a field with eight of the top twelve players in the world (missing only Kasparov, Adams, and Svidler)




Essent is a cheating-proofed venue? Elista wasn't?

Elista was cheating-proof, that's the point. It's the second time that Topalov is playing behind a glass wall, and the second time he does poorly. He'd better not do it again if he doesn't want people to start suggesting that he can only perform well in situations when cheating is possible.

All of this makes me wonder if Kramnik shouldn't have been playing Judit Polgar for the World Championship...?!

Has anyone noticed that the King and Pawn ending was always drawn? After 50 Kxb3 Kd5 51 g5(!) Ke6 52 Kc4 Ke7, I think Mamedyarov already saw the problem and took an extra chance with 53 Kb5!?, when Black would have been fine with 53...Ke6 54 Kc6/b6 f6!, but 54 Kc5 returns to the main line. Then 54...Ke7 55 Kd5 is the same position White could have had with 53 Kd5, so I'll continue with 55...Kd7. Now White has

(a) 56 e6+ fxe6+ 57 Ke5 Ke7 There is no Zugzwang here, even Black to move is fine with ...Kd7.

(b) 56 Kd4 Ke6 (Black doesn't even need to care about possible triangulations; 56...Ke7 is fine too) 57 Ke4 Ke7! (but 57...Kd7? 58 f5!+- he does care about!), when White has:

(b1) 58 f5 gxf5+ 59 Kxf5 g6+! (the point of 57...Ke7 is covering f6) 60 Kf4 Ke6 (again, no triangulation worry) 61 Ke4 Ke7! and White has nothing better than 62 e6+ fxe6+ 63 Ke5 Ke7 drawing as in (a).

[Note also that here 61...Kd7?! is careless for a different reason: 62 Kd5 Ke7 63 e6! fxe6 64 Ke5 with a Zugzwang, but not fatal after 64...Kf7 65 Kd6 e5! 66 Kxe5 Ke7, when Black has the opposition, the same triangle freedoms f7,e7,e6 opposite White's e5,e4,f4, the ability to come in via f5 if WK goes queenside, and the fact that WK-on-g4, BK-on-f7 is OK with either side to move.]

(b2) 58 Kf3 Ke6 59 Kg4 Ke7 60 h5 gxh5+ 61 Kxh5 Ke6 and now:

(b21) 62 g6 f6! 63 exf6 Kxf6 and White loses the g-pawn.

(b22) 62 Kh4 g6! 63 Kg4 and now Black has a good choice:

I. 63...Ke7 64 f5 gxf5 65 Kxf5 Ke8! 66 Kf6 Kf8= is a classic case of "bend but don't break". If White hadn't traded the pawns on h4 and g6 then White would win by e6, but with just the one pawn left it's a draw.

II. 63...Kd7 64 Kf3 Ke7 65 Ke3 Kd7 66 Kd3 Ke7 67 Kd4 is a case of triangulation, since Black must avoid 67...Kd7? 68 Kd5 Ke7 69 e6! fxe6+ 70 Ke5 and this time Black has no escape as in the footnote to line (b1). But the opposition White angled for with 67...Ke6 68 Ke4 is nothing after 68...Ke7! 69 f5 gxf5+ 70 Kxf5 Ke8! as in the "bend-but-don't-break" line above.

III. 63...Kd5 64 Kf3 Kd4 65 Kf2 Ke4 66 Kg3 Kd5! (not 66...Ke3? when loss of contact with the e5-pawn allows 67 f5! queening) and White does not even get to make Black "bend"!

However, White can cut out option III. by playing:

(b23) 62 Kg4 g6! 63 Kf3, and now Black must "bend" because 63...Kf5!? 64 Ke3 Kg4? (prudent retreat draws as above) loses to 65 Ke4 Kh5 (or 65...Kh4 66 Kf3 Kh5 (66...Kh3 67 f5! queening) 67 Kg3! and Black is trapped) 66 Kd5 Kg4 67 e6! fxe6+ 68 Kxe6 Kxf4 69 Kf6. So 63...Kd5 64 Ke3 Ke6 65 Ke4, but as in line (b22) I & II this doesn't bring home the prize!

The Essent site still says that the pawn ending was lost http://www.essentchess.nl/index2006.htm ("Een afwikkeling leidde uiteindelijk tot een .... verloren pionneneindspel voor hem."---A (something) made a...lost pawn ending for him.) Nor has anyone commented here or at the Chess Ninja message boards, and I haven't seen it at a news site...anyway, I thought people would appreciate a full rendition of this analysis.

Leave Sokolov alone!

off topic info: Ivanchuk (white) won yesterday against Aronian in German Bundesliga.

Thanks for the analysis Kenneth.
Likely Shaka had in view only Black's Ke4-Kxf4 trip were he would have won.
Painful tournament for Sokolov, albeit such pawns ending are tricky even for the experienced.

I think Topalov has lost 30 points in total, Elista and Hoogevens, getting him down to 2783. Meanwhile Anand has just gone 2/2 in Bundesliga this weekend - beating Yussupow and Macieja. This means that, as of now, he has collected enough points to be ahead of Topalov "unofficially" - but Bundesliga games are not counted for rating until the whole season is over, so he won't get them in January (not even in April I think).

"I think maybe Topalov's analytic error with 26.Re1?! was because he looked at 26.dxe6 f6 27.Qf3 fxe5 and then only considered going for the K with 28.Qf7+ instead of switching to the QS with 28.Nf6+ and Qxb7. This pattern echos with game 2 from Elista where he went for Kingside (Qg6+) when the killer shot involved Qc7 on the Queenside. Perhaps a pattern, perhaps coincidence.." -- Lawrence Day

He may have as well done it on purpose gambling on rich possibilities of Rg5- Bb2 battery and ideal placement of all his ppieces...
and, more to the point, on Judith going wrong under such huge pressure.
Actaully she she was quick to oblige with Qe7,
but it was not enough.

The symmetric situation was in the game Sokolov-Topalov when Topa refused to win the exchange with 32..Nd3 since afterwards Sokolov would have got an optically overwhelming position with his knights on d5-f4 , or even c7-d5.
Sokolov would been however lost in all variations but there were a maze of them and Black "was big time winning" granted that did not step into any of very many opportunities to lose on spot.

Tal was doing routinely such wrong sacrifices betting on the "explosion" of the combinatorial possibilties that were appearing on the board afterwards.

Even if Topalov will be behind Anand in the world ranking a few points that does not matter as only "50 Elo points difference is a totally different class" ;-)

Gosh, nobody wants Topalov to contribute to the White Belt and Black Belt letters

I don't know, losing by just one game to the world's champion sounds pretty good to me. It's one worse than Leko did and one better than Kasparov did. And nobody is arguing that those guys cheated.

I know this has nothing to do with the post. However, where the heck is Nakamura? Studying up a la Fischer? Watching Karjakin beat up the world when Naka wiped the floor with him. I await his return to being the Center of US chess. I luv ya kamsky but...Naka's my man. So whats up Mig. Where is he?!

Mikhail, regardless of what people "suddenly remember", in my mind that he is #1 on the rating list is a simple fact. Kramnik is also the world champion- is it that hard to realize that these are separate concepts?

I ask again: is this the best performance ever by a woman? Has a woman every beaten the world #1 at classical time controls? Certainly not twice.

Kenneth W. Regan wrote:
"Has anyone noticed that the King and Pawn ending was always drawn?"

At chassbase.com they say it is won after Kb5 (don't know who wrote the article).

I'm not sure if one can talk about "weird crosstables", with respect to Quads. The size of the Crosstable is just a bit too small for a particular set of results to be too striking.

However, a truly weird result in a Double Round Robin Quad would be if all 4 players finished with a score of 3 out of 6. Then, all 4 players would be tied. Moreover, they would be in a tie for 1st place, and a tie for last place. Their tie-breaks would all be the same, too....
It would be doubly wierd if all of the "mini-matches" were split, with each player winning (and losing) a game.

Yeah, Chessbase is wrong, before ..f6?? it was drawn. But the pawn endgame was winning earlier, as several has pointed out. White should start breaking through before going for the b-pawn, not losing a tempo. Check 49.f5! 49..b3 50.Kc3 b2 51.Kxb2 Kd5 52.f6 gxf6 53.h5 is pretty.

For strange looking crosstables, it'll be hard to beat the Monaco tournaments of about a Century ago. According to the rules, if a game was drawn, the players were each given 1/4 point, AND had to replay the game. Then, the winner of the replay was given an additional 1/2 point, while the lose got nothing. Thus, in an encounter that featured a draw, one player might get 3/4 of a point, while the other only 1/4. If the replay game was also drawn, then both players would split THAT **half** point, with an additional 1/4 point each. Adding up 1/4 point from each of the two games, they would end with the normal total of 1/2 point from a draw--except that they had to play TWO games to get that half a point.

In one of the events, the cellar dweller (Moreau?) managed to draw one of the games, but lost the replay. So he got 1/4 point from that opponent. He lost all of his other games outright. He holds the distiction of having the record for the lowest score in a tournament, for somebody who scored better than a zero!

Then Shak isn't as good as I thought. In principle it is a thematic position with a majority of pawns moving forward (normally 3 against 2). It is always possible to build a free pawn who is able to promote, mainly at the edge of the board where the opposing king has the longest way.

It's kind of amazing that Polgar can beat Topalov twice, and also beat Sokolov twice, and yet only manage to merely tie for 1st Place, losing out on Tie-breaks.

I believe that Polgar has had more impressive events than this, and might also have managed to achieve higher Tournament Performance Ratings than in Essent.

In any case, a 6 game tournament event is perhaps too small a sample--especially when the event is a Double RR Quad, where one of the players (Sokolov) was in abysmal form, and another, Topolov, was merely in poor form.

Kudos to Judit for beating Topalov in ROund 6, thus preventing a redeeming tournament result for him.

Also, credit to all 4 of the players, for playing fighting chess, with decisive results. Each of the players had one, and only one, draw. 10 of the 12 games were decisive--over 83%. Now, that might be some kind of record for a tournament with an Average Rating of 2730.

Essent wasn't the most interesting tournament in my book, indeed. I like Wijk most because you have twelve different players with individual styles. Even much better than Linares with only six players who do it twice.

I just want to comment on the Chessbase comment about draws. Sokolov's -5(!!!) has as much to do with this as the fighting nature of the combatants. If you mix up the playing strength, then it is just inevitable that fewer draws will happen. That's what makes Wijk better than Linares, because note when was the last time Anand and Kramnik (for example) had a decisive game in any tournament. Anand and Topalov (one loss come to mind Topalov-Anand, the rest I recall as draws)? To make a tournament really interesting they should grade it (2 from top 1-5, 2 from 5-10, 2 from 10- 15 and 2 from 15-20).

What's bad about draws?

Really, acirce, you should know by now.
Draws leave people of a certain mentality confused. ("You mean NOBODY won?")

Good question, Acirce, though I have lost all hope that they will get it some day. My best example is Corus this January with Shak saving 4 very difficult or lost positions while Kamsky was simply losing out of the opening. Of course Shak was then the drawmaster and Gata the hero with the best "draw factor".

"However, a truly weird result in a Double Round Robin Quad would be if all 4 players finished with a score of 3 out of 6. Then, all 4 players would be tied. Moreover, they would be in a tie for 1st place, and a tie for last place. Their tie-breaks would all be the same, too...."

Doug, do you remember the Dortmund 2004. group B? Double Round Robin, four players, all games drawn, four way tie for the first place :)

Nothing wrong with draws, as long as they are proper games. A couple of years ago the attitude of most of the top players was to agree a draw as soon as Black equalised (e.g. Linares & Dortmund 2004, the Kramnik-Leko match). Why anyone would want that is beyond me.

There were no premature draws in Elista or Essent. Long may it continue!

Exactly so I keep wondering why people think that decisive games are something good in itself. So people were happy that there were 5 decisive games in Elista. Ok, should we be happy about the game-losing blunders? (True, I'm happy about them but only because it was the right player making them.) Generally, a high draw percentage can be connected to a general lack of fighting spirit, but also to high quality of play. I prefer hard-fought games of high quality (from both sides) to both non-fought games and hard-fought games of (relatively) low quality. The draw percentage is irrelevant.


That's a great comment. People like some of the unsound play of Topalov et al. because it leads to decisive results, but it remains unsound. One of the things that distinguished Fischer from a lot of other players was that, when his games did get flashy, it was because the flashy continuation was considered to be objectively the best. Fischer used to decline some variations because they led to positions that he couldn't see through. Of course, most players actually want to win the game, but there's a difference between what goes on the scoreboard and what happens on the chessboard. I personally prefer to have a more pleasing result on the chessboard.

Susan Polgar's Comments on Hensel's reply to Topalov's ridicules accusations about Kramnik always breaking contracts and Kramnik cheating with computer installed toilet is that Hensel's letter adds fuel to the flame war. Hensel is not aloud to protect his client from baseless public slander?? She's completley out of touch.

Yes, I found that fantastic too, Robb. Especially since she published Topalov's interview uncommented(!)

..but when Hensel publishes a typically rational, level-headed reply where he counters Topalov's lies and slanderous allegations with facts, Susan has this to say

"The war of words and insults [from] both sides just does not end. No one will allow the other side to have the last words. What ever happened to "Win with grace, lose with dignity"? I wish someone would be big enough to allow the other side to have the last words. Just let it go."

Whenever there is a conflict, no matter the circumstances, just turn your brain off and .... blame everybody. Fair and balanced.

Reading Robb's entry, I searched her blog for the Topalov interview, and Susan Polgar had this to say about it: "This morning the Dutch newspaper "De Volkskrant" published a noteworthy interview with Topalov."

Always makes me chuckle if I remember her strenuous claims of being "neutral" and then see things like this.

The sign of really great players is the ability to take risks when they're playing weaker players and play more soundly against the stronger ones. In an all round sense to understand when a player is weakening (even if they're normally strong) and take action accordingly. Fischer gradually learned that lesson, Kasparov had it in his 20s but apart from his last two tournaments largely lost it towards the end of his career, he just played too conservatively as the losses hurt too much, something that happened to a lot of the greats.

Polgar, Susan has cero credibility among informed people, period.

"There were no premature draws in Elista or Essent. Long may it continue!-

Posted by: Spud at October 29, 2006 16:04"

The disappearance of premature draws is directly connected with the rise of Veselin Topalov. He is a great fighting, dynamic and attacking player and people know that to keep pace with him , they have to fight not just agree to 15 move draws with statements like a painter just paints.

"But it was not to be, and how not to be it was." -- a great bit of wordsmithing!

It's just absurd to read that Topalov's interview in which he tries to defame Kramnik like a petty little man (boy) is noteworthy, and Hensel's clarification and refutation of those ridiculous claims is somehow "without grace"(???). It wouldnt even bother me if she just acknowledged that she was "pro-Topalov" (however bizarre such sympathy might be), but she just has to keep this Win-With-Grace-Holier-Than-Thou attitude going, all the while she aloes complete racists spew their moronic conspiracy-theories about how the "conniving soviets" all the way to Kremlin tried to influence the match in Kramnik's favour.

I guess Susan Polgar went

1) from worshipping Kasparov
2) to bashing Kramnik for not giving his great predecessor a rematch
3) to worshipping Topalov after San Luis
4) to supporting Kramnik with an open letter during Elista

but her self-inflicted 3) and 4) left her flummoxed :-)

Zero: What does it matter to you what Susan Polgar thinks? Why are you such a petty-minded and insecure turd to foam about it???


Susan Polgar's commentary proves, over and over, that without an overpowering intellect it is nonetheless possible to be a great chessplayer and to accomplish a great many things in life.

It proves too that you can says a load of BS and lies and keep a straight face

Oh, Greg, what an impotent thought -- the geeks credo -- I may not be
the most successful or liked, but I'm overpoweringly bright. Hensel's
unsolicited and petty-minded response to Topalov's interview betrays
the same weakness. This probably limits Kramnik's appeal in the broader
sense and he'll never be Kasparov, on or off the board. Sometimes, the
"good" guys so desperately try to choke you with their desire to be liked that they overplay their cards and actually make you root for the "bad" guy in the end...


All respect for her sister tough. She had an amazing tournament. I really admire Judit.

what are you rambling about dimi? In what possible way was Hensel's response to Topalov quite malicious comments on Kramnik petty-minded. If someone were to go around and slander you like that would you just go "im not gonna respond to that, ill just let him have his way with me and accuse me of things ive never even done".

S. Polgar is the Oprah of chess.

I have no respect for Susan Polgar after her ridicoulous "I'm neutral". She insult the intelligence of the fans

What is particularly amusing is the indignant tone of her "I'm neutral" postings in stark contrast to what she actually does.

And indeed, her sister Judit Polgar says very little and does a lot more on the chessboard. Very admirable!

Also, Sofia Polgar when she was still active, was quite nice on and off the board.

I guess the parents' first attempt at daughters was not the best attempt.

Theres something odd about statements of people pointing out Danailovs inacceptable behaviour (Fritz statistics!) and at the same time accusing Topalov (glass wall?) without any proof.
Sorry guys, you can't have it both.

I'd preferr stopping unproofed accusations at all!
(Oh, but the web-blogging, making it too easy...)

What you are saying is right, you can't have it both ways. There are several things about it, though. First of all, there is a difference between posting an opinion on a personal or community web page, which is what we do here, and releasing it to the press, which is what Danailov and Topalov have repeatedly done.
Secondly, no one really accuses Topalov of cheating. Mentioning his relatively poor results behind the glass wall just serves to remind his fans that those people who live in houses with such walls should not throw stones. However unfounded any accusations against Topalov may be, he at least had much better opportunity to cheat in San Luis than Kramnik did in Elista. So shouldn't Topalov be the first to stop these baseless rumors instead of giving defamatory interviews?

Topalov is a cheater. His overall performance in "controled" environment is equal to 2700, which is almost equal to his level before he started two or three years ago to play like a living god.

As Kasparov said, a top level player like him does not needs much, (a little hint in the critical moment of the attack, like "go for it" or "keep cool") to know how launching a big attack is relevant.

If somebody (let's say Cheparinov) is analyzing with Rybka and just telling him from what he sees that launching an attack is possible, then he'll very likely find the correct moves later on.

Three of four years ago, Topalov simply WASN'T PLAYING LIKE TODAY. Not in terms of level, but in terms of style. Today he used to spend a few years at top level launching terrific attacks, terrific and almost allways CORRECT, sound ones. Three years ago, he was launching correct attacks but uncorrect ones as well. His ratio of sound-unsound attacks has drastically changed in the meantime.

And from the moral point of view, from what I saw in Elista, I firmly believe that the pair Danailov-Topalov is able to be unfair enough to organize such a (mutually beneficial) business.

A glass wall systematically decreases Topalov's performances of 200 points in the future. Or bring him back to his natural level (which is still fantastic by the way). But anyway he's a cheater.

"do unto others as you would have others do unto you"

the Topalov/Danailov/Entity has found a way to reverse even this old adage and it started throwing stones... to evidence the refutation of

1) the winner is always right
2) they, being not with me, must be against me
3) the king is dead, let's celebrate the king
4) they sow the wind and reap the whirlwind
5) Honi soit qui mal y pense

the Kramnik/Hensel team has never ever been more than a chess piece in the Topaov/Danailov/Entities concept - and there was - of course - no thought about possible implications of losing the Elista match (nothing can be, what is not allowed to be!)- no plan B ...

but the unthinkable happened: Topalov lost his crown - and with his crown, his credibility...

and at least Topanailov might reap sweet revenge on the chess community, that mocked him... (a feeling I AM very familiar with - not on the chess, but on the scientific community)


PS: and please forgive Ms. GM Susan Polgar her soft spot for Topalov - he is a really good looking guy - if i were female, i'd prefer Topalov, too. Kramnik looks like a school boy, with his glasses and his weak bladder - no heart-throb at all ... ^^


Another point in Topalov's favor: if his recent statements are any indication, you wouldn't have to worry much about him cheating on you with other gals.

Kramnik looked anything like a schoolboy in Elista, calmly and confidently going about his business with all hell breaking loose around him.


We can't say that Topalov is a cheater with any sense of certainty. Yes, play improved very quickly, but we have to consider that what changed was not the heights to which he could reach but the nadir to which he could fall. Like Ivanchuk (who Kasparov once called the man with the deepest understanding of chess), Topalov used to have brilliant concepts and results interwoven with abyssmal ones. All that happened in recent years is that, for the most part, he has been able to avoid the losses that plagued him.

That he's not on Kasparov's level, however, is clear enough. When Kasparov was playing, there was a sense that the best one could hope for was a draw (and only once in a blue moon). Topalov doesn't have this mystique. Watching his games, I always get the sense that he stands on the precipice of defeat, and he has just fallen off that precipice more often in recent times. In fact, at the beginning of a tournament, he's especially vulnerable, something that one could never say about Kasparov.

@ greg - this is your own, MALE, sight of Kramnik - but is it political and hormonal correct?

i am in doubt about this ... ^^

I think someone already mentioned the looks before. It was in the context of a theory that each World champion was dethroned by a guy who was better looking than him. But if I remember correctly, according to some woman there were a couple of problems with that theory, namely, Capablanca losing to Alekhine and Spassky losing to Fischer. Also, if I remember correctly, the theory was put forward before Kramnik-Topalov Elista match, and according to it, there was no way Topalov would defeat Kramnik :)

But I guess everyone has different tastes. Perhaps we have female posters who would like to enlighten us on the merits of this theory :)

Is it true that every World Champion was dethroned by someone younger than him?

It can't be literally true of course if you count Botvinnik rematches, but let's count the two matches as one for this purpose, thus Botvinnik was dethroned for this purpose by Petrosian but not by Smyslov or Tal. Allowing for that, I think it probably is true.

I don't know whether Topa or Kramnik is younger, mind. I think they're much of an age, aren't they?

Topalov 3/15/75
Kramnik 6/25/75

>>I think Topalov has lost 30 points in total, Elista and Hoogevens, getting him down to 2783.

That's right. -16 in Elista, -14 in Essent.

>>Bundesliga games are not counted for rating until the whole season is over, so he won't get them in January (not even in April I think).

Also right. Those games may not be rated until as late as next July. So Anand's #1 spot is strictly unofficial. Still worth noting, though, just to show how transitory the #1 spot can be. Topalov's idea that this is more important than the World Title doesn't bear much examination.

"I'm dreaming that I'm walking with Kramnik in Moscow, then we end up in a discotheque and there is nobody there apart us" ... and then what happens?

Either this guy is mad, or he has strange fantasies. Anyway he should take some rest.

Ask Kramnik about Elista and you'll certainly get an answer looking like "there are many other interesting things to do in life".

Soikins, I must confess to having completely forgot about Dortmund 2004. Perhaps the unusual Crosstable didn't make a deep impression at the time, because of the circumstances: It was a qualifier for the Unification series of matches, and there was a Group A Quad going on alongside it. Thanks for pointing it out. Witha Quad, one would expect that result (all draws) to occur eventually. Apparently, it has.

"However, a truly weird result in a Double Round Robin Quad would be if all 4 players finished with a score of 3 out of 6. Then, all 4 players would be tied. Moreover, they would be in a tie for 1st place, and a tie for last place. Their tie-breaks would all be the same, too...."

Doug, do you remember the Dortmund 2004. group B? Double Round Robin, four players, all games drawn, four way tie for the first place :)

Posted by: soikins at October 29, 2006 15:58

"S. Polgar is the Oprah of chess."

Please do not defame Oprah.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 28, 2006 5:10 PM.

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