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G-Kas just just arrived in New York. Regarding the publication of the his next book with Everyman, Revolution in the 70's, it has been pushed back to February 2007. It's not a Predecessors book anymore, technically. It's part of a new Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess series that will include his matches with Karpov, man-machine, and his own games. If you have questions on the book for the author post'em here. Questions from message board members get top priority.

I recently described Jesus Nogueiras as the "token" Latin American player in the GMA World Cup tournaments in the late 80's. While that isn't entirely inaccurate, Garry informs me Nogueiras, like all the World Cup participants, qualified, although he didn't remember the details. Looking it up it now, it was probably his excellent =4-6th result at the 1987 Zagreb Interzonal that did it. (Although he didn't make the candidates matches, losing the spot to Nikolic in a playoff that also included Granda Zuñiga.)

A few weeks ago this old news came up in the comments, about Kasparov attending Ilyumzhinov's 2002 inauguration as president of Kalmykia. I had no memory of it, but he confirms that he was there, "unfortunately." I know how he feels. I went to a Monkees concert 1987. (My friend John and I were just there to see the opening act, honest. It was that musical genius, Weird Al Yankovic.)


Sorry in advance for the off-topic post.

This isn't so much a question about the book, but what opinions has Kasparov expressed in regards to the upcoming Kramnik - Fritz match, I'm also surprised there hasn't been more buzz about it here considering it's proximity, but I guess you'll get a news item going on Friday or Saturday.

Personally I think the conditions for Kramnik look very nice. It's actually kind of funny the complaints I've seen from people about Kramnik getting offered a draw when a tablebase position is on board. I see this as a completely trivial factor. The only benefit the computer would get is in a KQP vs KQ endgame, but it's really unlikely this will occur. (Note, that the computer is only allowed to use 5-piece tablebases for the match). I would say the biggest benefit to Kramnik is being able to see the opening book/ perecentages during the opening. If he has some new idea, especially in an endgame position, that he wants to test, it will easy to see whether or not such a move will get the computer "out of book" or he may play some "useful, but not critical" move to get a computer out of book, especially if he can get some queenless middlegame. Either way, I don't expect Kramnik's goal to be to draw all 6 games and I think it's quite likely he will score at least 1 win over the computer. Actually looking back on the last match, it would be reasonable to say that the computer did not "win" any games and in fact kramnik lost the 2 games he did lose. One overlooking a simple tactic and another resigning in a position without considering all the defensive resources. Okay, the second one is a little more of a loss, but Kramnik played quite bravely that game.

I'm sure Weird Al feels the same way about having to open for the Monkees.

Sure. Ilyumzhinov...Monkees...I can see the equivalence.

Man...Jimi Hendrix once opened for the Monkees too (seriously) when his career was just starting to get rolling. He hated doing it, saying something like, "You can't fault anyone for making it big, but guys like the Monkees?!" How often is the opening act the *high* point of the concert?


Hendrix opened for the monkees, get out! Would you happen to know where and when. That's a new one on me. I saw Joplin at Winterland and just about everyone else at Filmore, but never Hendrix. Best show was Zeppelin.

I remember back in the 1980's thinking that Noguieras was a real talent. He has tapered off considerably, but he was definitely not a "token" back then, based on his outstanding results for several years.

A few questions for Kasparov:

1)Are openings the focus of the book? Or does the book deal with other stages of the game, too?
2)What was Karpov's role in the 70s revolution?
3)Some people (for example, Botvinnik) were known for their thorough preparation even before the 1970s. What exactly were the top players starting to do in the 70s that was not done in the past?

Snopes has some of the details on the Hendrix-Monkees collaboration, orchestrated by Dick Clark for July 1967. It didn't last long.


Question (maybe more to Mig than to Kasparov): when the book "Life imitates chess" is going to come out?

Geez, how about Hendrix playing guitar in the Starlighters behind Joey D? Every once in a blue moon you may see the video of Peppermint Twist from American Bandstand. Jimi is recognizable, though he is in suit and tie with short hair--this is like 62 or so. More interesting is that you can clearly hear his style on the guitar--recognizable even then.

Don't know if he played chess though.

Yes, a question for Garry:

Has he given or "sold" any of his analysis to other GMs?

"How Life Imitates Chess" comes out in the UK and Germany next spring. Soon afterwards in the Netherlands and a few other places. USA and Russia in fall 07.

Garry is writing about the Fritz-Kramnik match in his next NIC column. After the WCh and Tal Memorial there wasn't room in the last one. I think I mentioned hereabouts when they were first published what Garry thinks of the rules. He has also talked about ways to balance the playing field in man-machine, but more in terms of limiting the machine's opening book depth, or allowing the human to also access one. But all the stuff about giving the human access to the exact program and even its book, as was the case in Bahrain and even more the case now, Garry feels is way out of bounds. It turns it into much more of a preparation exercise. Of course that still wasn't enough to beat Fritz in Bahrain thanks to a few blunders, but with actually being able to see Fritz's book DURING PLAY it's getting weird.

It's easy for fans and experts to talk about standardizing the rules for this sort of thing, or at least to present an ideal to continue the Great Experiment. But as long as everyone involved has a profit motive they will be willing to ignore those things and press for every possible advantage.

> But all the stuff about giving the human access to the exact program and even its book, as was the case in Bahrain and even more the case now, Garry feels is way out of bounds. It turns it into much more of a preparation exercise..>

For once I find myself agreeing with Mig (or Kasparov). Since the 70s "revolution" chess has become more and issue of memorization and ind epth study at home of exact positions rather than playing OTB by deriving your conlusions "here and now", and out of your grasp of the general principles .

How wrong E.Lasker "common sense in chess" and E.Z.Borovsky "how not to play chess" have become nowadys!
Chess isn't anymore a "game of understanding", it isn't a game at all, it is now school, study and tiresome homework.

A heaven for boring guys as Kramnik and a hell for types as Tal who used to say :
"Fortunately the gods have inserteted the middle game between opening and endgame"...well now we analyze it too !

Go Fritz ! play 1.g4, crush the bore, and save creativity in chess!

the "Like a Surgeon" tour, ah yes. I had the priviledge of heading backstage to meet my polka hero and miss most all of the "new" Monkees--all I recall of the five minutes of their "show" that I watched was a joke with the punchline "...it's the 80s!"

they never had a chance. sadly similar in that regard to the people of Kalmykia, I imagine.

On the GM level perhaps your (constant) comments about memorization have merit. I remember Kasparov analysing one of his games and saying something like, it wasn't a contest against the opponent, but rather a contest with his own mind - could he recall his home preperation of the position? If so, he would win. So he spent time trying to bring forth the memory of his home analysis, instead of engaging in analysis over the board.

We all do this to some small extent ourselves, don't we? I am a middling player, and I can tell that both I and my opponents "know" a few openings to maybe the tenth move... ah but then comes the middle game!!

But I do see that for today's GMs, one must be aware of, and maybe memorize completely, thousands of moves and positions. And surely, this will favor individuals with certain mental gifts, and disfavor others.

But at the top of any sport, some are favored genetically - is basketball ruined for you by the 7 footers? So it is true that without the genetic gift of superior memory, one will never enter the ranks of today's GMs. But you won't get there with a superior memory alone, either, and must have other gifts, too, like intense concentration, the strong will to win, combinational ability, positional feeling, and so on. I suspect there is a genetic component to these gifts, too.

And of course, such genetic gifts are useless without data data data from practice practice practice. So instead of bemoaning the memorization you must do to get better, think of it as playing the openings over and over and over and over. It is not like you are being forced to memorize a long list of unrelated terms, or symbols you don't understand.


I'd like to ask Garry Kasparov how he prepared mentally for the openings... did he specifically think how each opening would psychologically effect each player? I remember reading in Kasparov's 'Fighting Chess', that on some occassions he 'worried opponents on the clock' and that this was quite effective. It'd be really interesting to know what other techniques he used that are similar to this one.

I'd like to ask Garry Kasparov how he prepared mentally for the openings... did he specifically think how each opening would psychologically effect each player? I remember reading in Kasparov's 'Fighting Chess', that on some occassions he 'worried opponents on the clock' and that this was quite effective. It'd be really interesting to know what other techniques he used that are similar to this one.

Hey, don't knock the Monkees, a lot of the stuff they did for "Head" and afterwards was pretty good, and the rest of it's got a beat and you can dance to it. I give it an 86, Dick.

Stephen Stills of CSNY fame auditioned for the part in the Monkees won by Peter Tork.

Daydream Believer is a great song, you gotta admit. Penned by Neil Diamond, for whom Robbie Robertson has the utmost respect (see his comments in the Last Waltz).*

*All musicians named in this post are or were avid chess players.

Two observations regarding computers' opening "books" and the question of memory vs. over-the-board creativity:

1) I have consistently stated that opening preparation tends to favor the HUMAN player, NOT the computer. This is the case if: the human player is a strong GM, and (especially) the team behind the computer is committed to merely following an existing opening "book" based on published theory and GM practice -- rather than independently hunting for improvements and novelties, which the human side will of course do. In a significant fraction of all the games they played, Kasparov, Fischer, and of course Topalov, habitually rewrite/wrote portions of the established opening books.

2) Memory does indeed matter even at the lower levels. Just last weekend, I myself spent something like 20 minutes on my 3rd move, trying to remember book analysis of an ultra-complicated line that arose as a possibility in an important game I was playing. That game began: 1.c4 c6 2.e4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.d4. Before playing 3.Nc3, I spent a long time thinking about whether I was willing to gamble on 4...de 5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Qxd4 7.Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8.Be2 -- a well-known and hair-raising line that crops up from time to time in GM practice. In fact I recalled having played through an annotated game with this in some detail not long ago; I think it was from this year's US Championship, and/or involved IM Tim Taylor. (Being in my 50s, my memory isn't what it used to be: I can't even remember whether Taylor played in the US Championship, although I think he did.)

I couldn't remember the analysis or continuation of that particular game, but decided to wing it anyway. But my opponent blinked first, playing 4...Bb4 instead of ...dxe4.

Kasparov going to Kirsan's swearing-in isn't as innocent or accidental as is made out to be. Kaspy by then had been dumped by Kramnik, and public opinion didn't care much for his rematch claims and hence the only way to sneak back without qualifying was with Kirsan's help.

And Kirsan did favor him as FIDE nominee over the likes of Anand and Ivanchuk in the Prague agreement - which was sad and ironic as they had been loyal to FIDE quite unlike Kaspy.


Kasparov cozies up to authoritarian Kirsan to advance his own career.

Then Kasparov criticizes Bush for cozying up to authoritarian Putin to advance his country's economic and national security interests.

Right, because anything even remotely similar is exactly the same. Exactly the same consequences, importance, value, morality, cost. Exactly the same. No difference, ever, betweeen any two situations (or people, or places, or events) that can be equated in any way. Thanks for clearing that up, greg.

As for FIDE doing Kasparov a favor, they were the ones who came after him from the start. They didn't even want anything to do with Kramnik and the soon to disappear Einstein. They wanted Kasparov-Ponomariov as soon as possible and it was Kasparov who wasn't interested if Kramnik wasn't participating. But of course you knew all this already.

Kasparov/Kirsan and Bush/Putin involve the same underlying question: "under what circumstances does one cozy up to an anti-democrat?"

But the disintegration of the Kasparov-Pono and Kasparov-Kasim matches always seemed strange.

Why would Pono abandon a match over trivial issues? Why were he (and Danailov) paid $400,000 by Ukranian organizers(?) even though the match didn't take place? Why could Kirsan, who had pumped millions of dollars into chess, not find a million dollars or so for a Kasparov-Kasim match?

My uninformed guess is that sometime after Prague, Kirsan changed his mind and did not want Kasparov back into the title picture because: a) in match negotiations Kasparov proved himself a troublesome creature or b) anti-Kasparov Russian politicians leaned on Kirsan.


The failure of both the matches is easy to explain (my logical/educated guess):

The pono match was largely because of Danailov.

The Kasim match was primarily about the funding. Kaspy didn't want to play for peanuts since it wasn't clear if Kramnik would play him. By then, Kirsan too had lost interest in Kasparov to fund him from his pocket.


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 21, 2006 5:55 PM.

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