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Second that Motion

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The Kramnik and Topalov teams in Elista had at least one thing in common, a Spaniard. MIguel Illescas is a long-time member of the Kramnik entourage. Francisco "Paco" Vallejo was on the Topalov squad. The Spanish paper ABC did an article on them about their experiences and the Kramnik site has a translation up here. Nothing earth shattering. I concur with Vallejo that even if some of it was bluff or unsound, Topalov was boss in the openings overall, with a few notable exceptions. Psychology and bluff are critical elements of opening prep, especially in match play.


Tsk, tsk, Mig. Francisco, not Pablo.

Not sure where that one came from. Paco is the nickname for Francisco so I had it right in front of me. I blame the staying up all night watching Montana election returns.

How can you spend all your night watching the election results when you perfectly know that the Republican side will eventually win, cheating by all means?

Mig, did you ever remind us about this:

Interesting article. Both stick to their opinion in the toilet affair. Is this loyality towards their bosses or blindness?

Also check out Alexander Onischuk's thoughts and analysis of the match (three part series) on Chess Life Online:


Lots of interesting details.

Yay for a good news Election Day, finally. Hope you had fun, Mig, wherever you were pulling that all nighter.


Ruslan once again demonstrating his uncanny prognosticating ability...

In his book "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy", John Watson rebutted the wide spread casual (or lazy) acceptance of playing styles usually attributed to particular famous players. Watson felt the style differences were smaller than the stereotypes imply.

But there are style differences between players. Watson's perspective may be that we should be specific when claiming differences, and that we should not make statements that are too sweeping.


This interview (link above) with the Kramnik-Topalov seconds gets nicely specific about the style differences between K & T, regarding their opening preparation goals:

Paco Vallejo:
"Topalov tried a very simple tactic: he changed openings a bit at the beginning and only afterwards he decided where to cause damage”.

Miguel Illescas:
“Kramnik has his own ideas and his problem is the lack of time to verify if they are correct or not. He shows you the idea and asks you to make it work”.

Interesting link to Onischuk. Curious to say this stuff about Kramnik never blundering and then give him a ?? in the second game. The Topalov lack of class seems to rub off.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 8, 2006 6:41 AM.

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