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Tal Memorial 06 r6

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Three decisive games in a round of some deep and some shallow theory. Wins by Leko and Aronian gave them a share of the lead with Ponomariov at +2. Morozevich isn't on his game and his frisky play on the black side of a Najdorf was absorbed by Leko with his usual sang froid. Aronian's point came in very different fashion against Carlsen. He played a R+2 vs R+1 down to the bitter end and was rewarded when the Norwegian teen blundered horrifically and resigned. Carlsen and Morozevich share the cellar on -2. Note that Ponomariov plays Aronian in round 7 and Leko in the final 9th round.

The third win was scored by Grischuk, who showed no nationalistic solidarity and beat Svidler on the black side of a Najdorf. In a line Grischuk is a big proponent of with white himself Svidler tried a new plan of putting his bishop on what turned out to be an entirely useless diagonal. It was a spectator on g3 for most of the game while Black overran the queenside. Shirov and Ponomariov exchanged entertaining blows and Gelfand revived a forgotten subline of the Meran with Mecking's original 15..Nc3. Mamedyarov had just faced the usual 15..0-0 against Topalov in Essent and won a great game. Monday is a free day.


I'm first, I'm first! I have nothing to say

"I'm first, I'm first! I have nothing to say"

Hmm.. does that remind me anyone else of Kurt Cobain / Pearl Jam?

Please note: very few theorists are stingTheorists :)

And very few theorists are "not even wrong"

Actually, I'm a music theorist. John Cage, anyone? "I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry as I need it."

"John Cage, anyone?"

No, please, for God's sake. I haven't done anything to deserve such punishment! Oh, are you referring just to that infamous con job, 4'33"? That's the best thing Cage ever wrote: nothing.

But I do have something to say: Moro is making me sad.

Why is Moro making you sad? He isnt performing any different then he has previously when playing with 2700+ competition. He's not that good. Deal with it.

Theorist: Could you tell us a little about Cage's involvement with chess? Was he interested in chess because of Marcel Duchamp?


And here all this time I thought that Moro was a pretty good chess player. He must be terrible with a 2747 elo.


Should good for chess:
"They did nothing all day but have sex—and play the odd game of chess" talking about Britney and Kevin honeymoon leisure :)

Frank H,

I think parsnips wasn't trying to say that Morozevich is a terrible chess player. The point was that while he may be one of the best in the world at destroying sub 2700 players, more often than not he chokes in superoturnaments where most players are above 2700. It is kind of an obvious point.

Gelfand (and a few others) makes me sad... How is it possible to have such a whopper rating and to produce such uninspiringly dull games; games so devoid of brilliance, so... yech, what's the use...

John Cage was interested in chess and created at least one composition based on the game. You could hear it at the chess exhibition at the Noguchi in Queens, NY (the same one that's currently on view at the Menil in Houston, TX (no sound works there, though). Cage's wife made the chess board that Max Ernst's set sits on in that exhibit. Cage has a lot more to offer than his 4'33"; there are actually a lot of very listenable worls that aren't "just" theory.

Well, Cage did grind up vegetables and call it music. Maybe at least he got a decent smoothie out of it.

Svidler surprisingly is able to do little against Grischuk--safe bet we won't see 14. Bg3 anytime soon.

Morozevich is pretty much on his game. His game is having fun with chess, rather than trying to achieve great success through sound chess play. In a few interviews he even said that he approaches chess as an amateur and feels that it is dying out as a sport. When I think of the stuff Korchnoi and Topalov have done in the name of winning I sigh and wish for more Morozeviches in this game.

I didn't realise that Cage was interested in chess; very interesting, Robert. Thanks! The lines I quoted were from his famous "Lecture on Nothing". And Robert is right: Cage has much more to offer than "just" his 4'33". Listen to his Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano, for instance; an astonishing texture. He turns the piano into what sounds like a gamelan.

But, actually, 4'33" really is a wonderful piece. Yes, it's absurd, funny, even mocking. But not only is it the logical culmination of tendencies long exhibited by Cage (for example, the idea of musical form as a "container", the precise "content" of which is unimportant: the content here just happens to be "nothing"); the piece also makes us question whether there really is such a thing as "silence" or musical "nothing". We start to ask whether in fact *any* sounds (intentional or not) can be taken as "music" if presented in the right way. The music -- such as it is -- ends up being created by the audience itself, even the conditions of the performance space.

So, yes, on one level it's a silly piece; on another, it's quite important historically: not only was it a watershed moment in the history of art, we're still talking about it even now...

Aronian looks like a 2850 player with an 2500-opening repertoire. If he plays white, he rarely gets an edge(some rare Sargissian novelities do not count) out of the opening.

Aroinian is genius. I think you are right with the opening repertoire. He lost three or four games in a row against Ivanchuk who is very good in this department.

YK: "When I think of the stuff Korchnoi and Topalov have done in the name of winning I sigh and wish for more Morozeviches in this game."

Me too, except I think of the stuff folks like Karpov and Kramnik have done in the name of winning..

>Morozevich is pretty much on his game. His game is having fun with chess, rather than trying to achieve great success through sound chess play. In a few interviews he even said that he approaches chess as an amateur and feels that it is dying out as a sport.
Posted by: Yuriy Kleyner at November 13, 2006 >


I fully agree here with you (and Moro) and I have already argued in the previous threads that chess is practically dead as a game. (albeit not all the endgames which result in the Marshall-attack have been yet completely analyzed)

What Morozevich tries to do in chess is similar to somebody buying an exhausted gold mine for the sake of now and then-- i.e., no longer as a rule--still getting something.

That is why a great deal of his creative efforts are "failures" :the mine has been emptied.
You wont get any better no matter how smart you are if, say, you try to be creative and improve on Newton mechanics.

Whom guys would you nominate for the most boring player? I think Mamedyarov (all draws), Gelfand and Svidler are the candidates.

Kasparov: "Mamedyarov is playing fighting chess, it's not his fault."

Mig I agree but should we be happy if all played fighting chess like that and the tournament went all-draws? I mean, come on, when he gets a superior position he plays on (when there is Leko on the stage this is indeed fighting chess), but otherwise(when a position is equal) he takes a short draw with pleasure.
E.G. yesterday, look at his final position against Gelfand. I am sure Aronian would play it on, BOTH with black or white pieces.

I disagree. Even combative players like Aronian and Topalov aren't idiots. They understand that they can offer a draw with white in a slightly inferior position and many players will accept it. As for the Gelfand game White is slightly worse in a very drawish position. Everything is going to be swapped off with the same number of pawns on both sides. Other than that he had three perpetuals (two by a knight moving to f6!).

You can't root for blunders. We know that if everyone plays hard to win, at least with white, we'll get our decisive games. But sometimes it just doesn't work out for someone and no matter how hard you try everything fizzles out.

Grischuk qualifies as the most combative player, followed by Aronian.

The "newbies" as Mamdedyarov and Carlsen fight in for establishing themselves, to be accepted in the elite, to become respected. This means as guys whom draws are quickly and without regrets offered rather than being put on the list "to be beaten".
That is why they go for draws, each one is a success for them in their special quest in this tournament.

Shirov, Pono, Svidler, Leko are taking it as "business as usual", just another supertournamnet were they expect a reasonable performance.

Moro..well...he plays in his mind in some other tournament, with Steinitz and Zukertort.

Ok Mig, maybe yesterdays game was a bad example, as you say it is a dead draw: you understand chess much better than me.
If someone could compare Mamedyarov's "draw" statistics to a strong fighting players and known drawish player's statistics, that would be great. I suggest comparing his last 2-3 year games against some strong opposition, say 2650+ players(a +-50 points rating range from Mamedyarov's that-time rating might be more interesting).
And Mig, do you think Mamedyarov would play the ending against Carlsen up to the end? Or he should take the draw in an almost equal position somewhere in the middlegame? Some good deal of Aronian's victories come from blunders of opponents, Bacrot at WC and recent Carlsen game are great examples, so why can't you root for that?

In any game/sport, the player's first priority is to win the event in which he's competing. In a well-crafted game, interesting play flows from his efforts to win.

When players figure out that their best chance to succeed is to be boring, {stalling in basketball) they play boringly and succeed. Every well-run sport changes its rules (the shot clock) so that once again, "winning play" equals "interesting play."

Kasparov's suggestion of introducing a new opening setup each year would be the best way to infuse the 19th-century spirit of freshness and excitement into the game. Once again, "winning play" would become "interesting play."

Kasparov suggestion or any other way to deal away with the "opening" theory would give players a reason to take risks again. There is not point in playing against your opponent homework, it is not courage and "taking risks", it is suicide or ridiculous torment to think and discover OTB what
for your oppopnent is well known, "been there".

I think it's so cool that John Cage nearly hijacked this thread.

Okay, I've just got to get this off my chest. Been watching the West Wing on DVD (never saw it on TV). Of course they use chess as a marker of intellect. The polymath President sits down to play his uber-brilliant friend the White House Director of Communications. The Director is white and opens e4. The President immediately says, "Ah, the Evans Gambit."

Actually, they go on to play an Evans Gambit. Which is pretty good. But it's like they hired the director's 1300-rated nephew as chess consultant.

I'm reminded of the Altavista ad from some years back featuring Garry Kasparov doing a simul. He stops before one board, thinks much longer than usual, then pulls up a chair. Then we learn the secret: the kid on the other side of the board looked up "how to beat Kasparov's Evans Gambit". (Uh-huh. YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPIpWMCKEbk) Maybe people think the name "Evans Gambit" sounds cool.

"I think it's so cool that John Cage nearly hijacked this thread."

That's John for ya. He's always popping up where you least expect him (just like his favorite fungus, the mushroom). Here are a few links:

First up, JC playing chess with avant garde vocalist, Joan LaBarbara(scroll down the page for the pic):


Next, a painting by JC with a chess board motif, but it's also a musical score. This page also has an audio program describing the historical interlink of art and chess.


Also on the West Wing, the script called for a new Russian president, and they named him Tchigorin. Probably the producer of the show is a chess buff a la Nicholas Cage/Will Smith.

Thanks for the John Cage links, Robert. Chess is an interesting hobby for an artist interested in chance. They seem to be opposites: chess is so much about control, yet Cage and Merce Cunningham were creating things randomly.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 13, 2006 6:22 AM.

    Tal Memorial 06 r4-5 was the previous entry in this blog.

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