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Corus 2007 r8

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Preview: Round 8 is underway. My one day off from Chess.fm and I finally got some sleep. I'm off to the library to get some work done, far from the temptation of live games. Topalov-Anand is the heavyweight matchup. Radjabov apparently got bamboozled early by Aronian.

UPDATE: Topalov is on a trademark tear. He dealt Vishy Anand his second loss in three rounds and combined with Radjabov's loss to Aronian moved into clear first place with a +4 6/8. They played a known line of the QID in which black gives up two minors for a rook, but Topalov made it look really, really bad after shutting down Black's line-opening counterplay with b4! Black had a few attempted threats but really it just looked like a matter of time before White started collecting material. Apparently Anand thought so because he resigned before the first shot was fired, convinced by the misery of his position and Topalov's technique up to that point. After being slow-roasted by Kramnik two days ago Anand clearly didn't want a second grilling. Still a bit lame since as in most such positions White is going to have to take a risk or two to make progress and finish it off.

That dropped Anand back to an even score and out of contention for a top prize. Here's the video of Topalov going over the game. I talked with Garry Kasparov a little about this game and a few of the others. As usual he brings the goods. Instead of grabbing the exchange with 15..Bxf1, he gives 15..cxd5 16.Re1 Rc8 17.Bb2 Bb4 18.Bf1 Bxf1 with ..Qg5 coming. Black has two pawns for the knight and strong play. Later, although he says the position is unpleasant, Kasparov gives 24..Qc4! activating the queen and limiting White's activity. White has a bad bishop and Black is doing much better than in the game after the normal 25.Re5 Rad8 26.Nd2 Qa6. Even in the final position, which all and sundry have agreed was premature for resignation, there are some tricks. Admitting "it's not a position I would want to play," Garry offers a sample line: 35..bxa4 36.Qa5 Qb6!? (offering a queen trade looks suicidal but here it would fix Black's pawns and he would have a passer and the threat of c5) 37.Qxa4 Rcd8 38.Nc5 Rd5 39.Rxe6 Rxe6 40.Nxe6 Qb7 and White still has some work to do. I'm sure there will be much more in his next New In Chess column.

Teimor Radabov swapped a half-point lead for a half-point chase position when he got out-tacticked by Aronian and coughed up a pawn early with white. The Armenian has been very discreet so far but he flashed his sharp side here and then his technical prowess to bring home the full point. Actually he rather mangled the endgame and made it a lot closer than it needed to be, but it got the job done. That jumped Aronian into the large pack at +2. He was joined there by Karjakin, who looked completely busted against Navara. The Ukrainian was down the exchange but Navara totally lost his grip with the bizarre 41..b4? Further loose play allowed White to equalize and just as suddenly Black was just lost. Horrible. (Garry says 25..Ne3 was premature and better was 23..Rce8, threatening to take the pawn and asking White what he's going to do about it.) Both of Navara's losses have come from excellent positions, a sign of the young Czech's poor nerves, I'd say. It's hard to imagine it, but he could easily be at +3 or even +4 right now and with the toughest part of the field behind him.

Four Russian championship titles beat one today as Svidler also moved up to +2 by adding to Motylev's woes. This time Motylev was on the defensive side of a sacrificial attack, but the body count mattered less than his usual horrid clock handling. It looked like he was fending Svidler off pretty well but he had around five minutes on his clock for twenty moves (!) and went down in flames after missing a fairly simple combination. When he resigned (or lost on time?) he was actually down material and a dozen moves from the control.

It looked like Shirov, who may soon legally change his name to "Poor Shirov," was about to pulverize Tiviakov in ways that would make Frank Miller squeamish. Tivi's Accelerated Dragon was Maroczy Bound and his king was stuck in the center. Black has almost nothing to do White could set up crushing breaks like e5 and f5. Instead, Shirov jumped the gun, played a combo to win the exchange, but then didn't have more than a drawn endgame. Man, when it rains, it pours. Kramnik's grinding magic was neutralized by Carlsen today in impressive fashion. Nicely done, now Magnus just needs to notch his first win. There are four players without a win and four without a loss. For those wondering if Topalov is now going to run away with the event, especially with his usual strong finish and Anand out of the picture, consider he has yet to face four of the top five placed players.

In the B, French 16-year-old Vachier Lagrave (one of my favorite cheeses, btw) won his fifth in a row since losing in round three. He's now the surprise leader of the tournament. Remember, the real prize is moving to next year's A Group. Eljanov is in clear second. Nepomniachtchi continues his torrid pace in the C, winning again to move to 7.5/8 and a performance rating over 2900. His only draw was against Berg, who is playing very well himself and is clear second. His wild win today over Kosintseva (N) is worth a look and some head scratching. Tune in after move 14...


Wow, wow, wow!!!!!!!!
Goooooo Topa!!!!! That is the style we want to see, not 10 move draws!
The Indian tiger down in 20 moves. Who would have predicted that!
Goooo Topi!!!!

Topalov-Anand posted as 1-0. Topalov was better, but it certainly didn't look like a resignable position.

Good technique by Topalov, but I am totally speechless with Anand's idea in 14...Nd5. It doesn't take a GM to figure out that the rooks have absolutely no play in this position. Perhaps Vishy has been broken after the loss to Kramnik and the failure to convert a big advantage against Radjabov. Very poor showing...

Levon is winning

Anand's final position was as resignable as one with a piece down. The knight will go to c5/e5; e6 will fall; b5 too etc. Black has no play at all.

Anand's final position was as resignable as one with a piece down. The knight will go to c5/e5; e6 will fall; b5 too etc. Black has no play at all.

Anand's 34 ..Qd8 was inexplicable. As soon as I saw the Qd8, I felt a tiny knot in my stomach...

Maybe he was thinking White would play g4 in a previous line and thought the h4 pawn is undefended? Topalov could have simply played 35. Rxe6 also to get to an end game with advantage.

Obviously Anand resigned because for Topalov N + B vs. R is like being a piece up since everyone knows rooks and minor pieces have equal value when he plays. (Actually I have no idea why Anand resigned and am still baffled. Here's one theory. When Topalov played Nd3, he bumps the d4 pawn and pushes it really off-center. Anand absent-mindedly reaches out to adjust the pawn, but forgets to say "j'adoube". He then immediately resigns rather than play the only legal move Qxd4.)

It's early morning on the West Coast, USA and the show's over already. Topalov won. What am I gonna watch now?


Now I really have to understand why Anand resigned because it's not obvious at all, looking over the game briefly.


"The Tigers claws need a trim."

Actually it starts looking like those claws are non-existing...

Nepomniachtchi!! 7.5/8. Too late to swap him for someone in the A group?

Perhaps you can swap Nepomniachtchi for Shirov, what do you think of this Mig ?

Immediately after I saw the position after 14. ... Nd5, I believed Black was lost. I didn't get the point of going for that *kind* of imbalance. Even if Anand had played on, I had no doubt that he was going to lose.

Strange morning indeed. "The Strangulator" went easy on the kid, I thought he had that one in the bag if he pushes a Kramnik-style end game. Svidler winning with black... Radjabov looks good. That's the remaining show, I guess. Mig is not on the ICC bumbling away, so I'm gonna go watch the Premiership now before the house chores start. I feel robbed... Ooops, my wife is calling me...



The Hollywood reporter says Anand had diarrhoea. That's why he quit.

"Good technique by Topalov, but I am totally speechless with Anand's idea in 14...Nd5. It doesn't take a GM to figure out that the rooks have absolutely no play in this position."

Heh? Motylev has played it before, and one of the 2-3 strongest players in the world apparently agreed it was a good idea. Can't be all that obviously bad, I would have thought.

What a thriller Radjabov-Aronian... I thought Radjabov should have given up many moves ago, but man, did he fight on. He's something.


Chess lesson for Radjabov. His stamina has rewarded him through this tournament; for example, winning in a inferior position against Navara (after the latter lost the thread) and escaping with draws in inferior positions ... but not even being in the lead can hide those weaknesses, and Aronian is a very good player and excellent in the endgame.

The only thing I regret from Aronian is that he is not as energetic as Radjabov, for example; he has offered a lot of draws early in previous rounds, which does not correspond to the typical pattern of a player who is only 24 years old.

Next round on Tuesday looks very exciting: Aronian-Topalov and Svidler-Kramnik!!

Svidler--Kramnik -- exciting?! :-)))

Come on... :)

"Heh? Motylev has played it before, and one of the 2-3 strongest players in the world apparently agreed it was a good idea. Can't be all that obviously bad, I would have thought."

Maybe, but I take the opposite attitude - beware of what you play against the very best. It's the same way I feel about that Slav variation where Black gets a similar imbalance - good to play against weaker players, but not good enough against Kramnik, who used to beat it in his sleep. Don't go for such lines unless they have been tried ad infinitum and found too sturdy to refute. At least, in that Slav variation, Black gets to harass the white king a little.

Black will always be playing catch up in this variation (the one we saw today) and why should anyone play for a variation where he gets no counterplay and his opponent gets all the chances?

I think Sandorchess is saying Svidler-Kramnik will be drawn quickly, so we can all turn our attention to the exciting game between Aronian and Topalov.

But I agree it is nice to see these players all among the leaders.

Nice press conference analysis video by Topalov over at Chessvibes - makes Vishy's resignation seem quite reasonable (although he still calls it premature).

Vachier-Lagrave just won his fifth in a row in the B group, after Jan Smeets lost all of the wind in his sails. Rather surprising to see Atalik in last place after he smashed the C group last year.

Apparently, to be able to win against Navara you have to reach a lost position first (Radjabov, Karjakin). Weird.

Well, a lot of pundits were looking past Aronian, and were only reckoning on Anand, Kramnik, and Topalov being threats to defeat Radjabov. Aronian, at an undeafeated + 2 =6 is beginning to chalk up a "Lekonian" tyle of result. Of course, + 2 is a decent result at Corus. Aronian could rise in the final standings, as in his last 5 games, he is paired against van Wely, Shirov, and Tiviakov.

Vachier-Lagrave has indeed "quietly" put together a 5 game winning streak. That ties him with Ian "Nepo" (C'Mon, we have to coin some cute abreviation of Nepomniachtchi's surname) for the longest current winning streak, and is good enough to move past P. Eljanov into sole 1st Place in Group B. Viorel Bologan and Jakovenko are having relatively disappointing results, having failed to get traction.

The Kosintseva Sisters --IM Tatiana (2474), and IM Nadezhda (2496) are have interesting, and somewhat surprising events.

Despite being the lowest ranked player in Group B, and despite being rated more than 50 ELO points lower than the next lowest, Georgiev (making her the only player with a sub-2500 rating), and despite being the only non-GM in the field, and despite having a rating that 126 points below the Corus B average of 2600 (Category XIV), Tatiana has held her own, with 2 wins, two losses, and 4 draws.

On the other hand, the Corus organizers, in their wisdom, placed the higher rated sister, Nadezhda, in Group C. There, she is is ranked 8th out of 14 based on her rating of 2496. In fact, the average rating of the Corus C tournament is just a tad lower: 2486 (Categtory X)

One would expect that the higher rated and higher ranked sister, playing in a substancially weaker event, would be garnering the higher score. Alas (for Nadezdha), ahe is doing worse than would be expected, and is languishing at -3
( +2 -5 =1). Nadezdgha has obviously played fighting chess, only drawing once. She has managed to defeat the phenom, P. Negi. However, she is clearly off-form.
It is ironic that Emanuel Berg is having a fine event, having so far scored an undefeated +4 =4 --
yet is still 1.5 points behind Ian Nepo.
Berg is White vs Krasenkow in Round 9 on Tuesday, and that game will go a long way to determining who earns 2nd Place in Group C. Nepo is White vs. Hou Yifan (currently placed in a credible =4th, at + 2, with the surprising, lowest ranked, Manuel Bosboom), which ought to be an interesting game.
GMs van der Wiel, Jonkman, and Brynell are all tied with IM N. Kosintseva, in =10th (2.5/8). It must be a tough event for them, with so many up and coming kid stars...

"Apparently, to be able to win against Navara you have to reach a lost position first (Radjabov, Karjakin). Weird."

Not really that strange! Up and coming players tend to focus on consolidating and achieving a draw. Their approach to the game is geared much more to achieving the accomplishment of not losing. So, Navara finds himself in advantageous positions, knows that he should be winning, but bungles the execution of the winning technique. It takes experience to learn how to suppress the counterplay of one's opponent. In contrast, it is more natural to search for counterplay, when you have the worse position, or only aim to hold.
We'll see if Navara quickly manages to address this weakness. Of course, he knows that he has blown two full points, and if he had beaten Radjabov and Karjakin, he would now be tied with Topalov for 1st Place. So, I guess it depends on whether Navara is an optimist or a pessimist.

Getting a few nice notes from Garry on saving Anand and even the Pono-Topa game yesterday. Some good stuff. It drives me crazy to see a position as hopeless as Anand's looked for so long and then after he gives me a few moves it doesn't look so bad. Grrrr.

DOug, Corus sent invitations to both Kosintseva sisters and left it up to them to decide who was gonna play in which group.

I hope you'll let us know what Garry found!

Hmm, it's uncharacteristic of Anand to pull an "Ivanchuk" like that. I've always considered early resignations a sure sign of being psyched out, or psychologically fragile.

Probably nothing that would come close to really saving Anand in the final position, but some interesting continuations. Also a big improvement earlier. Most will be saved for his New In Chess column, but I'll definitely tease in the update that will appear in the main item in a few minutes. The nice attacking moves for Pono against Topalov yesterday are simply transformative. White looked so bad but there are some great ideas with the thematic e5 and White is looking okay.

Most likely Mexico 2007 will be postponed by FIDE to accommodate Topalov's challenge going forward within all regulations (timing issue) and force Kramnik to accept. Has anyone suggested that possibility before?

DOug wrote (at 16:01):
"It takes experience to learn how to suppress the counterplay of one's opponent. In contrast, it is more natural to search for counterplay, when you have the worse position, ..."

Has the ring of truth.

Speaking of weird: Have you looked at the game between Kosintseva and Berg today?

At move 14 Berg had un-developed all his pieces back to square 1. Kosintseva couldn't resist and went for his king with a knight sac. It looked promising at first, but not for long. Probably her position was a bit under-developed too, only not so eye-catching obvious as his. She couldn't create real mate threats and didn't manage to bring her queen to the action. In the end, he won convincingly.

But I still can't believe his re-start position not to lose at this level of play.

Steinitz would have been proud of Berg!

Nepomniachtchi is having an unforgettable result. Maybe that is his name, too.

@ Macuga

Maybe Anand realized it was a hopeless position (fight maybe for 20 more moves in an objectively lost position) wanted to conserve some energy for the subsequent games. He is , after all, 37 and the oldest top level player in the game.

Fascinating though that is, eric, and I like Ragnaud's cognacs myself, I wonder how it relates to Corus?
I also hope no ill befell you, as you seem to have been cut off quite abruptly .

Round 8 update added to the main item.

Off topic again…

A low-tech idea to make computer cheating far more difficult during WCC matches and even tournaments like Corus.

The demo board from a game shown to public would be delayed by a fixed time, say 20 minutes. In addition, the board would never show the current position by applying a longer delay if a player takes longer than said 20 minutes to play a move.

Consequently, only players, the game arbiter (and technical support like say cameramen) would see the game in real life. The public on site could still see the players of course while watching the delayed moves on the demo board. They would be prevented from seeing the actual boards. The chess commentators would see the position from the demo board only as well, so that would be in effect the "current" position to everybody except for players.

The assistance would be harder since a player trying to cheat would have to somehow transmit the latest position for analysis wasting time in the process plus the analysis would take additional time from that moment and not the moment the opponent moved making it less comprehensive and hence less valuable at the highest levels.



What is interesting is that Topalov presented the same analysis that Kasparov gave you during his press conference. It really makes me wonder if Anand really thought through his decision to make use of the 14 ... Nd5 variation. He probably just trusted Motylev or whoever played the source game and was annoyed that he trusted someone else without doing hard analysis.

Definitely, the line with 2 pawns for a piece and the monster pawn on e4 is better than the rook for two minor pieces.

Yep, he gives line with 15..cxd5, interesting. He mentions the black queen going to c4, but only in the context of after Re5, basically giving white two moves. Since things are so downhill afterwards it looks like a good place to start for finding a win for white after 24..Qc4.

Radjabov, Nepo, and Carlsen(?) are all playing blitz on ICC tonight! Speculating it's Carlsen, playing under the name Nielsen.

Mig, in the last line in the Topalov-Anand game, I guess you mean 40 Nxe6 instead of 40.Rxe6. That line is interesting, but I don't think white has to go into that line. Topalov emphasized several times how his whole idea was to avoid exchange of a pair of rooks "by any means possible", so I am not so sure Topalov would allow black to exchange a pair of rooks and open lines and get some counterplay as in this line, even if Topalov would get the e6 pawn in the process. So maybe after
35..bxa4 he would play Nf4, followed by h5, etc.

But I analyzed with Rybka a little and I guess Kasparov's bxa4, with the idea to use b5 and d5 squares to perhaps trade off a pair of rooks and/or assist a5, c5, e5 breaks that would open lines for black, would be the best (and probably, the only) practical chance. I find it strange that Anand decided not to play on.

I also don't understand why people play lines like these, giving up two minor pieces for a rook. I am only an expert and don't know nearly as much about chess as these top GMs, but it definitely doesn't look right to give up two pieces for one. I just have a bad feeling about this kind of material imbalance. I had a bad feeling when Kramnik traded two pieces for a rook in a similar fashion in Elista WCh match, and surely enough, that was the only game he lost with white in that match. And if it wasn't a bad idea by itself, I don't know how smart it is to give two minor pieces for a rook to Topalov, of all people. Topalov likes exchange sacks anyway, and he likes active piece play so much so it just doesn't make much sense to give him this kind of material imbalance.

It looked like Shirov, who may soon legally change his name to "Poor Shirov," was about to pulverize Tiviakov


Sometimes I hate early resignments even more than middle-lenght draws. Ok, Anand knows he'll lose against Topa in this position, but there are 10.000 viewers here without a clue. Show us some respect and spend another 10 moves at the board next time, Vishy!

Imagine France playing Brazil in the football world cup and leaving the field in a 0-2 situation with three minutes left to play...

DOug, nice write-up of Corus, thanks!

Anand needs a coach to tell him to play on.

about as much as he needs an aperture in the cranial cavity.

[Event "Corus A"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2007.01.21"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Topalov, V."]
[Black "Anand, V."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E15"]
[WhiteElo "2783"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2007.01.13"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. Bc3
d5 9. Ne5 Nfd7 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. Nd2 O-O 12. O-O Nf6 13. e4 dxe4 14. a4 Nd5 15.
cxd5 Bxf1 (15... cxd5 16. Re1 Rc8 17. Nb1! (17. Bb2 Bb4) 17... Bd3 18. Re3! a5 (18... Bg5 19. Rxd3 exd3 20. Qxd3) 19. Ra2 Bb4 20. Rxd3 exd3 21. Qxd3 Qg5 22. Rc2 Qe7 23. Bb2 Rxc2 24. Qxc2 Qd7 25. Na3 Rc8 26. Qd1 Qd6 27. Qa1 Qc6 28.
Bf1 Bxa3 29. Bxa3 Qc2 30. Qb2 Qxb2 31. Bxb2 Rc2 32. Ba3 Rd2 33. Bd6 Rxd4 34.
Kg2 f6 35. Bc7 Rb4 36. Bb5 Rxb3 37. Bxb6 Kf7 38. Bxa5 e5 39. Bb6 Ke6 40. Bc5 With advantage.)
16. d6 Bxg2 17. dxe7 Qxe7 18. Kxg2 f5 19. b4! Qd7 20. Qe2 Qd5 21. f3 exf3+
22. Nxf3 h6 23. Re1 Rfe8 24. Qc2 Rad8 (24... Qc4 25. Ne5 Qd5+ 26. Kg1 (With advantage.) 25. Bd2 Qd7 26. Kf2 Rc8 27. Bf4 Qd5 28. Re5 Qd7 29. h4 Ra8 30. Bd2 Rac8 31. Qc4 Kh7
32. Bc3 Qd6 33. Ne1 b5 34. Qc5 Qd8 35. Nd3 (35. Nd3 bxa4 36. Qa5 Qb6 37. Qxa4
Rcd8 38. Rc5!+- (38. Nc5 Rd5 39. Rxe6 Rxe6 40. Nxe6)) 1-0

I think this whole line beginnig with 14... Nd5 is suspect.

ok, first of all, brilliant play by Topalov. He seems to be playing positional (aka Petrosian) lines and ultra tactical (aka Tal) lines with equal ease. This dude rocks, folks he's the real deal. As someone with the handle "Jonethen" said in another thread, Topy's grey cell portion has been ladled out with a large spoon. Anand seems to be sick of Chess. Tired, uninspired play. Maybe he needs to change his physical regime or something..

Anand has the following opponents in the next 5 rounds
1. Van Wely
2. Tiviakov
3. Shirov
4. Navara
5. Karjakin

Please don't write off the indian tiger:)

Maybe there is some improvement before
black's 18... f5
And the 19... Qd7, 20... Qd5 plan looks too slow.

Ganesh, nobody is writing him off, but he has such an abundance of natural talent that its difficult to swallow when he plays completely passive lines and gets "slow-roasted" like Mig said. Such is the burden of the (un)naturally gifted! Everybody expects brilliance day in and day out!

Ganesh, and d

Talent is not enough. Needs to be backed
up by attitude and killer instinct. IQ
is not sufficient. You need good EQ as
a backup. This is Why Anand continues
to play second fiddle to Topa, Kramnik
and Kamsky. He lacks balls.

His future in classical chess is bleak.
He should retire or else, he becomes the
future Shirov. (if you analyze his 2003
victory in Corus over Topa, you will find
that Vishy was playing for a draw and only
when Topa took risks and overstepped, then
due to Topa's mistakes, Vishy won. No Vishy
brilliance involved.)

Since this tournament is inspiring a lot of talk about its participants relative ease of schedule so far, I came up with an interesting calculation:

Use the results of the first 8 rounds to come up with an average result one may be expected to get against each GM. Call this Points-Expected-Against (PEA) number.

Add up the PEAs remaining on each player's schedule to get Remaining-Schedule-Ease (RSE) number.

Add current score for each GM to RSE to get an estimate of how many points one may be expected to have at the finish: final score estimate (FSE). I am aware of course that this isn't the best estimate method, since each GM's PEA number is based on how easy his schedule has been so far, but nonetheless, it's a good way to take into account who has to play the bottom enders and who has to play the players who have done well so far in the rest of the tournament.


Topalov: 8
Aronian & Radjabov: 7.688
Karjakin: 7.375
Kramnik: 7.188
Navara: 7
Anand & Svidler: 6.938
Ponomariov: 6.375
Tiviakov: 5.563
Motylev: 5.375
Van Wely: 5.188
Carlsen: 4.875
Shirov: 4

Easiest schedules remaining (highest RSEs):

Navara 3, Anand 2.938, Ponomariov 2.875

Hardest schedules remaining (lowest RSEs):

Svidler 1.938, Topalov 2
Van Wely, Kramnik & Radjabov 2.188

bala iyer,

thanks for "entertaining".

hehe.. danedude, I actually suspect that bala iyer is a frustrated Vishy fan, bitterly bemoaning his champion's lack of success. He might want to listen to the album "Keep the Faith" by Bon Jovi, and take inspiration in the title if not the music..

Anand lags behind Topalov, Kramnik, and WHO??!!??!!

Or, more grammatically, I suppose, WHOM??!!??

some law student

An interesting double pawn sac to try for play at the end of the Anand game (i.e. instead of resigning): 35..bxa4 36.Nf4 Qb6 37.Qc4 a5!? 38.Rxa5 (38.bxa5 Qb3 39.Qxb3 axb3 39.h5 is possibly better) 38..e5!? and there will be an open line one way or another thanks to the pin on the d4 pawn. These endgames are all very bad for Black, of course, but there are practical chances.

Video of analysis of Kramnik vs Carlsen of round 8 by players itself!

Video of analysis of Kramnik and Carlsen straight after the game on: http://www.chessvibes.com/?lp_lang_pref=en&p=511

I was just happy that Topalov performs well and Danailov starts again with his crap... This time supported by Ilyumzhinov??? FIDE apparently sent a letter stating

"Your proposal will be discussed in Antalia on the 27th of January, and then we will decide when the match Kramnik-Topalov will take place."


They also seem to have accepted the documents and the guarantee.

Yuriy: interesting analysis. Here's a method which I would prefer to use:

Define a form Factor/Quotient/Index for each player as:
f = (RP - R)/R
RP = Rating Performance of a player in the tournament so far (Get it from crosstable in chessbase),
R = Actual Rating of the player

Calculate the average rating of the players he is yet to play against in the tournament and get his expected score (ES) against them using his actual rating*. (Use rating calculator on fide.com)

Difficulty quotient for remaining tournament =
1 - ((ES x f)/n)
where n = number of rounds remaining.

*alternate method: use his rating performance in the tournament so far to get ES for remaining rounds and divide by number of rounds remaining.

Please explain in more detail. Is there actually a brand of cheese called "Vachier Lagrave"? Would seem a bad joke on his parents part if so, like calling a child "Dusty Rhodes".

As far as I know vachier only refers to cheese as far as it has "vache" in it (means cow). No cheese named like this. Here in Québec, the young GM could answer this weak and easy pun by simply quoting half his name with a smile: vachier.

It was a silly joke on the "vache" part of his name. That's actually his last name. His parents went for Maxime.

Oops, beat me to it. Not that it really makes any sense.


I considered doing an analysis, which takes into account the players' relative rating. Ended up going for something more rudimentary, especially as this will change tomorrow and at this point when considering the possibility of facing Karjakin/Radjabov or Shirov/Anand their current performance would probably matter to you more than their record in the year before last.

The problem I have with the kind of formulas you have is I am not sure how f factors into your ES calculations. It seems that ultimately I am left relying on either his FIDE rating or his rating performance at Corus as basis for ES? And ultimately ES is the only basis for prognosis. Let me know.

"Hmm, it's uncharacteristic of Anand to pull an "Ivanchuk" like that. I've always considered early resignations a sure sign of being psyched out, or psychologically fragile."

I've always considered **late resignations** (i.e. "Bitter End-ing") to be a sure sign
that the losing player was psychologically fragile.

Ivanchuk seems to have come across a crude but effective way to overcome his poor nerves. He plays constantly, and so his nerves are deadened--except, perhaps in those rare events where he is playing for the highest stakes.

The French naming system may require a bit of explanation for non-French readers. In France, it is possible to give a child the last name of both his or her parents, with a dash between them, as in Vachier-Lagrave (note to Mig for spelling : the dash is mandatory). This name can then be passed on as is to the next generation. (It is actually a bit more complex than that in some cases, but let us keep it simple.) Maxime is his first name, or given name. Note that in France, there is no "middle name", but one can have as many given names as the parents care to give. For example, in the case of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, marquis de la Fayette, his given names were Marie-Joseph (compound name), Paul, Yves, Roch and Gilbert. A Frenchman having any number of given names will usually mention only the first one, but not necessarily : for example, radio and TV presenter Jacques Arthur Essebag is usually called Arthur.


There are several several assumptions implicit in what I was trying to do... one is that a players current rating reflects his playing strength accurately... for someone like Anand who has been around 2780 since forever this might be a fair assumption but then there are others... I doubt that there could be any very precise way to calculate something like this... without making at least some assumptions... in my calculation of playing form factor I actually intended it to be f = RP/R so that f = 1 would indicate a player playing at his rating level...

Another way might be to just take the rating performnce of the players as their actual rating for the tournament (provided at least a few rnds have been played).. unless I made a mistake, for Anand his RP so far is 2727 and the average RP of his oppenets in the next 5 rnds is 2647.. i think his based on that his ES would be somethin like 3/5... for Topalov these figures turn out to be 2892 and 2769, so his ES = 3.5/5 for the remaining rounds... of course we know better about Topalov's play towards the end of tournaments to fall for that :)

..and for Shirov his RP so far is 2456 and the average RP of his opponents to come is 2707. This would make his ES = 1.0/5 if I am not mistaken...

If you used the actual ELO ratings of the players instead of their RP so far then Shirov is 2715 and the average RP of his opponents is 2731 which would give an ES of 2.5/5 which seems highly unlikely...

On the contrary. It would be unlikely to scor 1/5...

Nomatter his bad form Shirov does NOT play for 2456, so it is more likely to scor 2.5 than 1..

Also the 2892 performance so far of Topalov hardly suggests that he will scor 3.5/5 in the remaining games. (If it weren't for Topalov playing well on the last rounds I would say that 2.5 would be more likely...)

I reckon that in the edges (first-last player) the rating is more reliable than the performance. This is due to the fact that the performance is usually (when much different from rating) more due to luck rather than actual form. (The leader almost always has one point he did not deserve, and the tail ender almost always a lost that he didn't deserve)

Apart from terminology, I don't see how ozhegan's description of naming in France differs from, say, Canada. We knew people whose surname was Cave-Brown-Cave, presumably from multi-generational use of both mothers' and fathers' names. The name I use, Jonathan, is my middle name. The number of middle names is unlimited (although being the careful people that we are, I have never encountered a Canadian with more than two middle names. But it is not something you ask of every stranger.). My brother has two middle names. He is known to the world not by his first name, nor his first middle name, but by his second middle name.

This naming system can cause problems with the computers of say airlines, or Aeroplan (the Air Canada kickback programme) or Scotiabank, which demand names in the form "John Q. Public" rather than "J. Quentin Public". So I get air tickets issued in (First Name) Berry because if Security checks your passport and discovers a variance, results are unpredictable (sigh!). On the other hand, it can have an advantage, for example when somebody phones asking for your First Name, you are immediately alerted. "Could you call back later?"

Using both parents' names is uncommon here, just as it is in France. But we do have, for example, the Canadian IM Thomas Roussel-Roozmon.

Well, it's not exactly surprising that a Canadian finds his way in the French system. However, as you can easily see on several web sites including this one, this is quite a bit more difficult for other people. For example, tell a [insert nationality here] that your first name is, say, Jean-René, and you'll end up being called Jean Rene. In fact, it is quite common for people to just chop off what they don't understand. So, for the record, Maxime's last name is Vachier-Lagrave (with a dash). Now that mainstream web site editors have learned to copy-paste Nepomniachtchi's name, maybe they could do the same with Étienne Bacrot, Joël Lautier, Lékó Péter, the various López, and so on.

Yes, I agree, ozhegan. The foot is often trimmed to fit the shoe.

But I think that the result is more dire with Spanish names. If you are Jean-Claude Roussel-Roozmon, it is far less likely that your name will be mangled than if your name is Sergio Romero Holmes. If the French name is copied correctly (including the hyphens), the "software" will give the correct result. But with the Spanish name, the observer has to have that special bit of extra knowledge, that the Romero is not a middle name, but the first part of the surname. One also needs special knowledge to properly render Hungarian and Chinese names.

Enough of this, we're both preaching to the converted.


Didn't they discover that TOPY insoles suffer from radioactive contamination and that wearing them gradually renders you blind and sterile?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 21, 2007 9:08 AM.

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