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Ruy Runaway

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Maybe Ruy Lopez was of Armenian descent? There hasn't been an Armenian descent in Extremadura so far. Gabriel Sargissian has sprinted away with the Ruy Lopez Memorial masters event, taking clear first with a round to spare with a great 5.5/6 score. Only Sokolov escaped his wrath, with a valedictory game against second-place Granda to come in the final round today. The big names are all shedding rating points galore. Ponomariov, Sasikiran, and Sokolov have been outshone by Sargissian, Granda, and local star IM Perez Candelario, who needs a draw in the final round for a GM norm.

Hou Yifan, the 12-year-old Chinese girl who charmed Corus, is getting some rough lessons at this category 15 event. She's in dead last, although with credible play throughout. Stefanova, former women's world champ, is doing slightly better. She had a crushing position against Sokolov the other day but not only missed the win but fell to a loss. It's great to see Granda Zuniga doing well at such a strong event. The Peruvian farmer/sports legend played a ton last year, mostly in opens, and now lives in Spain according to the Peruvian papers.

Speaking of runaways, I wonder if he's been asked about the tragicomic scandal involving young Peruvian star Emilio Cordova. The 15-year-old IM basically ran away from home to play chess in Brazil, refusing to return. His father turned to the media and it became a big deal in the local press, especially when it came out Emilio was in love with an Argentine stripper twice his age. (The stripper part is in question, it might just be dancer, but the media ran with it.) His father went to Brazil and brought him back to Peru, where his return received a lot of attention. Most of the English reports are tabs that focus on the "pawn for love" aspect. This is an older one with more details than most, though not all jibe with the more sober Peruvian reports. Granda Zuniga was interviewed about Cordova a few weeks ago and gave some sage advice about not giving in to the pleasures of life. I dunno, looking back at my teenage years I think could have used more time with Argentine nightclub dancers and less with, say, 6502 assembly language.



wtg Emilio!!!

Mig: "..gave some sage advice about not giving in to the pleasures of life. I dunno, looking back at my teenage years I think could have used more time with Argentine nightclub dancers and less with, say, 6502 assembly language."

I couldnt agree more.

I am from the US (currently living in Europe). I just found out from veselin topalov's page that my favorite chess player Kamsky will play in Sofia. It seems like fresh information, can you confirm it?
Sorry for the offtopic, but I really like Kamsky and want to see him in top 10.

Kamsky was on the preliminary announced list of participants given by the organizers. The list was repeated during Linares.

Entertaining though it is to hear the Telegraph (the Tory party's in-house propaganda rag) and the Observer (Old Labour rag presently engaged in Blair-bashing, partly from boredom and partly from the general press irritation with Hutton suggesting they really shouldn't publish their usual outright lies) described as 'tabs', they are in fact respectable broadsheets, insofar as the country has any left.

I know the UK papers. I meant English as in language, not nationality. I was mostly thinking of The Sun, though I don't recall in which of them I saw first. The story looks about the same in all of them anyway. It seemed to break all over Australia and then the UK but the American papers have ignored it so far.

It was more of an ongoing saga in Peru, with his father in the news and showing them his email correspondence with his son. They covered his departure for Brazil and sent reporters along. Bizarre. More amazing to me is that Julio Granda has moved to Salamanca. This is someone who gave up chess, literally disappearing for a long while, to farm. Fascinating player though.

Was there some religious thang involved as well with Granda, or have I made that up?

Maybe Extremadura will be to Hou what Corus was to Carlsen? She will get the experience of top-level chess from failure and come back to show her true skill at the next tournament.

Is there really nothing interesting going on in chess that we are hearing about tabloid reports on some unknown IM's love life? Can we just get a picture of Kosteniuk next time?

Granda's win against Ponomariov earlier this week is very impressive...

rdh, isnt that cue for you to say that Granda disappeared figuratively, and not literally? :-)

isnt that THE cue..

Are there 2 tourny's goin on at the same time?? Right now Sasikiran is playin Sokolov and the game is not a Ruy though the tournament name is "Festival Ruy Lopez"... What's going on??

OH MY GOD! How Stenfanova contrived to lose from the position she obtained after move 25 is almost impossible to comprehend.

Just look at the position after 25 Nd6 Qc7! How can White lose from this position? Yet somehow she did.

This must have been a -devastating- loss for Stefanova. How can you lose from a position that strong?

[Event "Magistral Ruy Lopez"]
[Site "Zafra ESP"]
[Date "2007.03.21"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Stefanova,A"]
[Black "Sokolov,Iv"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2483"]
[BlackElo "2652"]
[EventDate "2007.03.17"]
[ECO "A43"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 c5 3. d5 d6 4. Nc3 g6 5. e4 Bg7 6. Bb5+ Nfd7 7. a4 Na6 8.
Qd2 h6 9. Be3 Nc7 10. Be2 Nf6 11. h3 e6 12. dxe6 Bxe6 13. Rd1 O-O 14. Qxd6
Qc8 15. Qxc5 b6 16. Qd6 Na6 17. e5 Ne8 18. Qd4 Nc5 19. f4 Nc7 20. Bf3 Rb8
21. b4 Nd7 22. Bc6 Rd8 23. Ne4 Nd5 24. b5 Ne7 25. Nd6 Qc7 26. Qe4 Nc5 27.
Bxc5 bxc5 28. Ne2 Nxc6 29. Qxc6 Qa5+ 30. Kf2 Qxa4 31. Qxc5 Bf8 32. Qc7 Bxd6
33. Rxd6 Rdc8 34. Qe7 Rxc2 35. Qh4 Qe4 36. Re1 Bc4 37. Qg4 Rxb5 38. e6 Bxe6
39. Qf3 Qxf3+ 40. Kxf3 Rb3+ 41. Ke4 Bf5+ 42. Ke5 Re3+ 43. Kf6 Rd2 44. Nd4
Rxe1 45. Rd8+ Kh7 46. Kxf7 Re4 47. Rg8 Re7+ 0-1


The Ruy Lopez tournament is in -honor- of the Spanish priest Ruy Lopez. It is not a Ruy Lopez thematic tournament.

thx, gm not yet!

Re Hou Yifan. I wonder if it's damaging to be dunked out of your depth at a young age?

Or is it great experience?

In this less structured, more 'personality'-driven chess age, I guess this kind of thing will become even more common...

"This must have been a -devastating- loss for Stefanova. How can you lose from a position that strong?"

Because she didn't move 24.Bxd5 which would have won immediatley.

There IS a Ruy Lopez thematic, rapid I believe, after the masters event finishes.

Hou Yifan won a good game today, the last game of the tournament. She is nevertheless last, half a point behind ex World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova. Earlier on in the tournament, she had voluntarily overpressed simple drawish endgames against Ponomariov and Sokolov to then lose the games.

Nevertheless, not a good result overall, but hopefully not that devastating either, considering what happened on the board.

The Pono-Sokalov slug fest is worth a look too!!!

sargissian won again! 6.5 out of 7 elo peformance over 3000! what the ... can anyone calculate the rating points he is going to get? please!

Gabriel will gain 20-25 elo-points with this beautiful result.

"Gabriel will gain 20-25 elo-points with this beautiful result"

And maybe will lose them if playing against the top dogs. Happened to Jobava who seems to be living in a hole now.

considering his run during the olympiad, second place at the corus b, he may not be a fluke after all.

>> I dunno, looking back at my teenage years I think could have used more time with Argentine nightclub dancers and less with, say, 6502 assembly language. >>

You are not the only one Mig.

Granda's into fantasy positions. His game against Seirawan from Buenos Aires 1993 is KILLER chess.

So is his game against Defirmian at Amsterdam 1996. He wins a tactical masterpiece playing the normally solid and positional Scheming Scandanavian. It's a beaut!

The dancer is Brazilian, not Argentinian. The tournament was in Argentina, the celebration (of his victory) in Brazil.

Not that it much matters, but every report I've seen in the Brazilian, Peruvian, and Argentine press has specified she is an Argentine named Adriane de Oliveira. One of many:


1) Some reports do say she's Brazilian.
2) Adriane de Oliveira is a Brazilian name.

please keep us informed about the state of your health problems. Or did I oversaw a message related to that? Anyway, I hope the "brass band" in your ear resigned meanwhile.


Tom Chivers wrote: "Re Hou Yifan. I wonder if it's damaging to be dunked out of your depth at a young age? Or is it great experience?"

Clearly, the latter. One famous example: In the tournament where Fischer played his "Game of the Century" against Donald Byrne, the 13-year old Bobby actually finished near the bottom of the crosstable, with a big minus score.

Think it would depend on the person's psychological make-up and level of talent.

Kramnik has won again! Tis is just an incredible performance. This endgame with bishops of opposite colours deserves close study.

I think it was just a Leko blunder at the end - understandable when short of time and blindfold!

Aronian just blundered a piece and resigned in 2 bish + 2 pawns v bish + knight and 2 pawns ending

"Hou Yifan won a good game today, the last game of the tournament. She is nevertheless last, half a point behind ex World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova. Earlier on in the tournament, she had voluntarily overpressed simple drawish endgames against Ponomariov and Sokolov to then lose the games."

In the instance of the final round game, it was her opponent, Candelaria, who "voluntarily overpressed", but who then went on to lose.

At this stage, it is a fair assumption to make: that Pono and Sokolov have superior endgame technique.

I always like it when a a player wins when they play well, but loses because they "overpress"!

I supposed that Hou Yifan could have tried "underpressing" (playing passively to hold the draw), but I expect that the result would have been the same.

Right now, Hou can't actually beat strong players; she can only hope to provoke those players into beating themselves.

Well, *actually* look at the two endgames (and also at the game against Stefanova) There is no doubt in my mind that Hou Yifan would end up higher in the tournament table if she had let the *others* take the risks to defeat her. Instead, it was *her* who unwisely took the risks to achieve more than the draws that she deserved on the boards against much higher rated opponents, and lost it all.


"Was there some religious thang involved as well with Granda, or have I made that up?"

You haven't made that up. Some years ago while visiting Peru, I watched a TV program in which Granda mentioned that he had had a religious experience.

Around that time he also tried to enter politics running for mayor of a small town. I believe that - unlike Kasparov - he didn't enjoy that political experience that much. During the interview - conducted in his house - his father seemed quite satisfied that Granda was starting to emerge from his self-imposed seclusion during which he was focused on his agricultural activities.

In any event, it is great to see now that Granda is motivated and active in chess again.

Vlad won again. He went against repetition because he saw he can win a piece. Brilliant!

I'm so impressed with Vlad's play so far! Seems he overcame his health problems which were a real burden some years ago. Now he's able to fully show his brand of chess.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Gabriel's performance in par with the best tournament performances ever shown? He is 3000+, how much was Karpov in his famous Linares 11/13, does anyone know? Btw, a short statistical survey (are you here Jeff?) on top tournament performances would be greatly appreciated.

I **have** looked at the games in question. In her game with Pono, I fail to see where Hou "overpressed". She had a fine game out of the opening, and then got outplayed by Pono during the rest of the game. Indeed, Pono lost to Zhu Chen during his brief reign as FIDE Champion, so that might account for his insipid play. In any event, Hou willingly swapped pieces, with her position worsening after each exchange. That suggests that she may have been too eager to draw. In the Sokolov game, I expected a draw soon after move 30. But without knowing who, if anybody, offered a draw, there really isn't much evidence for your case. No doubt, Hou played inaccurately, but it seems a bit obscure to discern that she was so keen on winning that she was willing to burn her bridges. Just curious: what are the moves played by Hou, which strike you as overly ambitious?

This web page gives Sargissian's FIDE performance rating as 2796

FIDE 2796 is hard to compare exactly with the Chessmetrics rating, but 2796 is not high on the Sonas List. Here are Jeff's top 5:

Player Name Chessmetrics Performance Rating Event
#1 Anatoly Karpov 2899 performance: 11/13 (85%) vs 2729 Linares, 1994
#2 Bobby Fischer 2887 performance: 6/6 (100%) vs 2752 Fischer-Larsen Match (Candidates semifinal, Denver), 1971
#3 Emanuel Lasker 2882 performance: 12.5/17 (74%) vs 2754 Lasker-Steinitz II (World Championship, Moscow), 1896
#4 Garry Kasparov 2881 performance: 12/14 (86%) vs 2692 Tilburg, 1989
#5 Emanuel Lasker 2878 performance: 18/22 (82%) vs 2667 London, 1899

More here:

ack what an awful url! oh well.

Oops! I see now the Sargissian's FIDE performance rating of 2796 - at link I gave above, was with one round still to go. And he won again! I haven't found his final performance rating listed yet.

Congrats to him on an awesome performance!

check out Carlsen's brillaint attacking play to destroy Ivanchuk and get a won game in 22 moves in their Amber rapid game

The spanish site gives Sargissian's performance to be 3000+, which seems unbelievable.

Easy now Andy, that was no brilliancy. It was a standard attack after an early Ivanchuk blunder 16...Bd6. He choked after blowing a clear win in the blindfold game.

tjallen; Jeff S's ratings are a law unto themselves and have nothing to do with FIDE ratings. Karpov's Linares performance was way over 2899 by FIDE rules, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to hear Sargissian's was over 3000. In very rough terms 100% against 2700 is 3100, so 6.5/7 ought to be close to that.

I see several places now list Sargissian's performance at FIDE 3021 (see TWIC).

The Chess ratings at Chessmetrics may be "a law unto their own" but the ratings of contemporary players are not much different from their FIDE ratings (though the Chessmetrics ratings rise quicker, fall sooner, and are more accurate at predicting performances than elo.)

Sonas's formulas for calculating ratings are given here -
and we can approximate the Chessmetrics weighted and padded performance rating for Sargissian's great tournament.

Unfortunately, Jeff's ratings website ends at 2005, so two players are not found, and all have 2 year old ratings. (Maybe Sokolov has fallen in 2 years as far as Sasikirian has risen? I'm hoping I am not too far off in my approximation below.)

So first, here is a list of his opponents, with their FIDE and CM ratings:

Opponent -- FIDE CM(2005)
Ponomariov 2723 2715
Sasikirian 2700 2663
I. Sokolov 2652 2710
Z. Granada 2612 2580
Candelario 2512 ----
Hou Yifan- 2509 ----
Stephanova 2483 2484

First Sonas calculates a "simple" performance rating by the formula
Performance Rating = Average Opponents' Rating + [(PctScore - 0.50) * 850]

Using the FIDE ratings of the 2 with no listed CM rating, the average opponent's rating is 2596, the PctScore is 6.5/7 or .92857. Following the formula, we get a Simple Performance Rating of 2960. Wow.

However, Sonas doesn't use the simple performance rating to determine all time best performances, he uses the Weighted Padded Performance Rating, with the formula:
Rating = {[(PerformanceRating * NumGames) + (AvgOppRating * 4) + (2300 * 3)]/(NumGames + 7)} + 43.

We can work that formula out, too.

{[(2960 * 7) + (2596 * 4) + (2300 * 3)] / 14} + 43 will give us a padded and weighted performance rating of 2758.

2758 would not make the list of top 100 performances of all time. 2758 almost makes the list of 100 best performances 1995-2005.

Still an awesome performance.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 23, 2007 2:08 AM.

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