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Tuesday Deer Blogging

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Open thread, happy thoughts, look at the pretty Washington wildlife and let the rancor melt away. Pic I took last weekend near the Dungeness Spit (the "longest natural sand spit in the United States," I'll have you know).


ok, since its an open thread, hows your ear Mig?

Yup, that was going to be my question too, d_tal.

How's your ear, Mig?

Seems like Washington would be a nice place to have a big chess event in the United States. Maybe a US Championship in future years? The only problem I see is that it may be far travel for many of the players.

Yes, because Oklahoma is the chess center of the US ;-)

Hello, I am not Russian and I need help with the language. I found an interview with Mamedyarov arriving at Sofia at http://www.chessdom.com, but I do not understand it. Can anyone translate it in English?

The video is at http://www.chessdom.ru , I posted the link wrong. The English version probably doesnt put it cause it is in Russian.

Q: What do you think about Mtel Masters?

It's a very good tournament, one of the strongest in the world, I am very glad that they invited me this year.

Q: What is your attitude towards Sofia rules?

Overall, good. I usually play with such a style anyway, and I rarely accept draw. It's a very good rule and I really welcome it.

Q: What do you think of Vesselin Topalov?

Well, if I were to say that he is not one of the strongest players in the world, that would be, what should I say, not true. Maybe he is not even one of the strongest, but the strongest. He plays very well, very strong, it's always hard to play him, but it's always very pleasant to play him, because he always plays very interesting chess.

Q: What do you think, will he be your main rival or who? Kamsky?

You know in this tournament there are actually six players who are very dangerous. Any one can win, Nasipiani maybe, I know that he is not treated as a favorite, but I know him very well and think that he can play very well and battle for the top spot. I think of course Topalov is a favorite, but we will also try to win the tournament, we will see how it turns out.

Q: Ok, thanks and we wish you good luck.

Thank you.

Q: Tell me please, what is your attitude towards the fact that FIDE banned Topalov from participating [in Mexico]?

I think Topalov should be allowed to play in the top eight, but they themselves, because Topalov for a year a year and a half was top player and won all the tournaments and i think that gives him the right to be in the top eight. But of course we know that's not for us to decide and we will see how things will turn out and I think that Topalov, I don't know, he deserves, I think he is one of the strongest chess players in the world.

Q: Thanks for the interview.


Q: Good luck.

YK: I tried to get across the fact that the interviewer did not seem to speak perfect Russian and that Mamedyarov did not seem particularly comfortable with the media (not sure if Russian is his first language), but he came off as a very nice guy who is not a particularly good speaker. (His use of "we" and "you know" and repeating himself was particularly noticeable)

Beautiful translation by Yuriy. Thank you.
Just in case Yuriy is not always available, it's good to know that this interview and others are going to have English subtitles soon:

"Videos with Nisipeanu and Kamsky are being edited at the moment, and the video with Adams will follow tomorrow morning."

Ear the same, thanks. Waiting on next neurologist visit for my MRI results. Postponed to next week because of Washington trip and Garry being here for another few days. Crazy busy.

Funny, after all the debugging I've been doing I just noticed that the encryption I've started using to stop spam also means you have to enter in your name and email every time. At least I hope it's not just me. Dammit.

Thanks for the translation, Yuriy, as ever. Having one of the players also be one of the organizers is tricky. I rather doubt anyone would have a cross word for Topalov anyway, but still. And all this about him being "banned" from Mexico is a bit much, no? It would be nice to have him there, and he'd be there if he had beaten Kramnik. Kramnik's privilege of an automatic challenge to the winner is silly, but it's not as if Topalov was shafted out of blue or something. (Rare, considering it's FIDE.) He played, he lost. The really dumb part of the Mexico qualification was already built in when they invited the entire top half of the field for a free ride to the next final. Insane. If they had seven open spots instead of four, they could have maneuvered a bit more. As ever, it all highlights the importance of having a clear and established system. We're always doing things in wrong order and painting ourselves into corners. Giving Topalov one of the candidates spots or dropping him into the matches wouldn't have been very fair either.

Since they have demoted Mexico into a potential (if Kramnik doesn't win) candidates event anyway, replacing Kramnik with Topalov at this point would hardly be much worse. The organizers are far from thrilled.

hey mig, yahoo news had something about a 9yr old boy from oregon who had two spiders living in his ear.

they were both about the size of pencil erasers.

Thank you very much! It is shorter than it seems. I hope we get to hear from the other players soon.
Does anybody have pgn of Topalov Brunetti?

Yeah, "banned" sounded as drastic in the original Russian and so did "Topalov must be given a right to play in the strongest eight players". BTW, upon reviewing the original he doesn't just say Nisipianu, he says "Nisipianu, Sasikirian". So he says that both of them he knows well and thinks they may battle for the top spot.

Mig, chime in and let me sponsor, help and be a motivator of change for us chess. Susan polgar needs our help, the uscf must change, slander must stop. Sponsors must be embraced. Share the story my friend. Please step up.

The following is what Karpov said of Topalov and the championship cycle:

"Topalov´s absence of the next championship cycle is scandalously silly. But we remember how these strange rules arose. They were decided in San Luis by those same people of FIDE that went according to the decisions of Danailov and Topalov. They thought that after the shining results of Topalov in 2005 Kramnik simply was not going to have any opportunity. And to sink him definitively, they invented these rules, according to which one of the participants of the match in Elista would not fit to the following cycle. There is wonderful Russian proverb: "Do not dig a hole for somebody else, you yourself will fall into it". Exactly this was what happened with Topalov and Danailov. They dug a hole to for Kramnik, but they were those who fell in it."

I don't know who created the website with the interview (http://www.chessdom.ru), but in the title "Mamedyarov arrived to Bulgaria" they managed to misspell both Mamedyarov and Bulgaria!

Mig's statement requires a response, Mig wrote:
{Kramnik's privilege of an automatic challenge to the winner is silly,}

Not silly; the opposite would be silly.
Without this, it would mean the current Match World Chess Champion would not play against the next challenger. That would be bad.

We did not used to have to spell it out so verbosely, this "Match WCC" title. For 120 years everyone understood WCC title meant Match WCC. Then came Kirsan, and a surprising number in the chess world let their hungar overrule their common sense, with their interpretation of San Luis 2005.

Neither San Luis 2005, nor Mexico 2007, has any relevance to the historic lineage of the Match WCC title, other than to determine Kramnik's next challenger. Kirsan signing a piece of paper with a Tournament Organizer cannot change that.

Kramnik will not come in first in Mexico 2007. When the Mexico 2007 winner challenges Kramnik in 2008, it will not be a title "re-match". Despite Mig's wording, Kramnik will be the challengee, not the challenger.

Surely the release of Chessbase Light 2007 (and its Premium sibling) requires some attention. What's the difference betweeen Light Premium and a full copy of ChessBase 9? As a man in the know, Mig, please enlighten us!

Last chance for pre-tournament predictions for the M-Tel event. Aside from the anti-draw regulations, the players have a tendency to be real fighters anyhow. I think that Adams is due for a good event, and he seems to match up well with the other players in the field. Kamsky should be close to the top. Nisipeanu could well take 3rd, maybe tied with Topalov.

There is a great game started by Brunetti at http://e4e6.com/totouk/ . I will also do the play like topalov. Let's se if i win both :)

comments about the coming Nigel Short case? Seems to me it is bizarre.

comments about the pending Nigel Short case? Seems to me it is bizarre

Oh, I don't know. Clearly Azmai didn't cheat in winning the European Champs, and Nigel shouldn't have said that he did. Whether Azmai and Makro were in fact sunning themselves away from the venue at San Luis while being paid to be there I couldn't say, but since presumably they were being paid only to be members of the Appeals Committee, I don't see why they need to be present on site at all times.

Of course whether these two clowns are the best people to be on appeals committees is another matter, but then that wasn't Nigel's point.

Anyway anything bad happening to Nigel pretty much has to be good for chess, so here's to him getting a life ban.

Short said: "I might add that Azmai is singularly inappropriate for such work having __by his own admission__ cheated to win the 2003 European Championship."

What's this own admission about?

Well, the facts aren't disputed. Everyone knows he took a move back with his opponent Malakhov's consent. I suppose that's what Git means by 'his own admission'.

I don't call that cheating, although certainly many people would prefer not to have made such a request in the first place.

i'm surprised that you think nothing is amiss with such "requests". With Azmaiparashvilli being a powerful bureaucrat in the chess world, many opponents might "oblige" such requests to prevent a backlash.

i disagree that Nigel Short is bad for the chess world since he is probably the best grandmaster writer in English. Was RDH's comment above a joke?


Short has built up a hard-earned rep as sort of a "badwill ambassador", on behalf of both chess, and the West.

In just a year or so reading Daily Dirt, I learned about the following actions of his:

1. Trying to pick an on-air fight with Kamsky, based on a grievance from 14 years ago, while one or both were guests (or were doing live-commentary) on some radio or podcast show -- and while Kamsky was doing his best to avoid being drawn into this absurd spectacle. This felt more like the sort of staged fight between current non-combatants, that you'd see on a pro wrestling show. Only it wasn't staged; it was just Nigel being Nigel.

2. Writing a tongue-in-cheek column extolling the benefits of slavery as a societal institution....on the eve of making a campaign tour of Africa as a representative of the Bessel Kok ticket a couple months before the FIDE presidential election. (Anyone here care to hazard a guess how many votes Kok got from Africa?)

3. Forgive me if I'm confusing him with someone else...but wasn't it Nigel who wrote an obituary for Tony Miles, in which he boasted about bedding Miles' girlfriend?

As for Nigel Short's positive contributions, "the best grandmaster writer in English" sounds a bit much. I admit I'm not all that well-read, and I know he had a column (in The Guardian, was it?)... but surely there are people writing about chess in English who are both more interesting and more influential as writers than Short.

Hell, even among the limited cadre of chess writers who practice the "I'm not out to win any frineds" genre, I'd pick Tim Taylor over Short any day -- both as provocateur, and even as educator. And he's at least 200 points weaker than Nigel (not to mention he grew up in the sticks of rural Pennsylvania, and not having attended Oxford or some other nose-in-the-stratosphere English university).

Yes Nigel Short contributed much to the game when he was active as a top-level player. But for the present decade, I'd second rdh's implied view that the chess world on the whole would be better off without Nigel Short around, than with him.

Curious inverted snobbery of yours about nose-in-the-stratosphere English universities, JJ. You don’t have Yale and Harvard over there? Anyway, as it happens Nigel also attended the university of Life.

The best present grandmaster writer in English is actually Mihail Marin, of Romania, and the best historically the late Tony Miles. But if you confine it to living Britons then it’s closer. Rowson is just about the only one who writes interesting books (pace the long-retired Michael Stean), but among journalists there are only really Speelman or Short (and Keene of course, but we can forget him since his stuff’s trash and he doesn’t write most of it anyway). Both have highly distinctive styles which reflect their unusual personalities, but since Jon S’s personality is about a million times more agreeable than Nigel’s naturally the same is true of his writing.

Jaideep, I didn’t say I ‘saw nothing wrong with’ such a request. I certainly wouldn’t do it and I don’t respect anyone who does, and I agree it was especially absurd for someone in a position of power (I loved Azmai’s delicately ambiguous reported remark – “You understand everything, of course.’ One wonders what precisely ‘everything’ comprehended.). But I don’t think it can properly be called ‘cheating’ exactly.

Short is one of those people who is good at being agreeable to people who might be useful to him, but delights in offending and outraging the little people (everyone else, in other words). Personally I felt he was unfairly treated over his slavery comment, which was clearly ironic. But to the list of unforgivable actions above one might add (leaving aside the Kasparov match) his ludicrous feud with the late and admirable Richard Furness, his childishly right-wing political views (again adopted to annoy, I suspect, but still), and best of all the way he pissed on the volunteer organisers of his native North-West at the 2003 Isle of Man event when he finally deigned to play a tournament there for the first time in 20 years. Of course many top sportsmen forget those who helped them on their way up, but it's never attractive.

Doesn't Susan Polgar's move to Texas Tech deserve some comment and analysis?

If more universities want GM chess coaches, won't that help the career prospects for chess professionals?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 8, 2007 3:35 AM.

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