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June Swoon

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That's just my fancy way of saying I've been sick. Bleh. How sick? If I were famous I could hold a charity auction for my mucus. Good, now that you're as disgusted as I am we can move on. (Even my internet connection has caught the bug, it seems.)

Grischuk completed the sweep of the rating favorites by drinking Rublevsky's Scotch to the bottom. It must have been some lousy off-brand junk, or perhaps of the bathtub gin variety. Grischuk won both games with black and survived a little pressure with white to go through in three games. That puts him in Mexico with Kramnik, Anand, Svidler, Morozevich, Leko, Aronian, and Gelfand. Not exactly a lot of new blood thanks to FIDE grandfathering in three-eights of the field, but it's nice to see Aronian and Grischuk there.

The matches were great, much more interesting than most tournaments. The tension of elimination, the narrative drama of head-to-head play, the high stakes of world championship qualification, and enough classical games to sink your teeth into. Of course it would be best if they continued with matches instead of now heading to yet another elite double round-robin, something we aren't in short supply of these days.

Garry Kasparov just arrived in town. He's giving his annual master class to many of America's top kids today and tomorrow for the Kasparov Chess Foundation. I'll be there Sunday for pics and more. (It's the perfect place to distribute this horrible virus I'm carrying across the nation.)

More soon, but for now enjoy some blitz action from the National Open. Don't forget the volume because this one comes complete with trash talk! (?!) I was going to say something about pride going before the fall, but Nakamura won clear first in both this blitz tournament and the main event.


Kasparov, Kasparov........... Kasparov is in politics.

Karpov is the man!!!! He is playing. Old, but proud. Fighting on the board. Karpov is the good example for chess. Kasparov has lost most of his supporters. Pathetic

Yep, and Tolya won a fine game indeed today against Georgiev.

Kasparov's last successful political activity was when he was in Komsomol

I don't know when was playjunior's last accurate post but it was definitely prior to June 16, 2007 17:40

Nakamura should be giving a class along side Kasparov about blitz game trash talk

In the blitz tournaments I play - at a much less exalted level - the players are expected to be able to move their pieces accurately on their own time.
I hate to say it, but I am not at all surprised that GM Nakamura disregards this simple rule - or call it courtesy.

I too love chess and I think I have a few t-shirts you may like. Anyways, I think your blog is pretty awesome. I'd be glad to offer you one of my awesome, super soft Geekfitters.com shirts in exchange for a link.

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Chris Geek

"That's just by fancy way...." Is that a misprint, or is that how you sound right now?

And, since I haven't checked the blog in a while, how's the tinnitus?

Mr Ling, the fact is countless GMs including Akobian have done the same thing to me. Therefore, I find it absolutely ludicrous that you accuse me of disregard rules. Honestly, what do you expect when players have to play blitz with cheap plastic pieces? Maybe you can go out and buy some wooden pieces so this won't happen!

Perhaps you would like them to be gold plated too!

Maybe humnans can't beat computer programs anymore, but we can still beat the frame rate of a computer video! This needs bullet-time treatment. :)

Zigomar, GM Nakamura *does* have a point. And as a matter of fact, gold-plated pieces would indeed be even more stable...


Please complete your sentences!

Gold-plated pieces would be more stable than what? Than plastic pieces? Than Nakamura? Than Aronian?

Time for the next Daily Dirt fundraising venture: a traveling chess set with wooden pieces for Nakamura. A former U.S. Champ should not be forced to play with a TOYS R US set.

But credit N for pointing the way forward for U.S. chess. He made just one little comment; more than most players make to their opponents during an important game, certainly, but it's the idea. Imagine a roomful of grandmaster bent over their boards talking smack! If chess had more Mike Matusows, more Phil Helmuths, more Stone Colds, it'd be more popular than poker and wrestling combined.

greg koster-

I couldn't agree more!! Blitz tourneys are a completely different animal than classical chess... I love the trash talking! Makes it more entertaining for the spectator...

I witnessed (at a classical tournament), GM Walter Browne in major time trouble (around 20-30 seconds left to make 10 moves or so) against some IM... IM (in a better position) starts rushing, trying to make Browne flag... Browne swindles the guy with a nasty tactic, IM resigns, and Browne gets up from the table (knocking over pieces) and yells "*That's* how you f***in' blitz someone out...". It was awesome!

Yuri it's my opinion about Kasparov's political activities. What is you claim: that you disagree with me or that anything you disagree is wrong and you are the one and only source for truth?

Yuri it's my opinion about Kasparov's political activities. What is you claim: that you disagree with me or that anything you disagree with is wrong and you are the one and only source for truth?

Gold, hell. I want a set where the White pieces are osmiridium and the Black pieces are anodized depleted uranium.

Awesome video of fierce blitz action.

I can't quite catch the trash talk, though. What does Nakamura say (is it, "You've got to be kidding") when Akobian picks up the queen in anticipation of promoting a pawn?

The critical remarks about failing to reposition overturned pieces are out of place. As GM Nakamura pointed out (and as the video makes clear), they were using cheap non-weighted pieces in the blitz. These pieces are always going to fly all over the place during blitz play. In games between strong players, the opponent generally just goes ahead with his own move instead of constantly restarting the offender's clock and saying, "Adjust your piece." I have played in blitz tournaments where this went both ways, and the 'adjust your piece' approach tended to tick people off since it is clear 99% of the time where the overturned piece should be.

It's also quite common to "repossess" one's captured queen during the endgame, so I am not sure why GM Nakamura remarked on that while the game was in progress. In my own blitz games, I used to take back one of my captured knights as my passed pawn got dangerous. This tended to cause my opponent to burn up two or three seconds in puzzlement, which helped me out a lot when the game dissolved into a desperate time scramble.

Karpov just won a nice game with black against Iordachescu! The old man's still got a few tricks up his sleeve.

playjunior, simply that quite a few political activities Kasparov has been involved with since were successful (both the more general democracy movements of late-80's early 90's and the current Other Russia stuff) and I am not sure he was involved with anything successful under Komsomol. Success of a political activity is not at all a purely subjective measure.

Greg, I apologise for my ellipsis. I really must learn to be more explicit on the Net.
It seemed apparent to me that "even more stable" would refer to the wooden pieces GM Nakamura would have preferred, than which gold-plated pieces (by virtue of weight alone) would be more stable indeed.
(I hasten to add an anticipatory apology for the unusual construction of the last sentence. But Milton did it all the time. No, not me. John.)

The displaced pieces are a non-issue. A player has the remedy of restarting his opponent's clock when the opponent displaces pieces. Akobian (and Nakamura on one occasion) chose not to use it. End of story. (I think most arbiters, when enforcing such a remedy, would be unsympathetic to the "cheap plastic peices" defense, but without an affirmative claim, there is no remedy to enforce.)

Regarding the trash talk, I've heard much worse.

Just saw the clip. Wow! The other hands movement along the horizon (5 other boards) seem like slow motion compared to them.

Also, the couple sitting next to them seems to be playing on a different time control altogether.

I remember him the last time he ran for presidency-he got under 2% ? Is that objectively serious? A serious politician getting that much on elections? This is an objective measure; this is how Russian community valued his political activities and him as a leader. They take him 15-30 times less serious than Yeltzin. Go figure.
This is very well in par with the current situation. You call collecting 5000 people in Moscow a success? Some old people, some radicals and neo-bolsheviks... One can collect 5000 people in Moscow for anything I guess.
"Under Komsomol" stuff was a satire.

...Ok, I don't know if it's objectively serious or not, but Kasparov never ran for presidency. Your knowledge of chess I am sure is outstanding but your understanding of politics, especially Russian politics seems to be somewhat lacking.

However, it's certainly possible to be a successful or serious politican while running very low in presidential elections. All it means is the winner is far more popular and preferred by the populace; not that you are not respected. The last serious Russian election, in 2000, had Zhirik, Yavlinsky and Titov gather 6, 3 and 2 percent respectively. In the last American presidential election Richard Gephardt, head of Democratic party in the house for many years flopped tragically in the primaries.

Kasparov was involved in several successful political activies. He participated in Yeltsin's 1996 election (that's 54 percent, if you are counting numbers) and was involved in several notable political actions of the late-Soviet/early post-Soviet era. It's also near-sighted to think of Other Russia as a failure because they don't yet have the strength to challenge Putin. In the 2000 election, Ralph Nader finished with 2.7 percent, but the threat of him swerved Gore to the left and changed the rhetoric of the debate from battle over the middle to clash of left vs right. We don't gauge America's current anti-war movement by how many people come out every time they gather in DC.

The aim of Other Russia's current activities is obviously to raise profile of the movement. You want to agree with me that the last demonstration and Kasparov's arrest brought high level of media attention to the movement or repeat the Kremlin mantra about 5000 old, radicals and neo-Bolsheviks?

->"Your knowledge of chess I am sure is outstanding but your understanding of politics, especially Russian politics seems to be somewhat lacking."
So you are using the fact the don't remember something correctly to ironize my chess understanding? I don't have good chess understanding. What is your aim?
Did Kasparov run for presidency? Maybe I am completely wrong, I really don't remember for sure, I just remember him in the polls and 2%. Maybe he took his candidature out early? Was that the time Gorbachev ran too?
So, we can argue about neo-bolsheviks or not. But I guess 5000 was the number, yes? Is 5000-people demonstration serious for Moscow?
And, do you take western media(any media) for serious? Objective? Do they ever say a good word about Putin? Does the russian media say anything bad? I mean they are biased as hell, both, saying something and quoting CNN is same as quoting ORT.
So what are the facts? The 5000 people, and video posted by Mig. Mig himself confessed that the people in the video do not look very much in par with ideology.

"So you are using the fact the don't remember something correctly to ironize my chess understanding? I don't have good chess understanding. What is your aim?"

:) My comment was meant at its face meaning. I have slammed your knowledge in this matter, but I wanted to counter it by adding that that doesn't mean I think you are a dunce or a bad chess player :)

Had to wait a while to verify this with several people, since you seem so certain, but no, Kasparov never ran for president. It's rather hard to coincide with chess activity which means he would have had to have done it after retiring in March of 2005 and the last Russian presidential election was in March of 2004. And there are other factors which would probably prevent him from ever running.

>Is 5000-people demonstration serious for Moscow?

There are no serious anti-Putin demonstrations in Moscow, 5000 or whatever. That was the point.

>And, do you take western media(any media) for serious? Objective? Do they ever say a good word about Putin?

Well, yes, I do think they are generally more serious than mainstream Russian media in their evaluation of the Putin regime. But my point was something different, which is that Kasparov's moves have been much more high-visibility for the anti-Putin movement than anything anybody else has done. Many a man who don't know the difference between Kasyanov from Khakamada have had their ears perked up at the news of Kasparov's arrest and that he is putting together demonstrations in Moscow. Visible reform movement=more hostile relationship with Western governments for Putin. News of prominent arrests=less appeal for businessmen in setting up ventures in Russia. Etc. Mind you, I am not suggesitng this will lead to sweeping regime changes, but it's a net positive successful initiative for the counter-Putin movement and especially its profile. And it's more than SPS and Yabloko done (largely squat).

Since you seem interested in Russian politics, I want to share that I do think Kasparov has made one huge mistake. In primary terms, he hasn't solidified the mainstream before reaching for the fringes. Incorporating all the anti-Putin movements were the right idea, but since Limonov and his kind were the most eager to join, now the more reasonable anti-Putin clubs such as the Union of Right Forces and the Communist Party are less likely to hop onboard. The coalition looks more and more like a collection of radicals which severely hurts its electoral chances and the possibility of it becoming a real political movement.

"Taking to the streets with Kasparov"


I'm not convinced Other Russia even really has electoral desires, much less chances. While I agree Kasparov has done an exceptional job gathering attention from the Western press, almost everybody I talk with takes Yabloko more seriously as a political party, even those that dislike Yabloko. Just compare the Russian version of the Other Russia web page (www.theotherrussia.ru) to the English version (www.theotherruss.org) and tell me whether it looks like the party is spending more time trying to recruit Russians or trying to attract attention in the West.


Zhorik, largely we agree. Though there are profile reasons for website differences (better web designer for the English version, higher profile of Internet politics abroad than in Russia). I also do think TOR has electoral desires--Kasyanov will probably be a candidate, though I think they realize their chances are negligent, so it will probably affect the strength of their campaigning. Yabloko, SPS, etc., are taken more seriously. But can you name me one thing they have done or tried to do over the past 3 years? It's part of the reason I was glad to see Drugaya Russia happen, that opposition activity became non-existent.

Yuriy, I completely agree.

Re the Nakamura blitz video: Can someone else confirm that his opponent made at least one illegal move?...viz moved a piece with one hand but punched the clock with his other hand...or do I need new glasses...?


He is not "cross-handing" the clock which would be... picking up a piece with the right hand, moving it to a square and then punching with the left. I belive that's what you're asking. You're more likely to see that with a person how just learned to play blitz, but I suppose Grandmasters can be slick too.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 16, 2007 1:28 PM.

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