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Carlsbad Is Good

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Just like clockwork, every one hundred years the Czech town of Carlsbad hosts a big chess tournament. (1929 wasn't too shabby either though.) 100 years after the legendary Carlsbad event won by Akiba Rubinstein ahead of Maroczy, Leonhardt, Nimzowitsch, and Schlechter. Marshall could only manage an even score in the massive 20-round event. Chigorin, 57, struggled to 7.5 points. I'll try to dig out my copy of the tournament book; it must be around here somewhere. Check out item 3711 on this Edward Winter page for a famous unplayed variation from the 1907 event. Always on top of things, Czech-American GM Lubosh Kavalek has more on both the 1907 event and its book and the 2007 tourney in a recent Washington Post column.

This year's Czech Coal centenary tournament in Carlsbad is not nearly so grand, but it's a strong (cat. 17, 2654 avg.) round robin with eight players, including homegrown Czech star David Navara. Navara's rating took a nose-dive on the last list, a 65-point plummet all but unprecedented for a young riser of 22.

His countryman Viktor Laznicka is even younger, and he also scored the only win of the first round. The 19-year-old beat top seed Alexei Shirov on the black side of a complex Sicilian. Black poached the e5 pawn in preparation for an exchange sac, gaining a central pawn mass for ample compensation. The other four games were drawn, despite the fighting nature of the invitees. Akopian, Ponomariov, Movsesian, Korchnoi, and Timman all finished with a half point. The site above has live games at 1400 local time (8am EDT). There's a rest day on the 12th.


Tournament website is down. Cat 17. What a shame. Probably managed by Global Chess.

Navarra's rating fall came from his disastrous performance in European leagues (he lost 43 points in the Bundesliga, and also under-achieved in the French Top16).

He attributes this to:

1. His opponents often played well above their usual levels (an objective statement, not an excuse).
2. Due to unfamiliarity with the format, he often played too optimistically when he should have been content with a draw.
3. Something to do with his style, which he did not want to go into.

If the results from Mainz are anything to go by, his tournament play is still at a very high level.

Tournament webpage is up now, it looks neat. Old fashion style. But on-line games are malfunctioning. Also there are no photo updates, which is weird for year 2007, when even Cat 1 tourneys have some photos… Czech Coal sponsor is prominently displayed, but other sponsors are hidden under partners button.

Navarra is endearingly self-effacing. He looks almost apologetic when he's whipping the tar out of his opponents. He's the real thing, he'll go far....

to J.R.: - David Navara explained some reasons of his fall on our website (www.nss.cz). One unmentioned by you is that he blundered much more and although he knew it, he seeked complicated positiions anyway.

to down - to You can find more info, fotos, IM+GM hot anotated games on www.nss.cz (but Czech only).

Dont be to harsh on the site, its been a hundred years since the last time (ok, so there was something in -29, but I guess it wasnt big enough for internet coverage).


I was watching the first 4 losses of Navara in his Berlin Bundesliga games and it seemed obvious that the disastrous result was just caused by a mixture of overambition and "too much team spirit". Probably the most extreme case was the totally drawn pawn ending against Socko. It was the last game while the team score was 3:4, so he "had to win" - so he seemed just to gamble (which, naturally, backfired; see my Bundesliga report http://rankzero.de/?p=290 ).

At least twice he avoided a repetition to end in lost positions, against Rabiega ( http://rankzero.de/?p=286 ) and Rustemov ( http://rankzero.de/?p=579 ).

Mig, a 20 Round tournament wasn't particularly "massive" a Century or so ago. Indeed, the 1898 Vienna Jubilee tournament was a 20 Player *Double* Round Robin event--38 Rounds in total. Given the effort and expense of travel--especially Trans-Atlantic travel--it made sense to have the participants play a lot of chess, once you wer finally able to get them to congregate in one place. It is no surprise that if a chess player was going to be staying at a tournament site for up to a couple of months, the prospect of being at a spa or resort certainly made the tournament experience more attractive and pleasant.

I know this is completely off-topic, but am I the only one who thinks that the early coverage of Mexico 2007 in the chess press has been absolutely dismal? The players have been there for a week, but no-one has pictures, reports or anything. The official website promised player profiles by Marin weeks ago, but nothing has been published so far. They couldn't even get a live audio link for the press conference...

"Carlsbad Is Good" - took me forever to notice the pun. Being familiar with too many German town names does have its drawback. (Bad = bath)

if anybody is interested "Gypsy" has translated an amazing interview with D.Navara:

Thanks Jean! Wonderful Navara!

Go Navara go!

Thanks Jean (and Gypsy). Sobering. Like many others I immediately thought of Rubinstein. Let's hope for a happier outcome.

Yeah, didn't expect much from the Mexican Championship website, but to me it even seems that their silly countdown is nowhere correct... hard to decide whether this is pathetic or already just simply sad and pitiful.

hey mig, as someone influent, cant you send an email and start a commotion to make the website of the world championship something decent? despite the relative nice display, theres no info, no nothing! for sure the server wont hold the traffic. its heavy, not fast to access. wheres the info about the press conference? 1 day from the start, and I feel that will have to beg chessbase or other sites with sideline info...

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 9, 2007 1:13 AM.

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