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Team Drinking

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It seems like the Tomsk 400 squad at the Russian Team Championship put several meanings of "to get hammered" in play when they lost in the seventh round. The high-powered team led by Morozevich lost 5.5-0.5 to TPS-Saransk, where Ivanchuk is on board one. The sole draw was acquired by Karjakin on board two. Not only did his five compatriots lose, but they almost all lost ugly. Jakovenko and Timofeev sashayed into losing endgames with white. van Wely and Belozerov were getting mated with black by move 25 and 20, respectively. Morozevich managed to put up some fight with white against Ivanchuk but couldn't exploit the few chances he got after Black gained a superior position. The goofy and typically philosophical reports by IM Ilya Odessky at ChessPro.ru said that the team seemed to be "minimally impaired" at the start and that they were fined 1000 rubles for "violating the sporting code" of the event. A Russian source said that the Tomsk team had money issues and that the players may have chosen this as an enjoyable form of protest.

Long, long ago, in my "Chess Madness" column at ChessBase, I put up some ideas for more suggestive Informant-style symbols. One was for situations like this. Instead of giving van Wely's 24..e5 the usual "??", just put a little wine glass after the move. Forget the idiotic "chess boxing" combinations and go with something more natural, like team chess drinking. Now that could find sponsors. It would be Botvinnik meets Beerfest.

By the way, the top-rated Ural-Ekaterinburg team won with a round to spare. Radjabov, Shirov, Kamsky, Grischuk, Malakhov, Akopian, Dreev, and Motylev. Kudos, gentlemen. Morozevich came alive in the final round to beat Gelfand in a very nice game. Mamedyarov-Nepomniachtchi uses a lot of letters but lasted only 23 entertaining moves. Wang Hao was the top scorer in the event, with 8/11 on board four of the "64" Moscow team. His countrymen Ni Hua and Bu Xiangzhi also did very well for their teams. Ivanchuk likely had the highest TPR with 7.5/11 on board one for TPS-Saransk. Movsesian also had 7.5/11, on board 3 for FINEK-St.Peterburg.


They're such a bunch of amateurs. They should ask Khalifman & co, how to drink and bring the victory for the team, like they did in Manila Olympiad 1992.

Ural could also answer this question. :) But talking seriously the Tomsk issue is totally exaggerated, just one guy had problems for one day and that was it. Van Wely and Timofeev were totally out of form but there was absolutely nothing wrong with their outlook and behaviour.

AS, who was the one guy who had problems? Somehow I dont see Moro as the hard drinking type.

re: d_tal
The guy didn't even play that disastrous match against Ivanchuk's team.

The Babelfish translation of Odessky's report gives some insight into their disciplinary methods.

"Another answer - to the antipole: to remove 1000 rubles as ridiculous punishment for the commands, whose budgets are measured by very imposing sums, to maximally twist nuts. >

Maximally twisting nuts sounds like a Soviet-era enforcement technique.

is there a link to the TPR's for this event?

TPR's at team events usually aren't so amazing, too many low rated opponents dragging you down with draws. Kasparov tagged 2900something once I think, but even Ivanchuk is probably only 2850.

Van Wely has been so hopeless lately that it's hard to chalk bad games up to alcohol; he used to skip the Dutch championship because it was beneath him. This year he probably skipped because he didn't want Tiviakov taking his rating points, he'd rather shower them on Russians.

Morozevich is Russian, and you think he isn't the hard drinking type?

Still, as Kramnik put it once, coffee is okay before the game, wine needs to wait for after. Vodka too, apparently.


Yes, I liked that article about your suggested new annotation symbols.

Unfortunately, one occurred in my 6th round game at the Foxwoods Open when I played

Qd1-d2??$ <- That move cost me about $620!


"Maximally twisting nuts sounds like a Soviet-era enforcement technique." :-) Or a Bush-era enforcement technique?

Kramnik relates how they used to be a bit unprofessional and indulged a bit too much during one particular tournament. He says Kasparov wasn't happy with them (he was team captain then), but their response was, "But Garry, it isn't affecting us. We're winning all our games", or sentiments similar to that.

"re: d_tal
The guy didn't even play that disastrous match against Ivanchuk's team."

Well, let's see....

Each team is comprised of 8 players; each match is comprised of 6 Boards. So the player in question was one of two team members who didn't play that match. It only remains to look at the Crosstable, and determine which players had the "day off".

Uhoh, it looks like the possible person in question has lost over 150 ELO points from his peak rating, and nearly 130 points from the level that it was at just 2 years ago. A real pity...

re drinking

I don't see whose problem it is other than the players if they drink too much and lose. Why should they be fined some silly sum of money for it? They're not schoolkids, are they?

"twisting nuts" is problably "tightening of the screws" gone horribly wrong (thanks to computer translation) :)

oh i love this idea of "beer chess" like "beer pong"..

blitz chess, with the *winner* drinking a glass of beer before continuing

Hopefully, this will put to rest notions that Chinese are over-rated. Wang's sizzling score and rapid improvement will be quite a plus on the Chinese Olympiad team. I'm thinking gold this year in Dresden.

I like Iran, but only if they do a better job of hiding their cell phones.

For the last time, Iran isn't pursuing a cell phone program. And if they are, it's purely for peaceful purposes.

This is nothing new. If Mig wants a real story about alcohol abuse and other kind of abusing he should check out National, European and world championships for junior between 16 and 20 years old. It's unbelievable how many of them are drunk, stoned or... well doing other kinds of experiments kids do at that age. I heard the slav girls are 'loose'.

Go investigate

Don't be silly Merab. What is a "slav girl"? Is this a defined ethnic or cultural group with so much in common that all of them are 'loose'?


I heard slav girls are easy. It's not my generalisation. It's the comment of a participant gloating over his conquests.

Do some research...

Merab, you are indeed silly and likely very young too. Gloating or boasting over conquests seldom means the conquests are true.

Schlitz chess: 5-min games where players must hit the clock with a beer bottle without spilling.

I agree it's unlikely to be all true. Let me put it in another perspective. The alcohol abuse, condoms floating in the pool those are all facts (I'm quoting a participant of the u21 world championship here). I'm not even saying these juniors shouldn't be acting this way. The point was, and still is, if MIG wants a real good story about such behaviour he should look into junior events.

These young people today, with their s-e-x and booze. When I was their age I was studying Rook and Pawn endings and the intricacies of the Alekhine. And I still have no problems with girls, my technique is at a very high level I can assure you. I will get a girl when I want one, I quite certain of it.

I've had a shotglass chess board for years. Perhaps someone would like to borrow it for the next WC match?

If you're studying the 'intricacies of the Alekhine' then the girls are most probably quite safe from you.

Yeah, chicks seem to more fall for the Scandinavian guys. (Actually somewhat true, most of the girlfriends I've seen tagging along at amateur tournaments are connected to guys who play the Scandinavian)

Off topic, but WHERE is word of the FIDE grand prix just about to start in Baku? No website anywhere.

Carlsen now the rating favourite, but he will face tough competition from Radjabov, Karjakin and Kamsky with Navara as "Dark horse".

The Grand Prix site is up, go get the url at Chessvibes if needed.

I am not sure I can agrre with those ideas. Thanks, i enjoyed the discussion.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 15, 2008 7:38 PM.

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