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Carlsen-Leko Miskolc Rapid

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If you missed the first day of this four-day, eight-game rapid match in Hungary you didn't miss too much. Carlsen drew the first game with black using the Dragon he played against Karjakin in the recent Baku Grand Prix. Can anyone remember who said, apropos its Anand-Kasparov appearance, I believe, that "you can't play for a win against the Dragon without playing g4"? Something like that. Leko made a little progress, winning a pawn, but couldn't get further against Black's superior activity. In the second game Carlsen played the offbeat 5.Nc5 against Leko's Caro-Kann. He'd played this last year against Pedersen. Fischer played this move a few times in simuls (as have Kasparov and Kramnik) while the ever-creative David Bronstein tried it against Petrosian and Beliavsky. Carlsen didn't seem to get much against Leko, but allowing a threefold repetition on move 18 was pretty limp.

Leko's record in these matches is even. He drew with Adams in 2005, beat Karpov 4.5-3.5 in 2006, and lost to Kramnik by the same score last year. The player pages on the official site include a "best game of his career" annotated by each player. It doesn't say if these were personally selected by the players as the best game they've ever played as is implied. If so, it's a curious choice from Leko, who gives his one-sided crush of Grischuk from last year's Mexico WCh tournament. I can think of quite a few better ones just off the top of my head. Carlsen goes with his black win over Kramnik from this year's Corus tournament. Maybe Leko just didn't want to copycat by picking one of his own several spectacular wins over Kramnik with black. Tilburg 1998 is wild, an amazing defensive and counterattacking effort. Leko brilliantly busting Kramnik's Marshall prep in game 8 of their WCh match is more familiar.

Update: Carlsen drew game three in a save that Kasparov, checking in after a speech in Athens, called "Incredible! Ridiculous!" Carlsen then went on to beat Leko's Caro-Kann in game four, at last breaking through for what I think is his first win versus Leko at any time control against three classical losses.


I suggest Nigel Short. At least I remember Yasser Seirawan telling a story of Kasparov, who claimed that Short's only idea against the sicilian is to play g4 at some point. The only problem according to Kasparov was that the idea was not so bad.

Things sure are picking up at the Dirt!Keep it comin Mig!

magnus, you'll be relieved to know that i forgive you yesterday's boring draw.
Can it really be that Leko's position in game 3 was no win??

Magnus drew with black today and won convincingly with white. Leko was probably discouraged because he probably should have won his endgame as white after Magnus pressed too hard in an equal position.

So Magnus has finally beaten Leko, even if it's only a rapid game. I think if he beats Leko in this match by 5-3 or better we can say he's solved his Leko problem before the age of 18.

All that will be left after that is his Anand problem...

"All that will be left after that is his Anand problem..."

And his Volokitin problem

I saw the very end of game 3 this morning on the ICC. I wish I could remember in what context someone kibitzed that "Bobby Fischer would turn over in his grave." Maybe it was about that "incredible" save.

Later today, it was reported that Iceland was struck by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake, with its epicenter near Selfoss, which is the site of Bobby Fischer's grave.

That was not nice of you, Theodulf. You shouldn't overreact like that.

Interesting Martin, I didn't know about the Volokitin-Carlsen score (+4=2-0 in favor of Volokitin).

Looks like they haven't played since 2006. Time for a match!

PS, am I the only one who notices and is annoyed by Mig's constant, nagging, pro-Kasparov and anti-Carlsen spin?


Where is the constant "anti-Carlsen" spin ?

Leko is discouraged. In a rapid match very bad state to be in..I predict another Carlsen win!

"pro-Kasparov and anti-Carlsen spin"

Mig is working with Kasparov and has every reason to be pro-K.

He should have no reason to be against Carlsen, though, and IMO he doesn't seem to be. You can check his posts tagged "Carlsen" on
http://www.chessninja.com/cgi-bin/mt-search.cgi?tag=Carlsen&blog_id=1 and decide for yourself, but for convenience here are some quotes where Mig goes beyond just reporting facts, and where his opinion of Carlsen may shine through:

Nice work by Carlsen, who won his last two games to leap up the dense crosstable. He didn't seem comfortable with his first big top-seed role but lived up to it in the end. I hereby open the betting pool for which FIDE rating list will be the first to have Magnus Carlsen as #1.

Speaking of future world championship matches, the Karjakin-Carlsen minimatch was split 1-1.

Much of the credit must go to the remarkable fighting spirit shown by Magnus Carlsen and Veselin Topalov.

Carlsen won five games and showed that the only question is how strong he will eventually become if he's this good at 17.

Ivanchuk again handled his clock the way a virgin handles a bra hook and flagged making his 40th move against Carlsen. Kudos to the kid for keeping the pressure on and reaching a sharp endgame, although the consensus was that White was better most of the way.

Speaking of Black Death, Carlsen surprised Topalov with 1..Nf6, although he played the Alekhine's frequently at the recent World Blitz Championship. It was excellent psychological planning by the teen star, as he told us on the air after the round on ICC Chess.FM.

etc. etc.

Interesting Martin, I didn't know about the Volokitin-Carlsen score (+4=2-0 in favor of Volokitin).

Looks like they haven't played since 2006. Time for a match!

-- Posted by: Fritz the Cat at May 29, 2008 21:41

Carlsen and Volokitin are both playing in the Foros tournament in early June.

I predict Carlsen's first win over Volokitin. Carlsen is -MUCH- stronger now than he was in his four losses to Volokitin. If Carlsen loses again, then Volokitin is just his nemesis.

It happens. I remember reading at one point back in the 80's that Short was 7 1/2(!) out of 8 playing White against Ljubojevic, including an embarrasing king hunt win in which Ljubo's Black king was forced to march to like the h2 square nefore move 25.

[Event "Amsterdam Euwe-mem"]
[Site ""]
[Date "1988.??.??"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Short, Nigel David"]
[Black "Ljubojevic, Ljubomir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[NIC "SI 29.3.7"]
[ECO "B66"]
[PlyCount "63"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O
h6 9. Be3 Bd7 10. f4 b5 11. Bd3 Be7 12. Kb1 b4 13. Nce2 O-O 14. h3 Qc7 15. g4 Qb7
16. Ng3 Nxd4 17. Bxd4 Bc6 18. Rhe1 Rfe8 19. g5 hxg5 20. fxg5 Nd7 21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22.
Nh5 Kg6 23. e5 Kxh5 24. Qf4 Bxg5 25. Qxf7 Kh4 26. Qh7 Kg3 27. Qh5 Kh2 28. Qxg5
Rg8 29. Rd2 Bg2 30. Qf4 Rg3 31. Be4 Qxe4 32. Qxe4 1-0

OK, maybe I'm overreacting to Mig re Carlsen.

This is how the live rating list looks at the moment

01 Anand 2798
02 Morozevich 2789
03 Kramnik 2788
04 Ivanchuk 2780
05 Topalov 2777
06 Carlsen 2775

A few more wins from Alexander the great or Ivan the terrible and they could get the no 1 spot .....

Frankly I think Carlsen's Volokitin problem has as much relevance in the grand scheme of things as Gazza's Lautier and Gulko problems, or for that matter Capablanca's Verlinsky problem.

Yeah rdh, I think the "Volokitin problem" terminology was a little tongue in cheek.

Anyway, rapid or not, a 5-3 win with no losses on Hungarian soil eliminates the Leko Problem in my book for Magnus.

Vishy, you're next!

The Leko problem elimitaed itself years ago, he has a hot wife and and a good life....party on Peter Peter muffin eater...

it's just great to see young Magnus getting good results, he's such a natural practical player, as many said before, he's like a sort of Lasker. hopefully he'll be a worthy number 2 in the rankings one of these days :) -- and then number 1

Re ivanchuk-anand, that a world champ can be crushed in 18 moves, surely more proof indicating that opening theory has become far too important in chess! Dvoretski constantly bemoans this. Anyone see ponomariov's quick petroff win vs gelfand? very pretty, pity we don't see pono more at the top level!

How can knowing openings become "too" important? Guess we better not fight wars with the best weapons, might be "too" easy to win. Or maybe we shouldn't give our best effort at work or school, we might obtain the desired results "too" easily. Sheesh. I think it's great that Anand got spanked (in 16 moves by the by). It shows that even World Champs can get knocked off their pedestal and that great effort yields rewards. Anand should have prepared harder. Poor baby...

well said noyb, when he wins with 26 move prepared theory he is brilliant..when he loses in 18 moves it is an accident??LOL oh mr cat brain maybe when Pono is one of the best 20 players in the world then he will get invites..otherwise he is just a random.. there are many players at his level who do not get what they think they deserve..this is chess..just shut up and play

"Just shut and play..mr cat brain".
A beautiful deconstruction of my point, mr darius.
I await your next eloquent and deeply considered offering with bated breath. The internet is full of ill-mannered persons such as yourself who use a screen to vent their frustrations regarding real life. If you can't be civil then kindly keep your soiled fingers away from the keyboard. Thank you.
Knowing openings can become "too" important, noyb, when such short games occur-lost not because of lack of hard work but because of a mix up of lines. "great effort yields rewards"...makes no sense, as Anand prepares all the time, it was not from lack of effort that he lost.

Sorry to wipe the caissic grin off your face Chesshire, but you make my point entirely. If Anand lost because of a "mix up of lines" as you say, then he was not the better competitor (he failed to remember or think as clearly as Ivanchuk) and received a just punishment. Next arguement? Don't bother, I'm correct on this one!

There's nothing wrong with your argument, noyb, except that it has nothing to do with mine. I do not care who was the better competitor, I just think that if even the world champ can lose so quickly then theory plays too big a role in this game. And yes I know Anand wins many games on theory alone, that doesn't particulary please me either.
P.S. "Caissic grin" - respect for your wit, noble foe.

There should be a rule against memorizing variations.

There should be a rule against memorizing variations.

-- Posted by: boz at June 6, 2008 17:06

That's the principle advantage of Chess 960, or Fischer Random Chess (FRC): all of modern opening theory goes out the window and you are left on your own from move 1.

"There should be a rule against memorizing variations."

Really, would that help you feel on more "fair" footing? Man up, already--or go play backgammon.

Armenia’s leading Grand Master Karen Asrian, aged 28, died yesterday.


A great loss, RIP Karen, deepest sympothys to his family and friends...


sarcasm detector broken for good?

fierce loyalty from avid readers aside i think time has come to put this blog to rest or at the very least retitle the 'weekly dirt ninja blog..'

http://www.dailydirtblog.com is the corrected link to your happiness.

"The weekly dirt" doesn't do it for me.

Born With It? Author Suggests Yes

There is evidence that some universal human social behaviors and faculties are innate, and presumably shaped in part by the genes. In ''The Blank Slate,'' Dr. Steven Pinker lists some behaviors of political consequence which he considers may fall in this category.

Innate Social Behaviors

*Primacy of family ties, making nepotism and inheritance appealing.

*A propensity to share based on reciprocity where nonrelatives are concerned (within the family, it is free).

*A drive for dominance and a willingness to use violence to attain goals.

*Ethnocentrism and other forms of group-against-group hostility.

*Variation in intelligence (leading to inequalities) and in conscientiousness and antisocial behavior (leading to punitive constraints).

*Self-serving biases that deceive people into thinking they are freer, wiser and more honest than they are.

*A moral sense, biased toward kin and friends, and linked to ideas of purity, beauty and rank.

Innate Abilities

*An intuitive physics, used to keep track of the ''oomph'' of objects as they fall, bounce or bend.

*An intuitive biology, used to understand the living world by imputing an essence to living things.

*An intuitive engineering, used to make and understand tools.

*An intuitive psychology, used to understand others by imputing to them a mind with beliefs and desires.

*A spatial sense and a dead reckoner tracking the body's motions.

*A number sense, based on ability to register small numbers of things (1, 2 and 3) exactly and to estimate larger ones.

*A sense of probability, used to estimate uncertain outcomes by tracking how common one event is in relation to another.

*An intuitive economics, used to exchange goods and calculate favors.

*A mental database and logic, used to represent ideas, associate one thing with another and devise causal explanations.

*Language, the gift of sharing ideas from the mental database with others.

a propos magnus...find apt in paricular the last line about mental database except would replace 'sharing' with 'parsing'..,)

The Daily Dirt, The Weekly Dirt?! Man, this blog has been completely CLEAN for two weeks!

The Monthly Dirt? The Annual Dirt? The non-existent dirt? Mig's got some good reason I guess.

Whatever reason could a person have for setting down a burden
--for which, aside from the chance to continually laud the old emperor's new clothes, he receives no compensation and little gratitude,
--which provides a venue for all manner of fools and trolls (and the occasional intelligent observer) to attack him, and
--which provokes storms of whining when trivial events like family deaths, hospitalizations, a wedding, or business emergencies force him to take time off?

Well, gee, I must be starry-eyed and innocent. Here I see the same backdrop that motivated Greg's darkly witty comment...yet the sight of those very same "storms of whining," actually inclines me to envy Mig.

The reason should be obvious: People care. This blog clearly has become important enough to some people's daily lives, that they miss it when it's gone. (Yeah, some of them may be pathetic people, as evidenced by the content of their whining - but I'd also guess that for every one who actually said something here about missing Mig's updates, there are 20 more who felt that way but didn't express it.)

How many of us can honestly say that anyone - even our boss and co-workers, let alone complete strangers living across a number of continents - would miss our output enough to complain if it abruptly ceased?

The Dirt will live forever!! (as will internet whiners, so don't let them bother you)


Nope, and neither is my retard detector.

Careful, those things tend to blow up at close range.


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 29, 2008 1:44 AM.

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