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Top of the Rock

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Things are hotting up in the 2009 Gibtelecom Chess Festival in Gibraltar. This is the 7th edition of what has become a very powerful 10-round open. Russian champion Peter Svidler and Grand Prix standout Vugar Gashimov are the top seeds while Hikaru Nakamura is back to try to defend his 2008 title. That looked very unlikely after he lost two of his first five games, but the swiss system is about nothing if not redemption and he's right back in the mix with 6/8, a half-point behind leaders Gashimov and Milov, who meet in the 9th round. Nakamura may be rounding into form right on time. His win in the 8th round over Israeli GM Golod is vintage, with one sharply calculated tactical blow after another. Brutal stuff. (Game below.) Since I always complain when event websites suck -- and even the typically smooth Corus site went under regularly this year -- hats off to the Gibtelecom site, which is excellently produced without being fancy.

The 26th Linares tournament begins on Thursday, February 19. That's the first round. The cast of the double round-robin: Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk, Levon Aronian, Teimour Radjabov, Wang Yue, Alexander Grischuk and Lenier Dominguez. Topalov, Leko, and Shirov are the changes from last year's field. Funny how two players who had never played in a supertournament a year ago, Wang Yue and Dominguez, are now playing Corus and Linares back to back. Topalov's and then Kramnik's exit opened up a few spots and it will be interesting to see how they do in the deepest of the deep end of the chess world. Nice to see Grischuk back as well. Topalov's 9/14 decisive games in 08 will surely be missed, especially by Carlsen, who beat him twice. The official Linares site is still showing last year's event -- typical Linares webmastering. The games usually have a late 4pm local, 10am EST start.

The Kamsky-Topalov candidates match in Sofia, Bulgaria, will already be underway by the time Linares starts. The eight-game match begins on the 16th, though I don't know if that's the first round or the opening ceremony. Assuming the latter. Haven't seen the round starting time or an official site either. It's a pace of a rest day after each two games, until the end when they put an extra rest day between rounds seven and eight.

The 21000 euro first prize Aeroflot Open begins in Moscow next week as well. Bacrot, Naiditsch, Sargissian, and Onischuk are the top seeds listed so far. That's a whole lot of chess coming our way. Who wants to go outside in February anyway?

[Event "Gibtelecom Masters"]
[Site "Gibraltar"]
[Date "2009.02.03"]
[Round "8.5"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Golod, Vitali"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C95"]
[WhiteElo "2699"]
[BlackElo "2575"]
[PlyCount "103"]
[EventDate "2009.01.27"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3
O-O 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. Nf1 Bf8 14. Ng3 g6 15.
b3 Bg7 16. d5 Rc8 17. Be3 c6 18. c4 Nb6 19. Qe2 cxd5 20. cxd5 Nbxd5 21. exd5
Nxd5 22. Rac1 Nc3 23. Qd2 Nxa2 24. Ra1 Nc3 25. b4 d5 26. Bb3 Qe7 27. Bh6 Bh8
28. Nxe5 Bxe5 29. f4 Ne4 30. Rxe4 dxe4 31. fxe5 Qxe5 32. Rf1 Re7 33. Rxf7 Rxf7
34. Qd7 Qe8 35. Qxb7 Rc4 36. Bxc4 bxc4 37. Qxa6 Rc7 38. Qd6 Rd7 39. Qc5 c3 40.
Qc4+ Rf7 41. Nxe4 Qd8 42. Qxc3 Qb6+ 43. Qc5 Qxc5+ 44. bxc5 Re7 45. Nd6 Re5 46.
c6 Rc5 47. Nc8 Kf7 48. Na7 Rc4 49. Bf4 Rxf4 50. c7 Rc4 51. c8=Q Rxc8 52. Nxc8


On the basis of ELO-difference, Topalov shuld score over 61% - mmm.

Not only Wang Yue and Dominguez are playing Corus and Linares back to back, but actually six out of eight players in the Linares field ... . Just an observation.
And it is particularly interesting to see how Ivanchuk will do this time - "predict" would be the wrong word for someone as unpredictable as Chucky.

Linares will be interesting. Sad Karjakin is not there, instead of, say, Wang. Given the field, I'd say Anand and Aronian are favourites to win.

Come on Kamsky - so good to be cheering on a "yank" now that the resident of the White House has improved so much..............

In any case the newcomers, Dominguez and Wang could be very difficult to beat or even become the surprise of the tournament. I'm curious to see how the Cuban fares in yet another super-tournament. As for Wang Yue, he seems enough solid to probably not be the worst.

I do welcome Dominguez and Wang over Leko, Shirov, and even Topalov, if only for variety's sake.

Dominguez is still an unknown, but evidently a fighter.

We've seen enough of Wang to do a preliminary scouting report of his game:

Kramnik's influence is evident on a boy aged 13 when the former beat Kasparov in 2000, as Wang mainly plays Berlin or Petroff against e4, Slav against d4, and d4 as white.

Wang also seems to share Kramnik's "que sera sera" lack of ambition in indifference to result, simply choosing the best moves, never forcing anything, and being unafraid of a draw with black against a much lower rated opponent.

Mig calls him a grinder, which seems to sum up his style. His game doesn't explode like a Grischuk or Shirov, doesn't have the personality of a Moro or Mamedyarov. Wang seems to have good nerves, successfully closing out technical positions that are winning with consistency.

Unlike Kramnik, Wang 'sitzkriegs' each game until it's King and pawn, kinda like a young Kamsky. (Maybe this is because he still hasn't learnt the English word to offer draw...)

His opening preparation seems to have big holes, gettinng taken out of book by move five or six by Ivanchuk despite playing white. Maybe inadequate opening preparation means he doesn't hold serve well, losing all three times with white in Corus.

The 9. Na7 in the round one Corus loss against Ivanchuk remains inexplicable. May be a fluke, or suggest carelessness due to amateur status (he's a university student first, apparently), poor opening preparation, poor 'chess instinct' - any number of not good things.

Linares should close the few remaining questions about Wang.

Thx really instructional , makes me want to look Wang's games ,i will.
I have tremendous faith in Dominguez.

Go Chucky, Go!

Playjunior wrote: "I'd say Anand and Aronian are favourites to win."
Yes, but two other players may well be extra motivated after their 'mediocre' (Carlsen) or bad (Ivanchuk) results at Corus [both of course at a very high level]. And Radjabov has shown in the past (Corus 2007, 2008, 2009) that he is no worse than any of these players. So IMHO, there are five favorites (out of eight participants).

El.Blanco wrote: "As for Wang Yue, he seems enough solid to probably not be the worst."
A fair point, but then - an odd question - who is favorite for last place? Any of the players with a more risky style might be candidates, so here I would put Grischuk, Dominguez and (yep, again) Ivanchuk.
Just in case Dominguez fans start hitting me ... : Most players had rather bad results in their first supertournament (Carlsen was no exception). Dominguez now has 'a second chance to prove that he is no exception' ,:) which wouldn't mean anything for his further career.

I have a vision: it's 3 am and lit in the blue glow of his computer screen is the gaunt, unshaven face of our hero, Alexander Grischuk. He furiously mouses and clicks, his nose 2 inches from the pixels, his ignored cigarette burning in the ashtray. He is practicing, getting sharp. But, I can't quite see the screen - I hope it holds our chess pieces, not cards or poker chips!

Any prediction on Kamsky-Topalov opening choice?

For an 8 game match, opening surprise will surely be the most important aspect.

Most important make sure Topalov does not cheat, then Kamsky has real chance.

I liked your Wang comment , but this is just silly.
But i understand your perspective , it must be the only way to deal with Topa´s succes and results.

Kamsky should play something like 6.g3 against the Najdorf (equalish positions are OK, but please take opening prep seriously!).

Lets hope Kamsky does everybody a favour and beat that little cheat Topailov.

Kamsky's opening prep has much improved since a couple years ago when he was in an earlier stage of his comeback. And he's had plenty of time and (perhaps, with USCF's help) raised a bit of money to help prepare for this one.

6.g3 vs the Najdorf would be right in line with Kamsky's style, in any case; it has value above and beyond the idea of avoiding cutting-edge book. I recall watching a round of the US Championship a few years ago where Kamsky met the Dragon with g3, eventually achieving a typical Kamsky bind and squeezing his opponent to death. It wasn't an opponent of Topalov's caliber, obviously... but neither was it one of the US Championship's many "gimmes" (women, kids or wildcard qualifiers) - it was a solid professional GM, Shulman maybe, or Shabalov or Christiansen.

¨And all the Topa-haters summoned around the chess tree and pee on it , but when they woke up their beds were wet.¨

Svidler won the tournament in Gibraltar. He finished on 8/10 and won a play-off against Milov 2-0.

Key final round games that led to the playoff: Nakamura 1/2 Gashimov, Svidler 1-0 Harikrishna, Avrukh 0-1 Milov.


Let's just say I'm paranoid about players who:

1) are videotaped receiving signals from their coach during a game;
2) have as coach the amoral Danailov. Does anyone doubt a character like Danailov would cheat to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in tournament winnings, if he could get away with it?
3) have a profile over a period in the early to mid 2000s that fits that of an "advanced chess" player perfectly.

All unfounded speculation. Let's see the hard evidence and quit the slander. Me, I just enjoy the guy's ever entertaining chess.

hcl, quit with this compelling proof, or I will have to reveal how you cheated in your final exams, shoplifted from your local supermarket and smuggled on a moisturiser in a jar bigger than 100ml on your last flight. I know this based on your profile as an advanced moron of course.

Great comeback by Nakamura (well, almost). After losing 2 games in the early rounds, won 4 in a row to be in contention. Unfortunately a draw (the only undecided game) in the final round.


This is not a subject that interests me much, but the weight of public statements by major GMs is on my side.

There's Morozevich, who believed Topa was cheating and refused to shake his hand thereafter.

Or Kasparov, who saw the Corus video and summed the overal situation as "requiring explanation".

Or the unnamed participants at the WCC tournament other than Moro who suspected Topa of cheating.

Even Short documented the suspicious circumstances.

No need to rehash the other points, even a Topa-defender has to admit there is a lot of smoke.

I genuinely fear for Kamsky.

Hcl, I do hope you have no intention of entering the legal profession. It is rather well known that the burden of proof is upon the accuser. What you have expressed is
"A message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence.
A hypothesis that has been formed by speculating or conjecturing (usually with little hard evidence)."
or perhaps slander:
"An abusive attack on a person's character or good name."
The dictionary is always the best arbiter, I find.

@chesshire cat

I did not conclude Topa guilt, only that evidence indicates guilt probability much >0.

As to Anglo-Saxon legalities, I see you're not a lawyer either.

Topa has not been found 'not guilty' by a court of law. Anyway a 'not guilty' verdict merely judges the probability of guilty does not asymptotically approach 100%.

If the evidence indicates 98% probability of guilt, 2% innocence, the defendent is to be (theoretically) acquited.

IMO, guilt probability greater than 50%, less than 90%.

hcl, I sincerely hope you that if you are accused of some particularly heinous crime which destroys your reputation, you are surrounded by bystanders as knowledgable as you in law. Please also send me a copy of the paper you most certainly must submit to Harvard Law Review, describing guilt by percentage.


That is right hcl! He has to be guilty! Why would an unbiased person like you estimate the probability to be greater than 50% if he were innocent?
After all, those great moral philosophers Moro, Kaspy and Short (on morals) all agree with you that there is some smoke there. And we all know where is smoke there is fire, right? That alone should prove that he is guilty.


I am not a lawyer, but here is your mini law paper:

All decisions impact utility and require judgment of probability along each and every dimension, where p varies between 0 and 1 (this is standard social science theory).

Even small probabilities may matter.
People wear seat-belts to reduce probability of death from, let's say, .00001 per kilo-mile to .0000000001.

Let's move to the narrow area of Anglo-Saxon legalities, which d_tal and chesshire cat misapply.

First, both d_tal and chesshire cat forget in civil court one need only prove probability > 50%.

Only in criminal court does the standard raise to 'beyond a reasonable doubt', let's say p>.999999999999999999999. This is to protect the citizen against erroneous state seizure of the man's life/years-of-freedom/possessions-via-fines.

Chesshire cat and d_tal incorrectly want to pretend probabilities below .999999999999999999999 do not matter.



Statistics isn't for you. Please skip my comments in the future, thanks.

I recant. That paper proves Topalov's guilt convincingly. Btw, did any of you know that Mig is an alien? The weight of public opinion, 3 of my good buddies, proves it.
Hcl, let me know the date and location of your civil court case v Topalov, though it will be an anticlimax, knowing the result in advance. Will you call Short and Kaspy as expert witnesses, or will your own erudition suffice? I assume the criminal charges will come later.

@chesshire cat

But we are not in court, either civil or criminal. I merely identified the fallacy in *your* flawed Anglo-legal analogy.

Back to real life.

Does anyone doubt Topa guilt probability exceeds zero, certainly higher than, say, Anand's?

Does anyone doubt Kamsky isn't concerned in private, even frantic, especially given the match location of Sofia, Bulgaria?

Kamsky accepted the venue only as a last resort over the sole alternative of No Match.

I think you are an agent provocateur and don't truly believe your recent absurd posts.

On a slightly different slant, cheating allegations aren't unknown among GMs. Karpov, Kamsky, Alburt, Shamkovich and Evans have all made serious allegations against colleagues without offering any proof. I wonder if sour grapes is a sufficient explanation.

Here is a Danailov interview I was just reading at Chessdom.com. Kamsky is concerned about being cheated of 20 elo points and at least $500,000 prize (loser's share in an Anand match).


Danailov: [Kamsky] wants to bring a specialist to check the playing hall. I heard he's been working for MOSSAD. Let him come. We do not have anything to hide.


I am not an 'agent provocateur' because I am not anyone's *agent*. Kamsky pays me exactly $0 a month, count on it.


To calculate a probability p, you first need some data. Otherwise what you do is technically called guessing.

Brainless inanities of trolls aside (perhaps its unkind to call hcl a troll, perhaps he is genuinely challenged by logical thought processes) I am looking forward to the match. Kamsky is a tough match player, will be a formidable opponent for even the great Topalov.

The big question is, can he match Topalov in the openings? Has he been hiding his prep? Cos Topalov ain't gonna be beat by the London System or Bb5+ Sicilian, methinks.

hcl, et. al.--

a) San Luis participants' rumblings
b) Unusual player-manager relationship/conduct
c) Ratings "spike"
d) Error-free play in extremely complex positions
e) Kasparov and Short rumblings.

1) BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT: Should a juror vote to subject VT to criminal penalties?
--The only way Topalov could be properly convicted would be through photo/video-analysis of a series of suspected signals; obviously absent here.
(Compare this NYT report on catching five Boston-area cheaters at bridge.) http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A00E3DF1638F932A05754C0A962948260

2) PROOF BY A PREPONDERANCE (over 50%): Should a juror vote to award a San Luis also-ran money damages for Topa-cheating?
--The Kasparov and Short rumblings are not credible. If suspicion adhered to Danailov's conduct or to the games themselves this should have been reported at the time, particularly by someone who was breakfasting with Team Topalov at San Luis for chrissake.
--The rumblings from the San Luis players are vague. Something about a chair? Is it too much to expect that a player's wife, second, or manager should produce a video, or even a detailed written account of a signalling process that allegedly took place over several weeks?
--Topalov's ratings spike and error-free play could be the product of hard work. The unusual player-manager relationship/conduct (including the Corus video and attendant report of Danailov's cellphone use) could simply be Danailov's normal behavior, or a plan to psyche-out VT's opponents; and the San Luis rumblings could be opponents' jealousy. But these are also just the sort of things you'd expect if the player was cheating.

3) REASONABLE GROUNDS TO SUSPECT (Evidence of a man walking around during a riot with a new television constitutes reasonable grounds to suspect (i.e. arrest) but insufficient evidence to convict.): Should a Topalov opponent ask that the venue of an important event be cheating-proofed?

As a juror I would not find that a 50% standard has been met, much less a 98% standard. But I believe there are reasonable grounds to take precautions.

However, if a space alien told me I could save mankind only by making the right guess about what happened (or didn't) at San Luis, a tad of intuition added to the insufficient-on-its-face evidence would lead me to a narrow vote against VT.

Bartleby, on a technical note, to CALCULATE a probability, you choose a model (i.e., you make guesses) and then make predictions based on your guesses. To ESTIMATE a probability based on data (i.e., past performance as a predictor of future results) is the province of statistics.

You could have spared yourself all that typing, Greg, and said your gut tells you he cheated, and if you really had to call it you don't require hard evidence. Smoke, fire etc. There are no "narrow votes" here.


These discussions tend to bog down in standard-of-proof confusion, hence the typing.

By more than a narrow margin my gut tells me you're British. Smoke, fire, etc. But if it came to criminal penalties or civil damages I wouldn't "convict" you of that status without hard evidence.

Id like to quote GM Svidler about VT and the San Luis WCH tournament:

"Unless some sort of proof is provided (and I think it’s extremely unlikely), there is no point in this discussion. With a result like that there will always be some talk. (Conspiracy theories are very popular these days.) Obviously, you will not see something like this every day, a guy having 6.5 out of seven rounds in a category XXI field. This is clearly a very special result. But, we should not forget, he played well the whole year. I think we just have to accept that we were beaten. We should move on."

We have imperfect information to determine guilt or innocence. The probability of guilt, p, is neither 0 or 1, but lies in the range inbetween.

Chesshire/d_tal implicitly suppose p = 0, which is prima facie incorrect.

(Morozevich believes p = 1, though he has more information.)

If Koster believes 'narrow vote' of guilt, approximatley .5 < p < .6, Chesshire accuses Koster of cowardice, of failing to assert p = 1 in a manly fashion.

If I opine .5 < p <.9, Chesshire demands that I prove p = 1.

Unfortunately Koster and I are too honest to do strawmen. We do not demand chesshire/d_tal prove p = 0, because we're fair-minded and understand the impossibility of that feat.

Wow, there are some people more persistent and/or more verbose than me ,:).
Just to comment on two quotes:

hcl 6:45AM: "the weight of public statements by major GMs is on my side."
Just because other top GM's didn't speak up, it does not mean that they (silently) agree with those who did [accuse Topalov of cheating]

Greg Koster 2:32PM: "Error-free play in extremely complex positions"
Topalov certainly cannot be 'accused' for anything like that! Just take
1) his San Luis 1st round game against Leko, where both players made numerous inaccuracies or errors in a sharp Sicilian - any result was possible in that game, before black (Topalov) prevailed in the end
2) the first two games of his match against Kramnik - especially the second one, a computer (or someone with computer assistance during the game) would NEVER miss a forced mate.

Before people think that I suddenly became an unconditional Topalov fan ,:) : Then he and Danailov came up with cheating accusations against Kramnik, based on - at most - similarly weak evidence.
If Kamsky has something to fear then 'history repeating itself' - a similar scandal if, against the odds, he happens to obtain a lead in the Sofia match ... .

Koster said, in response to Chesshire: "These discussions tend to bog down in standard-of-proof confusion, hence the typing."

We may discuss probability independent of whether it meets an artificial standard of proof. Why must we prove p > .99, or p > .5? We're not in court.

If the circumstantial evidence suggests 30% guilt, 70% innocence, so be it. We needn't zero out the 30% just cuz d_tal and chesshire are fixated on certain standards.

Good catch, Thomas. Topalov did not go through the entire San Luis tournament without error. My mistake.

At some point the Topalov-cheating issue deserved and received some discussion. But no additional "evidence" from San Luis is remotely likely. Danailov is recently quoted as welcoming any and all anti-cheating measures in the Kamsky match. And we can trust Rustam Kamsky to beat the snot out of any cheaters. So there is really no longer any point in rehashing these Topa-cheating arguments.

British? Wrong on that, Greg, but go with your gut! You wouldn't convict Topalov but you'd bet the fate of mankind on his guilt.

Hcl:"Most important make sure Topalov does not cheat"
Well, that would imply that for you, Topalov will cheat if possible, and has cheated previously and must be prevented by outside measures, hence guilt probability = 1.
How this accords with your sophisticated later rationale:
"We have imperfect information to determine guilt or innocence. The probability of guilt, p, is neither 0 or 1" is a puzzler.

While reading these same arguments about Topalov's possible cheating for the ten thousandth time, I got to thinking, what proof would I accept?

As Svidler remarked, we're not likely to have real proof, like someone coming forward and confessing, showing us the transmission equipment and Topalov's secret watch, or anything like that.

I will point out that I am a skeptic about T's possible cheating - I doubt it very much. Not that I am any kind of Topalov fan, but I believe it would take some very strong proof to convince me that T or anyone way high up would or could computer-cheat and get away with it.

But I got to thinking... don't all the major chessplaying websites have secret computer-cheating detectors? I've read that their algorithms to detect computer cheating have become very good. I also regard them as experts of the relevant sort in identifying computer cheating, if anyone is. They have practice, they have tested their methods, they are sure enough of their methods that they publicly kick people off, and they have a strong financial incentive to be right.

I suspect these guys have already applied their algorithms to Topalov's San Luis games. I have not heard any result, but surely some people must know this answer. OK I agree, if the algorithms say T cheated, it still does not prove T cheated, but I would give weight to the results.


"You wouldn't convict Topalov but you'd bet the fate of mankind on his guilt."
--You're better than that. I'd give VT the benefit of the doubt if possible. But if the fate of mankind was on the line and I was FORCED to make a choice...

Its funny how you misinterpreted my Svidler quote , what about the part where it says:
> " we just have to accept that we were beaten. We should move on."
I find that part really instructive .

I don't really care if he arrives at his .5 .. don't all the major chessplaying websites
> have secret computer-cheating detectors? I've
> read that their algorithms to detect computer
> cheating have become very good.

But algorithms won't do gut shots. They really need data. If you limit yourself to one critical move per game, and use a physically separate computer to run the engine on, no algorithm could catch you. And that kind of cheating may or may not be possible in a GM tournament, depending on whether you can solve the problem of transmitting the move to your guy at the board.

Let's get hold of a stray cat and name it "Guilty". We can take her to the venue and lock her up in a black, soundproofed box backstage. If she comes out alive after each game, Topalov is obviously guilty. If she comes out dead, he is equally obviously innocent.
If she comes out alive and flaming furious, HCL can handle her.

I am puzzled that a 6.5/7 streak by Topalov against elite opposition causes suspicion in some quirky minds. What about similar streaks by Ivanchuk, Kasparov, Morozevich to name but a few. And what of late career rating spikes by Bologan, Movsesian etc?
I just hope that people realize the extreme evil of making such grave allegations without decent evidence. That includes team Topalov v Kramnik as well.

I think Topalov disgraced the world of chess, and I hope Kamsky crushes him.

It seems to me, though, that an opponent who thinks that Topalov is cheating might lose his composure and play less than 100%. So all this anti-Topalov ranting helps create a perception that actually helps the Bulgarian.

I have a theory too. The discrepancy between Morozevich's results in the Morelia and Linares halves of the Linares-Morelia tournament was made possible by the proximity of Russian communication devices to Spain.
And another one. Fischer's famous 23 game winning streak was helped by signalling from the KGB who wanted to lull him into a false sense of security prior to his match with Spassky.
And Elvis Presley is of course very much alive. He works in the food section of Harrods in London.

Hey, what happened to my post? The best of the first part is missing! Conspiracy!

I don't really care if he arrives at his .5 by statistics or stochastics.
I wanted to express my doubt how he could arrive at those numbers. By estimating, calculating, sincerely guessing.
We do have only incomplete information. Basically it amounts to: Some guys who may nor more have made hints. Intriguing, but for me this is not enough by far to claim "He probably did it."
Anyway, that's the past. What intrigues me more, is how did hcl arrive at those numbers: .5, .9, .999999999999999999999. Especially that .5: What makes him believe this? Has he thought things over? Is he interested if what he says is true?

..... don't all the major chessplaying websites ...(see above)

In case Danailov's signalling to Topa was true, it was not best move by Fritz&Co, but sg like "tactical shot OK", "tactics don't work"; and certainly was not offered at every move but only at crucial junctures (maybe when Topa asked for it). Thus, failure of best play or even finding forced wins does not entirely exonerate Topa.

Chesshire sat, thanks for your reply "You wouldn't convict Topalov but you'd bet the fate of mankind on his guilt" to the assertion "However, if a space alien told me I could save mankind only by making the right guess about what happened (or didn't) at San Luis, a tad of intuition added to the insufficient-on-its-face evidence would lead me to a narrow vote against VT".
It's such a marvelous example of rhetoric spindoctoring that it gives me aesthetic pleasure. Certainly should be tought.


The p > .5 refers to the 'balance of evidence' standard of civil court, and the .999999999999999999999 to the 'beyond reasonable doubt' standard of criminal court. I tacked on an impressive number of '9's to hint 'asymptotically approaching 1'.

I merely *opined* .5 < p < .9, based on the evidence from San Luis to Corus 2006 and everything in between.

To add my two words, I don't think Topalov cheated. Just that his manager has behaved incorrectly in the past, notably in the match against Kramnik. It shouldn't be forgotten, though, that he's also done good things for chess, by himself or participating/organizing great tournaments. I eagerly wait the match against Kamsky, hoping for the best, and rooting slightly for the american. I just admire a lot the way he came back. I also think if someone has a chance to beat Topalov with the Rossolimo, it would be him. Watch out however for Topalov's new weapon (Caro-Kan). I think that the key for the match are Topalov's white games: maybe the best chance for a win for Kamsky could lie there.

If Moro believes p:1 but Svidler don´t believe , then p : you got nothing .
Svidler opinion in this subject weights 3 or 4 time Morozevich´s .
And what would be all the ¨evidence from San Luis to Corus 2006 and everything in between¨,
please share .

"It's such a marvelous example of rhetoric..."

It's not an exercise in rhetoric, but in common sense.

Some cops can look at a dude and tell you whether he's carrying dope. The cop's intuition obviously isn't enough to convict the dude but if he has to guess whether the dude's carrying...

"It seems to me, though, that an opponent who thinks that Topalov is cheating might lose his composure and play less than 100%."

I think that the Topailov team counting on that is more likely than that they've actually been cheating, although the latter is also clearly a possibility.

Danailov may have acted suspiciously on purpose (that he's been acting suspiciously can't really be denied by anyone who is both reasonable and knowledgable, but it may not necessarily have been his intention) with the very intent to make Topalov's opponents suspect him.

Deeply cynical, but I wouldn't put it past them. (I wouldn't put actual cheating past them either, of course.)

Or as Topalov himself put it: "If you don't discover it you just play chess. But if you find out it wrecks you. You can't sleep and you spin yourself in circles." http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3553

" Some cops can look at a dude and tell you whether he's carrying dope. The cop's intuition obviously isn't enough to convict the dude but if he has to guess whether the dude's carrying...:"
Yep , but if the cop cant find evidence after a reasonable time he has to let the citizen go.
You want me to believe that a guy who is visible to the audience all the time (even winning a mayor event in a glass cage) is cheating and yet you go crazy if someone suggest that other guy that plays a lot of time out of sight (especially in matches) is cheating.
Your intuition can be taken more like a wish , i think.
Kramnik looks suspicious to me too , but that is not enough to point in his direction without proof , the guy is inocent until something real shows up.
Do like the cop , let Topa go , he is at the top now , enjoy him.

"Yep, but if the cop cant find evidence after a reasonable time he has to let the citizen go."
--Maybe my example doesn't travel well. If the citizen could be searched he would very likely be found with drugs. But U.S. law prevents a cop from searching dudes whom the cop strongly suspects, through an intuition gained over a career in police work, of carrying drugs.

"...enjoy him."
I can enjoy VT's play in a cheating-proofed venue; Elista 2006, for example, and I look forward to Sofia 2009.

For Anand-Kramnik there was only a gauze curtain. It will be interesting if additional measures are set in place for a possible Anand-Topalov.

If you want to believe that the cheating policies of each match describes the level of integrity of the players , its ok , but don´t ask me to believe in someone just because of that (same thing viceversa ).
You need to believe that the Topalov of Elista is the real Topalov , because the real cannot play like in San Luis , i understand that , but is not true.
The Topalov of Elista is the same that the one who won San Luis , but very nervous.It was his first big match , and everything went wrong for him .
But he is a flexible learner , he overcome that.
Of course some things helped him , the win over Kramnik in Corus must have helped a lot (that ´s got to hurt!), along with winning almost every super tournament in which he participated.
May i ask you if you enjoyed the Topalov win in Bilbao? , or in Nanjin?.

"The Topalov of Elista is the same that the one who won San Luis , but very nervous.It was his first big match , and everything went wrong for him ."
Everything?? Including game 5 which he won ... without making a single move?

"But he is a flexible learner , he overcome that."
Let's hope that he (and Danailov) did learn one thing: inventing scandals don't increase your popularity with fellow players and general public.

"If you want to believe that the cheating policies of each match describes the level of integrity of the players..."

No, it describes the level of trust from player to player.

"May I ask you if you enjoyed the Topalov win in Bilbao? or in Nanjin?."
Sorry for the following too-long answer to your short question.

Kramnik has been known to walk around since at least 2000 when Kasparov demanded a restroom attendant. Since 2004-5 it's well known that Kramnik suffers from serious health problems.
--A sportsman with concerns about an opponent walking into a cheating-proofed alternate-player-used bathroom [a single trip at a critical moment would be sufficient for a cheater] should voice them before Game One; would not save them for when his player is crumbling after the first four games, as a distraction.
--A sportsman expresses sadness, not delirious glee, at winning by forfeit.
--A sporstman with serious concerns acts seriously; does not affect ear-to-ear grins while waving plastic toilets.
--A sportsman does not slime his opponent with absurd cheating "theories" (esp. after Game Five when the restrooms were attended): VT's claim of cheating through unknown means by chess-retarded FSB agents.

I'm sorry, the whole picture makes me ill and destroys for me any interest in Topalov's chess; except for a cheating-proofed high-level match during which I'll root for the other guy.

Thomas , are you ok? your last post seems unnecesary biased and hatefull, not your style.

@Koster and sportsmanship and Topa, lets go :

¨A sportsman expresses sadness, not delirious glee, at winning by forfeit.¨
I dont think so , if you believe that the oponent is cheating , and then he refuses to play without his outside help , you may think that you were right about him.
¨Since 2004-5 it's well known that Kramnik suffers from serious health problems. ¨
That is a really nice excuse for not playing much and justifying bad results, if i can pretend a cold he can exagerate his condition with ease.
¨Kramnik has been known to walk around since at least 2000 when Kasparov demanded a restroom attendant¨
That can be considered as very suspicious behaviour in matches , to say the least.

I do not consider my last post hateful, maybe it is biased (certainly if anything but unconditional support for Danailov + Topalov means being biased).

Well, maybe you are right that everything, really everything went wrong for Topalov in the Elista match - because even his 'victory' in game 5 was sort of a poisoned pawn in the longer term. And in the second paragraph, I express hope that you are right about Topalov being 'a flexible learner'. BTW, I am already convinced that the same applies to Kamsky who left his pre-retirement past behind: he cannot keep his father from speaking up, but Rustam Kamsky is no longer speaking or acting on his son's behalf.

A formal excuse from Topalov to Kramnik concerning Toiletgate is probably too much to ask - yet if he did so he would regain my respect for him as a person (and I never said that I do not respect him as a chess player).

And _your_ statement about Kramnik's health problems is certainly biased, quite possibly hateful. What makes you think that he "exaggerated his condition" when medical specialists diagnosed a serious disease??Comparing his illness with a simple cold (that passes away in a matter of days or weeks) is an insult to him and anyone else having long-term chronic health problems.

My statement is NOT an insult to anyone else having long-term chronic health problems!
How can you say that? please explain your logic behind that statement.

First you have to explain the logic behind your statement:
"That [serious health problems] is a really nice excuse for not playing much and justifying bad results, if i can pretend a cold he can exagerate his condition with ease."
My interpretation was (and is): I can simulate a cold, Kramnik can (and does) simulate serious health problems - or at least make things look more serious than they actually are. And other people with serious long-term health problems may also be accused of just simulating them.

BTW, to my knowledge Kramnik never used his health problems "to justify bad results" - because when he had these bad results he was largely unaware of his health condition. Cause and cure had not yet been found (something which also applies to some other chronic diseases, it may take months or even years to come up with the right diagnosis). Maybe I sound like a medical doctor, which I am not - just referring to some other cases among people I know.

It is also interesting that you insist about "NOT an insult to anyone else", but implicitly confirm that it was an insult to Kramnik. You can insult him of anything, even of cheating (if you really believe that he was), but please leave his health problems out of the discussion!

"That is a really nice excuse for not playing much and justifying bad results, if i can pretend a cold he can exagerate his condition with ease."
Thomas, why do you continue to argue "logically" against statements like these? When you read statements like that you've just gotta stop taking the poster seriously and leave him rant away to himself.

Easy girls , i just pointed that the posibility exists , an that someone can speculate against Kramnik the same way you do with Topa.
@cat , please take me seriously ! I m leaving in shame here.

leaving: living
, he he

¨And other people with serious long-term health problems may also be accused of just simulating them.¨
You still never mentioned how you got there from what i wrote, and the reason of that is that there is simply no conection with what i was saying.
If i say this guy is red , im not saying that every guy is red , or i am ?
You dont even check your logic at no point , do you?

"...if i can pretend a cold..."

Take a look at photos of Kramnik circa 2005...he looks like a skeleton. Making light of another player's serious illness fits in nicely with the slime-assaults waged by VT, his manager, and many of his partisans.

Chesshire's right.

You still dont get the point ,the thing is that it is posible , i am not acusing him , just asking who is pure enough to claim that Topalov is cheating without proof and giving a nice example of why not to acuse without proof.
Im just saying , what if i give Kramnik the same treatment you give Topalov .
And now im Menguele , the barbaric and cruel hater of Kramnik , pls, take it easy .

And as a fan of Topa´s play ,i need Kramnik maybe more than you do .

@Manu: I still cannot find anything illogical in my chain of statements (Manu can simulate, Kramnik can simulate, anyone else can simulate). Both common sense AND your experience in advertising (I am admittedly on thin ice regarding the latter) should dictate that such associations are at least possible, regardless of whether they were intended by the speaker.

So if you had written "I did not mean to insult anyone else" I would accept it; your categorical "I did not insult anyone else" deserves, well, further comment IMHO.

@chesshire cat: Maybe you are right. But I couldn't leave such a statement without comment, partly because I haven't (yet) lost hope in Manu .... . I haven't even lost hope in Topalov/Danailov - hence my suggestion that they should present formal excuses for Toiletgate.

But now chesshire's probably losing hope in YOU.

Oh Thomas , for the love of god are you challenged?
"Manu can simulate, Kramnik can simulate, anyone else can simulate" What is this crap? And Thomas can simulate too , did i said that ?, of course not .
I didnt insult everyone with a serious illness , and you know it.
Your logic is broken , you cannot claim that i insult every ill person in the planet.

Losing hope in me? who do you think you are my little german?
But please , do me a favor , go with chesshire and Greg , they will take care of you well .

Last comment on this topic:
I conclude that Manu and Kramnik are the only persons in the whole world who can simulate an illness, enjoy Vladimir's company!

And (though this is too obvious to mention): My nationality and body height (which you don't even know) are totally irrelevant in this context ... .

I see they accepted you as one of their own.
I wonder what would be the passing ritual , my little pony.

It's secret, but involves the ability to refrain from laughing (he he) at your own posts.

And, he he, not making racist remarks.
take your own advice- pls, take it easy

Racist remarks? You want to make this big , don't you ?
So i insult ill people and im racist, wow that was fast.
" take your own advice- pls, take it easy "
If i 'd take life with more calm than i do , i would be in a coma , my little kitty.

And greg : , i can laugh at yours too , i was just being polite .

ho ho

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 3, 2009 11:39 PM.

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