Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Aronian-Leko Showdown in Nalchik

| Permalink | 87 comments

You don't often have clear leaders facing off in the final round so let's hope they don't disappoint. Live here. GP points are more important than flexing muscles, so caution will likely be the order of the day, but we can dream. Either they will share first place after a draw or the winner will take clear first, since they are a full point ahead of the pack of Grischuk, Alekseev, and Akopian, all of whom have black tomorrow.

Leko surged up to +3 and put in a bid to become every chess fan's new favorite player with his second smashing win against the Petroff in less than a week's time. Deep opening prep, a lead in development, and a kingside attack as subtle as a sledgehammer to the cranium were all it took to drop Kasimjanov in just 30 moves. We even got a pretty rook sac for a finale. Put a pawn on h6 and it's all good, apparently. Or that fresh yak blood Leko drinks before each game must really work! (Or maybe he's back to following his old secret training regimen?) Leko is the only player to score a win over the tournament's two Petroffylactics, Kasim and Gelfand, in the dreaded Russian Defense. Let's hope there's some carry-over from Leko's work that either scares off other players from the Petroff or earns white a few more high-profile wins. It wouldn't be the first time Leko started a trend; he brought the Sveshnikov back to the top level in a big way in a single tournament, Dortmund 2002. (I exaggerate, but his crucial wins with it against Shirov and Topalov in that event put him into the match with Kramnik and various players who had never used it before started up with it after that. Leading not so much to a wave of Sveshnikovs as to countless 3.Bb5 games to avoid its success. Leko had used it before and Kramnik was about the only top 10 player to use it in the mid-90s. And "Mr. Najdorf" Kasparov startled Shirov with it earlier in 2002.)

The other decisive games in the 12th round were Karjakin's win over Svidler and Grischuk bouncing back yet again with a win over Bacrot. The Frenchman played the Benoni and did what you are supposed to do with the Benoni at this level: lose. Actually he had a likely draw deep into the tricky endgame with 45..c3! instead of wasting time taking the worthless b4 pawn. Svidler had a long defense in one of this event's epic number of Ruys but missed the infiltration 40.Qd7! right before time control and couldn't hold back the b-pawn. Unfortunately for Black he's losing another pawn in the final position. (52..Kh7 53.Rf8! f5 54.Rd8 and the knight no longer has an outpost on e6.) Another indicator of how tough this event has been is how even the players who look to be in good form keep getting whacked.

Aronian needed all of his guile to survive against Kamsky in a wild game that was really the highlight of the round. Kamsky opened with a kingside fianchetto and d3, pretty offbeat even for him. An interesting exchange sac sharpened the game into a razor, but Aronian found all the necessary moves to survive. Another great game in a tournament full of them. And while I'm extolling the chess in this event, a shout-out to the excellent web content as well. They are finally leveraging the access to the players an official site should exploit with fun interview clips and surveys.

Alekseev pressed against Ivanchuk and it looked for a moment like he missed a simple win in time trouble when he could have swapped queens with 33.Qd3+. It's definitely a try, but after doing the happy dance for a few seconds the old quad-core hits 30 ply and says White ends up with a rook pawn in a queen endgame that is likely drawn. Instructive stuff, as it looks like the black king is leagues away while the black a-pawn falls quickly. Lots of cool breakthrough variations save Black, however. Definitely worth a look, especially if you can find a win. Eljanov survived a position he had no right surviving against Mamedyarov, who is usually the escape artist. Isn't Black just lost after 17.Be5? Allowing ..c5, ..c4 and the counterchances provided by the q-side majority must have been wrong. White got chances again in a pawn-up endgame with a passer on e6 but with his knight stuck offsides somehow it didn't win. Chess is hard.


Mig!! Where's the dirt on the Kasparov shindig in Sochi man?? We await your insider scoop!

After all this. Who is going to win the complete grand prix?

Presently Aronian seems to have the best chances. He was sole first in Sochi, will be "at worst" shared second in Nalchik and has two more tournaments to go - as the worst result doesn't count he can afford a negative outlier in one of them.

Trouble is that just about every time Mig does give us insider info on Kasparov, he gets slammed by some idiot who calls himself Clubfoot. So perhaps he has decided not to share such stuff with us anymore...

One aspect of the report that puzzles me is the statement that Kasparov criticised the Soviets for supporting, at the time, the Turkish massacre of the Armenians. But this massacre occured in 1915, which was before the Soviet Union came into existence. Perhaps here Kasparov was referring to the pogrom in Baku in 1990, and the New York Times mixed the two up in their report.

Great post on the Nalchik tournament by the way, Mig.

Aronian smashed Leko and Akopian smashed Eljanov. Aronian first, Leko and Akopian share 2-3.

Complete triumph. Things could not possibly go better.

Bravo Akopian for putting such a performance after a disastrous start.

Eljanov butchered a nearly-won position against Akopian and lost, so black won one game today out of the 4 decisive games. Otherwise, it would have been 15 - 0 for white in the last 4 rounds.

For the sake of truth Luke-yes, Eljanov hit the self-destruct button in a dominating position :)

Luke, can you point out where Eljanov went wrong? There is one thing I don't understand: why couldn't white play 31.hg6:? - but as both GM's deliberately allowed or, respectively, avoided this move there is probably a hidden reason for it [they are stronger than me and, presumably, stronger than both of us ...].

Yes. But keep in mind that I am vastly out-rated by both players.

All that White has to do is play 31.hg6. He may have been worried about Black getting in at him on the h-file after 31…Kg7, but I didn’t see any problem. White just plays 32.gf7 Rh8 33.Rh1 and after 33…Rxh1 34.Kxh1, isn’t this almost a win for white? He’ll play Kg2 and win with his extra pawn. Perhaps some GM will show me that I’m wrong, but as I was watching the game, I just couldn’t see why Eljanov avoided the obvious 31.hg6. It’s a move that all of us patzers would play.

"Trouble is that just about every time Mig does give us insider info on Kasparov, he gets slammed by some idiot who calls himself Clubfoot. So perhaps he has decided not to share such stuff with us anymore."

Poor Mig, intimidated by the posters on his own blog and terrified of provoking controversy even though he owns the delete button. Kudos to the feisty little dickens who calls himself ChrisB, who'll surely provide assertiveness training if Mig should request it.

Has there been a major tournament recently where White has had such a dramatic advantage? I have it as 28 White wins to 9 Black wins.

Interesting is that eight different players won with Black and eight lost with White (with Eljanov being the duplicator on both sides).

Is there any meaning in this?

Some good wins today , Aronian's and Bacrot's against Alekseev's Petroff were nice to watch .

Chris B

Kasparov may have been referring to the Soviet Union's passive response to generations of official Turkish denial regarding a genocide visited upon the citizens of what soon after became a USSR member state; the Soviets also allowed an irredentist action by Turkey that ceded post-genocide Armenian territory (borders drawn by the US Wilson government) back to Turkey in the 1923 Treaty of Kars, an action that drove large numbers of Armenians back over Soviet borders to escape Turkish persecution. Largely due to this treaty, some historians have suggested that the genocide didn't really end in 1917 and that the Soviets helped enable its continuation.

Hah. Intimidated? No, just the time-consuming, tiresome business of dealing with the misrepresentations of what is said and the motives for saying it.

Of course, you, Greg, the other half of Mr and Mrs Clubfoot, are the other main tiresome wanker on this blog who considerably detracts from the enjoyment of it.

Chris B, whatever the merits or demerits of your attack upon Mr Koster, be aware that your use of "wanker" considerably detracts from MY enjoyment of this blog.

I agree, Aronian's win was nice. He kept on giving Leko 3 or 4 choices and eventually Leko stumbled down the wrong trail. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of Aronian's moves were not objectively the best, but they certainly seemed to rattle Leko and give him too much to think about.

Well, I probably won't be using that word again for quite a while, so your enjoyment will soon be restored, chesshire cat.
On the other hand, Mr Koster's graffiti, so liberally spread around this blog, and on just about every thread, will likely be with us for a long time yet, continuing to diminish mine into the future.

Clubfoot, you may possibly be right, but the article does refer to a 'ceremony commemorating the Armenian genocide during World War 1' [main massacres in 1915, continuing to a much lesser degree into 1916 and 1917], and a bit later in the article, 'at the time of the massacres'

Any later possible massacres in 1920-23, etc. would have been pretty small scale compared with 1915, so I am not sure that Kasparov would have considered them a significant enough event to use to have a poke at the Soviets.

My bet is that Kasparov was referring to the 1990 pogrom in Baku, but I do say that I cannot be really sure about this.

It will be interesting to see if Mig clarifies this if he comments on the article.

Since we have the Kars treaty and friendship with the Turkish government as evidence that the Soviets helped prolong the genocide (and in fact Ankara's state policy of denial has placed it in violation of the UN articles of genocide to this day, a situation that certainly obtained in 1990), any poke that Kasparov made in his speech would have been justified without need to keep score ("pretty small scale" -- as if the numbers in 1923 weren't sexy enough for you?).

While of course I understand your consistently childlike need for "clarity" from Mig, I noted that you knew next to nothing on this subject, so I was just trying to help.

Clubfoot, your last post and attitude is a pretty good example of time-consuming, tiresome misrepresentation.

I may know more than you think.
I did not comment on some questionable parts of your earlier post because it was getting too far off-topic, but now I suppose I will have to.

Firstly, the Treaty of Kars was in 1921, not 1923.
Secondly, your statement "the Soviets also allowed an irredentist action by Turkey" is utter rubbish as far as I can see. The Soviets lost their part of Armenia by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918 when they withdrew from WW1. Ottoman Turkey lost their part in their WW1 defeat, confirmed by the Treaty of Sevres in 1920, and all of Armenia was independent.
But the nationalist Turks under Mustapha Kemal who were gaining control from the Ottomans did not recognise the Sevres treaty and invaded Armenia, including some of the former Soviet part, in 1920. The Soviets, fully involved in the Russian Civil War at the time, were in absolutely no position to "allow" them or otherwise.
Later in 1920, the Soviets also invaded part of Armenia. However, still pretty shaky, they had no wish to fight the resurgent Turks, so the Kars Treaty, dividing Armenia was agreed. The Turks obtained, in addition to all their pre-war territory, most of the pre-war Russian territory of Kars as well - I'm sure the Soviets were really keen to "allow" that if they had been in a position to do otherwise.
I do not see much evidence of any massacres in 1920-1923 (Mustapha Kemel, the founder of modern Turkey, was much more humane than the Young Turks of the Ottoman Empire), but it is quite possible that there was a mass exodus of Armenians fearing such over the new border.
And I do NOT regard any sort of massacre as 'sexy'. Such comments, standard fare from you, are part of why you are so despised.

Given that what Kasparov is referring to is unclear, I see nothing wrong with commenting that clarification from Mig would be of interest, but of course you cannot help yourself from making gratuitious, irrelevant barbs. What do you get out of it?

Great tournament for Aronian and Akopian. Bacrot and Leko, good, but nothing special. Not so good for all the rest.

Chris B

Wikipedia's easy, thinking is hard. Here you choose the former path, and your screaming ignorance of the history shines brightly through your improvised cut and paste. Interesting you'd call me earlier post "too far off-topic" because it responded to something YOU brought up.

Briefly and right off the hop: the Kars treaty did not go into effect until 1923, but you missed it because you're a glancer not a reader. Nothing you copied or opined changes the fact that the land was reclaimed in an irredentist act with Soviet concurrence. The rest of your historical longueur does nothing to disprove what I wrote, but you took time to pile on the pablum because it intimidated you that an "idiot" would illuminate a subject of which you have no understanding. I could recommend to you some books on the subject, but they don't come with fresh crayons.

"you cannot help yourself from making gratuitious, irrelevant barbs. What do you get out of it?"

Well, first of all let's remember who started this. Your earlier post also featured an unprovoked attack on me, condemning me not for anything I'd said but for the likelihood I might post an unwelcome thought. Your fetish for me is amusing, but try not to stretch it to an intellectual level where your mild retardation will let you down every time.

And you needn't worry about Koster's "graffiti" diminishing your own. Your bilious contributions to the Dirt, especially your belief that disagreeing with you is an admission of homosexuality, will endure for their pure entertainment value.

The fact is that Lenin himself(after taking over the revolutionary government by force) helped Ataturk with trainful of gold and arms in 1919-20, just in the time Turkey was in the state of war with Armenian newly independent nationalistic government!

Russian leaders(Tzars and their proceeders Bolsheviks) always stated in private meetings that they wanted Armenia without its original inhabitants, the irony is same disasterous stratigical mistake was taken by Byzantine empire one thousand years before, against Armenian Bagratid kingdom opening the gates of empire to nomadic Turko-Altaic tribes invading from east.

Luke, I don't know if you checked the performance ratings before commenting - but it appears to be the case. For a complete picture:
Aronian and Akopian overperformed by about 80 points.
Leko and Bacrot overperformed by ~25 points (maybe that's nothing special, but then see below).
Grischuk, Gelfand and Alekseev performed as expected.
Six other players end up with about -25 (also nothing special[ly bad]!?)
This would leave only Ivanchuk having a truly bad tournament ... .

Of course, at least two players (Karjakin and Grischuk) may have had higher hopes before the tournament. Then, their play was "not so good" on a relative scale - compared to earlier this year (Corus and Linares, respectively).

From the final post on the tournament webpage - entitled "Long live to King! [sic]":
'Memorable awards' were given to several participants:
"Will to victory" for Kamsky [I understand]
"Prize of the viewers sympathies" to Ivanchuk [I also understand, but wonder if Chucky cared or appreciated it]
"Chess ciceron" for Kasimdzhanov [what??]
"All-round developed sportsman" for ... Mamedyarov [I DON'T understand !]

Thomas, I suspect they couldn't think of anything to give Mamedyarov a prize for, hence they thought "gee, he's working out, lets give him muscle prize". That's what happens where you have a top-class tournament in some god-forsaken place: they (unwillingly) ridiculed him. And the pictures of closing ceremony make me want to scream.

I am not even sure if it was done 100% unwillingly ... . And if Ivanchuk had refused to accept the "prize of the viewers sympathies", they could make a stronger and unambiguous statement presenting that one to 'special guest of honor Kurnosov' ???!

Oh my god , they put Aronian into the skin of a polar bear!
Those who complained against the Bilbao glass box for being humilliating for players , should ask Aronian after that ceremony for his opinion.
The guy seems to be praying for earthquake or worse into that thing :)

When I saw the pictures I thought he regretted that he won the tournament in the first place.

Instead of thinking on how to fix their retarded broadcast, all the organizers seem to care about is to overpass the previous tournaments in the ridiculousness of their opening and closing ceremonies. The cake is the how much of a clown you can make of the winner.

Thomas -

Your comment:

"All-round developed sportsman" for ... Mamedyarov [I DON'T understand !]"

He didn't accuse anyone of cheating. He didn't withdraw. He is developing some good sportsmanship. Good for him. Give him an award.

Maybe that's it.

Maybe the white rug on Aronian is viewed as an honor in that part of the world. Something from their heritage. They don't see anything strange about it, even though people from other parts of the world may think it looks bizarre.

If we lived there, perhaps we would want to wear that white rug too.

Congratulations to Manu, discoverer of the Caucasian polar bear (Ursus polaris caucasis nalchikiensis?)!
Seriously, it seems to me that Aronian doesn't look THAT unhappy on the photos .... maybe he just reluctantly played the game, but on the other hand he is rather creative himself (not only on the chess board, but also the way he dresses). Somehow I think the 'polar bear pack' fits him better than several other players (Leko, Grischuk, Ivanchuk, ...). As far as Grischuk is concerned, maybe it was harder for him to wear a jacket at the closing ceremony (for the first time during the tournament).

Anyway, if all of the following is considered humiliating, what's worse: forcing the winner to wear a costume for a few moments during the closing ceremony, or forcing all players into a glass cube (Bilbao) or to wear suits provided by the organizers (Nanjing) throughout the tournament?
Playjunior's reaction may be due to regional animosities (you can prove me wrong if you are as critical about whatever the Yerevan organizers come up with). As far as Manu is concerned, it fits with his overall mantra "everything Grand Prix is bad, everything Grand Slam is great" ... .

Luke I myself come from Armenia. What they did was tasteless at best imo. Maybe some old shepherd in Nalchik perceived the whole thing as if they were making a huge honor to Aronian, but I would guess that pretty much everyone else saw it as organizers forcing a world-class GM look to like a clown. Somehow I cannot recall anyone being forced to wear lederhosen when they win Dordmund (lederhosen is a Bayern thing but for sure they have something like that in Dordmund too :) ).

On a side note: some juicy interviews on www.chesspro.ru

A piece from Aronian:
(translated by me, I apologize for the mistakes, its my third language to my second. Hope it beats Babelfish copy-pastes by Thomas though :) )

- Overall, how did the tournament go?

- Something went OK, something didn't...Didn't run well in openings. In the last rounds I started to like my game. Somehow I managed to find a will in myself to put up a fight, play sharply. While I kept getting dangerous positions, I kept played sharp. The games against Kasimjanov and Kamsky were sharp. The last one was a fighting game. I understood, that if I play "by the way"-nothing good will come out of it. If you want to win, you have to give a fight. (Russian expression is "give an open fight" if I put it literally. Not sure one can say it that way in English, but I would say its more aggressive than "give a fight". More towards going berserk ;)) )

- You barely escaped against Kamsky.

- Right...whatever... usual stuff. This is such a tournament, there are no players which would take you into grips and never let you go when you make a smallest mistake. Here you can slip away...

- Who would be the players you mentioned above? (e.g. the ones that would not let you go - me).

- Topalov, Carlsen, Anand, Kramnik.
- There were no such players here?
- There were. But they differ somehow from those guys. Here we had players that can play a game on the level of those one day, and on the next day they cannot. Those ones manage to do that every day.

- Do you consider yourself on the same level as "those guys"?
- I always did.
- And for this reason it was much easier for you here, compared to the others?
- I wouldn't say it was easier... not necessarily.

The rest is interesting too, but I am lazy to do the whole.

Mig if you had an "edit post" button I would correct some of the one bazillion mistakes I made there.

I agree, an edit button will do just fine!
I wanted to take back some parts of my comment also, I didn't mean to offend my Russian brothers, after all my great grandfather was a fullblooded Russian cossack who fought against Bolsheviks!

Some people were offended a few weeks ago when I said:

"Something is missing. There needs to be a killer amongst them, but he is not there. These guys are all soft and polite. Too bad."

Still, I enjoyed the games and most of the players fought pretty hard. However, I'm sure that you might find Aronian's comments (translated by playjunior) interesting:

"This is such a tournament, there are no players which would take you into grips and never let you go when you make a smallest mistake. Here you can slip away...

- Who would be the players you mentioned above? (e.g. the ones that would not let you go - me).

- Topalov, Carlsen, Anand, Kramnik.
- There were no such players here?
- There were. But they differ somehow from those guys. Here we had players that can play a game on the level of those one day, and on the next day they cannot. Those ones manage to do that every day.

- Do you consider yourself on the same level as "those guys"?
- I always did."

Isn't Aronian saying the same thing that I said 2 weeks ago? I understand that some of you felt compelled to yell at me...I am just a patzer. So now, are you also going to yell at Aronian? I hope not. Even us patzers can have a feel for what's going on. I don't need to wait for a GM to tell me that. I can see and feel it for myself.

Grand Prix Standings are:

Radjabov and Grischuk with 363.5
and Aronian with 360

No more tournaments are scheduled. Will there be a tiebreak between Radjabov and Grischuk? or will someother tournament magically appear to replace the ones that failed to be?

Jack -

According to FIDE, there can be additional Grand Prix tournaments, but only a player’s best 3 results will count in the final GP standings. Aronian already has 360 points after 2 tournaments. If he plays one more GP tournament he automatically gets 10 points, even if he loses every game, and so he still might be the overall winner with 370.

PlayJunior, please try to see the positive instead of the negative. Clading a person in one's own native, traditional fasion is a gesture of friendship; it is saying "you are one of us." It is a gesture of unity and oneness. In that sense, Aronian was being honored.
Peace to the world!

Meaning FIDE can just keeping adding tournaments until they are happy with its' winner?
It does sound a lot like FIDE tough.
Anyway, I would expect a lot more coverage of this fact in the media and FIDE website. But so far only the grandprix site had some information about it.

Huh? Two more tournaments are scheduled and are likely to take place. Be sure never to let basic facts get in the way of knee-jerk FIDE bashing though.

Someone must convince Kramnik to get a new manager , what he wrote reinforces doubts instead of clarifying why he never gave Garry the rematch.
At least he should have hired a decent writer to do that , it almost looks like something written by Thomas.

Kramnik stated that he preferred a qualifier to a rematch for the following reasons, not difficult for any person of ordinary intelligence to understand:

1) Because everyone except Botvinnik, Karpov-when-it-suited-him, and Kasparov-when-it-suited him agrees that a qualifier is the best way to pick a candidate:
–“so that the challenger would be determined as a result of a sporting qualification process, and not at the will of the ‘monarch’, or so-called ‘public opinion’.”

2) Because a qualifier was agreed in the London contract:
–“the following point was included in our contract for the London match: the loser must take part in the new World Championship qualification cycle, starting with the Candidates’ tournament. The winner must play the winner of that tournament.”

3) Because Kasparov never came forward with a serious rematch offer:
–“despite all of Kasparov’s declarations about his desire to play a return match and the existence of businessmen he knows who are prepared to sponsor this event, I haven’t received a single official (or even unofficial) proposal. Furthermore, neither Garry himself, nor any of his representatives, have ever communicated with me, even to simply discuss this question.”

Kramnik simply presented "My [his] side of the story", doesn't he have the right to do so? BTW it is not (that) new: As mentioned at the end of the text, it was previously published in New in Chess 1/2009, as a reaction to Kasparov's previous piece(s) in the same magazine.

As far as the content is concerned, everyone can form his own opinion. As far as Manu is concerned, he will probably never be convinced (or even bother to read thoroughly) concerning anything written by certain persons - e.g. Kramnik and [for what it's worth,:)] Thomas.

I wonder how Kramnik could change Manu's attitude: hire a manager from Bulgaria or Argentina, grow a Topalov beard, .... I suppose nothing will help. But there are plenty of unbiased people in the chess world, so it doesn't really matter too much.

There are clever arguments to be made by both sides. I am not interested in clever arguments attempting to justify why one player avoided playing another.

I am not interested in the clever arguments made by both sides in the Alekhine - Capablanca rematch debate. Or in the Morphy - Staunton, or Fischer - Karpov match discussions.

Despite all of the clever arguments made by the players themselves and their supporters and lackeys, the prevailing weight of history has spoken, and will continue to speak like this:

1. Staunton was wrong (weak) to avoid a match with Morphy.
2. Alekhine was wrong (weak) to avoid a rematch with Capablanca.
3. Fischer was wrong (weak) to avoid a match with Karpov.
4. Kramnik was wrong (weak) to avoid a rematch with Kasparov.

With the exception of Staunton, these all truly great players. It doesn't matter. History will have the final say as to who was weak.

Kramnik was against a rematch against Kasparov since it went against his own interests, it didn't have anything to do with what was "fair". His sponsor is behind changing the cycle now and he even said that it was to Aronian's advantage even though the latter got his candidates final match stolen midway through the qualification to now instead qualify to try to reach the level Kamsky and Kramnik get to without playing. Once again Kramnik just goes by what he benefits from, as when he after Elista (where both players agreed to defend in Mexico) out of nowhere got the rematch in Bonn if he lost the title, then too after some payments to FIDE from his sponsor to get the unexpected change in that cycle. Maybe Kramnik is no worse a hypocrite than other World Champions before him but he isn't more interested in what is fair than most of them either.

Nice, Luke, instead of "clever arguments" let's have a moronic non-argument - "the prevailing weight of history has spoken".

Anyway, there's no point rehashing all of this just because Manu came across a 6-month-old article saying nothing new.

Mishanp -

"moronic non-argument"

Is that all you've got, Mishanp?

And who decides what the "prevailing weight of history" actually means, Luke? Sounds just a teensy bit subjective to me.

What would you like, Luke?

If you're taking offence then that's a bit odd from someone who just dismissed the opinions of everyone who's ever posted on the issue here.

Surely you don't want some more "clever arguments"? So what's left? "The prevailing weight of history has spoken and Kasparov was wrong (weak) to insist on a rematch rather than trying to qualify for a title match". I wouldn't bother posting that as it's fatuous nonsense to claim the weight of history is whispering in your ear... but if I did... where would that get us? Into a my oracle is better than your oracle fight?

No offense taken Mishanp. I just expected more from you. You had a second chance.

History is just out there teensy cat. It will be there long after you and I are gone.

Acirce -

I guess you must have been talking to Jack. I am not a FIDE basher. I didn't get the feeling that he was either.

Anyway, help us out: Under the "Grand Prix schedule" on the FIDE site, there are no additional GP events listed. Yet, you say there are two more GP tournaments "scheduled".

Where and when are they? Thanks.

A naive supposition my good friend. The interpretation of history is not a "given", it depends on those who interpret it and is therefore constantly changing. But that sounds a bit too "clever", I guess, let's bin it.

It was published a couple of days ago in the spanish chessbase site , because Kramnik put it on his site recentely.
I didnt wanted to start an argument, i just noticed how counter-productive that was , and how used to double standars this guy is.
For me this is proof that Garry was right when he said that the not so subtle avoidance of a rematch with him will haunt Kramnik as he searches for future respect.

Very true. History changes. But, as time passes, the big picture becomes clear. When repeated research all points to the same general conclusions, people living many years later acknowledge that Staunton was the weak one who avoided a match against Morphy, and Alekhine was the weak one who was afraid to give Capablanca a rematch. And in time, the same verdict will hold true in the Fischer and Kramnik cases.

If you'd care to elaborate upon the difference between "history" and the "big picture", I'm all ears.

I think you know what I'm talking about. I'll give you credit for that.

Chessvibes has a table with the Grand Prix standings, giving Yerevan as the next venue, and "?" for the final tournament (I think I heard something about Kiev) - dates may not yet be finalized. As with many things concerning FIDE, this may be subject to change ... but generally IMO they deserve (some) credit for 'saving' the Grand Prix - arising problems were partly due to circumstances beyond their control [who, if anyone, predicted the financial crisis?].

Implications for final standings:
As Luke already mentioned, Aronian will overtake Grischuk (even if he finishes clear last in his two remaining tournaments).
Radjabov will most likely overtake Grischuk - he only has to finish 10th or equivalent (e.g. shared 9th-11th) in his last tournament. The fourth (worst) result is first tiebreak criterion. Grischuk has already played his four events, all he can do now is "sit, wait, watch and hope".
Some other players (Wang Yue, Jakovenko, Leko) can also still overtake Grischuk.

I guess this is one of those arguments similar to those who advocate creationism. The point is that not enough proof exists to build a convincing argument for natural selection, but that whatever level of proof is provided is never enough for the creationists. This is where a philosophical reasoning tool called Occam's razor comes in. The duck test version of it goes something like this: if something looks like a duck, walks, quacks and tastes like duck, and passes every test known to man, the probability is that it is a duck. It could also be an alien from outer space disguised as a duck, cleverly enough to pass all those tests. However we can never know this by definition, and as a working principle we adopt the view that it is a duck; else its pointless, we can never prove or disprove anything as the standard of proof is never enough. Kramnik's situation is somewhat similar. The weight of evidence shows that Kramnik "got religion on qualifiers after becoming champion". Against this we have the statements from his rabid fans about his reasons in making those decisions, where it is claims he is not a hypocrite and did not act in his self interest. It may be so, but if you depend on evidence and not on ESP, you cannot know this, Koster's efforts and Clubfoot's ranting not withstanding. (Btw, complaining of allegations of homosexuality in Chris B's post shows what a hypocrite you are, clubby. You are the one who seeks to give offense in everything you write, including every punctuation mark (and have a particular talent for it I might add).For instance I can remember when I wrote in support of something Shirov said and you denigrated, you asked when we were getting married and to invite you to the wedding or something equally juvenile. Don't cry when somebody returns your bile.)

Thanks for the information from the chessvibes site. An almost identical chart showing the standings of the players is also on the FIDE site except that the columns "Yerevan" and "?" are missing.

"The weight of evidence shows that Kramnik 'got religion on qualifiers after becoming champion'".
--False. The contract agreed to by Kramnik and Kasparov BEFORE the London match called for a QUALIFIER to determine the next WCC challenger.

If anyone's a hypocrite, of course, it was Kasparov, who abandoned his life-long commitment to qualifiers about ten minutes after he lost the title. Looks like, sounds like, walks like, talks like a hypocrite. Must be a duck.

Why thanks Luke,credit from you is like credit from Lehman brothers. I look forward to further enlightenment on a wide range of issues, not least more on the feeding habits of certain Antarctic fish. Your approach to debate seems uncannily similar to another attitude of yours:
"Even us patzers can have a feel for what's going on. I don't need to wait for a GM to tell me that. I can see and feel it for myself."

"I look forward to further enlightenment on a wide range of issues..."

You need not wait for me or for anyone else to enlighten you. Take some initiative and enlighten yourself about whatever interests you. I bet you will enjoy the experience.

By the way, I'm beginning to get bored with this discussion, and you probably are too. I suspect everyone else is as well. So no more of this chatter. You can have the last word if you want to have it. Just be nice, that's all. Otherwise, you'll need to be retrained.

¨If anyone's a hypocrite, of course, it was Kasparov, who abandoned his life-long commitment to qualifiers about ten minutes after he lost the title¨
Greg , that is not true. He abandoned that commitment earlier when he agreed to play against the loser of the qualifier.

Naturally Mig is impressively silent about the welcome correction from Kramnik to the myth making burblings of his boss

Luke, the next Grand Prix tournament is planned to take place in Yerevan in August. The sixth and final tournament, I don't know if it's been decided where and when after Karlovy Vary withdrew, but six has always been the intention, so it's not a question about arbitrarily "adding" tournaments.

If your qualification-winner declines your monetary offer and there's no reasonable prospect of improving that offer then there's nothing hypocritical or inconsistent about Kasparov tapping the next-highest guy in the process.

I'm sure that after seeing this topic rehashed ten-million times on his blog, Mig is entirely sick of the whole subject.

"Greg , that is not true. He abandoned that commitment earlier when he agreed to play against the loser of the qualifier."

Kasparov didn't "agree to play". He and his financier cronies ACTIVELY PURSUED the loser of a qualifer in a bizarre move to avoid the winner, whom he had just ripped off with a rescinded match offer (and against whom he was 10-0 lifetime). And the loser of the qualifier made the most of the opportunity, thus making a living hell of your lives till this day.


"You are the one who seeks to give offense in everything you write, including every punctuation mark (and have a particular talent for it I might add)."

You bet I do, and whenever ubercretin posters like you tell lies or repeat false allegations, I'm the dirtiest player on the Dirt. By any means necessary I'll crush liars and fools like grapes under vintners' boots, and no apologies.

"For instance I can remember when I wrote in support of something Shirov said and you denigrated, you asked when we were getting married and to invite you to the wedding or something equally juvenile."

You're the avatar of juvenilia around here, and of course I don't recall posting such a thing. But I'll bite: find the passage and post it -- that is if you think you're old enough to back up your own words. If it's true, then I may have been upset with Dirt sycophant ChrisB for stealing my material.

¨there's nothing hypocritical or inconsistent about Kasparov tapping the next-highest guy in the process.¨
Believe in candidates tournaments or believe in ratings , switching actually seems very inconsistent.
IMO there were other options , he should have played Shirov.Thats why i consider the 2000 match to be Garry´s only crime against chess, not leaving FIDE as he stated.
Living FIDE: Good.
Stealing other player right to play and give it to another russian player: Bad.
Maybe Garry knew what he was doing and wanted to end like this ,to taint his own title with unfairness before giving it to another player , to be the last of the mohicanos, who knows , who cares.

@clubfoot said:
¨thus making a living hell of your lives till this day.¨

Not at all! They amuse me and entertain me like many other artists and masters from other disciplines i care for.
In fact , i find this mess we are in it a very attractive representation of a Soprano-like drama, i would love to shoot a documental on this subject.
About your system of punishment i have to say that i never saw you punish anyone but yourself so i almost dont consider you that agressive .

living FIDE = leaving FIDE

I could really use that edit button.

I can add that Chessvibes actually took the information from Wikipedia (as suggested by someone in the comments there):

Wikipedia also put color into the table, pointing out which players haven't even theoretical chances left to finish in the top 2 (Svidler, Karjakin, Cheparinov and four players who withdrew or were exluded). Kamsky also falls into this group, but no longer needs that qualifying spot anyway. And, to the best of my knowledge, Navara was also excluded after cancellation of the Karlovy Vary tournament?!
Akopian is a "late" host city nominee, further evidence that a Yerevan GP is "likely to happen".

And Wikipedia has some other statements on the early GP history, maybe to be taken with a grain of salt: "Prominent non-participants ... The only one to publicly give a reason is Alexander Morozevich, who announced that he was boycotting the Grand Prix, saying the process was too long, unwieldy and disorganised [that's literally from an interview he gave] ... The Week in Chess reported that Kramnik and Topalov were not participating because the event had insufficient prize money [that's high hearsay, TWIC in turn referring to Chess Today]."
IF true, it is remarkable that Kramnik and Topalov agreed on one thing - certainly reaching the conclusion independently as they don't talk to each other at all ... .

Thomas -

You certainly are a great source of information. So why do you suppose that the FIDE site does not mention any GP event scheduled for Yerevan? I looked everywhere on their site, did searches, etc., and as of today, found nothing.

This would be analogous to everyone else in the world knowing about the swine flu, while the World Health Organization website does not even mention it.

Luke, it is possible that they don't want to give the information yet because it is not 100% confirmed. But I rather think FIDE simply lacks manpower to keep their webpage(s) up to date. During at least some of the GP tournaments they hired Peter Doggers from Chessvibes as website editor, yet it would probably be a year-round (part-time) job ... . I don't mind too much because there is plenty of information elsewhere on the Web. Actually I consult the FIDE site only if I want to check out things about ELO ratings present and past (this part of the site is OK).

BTW, Item 2 of the "Regulations" section on the GP website gives at least a hint - at the same time showing that it hasn't been updated in a while:
"The Grand Prix will be a series of six tournaments held over two years (2008-2009) in leading world cities [Baku, Sochi, Elista, Nalchik, Yerevan and ?]. ... [bold letters] The winner of the Grand Prix series at the end of 2009 will play the winner of the World Cup held in 2009 in an eight game match to become the challenger to the World Champion in a match to be held in the third quarter of 2010."

The Wikipedia page cites FIDE as the source: http://www.fide.com/component/content/article/1-fide-news/3591-fide-grand-prix-in-yerevan

But clearly that's old news, so who knows what the current state of affairs is.

Thank you Mishanp and Thomas.

I am not a FIDE-basher. I've said that before. I like the concept of a world chess federation.

Mr. FIDE, whoever you are, listen to me. I am Luke. A simple thing like letting the world know about one of your supposedly premier tournaments that supposedly is scheduled to occur in just 3 months is not discussed on your internet site?

Are you morons?

I had jack in mind with my FIDE bashing comment, but it was probably unfair and I don't even really know why I wrote that. I apologize.

That's ok. You're cool. Jack's cool. We're all cool. Didn't see anything wrong with what you said. It was cool.

Whatever you say about "chatter", thats five recent comment entries on the left and five Lukes, probably a record. This is a classic early sign of blog addiction.

Tht's six, of course. Roll on the edit button.

Hello Cat -

I can't keep up with you. Of course, nobody can.

It was so quiet around here for awhile; no one wanting to mess up Luke's most-recent-post string on all six threads. Strangely enough, it was Thomas who broke the silence.

The smell of tumbleweed is rising here. Recession blues?

I visited this page first time to get info on people search and found it Very Good Job of acknowledgment and a marvelous source of info......... Thanks Admin! http://www.reverse-phone-look-up.net

It was so cool. Thanks for sharing man, I like too much to visit your blog and read.

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 28, 2009 11:39 PM.

    No Change at the Top in Nalchik was the previous entry in this blog.

    Stop, Click & Listen is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.