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King Walk This Way

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With apologies to Aerosmith. Was flipping around and noticed American 14-year-old Ray Robson has a share of the lead at the Arctic Chess Challenge open tournament in Tromsø, Norway. Wanting to see the day's results I went to the live page and saw he'd won again. And how! A piece sac for total domination leading to a decisive king walk from g8 to e1 with mate. (Game after the jump.) Maybe not an immortal, and not exactly zugzwang, but still a wonderful conception. Black could have bailed with the routine 23..Rc8. Hard to say if White, Danish GM Rasmussen, could have defended, but by the time the black king reaches g3 it's over. Even more enjoyable because computers take forever to get it. Great stuff. The Norwegian Chess Phantom is blogging the event.

[Event "Arctic Chess Challenge 2009"] [Site "Scandic Hotel, Tromsø"] [Date "2009.08.01"] [Round "6"] [White "Rasmussen, Allan Stig"] [Black "Robson, Ray"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2536"] [BlackElo "2491"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2009.??.??"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 c5 7. Bxb4 cxb4 8. Ne5 O-O 9. Nxc4 Nc6 10. e3 e5 11. d5 b5 12. dxc6 Qxd1+ 13. Kxd1 bxc4 14. a3 Bg4+ 15. Kc1 b3 16. Nc3 Rac8 17. h3 Be6 18. Rd1 Rfd8 19. f4 e4 20. g4 Nd5 21. Bxe4 Nxe3 22. Rxd8+ Rxd8 23. c7 Rd4 24. Bb7 h6 25. f5 Bd7 26. c8=Q+ Bxc8 27. Bxc8 Kf8 28. Ba6 Rd6 29. Bb7 a5 30. Bf3 Ke7 31. a4 Rd4 32. Be2 Kf6 33. h4 Ke5 34. Rb1 Kf4 35. Nb5 Rd7 36. Nc3 Kg3 37. g5 hxg5 38. hxg5 Kf2 39. Bh5 Ke1 40. f6 gxf6 41. gxf6 Rd2 42. Ra1 Rc2+ 43. Kb1 Nf1 0-1


Jii, nice game. White's pieces in that corner reminds of the Morozovich - Valchier-Lagrave game in Biel recently. Except reversed colours. And that Morozovich managed to not win. Rasmussen is Danish by the way.

This Robson kid plays some really wild tactical games which he always seems to win. Complex like top-10 level. He seems to have a lot of upside potential.

Robson very often gets into time trouble.

Hi Mig,
Thanks for the link. It's great to have Ray playing in Norway. His father is a remarkable man, and we are extremely impressed by the young American play so far. Ray had a big game today against Monika Socko and in this important he got clearly better again. It only lasted for a while in a game that just ended in a draw. You can read a full report at my blog later when I get the time to write it out. Ray is even socializing in Tromsø and it seems he get the right mixture of chess and rest. He was midnight fishing with a huge group of player after the 3rd round and playing soccer with the Norwegian players from "The Norwegian College of Elite Sport" where GM Simen Agdestein teaches chess. Simen has a group of players with him to Tromsø.

Keep up the good work and I hope you follow Ray on his way to a GM-norm and maybe an overall victory!?

Link to The Chess Phantom Blog with daily updates.

Even against Socko, he was low on time.

Nobody cares about your negativity Luke, go away.

Somebody doesn't know how to look at the clocks.

perhaps Sven will explain us where in the game was this "he got clearly better", to me it looked pretty even all the way.

Some chess players who frequently get into time trouble: Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Dominguez, Gelfand, Robson. Would he mind being on this list?

Waiting for a separate link (pleaaaaase, Mig, please) it seems that the Masters got into time trouble with Topalov:
What a pity. With all respect to Aronian, it's so much better if the players that qualify for a tournament actually play in...

Being in time trouble is not an accomplishment.

Steven Tyler just suffered a serious fall: http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/08/07/aerosmith-skip-winnipeg-gig-tyler-breaks-shoulder-in-stage-fall/

But these Aerosmith guys are as resilient and long-lived as a Steinitzian king going for a walk in the opening. So I'm sure Tyler will be okay.

Can someone enlighten me as to the Tyler - chess connection please.

Oh I see. D'oh.

playing too quickly is not an accomplishment either.

I'm happy he is doing well--not too shabby for a 14 year old!

Very good for 14, 24 or 34.

What to make of Robson playing slow - unlike most blazing prodigies?

Is it because he's not that smart, thinks rather slowly, or because he calculates fantastic lines?

(Personally, in my teens I could barely sit still for G/30, and just barely G/60.)

some of the "smartest" tacticians get into time trouble. i would guess that he is just a hard worker who hasn't figured out how to balance the use of the clock with wanting to find the strongest move.

Umm... ok.

Be careful. You might offend someone easily offended.

My personal opinion (without ambiguity): Shame on Topalov! Giving priority to preparing for his match against Anand may be sort of acceptable, if not for the fact that he held Anand's poor result at Bilbao 2008 [much closer in time to Vishy's match against Kramnik] against him. But giving the insufficient prize fund as the main reason ("everyone but me may suffer from the financial crisis") - shame!

Here it would be interesting to have Manu's opinion: He always was a great fan of both Topalov and the Grand Slam, but here he can't be both any more ... . But he is busy fighting with Luke (the real one or a copy?) in another thread. That reminds me of Don Quixote fighting against windmills, but I couldn't say who is who.

I disagree. Now I don't know the details, but if he has been promised more money and so can withdraw without breaking his contract, I don't see the problem. Exactly why is it that he has a duty to play no matter what?

Of course he used to attack Kramnik for withdrawing from tournaments due to illness (or to put it Topalov's way, "with vague complaints of fatigue"..) A bit of hypocrisy, but I'm OK with the decision to withdraw in itself.

Manu is taking a shower. I am the real Luke. The other Luke is a fake.

Come to think about it, Topalov may not even have agreed formally to play there to begin with...just declined the invitation. But what it boils down to is that it's every player's own choice where to play and where not to.

It would be interesting to hear Topalov's opinion.

"It would be interesting to hear Topalov's opinion."
Indeed it is a bit odd that Chessdom (the source closest to Topalov, and often the first one to spread that kind of news) doesn't have anything [yet]!? So for the time being the Bilbao organizers' press release at Chessvibes is the only information available.

I also don't know about the Bilbao 2009 prize fund, presumably it is less than last year's record-breaking(?) total of 400,000 Euros. But whatever the lower amount is, it has to be split between only four players. If it is 'ridiculously low', will other players also drop out, and will we get a tournament between the #5 of Nanjing, #10 of Corus, #4 of Linares and #6 of MTel?

So while acirce has a point ... at the very least, the development is "surprising", given
- Danailov's (claimed) prominent role in the Grand Slam
- claims that winning Bilbao is (or should be considered) more important than being world champion
- the (controversial) inclusion of Nanjing 2008 into the Grand Slam after the tournament was over, retro-qualifying the winner Topalov

Could we please get some sort of restraining order against some "contributors" here? It's so utterly tedious to see Manu, Luke, occasionally Thomas (when he rises to the bait), and the other usual suspects, defecate all over this blog day after day after day.

Please, please stop. The atmosphere here used to be so much better without you.

¨Here it would be interesting to have Manu's opinion¨

¨Could we please get some sort of restraining order against some "contributors" here? It's so utterly tedious to see Manu, Luke, occasionally Thomas (when he rises to the bait), and the other usual suspects, defecate all over this blog day after day after day.¨

I find both comments flattering but for different reasons ...
I´ll wait until this becomes a real topic of conversation ,though.

At this occasion, I am genuinely interested in Manu's opinion (and it seems that's how Manu himself understood my comment). Notwithstanding the fact that, IMO, some of his posts are not exactly constructive. Yet I try to discuss with him and others, argue in the sense of exchanging relevant arguments, ... sometimes I am criticized by others for doing so.
Anyway, isn't this distinctly different from calling others stupid people or retards, suggesting they should simply shut up, ... ?

Topalov's withdrawal is already "a real topic of conversation". I can understand him not being particularly interested in the tournament now that it's been reduced to four players. Without Anand and Carlsen and others no-one's going to confuse it with the World Tournament Championship it was aspiring to be... but I'm also amazed by Topalov/Danailov distancing themselves from a tournament I thought they almost ran, especially with Topalov as the holder and having been given a wild card last year. Does anyone know anything more about what's going on behind the scenes?

"Does anyone know anything more about what's going on behind the scenes?"

I have no idea, but presumably Kramnik, Putin or Iljumzhinov are responsible in one way or another?
This statement, obviously ironic, is my second invitation to Manu to join the conversation ,:).

Or there is something truly new going on behind the scenes: Topalov distances himself from Danailov?!

Manu may join the conversation.

"Topalov's withdrawal is already "a real topic of conversation". "

Sure it is , i meant that i will wait for the topic to have its own thread.
Something big is happening for sure , and the fact that they chosed chessvibes to announce it, is a big deal IMHO.
For now, it seems that Topa and Danailov distances themselves from the Slam organization, but i wouldn't discard this as a tactic move from their part.
BTW, any of you had the chance to see the sitcom " lie to me"? ,
for those who did , i recommend you to watch those interviews (press conferences) in which Cheparinov is asked about why Danailov is not there to support him .
The questions were asked at the beginning of a tournament in which Cheparinov was having a bad start , losing almost every game (can 't remember the name of the tournament right now but Thomas may have a poster in his room , just kidding).

"the fact that they chosed chessvibes to announce it ..."
Actually it doesn't seem that Chessvibes was 'singled out' - probably the press release was sent to several places at the same time, and by now the news has also appeared on Chessbase and Susan Polgar's site. The delay could simply mean that Peter Doggers from Chessvibes was sitting behind his computer when the email or fax came in and reacted immediately, whereas the Chessbase staff had already left office. Not too surprising (no pun intended): it was past 5:00pm local Hamburg time, the weather was nice and noone could expect such a bomb to explode all of a sudden ... .

Two things are remarkable, though:
1) "They" are the Bilbao organizers, while Topalov+Danailov remain silent for the time being.
2) 24 hours later, Chessdom still doesn't have anything. Does this mean they weren't informed (huh?), do not consider it newsworthy (huh?), or are struggling to find an explanation for the whole story?

BTW, I do not understand the second part of Manu's post (after his BTW) - must be my fault, I am not really fond of sitcoms.

"BTW, I do not understand the second part of Manu's post (after his BTW)"

It's quite straightforward. He's simply suggesting that Topalov and Cheparinov don't perform nearly as well when Danailov isn't in the playing hall :)

You need to be familiar with Paul Ekman's work to understand that , and then watch the press conferences that i mentioned , you may find one of two very interesting things.

@mishamp > you never miss a chance , do you? :)

I have to admit my relative ignorance, but just did a bit of Wikipedia homework ... . Still I cannot yet watch, thus comment on "Lie to me": It is presently "planned for broadcast" in the Netherlands - here Argentina is ahead of us ,:). I wonder if it would really qualify as a sitcom, e.g. comparable to "Friends" [which I did watch, partly because some of my former housemates really loved it ...].

Anyway, where can I find the Cheparinov press conferences?

I m, sorry i cannot help you with that , i can't remember the exact tournament (I believe i saw those videos at chessvibes ) , i thought you may remember it ,though.
But long story short , after a disastrous start one journalist ask some insidious questions to Cheparinov about Danailov and Topa , and his body language is quite revealing.
On the other hand , although the word " sitcom " refers to situation comedy is commonly used to describe other kind of content under the same format .

Could it be FIDE GP Baku 2008? Here Cheparinov started with 0/4 - but then limited the ELO damage to -6, finishing with 5.5/13.

I believe it is that ,yes , after he finally achieved a draw , in the press conference he is asked about why Danailov is not present at the tournament and then someone makes a joke about calling Topa for help , look at his body language during all that period.
Of course you need to be able to compare it with his body language during other press conferences , and to understand that Cheparinov has been in the midle of several mediatic storms...
But anyway the most important thing for you would be to get in touch with Ekman's work, which is inspiring and also a very interesting tool for anyone's career / life IMHO.

You stop, Manu stops, Thomas stops, I stop. Please respond.

Luke, it's unfortunate that I have to respond to your words with more words. If you were a different kind of pollutant, I might open a window, eradicate your toxicity with an opposing substance. Instead, as I say, I have to use the same mode as you, which appears to fight fire with fire. It gives the impression that my verbal plea has something in common with your ordure. It doesn't.

Does that mean you will go away?


Please take it to heart.

so true. and sad.

A good alternative would be for organizers to forget about these "top-10 players only" tournaments.

They should spend their money on true chess "festivals", which are bound to do much more for chess than a few boring pre-arranged draws between the "regualars". Who truly cares about Svidle-leko? or Ponomariov-Kamski?

Open chess tournaments with more relaxed time controls, more players, more lower-rated players, more events (throw in blindfold exhibitions, blitz tournaments, a simul by a top GM, etc.) are far more exciting and offer far more variety than the usual ultra-expensive draw-fests.

Spend wisely. Spend on the people that keep chess alive - the amateurs.

I suppose you're operating on the "there's no such thing as bad publicity" principle, Mig. Well, as you've taken to saying recently: good luck with that.

"Who truly cares about Svidle-leko? or Ponomariov-Kamski?"

Uh...you're not serious, right?

If you are, please try to consider the possibility that your preferences are not always the same as those of chess fans in general. Thanks.

I do not need to tailor my preferences to be the same as those of chess fans in general. Do you?

Insert your snarly comeback.

Of course not, and I obviously didn't imply that. Try again.

Ok, I do not need to tailor my preferences to be the same as those of chess fans in general.

Congratulations to Ray Robson for getting a GM norm.

Luke, acirce's remark about "preferences" differing from "those of chess fans in general" was aimed at Irv, not you. See where it says "replied to...."

I know it gets stressful being a target of barbs from nearly every corner. But don't let yourself turn into another Manu.

"...don't let yourself turn into another Manu."

So now you are picking on Manu?

I reckon in the not too distant future he'll
be able to beat Nakamura!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 7, 2009 12:33 AM.

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