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Moving Week Guest Blogger

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Since I'm frantically trying to pack while working and cleaning, a guest blogger today. Since she can't speak yet, and her typing left something to be desired, this is an open thread. I hope this will also cut down on hijacks in the daily topics. What's going on out there? Put up your best links! Short and Timman are rampaging, which sort of backs up what I was saying about the dearth of impressive young talent in their native lands. Azerbaijan is in talks about hosting the candidates matches, assuming they actually happen. Nice to see them addressing the potential conflict over Aronian's attendance early on.

Kramnik interview from mishanp.


Probably the right thread to post a Kramnik interview added to his site recently:


Quite similar to the other interviews he gave recently, but one or two extra details. And some competition for the guest blogger in the photos :)

Interesting stuff. I like the way he explains about how it was psychologically difficult moving the Knight to b3 and so on.

Nice pic Mig. Miglette rules.
And LOL at Aronian playing at Baku. Never ever gonna happen.

@mishamp thx for sharing

" Well, I would also like to play right now, but I didn’t receive invitations for the most recent events, such as Leon, Mainz,Sofia, Bilbao and China. I could have played more if I had a chance, but I didn’t. "

Well , that's a large list of tournaments for sure , what 's happening? nobody likes his play ? is he too expensive? bad breath? wrong companies?

On the other hand he insist on having the same privileges of other players , i don't understand why , if he is so eager to play he should have no problem on playing to get the opportunities he wants.

Probably a combination of things. One, two of the events Kramnik mentions, Sofia and Nanjing, are organized or heavily influenced by Topalov and his manager Danailov and there is no love lost between them and Kramnik. Kramnik of course knows this and that's why he mentions them, I assume. Bilbao was by qualification only, so it's odd to mention that one.

Two, he was inactive to the point of withdrawing from scheduled events for the first half of the year. He might have been off the radar for organizers, especially since he's no longer working with his long-time agent. Even world #6 former world champions have to network and make phone calls.

Three, yes, it seems reasonable to assume he might not be ready to lower his standards when it comes to conditions and fees since losing his title to Anand. I'm sure, say, Jakovenko, is happy to take half of whatever Kramnik used to make (perhaps not if he knew it was half!). And while a player of Kramnik's reputation and former WCh status add to his desirability and earning power, his new reality might not yet be reconciled with organizers' budgets. If they can get Gelfand or Jakovenko for much less (and I'm only assuming that's true) for about the same Elo, many might just do that.

He may well qualify for the candidates by rating, but why doesn't he say why he's not playing in the other method of getting there, the World Cup? The attitude that the KO is beneath him has been typical of many top players since the events came into being. But as a qualifier, if he wants a shot at getting his title back you'd think he might have gone for that instead of playing in London. (Which is mutually exclusive with the World Cup, so Carlsen and Nakamura won't be in Khanty-Mansiysk either.)

Sigh, back to packing.

Leon and Mainz were four-player rapid events, so they can't invite too many players. Maybe he could have played in the Mainz open, but I don't know what kind of conditions the organizers offered. It is odd (from Kramnik) to mention Bilbao, because you have to qualify [no wildcards at all this year]. And for the two other events, Danailov is (or - Nanjing - seems to be) in charge or at least involved; it is well-known that he doesn't like Kramnik as a person.

In any case, "nobody likes [him or] his play" doesn't hit the mark: just before in the interview he mentions Tal Memorial, London, Corus and Linares in November, December, January and February.

Related(?!) as things work both ways: According to the initial line-up, Gashimov should have played the 5th GP tournament - before it was moved from Elista to Jermuk.

You might want to know that your daughter is on step 3 of a 4 step process which ends by her ruling your silicon universe , choosing wallpapers and forcing you to instal didactic games on each and every computer you own.

By my calculation, Nigel Short is 1.7 points away from 2700:

WIN Werle +3.5
WIN Sokolov +4.3
WIN Smeets +4.6
DRAW Van Wely -0.4
DRAW L'Ami -1.2
WIN Werle +3.5

2684 + 14.3 = 2698.3

And interesting to see, chess is not going to be Olympic sport for many many years http://reports.chessdom.com/news-2009/olympiad-golf-rugby-2016

Going with Chess Olympiads is fine with me, they are still pretty cool massive events. But the cash is different.

With Nigel Short only a hair below 2700, is there any way we can get frogbert to slip us some advance sub-2700 ratings.

Funny thing both selected sports are my favorites by any standars , golf and rugby ( in seven mode which is the funniest and harmless way to play) ... IMO chess is going to make it a couple of years later than hopscotch.

I'm been thinking about something very much recently and would love to hear your opinions. It seems like GMs can handle any opening well. I have a question. Are some openings stronger or weaker than others? When Anand plays Topalov for the World Championship, assume White's first move is 1. e4. Does Black have an equal chance of winning whether he chooses e5, c5, Nf6, c6, d5, d6, or e6. Are all of Black's replies to 1. d4 equally strong or are some more solid than others?

Baseball is much more popular in North and South America and Asia, yet it was dropped. I think the Olympic's choices are ridiculous.

Baseball is much more popular in North and South America and Asia, yet it was dropped. I think the Olympic's choices are ridiculous.

John, here are the game stats for responses to 1. e4. Numbers in each line are fraction of games won by white, drawn, won by black, average score for white, and number of times the given response was found in the database. All numbers are for games between two players, both with ratings >= 2400.

Scores for various responses to e4 as the first move:
c5: .31/.46/.23 =.54 n=82980
c6: .28/.52/.20 =.54 n=12719
e5: .28/.54/.18 =.55 n=39493
e6: .31/.49/.20 =.56 n=21790
d6: .34/.45/.21 =.57 n=6289
Nf6: .35/.45/.20 =.57 n=3054
d5: .36/.45/.19 =.59 n=2811

There is strong correlation between success of the move and how often it appears in games. An exception is the Caro-Kann, which doesn't appear nearly as often as expected (given how successful it has been).

e5 is the drawingest (Berlin and Petrov).
d5 is the worst.

>Copyright © 2009 Vladimir Kramnik FIDE World Champion 2000-2007

What that means?

Thanks. d5 does have a higher winning % (.19 to .18, not drawing %) for Black than e5 though. Is the Slav the highest Black winning % and drawing % reply to 1. d4?

I guess you refer to the acronym FIDE, which is indeed wrong here - the header of Kramnik's homepage just says (in bigger letter type) "World Chess Champion 2000-2007". This also acknowledges that he didn't defend his title in his 2008 match against Anand, but tried to regain it.

Moreover, while the Copyright statement refers to the entire homepage, it also directly applies to the interview. It is not clear/not mentioned which journalist asked the questions, maybe it was Kramnik's wife? ,:) In any case, he got all the questions he likes to answer, and none which he doesn't feel like answering - which maks the whole thing sort of a press release rather than a 'standard' interview. Nothing wrong with that IMO, as it is obvious from the context.
A critical journalist (e.g. Mig Greengard) might have asked "Why don't you play the World Cup?"

What can you expect from people who abolished the naked rule before allowing women to compete?

Good point about the World Cup, Mig. I'd completely forgotten about it, and while I don't like the idea of a knock out to decide the title it's an entertaining format and fine to select a place in the candidate's tournament.

I suppose the reason it might not appeal too greatly to the elite is that you're tying yourself up to a winter visit to Siberia - and if you were to e.g. lose in the first round to a lower rated player you've lost rating points, tied up your schedule unnecessary and possibly even lost money if you'd hired anyone to help you. I hope it's well attended, though.

That said, the London tournament's shaping up to be one of the most interesting in a while - Kramnik, Carlsen, Nakamura, Adams, Short, Ni Hua + the English "juniors" should be fascinating, even if more rounds would be preferable.

The other things I took from the Kramnik interview were that,
1) the Tal Memorial tournament was planning to invite the full top 10 (no's 2-7 already seem to be confirmed). I don't suppose Topalov will play, but if he did we'd possibly have the strongest tournament in recent memory.
& 2) Kramnik's finally planning to play Linares again.

Your kid is adorable! And yes, not all openings are created equal. If you go to chessgames.com and use Opening Explorer, you will be able to generate statistics regarding frequency and success rates for the first few moves. (You can do the same sort of thing if you have a database, of course.) The most common responses to 1.e4 are, in order, 1...c5, 1...e5, 1...e6, and 1...c6. Those also, not coincidentally, tend to be the most successful responses.

Not to mention that some players have known weaknesses in certain kinds of positions that particular openings lead to. Hans Berliner has the idea that there is an objective best way to play the opening (and he might be right), but we mortals have to play our opponent and not the game itself. I'm sure that top-level players pick openings and lines to try to get any advantage over a specific player's tendencies.

London is looking good, great mix of styles (though Ni Who?).

I found an article about trash talking in chess. The story about GM Walter Browne is dubious. What do you guys think about trash talk in chess? Does it have a place? If so, when? Before, during, or after a game? I'm against during a game personally. It would be interesting if Super GMs predicted victory or claimed greater strength before a match, especially a WC. http://www.thechessdrum.net/65thSquare/65_janfeb01.html


When are you going to have the Chessninja IPO ?


I believe the Browne-Rogers incident may have been a blitz tournament. I'll check it, but it has to be almost a 20-year old incident.

Trash-talking is common among players in casual blitz. In my chess upbringing, it seems to be enjoyed amongst Black contingents in large American cities. It's mostly done as light ribbing, as you see on basketball courts, checkers or card games. Ever been to a World Open? It's in full view there, but it is usually not done if players are gambling.

Some players are so creative and Marvin Dandridge was the funniest trash-talker on the planet and would do famous impressions... raucous and side-splitting funny! Marvin is a great guy too and has an infectious laugh. It's supposed to be verbal jousting and both sides usually cooperate.

I used to do it when I was a junior player, but very cautiously and usually with close friends... never personal insults. Even with most brash trash-talkers, it has its limits. Good moves will beat good trash-talking any day!

Thanks John!

"Three are GMs, one a female, but the fourth is of particular interest: 14-year-old US American IM Ray Robson, whom some people are calling the new Bobby Fischer."

This is a quote from Chessbase. I feel something like "He may make 2600 someday" is much more realistic and kinder. Comparing a 14 year old to Fischer or Kasparov is like comparing a basketball player to Michael Jordan. Have mercy on the poor kid.

There's a Russian interview with Karpov here: http://sport.rian.ru/sport/20090721/178059245.html

He gives assessments of the previous world champions (e.g. that Spassky and Fischer were slightly better than him at feeling and developing the initiative, but that his positional sense and technique for exploiting advantages was superior), and some comments on contemporary chess, where this is interesting:

" - And how would you characterise Anand and Topalov?

- Anand and Topalov - it's more a matter of computer chess - both have great talent, but all the same it's already the age of chess computerisation.

- You mean, if I can put it that way - 21st Century chess players?

- I wouldn't say that, because it seems to me that 21st Century chess players are in many positions inferior to 20th Century players. But, using computers and appropriate preparation they achieve sporting results that they most likely wouldn't achieve if there weren't computers."

Discuss :) It reminds me of Kamsky saying somewhere that before he took his break from chess you could still fairly easily get playable positions from the opening without special preparation, and then hope to outplay your opponent. Nowadays you need to have looked at all the concrete positions in advance with your computer or you opponent won't give you a chance.

Daaim, if your story is correct, Browne-Rogers can't be a blitz game - because rating points were at stake. Trash talking has its place in blitz games, also at somewhat more serious competitions involving some prize money - but I don't think it happens at the blitz world championship. It also happens in Europe, so it is not limited to black players.

Internet forums are another place, here Nakamura may well be the highest-rated trash talker.

And at high-level classical chess, there is no need for Sofia rules (players aren't allowed to talk to each other) to prevent trash talking ,:). But it may be replaced by non-verbal communication. Wasn't Kasparov famous for taking his jacket off to let his opponent know it's about time to resign the game??

thx again mishamp

Although this 21 year old game involves a different black player, maybe this is the one the story arose from. The article is also written by you. http://www.thechessdrum.net/palview/Giles-Browne2.htm


Not a chance. Giles would NEVER, I mean NEVER say that! He was a quiet as a mouse, but so fierce in his play. It was a story given to me almost 20 years ago. I'll need to check the circumstances again.


I'll check the source again, but that was the story.

Trash-talking as I have experienced it doesn't usually happen during regular tournament games, but I have seen players go back and forth during a time scramble.

I vividly remember verbal jousting between GM Joel Benjamin and Ken Wallach (2300) at a major tournament in Chicago. It was the first round and during sudden death time delay the game descended into what almost appeared to be a blitz game. Joel tried flagging Wallach in a drawn position. Wallach became very agitated and they started exchanging words during the time scramble. Joel ended up hanging his bishop in a drawn position. Tension was pretty high in the room.

Luke asked (in another thread) "what malfunction occurred in Morozevich's thought process at move 34 vs. Avrukh?"
The answer may actually be simple: He was in time trouble (I think less than a minute until move 40), back rank threats suddenly came up, so he automatically made "luft" for his king. A reflex common to many players, why should strong GMs be an exception?

BTW, I am not sure that 34.dc5: is winning THAT easily. You probably saw that black can recapture with his bishop due to the same back rank threads? Then it may still be (or at least look) messy, though no doubt better than the game continuation. Susan Polgar (her site) already put two question marks behind Moro's 33.Ra6 - no analysis given, so it's a bit vague why it was _that_ bad and what (almost anything?) would have been better.

And generally, it is Moro's strength that he keeps looking for and finding moves which even his 2700+ opponents don't expect ... but I agree that this strength is sometimes also a weakness.

Wow, Ivanchuk literally JUST in time to claim a draw thanks to the 50 move rule. If I understand correctly, Kamsky was one single ply too late (he'd be totally winning after 113..Qh7 otherwise).

Where did Kamsky lose that single tempo? ,:) The smiley indicates that this is a rather futile question - it would be quite unfair to criticize either player for making a second-best move anywhere between move 64 and 114.

Also funny that Cheparinov tested if Alekseev can mate with bishop and knight - "yes he can". Altogether another intriguing round, with _all_ games continuing beyond move 40.

"...it would be quite unfair to criticize either player for making a second-best move anywhere between move 64 and 114."

Why not? Are you afraid that someone will yell at you? You do this all the time, Thomas, always holding back, always being so deferential to the GMs. You need to get some spirit and if someone makes a mistake, even a GM, then just say so. Don't always be so timid. So what if some lunkhead poster yells at you? They yell at me constantly, so what? It's just the usual crew of morons. You know who they are. I think they have intimidated you. Maybe you can prove me wrong some day by actually criticizing a GM for making a bonehead, stupid, idiot move when in fact, that's what they've done.

How almost impossible is it to get GM norms if you mainly play outside Europe? Enrico Sevillano 2528 is 41 and still an IM!

I like attacking players. I enjoyed the Kramnik/Anand game linked twice below.



I don't care (at least not that much) about how other people might react, but use my own standards. I didn't even try to find mistakes in the Ivanchuk-Kamsky endgame. But if I did, it would probably take me 10-60 minutes and/or engine assistance. As this would overcompensate for the ELO difference, I consider this unfair towards the players who had, at least on average, no more than a few minutes per move.

Regarding your last sentence:
I didn't use "your language", but I did criticize a GM for "missing an obvious threat".

I played Morris Giles 6 times in rated play (W1 D0 L5). I had him busted a couple times, but it's so hard to win a won game against a hypertactical player.

He was always very correct at the board & very gracious in post-mortem analysis; I can't imagine him saying anything like that.

Young Walter Browne might have said something like that :-)

Ok. Well, anyways, Kamsky played like an idiot not to win this game. He is making me sick. As I said a few days ago, he is never going anywhere.....ever.

Gata has style , and family , and career , he is already legend .He also shows a more relaxed attitude towards the game , which i find pretty cool.
He came back from inactivity and treated himself with a shot to the title , he should not be underestimated , and after all he didn't lose the game , which was very possible too , Chucky played both colors today.

Why a chess player not winning games would make anyone else sick is beyond me... (he even won yesterday) but if it helps Kamsky hasn't been over the moon with his play, either. He's quoted using Luke language here (after the loss to Jakovenko):


- I played like a complete idiot! - Gata confided in me. - I simply saw the beautiful idea 17...Be5, but before that I was going to play 17...Nde5. That was the move I'd been planning to play far in advance, and black's simply better. But I don't know, something weird happened...

If Kamsky says that he played like an idiot, I'll defer to his judgment. He should know.

¨But I don't know, something weird happened...¨
Chucky did the enchanting of the pieces like Capablanca used to , it was a nice game until he reached the time control.

"BTW, I am not sure that 34.dc5: is winning THAT easily. You probably saw that black can recapture with his bishop due to the same back rank threads?"

Nope, he can't. 34..Bxc5 35.Rxc5 Qd1+ 36.Qf1. Maybe they both missed that or maybe it was a swindle from Avrukh.

Sometimes in this 21rst Century post-Kasparov computer age, people think opening move order has changed in the last 50 years. I looked at a 45 year old game from the great Viktor Korchnoi and his opening move order was identical to mine. Maybe things haven't changed so much. ;) Or maybe I'm just copying one of the all-time greats. ;)

Yes, I'm replying to my previous post about Korchnoi. "Nigel Short won another game, in round six of the Staunton Memorial, which put him on 5.5/7 with a 2842 performance that could take him above the 2700 mark on the next FIDE list. David Howell won a beautiful queen sacrifice game in round seven, while Viktor Korchnoi upset the course of events in the all play all group by beating the leader, Jan Timman, with the black pieces." Chessbase

Short might go above 2700 and Adams and be top 30 in the world! Korchnoi beating Timman! This is very exciting stuff!

Those comments were about the Jakovenko game in round 2 (when people started attacking Kamsky on here) - I'm not sure anyone will dare ask about the Ivanchuk game... I fear for the lovely, if unpronounceable, Lilit Mkrtchian :)

Though in any case Kamsky's got a guaranteed place in the candidates tournament, so he's got nothing to play for in the Grand Prix except rating points and pride.

Well... I believe Browne did say it. It was from a reputable source, but I'll have to get the details.

Giles was such an enigma... didn't say much. He suddenly disappeared after playing and winning a lot of tournaments. I last saw him at the 1989 U.S. Open. I left Chicago and lost track. I then discovered he had disappeared. Shame. Remember Leonid Kaushansky? Same thing. I suppose they may have found more solace in their careers. I believe they were both in programming or engineering.

"Daaim, if your story is correct, Browne-Rogers can't be a blitz game - because rating points were at stake."

I think Browne was involved in something called the World Blitz Association or the World Chess Blitz Association or something like that 15 or 20 years ago. They had ratings, and I think they may have used the primitive rating system based on 32 points being in play for each game. So, it could have been a blitz game.

Short finishes with an astonishing 8/10. Timman finishes with 7/9.

If Nakamura decides to defend his US Championship, we know who some of the contenders will be:

"Six tied for first at the US Open in Indianapolis, Indiana with 7.5/9: GM-elect Alex Lenderman, IM Jacek Stopa and GMs Sergey Kudrin, Alex Yermolinsky, Dmitry Gurevich, and Jesse Kraai. Stopa is from Poland; the other five all earn a spot into the 2010 US Championships, currently set for Saint Louis in Spring 2010. The top two GMs on tiebreak, Dmitry Gurevich and Sergey Kudrin had a blitz playoff for the official title. Gurevich won that game:"


If anyone is wondering how the 5 US players are ranked, I posted it. The winner Gurevich is actually the lowest rated by 6 points.

11 Kudrin, Sergey g USA 2578 12 1959
11 Christiansen, Larry M g USA 2578 9 1956
13 Benjamin, Joel g USA 2575 9 1964
14 Hess, Robert L g USA 2560 27 1991
15 Becerra Rivero, Julio g USA 2557 36 1973
15 Goldin, Alexander g USA 2557 4 1965
17 Stripunsky, Alexander g USA 2556 0 1970
18 De Firmian, Nick E g USA 2552 0 1957
19 Friedel, Joshua E g USA 2547 23 1986
20 Gulko, Boris F g USA 2546 8 1947
21 Perelshteyn, Eugene g USA 2534 12 1980
22 Sevillano, Enrico m USA 2528 24 1968
23 Yermolinsky, Alex g USA 2527 25 1958
23 Ivanov, Alexander g USA 2527 14 1956
25 Fishbein, Alexander g USA 2520 0 1968
26 Khachiyan, Melikset g USA 2516 20 1970
27 Finegold, Benjamin m USA 2513 18 1969
28 Lenderman, Alex m USA 2504 35 1989
29 Kraai, Jesse g USA 2498 11 1972
30 Robson, Ray m USA 2491 28 1994
31 Gurevich, Dmitry

Enrico Sevillano being an IM is still a mystery to me. It took Shulman 67 moves to beat him at the US Championship and he finished 2nd at the LAS VEGAS INTERNATIONAL CHESS FESTIVAL against some pretty tough competition, some of whom I'll list below:

1 GM Akobian,Varuzhan CA 2659 2612 5 -X- W 21 D 35 W 13 D 3 W 16 1-2 Tied $4,641.00
2 IM Sevillano,Enrico Manalili CA 2557 2520 5 W 77 D 56 W 33 D 11 W 22 W 17 1-2 Tied $4,641.00
3 GM Van Wely,Loek NLD 2734 2622 4.5 W 45 W 15 W 12 D 17 D 1 D 8 3-14 Tied $413.00
4 GM Sargissian,Gabriel ARM 2710 2660 4.5 W 47 W 54 D 27 W 18 D 17 D 10 3-14 Tied $413.00
5 GM Petrosian,Tigran L ARM 2704 4.5 W 65 W 63 W 26 D 6 D 8 D 9 3-14 Tied $413.00
6 GM Izoria,Zviad GEO 2675 2619 4.5 W 67 W 39 W 28 D 5 D 7 D 12 3-14 Tied $413.00
7 GM Ehlvest,Jaan NY 2673 2606 4.5 W 57 W 36 L 13 W 35 D 6 W 27 3-14 Tied $413.00
8 GM Kacheishvili,Giorgi

I wonder what is going on with the Anand Topalov match. Mig, Shipov and Kramnik in various places have expressed skepticism that the match will be held.

Joel started it!

Werner Hug. Do I really need to say why!? :)

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 13, 2009 3:44 PM.

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