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Grischuk Starts with a Bang

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On a more serious note, Shirov and Grischuk impressed in the first round of the Bilbao Grand Slam Final. Shirov, who doesn't seem to get much love in the Spanish press despite being the ostensible local representative, flashed an impressive double pawn sac in a formerly stodgy line of the Dragon against Karjakin. He was quickly rewarded with an easy draw in just 24 moves when Karjakin decided the risk was too great to take the second pawn and allowed a repetition. Wonderful prep from Shirov. Now everyone else's computers will see if White can really play 21.Rxe7 and survive.

Grischuk also had a novelty in an off-road variation of the ultra-topical Anti-Moscow Semi-Slav against Aronian. The Armenian used a lot of time to decide he had nothing better than to bail out with an exchange sac. Which was quite good, in fact, and his bishops and pawns set up an impressive and dangerous defense. But down to a minute he spoiled in the last five moves before control and was dead lost after it. Being Aronian he tried a few cute tricks, but Grischuk wasn't cooperating and reeled in the big fish to start off with a huge win over the top seed.

Definitely the sharp fights we expected with these four warriors. Tomorrow on Chess.FM Macauley Peterson helms with GM Ronen Har-Zvi. On Tuesday it's a special treat as Russian champion, cricket fiend, and all-round mimsy borogrove Peter Svidler rocks the mic with Macauley and dishes the dirt on his colleagues in Bilbao.


I'm rooting for Fire on Board!

"Mimsy borogrove"? Wild guess: Edward Lear?

Mimsy borogroves come from Jabberwocky, a poem in Alice thru the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll.


Grischuk seems to have a crushing score with "D44": If chessgames.com is complete, it's +7 =3 (including three wins with black, as well as one blitz and one rapid game).
Before yesterday, the most recent win was Grischuk-Aronian(!) from Linares 2009. See http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/2009/02/linares-09-r6-carlsen-beats-the-champ.htm for earlier coverage here, including Jan Gustafsson's opinion and Mig's quip "GodGusti rocks". [have to chuckle about this one, as I personally met 'Gusti' when both of us were a bit younger than now, he was a teenage talent at the time ...]

This thing is 2 rounds right? 6 games overall.

Nope, it's a double round robin: 6 games each player, 12 games total. Rest day after the 3rd round, resuming Thursday.

I have a feeling that Aronian plays better in longer tournaments. Maybe thats because his opponents get tired and his tricks work with higher probability towards the end.

Being an ardent Shirov fan ever since 1997, I'm rooting for him to come up with another stunning first-place finish. Of course, I love the strategic masterpieces of Kramnik, but it's the games created by guys like Shirov who play chess with immense imagination and energy who keep me excited about the game.

This is very much beside the purpose of the subject of these postings, but I recently read a review by Edward Winter of Nunn’s revision of Golombek’s Capablanca’s 100 Best Games (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/capablanca.html). In it, Winter suggested that it would require 200 annotated games to do justice to Capablanca. He considered the updated Golombek book as a not particularly attractive stand-in even though it’s the best we have. Capablanca created so many beautiful and strategically wonderful games, coming up with a list of 200 should be easy, but which are the “best” and what criteria should be used to make that assessment?

I guess double round robin means 6 rounds, or am I wrong?

Correctamundo. Easiest is to check out the schedule, laid out very clearly, on TWIC: www.chesscenter.com/twic/twic.html. There are also links to the official site & the games are even viewable on the main page as long as you have the right software (Java, I think) installed. Chessdom.com has live analysis of 1 of the games each round, too. Enjoy...

Not that it hasn't happened many times, but Garry says Shirov's "new" Dragon idea with ..b4 and offering the e7 pawn is all known theory. At least to him. Looked at it many years ago when the line was relatively topical. And yes, it was in The Garrybase with a line leading to "=" if White takes on e7.

"And yes, it was in The Garrybase with a line leading to "=" if White takes on e7."

I read a comment where Karjakin said the Garrybase won't be that helpful to Carlsen, because move order has changed so much. That sounds insane for 4 reasons. 1. We're talking about strategic and tactical advice from the strongest player of all time! 2. The ideas behind the openings are important, not just move order or opening preparation! 3. Garry has only been retired for 4 years! 4. I play one of the most popular variations of the most popular opening and the first 12 moves have been the same for at least 45 years!

As you are referring to me quoting Karjakin, here are some clarifications and comments:
At the time of the interview, "we" (you, I and at least 99% of all chess players and fans?) didn't know that Kasparov is training Carlsen, I wonder if "they" (Dokhoian and Karjakin) did know already ... . Maybe Mig was another chess fan who knew more than the rest of the world? ,:)

As far as I remember [once again, it was 'ephemeral' live coverage and I cannot double-check] Karjakin said that the Garrybase wouldn't be too helpful _for him_. He didn't say "for me or anyone else", which would now be either strange coincidence or a sign that he knew something we didn't know at the time.

On your four reasons: 1 and 2) - I fully agree. 3) a matter of taste or opinion. Apparently Karjakin considers four years a long time - it certainly is with respect to his own life ,:) . 4)Yep, but current GM tabiyas in this and other lines may well start at move 25 (i.e. they can easily blitz out the first 25 moves). What is the latest-ever novelty? I guess there were quite a few after move 30 ... .

The interesting question (also not an unprecedented one): Who of the Dokhoian-Kasparov team has the copyright on their unpublished and unused analyses and is allowed to share it with others if he so chooses? What does this mean for future games between Carlsen and Karjakin?

It must be quite rare that two players (GM's or even super-GM's) both know theory to move 25 in a real game, especially so well that they can blitz it all out without having to stop and think. (Much rarer still that it's actually part of their specific preparation so that they _will_ do that.)

I assume you're joking?? The Marshall? The Grünfeld? The Najdorf??

Joking? Of course there _are_ lines of the kind Thomas describes, but I maintain that only a very small part of all games played on high level will see both players knowing theory well all the way to move 25. Sometimes people make it sound like it happens in every other game. (Thomas certainly didn't say that, though.) It hardly even happens in every tournament.

Maybe move 25 was a slight exaggeration, but quite often I tune into live coverage of events a few minutes after the start of the round and 15-20 moves were already made - to chesshire cat's examples I would add the Sveshnikov (but of course he didn't claim to give a complete list). At the very least, top GMs would spend seconds only in an actual blitz game .... .

I think Topalov once said that faster time controls are justified or make sense because you only have to start thinking at move (15, 20 or 25) - referring to a line from the Queen's Indian. Here I might actually agree with him, if not for the fact that there are also games which do not follow fashionable deeply analyzed opening lines.

By "a few" minutes, do you mean like in 2-3 or 15-20? And surely you don't mean that that many moves were played in all or most games? Obviously it happens. But I would say it's even quite rare that 20 moves are made that quickly. And on average a super-GM game probably leaves theory around move 14-15 or so.

I think Topalov used _30_ (!) moves in his argument, at least if I remember correctly from New In Chess, which I might not.

Rather 2-3 minutes, or maybe 5-10 minutes ... . And usually I am initially puzzled why one or two games are much more advanced than the others, checking the moves and/or the position than leads to "of course, another one of those topical lines".

Hard to estimate how often this happens. From the above, it should be clear that I don't mean "all or most games". On the other hand, I don't think it's quite as rare as you suggest - for a tournament as Corus (7 games per round) I think on average "0.5-1 games per round" is more realistic than your "<1/14" ("it hardly even happens in every tournament").

Btw, note that I'm not saying that if you do stop and think it's because you don't remember theory or your preparation. You might just as well be spending time choosing between theoretical alternatives, or something like that. Obviously that happens in basically every game. Or you're aware of what theory says but you try to find an improvement or just a deviation to get your opponent out of his book knowledge as well. Or you're bluffing to make your opponent think you don't know the line very well or at least you aren't specifically prepared for the game. Or any other reason.

My "it hardly even happens in every tournament" was specifically about "both players knowing theory well all the way to move 25". There is a huge difference between 15 and 25, and a quite big difference between 20 and 25 as well.

"Obviously that happens in basically every game." _That's_ an exaggeration, btw.

Sorry didn't have a chance to put up a new Bilbao item. Hectic week of meetings and prep for meetings. Will put up new stuff on the off day tomorrow.

Fyi, the Garrybase has been continually updated by Garry and his assistant since he retired. He wants it that way mostly for work on his chess books, but also I guess because he just enjoys it. Not as much actual new in-depth work and analysis of course, but substantial updating of the lines with new games, etc.

The ongoing game Shirov-Aronian is a "half-example" for what I meant: So far (currently move 23) Aronian spent less than eight minutes - not exactly blitz tempo, but no serious thinking either. But Shirov spent almost an hour: remembering or re-inventing what was mostly theory??

Forgot to mention that it's a Marshall .... .

I used to give updates on games in progress.

Anyone have an opinion/analysis of whether Shirov picked a bad plan vs. Grischuk (allowing the passed b-pawn, giving up the N to play w. K-side pawns & advanced K) or misplayed the ending afterwards (e.g., maybe he should've advanced ...g5 at some point before White's K penetrated?!) ? Of course, it might just turn out to be analyzable, e.g., by Rybka, w. so few pieces left on the board...?!

Maxim Notkin at Chesspro - http://chesspro.ru/chessonline/onlines/index_2392.html - quotes Svidler as saying that the best thing for black about the Marshall attack is that for a very long time you can just play the most obvious moves without having to expand much time or energy.

If I want to create something like Garrybase on the openings I am interested in using Chessbase 8 how do I do it ? I understand of course my level of analysis won't be upto the standards of Garrybase.

Peter Doggers on Chessvibes seems to be the only one providing detailed comments on the Bilbao games. Chessbase doesn't have much, the tournament homepage doesn't have anything. Dennis Monokroussos on Chessmind is still on "semi-holiday" - he wrote before that there would be little blogging until mid-September, but now he can't resist mentioning news concerning Kasparov and participating in discussions ... yet for the time being there are none of his usually excellent express analyses.

From Chessvibes: "It’s not easy to say at which point the ending turned from bad into lost, but taking the pawn on g2 is probably a mistake." Peter Doggers gives a long line after 39.-Nc2, concluding "still looks very difficult for black, but is it lost?". Earlier on move 18 Shirov had deviated from his Olympiad game against Kramnik, which (based on my casual look) seemed a relatively easy draw.

The first round left a different impression, but now (including today's drastic loss with white against Aronian) it looks like "the out-of-form Shirov" is playing in Bilbao. Aronian himself may have been most surprised, earlier this year (after beating Kamsky at Corus) he said that he plays the Marshall when he doesn't really mind a draw with black, and the Berlin if he wants to create winning chances.

"Peter Doggers on Chessvibes seems to be the only one providing detailed comments on the Bilbao games." (Thomas)

Why don't you do it?

What a disastrous game for Shirov... In slight time trouble and wanting to exchange Queens, he seems to have totally overlooked the consequences 29...Qg6 when he played 29.Qf3???. Instead, he could have played 29.Qb1 and if 29...Qh5, go for a repetition with 30.Qd1 Qf5 31.Qb1. Most likely, Aronian would have accepted the repetition. Yes, it looks like out-of-form-Shirov has shown up for this tournament.

Dear chessplayer,

If you want to create your own opening database(s),I recommend one or more of the following:
1. Read Steve Lopez's tutorials on www.chessbase.com/download/index.asp
2. Read similar articles on www.chesscafe.com
3. Get the book 'How to Use Computers to Improve Your Chess' by Christian Kongsted (Gambit).
4. Read 'Chess Software User's Guide' by Byron Jacobs, Jacob Aagaard and John Emms (Everyman Books).

You could become goodchessplayer.

Good luck.

Nice recommendations.

"Why don't you do it?" (detailed comments on Bilbao games).
For several reasons:
1) I don't have the time and energy.
2) I do not even have chess engines available to double-check my analyses (or do the actual analyses).
3) I am not strong enough. So even if I did some analyses and got them published, not many people would trust the result - I wouldn't really trust myself either ,:)

I usually only post detailed game material when I'm on Chess.FM and have the advantage of having sat through the entire round with a GM analyst and a computer. And I think it adds something seeing the games start to finish as compared to playing through them later, more of a narrative. It seems like something of a waste NOT to do write-ups after having all that in my head. Otherwise I mostly just try to toss out a few moments of potential interest for those with less time and provide a place to talk about the games.

That makes sense.

Dear Mig: In case you were (sort of) responding to my comment ... I was not criticizing you for not giving detailed game analyses, I know you usually don't [the round 4 report is as detailed as it gets here, and indeed a nice and concise description of the games].

I just mentioned where I usually look for that kind of information, and the only site I do criticize is the tournament site: They have plenty of 'odd' stuff (player's biographies, glorifying the Topalov-Polgar blindfold match), but no round reports. Actually, along the lines you suggested, they could provide summaries of Garcia's live comments after the rounds. All they would need is someone who knows a bit about chess (not a strong GM) and who knows both Spanish and English. BTW it could be you ,:) - if you had the time (no parallel ICC commitments) and if the organizers were willing to pay you adequately.

I fully agree with you that it "adds something seeing the games start to finish". For example, only then one knows if players were in time trouble and why (which previous move[s] burned their clock time?). And it may work against the common and understandable temptation to "annotate a game by the result"!?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 6, 2009 11:01 PM.

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