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Tal Memorial 2009 Begins

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Woo! Even with all the strong events we have these days it's hard not to get excited about this one. The 2009 Tal Memorial in Moscow is the strongest event of the year and, despite not including world #1 Topalov, easily makes the top 20 strongest events ever list. Not just in the obvious and steadily inflating Elo average, but in the meaningful measure of how many players from the elite are there. No outsiders in Moscow. The field:

Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Leko, Boris Gelfand, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Morozevich, Peter Svidler and Ruslan Ponomariov.

That's eight of the current (Nov 09) top ten, plus #12 and #13: Ivanchuk, who was #2 as recently as a year ago, and Ponomariov, a former top-five player and FIDE KO WCh). Pono is the only player who hasn't been a consistent top-ten star for years, though he did well here last year and seems to be getting his groove back. Ivanchuk is the defending title holder. Only Topalov and Gashimov are missing from the top ten, though it would be more accurate to say Radjabov and not his countryman Gashimov, since Radjabov was #7 on the relevant list and Gashimov, now #6, was #14. Anyway, it's hella strong, as we used to say in the hood.

Rounds begin at 3pm local time, 7am NY. I'll be back on the mic for ICC Chess.FM with the usual impressive array of Grandmaster (and broadcasting) talent. Kaidanov, Christiansen, Benjamin, de Firmian, and my old Herzlia homeboy, Ronen Har-Zvi, now of upstate New York. The off day is Monday the 9th. The official site doesn't have the pairings up yet, but a little Russian bird told me that it's Carlsen-Kramnik in the first round. An incredible 22-player blitz tournament follows the event.

Any dark horses out there? It's only nine rounds so unless lightning strikes +3 should do the job with +2 possibly good for shared first. Anand has barely played this year so how the world champion is doing is the biggest question to me. Hard to imagine Carlsen putting up another result like Nanjing in this field, but something tells me it's almost time to stop using the phrase "hard to imagine" with the Norwegian star. Another subplot is whether or not Carlsen can add the handful of rating points he needs to pass Topalov for the #1 spot, though he'll also be in Corus London in December and that should count on the January list.

Update: Ah, the rest of the draw is up, so now we can figure out the rest. Here's the first round: Карлсен (1) - Крамник (10), Морозевич (2) - Леко (9), Гельфанд (3) - Пономарев (8), Аронян (4) - Свидлер (7), Иванчук (5) - Ананд (6).

That's Carlsen-Kramnik, Morozevich-Leko, Gelfand-Ponomariov, Aronian-Svidler, Ivanchuk-Anand. That also means, and I was just on the phone with an interested party, that Carlsen has five whites. That's the good news. But his coach was a little disappointed that four of them are against guys who are very tough to beat: Kramnik, Anand, Aronian, and Ponomariov! (The other is Moro, who is always dangerous, but apparently Kasparov mostly wants to sharp fights, and no trouble with Moro on that count.) This is an interesting piece of strategery, the mostly moot question of against whom you would rather have white. You'd think it would be against the stronger guys in principle, but Garry is more concerned about Carlsen getting the maximum of chances to play with a win with both colors and said he'd be happy swapping all four of those whites for black for whites in other games because then those favorites would have to press for a win. Not sure if his charge would agree, since Anand and Kramnik in particular are far more dangerous with white. Garry just feels that danger is what Carlsen should be seeking. Easy for him to say! [Hah, Carlsen's Facebook status was just changed to "Hvit mot Kramnik... What to do?"]

I asked Kasparov if he felt the same way in his own events -- if he preferred to have black against the solid tough-to-beat guys, but he didn't give much of an answer, saying it really depended on the player and the tournament. I suppose it's different when the goal isn't just to win, but also to expand and develop your overall game, which is what Garry's role with Carlsen is. I.e. becoming the 300th person to get next to nothing against Kramnik's Petroff isn't exactly mind-expanding. He wants all nine games to have value and chances to complicate.

Garry just finished giving two big speeches in Mumbai, India, today btw. To IBM! And yes, Deep Blue was on the menu. (In the Q&A: "Will machines dominate the world?" "You shouldn't ask me. Ask James Cameron!") Speaking of, he has a letter in the new issue of New In Chess as well as a column on his match with Karpov. The letter is in response to the last NIC with Illescas's fascinating article on Deep Blue now that the Spaniard's non-disclosure agreement has expired.


I guess the point is that Carlsen is strong enough to handle Kramnik, Aronian, Anand and Ponomariov with the black pieces, at least making draws, and, will have greater chances to win against most of the other with white.

I hope my man Gelfand is "on" for this one!

If Carlsen is getting the advantage after the opening he will indeed do very well and win the tournament in impressive fashion. It will be interesting to see how Anand does. Also Aronian. The wild cards are Ivanchuck and Morozevich and they will produce exiting games. But unless there is illness or meltdown I predict Carlsen will take this tournament.

Hah, Carlsen's Facebook status was just changed to "Hvit mot Kramnik... What to do?"

well, well, kasparov is a sly old fox, he is certainly not telling what he really thinks in such detail just before the start of the tournament especially if he knows or even approves that those comments are going to be published.

this is part of the psychological warfare, of course, signalling that carlsen has become so strong that he would do fine with black against anybody in this field without difficulties.

hence, those poor souls playing black against carlsen, might be even more intimidated.

anyway, kasparov seems to be doing a good job, the game against kramnik tomorrow will be very interesting, especially the choice of opening.

This should be really amazing tournament. Let the spirit of Tal invade the playing hall. Topalov's presence would have made this one of the strongest tournaments ever. The absent Gashimov is still less known - maybe Mig could write about him. He cannot yet be like Ivanchuk and Moro, a regular top 10 player.

Surely, Mig, you meant London NOT Corus in the following: "Another subplot is whether or not Carlsen can add the handful of rating points he needs to pass Topalov for the #1 spot, though he'll also be in Corus before the next list."

Actually I meant London in December and Corus in January then I started a bit on the list not coming out in January and forgot what I was talking about. Not the first time!

This whole thing of not having a Jan list seems arbitrary and weird. I hope it's just a temporary thing until they go to monthly and eventually a live list.

Surely, Mig, you meant London NOT Corus in the following: "Another subplot is whether or not Carlsen can add the handful of rating points he needs to pass Topalov for the #1 spot, though he'll also be in Corus before the next list."

erm sorry about the double post. unreliable wireless.

Uh there is a january list. The list is every Two months now starting in Sept so Nov was the second installment and January the third. The result though is that London will count for January(the next list) but obviously Corus will not.

''well, well, kasparov is a sly old fox, he is certainly not telling what he really thinks...''


A great read on Daily Dirt today!

So, uhm, where are Susan Polgar’s links to Mig Greenfield’s excellent blog? And to Mig’s quotes from Kasparov?

1-2 Ivanchuk, Anand
3 Carlsen
4-7 Leko, Aronian, Svidler, Kramnik
8-9 Gelfand, Morozevich
10 Ponomariov


My bet is that Magnus Carlsen leaves Moscow as the new World No. 1, clearly passing Veselin Topalov on LiveRating. To achieve that, I believe Carlsen only needs +2 -- and that, I believe, is within his reach.

Kasparov's strategies for Carlsen are interesting - Carlsen is to play long, complex games against every player - no rest games. Taking the chances to win every game also opens him up to losing games. On the other hand, Carlsen has youth, energy, and physical skills to play all eight games at top brilliance levels. Be interesting to see if he tires. (Remember, he skipped the European Team event because it was said that the new playing style tired him out.)

I wonder who arrived at the tournament hoping to win, and who arrived hoping they would not lose too badly. So much will depend on their will to fight.

They can all beat each other on a good day!

Obviously you don't get to the 2700 but "not being able to beat 2700 player X"

The real question is who has something to prove here? And who is here just trying to retain a rating... I mean Svidler himself stated he is too prone to take draws that are offered...

Is Carlsen going to try to make a grand stand and repeat Pearl Spring?
Is Anand just going to try to draw out to save for Topalov?
Inquiring minds want to know if certain players by making a strong appearance here hope to garner more super tournament invites! (Svidler... Pono... etc)..

"I wonder who arrived at the tournament hoping to win"

All of them.

"The real question is who has something to prove here? And who is here just trying to retain a rating... I mean Svidler himself stated he is too prone to take draws that are offered..."

Kramnik is the one player who genuinely has a very good reason to "retain a rating". I suspect that is going to show at least somewhat in his play.

Agreed... still i'm salivating for the games tomorrow ;) Bring on the chess!

Arctic Stones: "So, uhm, where are Susan Polgar’s links to Mig Greenfield’s excellent blog?..."

My guess is that she does not like the fact that the comments here are largely un-moderated, and she is sometimes not painted in prettiest light here.

Also, if Carlsen wins game one, he passes Topalov on the live list--right now he is less than 3 points back.

...make that "less than four points back."

"Carlsen has youth, energy, and physical skills to play all eight games at top brilliance levels."

Which of his opponents do you consider so weak that it counts merely as a walk-over? :o) I'm referring to the ninth "game", of course.

"it was said that the new playing style tired him out"

compared to before, when Carlsen was known to take many short draws to rest during events?!?


At last! My supertournament fix. I was starting to get the DTs again.

"I suppose it's different when the goal isn't just to win, but also to expand and develop your overall game, which is what Garry's role with Carlsen is. I.e. becoming the 300th person to get next to nothing against Kramnik's Petroff isn't exactly mind-expanding."

So, when do you think Carlsen switches to 1. d4?

last I checked... he plays everything =P with Kasparov helping wouldn't you? It is pretty much forced at the top level I think to be flexible or you wear a target on your back saying "break my pet line... I double dog dare you!" Some still do though... and they usually pay a game or two to the piper's deep preparation combos.

Rooting for Ivanchuk.

Similar to Carlsen, 5 whites. He's playing white against Anand, Kramnik, Pono, Gelfand (instead of Aronian), plus Carlsen!

The only difference is that Chucky doesn't have Kasparov as coach.

Question: Do the "older" players still have coaches, or do they stop at a certain age? Magnus has Kasparov, Karjakin had Short in the past. Not sure about the rest (I know they have seconds for matches).

Such a strong field, only nine rounds, anything can happen really. I would put my money on either Aronian, Kramnik, Carlsen or Pono! What is the time control?

the question is : who will finish last ?

Moro, Chuck or Gelfand last. Ouch.

Moro's kamikaze style does not seem to work well at this level of competition. I of course admire his style and am cheering for him but would not be surprised if he came last.

Are you Thomas? Just an observation.


#caleague: "It is pretty much forced at the top level I think to be flexible or you wear a target on your back saying 'break my pet line... I double dog dare you!'"

Agreed. But Anand was a great exception. He played 1. e4 virtually exclusively until his match with Kramnik.

Leko is going to win. With +1!!

Ok, what about the seconds. Does anyone know who the players brought along this time?

I want Chucky to win it , he is more important than ELO or titles .
Anything can happen though , and that is what makes this tournament so exciting and important from an historical point of view .
Could this be Carlsen´s San Luis? I already saw people wearing that tshirt.
They forget that in one of the many corners of this ring is Kramnik , one of the few persons who was vaccinated against Garry´s psycological influence , that has to worth something .
Not to mention that he will be playing in his own country , with his own toilet , just kiddin.
IMO everyone but Vishy should be playing at full capacity ,and that´s something that not many tournaments can offer, regardless of the category.
Anand is not showing any gold since his match with Kramnik , so maybe even him could be motivated to play with some guts despite being so close to his match with Topa.
Of course it would be lovely to see the Sofia and Bibao rules implemented, but the last person who suggested that in Russia had an accident.
I don´t mind really , because this time i got the feeling that there should be enough electricity in the air to afford some lightning.
Lot of wild cards in this tournament , anything can happen indeed.

Anand has a tough draw, back to back Blacks against Ivanchuk and Kramnik!

Tjallen: "it was said that the new playing style tired him out"

Frogbert: "compared to before, when Carlsen was known to take many short draws to rest during events?!?"

With all due respect, Frogbert, I think there is a very natural explanation as to why Magnus’ new playing style demands more energy -- an it has nothing to do with taking draws. No. Magnus was and continues to be uncompromising.

Kasparov has encouraged him to use more time and do deeper analyses in more of the instances when he has advantage, being more sure that he is finding the best way forward. Whereas before Magnus would not infrequently lose that advantage because of impatience or faulty analysis.

Such thorough analyses require more time and effort, making him more tired.

CO's question to tsn: "Are you Thomas?"

No he is not, at least not _this_ Thomas, what made you think so? Maybe my writing/blogging style isn't that unique ... . But for one thing, I never posted before at 3:00AM (my time zone).

I agree with acirce that Kramnik has an interest to conserve his rating, and that this might affect his play at the Tal Memorial. If so, we could already look ahead to the London tournament where a 50% or +1 score won't do that job?

Svidler only said - correctly quoted by #caleague - that he is prone to _accept_ "premature" draws, while he hardly offers them, so it also depends on his opponents. Svidler and Ponomariov might well be happy with a 50% score - not necessarily =9. Of course Pono is a bit of an unknown, when was his last comparable tournament? For me, San Sebastian wouldn't count.

Place your bets! What have K and C prepared for Kramnik? What will the result be?

Hope Kramnik plays like he played in Dortmund.

I think we’re likely to see a hard-fought draw. I most definitely do not think Carlsen will over-extend himself, but rather that we’ll be seeing very solid chess from both players.

I would prefer to see the Norwegian take the full point and start this tournament with a bang. But even more than that, I am hoping to see some really good, entertaining chess. :)


Thomas is not me and vice versa. Any particular reason you assumed we are the same? I never noticed Thomas using another alias.

I seldom post in DD (unless it's somehow related to Chucky), but enjoy reading DD. Except when people start to post long posts testing each other nerves (which is most of the posts anyway).

So, do you have any answer to my question?

In Svidler's recent interview (http://chesspro.ru/_events/2009/svidler.html) he was asked about his impressions of Kramnik's preparation (after being a second for the Leko match):

"It's not for me, and it never was. I'd have approached it differently. It's not for me to judge Vladimir, but it's not only my point of view: in his desire to solve chess as a mathematical puzzle he sometimes forgets, in my opinion, how good he is as a practical player.
And it doesn't always work in his favour. When you set yourself the task, putting it crudely, not to make a single move of your own at the board, and then you're forced to make moves, it becomes harder to make decisions. As much as I respect Leko if in the preparation for the match there'd been less attention to forced draws with black and a small plus with white, and Kramnik had been able to come to the match in good playing form... Vladimir as a player is simply stronger.

I've always been a practical player, so for me there's never been a choice. Of course, if I was in a similar situation I'd also prepare, because I've had, have and will always have opening problems which I need to solve, otherwise the world championship match would be over before it even began. However I've always placed my own focus on practical chess."

I'm with playjunior in hoping Kramnik continues his form (and style of play) from Dortmund, though obviously a draw with black against Carlsen would be a good result.

p.s. on the same topic - Shirov was asked recently to sum up the top 5 players (http://www.crestbook.com/?q=node/1077) and came up with:

"Topalov - In Veselin's play you can see enormous self-sacrifice: a continual striving to do as well as he possibly can.

Anand - The most profound sense of dynamics: the fastest and most accurate calculation.

Aronian - The most successful of the highly aggressive players. He achieves that thanks to his rare intuition in the sharpest positions.

Carlsen - A very well-rounded player with a brilliant feel for the end game. You never know in what key he's going to carry out the struggle.

Kramnik - The strongest analyst."

¨I never noticed Thomas using another alias.¨

He did that and got busted instantly , then he closed his eyes and pretended to be invisible with much better results.

Great post with interesting contributions from not one but two players. Carlsen v Kramnik is really fascinating especially with Garry's influence. Garry preparing by proxy against the one player that out-prepared him so well (Astana Berlin notwithstanding). I hope it's a Petroff (not trolling!) - The irresistable force against the immovable object! I like both Carlsen & Kramnik.... Again my guilty pleasure is that I hope Vlad's Petroff holds up.....

Very nice quote from Shirov. Its nice to see what top players think of their contemporaries. And good insights by Alexey.

Even Carlsparov apparently still not ready to face Kramnik's Petroff. While I generally prefer 1.d4 openings, 1.e4 would have been interesting to see.

Of course Shirov's choice of names wasn't very "original" - neither was the question. The explanations are still interesting. I am a bit surprised that he seems to consider the endgame Carlsen's _main_ strength. It's not, at least not literally in his words, would he consider Carlsen stronger than the four others in that part of the game?

Apparently 1.d4 was no surprise for Kramnik ... he spent just 30 seconds on the first ten moves. Of course Carlsen's 10 minutes are no big deal either.

Interesting to see this 6..d5 line becoming all the rage. In Vigorito's "Challenging the Nimzo-Indian", an ambitious and very good book on 4.Qc2, he dismisses it in a couple of sentences.

Well, no sign of just going for a draw with black! Chesspro pointed out they're almost following Karpov-Anand from 3 days ago, though Kramnik's 10...Re8 varies from Anand's immediate 10...g5.

I like watching top players playing against "their own" openings. Against Qc2 activity is essential for black, white has sacrificed development for positional pluses, so here black is striving for as much activity as possible, even at the cost of weaknesses. All very logical, I hope one day Qc2 goes out of fashion, lots of other interesting Nimzo variations I'd like to see explored at the top.

Its cool seeing Kramnik dash out an Anand idea. I'm sure he looked at the Karpov game.

Also interesting for me personally: I play 4.Qc2 myself and these days I'm having big problems trusting it for more than a microscopic advantage that disappears with one single imprecise move -- however I can't say that today's Carlsen-Kramnik has contributed a lot to change that impression. And not like it's easy proving an advantage against the NID in other lines either.

I once knew a fellow with the initials TSN. His name was Thomas. He was not the fellow I was refering to.

My question was not meant to imply anything other than a curiosity based on several, albeit subtle, intuitions created in my own mind.

If I have offended you or any Thomas who reads or contributes here, I offer my sincere apology.


Pure coincidence that Carlsen has started to play badly against Kramnik after he took up working with Kasparov? Now (after 19.Qd2) of course Kramnik can exchange down to an endgame with an extra pawn, where he can play but which should be drawish. 19..Qa6 might be more promising, retaining the middlegame initiative and keeping White's king in the centre.

Okay, now he traded queens and didn't even take the pawn :) Draw is fine anyway, but this was a bit disappointing.

Than you for your comments acirce. As a rookie I learn a lot from better players. Do you think Carlsen should have avoided the Nimzo Indian? Thanks again.

The winner will be Anand, Aronian or Kramnik

Hard to say, but I doubt it. Kramnik was better prepared, but he could have been in any opening. I'm not the best suited to answer that though.

Thanks, acirce. It seems to me, a 1400 level player, that Kramnik equalized very easily with black.

I could have sworn that 19. b4 was a classical "Carlsen move". Really strange to me that he went for the passive Qd2.

18... Qa5 19.b4 cxb4 20.0-0 b3 21.Rc1 takes the c column. However 21... Bf5 and Rac8 vanish everything.

Now Carlsen has sacrificed a pawn to release his pieces and get himself the initiative. Active pieces and a passed pawn. Kramnik's rook on b3 is just stuck. Not sure how this is going to end really.

Tendulkar just scored a classic century against the Aussies. Anand seems to have recovered, Kramnik is showing why he is so good....

"Kramnik's rook on b3 is just stuck." Good point. This could be decisive.

Kind of getting even there in the Ivanchuk-Anand with the pawns on the queenside have the potential of being traded. Equal in the case of Kramnik too.

I think Carlsen win against Kramnik because past pawn and rook is locked up.

I don't know how well Anand took advantage of Ivanchuk's time pressure but Anand stands slightly better now. Kramnik-Carlsen though eval says even, evaluating the position is very tough. So better man has the chances there.

Kudos to both Carlsen and Kramnik. Good to see Kramnik playing for a win, even with the dubious rook adventure on the b file (when he could have taken a position with an extra pawn and no risk whatsoever) - and to Carlsen for finding a way to brilliantly open the position and set Kramnik a horrible task in time trouble. & then again to Kramnik for holding it all together, at least up until the time control... though it's still a dangerous position for black.

Why is draw between Ivanchuk and Anand when Anand have extra pawn. Can any one tell. I have very low rating but keep playing here.

I think they should ban draw offers. Ivanchuk swindled a draw.

Maybey my low rating makes me not understand as well but if Anand hs an extra pawn why does he give up and not play more. He must not be afraid to lose so why.

Think about the next 4 moves, and see if Anand can hold on to his extra pawn.

Of course Anand had to return his extra pawn to avoid perpetual check. So both offering (Ivanchuk) and accepting (Anand) a draw makes at least some sense - even if the Rybka line given at chessok.com is not forced:
44... Kf7 45. Rd7+ Ke6 46. Rxh7 Rc1+ 47. Kf2 Rc2+ 48. Kf1 f5 49. h4 fxe4 50. fxe4 Rc4 {Rybka Aquarium (0:00.10)} {-0.04|d19} {equal chances}

wow !!! Kramnik just released the long awaited Rxc3. Very exciting now.

It is interesting to see Kramnik firt drove White King off the queen side by Rook checks prior to doing the pawn march then Rxc3.

No I supose not but he does not lose.

lost for white I think

It is not the fear of losing, it is fear of having to face an opponent you are accustomed to after denying a draw offer. A computer could draw but practically a Ivanchuk could lose easily which they would never like to admit. Knowing this, these type of players make draw offers instead of playing it out. One way to avoid an embarassing situations like this is to completely ban draw offers.

Shipov says white needs to find study-like only moves to survive. Amazing game.

Kasparov + Carlsen < Kramnik
Awesome! the power of Volodya!

Kramnik < Anand! (The best ever) :)

Carlsen is spending a long time on move 50.
He must be going through all possible theoretical R+Ps endgames in the case he does Rxc2 after Kg5 :-)

There's actually a way for white to draw? Can someone give Shipov's line pls

Carlsen "found" 50...Kg5 - the trick is that he needs to bring the king back to f6 later to make a "perpetual check net". I don't think it's that difficult to find for someone like Carlsen, but who knows...

Lot of tension in this game. I feel a very urgent need to comment on the outcome, but I better leave it to others. So much pressure gives me headache.

From Maxim Notkin at Chesspro (but I think the same line Shipov has in mind):

49... c2 50.Kg5
50... Rh2 51.Rc5 b4 52.Rc4 b3 53.Kf6 Kd5 54.Rc5 Kd6 55.Rc8 Kd7 56.Rc7 Kd6 57.Rc4

I don't understand Carlsen's 51 Rc3.
Black can now push his King up, or play Pb4

Carlsen apparently goes astray with 51.Rc3, but now it's up to Kramnik to find a tricky line to prove it with time running down! I'm glad I'm not a professional chess player...

That Shipov line is incredible. If Kramnik wins this, he has white against Anand tomorrow! And Carlsen has blown one of his whites (is this what Kasparov meant, the danger of over-pressing?)

If Kramnik doesn't win this, he still has white against Anand tomorrow ... ,:) . While I do not (claim to) understand everything that happened so far, I do not see Carlsen over-pressing. But Kramnik, maybe surprisingly, tried and tries to play for a win despite the black pieces.

Salvaging draws from bad positions against top opponents is a trademark of the legends. Not only can he win, but he can be incredibly hard to beat..

anand's choice of grunfeld is quite interesting. clearly he is giving topa something more to think about and probably preparing a qga or something... should be fun to see what kramnik does/prepares against it if repeated tomorrow

Draw for Carlsen. That was a close call. Sometimes is difficult to be on the front line, many may be watching your every move and it becomes hard to play.

"But Kramnik, maybe surprisingly, tried and tries to play for a win despite the black pieces."

I don't think that is surprising at all. If he gets the opportunity, why shouldn't he play for a win? It is another matter how much risk he is willing to take. Somewhat conflicting evidence in regards to that in this game I think.

Ivanchuck, Aronian, Morozevich and Gelfand have all "blown" one of their whites as well, apparently.

Thank you all for the comments and advise because I lerned a lot from watching and hearing. If there are 5 happy plaers there must be 5 sad ones also.

Anand and Carlsen tied for last after Round 1 ... who whoulda thunk it?!

Thats because she is a complete twit :)

I was a bit ironic ... . What I meant to imply: Kramnik got winning chances (not sure if the position was actually won at some stage, not even after Carlsen's 51. Rc3?!) NOT because Carlsen overpressed, but because of his (or Anand's!?) opening preparation and his exchange sacrifice in the endgame. I am not sure whether Jaideepblue wanted to leave a different impression, actually I don't think so.

Ironically, today Kramnik sort of justified why he bailed out with a short draw when first confronted with the then-novelty 7.-Ne4! ,:) . The stem game was Kramnik-Anand, Amber rapid 2009 (1/2 15).

@regondi: not sure if a draw means "blowing" the advantage of the white pieces, a loss does.

A very engaging first round. This should counter the anti-draw chorus.

I am sure some 'chess experts' will comment "five draws, booooooring" - and not even bother to look at the games ... .

This is a very sexist thread. Doesn't anyone want to discuss the instructional games of Chiburdanidze, Humpy, and Danielian?

If the percentage of chess players who are women is 2%, how is it that women haven't contributed 2% of chess knowledge and theory?

What percent of chess books are authored by women?

Fischer had it right: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdA7I9nPhSU

Not especially, but spare us your misogynist bile, ok?

I'm terribly sorry, but you are the "misogynist." I personally think the above-mentioned players are beautiful, both inside and out. If anything, I have been instrumental in enlightening the chess community of their achievements. Still, I will not bother naming, yet again, the heaps of theory they have contributed to the game because it is so obvious.

If 10% of chess fans are idiots, how come they appear on 95% of the threads?

Take a look at 1:14 and you will see how Fischer shows all the gestures and signs of embarrasment after being asked about that girl.
He is clearly out of his element while talking about women , just like you.

Okay, I missed the irony.

You guys crack me up. Cut the apron strings and grow a pair!

I think I know the anwser but should not tell. Do not worry it does nto mean you.

As an auditor, I think I know a little something about numbers:

The Daily Dirt is an intelligent board. While 10% represents a minority of chess players, they are in fact encompassed within the larger majority of sane people within the population at large, whereas the alleged 90% non-idiot chess players are undoubtedly considered losers in the real world. This has been documented various times, most notably in the movie "Searching For Bobby Fischer," in which one encounters a disproportionate number of spastics and overgrown teenagers at the Manhattan Chess Club. But I think any trip to your local chess club will reveal that an incredible amount of losers, both physically and mentally, with regards to the population at large.

Thus the 10% chess idiots represent a segment of the silent majority of sane people, posting 95% of the good comments here.

Chess Auditor - After that diatribe I'm guessing we all have a good idea as to which percentage group you belong...

Sheesh, at least I'm only offending 2% of chess players... if you want to call them chess "players" (sorry, couldn't resist the dig, lol).

Oh, I'm actually of the same sentiment as you. I meant to reply to jaideepblue who used the term "blown one of his whites" in referring to Carlsen. My comment was meant to be lightly sarcastic, that's why I kept the quotation marks. Not winning with white is certainly a lost opportunity, but "blowing" something implies that the win is secure and is yours to lose. Perhaps "used up one of his whites" was the intended meaning.(?)

Ah yes, nothing spells "player" quite like the flashy "auditor" title. Nothing even remotely nerdy about that profession at all. Nothing!

I hope Frogbert is doing fine ... I haven't see him in this blog in a while and his live rating list is not updated, despite the fact that Carlsen is participating in the tournament (which usually is a reason for Forgbert to accelerate the process).

Good show from Kramnik and Carlsen today ... it seems that the collaboration between Carlsen and Kasparov is motivating Kramnik to push harder and continuing as Kasparov's nemesis, even as a coach.

he posted yesterday ...

I have to say the Pono game was quite boring... the others were nice though. so only 1 boring draw in my book.

Even Gelfand-Ponomariov was at least a "correct" draw according to Sofia rules. It was just a case where there was little left to play for once black equalized (in the given situation, this meant getting to play -c5).
Browsing through the Internet, most reports start with "five draws", only then adding that the games were "nonetheless" interesting - Mig's most recent piece seems to be the only exception.
Makes me wonder: if there were five decisive games, would people _immediately_ add "but they were one-sided/blunder-struck/decided in time trouble lotteries"?

"All five games finished drawn, and several of them were without a lot of action." (Mig)

Is that what you mean? Sounds pretty boring.

Actually Mig's writing at the start of his report is a bit cryptic to me, because the next sentence starts with "But all were interesting ...". Either he was tired (it was written late in the evening) and/or occupied with some other projects and deadlines, or there is some deep hidden meaning, maybe some irony which I do not get.

The rest of the report, particularly the description of Carlsen-Kramnik, was great as always. It would be interesting to also have Kasparov's take on this - well, maybe not during the tournament ... !?

"Without a lot of action" doesn't equal "uninteresting" at all.

[Getting to this one only after most of today's "live action" is over ... :]
You - and Mig if that's what he meant - have a point.
What does "action" really mean? Is it just sacrifices? Then two of yesterday's games (Carlsen-Kramnik and Moro-Leko) would qualify.
What could "interesting" exactly mean? For example, "action" behind the scenes that doesn't appear on the board?
But - as you know - I can also appreciate games "devoid of action" (as defined above), and also if they end in a logical draw.

"If I were Mig", I would have turned the order of sentences around to avoid misunderstandings by selective quoting: "All games were interesting, notwithstanding the fact that they were drawn and that only two had spectacular action."

the tournament it is in kramnik 's hand

You may be right because Gelfand is no match for Kramnik. He'll just fall down at some point as soon as Kramnik says boo!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 4, 2009 2:58 PM.

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