Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Corus 2010 R9-10: Ecclesiastes 9:11

| Permalink | 278 comments

To segue smoothly from the Old Testament to the 80s comic Emo Phillips, some mornings it just doesn't pay to wake up and chew through the straps. (If you're too much a heathen to know it and too lazy to look it up, the titular verse is the one that starts "the race is not to the swift..." and ends "but time and chance happeneth to them all.") We don't much like to use the terms luck and chance in chess. You make your own success and benefit when your opponent falters. But I think we're on safe ground to say it when someone has enjoyed considerable good fortune at the board. With three rounds to play in Wijk aan Zee, the pairings have blessed us with many clashes at the top of the crosstable in the second half. The players have mostly lived up to the challenge and delivered fighting chess.

Lady, umm, Fortune was on Shirov's side a few times during his amazing 5/5 start at Corus this year. He gambled and won, outplaying his opponents in tense positions and collecting every proffered gift as well. Caruana mystifyingly tossed a pawn to turn a drawn endgame into a loss. Smeets fended off a sacrificial attack quite well slipping off the precipice. Van Wely was lost before coming a missed brilliant move away from playing for a win himself in a wild time scramble. Now that Kramnik has taken over the clear lead on the strength of wins over Nakamura and Carlsen we can look back at his brushes with good fortune. Tiviakov seemed to have him dead to rights, up a pawn and with a solid position. Kramnik's last gasp of startling tactics bamboozled Tiviakov just enough to save the half point. It's harder to explain his draw against Short, which goes beyond luck and directly to some sort of divine intervention; if God has the free time to hang out in Wijk aan Zee paralyzing the brains of Englishmen. Even the thoroughly outplayed van Wely had a good chance for a save had he captured with knight instead of a bishop on c5 on move 47.

There's no such thing as a winner without at least a little luck, but you don't win Corus without a lot more than that. Kramnik is three rounds away from winning in Wijk aan Zee for the first time since his debut appearance way back in 1998 when he shared first with Anand. Those are three pretty long rounds considering the pairings, however, and none is more important than tomorrow's 11th round matchup against Shirov. In one stroke Shirov can retake the lead in the tournament and put to rest the scuttlebutt about how he got his early wins against the weaker segment of the field. He lost that lead when the lucky break went to his 10th round opponent, Anand. Shirov played a wonderfully creative game, whipping up a kingside attack while Anand looked like he was having trouble getting into gear after nine consecutive draws. Time trouble turned the tide, Anand blitzing his opponent and Shirov unable to find the shot 39..Ng3!!, offering the queen. 40.Nxg5 Rxe1 and the mate threat leads to the win of a piece. Shirov missed his chance and after the blunder 39..Rxe6 he was lost. Don't stop there though, as the conclusion contained some great tactics as well. Anand offered his queen to push his pawn, Shirov declined and went for checks with his queen, which were soon exhausted. A flawed but fascinating game.

Anand's first win gave Kramnik the clear lead despite being held to a short sharp draw by Ivanchuk. Kramnik had moved up the table with consecutive wins against Nakamura and Carlsen. The much-anticipated game between the former world champ and the 19-year-old world #1 did not disappoint. Carlsen played the Catalan, perhaps a bit of provocation by using Kramnik's favorite weapon. Kramnik defended this same line in another good game, his draw against Gelfand at the Tal Memorial. (His draw with Ivanchuk in round 10 was a curious mirror image of their game from the Tal. They reversed colors and Kramnik played the sacrificial attack Ivanchuk should have won with in that game.) Carlsen played an aggressive positional pawn sac 17.d5! to go after the black king. But his very next move let the advantage slip. Instead of 18.Bh3, Kasparov suggests 18.Rfd1 d4 19.Qf5 and White's forces are coordinated better than in the game. The lingering threat of moving the knight and playing Be4 creates too many threats. The complications are still immense but it looks like White is coming out on top in these lines. As the game went it turned into a great defensive effort by Kramnik, who danced his king around like Baryshnikov. With his knight and rooks out of the game, Carlsen had to retreat to deal with the mob of black pawns. He used almost all the rest of his time acknowledging this and he blundered fatally under Kramnik's first threat of the game. A savage battle illustrating the old "if the attack fails, the counterattack will likely be decisive."

Nakamura lost his second in a row in the 9th round, with white against Karjakin. It was a straight-up slugfest on just about every square of the board. White probably shouldn't lose after the more circumspect 35.Bd6. Nakamura went for the win and ran into the shot 36..Rc4! 37.Rg1 Rc2! A wild fighting game. Round nine was a big day for the locals. Smeets got his first win in a sloppy mess of a game against Caruana. First White dominated, then he couldn't find his way to continue and Caruana defended well and won a pawn. He made steady progress and had a nice shot, 39..Nxh3+!, to win another pawn that he missed in time trouble. The rest of the game is a scramble and somehow Smeets picked off a pawn, then a piece, and won. (48.Nd3 wins because of 48..Rd3 49.Rxd5 exd5 50.Qe8+ wins a piece.) You might call it winning ugly, but it counts the same and I'm sure Smeets will take it.

Carlsen bounced back in the 10th round against Karjakin. Desperate to get back into contention he turned to a surprise, his first professional French Defense. I guess experience isn't everything because White was practically in zugzwang by move 25. Incredible. The win put him into a tie with Shirov on +3, a half-point behind Kramnik. Then there's a big pack on +1: Karjakin, Dominguez, Nakamura, Ivanchuk, Anand. The leader doesn't have an easy ride home. He finishes with black against Shirov, black against Anand, and white against Karjakin. Carlsen has white against Dominguez, black against Leko, and white against Caruana. Shirov has black against Karjakin and white against Dominguez. Karjakin is unlikely to repeat his win of 2009 but he's certainly positioned to have a big say in who becomes his successor.

Round 11: Shirov-Kramnik, Carlsen-Dominguez, Ivanchuk-Karjakin, Nakamura-Leko, Short-Caruana, Smeets-Anand, van Wely-Tiviakov.

The official website and even the internet at the Corus press room had a bad day during round 10. Live coverage went down completely right at the critical moment on several boards in time trouble. The entire site was offline for over 24 hours, at least from here. They've had an extra day to try to get things back on track, but since there have been slowdowns and disconnects most rounds let's hope a back-end upgrade is in the works for next year. I'm off duty on ICC Chess.FM for the home stretch, busy with real life with Garry in town. I should be at his appearance and book signing at a scholastic event here in NY on Saturday morning. Jen Shahade is hosting with Larry Christiansen.


Corus is the best.

Mig, I visited twenty times the last two days to read your take on these two rounds. Finally, I feel better.

I still think Carlsen is going to win this tournament. Maybe the Kramnik defeat could be good for him in the long run.

I don't know how the tiebreaks work, however. Fairest would be to firstly look at the head to head match between the players in the event of a two-way tie. Which would obviously give Kramnik the nod if he ties with Carlsen. That said though, I think +2 or +3 from the remaining games will be enough to give Magnus clear first, and I think he might manage it.

Some interesting comments by Anand (at the end of the press conference)
"It is easy to blame everything on the poor world championship match"

On whether he blitzed Shirov "That is putting a positive spin on it." I played quickly because I was nervous.

No tiebreaks at Corus, just a good old-fashioned shared first. Kinda like that myself. Blitz is horrid. Don't mind most wins/fewest draws or head to head if they absolutely must give a bigger trophy or whatever, but it's still a shared first if you played the same damn field. KOs are another matter since someone must move on.

Sorry to leave you hanging, sureshkv. Just busy both with work and visiting family. Will try to get at least some notes up on the last rounds, but since I'm not watching live it won't really be the same.

If Carlsen finishes with 2.5/5 he'll surely get at least a share of first. Leko has been tough for him on occasion though. Still, setting up for a good finish unless Kramnik beats Shirov tomorrow to basically lock it up.

Yes, (to my knowledge) first place and prize money will be shared, but they still need to define a winner to determine the Bilbao qualifier. I think Corus uses Sonneborn-Berger, while Linares last year used number of wins (putting Grischuk ahead of Ivanchuk).

This should put Kramnik ahead of Carlsen because of their direct result, and way ahead of Shirov - who efficiently beat the lower half but lost against Nakamura and Anand. Of course for Carlsen this is irrelevant because he already qualified through Nanjing and maybe London, who also want to join the Grand Slam. Mark Crowther wrote at TWIC that he will be in Wijk aan Zee for the final rounds - there could be private and/or journalistic and/or Grand Slam-related reasons?

Or is all my writing irrelevant because Bilbao will go from six players in 2008 to four in 2009 to zero in 2010?

Of course Shirov-Kramnik is still a key game. I checked their previous games, there were very few Petroffs. Long ago, but I remember their game at Corus in 2001 because I was watching live at the scene - at that time they didn't shake hands, I think their relations have improved a little bit by now.
Brief summary of the game:
- Kramnik played the Caro-Kann!?
- Shirov spent about five minutes on 3.e5
- Kramnik surprised him again with 3.-c5!?
- Shirov went for opposite castling and a Shirovian attack
- Kramnik remained cool and simplified into a favorable rook ending
- Kramnik converted in style: 0-1

Kramnik will play safe with black against Shirov. If Shirov has any sense, he should reciprocate and accept an early draw. His record against Anand and Kramnik (and Garry too) hasn't been good this decade and he shouldn't tempt fate despite his form. Anand has been happy with draws but when pushed by an aggressive Shirov, had to play and won the game. But we know Shirov will go for complications and play with fire no matter who the opponent is and probably that is the reason he is so popular.

I am rooting for Kramnik (recent flair, wit and would be a stmt for oldies) and Shirov (everyone roots for him).


No matter what the result is, I do hope that they shake hands. Maybe their intense shared dislike for Garry (and by extension Carlsen) will bring them closer.

Another chapter in the psychological warfare between Kramnik and Carlsen :) This report has good photos from the start of the round when Carlsen went into his 2-minute think over his first move:

Vasiliev - You weren't expecting the Catalan?

Kramnik - I wasn't, of course. It's clear than in the Catalan I have much more knowledge and experience than he has. Perhaps the assumption was that I wouldn't prepare for the Catalan, which was true, I didn't prepare for it. I chose one of the lines and then it became a real game: a complex, double-edged position, which wasn't decided in the opening.

- Has anyone ever used that all-out advance of the black pawns against your Catalan?

- No, I can't remember anything right away... You know, I retain my Catalan bishop on g2 and don't exchange it for anything, even a rook (laughs). Because the moment he gave it up his king immediately came under a mating attack... I think that I played interesting chess, how good it was, the computer will tell.

- I'm glad that I didn't just win the game - Kramnik continued, - but objectively, without any false modesty, I completely outplayed him. The win was fully deserved, he didn't even raise his head... I'm very satisfied with it. Carlsen is a great player, so to outplay play him in such a one-sided game is of course very pleasing.

Of course the big hole in the game was the opening where everything actually could have been decided - though from Kramnik's ...Ne5 onwards I don't think computer analysis does anything to refute Kramnik's play. Of course there were tricky ways to survive, but in human terms black had a huge edge in initiative and piece coordination (and though Mig's report is great, as ever - it certainly wasn't "Kramnik's first threat of the game" when Carlsen blundered) .

Vasiliev's report also has a little more on the end to Kramnik-Ivanchuk, describing how distraught Ivanchuk was after letting Kramnik off with a three-fold repetition, though it sounds as though he was in real time trouble.

Yeah considering Kramnik considered it perhaps his best ever game I thought the write up would be more generous. However as a big Vlad fan I think Mig usually makes a great effort to give him credit but Kramnik's last two wins have gotta hurt. Poor Magnus having to face coach afterwards :-)

I could be wrong, of course (& I haven't seen a video of his comments) but I'd guess that Kramnik was being a little tongue-in-cheek when he said it was his "best game," kind of countering Carlsen's (Kasparov's?! Was that ever clarified?) pre-game blog about how he was going to crush Kramnik like a bug (i.e., it must be his best game if he beat the mighty Carlsen).

Or perhaps in the excitement of the immediate aftermath he got a little carried away but he didnt seem to be joking when he said it.

I think he said something like "right now I think this was one of my best games, but I might change my mind when I check it with a computer". He definitely didn't say it was his "best game" as the Corus site abbreviated it. I guess when he sees the problem with Rd1 almost winning by force he'll reconsider, though apart from the opening I think it was a brilliantly-played game with finely judged strategic sacrifices.

Groan. Anand draws in 15. Yeah yeah good result with black couldn't avoid repetition blah blah.
I hope the Topa match is worth it.

I really thought he'd give beating Smeets and Van Wely a go, and still have an outside chance for the tournament. Oh well...

Anand is playing this solely to gain shape for the match. He will not try too hard, waste novelties or energy.

Didn't he go something like -3 in a tourney before taking out Kramnik in Bonn?

Is Anand earning free money? He could not have foreseen his schedule wrt the Topalov match, but looks like he is 'not doing his job'.

Naka the great wanker comes all over himself against Leko, wow what a tremendous talent, with the white pieces the world should quake against his power but he does that himself....WC material LMAO

Live commentator GM Ian Rogers was wrong twice:
"Smeets now descends into thought and time trouble - Smeets' perennial problem in this tournament - is looming again."
Perhaps hoping for a repetition after 13...Qc4 14.Bf1. Anand is unlikely to oblige - his queen will probably choose between e5 and a5."

I speculated/joked before that Anand may want to drop to #5 on the live (and next official) rating list so Topalov will underestimate him in the match. If so, the win against Shirov was a mistake which put him again 3 points ahead of Aronian. Will another draw against van Wely suffice, or does Anand need to lose against Kramnik tomorrow? ,:)

In the meantime, Nakamura-Leko was drawn in 20 moves - the players had little choice _in the final position_. But before, Ian Rogers had mentioned "fine [white] wins by Tal and Andresson [sic] in this line" - Leko then returned his temporary extra pawn and was safe, but not more than that.

If playing on would have been objectively inferior, then such is the case no matter if someone tries to ridicule it. Now that matter is something I can't judge, of course.

The press conference video is up at Chessvibes - I would recommend to watch the whole thing, but Kramnik's exact words are at the very beginning:
"Visually, at the moment it's maybe one of my best games I ever played. But maybe after computer analysis, well, I will be less enthusiastic."

He didn't claim it was his VERY best game ever ... . Methinks "at the moment" is crucial - it was obviously his impression soon after (or even during?) the game. I am not sure what to make of "visually": also just his subjective impression, or was "painter Kramnik" mostly esthetically pleased with the game?

Hopefully we will soon see how he annotates the game in, say, New in Chess. And if he writes another book (wasn't there one on his early career "My Path to the Top"?) it would - a la Shirov - qualify for one of his best games ("Fire on the Board" also has games with mistakes from both players) and - a la Gelfand - for one of his most memorable games.

Disappointment, not ridicule

"The race is not to the swift ..." Ecclesiastes

"The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet." Damon Runyon

Both Shirov-Kramnik and Carlsen-Perez are interesting games. I reckon that white in both cases are ahead....

Dominguez seems to have a solid-enough position, but his clock situation's terrible. Carlsen's maybe let his advantage slip, but the slightly odd moves he's played have forced Dominguez to keep using time, so maybe they've actually increased the advantage :)

Sakaev on Chesspro had given Kramnik's 34...Ne5 as the most accurate draw for black, but as Rybka and now Shirov noted, 35. c5 keeps things tense. Shirov has a slight chance.

Domingez just made fraidy cat move run away with king and now shuold lose like baby.


How come no chess talking from some. Mabey not chess players.

"The first result of Friday's 11th round is a draw between Jan Smeets and world champ Vishy Anand. The peace was signed after just 15 moves."

Way to go for the win, Champ.

what's the update on carlsen - shirov?

Update on Shirov - Kramnik?

Carlsen von.
Shirov has small advantage in endgame against Kramnik.

Anand completely disappointed me. At least with Smeets, he should have tried. Or at least taken the game to move 30 without trying and hope Smeets self-destructing in time trouble.

I wonder why is he even playing? Can't he get match practice with his seconds or someone else and avoid losing rating points and making a mockery of the tournament? The last few years he has been playing WC matches/tournaments almost every year and lost a lot of rating points.

Mig, what does Garry think? I remember reading that Garry prepared/trained for 6 months before playing Karpov and played no tournaments.


Shirov should accept draw and be fresh tomorrow. Both are very good endgame players to lose from here. Btw, did they shake hands today?

On the other hand you have to give Anand credit for playing 15 moves and trying to provoke his opponent to play for a win by allowing the Keres defence.

Smeets would have agreed to a draw after the first move itself.

And if he writes another book (wasn't there one on his early career "My Path to the Top"?)

"My life & Games", Carlsen's favourite chess book at the time he became a GM:

Fair enough.

Why shouldn't they shake hands? Have they ever not done that?

I can not be bragger.

Well, Shirov held a bit of a grudge against Kramnik because he had won the qualifier match against Vlad but the latter received the title match nonetheless (Kasparovs decision because only that match would be able to attract sponsors).

AFAIK that grudge has shifted to be between Kasparov and Shirov only. You can't blame someone for accepting a free shot at the champ.

Everyone knows about Shirov's tragedy in 1998-2000, of course. But I don't think Kramnik and Shirov ever stopped shaking hands. Kasparov refused to shake Shirov's hand for a while, before he ended the boycott in Linares 2004.

To be fair, Kasparov would probably have destroyed Shirov. However, Shirov would have had a good payday.

AFAIK, Shirov wasn't shaking hands with Kramnik for sometime. I don't if and when they resumed it.

Also, I hope Anand makes an effort to beat Ven Wely after the latter's utterances sometime back.


Sigh... I just can't help myself here. As much as I admire Garry Kimovich (favorite player, greatest player of all time), he was wrong not to play Shirov in 1998 for WC. No matter what the interest level was or the funding available, Shirov fairly qualified, beating Kramnik in the qualifying match. Perhaps it was karma that Kramnik defeated Kasparov in 2000. But whatever, Kramnik was an absolute coward for not giving Garry Kimovich a rematch. But life goes on and so it goes...

I have seen it myself (Kramnik and Shirov not shaking hands with each other) back in 2001, and in the preface of "Fire on the Board II" (published in 2005) Shirov was quite clear: "I still think that Rentero, Kasparov and Kramnik are themselves responsible for what they have done to me, all of them in general and each one in particular". In the previous paragraph, he referred to Rentero as "the fraudulent organizer (and also the president of the World Chess Council, an organization created by Kasparov)".

Later it may have been more on the level of jokes, such as "How come I copy Kramnik" (answering a NIC "Just checking" question about his favorite actress).

One more thing to add: According to TWIC and other sources, Kramnik and Shirov had a "lengthy post-mortem" after their game today - seems their relation has improved, I don't think it would happen between Kramnik and Topalov ... .

I just had a look at So-Giri from the B group.
Giri's three last moves are astonishing.

"But whatever, Kramnik was an absolute coward for not giving Garry Kimovich a rematch."

Agreed, but if you know you're going to lose the WC ...

"Leko-Nakamura ends in a draw by repetition after 20 moves in an English game. "It was fun for a moment but not for long," commented Smeets."

Naka seems to be going for the draw and protecting his place in the standings rather than playing for the win.

I think Carlsen has a good chance of winning sole first in this tournament. He has "easier" pairings for round 12 and 13.

Interesting to see that Mig skipped over the I-will-crush-Kramnik-like-a-bug incident. Clear favoritism here, which is ok; however, at least some mentioning of it would show a degree of objectivity.

Ivanchuk is a model of consistency at -1 and Dominguez at +4, Giri is brilliant with +216, the normally steady American Akobian is -163 but I have no idea why. Does anyone else? Li Chao is sitting pretty with 8.5 out of 11 and has outplayed the -44 Robson and Plukkel has only 1.5 and is playing -111 below his 2279 rating.

Carlsen 2816 live!

Why should Mig mention something that has been beaten to death by posters?

I heard that "the first move was preceded by not one but two handshakes, the second a particularly warm one from Shirov. Clearly the problems of 1998 and 2000 have been forgiven if not forgotten."

Shirov needs to win his next two games as black vs. Karjakin and as white vs. Dominguez if he is to have any chance of securing 1st place.

I have never heard the words Ivanchuk and consistency in the same sentence before. Ivanchuk is a great many things but "consistent" he is not.

Oh and according to a student of Akobian he has just run out of gas from the World Team right before this to here.

"But whatever, Kramnik was an absolute coward for not giving Garry Kimovich a rematch."

Agreed, but if you know you're going to lose the WC ...
In his entire career Kramnik has had no difficulties in playing Kasparov. Kramnik never turned down a sanctioned offer to give Kasparov a rematch. Didn't Garry get on his usual high horse when offered a chance to play for a rematch?

"But whatever, Kramnik was an absolute coward for not giving Garry Kimovich a rematch."

Contact's a contract, and the rematch clause was dropped for Braingames 2000. Kramnik was no more compelled to grant a rematch to The Big Liar than Alekhine was to Capablanca, and the fact that both would likely have lost their titles in a rematch does not make them cowards. The Big Liar could have blasted through the Dortmund qualifier like a knife through butter, but he chose to skip it and whinge for years (Shirov, on the other hand, took part in the qualifier).

However, it's true that The Big Liar was an absolute coward for colluding to avoid a match with Shirov, a player against whom he had not lost a single game of chess (and never did). Perhaps he was uneasy about facing a likeminded king-hunter over a long match, so better to break his rightful opponent's spirit and rip him off instead. Shirov today is past WC contention, so the gamble paid off in the long run.

And if Kramnik were a sportsman above all, he would have offered Shirov a rematch right after Braingames. Just a thought. If this had taken place, the bizarre situation of a match LOSS qualifying Kramnik for a WC match could have been dealt with right away.

"Ivanchuk is a model of consistency at -1 and Dominguez at +4, Giri is brilliant with +216, the normally steady American Akobian is -163 but I have no idea why."

"I have never heard the words Ivanchuk and consistency in the same sentence before. Ivanchuk is a great many things but "consistent" he is not."

I'm obviously referring to his Corus 2010 performance and his rating. Duh.

"In his entire career Kramnik has had no difficulties in playing Kasparov."

Agreed, but why risk the WC with the #1 player? Even 4 years ago, #1 Kasparov was rated 71 points better than #6 Kramnik.

1 Kasparov, Garry g RUS 2812 0 1963-04-13
2 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2801 14 1975-03-15
3 Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2792 14 1969-12-11
4 Svidler, Peter g RUS 2765 21 1976-06-17
5 Aronian, Levon g ARM 2752 33 1982-10-06
6 Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2741

"But whatever, Kramnik was an absolute coward for not giving Garry Kimovich a rematch."

Some people just twist the facts.
Kramnik is no corward. Kramnik had no obligation whatsoever, by contract, to give back Kasparov a rematch.

Instead of being selfish, Kramnik gave other players the opportunity to play for the title (Dortmund). By doing this Kramnik showed once more how different is he from Kasparov.

It was Kasparov who cheated Shrirov and did not give Shirov a match, not Kramnik. Therefore Kramnik and Shirov have no personal quarrals.
In the Chess world there is the Truth and then the truth as Garry Kasparov sees it.

- Remember Prague? Kramnik agreed to play the winner of a match Kasparov vs Ponomariov? (The match was blown up by Danailov)
- Remember Kasparov declining to play Dortmund as a qualifier? Fearing the guys would bully up against him?

I for my part just don't like rematches - two guys playing match after match. It's enough to give the finalist some privileges in the next cycle.

Back to Corus: My money is on Carlsen. He plays Leko as black and Caruana as white. Although Leko seems to be a difficult opponent for Carlsen ....hmmm?! No, no, I stay with Carlsen - Kramnik lacks the stamina, also those miracle saves just have to come to an end and he has to play Anand who draws everybody lately...

"I have seen it myself (Kramnik and Shirov not shaking hands with each other) back in 2001"

I stand corrected. Was it in Wijk aan Zee?

Leko used to be a difficult opponent for Carlsen, but he has won the last two encounters (as white in Nanjing. as black in Tal Memorial).

"Was it in Wijk aan Zee?"
Yes, Corus is the supertournament I can watch live at the venue, and I referred to their game before.
I have also (sort of) seen Topalov-Kramnik in 2007 - though as an ordinary spectator without stage access I didn't see much, too many photographers around the board, plenty of videos to watch later on and see what exactly happened. Their entire behavior and body language made perfectly clear that they do not "just" dislike, but really hate each other - from what I remember, it wasn't THAT bad between Kramnik and Shirov.

The tournament webpage round report said "With the aftershocks of Elista still resonating, the two did not shake hands before the game, but obviously handled themselves professionally." Makes me wonder what unprofessional behavior would have been, players yelling at each other or entering a fist fight?
[I couldn't watch Topalov-Kramnik in 2008, when the game was on a Tuesday]

It was in 2007 that you said Topalov wrote "Urinoir" instead of "Kramnik" in the scoresheet, right?

Could have been 2007 or 2008 ... I obviously read and/or saw it later on - I couldn't read Topalov's scoresheet from a distance of about five meters, even with no photographers in between blocking the view.

I am 99.9999% sure that Kramnik in 2001 didn't write "fat blond loser who for some strange reason just found another wife" - for two reasons:
- this isn't Kramnik's style
- it wouldn't fit on the scoresheet

@everyone (including Shirov himself if he should read this without knowing the context): This is of course an ironic reference to "discussions" (in another thread) around personal insults against a fellow blogger on this forum![At least Shirov should notice that I read his book "Fire on the Board II" - that's where I checked that he met Viktoria Cmilyte at the 2000 Istanbul Olympiad ...]

Anand allows Smeets a quick draw but now settling down for a long squeeze on Kramnik?

In this tournament Anand seems to have have turned into a painter who just paints.

If his comments about the WCC not having to do with his poor results (by his standards, at least at Wijk) are true then he and the large chess-loving-Danailov-hating community is in a lot of trouble.

Kramnik seems to have blundered and is entering a horrible ending. In retrospect really crazy decision to not go after Smeets. Had he won, then a decent chance to win the tourney!

The WC is taking out the normally impressive Artist formerly known as the Painter !

If Anand manages to beat Kramnik today, he would go a long way in helping Carlsen win this tournament outright.Already he brought down Shirov from being a leader and now he seems to be doing it to Kramnik.
If he defeats Kramnik , he will remain in No 3 position, I suppose. Go Anand Go.

This must be very confusing for Topalov now - what is Vishy going to play against him? He beat Shirov and now Kramnik with 1) e4... but maybe it's all part of the bluff.

Carlsen offered Vishy a cut of the prize money :) 'just relax against Smeets et al and set Shirov on fire & crush the Bug!'

No more miracle escapes for Kramnik I suppose.

I don't know how it will work out, but cool attacks by Anand and Ivanchuk today.

All is forgiven Vishy.

Must be hard on Kramnik :-) ... looks like London will repeat - he will be second to Carlsen again.

World champion Anand remains the only undefeated player in the tournament so far. Can VanWely spoil it? Now Carsen is sure to win this tournament having white against caruna.

It's just not Akobian's tourney, is it. And my gosh, Giri is one lucky fellah! Yesterday So, and today Akobian.

How one game can change everything ... . I don't know if your comment reflects sympathy for Carlsen, and/or antipathy for Kramnik and/or his opening choice (Petroff). As I don't remember much of this from your track record, it may just be admiration for Vishy's willingness to fight when it matters most ... for other players.

And Kramnik got at least one thing right, his comment yesterday as quoted on the tournament homepage: "The former world champion refused to speculate about his chances of winning the tournament. “I’m scheduled to play Anand with black in tomorrow’s round,” he said. “We may discuss my chances afterwards.” "

Forget my previoua post, ICC was playing serious tricks on me. It clearly showed 1-0!

Today's game had a few echoes of the loss to Magnus in London. Surprised in the opening (one of Anand's backup plans for Bonn?) Kramnik did ok but played quite a few inaccuracies e.g. 18...Bf8, 22...Qf6. He correctly sacrificed a pawn, but then instead of playing solid and fairly obvious moves (26...Bc5) he went for some tricky "creative" moves with 26...Bc2 & 27...Nb3. In London they were actually ok according to the computer (though it would help to be Rybka to prove it!), but here they just had a huge hole. It's possible Kramnik thought Vishy had nothing better than a perpetual, but it was very risky to rely on correctly calculating all the consequences of that position on move 26. Vishy, like Carlsen, really just had to mop up - though 35. Bg4 was a good practical choice not to give Kramnik chances in the endgame.

Still, Kramnik was due a loss with the way he's been playing in Wijk but he's still has a rating performance of over 2800. He even has good chances of winning the tournament if he beats Karjakin tomorrow.

Looks like Kramnik's Petroff needs urgent repair - he was worse agibst Shirov, escape from Short by miracle and finally was "crushed like a bug" by Anand today. I guess he won't be bragging that he can play Petroff against Anand but not against Smeet. Now i understand why Carlsen was thinking on his first move - he may sense he can pose problem to Kramniks Petroff but infotunately went d4.

Yep - I guess Kramnik will have quite a long break after tomorrow before his next classical games, so he's got some time to work on his openings again. It's not just the Petroff - his white repertoire has looked blunter than we've seen for a while.

I forgive 'im (he assures me he is thoroughly relieved to hear it) cos he went for it, showed spirit, and beat the dreaded Petroff played by its most successful practicioner. I had horrible visions of him making perfunctory efforts for the last few games and going home to feed the cat (no offence to the cat, of course). I hate the idea of a champ not putting up a good show at tournaments. Nothing to do with others.

Anand's game is my favorite game of the tournament. Classical Anand style, simple moves, and down goes Kramnik. That he smashes the insufferable Petroff is a huge bonus.

However, Shirov was rightfully upset that Kramnik decided to accept playing a world championship match vs. Kasparov. Kramnik was paid his share of the loss of his match vs. Shirov, but Shirov was not. They promised Shirov a higher pay-out from the world championship, which never happened for him... Thus, Kramnik was paid for losing while also got paid for winning the world championship. Meanwhile, Shirov got nothing. Really, a terrible injustice was done to Shirov. I remember reading that this was also the time when his wife left him and had withdrawn most/all of the money from their bank account (not sure about this).

All peoples who crying for poor Shirov.

Chessvibes has a pic of Shirov and Kramnik looking amiable while discussing their game, so it seems they have buried the hatchet. But I still can't get my head around Anand beating only these two and drawing everyone else. really bizarre.

"Anand wins as Kramnik resigns on his 45th. Carlsen now leads Corus A with 8 pts, followed by Shirov and Kramnik at 7.5. Anand's score is 7."

Sudbury Jim is suggesting Kramnik is somehow responsible for Shirov getting shafted because he did not turn down the offer of a WC match. It's arguable that Kramnik shares blame, and it's true that he's taken his share of abuse from the chess street for accepting the offer. He must have known he was running the risk of winning an "asterisk title" with its entrained derision from all sides.

But it's unquestionably true that Kasparov was in control of the process and played who he wanted to play. Ripping Shirov and choosing Kramnik was a masterstroke of machination: it made The Big Liar's loss almost nonexistent to many observers because Kramnik had no business being in the match in the first place; and it was the turning point of Shirov's chess career, which never recovered. The Big Liar made certain his successor was considered a dickless champion, then he dominated tournament play for a few more years and lit out for politics (a natural progression considering his skill at manipulating events in his chess career. It was either that or choreography).

Kramnik's offer of a rematch to Shirov would not have turned back the clock, but it would have made an incremental difference. It's good they've worked it out since then. It must have been difficult for Shirov to forgive.

How did THIS happen? Just saw that Kramnik lost! Got to go over the game now.

I imagine Team K must be pretty ecstatic right now. Can't imagine this working out better for Carlsen. Aren't he and Anand pretty tight off the board as well? Does it mean he and Kasparov have to do the World Champion a good turn in the future? Haha, maybe he should offer to second Anand for real and bring Kasparov with him...

On second thought, maybe not. I doubt Anand needs anyone really.

"Ripping Shirov and choosing Kramnik was a masterstroke"

Yeah, losing the title instead of keeping it a few years more was a great idea by "The Big Liar".

"But I still can't get my head around Anand beating only these two and drawing everyone else. really bizarre."

methinks same too. but even the win against shirov didn't come thru a systematic attempt to win. not sure really how much of his quick draws against others had to do much in the way of strategy for WCC2010.

another really interesting development is Cheparinov's 3 draws in the first 4 rounds (at Gibraltar) against opposition (rated 200, 570 and 400 Elo below him) he could be normally expected to crush some 95% of the time. I guess, playing with one hand tied to the back (to borrow cat's phrase) is perhaps a really hard thing (more than we can imagine).

Who is the Big Liar some one tell. Any way nto very nice to call name.

Really a great final round for tomorrow. Kramnik and Shirov are both 1/2 point behind Carlsen, and each of these three will be playing with the white pieces. Shirov faces Dominguez (always a difficult player to defeat), Kramnik vs. Karjakin, and Carlsen vs. Caruana, and it seems as though Carlsen has the better chances of winning his game than do Kramnik or Shirov. However, Shirov, when he's in form, has often made a habit of winning his final round game. I think it would be great if all three win their games tomorrow.

Once again Anand proves that he is the greatest ever in chess!! Chess is so natural for him.

What is this title keeping? From 1993 only private championships. No official title. until the Bonn match.

Look like no body kowns any thing as usal.

Cheparinov's form is intriguing as he ought to be able beat these lesser players even whilst hiding stuff from the Topalov laboratory.

Hey Pirc, check out his commentary on the Shirov game where he rambled like a 10 year and played like a fish. But I got to hand it to him today for one day he crushed Kramnik like a cuckaracha, great game.

Jackson, I'm not sure I follow you. Whose game against Shirov and where is the commentary?

In London 2000 Kasparov, true to himself, picked what he regarded as the biggest challenge. Turned out he was right.

How did THIS happen? Just saw that Kramnik lost! Got to go over the game now.
Anand said Kramnik lost his train of thought early on, not remembering his analysis and losing the game as a result.

That was a political pick. I think Anand's playing in both the circuit (FIDE and non-FIDE) made his sponsors and rival organization more wary of Anand. Also Kasparov was losing the opening computer preparation advantage already with powerful computers accessible to others.

I think the WC matches should be spaced out more, doesen't make sense as Vishy spends most of his reign hiding his real prep. Give them at least 2 full years in between and you get to see some fighting chess.

the bizarreness continues, from chessvibes:

After a very nice combination that started on move 28, for the first time in his career Anand repeated moves to gain time on the clock. Both online commentator Ian Rogers and Vladimir Kramnik himself thought for a moment that it was a three-fold repetition and Kramnik even said “draw?” to Vishy, who pointed out that because White took a pawn on f7 at the start, there was in fact no position that appeared three times.

there were LOTS of FMs and IMS kibitzing who thought it was a draw too, but an ex-WC. anecdote definitely entering chess lore.

From Ecclesiastes to Emo Philips... Man, if that doesn't snap the mental "neck", nothing will!


Pirc, its on chessvibes.con round 10 commentary. Could not believe Anand's commentary it was pathetic.

You do nto understand world champion so too bad for you. Mabey some day.

oh ok. I'm just watching it. When I said the greatest ever what I meant was Anand's chess skills, not commentating skills. ;) ok, it is really funny when he says his first reaction was to resign when he saw f5 coming! He is just bluffing. Then he says he prayed to God! :) But imagine other world champions giving press conference after each of their game, you would only rate them an 1800 or something!

Yeah it was almost comical Pirc, He was throwing pieces off the board without going through any of like the first 15 moves....watching it again did make me laugh :) But my chess IQ went down after watching it, I did not think listening to a GM explaining his own game could do that??? Had not seen him do commentary before maybe its just not for him....

"In London 2000 Kasparov, true to himself, picked what he regarded as the biggest challenge."

You believe in the Easter Bunny too? If The Big Liar was ever true to himself he'd combust on the spot. Shirov made him nervous so he chose a player who didn't belong in the match, feeling both confident in a win and insured against the possibility of a loss by his opponent's failure to qualify in the first place. To this day most Dirt posters consider the result a fluke, still others pretend it never happened. This is no accident, but the Easter Bunny will tell you different, so whatever works for you.

Don't think any GM would like to go through the first 15 moves or so. That is their home prep and also i think for them from the new move (novelty) is where the game starts. But hey, I too haven't seen other GM's commenting right after their game, so don't know how this commentery compares with others.

@Big Liar

"You believe in the Easter Bunny too?"

No, you are alone on that one.

Mr. Clubfoot you see Kramnik win the match with Kasparov becuase Kasparov nto win one game at all. Why who can tell.

Mr. Clubfoot I sorry forgot to say sorry of your foot.

Chessvibes also has other press conferences so you can compare Anand with some other players - I think it's safe to say that Kramnik's (on his wins against Nakamura and Carlsen) are among the better, more instructive and more inspired ones.

But Anand's game against Shirov also wasn't a great example of his chess skills, notwithstanding the final result. Vishy didn't like it himself and may even have felt embarassed having to present it (I would say mostly because he's Anand, Shirov is Shirov, and the game was important for the final standings). It would have been even stranger if he had started "a la Kramnik" saying "this feels like one of my very best games" and continuing in that style ... .
Maybe forthcoming: Anand's press conference on today's game - then we can talk again about his presentation skills.

India is home to the world's largest population of tigers, the largest of the genus Panthera. Tigers have powerfully built legs and shoulders, with the ability to pull down prey substantially heavier than themselves. Tigers' extremely strong jaws and sharp teeth make them superb predators. They can reach speeds of 65 kilometers per hour. Tigers have great leaping ability; horizontal leaps of up to 10 meters have been reported. About two in thirteen hunts ends in a successful kill. When hunting large prey, tigers prefer to bite the throat and use their forelimbs to hold onto the prey, bringing it to the ground. The tiger remains latched onto the neck until its prey dies of strangulation. Tigers are essentially territorial animals, with territories covering as much as 64sq. Tigers mostly feed on larger and medium sized animals. Russian Bears make up 5-8% of the tiger's diet in the Russian Far East.


The Madras Tiger hasn’t been much hungry lately. It might be said that he has given away courtesy draws to certain players. But when the Russian bear tried to trespass his territory, the tiger stroke back. Deathly.

Clubfoot, you speak nonsense. Kasparov being scared of Shirov is such a joke, that surely you must have meant it in jest; the dominance of the World Champion over Shirov is close to unrivaled amongst top players, and if one wants to assure oneself of victory, certainly the direction to go in is toward the player who has never achieved victory head-to-head and has suffered many losses! We should all hope to be so nervous as to have only to defeat an opponent against whom we have a near-perfect record!



If my memory is correct, Kasparov's concern was that potential sponsors would look at his record versus Shirov and then be unwilling to put up money for what could well be a slaughter. Kasparov believed that a match with Kramnik would be more attractive to possible sponsors and more lucrative, so Shirov got tossed aside.

"About two in thirteen hunts ends in a successful kill."
The Petroff in a nutshell.

That was such unprincipled behaviour that he got his karmic comeuppance shortly afterwards.The depth of Shirov's animus must be experienced to be understood. He was robbed in broad daylight and in slow motion.

Another example of a World Champion playing a match against an opponent who had never defeated him is the Capablanca-Alekhine match. Capablanca's wins before the match display a wide gulf in chess understanding between these two great players where Capablanca made Alekhine look like a child. A drastic example is how totally Capablanca outplayed Alehine in their New York 1927 game (which probably lowered Capablanca's motivation to prepare for the match).

Yes, I understand Kasparov's motivation, but Shirov had earned the right to play a world championship match vs. Kasparov. The possibility of a slaughter or not, it was unethical of Kasparov to deny Shirov of the opportunity to play the match (as well as causing Shirov to incur a big financial loss).

Anand comments:

"Here I did something I've never done in my life: repeat moves to gain time!"

32...Kg8 33.Nh6+
"At this moment he basically looked surprised I was repeating, so I told him the first time I took a pawn."

If I am not mistaken, this win moves Anand to a positive life time head to head against Kramnik in classical time control games. He was -2 prior to the match, moved to +1, and then lost game 10, so the match ended with a life time score of 0. He is now +1 in classical games (8-7 I think). Of course, with rapids and other time controls included, he must have a much larger positive score (blindfolds excluded).

@kxm -- small correction. before the Bonn match, Kramnik had +1 against Anand. After the match, Anand had +1. Now he has +2.

Hey Thomas, I think the game against Shirov is also a type of chess skill Anand possess. He wriggles himself out of difficult positions, a skill not many might have. so he is not solely relying on opening preparations to bring home point. ok, time must have been a factor for shirov but still it requires some counter-attack skills from Anand once a chance is given where many in that situation would just give in and fold.

But look at todays game. I wasn't paying full attention around the time when he took c7-pawn. So I didn't realize Anand had to give up exchange, then I didn't see his Nf6+ idea to get back the exchange. Anand plays Nh6+ instead, so then I thought he had the draw in mind when he played Bxc7. But then he goes with Be5!!! Who would have thought. At least Kramnik didn't see it. There must have been some preparation from Anand part, but you can't say it is right out of home. And Anand must have seen all this when he played the Bxc7! That is why he is the greatest ever!!

No joke Maliq, but you know that already. Taken together, Alekhine, Fischer and Kasparov(TBL)'s previous wins against their first WC match opponents total exactly zero(0). TBL observed Shirov's dismantling of Kramnik without a loss and must have realized Shirov could learn to break his drought over the board during a long match, as did Alekhine, Fischer and TBL before him. So he wanted no part of Shirov, and he was in the unusually powerful position of negating the match result at his grace and favor. He just told the financiers Kramnik would draw more cash (which is dubious anyway because TBL was the big draw, not Shirov or Kramnik) and then he walked into the worst (only?) beating of his career. Strike that -- maybe Kramnik lucked out or the match never even happened. It's fuzzy now.

No Harish, he is still plus one only (+8-7=49) in classical games. Please follow the link -


As always, it's arguably a bit odd if "patzers" discuss games by super-GMs [I don't know your level, but presume that you are "not even an average GM"!?].

On Anand-Shirov: Many experts, including Anand himself, considered it a rather bad game by Vishy - I could stop here with the (in)famous "nuff said"!? Obviously, in the middle game trying to hang on was better than resigning immediately ... . Then on move 39, Shirov had to choose between losing (39.-Re6:, typical panic move in time trouble), drawing (39.-Be6: which leads to perpetual check) or winning (39.-Ng3!! - easy for engines, quite hard for humans with seconds left on the clock). While 39.-Re6: wasn't quite an "unforced error", still Anand has little to be proud of (his own words!).
Generally I agree that defending and finding resources in worse or even losing positions is "a skill not many might have" - regarding Corus 2010 I would say this rather applies to Kramnik's much-discussed "miracle escapes".

On Anand-Kramnik:
- In the Corus live commentary, Ian Rogers predicted Anand's combination - so it might take a GM but not a super-GM [but I don't know if he had Rybka switched on while typing ...]
- I think Kramnik may well have seen or at least "smelled" Anand's combination. On move 26, he could choose between something "normal" as 26.-Bc5 accepting that he remains a healthy pawn down, or trying to confuse things with the game continuation. The first choice would lead to lengthy suffering, and apparently he had no hopes for a successful defense (both the specific position and the name/strength of the opponent enter that equation). The second choice "gets it over with quickly" (as in the game), while keeping some hopes if Anand didn't find the best moves.
Kramnik's puzzled look at Anand when he "seemingly" played a threefold repetition indicates that, at least at that moment, he realized that he was in serious trouble.
- Methinks it's wrong that Anand "must have seen all this when he played the Bxc7!" - given that he could bail out with a repetition. As a matter of fact, it seems he didn't see things to the end - otherwise why would he repeat moves to gain time on the clock? Kramnik was shorter on time, so it would have been to his advantage IF he could still have saved the game ... .

Altogether, a nice game and convincing win by Anand. But your "he is the greatest ever" might be a tiny bit over the top (fanboyism!?).

The tournament homepage has a nice series of "After the game" photos: Anand and Shirov were visibly happy with their games and/or results. Kramnik and Carlsen weren't - not sure what to read from some of the other faces.

In Anand-Kramnik I agree there's no reason to assume Anand "must have seen all this" when playing Bxc7. It was clearly just time to take the pawn as everything else was worse. Unfortunately Kramnik "saw" the slightly odd ...Bc2. Anand didn't "[have] to give up the exchange" as there was also Ra1 (or even Rd2 just for a draw), but there was no reason not to play the "combination" as it was a perpetual at worst. I'm sure Kramnik didn't miss Be5, but he must have missed something after that - perhaps just that the obvious 34...Qd2 didn't work?

"The first choice [26...Bc5] would lead to lengthy suffering, and apparently he had no hopes for a successful defense"

We can't say what Kramnik really thought, but I don't think it's objectively true about lengthy suffering and I'm sure Kramnik would have hopes of defending the position. The lines, which are pretty human, just see black activating his pieces and holding things together pretty comfortably (close to the "slightly worse" that black usually gets in the Petroff). I think Kramnik just thought he saw a clear drawing line and went for it - he's been pretty good tactically this tournament, but maybe he got a bit overconfident?

Surprised that Anand chose good friend Kramnik to unleash his novelty on and giving a pass to the lesser players. As others have mentioned, he got lucky against Shirov and it was Shirov who forced the play.

In any case, Anand should be kicking himself now for letting Smeets draw in 15 moves and not give him a chance to get into time trouble.


Short-Smeets is highly recommended for the kind of opening you don't see too often at this level! The boring Petroff again...

"In any case, Anand should be kicking himself now for letting Smeets draw in 15 moves and not give him a chance to get into time trouble."

Though maybe it worked out in his favour? He'd have been much fresher that Kramnik, who had to fight hard to survive against Shirov.

The task for today: Win on demand, with White! Who can do it?

Short-Smeets looks like 19th century romantic chess where Black grabs everything and is mated in the middle of the board.

Karjakin doesn't seem to be following the "Help your new homeland" script! Kramnik has quite a tricky position with his queen stuck on a4. Carlsen doesn't have much either, but it's the sort of position he can still play for a win if he sees Kramnik or Shirov winning. Shirov's position looks solid but Dominguez played a novelty and has a 40 minute edge on time. The tension grows... (cue some quick draws soon!??)

Few other comments:

I think Anand should be extra motivated today after the nasty comments Ven Wely made against him last year.

Regarding the comment that Anand played the novelty against Kramnik because it was Petroff which Topalov doesn't play, I am not so sure it was a smart thing. How do we know that Topalov doesn't have surprises up his sleeve including Petroff particularly when he is leading.

I am not sure what garry thinks of Mig's blog being used for powerful attacks against him.


"I am not sure what garry thinks of Mig's blog being used for powerful attacks against him."
I doubt he is losing too much sleep over it, really.

Short-Smeets: This is the sort of chess I like :-)

Anand's the only player going about this winning on demand convincingly - Carlsen to lose and Anand to come first after all!? Though regardless of the position I can see Carlsen confusing Caruana at some point and taking the full point.

I do not quite get comments about when to use an opening novelty, and how to play against friends or countrymen (the latter might have been in jest anyway).

Focusing on Anand-Kramnik: Even if Topalov considers the Petroff as a reserve weapon, Vishy sent him a message!? "The Petroff is not an easy forced draw, and now you (and your seconds) may have some extra homework to do." This may be as smart as keeping the novelty "just in case" - there is a rather small chance (I would say roughly 10%) of using it in the forthcoming match. But it's all irrelevant if Anand plans to play 1.d4

BTW, Qc1 in that Petroff line isn't that new - it happened in an earlier game between Anand and Kramnik one move earlier (which both players probably remember)

About friendship: Isn't Anand even closer friends with Carlsen? Anyway, I think he played for his own glory - though I don't think he followed and cared about earlier comments here that his play at Corus wasn't worth of a champion.

I was just joking about the fellow countrymen thing - I suppose if anything Karjakin (and his coaches) would be more motivated to show his worth against Russia's no. 1.

It's amusing that the Rybka assessment of the top three and their "must-win" games with white is: -0.26, -0.23 and -0.33. I just saw that Kramnik drew. I was going to say that I couldn't see any hope of him winning from that position, while Shirov and Carlsen have good practical chances.

Yeah I realized that you were joking, but wasn't sure about Kapalik - pointing out that Anand and Kramnik are friends of each other, and implicitly suggesting that this could (or should?) have affected their game ... .

Regarding the two games that still continue, the Rybka evaluation may reflect that white is taking certain strategic risks, and the compensation is beyond the computer horizon? Though -0.33 is no big deal! But live commentator Ian Rogers preferred black in Shirov-Dominguez, and fact is that Shirov is far behind on the clock. Of course "three results are possible" in that game!

Rybka may be a patzer, but I would prefer the blacks in all three must-win games, too.

what were the nasty comments Van Wely made about Anand?

Nigel Short is the only player in Group A who hasnt won a single game so far. Now in Rnd 13, he is down to something like -4.5 as per Rybka after 10 moves with White - have to give him credit for trying. After all he is playing Smeets and Rybka doesnt factor in clock times in its evals.

Agreed, though the Carlsen game's following his patented winning method: set some unusual problems for your opponent in the opening (so they take more time), let your opponent equalise or get a slight edge, out-calculate your opponent when he gets into time trouble. It'd be a shame as Caruana's played some very nice moves, but he could do with a rare Carlsen blunder. 22. f3 would have been nice :)

So does GM Rogers, and apparently then the tournament winner (on tiebreak) would be .... Anand!

"Same procedure as last year"!!?
- Carlsen losing in the last round
- Caruana spoiling someone else's tournament (last year it was Short's in the B group, with Caruana himself benefitting from the situation)
And one difference:
- last year Dominguez was a(nother) last-round victim, losing a key game against Karjakin from a favorable if not winnning Sicilian position.

Of course it's still far too early to tell!!!

I'm sorry, but someone older and wiser (read Garry) shoulda told Carlsen that, unless it's the 19th century and you're playing Tchigorin, h4 flash tactics in the Steinitz Ruy just don't work.

I seem to have missed the comment that van Wely made about Anand. Can someone tell me what it was?

Kapalik probably meant this interview (where an earlier one with a Dutch newspaper is mentioned):
"Anand commits all kinds of dirty tricks to get you off balance: he makes clicking sounds with his pen when it is your move, and strange sounds with his throat and so on. ... Anand probably learnt a lot from Kasparov."

Thanks Thomas. By the way, I liked your post at January 31, 2010 5:47 AM. Among the more objective posts here.

Great last round - if Caruana can make the time control without spoiling anything he'll have excellent winning chances. Shirov-Dominguez still too close to call. Anand's out of it as he drew. Kramnik sitting in the club house and wondering if he might actually win Corus for the first time in 12 years...

Caruana one move away from the time control, Shirov still far away (and down to increments for 16 remaining moves ...)

But looking at the position I think it's Dominguez who needs a miracle not to blunder mate before the time control! At least if he takes on a5 and lets white get in the Rxh6 shot. The only way I can see a peaceful end to that game is if they agree a draw.

Rybka is not impressed and analyzes everything to +0.00 - amazingly, for several moves both players already follow her wild line (while Dominguez now is also very short on time).

Thanks for the link. There was another one too that was linked to somewhere. Not sure how Anand took it but today he tried to take it till time control before agreeing to a draw. Could have been inspired by anger or simple the tournament situation.

29...Qc7 was just too hard to see in time trouble like that.

But drawn! Another game for Shirov to have nightmares about... I hope he can share a win in the tournament anyway, though Carlsen must have good drawing chances.

Amazingly, both Shirov and Dom played accurately despite being low on time. Then Dom blundered with Bg7 but Shirov accepted a draw in time trouble instead of playing b4. I guess Carlsen wins even if he loses. If that happens, Shirov would regret the miss that would have ensured clear first.

"The only way I can see a peaceful end to that game is if they agree a draw."

Hello mishanpstradamus! That's what actually happened, just when Rybka suddenly gave white a decisive advantage!!? (at least if Dominguez actually played 30.-Bg7 - this move has been removed from the Chessok broadcast but not from other sources)

Sofia rules anyone?? I guess the players can be forgiven as both had just 2 seconds left on their clocks!?

The Shirov-Dominguez game is wild -- Shirov aims to please. However, low on time, Shirov agreed to a draw in a totally winning position -- he should have continued with 30.b4! assuring himself of 1st place. A tragic result in an otherwise beautiful game.

But Shirov must win with b4 so he nto very good. Also nto good is Dominguez so both nto very good is corect.

31. b4 is very nice - the queen can't protect a8 and e8 any more. But unless you see it instantly you've got no chance in such serious time trouble. It looked as though black had guarded against the mate so the draw was the wise option for both sides.

Vishy Anand has finished as the only unbeaten player over all three groups!!

No all this is excuse for bad players who blumnder in panic they both panic like fraidy cat babys so both can never be champion ever ever. You must nto ecuse panic fraidy cat babys. They are what I say.

In the final position of the Shirov game, we must also realize that Shirov only had 30 seconds to make the next 10 moves. Even if he had found 30.b4!, blitzing out 10 moves may have been tough in such an emotionally tense game. How many of us have lost completely won games because of desperate time trouble? Of course, Shirov is undoubtedly disappointed right now, but accepting the draw was most likely the wisest decision anyway.

What a great final round thanks, in part, to Carlsen's decision to play messy chess.

I M Stoopid, time and again I see comments from you that make absolute nonsense, including this one. It's obvious you don't know what you're talking about.

Nothing but ecuse after ecuse. Both plaers big fraidy cats and ever one can see ecept ecusers who must be fraidy cat them selfs mabey.

Good show; lots of could-have-beens. And now a knight endgame to decide if first place will be shared.

I nto make nonsense I kown lot of thing to say but you make ecuse for fraidy cats so why. Are you fraidy cat mabey. You shuold nto be so ecuse for fraidy cat Shirov and fraidy cat Domingez.

Overall, Shirov should be very satisfied with his performance in this tournament. The defect he needs to correct is allowing himself to get into time trouble. It prevented him from winning the game vs. Anand (overlooking ...Ng3!) and this one against Dominguez, where he was forced to agree to a draw in a won position, games where he scored a 1/2 point instead of 2 which, if all other results went as they did, would have given Shirov clear 1st place.

According to the live commentary by Ian Rogers, Shirov hadn't seen 31.b4 at all (no surprises here), "but Dominguez explained: "I had seen 31.b4 and was intending 31...Qc7, but I had missed 33. Rf1." .
Maybe a bit hard to believe that he missed the "easy" move in that line, let's assume he actually saw it and realized that he was "objectively lost". It seems that Dominguez offered the draw, then two questions would arise:
1) Would it be ethical to offer a draw when you know that you can lose by force?
2) Would he admit it after the game?

No body can be satfied being a fraidy cat. He could be winner and champion if nto such a big fraidy cat.

You full of question but no ansewr. Both player big fraidy cats and never ever ever be any chanpion ever ever. They study but mean nothing way down in side them sefs where they are fraidy cat in deep in side them mind and no study can fix.

Carlsen and Caruna draw. At least they nto little fraidy cats.

yay, Carlsen! Now I'm going to have a celebratory Sunday brunch with the Mrs.

I think very poor end game play by Caruana. If 46...Nb4 47.Kf3 g4 48.Nxa2 Nxa3 is going to draw, then he could have played 46...Ne1 i think. 46...Ne1+ if 47.Kh3 Nxf3 48.Kg4 Ng5 etc. and if 47.Kf2 Nc2 and keep the pawn advantage!

Great, Magnus wins! Good for him. Although, in my personal and very unofficial top-4x4 ranking the moral winner was Vishy Anand who won 2 of the tournaments best and lost none.

Where is "ethical" when you assume Dominguez is a liar? Do you have any evidence?

Magnus wins Corus! Vishy nominated for Academy Award!

Mr. Thomas just talk talk and aks many big question but no anwers becuase he nto kown much so why you aks him any thing he can not kown any thing but talk talk and nothing more than all talk talk no chess. Mabey he nto fraidy cat and lot of peoples nto like him specally Mr. Manu. He never talk to me but that good for him mabey. Oh well he nice people I think so I like him very much.

Can't you assume negative thing at all? He doesn't have proof but the game is the evidence!

I sorry to squish your ballon for squishy but he nto win tornament as you must see and soon get bad squish from Topalov. Too bad he seem nice but nto very strong.

Of course I cannot look inside Dominguez' brain! It is puzzling (to me) that he saw the tricky non-standard move 31.b4 but not the straightforward 33.Rf1, just two moves down the line - but this doesn't constitute "evidence". Maybe I can rephrase my question: If Dominguez saw that he was lost by force, would he still have the moral right to offer a draw? BTW, my question is a general one, nothing at all personal against Dominguez.

I can give another example - maybe painful for chesshire cat if he cares about football: In the qualifier France-Ireland, Thierry Henry scored a goal using his hands (he had a predecessor from Manu's country). Should he have told the arbiter about it? Not exactly the same situation, but I cannot come up with a better analogy.

It's beyond me how you manage to mistype "not" consistently, without fail.

Carlsen plays the endgame better, and he knows it too :-). Congratulations. To me it is very satisfying to salvage a .5 point by playing better in the endgame.

I can assume a lot of negative things but I think its logical nonsense to assume someone is a liar, and under that assumption ask if his behaviour would be ethical.

In GM chess, at least at the top level, there's an unwritten law that you don't offer draw when you are clearly worse. If Dominguez has offered the draw imo that's evidence he hadn't seen he was lost.

Thank you I will NOT make same mistake any more. You must watch to see if I learn some thing.

All you very smart peoples who miss easy soltion which is simple that both player are big big fraidy cats. Is not not not any thing else than they are fraidy fraidy cats. Not not ethical not not moral not not any thing but they is fraidy cat. Not be mean to them I just tell what is true. I think you aks them they must admit also.

Congrats to Magnus! This kid is really dominating chess. Creditable result for Kramnik, Shirov, and Anand. Krammy was the only person to defeat Magnus, and Shirov outperformed his rating. Vishy finished undefeated and managed to rescue an uninspiring start. I think he's got some problems ahead with Topalov. We've been missing a big chess star since Gary quit; now we've got Magnus to bring chess to a new level.

"If Dominguez saw that he was lost by force, would he still have the moral right to offer a draw?"
Of COURSE he would. Why on earth would you think otherwise?
As for Henry, his situation was in no way analogous, anyway I don't want to spoil my digestion discussing that.

" Carlsen says: "I was following the other boards but I was most concerned about my game. I saw that Kramnik made an early draw and that was a relief and I couldn't work out what was happening in Shirov's game so I decided to concentrate on my game. (Shirov told me after the game that he accepted a draw in a winning position - he was quite cool about it.) I miscalculated quite badly in the early middlegame. I tried to give up a pawn for some activity. Then we reached this knight endgames in which we both thought that Black should have excellent winning chances. The most important thing for me is that I continue to improve my play. It was up and down. I played some good games and some good parts of the games, but also some lousy chess. My most important win was my game against Karjakin. My main goal was to play good chess but there were a lot of things I am not satisfied with and in the end I won the tournament only by luck; not only by luck but with some luck. There are a lot of things to improve. The h4 idea is quite typical. I wanted to play according to the demands of the position and to do that I had to play aggressively. (If he ever retreats his bishop to g7 I play h5.) I was trying to make the tactics works but he found a clever way to defend. I felt that there was a real chance that I would have to win to win the tournament outright."

SOURCE: http://live.coruschess.com/r4/livecommentary.html

Anand did win one of the best games of the tournament against Kramnik, but his win against Shirov was anything to be proud of. As Anand admitted, he was ridiculously lucky to win that game. Shirov was the one doing the pressing and had achieved a won game when time trouble and he blundered it away.

Thanks for your second paragraph, which answers my question - or at least gives your opinion (chesshire cat apparently disagrees). I assumed that Dominguez offered the draw because he made the last move.
BTW, given the tournament situation (Shirov needed a win, for Dominguez the result didn't matter as much) one could wonder if Dominguez should offer a draw _under any circumstances_?! After all, it may disturb the opponent ... . But even if such an unwritten rule exists, extreme mutual time trouble is altogether a different story.

"As for Henry" - yes, the chessic equivalent might rather be taking a move back, or winning with an illegal move such as Qc2-g7 mate. But in chess one doesn't get away with that - or maybe in a blitz game when neither video registration nor score sheets are available.

Topalov is a bit of an unknown now. He hasn't been playing and his last couple of outings haven't been inspiring. When they do play their match, questions of form match readiness will be what people will watch for.

Clubfoot, you speak nonsense. Kasparov being scared of Shirov is such a joke, that surely you must have meant it in jest; the dominance of the World Champion over Shirov is close to unrivaled amongst top players, and if one wants to assure oneself of victory, certainly the direction to go in is toward the player who has never achieved victory head-to-head and has suffered many losses! We should all hope to be so nervous as to have only to defeat an opponent against whom we have a near-perfect record!



Kasparov did have a good record vs. Shirov, that is true.

However, two points:

1. Kasparov's record vs. Kramnik was not so good -- approx. 50%. He had just witnessed a player he dominated (Shirov) defeat a player he could not dominate (Kramnik) in a match.

When you see someone you "own" do something you cannot do...it is intimidating.

2. Kasparov (and Rentero) ran the WCC. Thus, GK was not only the sports participant, he was in effect the organizer. There is an obligation to complete the cycle that you announce -- if you don't do it, then you are (fill in the blank).

The claim was that no funding could be found for a Shirov match. So then why is he one of the candidates? Having said A, one is obligated to say B.

If our local club runs a tourney, we must pay the prizes whether we have 10 players or 100 players.

If GK is the organizer, he must run the finals match regardless of whether there is funding or no funding.

Add to this that it is all private title exhibition matches -- GK was stripped of the title in 1993 -- and it all becomes moot.

A very exciting final round was just about rained on by the ICC audio of Jen Shahade and Gewain Jones. Mig, please avoid that terrible combination in the future!


"... extreme mutual time trouble is altogether a different story."


Hey, Naka won. Good show. I have to check the crosstable, but I believe that brings my total donation to Partners in Health, for Haiti, to $40.

Part of Naka's growth into a top-10 player includes getting beat by Kramnik, Karjakin, et al. He'll win Corus A someday.

"He'll win Corus A someday."

April has come early in the States.

I'm glad to see Nakamura caught Anand to tie for 4th place. Sorry that CB wasn't able to include that in their report, but I'm guessing since his was the last game to finish, they rushed the report a bit to make sure it came out in a timely fashion.

I liked Kramnik's indication that Nakamura is headed for the top 10. Not sure whether he'll ever win Corus A though. There are an awful lot of really good chess players out there right now. It's nothing like the last three decades where there was a clear No. 1 (and/or two!). Having lived to both times, I'd say there's a lot to be said for both situations. Nice for chess fans! You get to watch real donnybrook tournaments or else dominating performances. Fun either way!

"He [Nakamura]'ll win Corus A someday."
I am inclined to borrow Kramnik's joking quip ("after all of us quit") and attenuate it a bit: _As of today_ he might finish ahead of _any_ current top5 player - if he shows good form and/or the other guy bad form. But for the time being, I don't see him finishing ahead of several or all of them. This might change for 2011, 2012, ... .

"Nakamura 2010" might have won Corus 2009 when Kramnik, Anand and Topalov were absent and Carlsen wasn't yet Carlsparov - I think "Nakamura (January) 2009" wouldn't have been ready yet.
I agree that Naka's losses are a learning experience - "et al." referring to Aronian at the World Team Championship? As I wrote before, his losses against two top5 players showed which part of his game still needs some improvement [free advice to Hikaru, but he certainly knows it anyway ,:) ]

There is one and only one reason to think that Naka might win a Corus - he is a product of the American Open system where wins are often required to get the top prizes and Corus tends to include the kinds of opposition that he can get victories against. But looking at his competition ELO wise, I don't see it. Giri is coming, Carlsen, Radjabov, Gashimov, and Karjakin (amongst others) are there, and Kramnik, Anand, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Svidler and Aronian are yet to retire.

There are lots of good players that have never won Corus (I don't think Ivanchuk or Svidler have). So why Nakamura, unless another American sycophant is just stating his opinion?

I stand corrected - Ivanchuk won in 1996, but you get the idea.

Mig, congrats on the broadcast of Corus Chess. If I may suggest, don't make Mrs Shahade your number 2. She's rather dull, as is the Gentleman working with her today.

Yes, I am proud to be another American psychofan.

In a couple of years Naka will be equal with the players you named, Laj, and he'll have as good a shot as anyone to win Corus. All he needs is continued participation in top-flight tournaments.

Is Carlsen playing in Linares? He won that tournament in China (Naijing?!) last year, then second at Tal Memorial, then won London, now Corus. This is just amazing.

+2 is a very respectable score for Naka in his first appearance at Corus A and maybe the second elite tournament he's had a chance to participate in (the first being the London Classic late last year).

I don't know if he'll ever reach the very elite level of Carlsen/Anand/Kramnik/Topalov or ever challenge for the championship, but I think it's safe to say that Naka's taken a major step forward in his play as shown by his results at the World Team competition and Corus, and that if he continues to work hard at his game I don't see why he won't be able to play at a top-10 level in the near future.

Top 10 is not good enough - top 5 is more like it.

No, this year he chose Amber over Linares - he wants to play a little less, and he preferred the less serious of the two events. And possibly the most fun one.

"maybe the second elite tournament he's had a chance to participate in "

I completely agree that Nakamura has every reason to be proud of his cat. 19 debut.

However, London was "only" category 18, and in fact Nakamura already WON his first cat. 18 event ever, in San Sebastian. San Sebastian had more 2700+ players than London, but the difference was the "lack" of top 10 players (unlike London, where Carlsen and Kramnik played).

Was London "elite" and San Sebastian not?

Dunno. I do know that Nakamura is +5 after his first two cat. 18 events and his first cat. 19 event. Respect.

San Sebastian (cat. 18): +4
London (cat. 18): -1
Corus A (cat. 19): +2

And these are the strongest individual events Nakamura has ever played. Again: well done!

I think Anish Giri needs to gain another 150 ELOs in the next 12 months...

And for those who care about such things - Nakamura also held his own against the 2700+ ("elite") players in these events:

San Sebastian: +1 -0 =3
London: +0 -0 =3
Corus A: +1 -2 =5

Combined: +2 -2 =11

[It follows that the +5 result over-all follows from quite convincingly dominating the sub-2700 players.]

But doesn't a record like +2 -2 =11 make you think about some Hungarian player... ;o) Nah. Leko's draw percentage against 2700+ in 2005-2009 was only 71% - while 11 out of 15 equals 73% draws... :o)

Hehe - j/k - but before Nakamura joined the elite events, I was often reading about the dull, drawish players that never won anything - like Leko and Svidler, for example. That winning games against elite players is kind of tougher than at lower levels was somehow not a relevant counter-argument. But anyway - I think a higher percentage of Naka's games against elite players will be decisive once he gets more experience. And I do think there will be more wins than losses!

I always knew Leko was more of a fighter than Nakamura.

Mig and Christiansen paired were my favorites. Jen seemed to feel obligated to explain basics too much during the commentary for me.

why does Carlsen's blog not show him as #1 ranked player? Did he lose some side games after the recent one?

"Carlsen is ranked as no. 2 on the world ranking of chess players and is the only western chess player among the top 10."

Thx. Now we see the solution of the puzzle.

'Sonas, given the choice between more personal exposure/attention and behaving like a responsible statistician, chooses the former and throws some numbers toghether.

And voila: we've got ourselves "an interesting historical assessment" - read: a dumb and dumbening piece of "statistics".'

I remeber the case and came to the same conclusion. IMHO frogbert was not very polite, but had point.

Petty, pathetic, and about 6 months late?

Live chess ratings rock, and many many thanks for that to frogbert.

If you're referring to Shirov's games vs. Anand and Dominguez, Shirov was in time trouble in both those games and had only 30 seconds remaining to make 10 moves vs. Dominguez. You're kind of sounding like I M Stoopid and his inane and ridiculous remarks about these players being "fraidy cats". Shirov is almost always playing dynamic chess and only rarely keeps the game in calm waters, something which one Vladimir Kramnik is more apt to do.

Isn't 30 secs for 10 moves more like 5 1/2 minutes for 10 moves (30 secs inc at a time)?


Shirov play like fraidy cat but some can not see that for some reason who can tell why. Jim do not know.

Correct - in the given situation it may have been better to have the full 2 hours at move 1, rather than 1:40 + 30 seconds per move. However, then both players might have used even more of their time already, leading to even worse time trouble?

In any case, the bottom line is: Shirov had about 30 seconds to find 31.b4!!, didn't manage and resigned himself to a draw with 2 seconds left on the clock.

And why. Becuase he panic. Can never ever be champion only just good player write some book make some video win some tornament but never ever be champion.

I don't check every source, obviously, but this is the first time I've seen anyone write that Shirov had only 2 secs left when he accepted the draw. Is this accurate? If so, then saying he had only 30 secs (or so) on his clock for the rest of the game would also be accurate.

Another brilliant observation!

CO :)

Hmm. I put "pseudo-tags" around my 'brilliant observation' comment above. I didn't expect that it wouldn't print. Would have looked like this if you used "" in place of "(" and ")" ...

(sarcasm) Another brilliant observation! (/sarcasm)


Geez, this post-Corus lull is maddening!

So I guess you can't use the "SHIFT-," or "SHIFT-." keys at all! LOL!


b4 is a computer move (though it could have been a Shirov move if he had time to think). b4 is counterintuitive because you're forcing the black queen to come back closer to the king's defense (indeed, Shirov was thinking of playing Qc6 when he took the draw). And the move that makes b4 make sense, Rf1, is hard to see because naturally you want to play Rd8 instead.

Don't you think it's weird that Karjakin immediately came up to the board to show Shirov the missed win? It just seems a little inconsiderate. Although maybe Karjakin did it consolingly, I don't know.

Gilbraltar is on and Linares is just around the corner.

Not sure if mishanp has posted this to one of the blog entries, but this link


has some good pictures, including some of the Wijk players' wives and girlfriends, as well as pictures of Shirov and Kramnik analyzing together.

"The Linares tournament takes place in Spain (a pairing with Dubai fell through) 12th-25th February 2010. Players: Veselin Topalov, Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, Francisco Vallejo Pons, Boris Gelfand and for the first time in a super-tournament Vugar Gashimov who deserves his chance in this company."

I don't have too big expectations for Vallejo, but it will be interesting to see both Gelfand and Gashimov in this rather strong event.

Gelfand didn't look like he was in very good shape earlier this month, but if well prepared (like in the WC tournament 2007), he certainly is able to do well.

Gashimov and Topalov are both "question marks" - Topalov because he hasn't played in a while and because the effect of preparing for Anand probably will hurt him in the openings. Gashimov because this is the first real test in a really top event - even though he's played several cat. 19 events already, as part of the Grand Prix.

Looking forward to it!

I'm looking forward to Linares. We'll be seeing Topalov finally play after what seems like a very long absence and get a chance to see what his form looks like.

Tee hee. Good point, I guess.

"Kamsky still 1/2 point off of lead in Gibraltar."

Wow, that looks a lot like a comment on chess. Someone didn't get the memo about this being the Drama Week on the Daily Dirt blog.

Meanwhile in Gibraltar...
Jan Gustafsson is in the sole lead. I'm surprised, he used to be a way too inclined to easy draws to win such a strong event.
Koneru Humpy's public feud with her federation seems to pay off: She is playing in Gibraltar, and not in some local tournament in India. Impressive. And she is on shared second place at the moment.

Frankly, I'm quite surprised. My original post had the disclaimer 'FWIW.' Evidently it was worth way more to others than myself! Heh!

And thanks, alphabet guy, for not making this personal, even though I thought at first that you were trolling me (whether true or not). Kinda refreshing.

***WARNING! Chess Content follows***

Did anyone listen to the Conquest/Spassky analysis session at Gibraltar? Quite enjoyable, actually.

***End Chess content***


In the post-event interviews, Anand seemed quite proud to be the only one to go undefeated.

Don't many champions go into this "I just cannot lose" mode during their reigns, take fewer risks, and it flattens their chess achievements? The extreme is Fischer, who couldn't even risk a single game. Another example might be Kramnik. Better to not-win than to lose, when you're the world champion.

Is Anand succumbing to "champion's syndrome" ?

Did I totally mis-word that? Let me try again.
Champion's Syndrome is: better to not-lose, than to win.

I hope Mig is ok. From the official site: "4 February 2010 (as at 15:28)
Round 10: Play-Off Will Be Needed
John Saunders reports: The games between the leaders were all drawn this morning so we know we have a play-off situation. But we don't know who will be in the play-offs yet as only four players can take part, based on who has the highest tournament performance rating. As I write, at least six players - Adams, Bacrot, Gustafsson, Movsesian, Vallejo Pons and Kamsky - have 7½/10 and Chanda Sandipan may join them on that score if he wins. Four of those six/seven players will play off. More news when we have it."

Gibraltar update:
John Saunders reports: The games between the leaders were all drawn this morning so that meant we would definitely have a play-off situation. There were a number of other decisive results, Seven players so far have tied in the top score group and four of them with the best TPRs go forward to play off for the first prize. They are: Jan Gustafsson (GER), Michael Adams (ENG), Paco Vallejo Pons (ESP) and Chand Sandipan (IND). The play-off draw is due to take place at 17:00 GMT+1 (16:00 UK time). This will be followed by two-game semi-finals, with a probable time control of 10 minutes with 10 second increments and an Armageddon game if necessary. More news when we have it.

Those of you who do not know yet - check out the Chessninja forums/message boards. You can discuss chess, play in tournaments against the people behind the comments, and do so much more. The forum even has a dedicated movie thread or two. And it is moderated - hear that, frogbert?

Thanks. Didn't know! Do you play chess there, online?

Well, "there" is actually "here" - as the message boards are a part of chessninja.com. We don't usually play on the forum itself - though it happens occasionally and has a correspondence chess feel to it. But usually we just have volunteers set up a tournament and do the pairings, and then the paired people play the games out on the major chess servers - be it ICC or Playchess, etc.

"Is His Migness on vacation, working for Kasparov, or ill? We miss him."

Yeah, a week later, and every day I check the Daily Dirt -- hoping to read Mig’s take on the final round and outcome of Corus. Alas, nothing yet...

And congratulations to Adams on winning Gibraltar. Always seems to be a tight race every year.

I didn't want to say anything because I'm not real familiar with this blog or boards but i was wondering what was up with Mr. Greengard. Has there ever been such a lull between posts before?

Apologies for my dysgraphical intrusion!

Research Article
The role of deliberate practice in chess expertise
Neil Charness 1 *, Michael Tuffiash 1, Ralf Krampe 2, Eyal Reingold 3, Ekaterina Vasyukova 4

1 Florida State University, USA
2 Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education, Berlin, Germany
3 University of Toronto, Canada
4 Moscow State University, Russia

Funded by:
National Institute on Aging (NIA); Grant Number: 5R01 AG13969
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Grant Number: NSERC A0790
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education

Two large, diverse samples of tournament-rated chess players were asked to estimate the frequency and duration of their engagement in a variety of chess-related activities. Variables representing accumulated time spent on serious study alone, tournament play, and formal instruction were all significant bivariate correlates of chess skill as measured by tournament performance ratings. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that among the activities measured, serious study alone was the strongest predictor of chess skill in both samples, and that a combination of various chess-related activities accounted for about 40% of the variance in chess skill ratings. However, the relevance of tournament play and formal instruction to skill varied as a function of skill measurement time (peak vs. current) and age group (above vs. below 40 years). Chess players at the highest skill level (i.e. grandmasters) expended about 5000 hours on serious study alone during their first decade of serious chess play - nearly five times the average amount reported by intermediate-level players. These results provide further evidence to support the argument that deliberate practice plays a critical role in the acquisition of chess expertise, and may be useful in addressing pedagogical issues concerning the optimal allocation of time to different chess learning activities.

No moderation please! Aren't we all adults? Just ignore the idiots, whether they are from Argentina, Poland, or Zanzibar. Do not refer to idiotic comments. (I just did :(

Mig frequently disappears for several days or a week or more and gets ribbed for calling his blog the "Daily Dirt" instead of the perhaps more accurate "Weekly Dirt" or "Sporadic Dirt". He usually doesn't bail out in the final rounds of one of the biggest chess events of the year (and other big events in Gibraltar and Moscow at the same time).

Very interesting. Any links to the main article pls?
It would be interesting to see if they considered confounders like nutrition, physical fitness, use of stimulants or other psychotropics etc.

"Just minutes ago Michael Adams defeated Francisco Vallejo 1.5-0.5 in the play-off final that decided the 2010 Gibtelecom Masters in Gibraltar. Adams was almost knocked out by Gustafsson in the semis when he lost the first game, but the Englishman came back to level the score and win the Armaggeddon game as well. In the final he was clearly too strong for Vallejo."

Gibraltar, like most opens, tends to become a tight race because early leaders opt for safety in the final rounds allowing others to catch up. Can we blame Gustafsson for taking draws against Bacrot and Movsesian in the last two rounds? I guess he's still happy with his 2769 TPR.

Next is Aeroflot, apparently without Nakamura after all - weren't there rumors here and elsewhere that he would play the open and/or the blitz tournament which is a qualifier for Tal Memorial blitz? Hikaru's last blog entry is from February 1st saying "I have 24 hours of travelling ahead of me" - seems he flew from Amsterdam to Seattle, not Moscow. The Aeroflot homepage mentions a certain Christopher Nakamura (USA) among the participants - is this a hybrid between Hikaru and his second? ,:)


Kibitzer on chessgames.com/Feb-01-10:
"-Is it official that Naka has cancelled Aeroflot?"
-timhortons: Naka confirmed that yesterday at ICC "no aeroflot".

Over half of the participants who 'tied for first' were denied the chance to 'win' the tournament in Gibraltar.

I would be very disappointed if *I* were one to finish at the top, yet have no chance of winning.

But then *I* would never have been in the top half of the crosstable.


In the live ratings Adams 2709 is now the #1 British player and Short has fallen below 2700. Kamsky 2707.5 is back in the 2700+ live ratings.

Research Article
The role of deliberate practice in chess expertise
Neil Charness 1 *, Michael Tuffiash 1, Ralf Krampe 2, Eyal Reingold 3, Ekaterina Vasyukova 4

British Library Direct
To buy the full text of this article you pay:
£17.00 copyright fee + service charge (from £8.10) + VAT, if applicable

What the @@@@?

Sorry for not replying earlier HB, but it looks like you've found the ref anyway.
Pretty common nowadays, I'm afraid, to have to pay for peer reviewed papers. I have accounts with a few of the publishers like Elseviers, Wiley Interscience, Springer, Science Direct.
It does pain me to hand over my hard-earned for an electronic copy of a paper based on reading an abstract then find out it was not much use.
Usually you pay your money then get an access number that is good for 24 hours for you to download the paper.
Many libraries eg Uni don't carry the serials they used to but have electronic downloads for staff/researchers at reduced rates.

Thanks, uff da.

Sorry to be a bit off-topic. I baulk at the commercialisation of 'intellectual resources' in such a craven manner. I don't ask for payment for my articles and dislike paying for what's not legitimately earned.
Anyway, I now know what to do to get to 2400 ELO.

I was able to get a PDF of this article from a library with an EBSCOhost subscription.

So, HardyBerger, you think people should work for free, just for your amusement? You can't be serious...

Actually Migloid disappeared to gopher for Gary ( which is perhaps his main source of income) with a reference to a "scholastic" chess event (read school chess tournament) saying he was getting back to the "real world" as opposed to commenting on Corus. I guess that's the real world of chess journalism and professional board games with its ever present danger of a vicarious or underachieving life................

Andrew Gelman, stats prof at U Columbia, has a fine blog.
He gets around the issue raised by HardyBerger by providing free access to most of his papers, both published and unpublished.

Now back to chess!

Quoted from Andrew Gelman's blog:
[start quote]
Alan Turing is said to have invented a game that combines chess and middle-distance running. It goes like this: You make your move, then you run around the house, and the other player has to make his or her move before you return to your seat. I've never played the game but it sounds like fun. I've always thought, though, that the chess part has got to be much more important than the running part: the difference in time between a sprint and a slow jog is small enough that I'd think it would always make sense just to do the jog and save one's energy for the chess game.

But when I was speaking last week at the University of London, Turing's chess/running game came up somehow in conversation, and somebody made a point which I'd never thought of before, that I think completely destroys the game. I'd always assumed that it makes sense to run as fast as possible, but what if you want the time to think about a move? Then you can just run halfway around the house and sit for as long as you want.

It goes like this. You're in a tough spot and want some time to think. So you make a move where the opponent's move is pretty much obvious, then you go outside and sit on the stoop for an hour or two to ponder. Your opponent makes the obvious move and then has to sit and wait for you to come back in. Sure, he or she can plan ahead, but with less effectiveness than you because of not knowing what you're going to do when you come back in.

So . . . I don't know if anyone has actually played Turing's running chess game, but I think it would need another rule or two to really work.
[end quote]

Anyone with an interest in stats, professional or otherwise, Prof Gelman's blog is worth a visit.

A modification of Turing chess is known as the Turing_Chess blog: before replying to a contentious/provocative post run a lap of the block. In time the most prolific posters, tho maybe castigated, will be the fittest!
Manu seems to have already developed the technique of a swim before each post and at a beautiful beach, the Turing_Manu_Chess_blog....well done!

does anyone else agree that Kim Kardashian could make a great Goddess Caissa?

Hmmm, doesn't sound all that profound. If you're in a tough spot already, making a move which provokes an obvious reply is probably going to leave the opponent feeling quite comfortable regardless of how long you decide to hide on the other side of the house.

Even under the generous assumption that such an approach could work, couldn't the opponent just counter by making a move which has only one obvious response, thereby mimicking your strategy?

On a more serious note, if Turing was alive today, I simply don't believe he'd be so eager to see Gelfand drop out of the top 10, as opposed to dropping 10.

From scientist to scientist (so I presume): Whatever you exactly do, I guess you are employed somewhere, which gives you
1) a regular salary to pay the rent or mortgage, and have food on the table
2) conditions/infrastructure which permit you to do research, experiments(?) and writing for the next article.
If you were a freelancer, you would (have to) insist on being paid per article !!?

And publishers, libraries etc. also have to earn money to pay their employees - then it burns down to whether that money comes from users, authors or "everyone" (tax payers). There was a similar discussion at Chessvibes a while ago: Should Chessbase pay the players if they include their game(s) in a database?

Now the useful part of my post ,:) : Scholar.google.com is a powerful resource to search for scientific articles by author and/or keyword. If applicable (quite often the case) it also finds where pdf's are available for free on the Web - Elsevier and others don't like that feature ... .
If you search for "Charness chess", you will see that he has published much more since the 1980's. If you refine putting "Charness Tuffiash chess", the article mentioned by dysgraphia is on top of the list (it was cited 57 times by others) and there is a link to
http://www.utm.toronto.edu/uploads/tx_researcherprofile/TheRoleOfDeliberatePracticeInChessExpertise2005.pdf (institution of one coauthor - link doesn't show up in full but seems to work anyway)
It seems to be free for everyone, at least I am
- on the other side of the Atlantic
- my institution doesn't subscribe to that type of journals
- anyway, I am now "working" from home.

Another option is always to find the author's email and ask for a (digital) reprint. Maybe Mr./Prof. Charness wouldn't appreciate dozens of requests from people who became aware of the article via a chess blog - though "public outreach" is also part of scientific research? He may be more happy to respond to requests from chess journalists who want to pick up the story!?

Long post, but I hope it had (some) useful content.

@Uff Da
What gave you that wild idea?
And what makes you think the authors get paid for those articles that some commercially minded publishers have purloined? I don't get paid for mine. The authors probably have a salary and/or research grants.


Actually, if you're article is being published in a journal, you're often required by the journal to sign away your rights to them -- meaning that you're specifically enjoined from disseminating it on the web for free.

Forgive the unforgivable "you're" for "your" in the first sentence...

"Long post, but I hope it had (some) useful content."

Thx Thomas, your post was appreciated!

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 28, 2010 10:54 PM.

    Stupid Time Control Tricks was the previous entry in this blog.

    Corus 2010 Wrap: Carlsen Comeback is the next entry in this blog.

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