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The End of the Aughties: Russian Ch

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I'm barely up to a 2009 review, let alone a look back at the entire decade, so let's get to it while I still have the strength. It's 2:40 in the morning and I'm watching a Korean priest-vampire movie, digesting some fantastic queso fundido, and fiddling around with a database and a calculator. Along with all your comments, I've accumulated around a dozen open chess tabs in the last two weeks that I'm dying to get rid of, but it might take most of the week to get through. Let's start with current events.

Alexander Grischuk ended the year the way he started it, as a winner. His first event of 2009 was a shared first in Linares, where he took the title on tiebreaks over Ivanchuk. The 26-year-old finished the year by winning the Russian championship with an impressive +4 score. Remarkably, it was Grischuk's first Russian title. Svidler, a five-time champion and early leader, finished a half-point back. Grischuk scored 4.5/5 with white. He had a few tough moments, as was the case for every player in this very tough, very combative event. It was one of the most entertaining tournaments of the year. Timofeev had the best chance to slow Grischuk down, in round 7. In messy position, Timofeev twice declined to capture on e5 with the bishop. On move 32 it would have caused insoluble problems for Black thanks to his knight being trapped, though the position remains sharp.

Grischuk wrapped up the title by beating Jakovenko's Berlin Defense in the 8th round. Not quite as nice as beating the Petroff, but close. As with so many of Grischuk's games, it's a nice example of creativity in pursuit of activity. What would have been an interesting rook endgame ended abruptly when Jakovenko blundered on move 41. The final round was inspiring, even though Grischuk got the draw he needed for clear first in just 19 moves against a listless Alekseev. The other four games were decisive, illustrating that the Russian fighting spirit is alive and while. All four included wild tactical battles, not what you usually expect in a final round with first place already off the table.


The first comment on the first post of the entire decade. Always something to be remembered for!

OK, I'll go for the first on-topic comment ... : From the Chessbase report on the Russian Superfinal (their typo included):
"Grischuk, who finished second behind Kasparov in the first Superfinal, did not participate in the next couple of tournaments, being unhappy about the decreased amount of the first prize. However when he took part Grischuk came second in 2007 (a point behind Morozevich), missed the event in 2008, and now came first – very decent results, to sat the least!"

Yep, Grischuk said in an interview that the Russian Championship always seems to go well for him: http://www.chessmoscow.ru/index.php?topicID=2

By the way, we don't need to wait too long for some chess in 2010! The European Team Championship starts on Tuesday, I think, with Grischuk, Morozevich & co. involved.

Funny little story on e3e5.com:

"Ukraine has been disconnected from ratings

The traditional New Year disconnection of Russian Gas to the Ukraine has been replaced this year by FIDE: Ukrainian chess players have been excluded from the 1 January rating list for the non-payment of fees".

The story is wrong. Ivanchuk is #8 as you can see there > http://ratings.fide.com/top.phtml?list=men .

Short is still the #1 ranked English player.

Good point! Maybe they were left out for a day!? The original source was Ukrainian & it seems an odd thing to make up: http://chessportal.od.ua/news.php

Apropos of nothing... the promised videos of the post match press conferences from the London Classic would still be much appreciated, in case anyone involved is reading this :)

No, they simply made an exception for top100 players. Try to find the Ukrainian top100 on the FIDE rating pages, or the current ELO of young prodigy Illya Nyzhnyk: he was 2494 in November, and is now "not rated":

There's no real exception for top 100 players - except in the top 100 list, where the Ukrainian players are listed.

See for instance: http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=14100010 - also Ivanchuk is given as "not rated" in his actual FIDE card.

Why would folks think this is the end of the decade? The decade runs 2001-2010. The new decade begins 2011.

There was no year "zero" -- this same discussion occurred over the "year 2000", etc. The 21st century began 1/1/01, not 1/1/00.

Mig has a full year to plan his decade in review piece :)

Year 1 B.C. was also year 0 A.D. Happy now?

Not that simple - the Nineties were the years 1990 to 1999. The 20th century were the years 1901 to 2000. Strictly speaking, a century doesn't consist of ten decades. ;-)

Note the difference between "decade" and "Aughties". The first decade of the 21st century (or the 3rd millennium, if you want a more impressive term) is not over, the Aughties (who came up with that name?) are.

A decade is any ten years. The only time the "Year 1" thing is an issue is when you also have an ordinal--the 21st century, the third millenium, etc.

2010 is also the end of a century and a millenium--just not a century or millenium we ascribe any particular significance to.

Culturally, it's always the "changing of the relevant digit" we care about, not the ordinal distance from Y1.

It’s no surprise that they are choosing to expand in the direction of Smart phones, but it will be interesting to measure this investment against HP’s

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 3, 2010 2:40 AM.

    Happy New Year, 2010 Edition was the previous entry in this blog.

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