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Rorshach

Chess - the world in black and white

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Posted (edited)

Well, quite a bit of chess has been is being played atm.

The third Grand Prix is about to finish, with Harikrishna vs. Jakovenko being the last game going.

It's of some signifcance towards the Grand Prix standings. Depending on whether Pentala manages to grind out a win somehow (I don't see how tbh), he could take some points away from Grischuk by joining him and Nepo as shared seconds. He has some pressure with his extra pawn, but I think Jako should hold.

But the big news is the winner in Geneva is Teimour Radjabov. I am not exactly sure how that happened, a few years ago, it looked his career was rather on a downward trajectory ever since he fathered a child and moved to London. But Radja suddenly even is in contention of qualifying for the candidates. Anyway. Mamedyarov has more or less done his homework. It wasn't a great event for him, but he kept a narrow lead over Grischuk in the Grand Prix standings and it would take some really unfortunate turn of events at Palma to knock him out (Ding Liren and Radja would both need to get over 100 points at Palma to knock out Mamedyarov, or MVL would need to gather 130 points and either Ding Liren or Radja score 100 points+ ). On the other hand, Grischuk's position is way less safe. Either Ding Liren or Radja scoring 100 points there or MVL scoring 130 points would knock him out. So Sascha can really just watch and hope for the best.

Anyway, it's really not the only Super Tournament going on atm.

Meanwhile in China Wei Yi is cruising through a very strong field.

When I say strong field I mean:

Ding Liren, Ivanchuk, (former Fide Champion) Ponomariov, Le Quang Liem, Wang Hao, Yu Yangyi, Naiditsch, Malakhov, Lu Shanglei (the weakest link with 2640), and Wei Yi.

And by cruising I mean Wei Yi is atm sole leader with 5/6. (draws against Ding Liren and Ivanchuk). This tournament is somewhat criminally under reported.

Oh, and Dortmund has started, today. Fedoseev started off with a black win over big Vlad.

 

Edited by Notone

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I think Kasparov's going to do really badly in the St Louis Rapid & Blitz part of the Grand Chess Tour.  (And I guess that's not a controversial opinion.)   Although given the form So and Nakamura seem to be in right now, maybe he'll not do quite as badly as I've have guessed when it was first announced that he'd be taking part...

In hindsight, I wonder if Kasparov regrets resigning at the age he did.  Could he have lasted long enough to win back a re-unified world title, or was his retirement one of the factors that made the reunification effort successful?

I've not had time to follow chess much recently, but it's been nice to see Aronian playing well again over the last few months (he's even back up number two in the live rating list as I write this, I see).  I'd like to see him get one last chance to qualify for a World Championship match -- is that still possible this cycle?

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Well, I think Kasparov could do reasonably well in the Blitz event. Afterall it's just Blitz. I am not going to make any predictions on the rapid bit. My guess is, that Kasparov goes into that whole thing rather well prepared, so he can do something for his GOAT legacy brand. If posts a good result, he gets the coverage he wants: Look what Kasparov despite being retired can still do? Will he come back? Could he challenge for the title again? In a classical event he would probably get slaughtered however.

Whether Kasparov resigned too early is open for discussion. I think he hit the exit at the right moment for his brand/legacy. He resigned before he could start to slide down on the rating lists. I somewhat doubt, that he would have been able to bring down big Vlad. Just look how level Karpov started to slide down on the rating lists. And Tolya was pretty much Kasparov's equal - granted Karpov is playing a few events, despite being more or less retired, while Kasparov just retired  when he was on top.

Aronian has been somewhat hit or miss this year - at least imho (a bit Ivanchuk light if you will). He played outstanding at the big events, but he kinda sucked at Grand Prix tournaments. But overall it's nice to have Levon back.

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Lemon is such a creative and flamboyant player, you gotta love him when he's on. Still, he has been the clear number two for a couple of Challenger cycles, and he hasn't qualified. I struggle to see him in that role.

Kasparov.. well, the commentary team on Chess24 thinks he'll do well,  and I think they're dead wrong. So seems to be out of sync, but Nakamura is a different beast in blitz and rapid. I don't think this tournament will influence the upcoming event. 

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Checked the coverage of the last round of Sinquefield, well actually checking.

A few takeaway. I feel bad for Peter for not being able to figure out all the lines after 18.Nf4!! and thus being forced to dismiss it. Fortunately his position is still promising.

Magnus is back, as he is atm beating Levon quite convincingly. Though he doesn't look to be at his peak form. I think in his peak form he would have grabbed that puny pawn on a6 (though the passer on a5 looks tempting) straight away, instead he would have shuffled his Knights around. The a6 would have fallen sooner or later anyway.

Oh and it looks like MVL will win the tournament outright, as Nepo continues to be not performing too well at those elite events.

And I kinda like Maurice Ashley's color commentary.

And I almost forgot, I still dislike Wesley So.

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Kasparov did ok with the Blitz bit in St. Louis (he finished fith in blitz bit).

Anyway, the World Cup starts in a few days.

The first round has a few interesting pairings imo. And I don't mean the first round warm up games for the top seeds.

Section 1 (the one with Carlsen) has the American face off between Zherebukh (when did he switch federations btw.?) and Onischuk,

Section 2 (The one with MVL) the games between Melkumyan and Grachev could turn out to go the tie breaks.

Section 3 (with Kramnik) is maybe a bit less interesting, with regards to first round encounters.  But I am curious how Xiong fares against Motylev.

Ok, section 4 is even less interesting. There's really no pairing that excites me in particular. Well, maybe Artemiev verus Bok, but I think Artemiev will squeeze out a win in one of the classial games.

Section 5 (with So) has not pairing whatsoever that interests me. Jobava against Salgado looks nice on paper, but I am not really into Jobava's random opening generator.

Section 6 (with Nakamura) has one very interesting encounter, David Anton against Bruzon. Too bad whoever wins this, will run into Nakamura in the second round.

Section 7 (Caruana's section) has no first round encounter that excites me in particular.

And section 8 (with Mamedyarov as top seed), Wang Hao against Sengupta has some potential to be interesting, but I think Wang Hao is a bit too strong for that.

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Posted (edited)

Anybody watched Pawn Sacrifice?  Just curious as to whether Fischer was that batshit crazy, or a bit of artistic licence was taken?

Edited by BigFatCoward

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Haven't seen the movie, but afaik Boris Spassky wasn't too happy about the movie. Since Boris was directly involved, I take his word for it.

Boris giving an interview, topics include his divorce, that pawn sacrifice movie, and Fischer in general.

and, yes, Fischer was batshit crazy. He was always paranoid (stories include him refusing to visit a dentist, because he was afraid of surveillance equipments getting implanted in his teeth). But it got real bad, when he left the chess scene after his match with Spassky. That's when he started rambling about the international jew conspiracy, and later in his life how he cheered when the planes hit the WTC.

 

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Ouch, first major upsets.

Wei Yi lost his first game against Canadian GM Bator Sambuev. Another one being Fedoseev losing to Cuban GM Yusnel Bacallao

And apparently Zherebukh missed his flight or something, anyway Onischuk did win his first game by forfeit.

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On 30/08/2017 at 0:26 PM, BigFatCoward said:

Anybody watched Pawn Sacrifice?  Just curious as to whether Fischer was that batshit crazy, or a bit of artistic licence was taken?

He was nuts, yes. Unfortunately the film messed up the chess. :/

 

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Yeah, Kasparov did slightly better overall than I was expecting, especially on the last day of the blitz.  A shame he had such bad time management in the earlier rounds.

Focusing on more recent events:

It seems slightly odd to me that the World Cup (whose main purpose for existing at this point, surely, is as a qualifier for the Candidates) is open to both Carlsen -- who can't qualify for the Candidates unless somebody left a very big loophole in the regulations -- and Karjakin, who already has qualified.

I think FIDE should either have the World Cup be a stand-alone event, unconnected to the World Championship cycle entirely (which would be my preference), or change the rules to stop people who have already qualified from being able to interfere with the qualification process. Though I guess a counter-argument is that, as long as players can qualify by rating, it's going to be impossible to prevent already-qualified players from having an impact on the qualification process at some level.  Bring back Zonals and Interzonals!. 

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Interzonals won't come back. It's too expansive. FIDE is struggling to get the funding for the qualification process as it is. So where would they get the additional funds for another series of tournaments.

The whole point of the World Cup is to keep the door open for some underdog qualifier, who is not on the invite list for the Grand Prix series - mind you, that Wei Yi or Le Quang Liem did not participate in the GP series (but Hou Yifan did for whatever reason). I am not sure what Karjakin and Carlsen are doing there. Carlsen said something along the lines, he likes the format, somebody has to I guess...The irony being, that Carlsen could end up helping Grischuk qualify for the candidates. Grischuk's chances to qualify through the GP series are rather slim right now. But if Carlsen or Karjakin managed to clinch one of the spots, the third placed from the GP series would get that spot. And rumor is, that Grischuk isn't the biggest fan of Giri and Carlsen. (mainly because he felt Giri acted disrespectful towards Jobava at some tournament, and Jobava is a rather close friend of Sascha afaik).

Anyway, back to the event itself.

Wei Yi managed to avoid elimination and hit back to win his second game, and finished off Sambuev in the tie breaks.

Fedoseev also managed to play a much better second game, and also advanced through the tie breaks.

Anyway, the biggest name to fall in the first round is Eljanov. I feel kinda bad for him, he outplayed his opponent in the first game, and then blundered a won game into a loss. And then he couldn't comeback in game 2 and lost that one, too.

While it is now clear why Zherebukh wasn't in Tbilisi. Apparently he is applying for a new greencard in the US, and was afraid that leaving the US right now would have an adverse effect on the process. Of course this is imo a bigger interference in the tournament than Carlsen and Karjakin playing there for fun.

Having that said, the second round has a few goodies in store.

Bacrot vs Bu Xhiangzhi

Navara vs.Cheparinov

Ivanchuk vs Duda

then there are all three of the four encounters in section 4

Adreikin vs Matlakov

Karjakin vs Dubov

Radjabov vs Artemiev (really interesting pairing imo)

Aronian vs. Hou Yifan is imo the least interesting match up from section 4, but even that encounter has potential. Anyway, what else is there.

Paco Vallejo vs. Tomashevsky

Nepo vs. Adhiban

Yu Yangyi vs Jobava

Nakamura vs Bruzon should be rout, but not that unattractive a pairing.

Fedoseev vs Ernesto "Che" Inarkiev

Vitiugov vs Najer

the clash of the super teenagers Wei Yi vs Rapport

Gelfand vs Wang Hao

 

 

 

 

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Might be that the World Cup is left open to Carlsen on purely economic reasons - he is the biggest name in chess atm, and it's probably easier to get sponsors if he competes. I think Giri said at some point (when he released "After Magnus") that putting Magnus' name on a book doubled sales. 

Might be other reasons as well, of course. 

Anyway, as a Norwegian I'm happy that both Magnus and Tari advanced from the first match, and that Magnus has won his first three. Surprised to see Anand in trouble, though.

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Second round and quite a few major exits.

Karjakin fell prey to Dubov. (Yes, I thought this was an interesting pairing. But I didn't expect Dubov to pull it off). Karjakin simply got killed by excellent opening preparation by Dubov.

Anand wanted to finish his first game against Kovalyov in style, and it backfired. Probably the biggest upset thus far.

Wei Yi lost his u20 match against Rapport. A pity I hoped Wei Yi would make it. But given how he barely escaped elimination in round, I guess this was simply not his tournament.

Le Quang Liem (my dark horse) is out. He lost to Vidit. Another exit I silently mourn. :(

Mickey Adams got eliminated by Rodshtein (never saw this coming).

Shak lost in the tie breaks to Kuzubov (how did that happen?!)

Andreikin is out against Matlakov (ok that was more of a coin flip anyway).

Radjabov got eliminated by Artemiev.

Gelfand got knocked out by Wang Hao.

Yu Yangyi hit the exit against Jobava (if was a betting man, I would have had said Yu would win this).

Onischuk managed to beat Wojtaszek in the tie breaks (I think there's a case to be made, for Onischuk benefitting from the bye in the first round).

Pentala Harikrishna is out, after he got eliminated by Indian GM Sethuraman.

Tomashevski lost to Paco Vallejo. I thought this would go down to the wire.

 

Anyway, round three has a bunch of nice pairings.

Carlsen finally gets a real challenge with Bu Xhiangzhi.

Grischuk against Navara is an interesting pairing. I think Sascha should be able to emerge victorious from this encounter. But it's far from an easy draw.

Kramnik against Ivanchuk is probably the tie of the round. Let's see which Ivanchuk shows up.

The Russian youngsters are also paying each other in Dubov - Artemiev. I favour Artemiev slightly.

So vs. Paco has some potential, though I fear So is a bit too strong to get eliminated.

Nakamura against Fedoseev isn't that bad a pairing either.

Rapport gets to play another Chinese player with Li Chao.

Aronian vs. Matlakov should be fun.

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On 6.9.2017 at 4:41 PM, Rorshach said:

Might be that the World Cup is left open to Carlsen on purely economic reasons - he is the biggest name in chess atm, and it's probably easier to get sponsors if he competes. I think Giri said at some point (when he released "After Magnus") that putting Magnus' name on a book doubled sales. 

Might be other reasons as well, of course. 

Anyway, as a Norwegian I'm happy that both Magnus and Tari advanced from the first match, and that Magnus has won his first three. Surprised to see Anand in trouble, though.

Nah, the sponsorhsip for the event was there as part of the WC cycle. So neither him nor Karjakin were forced to play it. Carlsen is really just in it for fun. Maybe him and Karjakin felt their calender looked a bit empty this time of the year.

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Well, yes, he wasn't forced to play. I don't think I claimed that, and if I came across as as meaning that, I'm sorry. Basically, I think it simply an option to enlarge the sponsorship pot. Magnus sells. And I don't see people being fuzzy about extra sponsorship. 

I do know Magnus plays there for fun - he has repeatedly stated that it is, and that he would prefer this format for choosing the world champion. I guess he enjoyed the chance of actually doing his preferred version. Also, playing without pressure. Has to count for something in these years of being mediocre by his standards.

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Also, I would never ever bet against Jobova unless he plays someone 2760+. He's the inferior-playing-strength-and-more-unpredictable version of Chucky. 

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11 hours ago, Rorshach said:

Well, yes, he wasn't forced to play. I don't think I claimed that, and if I came across as as meaning that, I'm sorry. Basically, I think it simply an option to enlarge the sponsorship pot. Magnus sells. And I don't see people being fuzzy about extra sponsorship. 

I do know Magnus plays there for fun - he has repeatedly stated that it is, and that he would prefer this format for choosing the world champion. I guess he enjoyed the chance of actually doing his preferred version. Also, playing without pressure. Has to count for something in these years of being mediocre by his standards.

Ah sorry, I saw my post was not worded too well. I meant forced as in helping secure funds for the event. The money for the WC was there. The venue and prize pool was known before Carlsen and Karjakin signed up to play it.

In a way I can see Carlsen's motivation for playing, as he has never won that thing. Though I find it a tad hypocritical on Magnus part to say something along the line, that he considers the format to be the best there is, as he was the one who effectively buried that mini-candidates format in favour of the Candidates DRR tournament.

I mean afterall he was the one who refused to play that format, and withdrew from the candidate k.o. format in 2012. As the interested reader might recall, that Grischuk was his eleventh hour replacement, and iirc one of the Azeris (I think it was Radja) huffed and puffed about it. Grischuk played anyway, eliminated Aronian in the first round after the tie breaks (he was quite lucky iirc). Then he made this infamous short draw against Kramnik with white during the rapid tie breaks and joked with Kramnik that he will destroy the Blitz format next. Before Gelfand finally stopped him in the final. Grischuk was somewhat satisfied and split his earnings with the seconds he recruited last minute (I think Svidler was one of them.)

On a second note, I could also mention the Anand - Gelfand match itself, and use it as another instance to show what a giant bag of dicks Kasparov is, but that's another story.

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11 hours ago, Rorshach said:

Also, I would never ever bet against Jobova unless he plays someone 2760+. He's the inferior-playing-strength-and-more-unpredictable version of Chucky. 

Nah, not really. Ivanchuk is an entirely different beast. Ivanchuk is simply moody, and you never know how motivated he is to play. If in the right mood he could (and maybe still can) crush any player, if he doesn't feel like it he will either offer draws early or play way below his level. And Ivanchuk's style is to make strong and logical moves, not speculative ones.

Jobava is more like Morozevich (well, or what Moro used to be), just more unsound. He is a very creative and strong player. The issue is, that Jobava usually prefers more speculative lines, which are not necessarily the best/soundest out there. That works well against GM Joe, It doesn't work too well against super GMs, who can defend much better, and pack a much harder counter punch.

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