"My opponent left a glass of whisky 'en prise' and I took it 'en passant". - Henry Blackburne | SINCE 2007

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

World Chess Championships: Quotes

The Chess Ninja daily dirt blog has some really interesting comments when the World chess championships games are going on here are a few gems and more can be read on the site

1. "Shipov, Anand, those patzers, what do they know.. In any event, this endgame is extremely interesting."

2. "Danailov and Sergiev are rather letting us down when it comes to crazy, paranoid statements...."

3. Before I went to Sofia I looked at the "In Your Pocket" guide to Sofia, which has a "Guide to Bulgarian lifestyle, bars, clubs and discos". The first 7 points are: http://www.inyourpocket.com/bulgaria/sofia

>Try not to stare at women that are accompanied by their boyfriends, no matter how beautiful they are, it might be taken as an insult.
> Try to avoid conflict if you notice Bulgarian people stare at your wife/girlfriend, or at yourself, usually they will be just curious. Don’t forget some 19 years ago the majority of people didn’t even meet foreigners from beyond the ironcurtain, so you are still new and exciting. Bravo! 3. Don’t try to act overly macho, particularly in more provincial towns or cities. Unless of course you are Mike Tyson.
> When in a bar do not shout or insult the waiters or other staff members, it may be taken very deeply.
> If you feel that someone is in some way being threatening or intimidating to you, it is often best to befriend them. In many cases locals feel threatened by foreigners and try to show themselves as tough but when you act as equals and friends they will often almost immediately drop this fa├žade.
> If however a conflict situation rises, leave immediately. Do not stay around and add on to the fire. Bulgarians are very social and family driven and under a common goal a big group of people is summoned very fast.
> Good icebreakers are compliments on the country: The food, the football, the women, the inventions created by Bulgarians such as the Cyrillic alphabet and so on. As additional benefit you might get an interesting story or two. Make them talk, they love it."
p.s. if the translation's wrong it's not my personal sense of humour - just that I don't really know Bulgarian! (but it's similar to Russian, and I'm reading a Bulgarian grammar...)

4." endgame almost round the corner. This is the way we used to play when I was 5 year old - going exchanging one after other, reducing to few pieces in about a minute."

5. "25... Kc6 Black is in a very difficult position. To tell you the truth, although the match of such players are always awaiting with big interest and enthusiasm, the strategy for this kind of matches nowadays are rather uninteresting. Players, like Anand or Topalov, or even Kramnik are trying to minimize their risk and play positions with a small plus for White and try to hold a draw in boring and slightly worse endgames."

6. If Anand does hold this game as well, Topalov has to question his strategy of war by attrition.

7. Talking of quotes - Shipov's already included Pushkin and the Communist Manifesto in his comments today :) When he mentions "the window into Europe" it's from "The Bronze Horseman", where Peter the Great stands on some marshland and imagines building St. Petersburg to open Russia to the "West".

8. Slight advantage for white, but I think Anand will draw this. They'll end up with Bishops of opposite color.

9. The first appearance of Kasparov on Shipov's commentary today is to confirm that 28. Bb4 was clearly stronger than 28. Bc3.

10. " 30.h4 Veselin tries to surround the pawn f4 preventing the move g7-g5. But this is dances on the handkerchief – the attempt to picture things which have been lost."

11. Shipov added after 36. Kd4:
"[We were more worried by the line 36.Be5 with the king going to h6. And then we found:36...Ke8 37.Kf4 Kf7!? 38.Kg5 Ba4 39.Kh6 Kg8 and if immediately 40.h5 gxh5 41.Kxh5 - the idea being to play Kg5-h6, g2-g4-g5, Be5-g7!! and g5-g6, breaking through with the king to e7. So at that point black would again switch the roles of the pieces -41...Kf7 42.Kh6 Bc2! - the king goes to g7 and there's a stand-off. Would it be possible to break the line of defence with manoeuvres and zugzwangs? A question for a more leisurely analysis...]

12. I'm following commentary by Shipov as well as S.Polgar. My minor complaint with Susan is how she always has to describe everything from her experience as well. There are times when her experience as a player and as someone who competed in world championship is valuable. Sometimes she should also realize that the game at hand is more important.

13. If "Big Momma" Polgar says its a draw then it should be draw because there is nobody as big an optimistic supporter of Topa (not even "ass-buddy" Danailov) as Momma Polgar!

14. Anand just resigned?

15. What? Anand resigned? Amazing, was he in zugzwang? I can´t believe it. The victory came unexpectedly.

16. 1-0???!!!
Really?! Is that a transmission error?

17. This is fishy!

18. Doesn't white still have work to do here in order to win. Surely...is this for real?

19. Possibly. Kasparov resigned a drawn position against Deep Blue in their 97 rematch. It happens.

20. Chessok gives the following variation:
(56... Bd7 57. Bd4 Be8 58. Bf6 Bd7 59. Bg7 Bc6 60. f4 Bd7 61. g5 Bc6 62. g6 hxg6 63. Kxg6 Bb5 64. Kf6 Bd7 65. Ke7 Bb5 66. d7 {White has a decisive advantage} - Either d pawn will queen or lose the bishop!
B-c6 was the blunder; Black should have played B-d3 instead and then later he can always defend with K-e8.
Topalov won the game based on manouevring instead of attacking style game as is his wont. What Anand will open with after the rest day for game 9 will be telling.
Clearly the momentum has shifted with today's game in Topalov's favor.

21. "Anand just resigned!! Shocking! I know that the position is bad but what is the rush to resign immediately?" -- Susan Polgar

22. Sound of the drumsBeatin' in my heartThe thunder of gunsTore me apartYou've been - Topastruck
Said yeah, it's alrightWe're doing fineYeah, it's alrightWe're doing fineSo fine
Thunderstruck, yeah, yeah, yeah,Topastruck, thunderstruck, Topastruck

22. Oh come on people. Topalov levels the match and inmediately the haters start saying "it´ll be sad if he wins" and "he was lucky to win, Anand´s wins were brilliant whreas Topalov´s were random". What I saw was Topalov playing a fine endgame, pressing very hard to win, as he did yesterday when he play really well, too. If it was Anand on the white side today, people would be saying "Oh look he´s also better in technical endgames, he´s playing like Kramnik, he outplayed Topalov so badly it´s painful to watch" etc.
I´m happy the match is leveled now. We have 5 incredible games waiting for us.

23. Shipov's summary:
"And so, my worst fears have come true. The world champion no longer has the energy to keep his concentration over the course of a whole game. It started just after the opening when he made a strange oversight on his 22nd move and condemned himself to a tough defence. But then Vishy held on stubbornly and, essentially, escaped. But at that moment when he just had to make simple moves (also understandable for a master) and create an impenetrable fortress he, as they say, switched off and allowed the only possible attacking idea of his opponent. A tragedy for Anand!"

24. Of course Topalov outplayed Anand, this was slow torture. Finally, and after yesterday's considerable pressure as well, Anand cracked. If you think that putting a player, even like Anand, under such tremendous pressure for two consecutive games is not outplaying him, in preparation and over the board, then you are simply mistaken because your bias will not let you ever give credit to Topalov for anything.
I mean, come on guys. Don't be such poor sports. When Topalov makes mistakes like in games 2 and 4, it is all Anand's strategic and tactical brilliance - but when Topalov creates these incredibly interesting minefields where one has to defend precisely forever and finally pushes his opponent over the edge it's just a fluke?
This hatred for Topalov is getting boring. I never expected chess fans to become like soccer fanatics, rooting for one's team no matter what and never give ANY credit to the opponent.

25. So many of the comments here seem to say that Anand blunder was a fluke and not really the result of Topalov's play. That simply is a ridiculous opinion to hold. Topalov was applying pressure on Anand's position throughout the game. This coming from a game where Topalov as Black held the initiative was enough psychological pressure that resulted in Anand's superficial play today. If your opponent blunders, it is most likely a result of his/her feeling outplayed. Yes, Anand's wins in game 2 and especially in game 4 are very fine and aesthetically satisfying. Topalov's wins in game 1 and this 8th game are perhaps not as satisfying, but they are wins nonetheless. It's also important to understand that, from game 5, Topalov has staged a real comeback and has seemed to have solved whatever problems he was having with the Catalan, and since game 5, Anand has failed to keep pace with Topalov's resurgence. Hopefully, after the break tomorrow, Anand will find renewed energy to cope with Topalov's seizing of the initiative in this match and take the match into rapid play.

26. From game 5, Topalov has staged a real comeback...Anand has failed to keep pace with Topalov's resurgence.
Fortunately for Anand, now that Topalov has regained confidence he will start to play carelessly again, just as he did after the easy G1 win.

27. Game eight: After surviving playing black twice in a row Veselin Topalov gets the opportunity to go on the offensive in game 8. Topalov and Anand yet again play the Slav Variation Anand used successfully in games 3 and 5. Anand was the first to deviate with 13...Rc8. Topalov was the first in with a novelty, 18.a5. Anand didn't seem to play the best and got a miserable looking position, almost lost if not losing. However Topalov played oddlyand allowed Anand into a bishops of opposite colour endgame. Anand got a completely drawn position and then played 54...Bc6??? which lost almost instantly and he resigned a couple of moves later. In contrast to game 7 both players played poorly. Anand's opening was bad, Topalov didn't press very well and certainly didn't cause Anand's shocking blunder at the end. All very odd

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