Monday, June 25, 2007

Some Rights and Wrongs...

A few assorted bits and pieces that caught my eye from around the chess internet.

First off, how does the horsey move again? And also on the subject of rules being rules - or perhaps not - there was this far more serious post over at Boylston Chess Club.

Meanwhile back in Blighty, the ECF promises change and improvement in our chess scene - whilst the Guardian innumerates reasons to fear terminal decline:
The active chess population is ageing and numerically in slow decline. Chess has not been regularly on national television since Channel 4 covered the 1993 Garry Kasparov v Nigel Short world title match and junior chess, which led the English advance in the 1970s, has become a potential disaster area.

Thirty years ago it was possible to look at the grading list, spot talents who were far advanced for their age or making quantum strength jumps and invite them to training groups or to the Lloyds Bank Masters. Many became GMs or IMs. Now the GMs Gawain Jones, 19, and David Howell, 16, may be the last of the line. Looking at the current junior grades it is hard to see any under-14 who is better than a long shot for IM. On this subject the ECF still seems in denial.

And finally on the subject of Nigel Short, here's an interesting recent interview, and snippet:
First and foremost I consider myself to be a chess player. However the economic situation was so dire as recently as 2005 that I only played one tournament (Corus), despite the fact I had contacted numerous organisers pleading (unsuccessfully) for invitations. For reasons I do not fully understand, I now very much in demand and have a very full schedule of events up until Spring 2008.

Well, I suppose at least one English chess player aside from Michael Adams is still doing comfortably well then. And as for the mysterious recent spate of invitations, any one want to hazard a guess in the comments?


Anonymous said...

"Looking at the current junior grades it is hard to see any under-14 who is better than a long shot for IM."
As the item on Ilford pointed out there were some great perfomances by juniors. Some of these have a fair chance of becoming IMs. GMs and indeed strong GMs may be another matter entirely, but IM title is not such an insurmountale obstacle for any person with talent who is prepared to work hard. Personally I have worked hard in the past so clearly do not have the talent:(
Also there has been a sizeable bequeathment for junior chess- this should help. How about spending some of it on re-instating the Lloyd's Bank Open. This would also help adults (who should not be denied opportunities to improve either).

Chris Morgan said...

On the subject of odd chess rules, apparently Korchnoi, during a game against Karpov, had to ask an arbiter if he could castle while his rook was being attacked.

Anonymous said...

I spy an opportunity for a plug: Aspiring juniors (and adults too) may like to pit their wits against established titled players at the next Richmond Rapidplay event to be held on 15 July.


Jonathan B said...

RE: Juniors under 14

Peter Williams is 10 and 150 according to the current ECF grading list. At his rate of progress I wouldn't be at all suprised if he jumps up to around 170 on the next one.

He's the kid who's father had a dispute with the local education authority and took him out of school to enable him to spend more time studying chess.

Anonymous said...

Felix Jose Ynojosa has just turned 11 and has already an ECF grade of 170. What was Mickey Adams grade at the age of 10 turning 11? Of course whether Ynojosa will register for England or Venezuala is a moot question, but he is resident in England.