Thursday, March 06, 2008

Actually Magnus Carlsen is Haldane

Consider the evidence....


Anonymous said...

What strikes me most is Topalov's play and his 34... Nc6 move.

Is this the move of a candidate World Champion, I wonder? (Certainly it's a move I might make.) He loses too often, doesn't he? His form has plummetted since the Elista match with Kramnik. Is this because of what happened in Elista or because other leading players have got him sussed or something else?


ejh said...

He loses too often, doesn't he?

I think so, yes. Compare Anand, for instance. Being-hard-to-beat might not be as attractive as winning-more-than-you-lose, but at the very highest level of sport it's surely a characteristic a champion really needs. I'm reminded of Jose Mourinho a few seasons back after Arsenal had won 5-4 at White Hart Lane - on hearing this he just laughed and said something like "we don't have score like than in five-a-side games". And he was right, because teams with leaky defences don't win championships however many goals they score.

As to why - I dunno, but it's possible that losing those first two games to Kramnik, particularly the second, has affected his self-confidence just enough to make the difference between a top player and a champion. As it happens just yesterday I had an email discussion with a friend about The Open Championship at Muirfield when Lee Trevino chipped in four times to pip Tony Jacklin, after which Jacklin was never the same player again.

Jonathan B said...

Was Topalov in time trouble?

ejh said...

No: Apparently he had seventeen minutes for seven moves.

(There's some cobblers later on where he says "from a statistical point of view two such incidents between the same players in the same tournament two years in a row is an amazing coincidence". I grant you there may be a language issue here but the terms "statistical point of view" and "amazing coincidence" do not belong in the same sentence, especially if no actual statistics are produced to back up the claim that is being made.)