Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sticky Situation

Kramnik's screwed right? He's not coming back from this is he?

It's not so much the fact that he's now two points down in such a brief match, it's the way he lost yesterday that must leave him completely in despair. Out prepared (again), out played (again) and losing with White (again). I'd thought twelve games was much too short for a World Championship contest. Can it really only need five for the outcome to be decided?

I watched the opening moves down in the Red Star Bar although as it turned out most of the hour I was there was spent waiting for Kramnik to make his 18th move. I spent the time flicking through the section of Bareev and Levitov's From London to Elista dedicated to the 2004 match in Brissago. All of a sudden I noticed a rather bizarre passage.

On page 296 Levitov describes Kramnik's system for pre-match opening preparation and the book says - yes it really does -

"... he's been dreaming about this for two years - to catch his opponent in a forced variation. Look what happens. [Kramnik] wanks over variations 12 hours a day for six months with one idea: I want to catch Leko out in at least one game ...."

Well that certainly counts as a surprising theoretical novelty I suppose.

So what do you think ... (odd to say the least) metaphor, mistranslation or misprint? Whichever it turns out to be, for all Kramnik's achieved with White against Anand he might as well have spent months fiddling with himself. Can anybody see a way back into the match for him now?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Me, the 13th Duke of Wyborne, here on the Streatham and Brixton Club Blog at 3.41 in the morning?

Wanking over variations? Count me in!

Naisortep said...

The only way back will be if Kramnik accepts that the match is over but decides to fight as hard as he can the rest of the way one game at a time. IF this coincides with Anand tensing up because he now is 'supposed to win' than anything can happen.

Tom Chivers said...

And more importantly - Anand's now top of the Live Rating, breaking Topalov's World Record stay at the #1 spot!

ejh said...

Well, more important according to Topalov in New in Chess. Personally I reckon the rankings are a load of old...

E said...

Maybe Kramnik could use a copy of Streetfighting Chess

Tom Chivers said...

My NiC's not arrived yet, but it sounds like Topalov's really lost the plot this time.

Jonathan B said...

I was going to put that in the main article T.C. then I thought I'd save it for the first comment.

Alas University staff tend to get up earlier in the morning than do students :-(

I'm pleased to see you continue to keep a close eye on the live list though.

As for Topalov - that sounds like a cynical attitude to me.

Jonathan B said...

The Chess Vibes report now has a video of the moment of resignation. Worth seeing methinks.

ejh said...

I missed much of the game yesterday. I had to go at around 4.30 UK time - around Black's move 23 as I recall - and only caught up with the result later on. Shame, must have been great, great drama.

ejh said...

The video is here. Anand's hand hovers over the knight at 1:49 and at 1:51 Kramnik realises what he's done.

Jonathan B said...

Shame, must have been great, great drama.

Indeed. My browser crashed at the critical juncture. I left a tense middle game position and by the time I got back up it was all over.

Alexey Hurricane said...

kramnik is gonna make great comeback
fischer was losing too

ejh said...

Yeah, but with 22 games to go....

Alexey Hurricane said...

kramnik is doomed

Tom Chivers said...

I believe that Kramnik now after six games has the same score v Anand that Nigel Short had v Kasparov in 93 . . .

Anonymous said...

Good to see Kramnik and his approach to chess being so thoroughly exposed.

Richard

ejh said...

I bet Khalifman's reissue of his Opening According To Kramnik won't sell so well now. Still, he did Anand too....

ejh said...

Karpov was actually 3-0 up in four games in 1981 (though Korchnoi got one back in game six) and 3-0 up after seven in 1984.

If people want to look up other matches they can do it themselves....