White to move
Now look, I understand that people are disappointed, but can we at least try to keep the bullshit to a minimum? Winner of S&BCB's brand new 'Biggest Load of Cobblers Yet To Be Spouted About Anand-Carlsen' award has to go to Hikaru Nakamura. Partly because as the 2786-rated World Number Four he really should know better and partly because of the tweet itself. Which was,
I am not feeling inspired by the start of the WC match in India. One thing @Kasparov63 always understood is that chess needs to be a show.
Oh aye, Hikky? A show like the two performances that Gazza himself put on when he faced the Caro-Kann in a World Championship match, you mean?
After Nakamura's vouchsafed us his opinion on those two gems, I wonder if he'll find the time to consider the 19 move and 21 move Queen's Gambits that Kasparov also played in the 1987 Seville match. After that he could try,
- the 18 move Petroff against Karpov in 1990;
- the 18 move flop and the 26 move effort when Kasparov offered a draw when clearly better against Short in 1993;
- his 12, 16, 20, 21, 22 and 25 move draws against Anand in 1995;
- those marvellous efforts where the curtain came down after 11 and 14 moves (game five's 24 move job was a marathon in comparison) against Kramnik in 2000.
Kasparov responds to claims that he could be a boring fecker too
You don't meet the whale in the first chapter of Moby Dick. That's how writer David Simon responded to critics who struggled with the pacing of The Wire. It's also the perfect analogy for how chess matches work. So while I have a lot of sympathy for Richard Bates' argument that cautious play is a function of the restricted length of modern matches, there's something else going on here too. Something that's absolutely fundamental to our favourite game.
Let's dispense with the 'things were so much better in the olden days' crap shall we? The fact is some games are short, some are dull and some are both short and dull. I understand that this is a problem for broadening the game's appeal, but it's how chess works. Get over it. Or failing that, go watch some WWF. You'll find something more appropriate for your tastes there.
Anyhoo, since there haven't been any rook endings in Chennai so far, here's a little something to keep us going. The position on the left is a study by Troitsky. On the right it's Berger's work**. White has the move in both cases, but there's only one forced win here. So,
Here's your full point
Nope, it's this one.
Rook and pawn Index
Hear No Evil
* By which I mean I like them - although I recognise that they're becoming a tougher and tougher sell, especially for a non--chesser audience.
** Keres (Practical Chess Endings) says the Berger study dates from 1922. Nunn (Secrets of Rook Endings) says 1890. Levenfish and Smyslov have the position but don't even credit it to Berger, let alone give a year. The Troitsky position isn't in Nunn. Keres and L&S both have it but it isn't dated.