Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tick Tick Tick ... VIII

What's that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? Is it a monster?

No my friends it's the future. Well it is assuming we don't all die tomorrow*.

Future Boy:-
Magnus Carlsen's win over Aronian at Bilbao yesterday lifted him beyond what could be explained away as a purely mathematical advantage over Anand into clear first on the Live Rating List. Regardless of what you think about real time rating updates it's hard to avoid the feeling that Carlsen's going to be dominating the chess world for the next ten years. That could be twenty if he lasts as long as Anand (and if professional chess is still going in 2028).

Future Scoring System:-
Carlsen now has three wins, two draws and one defeat while Topalov has two wins, four draws and no losses. This would normally tie them for first on plus two, or 4/6 if you prefer, but three points for a win at Bilbao means that the Norwegian lad has his nose in front. It would seem Mike Basman's time has come.

Future Time Control:-
According to the tournament website the time control at Bilbao is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and then another hour to finish the game. Is there really no time increment in operation? I'd find that a little quick for a league game let alone a Grand Master tournament.

I'm far from convinced that two of these three are A Good Thing but then that's the future for you. It's a package deal. You don't get to pick and choose.

* and let's be honest the knowlege that the Daily Mail and its readership are going down with us would sweeten the pill more than a little wouldn't it?


ejh said...

That's a harsh time control. What do the players themselves say about it? Do they object to it, or do they take the view that it's the same for everyone an and hour or two saved (depending on which time control you're comparing it with) is an hour or two's extra R&R for them?

I think Carlsen possesses extraordinary tactical vision, quite likely the best in the game. I would still, however, back Anand to beat him in a match. I tend to wonder whther Carlsen is not the best player in the world in the same sense that Fischer was in, say, 1962, or Kasparov in 1984: in some senses, yes, they were, but in the more-rounded sense that one needs in order to become world champion, perhaps not.

This is sport: ratings mean nothing. Only results have real meaning.

ejh said...

Meanwhile, back in la Plaza Nueva...I assume Anand is a little handicapped by not being able to play anything in the openings that he thinks is actually good?

Jonathan B said...

true (for the last point Justin) and probably true (for the first).

I certainly feel the time control at Bilbao favours Carlsen. As for the players themselves ... i rather suspect for the money they're earning they'll put up with time controls that they don't really like without a murmur.

I like your analogies with Fischer and Kasparov. I hadn't thought of them myself but I'm sure you're right. Both F and K went on to become far and away the best in the world though and I think it's reasonable to assume that Carlsen will (probably) do the same.

ejh said...

i rather suspect for the money they're earning they'll put up with time controls that they don't really like without a murmur.

This is what I doubt. Given the clout they've got, I would have thought any of them had the ability to express a view about the time control without it impacting on their invitations.

I agree that Carlsen looks like he'll be frighteningly good when he's the age Kasparov was in 1984. Not that he's not now, of course, but you know what I mean.

ejh said...

Incidentally, it's only a few weeks since everybody was saying that Ivanchuk was currently the best in the world. They aren't saying that any more (though that may change if he survives chronic time trouble this afternoon, I suppose) but it goes to show how swiftly things change. I don't trust instant ratings and I don't trust instant opinions.

ejh said...

Mind you I trust Rybka's instant opinion on the position after 27...ba3, which is that Carlsen is Ivanchuked.

But only two minutes left....

Jonathan B said...

I haven't seen the Carlsen - Ivanchuk game today but perhaps Magnus is wheeling out his Haldane Technique again...

i.e. obtain a lost game, swindle your way to a drawn position which you proceed to win

You're right about instant ratings again. Back to the How Long Is Now? question I asked the other day.

Answer: not long. Things change quickly. Clearly asking Who is the strongest player in the world right now is only going to generate an answer with a limited lifespan. It's still interesting to ask though. Well it's interesting to me anyway.

ejh said...

It does remind me a little though of the people who think you can evaluate a position by asking the computer and finding out it's +0.23. In a way, of course, you can, and it's not a purposeless procedure, but in a paradoxical way the very exactitude of the measurement only shows up what an inexact measurement it really is.