Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Chiv Chat

Click for this edition of Chiv Chat, featuring a fabulous chess analogy, ramblings about candidates matches, some great news from one of my fellow bloggers, a puzzle - all that and absolutely nothing else!

  • First up. We all love chess analogies, right? And there's nothing cheap, predictable or throwaway about the phrase it's like a chess game, no? So any guesses about what has been been described as like playing blindfold speed chess on the hood of a stock car? You can find the answer here. I think it lives up to the simile.

  • There have been lots of complaints about the candidate matches in Kazan, and in particular about the number of draws . . . Well, didn't I point out over a year ago that a match should be "sufficiently long that each player will almost certainly lose one game"? But no-one believed me. Never mind, carry on and enjoy the epic encounters Kazan has created like this all-time classic.

  • There were some positives from Kazan however. In particular the quality of the video feed was superb. Twitches, surprises, raw emotion, fiddling, boredom, spluttering coughs, mental anguish - like never before the intensity of top-flight chess was visible to all.

  • And Gelfand's qualification? Well, he is closer in quality to Anand than Short was to Kasparov in 93, and that produced a match to remember. But would Gelfand make a credible 16th World Champion? Perhaps not. I remember a newspaper article in 1989 saying he or Ivanchuk were the most likely successors to Kasparov, but in retrospect it seems that generation never stepped out of their Master's shadow. Let's hope his match versus Anand is long enough to leave no doubt as to the victor's legitimacy.

  • GMs this, GMs that - but isn't the name of the winner of this Major from the weekend just gone rather familiar too?

  • And finally, a puzzle taken from a recent friendly game of mine with a little bit of help from a tablebase. Here it is. In this position, it's clearly black to play . . .

     . . . but white doesn't really have three multi-coloured rooks. Instead the puzzle is this: white has a rook he can place on a4, b4, or c4. Only one of the squares wins; the other two draw. Which and why?


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Jonathan ! No doubt he will be illuminating us on his victories. Can I suggest "Chess Highlights from Sunningdale"!?

Jonathan B said...

Thanks nonny - you can rest assured that the chances of our valued readership ever hearing the end of my Sunningdale tournament are very slim indeed.

Jonathan B said...

As for today's post:-

"And Gelfand's qualification? Well, he is closer in quality to Anand than Short was to Kasparov in 93"

This is true. The difference is that Nosher was clearly the best challenger that the world had to offer at the time. Not only was he highly rated (3rd at the time IIRC) but he'd also won through in a series of candidates matches (8 games against Speelman; 8 games against Gelfand; 10 games against Karpov; 14 games against Timman) and had clearly established himself as the 'best of the rest' via a legitimate system.

Gelfand, on the other hand, has qualified via a total bolix. That doesn't mean it wasn't a great achievement for him to get through; it doesn't mean he isn't a legitimate challenger; it doesn't mean we'll not have a rubbish world championship match (I suspect it could be really quite good). It *does* mean, however, that we've lost the chance to establish who's the best - the very best - chesser we've got on this planet.

Jonathan B said...

it doesn't mean we'll not have a rubbish world championship match

that not is not supposed to be there