13 Sep 2008

All games drawn

Add one point to everybody's score.
Too much work to make a table.

Wish Carlsen would wake up. He ought to give up the orange juice.

Too much sugar in fruit juice. He might as well gorge himself on chocolate bars.

Some sugar for the brain, fair enough. But too much makes one drowsy. Think of Xmas dinner.

Mineral water and fresh air are what he needs. And possibly a cup of coffee towards the end. Not too much of that either. A banana or half of one, for the potassium.

Wish he'd consult a proper nutrionist.

11 Sep 2008

Up and Down


If only Carlsen had tried 35...b6

He might have shared top with his old adversary Aronian.

10 Sep 2008

The fat lady sang, again.

Many moves I would have liked not to see.

Including move 35...Qe7, when, deep in disaster, Black might have turned the tide with 35....b5. Or at least staved off defeat.

I am too disappointed to write up the game. I hope Magnus gets the chance to fool around on the beach tomorrow and soak up some Bilbao sun.


Spanish tournament organisers seem to take exception to draws. I don't blame them.

Although I fully agree with a new and different way of scoring, putting emphasis on fighting chess, I would like to see a differential between a white win and a black win.

Possibly the former might be rewarded with one point less, or the latter with one point more, depending on where the balance lies.

Similarly for draws, a black draw being rewarded with more than a white one.

White: win 2 points, draw 1 point, loss 0.
Black : win 3 points, draw 2 points loss 0

This would mean that Carlsen and Topalov would both have 11 points after round 7. Today, playing each other with Carlsen as Black, a draw would give him the advantage of an extra point. A win for White would put Topalov at 13 and a win for Black would give Carlsen 14 and a tremendous lead.

After all, winning as Black against this type of opposition is a homeric achievement, and ought to be rewarded.

I see little difference between a draw for Black and a win for White and believe they ought to have the same score.


The top standings haven't changed, but the others are creeping up.

Yesterday Carlsen met his match and had to admit defeat.

Ivanchuk was not to be bamboozled in time trouble and had used his thinking time wisely around move 12. It took him 30 minutes to work out that 12.Nd2 was not a wise move. Maybe Carlsen would have been better off to leave the Nielsen game to one side.

Even though the move Bd3 rather than Be2 was the crux of this game, it might have come at a different place from that in the text.

12.cxd5 exd5 13.Nb5 Ne8 14.Bd3 would have offered better chances for White.

The second chance to do the right thing was in the text at move 13, where Carlsen again did not push the LSB far enough. Even I could see that at the time, and it made me uncomfortable then. Easy, when you can back your hunch up with the help of an engine, I know.

9 Sep 2008

Carlsen is King!

What an achievement for such a young player:

Leading this top quality competition midways.

Number One in the Live Rating List

Invited by Anand to be his second in the match against Kramnik.

Can't say that the last item fills me with delight, and I hope that (if this rumour turns out to be true,) Carlsen refuses the 'honour'. After all, he will be in Anand's shoes one day soon, and nobody invited Kasparov to efface himself as a Second. Now did they?

8 Sep 2008

Carlsen versus Aronian

Today it is a D47, Semi-Slav Meran.
Carlsen forgoes his usual choice of 5.Bg5 and plays 5.e3 instead.

By move 15 he has already sacrificed his second Pawn in exchange for an open position.

He is certainly adventurous and one might say dashing, in this tourney, making full use of the new scoring method. Will it be worth it?

Three hours later: 1-0 or rather 3-0 win for Carlsen.

Aronian goes to pieces and pushes his e-pawn too late, on move 26 rather than move 24.

At the time of posting this Topalov and Radjabov seem set for a draw, which would put Carlsen as number one.

7 Sep 2008

Anand versus Carlsen

Six top players slogging it out in Bilbao: The Chess Grand Slam Final is being staged in Bilbao, Spain, from September 1st to 13th 2008. It is a six-player double round robin event, one of the strongest in the history of the game (at least by Elo average, 2775.6, making it a category 22 tournament). Games start at 17:00h local time (CEST).

I only just found out in time to join round 5, where Carlsen held the Black pieces against the temporary World Champion.

They are using some unconventional scoring for this high-class tourney:
Players get three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero points for losing a game.

The prize money is incredibly high for such a minor tournement. could that be the reason Anand emerges from his preparation to expose his weaknesses in public? Mystifying.

The game soon turned into a RL Schlieman/Janische C63.

The middle game showed a few inaccuracies on both sides. Carlsen had a distinct advantage, but allowed it to slip away.