The first game of rapid Chess of the 2018 World Human Chess Championship was the first rapid game of any world championship I have ever watched. It was thrilling and exciting, something sorely lacking in the classical part of the WHCC. Rapid is perfect for current Chess fans. It is certainly perfect for Magnus Carlsen, the undisputed Rapid Champion of the Chess World.
When it comes to so-called Classical Chess and Magnus I am reminded of the famous quote by many time World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik,
who said he was, “First among equals.” Magnus did not best Fabiano Caruana in the twelve games of Classical Chess, therefore, Fabiano should have earned another shot at the Champ.
After the game concluded I stretched out, putting a dark tee shirt over my eyes to rest before the second game. I was not down long before getting up to make my second cup of coffee of the day. It was shocking to see the second game had already started. I do not know how much time there was between games but it obviously was not enough, especially for Fabiano Caruana.
I do not know how much time a player needs to gather himself after a loss but certainly there should be at least forty-five minutes before the next game begins, maybe an hour.
While resting my eyes I reflected upon the weekend tournaments at the House of Pain, aka the Atlanta Chess & (What Other?) Game Center. I envisioned a weekend tournament consisting of ten Rapid games. Each round would consist of two games between the same opponents, with each playing white and black. The first could begin at ten am Saturday morning. Game two would begin at eleven thirty. Round two would begin at one pm, with the second game of round two beginning at two thirty. Round three would begin at four pm and the second and final game of the day would begin at five thirty. The first day would end around six thirty.
Round four would begin Sunday morning at ten am, just as the previous day. After the second game of the fourth round beginning at eleven thirty the next, and final, round could begin thirty minutes later than the previous day, at one thirty pm. The last game of the day would then begin at three pm. The tournament would end around four pm.
A total of ten games of Chess could be played over the weekend, which should be enough Chess for anyone. I must point out that playing an even number of games would mean each player would have the white pieces the same number as every other player. I recall one of the stronger players in Atlanta when I was beginning to play tournament Chess, Tom Pate, withdrawing and leaving before the fifth round when he was assigned black. Tom, a 1900+ rated player, was upset because he had previously drawn the black pieces in several (I cannot recall the exact number) tournaments. Come to think of it that may have been the last time Tom played Chess…The Rapid format would obviate that possibility.
A senior tournament could eliminate the third round, allowing for more time between rounds. For example, the second round could begin at two pm, allowing more time for a decent lunch and maybe some camaraderie, one of the best things about a Senior tournament.
The Chess must adapt to changing circumstances. Rapid games may not completely eliminate cheating, but will certainly make it much more difficult for players to consult a device containing a 3500 rated Chess program. In addition, moving to a Rapid format would eliminate one half point byes and the dreaded Zombie attack of re-entries. As Captain Jean-Luc Picard was so fond of saying:
It is a half hour before the start of the quick play part of the 2018 World Human Chess Championship and I have just finished reading the article, Kramnik: “Magnus needs to get rid of this fear of losing the title” at Chessbase.(https://en.chessbase.com/post/kramnik-on-the-2018-world-championship-match)
I have yet to watch any quick play games in any previous World Human Chess Championship but have decided to watch today. If one is fortunate enough to become old the realization hits that this could be the last World Human Chess Championship. In addition, there is the fact that I have devoted much time the past couple of weeks to watching the mostly moribund games and have a desire to see the conclusion.
What I would like you to consider is, what if there were no quick play tie breaks? What if the challenger had to beat the champion in order to take the champs title? Obviously Fabiano Caruana would have been forced to decline Magnus Carlsen’s offer of a draw in the final game as a draw would have been the same as a loss as far as the match was concerned.
In addition, what if there had been a rule that in the event of all games in the regulation period of the match ending in a draw the games would continue until one player won a game?
Because the World Human World Championship has been, for the most part, sort of boring I have spent a considerable amount of time watching the games of the concurrent World Senior tournament. While so doing I have listened to some of the patter from Yaz, Maurice, and Jen,
in the event some kind of action breaks out on the board between Maggie and Fabi. Although there were a few games worth following, the fact is that much of the time has been spent with special guests whom drone on and on until I simply can no longer stand it and I turn off the sound.
During one of the obviously much needed breaks for the human commentators filmed “fireside chats” have filled the time, and they have been much appreciated because they have been far more interesting than the non action filled WHCC. I have lived through much of the history that was discussed but still found it interesting, while thinking how wonderful it must be for younger Chess fans who know little, if anything, about the history of the Royal game.
During one segment the topic was Magnus Carlsen and I believe it was Yasser and Maurice discussing the performance of Magnus in one of the Sinquefield Cups. I believe it was Yasser who mentioned a last round game in which Levon Aronian offered Magnus a draw which would win the tournament for Carlsen. Magnus refused the offer and that made a huge impression on Yasser. I seem to recall Yaz saying something about it telling him what kind of player was Mr. Carlsen.
What happened to that Magnus Carlsen? Who is the imposter taking his place in this World Championship?
Reading some of the comments Magnus made before the tournament, such as lamenting the fact he does not have the energy he had a few years ago, caused me to wonder if Magnus is simply burned out and needs to take a long break from the game. His play over the past twelve games reminded me of something heard when young. “Listen to what a man says, but watch what he does,” my Mother was fond of saying.
Magnus has been playing “tired” Chess for some time now. Maurice mentioned the fact that when it came time for Magnus to “dig deeply into the position,” Magnus was taking only a few minutes before producing a move. There is always a reason this happens to any Chess player. We can only speculate until Magnus produces the reason for his inability to concentrate and “grind.” A short time ago Magnus was known as the ultimate “grinder” because he was willing to sit for hour after hour grinding out a win from a small advantage. In the last real game of the current world championship match Magnus was incapable of grinding out a won game.
I spent an inordinate amount of time today reading, watching and listening, to commentary about game twelve.
After the players were interviewed by GM Daniel King,
and answered questions from reporters, the strongest female Chess player of all time, Judit Polgar,
said this to her co-host Anna Rudolf
about eighteen minutes into the film below. “In his (Magnus Carsen) head he was not ready to win today’s game. He just wanted to move on to the playoffs and I think it can cost him the crown because this mistake will maybe will not be forgiven to him. That he did not try/ He did not want it anymore to win in classical game because this shows something we’ve never seen before by Magnus, and it’s not a good sign necessarily.”
Decades ago a young female Chess player to whom I had given lessons, Alison Bert, was about to battle a legendary Georgia player. She came to me and asked, “Who will win?” I thought for a few moments because at that time I considered the man a friend. The reply was, “The one who wants it the most.” She walked to the board with a purpose and beat that man down.
Magnus Carlsen is a great Chess player, one of the best of all time. The Magnus who is playing in this match is a shadow of the younger Magnus, and Carlsen has said as much recently. Yet Fabiano Caruana was unable to beat an obviously weakened Magnus Carlsen once. That fact attests to just how great is Magnus Carlsen.
Fabiano Caruana showed nervousness in the first game but Magnus was unable to finish him off. The same thing happened in the last game of the real match, the so-called “classical” games. The World Human Chess Championship is there for Caruana’s taking. To take the title he must want it more than Magnus.
Every day I get in the queue (Too much, Magic Bus)
To get on the bus that takes me to you (Too much, Magic Bus)
I’m so nervous, I just sit and smile (Too much, Magic Bus)
Your house is only another mile (Too much, Magic Bus)
Thank you, driver, for getting me here (Too much, Magic Bus)
You’ll be an inspector, have no fear (Too much, Magic Bus)
I don’t want to cause no fuss (Too much, Magic Bus)
But can I buy your Magic Bus? (Too much, Magic Bus)
I don’t care how much I pay (Too much, Magic Bus)
I want to drive my bus to my baby each day (Too much, Magic Bus)
I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it … (You can’t have it!)
Thruppence and sixpence every day
Just to drive to my baby
Thruppence and sixpence each day
Because I drive my baby every way
Magic Bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus
I said, now I’ve got my Magic Bus (Too much, Magic Bus)
I said, now I’ve got my Magic Bus (Too much, Magic Bus)
I drive my baby every way (Too much, Magic Bus)
Each time I go a different way (Too much, Magic Bus)
I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it
Every day you’ll see the dust (Too much, Magic Bus)
As I drive my baby in my Magic Bus (Too much, Magic Bus)
This is the biorhythm chart for the World Human Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen for November 26, 2018, the day of game number twelve, the last game of the so called “classical” part of the match for his crown:
Because Magnus was having a physical critical day, transferring from a high phase to a low phase, the worse possible day of each month physically (invariably much worse than a physical critical day going from low to high), it was a bad day. When one considers the fact that Magnus was coming off of his floor intellectually it made for a terrible day.
The challenger, Fabiano Caruana:
It is usually a good day when one is in the high phase in all three categories, as was Fabi.
Looking ahead to Wednesday, November 28, 2018 when the hurry up and get it over games are played we find this chart for the World Human Champ:
Physically and intellectually low while high emotionally is not a good chart for anyone at any time.
Now let us look at the chart of the challenger:
Fabiano will be in a triple high phase, which is usually makes for a very good day.
Biorhythmically speaking it will be a HUGE advantage for the challenger. Because of the biorhythm advantage, Fabiano Caruana will become the new World Human Chess Champion. You heard it here first.
‘Pawns are the soul of chess’ wrote François-André Danican Philidor;
or did he? According to Edward Winter, Philidor wrote something to that effect. It is now commonly accepted in the English speaking Chess world as what François-André meant. (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/philidor.html)
The eighth game of the ongoing World Human Chess Championship reached this position with the current champion, Magnus Carsen
of Norway, to move:
The champ moved his bishop from e7 to d6 in order to institute a blockade of the passed white d pawn. This is all according to the rules of Chess every chess player learns when beginning to play the game. This position was reached:
It is now the challenger, Fabiano Caruana,
to move. When little Fabi was learning how to play the Royal game one of his first teachers, such as Bruce Pandolfini,
certainly taught Caruana about eliminating a blockading minor piece especially if the piece taking its place is the Queen because the Queen is the very worst piece to maintain a blockade. Any Chess teacher seeing this position from a student would explain this Chess principle while hoping the student would then see the obvious move Nbc4.
Unfortunately for Fabi fans this was not played…Caruana played 24 h3:
Say it ain’t so, Fab!
If a Chess teacher were reviewing a game and the student produced the move h3 the teacher would patiently explain the Chess axiom about never moving a pawn in front of the King when under attack.
In the tenth game of the WHCC Caruana again sat behind the white pieces and after Carlsen played 23…Qg5, a vacillating move, this position was reached:
Fabiano Caruana produced the move 24 g3. Current US Chess Champion Sam Shankland
annotated the game for Chessbase. After 23…Qg5 Sam writes, “Technically, this move loses the game against best play, but it comes with a very nasty idea of playing Rf6-h6 and delivering mate on the h-file. A machine with its nerves of steel would have no trouble grabbing h5, but for a human, it looks absurdly dangerous.”
After 24 g3 Sam writes, “Caruana’s move makes a lot of sense. Taking on f4 and bringing the rook to g3 should dispel any mating dreams.” (https://en.chessbase.com/post/world-championship-2018-game-10)
Does this sound like an objective comment to the reader? The best Chess players on the planet at the moment are called “engines,” and all of the “engines” consider 24 g3 a mistake. What makes Sam’s comment strange is that he has written a book recently about how to “Master Pawn Play in Chess.”
Fabiano Caruana is one of the two best human Chess players on the planet at the moment. Only he can explain why he unnecessarily moved his pawns in the two critical games.
Not to be outdone, the human champion of the world reached this position sitting behind the white pieces:
and decided to jettison his h-pawn by moving it forward one square. I kid you not. The challenger accepted the Norwegian gift with alacrity and managed to draw the game.
On the eve of the 55th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, various experts and scholars weighed in on their theories of who was really behind the assassination and how it was carried out. Christopher Fulton
led off the first hour with his story of receiving evidence originating with the president’s brother Robert F. Kennedy. Fulton said that RFK believed that the public was given evidence about the crime “based on the best truth, but not the whole truth.” He continued with his contention that in the hours after the assassination, RFK secured evidence that pointed to a conspiracy, and entrusted that evidence (a Cartier watch that was given to JFK by his wife) to JFK’s longtime secretary Evelyn Lincoln. The watch eventually ended up in Fulton’s possession. Years later, he was told by the Department of Justice that he would be considered an accessory after the fact if he did not surrender it. Fulton spent a period of time in prison related to his possession of this object, which he said provides material evidence of a second shooter.
In the second hour, author and researcher Mark Shaw
described explosive transcripts from the trial of Oswald killer Jack Ruby which prove his involvement in a conspiracy to kill JFK, which he said “have been hiding in plain sight for 50 years or better.” Shaw believes that famous 1960s reporter Dorothy Kilgallen
was murdered because of her investigation into Ruby’s activities. He related a section of the trial where a witness testified that he heard Ruby on a pay phone saying that he “would be there” when Oswald was transferred from the jail, a fact that, for obvious reasons, was not public knowledge. Shaw said of Killgallen that he believes he has “become her voice and she has led me to these transcripts.”
In hour three, Vincent Palamara described his research into the actions of the Secret Service the day of the assassination and in the days leading up to it. Palamara has spoken to both medical personnel who were on duty in Dallas that day, as well as retired agents. He emphasized that “people that were actually there” are convinced that there was a conspiracy based on forensic evidence as well as the breakdown of security logistics. He believes that there were at least three Secret Service agents who “crossed the line” past simple laziness or incompetence and either cooperated with a conspiracy or allowed it to happen.
In the last hour, Paul DeBole led off by stating that the best we can hope for at this time in any investigation of the assassination would be evidence that would “prove to a reasonable degree of likelihood” that the conclusions of the Warren Commission were wrong. DeBole downplayed the role of the Secret Service and pointed out that “presidential protection was really in its infancy” in 1963. He referred listeners to something called the “Nix film” shot from another angle in Dealey Plaza, which DeBole says reinforces the idea that the first shot at JFK came from the “front right” and not from behind, if the “lone gunman” theory is to be believed. De Bole concluded that “the Warren Commission basically acted as a rubber stamp for the FBI.”