Eye of the Madras Tiger

The FIDE World Chess Championship rematch begins tomorrow in Sochi, a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. This second match has been scorned, coming as it does only a short time after the first match. This would not have been the case if another player had won the right to challenge the current World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen. Money for the rematch was difficult to find. This is a shame because the former World Chess Champion, Viswanathan Anand, legitimately earned the chance to avenge his earlier in a feat that stunned the chess world. Those who believe this match will be another walkover for Magnus Carlsen will be sorely mistaken. This time the roles are reversed in that now it is Anand who comes into the match playing excellent chess, while Carlsen has had, shall we say, spotty results since garnering the crown. Vishy Anand has righted his ship, while the ship of Magnus Carlsen seems to be taking on water. Vishy has a changed attitude, and has gotten his groove back.

Absolutely no one, including Vishy it seems, expected the first challenge to the new reign of Magnus to come from the man just vanquished. This is what Magnus Carlsen had to say about the situation, “To start with, I did not expect him to win the Candidates. Initially, it was a bit surreal. It felt weird to know that I have to face Anand again.” (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/chess/I-have-psychological-edge-over-Anand-Magnus-Carlsen/articleshow/44990309.cms)

The change in Vishy is apparent not only in his play, but also in how he speaks of the return match. For example, there is this “…in a candid chat with Manisha Mohite shares his thoughts about the forthcoming clash in Sochi, Russia.”

Q. “Six WCC matches since 2007. Isn’t that a whole lot?”

A. “Really six in seven years, I didn’t realise it. Like I said, I really compete with myself. There have been times when you think you have had enough and always, after a few moments you realise: No, you always want more! Chess for me is something that I am fascinated with. I still realize that there are so many openings to learn from, to explore more. New variations to uncover, the ones that can blow the lid off, making months of work redundant. Still, when I start work on chess, I feel like a six year old with a chessboard, waiting at Tal Club to play Blitz.” (http://en.chessbase.com/post/anand-i-approach-sochi-with-positive-feelings)

To what can the dramatic change in Vishy be attributed? Dennis Monokroussos, writing in The Chess Mind blog, has this to say:

Peter Heine Nielsen: I’m Partly to Blame for Anand’s Failures
Monday, November 3, 2014 at 6:08PM

“Peter Heine Nielsen is a strong Danish grandmaster who for years was one of Viswanathan Anand’s seconds and is now in the Magnus Carlsen camp. In this article (below) he takes part of the blame for Anand’s decline over the past few years, though the nature of his supposed fault isn’t made entirely clear. Was it that he recommended sticking to the status quo (in terms of openings, general approach and/or style, etc.) to such an extent that it led to Anand’s stagnating as a player? Ultimately a mature player is responsible for his own results, but Anand can hope to have learned the right lessons over the past year while hoping that whatever it was that Nielsen did wrong, he has done wrong with Carlsen as well.” (http://www.thechessmind.net/blog/2014/11/3/peter-heine-nielsen-im-partly-to-blame-for-anands-failures.html)

“Anand’s long-time second Peter Heine Nielsen, who worked with the Indian for close to a decade, and is now a part of Team Carlsen, says he is to blame partly for Anand’s failures. “Honestly, I very surprised when he qualified. I think he was surprised himself. He has this amazing ability to make a comeback, even when things go against him. Anand won his first two titles clearly. After that, it slowly started going downhill, something I may have also been one of the reasons for. We were doing things in a specific way, which worked out very well at the time, but then it cooled off,” says the Danish GM before tipping Anand for the title.” (From the aforementioned article, “I have psychological edge over Anand: Magnus Carlsen,” by Susan Ninan, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/chess/I-have-psychological-edge-over-Anand-Magnus-Carlsen/articleshow/44990309.cms)

Peter Heine Nielsen finds himself in a no win situation in that if Carlsen wins it will be said that he would have won without Nielsen, but if he loses, Nielsen can be blamed. The same can be said for Magnus.

It could be that Vishy has decided to accentuate the positive, elimanate the negative, and stop messing with Mr. Zwischenzug.

Make no mistake, this will be an emotional battle. I say this because after checking the biorhythms of the players I found the compatibility between the two to be an astounding 100% physically and 97% intellectually! In two of the three facets of biorhythms their charts show the same, so there can be no advantage. The emotional phase, the third facet of biorhythms, is quite different, with only a 5% compatibility. The main difference between the two combatants will be that Anand will be in a high emotional phase during the rematch, while Magnus will be in a low phase.

To help explain the possible meaning of this we have:

How to interpret the results from a biorhythm calculation

Emotional High:
Your emotions are keyed to their highest levels. This is the time when you will feel most outwardly directed to others, able to enjoy their company, as well as to give them support, encouragement, and understanding if needed. It is the optimum time for strengthening your relationships with your lover or friends. Your high emotions can also push you to great performances, especially in creative endeavors. On the other hand, depending upon circumstances and your personality, be aware of possible runaways, emotional outbursts or over-doing. Your high emotions could also lead you to impulsive, rash behavior.

Emotional Critical:
Either emotional exhaustion or euphoria is possible-from “the skids” (depression) to great heights (elation, outbursts). You may have a “let-down” or tired feeling, since exhaustion is often based on an imbalanced emotional state. You may also experience emotional “flair-ups” or extreme Agitation, anxiety, or frustration. In extreme cases, suicides or attempted suicides have occurred on or very close to emotional critical days.

Overexertion and exhaustion due to emotional stress are also potential dangers to health and can trigger a physical crisis such as a heart attack or a stroke. Be particularly alert to health side effects in the day’s activities. Give extra care and attention to situations where emotions play a key role: driving your automobile in heavy traffic; stress situations at work; dealing with family problems; disciplining and working with young children. In general, forced calmness and mental concentration on control of emotions is advised. Keep in mind the unique opportunity of an emotional critical day-by harnessing your emotional energies at this time you could develop and strengthen a model of emotional self-control and expression which is so important to overall happiness and well-being. This day could give you the opportunity to reach important breakthroughs in your emotional life, as well as present possible new avenues of creativity.

Emotional Low:
Your emotional state is relaxed or below normal. In situations where extreme calm or lack of emotions is required, this may be helpful. In other circumstances, your feelings, sensitivities, and awareness of your environment may be low. lt is a time when you may feel more inwardly directed, less able to extend yourself to others. You may even experience feelings of Depression or loneliness. In general, it is a time of passivity rather than engagement. (http://www.perbang.dk/orcapia.cms?aid=74)

When Mike Tyson won the Heavyweight championship of the world it was said he was “unbeatable.” No one is unbeatable. I am going on record to proclaim the next World Chess Champion will be Viswanathan Anand, who will become known as the Rocky of the chess world.

Hung Up

Gull 3 (3116) vs Hannibal 1.5×12 (2998)
TCEC Season 7 – Stage 2
Rd 5
2014.10.29
D41 QGD: Semi-Tarrasch, Keres Counterattack

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 cxd4 6. Qxd4 exd5 7. e4 Nc6 8. Bb5 dxe4 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. Ng5 Be6 11. O-O Kc7 12. Ngxe4 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Rd8 14. Bf4+ Kb6 15. Ba4 f5 16. Nc3 Bc4 17. Rfc1 h6 18. h4 Bb4 19. a3 Be7 20. b3 Bd3 21. Bxc6 bxc6 22. Re1 Bxh4 23. Na4+ Kb7 24. Nc5+ Kb6 25. Rac1 Rd5 26. Be3 f4 27. Bxf4 Bf6 28. Be3 Bf5 29. Ne4+ Kb7 30. Nxf6 gxf6 31. Rc4 Rh7 32. Rec1 Bd7 33. Bc5 a6 34. a4 h5 35. Rf4 h4 36. Kh2 Rd3 37. Rb4+ Kc7 38. Rb6 a5 39. Ra6 Rxb3 40. Rxa5 Rg7 41. Ra7+ Kb8 42. Rd1 Rb7 43. Ra5 Rb3 44. Rd6 Rf7 45. Be3 Rb4 46. Rd3 Rh7 47. Bc5 Rb1 48. Bd4 1-0

The game ended when “Black’s connection stalls.” Black got “hung up,” as we say in the South, as in, “Honey, I got hung up at work,” or, “Honey, I got hung up in traffic,” or my favorite, “Honey, I got hung up paying the bar tab.” That is when she says, “Honey, it is obvious our connection has stalled.” This actually happened to me back in the ’70’s. It went something like this:

Blues Brothers Tunnel Scene

It is not just chess playing machines that sometimes become “hung up.” A recent example would be GM John Nunn, called “Dr. Death” at the House of Pain, by a Master level player from England, David Fletcher. In an article, “John Nunn Behind the Board Again at World Seniors,” (http://www.chess.com/news/john-nunn-behind-the-board-again-at-world-seniors-2325), Peter Doggers writes, “He played his last official game of chess in August 2006, but now he’s back at the chess board: John Nunn. The English GM and acclaimed author is playing in the 50+ World Seniors in Katerini, Greece.”

Dr. Death had produced four wins and one draw before sitting down behind the Black soldiers in the sixth round to face GM Zurab Sturua from the country of Georgia.

GM Matthew Sadler left a comment on October 28, 2014, “However, this is not a dream story as of yet. Nunn’s first tournament in eight years is a tough one with no less than 11 rounds scheduled. Besides, yesterday he suffered a devastating loss”:

Sturua, Zurab (2523) vs. Nunn, John D M (2602)
World Senior 50+ 2014 | Katerini GRE | Round 6.1 | 29 Oct 2014 | ECO: E60 |

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 d5 6. Qb3 O-O 7. O-O Qb6 8. Nc3 Na6 9. Qxb6 axb6 10. Na4 Nd7 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Bd2 e6 13. Rfc1 b5 14. Nc3 b4 15. Nb5 Nb6 16. b3 Rd8 17. Ne5 Bf8 18. Nd3 Bd7 19. Nc7 Rac8 20. Bg5 1-0

The Chess Bomb (http://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2014-senior/06-Sturua_Zurab-Nunn_John_D_M) showed this possible line leaving White up “only” 1.1 (20… Nb8 21. Nc5 Bc6 22. Bxd8 Rxd8 23. a4 bxa3 24. N7xe6 fxe6 25. Nxe6 Re8 26. Nxf8 Rxf8). In the modern chess world this game would have been played to checkmate, but Dr. Nunn comes from the chess world of last century. One of the kibitzers on the Bomb explained the decision to resign as ” self-disgust.” This is the kind of thing that happens to a 59 year old player who has not played in almost a decade. Fatigue takes a toll and the brain gets “hung-up.” A Senior begins playing moves that look good to him in his mind, but once played on the board he soon realizes his “connection has stalled.” This leads to what is popularly called a “brain cramp.” Nearing 60 a man realizes that out of a week of days he will have one or two when things just do not seem to compute. He is working just as hard at the board as the day before but realizes things are not quite right because his brain is “hung-up.” This is disconcerting to a Senior in the same way as when he calls on the Old Soldier to jump to “Ten Hut!” but it remains “at ease.” In addition, Dr. Nunn’s biorhythms (http://www.facade.com/biorhythm/ ) show he was, and is, at his low ebb intellectually and will stay there for the duration of the tournament. This is mitigated somewhat by his being in a high phase physically, or it could be made worse because when one has much energy it is more difficult to understand why such poor moves are being produced.

Madonna – Hung Up (Official Music Video)