Dedicated to Dubious Dave Kraft
The sixth game of the 2018 World Human Chess Championship was drawn, as were the first five games.
There are multiple reasons all games have been drawn. The format of only twelve games lends itself to many drawn games. When Bobby Fischer
defeated Boris Spassky in 1972 the World Chess Championship was comprised of twenty four games. A player could lose a game, or two, as did Fischer to begin the match, and still have time to mount a comeback. In a much shorter match the combatants know one decisive game could be all she wrote. In addition, the players are evenly matched. One would expect extremely close games between the two best human players in the world. Then there is the fact that human players are much stronger and better than their predecessors. As Chess players improve there will be more draws, unless there are changes to the rules.
In the recent 2nd Du Te Cup 2018 played in Shenzhen, China 4th to 11th November 2018, six of the top Grandmasters in the World, rated between 2709 and 2816, played an eight round double round robin in which a total of twenty four games were played, only five of which ended in victory, and each was a win for the player with the white pieces. The first win did not come until the fifth round.
The recent TCEC computer program World Chess Championship is a possible indication of what could happen in future human tournaments and matches. Stockfish and Komodo played one hundred games; only twenty one were decisive. Stockfish won thirteen games with white; Komodo won five, for a total winning percentage of eighteen percent for white. Playing black Stockfish won only two games, while Komodo won only one. Only three percent of the games played ended in victory for the black pieces. Seventy nine percent of the games played by the two 3500 rated programs were drawn.
It was my intention to write something about the revelatory Chess articles being written at the website of ABC News, FiveThirtyEight (https://fivethirtyeight.com/), which has been on my radar because of the excellent articles written about Major League Baseball. I first surfed over to FiveThirtyEight to read an article mentioned on another Baseball website and soon was surfing there every day, and not only because of the MLB atricles.
Mark Weeks over at Chess For All Ages beat me to the punch, so to speak, with his post Chess@538, dated 15 November, 2018 (http://chessforallages.blogspot.com/2018/11/chess-538com.html). It is an excellent post which culminates with:
“The resulting brouhaha convinced one respected chess journalist, GM Ian Rogers of Australia, to resign his job working with the American team: @GMIanRogers: Sadly parting ways with @ChessLifeOnline after a decade… (twitter.com):-
…I declined to accept edits to my round 4 World Ch’p report which would downplay responsibility of editors of the Caruana video, downplay the effect of the video on Caruana’s chances, and omit the key image from the video.
On top of that, all of the videos produced by the St.Louis Chess Club disappeared from Youtube. Out of sight, out of mind? Hardly. Someone in St.Louis is guilty of an unprofessional lapse of judgement. That’s the person who should resign — not a journalist doing the job he was paid to do.”
I must concur conclusively with Mark’s astute assessment of the situation. Who is guilty in St. Louis? Inquiring minds want to know…
In the latest column by Oliver Roeder, Chess World Rattled As Someone Nearly Wins Game, it is written, “Chess players are second only to maybe biological taxonomists in their proclivity to elaborately name things, and sure enough even this rare position has its own proper name: the Karklins-Martinovsky Variation. But neither player was troubled by Karklins-Martinovsky, they said after the game. Its theory is well known to these elite players.
And so they played on. The powerful queens came off the board by move 8, but this loss took no edge off the fight. For a while, the game looked less like a battle and more like a dressage competition, as 66 percent or more of each player’s first 12 moves were knight moves.”
The following paragraph can be found in the November 16 post by Mr. Roeder:
“The data scientist Randal Olson analyzed hundreds of thousands of chess games in an article a few years ago. The closer players are in rating, he found, the longer games tend to go. And as the players get better, draws become far more common. Carlsen and Caruana are as good — and about as close in rating — as you can get. Indeed, they are even beyond the scope of Olson’s chart below, with Elo ratings (which measure the strength of players given the opponents they’ve played) north of 2800.”
I clicked on the link provided and was sent to a column written May 24, 2014, by Randal S. Olsen. There is a fantastic picture of Bobby Fischer playing Mikhail Tal, which I saved. It was worth clicking on just to see the picture.
Then I went to Mr. Olsen’s home page (http://www.randalolson.com/) and found this: “Does batting order matter in Major League Baseball? A simulation approach”
Good thing today is an off day in the WHCC.
There is a massive amount of analysis on the games of the 2018 World Human Chess Championship which you will not find here. What you will find are comments about the commentary delivered by some of the announcers during the first game played yesterday.
I began watching the commentary of Peter Svidler
because Yaz, Maurice, and Jen only appeared a couple of hours into the match. The wife of GM Anish Giri, Sopiko Guramishvili,
was sitting beside Peter. GM Alexander Grischuk
was included via a box which was probably via Skype. When the show began Sopiko giggled often, which was disconcerting. When Grischuk appeared she, thankfully, sat there silently as the two GMs analysed. I have always enjoyed Svidler’s commentary. Some of the wrap up videos he has produced after commenting on games all day are truly amazing. Unfortunately for Sopiko, in a live broadcast one either adds to or detracts from the broadcast. She was included only because of political correctness as she is a woman and many people involved with Chess deem it necessary to include a woman, any woman, in a futile attempt to attract more women to the game.
After turning them off I waited until the “A” team appeared. GMs Yasser Seriwan
and Maurice Asheley
did not disappoint. Once again NM Jennifer Shahade
joined Yasser to deliver a female perspective. The men wore normal clothing while Jennifer wore something with a strategic split along the top which looked like someone had taken a knife and slashed the top part of her clothing. This allowed a small amount of her ample cleavage to be shown in an attempt, one assumes, at attracting more male viewers. Have you ever noticed a man wearing anything similar? In the year of the “Me Too” movement it may have been better for the only female on the broadcast to have worn something more business like and less revealing. Can you imagine Yasser or Maurice wearing a top with an open rip in order to reveal part of their breast area? Me neither…
This was heard on the broadcast: “Magnus said he did not have the energy now at 28 that he had when he won the WCC.”
The human body replaces each and every cell every seven years. This is the year in which Magnus will replace his cells. I wonder if that may have something to do with his comment? I have been researching Major League Baseball players and age recently and one thing learned thus far is that a players peak year, once thought to be thirty, is now thought to be twenty eight. The highest amount of time on the disabled list is between ages twenty nine and thirty. I cannot help but wonder if there is also a correlation between the brain and body as far as ageing goes…
Magnus beat the hell out of a dead horse for 115 moves yesterday in a futile attempt to squeeze blood out of a turnip. His attempt failed and it is possible the attempt may come back to haunt him as he could be the one weakened, not his younger opponent. Once again Magnus had a winning game he did not win. The same thing has occurred against Fabiano in their recent encounters, but Caruana has held firm, just as Sergei Karjakin did against Magnus in the last match for the World Human Chess Championship. Has Magnus, the ultimate grinder, lost his grinding machine driving wheel?
During the critical part of the game Garry Kasparov
appeared on the program as a “special” guest via Skype. As Kasparov droning on and on I thought about a quote about Bob Dylan found in the book, Another Side of Bob Dylan: A Personal History on the Road and off the Tracks by Victor Maymudes.
A party was being planned and someone mentioned inviting Bob Dylan. “Don’t do that,” someone said, “Bob sucks all the air out of the room.” Kasparov sucked all the life out of the broadcast so I had to mute the sound and head over to the ChessBomb until Garry finally exited the stage.
As Magnus continued squeezing the turnip the talk turned to the format of the World Human Chess Championship. There was total agreement speed Chess should not be used to decide a WHCC but the gang seemed to like the idea of what is now called “rapid” Chess being used after “classical” games to decide a WHCC. There is currently a tournament, the Tata Steel India Rapid, being touted as the, “The first super tournament on Indian soil.” (https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-first-super-tournament-on-indian-soil-begins)
I loathe and detest any kind of tiebreak, especially for a World Champioship match. To become World Human Champion a player should beat the title holder in a classical time control. Period. If the challenger cannot beat the champ then what is the purpose of playing a match? If the challenger can only tie with the champion then the champion should remain Champion. Ask David Bronstein.
The future of Chess has arrived, I am sad to report. It was inevitable because of rampant cheating. The Royal game will live or die with rapid. I cannot wait to hear Peter Svidler attempt to explain what is going on in a half dozen rapid games being played at the same time. The calm and relaxed Yasser who usually goes with a slow flow will be forced to pick up the pace considerably in the way a Major League Baseball announcer must adjust to the frenzied pace of a National Basketball Association game. Yasser is not getting any younger and it is often difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. The highly intense Maurice, on the other hand, may be able to adapt quite well. Give Jennifer a low cut blouse and with her smile she will do quite nicely at any pace.
Major League Baseball, like NASCAR, has made rapid and dramatic changes recently, to their detriment, proven by the lack of ‘fannies in the seats’ and spectators viewing by other means. MLB has gone to a replay system for close calls. The results show the umpire calls about half of them correctly. Many of the calls made by the Wizard of Oz behind a curtain somewhere have been laughingly ridiculed later, making the new system a joke, which is on MLB. It takes an inordinate and interminable amount of time to make the final call, which breaks the flow of the game, such as it is…Many people have written, and continue to write, about the issue. One of the best pieces on the subject, from the New York Times, can be found below.
To compensate for the time taken while the players stand around “scratching their butts” during yet another boring umpire review a ridiculous new rule states a pitcher no longer has to throw the four balls it takes to make an intentional walk. Now the manager informs the umpire, and the batter strolls to first base.
In the Minor leagues a new rule states that if a game is tied after regulation play, the next team to bat begins with a runner on second base. I kid you not…Seeing is believing, so watch this:
One of the other newer rules concerns a play at the plate. MLB took action after Buster Posey, the great, future Hall of Fame, catcher for the San Francisco Giants suffered a horrible injury at the plate. It has become known as the “Buster Posey” rule. Watch this to learn why it is called the “Buster Posey” rule:
Many fans did not care for the new rule. An example would be the comment left on the above page by Brian Cicio:
“Thanks to Buster PUSSY we don’t see these plays anymore. He was IN THE BASE PATH WITHOUT THE BALL. His fault 100% . Injuries are part of ANY sport. Maybe he should have stuck to Ballet.”
Evidently some fans prefer their Baseball straight with no chaser.
This is how MLB was played for about a century and half. The most famous collision at home plate is probably Pete Rose barreling over Ray Fosse:
This brings us to the, WORST CALL IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HISTORY:
The great thing about watching the video is being able to once again see a MLB manager argue with the umpires, yet another aspect taken away with the new rules. We fans miss the long ago time of watching Billy Martin get up in the face of an umpire:
We miss managers going crazy:
We end with the Best Baseball Manager Ejection in History:
There were a “”whole lotta” short draws in the recently completed Charlotte Invitational held at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy. Have you noticed that this century every “Chess Center” also is some kind of “Scholastic” something or other? Back in the day one went to a “Boys Club,” after first going to a “Scholastic Center,” which was known as a “school.”
I decided to cut and paste the draws “earned” in less than twenty moves, with the “winner,” the shortest draw first. The “winner” is:
IM ANGELO YOUNG vs NM BENJAMIN MOON
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bd3 Bg7 4. O-O Nc6 1/2-1/2
This transpired in the last round. It must be a terrible imposition on the players, after eight arduous rounds, to be forced to actually come to the board, fill out the scoresheet, and then make all of those moves when they would like to get on with their lives doing better things than playing Chess. Major League Baseball has discontinued the practice of forcing the pitcher to actually make a pitch when the manager chooses to issue an intentional walk, so why are Chess “players” forced to make a few moves when all they wanna do is go have some fun?
Elvis Presley – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On?
The silver medal goes to:
GM ALONSO ZAPATA vs GM TANGUY RINGOIR
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. O-O a6 6. Ba4 Be7 7. Re1 O-O 1/2-1/2
Taking bronze is:
GM TANGUY RINGOIR vs GM DENES BOROS
1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. Nf3 d6 6. Bd2 b6 7. e3 Bb7 8. Be2 1/2-1/2
Honorable mention goes to games that actually made it into double digits:
IM ROBERTO MARTIN DEL CAMPO vs IM ANGELO YOUNG
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Bd6 5. Bd3 Ne7 6. O-O O-O 7. Bg5 f6 8. Bh4 Bf5 9. Bg3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 c6 11. Nbd2 1/2-1/2
FM GAURI SHANKAR vs IM ANGELO YOUNG
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 c5 1/2-1/2
FM KEVIN WANG vs GM TANGUY RINGOIR
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. O-O d6 6. c3 a6 7. Bb3 Ba7 8. Re1 h6 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. h3 Re8 11. Nf1 Be6 12. Ng3 Qd7 1/2-1/2
GM DENES BOROS vs IM NICOLAS CHECA
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. dxc5 Nf6 6. Ngf3 Qxc5 7. Bd3 Nbd7 8. O-O Be7 9. Re1 Qc7 10. Ne4 Nxe4 11. Rxe4 Nc5 12. Bb5+ Bd7 13. Bxd7+ 1/2-1/2
FM SAHIL SINHA vs IM SAFAL BORA
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bd2 Nb6 6. Bf4 Bg7 7. e3 O-O 8. Nf3 c5 9. dxc5 N6d7 10. Nd5 Nc6 11. Bc7 Qe8 12. Bg3 Qd8 13. Bc7 Qe8 14. Bg3 Qd8 15. Bc7 1/2-1/2
FM ELIOT SOO-BURROWES vs FM GAURI SHANKAR
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. g3 Bb4 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nf3 Bxc3 6. dxc3 d6 7. O-O h6 8. Qc2 Nc6 9. e4 Be6 10. b3 Qd7 11. Rd1 b6 12. Nh4 Ne7 13. f4 Qc6 14. f5 Bc8 15. h3 b5 1/2-1/2
IM BRYCE TIGLON vs GM TANGUY RINGOIR
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. c3 Bd7 6. O-O g6 7. d4 Bg7 8. Re1 Nf6 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. Bxc6 Bxc6 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Nxe5 Bxe4 13. Nxe4 Qxd1 14. Nxf6+ Bxf6 15. Rxd1 Bxe5 1/2-1/2
IM FARAI MANDIZHA vs IM RAJA PANJWANI
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. d4 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. a3 c5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. dxc5 Nxc5 11. Be5 Bf5 12. Be2 Bf6 13. Bd4 Ne6 14. O-O Nxd4 15. Nxd4 Be4 16. Qb3 Bxd4 1/2-1/2
FM SAHIL SINHA vs NM JOHN GABRIEL LUDWIG
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. Nf3 Bg7 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O Re8 10. Nd2 Nbd7 11. a4 Ne5 12. Ra3 g5 13. Qc2 a6 14. Nd1 Ng6 15. Ne3 Rb8 16. a5 Qe7 17. f3 1/2-1/2
GM TANGUY RINGOIR vs IM NICOLAS CHECA
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bf4 Nc6 7. Rc1 Nh5 8. Bd2 Nf6 9. e3 Bg4 10. Qb3 Na5 11. Qa4+ Bd7 12. Qd1 Rc8 13. Ne5 e6 14. Bd3 Be7 15. Qf3 O-O 16. O-O Nc6 17. Qh3 g6 18. f4 Nxe5 19. fxe5 1/2-1/2
FM ELIOT SOO-BURROWES vs IM ANGELO YOUNG
1. c4 g6 2. g3 Bg7 3. Bg2 e6 4. Nc3 Ne7 5. e3 d5 6. Nge2 O-O 7. O-O dxc4 8. Qa4 c6 9. Qxc4 e5 10. d4 Nd7 11. Rd1 exd4 12. Nxd4 Qa5 13. b4 Qh5 14. Bf3 Qh3 15. Bg2 Qh5 16. Bf3 Qh6 17. e4 Qh3 18. Bg2 Qh5 19. Bf3 1/2-1/2
Notice all those games ended in under twenty moves? Since Jerry Lee Lewis continues to shake, rattle, and roll, I’ll give another couple of short draws so as to be able to include a few more “numbers.”
GM ALONSO ZAPATA vs IM ANDREW TANG
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. Bxc6+ bxc6 6. d4 f6 7. c4 Ne7 8. Nc3 Ng6 9. h4 h5 10. dxe5 fxe5 11. Ng5 Be7 12. g3 Qd7 13. f3 Bxg5 14. Bxg5 Qf7 15. Qd3 O-O 16. O-O Be6 17. b3 a5 18. Rac1 Kh7 19. Rf2 Rae8 20. Rd1 Ra8 21. Rc1 Rae8 22. Rd1 1/2-1/2
NM BENJAMIN MOON vs FM ELIOT SOO-BURROWES
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O d5 5. d3 O-O 6. Nbd2 c5 7. e4 Nc6 8. c3 e5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nc4 b6 11. Re1 f6 12. a4 Be6 13. Nfd2 Qd7 14. Ne4 Rfd8 15. a5 Nde7 16. Qa4 Rab8 17. axb6 axb6 18. Qa6 Qc7 19. Be3 Bd5 20. b4 b5 21. Ncd2 cxb4 22. cxb4 f5 1/2-1/2
Jerry Lee was still shakin’ late in life and I am certain some “players” will still be shaking hands as long as they continue to “play.”
If you would like more information on the tournament go to: https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/
All the games can be found here: http://chessstream.com/TournamentGames.aspx?EventName=Fall+2017+CCCSA+GM%2fIM+Norm+Invitational&PGNFileID=6396
The USCF recently published an article on the tournament, which can be found here: https://new.uschess.org/news/andrew-tang-completes-gm-title-charlotte-invitational-panjwani-earns-second-norm/
Until next time, keep on shakin’ baby SHAKIN’!
I have recently come under fire by some readers who have criticized me for, well, being critical. This amazes me because in every other facet of life those in power and control receive criticism. The POTUS has always received criticism, and as long as We The People have the right granted to US under the Constitution to freely express our thoughts, he always will be criticized. Before the start of the 2014 Major League Baseball season new rules were instituted. Two were so laughable, and caused so many problems, it made many wonder about the sanity of those who promulgated said rules. The outcry was so loud that MLB officials were forced to listen, and later changed the new rules during the season, which was unprecedented. The rules would still be in place if not for those who questioned, and criticized, the ridiculous rules.
As the story goes, when a very young boy I filled a pot with water, climbed up onto a chair, placed the pot on the stove, and fired it up. When my mother entered the kitchen she asked what I was doing. “Watching the water boil,” I answered. “And why are you watching the water boil, Michael?”
“Because Aunt Lea said a ‘Watched pot never boils.’ She was wrong.”
Another story told is that my father and his mother were in the car with me in the backseat. I kept asking questions, which was frustrating for my father, who told me to “Shut up.” When questioned about his response my father told his mother, “The boy asks too many questions.” She castigated him for it, saying, “How else is he going to learn?”
It has been my experience that people, especially those in power, do not like to be questioned. The man known for his “plain speaking,” Harry Truman, said, “When you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship.” Harry said this because he could not always get his way because there were others in government who opposed some of his ideas.
Several people who have criticized me for questioning the status quo have also criticized me for not offering any alternatives or solutions. I am flummoxed by this because one can find many examples of alternatives and solutions in this blog, and also in my previous BaconLOG. It makes me wonder if they read anything other than what they criticize.
In regard to the odious practice of offering a draw I have suggested awarding more points for a draw, or a win, with Black. I have suggested changing the rules of chess so that after White makes his first move Black can then make two moves, as long as they are not with the same piece, or pawn. I have also suggested pawns be allowed to “retreat to the rear” by being allowed to move backward.
I have suggested a program for the USCF to “Bring ‘Em Back,” whereby those in power put some money into a program to bring back adults who have left the Royal game. I have also suggested USCF do something, anything, for Senior chess, to no avail. The price for an adult membership is $46. A Senior receives a $6 break, having to pay “only” $40. Contrast this with a membership in SABR, the Society for Baseball Research, which is $65 for a regular membership, but only $45 for a Senior membership. The cost of a USCF membership is lower for younger members and the younger the age, the lower the price of membership. This tells you exactly what kind of member is wanted by those in charge of the USCF. The motto of the USCF used to be, “Chess is a lifetime sport.” Now those in power have something called a “vision statement,” which is, “Our vision is to enrich the lives of all persons and communities through increasing the play, study, and appreciation of the game of chess.” All, that is, except Seniors.
There is no doubt about where the money is in chess; it is in children’s chess. If anyone questions this just ask those triple digit rated “players” who cannot differentiate between checkmate and stalemate who are making money hand over fist by selling parents a pig in a poke for their children.
For the problem of the criminal element in power and control of FIDE I have suggested getting rid of Kirsan the ET, and the power behind his throne, Rootin’ Tootin’ Ras Pootin’, by having the ET’s with whom Kirsan has traveled the galaxy place both of them on a spaceship and send them across the universe. There have long been rumors of an exchange program between ETs and humans. (http://www.serpo.org/release32.php) I advocate another exchange program with the aforementioned tag-team duo being the first to board the alien space craft.
There are many who tout, and spout, the party line, whether they believe it or not, and they can be found currying favor and sucking up to the fools in power, brown nosing it all the way to the bank. I am not one of those people. If that is what you want this is not the blog for you. “Don’t worry, be happy,” and “Everything is beautiful in its own way” type blogs proliferate, as do “yes men,” and yes, women. Society is not advanced by those who never question, but only accept what what they are told.
You can find the lyrics to this song, which include this, “Oh yes, there’s those who only criticise yet offer nothing new, solutions? Ideas?
No, just rake up shit what a clever thing to do,” here: http://www.lyricsmania.com/a_declaration_of_independence_lyrics_conflict.html
The best chess magazine on the planet, New In Chess, has a regular feature, “Just Checking,” in which questions are posed to famous players of the Royal game. One of the questions that has been posed most often is, “What is the stupidest rule in chess?” The answer given most is, “The zero-tolerance rule.” It is more than a little obvious most players do not care for the FIDE’s draconian rule. Peter Heine Nielsen, Boris Avrukh, Daniel King, and Ivan Saric, all GM’s answered the question posed with the zero-tolerance rule, with the latter going on to add in NIC 2014/2, “In the whole history of chess (and also sport) there hasn’t been such a stupid rule. It puts huge pressure on the players before the game. This was the easiest question.”
Since there is almost universal agreement among the best human players in the world it would seem those who promulgated the rule would have rescinded it long ago. To understand why they have not done so is to understand what kind of people are those who administer FIDE. They obviously know how the players feel but obviously could care less. These despotic dictators simply do not care what their “subjects” think about the rule. These are people who insist on imposing their will on chess players because they understand they are much inferior compared to the great players. Draconian dictators do not listen to their subjects because they expect their inferiors to listen, and obey, them. They expect this no matter how much it hurts the Royal game because they could care less about the game of chess. These despots care only about ruling the game.
The players should get together and organize just as the Major League Baseball players did decades ago. I have no idea why they have not done so, but it could be because they compete it is difficult for them to agree. Yet they seem to be in total agreement about the zero-tolerance rule. What top level chess needs is a man like Marvin Miller, who was head of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966 to 1982. “He was responsible for negotiation baseball’s first collective bargaining agreement in 1968, which included the first rise in the minimum salary in a decade; salaries would rise exponentially during his tenure, reflecting growing revenues. He was a key figure in the development of free agency, and he led the players through strikes in 1972, 1980 and 1981, and lockouts decreed by the owners in 1973 and 1976. Hank Aaron said he was “as important to the history of baseball as Jackie Robinson.” Red Barber called him one of three most important figures in baseball history, alongside Robinson and Babe Ruth.” (http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Marvin_Miller)
In an article, “King talks with Kirsan,” on the Chessbase website, dated 8/11/2014, GM Daniel King asked Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the mediocre player and FIDE dictator, who said he has traveled the universe in an Extraterrestrial spaceship piloted by otherworldly entities, “There is one FIDE rule that many many chess players are unhappy with, which is the zero tolerance rule. For example, there was a young girl here, a ten-year-old girl here, who unfortunately came two minutes late to the game and she lost. It seems very harsh. Would you consider reviewing this rule?”
Kirsan the ET answered, “We have a technical commission consisting of chess players and arbiters and I remember in Dresden in 2008 at the General Assembly, we decided that everyone should be on time. You remember the football match between Brazil and Germany? Can you imagine if both teams arrived five minutes late?”
GM Daniel King: “Of course, but chess isn’t football. This girl was young and innocent and was very very upset. There are many other incidents where a player has arrived a little late just by accident and this seems very harsh.”
Kirsan the ET: “Ok, write your proposal and we will discuss it at the presidential meeting. However, the Chief Arbiter (of the Olympiad) came to me five minutes ago and said, “Mr. President, it’s very good, no one is late. At 2 PM they start.” For me it’s not a problem because this was decided by the majority. I remember in 1998, when I organized the World Championship match between Vishy Anand and Anatoly Karpov in Lausanne, Switzerland, in the presence of the president of the Olympic Committee, in the Olympic Museum, with dozens of cameras, many journalists, the mayor of Lausanne, some high officials of the Swiss government, hundreds of spectators. At 3 PM, Vishy Anand was there sitting, but not Anatoly Karpov. We waited 10-15 minutes, and the president of the Olympic Committee turned to me and asked how I could expect to join the Olympic games in such circumstances.”
GM Daniel King: “I understand completely for professional chess, but it seems to me there is a big difference between professional chess and amateur chess.”
Kirsan the ET: “There is no professional chess and non-professional chess, there is only chess. And we will have discipline.” (http://en.chessbase.com/post/king-talks-with-kirsan)
The added remark, “And we will have discipline,” sounds like something one might hear from a grammar school principal, or a despotic dictator. For chess to survive as a viable game Kirsan the ET has got to go back to the stars, along with his benefactor and power behind the scenes, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
The last day of the 2011 Major League Baseball season has often been called “The Greatest Day Of Baseball Ever.” Eric Simon @AmazinAvenue used the aforementioned headline (http://www.amazinavenue.com/2011/9/29/2457299/red-sox-rays-braves-wild-card-jose-reyes-mlb-playoffs).
MLB.com continues the trend with headlines such as, “One year later, recalling baseball’s Best Night Ever” (http://m.mlb.com/news/article/39125938/)
Do a search and a film by MLB.com heads the line-up, “Regular season’s wild end” (http://m.mlb.com/video/v19789807/the-2011-regular-season-ends-with-a-flourish).
The sad thing is that all this “greatness” transpired long after most fans had gone to sleep. Little League baseball players cannot stay up until after midnight to watch, no matter how “great” the event. Most who have to rise early to get to work cannot stay awake because the games drag on and on, with an endless series of commercials between innings and endless pitching changes. Most fans have been bored stiff long before something “great” happens.
Every generation has its “greatest.” The sixth game of the 1975 World Series between the Reds and Red Sox, which featured a home run that barely stayed fair by Carlton Fisk, was the “greatest game of all-time.” To the fans in Pittsburgh the home run hit by Bill Mazeroski to beat the damn Yankees in the bottom of the ninth inning off of Ralph Terry in the 1960 World Series will always be the “greatest game of all-time” no matter what happens in the future.
The recently concluded second Sinquefield Cup is being called the latest, greatest, chess tournament of all-time. Except for the runaway winner, Fabiano Caruana, who kept his head while those around him were losing theirs, the standard of play was abysmally low. It is possible the player who finished, the sinister Vesilin Topalov, played the worse chess. Fortunately for him some of his opponents played their worst chess against him. For example, Hikaru Nakamura should have blown Topalov off of the board in the third round, leaving him three losses and having to face World Champion Magnus Carlsen while sitting behind the black army. Nakamura would have only a half point behind Fab Car and it would have been a completely different tournament. I will be kind and say that other than Fab Car the players did not bring their “A” game. It was certainly not the most interesting chess tournament of all-time.
GM Alejandro Ramirez wrote an article on 9/7/2014 for Chessbase, “Sinquefield 10: Draws end magnificent event,” which included this: “This super-GM double round robin tournament is being played from August 27th to September 7th. It is billed as the strongest tournament in the history of chess.” (http://en.chessbase.com/post/sinquefield-10-draws-end-magnificent-event)
A few days later, 9/10/2014, Alisa Melekhina wrote an article, “Behind the Scenes of the Sinquefield Cup,” which included this: “This super-GM double round robin tournament is being played from August 27th to September 7th. It is billed as the strongest tournament in the history of chess.” (http://en.chessbase.com/post/behind-the-scenes-of-the-sinquefield-cup)
“Strongest Chess Tournament Ever Begins in Saint Louis”
By Brian Jerauld
August 27, 2014
SAINT LOUIS, MO (August 26, 2014) — It‘s time to ring the bell on the strongest chess tournament in history.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Sinquefield Cup 2014 – Strongest Chess Tournament in History
Jason Rosenhouse, writing on something called the “Evolution Blog: Science, Religion, Math, Politics and Chess” has this headline: “The Greatest Chess Tournament in the History of Chess Tournaments”
Posted by jrosenhouse on August 28, 2014
But wait, there’s MORE!
“Fabiano Caruana Is Doing The Impossible At Chess’s Most Competitive Tournament”
10:21 AMSep 5 By Oliver Roeder
Leave it to Tim Krabbé to put an end to the hyperbole:
“Could this nonsense about ´the strongest chess tournament in history´ please stop? You have the numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 9 of the most recent ranking. The 1938 AVRO tournament had the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Of your six players, four are in the top-six – a density of 4/6, or .67. The AVRO Tournament had eight of the top eight – a density of 8/8 or 1. Both tournaments are double round robins, with of 30 and 56 games respectively. Multiplying these numbers, we get an index of 4/6*30=20 for Sinquefield, and 1*56=56 for AVRO.
AVRO, therefore, was almost 3 times as strong.
Should anyone see these calculations as meaningless, they should consider that they share that quality with Sinquefield´s average rating of 2802. Ratings do not reflect playing strength – they reflect relative playing strength and therefore, inflation more than anything else. I could go out right now and buy the most expensive pingpong ball in the history of humankind.
With many thanks for the wonderful tournament,
Many thanks for putting the latest, greatest, chess tournament of all-time into perspective, Tim.
MUHAMMAD ALI: THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME
In response to my previous post, “Screw you Rex” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/screw-you-rex/), the esteemed former President of the Georgia Chess Association, Scott Parker sent this email:
My view is that while short “quick handshake” draws may not be what you want to see as a spectator, unless you are paying a significant appearance fee to a player you have no right to tell him/her how to conduct his/her game. If you are paying a significant appearance fee, then setting a ground rule like “no draws before move 30”, or “no draws in the first time control” is fair. If a player doesn’t like the ground rules, he/she has the option not to come and take the appearance fee. Absent that, you have no right to tell a professional player how to conduct his/her business, which is what a rule against a quick draw does. Apparently there was no such rule in the tournament you reference (I haven’t checked). That being the case, a player has the right to conduct his/her game as he/she sees fit.
Best Regards, Scott
The part that bothered me was, “…you have no right to tell a professional player how to conduct his/her business, which is what a rule against a quick draw does.”
I took it to mean I would have no right to, for example, tell a professional Major League Baseball player to not use steroids, which is basically what fans told MLB. Because of the outcry from the fans of MLB, steroids are now banned from the game. If the fans, collectively, had not told MLB to clean its act, some monster ragin’ on ‘roids would have blasted 100 home runs in a season by now. Fans told professional MLB players how to act because CHILDREN EMULATE MLB PLAYERS!
I also suggested that Mr. Parker, “…read the US Constitution, and pay particular attention to the First Amendment of what is called the Bill of Rights, which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Then you should go here: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech) where you will find it written : “Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas using one’s body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.”
You will also find: “The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that “[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”.
Being able to express oneself is what separates our country from others where the citizens cannot speak freely.
I also wrote in reply, “If you go to the USCF Official Rules of Chess (I have the 5th edition) you will find on page 42 rule 14B6. Premature or prearranged draws. There it is written, “It is unethical and unsporting to agree to a draw before a serious contest has begun. The same is true of all arrangements to prearrange game results. In case of clear violations of the moral principles of the game, penalties should be imposed at the director’s discretion.”
“For you to be right in this matter, and for me to be wrong, you MUST believe the six move draw made by GM Finegold and GM Josh Friedel was a “serious contest.” What is worse is that you must also defend the draw Ben Finegold passed out to his son after playing only ONE MOVE as also a “serious contest.”
I also included, “Just today at the chess camp two older boys who have been involved with chess for a few years, got up from their board. I asked the result only to be informed they had agreed to a draw. I was STUNNED! I told them to sit back down and finish the game. Later I asked why they had agreed a drawn game, one said, “That’s what the adults do.” Out of the mouths of babes…What kind of example is being, and has been set by we “adults?”
Indeed, what kind of example is being set at the leading light of chess in America, the St. Louis Chess Club & SCHOLASTIC CENTER! The so-called “professionals” at the StLCCSC repeatedly violate rule 14B6 and they do so with impunity.
I see this as a problem for chess, one of the many facing the Royal game. Mr. Parker sees no problem. One of us is right, and the other wrong. In the end there can be only one. If Scott is right then what is the purpose of rule 14B6? If a professional is allowed to make a draw after only six moves, or in the case of the serial drawer, GM Ben Finegold, only ONE MOVE, the only justification is that a “game” of only one move constitutes a “serious game.” And if that is, in fact, the case, then why force the “professional” to come to the board at all? Why not let them phone it in the night before so as to be able to sleep in the next day. After all, they are “professionals” and who am I to “tell them what to do?”
Reading about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has been a passion of mine since the late 1960’s. There was a time I could tell you the exact number of books I had read on the subject. Former Georgia State Chess Champion Michael Decker once exclaimed, “You have read EVERYTHING on the subject!” Not hardly…I did a search on the Gorilla the other day and saw there were over 2000 books on the subject. Because this year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination there is a plethora of books on the market, some of which I hope to read. I say “hope” because I have a bad ticker. The truth is I could go at any time. I realize there is limited time to pursue my interests and some must be dropped. This blog is one of them.
In all the books and articles I have read pertaining to the JFK assassination I do not recall ever coming across the subject of chess. It was therefore a surprise to see the word “chess” while reading, “Who Really Killed Kennedy?” by Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D. While making the point of how difficult a shot it would have been for an amateur like Oswald to have made the writer points out what a tiny percentage of athletes make it to the top of their game. “Typically the transition to world class involves a transformation where the pro learns to see the game differently than the amateur. Consider the game of chess. Studies have shown chess masters truly see no more moves ahead in a chess game than beginners. The difference is that where beginners see moves, chess masters see patterns.” This is on page 52 and there is a footnote, #106, which says, “Bill Wall, ‘The Cognitive Psychology of Chess,” Chess.com, June 21, 2010, http://www.chess.com/article/view/the-cognitive-psychology-of-chess.”
Imagine that, the word “chess’ used in relation to the most infamous unsolved crime in the history of the United States of America. Everything is cataloged on the internet so Bill Wall may be the only chess player to have had his name used in relation to the assassination.
I watched a program on the MLB channel yesterday, “Behind the Seams: The Stat Story.” Something John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball, said struck me, so I wrote it down. “Henry Chadwick’s crusade was, first to make the American game of baseball a game that not only children played, but adults thought worthy of their attention.” Henry Chadwick was the original “stat-head.” Mr. Thorn went on to say, “One of the ways to make baseball seem more important was to attach to it the numbers that businessmen like to peruse and analyse, so as baseball acquired numeracy, it acquired importance.”
From the dwindling numbers of adults involved with chess-and I do not count the parents of the large numbers of children-it is obvious that the vast majority of adults do not find the Royal game worthy of their attention. I do not know what can be done to kindle interest for the great game of chess in adults, but I do know that if something is not done to do so, chess will not survive. I do not know if attaching numbers to chess in the way they were attached to baseball will do for chess what the numbers have done for baseball, but it may be a start. For example, each batter is really two batters, and each pitcher is really two pitchers. A right handed batter hits differently vs. a right handed pitcher as opposed to a left handed pitcher. Same for a right handed pitcher. Each chess player is really two players. One is the player with the White pieces, with the other being the player with the Black pieces. Each player has a different performance rating when playing each color. I have previously advocated showing each rating for every player. It has fallen on deaf ears and there does not seem to be any interest whatsoever in the idea, which I find a shame. The sad fact is that in most crosstables one cannot tell whether a player had white or black. I can think of many possibilities, such as a players performance rating for only the year 2012, or 2013, and so can you.
All the best in chess to you.