Did GM Richard Rapport Go Into The Tank?

‘Back in the day’ there were Candidates matches played leading up to the World Chess Championship. Young people regularly hear some old coot say, “Things were better back in the day.” I was once young, and have now grown old. The fact is that some things may have been better ‘back in the day’ and some were most definitely not “better.” As in most things in life, it depends on one’s perspective. That said, playing matches in lieu of playing a tournament to choose an adversary for the current World Champion was much better than the tournaments played today. The ongoing Candidates tournament is a prime example.

The following was taken from Chessdom: In the post-game interview with WGM Dina Belenkaya, Richard couldn’t explain what was the factor to make him refuse the draw and play on: “I don’t know. I should probably throw away my computer. Because I am pretty sure the line is 14…Bd6 instead of 14…Bh3, and then 15.Qxh7 Bh3 is a draw, so I figured I should be better here…“

“I got really upset about this that I played on, no one knows for what reason exactly. And position clearly seems dangerous. And also many other small things which were not going maybe before the game already. So clearly, it was extremely stupid for me to play on, regardless what is the evaluation of the position.” added Richard. (https://www.chessdom.com/rapport-on-the-r7-game-vs-nepo-i-should-probably-throw-away-my-computer/

What does Richard Rapport mean by, “…no one knows for what reason exactly.”? What about, “And also many other small things which were not going maybe before the game already.” The question must be asked, “Did Richard Rapport receive any inducement to lose the game intentionally, or were any threats made to him or any member of his family causing him to intentionally lose the game?

“Determining the ethics of intentionally losing a game to gain something greater in the future—known as “tanking” or “throwing the game”—seems like a no-brainer in that the practice is just wrong. Though…deciphering the logic of this conclusion actually does require the use of a brain as it’s not immediately obvious. Yet…a handful of commentators defend it, viewing it as just another example of good strategy, listing other commonly accepted strategies in defense of the practice.” (htps://law.scu.edu/sports-law/intentionally-losing-part-i-of-iii-ethical-considerations/)

Let us be honest here, the fact is that everyone involved with Chess knows the nefarious Russians will go to any lengths to recover what they consider “their” World Chess Championship title. FIDE is controlled by a Russian, Arkady Dvorkovich,

https://www.chess.com/news/view/dvorkovich-in-tight-spot-as-fide-president

who does what he is told by the Mad Vlad Putin.

https://nypost.com/2022/02/24/not-peter-the-great-hes-vlad-the-mad/

They know that if World Champion Magnus Carlsen

https://hiokori.substack.com/p/raising-your-floor-notes-from-magnus

refuses to again face Ian Nepomniachtchi the title will, once again, be held by a Russian.

Rapport-Nepomniachtchi left everyone, including Richard, puzzled | photo: Steve Bonhage, FIDE (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/madrid-candidates-7-nepo-caruana-win-again)

In the article, Cracking the Candidate Code (3) by ChessBase, it is written:

https://en.chessbase.com/post/cracking-the-candidate-code-3

“It is highly motivated and prepared players who win these events. Rapport may be motivated, but it is unlikely that he will be well-prepared. With events lined up he won’t have the time to prepare properly – he agreed to play in Norway, a tournament that finishes a mere six days before the start of the Candidates. Playing Carlsen and co. before an exhausting 14-round Candidates is not quite the best practice. Playing in Romania at the Superbet Classic wasn’t a success either, as his final score of minus two (both losses with White due to big blunders) placed him at shared-last.

Rapport’s second issue is that he is a self-confessed loner. He likes to work alone and finds it difficult to work with others. What he has achieved alone is incredible, but in order to climb the highest mountain players need teams – like it or not, the days of Fischeresque feats of ‘one against the world’ are gone and unlikely to return. Every single player who has qualified for a World Championship match has had a team that has supported him all the way. It would really be great to see Rapport find a support system to help him reach his full potential, but it seems that this won’t happen for Madrid, which is a pity, as I would have really fancied to see the best he can offer.” (https://en.chessbase.com/post/cracking-the-candidate-code-3)

After reading the above would you have wagered anything that this player would win the Candidates tournament? It is more than a little obvious Richard Rapport was not ready for prime time and should not have been included in the event. For the rest of his life the question of his “going into the tank” will haunt Richard Rapport.

Norwegian Chess Federation Offered Big Bucks by Online Gambling Operator Kindred Group

Ilan Rubin,

publisher of Elk and Ruby Publishing House sent an email after the last post in which he wrote, “Worse things are happening in Norway…” He provided a link to the Twitter account of Chess journalist Tarjei J. Svensen,

who writes (or is that ‘twits’?):

BREAKING; Norwegian Chess Federation offered a sponsorship deal of NOK 50 million (€5,1M) by online gambling operator Kindred Group, pending approval by the congress in July.
9:52 AM – 7 Jun 2019

Tarjei J. Svensen
‏ @TarjeiJS
Jun 7

Not a traditional sponsorship deal. The chess federation will not promote gambling or advertise for gambing sites in any way, but will work with the group to allow licenses in Norway.

Tarjei J. Svensen
‏ @TarjeiJS
Jun 7

For the record, revenues in the federation in 2018 was NOK 2,5M, (€2,55M)

Tarjei J. Svensen
‏ @TarjeiJS
Jun 7

That should read 255,000 Euro obviously.

Farao
‏ @akPharaoh789
Jun 7
Replying to @TarjeiJS

I am not sure but isn’t this “Unibet” ?

Tarjei J. Svensen
‏ @TarjeiJS
Jun 7

Unibet is among the companies they own, yea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindred_Group
0 replies 0 retweets 2 likes

Ilan weighs in with a Twit:

Elk and Ruby
‏ @ilan_ruby
Jun 7
Replying to @TarjeiJS

This is fundamentally wrong. Let’s not turn our kids into gambling junkies.

This is followed by:

Graham Stuart
‏ @GraStuart
Jun 8
Replying to @TarjeiJS

The Isle of Man Chess tournament was sponsored by Pokerstars and is now funded by ex owner. But when Pokerstars sponsored this they were justva poker sight and did not have the other gambling income streams.

Rok Novak
‏ @Rok_Novak
Jun 7
Replying to @TarjeiJS

Cool! Chess and poker belong together! 😍

There are other twits to read if any twit is interested. You can check it out here: https://twitter.com/TarjeiJS/status/1137039580509757447

The character on TV, Doctor House, played by Hugh Laurie,

was fond of saying, “Everyone lies.” I am fond of saying, “Everyone gambles.”

You can even place a wager on a Chess game! Check out the “Chess Betting Odds” website:

https://sports.bwin.com/en/sports/67/betting/chess#sportId=67

Each and everyone reading this, and everyone who will not read this, gambles each and every day, and they gamble with their life. Most people usually do not consider the odds when making a short trip to the store, but the fact is that it is not 100% positive a person will return home safely. Read the book:

Everyone gambles in some form or another. Consider this headline:

The Gambling Nuns of Torrance, California

Thou shalt not steal…unless you’re one of the Vegas-loving nuns who allegedly took the Catholic school under their watch for every penny they could. A Southern California community reckons with an altogether new form of churchly hypocrisy.

By Sean Flynn June 5, 2019

https://www.gq.com/story/gambling-nuns-of-torrance-california

Is Chess a Sport?

File this under “What the Main Stream Media thinks of Chess.”

Is Chess a Sport? A New Book Says Yes

By Jonathan Eig

Nov. 30, 2018

THE GRANDMASTER
Magnus Carlsen and the Match That Made Chess Great Again

By Brin-Jonathan Butler
211 pp. Simon & Schuster. $26.

Is chess a sport?

After days watching a championship match and “seeing what strain these guys put their bodies and nerves under,” cramped in awful Staples chairs while trying to concentrate, Brin-Jonathan Butler concludes that chess “absolutely” falls into the category of sport.

But by that logic, the written portion of the driver’s license exam could be a sport, too, and, given my perfect record, I would be a better athlete than Muhammad Ali.

Chess is not a sport, O.K.? If it were, there’d be a lot more head injuries and trash talk.

Butler’s definition of an athlete matters for the purposes of his assignment. In 2016, an editor asked him to cover the World Chess Championship between Norway’s Magnus Carlsen and Russia’s Sergey Karjakin, expected to be an epic battle, and suggested that the author approach the assignment in the spirit that Norman Mailer approached Ali vs. Foreman in “The Fight” and John McPhee covered Arthur Ashe vs. Clark Graebner in “Levels of the Game.”

Chess can make for compelling literature, especially in fiction (“The Luzhin Defense,” by Nabokov, for example), because the game offers a battle between two minds, two personalities, two worldviews. But a game itself is only compelling to readers if we are made to understand and care about the players, seeing their moves as reflections of their characters. McPhee knew it: “A person’s tennis game begins with his nature and background and comes out through his motor mechanisms into shot patterns and characteristics of play. If he is deliberate, he is a deliberate tennis player; and if he is flamboyant, his game probably is, too. A tight, close match unmarred by error and representative of each player’s game at its highest level will be primarily a psychological struggle.”

Herein lies the trouble for “The Grandmaster.” Since chess is not a sport by the standard definition, Carlsen and Karjakin do not turn their natures into motor mechanisms, thus depriving the reader of visible action. That, in turn, forces Butler to press too hard in describing the moves on the chessboard. “In the end,” he writes of one crucial moment, “Carlsen was unable to stop one of Karjakin’s innocuous pawns from strolling innocently enough into his malevolent promised land to emerge as an all-powerful, Lady Macbeth, vindictive-as-hell queen at the end of the board.”

Butler might never have been forced to resort to such drastic maneuvers in prose if he had been given a better draw. Mailer had Ali, who never shut up and literally allowed reporters to slip under the covers with him in bed to conduct interviews. McPhee had Ashe, one of the most thoughtful and eloquent athletes of all time. Butler had no one. Neither Carlsen nor Karjakin would talk to him. They appeared briefly at news conferences but expressed little emotion. They never even complained about the terrible Staples chairs.

To compensate, it seems, Butler takes the reader on journeys away from the tournament — to Cuba, to a chess shop where New Yorkers took refuge after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, and elsewhere. But even the best of these vignettes serve to remind that Carlsen and Karjakin failed to carry their load. We understand why. Chess is intensely cerebral. It drives men mad, as Butler documents in vivid detail. But by remaining so deep in thought, Carlsen and Karjakin shut out their fans, shut out the author and shut out the reader. At the tournament’s end, one man emerges triumphant, or at least relieved, the other dejected. The rest of us watch through one-way glass, unmoved.

Jonathan Eig’s most recent book is “Ali: A Life.”

Magnus ‘The Headless Machine Gunner’ Carlsen Norway’s Bravest Son

The World human Chess Champion from Norway, Magnus ‘Roland’ Carlsen,

made what he called a “crude” blunder in playing his 17th move, pawn to g4, against fellow British Grandmaster Gawain Jones

in the 8th round of the 80th Tata Steel Masters Chess Tournament. The move lost a piece, certain death against any Grandmaster, even one rated almost 200 points less on th Elo scale. Ordinarily a Grandmaster will resign to another Grandmaster after dropping a piece, but Magnus showed absolutely no respect

for his opponent by continuing the game. GM Jones began showing why he deserved no respect by playing like a patzer after receiving the “gift.” He proved World Champion Emanuel Lasker

correct when he said, “The hardest game to win is a won game.”

I give the game for the record:

Magnus ‘The Headless Machine Gunner’ Carlsen vs Gawain ‘Another Round’ Jones

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. O-O-O d5 10. Qe1 e5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. exd5 Nxd5 13. Bc4 Be6 14. Kb1 Re8 15. Ne4 f5 16. Ng5 Bc8 17. g4 f4 18. h4 fxe3 19. Qxe3 h6 20. Qc5 Bb7 21. Ne4 Re6 22. h5 Qb6 23. g5 hxg5 24. Qa3 Rb8 25. b3 Qd8 26. Qxa7 gxh5 27. Rxh5 Rg6 28. Rxg5 Rxg5 29. Nxg5 Qc8 30. Rg1 Ra8 31. Qb6 Ra6 32. Qc5 Qd7 33. Ne4 Kh8 34. Qf2 Qe7 35. Bxa6 Bxa6 36. Qh2+ Kg8 37. Qh6 Qa7 38. Qe6+ Kf8 39. Rg5 Ne3 40. Qd6+ Kf7 41. Nc5 Bc8 42. Rxg7+ 1-0

To his credit GM Jones did consent to be interviewed before heading to the pub.

“Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” as written by David Eric Lindell and Warren Zevon….

Roland was a warrior
From the Land of the Midnight Sun
With a Thompson Gun for hire
Fighting to be done

The deal was made in Denmark
On a dark and stormy day
So he set out for Biafra
To join the bloody fray

Through ’66 and 7
They fought the Congo War
With their fingers on their triggers
Knee-deep in gore
The days and nights they battled
The Bantu to their Knees
They killed to earn their living
And to help out the Congolese

Roland the Thompson Gunner
Roland the Thompson Gunner

His comrades fought beside him
Van Owen and the rest
But of all the Thompson Gunners
Roland was the best
So the CIA decided
They wanted Roland dead
That son-of-a-bitch Van Owen
Blew off Roland’s Head

Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner
Time Time Time for another week of war

Norway’s bravest son
Time stands still for Roland til he evens up the score

They can still see his headless body
Stalking through the night
In the muzzle flash of Roland’s Thompson Gun
In the muzzle flash of Roland’s Thompson Gun

Roland searched the continent
For the man who’d done him in
He found him in Mombassa
In a bar room drinkin’ Gin
Roland aimed his Thompson Gun
He didn’t say a word
But he blew Van Owen’s body
From there to Johanasburg.

Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner
Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner
Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner
Talkin about the man
Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner

The eternal Thompson Gunner
Still wanderin through the night
Now it’s ten years later
But he still keeps up the fight
In Ireland, In Lebanon
In Palastine and Berkley
Patty Hurst
Heard the burst
Of Roland’s Thompson Gun
And bought it.

http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/82475/

Magnus Carlsen’s Secret Weapon

‘Comfyballs’ won’t fly in America: Patent office says Norwegian men’s underwear trademark is too vulgar for sale in U.S.

The brand has spread to Australia, New Zealand and the UK but America isn’t having it
The agency says the name refers solely to a man’s testicles and ‘does not create a double entendre’ — and is therefor vulgar
Ben & Jerry’s Schweddy Balls brand ice cream was also blocked by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

By Josh Gardner for MailOnline

A Scandinavian men’s underwear brand named Comfyballs simply will not fly in America, says the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.

The agency has denied the Norwegian company’s application to register the trademark in the U.S., calling the name ‘vulgar.’

The company was born in 2013 and quickly moved to the UK, New Zealand and Australia where it promises its underwear–designed with PackageFront technology–reduces heat while allowing for freer movement.

Published: 12:01 EST, 10 December 2014 | Updated: 14:54 EST, 10 December 2014

Find more, including pictures and video, here: (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2868788/No-Comfyballs-America-Patent-office-says-Norwegian-men-s-underwear-trademark-vulgar-sale-U-S.html)

I have always been amazed at how priggish are some in American society. Anyone who has ever watched American television advertisements featuring scantily clad women realizes just how silly and hypocritical the US Patent office spokesman sounds saying the ‘Comfyballs’ “…trademark is too vulgar for sale in U.S.”

Since ‘Comfyballs’ emanates from Norway, home of the model, and World Human Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, I cannot help but wonder if Magnus has a ‘secret weapon’ he keeps ‘out of site’ and ‘under wraps.’ A match between ‘Comfyballs’ and Magnus would seen to be a ‘perfect fit.’

Hail ToThe King of Fish!

The chess program known as Stockfish defeated the chess program known as Komodo after what would be called a grueling 64 game match if played by humans. The chess world had looked forward with great anticipation to a close fight after the one-sided match between World Human Chess Champion Vishy Anand and New World Human Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. It was written that Magnus won because he “played like a machine.” After the humiliating defeat Anand won the right to play Carlsen in a rematch by winning the tournament to determine a challenger. This turn about was a tremendous feat, proving, as if any proof were needed, what a truly great player is Viswanathan Anand. The chess world has responded with a collective yawn…An example is an article published yesterday entitled, “Major chess tournaments in trouble,” by Frank ‘Boy’ Pestaño (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/sports/2014/05/29/pestano-major-chess-tournaments-trouble-345428). The article begins, “THE two biggest tournaments in chess are in trouble.
I am referring to the world championship rematch between former champion Vishy Anand of India and current world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and the World Chess Olympiad this August in Tromso, Norway.”
Articles like this have proliferated recently, as well they should. What the chess world would like to see is a match between players like Hikaru Nakamura and/or Fabiano Caruana, but they were not invited to play for a chance to battle Magnus. So we are faced with another battle between young and old, and the chess world could care less. I, on he other hand, think this one may turn out to be a close match, possibly one for the ages. I am looking forward to the match with great anticipation, if interest and money can be found. I am “pulling” for the Madras Tiger.
As for the Olympiad…After decades of publicity about the head of FIDE, Kirsan from Ork, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mork_%26_Mindy) talking about having intellectual intercourse with Extraterrestrials, is anyone surprised? For example, see the article, “Out of this world: Russian region leader’s alien abduction story shakes officials” ( http://www.smh.com.au/world/strangebuttrue/out-of-this-world-russian-region-leaders-alien-abduction-story-shakes-officials-20100506-ucw9.html#ixzz33DRmyqaQ ), in which it is written, “They put a spacesuit on me, told me many things and showed me around. They wanted to demonstrate that UFOs do exist.” And, “I am often asked which language I used to talk to them. Perhaps it was on a level of the exchange of the ideas,” he told the television program host.
Kirsan may have actually been abducted for all I know. Many humans now claim to have been abducted. I will give Kirsan the benefit of doubt for his alien claims, but how can one disregard the pictures of the man with brutal dictators, about whom he said, Saddam Hussein was “a normal person, a politician who cheered for his republic and wanted to do good things for people” and calls eccentric Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi a friend, The Guardian reported. (From the aforementioned article)
How much interest is left in chess after negative publicity like this, and multiple cheating scandals with names like “toiletgate?” Most articles concerning the man called the “greatest chessplayer of all-time,” Garry Kasparov, go on to mention the match he “lost” to a computer chess program called, “Deep Blue.” The gizmo had Kasparov singing the blues. An exception is an article, “Cranial knowledge” by Arnaud de Borchgrave (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2014/05/28/Cranial-knowledge/1821401283996/). There one finds a picture of Garry deep in thought while playing a thing called, “Deep Junior” with a caption, “Kasparov and the Deep Junior computer concluded their match in a tie.” Most people have completely forgotten that particular match, remembering only the lost match. The article focuses more on the attempt to have programs “think” more like humans. That is something called “selective search,” championed by former World Chess Champion Mikhail Botvinnik when he devoted his time to producing a chess playing program. He failed, losing out to a method called “brute force.”
“Real brains are so impressive to computer scientists,” says Dr. Olds, “so instead of banging our heads against Moore’s Law, why not build computers more like the brain and get them to solve problems the way the brain does?”
Good luck with that!