Archive for March, 2014

Who is looking best at the half-way mark?

March 21st, 2014 No comments

I personally voted Anand, though this was more because I think his cautious play is the right strategy for this long event, than because I have been blown away by his great chess. I just think the others have played too poorly as well, relying a bit too much on luck. I feel that the 2013 candidates was played on a much higher level by especially Kramnik and of course Carlsen. Aronian looked as shaky then as here.


Categories: Polls Tags:

FIDE Presidential Elections

March 18th, 2014 52 comments

Quality Chess do not have a political affiliation and inside the company we have a lot of different opinions. Thus I am not in any way going to state an opinion on which person would be the best FIDE president.

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Categories: Polls Tags:

No more candidates post right now

March 18th, 2014 1 comment

I am sadly busy producing books. I will of course go into whatever debates are on this blog, but I will not put something up for a few days.

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

Candidates Round 4

March 17th, 2014 31 comments

Live video on YouTube

Anand – Kramnik 1/2-1/2 (1.42.52)
Karjakin – Topalov 1/2-1/2
Mamedyarov – Andreikin 1-0
Aronian – Svidler 1-0

I only have two small points to add to today’s games. The first is in Mamedyarov – Andrekin, which was essentially decided by time trouble. Obviously it is stupid to be down to seconds at move 37, but still this happens to all of us at times.

The main point is that the position after 37.Rd8+ is a classical example of elimination, the main defensive calculation technique:

[fen size=”small”]2qR2k1/2P3b1/1p2b2p/5p2/4rQ2/6P1/2N2P1P/6K1 b – – 0 37[/fen]

Andreikin chose wrong. He should have played 37…Kh7 with more or less even chances, while after 37…Kf7 38.Qd6 Qa6, White does not only win back his piece, but won the entire game after 39.Rd7+!. Had the king been on h7, this would not have been possible. Andreikin had seen this, but said he had missed that 39…Kg8 loses to 40.c8=Q (as well as everything else). It is all a bit bizarre to me, but in time trouble people can often get confused.

In Aronian’s game Svidler could early on have gone for a slightly worse opposite coloured bishops ending, as he mentions in the video. This would not have been as simple as some would think.

But more importantly, I think he made a big mistake at this point:

[fen size=”small”]2r1k3/pb2qn1p/1p4p1/1Q1PP3/8/8/2r2PPP/B2RR1K1 b – – 0 34[/fen]

Rather than suffering in an unclear position with 34…Kf8, which is without doubt easier to play for White, Svidler played 34…Qd7 to go into an opposite coloured bishops ending. He is only somewhat worse, objectively. But I have noticed that when we have positions with opposite coloured bishops, the stronger player scores much better than he otherwise would. If you look at Kramnik’s games in London 2013 and also his game with Karjakin here, his only game with White so far, he aims for positions early on in the game for positions with opposite coloured bishops. Carlsen also has a fantastic score in endgames with opposite coloured bishops.

Obviously, with this in mind, it is quite interesting that Svidler and Aronian both praised 34…Qd7. In my experience things that hang on very long calculation in defence are very unreliable. This is what Svidler was counting on. Do not miss the press conference; the player’s comments are very interesting.

So, although it looked dangerous to play on with an extra piece with queens on the board, probably this was statistically the better choice. If nothing else, it also gave some chance that he would win the game as well.

Categories: Fun Games Tags:

3Q in action

March 16th, 2014 8 comments

[fen size=”small”]1R3b2/p1r2r1k/4pq1p/5ppN/1ppR4/4P2P/PP3PP1/3Q2K1 b – – 0 33[/fen]
Black to play – …Qe7 or …Qe5?

A while ago I looked at one of Ray’s games as a part of this Monday training tips thing. My opinion was quite different than his was on what had gone wrong in his games. Now Ray had sent a good game he played recently, where he was looking more at the basics than before. And with the basics I am really talking about the three questions, as represented in Positional Play:

•    Where are the weaknesses
•    What is my opponent’s idea
•    Which is the worst placed piece

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Categories: Jacob Aagaard's training tips Tags:

Candidates Round 3 – What went wrong for Svidler?

March 15th, 2014 10 comments

Topalov – Aronian, 1/2-1/2
Andreikin – Karjakin, 1/2-1/2
Mamedyarov – Anand, 0-1
Svidler – Kramnik, 1/2-1/2

So Anand is leading after three rounds with two excellent wins and essentially flawless play. I am not sure many would want to see him as the challenger after the match in November, but as Grischuk said: the player that wins the candidates is not the same many as when he started the tournament. Still, there is a long way to go and anything can happen.

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Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:

Big chess at the Candidates 2nd round & Alexander Motylev European Champion

March 14th, 2014 2 comments

Topalov – Anand 1/2-1/2
Svidler – Andreikin 1-0
Kramnik – Karjakin 1-0
Aronian – Mamedyarov 1-0
Topalov – Anand 1/2-1/2

Anand drew more or less from preparation. The Kramnik game will be the main focus everywhere; great new idea in the opening, exchange sacrifice and so on. But to me the two moments of special attention in todays round where these:
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Categories: Fun Games Tags:

Big novelty by Kramnik!?

March 14th, 2014 3 comments

Being a bit nervous calling anything a novelty these days, we think that Kramnik has widely increased our knowledge of the QGA this morning with a novelty!?
[fen size=”small”]r1bqkb1r/ppp1p1pp/1n6/4Pp2/1n1PB3/4B3/PP3PPP/RN1QK1NR w KQkq f6 0 9[/fen]
9.a3! and once again Kramnik manages to get into a position with opposite coloured bishops!

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags: