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Author Topic: Chess thread  (Read 247101 times)
Jon MW
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« Reply #45 on: August 01, 2012, 08:24:00 PM »

...

If you think a lot of theory has been written about poker, just have a look at the books on chess openings. Put it into context: starting from move one, White has 20 possible first moves (eight pawns that can move either one or two squares up, plus two knights which each have two possible destinations). To each of those 20 moves, Black has 20 possible responses. Already, there are 400 possible positions after move 1.

...

I used to work at the British Chess Federation, so I've had a bit of a look around the National Chess Library, there are a LOT of books on chess theory and history.

The total number in that library is 7000 books, I think most of them are history books but I reckon there's probably approaching a 1000 books they had just on opening theory. Cheesy
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Tal
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« Reply #46 on: August 01, 2012, 08:25:11 PM »

Elsewhere, in modern-day Germany, Magnus Carlsen leads the Biel tournament by half a point, going in to the last round tomorrow. If he draws, he will only take second if there is a winner between Dutch superstar Danish Giri (a young man even next to Carlsen) and China's Wang Hao.

The penultimate round has just finished and Chessbase has reported the games.

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8376

If these are accurate, have a look at the game Bacrot v Nakamura. Etienne Bacrot has been the top player in the world in my age group ever since I started playing chess. Luke McShane is the same age. Mentioning myself in the same breath as those guys is a bit of an insult tbh but it's my thread so what the heck.

EvilPie asked about silly mistakes. Have a look at Bacrot's thirtieth move. If this record is accurate and that is the move he played, it's an absolute shocker. After Nakamura took his rook, Bacrot can take the queen, but he loses his own then and the net result is he will lose a whole rook in that sequence.

A very simple tactic. It must have been an absolute mental block.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 10:56:17 PM by Tal » Logged

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Tal
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« Reply #47 on: August 01, 2012, 08:27:13 PM »

...

If you think a lot of theory has been written about poker, just have a look at the books on chess openings. Put it into context: starting from move one, White has 20 possible first moves (eight pawns that can move either one or two squares up, plus two knights which each have two possible destinations). To each of those 20 moves, Black has 20 possible responses. Already, there are 400 possible positions after move 1.

...

I used to work at the British Chess Federation, so I've had a bit of a look around the National Chess Library, there are a LOT of books on chess theory and history.

The total number in that library is 7000 books, I think most of them are history books but I reckon there's probably approaching a 1000 books they had just on opening theory. Cheesy

Thank goodness I haven't said anything unpleasant about the BCF/ECF then!

Yet.
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Jon MW
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« Reply #48 on: August 01, 2012, 08:40:59 PM »

...

If you think a lot of theory has been written about poker, just have a look at the books on chess openings. Put it into context: starting from move one, White has 20 possible first moves (eight pawns that can move either one or two squares up, plus two knights which each have two possible destinations). To each of those 20 moves, Black has 20 possible responses. Already, there are 400 possible positions after move 1.

...

I used to work at the British Chess Federation, so I've had a bit of a look around the National Chess Library, there are a LOT of books on chess theory and history.

The total number in that library is 7000 books, I think most of them are history books but I reckon there's probably approaching a 1000 books they had just on opening theory. Cheesy

Thank goodness I haven't said anything unpleasant about the BCF/ECF then!

Yet.

 Grin  lol I wouldn't worry about that - the office manager was psychotic and the leadership from the directors was largely incompetent, I left before everything got completely re-jigged so I don't know how much better it got after they re-organised things but it really wasn't that impressive when I was there.
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Tal
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« Reply #49 on: August 01, 2012, 08:50:43 PM »

Yes I'm sure such matters may come up in our polite conversations on this thread!

Perhaps another day  Wink
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« Reply #50 on: August 02, 2012, 10:08:56 PM »

In Biel, the final round gave all the drama it promised. Magnus Carlsen couldn't get over the line against Etienne Bacrot and had to settle for a draw. He therefore needed the two players below him to do the same, as a winner between them would take the title.

The opening between Anish Giri and Wang Hao gave neither player any advantage but Giri made a fatal mistake, missing a clever combination by the Chinese player to give his opponent the win and the title.

Wang Hao was the third seed of the six on paper but held his own well, winning key games against the lower-ranked players. Carlsen had to settle for second, but in the knowledge that his rating will increase (again), edging ever closer to Garry Kasparov's record.

What you might find interesting about the result of the tournament is that Carlsen won 4 and drew 6 of his games, whereas Hao won 6, drew 1 and lost 3. So Carlsen actually got 7 out of 10 and Hao got 6.5 out of 10. What's more, Carlsen beat Hao as white and black.

It has become en vogue in the elite circles for everything but the biggest chess tournaments (World Championship, etc) to have a football-style points system of 3 for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss.

Every now and then through chess history, someone kicks up a fuss about there being too many draws, that it’s becoming boring and everyone’s frightened to lose. It was much, much worse 50 years ago, where almost everyone was from the USSR and there are any number of occasions where draws between Comrades resulted in a USSR winner.

Nevertheless, the sponsors speak in these matters and they can’t afford to allow boring (particularly short) games on too regular a basis, or no one will watch. Sadly, the outcome has been this silly nonsense of 3 points for a win, inviting fighting chess and, in some cases, more open games.

Wang Hao drew just once and was rewarded for his all-or-nothing approach by finishing above Carlsen, where he would have been runner-up under the conventional scoring system.

Thems be the rules. What do you make of them?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 10:24:00 PM by Tal » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: August 03, 2012, 11:39:33 PM »

Slightly closer to home, the final round of the British Championship resulted in a tie between top seed Gawain Jones and third seed Ste Gordon.

They will share first and second prize money between them (but for a nominal £50) and will play a tiebreak series of quick play games tomorrow morning.

http://britishchesschampionships.co.uk/news/play-off-in-the-british-championship/

Tomorrow from about 10:30am (not poker player o'clock, I grant you...) the title of British Champion 2012 will be decided. The link above should get you either to or close to the games, which will be pretty fast-paced and streamed live.

Neither has won the British Champs before. As Ste has played for my club in Birmingham and singularly one of the nicest chaps I've met, I have to funk for the underdog.

Won't be much in it.

Two games to start off with (roughly taking 45 mins each). If they are still level, there will be some much faster blitz games.

Enjoy if you're watching tomorrow
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« Reply #52 on: August 05, 2012, 01:31:13 PM »

Watching that documentary on Magnus Carlsen - incredible!

I can't get over that clip of him with his back turned to the 10 games reading out the moves - just unbelievable.
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Tal
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« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2012, 02:02:40 PM »

It's just awesome to watch, isn't it?

Imagine playing an MTT blindfolded where players announce their bets and you have to keep track of their chip stacks!

Alekhine, the great Russian master of our great-grandfathers' generation, used to say he went by the voices as the opponent read out his move, which triggered the positions in his mind. From there, it was just the simple task of working out the best move. Easy then!

Meanwhile, the British Championship was won by the top seed and favourite, Gawain Jones, following a playoff with Steven Gordon.

« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 09:47:49 AM by Tal » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2012, 12:06:37 PM »

Started playing a bit of chess again on chess.com. I totally thrashed this 8 year old yesterday, was amazing.

Got completely pwned by everyone else i played though, i totally suck.
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Tal
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« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2012, 09:16:04 PM »

Following on from this, if anyone plays a game online and wants me to have a look at it, I can't guarantee an overnight turnaround, but I'd happily offer some feedback/advice. I can assure you from having watched 7 year olds playing in junior comps and from having done some coaching in the past, there is no game you can show me that will offend!

Just give me an idea of what you want me to look at/advise on, as you would in the PHA thread, and I'll do my best to get back to you in a few days by PM or email.

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« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2012, 09:55:26 PM »

Following on from the debate on other threads about Rastafish and his ability to unsettle opponents over the poker tables, I got thinking about the tactics I've seen and heard about.

Digestive biscuits being munched, boiled sweet wrappers twizzled and pens clicked on and off. That was just last season against me in league matches!

At junior level, parents control their children's movements and there was a particularly memorable father who used to send his children in to each game 15 mins late just to put the opponent (again, a child) off their concentration.

At the top level, you will have seen Kasparov in the Carlsen clip. He's famous for his mind games, in truth.

How about hypnotism?

In the 1930s, Alekhine was King. He beat the seemingly unbeatable Capablanca to claim the world title in 1927 and with the exception of two years, held that title until 1946.

Alekhine, a bit like Kasparov, was very interested in the psychology element of chess and his contemporaries took this either as a joke/an irrelevance or they were affected by it.

I have just found a fascinating article on this very point and here it is.

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8310

It covers a few anecdotes and then turns to some articles from and about Alekhine's rivals. The very thought that the great Bogljubov (not a Victorian magician, as much as that name sounds like he should be!) would be convinced that he was being hypnotised over the board is incredible.

A couple of the excerpts are in other languages (including a French story of Mikhail Tal playing six games against an amateur; three normal and three with the amateur hypnotised and convinced he was Paul Morphy - see earlier post about him - Tal was amazed at how much more aggressive and fluent the play was in the second set) but the whole thing is worth five minutes of your time.

Tony G's got nothing on chess players!

Imagine if Iker Casillas said he couldn't save penalties from Messi because he kept being hypnotised!
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« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2012, 10:20:14 PM »


Love this thread!
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« Reply #58 on: August 08, 2012, 07:49:29 PM »

A final - for the time being (probably) - series of notes about Alexander Alekhine.

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7555

It's a collection of interviews in various newspapers around the world. Bear in mind that this is a man who grew up in Russia at the turn of the Century and saw the revolution. He was not a communist, with his father a man of some considerable importance under Tzar Nicholas II.

He escaped to France and eventually became a French citizen.

A curious character, an epoque-defining chess player and a fascinating - if controversial - man.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 10:45:55 PM by Tal » Logged

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« Reply #59 on: August 08, 2012, 09:13:34 PM »




And something less cerebral:

Magnus Carlsen playing a friendly game against a Norwegian junior player. She gets 9.5 minutes on her clock to make all her moves.

Magnus gets 30 seconds. Total. If he takes one second between her pressing her clock and him pressing his every move, he will have to beat her inside 30 moves.

It's a little on the grainy side so you might find the actual game hard to follow. But you can see just how the black pieces come forward to attack together.

What amuses me is how, when there is a distraction, Carlsen looks up to see what's going on. He has 30 seconds on his clock and he is cooler than Usain Bolt in the last 5 metres of a 100m heat.

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