News and Potpourri
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS FRIDAY!
As already pointed out on this blog the Anand vs Gelfand match for the World Championship kicks off this coming Friday in Moscow at the prestigious Tretyakov Gallery. The match will be disputed over 12 games and should continue until the end of this month. Classical time control (2 hours for 60 moves followed by 15 minutes to finish; plus 30sec/move) and plenty of rest days. The prize fund is over 2 million dollars.
As for prognosis, for some reason the majority of commentators favour Anand, even though his recent tournament chess results are unimpressive and show a steady decline in level of play. Ofcourse, match play is different, but is this supposed to make Anand’s supporters happy?
I personally favour Gelfand, who I feel is closer to the height of his game than Anand. Ofcourse, my wife tells me I always favour the underdog…I usually lose bets!
I expect a boring match, almost no theoretical surprises or innovations, and plenty of draws. And I think it will go down to the sudden death playoffs (are they in the rules?) and Gelfand win when Anand overlooks a mate in one and then drops his Queen!
I will keep readers up todate!
2012 US Championships underway!
Almost all the top US grandmasters are taking part in this year’s 12-player round robbin. As well, the ladies championship is taking place at the same time–I will report on this very strong event in a separate blog entry. Close to 200,000 dollars in prize money (give or take) and an absolutely wonderful website, with videos, live games, lots of photos and much, much more. Almost wishes you were an American player, eh? (almost–editor!)
The first round this evening saw some fighting chess, even if most of it was far from the players at their best. But the ‘Idiot’ prize of the round was a no brainer: gm Stripunsky found a way to lose with White in just 11 moves!
White’s last move (11.d3??) invites Black to take the Bishop on c1 –with check, if that matters–forcing an exchange of Queens…obviously this was an oversight and when he realized what he had just done he immediately resigned! We just have to assume that Onischuk would have taken the Bishop…!
The live video coverage had to wait several minutes before receiving confirmation that that is exactly how the game went! Both Shahade and Finegold did their best to avoid laughing…
Nakamura won a fine game against Robert Hess. Hess confessed afterwards that he was doubly surprised by Nakamura’s opening choices: first, Naka rarely plays 1.e4, and even so who could have guessed that he would have played the Evan’s Gambit! It all worked well for Nakamura, as Hess played weakly in the opening and was inferior for the rest of the game. The finish is nice:
POSITION AFTER 30 MOVES
Nakamura delivered the knock-out punch with 31.Rxg7!! After 31…KxR there followed 32.Rg3-ch Kf8 33.Qh7! and there is no way to avoid mate
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/h49Rgva4HgI?p=1 width=”480″ height=”300″]