vrijdag, oktober 22, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

Calling all Jaap Stijl Fans

Good News! Jaap's column will resume it's regularly scheduled programming the final weekend of October.

I may even chime in once in awhile with important chess news.

Shelby Long (22.10.04)

maandag, oktober 18, 2004

Desultory Turgescence
Desultory Turgescence

WCC Final Game: The Champion Retains his Crown

In a brilliant game, the champion was finally able to win the full point to draw even in the match and retain his crown by virtue of a tie score. The players played a Caro Kann opening, Leko probably figuring that he would have the best chance at pulling off a draw. (Personnally I would have chosen another Russian Defence, but then that's fodder for another story).

Leko had a prepared novelty for the opening played, at move 6 when he played 6.Nd2. After 15.Bd4 it begins to look like white has the advantage after ...Nxd4 16.cxd4 Qxd2+ 17.Kxd2. Leko starts to feel the pinch after 21...a6 22.a4! Now it is very difficult for him. At 34.f4! White is clearly winning with a deadly threat of f4-f5. At the end after 41.Nf7+ it's mate in three. (41...Ke8 42.Rc8+ Kd7 43.Rd8 mate).

Congratulations to the winner and still champion!

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h6 5.g4 Bd7 6.Nd2 c5 7.dxc5 e6 8.Nb3 Bxc5 9.Nxc5 Qa5+ 10.c3 Qxc5 11.Nf3 Ne7 12.Bd3 Nbc6 13.Be3 Qa5 14.Qd2 Ng6 15.Bd4 Nxd4 16.cxd4 Qxd2+ 17.Kxd2 Nf4 18.Rac1 h5 19.Rhg1 Bc6 20.gxh5 Nxh5 21.b4 a6 22.a4 Kd8 23.Ng5 Be8 24.b5 Nf4 25.b6 Nxd3 26.Kxd3 Rc8 27.Rxc8+ Kxc8 28.Rc1+ Bc6 29.Nxf7 Rxh4 30.Nd6+ Kd8 31.Rg1 Rh3+ 32.Ke2 Ra3 33.Rxg7 Rxa4 34.f4 Ra2+ 35.Kf3 Ra3+ 36.Kg4 Rd3 37.f5 Rxd4+ 38.Kg5 exf5 39.Kf6 Rg4 40.Rc7 Rh4 41.Nf7+ 1-0

Shelby Long (18.10.04)

zondag, oktober 17, 2004

Desultory tragicomic

WCC Game 13: A Drawn See-Saw Battle

Game 13 may have ended in a draw, but it was a real dog fight all the way down to move 52. After that, the players, under heavy pressure from the rest of the chess playing public, played out the moves necessary to demonstrate the draw.

This game saw an attacking Kramnik for the first time in the match. He definitely came to play for the full point. Leko, sticking to his plan to thwart Kramnik's preparation against Leko's normal 1.e4 opening habit, played 1.d4 and we were off to another Indian Defence System. After move 3...c5 by Kramnik, the game appeared to be turning into a Blumenfeld Counter Gambit line, which lasted until move 5...exd5, when it developed into a Modern Benoni. At move 10, the game broke away from the book with 10...Ne8 and limited Kramnik's options for an eventual Re8.

At 12.a4 Leko was clearly playing to make it difficult for black to play ...b5. Kramnik's answer 12...f5, challenged white on the king side and showed that Kramnik had prepared this line before the match. He proved that when he followed up with 13...Rxf5, a surprise move which left his king position exposed, but threatened ...Rxd5. When white answered with 14.Bg4 Kramnik took his rook back to f8. Many of the analysts covering the game thought Kramnik should have played 14...Rf7 instead, leaving his options open for a future doubling of rooks on the f file and saving a tempo. Analyst were temporarily stymied again when Leko played 15.Bxc8 instead of 15.Bf3. They felt that black now would have an easier time since the issue of where he could develop his black squared bishop was resolved. They quickly changed their minds though when when Kramnik began spending a lot of time coming up with how to answer the move. Clearly 15.Bxc8 was a meant to be a pschological ploy by Leko, and it worked.

Leko increased his slight edge after 18.axb5 weakening black's white squares on the queen side. After 21 moves both players had run their cloks down to the extent that only approximately 2 minutes per move was left for them to play the next 19 moves and reach the first time control. After 26.Bxd4, the game appeared to be very complicated and spectators began to think the players were headed toward another draw. At 28...Rxf5, we can see that the game has become a double rook end game which is extremely difficult to calculate. After 30...Rdxd5 black's play appeared to be very dangerous for white. Leko appeared now to be in danger of losing the game. At 33.g4 Leko appeared to have lost his way when a better move was 33.Rh7. After that, Leko's defensive play was magnificent. At move 48. Rb8, the game appeared to be back to drawing chances. It didn't help Kramnik's case when he gave up a tempo after 48...Rb3. At 49...Ke4 he let Leko enter a possible drawn position. After 52.Kf3 the draw looked to be extremely likely unless either player blundered. At 56.b7 Leko picked up another tempo, assuring the draw. They both played on however, to demonstrate just why the position was a draw.

The score in the match now is 7:6 in the challanger's favor. Kramnik is faced with a must win situation entering the final game on Monday. He will have the white pieces, but anything other than a draw and the world will see a 15th World Chess Champion crowned. One can only wonder that if that happens will Leko allow Kramnik a re-match? That's more than we can say for Kramnik and his refusal to offer a re-match to Kasparov. The game moves were as follows:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.Nd2 Bg7 8.e4 0-0 9.Be2 Na6 10.0-0 Ne8 11.Nc4 Nac7 12.a4 f5 13.exf5 Rxf5 14.Bg4 Rf8 15.Bxc8 Rxc8 16.Qb3 b6 17.Nb5 Nxb5 18.axb5 Rc7 19.Bd2 Rcf7 20.Bc3 Qd7 21.f3 g5 22.Ne3 Rf4 23.Rfe1 h5 24.Qc2 Qf7 25.h3 Bd4 26.Bxd4 Rxd4 27.Nf5 Qxf5 28.Qxf5 Rxf5 29.Rxe8+ Kf7 30.Rb8 Rdxd5 31.Rxa7+ Ke6 32.Re8+ Kf6 33.g4 hxg4 34.hxg4 Rd1+ 35.Kf2 Re5 36.Rh8 Rd2+ 37.Kg3 Ree2 38.Rf8+ Kg6 39.Rg8+ Kf6 40.Rf8+ Ke6 41.Re8+ Kd5 42.Rxe2 Rxe2 43.Rg7 Re5 44.Rb7 c4 45.Rxb6 Re2 46.f4 Re3+ 47.Kf2 gxf4 48.Rb8 Rb3 49.b6 Ke4 50.Re8+ Kd3 51.Re2 d5 52.Kf3 d4 53.g5 c3 54.bxc3 dxc3 55.Rg2 Rb2 56.b7 Rxb7 57.Kxf4 Rb2 58.Rg1 c2 59.Rc1 Rb1 60.Rxc2 Kxc2 61.g6 Kd3 62.Kf5 Rb5+ 63.Kf6 Rb6+ 64.Kf7 Rxg6 65.Kxg6 draw (1/2 - 1/2)

Shelby Long (17.10.04)

vrijdag, oktober 15, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

WCC Game 12: Different Game, Same Result

Draw no. 9! That's today's result. Black (Leko) was ahead two extra pawns in a Caro Kann Opening, but he offered a draw.

The big news was that a different opening was featured in this game, The Caro Kann. It is the first time in this match that it has been played. Today's game was actually a very hard fought contest with Kramnik getting a great position after 18.Qh7. He looked to be winning. After 24...gxf6 Black was slightly improved and appeared to be holding on. Kramnik looked quite surprised after Leko played 31...Bc7. Did he miss something here? With 33...Qxh5 Leko went ahead by two pawns and even looked to be winning. He offered an exchange of queens after 34...Qg6, and a draw, which Kramnik felt obliged to take to keep his chances alive. Make no mistake, the pressure is really starting to show with just two games left and Leko needing just 1 point in the next two games, to take the championship away from Kramnik. Each player has one more opportunity with the white pieces, Leko on Saturday and Kramnik on Monday. Leko still needs a win or two draws to win the match and Kramnik will undoubtedly be playing for a win to draw even. Two draws won't do it for Kramnik. Pressure, pressure, pressure!

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bf4 Qa5+ 12.Bd2 Qc7 13.0-0-0 Ngf6 14.Ne4 0-0-0 15.g3 Nxe4 16.Qxe4 Bd6 17.Kb1 Rhe8 18.Qh7 Rg8 19.c4 c5 20.d5 Nf6 21.Qc2 exd5 22.cxd5 Qd7 23.Bc3 Rde8 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Qd3 f5 26.Nd2 b5 27.Rhe1 Kb8 28.Qc3 Rxe1 29.Rxe1 c4 30.Nf3 f4 31.g4 Bc7 32.Qd4 Qxg4 33.Qe4 Qxh5 34.Nd4 Qg6 1/2 - 1/2

Be sure and tune in on Saturday. You won't want to miss it.

Shelby Long (14.10.04)

woensdag, oktober 13, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

WCC Game 11: Leko's Turn to Draw

With just three games left, Leko (white) squanders another chance to take a commanding lead by winning with the white pieces. Now he has white just one more time in the match.

Game 11 saw the Queen's Indian Defence again, but this time, with white varying from his 5.b3 of game 9, to 5.Qa4. At move 14, Kramnik played 14...Nh5. Now don't run to your opening manual to find the move because it's not there. Yes, Kramnik's home analysis found this move, but Leko could not find an answer over the board. He ran his clock down trying, but in the end decided to go for a short draw by repetion. So, all of you Queen's Indian buffs, you have until Thursday's game 12 to find the answer. A betting man might start an office pool to see how long before some GM finds the answer and plays it in his/her game.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qa4 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nc3 Be7 10.Bf4 a6 11.Rfd1 d6 12.Qc2 Qc7 13.Rac1 Rd8 14.Qd2 Nh5 15.Bg5 Nf6 16.Bf4 Nh5 17.Bg5 Nf6 Draw agreed

Kramnik has the white pieces in next Thursday's game 12. He feels he has all the chances left to pull off another win before the end of the match on 18 October, and keep his title. Leko likes his chances with the black pieces where he seems to be playing his best. What do you think?

Shelby Long (12.10.04)

maandag, oktober 11, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

WCC Game 10: B of Opps Draw

With pressure building, Kramnik agrees to another draw. Only 4 games left now, for Kramnik to win one, draw even in the match, and keep his crown. Leko says he wants to make more of the White pieces, which he will have two more times in this match, next game included. At least, this game got out of the theory phase, ending in what is commonly known to be a drawing situation, Bishops of opposite colors (B of Opps). Kramnik, being the champion, is starting to "get heat" for agreeing to a draws in the match before the game is out of the theory phase.

This game started as another Spanish Opening (Ruy Lopez) game with Kramnik on the white side of the play. Leko varied his normal play and surprised Kramnik with 5...Bc5 leading to the Moeller - Archangel variation. Kramnik got off a novelty move at 9.a4 and we were of to the races.

After a lot of time expired from Leko's clock, he got off a good counter, 9...b4. After 12...Be7, Kramnik has a comfortable game and a nice position even though black is a pawn up. After Kramnik's 15.cxd4 we find ourselves at that familiar position in just about all of Kramnik's games, where the queens are off the board.

At this point in the match Kramnik has used just 15 minutes to make 15 moves. Leko, on the other hand, has used almost 1 hour of his allotted time after his 15th move. He is trying to solve the problem of castling (king side) and protecting his bishop at e7. One nice consequence of the Queen's being off the board is that he probably doesn't need to castle, however, he must find some way to activate his king's rook.

Kramnik gets a surprise from Leko when black plays 16...h6, and he has to take a few minutes to sort it all out. A few moves later, after 20...Rd7 Leko finally gets his queen's rook to d7 attacking white's weak d pawn and protecting his king bishop on e7. (At this point I think he realizes that his isolated f pawns are bad, but he can see how ton achieve a B of Opps draw) Kreamnik's position is full of good moves to pick from, but he seems to have a hard time finding the right one. He tries 24.d5. There are possibilities here for Kramnik to play for the win of black's h pawn or f6 pawn or even winning the exchange. He continues to look for the right combination to bring home the point, but after 30.Rxd1 he is down to 30 minutes to play his last 20 moves. there appears to be no way to get to a won end game. Even the exchange doesn't seem to work because black's two bishops get stronger and should be enough to hold the draw. At move 35.Bc6 he still hasn't found a winning line and is now down to less than 15 minutes to play his last 15 moves. Leko is even worse on the clock with just 5 1/2 minutes left on his clock. They agreed to a draw.

The pressure cooker is starting to get a little warmer now with just four games left. Kramnik must win one to keep his title and Leko needs to get an insurance win to relieve some of the pressure he is under to keep finding ways to draw and keep Kramnik at bay. Tune in Tuesday for another chapter in the Classical World Chess Championship match.

Shelby Long (10.10.04)

zaterdag, oktober 09, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

WCC Game 9: Nobody Wins!

Game 9 ended in a short draw, where nobody came out a winner; not Kramnik, not Leko, not the spectators at the game site, and not the chess world as a whole. Nobody! Why? Because we have seen it all before.

The game started out as a Queen's Indian Defense and followed normal moves all the way to the end. Instead of seeing where championship play could take the position, Leko chose to play it safe and preserve his single point lead for another day. He left with a slight advantage due to his better central position and a very slight initiative after 14.Ne5. Kramnik's position was very solid, however. Kramnik played pretty much on auto pilot, with less than 15 minutes off his clock. He wanted to respond with 14...Rc8, but instead chose 14...h6 preventing white from gaining an improved position with 15.Bh3. Leko followed with 15.a3, transposing to a familiar drawing line which had been played by others over the years. After 15.a3 by Leko, Kramnik saw that he would not be able to play his knight to b4 to cramp white's play on the queen side, and there was no advantage to be gained by leaving his queen knight on the side of the board, so he embarked on a plan to bring it to e6 via c7 with 15...Nc7. Leko's obvious response was to play 16.e4, but not before he had examined every possibility he could think of and running his clock down to less than one hour for his last 25 moves. When Kramnik quickly played 16...Ne6, Leko ran his clock down some more, but left us all hanging when the two players agreed to a draw without playing another move.

So... We are left to ponder if there is a winning line in the position. The game was so abruptly brought to a close that Kramnik never even got a chance to offer the queen trade we have all come to know as a staple in his games. Nobody won! We can only wonder; "what would Bobby Fischer do? What would Alekhine do? What would Tal do?" But alas, all we have is "What will tomorrow bring. Maybe it will be a better game and no split point".

Shelby Long (9.10.04)

vrijdag, oktober 08, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

WCC Game 8: Leko Takes the Lead

Like the night following the day, the first half of the match ended in a quiet splitting of the points, and there followed the first game in the second half of the match, a superb combination earning the full point. Maybe a signal of what we should expect in the second half of this match?!

First things first. Game 7, the half way point in the match, employed a very quiet Slav Defense. Leko, I'm sure, thought the Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD) played earlier in the match, was good enough for a win in Game 5, Why not use it again? Kramnik, of course had other ideas, so he steered the game into a SlavDefense, a variation which he is very comfortable with. After giving up the gambit pawn at move 4.(dxc4), Leko took it back with 7.Bxc4. At move 11, Kramnik moved his knight to c4, a weak square from which he could hopefully blockade the Leko's isolated d4 pawn. At move 13. Leko decided to simplify with 13.d5 and we spectators were beginning to worry that the game would be over before Kramnik got a chance to demonstrate his, by now, famous fetish for getting the queens off the board. We need not have worried though, for on move 16...Bc8 offers a Queen trade. Actually, a pretty strong defensive move in this case. A few moves later, at move 21. Kramnik agreed to a draw. It was a legitimate offer because the position looks very even. Black has the Bishop pair, but white has the more active pieces. This ended the first half of the match. The players both commented that the 2nd half of the match should be a real fight with tensions building each day.

Now for Game 8! This was another Spanish affair, but varied from games 2, 4, and 6 with a new move at move 8, (8.c3). Previous games all had 8.h3 as the move of choice. In this game, Kramnik allowed Leko to play one of his favorites, the Marshall Gambit variation of the Ruy Lopez, when he played 8.c3. The game followed, pretty much, the normal move order for the first 20 moves or so. Kramnik successfully demonstrated his misogvny at move 16. with 16.Qf1. Leko refused the trade. The pyrotechnics started at move 24 when Kramnik missplayed with 24.Qxe2, where 24.bxa6 was called for. Kramink's home analysis mistakenly showed that white had nothing to fear a powerful passed pawn, but he and his team missed the beautiful combination which Leko found, apparently, over the board; 26...Bxf3. After 28...Nxc3 the game was Leko's. At 29.bxc3, Kramnik hits the wall, giving up a huge material loss. He turned his King over 3 moves later, when Leko played 32...g4, sealing Kramnik's fate.

Yes, the second half of this match should be a real battle, as both players predicted. Coming down the home stretch, both players can smell the winners share of 1M Swiss Francs. I think you share with me, the idea that yes indeed, the second half will be a dog fight and we can hardly wait for Saturday's game to start.

donderdag, oktober 07, 2004

The Unknown

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

--Donald Rumsfeld
fr. Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

zondag, oktober 03, 2004

WCC Game 6: A Rat in the Woodpile

I'm getting the distinct odor of rat coming from the woodpile now! Draw no. 4 in our match to determine the World Chess Champion, appears to have no solid basis in reality. Kramnik was clearly being outplayed and as the game began to build up to a cresendo, Voila, Leko offers a draw! Now I don't need some body to identify that odorous smell. It's a dead rat! ...And it's coming from one of the chess ruling bodies of the world. Sombody got to Leko; I'm not sure if it was the Russian Chess Federation or that FIDE organization president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, but I wouldn't put it past either source. They are both pretty devious. It Stinks!! There are no other words to describe it.

The game developed into a a Spanish Opening, the third in this match, and followed the previous occurrence's move order until black's move 10, when Leko played 10...Na5. (Previous game was 10...Nd7) on move 14, black offered a pawn with 14...d5, but white didn't bite on it. On move 16...c4 white's bishop was locked into a2 and if white plays b3, his pawns on a3 and c3 get very weak. Then on move 18, Kramnik ignored his opportunity to force his misogyny on Leko, with 18.Nf5. Now he has two pieces on the fifth rank. The queen exchange possibility remains in tact. ...And he played the move very quickly. Almost no time came off his clock. But Leko refused, probably feeling that to exchange all the heavy pieces on the d file would lead to a draw. After black played 18...Qe6, a draw was certainly no longer likely. And now Kramnik played 19.Qe2 transferring more power to the king side and forsaking Qc2 which would allow b3 to be played. Play is getting very interesting now and Kramnik is visably nervous. Leko responded with 19...Bf8, skipping over the possibility of either 19...Nd7 or h6, but creating a space for his knight to come to e7 and challange white's knight at f5. His position is getting more strong with each move. Kramnik then took an enormous amount of time to play 20.Bb1 aiming for the c2 square and protecting the pawn at e4. Of course that was his decision, but all commentators thought he should play Rad1, still looking at ways to build up to a draw. Leko quickly played 20...h6 forcing Kramnik to have to determine whether to back the bishop off or trade for the knight on f6. After a few minutes into Kramnik's thinking about his next move, Leko offered him a safe way out with a draw. Huh?? Surely there is more chess to be had in this position. What does Leko see that we do not? Here he has a chance to go for the kill and take the lead in the match. Kramnik is visably uncomfortable with the position and has run his clock down to nearly 30 minutes (and still counting) to play his last 19 moves, and Leko offers him a draw?? What is Leko thinking? That's why I smell a rat in the woodpile!!

Oh Yes! There was one very pleasant distraction to reflect on during the match. Ms. Kass, President of the Estonian Chess Federation, payed a visit to the commentator's area and spent some time chatting with the website commentators about chess (but she made it clear that she was not qualified to comment on the game's position). Carmen Kass, as some of you undoubtedly know, is a super model who somehow finds the time to play chess.

by Shelby Long (3.10.04)

zaterdag, oktober 02, 2004

WCC Game 5: Leko Makes a Comeback

At last! Something we can sink our teeth into; a game that doesn't end in one of those quick draws.

I'll keep you in suspense for a little while before getting into today's game, with some brief comments on the previous three games:

Incidentally, you can print out the move list for each of these games by going to The London Chess Centre web site, clicking on the TWIC button and downloading the WCC move lists file

Game 2: A Grandmaster draw if I ever saw one. I had just settled down with a cup of coffee and bang! the game was over. It was a miniature Spanish Opening (a.k.a. Ruy Lopez) which Kramnik has shown a penchant for in the past. Leko avoided Kramnik's pet variation (Berlin Defense) by playing 3...a6, then did a little more "steering" on move 5... with Be7. I think he was saying to himself that Kramnik has used 5...b5 to gain draws on several occassions in the past, so he varied the move. Kramnik appeared to have similar thoughts at his move 8. when he played 8.h3 instead of the more usual 8.c3 or 8.a4. Leko has had success against those moves in the past so Kramnik shows us that he has done his homework and avoided them. Move 10...Bb4 looks familiar, because he used that move successfully last year in Monaco, but at move 12 he broke the balance of the position with 12...Bxc3. After that it looked like Kramnik may have had a slight advantage, but we'll never know because in a few more moves, Kramnik offered a draw, which, of course, Leko accepted. Kramnik normally likes the black side of the Ruy Lopez and actually was able to beat Kasparov using the Berlin Variation, in the last WCC match. He probably felt very uncomfortable with the position today's game took on, and offerred the draw just in case Leko had a surprise up his sleeve, that Kramnik didn't want to tackle over-the board (OTB).

Game 3: Another draw! The World Champion played the black side of a Russian Defence (Petroff Defense) as in game 1. As a matter of fact the game matched game 1 move for move all the way up until move 16. when Leko played c4 instead of the previously played 16.h3. On move 17...Qc2 we saw Kramnik submit to his old misogyny, always wanting the queens off the board. Leko's preparation against this possibility was apparent in his long consideration of how to continue. He managed to get some initiative after black's Bd7, but black's c5 and f6 squares looked like excellent places for his pieces. Although Leko had space and central control, he felt frustrated with the position and began to trade pieces. This time it was Leko looking for the draw. After the 23rd move, White offered his hand to Kramnik who immediately accepted the draw.

Game 4: Now it is getting tedious. A third draw! What's up with these two? Better still, what's up with the chess commission? How many times are we going to go through this act where the players are afraid to push toward a win. Say what you want about Fischer and Kasparov, but they have the capability to push the game beyond draws into unknown territory, in pursuit of a win. I can also remember events in the past where the combatants were dismissed from a tournament because they were unwilling to push for wins, making for a very un-interesting, un-popular match. Well, at any rate, here we are at another Spanish Opening in game 4. This game was a little more hard fought, but the result was still the same after 43 moves, Kramnik accepted a draw offer from Leko. In this game Leko chose a slightly different line than in the second game, by playing 9...d6. At move 11...Nd4, White had a decision to make; a quiet move or a complicated line that might win. He decided to play it safe. Leko started some operations on the king side and on move 25 he played a slight inacuracy, 25...Bxd5, which led to his dropping a pawn to Kramnik. The rook end game that followed had black with the more active rooks which proved to be sufficient to hold the draw. After this game Leko said "the first game was a deep shock for me. But now I will start to be more ambitious".

Game 5: Leko evens the match! Making good on his promise, Leko played like he wanted to win. Playing white, he got away from the king pawn openings and went into a variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined (5.Bf4 variation). But let me digress for a moment.... Was it my imagination or was Leko wearing the same suit and tie that he has worn to the previous games. Does he have a closet full of the same ones or is this the only one? Is he superstitious? Anyway, back to the important stuff! I had my doubts about where this match was headed when white took so long to play 14.b4. I thought "oh no! his preparation has failed him and now he will have to play for yet another draw". But no! Kramnik makes a common move that I have to question (You may ask who am I to question the World Champ? but I'll let the results speak for themselves), 14...Re8. While this is a common move here, this is only the middle game and rooks are not so powerful as the minor pieces. They don't get real strong until the end game when they have open files to work with. When white played 55.Rc8, I thought "this is an exceptional move". Now white can make some progress by virtue of the luming discovered check. The next move, 56.e6+ started the winning combination by forcing black to give up the exchange. Black's move 64...h4 had some analysts saying that this was Kramnik's last mistake. Personnaly, I think he is lost no matter what he plays at this point. At 69.Kf7, Kramnik resigns! after falling into the zug-zwang (if it's your turn to move, but any move you make deteriorates your position) that Leko forced Kramnik into, he was no longer able to hold his "fortress" together. A sterling performance by the Hungarian GM, who made good on his promise to be more ambitious. I can hardly wait for tomorrow's game now that the match is level at 2.5 each.

by Shelby Long (2.10.04)


vrijdag, oktober 01, 2004

"THE FUTURE BELONGS TO FREEDOM, NOT TO FEAR"

It's probably sad that the moment I heard that line uttered tonight, I immediately knew it didn't come from the pen of a president or a presidential candidate, but some intellect in the silent background making peanuts and getting no credit.

*****

I wrote notes because I got well high (as anyone should, when watching a presidential debate) - so here they go, not in any particular partisan fashion:

1:55 am - Some talking head mentions that the debate "strips" the candidates of their advisors and their multi-million dollar election machines.

1:57 am- I switch to fair and balanced FOX whose talking heads go on about "mano a mano" and the question on everyone's lips is "what are we looking for?"

2:02 am- "This is it," says Wolf Blitzer from CNN. No one is on stage yet but I wonder who will be the first to enter. As it turns out, after Jim Lehrer's opening ceremonies, Bush comes out first, strident, hand-shaking, a man among men.

(now after here, I lose already the time markers, so I'll just write the comments:)

They show a countdown box to the debate. I am immediately reminded of when some networks had a count down clock before the invasion of Iraq.

I learn that Jim Lehrer is a 9 time vet of this sort of moderating presidential debates.

I start trying to calculate in my head, is that 9 times each election or 9 times over 9 elections - so I think 9 times 4 years in between debates is 36 years and then I start wondering if it's possible that Jim Lehrer has been moderating presidential debates since he was 13.

Who is on the commission of the presidential debates? They have a commission, but they don't mention themselves anywhere.

They ask the crowd to be silent and I wonder how they will manage that in these charged times, but they do, monitor themselves - well perhaps there was a big man with a bludgeon coercing them, but the cameras weren't focusing on that of course, SHHHHHH, just the two people wanting to be president.

Immediately, I recognise Kerry's most read words: "I'll Never..." do this or that.

A person who says never is not being honest.

*****

Fuck, I have these notes written all over the page I wrote on and they're all highlighted and starred and circled, etc because each of it seemed at the time, important. In hindsight, who knows?

*****

One thing is that Lehrer asks great questions - the bit about asking Bush to comment on his "opponent's" character was almost entrapment. But they both came out of that round well, praising one anothers' daughters and kissing each others' arses.

"Our prayers are with...if free nations stop terror..."

Kerry comments, using hot key words, ouch, "outsourcing" military that failed in Tora Bora to kill Osama -

"Plan for victory" - good one, both say it and it means equally nothing.

Kerry with a devastating blow, quotes Bush's own father's book about Iraq and what a mistake invading Iraq would be to take it because of the chaos it would cause resultantly. Ouch.

Bush says we'll love our allies but we'll protect ourselves at home first.

Duh, who the fuck wouldn't - now Kerry is hammering home, protect sure, but HOW? Your way or mine?

Bush's most canned statement: "WE'RE MAKING PROGRESS BUT IT'S HARD WORK"

An empty vessel. I'm wondering to myself, is anyone SEEING this? Bush stuttering around even his favourite clich├ęs, staring off into space, fighting the good fight.

Kerry keeps mentioning 90% of the dead troops in Iraq are American and 90% of the money spent on Iraq is American. There is no coalition. Powerful point.

Suddenly they acknowledge that they're both Elis - oh, please can this be a happy moment in American political history - that both candidates are Yale graduates??!! -- Hoo-Haa! Where are the Ivy League cheerleaders?

Very important distinction we'll all have to make our minds up about:

Kerry says Bush is Certain, but even when you're certain you can be wrong.

Bush's reply is HE has "core values" -

SO there you go Blue -

What is it? Certainty or Core Values?

*****

Nuclear proliferation - I leave this debate realising what a great new talking point it is for everyone. Kerry introduced it and Bush followed, in a reluctant, unprepared sort of way.

Somehow, in the debate of American security, Bush brings back the missile defence thing. Can any of you Bush lovers out there explain the logic of that one?

How many missiles were they on 9/11, I forget...

Both of them close with bible quotes, or mention god or something - mumbo jumbo pandering to those assholes busy fucking up America on the Christian Right and in the South and Midwest of America. Shame on you all.

*****

Worst part is the talking heads aferwards. That they bathe in their partisan responses, that they make their living off it, that they have no integrity, that they prefer to be caracatures rather than intellects.

Shame on them too. Maybe even behead them. :)

Well that's it, the wrap up from American tv I watched in Shakespeare's Country.

A pile of rubbish.

And the more we learn to appreciate the finer palate of rubbish, the more happy we will be to consume it.

There's your presidential elections.

threefour, chachacha

The Staff at Desultory Turgescence wishes you all a happy election.