- 2012-05-12: Steering into an Iceberg
- 2012-05-19: Top 10 Myths About Chess960
- 2012-06-02: Ducking Chess960
The 'Iceberg' post had a particularly noteworthy comment related to the Anand - Gelfand title match. I had intended to highlight it myself, but the comment pre-empted me. From Steve Giddins, The Levellers (stevegiddinschessblog.blogspot.com), file this under 'you can lead a horse to water etc. etc.':-
The result is a whole series of effectively contentless games, where the players are just checking each other's computer-aided preparation. Once in a while, they will hit on a gap, and get some advantage, but most of the time, there will just be what we have already seen in Moscow - 15-20 moves of preparation, 4-5 more accurate moves, a dead position, and a draw.
So, what is the solution? Sadly, I don't think there is one, at least not without abandoning traditional chess, in favour of Fischer Random, and I hardly know anyone in the chess world who wants to see that (I certainly don't). It grieves me to say it, but I think classical chess is in its last days.
The remark was repeated twice on Chessbase.com. First there was a reprint of the post: World Championship G4 reflections – it's the computers!; followed by a reaction: Giddin's reflection on draws, readers' feedback. Many of the readers' remarks mentioned the Fischer Random idea, some for it, some against. At least people are discussing the idea rather than dismissing it without due consideration.
Back to this present blog, other recent comments were made against the following posts.
- 2012-06-09: The Myth of the Corner Bishop
- 2012-06-30: Kasparov's Modern Chess
- 2012-07-14: Non-random Fischer Random
Of particular note here were a number of comments by Vasile Andreica against the first two posts.
The first Chess960 tournament ever organized in Romania will take place on July 7th in the northern city of Satu Mare. It will be an open tourney with 7 rounds, Swiss style, each round featuring a separate start position.
Our Romanian correspondent also provided a pair of links: Cupa Informatia Zilei la sah 960 si blitz and Inedita premiera! La Satu Mare se va organiza primul turneu de sah 960 din România. The event was won by 'the one IM participating', showing once again that skill in traditional chess carries over to chess960. Unfortunately, the games were not recorded. On that line of thought, and going back a few months to April -- Rare Birds 2012 -- a link to the Waldbronn tournament now leads to several games by titled players; see 'Partien'.
Another comment against my 'Modern Chess' post brought up the objective of reducing the draw rate. The problem of draws, especially short draws, is raised so often during discussions about chess960, that it is worth adding it as a new bullet to 'Top 10 Myths'. Fischer's greatest invention is not a panacea for all the ills that beset traditional chess. It is, in a word, about excessive *memorization* which has been exaggerated by computer preparation.