30 November 2013

Elite ICC Chess960 Players

In my previous post, Finding Top ICC Chess960 Players, I linked to an interesting resource that does exactly that: lists top ICC chess960 players. I also included a snapshot of a portion of the (then) current list, 'The 'Best' list, identifies the top-20 chess960 ratings of all time. It currently looks like this.' What can be learned from this resource?

First, we learn which world class players have dabbled with chess960. The current list includes five players rated over 2700 by FIDE. See the 'Finding Top Players' post for an explanation of the data.

1  Smallville    g Hikaru Nakamura    (2786 USA) 2480 82
3  quangliem     g Quang Liem Le      (2703 VIE) 2297 70
8  depressnyak   g Alexander Grischuk (2785 RUS) 2271 33
14 Vladimirovich g Dmitry Andreikin   (2710 RUS) 2249 114
16 Adaptation    g Fabiano Caruana    (2782 ITA) 2240 106

After that, we learn who are the most serious chess960 players among the elite. There are five titled players on the list who have played over 1000 chess960 games.

2  Vidocq        g Boris Grachev      (2669 RUS) 2389 1217
4  RoadKing      g                               2293 1460
7  Impitoyable   m Benoit Lepelletier (2476 FRA) 2275 1374
11 Shadeath      g Andrei Deviatkin   (2526 RUS) 2257 1651
12 TheDuns       m Aurelien Dunis     (2517 FRA) 2256 1032

Of those five titled players, one name was more familiar than the others: Shadeath (Andrei Deviatkin). Where had I heard his name before? His 'finger' page -- Andrey Devyatkin [Deviatkin] -- gave me a clue:-

3: I play only chess960, or Fischer chess - this name seems more appropriate to me than the ugly 'Fischerandom'. Robert Fischer was a genius.
5: Since there are no serious Fischer chess tournaments, I'm retired.
7: Anyway, chess is just a game like minesweeper and shouldn't be taken too seriously unless your (chess) talent is enormous.

A few months ago his name appeared in the general chess news: "It's Time to Try Out Something Else." GM Andrei Deviatkin Decides to Quit His Chess Career [chess-news.ru].

GM Andrei Deviatkin decided to finish his chess career and announced his decision on his Facebook page: "Maybe I will continue playing Fischer's chess, but the fact that there are no tournaments in this format means that chess is over for me. It's time to try out something else."

The article further quoted him as saying, "I just understood that chess became an absolutely different game from the one I have played in my childhood and youth. The computer has changed it dramatically.' What else does this elite player have to say about Fischer's greatest invention? I'll continue with that in another post.

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