Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Another Coffeehouse Player

Being such a bad tipster, when one of your players manages even a draw it gets exciting. Aronian managed a draw against World Number 1 Magnus Carlsen yesterday from a poor position in round 2 of the Sinquefield Cup. The best thing about the draw was that GM Nigel Short on Twitter said "His [Carlsen] advantage is by no means decisive, but I have a hunch Magnus will stick the boot in again today...". Fantastic. There is another person in the world to challenge my tipping prowess, and he's a SuperGM ex World Championship challenger, while I'm an average patzer. :D

Actually, it is good to see Nigel on Twitter as he is outspoken, you only have to look at his articles fro New in Chess. And on Twitter, in response to a comment "is there a drug that could aid calculation of combinations?" Nigel tweeted "It is called coffee". That makes him my new Coffeehouse Player! To be honest, for average patzers like myself, Nigel's style of play is good to follow. He plays openings that I can understand, goes for tricks and attacks, can play the most amazing ideas and can blunder horribly. The first I remember of Nigel Short was seeing him on TV when he played in the Master Game. I'm a couple of years younger than Short, so seeing a kid not much older than me playing chess on TV against Grand Masters brought mixed emotions of awe/admiration and envy. So maybe I have to thank Nigel at least a little for inspiring me to a life in chess.

Child Prodigy, Nigel Short (chessbase)
Short is part of the English contingent which will take part in the London Chess Classic later in the year. Yesterday, it was announced that England's top 6 players, Adams, Short, McShane, Sadler, Jones and Howell would all compete with Anand, Kramnik, Caruana, Nakamura, Gelfand, Svidler and Polgar who have all confirmed their entries. The tournament is to be a 16 player rapidplay event with a group stage followed by knockout matches in a similar format to the soccer World Cup. Nigel Short should be more than happy that I am not tipping him to win this event, as it gives him a 1 in 15 chance of success. I'll save my tip till the whole field is announced.

The women's World Championship started, though you'd have hardly noticed. The site was not fully functional at the start of the first game and the event has been eclipsed by the super GM tournament in St Louis. Game number 1 went to Yifan Hou with black who outplayed Anna Ushenina from an inferior position. Ushenina apparently had time trouble which contributed to her position's collapse. Susan Polgar, women's world champion 1996-1999, commented on Twitter that "Losing game 1 in a World Championship with white is the absolute worst thing you can do. And losing in a much better position = double whammy".

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