Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Chess Thoughts

Now I love chess, but there are some pretty cranky things that happen around the chess world, and some odd personalities! One person who has no problem speaking his mind is ex World Championship challenger Viktor Korchnoi. Korchnoi led a sometimes hard, but sometimes colourful life. He had been one of the very best in the World from the early 1960's when he first won the Soviet Championship and competed in Candidates tournaments, through till the late 1980's, and even now at 80 years of age, can play to a standard that most of us would only dream of playing to. Pretty much my first recollections of the big wide world of chess were reports about the 1981 World Championship match and the grief between Karpov and Korchnoi. Korchnoi, with his battling style has always held a fascination for me, as he no doubt has for many players. Now in an interview on the Russian chess site chesspro, Korchnoi talks about Magnus Carlsen's use of hypnosis to achieve his results. There is also a report in English on whychess (an excellent site for live coverage of games, by the way) if you don't like Google translate!
Does Magnus Carlsen wear these glasses at chess tournaments? (kaboodle)
I just heard that the 2020 Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo. From a purely personal, selfish point of view I'm very happy as it means that the events will be shown in my daytime. It's also great that Japan should get to host such an amazing event after the horrific disaster of the Tsunami in 2011. Venue is, of course, an all important issue in allocating events. So I was fairly disturbed when I read that the World Junior Chess Championships, which are to held in Turkey starting next week, were to be played in Hatay which is 20 km from the Syrian border. The Turkish organisers seemed to think that the town was safe enough, even though there have been at least 2 car bombings in the area in the past year killing over 50 people! I'm pretty sure that if I had kids, I would not be sending them to a chess competition on the edge of a war zone! The organisers have relented and moved the event to a safer part of Turkey, albeit too late for many competitors who had decided not to play. There is an excellent report on chessvibes. I'm going back through my mind to think of any dangerous places I've played but I've been very lucky. I think the most dangerous was a weekender in Hartlepool which didn't feel too friendly on a Saturday night but was ok during the day when the locals had to shelter from the sun!

Here's a position from one of my classes this last week. I'm constantly amazed by moves that some of the kids find. Obviously there are lots of blunders and positional mistakes, but every now and then a gem crops up.
It's white to play, there are plenty of good looking moves, but which would you choose? My initial choice was good enough to win, but nowhere near s good as my student's move! The funny thing is that even he didn't realise just how good his move was! I'll tell you what he played tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Ba6 mates by force, was your initial choice Be6?