Topalov vence Bilbao 2008 com grande folga!

 

13.09.2008 – Veselin Topalov venceu seu jogo final contra Vassily Ivanchuk, assegurou o primeiro lugar por uma grande margem [4 pontos] e avançou ao #1 no não-oficial “Live Ratings” do mundo do xadrez. Teimour Radjabov venceu seu derradeiro [e foi a única vitória do jovem de 21 anos] desafio e com as pretas, contra o sempre perigoso Levon Aronian, o que assegurou o segundo lugar a Magnus Carlsen [de acordo com o sistema de Bilbao]. Anand foi — incrível! — o último colocado [fazendo-nos todos pensar se será adversário duro para o “senhor dos matches” Vld. Kramnik…].

 

 

 

No unofficial Live Ratings Veselin Topalov é agora o 1º do mundo, seguido de Alexander Morozevich, Magnus Carlsen e Vassily Ivanchuk. Vishy Anand caiu ao 5º lugar, sete pontos atrás do líder e onze adiante de Vladmir Kramnik, seguido [quinze pontos depois] de Levon Aronian.

E será o novo # 1 do mundo na lista oficial da FIDE [a ser publicada em 1º de outubro deste 2008]!

Já havia eu predito que este torneio poderia premiar os jogadores ousados [vez que a vitória equivalia a +3 e o empate a apenas +1] e o augúrio se mostrou verdadeiro, já que Topalov ficou em primeiro e Carlsen em segundo; quem foi cauteloso, voltou p’ra casa daí p’ra trás, longe do topo. Uma beleza…

Vejamos o repertório de aberturas/defesas utilizadas por “Vesco”, ao longo do torneio:

  • Round 1 — C45. De pretas, entrou por uma Ruy Lopez contra Radjabov, inovando totalmente no lance 8. …a5, nunca jogado no nível dos GMs. A partida terminou em empate.
  • R2 — D12. De brancas, entrou com um Gâmbito da Dama, contra Aronian, também inovando no início [lance 7] e forçando o oponente a perder dois tempos de abertura. Jogo empatado.
  • R3 — D58. Contra Carlsen, foi de Defesa Francesa, inovando muito no lance 14 e tomando muito tempo de Carlsen, que terminou por cometer um erro e perder o jogo.
  • R4 — E15. Contra Anand, optou pela Catalã, sacrificou um peão no lance 7 e adotou uma linha incomum, com o lance 11. Trouxe uma impressionante novidade no lance 12 seguinte e dominou Anand, fazendo-o resignar-se no lance 25!!! Impressionante vitória sobre o #1 e atual Campeão Mundial de Xadrez.
  • R5 — De pretas, contra Ivanchuk, adotou uma linha incomum da Defesa Nimzo-Indian, em que as damas são trocadas em f5, tornando tudo muito parecido com a defesa Muro de Berlin. O jogo findou-se empatado.
  • R6 — E74. De brancas, optou por 1.d4 Cf6 2.c4 g6 3.Cc3 Ag7 4.e4 d6 contra Radjabov, mas o que parecia uma Índia do Rei foi transposta numa Benoni [em que Topalov é grande especialista, em ambas as cores], com 5.Ag5 0-0 6.Ae2 c5 7.d5 a6 8.a4 h6 9.Ae3 e6 10.Cf3 exd5 11.cxd5. A posição era bastante promissora, mas uma imprecisão no lance 31 fez o jogo ficar igual e terminar em empate.
  • R7 — E36. De pretas, perdeu de Aronian com uma Nimzo-Indian.
  • R8 — B78. De brancas, venceu [novamente] a Magnus Carlsen, numa Siciliana/Dragão [com a variação que Carlsen quase sempre usa, contra GMs de alto nível: 12. …a6.
  • R9 — B18. De pretas, empatou com Anand servindo-se de uma tradicional Defesa Caro-Khan.
  • R10 — D46. Servindo-se do Gâmbito da Dama [contra a Defesa Semi-Eslava], derrotou Ivanchuk, no jogo que valia o primeiro lugar do torneio [embora os outros jogos também o pudessem valer, graças à pontuação de vitória ser +3], inovando a teoria no lance 12. Vencedor do Torneio!

Confira as partidas em pgn [veja-as em java, se tiver um leitor — se não o tiver, baixe-o gratuitamente em http://chessbase.com — de jogos]:

Bilbao é o torneio mais forte do mundo?… Não.

Amigos[as], está acontecendo o Super-Torneio de Bilbao, reunindo Anand, Carlsen, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Aronian e Radjabov, todos entre os 10 melhores do mundo [Anand é o 1º, Carlsen o 2º]. Por conta disso, anunciou-se que este seria o torneio mais forte de todos os tempos [e este blog reverberou o informe, com ênfase].

Contudo, não é bem assim: o torneio só é considerado Categoria 22 se for levado em conta o “Live Rating” [uma criação de alguns sites de xadrez, para dar a classificação dos jogadores de elite dia a dia], coisa que é totalmente extra-oficial!

Portanto, pelas regras normais, este torneio deve ser considerado Categoria 21 [não é pouco, diga-se].

Quanto aos mais fortes torneios de todos os tempos, destacamos dois:

  1. O 1938 AVRO tournament, em que oito dos jogadores world’s top estiveram presentes [o então campeão mundial Alexander Alekhine, os ex-campeões José Raúl Capablanca e Max Euwe, e os potenciais desafiantes Mikhail Botvinnik, Paul Keres, Reuben Fine, Samuel Reshevsky e Salo Flohr];
  2. E o super-torneio de Las Palmas, em 1996 [vencido por Kasparov], onde estiveram Garry Kasparov, V. Anand, V. Krannik, A. Karpov, V. Topalov e V. Ivanchuk! Impressionante.

Vejamos, amigos[as]: considerar Bilbao 2008 o mais forte torneio da história implica considerar Carlsen, Aronian e Radjabov mais fortes do que, por exemplo, Capablanca, Karpov, Kasparov e Kramnik! Ridículo, com todo o respeito que o gênio de Carlsen merece…

Abraços a todos[as].

Ah, em tempo: Carlsen lidera o Bilbao, com 11 pontos, seguido de Tolapov com 10. Esta é a pontuação no sistema de “vitória 3, empate 1”; no sistema clássico, Topalov lidera.

Published in: on setembro 9, 2008 at 12:30 pm  Deixe um comentário  
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O maior torneio de todos os tempos?!

Amigos[as], vai começar [hoje, terça-feira] aquele que pode entrar para a história como o mais forte [e/ou o maior] torneio de xadrez profissional de todos os tempos! Isso mesmo: Topalov, Anand, Ivanchuk, Radjabov, Aronian e Carlsen vão disputar um “todos contra todos em turno e returno”, concorrendo à premiação de mais de U$5000.000,00 [quinhentos mil dólares], o maior prêmio já dado, num torneio que não seja por título mundial. O rating médio ficou em 2.775,6 ELO, o que resulta num Torneio Categoria XXII [Linares, por exemplo, chegou, no máximo, à Categoria XXI, mesmo com Kasparov presente!].

Vejam os informes originais em:

Bom aprendizado [pois este torneio será um dos melhores de todos os tempos, de fato], afinal, a vitória valerá 3 pontos, o empate 1 e a derrota 0!!!…

Há muito tempo que se comenta a inserção desta pontuação [vitória 3, derrota 0, empate 1] nas competições dos “mestres”; é a chamada Regra de Sophia [cidade da Bulgária onde se realiza o MTel Masters, um torneio dos mais fortes, também – e amplamente dominado por Topalov (mas que foi vencido por Ivanchuk, este ano). Fala-se que isto tornaria o xadrez mais interessante, impediria a “morte do xadrez pelos empates” [“doença” prevista por Capablanca (que chegou mesmo a sugerir a inserção de mais duas torres e o aumento do tabuleiro em duas colunas, para renovar a teoria enxadrística!)] e premiria os “lutadores aguerridos”, como Kasparov, Tal, Petrosian, Fischer, Tolapov, Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Anand, Aronian e outros, desestimulando os “empatões” [jogadores que nunca se arriscam – uma tristeza, diga-se…], como Kramnik, Gelfand etc.

Aproveitemos a lição.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G. Kasparov: lição de humildade e amor ao xadrez.

Amigos[as], no link abaixo vocês podem ver o inteiro teor de uma notícia empolgante: mais uma vez, Garry Kasparov repete a tradição por ele iniciada e fez seminário de dois dias completos, com jovens praticantes de xadrez.

O encontro é informal, rico e franco, com o campeão vestido bem à vontade, falando livremente, “olho no olho” com os jovens praticantes.

Vale e pena ler o informe.

Abraços a todos.

Published in: on junho 25, 2008 at 3:38 pm  Deixe um comentário  

Fortaleza/CE: Prefeitura implementará xadrez nas escolas!

A PARTIR DE HOJE
Prefeitura inclui xadrez nas escolas

Praça do Ferreira: lançamento do Programa Jogada de Mestre atraiu interessados em jogar

Alguns sequer se arriscam a jogar xadrez, por temer a complexidade do jogo. É xeque-mate para um lado, rainha para outro, cavalos, torres, enfim, os elementos são muitos, assim como precisam ser a concentração e o raciocínio lógico. Na tarde de ontem, porém, esses requisitos permearam a Praça do Ferreira. E, melhor, a partir de hoje, eles adentrarão na rede de ensino municipal.

Numa tarde de lazer para quem quisesse “se arriscar”, a Secretaria de Esporte e Lazer de Fortaleza (Secel) lançou o Programa Jogada de Mestre. Desenvolvida pelo órgão municipal, em parceria com a Federação Cearense de Xadrez (FCX), a iniciativa busca popularizar a prática em 34 escolas municipais e seis Centros de Cidadania de Fortaleza. No total, serão seis mil beneficiados com duas aulas por semana, no horário oposto ao turno escolar.

“Será aplicado o xadrez pedagógico, com o qual casa-se a disciplina com a metodologia do esporte. Há as técnicas, as peças, a concentração e o raciocínio lógico”, explica o titular da Secel, Roberto Gomes. Segundo o secretário, 40 monitores foram capacitados com cursos de 20 horas/aula para oferecerem os métodos, a partir de hoje, aos interessados espalhados pela Capital cearense.

“A Prefeitura Municipal tem a idéia do ´esporte participação´. Isto é, oferecer a prática do lazer sem nenhuma preocupação competitiva. Queremos democratizar o acesso à prática e ao lazer”, complementa.

Conforme o presidente da Federação Cearense de Xadrez (FCX), Fernando Alves, a adoção do jogo nas salas de aula é uma oportunidade de acesso ao esporte que, em geral, não é tão popular entre os jovens.

Como ressaltou, ele será uma “ferramenta pedagógica”, que envolve conhecimentos matemáticos, físicos, históricos. De acordo com Fernando Alves, em todo o Estado são contados hoje quase três mil jogadores registrados, dos diferentes municípios cearenses.

Para a auxiliar administrativo, Karine Lima, 32, que ontem jogou xadrez pela primeira vez, a possibilidade de mexer nas peças tornou o esporte mais fácil do que imaginava. Na sua opinião, a iniciativa é uma boa opção para contribuir na formação dos estudantes, que, muitas vezes, afastam-se do jogo por considerá-lo difícil.

Published in: on junho 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm  Deixe um comentário  

A bonita volta da estrela brasileira: Henrique Mecking!

Amigos[as], há cerca de trinta anos o Brasil teve o mais precoce Grande Mestre do mundo, na história do xadrez; ele era Henrique da Costa Mecking ou o “Meckinho”, como a imprensa o apelidou. Meckinho era um gênio e foi [até hoje] a única esperança brasileira genuína/verdadeira de termos um campeão mundial de xadrez.

Mas Meckinho adoeceu, sem razões aparentes e somente agora, tanto tempo depois, volta a jogar xadrez de alto nível.

Neste meio tempo, em que lutava para se recuperar, Mecking voltou-se para a religião e encontrou aquele tipo de paz legítima e profunda, quase a paz dos místicos. Seu olhar, parece envolto num tipo de serenidade cândida, terna, suave mas firme, robusta, cheia de vida e força mental. Para mim, é uma grande felicidade vê-lo novamente jogando…

A todos, deixo a matéria adiante, retirada do excelente site www.chessbase.com, em que se fala muito mais dele e muito menos do vencedor do torneio [o ex-desafiante de Kasparov] Nigel Short.

Boa leitura [nas fotos abaixo, vários momentos de Mecking, no torneio de que a matéria fala].

_____________________________

Short leads in Bazna, Mecking and Portisch follow
31.05.2008 – Nigel Short, former World Championship finalist, is leading the Bazna tournament in Romania, with 5.0/7 and a 2735 performance. But we are especially interested to watch the progress of former child prodigy and world-class grandmaster Henrique Mecking of Brazil. He has recovered from serious illness and is playing, in his own words, with divine assistance. Report and games.

While it is nice to see Nigel Short, former challenger for the World Championship, back in form, we will be especially watching Henrique Mecking, 56, who was a leading Brazilian player in the 1970s. Mecking started off as a child prodigy and became a grandmaster at the age of 19. In January 1978, at the age of 25, his FIDE rating was 2635 and he was ranked third in the world, behind Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi (Karpov 2725, Korchnoi 2665, Mecking 2630, Portisch 2630, Spassky 2630).

In 1979 Mecking was struck by a serious illness, probably myasthenia gravis, which severely hampered his chess career throughout the 80s. But he recovered, assisted he believes by divine intervention, and was able to resume his chess career in 1991. In an interview, published in Romanian language, he attributes his current progress to external assistance he receives from Jesus Christ, something a former world championship finalist (you guess who) has suggested may be against FIDE rules.

 

 

Published in: on junho 5, 2008 at 1:35 pm  Comments (5)  

História do Campeonato Mundial de Xadrez clássico.

Amigos[as], segue abaixo excelente texto [e estritamente correto, do ponto de vista dos especialistas] que resume a história do campeonato mundial de xadrez, com a oredm correta dos campeões e as observações importantíssimas sobre a PCA [Professional Chess Association], criada por Kasparov e responsável [juntamente com a FIDE — Federação Internacional de Xadrez] pela divisao do xadrez profissional, nos anos de 1990 a 2006. Vale a leitura [ainda que esteja em inglês…].

History PDF Print E-mail
Short history of the World Chess Championships

1886 – 1946
Wilhelm Steinitz (Austria/USA) was the first official World Champion in the chess history. In 1886, he defeated Johannes Hermann Zukertort in the first classical tournament for the World Chess Champion title. They played 20 games against each other – and Steinitz won by 12.5:7.5 points. Steinitz defended his title up to 1894. Emanuel Lasker (Germany) deprived Steinitz of his title and remained champion for 27 years – a unique record in the chess history. The next World Chess Champions were José Raoul Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine and Max Euwe.

1948 – 1993
Since 1948, World Chess Federation (FIDE) started to organize the World Chess Championships. After Alekhine´s death in 1946, the new World Champion had to be determined. Thus, there was a tournament with several players where Mikhail Botvinnik (USSR) became a winner. Since that time, the reigning Champion should defend his title in a match against a challenger. Vassily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrossian and Boris Spassky – all of USSR – were the next World Champions. In 1972, Bobby Fischer (USA) broke through the dominance of the Soviet players by defeating Boris Spassky in Reykjavik. In 1975 Fischer refused to fight for his title, and as a result his challenger Anatoly Karpov was appointed as new Champion. Karpov – who played two times against Viktor Korchnoi and once against Garry Kasparov – kept his title until November 1985. Then it was Kasparov, who defeated Karpov by 13:11 points and became the new World Champion. 1986, 1987, and 1990 Kasparov succeeded in reserving his chess crown against Karpov, before he broke away from FIDE in 1993.

1993 – 2006
In 1993 Kasparov refused to defend his title under the conditions provided by FIDE – and together with his challenger Nigel Short (England) the World Champion decided to leave FIDE by holding the Championship match under the auspices of the new founded “Professional Chess Association” (PCA). Kasparov won the match against Short and retained the title of “Classical World Champion”. Two years later he won the next title match against Viswanathan Anand (India) in the New York World Trade Center. Finally it was Thursday, the 2nd November 2000, when Kasparov’s era ran out: with 8.5:6.5 victory Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) dethroned Kasparov, who did not manage to win a single game. Kramnik, at that time 25 years old, became the 14th Classical World Chess Champion. In October 2004 the next Championship took place: In Brissago (Switzerland) Kramnik held out against the attacks of the Hungarian Peter Leko and kept his title. Leko was qualified for this match by having won the Candidates’ tournament in 2002 in Dortmund.


(copyright Dagobert Kohlmeyer)

On the other hand, FIDE continued organizing its own World Chess Championships from 1993 on. The FIDE title holders between 1993 and 2006: Anatoly Karpov (1993), Alexander Khalifman (1999), Viswanathan Anand (2000), Ruslan Ponomariov (2002), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2004) and Veselin Topalov (2005).

The split of the chess world into two competitive championships ended in 2006. The duel between the Classical World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik and FIDE World Chess Champion Veselin Topalov took place in Elista from 23 September to 13 October 2006. In a historic battle this unification match combined both titles in one FIDE World Chess Championship. Having won this important event, Vladimir Kramnik became an undisputed World Chess Champion.

2007
The 2007 World Chess Championship took place in the capital of
Mexico from 12 to 30 September. Eight strongest chess players of the planet participated in this event. Half of them had to go through the candidate matches in Elista in order to qualify for
Mexico City . World Champion Vladimir Kramnik ( Russia ), Vishy Anand ( India ), Peter Leko ( Hungary ), Levon Aronian ( Armenia ), Alexander Morozevich ( Russia ), Boris Gelfand ( Israel ), Peter Svidler ( Russia ) and Alexander Grischuk (
Russia ) were competing in a round robin tournament. Before the event the World Chess Federation FIDE decided that a World Champion should be defined in a final match, so that
Mexico City had to be considered being the last championship in a tournament format.  

Many honorary guests were present at the Opening Ceremony of the Championship. Among them were the FIDE Honorary President Florencio Campomanes and Mayor of
Mexico City Marcelo Ebrard. The Championship in
Mexico was shown a big interest from journalists and chess fans. The Ambassador of the Russian Federation in
Mexico and Belize Valery Morozov was one of the honorary guests who made the ceremonial first move before one of the rounds. The players participated in every day press conferences, which really attracted a lot of attention among mass media and chess lovers. On a daily basis, all the major mass media companies provided blanket coverage on the championship in 6 languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Russian and Hindi. After the last round and the Closing Ceremony, all players became objects of close attention of the journalists and chess fans from
Mexico who stood in a queue to get an autograph from the favorite Grandmaster. 

Vishy Anand and World Champion Vladimir Kramnik were considered to be clear favorites before the start of the Championship. Many chess experts presumed that some young participants would join them in the fight for the title. Levon Aronian was considered to be the most perspective candidate.

Only part of the prognosis came true. During the tournament Vishy Anand, Vladimir Kramnik and the oldest participant, 38 year-old Israeli Grandmaster Boris Gelfand were fighting for the leadership in the tournament. There was no obvious competition between different generations: older generation demonstrated a full superiority.

From the very start of the tournament, Anand unquestionably became a leader of the tournament and proved it by winning the Champion’s title. After the first round Indian Grandmaster gained 5 points out of 7. Gelfand was half point behind, then Kramnik (4 points). The culmination of the tournament was after the 9th round – after the second free day. Anand made a draw with Aronian whereas his persecutors (Gelfand and Kramnik) lost to Grischuk and Morozevich accordingly. A tremendous spurt of a leader from his persecutors became critical after the 11th round, when Vishy Anand made the fourth victory over Alexander Morozevich.

The participants had the following results before the last day off: Anand – 7.5 out of 11, Gelfand – 6. Kramnik, Aronian and Leko – 5.5. The Champion’s title had been already defined – to be unattainable for the persecutors, Anand should not lose only. In the 12th round the heated struggle for the second place became enraged. Kramnik won Leko with white in his own style and gained “+1”. At the same time, Boris Gelfand won Aronian with black in a critical game and retained the second place.

Two last rounds were also extremely interesting and resulting. In the next to last round Anand had to go through the last and serious enough test before winning the title of the World Chess Champion. The Russian Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk, playing white, created some problems for his competitor at the end. Anand reacted very quickly, but inaccurately. As a result, an Indian Grandmaster managed to escape, and the only thing he had to do is not to lose in the last round playing white. Peter Leko (playing black) did not object this result and the rivals agreed on a draw on the 20th move. Thus, Anand became inaccessible for his competitors. 

The final burst in the last round let Ex-Champion Vladimir Kramnik catch up Boris Gelfand who was half point ahead of him. Kramnik confidentially won Aronian and managed “+2”. Gelfand was trying to retain the second position and had all chances to win in his game against Morozevich, but finally they made draw. In accordance with the additional calculation system, which defines a seed, Kramnik was second in the tournament.

Final Standings 2007 World Chess Championship Tournament
Mexico City :

1.      Viswanathan Anand (
IND )           9 points
2.      Vladimir Kramnik (RUS)                8
3.      Boris Gelfand (ISR)                        8
4.      Peter Leko (HUN)                           7.5
5.      Peter Svidler (RUS)                        6.5
6.      Alexander Morozevich (RUS)        6
7.      Levon Aronian (ARM)                     6
8.      Alexander Grischuk (RUS)           5.5

In accordance with the FIDE regulations this result leads to the titanic clash between the two best chess players of the world: Viswanathan Anand Vs Vladimir Kramnik will play the 2008 World Chess Championship match: a duel the world of chess is waiting for so many years. The UEP obtained all the rights with regard to organization and commerzialisation of this match. Our company – together with FIDE and its partners – will announce more details on this unique event in the next weeks and months to come.    

Published in: on março 28, 2008 at 8:13 pm  Deixe um comentário  

O destemido: entrevista com o surpreendente Vaselin Topalov.

Caros enxadristas, leiam a excelente entrevista concedia pelo GM Vaselin Topalov, ex-Campeão Mundial de Xadrez clássico e atual n.º 4 do ranking da Federação Internacional de Xadrez/FIDE.

Topalov: ‘I think this is a very good time for chess’
25.03.2008 – Bulgarian GM Veselin Topalov is one of the most interesting players in world chess. His participation in a tournament guarantees uncompromising aggressive chess on at least one board. In November he is scheduled to play a World Championship qualifier against US grandmaster Gata Kamsky. Yuri Vasiliev spoke to Topalov about his general feelings about chess. Sport Express interview.

Veselin Topalov: “Kasparov’s retirement helped everybody”

Interview with Yuri Vasiliev

My conversation with ex-world champion Topalov, which took place immediately after the end of the category 21 tournament in Linares, went beyond the subject of the battle in the tournament itself.

Yuri Vasiliev: Several top players do not like moving between continents during this event. What do you think about it?


Bulgarian GM Veselin Topalov during the tournament in Linares

Veselin Topalov: There is no problem. The organisers invite the players, and if you don’t want to play, you are free to decline. It was not easy for me to adapt after the move from Mexico, because, unlike some of the other top players, I fight to the full in every game. But I am satisfied. Firstly I ended the Mexico half on a plus score, and then did the same in the Linares part. But most of all I am pleased with the fact that I played all 14 games flat out.

Several of these games you played at a rating level over 3000, but in others, you played much more weakly. What caused these lapses in your play?

When you win a good game, you feel that your best form has returned, and you then play for a win in the next game. But the position does not always allow you to do so, and this leads to failures.


Always uncompromising: Veselin Topalov on the soccer field

So are you starting to feel that you are once again playing like you did in San Luis, and can crush everyone again?

I would say this: it is not always right to play for a win in every game. At certain moments I simply lose my head, as they say, I just want so much to win. And this sometimes leads to defeats. I need to control myself better.

Everyone is talking about Carlsen at the moment. What do you think of him? Who does he remind you of?

Magnus plays beyond his years. Excellent positional understanding, good endgame play. Ruslan Ponomariev, when he won the [FIDE World Championship] title at 18, had a similar style.

Ruslan became champion at 18; could Magnus do the same?

He simply won’t have the chance to become world champion before 2011. The system does not allow it. Everyone is talking about having a stable system for playing the world championship. Well, here it is. But the problem is that the player who shows the best results one year, may not do so in a year or two’s time. But even so, Magnus will have his chance to fight for the world title.


Then and now: Topalov in Wijk aan Zee 2008 in front of a portrait by Fred Lucas in 2004

The length of the current world championship system has been widely discussed. Morozevich recently said that it was not even like this in the days of Botvinnik and Smyslov…

It seems to me that the system they have just got rid of was more dynamic. When any player rated over 2700 could challenge the champion to a match, if he could raise the minimum prize fund. This would have been a chance for players of the class of Aronian, Radjabov and Carlsen, who have the support of their national federations.

But this system was widely opposed. Is it right that you only get the chance of the title if you have access to money?

If you recall history, Capablanca only got to play Lasker because he could guarantee a decent prize fund. Otherwise Capablanca could never have played a match with Lasker. And why did Nimzowitsch and Rubinstein never get the chance to play for the world championship? Simply because they did not have sponsors, to use the modern term. When people nostalgically talk about the “good old days”, they forget that in those days money played a bigger role than it does today. It seems to me that results, plus sponsorial support, would be a better method. Ten years ago, Kasparov suggested having a rating limit on challengers – no less than 2750.


Topalov sticks out his tongue jokingly during a simultaneous display against journalists, on one of the free days during the tournament at Sofia 2006. He scored 100% against them.

Kasparov made many interesting suggestions. But he also found himself up against the “united majority”. Do you miss Garry?

Strange as it may sound, I think that Garry’s retirement was a positive thing for the remaining players. The point is not that he was very strong, and retired when he could still have won the title back, but that he had always dominated all the attention of the mass media and sponsors. Without Kasparov, a tournament was of no interest to anyone. But as soon as he retired, the attention of the press, and those interested in putting money into chess, switched to the remaining players. Have you noticed how many new tournaments are springing up nowadays? This never happened in Kasparov’s day. In countries where there is a serious contender for the title, they organise tournaments to support him. When Kasparov retired, many people were afraid that interest in chess would wane, but in fact, it has grown.

Although the new FIDE Grand Prix has been criticised for its small prize fund, the project itself is nice, even though lacking the four top players. Why did you refuse to take part?

I think that in setting up their Grand Prix, FIDE are just copying the Grand Slam. I refused to play because, firstly, one has to guarantee to play in four tournaments, which is not only a big commitment but also interferes with my own plans. And since I always play only for first place, with my style, 100% effort in every game, it would just be too much to play in the Grand Prix and the Grand Slam at the same time. The aim of winning both would just not be realistic, and I am not used to setting myself any other aims.

In the Grand Prix, they will use the “Sofia rules”, forcing the players to fight in every game. This fits with your approach. But world champion Vishy Anand, in a press conference after Linares, said that there is no need to change anything in the rules. The world champion tends to dictate the fashion, so do you think that chess is threatened by a return to pragmatism?

If you are being paid good money, and you turn up to the game, just to play five original moves and be photographed, that does not look very nice, to say the least. Those who behave this way do it because they are afraid of losing, or want to save their energy. But sponsors do not like short draws, and they damage the image of chess. So FIDE were quite right to impose the Sofia Rules in the Grand Prix. If the position is drawn, that will be clear at the end of the game. The Sofia Rules are not against draws, they are against short draws.


Colorful: Veselin Topalov in a trendy t-shirt

Your match with Kamsky will probably also be played in the spirit of these rules, since Gata is another who always fights to the very end.

Yes, Gata is a great fighter! Winning the World Cup, beating all the top players in the process, was a great achievement. And he did not only win, but did so convincingly. I was very impressed with his play. He reminds me of a robot that never makes mistakes. I got the impression that he could play 50 games in a row without a mistake! And do you remember how he won his matches 15 years ago? He not only won, he destroyed his opponents! As a match player, he is stronger than Kramnik, I think. The match against him will require all of my strength and colossal concentration.

You place Kramnik below Kamsky, yet Kramnik won a match against the great Kasparov, whilst Kamsky lost to Karpov, whom Kasparov had beaten a number of times… Isn’t it likely that you will again have to play a match against Kramnik?

Three things need to happen first. I have to beat Kamsky, Kramnik must beat Anand, and then, if these things happen, there is a third requirement – we have to sign a contract with him, to play a match. Given the relations between us, this will not be an easy thing.


Old adversaries: Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov during their title match in Elista 2006

But can’t your relations change for the better?

I don’t think so.

The next super-tournament will be in May, in Sofia. Apart from Aronian, Radjabov, Ivanchuk, and the Chinese GM Bu, there will also be two Bulgarians – you and your regular trainer, Ivan Cheparinov, so famous for his opening bombshells. How will you play against him? After all, you know each other so well, and a trainer rarely wants to beat his charge…

It is not a problem for me personally, to play against someone I have previously worked with. My games against Ponomariev, and against Loek van Wely, who worked with me at Dortmund 2002, have always been uncompromising. Ivan Cheparinov is making rapid progress, and he has many opening ideas. He will play in the first tournament of the Grand Prix in Baku, and immediately after that in Sofia. I am sure our games will be uncompromising battles. That is the sort of chess Ivan plays, and I too.


The Three from Bulgaria: Veselin Topalov (right), Ivan Cheparinov (middle) and their manager Silvio Danialov

Doesn’t it seem to you that there is a wave of youngsters, like Carlsen, Kariakin, Radjabov and Cheparinov, who will soon overtake the “old guard”?

We recently watched the Oscar winning film “No country for old men”. But for the time being, the “old men” in the chess world are holding their own! I was very surprised how the older generation dominated the top places at the Mexico world championship.

Do you think you can regain the world title?

Everything depends on the match with Kamsky. If it happens, I will prepare seriously.

When is the match?

I think we should play in November.

When will you start preparing?

In the summer.

From your experience of the Kramnik match, what is the optimum time for preparation?

It is never long enough. This work is endless, and it is always possible to improve one’s preparation. Previously, two months of intensive work was enough. Now, I don’t know; the volume of information is becoming greater and greater.


Making a point: Veselin Topalov in discussion with Danialov and Cheparinov

How do you see the current situation in chess?

There are moments when interest in chess is growing, and it is important not to let it drop again. That happened when Kramnik refused a return match against me. We are in a good time at the present – there are many tournaments, and interest is growing. But we have to be very careful. It is important that FIDE carries out to the end its splendid idea of a Grand Prix. I also hope that the Grand Slam will reach its climax in September. I think that this is a very good time for chess.

You have lived in Spain for how many years now?

More than ten years.

Do you feel Spanish? Do you support a football team?

I watch football, but I don’t support anyone. I like the game, but it is not important who wins.


Veselin Topalov with Mario, the son of his manager Silvio Danailov in 2006

Are you only in Bulgaria during the Sofia tournament?

No, I am there at other times too. During the Mexico [World Championship] tournament, for example, I had nothing to do, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time in Bulgaria. So much so, that I didn’t want to return to chess. At least, I was not bursting to play.

Can you imagine a time when you will stop playing altogether?

It is not a question of not having enough money to live. It is another issue – what else would I do? I cannot do anything except play chess.

You could play for about ten more years?

It is all about motivation. Korchnoi is still playing at 76. But I am not sure I have the same motivation as Korchnoi or Karpov. I am noticing more and more that if I don’t win a tournament, it does not matter to me at all whether I am third or fifth.


Topalov during the 2008 Super-GM in Wijk aan Zee

At the closing ceremony at Linares, you were presented with a watch, for the most uncompromising player. How many such watches do you have?

That was the fourth.

And what is the watch you are wearing now? /em>It is one my girlfriend gave me as a New Year present.

Is she Bulgarian?

No, Spanish. We live together, but at the moment, I am trying to retain my independence.

Published in: on março 27, 2008 at 6:41 pm  Deixe um comentário  

Leonardo da Vinci: fã de xadrez!!!

Pesquisa atribui desenho de peças de xadrez a Leonardo da Vinci.

O escultor e arquiteto Franco Rocco, contratado pela Fondazione Palazzo Coronini Cronberg, proprietária do tratado sobre xadrez mais famoso do Renascimento, “De Ludo Schacorum overo Schifanoia”, atribuiu nesta segunda-feira (25) ao artista Leonardo da Vinci o desenho das seis peças do jogo que aparecem no manuscrito.

A conclusão é resultado de pesquisa realizada pela fundação para reproduzir um jogo de peças de xadrez a partir dos desenhos presentes no tratado. Segundo Rocco, os desenhos que acompanham as jogadas de xadrez do tratado, escrito pelo frei Luca Bartolomeo Pacioli, são obra de Leonardo da Vinci.

As ilustrações foram uma grande novidade na época, quando era comum a utilização de letras para identificação das peças do jogo. O escrito reproduz 140 tabuleiros e mais de 1.400 peças inspiradas no design desenvolvido pelo inventor italiano, embora se diga que a maioria delas tenha sido reproduzida por um copista.

Rocco assegura que muitos indícios sustentam a autoria das peças, como o uso da proporção áurea nos desenhos, aplicada como fórmula para o alcance do equilíbrio e da beleza e que era uma das grandes obsessões de Da Vinci. O arquiteto também leva em conta que Da Vinci adorava xadrez e era amigo do frei Pacioli, com quem já havia trabalhado.

Apesar de todos os indícios apresentados por Rocco, a Fondazione Palazzo Coronini Cronberg pediu ao maior especialista em Leonardo da Vinci, Carlo Pedretti, que confirme a autoria dos desenhos.”
Fonte: Folha Online.

Published in: on março 5, 2008 at 6:17 pm  Deixe um comentário  

ENQUETE: tempo de jogo do campeonato!

Caros[as] enxadristas, qual deve ser o tempo de jogo do nosso campeonato de xadrez rápido? 7m./0s.? 8m./0s.? 9m./0s.? 10m./0s.?

Comentem esta postagem [vejam aí em baixo] e dêem seus votos.

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Lembrem-se: não pode ter acréscimo, porque vamos usar um relógio que não permite isto.

Published in: on fevereiro 21, 2008 at 4:20 am  Deixe um comentário