Monday, April 26, 2010


Saturday Topalov won a fairly quick game.
Sunday Anand won a very enterprising positional game.

Yet, I've read a bunch of comments from around the blogosphere and it seems clear to me that many of these people do not understand what a champion is. Champions do not fold after their first loss. What would be the point of them showing up and playing the other eleven games?

I heard the oddsmakers are back with Anand. But Saturday they still, pretty much still were. The oddsmaking business is about making money and they are more serious. Yet on Sunday you would swear that Saturday the oddsmakers were giving up on Anand, but I hadn't read that.

Grandmasters should know better.

I read GM Anish Giri's notes on the ChessBase website and it is fair to say "he is still a kid," because, he is! He didn't understand some of Anand's moves and preferred his own (playing "perfectly" may not get you what you want). But Anand knows something or two: he knows how to PROVOKE Topalov (and probably many others). When Toppy gets frustrated be will try to grab something, even if it is away from the action. But he is cunning too (and a heckuva calculator). We all found out in the Kramnik-Anand match that Anand can be cunning too.

At the end of Giri's notes he thinks maybe Anand is a psychological genius! I think so.

We can't write Topalov off yet, but if Anand avoids stuff like on the first day, Topalov is going to have his work cut out. I think Anand has a very good team if Kasimdzhanov and P Heine Nielsen are still on it. I haven't seen mentioned who is on Topalov's team.

What is rather "fine" (enterprising) about the game on Sunday was Anand's capture from the b-file to the a-file and how near the end of the game, the pawns were straightened out and Anand won. GM Ian Rogers said as far as he could tell, Topalov didn't think it was a bad move either while others were questioning it, such as Giri. Sir, this is why Anand became the world champion, several times. He's rather intelligent. He does dig into his opponent's past.

Perhaps later today I will mention several new DVDVs and books in stock.


  1. When one is young, you tend to see the world in Black and White and psychology of playing against another human (in this case a particular human) does not grab one's thought.

    Fischer always claimed that he wanted to see them squirm however for most of his career, he was a purist that only played what objectively best, at least in his mind. Not until the first world championship match did we see him playing the man and not the position by varying his style and occasionally not playing the objectively best move.

    Lasker was the master of playing the man. Mind you he was a tactical genius, however he often played what might be less than best if he know his opponent would over extend himself in trying to "punish" the indiscretion, or would work to a position that he knew his opponent would not be comfortable playing.

    Today's young are trained against computer's where such tactics are not applicable, and they do not understand what is going in the psychology department. I am sure in Giri case he will learn the hard way as he works his way out of the rising star group and into the world class group (*), that there is more to chess than is dreamed in Rybka's philosophy.

    * if he ever does.

  2. The sudden long drive may have thrown off Anand a bit but he seems to have bounced back nicely. If anything, Topalov may be trying too hard to deliver a knockout. Anand caught Kramnik twice with innovations in the Slav; don't think that will happen here. It will be interesting to see if either side tries 1.e4.