Friday, May 6, 2011
THE CANDIDATES MATCHES 2011
Whew. One of my customers just informed me of Kamsky's win over Topalov in Rd. 2 of the Candidates. So, I "Binged" (not drinking) the event and I couldn't find anything current--bad for Microsoft's search engine.
But, in the middle of that I read through a web site of harangues about FIDE, Kazan, how it was delayed, and a lot of "crap" by a guy who pretends to tell the truth, but only when it suits him. No PR for that web site.
I switched to FIDE and while they are the official website, no games in progress from today.
So I Googled and did get ChessVibes and played through the game Topalov (white)-Kamsky. Topalov didn't lose because he sacced the exchanged, he lost because he castled queenside and Kamsky was all over him like a cheap suit (Robin Williams) with ...a5. The complications were mind-bending but Kamsky stood his ground through them and Topalov collapsed. It wouldn't be surprising that Kamsky's win in St. Louis of the US championship gave him a little extra jet fuel.
All the other games were drawn.
Yesterday, before round 2 started (all the games in round 1 were drawn) I was going to make some predictions for these chess events and invite readers to send me theirs (and I still invite).
There are some tough pairings and making the calls aren't easy.
1. Topalov-Kamsky. I didn't think it was impossible for Kamsky to beat Topalov. Now I think, in this short 4 game series, it is entirely possible that Topalov might not get to the second tier, what do you think?
2) Aronian - Grischuk. I like Grischuk's chess skills but I am afraid that in the end Aronian will take it because even though he flubbed and flip-flopped in game 1, and Grischuk held tough like a guy trying to get away from a shark, I think Aronian will win. Darn.
3) Kramnik-Radjabov. I read about Kramnik's experience in match play, but realistically, what has that got to do with an older guy playing a younger, very imaginative guy. The only question is how is Radjabov's nerves. Kramnik, in his contest with Topalov and Leko showed he has IRON nerves in the clutch. For this reason, I give Kramnik the edge, IN the first tier.
4) Mamedyarov - Gelfand. Someone else wrote that Gelfand wins events but seldom beats the big guys and I suspect this is still true. But, is Mamedyarov a Big Guy? Rating wise he has been. I remember Mickey Adams and his 2700+ plus rating for a long time, and as good as he is, and he is, he seemed to have trouble beating the big guys too (you just beat the other lower 2700 rated players). Gelfand seems to know his systems well, but he can clutch in a major way and just get rolled off the board; yet, he can evoke mind-numbing draws. I give the edge to Mamedyarov even though he was involved in that brou-haha about cheating (his opponent cheating) a couple years ago.
What do you think? No prizes, no heartbreaks, no WAGs (wild-assed guesses). What does your intuition tell you? After all, HOW can we know for certain?