Some Chest-Thumping Over Chess!

Vishy fumbling in the end game and missing winning lines!

This is for some chest-thumping over chess! I have never attempted to position myself at the workplace, that’s the domain of the weak! But the reality within today’s shortsighted world is that hype and noise do need to accompany professional excellence! Only that can help avoid any gripe.

I have played chess only at the division level. That was long ago when, as a student, I was the captain of the Madras Division team. That was a time when the best player in a division was picked as the captain. Unlike today, be it in sport or business, where all that counts is self-pitching with more talk and less substance! A world where marketing thrives!

The comments in passing aside, as I was the Madras division champion then, I was automatically made the team captain for the inter-division championship when, playing on the top board, I had the satisfaction of beating an International Master who was captaining Coimbatore.

No doubt, the ability to lead is important but if he is the strongest player it is easy to get full support from the team. 

Carlsen-Vishy Title Match I did not progress beyond that. But I still believe I have the strength to analyse the world championship live and figure out what is going right and what not for the contenders! It does not matter that the two fighting it out are on top of the world while I am no match for them in

It does not matter that the two fighting it out are on top of the world while I am no match for them in whatsoever way! I am just a chess enthusiast but with enough knowledge about the game to think ahead, review the positional options they have and take a strategic, analytical look at their moves. I have been watching the ongoing title match being played in

I have been watching the ongoing title match being played in Sochi (Russia) between reigning champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and challenger Viswanathan Anand of India every match-night live on the Web. With 10 rounds already complete, Carlsen leads 5.5 4.5 with two wins and one defeat.

Anand’s Blunder in Round 10: But it could easily have been 5:5 if Anand had kept up the pace of attack in Friday’s round 10 by seizing the “e” file when he had the first option to do so. Instead, reaching an exciting position with a Grunfeld Defence, he frittered away the chance to seal the game. A blunder with Rd2 on the 24th move just to save a useless pawn did him in! Watching the game live on Friday night, I had tweeted, “Vishy has squandered away the advantage with a silly Rd2 move. Re1 and then Re2 will have been a winner.”

A blunder with Rd2 on the 24th move just to save a useless pawn did him in! Watching the game live on Friday night, I had tweeted, “Vishy has squandered away the advantage with a silly Rd2 move. Re1 and then Re2 will have been a winner.” Screenshot 2014-11-22 at 22.37.59 A prior tweet was “Anand misses the chance to make Re1 and

A prior tweet was “Anand misses the chance to make Re1 and Carlses seizes it with Re8! Even Carlsen acknowledges it: It gives me a sense of satisfaction that, post-match, Carlsen himself said “I was relieved when he (Anand) gave me the e-file.” Screenshot 2014-11-22 at 23.58.03 Grandmaster Peter Svidler, who has been brilliant in his coverage of the championship live, pointed out in his analysis that “Vishy chose the somewhat

Grandmaster Peter Svidler, who has been brilliant in his coverage of the championship live, pointed out in his analysis that “Vishy chose the somewhat indifferent 24.Rd2 instead of the more ambitious 24.Rfe1. Black (Carlsen) immediately assumed control over the e file with Re8, and his problems were mostly behind him. The game was drawn soon after that.” International Master Robert Ris had also tweeted “with a move like Rd2 white (Anand) loses the momentum.”

International Master Robert Ris had also tweeted “with a move like Rd2 white (Anand) loses the momentum.”

Winning Goes Beyond Pre-Game Preparations: My overall assessment of the 10 rounds played so far is that Anand has been coming very well prepared, thanks to his seconds, and gets into somewhat good or equal positions by the middle game.

But beyond that, pre-game preparations are futile. It is a player’s ability to come up with innovative, position-centric moves that can then make a difference.

He also needs the strength to pounce on the mistakes an opponent makes. This is where Anand has been failing consistently – as in Round 6 when Carlsen committed a blunder and Anand replied with a counter blunder, missing the Ne5 move that will have made him a winner in what was a losing position for him until then.

Time Management: Anand has also shown him to be weak in terms of time management. He has been behind Carlsen in all of the games, leaving him with less time when he needs that the most! The quality of Vishy’s chess is not something befitting a champion.

He has been generally missing all winning lines and scrambling for a draw! His game plan is perhaps just to avoid losing with a wide margin as it happened in the 2013 title match between the two in Chennai.

Or perhaps to play it safe with passive chess and seek to level the tie with a win in Round 12 and take it to the tiebreak games where speed is crucial – something that Vishy has not been demonstrating so far though that was once his key strength!

Today, in a few hours from now, Carlsen plays round 11 with white pieces and if he is able to pull off a win then the title will be his with one round to spare! As for Anand, with only two rounds to go and trailing by a point, it is too late to abandon passive play. But he at least needs to stay positive and push for a win without sacrificing caution!

G Joslin Vethakumar

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Sport

One response to “Some Chest-Thumping Over Chess!

  1. Pingback: Treading the Path Influencers Lay Out | Top of the Word

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s