Updates and Recent Events 

Since writing my January piece (Credibility and the World Title) little has changed. Kasparov’s stunning successes in Holland and Spain were most impressive, but the world title is still in a mess with nothing materialising as of yet from Braingames. Their website is static and if they are still going to be a player in world chess they will have to act fast. Is there any gas in the tank? 

Evgeny Bareev

Evgeny Bareev: Subtle sense of irony

One of the wittiest of leading Grandmasters, Evgeny Bareev, wrote in New in Chess magazine that it was easier for Anand to win the FIDE knock-out than it would be for him to beat either Kasparov or Kramnik in a match while it would be easier for either of the participants of the London match to beat Anand in a match than to win such a knock-out. It sounds like an insult to Anand, but it isn’t necessarily…maybe Bareev thinks the probability of Anand winning the knock-out was .9 while the probability of him beating either K is only .8 and that either K would have only a .1 chance of winning the knock-out! I suspect he thinks no such thing, but it is a model consistent with his statement. It just shows that it is always difficult to know what Bareev really thinks! 

Wijk did little to change my view that a match between Kramnik and Anand will not be enough to resolve the problem of creating an undisputed World Champion. I repeat that for credibility, Kasparov needs to be involved too. Kasparov battled it out in Linares while Kramnik and Anand took a well-deserved rest. They were probably hoping that Gazza would fail in Spain but instead he triumphed magnificently yet again. The greatest tournament player of all time is still on a winning roll, as if the match against Kramnik never happened. His energy and dynamism were still very apparent – just ask Anatoly Karpov who lost a most impressive game as black in a Caro-Kann to his old foe. 

In London we saw that the new world champion prevented the last one from playing his natural game. To be more accurate, Kramnik made Kasparov feel too inhibited to play his normal, fearless game. Kasparov, for once, was weak psychologically when confronted by a resolute opponent who gave him absolutely no fear to feed off. Although the London match was disappointing in most ways, the rematch (if and when it happens) should be fascinating… 

Check out the photos section of this website (Me and My Mates: Chess Players Revealed) for some recent additions – it’s the usual mix of top players (both guys and girls) and others from the chess scene.


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