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The future of chess?

12 Feb

dgt 2010Today the Zurich Chess Challenge starts. The organizers invited some very strong grandmasters: Anand, Kramnik, Nakamura, Aronian, Giri and Shirov.

This strong lineup is not what makes this tournament special. It is the ‘new’ time control which draws our attention.

The new time control is 40 minutes + increment. The organizers call it innovation. I call it: same old, same old. This time control is nothing new. We even have a name for it (trumpets please): Continue reading

Stop with the silly Sofia rules

11 Aug

peace_doveAs we all know chess games have 3 natural outcomes: a win, a loss or a draw. For obvious reasons organizers and chess fans don’t like draws. We demand a fight to the death. Unless we are involved by ourselves of course. In that case we prefer half living over death.

For instance a draw is perfectly okay if we play a (much) stronger opponent or if it brings some other gain, like winning a match or chess tournament. But when other players settle for a draw we hate it.  

Of course there is a problem. It happens frequently that players agree on a draw when there are still enough possibilities to prolong the fight. In other cases they don’t even bother to try to play for a win. Their goal is from the outset to finish as soon as possible in peaceful manner.

I think it was Boris Spassky who, in the later stage of his career, preferred a tennis game over a chess game. And he is not the only player who had some different thoughts about a struggle on the chess board. How do you prevent this from happening? Continue reading

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