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Old May 24th 05, 04:01 PM
Gunsberg
 
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Default The shakeout from Sofia

Obviously, Topalov is the big winner from the event. He was able to
win 4 out of his 10 games, defeating Anand and Kramnik in the process.
His games were full of fight and dynamic ideas. It will be interesting
to see whether he will dominate in Dortmund, in July. Leko ought to be
well prepared, and motivated to make his own statement. I think that
Leko is a bit stronger than Topalov, but that Topalov is getting
maximum results.

Anand had a break-even event, at least with regard to rating
points. However, he missed a golden opportunity to score a big
tournament win. A mere +1 has to be a bit of a disapointment to him.
Indeed, he was lucky to get one of Kramnik's gift points. Is Vishy
getting too complacent?

Polgar can count this event as a success. Finishing equal further
establishes her credentials as a Top 10 player. She was also the only
player not to lose to Topalov. While she lost to Kramnik, her score of
1.5/4 from her games with Anand and Kramnik certainly reflect a
maturation of her game.

It was ironic that Judit had the fewest decisive games, given that
she showed her fighing spirit throughout the event. Over the 10 games
that she contested, she played a total of 582 moves. In 7 of the
rounds, her game was the one that lasted the most moves. She played the
Sicilian against 1.e4--not the Petroff or Ruy Lopez Berlin.
Impressively, she eschewed a draw by repetition in her 2nd game vs.
Topalov. She clearly wanted to send a message that if Topalov or others
were going to play exchange sacrifices agianst her, they may have to
suffer for the draw in the end.

Ponomariov has demonstrated that he belongs in the 2700 + ELO club,
but even with this solid result, I think that he is marginal as a Top
10 player. Still, he was picked by many pundits to finish last, so this
is a clear success for him. Kramnik "forced" him to play for the full
point in Round # 6, by playing what looked to be a speculative and not
quite sound sacrifice. And his loss to Topalov in Round #9 was
gruesome. Pono showed no sense of danger in that game... Still, one
can't quarrel with results.

Adams has had a couple of dismal events in a row. Indeed, just as
was the case with Linares, Adams would get promising positions, and
then lose the thread. His win over Kramnik has to be consolation, but
he needs to get a grip on his form. He'll also be playing at Dortmund,
and it will be interesting to see if he can play a complete game. If
so, he can vie for the win. If not, his prospects for San Luis are
bleak. Adams started out well enough, and stood at +1 after the first
leg. But then he lost 3 out of the next 4 games, including 2 as White.

What about Kramnik?? Well, who would have wagered miney on the
proposition that Kramnik would have the most decisive games out of all
of the players? Let us not forget that he did score 2 wins. For him
that would not be atypical--+2 would be sufficient to have him vying
for 2nd or 3rd Place. But for Kramnik to lose **4** games in one event?
Has that ever happened before? This, from the player who had an
undefeated streak of 80+ games....

Let's not even talk about the blunders. One thing is for su his
rating is taking a pounding. He better recover from whatever his
problem is, or he might drift out of the Top 10. I can't imagine him
finishing with a minus score in Dortmund, but with Leko, Topalov,
Adams, and Svidler in attendance, if he is at less than his best, he
will taste defeat.

It should be mentioned that there were other winners and losers at
Sofia:

Alas, 1.e4 seems to be moribund at the moment.

White can hope for a small edge against the Lopez Berlin, and about
nothing against the Petroff.

Out of the 8 Petroffs that were played at Sofia, the score was
+3-1=4. However, Black was about equal in all of the games that he
lost.

Maybe somebody like Ivanchuk will start experimenting with the
Steinitz variation, which might be a bit less played out at this point.

For a dedicated 1.e4 player like Judit, this has to give pause for
thought, about whether she needs to diversify her opening repetoire. In
2 of her games as White, she faced the Ruy Lopez Berlin, and in two
others, she faced the Petroff.











Mtel Masters Sofia BUL (BUL), 12-22 v 2005 cat. XX (2747)
-------------------------------------------------------------
1 2 3 4 5 6
-------------------------------------------------------------
1 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2778 ** =1 == 01 =1 =1 6.5 2850
2 Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2785 =0 ** == == =1 =1 5.5 2775
3 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2732 == == ** == 0= =1 5.0 2749
4 Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2695 10 == == ** 01 == 5.0 2757
5 Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2753 =0 =0 1= 10 ** 0= 4.0 2673
6 Adams, Michael g ENG 2737 =0 =0 =0 == 1= ** 4.0 2676
-------------------------------------------------------------

Round 1 (May 12, 2005)

Adams, Michael - Polgar, Judit 1/2 74 B47 Sicilian
Paulsen
Kramnik, Vladimir - Ponomariov, Ruslan 1-0 60 B17 Caro Kann
Anand, Viswanathan - Topalov, Veselin 1/2 60 B80 Sicilian
Scheveningen

Round 2 (May 13, 2005)

Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan 1/2 32 C42 Petroff's
Defence
Ponomariov, Ruslan - Polgar, Judit 1/2 78 B55 Sicilian
Rauzer
Topalov, Veselin - Adams, Michael 1/2 26 C88 Ruy Lopez
Closed

Round 3 (May 14, 2005)

Adams, Michael - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 41 C42 Petroff's
Defence
Anand, Viswanathan - Ponomariov, Ruslan 1/2 33 C42 Petroff's
Defence
Polgar, Judit - Topalov, Veselin 1/2 60 C67 Ruy Lopez
Berlin

Round 4 (May 15, 2005)

Adams, Michael - Ponomariov, Ruslan 1/2 27 B13 Caro Kann
Exchange
Topalov, Veselin - Kramnik, Vladimir 1/2 52 C42 Petroff's
Defence
Polgar, Judit - Anand, Viswanathan 1/2 70 B46 Sicilian
Paulsen

Round 5 (May 16, 2005)

Kramnik, Vladimir - Polgar, Judit 1-0 62 E32 Nimzo Indian
4.Qc2
Anand, Viswanathan - Adams, Michael 1/2 54 A30 English
Symmetrical
Ponomariov, Ruslan - Topalov, Veselin 1-0 40 E06 Catalan

Round 6 (May 18, 2005)

Topalov, Veselin - Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 52 E15 Queens Indian
Polgar, Judit - Adams, Michael 1-0 52 C42 Petroff's
Defence
Ponomariov, Ruslan - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 45 E12 Queens Indian
Petrosian

Round 7 (May 19, 2005)

Anand, Viswanathan - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 20 C42 Petroff's
Defence
Polgar, Judit - Ponomariov, Ruslan 1/2 29 C67 Ruy Lopez
Berlin
Adams, Michael - Topalov, Veselin 0-1 54 B91 Sicilian
Najdorf with 6.g3

Round 8 (May 20, 2005)

Topalov, Veselin - Polgar, Judit 1/2 68 B48 Sicilian
Paulsen
Ponomariov, Ruslan - Anand, Viswanathan 1/2 54 A30 English
Symmetrical
Kramnik, Vladimir - Adams, Michael 1/2 53 C99 Ruy Lopez
Chigorin

Round 9 (May 21, 2005)

Topalov, Veselin - Ponomariov, Ruslan 1-0 30 E15 Queens Indian
Polgar, Judit - Kramnik, Vladimir 1/2 44 C42 Petroff's
Defence
Adams, Michael - Anand, Viswanathan 0-1 60 C42 Petroff's
Defence

Round 10 (May 22, 2005)

Anand, Viswanathan - Polgar, Judit 1/2 45 B49 Sicilian
Paulsen
Ponomariov, Ruslan - Adams, Michael 1/2 53 C77 Ruy Lopez
Anderssen
Kramnik, Vladimir - Topalov, Veselin 0-1 34 B80 Sicilian
Scheveningen

  #2   Report Post  
Old May 25th 05, 01:21 AM
Angelo DePalma
 
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"Gunsberg" wrote

Ponomariov has demonstrated that he belongs in the 2700 + ELO club,
but even with this solid result, I think that he is marginal as a Top
10 player.


Pono is a legit top-10 guy and still only 22 years old. Unfortunately he's
been out of the "club" so he gets few top invitations.

Adams has had a couple of dismal events in a row.


What was the last tournament that Adams won? Time to "Khalifmann" the guy
and replace him with Pono.

What about Kramnik??


Krammy is finished. He's a wimp and a pussy, a zero draw w/ respect to
sponsorship, and has no legitimate claim to anything. Do you realize he beat
GK five years ago and hardly played at all during 2004?

Since he has become irrelevant, my prediction is that FIDE will simply
ignore him. He'll stay above 2700 for a few more years out of inertia, then
fade away.


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Old May 25th 05, 01:34 AM
Mark Houlsby
 
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Krammy is finished. He's a wimp and a pussy, a zero draw w/ respect to
sponsorship, and has no legitimate claim to anything.

Ummm... Angelo... he's the World Champion. Last year, in Brissago,
Switzerland, he defended the world title by drawing a match against
Peter Leko. He won the last game of the match with the black pieces.
Superb match strategy, and a shame for Leko, who surely must have
imagined that he could at least draw the final game and win the world
title. Once again: Kramnik is the champion of the world.

Defending the world title is more than Fischer ever did. Was Fischer a
legitimate World Champion between his beating Spassky in Reykjavik and
his refusing to defend his title to Karpov?

Volodya will fade away? Dream on. More to the point, get real.

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Old May 25th 05, 04:35 AM
Angelo DePalma
 
Posts: n/a
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It depends on how you define "world champion." If you don't defend the title
in a reasonable period of time it becomes meaningless. Kramnik was in fact
defending a "title" which, to me, had expired.

There's also the issue of whether at the time GK lost his match, he could
have justifiably claimed still to be the world champion. Don't get me wrong,
I think the world of Kasparov. But let's face it, the guy is an incredible
egomaniac. Eight years passed between his last FIDE-sanctioned match and his
encounter with Kramnik. During that time he "defended" against a couple of
punching bags, and ducked Shirov.

I prefer to think of the period from about 1994 to present as an
interregnum, a time when there was no genuine world champion.

I will recognize the winner in South America as the world champion.


"Mark Houlsby" wrote in message
oups.com...
Krammy is finished. He's a wimp and a pussy, a zero draw w/ respect to

sponsorship, and has no legitimate claim to anything.

Ummm... Angelo... he's the World Champion. Last year, in Brissago,
Switzerland, he defended the world title by drawing a match against
Peter Leko. He won the last game of the match with the black pieces.
Superb match strategy, and a shame for Leko, who surely must have
imagined that he could at least draw the final game and win the world
title. Once again: Kramnik is the champion of the world.

Defending the world title is more than Fischer ever did. Was Fischer a
legitimate World Champion between his beating Spassky in Reykjavik and
his refusing to defend his title to Karpov?

Volodya will fade away? Dream on. More to the point, get real.



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Old May 25th 05, 05:38 AM
Mark Houlsby
 
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It depends on how you define "world champion." If you don't defend the title
in a reasonable period of time it becomes meaningless. Kramnik was in
fact
defending a "title" which, to me, had expired.


Yes, well, I define it the way most people would, I think... not for
nothing is MGP about a continuum from Steinitz to Kramnik...


There's also the issue of whether at the time GK lost his match, he could

have justifiably claimed still to be the world champion. Don't get me
wrong,
I think the world of Kasparov. But let's face it, the guy is an
incredible
egomaniac. Eight years passed between his last FIDE-sanctioned match
and his
encounter with Kramnik.


That was FIDE's fault, not Garry Kimovich's.... BTW if I'd been WC for
a decade-and-a-half, I'd probably be a bit of an egomaniac, too (more
than usual, even).

During that time he "defended" against a couple of

punching bags,

You call Anand a "punching bag"??

and ducked Shirov.


True.


I prefer to think of the period from about 1994 to present as an

interregnum, a time when there was no genuine world champion.

Okaaayyyy.....

I will recognize the winner in South America as the world champion.


That'll be nice for him, I'm sure...



  #6   Report Post  
Old May 25th 05, 01:05 PM
Jerzy
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Gunsberg wrote:
Obviously, Topalov is the big winner from the event. He was able to
win 4 out of his 10 games, defeating Anand and Kramnik in the process.
His games were full of fight and dynamic ideas. It will be interesting
to see whether he will dominate in Dortmund, in July. Leko ought to be
well prepared, and motivated to make his own statement. I think that
Leko is a bit stronger than Topalov, but that Topalov is getting
maximum results.


Nice post Isi but I think that Topalov`s peak will be at 33 or several years
later and he is only 30 today - Anand is 36. And of course present Topalov
performance is much higher than Leko`s.

Regards,

Jerzy


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Old May 25th 05, 02:30 PM
Angelo DePalma
 
Posts: n/a
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There's something fishy to me about declaring oneself anything. GK was
undoubtedly the strongest player of all time, but that doesn't give him
ownership of the world championship, and with it the right to choose his
opponents. To me that's the only blemish on this greatest of all players. I
don't even count ducking Shirov, as that match promised to be even more
lopsided than Kasparov-Short. Shirov can't even draw against GK; I think
he's beaten him once out of -- I'm guessing -- 15-20 encounters.

He won the Anand match 4-1, with 13 theoretical draws thrown in for good
measure. To me that's a rout.

Reasonable people can argue different status for Kramnik, but I think as the
months and years and unconvincing performances go by he has less and less
legitimacy.

BTW he drew that match with Leko, proving only that he's about as good as
the Hungarian.

You should read the recent CB article by Jeff Sonas:

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2409

Kramnik is near the bottom of the list. Not even "primus inter pares." More
like "par inter pares."



"Mark Houlsby" wrote in message
ps.com...
It depends on how you define "world champion." If you don't defend the
title

in a reasonable period of time it becomes meaningless. Kramnik was in
fact
defending a "title" which, to me, had expired.


Yes, well, I define it the way most people would, I think... not for
nothing is MGP about a continuum from Steinitz to Kramnik...


There's also the issue of whether at the time GK lost his match, he could

have justifiably claimed still to be the world champion. Don't get me
wrong,
I think the world of Kasparov. But let's face it, the guy is an
incredible
egomaniac. Eight years passed between his last FIDE-sanctioned match
and his
encounter with Kramnik.


That was FIDE's fault, not Garry Kimovich's.... BTW if I'd been WC for
a decade-and-a-half, I'd probably be a bit of an egomaniac, too (more
than usual, even).

During that time he "defended" against a couple of

punching bags,

You call Anand a "punching bag"??

and ducked Shirov.


True.


I prefer to think of the period from about 1994 to present as an

interregnum, a time when there was no genuine world champion.

Okaaayyyy.....

I will recognize the winner in South America as the world champion.


That'll be nice for him, I'm sure...



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Old May 25th 05, 04:20 PM
Mark Houlsby
 
Posts: n/a
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He won the Anand match 4-1, with 13 theoretical draws thrown in for good
measure. To me that's a rout.

Sure it is, but that doesn't make Anand a "punching bag". It means only
that Garry Kimovich was, at the time, Superfly, comparitively speaking.

Remember, Fischer routed Taimanov and Larsen on his route to the world
title. This did not mean that either Taimanov or Larsen were punching
bags. It meant only that Fischer outplayed them.

You should read the recent CB article by Jeff Sonas:


I did. Sonas is entitled to his opinion. My opinion (and, for that
matter, Kasparov's opinion) of Kramnik is somewhat different.

Between Sonas and Kasparov, I know whose opinion of chessplayers I
respect more.

You can believe what you like about Kramnik or about any other player,
but that doesn't make your opinion true.

The plain FACT is: Kramnik is one of the most successful players of all
time. There is a reason for that.

Period.

  #9   Report Post  
Old May 25th 05, 04:45 PM
Larry Tapper
 
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Jerzy wrote:
Gunsberg wrote:
Obviously, Topalov is the big winner from the event. He was able to
win 4 out of his 10 games, defeating Anand and Kramnik in the process.
His games were full of fight and dynamic ideas. It will be interesting
to see whether he will dominate in Dortmund, in July. Leko ought to be
well prepared, and motivated to make his own statement. I think that
Leko is a bit stronger than Topalov, but that Topalov is getting
maximum results.


Nice post Isi but I think that Topalov`s peak will be at 33 or several years
later and he is only 30 today - Anand is 36. And of course present Topalov
performance is much higher than Leko`s.

Regards,

Jerzy


It's also worth remembering that Kramnik is still only 29. Many people
find this surprising because it seems like he's been around forever ---
he was already a celebrated player at age 17.

LT

  #10   Report Post  
Old May 25th 05, 05:00 PM
Jerzy
 
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LT wrote
Nice post Isi but I think that Topalov`s peak will be at 33 or several
years
later and he is only 30 today - Anand is 36. And of course present
Topalov
performance is much higher than Leko`s.


It's also worth remembering that Kramnik is still only 29. Many people
find this surprising because it seems like he's been around forever ---
he was already a celebrated player at age 17.


However Kramnik`s peak was his match with Kasparov in London and since then
his performance has been declining. I can risk a thesis that he owns most of
his chess achievements to Kasparov. First he was chosen to Russian team at
the age of 17 or so thanks to Kasparov`s strong support and secondly thanks
to Kasparov he played and won a match with him in London.

Ever since he has been living in a crystal tower and apparently he has lost
contact with reality :-)


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