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Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

The world championship match of Magnus Carlsen of Norway vs. current champ Viswanathan Anand is expected to take place this November and is shaping up to be the most exciting chess event since Bobby Fischer vs. Boris Spassky. Already the media have started to awaken to the drama of this match — as evidenced by a major Wall Street Journal article.

So why is there such great interest in the current challenge? Because there is sort of an obsession with the genius of Carlsen, who only in his 20s has broken the highest rating in history. The pairing is not part of politics, and, as it is between two comparatively mild-mannered players, is not a grudge match. It is a test of the most gifted Grandmasters. Fans are ambivalent, loving the pleasant Anand and his family, yet admiring the talent of Carlsen. Predictions are on the side of Carlsen, in favor of the view that the torch of chess is passing to a new, young generation of players.

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However, the match will be short, only 12 games. And anything can happen to upset the contention. Planning will be important but self-control and willpower can be decisive.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Carlsen seems prepared to play in Chennai, India. India had bid for the last championship match; Boris Gelfand vs. Anand, but FIDE (the International Chess Federation) simply allowed Russia to bid higher without notice to India and took the tournament away. To make up for this insult, FIDE promised India it would have a priority for the next match. In Europe, as a result of a Norwegian protest, Paris has come up with a higher bid than India, but FIDE has elected to stand by its promise to India.

What effect will the site have on the match? Recall a famous book “On Aggression” by Conrad Lorenz, in which the author described a study of warfare between stickleback fish and its enemies. The fish won the battles on their home territory, but lost them on territory of others. Patrick Wolff, who authored an encyclopedic book on the Garry Kasparov-Anand 1995 world championship, has written that Anand disliked playing in his home country because of the need to fend off the many inquiries of the Indian press. Wolff functioned as a second and close friend of Anand. He describes Anand in very human terms. Anand had been leading Kasparov in their match, and Kasparov changed openings and prevailed. But Wolff felt that the change, though good strategy, was not the decisive factor in the Kasparov victory. Wolff felt that Anand suffered a loss in self-confidence.

Anand and Carlsen continue to play to keep fit. They are playing in the Tal Memorial in Moscow. At this writing, Carlsen was tied for third and Anand, playing poorly, was tied for seventh.

Brevity: Dus-Chotimirsky vs. S. Sharov (1901) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0 d6 5.d4 Nd7 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Be3 0–0 8.Qd2 Bf6 9.Ne2 Qe7 10.Ng3 exd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Ne5 13.f4 Ng4 14.Be2 Bxd4+ 15.Qxd4 Nxh2 16.Nh5 f5 17.Kxh2 g6 18.Bc4+; 1–0 (If 18. Rf7 then 19.Qg7 is mate)

Winners: Leominster Gambit Invitational: 1st, Trevor Bierig, 3-0; Boylston CC Tornado: Tie for 1st, Lawyer Times, Chris Williams, and Jason Spector, 3.5-.5

Coming Events: Boylston CC “Legends of Chess,” June 29 and Quads July 6, both at 240B Elm St., Somerville, www.boylstonchessclub.org; New England Sports Academy G/30, June 29,
345 University Ave. Westwood, nsterling@
nesacademy.com

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