Saturday, 6 April 2013

Chess reading for the week - Apr 6th

Here are some interesting chess posts for the week:

From : How the Chess Set Got Its Look and Feel
A pretty interesting read on the history of Chess pieces!
    "Prior to 1849, there was no such thing as a “normal chess set.” At least not like we think of it today.
    By the 19th century, chess clubs and competitions began to appear all around the world, it became necessary to use a standardized set that would enable players from different cultures to compete without getting confused.
    In 1849, that challenge would be met by the “Staunton” Chess Set. Despite its name, the iconic set was not designed by Howard Staunton. According to the most widely told origin story, the Staunton set was designed by architect Nathan Cook"

Vishy Anand & Magnus Carlsen in the news
Ofcourse, the whole chess world and media outlets are talking about the Champ Viswanathan Anand and his challenger Magnus Carlsen, and rightly so. 

Here are links to the most interesting interviews I liked:

From blogs.wsj : Q&A: Inside the Mind of the World’s Top Chess Player
A pretty fascinating Q&A where the champ talks about pretty much everything; from his earlier days, chess in India, his preparation style, his favorite Indian city to play chess in, and his favorite chess player (mine too)!

From : "I can detect my opponent's emotions"
Another interesting piece with some nice quotes.
    Asked whether chess players made for good actors while making moves, he answered with a straight face. “I would say, yes and no. After one level, the opponent can guess that you are bluffing with a straight face. In my case, I can make out whether a player is nervous by the level of his breathing. I can detect his emotions, what he is thinking. So it’s very necessary to keep your emotions to yourself,”
Asked if he would like his son to follow his footsteps, he said, “I’ll introduce him to chess. But I won’t force him. It’s up to him what to choose,”

From deccanherald : Anand hails concept of Maharashtra Chess League
A chess league in India, first of its kind! They have even managed to get some sponsors. Kudos!
    "Countries that have very organised chess structure, have a chess league at the core. Those countries, like Germany for example, where I play in a league, have six or seven levels of leagues, with top two teams being promoted to the higher level, and bottom two teams being relegated to the lower level," said Anand.

From NYTimes blog : A Conversation With: Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand
The champ talking about the NIIT Chess Academy.
    "Yes, there are plans to expand. We recently have introduced the Academy in Dubai, Botswana and South Africa especially after working with the governments of the latter two countries. My idea is to have the epicenter in India because of the N.I.I.T. network and also to give back to my country."

From : "Carlsen will be ridiculously difficult to play against"
I remember "seeing" Vishy online for most part of the Candidates. Once when I asked him if he is going to watch all the games online; "I am finding it hard to leave!" came the answer! He was awake till 1am catching some games till the very end. What a champ!
Interesting answers to some very interesting interview Qs
    "I managed to catch most of the games. I didn't need to stay up late because most had ended by midnight and I was able to go to sleep."
    "Firstly, he (Carlsen) is not from my generation. There is a difference in age and outlook. When I played Kramnik, Topalov and Gelfand, I read them in a certain way. And even then, I thought that if I end up playing Vlady this time, it would be a different Vlady from the one I played before. He (Carlsen) is from a different generation and Carlsen is also one of the most talented players from any generation."

From : 'I will have to improve my game’
When asked if it will be a mother of all matches as it will be between the world champion and the world #1:
"Magnus is one of those talents that happens once a century. In that sense, it will be unique for me."

From : Magnus Carlsen, "The Privileges of the World Champion are Not Fair"
    "I still Think That the privileges of the World Champion are not Fair. As for the system, I think that the round-robin system is good, because that gives the strongest players better chances to win. If you want to have a world champion who sits on his crown for two years then you have to have a serious system to choose a challenger."

Gary has to give his comments, and we do like to hear his opinion. After all he is the most important retired chess guy. He spoke about the weird rules, Carlsen's weakness, Anand and was all praises for Kramnik!
    "The tournament showed that the rumors of the death of classical chess somewhat exaggerated. 
Anand is an experienced fighter, he is able to strongly hold the match.
I can hardly be called a big fan of Kramnik, but he really played brilliantly." (Translated text)

From forums : What has India got to do with the "Indian" openings?
Some interesting discussion at the forums. It never occurred to me why the name Kings Indian defence or Nimzo Indian defence! You may find the answer in that discussion!

Heard saying

I think it could be much more fair if the World chess champion played in London and then the best first two players played for the title.

Funny cartoon
© 2013, José Diaz

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