Sunday, May 27, 2007

Magnus Carlsen blog, by Henrik Carlsen

This is too good not to reproduce directly from the text quoted today, at, of the harrowing experience of getting to Elista, writen by Magnus Carlsens Dad (who across many highly inteligent blogs, shows no less brilliance than his own son), and posted at his blog:

"After the arrival of the players in Elista FIDE Press Officer Dr. Peter Rajcsanyi issued the following statement: " During the transportation of the players and journalists of the Candidates Matches from the airport, a local child unexpectedly runs to the road. In order to avoid a serious accident the drivers of the buses had to apply a forced breaking which however pushed some of the passengers forward and they got some injuries. After careful medical examinations they were released from the medical control as their injuries were not serious and did not require further treatment."

"A rather more vivid description of these occurrences, and of the adventure of getting to Elista, can be found on the Magnus Carlsen blog, which is painstakingly maintained by his father Henrik. We quote:

"We (Magnus, his second Kjetil A.Lie and I) left Lommedalen, Norway 04:25 and arrived in Chess City, Elista 12 hours later. Not bad taking into account some hick-ups on our way and a solid combination of poor planning, helpfulness and risky car driving.

"About a month ago we were told that the organiser would charter a plane to bring candidates and others from Moscow to Elista, leaving at 17 hours on the 25th. Having guessed that this might leave from the airfield for domestic flights (Vnukovo), some 70 kms from the international hub Sheremetyevo, we booked an early morning flight via Helsinki to arrive in Moscow at 12:05, and were happy about this choice when Vnukovo was confirmed as the airport for the chartered flight. That is, until.... yesterday (Thursday 24th) when we were informed that the departure time for the charter plane had been brought forward to 13:40.

"The plan would be to still try to reach this plane, and the backup would be a flight to Volgograd and a four-hour (hazardous) drive to Elista today or tomorrow.

"The plane from Helsinki landed on time and after running to the passport control and luggage pickup we were met and led to the waiting car. 12 minutes later a FIDE Vice President arriving from Frankfurt joined us and the driver took off (like a bat out of h....).

"Unfortunately the traffic was heavy and by 13:30 we were still far from Vnukovo. We were passed by a police car with a blinking blue light, acting as an involuntary "escort" until traffic got lighter about 15 kilometer from Vnokovo. The remaining distance was covered in about 170 km/hour zig-zagging along the highway. A team of about six persons helped us through two security checks, a passport control, with the receipt of tickets, and a bus drive out to the plane where we arrived about ten minutes after leaving the car and, we had made it. Puh!

"In Elista we were greeted in the most friendly way, beautiful sunshine and about 35 degrees C. After a while the busses headed for Elista and Chess City with police escort.

"In the middle of Elista the police had to make an emergency break ahead of a careless pedestrian, the first bus stopped but the second (our) didn't in time and crashed in the bus in front, severely damaging our front and diesel started leaking from the bus in front. Some bruises were treated and some possibly hurt necks investigated by medical personnel and a new bus arrived to take us to Chess City.

"One thing that troubled me was that the bus seemed to continue at an unexpected high speed in spite of the driver pulling the breaks. We seemed to float like on a wet road. When inspecting the break marks on the road, I found a ten meter break mark behind the right hand front wheel, but only a five meter mark behind the front left wheelm, and none behind the back wheels (which I thought normally takes most of the break power). The tires also seemed quite worn out. Old tires combined with uneven or missing break power obviously did not contribute positively in a dangerous situation.
Well, after an eventful (and dangerous) journey, it is finally time to concentrate on the task at hand; beating Aronian!

FIDE saw fit to make a last minute change, moving the final connecting flight up, and in many ways typlifies the whole operating chaos of that organization. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, but this incident seems to symbolized what goes on there...

And finally, this great chess match begins!

I almost feel embaressed to say, but to give you an idea how good a friend GM Seirawan is, after a several hour commentary at for this great match, broadcast to thousands, he immediately wrote me a note in reply to the forward of a major email I had writen my dad, and forwarded to him. What a treasure for a friend!

There I had described how just hours after finishing a revision of my resume which took years to finish (I'd just collapse in exhaustion, and knew I was not ready to move on with my life till this week), a top Japanese American architect in Seattle approached me in my tool department (after looking at a 15 amp Hitachi circular saw!) and after hearing the breadth of my background, asked me if I had 'ever considered returning to architecture', to which, much to my own shock, said 'yes', even surpising myself! As Pascal said in his Pensees, "The heart has its reasons that the mind knowest not of".

I had even gone so far as to interview with the firm that won the National AIA Gold medal, kind of the Superbowl of architects, and they honestly said that I was "as talented as person as they had ever seen". Immodest, but true. What can I say? A part of me was ripped when I left. Then I went to Wall Street, and, ultimately, was ripped there to. Why? A. arrogance, and B. spiritual awakening!

The thing is, when I left, in 1992, his was the last design firm I had ever interviewed with in this city, vowing to either start my own firm or leave the business! Can you imagine? but I have read enough Jung, and prayed so deeply, that I knew that I had to look at this, for I know not why but must...

The numinosity!

It is very, very hard to combine inside/outside sales, broad engineering design, keen analytics, zen, writing, and public speaking, and health all into one resume! I did it. I am ready now.

[addendum, 6:30 pm est: the following position reminds me of the most famous game Reti-Alekhine Baden-Baden 1925 [replay here:] where the latter planted his rook, 26. ...Re3, with Reti calmly replying 27.Nf3 but loosing in a battle, grandee royal:

but here, as described by Mark Crowther at, in his flash report, Carlson "was mown down" by Aaronian's also 26. ...R, but Rf3! Seeing is believing! Chess imagination at its best!

warmly, dk


Anonymous chessdog said...

DK, i know this is very non sequitur to your post but, what % do you think can be atributed to my current rating on CTS (1413 as of this moment) to me just recognizing problems ive already seen. I will admit that after 50K+ "tries" that i'm seeing alot of problems mayby i'm not REALLY improving as much as i think i am! if you'd like to address the in private you can reach me at

Sun May 27, 05:26:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

hello troy. himmm. thank you. first, congratulations again on your wonderful chess tactical service advance. i was happy to see you do that.

i have one regular weekend off per month, so to write you more concertedly as deserves is for the days ahead, please, if you don't mind. i need to meditate on the content, nothing heavy, just a matter of approprite digestion and metabolization.

as for your question, at a glance before my much needed daily nap in a second here: to rephrase: you mean 'what the component of the rating increase is' from finally assymilating the learned problem set?

since you have fallen a bit (and i respectfully submit i dont mean that in a bad way, but as fact or information only) in your percentage from nearly 95.9 to 95.7, it is safe to assume you mean rating as distinct from percentage increase.

i am no expert. but my experience is that when i make a jump, it is from being rested AFTER doing lots of problems, daily.

while i really love CTS, and am proud to be a part of so many fine persons associated with it (i really think that the many persons there are the smartest folks around), it DOES have its limits.

when i hit 1550-1591 last fall, it was after doing weeks of CT-Art 3.0, and i am starting back there, and intend to cut way back on CTS for now, since a lot of CT-Art and a little CTS is better than tons of CTS and no CT-Art, IMHO.

we do run into diminishing returns, so if you are really asking me, i sincerely feel that shifting course to say RHP (red hot pawn) and/or PCT (positional chess trainer), or CTA (CT-Art 3.0), in combination with reduced CTS is the best way.

CTS is wonderful, again, but cannot do it all.

it is so reassuring to all of us, including me, in creating the feeling that something is really happening daily, and you can see it, and see 'it' in comparison to others, but really, to get a good physique we need weight lifting, not slow intermediate running, and CTS, again, wonderful as it is, is light jogging which, can help us stay fit, but wont make us the strongest.

i view CTS as a place to stop in, not a place to be AFTER sufficient time there, say 30,000 or 50,000 etc, but it does bottom out, and chess and life offers far more, i feel.

hope that that helps, dk

Sun May 27, 06:06:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous chessdog said...

dave, as you correctly point success% has dropped while my rating has risin. it has provin impossible to maintain my success% while pushing my rating at my very limited chess perhaps i have only "robbed peter to pay paul" in regards to success to ratings ratio...? which would suggest i havent improved at chess at all...this is the crux of my curiosity.but i still maintain that my memorising of so many problems is partly the reason for my ratings is my suspicion that many of us on CTS have fallen into this false sense of improvement. but then again, perhaps i'm only a crazed dog!


Sun May 27, 08:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

dear T, i agree.

many of us do that.

now, despite the fact that we all do this, in a way, not so much in the public eye (folks cannot watch us do it, but only see the reports, kind of like what richard dawkins calls, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design), we really do much of this in private for ourselves, if you follow.

the question then is, what do you wish to accomplish? seriously.

for me, to learn to always do problems first at 80%, then 85%, then 90% was a very passionate endeavour. but then what? for me? i know the answer for me, but your answer is what matters sir. and i respectfully submit, whether you wish to share it here or not or rather reply instead to my email in my confidence with that sort of information would be a choice for you.

by what you want, i mean something perhaps more transcendant. do you wish to be class B, or A, or one day a master, or does chess channel your brain frequencies in a way which is salutary?

when i left wall street, i was suffering terrably. not from the street, but all the mess afterwards. chess taught me, like a paralysed man in a walker, albiet an athelete, let us say, but injured, how to walk again... and as you know, there are athletes who have been for a time in a walker who latter returned to compete atheletically, whether it be as it were lance armstrong, or herman meyer aka the herminatory or phil 6ers general manager pat croche was it from his terrable motorcycle accident.

chess, for me, was a place that i could go that was completely dissociated with with money, markets, family, women or romance, alcohol, work, tiredness, or what the buddhists like to call, 'conditioned reality'--so this is what i mean by conditioned reality.

i got more than chess. i got to meet yasser and spent fifty hours walking with him and a thousand emails between us [i mean this literally, maybe thousandS]; i got to quit drinking; i got to meet here tempo and wormwood and chess relearner, pawn sensei, likeforests, robert pearson (Wahrheit), blue devil knight, so many fantastic persons, i got to meet you who are also quite special. i thank them all. i thank you. we get to share ourselves, see and be seen, know and be known.

two things come to mind in chess:

to make a seperate id for you to practice harder problems at lower percentiles--without risking your coveted rare and unique spot. at 50k, it is not like you need worry about or concern yourself with dropping out of sight.

believe me, what was once a top 50 will in a year be top 100, many are coming, but when there are 3,000 or 4,000 users (believe me, there will be sooner than we know), but the percentile (relative rather than absolute) of 11 out of 2000 (0.055), will be exceeded by 20 out of 5,000 (0.040)if you follow.

so just as i had to experiment with 99 to 100% at 1300-1350, but returned to 90-95% at 1475-1525, so you can experiment with 85 to 90% and see how it feels and how far you can go, and EXPERIENCE THIS new problem set, not just for a moment, but for months. 100 per day for 100 days, to 10,000 and call it fastDog or quickDog, etc, and then you can return to chessDog by warming up on quickDog and i bet you the latter will be higher...

you are begging for a place to expand without risking your ego. we all do. me too.

second, the question really is, what other trainings do you do? i do tactical books DAILY, no matter what, even bleary eyed at five am, or at six pm before my ten minute nap... daily... i am getting so saturated, thus, that i am starting to dream chess in detail, and am doing daily there and seeing there, what i cannot do in daylight...

lastly, consider PCT which many here swearby (see likeforest, grandpatzer, and robert pearson's all gold standard recent posts on this et al.), or CT-Art 3.0, or things like dvoretsky in software form, etc.

nice chat here, and hope this time finds you well, and now, sir, i must leave for CT-Art now! my mistress of renewed passion.

as i really am trying to say, it is not so much what we seek in chess as where it takes us, and how it makes us. not the chess, but us. chess is but icing on the cake.

warmly, dk

Sun May 27, 08:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Let us know what happens, please. Very interesting developments.

Mon May 28, 06:50:00 PM PDT  
Blogger chessloser said...

david - your freindship with GM Seirawan is so wonderful. i hope after a few years, i am lucky enough to have a strong freindship with another chess player as you have.
as always, your blog is like reading the chess version of "the economist" ....

Mon May 28, 08:13:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

No tables are manifesting themselves in your blogs YET?

Mon May 28, 11:57:00 PM PDT  
Blogger likesforests said...

It's OK to copy when the story's interesting. What brilliant games we are in store in Elista! I hope to make time to spend an hour playing through each game so I can better appreciate the skill that top players have--and besides I'm sure there will be lots of good commentary to compare my notes against. D. Monokroussos amd S. Polgar already annotated a few.

I wanted to listen to Seirawan but his commentary seems to only be available on PlayChess during the games. I can't stay up to watch the games live this week.

"It is very, very hard to combine inside/outside sales, broad engineering design, keen analytics, zen, writing, and public speaking, and health all into one resume! I did it."

Congratulations on your resume. That is an accomplishment. :)

Tue May 29, 11:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

sorry guys. totally weird. a bunch of emails just came in, so didnt see these comments. bed time, more soon here at comments. thx, dk ... darn, i cannot stop now, so:

ps BlueDevilKnight: while gelfand had the draw in R3 today, it was a supurb game. leko-gurevich was good, and carlsen -aaronian a real true gem. the best fighting chess in years.

i do feel sorrowful that Rabajov 7th and others such as mamedyarov 6th or even topolov 2nd are not in this cycle. while gurevich deserves or earned his shot, he is 77th in the world, but THEY leave out ivanchuk 12th and jakovenchenko 18th (but after russian championship he is rapidly raising) from this cycle. laughable. lotery world.

ps2 tempo, for my System Of the Blog, where i will write an essay subject to revision on EACH of the eighteen major countries of the world, like a turse but congent legal brief, i need a table. but not yet. nevertheless, you helped me with your email greatly. not to naught. so few minutes in a day.

ps3 chess losser: wait till you see my next post, where i will relate time management to life goals, and time allocation (im recording each minute now, similar to mackenzies book time mngt, and lankey et al) the choices we make in allocating out time to chess improvment. i already wrote it, but must sit on it for a few more days... :)

china is down heavy, viz the shanghai composite 'a' tonight, i am so happy. i am massively leverage short the nasdaq 100 (NDX) and it must be affected, and we are due to fall. yes! the chinese governement wish to quell the speculative bubble by increasing gains 300%. crazyness similar to dutch tulip mania.

ps4 likeforests: the architect wrote me, and wants to see me. i said, i cannot perform 'in an ordinary role'.

next post, i come clean with all you guys about my being ... a freak. my best post, ever. promise. most germain to all of you. stay tuned! the business of chess with outselves, or "3001 a chess odyssey: Age Fifty overload". himmmm????

ps5 chessDog, no reply from your direct email, did you get it? please.

Wed May 30, 03:42:00 AM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

BDK 1.1 oh, that one! yes, i feel my karma shifting rapidly. i walk around all the time now, literally feeling like i am in love, but it is the universe. you know me, and that i mean this. i have had this for years now, but it is now becoming a more permanent feature of consciousness, and i feel like my heart is literally bursting, but not in a bad way. that chessDog can approach me as he did here and i to he, is proof of the synergistic field. life is a major shift now.

when i start interviewing, i will say: you want a reference? call my top boss! i will leave proudly out the front door! i have worked for this glowing reference. and this will provide integrity to my next shift.

now, perhaps instead i need to be a lead sales guy on RFID radio tag implimentation, or a communication trainer, etc. who knows. god will guide me. i feel total faith there, as i do in love, as well, in knowing i will find the right woman for me, by being the right man first, and letting god do it. not through self will but allowing... :)

Wed May 30, 03:48:00 AM PDT  

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