Sunday, September 14, 2008

High Level Preparation

Dear Kind Readers:

I am starting to get comments far and wide from a lot of new people, which is a sure sign that I am on the right track in my primary motivation to 'share' in its higher, formal sense as against incipient attention seeking in its lower, baser kinds. This is emboldening. All your visits and each of your comments--however small, all of them truly mean a lot to me. They provide additional energy. Thank you.

I Love this Audio. I listen to it three times per day. Might I suggest you listen to it, while reading?

I still plan to write both regularly and a LOT more in the near term, as there is just too much to share to allow much pause, for otherwise I would get buried under 'to-do lists' and 'wish lists' as distinct from the habit of concrete action. Nevertheless this means that at times I must put up smaller posts--in no way lesser, but among those subjects affording more laconic or concise explication and thus more ruled by simplicity, even if it is simplicity concerning very large things.

Take, for instance World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand and former World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik. Now that is big. My good friend GM Seirawan wrote me two weeks ago, before his 'simul' trip to Malaysia, and upon my asking what he thought about this big match, said that 'this is the match that' he 'always wanted too see'. Heady stuff from the originator of the Prague Accord!

Now things should be so simple and clear, but they are not: and so we begin the first post spotlighting some super GM's:

Clearly if the tally were taken any time in the last year, few among us would ever have any reason to grant anything other than higher odds in favor of Anand. Not big odds, but greater odds we might say?

He has the fate of it being perhaps his turn at the page of history after all these years, the ceaseless brilliance of his high speed mind, and good manners. He even has the kind thoughts of hundreds of thousands of chess fans, which can hardly be underestimated as an outside subtle factor [1]. My goodness, he even has a pleasant, beautiful, and affable wife [2].

But after taking dead last upon yesterdays now concluded FIDE Grand Slam Final in Bilbao, we have to wonder how good a form he is in? I am not predicting a loss or collapse, but a note of concern. It is even rumored that he has Wunderkund Magnus Carlsen among his seconds [3], which cannot hurt at all!

Now for Kramnik: despite his irregularity in tournament play, where he can be as good as Kasparov one month, and in the lower half in another, not to mention his health problems previously impairing him, no one has beaten him in a match for a long, long, long time. This is a big factor. It is one thing to play scores of high level round robbins and wholly an altogether vastly different thing to prepare for match play.

It is true that Kramnik beat Kasparov, or rather the latter could not win a SINGLE GAME in his match in 2000, but he came back and successfully defended against Leko, then yet again against Topolov with the usual and also well known controversy, also winning.

Being Ready

Finally, we can talk extensively all about openings, and psychology, and all sorts of chess things but let us not forget knowing how to prepare and peak at the right moment is an art distinct from the technical side of chess. Just look at Michael Phelps effort in winning eight Olympic gold medals. When asked how he felt, he kept saying 'how tired' he was.

Think about that. Swimming two miles or 2.3 km at world record pace in most instances, not to mention time trials. But he knew how to be fully ready at each key event. Kramnik must have the edge there [9], as he has been there three times already and Anand, while world champion by contract agreements in place has not defeated Kramnik in a match yet, as Kramnik wryly points out. Here is one of many excellent interviews, Kramnik: “I think my level is quite all right.”

What does Maxwell Maltz say in his book, Psycho Cybernetics?
: "Confidence is the repeated experience of success". So Kramnik.

Very, very lastly, it is often said that Kramnik has the deepest understanding of chess. In a world with even still Kasparov in one form or another still demonstrating preternatural genius (breakneck instant speed comments at, accurate at 15 to 20 ply, given while sitting at the beach, blindfold as it is said) and Ivanchuk in remarkably great form, to say that he is the deepest is a profound admittance. This will prove to be a great match, and with Anand now only 5th in the world and Kramnik 6th in the Live Top Ratings table [4], sufficient motivation exists, not to mention the likely super motivation to face Topolov [5], [8].

Warmest, dk

Joy Division: Penetration To the Depth of Our Very Souls

[1] It has been proven that group thinking can, as it were, in a biomorphogenic field sense, affect individual performance, negatively or positively.

[2] Often seen in photos sitting, for example, Leko's wife Sophie, talking as women do in whispers and furtive private smiles (the latter with GM Arshak Petrosian, his trainer and father in law!) Can you imagine that one? Chessbase article with photos, here: '
Picture gallery'.

[3] Anand, when hearing how Magnus answered probing questions as to whether he was on the team (Magnus: "No comment"), was heard as saying: "The BOY gave a good answer". This was widely discussed in the last ten days, and here is but one of the articles mentioning this: 'Will Carlsen be Anand’s second?' from India's
Daily New Analysis.

[4] Real time chess ratings, reflective of the must current results, day by day, as distinct from FIDE's glaciatic quarterly calculation!

[5] Who would say that Kamsky can win? A subject of another post. Let us note for now, despite Kamsky's well known dogged tenacity [6], it is hard for us to see him beating Topolov, in his current form [7]

[6] Who has not seen Kamsky win lost games, and drawn lost positions, not unlike Aaronian (7th in World today)?

[7] Topolov is number one in the world, in today's table. Kamsky is 'only' sixteen, a big difference from the world top six.

[8] Wikipedia:
"Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik have played 51 classical chess games, of which Kramnik won six, Anand took four wins, and 41 games were drawn.
"In rapid games, the score is 10–2 in favor of Anand with 34 draws. In blitz the score is 2–2 with four draws.
In the blindfold games the score is 4–3 if favor of Kramnik with six draws.
In Advanced Chess Kramnik leads 1–0 with seven draws".

[9] See this fantastically informative interview, from the Russian Online Newspaper, The Sports Express Train, conveniently translated here: '
Kramnik vs. The Rest of the World'. Hat tip Dennis Monokroussos, linked here, at The Chess Mind.


OpenID chesstiger said...

Both players didn't do well in their last tournament they played. Probably because they didn't wanted to show their preparations.

I hope Anand will win because that would be the best for the chess world.

Mon Sep 15, 02:24:00 AM PDT  
Blogger likesforests said...

Yes, it's very exciting! I hope it will be broadcast at a time when I can watch it live rather than play over it in the morning. :)

Nice 'energy' music. I've been feeling less than energetic lately so I've been focusing more on my health and work and less on chess.

Tue Sep 16, 01:09:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that Global eBook Middlegame Collaborative still going on?

Tue Sep 16, 02:28:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

@chessTiger: i agree. this would be best for the progress of chess. not saying that i prefer (or do not prefer) his chess, only that Anand would add freshness and vitality to the championship crown.

@likeForests: yes, this is a BIG one, thats for sure. have you tried going no gluten or dairy free? not that you need my advise, and are sure to already have an inplace plan!

@annonymous: its goes on EVERY SINGLE DAY! seven days a week, 24 hours a day, in seven different countries! it is wonderful to see unfold or, rather, to help lead its unfolding. i am in charge of project managment and my co-partner Phaedrus is in charge of the chess evaluation. cannot say much more, as it is a signatory private effort, but thanks for asking.

warmly, dk

PS new post in the next 48 hours: "Marry the Boses Daughter", and threadbare blackbelts in chess tactics!

Tue Sep 16, 06:14:00 PM PDT  
Blogger likesforests said...

Whether adults should drink milk is a touchy subject. I've never had an allergic reaction and I'm not lactose intolerant, but I only drink 1/4 cup of 2% rBGH-free milk/day... a way to "stand on the sidelines".

Thu Sep 18, 10:49:00 AM PDT  

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