Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ridiculous Chessbase Hyperbole, and Still Undefeated in Florida...

...for what that's worth. I've played two games, drew one and won the second. Both opponents lower rated than me. Feed me to a few Class A guys and I doubt I'll stay undefeated much longer. In any case, the second game was played at the Boca Raton Chess Club at Florida Atlantic University. I played a young (10-ish) Asian kid, which scared me a little since kids tend to by underrated. I played the Classical Sicilian, and I have to say that it was one of the best games I've played. He made a mistake on move 7, and I was able to squeeze him for the rest of the game. I was proud of myself, because I didn't let up mentally and I kept total control of the game the entire time. I gradually pushed his pieces back with various threats until he was too passive to generate counterplay, and when a tactical chance presented itself I took it and won.

This has to be the most egotistical post I've ever made, praising myself like this, but I promise if I keep playing good chess it will become less pronounced. It's just nice to see work paying off over the board. It's true that I outrated my opponent quite a bit, but what made me happy wasn't the winning, it was that I feel that for probably the first time ever I played 'real chess' (in the Dan Heisman sense) for an entire game. And if you don't know what 'real chess' is (as opposed to 'hope chess') and you're rated under 2000, then you should read this: . In any case, here's the game:


So that was that. Very clean for me. In other news, Topalov won the Pearl Spring tournament with a performance of just under 2900 (2890). Chessbase asked the ludicrous question in their article ( if Topalov was on his was to becoming the best ever. I can't tell you how absurd that is. While he is a great player, he's too streaky to ever be more than your 'normal' super GM. He's never won a world championship match (and in my opinion has never been world champ; Kasparov-> Kramnik -> Anand). Look at Fischer and Kasparov. Both were extremely consistent and showed long stretches in which they absolutely dominated everyone else. Kasparov was +55% =38% -7% in his career. Not only did he only lose 7% of his games (most of which were earlier in his career), but he won 55% of the time. That's sick considering the level of competition he was playing against. Fischer was +56% =28% -16%. Topalov is +36% =42% -22%. Not even close to the same league. For the record, Topalov's nemesis Kramnik is +38% =51% -11%. And he held the world title for 8 years. Capablanca was +51% =32% -17%. Laughable is too weak a word for Topalov as the best ever. The streakiest ever, maybe. Unbelievable.

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