Hangin take on some Interesting Questions

Here are some Interesting questions that came out of the Chess Fm broadcast of the Chess World Championship with Tony Rook and IM Dr. Danny Kopec.


Table of Contents

  1. Why isn't Kramnik Playing 1 d4 ?
  2. How has the world championship matches changed from the old days... ?
  3. Why  ... ?
  4. Who is ... ?
  5. What is ... ?
  6. When is ... ?

Why isn't Kramnik playing 1 d4 with white ?

[  Kramnik has been a 1.d4 player with white through out most of his career. He hasnít opened any of the 2004 world championship games with 1.d4. At the time of this writing only 4 games have been played.  It pays to prepare different openings to surprise your opponent. You know that your opponent will prepare deeply to handle your favorite openings and strong points. In 1972, Bobby Fischer used this strategy to great effect during his successful world championship match with Boris Spassky in 1972.  The soviet chess machine was called together to put a plan together to defeat Fischer. Of all the soviet experts, only Kortchnoi suggested that Bobby would play other openings. Bobby was known only to play 1 e4. Now Bobby did play other openings on occasion. I recall him defeating Henrique Mecking with 1.b3.  Bobby always said, 1. E4 is best by test.  Bobby had a great record with this first move. So the soviets felt he would not divert from it. Well Kortchnoi was right, Bobby opened games with 1.E4, 1. D4, 1.C4. Bobby played a great Queens Gambit from the white side of the board in game 6 of the match. It was a great win.  At the end of the game, the audience game Fischer a standing ovation, which Spassky joined in. Bobby played openings he rarely played or never played. With white he played 3 Queenís Gambits, winning two and drawing the other. He also won with the English.  From the black side Bobby played openings he rarely played or never played. Bobby played the Alekhine defense in two games where he scored 1.5 points. Bobby also played drew with the Pirc. Bobby had broadened his opening repertoire and it was an effect weapon against Spassky. During the 2000 Brain Games Championship, Kramnik did this as well from the Black side of the board. He played the Berlin Defense to neutralize Kasparovís white game. Kramnik only used this defense a few times prior to the world championship match. Kasparov was obviously not prepared to attack it. Kramnik did an interesting thing during Dortmund 2004.  Kramnik didnít use the Berlin Defense in 2003. He did dust it off during Dortmund 2004 and played a few games with it. Leko saw it and did not try to attack it. Maybe Leko didnít want to tip his preparation against it. Kramnik has not used this defense against Leko yet. Maybe Kramnik feels that the Berlin Defense is better suited for Kasparov than Leko.  No doubt Leko has prepared for it. Maybe Leko put too much time into it. Kramnik has used the Petrov Defense to counter Lekoís white game. Now Kramnik has used this defense before, but not much recently. Well He dusted it off for this match. Itís work quite well. Kramnikís scored 1.5 out of two. Kramnik has also experimented with the White side as well. Kramnik has just recently started playing the Closed Ruy Lopez. In two games, Kramnikís done well with this opening. Two draws in two games. However in the last game, Kramnik got good chances while risking nothing.  Kramnikís done the better preparation so far in this match with Leko.   There no question Kramnik is a great strategist.

  

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How has world championship matches changed from the old days ... ?

[

        Well as Dr Kopec said, adjournments are no longer part of chess matches. An interesting point is that Kramnik had the right for an adjournment during the Beast in Bahrain computer match, which ended in a draw. I think this is a good development. I always thought adjournments were a strange process to begin with. It seems to me that it was against the spirit of the game. I didnít see the fairness of stopping play and allowing the players to get help from other players to analyze the game and find winning or saving plans. Bobby Fischer fell victim to this adjournment analysis in his game against Mikhail Botvinnik, who was world champion. It was during the 1962 Olympiad,  Bobby, from the black side, got the better of Botvinnik in a Grunfeld defense. The position was adjourned with bobby having the advantage. However during the night, a team of top soviet players, led by Efim Geller, found the saving moves. They set a trap for Bobby. When play resumed, poor Bobby fell into the trap and lost his winning advantage and the game was drawn. In 1990 World champion match between Kasparov and Karpov there were accusations of illegal computer use during an adjournment of game 16. The accusation was made that Kasparov had access to Deep Thought's analysis of the endgame. Deep Thought achieved GM strength during a 1988 Software Tools works tournament. Deep Thought finished tied for first with Tony Miles ahead of Tal, Larsen, Reshevsky and Walter Browne.  Bobby Fischer ended the adjourned concept all together in his 1992 comeback match against Boris Spassky. The 1992 match stipulated that all games must be finished during a single playing sessions. Adjournments were doomed to end any way as computer gained in strength. Today computers are top GM strength. They also have 6 piece table bases that have perfect knowledge and 100% accuracy playing in such an endgame. 

    Opening Novelties is another area in which world championship matches have changed.  Prior to GM strength computer software, novelties in a lot of cases backfired. They were sometimes refuted at the board.  Novelties today are a lot more sounder. Computers can find  holds in new ideas quickly. In fact may GMs rely solely on computers for their novelties and new ideas.  In the past it could take an opponent days to come up with a refutation to a new move. If refutations couldnít be found, then the player was forced to choose another opening or variation. Today world championship teams have a computer GM helping them prepare for a match. This allows them to find refutations to new ideas easily. Chess has become more scientific.  Kasparov said it best, when he said that prior to strong computer chess programs, players were searching in the dark.  This is no longer the case. Computers can quickly find the secrets to a position in a few minutes.

   Botvinnik vs. Fischer - 1962
  Fischer vs. Spassky game 6 1972

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Who is ... ?

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Revised: November 16, 2018 .