Ah, how simple it is to achieve world peace– even if only temporarily : just shut-own the American government! With the Republicans and the Democrats playing chicken and about 1,000,000 US government workers (temporarily) out of work, the powerful American government is completely paralyzed! National parks and museums all over the country are closed. Wall street is panicky…sort of reminds me what took down Alexander the Great: a lowly mosquito bite!
BUT while I doubt the NSA is experiencing any of this inconvenience, I do feel that the rest of the free world is able to have a sigh of relief as they take a breather from the constant threats of implosion in Siria and consequently the entire middle-east exploding. It still might happen before Xmas comes around, but for now military men in pressed suits will just have to wait a while before they get to test their latest over-kill toys, the new generation of Tomahawk cruise missles, 5th-generation drones and other fancy Orwellian gizmos.
The summer officially ended a week or so ago and with it the busiest season for chess activity. Seems like there were 2 or 3 major chess events going on every week! Until things pick up again in December (around Xmas time) , it will be easier for us chess fans to actually keep pace with what is happening in the chess world.
The past couple of days has seen some rare ways to lose games:
From the final days at the Women’s Grand Prix in Tashkent. A known theoretical position where White was forfeited by the arbiter because… her phone rang!
FIDE rules are that if your phone rings during play then you are automatically forfeited! Happens quite often, really. I have played in several tournaments where this has happened on more than one occasion. While I don’t agree with the severity of the rule (why not an initial warning!?), I was on the appeal committee in Cappelle La Grande some years back where one of those victims sought mercy: but the rule is very clear and does not allow for much leniency. I had to do my duty and enforce the rule.
THIS INCIDENT caught some by surprise and lead to debate on the internet about allowing the players in top-class tournaments to carry electronic devices on their person. Coming in the wake of the cheating controversies involving the Bulgarian B. Ivanov, many had thought that FIDE had preventatively forbidden such gizmos into the playing hall. Apparently not! FIDE only requires that they be switched off!
You can find a really nice piece from the ARMCHAIR WARRIOR blog. I recommend the reader to take a look at it, and it gives some links to other related discussions. My OWN view on the cellular phone in chess tournaments issue is that NOBODY–not even the arbiters–should be allowed anything other than a pencil (or pen) when in the playing hall. And I am really fed up with seeing spectators–and especially members of the organization team– using PCs or tablets with chess engines running while the players are doing their thing…I feel FIDE needs to do some serious work on this issue. Cheaters get away with cheating by hiding in the cracks of our tech-ignorance…
Less controversial–but no less sensational– was HOW the great Ivanchuk lost his game against the American Nakamura at the Paris Grand Prix:
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 55th MOVE:
Well, actually Ivanchuk made his move but did not technically complete it as his flag fell. The sad part –apart from the facts that Chucky had Nakamura on the defensive for the ENTIRE game and that in the position above Black is not the least bit better–is that this is not the first time the Ukraine star lost on time…
A really strong tournament is taking place in Norway right now, with many strong players participating. (You can find the link on the side bar on the right) GM Eric Hansen and IM Aman Hambleton are representing the Canadian flag (which is distinct from saying they are representing their national federation). Both have 2.5 after 4 rounds of play.
I will give some tactical exericses and positions from games at this event later today!