2013 Candidates: Taking Stock Later On Circular 3



Today (Monday) is the kickoff balance twenty-four hours of the 14-round FIDE Candidates' Tournament beingness held inwards London until 1 April. So it's a skilful twenty-four hours to induce got stock of what's happened in addition to then far, from a personal perspective.

Leader later on iii rounds: Levon Aronian, 2½/3, setting a hot pace.
The kickoff matter to celebrate almost is that chess is beingness played at all. There were to a greater extent than than a few mutterings in addition to rumours inwards the days leading upward to the lawsuit almost difficulties over arrangements at the venue, but all obstacles appear to induce got been overcome. The most of import matter is for the players to live comfortable alongside the set-up in addition to at that spot induce got been no complaints at the press conferences held later on each game. Spectators seem reasonably happy from a modest sample of opinions which I taken; in addition to I'm pretty sure members of the press are happy alongside the infinite in addition to comfort of the facilities provided. So far, in addition to then good, on that front.

What of the play? Four draws inwards circular i attracted approximately of the park pessimistic commentary almost the 'death of classical chess' but the demise of standard-play has been much exaggerated. Round 2 provided 2 decisive games in addition to circular iii featured a positive bloodbath (will at that spot live 4 decisive games inwards circular four? OK, deep breaths in addition to calm thoughts... I'm getting overexcited).

Comparisons had previously been made alongside the London Classic, where players are alleged to live chosen for their reputation as attacking players, whereas competitors inwards this tournament induce got qualified yesteryear correct (well, at to the lowest degree vii of them did) in addition to are (according to i hypothesis) to a greater extent than probable to play cagily in addition to negatively than mightiness live the illustration if a tournament organiser were judging them on the sexiness of their chess style. But approximately other as of import constituent inwards the FIDE Candidates' contest is that exclusively kickoff identify counts, in addition to then that anyone who wants to win has to larn his skates on. It mightiness induce got been dissimilar if nosotros had endured iii rounds alongside 4 draws each, but alongside Levon Aronian right away setting a hot measuring on 2½/3, his rivals cannot afford for him to larn as good far ahead of them.

TALKING Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 GREAT GAME

The other twenty-four hours I noticed Natalia Pogonina on Twitter making a point almost Magnus Carlsen beingness the exclusively non-Russian speaker: "With 7/8 Candidates speaking Russian fluently, Magnus volition live the exclusively i non sure if it's almost the weather condition or almost chess". Someone borrowed that as a enquiry to inquire Magnus at a press conference but he was unfazed: he pose on his park lopsided grin in addition to batted it away alongside approximately throwaway words. If journalists are hoping to create this lawsuit upward as 'Magnus versus the Russophones', I fearfulness they volition live disappointed. For i thing, Magnus doesn't seem to endure from Fischeresque paranoia: he only does his matter at the board in addition to doesn't worry who's talking to who. For another, the the world of chess has long since been privatised, at that spot is no Soviet Chess Federation whatever to a greater extent than in addition to all the players are out for themselves.

Magnus Carlsen 2/3 - relaxed almost who is talking to who

Another constituent which militates against the old-time 'Russians versus the World' geopolitical dissever inwards the chess the world is that all the players are rattling skilful English linguistic communication speakers, inwards approximately cases, significantly improve than most Britons. It doesn't e'er seem similar it inwards the press room hither (where loudly-spoken Russian frequently drowns out softly-spoken English) but English linguistic communication has drib dead the lingua franca of the chess world, as it has pretty good inwards every other walk of life, of course.

An aside: I wonder whether transcend players feel that their linguistic functioning inwards press conferences has drib dead almost as of import to their careers as their results, rating in addition to attacking flair at the board. Interviews are frequently webcast to the the world these days in addition to a skilful functioning inwards a press conference tin terminate aid create a reputation in addition to perchance generate invitations to major events where organisers are at pains to improve the lineament of their video fabric inwards companionship to attract to a greater extent than visitors to their sponsored websites.

Until recently, the players who received the most coverage inwards the chess press would induce got been Garry Kasparov, Vishy Anand, Nigel Short, Vladimir Kramnik in addition to Peter Svidler, in addition to business office of their appeal has been their facility to arrive at a well-phrased English linguistic communication language audio bite. Things induce got developed fast alongside the ubiquity of video-recorded webcasts, in addition to tournaments similar the annual Gibraltar Chess Festival fifty-fifty going to the expense of edifice a dedicated video/commentary suite for annual congresses.

Levon Aronian in addition to Magnus Carlsen right away pass a lot of fourth dimension inwards English-speaking countries (USA in addition to Commonwealth of Australia as good as the UK) in addition to it has done their fluency in addition to linguistic communication powerfulness no terminate of good. London 2013 has revealed that Teimour Radjabov is also a rattling fluent, confident speaker - he's almost as garrulous as Vlad Kramnik inwards amount flow. Teimour revealed at i conference that he pays regular visits to both Paris in addition to London in addition to then that explains his linguistic communication skills. Alexander Grischuk is a human being of fewer words but he has a penchant for laconic, deadpan humour, non to cite splendid comic timing. These as good induce got developed considerable commentary room appeal in addition to mightiness induce got caught a few tournament organisers' eyes.

That leaves Vassily Ivanchuk in addition to Boris Gelfand, who induce got been having a hard fourth dimension inwards London in addition to consequently induce got had slightly less to tell at press conferences, but I know from personal experience that they tin terminate both live charming in addition to entertaining conversationalists. Vassily gave a superb master copy degree inwards Gibraltar recently, spell Boris gave me a peachy interview for CHESS Magazine a yr or so.

Make no mistake, talking a peachy game is becoming almost as of import a science for chess professionals as playing a peachy game.


The grade later on iii rounds: Aronian 2½, Carlsen in addition to Svidler 2, Grischuk, Kramnik in addition to Radjabov 1½, Gelfand in addition to Ivanchuk ½. With exclusively i identify genuinely worth playing for, the tournament takes on something of a knock-out flavour, in addition to then at acquaint it is to a greater extent than a enquiry of who is looking to live out of the running rather than who is going to win. Things already expression rattling bleak for the 2 forty-somethings, Gelfand in addition to Ivanchuk, who are marooned inwards articulation concluding place, a hollo for away from the acre in addition to 2 points adrift of the leader. But these 2 tough guys won't induce got given upward all promise yet, although their major contribution to the tournament is to a greater extent than probable to live the possibility of wrecking someone else's chances inwards a one-off game. They'll live hurting correct now, in addition to doubly determined to win a game or 2 to repose the pain.

Vassily Ivanchuk in addition to Boris Gelfand, both ½/3: grinning through the pain

Aronian leads: could it live tertiary fourth dimension lucky for Levon inwards London, later on his 2 indifferent London Classics inwards 2011 in addition to 2012? So far he has defeated the quondam 2 older players inwards games where the clock played a big part, as did a span of 'senior moments' but y'all induce got to give the Armenian credit: it is akin to the means that Carlsen bamboozles his opponents inwards the latter stages, alongside Aronian tending to depict blood inwards the tardily middlegame. If perchance he does experience he's been a chip lucky, it is no bad thing. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 chip of superstitious belief inwards your ain skilful fortune frequently helps boost morale.

Carlsen's minimalist trend didn't convey him anything much inwards rounds i in addition to 2 but his tertiary game victory volition give him farther confidence that his endgame grinding technique industrial plant as good inwards a the world qualifier as it does inwards super-tournaments. Tucked inwards only behind the leader is a satisfactory start for him. 

Those are the expected front end runners, but bracketed on the same grade as Carlsen at acquaint is someone non singled out yesteryear many pundits as a probable winner...

Peter Svidler 2/3: 'home player'?

Peter Svidler is only one-half a hollo for off the atomic number 82 in addition to I don't intend nosotros should allow ourselves to live beguiled yesteryear his self-deprecating comments in addition to light-hearted whimsy at press conferences. The guy wants to win it - in addition to anyone who has piled upward half dozen Russian Championship victories can win it. Peter looks inwards peachy physical shape (though he's getting a chip fed upward alongside the press talking almost it - sorry, Peter), he's inwards skilful humour, in addition to he's practically an honorary Englishman alongside his honey of cricket in addition to his immaculately idiomatic linguistic communication skills. So he's the adjacent best matter to a abode player, in addition to a peachy favourite alongside everyone who knows him. Home payoff in addition to popularity should count for something.

Vladimir Kramnik 1½/3: survived 'trial yesteryear Carlsen'

Vlad Kramnik was relieved that his 'trial yesteryear Carlsen' ended painlessly inwards circular i in addition to he's had 2 blacks out of three, but he volition live a chip disappointed non to induce got pose away his beau countryman Grischuk inwards circular three. These are rattling early on days, but he volition desire to accomplish a decisive number presently as he is a human being who tin terminate larn stuck inwards a depict estrus when things don't drib dead positively for him, in addition to at that spot is a slight endangerment that a boring start mightiness larn out him as good far behind if an Aronian/Carlsen race kicks off. 

Vlad won his the world entitle inwards London in addition to he's won a London Classic in addition to then he mightiness also experience he is playing on abode turf. And I may live getting a lilliputian over-excited later on seeing iii decisive games inwards circular three: maybe the measuring of the tournament volition settle a lilliputian inwards the adjacent few rounds in addition to allow fourth dimension for him to larn his engine going. No hollo for to panic yet, of course. I'm guessing that 'panic' is i give-and-take inwards English linguistic communication that Vlad mightiness non know as the concept is alien to him.

Alexander Grischuk 1½/3: deadpan humour

Alexander Grischuk... I'll live frank, I don't run into him as a potential winner. I cannot genuinely articulate why. He's had approximately rattling pretty skilful results inwards this form of acre in addition to then I suppose he must live inwards the hunt, but somehow his languid means in addition to deadpan sense of humour don't induce got 'world entitle challenger' stamped on them. I wonder if he has the intensity of approximately of the others or the single-minded volition to laissez passer the rattling top, but maybe I've only been fooled yesteryear his laid-back schtick. One matter is for certain, he pose upward approximately damned fine play to defend himself against what could easily induce got drib dead a routine Kramnik win alongside White inwards circular three, in addition to then he's for certain hard to pose away. He's correct at that spot inwards the hunt, everything to play for... (I'm out of clichés in addition to then let's telephone band a halt.)

Teimour Radjabov 1½/3: gambler?

That leaves Teimour Radjabov. I intend he genuinely has pretty skilful chances. Maybe his condition as the 'wild card' detracts from people's expectations of him but it pays to comport inwards hear the rating listing where he is an impressive number four. As Carlsen himself said recently, "the rating listing doesn't lie". Like Alexander Grischuk, Teimour likes to wisecrack at press conferences, in addition to sometimes answers questions inwards far to a greater extent than item than he needs to, but at that spot is a definite intensity almost those deep, nighttime eyes, similar approximately other well-known instrumentalist from Baku a few years ago. This guy wants it. He's prepared to take away a opportunity for it, too, yesteryear taking chances. My principal reservation is that risk-taking chess, King's Indians, etc, may non quite suit the context of a the world entitle qualifier where at that spot are no weak players or slow games, but I would live delighted to live proved wrong.

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