Khalifman Humiliated

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Larry Parr

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Jan 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/20/00
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KHALIFMAN THE GREAT

Dr. Walker argues in favor of what he must consider to be the
obvious. "If Las Vegas was legitimate," he writes, "then AK [Alexander
Khalifman] is the real WC [world champion] no matter how unlikely this
may seem; if illegitimate, then he is not."

The above is true but not at the level meant by Dr. Walker. There
is an evident relationship between the degree of likelihood and the
degree of legitimacy. The bureaucrat in Dr. Walker may not like this
thought, but as the world really works it's true.

If the rules at Wimbledon are dumbed down and if two game mini-
matches take place with assorted handicaps and if Eric "FIDE All the
Way" Johnson wins at Wimbledon, you can bet more eyebrows will be
raised than if plummeting Michael Chang makes a comeback under the
traditional rules and wins the cup.

Likelihood counts, regardless of what Dr. Walker may think. We do
live on different planets. He is right about that much.

"Assorted handicaps"? As I have noted before, comparing chess to
sports and trying to reach conclusions about what is acceptable for our
chess art is nitwit stuff. As noted, Wimbledon never billed itself as
a world championship. Still, if we are to accept the idea that analogies
with sports are acceptable, then why not horse racing?

Handicaps galore. If Wimbledon enjoys some kind of relevance to
chess because it is one of the four grand slam events in tennis, then
what about the greatest horse races (arguably, the Melbourne Cup, the
Kentucky Derby, the English Derby and the Arc de Triomphe)? They are
all handicaps. In certain years, for example, the Melbourne Cup in
which Pharlap was completely weighted out of the race, the handicaps
have virtually decided that the favorites would not win.

Once again, comparing chess with physical sports strikes me as
absurd, but it is the good Doctor's only game here. For the sake of
forensic sport, I am willing to play a few sets or run a few races or
throw a few hoops or bat a few balls.

Ought we, then, to have a world title match in which Khalifman
gets, say, two hours for his 40 moves and Kasparov gets 15 minutes? In
the past there have been handicap scoring systems in chess, matches
played at odds and so on. So, then, we may have world champion Eric
"FIDE All the Way" Johnson, who shredded Kasparov at odds of Rook and
move. (FIDE officials, of course, would appoint the handicappers. Who
else, if we are to be bureaucratic about the matter?)

There is no reason not to use horse racing rather than another
sport if we once admit that Dr. Walker's comparisons of apples with
oranges have merit.

Dr. Walker wonders whether the same questions would be asked about
Alexander Khalifman if he had scored +22-0 =0 against 2700-competition.
Rightly or wrongly, the same questions would most definitely not be

asked. A very large number of people, who strongly believe that only
a dolt or a malign FIDEista can imagine that someone other than Kasparov
is the real world champion, would have been defecting to Khalifman or
shouting loudly for a match between these two world beaters.

But Khalifman the Great did not score +22 -0 =0 against 2700-plus
competition. He scored +7 -4 =9 against 2637-rated competition in a
single tournament which had a lottery format where chance was maximized
when compared with traditional title arrangements. Khalifman the Great
also did not score +6 -0 =0 against Peter Leko or 100%. He actually
scored +0 -3 =3 or 25 percent against GM Leko, who is 20 years old.

Why? Because Khalifman the Great is not great. Nor will he ever
be considered great with such results even if the Las Vegas lottery
were to become a permanent fixture. None of us can predict with total
assurance what historians will write 50 years hence, but my bet is that
unless Khalifman improves his results stunningly, he will go down in
chess history as the victim of political forces that transmogrified a
fine tournament performance into a sad farce because these forces made
claims for that performance which reality could not bear.

Dr. Walker has written that I claim to have no personal objections
to Khalifman. Wrongo! I have written quite strongly on more than one
occasion that Khalifman as a human being -- the man I met and spoke with
on several occasions in New York -- is a more attractive personality than
Kasparov. Certainly, beyond any possible argument, he is better mannered.

But we are NOT discussing personalities. We are discussing whether
Kasparov or Khalifman is the real world champion.

Unlike Dr. Walker, I put a lot of weight on the old looks-walks-
quacks-like-a-duck argument. So does most of the world.

All 13 world champions have had certain characteristics, usually
several, in common. Khalifman has not a single defining attribute of a
world champion if we are to judge his status based on how world
champions have always looked, walked and quacked.

Every traditional champion, every single one including Max Euwe,
stood near or at the front of the grandmasteriat. From 1935 to 1937
Euwe had results that were, arguably, as good as those of any other
player. In the years preceding his title match with Alekhine, he had
marked himself as one of two or three logical contenders for the
crown (always, of course, behind the denied Capablanca).

Every traditional champion has either won or done very well in
leading tournaments of his era. Khalifman has not only NOT done well,
he has not even played in them! Devastating.

Every traditional champion has either won or done very well in
something other than two game matches against the greatest players of
his era. Steinitz had something like 24 consecutive match victories;
Lasker scored several crushing match and tournament victories;
Capablanca defeated Lasker in what would have been a long match if the
latter had not resigned to avoid further punishment; Alekhine prevailed

against Capablanca in a bruising 34-game match; Euwe narrowly defeated
Alekhine in a 30-game marathon, and so on. As for Kasparov, he had to
play Karpov five matches covering 144 games.

Every traditional champion has either had to play a bruising match
against a formidable incumbent or, still more gruelling, survive a
competitive candidates' cycle and then play this bruising match.

Khalifman does not share a single characteristic of the traditional
champion beyond his biology and his vocation. He is a fine journeyman
grandmaster, a respectable man -- but not a true world champion.

Dr. Walker argues that the Las Vegas lottery is better than no
world championship. If Kasparov never plays a title match again, then
he's right. But we have a true world champion right now in Garry
Kasparov, and despite Dr. Walker's moaning about results being irrelevant
in the real world, Kasparov will continue to enjoy plenty of legitimacy
for quite some time to come. The worm will turn one of these days if
he does not defend his title, but this moment is impossible to predict.
We will all know when it happens.

One of Dr. Walker's questions (via an assertion) is that if Kramnik
or Adams had won the lottery, then they would not be facing the same
crisis of legitimacy. Of course, they would not. Instead, they would
have been facing a different kind or level of legitimacy crisis. Either
grandmaster would have had a better case to make before the chess world
and the world at large, and either grandmaster would have attracted more
supporters for their claimed status as the real world champion. But the
lottery format would have bedevilled them also. Too, one suspects that
Kramnik would not be trumpeting himself as the real titleholder

At the time that Jan Timman was playing Anatoly Karpov for the FIDE
world title in 1993, he was asked whether he would regard himself as
the real world champion if he defeated Karpov (readers may recall that
Timman was very much in the fight after 12 games, later deflating when
he learned that the fabulous prize fund promised by FIDE did not exist!).

To his credit, Timman laughed at the idea and said that Kasparov
was the real champion. He had too much respect for himself, for his
life in his chosen art and, perhaps, for Kasparov to engage in a
bureaucratic pretense.

FIDE radically dumbed down its version of the world title. Kirsan
Ilyumzhinov, the president of FIDE, was the sponsor of the tournament.
He had the right to call the shots, and he created a lottery involving
two-game matches and quickplay tie-breaks that produced a winner who
had NOT ONE SINGLE characteristic of the traditional world champion.
NOT ONE. Dr. Walker evidently considers such a format and result to
reek of legitimacy. I do not.

Concerning press coverage of the Las Vegas fiasco, even FIDE
officials bemoaned the lack of publicity. There was no wire service
reporting, and the newspapers in most parts of the world wrote little.
There was a virtual TV blackout in the States, and nothing appeared
over here in Asia on the idiot box. Okay, maybe something did, but

no one over here ever noticed it.

Dr. Walker and I entertain vastly different ideas about what
confers legitimacy on a championship process and on a title holder.
One of us is a Martian. He's right about that much.

--
Larry Parr

Notme ru

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Jan 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/20/00
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As usual, duffer Parr gets things wrong. At lkeast this team he all but
admits that he has little experience with physical sports (wimp!) or
understanding of competition.

Dr A. N. Walker

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Jan 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/20/00
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Larry Parr wrote:
> KHALIFMAN THE GREAT

I'm sorry, Larry, but you have yet again repeated your series
of personal denigrations of Khalifman as a chessplayer. No-one has
seriously made any claims that he is any more than a strong GM, nor
that his career in toto is comparable with that of Kasparov, so your
sneering proofs are unwarranted. I find deeply repugnant the notion
that the championship should be judged by who wins it rather than by
the process by which the winner is determined; you apparently do not,
and there is no way of advancing this argument either way. I am happy
to let others judge that issue.

> [...] As noted, Wimbledon never billed itself as
> a world championship.

And as also written, but apparently not read, I used Wimbledon
for its familiarity to readers, because its processes are very similar
to the *world championships* of, amongst others, snooker, darts and
bowls, because its [and their] matches show, at least to casual glance,
a very similar degree of randomness to that of Las Vegas, and because
its [and their] champions are universally accepted, even when the
winner is manifestly not the best player around, in contrast to the
denigration which Khalifman has faced.

> Still, if we are to accept the idea that analogies
> with sports are acceptable, then why not horse racing?

WHy not? Well, first horse racing doesn't have a WC horse,
indeed has only limited *international* events, is not run either by
knockouts or by long matches or by multi-round tournaments, so *any*
analogy with chess, past or present, os distinctly far-fetched. Second,
the handicapping you refer to is designed specifically to add interest
to the betting which is horse-racing's major feature. If betting ever
becomes the major feature of top-class chess, then you can indeed expect
Kasparov to be handicapped. But this was not a feature of Las Vegas.

> Once again, comparing chess with physical sports strikes me as
> absurd, but it is the good Doctor's only game here. For the sake of
> forensic sport, I am willing to play a few sets or run a few races or
> throw a few hoops or bat a few balls.

No-one is comparing chess with [eg] snooker, but rather the
process by which chess and snooker champions are found and validated.
There is no technical reason why many games and sports should not run
their world championships in a way similar to the old-style FIDE cycle;
I'm not aware of any that do. Please enlighten me if you know better,
for the comparison should be interesting.

> Unlike Dr. Walker, I put a lot of weight on the old looks-walks-
> quacks-like-a-duck argument. So does most of the world.

If so, the Joe Johnson was never world snooker champion, and Dr
Fazekas was never British chess champion. Ask anyone knowledgeable who
the current British chess champion is, and they will respond "Julian
Hodgson". Ask them whether he is the best player, and they will say,
"no, that's Adams/Short". If you then persist by claiming that JH is
merely the BCF champion and everyone knows that Adams is better and is
the real champ, you will attract little support.

> Every traditional champion has either had to play a bruising match
> against a formidable incumbent or, still more gruelling, survive a
> competitive candidates' cycle and then play this bruising match.

And that tradition is, sadly, dead. It reamins possible that
Kasparov will revive part of it, by playing hand-picked [though strong]
opponents on terms of his choosing at irregular and long intervals.
The more respectable tradition is, in my opinion, beyond repair. It
just is not economically viable. It *might* prove possible to have
designated Linares/Zurich-style tournaments among invited players;
but Kasparov certainly wouldn't play for the title in such an event
[so no improvement there], and you can't invite the Khalifmans and
the Nisipeanus and the champion of Myanmar and dozens of other
qualifiers to such an event. Effectively, you're running a closed
championship of the sort that was common for national championships
a few decades ago and has now largely been replaced by the lottery
of a semi-open Swiss [in most countries that I am aware of].

> Concerning press coverage of the Las Vegas fiasco, even FIDE
> officials bemoaned the lack of publicity.

Indeed. AIUI [and I wasn't personally too bothered, as
there was no problem in the newspapers, chess mags, and newsgroups
that I read], FIDE passed that task over to the USCF. If there
were problems, perhaps the USCF should comment first; and perhaps
FIDE might also be to blame if they were careless in assigning the
job to the USCF. But it is decidedly unfair to allow these aspects
of Las Vegas to tarnish the actual playing result.

--
Andy Walker, School of MathSci., Univ. of Nott'm, UK.
a...@maths.nott.ac.uk

DAVID GRANIK

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Jan 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/20/00
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Dr A. N. Walker wrote in message <38875C9F...@maths.nott.ac.uk>...
Why not have a mixed system utilizing both the Swiss System and Round
Robin Formats. The Open Swiss tournament (interzonal) could generate several
qualifiers for a closed (double?) RR candidates tournament. Most of the 2700
level players [Anand, Shirov, Kramnik, Leko, etc. could be seeded in. Top 2
finishers could then play a candidate's final match. Winner to play
Kasparov. Thus, it is very likely that Kasparov will play his WC match vs.
one of the 5 strongest players in the world. If Khalfiman or Nisipeanu are
the ones who get to play Kasparov, there will be fewer quibbles--since they
will have manifestly earned their title shot by winning the Interzonal,
Candidates tournament, and Candidates final match. Such a scenerio would be
unlikely, but they would still have a valid chance to create their own
success. True, it wouldn't be the crap shoot that Las Vegas was....

>> Concerning press coverage of the Las Vegas fiasco, even FIDE
>> officials bemoaned the lack of publicity.
>
> Indeed. AIUI [and I wasn't personally too bothered, as
>there was no problem in the newspapers, chess mags, and newsgroups
>that I read], FIDE passed that task over to the USCF. If there
>were problems, perhaps the USCF should comment first; and perhaps
>FIDE might also be to blame if they were careless in assigning the
>job to the USCF. But it is decidedly unfair to allow these aspects
>of Las Vegas to tarnish the actual playing result.
>
True, but FIDE's decision to hold the event in Vegas was pure
silliness. There was practically no indiginous chess culture from which to
draw spectators. Worse, FIDE kept changing the time and venue of the WC
tournament, making publicity even more difficult. It didn't help that they
drove away fan favorite Anand with the Exclusion clause. Had the date and
venue been set, then a move could have been made to create a chess festival,
with many side events for the Rank and File USCF members, plaus a National
Open caliber tournament. They might have attracted a 1,000 USCF players who
would have been potential spectators. Instead they chose to directly compete
with the US Open, which had been planned years in advance. I don't know what
more the USCF could have done, even if it hadn't squandered the $50,000 on
perks. The worst part is that now the US has been tarred as a chess event
hosting nation, when if the event , conditions and location were right there
would have been an enthusiastic turnout. Surely there are unsuitable places
to hold chess events in even the most fervent chess playing countries
(except, perhaps, for The Netherlands!)

Peter Coleman

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Jan 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/20/00
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On Thu, 20 Jan 2000 19:06:07 +0000, "Dr A. N. Walker" <a...@maths.nott.ac.uk>
opined:

> No-one is comparing chess with [eg] snooker, but rather the
>process by which chess and snooker champions are found and validated.
>There is no technical reason why many games and sports should not run
>their world championships in a way similar to the old-style FIDE cycle;
>I'm not aware of any that do. Please enlighten me if you know better,
>for the comparison should be interesting.

None do. But Chess is unique in having very little to do with chance. The fact
that its method of choosing a Champion also left very little to chance was
singularly appropriate.

Why downgrade it even below the level of Wimbledon? And far below the level of
the Snooker world championship.

The only reason that Khalifman enters into it is that having a player barely in
the world top 40 as the FIDE knockabout champion clearly shows the farce for
what it is. Call him the Las Vegas champion if you wish (just like Wimbledon).
Don't call him World Champion.

Besides if you push the tennis analogy Kasparov tops the "order of merit", which
is as close as tennis gets to having a world champion.

li...@ork.net

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Jan 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/20/00
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Dr A. N. Walker <a...@maths.nott.ac.uk> wrote:
> Larry Parr wrote:
>> KHALIFMAN THE GREAT

> I'm sorry, Larry, but you have yet again repeated your series
> of personal denigrations of Khalifman as a chessplayer. No-one has
> seriously made any claims that he is any more than a strong GM, nor
> that his career in toto is comparable with that of Kasparov, so your
> sneering proofs are unwarranted.

I don't know if we intend in toto, or in Lassie, but I'm glad you are
setting things straight. Apparently some people around here have been
making ridiculous claims that Khalifman is the world chess champion by
virtue of winning a bunch of two game knockout matches.

Larry Parr

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Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
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MANGLING DISTINCTIONS

In his latest posting Dr. Walker tries another sleight of hand.
He speaks of "the denigration which Khalifman has faced."

Where? When?

To my knowledge, no one has denigrated Khalifman's person. To be
sure, there has been denigration, but it has been directed at the
absurd idea that his performance in the Las Vegas lottery, a dumbed
down and chance-laden tournament merits calling him the real world
champion. One can denigrate claims about what GM Larry Evans calls "a
Mickey Mouse event" without even addressing Khalifman.

Once again, Khalifman scored +7 -4 =9 against 2637-rated opponents
on a single occasion in a series of mini-matches in which the element
of chance was maximized compared with traditional methods of determining
the world champion. That, quite precisely, is what happened.

Dr. Walker's argument concerning other sports amounts to an
unproven assertion that, say, snooker and darts have a randomness
similar to the Las Vegas lottery and that we ought to accept our lottery
winner in chess because snookerists accept their tournament winner.
Dr. Walker has already said that determining respective levels of
randomness would be a Herculean task and that one opinion may be as
good as another.

So, then, my opinion is that a two game mini-match between two
grandmasters affords greater chances for an upset than a best of five
sets match involving 60 or 70 games of tennis at Wimbledon.
Among chess players, we know that any grandmaster can take out another
grandmaster in a two-game set followed by quickplays to break ties.

Still, the comparison with other sports is truly inane. Chess, to
begin with, is not merely a sport; it is also an art. We have our own
world with a set of values that assigns great significance to the title
of world champion.

The world champion has been until FIDE's imposture a player who
set standards of competitive excellence and both stylistic and opening
tastes. Alekhine's influence on the styles of players was immense, and
Botvinnik during the 1950s defined for many people what it meant to be a
chess player. Tal came along, and he was a whiff of fresh air. Petrosian,
his stylistic opposite, had his followers. Spassky, Fischer and Karpov
were eclectic all-rounders largely without styles who undoubtedly
influenced a generation of pragmatists. Kasparov has a style, and it
is much admired. He may not be quite the universal player that Fischer
was, but his aggressive tactics set a standard to which many aspire.

Dr. Walker argues that we may talk about snooker and chess
meaningfully when discussing championship standards, but somehow horse
racing with its handicap system is not a good analogy because it's
necessary so that bets may be placed. So what? I see no reason not to
handicap chess players IF we accept the notion that chess can be
meaningfully compared with physical sports in terms of title arrangements.


"I find deeply repugnant," writes Dr. Walker, "the notion that the


championship should be judged by who wins it rather than by the process

by which the winner is determined." STRAWMAN. Few people care one way
or another about Khalifman's person. Contrary to Dr. Walker's claim,
most critics of the FIDE title fiasco are concerned precisely with "the
process by which the winner is determined." Most critics have found
that process to lack legitimacy because it redefined totally what it
means to be a world chess champion.

Once again and again, Khalifman does not possess a single
characteristic of a traditional world champion except his profession as
an honorable grandmaster and his gender. He does not stand at the front
or in the forefront of the grandmasteriat; he has not defeated the
greats of his time in important matches; he has not won or even competed
in the great tournaments of his era; and he has never played a gruelling
long match against a sitting champion. We have been told that FIDE
declared Efim Bogolyubov world champion at one of its Congresses. If
true, Dr. Walker is among those who would rewrite the record books to
have Bogolyubov as champion from, say, 1928 to whatever year that FIDE
may see fit. Poor Alekhine, if the drug-testers don't strip him of his
title retroactively a la Jim Thorpe, the FIDEcrats will have to
expunge him from the record books.

Another sleight of hand, a nice one too, was Dr. Walker misapplying
my looks-walks-quacks-like-a-duck argument. Readers may recall that
I analyzed the claim that Khalifman was the real world champion
through the lens of whether he possessed even a SINGLE characteristic
of a traditional title holder. I concluded he did not possess a single
such characteristic and that he was not a genuine duck. Dr. Walker
tries to slip this argument around the result in a single tournament,
arguing that Julian Hodgson won the British title even though Michael
Adams and Nigel Short are obviously stronger. The fallacy, a neat one,
is that while Hodgson is not as strong as Short and Khalifman has
nothing in common with a traditional world champion, Hodgson does have
something in common with traditional British national champions. One
does not laugh at the idea that Hodgson is the British champion because
his strength and his accomplishments and his career suggest that he
has something in common with past British champions. The problem with
the claim made for Khalifman is that he does not have anything in
common with traditional world title holders.

THE COMMON SENSE OF THE MATTER

The vast majority of the chess world and virtually all of the
wider world recognize Kasparov as the real world champion even though
FIDE, a long-time sanctioning body for the world title, recognizes
Khalifman. Why does Khalifman enjoy so little legitimacy and Kasparov
so much?

The difference in playing strengths counts. But most of the chess
world regarded Capablanca as Lasker's superior for a half decade or more
before their title match of 1921, yet most people still regarded Lasker
as the true champion. Few thought that the Alekhine of 1946 could
stand up to Botvinnik in a match, yet Botvinnik or the Soviet

government levelled the challenge, recognizing a badly debilitated
Alekhine, who had suffered a string of embarrassing results in Spain,

as the real world champion.

FIDE ALL THE WAY

Why is FIDE's claim about Khalifman derided so widely? Because
FIDE is seen to be a lawless organization that radically dumbed down
the title deliberately, probably with political motives. Because the
winner of the Las Vegas lottery was not seen to play like a world
champion. Because the winner of the Las Vegas lottery was not seen to
have achieved a small fraction of what previous traditional champions
achieved. Because bureaucratic fiat extends only so far over the minds
of a given public. Because the FIDE bureaucracy overstepped, going much
beyond arrangements that those in the chess world were prepared to
accept (a classic instance of a decision taken from above and then
foisted upon the peasants). Because, finally, Garry Kasparov is so much
stronger than Alexander Khalifman that the latter cannot survive the
giggle factor.

Given the logic advanced by Dr. Walker, there is no reason in the
future that we ought not to have a world chess championship in which
odds play the dominant factor, if FIDE so decides. Dr. Walker and this
writer may yet meet in the final. I hope and trust that Dr. Walker will
not only be denied sight of the board but also knowledge of my moves.

World chess champion and automatic GM Larry Parr! I like the sound
of that.

Scratch the above. Eric "FIDE All the Way" Johnson has been right
all along. Dr. Walker is so correct in his wise injunctions that my
pocketbook is already panting in expectation. How blind I have been.
How do I join the Fideista Club?

FIDE All the Way! Larry Parr is world chess champion. FIDE All
the Way! Larry Evans is a fish, not worthy of my attention.

FIDE All the Way!

--
Larry Parr

Brian Sumner

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Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
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I must agree with Dr. Walker's arguments.


Dr A. N. Walker

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Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
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Peter Coleman wrote:
> None do. But Chess is unique in having very little to do with chance.

My personal view is that there is much more chance in chess
than is usually admitted. But note that if you are right, then a
two-game match is not the lottery that many are claiming.

Dr A. N. Walker

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Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
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DAVID GRANIK wrote:
> Why not have a mixed system utilizing both the Swiss System and Round
> Robin Formats. The Open Swiss tournament (interzonal) could generate several
> qualifiers for a closed (double?) RR candidates tournament. Most of the 2700
> level players [Anand, Shirov, Kramnik, Leko, etc. could be seeded in. Top 2
> finishers could then play a candidate's final match. Winner to play
> Kasparov.

If I understand you correctly, you want something like 100
players [ie, comparable with the Las Vegas entry] to play a Swiss.
The top [say] 6 are added to [say] 6 seeded players to play a double
RR, the two winners to play a match to decide who plays Kasparov for
the title. The problem is the time scale. You probably want an
11-round Swiss [two weeks], followed by a 22-round RR [4 weeks], and
[say] an 8-game match, possibly with a play-off [2 weeks], and the
title match [will Kasparov settle for less than 12 games, 3 weeks?].
Total 11 weeks of play, probably spread out over six months or so.
You could juggle the numbers -- 5 round Swiss, fewer qualifiers,
shorter matches -- but then you're back to the "lottery" problem.

I agree that the above is something like the closest we are
ever likely to get back to the traditional cycle, and it *might* be
possible if some sponsor finds it attractive. But even with juggled
numbers, you're asking a lot of highly paid people to divert a lot
of their time to a rather lengthy and intense event [which is, of
course, what the WC *ought*, ideally, to be], and it is not going
to be cheap. The Swiss and the RR aren't even for a chance at the
title, but for a chance to play two more long matches for the title.
If you don't find a sponsor for the whole package -- several events
at [probably] several venues over several months -- you run the risk
of getting your two qualifiers and then being unable to arrange the
candidate's or final matches. Much as I wold personally like to
see such a cycle, I don't think it's likely; and it's even less
likely to be held regularly.

[Of course, there is still the Kasparov problem -- if he
won't play, there remains the plausibility factor, and if he will,
there will be wrangles about the exact titles currently held and
at stake, and there are liable to be mutterings about why he should
go straight through to the final when everyone else has had to work
through this arduous event. But let us hope, optimistically, that
these can all be overcome.]

> True, but FIDE's decision to hold the event in Vegas was pure
> silliness. There was practically no indiginous chess culture from which to
> draw spectators. Worse, FIDE kept changing the time and venue of the WC

> tournament, [much snippage of sensible comments]

You're almost certainly right, though FIDE was not entirely
the master of events. Let us hope that they have learned from the
experience. But none of that should affect the validity [or not]
of the actual play.

Dr A. N. Walker

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Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
to
Larry Parr wrote:
> In his latest posting Dr. Walker tries another sleight of hand.
> He speaks of "the denigration which Khalifman has faced."
> Where? When?

Try reading the rest of your article, in which you repeat
yet again the personal attacks. Not indeed on Khalifman's manners
or his dress sense, but on his chess. If Anand had played instead
of Khalifman, and had played exactly the same moves, he too would
have won with +7 -4 =9 against 2637-rated opponents, but you would
not have sneered at his chess and described him as unfit to be
mentioned in the same breath as Alekhine or Euwe. You might still
have sneered at the process by which Anand became [FIDE] WC, but
that's a different matter, and one on which you are entitled to
your opinion.

> Dr. Walker's argument concerning other sports amounts to an
> unproven assertion that, say, snooker and darts have a randomness
> similar to the Las Vegas lottery and that we ought to accept our lottery
> winner in chess because snookerists accept their tournament winner.
> Dr. Walker has already said that determining respective levels of
> randomness would be a Herculean task and that one opinion may be as
> good as another.

I didn't say that. Certain of the related statistical tasks
would indeed be very difficult. But determining the relative degrees
of randomness in Las-Vegas-style chess, WC snooker, darts or bowls, or
Wimbledon is relatively easy. We now have almost 200 chess mini-matches
to draw on, so it would be straightforward for anyone with the results
on file to count (a) how often the lower-rated player won, (b) how often
a "seeded" player lost to an outsider, (c) other counts in similar vein,
compare with the same counts in other events, and have statistically-
significant results. I gave my opinion, that the quoted randomnesses
are comparable, based on gut feeling; for sure, that opinion is no
better than yours or anyone else's; but if we ever get into hard
statistics based on serious counts, then some opinions will count a
lot more than others -- there are PhD statisticians around.

> So, then, my opinion is that a two game mini-match between two
> grandmasters affords greater chances for an upset than a best of five
> sets match involving 60 or 70 games of tennis at Wimbledon.
> Among chess players, we know that any grandmaster can take out another
> grandmaster in a two-game set followed by quickplays to break ties.

And we equally know that any of the top 200-odd tennis players,
especially the big servers, can take out another. A very brief report
on my radio this very morning mentioned that Sampras found himself 2 sets
down to an "unknown" player, but eventually won. If the 3rd or 4th sets
went to the tie-break, and the "unknown" had a reliable service, then
Sampras is lucky still to be in.

> Still, the comparison with other sports is truly inane. Chess, to
> begin with, is not merely a sport; it is also an art.

If you think that bowls or snooker do not have artistic elements,
then you have clearly not studies either sport. The planning of an end,
or the laying of a subtle snooker have similar levels of beauty to a
neat combination, and can be just as unexpected.

> Dr. Walker argues that we may talk about snooker and chess
> meaningfully when discussing championship standards, but somehow horse
> racing with its handicap system is not a good analogy because it's
> necessary so that bets may be placed. So what?

Las Vegas was structurally very simialr to the WCs in these
other sports, which -- just as with chess -- have long traditions,
all-time greats, world champions, styles, and so on. If you can
point to any serious chess event which is structurally similar to
the Grand National, then you may develop your case.

> [...] Most critics have found


> that process to lack legitimacy because it redefined totally what it
> means to be a world chess champion.

[Ie, Las Vegas] Such critics -- sadly, not the majority --
deserve serious responses. Indeed, if you change the process, you
change what the outcome means. That does not, in itself, make the
change invalid. Times change. If you don't like what FIDE has done,
then it is incumbent on you to say what they could have done instead.
David Granik and Eric Johnson, amongst others, have done this; you
have indeed suggested a return to Zurich. But you need also to cost
out and make plausible the costs of so doing, and the likelihood of
attracting all or most of the top players and adequate sponsorship.
Kasparov's answer is to return even further back, to before WW2.
I doubt whether many readers of this article actually want that --
a return to hand-picked opposition [no matter how strong], to the
personal fiefdoms of the champion, to matches when and where the
WC wants them rather than required by the conditions of his tenure.
Other, better, solutions solicited.

[I argued]


> that Julian Hodgson won the British title even though Michael
> Adams and Nigel Short are obviously stronger. The fallacy, a neat one,
> is that while Hodgson is not as strong as Short and Khalifman has
> nothing in common with a traditional world champion, Hodgson does have
> something in common with traditional British national champions.

Indeed it is unfortunate for my case that Hodgson is such a
strong player. But this is historical accident, not fallacy, for
you could not have made your case in the years when Dr Fazekas, or
Eley, or even [to pick a recent, and worthy, winner over stronger
opposition] Ward were champions. All these players have in common
with "traditional" champions is the fact that they have all been
recognised as undisputed and worthy champions despite being far from
the strongest players in the tournaments they won and far from the
strongest players in the UK at the time.

Peter Coleman

unread,
Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
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On Fri, 21 Jan 2000 18:48:28 +0000, "Dr A. N. Walker" <a...@maths.nott.ac.uk>
opined:

>Peter Coleman wrote:
>> None do. But Chess is unique in having very little to do with chance.
>
> My personal view is that there is much more chance in chess
>than is usually admitted. But note that if you are right, then a
>two-game match is not the lottery that many are claiming.

Sophistry. Chess has little to do with chance in that not only do you start from
the same position each time but that each position is capable of being exactly
recreated. The only other games that immediately spring to mind as sharing these
traits are Draughts (Checkers) and Go. The former certainly used to have its
World Championship settled by long matches and I believe the latter still does.

All these comaprisons with tennis and snooker are odious.

That each game in itself has a result little to do with chance does not mean
that the laws of probability do not apply. One might say that chess ability is
related to the likelihood of finding the best move in a position.

Over a lengthy match the stronger player will prevail. The shorter the match the
more likely the chance of an upset. Probabilty theory would determine the length
of the match needed so that it was 99% probable (say) that the stronger player
would win..

Peter Coleman

unread,
Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
to
On Fri, 21 Jan 2000 20:21:48 +0000, "Dr A. N. Walker" <a...@maths.nott.ac.uk>
opined:

> Indeed it is unfortunate for my case that Hodgson is such a


>strong player. But this is historical accident, not fallacy, for
>you could not have made your case in the years when Dr Fazekas, or
>Eley, or even [to pick a recent, and worthy, winner over stronger
>opposition] Ward were champions. All these players have in common
>with "traditional" champions is the fact that they have all been
>recognised as undisputed and worthy champions despite being far from
>the strongest players in the tournaments they won and far from the
>strongest players in the UK at the time.

Blah! And blah! You prove exactly Parr's point. There have been far fewer
winners of the British Championship who WERE the strongest British Player of the
day than those who were not. Mostly because the strongest players often don't
even bother playing. This has certainly been true for around the last 30 years.

Can you say the same for the Chess Worl Championship? I dare you!

Of course the fact that the British Championship has been a Swiss tournament for
a number of years and even before was a tornament rather than a match also
points to asignificant difference and the reason for the upsets.

Dann Corbit

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Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
to
"Peter Coleman" <peterc...@ukonline.co.uk> wrote in message
news:3888d3fb...@news.ukonline.co.uk...
[snip]

> Blah! And blah! You prove exactly Parr's point. There have been far fewer
> winners of the British Championship who WERE the strongest British Player
of the
> day than those who were not. Mostly because the strongest players often
don't
> even bother playing. This has certainly been true for around the last 30
years.
>
> Can you say the same for the Chess Worl Championship? I dare you!

Dare accepted.

The strongest players have not competed for the World championship for many
years except in very rare circumstances. In the past 20 years, it has been
an extreme rarity when a sensible person might believe that best players
were involved.

For many years, Fischer was surely the strongest player and did not compete
for the world championship {GADS!! I surely hope Kenneth is not listening}.
;-) It is even conceivable (but very doubtful) that he is the strongest
right now.

When is the last time that Kasparov competed for the world championship?

Obviously, the best players don't even bother most of the time. At least
for most years and for the last two decades.

*shrug*
[snip]
--
C-FAQ: http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
"The C-FAQ Book" ISBN 0-201-84519-9
C.A.P. Newsgroup http://www.dejanews.com/~c_a_p
C.A.P. FAQ: ftp://38.168.214.175/pub/Chess%20Analysis%20Project%20FAQ.htm

Todd Durham

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Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
to

"Dr A. N. Walker" wrote:

> Peter Coleman wrote:
> > None do. But Chess is unique in having very little to do with chance.
>
> My personal view is that there is much more chance in chess
> than is usually admitted.

Yes, but the chance comes from the vagaries of being human, and it is not
built into the game itself.

Todd


> But note that if you are right, then a
> two-game match is not the lottery that many are claiming.
>

Todd Durham

unread,
Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
to
In the interest of helping those who might be short of time, here's the
condensed version:

Larry Parr wrote, and Todd Durham paraphrased, rewrote and condensed:

> MANGLING DISTINCTIONS

I never insulted Khalifman. It's not my fault the guy only had a record of +7
-4 =9 against 2637-rated opponents.

Why do we insist on comparing Chess to other [lesser -- Ed.] sports?

Two games mini-matches suck.

Comparing Chess to other sports is inane.

World Champions kicked ass until Kirsan came along and dumbed things down.

Chess players should be saddled up and we should race them! [Or something like
that--Ed.]

Is Dr. Walker even talking about the same thing I am?

Khalifman's record is, well, _unimpressive_. And Jim Thorpe was WAY faster
than Effim Bogolyubov!

Duck, duck, Khalifman! Which of these doesn't belong? But Julian Hodgson _is_
a Mallard!


> THE COMMON SENSE OF THE MATTER

Kasparov or Khalifman -- who do ya think?

And Lasker was the Champ even if Alekhine was drunk off his ass.


> FIDE ALL THE WAY

Why is Khalifman's claim to the title getting dissed? Because FIDE sucks. The
KO format sucks. Bureaucrats suck. Bureaucratic fiat sucks. FIDE bureaucratic
fiat sucks. FIDE bureaucrats suck. And Kasparov can't stop giggling like a
little girl!

I'll beat that Walker guy for the World Title yet! All I need is for him to be
handcuffed and blindfolded!

> World chess champion and automatic GM Larry Parr! I like the sound
> of that.
>
> Scratch the above. Eric "FIDE All the Way" Johnson has been right
> all along. Dr. Walker is so correct in his wise injunctions that my
> pocketbook is already panting in expectation. How blind I have been.
> How do I join the Fideista Club?
>
> FIDE All the Way! Larry Parr is world chess champion. FIDE All
> the Way! Larry Evans is a fish, not worthy of my attention.
>
> FIDE All the Way!

Your Humble Condenser Todd, signing off!

Larry Parr

unread,
Jan 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/22/00
to
THANKS TO TODD DURHAM

Humble Condenser Todd Durham did a pretty good job. Missed the
thread a bit on Lasker and Alekhine. Otherwise, right on.

WORKING WITH DR. WALKER

Dr. Walker and this writer are having a conversation of sorts. As
with all conversations, even colloquies in which the interlocutors talk
past each other, we are working together. Dr. Walker makes an argument,
I counter, and he offers a new argument. Let's take it by the numbers.

1. Dr. Walker spoke of "denigration which Khalifman has faced." I
responded, "Where? When?" I find that Dr. Walker's answer speaks to a
question he raised several postings ago: Which of us is not a resident
on the planet Earth? Wrote Dr. Walker in his posting of January 21:

<<Try reading the rest of your article, in which you repeat yet

again the personal attacks [Dr. Walker can quote none]. Not
indeed on Khalifman's manners or his dress sense [or his person,
good Doctor], but on his chess [translation: not on his person].

If Anand had played instead of Khalifman, and had played exactly

the same moves [if, if, if, and if darts and snookers were chess,
etc.; and if Khalifman, as Dr. Walker wrote earlier had scored
+22 -0 =0 against 2700-plus competition] he too would have won
with +7 -4 =9 against 2637-rated oponents, but you would not have


sneered at his chess and described him as unfit to be mentioned

in the same breath as Alekhine of Euwe. You might still have
sneered at the process by which Anand became (FIDE) WC, but that's

a different matter, and one on which you are entitled to your
opinion.>>

I would argue that the above paragraph is a swamp of intellectual
confusion. Dr. Walker can quote no personal attacks on Khalifman by this
writer because there are none. Dr. Walker creates another fantasy in
which if Anand had made the same moves of Khalifman against the same
opponents, then, then, then, then, the score would have been the same.
Even this idiotic subjunctive is probably UNTRUE. I think IF Anand had
made the same moves against the same opponents, he would probably have
scored better because at some point his opponents out of justifiable
fear of the great Indian would have played more nervously and inaccurately.
Dr. Walker earlier fantasized about a Khalifman score of +22 -0 =0
against 2700-plus competition, now he is wondering how we would have
greet a score made by Anand that he would not, in fact, have made!
Astonishing. (I can hear Dr. Walker now: "I posited Anand making all
of the same moves. If his opponents varied then he would not have made
the same moves."

If he makes this argument, my response is that since we are in
the land of mindless fantasizing, I can just as well fantasize that he
would make the same moves.

Dr. Walker says that we would not have sneered at Anand's chess and


described him as unfit to be mentioned in the same breath as Alekhine or

Euwe. He is correct -- NOT because anyone is denigrating Khalifman but

because Khalifman does not play the same level of chess as Anand. Anand
would have had a major career behind him by the time he arrived for the
Las Vegas lottery (granting Dr. Walker his preposterous fantasy) and we
would have looked upon his result differently. THAT'S REAL LIFE, DR.
WALKER. One looks at the intellectual or work product of a person over
a long period before offering an opinion about a pinpoint in time.

As a chess player, Khalifman cannot be mentioned in the same breath
(assuming we are talking about who is a true world champion) with Euwe
or Alekhine. But as a chess player and even as the beneficiary of a
lottery title, Anand can be mentioned in the same breath. THAT'S REAL
LIFE, DR. WALKER.

Still, even if Anand or Kramnik had won in Vegas, there would have
been problems with their legitimacy. I assume that both men are
honest enough to admit this conjecture as likely fact.

2. Back to sports again. Concerning the level of randomness in chess
versus, say, snooker and darts, I wrote, "Dr. Walker has already said


that determining respective levels of randomness would be a Herculean
task and that one opinion may be as good as another."

Responds Dr. Walker, "I didn't say that." Well, earlier he told
us about a thousand and one complicating factors. Still, if he meant
something else, then fine. "I gave my opinion," he writes, "that the
quoted randomnesses are comparable, based on a gut feeling" [which was
my essential point].

3. "If you think that bowls or snooker do not have artistic elements,"
writes Dr. Walker in response to my point that chess is an art in
addition to being a sport "then you have clearly not studies [sic]
either sport."

Oh, heavens! The man is confusing catching a football pass, which
also has "artistic elements," with art itself. He is apparently
arguing that the aesthetic is necessarily artistic. Otherwise, his
point has no meaning in the context of our conversation.

4. More sports. Dr. Walker tells us that the Las Vegas lottery was
structurally similar to world title events in other sports, but he tells
us that horse racing with its system of handicapping is not a good
analogy. Once again, why? My point was that once we admit the
possibility of analogy between chess and darts, we can also bring up
horse racing and put 200 pound weights on each of Kasparov's arms to
slow him down in time pressure. I don't care if other sports are not
like horse racing, though there are many forms of racing with handicaps.
My point was that if we change what the outcome of a world title event
in chess actually means and if we apply the argument that a radical
dumbing down is not "necessarily" invalid, then we open the gate to
every kind of nonsense.

Larry Parr as world champion? Hey, Doc, I like it!

5. Now, then, Dr. Walker has been trying to defend the idea of a
radically dumbed down world champion in chess by quoting past winners of

the largely ignored British Championship these days. Peter Coleman has
noted that Dr. Walker unwittingly made my own case. Namely, if we wish
to destroy public interest in the world championship, there are worse
ways to go about it than making the title essentially meaningless.

Dr. Walker conceded that it was "unfortunate" he used the example
of Julian Hodgson as a British national champion because he happens to
be a strong player.

That left the door open for me to write: "[Dr. Walker] argued

that Julian Hodgson won the British title even though Michael Adams
and Nigel Short are obviously stronger. The fallacy, a neat one, is

that while Hodgson is not as strong as Short and while Khalifman has

nothing in common with a traditional world champion, Hodgson does have
something in common with traditional British national champions."

In his latest posting Dr. Walker tries to improve his argument,
bringing up the instances of Dr. Fazekas or Eley. To set Dr. Walker's
mind at rest, it was not particularly "unfortunate" that he mentioned
Hodgson because his argument is still a fallacy. Within the context of
the British championship (as opposed to the context of national grading
ranks) Dr. Fazekas or Eley or Combe or Ward or any number of others are
NOT apart from the traditional British title holder as Khalifman is
apart from the traditional world champion. Part of the tradition of the
British national championship is to have relatively weak holders. Too,
Peter Coleman noted that the British championship has often been a
Swiss system which increases risk. Perhaps, then, we shall in Dr.
Walker's view look forward to a world champion selected on the basis of
a nine or 11-round Swiss system.

I find most of the analogies presented by Dr. Walker to be
ludicrous. One of us is indeed living on another planet.

The issue is whether Khalifman ought to be called the real world
champion. The single point in his favor is that he won a lottery-like
tournament in Las Vegas that was called a world championship by FIDE.
Weighing against FIDE's claim that Khalifman is the real titleholder is
much of the traditions of chess and its world championship, not to
mention that the rest of the world recognizes Garry Kasparov as
titleholder. Yes, in the workaday world, recognition counts when
determining who the real world champion happens to be.


--
Larry Parr

Peter Coleman

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Jan 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/22/00
to
On Fri, 21 Jan 2000 14:18:20 -0800, "Dann Corbit" <dco...@solutionsiq.com>
opined:

>The strongest players have not competed for the World championship for many
>years except in very rare circumstances. In the past 20 years, it has been
>an extreme rarity when a sensible person might believe that best players
>were involved.

Very recently we have the FIDE knockabout championships. These are the very
things that I am objecting to. You cannot therefore include them in "the past 20
years".

>For many years, Fischer was surely the strongest player and did not compete
>for the world championship {GADS!! I surely hope Kenneth is not listening}.
>;-) It is even conceivable (but very doubtful) that he is the strongest
>right now.

Utter tosh. Fischer participated and was knocked out of one cycle. Then he won
the WC. After that he stopped playing. Just like Kamsky has now. If you're not
playing you cannot be included in the strongest player list.

>When is the last time that Kasparov competed for the world championship?

Sophistry. And an attempt to muddy the waters.

Of course the split between PCA and FIDE has weakened the championship, but
Kasparov has defended *his* World Championship. It's only the failure to find a
sponsor for Shirov that has prevented a recent defense. Up until recently Karpov
also defended the FIDE world championship. Most of the strong players
participated in one or both. The situation is certainly not ideal, but is
largely of FIDE's making. If they'd shown Kasparov a fraction of the
accomodation they gave to Fischer we'd still have a unified World Championship.

However, even in the previous knockabout championship most of the strongest
players took part, outside Kasparov. This time neither of the "incumbents" nor
their last challenger were playing. If you cannot see the difference then may I
suggest you see a specialist?

Phil Innes

unread,
Jan 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/22/00
to
In article <3888BFDC...@maths.nott.ac.uk> , "Dr A. N. Walker"
<a...@maths.nott.ac.uk> wrote:

>
> Las Vegas was structurally very simialr to the WCs in these
> other sports, which -- just as with chess -- have long traditions,
> all-time greats, world champions, styles, and so on. If you can
> point to any serious chess event which is structurally similar to
> the Grand National, then you may develop your case.

Laugh! A good joke - its been months..

AINTREE VARIATION

... Korchnoi going well on the rail, Anand coming up on the outside in
the orange colours, but here comes Khalifman in the blinkers - whoa! Short
has fallen at Beecher's! Short is down- oh no! Timman has landed on him...
Oh! Oh! now there is a huge GM pile-up of flailing legs ...

What was really different about LV was that there has always been a
different degree of challenge in winning the title. As I wrote here a week
ago, Fischer comments to Denker on "playing himself in" and it's evident in
his play that losing a game or two was no big deal for him in a match, his
chess needed this sort of warming up. He seemed unconcerned about giving
Spassky a 2 game lead (laugh!)

So the format of the Fidé championship probably could not produce a Fischer,
or the quality of play of a Fischer.

This is the indictment.

Phil

DAVID GRANIK

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Jan 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/22/00
to

Dr A. N. Walker wrote in message <3888B1B3...@maths.nott.ac.uk>...

>DAVID GRANIK wrote:
>> Why not have a mixed system utilizing both the Swiss System and
Round
>> Robin Formats. The Open Swiss tournament (interzonal) could generate
several
>> qualifiers for a closed (double?) RR candidates tournament. Most of the
2700
>> level players [Anand, Shirov, Kramnik, Leko, etc. could be seeded in. Top
2
>> finishers could then play a candidate's final match. Winner to play
>> Kasparov.
>
> If I understand you correctly, you want something like 100
>players [ie, comparable with the Las Vegas entry] to play a Swiss.
>The top [say] 6 are added to [say] 6 seeded players to play a double
>RR, the two winners to play a match to decide who plays Kasparov for
>the title. The problem is the time scale. You probably want an
>11-round Swiss [two weeks], followed by a 22-round RR [4 weeks], and

I wouldn't have a problem with making it a true open: Anybody who wants
to, can play! So you might be faced with 1,000 entrants (like what the US
Open used to draw), or even 10,000 entrants. One could, of course charge EF
based on one's ELO rating: the lower the rating, the higher the EF. The
tournament, like the World Open, could easily be self-sustaining, even
profitable. Of course, you'd probably want to tap up the # of rounds to 14
or 15, so that the winners would ultimately have to play a fair # of games
against strong opponents.

>[say] an 8-game match, possibly with a play-off [2 weeks], and the
>title match [will Kasparov settle for less than 12 games, 3 weeks?].
>Total 11 weeks of play, probably spread out over six months or so.
>You could juggle the numbers -- 5 round Swiss, fewer qualifiers,
>shorter matches -- but then you're back to the "lottery" problem.
>

OK, so the candidates final match is nice, but not truly necessary. The
player who wins the candidates tournament is apt to be quite strong in any
case. Likewise, there would be no need to have 6 qualify from the Open. 2
would be sufficient, which would reduce the length of the candidates
tournament to only 14 rounds (8 player double RR) By the way, why would 11
weeks of play over 6 months be such a problem?

> I agree that the above is something like the closest we are
>ever likely to get back to the traditional cycle, and it *might* be
>possible if some sponsor finds it attractive. But even with juggled
>numbers, you're asking a lot of highly paid people to divert a lot
>of their time to a rather lengthy and intense event [which is, of
>course, what the WC *ought*, ideally, to be], and it is not going
>to be cheap.

Do you mean the players? But most of them are NOT that highly paid (the
lament of the professional chess player). And most of the players with only
have to play in one event (since they will fail to qualify for the next
round)

The Swiss and the RR aren't even for a chance at the
>title, but for a chance to play two more long matches for the title.

Precisely the point. That is the way the championship cycle ran
during FIDE's heyday. And as I wrote above, one of the matches--the
candidates final--could be dropped. That said, it ought not be too difficult
to come up with sponsorship for such a candidates match. It probably won't
be feasible to have a purse the size of (what was promised for) the
Shirov-Kramnik match, but Anand, et al ought to be willing to play 8-12
games for roughly the same remuneration (appearance fees +prize money) they
would earn for , say, winning Wijk aan Zee or Linares. I can't believe that
anybody (except mayber Kasparov or Fischer) would skoff at the prospect of
earning a guaranteed minimum of a few tens of thousands of $$.

>If you don't find a sponsor for the whole package -- several events
>at [probably] several venues over several months -- you run the risk
>of getting your two qualifiers and then being unable to arrange the
>candidate's or final matches. Much as I wold personally like to
>see such a cycle, I don't think it's likely; and it's even less
>likely to be held regularly.
>

I believe that the Candidate's final match might be the only
problematic element. As I stated, the Open "Interzonal' could be funded
largely through Entry fees. The candidate's tournament could be folded into
Wijk aan Zee or Linares. Allow the sponsoring federation to select 1 player
to participate in the candidate's tournament (as a small bribe), and I'm
sure that Dutch or Spanish organizers would have few qualms about converting
there marquee tournaments into a candidate's final. Linares practically
fills that role NOW, (as can be seen from the Shirov qualifiaction), albeit
in an unofficial and ad hoc fashion.

> [Of course, there is still the Kasparov problem -- if he
>won't play, there remains the plausibility factor, and if he will,
>there will be wrangles about the exact titles currently held and
>at stake, and there are liable to be mutterings about why he should
>go straight through to the final when everyone else has had to work
>through this arduous event. But let us hope, optimistically, that
>these can all be overcome.]
>

Thus is precisely the reason why I am pessimistic about the state of
chess as long as Kasparov is on the scene. Clearly there are lessons to be
learned from the Rentero debacle of the WCC cycle. 1. Have funding for WC
match locked in before the cycle begins 2. Have Kasparov commit to play
winner of the candidate's cycle. If Kasparov refuses, finally, to play, a
candidates final match would then have the virtue of being considered a WC
match. Certainly problems remain. Kasparov has moral (and no doubt, legal)
obligations to play Shirov, and also Anand, in a WC match. And once those
matches are complete, the winner still has to face claims from Khalifman (or
his successor), and Karpov. Still, if the new cycle runs smoothly and yields
a formidable challenger, I don't believe that the Khalifman/Karpov/FIDE
claims will have much credibility. I doubt that there will be much
controversy over the fact that Kasparov is seeded into the championship
match; after all, that is the way things have been in chess for over 100
years. FIDE's attempts to overthrow such a tradition have not exactly been
embraced enthusiastically. Let's hope that a Kasparov WC match vs
Anand/Shirov happens this year. Then a move can be made to resurrect some
sort of workable candidate's cycle.

>> True, but FIDE's decision to hold the event in Vegas was pure
>> silliness. There was practically no indiginous chess culture from which
to
>> draw spectators. Worse, FIDE kept changing the time and venue of the WC

>> tournament, [much snippage of sensible comments]
>
> You're almost certainly right, though FIDE was not entirely
>the master of events. Let us hope that they have learned from the
>experience. But none of that should affect the validity [or not]
>of the actual play.
>

Dann Corbit

unread,
Jan 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/23/00
to
"Peter Coleman" <peterc...@ukonline.co.uk> wrote in message
news:38898a78...@news.ukonline.co.uk...

Oh, but wait a minute! That is the very same thing that was pointed out
about the British championships.
They don't play in them because they don't care. Kamsky did play in a
tournament not too long ago. The strongest players could not care less
about that sort of competition. Maybe they know it does not mean anything
anyway, and hence are indifferent. The mantle of world champion is not and
has never been a proof of which player is best. Mathematically speaking.

> >When is the last time that Kasparov competed for the world championship?
>
> Sophistry. And an attempt to muddy the waters.

The question is "Do the best players compete for the world championship?"
The answer is "NO! They don't." Call it sophistry if you like.

> Of course the split between PCA and FIDE has weakened the championship,
but
> Kasparov has defended *his* World Championship. It's only the failure to
find a
> sponsor for Shirov that has prevented a recent defense. Up until recently
Karpov
> also defended the FIDE world championship. Most of the strong players
> participated in one or both. The situation is certainly not ideal, but is
> largely of FIDE's making. If they'd shown Kasparov a fraction of the
> accomodation they gave to Fischer we'd still have a unified World
Championship.

But they didn't. Sort of like "If a frog had wings, he wouldn't scrape his
butt on the rocks." But darn it, they don't have wings.

> However, even in the previous knockabout championship most of the
strongest
> players took part, outside Kasparov. This time neither of the "incumbents"
nor
> their last challenger were playing. If you cannot see the difference then
may I
> suggest you see a specialist?

The differences are irrelevant. The strongest players (for whatever reason)
don't vie for the world championship. It seem that mostly, they just don't
care. Why didn't Fischer want to play? Why doesn't Kasparov want to play?
Why doesn't Kamsky want to play [something of a red herring, I'll admit,
because he is not anywhere near Kasparov in strength]? Whatever the reason
is, they don't do it. Kasparov is the strongest player right now. He does
not defend his championship on a yearly basis. The PCA is defunct. They
don't even have any tournaments. So Kasparov is the title holder over a
piece of paper, but not over the board. Big deal. That does not diminish
his playing strength. I think it is pretty clear that he is the best
player. But he does not compete in a world championship match. Over the
past twenty years, exactly how many times have the two living players with
the highest ELO met over a sanctioned match to determine a "crown" of "world
champion"? The answer is that it almost never happens.

The latest knockout thingie was clearly a silly farce. I won't argue that
point. But it was no humiliation to Khalifman. It is a humiliation to
FIDE, of course, and also to anyone foolish enough to think that Khalifman
ought to be humiliated for playing the best chess of his life and winning an
enormous tournament.

People pointing fingers at Khalifman look incredibly ignorant to me. What
was his error? Could someone point it out please? Obviously he did nothing
wrong at all. He was even apologetic about winning. People who want to
blame Khalifman for anything are looking for a scapegoat and picking the
nearest thing they can grab without using the old "brain-pan" for a fraction
of a second. If that were to take place, we would see no "Khalifman
humiliated" subject lines. He has no reason for humiliation. Those trying
to humiliate him should be ashamed and humiliated themselves, but I don't
think I will see it.

An unruly lynch mob, with the moral sense of a band of jackals.

Todd Durham

unread,
Jan 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/23/00
to

Dann Corbit wrote:

[snip]

> The differences are irrelevant. The strongest players (for whatever reason)
> don't vie for the world championship. It seem that mostly, they just don't
> care. Why didn't Fischer want to play? Why doesn't Kasparov want to play?
> Why doesn't Kamsky want to play [something of a red herring, I'll admit,
> because he is not anywhere near Kasparov in strength]? Whatever the reason
> is, they don't do it. Kasparov is the strongest player right now. He does
> not defend his championship on a yearly basis. The PCA is defunct. They
> don't even have any tournaments. So Kasparov is the title holder over a
> piece of paper, but not over the board. Big deal. That does not diminish
> his playing strength. I think it is pretty clear that he is the best
> player. But he does not compete in a world championship match. Over the
> past twenty years, exactly how many times have the two living players with
> the highest ELO met over a sanctioned match to determine a "crown" of "world
> champion"? The answer is that it almost never happens.

Over the last twenty years it has happened one at least 6 occassions, and maybe
seven. (I can't remember if Anand was ranked second or not in 1995.) That is
pretty damned often.

Todd

[snip]


Peter Coleman

unread,
Jan 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/23/00
to
On Sun, 23 Jan 2000 02:44:25 -0800, "Dann Corbit" <dco...@solutionsiq.com>
opined:

>The question is "Do the best players compete for the world championship?"


>The answer is "NO! They don't."

NOW they don't. They used to.

>The differences are irrelevant. The strongest players (for whatever reason)
>don't vie for the world championship. It seem that mostly, they just don't
>care. Why didn't Fischer want to play? Why doesn't Kasparov want to play?

I don't know why Fischer didn't want to play. I doubt whether Fischer knows,
althoigh I think the suggestion I read here that once he won the World
Championship he felt he had nothing left to do has a ring of truth. However
Fischer is a one-off. Kasparov had a big fall out with FIDE. He thought he could
do better outside FIDE. History will judge him better than I, but I think the
judgement on FIDE will be fairly clear. Kasparov does want to play World
Championship games against the strongest challenger. he knows that gives him
credence. I have no doubt that the number of tournaments he has entered over the
last couple of years, and the efforts he has put into winning them, are to keep
his claims "legitimate". Kasparov believes he has nothing to fear in Chess
(except maybe Deep Blue). Howver, to go back to FIDE he has three problems:
eating humble pie, losing control of the WC and being subject to the sort of
fiasco that took place in Las Vegas.

>The latest knockout thingie was clearly a silly farce. I won't argue that
>point. But it was no humiliation to Khalifman. It is a humiliation to
>FIDE, of course, and also to anyone foolish enough to think that Khalifman
>ought to be humiliated for playing the best chess of his life and winning an
>enormous tournament.

This is nonsense. The title of the thread was not mine, but it was clearly about
Khalifman's match with Leko, not Las Vegas. As you don't appear to understand
that very basic point then it's clearly beyond you to appreciate the difference
between the knockabout championships and those that preceded.

Dr A. N. Walker

unread,
Jan 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/24/00
to
DAVID GRANIK wrote:
> OK, so the candidates final match is nice, but not truly necessary. The
> player who wins the candidates tournament is apt to be quite strong in any
> case. Likewise, there would be no need to have 6 qualify from the Open. 2
> would be sufficient,

I suspect that players from just outside those seeded to the
RR, say numbers 7 to 30 in the rating list, would feel that the chances
of making the top 2 in a 1000-player open Swiss wouldn't justify the
expense. That's why I assumed figures of 100 players qualifying or
being seeded into the Swiss, with 6 going through. But, as I said, you
can certainly juggle the numbers to make the most attractive format.

> [...[ By the way, why would 11


> weeks of play over 6 months be such a problem?

11 weeks of play is three months, including travel, and you must
also allow for preparation. If you want one of the top GMs to devote
such a time to this event, it's going to be very expensive -- much more
so than Las Vegas. And even if you do get the sponsorship, you probably
won't be able to do this every year -- one of the problems with KK1 and
its successors was precisely that the world's two strongest players were
spending all their time playing against each other and missing out on all
their other activities.

> Do you mean the players? But most of them are NOT that highly paid (the
> lament of the professional chess player).

But the top ones are. Oh, not by golf or lawyer standards, but
quite nicely thank you very much. And even "weak" GMs earn a much
better living, thanks to the German league and other events, than their
counterparts of 30-odd years ago. Paying 100 of them to come for a
week or two to Las Vegas [at an otherwise rather dead time of year] is
bound to be much cheaper than the events you propose. But I'm not
*opposed* to your idea -- it just needs to be costed out and sponsors
convinced of its attractions.

> The Swiss and the RR aren't even for a chance at the
> >title, but for a chance to play two more long matches for the title.
> Precisely the point. That is the way the championship cycle ran
> during FIDE's heyday.

And, as the top rewards got better and better, it became harder
and harder to arrange the matches. It's not impossible to arrange
matches today -- indeed, matches are having something of a vogue. But
the matches being arranged are attractive for some reason to a particular
sponsor -- someone who wants to promote some young protege, typically.
It's much harder to state in advance that a match is to be played between
[say] Topolov and Akopian [to repeat the more-or-less random example I
used before], find a sponsor, and come up with arrangements acceptable
to all concerned. Even Kasparov vs Shirov/Anand, the two most exciting
matches from "our" point of view that could be arranged, are proving
difficult to impossible.

> [...] Allow the sponsoring federation to select 1 player


> to participate in the candidate's tournament (as a small bribe), and I'm
> sure that Dutch or Spanish organizers would have few qualms about converting
> there marquee tournaments into a candidate's final. Linares practically
> fills that role NOW, (as can be seen from the Shirov qualifiaction), albeit
> in an unofficial and ad hoc fashion.

Many of us have some sympathy with that idea. But if Linares
[which itself was in doubt this year] does have this *official* role,
then the players at it will have to be "officially" qualified -- it
won't be open to Sr Rentero to refuse entry to some GM he dislikes,
nor to criticise players for agreeing draws, for example.

Dr A. N. Walker

unread,
Jan 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/25/00
to
Peter Coleman wrote:
> Blah! And blah! You prove exactly Parr's point.

But Parr's point was that Hodgson is so *nearly* the UK's top
GM that he is indeed a worthy champion in a long tradition. This is,
even if true, merely an historical accident, and he could not have
said that about several other recent champions.

> There have been far fewer
> winners of the British Championship who WERE the strongest British Player of the
> day than those who were not. Mostly because the strongest players often don't
> even bother playing. This has certainly been true for around the last 30 years.

Indeed. And yet people don't say of, say, Chris Ward that
his win was a fluke [which it wasn't], or that Adams was the *real*
champ and CW was "only" the BCF champ, or that any subsequent poor
result by him is a humiliation of the BCF. CW happened to have a
very good tournament at the same time as some stronger players [Emms
and Sadler, amongst others] didn't, and the general tone of comments
was very supportive of him. For a year, he was undisputed champion.
I see no reason, beyond the blinkers of a dead tradition, why Khalifman
should not be extended the same courtesy. It might be different if
either he or FIDE went out of their way to brag about his prowess, and
claimed that he was now better than Kasparov. But no-one makes any
such claim, which is why I find the belittling attacks on him so
repugnant.

In the case of national championships, in the UK, the USA and
Russia to name but three, and in world championships in a range of other
activities, we don't confuse the current champion with the current
national or world top-rated player.

> Of course the fact that the British Championship has been a Swiss tournament for
> a number of years and even before was a tornament rather than a match also
> points to asignificant difference and the reason for the upsets.

Of course. But you miss the point. No-one *minds* the upsets.
Top GMs don't go around saying the tournament is a farce. No-one quoted
Sadler as saying that if he played Ward in a match he'd beat his easily,
and Ward won only because of the vagaries of the Swiss. Sadler, Emms and
so on simply accept their fate for that year and try again the next.

In a similar way, Kramnik, Adams, Shirov, Ivanchuk, Kamsky and
others blew their chances at Las Vegas. Fine. Try again next year.
Most years, one of them will win. If Kasparov plays, I guarantee that
he will be hot favourite, and win or lose he will generate huge amounts
of publicity and excitement.

Dr A. N. Walker

unread,
Jan 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/25/00
to
Larry Parr wrote:
> <<Try reading the rest of your article, in which you repeat yet
> again the personal attacks [Dr. Walker can quote none]. Not
> indeed on Khalifman's manners or his dress sense [or his person,
> good Doctor], but on his chess [translation: not on his person].

You have a good-enough command of English to distinguish
between personal attacks on Khalifman and attacks on his person.
Belittling his chess is a personal attack, and it does not advance
your case.

> Dr. Walker says that we would not have sneered at Anand's chess and
> described him as unfit to be mentioned in the same breath as Alekhine or
> Euwe. He is correct -- NOT because anyone is denigrating Khalifman but
> because Khalifman does not play the same level of chess as Anand. Anand
> would have had a major career behind him by the time he arrived for the
> Las Vegas lottery (granting Dr. Walker his preposterous fantasy) and we
> would have looked upon his result differently. THAT'S REAL LIFE, DR.
> WALKER. One looks at the intellectual or work product of a person over
> a long period before offering an opinion about a pinpoint in time.

For sure, when writing a biography of Khalifman or Anand, one's
view of a "pinpoint in time" might be different. Equal performances
might be an outstanding result for one and normal, or even mediocre,
for the other. But for me, the preposterous notion is that Las Vegas
should be deemed invalid *because* Khalifman won it rather than a more
highly-regarded player. I find preposterous the notion that a player
should be denied his chance to play for the championship, or that if
he plays and wins then his title should be withheld. Feel free to
criticise Las Vegas as a valid contest for the world championship, but
please base your criticism on the nature of the event, not on the player
who happened to win it fair and square. If your sneers at Khalifman's
chess are "REAL LIFE", then it's a tabloid real life, and I expect
better of you.

> Still, even if Anand or Kramnik had won in Vegas, there would have
> been problems with their legitimacy. I assume that both men are
> honest enough to admit this conjecture as likely fact.

Everyone recognises that. And those problems are worthy of
discussion and perhaps even resolution. I know of no-one who is
entirely happy with the Las Vegas format. Trying to improve it is
likely to be much more productive than taking sides as to whether or
not Khalifman was "humiliated" by losing to Leko.

> 2. Back to sports again. Concerning the level of randomness in chess
> versus, say, snooker and darts, I wrote, "Dr. Walker has already said
> that determining respective levels of randomness would be a Herculean
> task and that one opinion may be as good as another."
> Responds Dr. Walker, "I didn't say that." Well, earlier he told
> us about a thousand and one complicating factors.

You asked about the prospects of anyone winning a Las Vegas
event three times in a row. That's a difficult question. You now
ask about Las Vegas versus other sports. That's a different question,
and much easier. Indeed, any statistician with a reasonable collection
of recent results on file could answer it in a day or so.

Here are two data points from just this last weekend: (a) the
Australian tennis [yes, I know this is not a world championship] shows
that 7 of the 16 men's seeds and 11 of the women's survived to the last
16; so there were 14 seeding upsets to that point. There were two
more in the next round. (b) The World Bowls Championship was won by
the #13 seed, who beat the #2 seed in the final.

A modest collection of such facts would soon enable us to rank
Groningen and Las Vegas against snooker, darts, bowls world championships
and tennis majors as "random" events.

> 3. "If you think that bowls or snooker do not have artistic elements,"
> writes Dr. Walker in response to my point that chess is an art in
> addition to being a sport "then you have clearly not studies [sic]
> either sport."
> Oh, heavens! The man is confusing catching a football pass, which
> also has "artistic elements," with art itself.

Far from it. I specified bowls and snooker [and could have
added croquet], not football. These sports are not "contact" sports
in which skill and artistry are fleeting incidents, but consist, like
chess, of each player setting problems for his opponent. The construction
of an end in bowls is a skilful process, with many of the same features
[though necessarily in fewer "moves"] as a game of chess -- an "opening"
in which the shape of the end is determined, a middle-game of positional
jockeying and attacks, and an ending in which, for example, the last
player may have to decide whether to attempt a subtle placement [with
precision needed, and often attained, to within 0.01% of length], or
a controlled weighted shot to disturb the end in a predictable way, or
a drive to "randomise" the position -- against which blockers and back-
markers are placed. Similarly, snooker is sufficiently artful that
some newspapers used to carry [and perhaps still do] snooker "problems",
just as they may carry chess puzzles.

> 4. More sports. Dr. Walker tells us that the Las Vegas lottery was
> structurally similar to world title events in other sports, but he tells
> us that horse racing with its system of handicapping is not a good
> analogy. Once again, why? My point was that once we admit the

> possibility of analogy between chess and darts, [...]

But no-one has claimed such an analogy. The analogy is not
between chess and darts but between the *organisations* responsible
for each activity and the *structure* of their world championships.
If bowls, snooker and darts, and other sports and pastimes, can
have knock-out events with an element of lottery to them, can find
that their best players usually win, but sometimes an outsider does,
and can find these events valid and enjoyable, then there is a case
that chess should at least not dismiss such events out of hand. I'm
not claiming that chess should accept them indiscriminately either;
the case needs arguing in the light of traditions, politics, money
and all the other models that we could choose from.

> [...] Part of the tradition of the


> British national championship is to have relatively weak holders.

This is a "tradition" that arose only recently, when economics
stopped most of the GMs from competing. There was a transition period
when the championship stopped containing all or most of the strongest
players, and for the first time some players won without coming ahead
of the top-ranked players. We bemoaned the devaluation, but without
ever suggesting that the event was a humiliation for the BCF or was
invalid. Of the players you mention, Combe and Fazekas and probably
Eley precede that transition. In those days, the winner was *usually*
someone like Penrose or Golombek or Alexander or Hartston or Keene,
with serious pretensions to being the top player; but upsets occurred.

> Too,
> Peter Coleman noted that the British championship has often been a
> Swiss system which increases risk. Perhaps, then, we shall in Dr.
> Walker's view look forward to a world champion selected on the basis of
> a nine or 11-round Swiss system.

I prefer that to *no* WC event. Look forward? No, I'm a
traditionalist. Chess-wise I would like to wind the clock back a
few decades. But we can't; we are stuck with the world as it is,
with the political and economic realities, and must make the best
of them. The traditional cycle is *dead*. It was kicked by KK1,
seriously wounded by K-S, had a last success in the rival cycles
of 1995, and has now collapsed with no recovery apparently possible.
Does anyone seriously dispute that? So we have to find a way
forward.

> The issue is whether Khalifman ought to be called the real world
> champion.

No, that is repugnant. The issue is whether Las Vegas ought
to be called the real world championship. If so, then Khalifman is
the real world champion, and we owe him the courtesy of undisputed
title until the next event, without denigrating his chess. If not,
then he has no title [other than that of winner of an interesting
tournament], and until some valid event *is* established we should
almost certainly regard the title as void.

Dann Corbit

unread,
Jan 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/25/00
to
"Dr A. N. Walker" <a...@maths.nott.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:388E037E...@maths.nott.ac.uk...
[snip]

> No, that is repugnant. The issue is whether Las Vegas ought
> to be called the real world championship. If so, then Khalifman is
> the real world champion, and we owe him the courtesy of undisputed
> title until the next event, without denigrating his chess. If not,
> then he has no title [other than that of winner of an interesting
> tournament], and until some valid event *is* established we should
> almost certainly regard the title as void.

If the "if not" branch of the above is chosen, then that means that FIDE is
not the sanctioning body for its members. Further, it means that Kenneth
Chamberlain is absolutely right. After all, if the sanctioning body does
not make the decisions about titles, then we are free to grant them as we so
choose. In such a case, Fischer is as logical a choice as any for world
champion. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

The "World Champion" is not necessarily the world's best chess player.
However, for that particular tournament, I think Khalifman was. He clearly
bested everyone who tried him. His marvelous performance should be spoken
of in glowing terms, instead of condemned as some sort of evil deed.
Kasparov is the best player in the world. Do we really think the title is
so important that we must denigrate the man Khalifman?

If we get to pick and choose, I suggest that Tina Long is now champion of
the world. Kasparov has *never* beaten her at chess. Not even once. That
choice is as valid as any other if we get to select "World Champion" by
whatever means we deem fit. If she does not want to accept the title (she
does seems a bit reluctant from time to time), then how about Pete Galatti?
At least he would be an amusing champion.

Peter Coleman

unread,
Jan 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/25/00
to
On Tue, 25 Jan 2000 18:34:50 +0000, "Dr A. N. Walker" <a...@maths.nott.ac.uk>
opined:

<snipppppp!>

> In a similar way, Kramnik, Adams, Shirov, Ivanchuk, Kamsky and
>others blew their chances at Las Vegas. Fine. Try again next year.
>Most years, one of them will win. If Kasparov plays, I guarantee that
>he will be hot favourite, and win or lose he will generate huge amounts
>of publicity and excitement.

I guess you're in one argument and I'm in another. I don't care who wins. I just
don't like the knockabout tournament. I don't like it because it doesn't produce
the best player. Or even one of the best. It produced a strong GMas champion,
but then it pretty well had to! Who else was playing?

*You* seem happy to dumb down the World Championship to even below the level of
the British Championship, which you correctly acknowledge rarely produces a
champion who is also the strongest player.

*I* would be happier if the British Championship was "improved" so that the best
player usually won. However I recognise that there are certain factors
mitigating against that, money for one and the annual nature of the competition
for another.

Money is also a reason why it would be difficult to go back to the format used
by FIDE prior to the current administration. However, FIDE made no effort to
find a format that would produce a worthy champion. And they made little effort
to ensure that the strongest players attended.

After the Las Vegas (the choice of the world's gambling capital seems *so*
apposite) farce I expect even more of the strongest players to not bother
playing at the next version.

PMG

unread,
Jan 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/25/00
to

Dann Corbit wrote:
>
> "Dr A. N. Walker" <a...@maths.nott.ac.uk> wrote in message
> news:388E037E...@maths.nott.ac.uk...
> [snip]

> > No, that is repugnant. The issue is whether Las Vegas ought
> > to be called the real world championship. If so, then Khalifman is
> > the real world champion, and we owe him the courtesy of undisputed
> > title until the next event, without denigrating his chess. If not,
> > then he has no title [other than that of winner of an interesting
> > tournament], and until some valid event *is* established we should
> > almost certainly regard the title as void.
>

> If the "if not" branch of the above is chosen, then that means that FIDE is
> not the sanctioning body for its members. Further, it means that Kenneth
> Chamberlain is absolutely right. After all, if the sanctioning body does
> not make the decisions about titles, then we are free to grant them as we so
> choose. In such a case, Fischer is as logical a choice as any for world
> champion. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
>
> The "World Champion" is not necessarily the world's best chess player.
> However, for that particular tournament, I think Khalifman was. He clearly
> bested everyone who tried him. His marvelous performance should be spoken
> of in glowing terms, instead of condemned as some sort of evil deed.
> Kasparov is the best player in the world. Do we really think the title is
> so important that we must denigrate the man Khalifman?
>
> If we get to pick and choose, I suggest that Tina Long is now champion of
> the world. Kasparov has *never* beaten her at chess. Not even once. That
> choice is as valid as any other if we get to select "World Champion" by
> whatever means we deem fit. If she does not want to accept the title (she
> does seems a bit reluctant from time to time), then how about Pete Galatti?
> At least he would be an amusing champion.
> --
> C-FAQ: http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
> "The C-FAQ Book" ISBN 0-201-84519-9
> C.A.P. Newsgroup http://www.dejanews.com/~c_a_p
> C.A.P. FAQ: ftp://38.168.214.175/pub/Chess%20Analysis%20Project%20FAQ.htm

Pete Galati is a stubborn bastard, doesn't play Chess very well at all,
and his webpage sucks: http://members.xoom.com/avochess/avochess.htm he
does however endorse Tina Long as the long reigning "World Champion"
because he likes her attitude and doesn't care what Sean thinks of her.

Pete

--
That's what they all say,
they all say d'oh... --Chief Wiggum

Dann Corbit

unread,
Jan 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/25/00
to
"Peter Coleman" <peterc...@ukonline.co.uk> wrote in message [snip]

> >The latest knockout thingie was clearly a silly farce. I won't argue
that
> >point. But it was no humiliation to Khalifman. It is a humiliation to
> >FIDE, of course, and also to anyone foolish enough to think that
Khalifman
> >ought to be humiliated for playing the best chess of his life and winning
an
> >enormous tournament.
>
> This is nonsense. The title of the thread was not mine, but it was clearly
about
> Khalifman's match with Leko, not Las Vegas. As you don't appear to
understand
> that very basic point then it's clearly beyond you to appreciate the
difference
> between the knockabout championships and those that preceded.

One of us is very short on mental horsepower in this regard. Why should he
be humiliated for losing to someone with a much higher ELO if it were not
for his "World Championship" title? His result was well within expectations
for an ELO difference of that size. The slams against Khalifman are due to
his victory -- anyone who says otherwise is a blithering idiot.

I know the difference between a knockout tournament and a long series of
matches like Fischer/Spassky.

I am rather impressed by your mental grasp of things.

DAVID GRANIK

unread,
Jan 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/25/00
to

Dr A. N. Walker wrote in message <388CA1E3...@maths.nott.ac.uk>...

>DAVID GRANIK wrote:
>> OK, so the candidates final match is nice, but not truly necessary.
The
>> player who wins the candidates tournament is apt to be quite strong in
any
>> case. Likewise, there would be no need to have 6 qualify from the Open. 2
>> would be sufficient,
>
> I suspect that players from just outside those seeded to the
>RR, say numbers 7 to 30 in the rating list, would feel that the chances
>of making the top 2 in a 1000-player open Swiss wouldn't justify the
>expense. That's why I assumed figures of 100 players qualifying or
>being seeded into the Swiss, with 6 going through. But, as I said, you
>can certainly juggle the numbers to make the most attractive format.
>
I wouldn't object to having 6 qualify from the Open Swiss, but such a
relatively large number would entail a bigger, longer (and grander) RR
tournament. I sypathize with the players ranked from 7 to 30, but lines have
to be drawn somewhere. And if chances to win the coveted 2 (or 4 or 6 )
spots in the RR candidates tournament are not so great, they can reasonably
be expected to finish **near** the top to pick up some reasonable prize
money from the Open tournament itself. In other words, not all who fail to
qualify need end up losers from the event.

>> [...[ By the way, why would 11


>> weeks of play over 6 months be such a problem?
>

> 11 weeks of play is three months, including travel, and you must
>also allow for preparation. If you want one of the top GMs to devote
>such a time to this event, it's going to be very expensive -- much more
>so than Las Vegas. And even if you do get the sponsorship, you probably
>won't be able to do this every year -- one of the problems with KK1 and
>its successors was precisely that the world's two strongest players were
>spending all their time playing against each other and missing out on all
>their other activities.
>

But the only way that a player would play the 11 weeks is if they were
continually successful, and kept qualifying for and progressing to the next
event in the WC Cycle. Thus, the sporting success they experience would
entail sigficant monetary earnings. There may be expenses, there may be
opportunity costs involved but the successful player is bound to come out
ahead. Of course there will be losers, but THEY have only invested the time
for 1 event--be it the Open or the RR tounrnament. Karpov and Kasparov did
quite well with their series of matches: they each ended up earning about
1/2 million $$ per match. What other chess activities could have netted them
as much money? [Aside from exhibiton matches with Deep Blue?]. Even during
the period of the 5 K-K matches, both players were able to find the time
to participate in tournaments or short non-title matches--not to mention the
chess Olympiads...

>> Do you mean the players? But most of them are NOT that highly paid
(the
>> lament of the professional chess player).
>

> But the top ones are. Oh, not by golf or lawyer standards, but
>quite nicely thank you very much. And even "weak" GMs earn a much
>better living, thanks to the German league and other events, than their
>counterparts of 30-odd years ago. Paying 100 of them to come for a
>week or two to Las Vegas [at an otherwise rather dead time of year] is
>bound to be much cheaper than the events you propose. But I'm not
>*opposed* to your idea -- it just needs to be costed out and sponsors
>convinced of its attractions.
>

Right, Las Vegas was immensely expensive, with big overhead
expenses--especially since the event ultimately lasted about a month. Using
structures already in place--such as a prestige RR tournament like Wijk aan
Zee or Linares, and utilizing a relatively inexpensive swiss System Open as
the Interzonal, the total costs of the WC Cycle might well even be less than
for the Las Vegas KO WC.

>> The Swiss and the RR aren't even for a chance at the
>> >title, but for a chance to play two more long matches for the title.
>> Precisely the point. That is the way the championship cycle ran
>> during FIDE's heyday.
>

> And, as the top rewards got better and better, it became harder
>and harder to arrange the matches. It's not impossible to arrange
>matches today -- indeed, matches are having something of a vogue. But
>the matches being arranged are attractive for some reason to a particular
>sponsor -- someone who wants to promote some young protege, typically.
>It's much harder to state in advance that a match is to be played between
>[say] Topolov and Akopian [to repeat the more-or-less random example I
>used before], find a sponsor, and come up with arrangements acceptable
>to all concerned. Even Kasparov vs Shirov/Anand, the two most exciting
>matches from "our" point of view that could be arranged, are proving
>difficult to impossible.
>

This is a troublesome concern. That is why I consider the
candidates' final match to be "on the table". It isn't strictly necessary,
since a very credible candidate is apt to emerge as winner of the RR
tournament anyhow. However, if sponsorship could be **locked-in*** before
the cycle commences, then it might be a good thing to hold a match. Surely,
if the players involved earn about $50 k each, they they will have little
cause to complain about events that they had to miss....

>> [...] Allow the sponsoring federation to select 1 player


>> to participate in the candidate's tournament (as a small bribe), and I'm
>> sure that Dutch or Spanish organizers would have few qualms about
converting
>> there marquee tournaments into a candidate's final. Linares practically
>> fills that role NOW, (as can be seen from the Shirov qualifiaction),
albeit
>> in an unofficial and ad hoc fashion.
>

> Many of us have some sympathy with that idea. But if Linares
>[which itself was in doubt this year] does have this *official* role,
>then the players at it will have to be "officially" qualified -- it
>won't be open to Sr Rentero to refuse entry to some GM he dislikes,
>nor to criticise players for agreeing draws, for example.
>

I agree with you wholeheartedly on this point. Rentero should never again
be allowed an active role in organizing official WC events.

Michael J Fitch

unread,
Jan 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/26/00
to
In article <388e10d6...@news.ukonline.co.uk>,
peterc...@ukonline.co.uk (Peter Coleman) wrote:
> On Tue, 25 Jan 2000 18:34:50 +0000, "Dr A. N. Walker"
<a...@maths.nott.ac.uk>
> opined:

((( SNIP )))

However, FIDE made no effort to find a format that would produce a
worthy champion. And they made little effort
> to ensure that the strongest players attended.
>
> After the Las Vegas (the choice of the world's gambling capital seems
*so*
> apposite) farce I expect even more of the strongest players to not
bother
> playing at the next version.
>

ARE YOU ON CRACK OR JUST IGNORANT.

20 OF THE TOP 25 PLAYERS IN THE WORLD PARTICIPATED.

7 OF THE TOP 10 PARTICIPATED,THE NUMBERS 2,3,6,7,8,9 AND 10.

KASPAROV #1 - ANAND #4 - MOROZEVICH #5 AND KARPOV #12 CHOOSE NOT TO
PARTICIPATE "THATS THEIR PROBLEM". SEIRAWAN #15 AT THE TIME DID NOT
QUALIFY.
WHAT'S FUNNY IS THAT THE ONLY PEOPLE COMPLAINING ARE PEOPLE NOT GOOD
ENOUGH TO MAKE IT / PLAY IN THE FIDE KO CHAMPIONSHIP AND ALSO NOT EVEN
GOOD ENOUGH TO CARRY KHALIFMAN'S CHESS SET.

--
Michael J Fitch
Once there were no Taxes,No police and no Crime
Women did all the work,Then the White man came along to improve things.
:-(((


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Peter Coleman

unread,
Jan 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/26/00
to
On Wed, 26 Jan 2000 02:54:29 GMT, Michael J Fitch <michae...@my-deja.com>
farted:

>ARE YOU ON CRACK OR JUST IGNORANT.
>
>20 OF THE TOP 25 PLAYERS IN THE WORLD PARTICIPATED.
>
>7 OF THE TOP 10 PARTICIPATED,THE NUMBERS 2,3,6,7,8,9 AND 10.
>
>KASPAROV #1 - ANAND #4 - MOROZEVICH #5 AND KARPOV #12 CHOOSE NOT TO
>PARTICIPATE "THATS THEIR PROBLEM". SEIRAWAN #15 AT THE TIME DID NOT
>QUALIFY.
>WHAT'S FUNNY IS THAT THE ONLY PEOPLE COMPLAINING ARE PEOPLE NOT GOOD
>ENOUGH TO MAKE IT / PLAY IN THE FIDE KO CHAMPIONSHIP AND ALSO NOT EVEN
>GOOD ENOUGH TO CARRY KHALIFMAN'S CHESS SET.

Empty vessels make the most noise.

Before you accuse others of ignorance you should get your facts straight. Just
exactly which grading list are you looking at?

(Of course grading lists is another thing FIDE can't do right)

>Once there were no Taxes,No police and no Crime
>Women did all the work,Then the White man came along to improve things.

BTW totally lame signature.

Peter Coleman

unread,
Jan 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/26/00
to
On Tue, 25 Jan 2000 19:26:56 -0800, "Dann Corbit" <dco...@solutionsiq.com>
blathered:

>One of us is very short on mental horsepower in this regard.

I'm glad you admit it.

> Why should he
>be humiliated for losing to someone with a much higher ELO if it were not
>for his "World Championship" title? His result was well within expectations
>for an ELO difference of that size.

The result was "within expectations"? Whose? It was clearly much worse in
percentage terms) than the ELO difference (73 points on the then current rating
list). But seeing as you've admitted your mental shortcomings I'm not surprised
you've got it wrong...

>The slams against Khalifman are due to
>his victory -- anyone who says otherwise is a blithering idiot.

His victory against Leko? Are you Eric Johnson's alter ego?

>I know the difference between a knockout tournament and a long series of
>matches like Fischer/Spassky.

Are you quite sure now?

>I am rather impressed by your mental grasp of things.

Not surprising given your own weak abilities.

Michael J Fitch

unread,
Jan 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/27/00
to
In article <388f60b9....@news.ukonline.co.uk>,
peterc...@ukonline.co.uk (Peter Coleman) wrote:
> On Wed, 26 Jan 2000 02:54:29 GMT, Michael J Fitch <michaeljfitch@my-
I got the (WCC) Grading/Rating list for club Kasparov during the FIDE
KO Championship and wrote them down in my notebook.Would you like me to
give the players name too?

Only a rascist white person who doesn't know the way the indians lived
could/would find my signature lame.Maybe for all you POLITICALLY
CORRECT PIECES OF SHIT I SHOULD HAVE SAID WOMEN DID "MOST OF THE WORK"
INSTEAD OF "ALL THE WORK".

--
Michael J Fitch


Once there were no Taxes,No police and no Crime
Women did all the work,Then the White man came along to improve things.

Looney

unread,
Jan 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/27/00
to
>From: Michael J Fitch
>
<<snnnnip>>

>Only a rascist white person who doesn't know the way the indians lived
>could/would find my signature lame.Maybe for all you POLITICALLY
>CORRECT PIECES... <<snnnnip>>

Quit shouting, dipwit. Either make your point or move on...

And I'm sorry, but your sig *is* lame. I'm white, and do know how the "Native
Americans" live. The mistreatment of the native population is egregious and
disheartening. Unfortunately, that does nothing to alleviate the inanity of
your sig. It's point is obvious and the execution is far less clever than a
remaindered bumper sticker...

Two wrongs don't make a right...

Anthony "Looney" Toohey
Yehoota on chess.net/FICS/Yahoo
_______________________________
If I see one more quote of that stupid
bathing gnat drowning elephant thing...

Michael J Fitch

unread,
Jan 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/27/00
to

>
> Anthony "Looney" Toohey
> Yehoota on chess.net/FICS/Yahoo
> _______________________________
> If I see one more quote of that stupid
> bathing gnat drowning elephant thing...
>

YOU HAVE A LOT OF NERVE SAYING MY SIGNATURE IS LAME,LOOK AT YOURS
" LOONEY " AND ALWAYS THIS GNAT AND ELEPHANT CRAP HEHEHE :-)))

PS: I'LL ((( SHOUT ))) AS LONG AND AS ((( LOUD ))) AS I DAMN WELL PLEASE
GOT IT DIPWIT

Dr A. N. Walker

unread,
Jan 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/27/00
to
Peter Coleman wrote:
> I guess you're in one argument and I'm in another. I don't care who wins. I just
> don't like the knockabout tournament.

That is, of course, your prerogative. Initially, I was of the
same view. But the actual events of Groningen and Las Vegas changed
my mind. On the other hand, FIDE really doesn't care what *we* think;
FIDE will respond only to the wishes of (a) the top [-ish] players, (b)
the national federations, and (c) the sponsors. Of those, the players
and federations will follow the money, and the sponsors have their own
agendas [which are unlikely to refer to the likes of us]. FWIW, my
*impression* [others may have more direct information] is that, apart
from the payment problems with Las Vegas, the players rather enjoyed
the knockabouts, even when they themselves got knocked about.

> I don't like it because it doesn't produce
> the best player. Or even one of the best. It produced a strong GMas champion,

We've had two events. One won by Anand [ignoring the Karpov
play-off], with other top players in contention right through to the
final [and some upsets]; the other won by Khalifman, with the "best"
players committing suicide in turn. If the next event [if there is
one!] is won by a total outsider defeating an IM in the final, then
you will have proved your point; but I expect it to be more like
Groningen.

> but then it pretty well had to! Who else was playing?

Down the bottom end, quite a lot were. One of the *good*
things about these events is that there were zonals, from which some
interesting players emerged from parts of the world where we need to
encourage chess.

> *You* seem happy to dumb down the World Championship to even below the level of
> the British Championship, which you correctly acknowledge rarely produces a
> champion who is also the strongest player.

People keep accusing me of happiness! Far from it. But we
are now five years away from any sort of traditional cycle, and a
decade away from the two top-rated players of the era facing each
other for the title. The traditional three-year cycle is dead. And
we should face the fact that for the general public -- which means
the typical sponsor -- watching two Russian GMs sit almost perfectly
still for several hours while they make a move every 5 minutes or so,
followed by a flurry of moves up to the time control, followed by the
announcement that they have agreed a draw and that the score is now
+3 -2 =12 with a match result expected in a month or so, ranks below
watching paint dry. We have to find ways [possibly along the lines
suggested by others] of making the event more "interesting", which
inevitably [IMHO] means shorter time scales, intermediate results,
players with human interest aspects, and a chance of upsets. Call
it dumbing down if you like, but it's a dumbing down that many other
sporting activities have adjusted to more happily than chess.

You are also being unfair to the British Championship. The
best player *playing* often wins; and the person who plays best in
the event nearly always wins. The problem is rather that the best
players in the UK are no longer prepared to play for peanuts.

> *I* would be happier if the British Championship was "improved" so that the best
> player usually won. However I recognise that there are certain factors
> mitigating against that, money for one and the annual nature of the competition
> for another.

Nothing wrong with an annual competition. Rather we should
worry that a three-year [or worse!] cycle simply doesn't give a top
player enough chances to compete. It was different in the leisured
eras up to, say, 1970.

> After the Las Vegas (the choice of the world's gambling capital seems *so*
> apposite) farce I expect even more of the strongest players to not bother
> playing at the next version.

They will follow the money, you can be sure of that.

Peter Coleman

unread,
Jan 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/27/00
to
On Thu, 27 Jan 2000 04:15:57 GMT, Michael J Fitch <michae...@my-deja.com>
gibbered:

>I got the (WCC) Grading/Rating list for club Kasparov during the FIDE
>KO Championship and wrote them down in my notebook.Would you like me to
>give the players name too?

You used the WCC rating list for the FIDE championship??? Hehehe.

>Only a rascist white person who doesn't know the way the indians lived
>could/would find my signature lame.Maybe for all you POLITICALLY

>CORRECT PIECES OF SHIT I SHOULD HAVE SAID WOMEN DID "MOST OF THE WORK"
>INSTEAD OF "ALL THE WORK".

On second thoughts your sig is completely apposite - it neatly encapsulates your
stunning intellect and perspicaceous reasoning in one handy package.

Peter Coleman

unread,
Jan 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/27/00
to
On Thu, 27 Jan 2000 18:12:04 +0000, "Dr A. N. Walker" <a...@maths.nott.ac.uk>
opined:

> On the other hand, FIDE really doesn't care what *we* think;

Of course. As long as the corrupt and weak national federations allow a mass
murderer to run it that's the least of FIDE's problems.

>FIDE will respond only to the wishes of (a) the top [-ish] players, (b)
>the national federations, and (c) the sponsors. Of those, the players
>and federations will follow the money, and the sponsors have their own
>agendas [which are unlikely to refer to the likes of us]. FWIW, my
>*impression* [others may have more direct information] is that, apart
>from the payment problems with Las Vegas, the players rather enjoyed
>the knockabouts, even when they themselves got knocked about.

You're wrong there. FIDE takes very little notice of anyone at all.

> We've had two events. One won by Anand [ignoring the Karpov
>play-off], with other top players in contention right through to the
>final [and some upsets]; the other won by Khalifman, with the "best"
>players committing suicide in turn. If the next event [if there is
>one!] is won by a total outsider defeating an IM in the final, then
>you will have proved your point; but I expect it to be more like
>Groningen.

We've had two tournaments with completely different results. Guessing what will
happen in a third is surely no more than crystal ball gazing.

> People keep accusing me of happiness! Far from it. But we
>are now five years away from any sort of traditional cycle, and a
>decade away from the two top-rated players of the era facing each
>other for the title. The traditional three-year cycle is dead. And
>we should face the fact that for the general public -- which means
>the typical sponsor -- watching two Russian GMs sit almost perfectly
>still for several hours while they make a move every 5 minutes or so,
>followed by a flurry of moves up to the time control, followed by the
>announcement that they have agreed a draw and that the score is now
>+3 -2 =12 with a match result expected in a month or so, ranks below
>watching paint dry. We have to find ways [possibly along the lines
>suggested by others] of making the event more "interesting", which
>inevitably [IMHO] means shorter time scales, intermediate results,
>players with human interest aspects, and a chance of upsets. Call
>it dumbing down if you like, but it's a dumbing down that many other
>sporting activities have adjusted to more happily than chess.

Actually where there has been dumbing down most of the "real" fans complain.
Most of the dumbing down has been for TV. Is that the case with FIDE?

> You are also being unfair to the British Championship. The
>best player *playing* often wins; and the person who plays best in
>the event nearly always wins.

Often the best player playing doesn't win. Sometimes even the player playing the
best doesn't win. Same facts, different interpretation.

> The problem is rather that the best
>players in the UK are no longer prepared to play for peanuts.

The money has never been good. What has changed is the ability of the top
British players to earn better money elsewhere.

> Nothing wrong with an annual competition. Rather we should
>worry that a three-year [or worse!] cycle simply doesn't give a top
>player enough chances to compete. It was different in the leisured
>eras up to, say, 1970.

Didn't say there was anything wrong with it. It's the nature of the competition.

Todd Durham

unread,
Jan 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/27/00
to

Michael J Fitch blathered on with:

[snip]

> Only a rascist white person who doesn't know the way the indians lived
> could/would find my signature lame.

Are you referring perhaps to the Aztecs? Are you familiar with how it came
to pass that Cortez conquered them? And the Incas ran a real fun little
empire with its own charming habits. And some of those Plains Indians
tribes also had some real fun habits.

Oh, and don't forget how in tune with Nature the Indians were. Check out
their record on extinction of native North American large mammal species
after crossing the land bridge some 10,000 years or so ago.

Clearly, they were a supperior set of cultures. Or do you not know that the
were a vast number of very different cultures here before the Europeans
came?

Todd

[snip -- OR PERHAPS THAT SHOULD BE SNIP!!!!!]


Michael J Fitch

unread,
Jan 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/28/00
to


((( SNIP )))

> On second thoughts your sig is completely apposite - it neatly
encapsulates your
> stunning intellect and perspicaceous reasoning in one handy package.
>

Thank you for these kind words. HAHAHA LOL LOL LOL HEHEHE LMAO LMAO
LMAO :-))) :-))) :-)))

It should be PERSPICACIOUS "i" not "e"

Larry Parr

unread,
Jan 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/28/00
to
<<The players rather enjoyed the knockabouts [in Las Vegas]. -- Dr. Walker

"Alas, Ilyumzhinov calls the shots and dictates to top players instead of
consulting with them. A majority of America's competitors interviewed in
Chess Life last September said they didn't consider the winner of the
Las Vegas lottery to be world champ; they went for the money. A Khalifman-
Kasparov unification match, which ends in the expected result, could deal
a fatal blow to FIDE's control of the title. If Khalifman played, FIDE
would erase him from its records.

"I think the Wimbledon-style format is preferable to a lengthy candidates
cycle, but it should be used to find a challenger who then faces the
sitting champion in a real test of skill. FIDE should invite, say, 32
instead of 100 players to allow time for longer preliminary matches."

-- Larry Evans On Chess (Chess Life, January 2000).
--
Larry Parr

Looney

unread,
Jan 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/28/00
to
>From: Michael J Fitch michae...@my-deja.com

>> Anthony "Looney" Toohey
>> Yehoota on chess.net/FICS/Yahoo
>> _______________________________
>> If I see one more quote of that stupid
>> bathing gnat drowning elephant thing...
>>
>
>YOU HAVE A LOT OF NERVE SAYING MY SIGNATURE IS LAME,LOOK AT YOURS

I have. It's a basic statement of dislike for an overused quote. Yours is an
offensive and poorly executed stab at humor... Oh, and yes, I do have quite a
lot of nerve. Comes in handy with the last few minutes ticking off the
clock...

>" LOONEY " AND ALWAYS THIS GNAT AND ELEPHANT CRAP HEHEHE :-)))

Oh, that was funny... You are a dipwit.


>
>PS: I'LL ((( SHOUT ))) AS LONG AND AS ((( LOUD ))) AS I DAMN WELL PLEASE

No kidding. I'm shocked. Every ass has the right to assert his assness, so
feel free.

> GOT IT DIPWIT

That's original... You so admire me that you mimic my pejorative. That's
nice.

Michael J Fitch

unread,
Jan 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/28/00
to
In article <38911751...@gator.net>,

Todd Durham <sp...@gator.net> wrote:
>
>
> Michael J Fitch blathered on with:
>
> [snip]
>
> > Only a rascist white person who doesn't know the way the indians
lived
> > could/would find my signature lame.
>
> Are you referring perhaps to the Aztecs? Are you familiar with how it
came
> to pass that Cortez conquered them? And the Incas ran a real fun
little
> empire with its own charming habits. And some of those Plains Indians
> tribes also had some real fun habits.

((( Yes ))) Montezuma thought the Spaniard's were GOD'S especially
when hiding on their horse's,The aztec's should have killed Cort'es and
the rest.Hindsight 20/20.

And what did these great Spanish people bring to the Aztec'people.Small
pox,Tuberculousis and other decease's that killed more people Quicker
than the Aztec people ever thought possible.

> Oh, and don't forget how in tune with Nature the Indians were. Check
out
> their record on extinction of native North American large mammal
species
> after crossing the land bridge some 10,000 years or so ago.
>

10,000 years ago ((( HAHAHAHA ))) Damn Maybe i should add a more
recent date to my Signature and this arguement :-)))

> Clearly, they were a supperior set of cultures.

> Todd

((( SNIP )))

There it is,the white man favorite rascist saying SUPPERIOR CULTURE.Can
you bring yourself to say "DIFFERENT CULTURE" and do you know what
this DAMN word means " DIFFERENT ".

You should be completely honest with yourself.What is,always has been
and always will be the most destructive race of people? Last Question

Larry Parr

unread,
Jan 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/28/00
to
DR. WALKER'S ARGUMENTS

Dr. A. Walker has been refining his arguments on behalf of his
position: Alexander Khalifman ought to be regarded as the real world
champion (or, if you will, Las Vegas ought to be regarded as a real
world championship). If he is not trying to make these points, then he
has been making no point of any kind.

Khalifman is being touted as world champion by FIDE and by Dr.
Walker based on a dumbed down tournament filled with two-game mini-
matches in which he scored +7 -4 =9 against 2637-rated competition.
The CLAIM made on Khalifman's behalf by FIDE has been widely treated
as absurd and as an insult to 13 great champions before him.

Dr. Walker then brought up apparently artful darts and snooker
(more on this subject later). His fallacies became more subtle,
though he did lapse badly when gasconading about how people would view
Khalifman's performance differently if he had scored +22 -0 =0 against
2700-plus competition. My response was that OF COURSE we would regard
it diffferently. The whole dang world would regard it differently,
including Kasparov himself. That is the real world. But Dr. Walker
dismisses the real world, arguing instead that we must view the title
within the bureaucratic strictures laid down by FIDE. Khalifman did
what FIDE required to become its world champion, and all of us should
therefore think of him as world champion.

BELITTLING KHALIFMAN?

In his posting of January 25 Dr. Walker has retreated to his corner
and has taken to screaming about people "belittling" Khalifman or his chess.

A little history here. Dr. Walker began this thread accusing me of
personally attacking Khalifman. I challenged him to list a single insult.
He blathered a bit and has now shifted ground significantly.

Here is what he now writes: "Belittling his [Khalifmans] chess
is a personal attack [belittling a writer's book in a review is a
personal attack?] and it does not advance your case." Dr. Walker writes
that "personal attacks and attacks on his person" are not the same thing.

Having spent time under the tutelage of Jesuits, I like a
distinction as much or more than any man. Dr. Walker is here admitting
that I never attacked Khalifman's person but monetheless engaged in
"personal attacks." What are they?

I belittled his chess? Where? Show me, Dr. Walker.

What I did was belittle the CLAIM made by FIDE on behalf of
Khalifman that he is the rightful world champion because of victory in
the Las Vegas lottery. He does not play the chess of a traditional
world champion. That's a fact. Instead, he plays like an authentic and
strong grandmaster. Will Dr. Walker again transmogrify this statement
of fact into a personal attack? It's not. Indeed, it's obviously not.

"If your sneers at Khalifman's chess are *REAL LIFE*, then it's a

tabloid real life." Yet another false charge with absolutely no
backing. Dr. Walker can provide no sneers directed at Khalifman's chess
because I have written none. I did sneer at the idea that FIDE and a
few others should tout him as the real world champion instead of the
FIDE world champion. The false CLAIM is the object of sneering, not
Khalifman's perfectly respectable, though not world-title level, chess.

Continues Dr. Walker, "But for me, the preposterous notion is that


Las Vegas should be deemed invalid *because* Khalifman won it rather

than a more highly-regarded player." Yet another silly strawman.

A CRISIS OF LEGITIMACY

Nobody deemed Las Vegas invalid because Khalifman won; it was deemed
invalid by most chess players because the format was ludicrous and the
winner not of the world title class. Once again, other possible victors
such as Kramnik or Shirov would also have faced a crisis of legitimacy.
But this crisis would not have been so great; and yes, IF Khalifman had
scored +22 -0 =0 against 2700-plus competition (to use Dr. Walker's
puerile example) his crisis of would not be so debilitating. Once
again, that is REAL LIFE, Dr. Walker.

I wonder if even Jerry Bibuld or Eric "FIDE All the Way" Johnson
would deny that if Khalifman had scored +22 -0 =0 against 2700-plus
competition, he would enjoy greater legitimacy.

"Feel free to criticise Las Vegas as a valid contest for the world

champion," Dr. Walker continues with his strawman, "but please base your


criticism on the nature of the event, not on the player who happened to
win it fair and square."

The truth is that the criticism of this writer and others has
been virtually exclusively directed toward "the nature of the event"
in Las Vegas. No one has written about Khalifman's person except, as
in my case, to compare him favorably to Kasparov; no one has attacked
Khalifman personally (to observe Dr. Walker's distinction without a
difference); and no one has belittled his chess (the attack is strictly
on the CLAIM made on behalf of that chess, namely that Khalifman is
the real world champion).

To say that Khalifman does not play world-title chess and that he
scored 25% against 20-year-old Peter Leko is not to "belittle" the
man's chess or to engage in a personal attack. It is to DESCRIBE the
status of Khalifman's chess and his result against Leko.

ART, SNOOKER, DARTS, AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Dr. Walker has worked himself into arguing that darts and snooker are
arts because they can be aesthetically pleasing and contain considerable
amounts of artifice, while others would extend this analogy to include a
diving catch in American football or a clean left hook (e.g., Sugar
Ray's famous one punch KO of Gene Fullmer).

I'm sorry. There are indeed expansive definitions of art that
include anything and everything. Readers must decide whether darts and
snooker really compare with chess and its voluminous literature as an

art form. My view is that chess itself is merely a minor art and that
the kind of physical dexterity involved in snooker, darts, American
football and boxing creates aesthetically pleasing effects rather than art.

Art requires considerable amounts of artifice. Dr. Walker and I
will have to disagree about whether darts and snooker qualify.

THOSE UNANALOGOUS ANALOGIES

Dr. Walker has been tossing out analogies which, in my view, are
ludicrous. The idea that we ought to dumb down our world title affairs
because certain sports have done so strikes me as deeply demeaning to
the art of chess. All along I have said that we ought to be talking
instead about what kind of title arrangements will work well for chess.

Still, I have played Dr. Walker's game, dragging in the analogy of
horse-racing with its handicapping for the purpose of making betting
possible. Dr. Walker objected to my analogy, just as I object to his.

The point here is that once you open the door to this kind of
sloppy thinking by analogy, you make all kinds of absurdities both
possible and, over a period of time, probable.

Dr. Walker keeps saying that a traditional match is dead based on
the experience of the last three years. He is a guy in a hurry to inter
the traditional meritocratic champion. I believe that Kasparov will
play a well-funded title match in the year 2000, and if I am proven
correct, then one assumes that Dr. Walker will change his views once
again. But I actually think not.

The traditional world title match has, in the main, been the most
successful ambassador for chess. Any of Kasparov's matches produced
several times the publicity generated by the Las Vegas lottery. Dr.
Walker keeps saying that people were hanging on every game in Las Vegas,
and some undoubtedly were. But the world at large tuned out. Not a
single wire service sent a reporter. One of us is living on another
planet as Dr. Walker has noted. If the readers of this forum believe
that Las Vegas generated equivalent publicity to a traditional match,
then they will believe that I am the Martian; if readers of this
forum believe that in comparison with K's matches, Las Vegas was ignored
by the world press, then Dr. Walker is the guy marooned on the red planet.

THE REAL ISSUE

When I said the issue is whether Khalifman deserves to be called
the real world champion, Dr. Walker replied, "No, that is repugnant. The


issue is whether Las Vegas ought to be called the real world championship."

One's head aches. Khalifman won in Las Vegas (more of the real
world stuff) and if that event is the "real world championship" then
he is the real world champion. Conversely, if Khalifman is not the
real champion, then the Las Vegas lottery was offering a cheese title.

THE IDEAL SYSTEM


The ideal title system would be a candidates cycle organized by a new
world chess federation that operates according to a rule of law. The
old political class, which has so damaged the reputation of chess, must go.

Garry Kasparov is a real world champion. He has all the
attributes of a great champion, and he has a title based on
organizational sanction. Alexander Khalifman is the FIDE world
champion. He has none (not one) of the attributes of a traditional
world champion, and he has a title based on organizational sanction.
Kasparov's sanction comes from his chess alphabet soup of the moment;
Khalifman's sanction comes from a corrupt organization headed by a
brutal dictator.

If I have a choice between an Alekhine-style champion who picks his
opponents and a radically dumbed down world champion based on FIDE's
chess perspiration of the moment, then I will take the former. Not
because I like the ancien regime but because in a choice between two
evils, I will take the lesser.

--
Larry Parr

Todd Durham

unread,
Jan 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/28/00
to

Michael J Fitch wrote:

> In article <38911751...@gator.net>,
> Todd Durham <sp...@gator.net> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Michael J Fitch blathered on with:
> >
> > [snip]
> >
> > > Only a rascist white person who doesn't know the way the indians
> lived
> > > could/would find my signature lame.
> >
> > Are you referring perhaps to the Aztecs? Are you familiar with how it
> came
> > to pass that Cortez conquered them? And the Incas ran a real fun
> little
> > empire with its own charming habits. And some of those Plains Indians
> > tribes also had some real fun habits.
>
> ((( Yes ))) Montezuma thought the Spaniard's were GOD'S especially
> when hiding on their horse's,The aztec's should have killed Cort'es and
> the rest.Hindsight 20/20.

So you should have answered "NO." Contrary to popular myth, the Aztecs and
the tribes that paid them tribute (The Aztecs ran a rather brutal empire,
but you didn't know that, did you?) did NOT think the Spaniards were gods.
It's hard to imagine that the Spaniards in their armor (made of either
steel or iron) were anywhere near as impressive as the Aztecs were dressed
out in all of gold that the Aztecs had in great abundance. You must not
have any respect for Aztecs if you think they were so easily fooled.

But Cortez won because the Aztecs were running a crealy old empire that had
created a lot of animosity towards the Aztecs from the tribes that they
were subjugating. But you probably only know the history you were taught in
grade school, right?


> And what did these great Spanish people bring to the Aztec'people.Small
> pox,Tuberculousis and other decease's that killed more people Quicker
> than the Aztec people ever thought possible.

So you're saying the Spaniards ran an organized bio-warfare campaign? I
wonder how much they spent on R&D....


> > Oh, and don't forget how in tune with Nature the Indians were. Check
> out
> > their record on extinction of native North American large mammal
> species
> > after crossing the land bridge some 10,000 years or so ago.
> >
>
> 10,000 years ago ((( HAHAHAHA ))) Damn Maybe i should add a more
> recent date to my Signature and this arguement :-)))

The point is this: Indigenous cultures are still human cultures, and
everywhere humans have gone, they have brought massive environmental
damage. Talking about how wonderfully attuned to the environment a
population of people is AFTER they've wiped out all of the large indigenous
animals and settled into living a calm existence with the foreign animals
they've introduced into a habitat is short-sighted at best, and gross
stupidity at worst.

>
>
> > Clearly, they were a supperior set of cultures.
> > Todd
>
> ((( SNIP )))
>
> There it is,the white man favorite rascist saying SUPPERIOR CULTURE.Can
> you bring yourself to say "DIFFERENT CULTURE" and do you know what
> this DAMN word means " DIFFERENT ".

Yes. But I'm not the one with the sarcastic sig file that implies that all
things European are bad, and all things Native American are good.


> You should be completely honest with yourself.What is,always has been
> and always will be the most destructive race of people? Last Question

Must be whitey. None of the non-white people have EVER done anything bad,
have they? Just all a bunch of innocents running naked in the wild.

Did you know that all of the people except for Lott and his family in Sodom
and Gemmorah were white people? And Genghis Khan was a white man, too. I
bet the Pharoahs were all white guys. Idi Amin? Also a white guy. You know,
Michael, I'm starting to see your point....

Todd


Paul Onstad

unread,
Jan 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/28/00
to
Todd Durham wrote:

> Oh, and don't forget how in tune with Nature the Indians were. Check out
> their record on extinction of native North American large mammal species
> after crossing the land bridge some 10,000 years or so ago.

Ummm? Might ask the buffalo, antelope, bears, cougars, etc. which regime
they would rather live under.

If you have a spot, go after your adversary's speck.

-Paul

Dr A. N. Walker

unread,
Jan 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/28/00
to
Larry Parr wrote:
> <<The players rather enjoyed the knockabouts [in Las Vegas]. -- Dr. Walker

No doubt that categorical assurance will come to be quoted back
at me in Larry's further articles. Anyone who cares to know what I
actually wrote would do better to read my version, in article
<38908A74...@maths.nott.ac.uk>, where it was rather clearer that
this was my *impression* of *both* events, excluding the money worries
at LV. Not desperately important, but if only Larry would adopt the
usual Usenet quoting conventions, it would make his articles much more
reliable.

Anyway, it is good to see that the two Larry's do not always
see eye-to=eye, and that LarryP is honest enough to quote [if he is
quoting] LarryE even when they differ.

> "Alas, Ilyumzhinov calls the shots and dictates to top players instead of
> consulting with them. A majority of America's competitors interviewed in
> Chess Life last September said they didn't consider the winner of the
> Las Vegas lottery to be world champ;

LarryE is much more circumspect than LarryP, who seemed to quote
with approval Gulko's view that "practically all leading players around
the world" didn't consider LV to be "the real world championship". Of
course, since September, some leading players have claimed that they
did indeed believe they were playing for the title.

> they went for the money.

That's fine, but it might have been interestingly honest if
they had refused to participate under false pretences.

> A Khalifman-
> Kasparov unification match, which ends in the expected result, could deal
> a fatal blow to FIDE's control of the title. If Khalifman played, FIDE
> would erase him from its records.

That seems very unlikely. It is always open to Khalifman to
play a match against Kasparov on whatever terms thay can agree, but if
the title is under FIDE's control, then Khalifman cannot put it on the
line except with FIDE's consent.

> "I think the Wimbledon-style format is preferable to a lengthy candidates
> cycle,

Oh dear, LarryE has used the W word! Doubtless LarryP has
already written complaining that LarryE should have used the analogy
with horse-racing instead. Anyway, LarryE apparently regards an
annual knockabout as not merely the best of a bad job, but actually
an improvement on the old system, thereby at a stroke establishing
himself as more FIDEist than any contributors here.

> but it should be used to find a challenger who then faces the
> sitting champion in a real test of skill.

This is also EricJ's proposal, and a reversion from Las Vegas
to Groningen. It has serious merits, but also two major problems.
The first is that it amounts to giving the sitting champion a bye into
the final, which was heavily criticised when the beneficiary was
Karpov [apart from the extra criticism of having Lausanne follow on
immediately from Groningen]. The other is the possibility of the
"real test of skill" not coming to pass. If you have the WC match
arrangements firmed up before the KO, then any sponsor is buying a
pig in a poke -- he might be hoping for Anand or Shirov to qualify
to play Kasparov, but he might get Khalifman or Akopian, with very
different interest levels in [for example] India. If you leave it
until after the KO, how do you force the players into agreement?

> FIDE should invite, say, 32
> instead of 100 players to allow time for longer preliminary matches."

Note that 100 players == 7 rounds, 32 players == 5 rounds, so
you're saving only 6 playing days, and won't get *much* longer matches.
Snooker runs with 32 players [half seeded, half qualifiers from a
long series of preliminaries, IIRC], tennis mostly with 128. The only
problem I have with 32 is that it seriously reduces the scope for
zonal qualifiers from well outside the usual group of top GMs --
I thought it was a very good thing that Las Vegas and Groningen gave
chances to relatively unknown IMs from Africa and Asia to be part
of the scene at the highest level.

> -- Larry Evans On Chess (Chess Life, January 2000).

Entirely off-topic, but one of the most formative books of
my chess development was Larry's book "New Ideas in Chess". I liked
that book, and have always been disappointed with his image on this
group as LarryP's rather grumpy twin.

Peter Coleman

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Jan 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/28/00
to
On Fri, 28 Jan 2000 03:05:37 GMT, Michael J Fitch <michae...@my-deja.com>
gloated:

>It should be PERSPICACIOUS "i" not "e"

Now you've finally made a schoolboy point, I hope you're satisfied.

OTOH you're probably so sad that you'll want to have the last post.

Feel free.

Peter Coleman

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Jan 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/28/00
to
On Fri, 28 Jan 2000 15:47:19 GMT, Paul Onstad <pon...@sihope.com> opined:

This argument has all gotten a bit silly.

What is the real reason that more species have been killed off (relatively
speaking) in recent times?

Tech