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Wesley So vs Vladimir Kramnik
Gashimov Memorial (2017), Shamkir AZE, rd 5, Apr-25
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Neo Catalan Declined (A14)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <ChessHigherCat: <Sir Ruthless> Isn't it scary how Hollywood has the power to rewrite history and you never hear the slightest criticism in any of the reviews? I think pure fantasy is fine and pure history is fine, but making a "historical" movie that's nothing but lies is kind of sinister, although I admit I enjoyed it anyway.>

There will always be gullible people who naively gobble the story of a Hollywood movie and the recent competitor: fake news. It's not even uncommon that such people seek advice by an actor, who incidentally has played a clever doctor in a series - or get mad at an actor who has played a bad guy. But people with a healthy, independent mind and a wide knowledge would always watch a historical movie with a grain of salt. Movies like the classics Ben Hur, Cleopatra and Spartacus were very far from reality, but if one makes the natural reservation, one can enjoy them for what they are: pure, well-made fiction.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Hi Geoff, LOL - forgot about Troy - indeed one of the craziest "based on" Hollywood interpretations of myths from the Antiquity. There have also been a few colourful versions of the Odyssey.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <Marmot, I don't think the 20-years makes much of a difference in this case. Both Kramnik & So are both presently 2800+ so it was a good match either way.>

Kramnik remains a great player but after four hard days the last thing he wanted to see is a strong younger player who is out to win and has the white pieces.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Hi <Sally Simpon> and <Sokrates>, Those are good points but Homeric legends are just legends by definition and there's no reliable source to ignore, so they're fair game, but "Gladiator" deliberately ignored the many sources to make Rome palatable to the far-right, prudish, family values "New Republicans". Maximums/Crowe is a patriotic, faithful family man, an excellent solider who just wants to go home to his wife and kids like George Washington/Cincinnatus. He obviously has "healthy religious instincts" but hasn't been exposed to Christianity (yet). Commodus embodies everything evil in the eyes of the New Republicans: non-military (in the scene where he strangles his father, he says, "Okay, father, I know you like Maximus better than me because he has masculine values, he's a great soldier, but I have my virtues, too: I can cut out paper-dollies, do my nails...I'm excellent with interiors..." Anyway, plot manipulation to cut the story down to manageable size I can deal with, but this kind of "spin-doctoring" for the sake of giving the audience what it wants, that's what I find objectionable.
Apr-26-17  paavoh: <I happily played both sides of the Catalan with excellent results without ever understanding it. Perhaps no other opening is so much harder to play than it appears. Fortunately, my opponents usually felt even more baffled.>

Glad to see others are feeling the same way. Always admired the top players essaying the Catalan, but never really "saw the light" myself.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Played Catalan for some time and hardly ever lost, but also didn't win enough to make it worthwhile for me to play in short tournaments where wins are important.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi ChessHigher Cat.

"...this kind of "spin-doctoring" for the sake of giving the audience what it wants, "

They felt the audience would be cheated if Paris and Helen did not get away together. They wanted a happy ending.

Back to the Chess

Tiger Hillarp-Persson (that's a made Hollywood name if ever I saw one.)

Notes up this game in easy to understand lyrics.

He has spotted a shot that would have won quicker. (White, Wes So, to play)

click for larger view

****** Spoiler Alert - The Solution is coming ******





Being honest I quickly looked at this (there is a Nh6+ if Qxf7 cheapo - I don't miss those.) but could see no serious follow up if Kxf7..

Now looking at it White has Qxc7+ the e6 Knight is pinned. (I'm claiming my eye turned that a2 Bishop into a pawn.)

click for larger view

39. Rxf7 Kxf7
40. Qxc7+ Kf6

click for larger view

If the King had gone back to g8 then Nd4.

41. Qxc6 gxf5

42. exf5 .....

click for larger view

And there is a big trade off on e6 leaving White two pawns up or...

42... Kxf5 43. Bxe6+ Rxe6 44. Qf3+ Black loses the Queen.

click for larger view

There are other variations but that is the gist of it.

Link to Tiger's Notes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Hi, <ChessHigherCat>. I think all of us essentially agree with each other. Of course, a distinction between myths and scientifically registred history should be made, and the latter rightfully requiere more approximaty to the actual historical events. But even so, many events in history are subject to divergent opinions and interpretations from professional historians. That said, there are some indisputable facts and one should not be silent about them when they are severely violated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <SallyS> tiger makes an extensive comment about Black's 24th move (which I mistakenly identified as move 27 in my previous post).

But I think his analysis is a bit facile in identifying Black's options as unplayable. I really think Black can maintain equality with proper play by activating the Q-side at move 24.


Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Hi <Sokrates: there are some indisputable facts and one should not be silent about them when they are severely violated.>

Tell that to my wife, she just makes everything up as she goes along and if I dare to remind her of what really happened her universal refutation is "el hocico!" ([hold your] snout!]. But if you're really Socrates you've probaby had similar experiences with Xanthippe!

<Sally Simpson> Thanks for the analysis and link to Tiger's notes. I remember seeing one of his really wild games on cg and I read he's from Scandanivia, so I called him the master of the Viking Attack :-)

Apr-26-17  Amulet: <gokusano: Ok lang yan vlad, meron pang next time. Just take it as a learning experience for you. Remember, defeat will make you stronger. Bawi nalang next time.>

Tama yan, making ka kay <ugok>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ChessHigherCat>

< I agree that the real Commodus was a psycho scumbag, too, but he was an extremely powerful macho warrior type (at least according to Gibbons, check out the link) whereas the character in the film was totally effeminate and whiny>

He's portrayed as physically strong and skilled -- check out the scene of him drilling early on.

And why exactly do you think Commodus' fights with animals, slaves, and the condemned were conducted fairly? Gibbon is not so naive.

<In all these exhibitions, the securest precautions were used to protect the person of the Roman Hercules from the desperate spring of any savage, who might possibly disregard the dignity of the emperor and the sanctity of the god. ^>

<[Commodus] chose the habit and arms of the Secutor, whose combat with the Retiarius formed one of the most lively scenes in the bloody sports of the amphitheatre. The Secutor was armed with a helmet, sword, and buckler; his naked antagonist had only a large net and a trident; with the one he endeavored to entangle, with the other to despatch his enemy. If he missed the first throw, he was obliged to fly from the pursuit of the Secutor, till he had prepared his net for a second cast. The emperor fought in this character seven hundred and thirty-five several times. These glorious achievements were carefully recorded in the public acts of the empire; and that he might omit no circumstance of infamy, he received from the common fund of gladiators a stipend so exorbitant that it became a new and most ignominious tax upon the Roman people. It may be easily supposed, that in these engagements the master of the world was always successful;>

As to what sort of person Commodus was, Gibbon is writing 1600 years after the emperor's murder. He is no more reliable than his sources, and how reliable do you suppose them to be? The movie took any number of crazy liberties with the historical record, but as far as the character of Commodus I thought its interpretation was perfectly valid. (Also, I'll admit, when I think of movie characters from the last few decades who genuinely frightened me, Commodus in <Gladiator> and and Goeth in <Schindler's List> are right up there.)

<Sally Simpson> The fact that <Troy> departs from Homer's story doesn't bother me at all; the Athenian tragedians did too. But it's depressing to me that the movie has none of the power, anguish, or even the psychological insight of the Iliad. Ask yourself why Hector goes (or stays) outside the walls to fight Achilles. Homer figured it out. Wolfgang Petersen (or his scriptwriter) didn't have a clue.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: First of all, a word of apology to the general public: sangiyana naya wala wala he he!

<Keypusher> Those roles of the trident & net versus the sword were standard fare, and continued to be practiced right up to the time that Kubrik made Spartacus, if not later :-). When I say the real Commodus won fairly I meant compared to the movie version where the only way he can win is to have Maximus stabbed and drugged first. But I said he was a real bad-ass, not a nice guy: <Commodus raised the ire of many military officials in Rome for his Hercules persona in the arena. Often, wounded soldiers and amputees would be placed in the arena for Commodus to slay with a sword. Citizens of Rome missing their feet through accident or illness were taken to the arena, where they were tethered together for Commodus to club to death while pretending they were giants.> (Cassius Dio)

As to the reliability of the sources, they are written by near contemporaries of Commodus and are cross-referenced ( Even contemporary "history" involves a lot of speculation, rumors and lies, that's no reason not to read the newspapers.

The movie audience almost always needs a good guy and bad guy (unlike the real world, where the latter constitute a vast majority, at least among the rich and powerful). That dichotomy is clearly exaggerated in "Gladiator": Maximus: married, faithful, brave, humble, honorable, a patriot focuses on service to the Empire/Marcus Aurelius, a team player (think of the famous arena scene representing the Carthaginians vs. Rome). Commodus: spoiled brat, extends brotherly love beyond the limits of good taste, only thinks of his own advancement even at the cost of patricide, constantly scheming and cheating, too cowardly to face Maximus in a fair fight.... You have to admit you could find the same kind of black hat-white hat thing in hundreds of cowboy moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: BTW, I really enjoy these conversations which remind me of when I used to play in the park or café and have interesting chats at the same time, but we should probably take this to some general forum (but not the one with the 4-word vocabulary: Trump, Obama, liberal, conservative). If any questions are addressed to me, please include my handle because I don't regularly check the general forums.
Apr-26-17  gokusano: Ogag ka amoytoilet
Apr-26-17  Amulet: ugok ka
Apr-26-17  gokusano: Stalker na ogag. Hehehe, bakit ka nakikialam sa akin? Pinapasweldo mo ako? Click lang ang alam mong suporta at mga oracles at idiotic chants ang alam mo. OGAG
Apr-26-17  Amulet: ugok kalbo bayot!
Apr-26-17  gokusano: Plagiarist! Hehehe... balik ka na sa kubeta nyo and sing and chant oracles para me kilikili power kayo mamaya. Huwag kalimutan ang klik klik klik hane.
Apr-26-17  Amulet: kalbong bakla hane!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: GM <Jan Gustafsson> analyses this heavyweight battle:


Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: <whiteshark> Thanks. Gustafsson explains the game very well. I particularly liked his explanation of the alternative line 39 Rxf7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Sino ka ba? Bakit ka nakikialam sa akin? Stalker kaba?>

Go Wesley.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 11...Nbd7 Karpov placed his queen's knight on a6 in the game Huebner vs Karpov, 1979
Premium Chessgames Member
  The Boomerang: " Apr-26-17 knightF5: Toribio3: I disagree. Kramnik is just 6 months (Oct 2016 - 2817) off his peak elo and again just 6 elos (2811) off his peak when Wesley beat him. Kramnik was just around his peak form when Wesley beat him"

Thia isnt Kramnik peak form...he played poorly againat Mamedyarov too. Taking nothing away from So great game.

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