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Ulhumbrus
Member since Sep-27-04 · Last seen Apr-15-14
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   Ulhumbrus has kibitzed 18354 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Apr-15-14 Vladimir Kramnik (replies)
 
Ulhumbrus: One commentator indicated that after Kramnik lost to Topalov he played like a shadow of himself for the rest of the tournament. It is possible that one reason for both the loss and its sequel was that Kramnik was angry and upset - to a greater degree than he was inclined to ...
 
   Apr-13-14 Svidler vs S Sjugirov, 2014
 
Ulhumbrus: 15...g6 disturbs the king side pawns without necessity. Instead of this 15...Re8 clears the f8 square for the king's bishop but it also undevelops the rook with respect to the f file. One interesting alternative is the pawn sacrifice 15...Nf4 16 Bxf4 exf4 17 Qxf4 f5
 
   Apr-13-14 Levon Aronian (replies)
 
Ulhumbrus: Aronian said at one press conference that he could not explain some of his decisions during the tournament. Bent Larsen has indicated one possible reason: too much nervous tension. In his book on the 1978 match between Karpov and Korchnoi at Baguio City Larsen says that the ...
 
   Apr-13-14 Aronian vs D Andreikin, 2014 (replies)
 
Ulhumbrus: In the position after 31...Rxd2 Raymond Keene recommends the manoeuvre Re4-a4-a8. Can one suggest a justification for this? In the position after 31...Rxd2 Black has a rook on Black's seventh rank ( ie the second rank, in algebraic notation). This is a positional asset whose value
 
   Apr-10-14 S Sjugirov vs Karjakin, 2014 (replies)
 
Ulhumbrus: On 42...Rc2+! any move on the part of White's king loses immediately. White's king cannot withdraw to the back rank by 43 Ke1 or by 43 Kf1 or by 43 Kg1 as 43...Qb1+ is mate. On 42 Kf3 Qc3+ the h5 pawn keeps White's king out of g4 and on 43 Ke4 Re2+ 44 Kd5 Qc5 is mate. As White ...
 
   Apr-10-14 B Grachev vs Shirov, 2014
 
Ulhumbrus: With 20 d4 White makes his queen's bishop bad . Perhaps his plan is to organize the pawn advances f3 and e4 and he sees too late that the plan has a flaw somewhere.
 
   Apr-10-14 Leko vs D Dubov, 2014
 
Ulhumbrus: How does White win with the Rauzer attack? Leko shows us. The game heads towards a heavy piece ending where White wins a pawn and then reaches a rook and pawn ending which is lost for Black. This game brings to mind the game Fischer vs Spassky, 1972 and may be worth comparing with
 
   Apr-10-14 Jobava vs Kamsky, 2014
 
Ulhumbrus: Instead of 12...Bxf6 12...Nxf6 develops the N towards c5
 
   Apr-10-14 Grischuk vs N Vitiugov, 2014 (replies)
 
Ulhumbrus: Instead of 13...Rd8 13...0-0-0 seems consistent otherwise why did Black advance his d pawn to d3?
 
   Apr-09-14 Anand vs Topalov, 2014
 
Ulhumbrus: Fischer says that 5...a6 may justify the time lost on 6 h3?! but that suggests as well that it may fail to justify it sufficiently. 7 g4 ?! exposes the king side still more and commits White to castling on the queen side 7...Nfd7 is one way to take advantage of White's loss of ...
 
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-02-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: In the game Carlsen vs Nakamura, 2013 one point which may be instructive as well as interesting is that Carlsen won without opening either central file.

In the final position both of the files remain obstructed.

It is along the diagonals h5-e8, a2-g8 and h4-d8 that Black's king has become subjected to attack.

This suggests that in order to gain a winning attack against an opposing king in the centre it may be not necessary to open a central file.

The opening instead of diagonals leading to the king may be sufficient.

Mar-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: This is a link to the Houdini analysis page of the official website for the 2013 London candidates' tournament: http://london2013.fide.com/analysis...
Apr-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: This is a link to the live games page for the 2013 Alekhine memorial tournament which begins today in the Louvre:

http://www.alekhine-memorial.com/on...

May-03-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: In the game Aronian vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2013 if after 9...Nc6 White is able to play 10 d5, this suggests the exchange 9...cd 10 cd Nc6 after which, according to Fine, this pawn formation is always favourable for Black.

Fine says that every exchange of pieces takes the game closer to an endgame which favours Black's queen side pawn majority.

Recent games have indicated however a problem with this.

In the ending Black has indeed a queen side pawn majority. but White has more space.

White's advantage in space may result in White's king gaining a considerable lead in development over Black's king. In fact White may end up playing with an extra king.

What the eventual judgment of history is remains to be seen.

May-09-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Hello, Ulhumbrus. Thanks for responding to my query about that Robert Byrne quote. I've never heard of his book about the 1974 Candidates. Does this book cover all the candidates matches, or just those 3 matches in which Karpov was involved?
May-10-13  Monocle: In the game Carlsen vs Anand, 2013 you said:

<The move 11...h6 is open to question, as it moves a pawn in the opening. White's king's knight is going to head for e3 to control d5. Can Black afford to do nothing to hinder the manoeuvre? Suppose that Black tries instead 11..Qc7. Then on 12 0-0 Black has the skewer 12..Bc4>

I would like to point out that 11...h6 contributes to the fight for control of the d5 square. Black would like to play ...Nf6, but white can play Bg5 followed by Bxf6 and Nd5, and black will be unable to contest the d5 square with his bad dark squared bishop, which is a common theme in this type of structure. In the game, after 11...h6 Anand is able to conserve his knight and exchange the dark squared bishops.

I don't think the plan of ...Qc7 and ...Bc4 really does much to stop white's plans, or increase black's control of d5. The queen is exposed on c7, and the bishop can easily be driven away from c4, e.g. 11... Qc7 12. Be3 Bc4 13. Qd2, and white can follow up with b3, driving the bishop back to e6, and then Rc1, whereupon black will have to move his queen as well. Then, in order to play ...Nf6, black will have to play ...h6 anyway. So it seems that ...Qc7 and ...Bc4 will just lose time, compared to playing ...h6 straight away.

May-11-13  xanadu: Hi Ulhumbrus: in the game Anand vs Topalov (Norway 2013), you made a critical comment to Black 12...b5, since it does not prepear counter attack in the centre (d5). Do you prefear 12...Qc7 or 12...Nb6 instead? My difficult in that position when playing Black is that Queen-side attack looks slow and centre breaking only possible if sacrifying the d-pawn (you mentioned something related to that also). I would like to know your opinion, if you have time. Thanks!!
May-11-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: <Eggman: Hello, Ulhumbrus. Thanks for responding to my query about that Robert Byrne quote. I've never heard of his book about the 1974 Candidates. Does this book cover all the candidates matches, or just those 3 matches in which Karpov was involved?> It covers all of the candidates matches for that cycle.
May-11-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: <xanadu: Hi Ulhumbrus: in the game Anand vs Topalov (Norway 2013), you made a critical comment to Black 12...b5, since it does not prepear counter attack in the centre (d5). Do you prefear 12...Qc7 or 12...Nb6 instead? My difficult in that position when playing Black is that Queen-side attack looks slow and centre breaking only possible if sacrifying the d-pawn (you mentioned something related to that also). I would like to know your opinion, if you have time. Thanks!!> I made not a critical comment but an observation to the effect that White could make a type of response to a flank pawn advance ( play in the centre) which Black could not make. I will have to take a further look at the game to see whether Black can prepare action in the centre if he cannot take it immediately
May-19-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: In the game Karjakin vs Topalov, 2013 in the position after 26...Kf8 suppose that White wants to offer the sacrifice Nd4.

If Black accepts it this displaces his e pawn and so opens the e file. This suggests that White must make it unhealthy for Black to open the e file, so suppose we place White's queen on e4 and the queen's rook on e1. Then on Qe8+ black's king can go to g7, so we want to take the g file away from black. Suppose we play g3. Then with White's queen on e4 as well, h4 is attacked thrice and on ...hxg3, h4 attacks the bishop on g5 which obstructs the g file. if the bishop moves, we have the g file.

This suggests the plan of 27 Qe4, followed by Re1 and then g3 and then h4 and then Nd4!! followed by Qe8 mate.

If however Black plays differently White will to have a find a way to win differently.

May-19-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: This is a link to the live games page on the TWIC website: http://www.theweekinchess.com/live
May-27-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: In the game G Andruet vs Spassky, 1988 after 28...Qf3!! 29 gxf3 Ne5xf3+ 30 Kh1 Black checkmates the white king not with any single move but with a pair of moves.

The first move of the pair is the move 31...Bh3 and the second move of the pair, namely, 32...Bg2 mate.

Black's concluding combination is subtler still than that, as the resource occurs only after White accepts the offer of a queen.

Sep-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: Here is a link to the official website for the match in Madras: http://chennai2013.fide.com/
Sep-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: In the game Tal vs Spassky, 1979 the move 10...d5 appears to smash White's centre but after 11 cd cd White ignores the attack by 12 Bg5! and now to borrow Hans Kmoch's humorous remark in his parody of "My system" <It is not White's e pawn which is attacked by Black's d pawn but Black's d pawn which is attacked by White's e pawn. A tremendous difference!>

More seriously, the move 12 Bg5! pins Black's knight and tilts the scales in White's favour with respect to the fight over the point d5

Morphy may have employed this stratagem - that of not answering directly an attack but doing something else that is useful instead - in one of his games.

Nov-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: Here is a link to Kasparov's twitter page: https://twitter.com/Kasparov63
Nov-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: It seems to me that in game nine Carlsen displayed greater proficiency in the art of defence than Anand displayed proficiency in the art of attack. Earlier he had outplayed Anand in games five and six.

Some have suggested that Carlsen was able to defend like a machine and to come up with computer like moves.

One explanation is that Carlsen had, before this match, gained training and practice against a computer playing just such positions as the one he got as Black in game nine, or in games five and six, at any rate a greater amount of training and practice than Anand

If Carlsen had gained more of such training and practice than Anand, it is not hard to guess what the result would be: Carlsen would play such positions with greater proficiency than Anand.

If this is so, why did Anand not do this, at least to the extent that Carlsen did?

One explanation is that in some way Anand was misled by his experience against Kasparov and Kramnik. He thought mistakenly that because he fell into opening preparation in 1995 while Kasparov suffered this fate in 2000 as Kramnik did in 2008 therefore Carlsen would do so here.

If this is so, there were two things wrong with this view.

Firstly, it would only work if and when Carlsen made such choices as gave Anand the opportunity.

Secondly, Kasparov said that the people who said that openings were his strength forgot that he had to find the right moves in the middle game and ending after the opening!

Carlsen did fall into Anand's preparation in game nine but he may have had greater training and practice at handling the type of position which came out of it.

In fact Anand may have suspected this himself before the match, if a story is true that Anand said before the match that there were serious gaps in his knowledge or preparation in which case perhaps he could have had something like this in mind. I do not know however whether the story is true or not.

If the story is true, there is no easy or quick remedy, because the remedy then is for Anand to increase his proficiency. He will simply have to increase his knowledge and skill and so raise its level, just as he had to do in order to reach his present level from a lower level.

That means not just a great deal of exertion but the right kind of exertion.

Now let us consider another possible explanation: Anand made the mistake of opening with 1 e4 instead of with d4, and this enabled Carlsen to escape Anand's preparation.

Had Anand forgotten how effective the Berlin wall was against 1 e4? If not, this suggests that he was not worried about getting only a draw with White in games two and four, partly because he was confident that he could draw with Black.

However his loss in game five upset completely all of his plans, and probably his mood as well.

When Anand played games six and nine he was upset and may have not been playing at full strength.

That suggests that the match was lost essentially after game five. Anand's errors in Games six and nine followed from it.

If Anand had opened games two and four with 1 d4 instead of 1 e4, the opening seen in game nine might have been seen in games two or four.

In that case what would the result of the match have been? I do not know.

Perhaps the best advice for Anand is to be objective and to search for the true reasons for his losses.

Dec-04-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: Carlsen is like Bobby Fischer: anyone could lose to him. However I am not sure that Anand had to lose this match. Giri has indicated a reason why Kramnik could have been right to say that Anand was afraid of Carlsen, more than he should have been. Giri said that in game after game Anand underrated his side of the position, in press conferences.

Thus in game five he said that ...Rd4 was a losing move although according to Giri it was an excellent move which equalized.

In game two Anand was reluctant to test Carlsen's Caro-Kann by playing to win, and agreed a draw, after which he lost the match heavily. In 1974 Spassky gave Karpov a casual draw in game 2 after a Caro-Kann and then went on to lose the match heavily. Perhaps this is not a coincidence.

Anand may have been misled by his experiences against Kasparov and Kramnik. He thought that Carlsen would fall into his opening preparation.

However there are two flaws in this point of view.

Firstly, it works only if the opponent makes such choices as give the player the opportunity.

Secondly, Kasparov said that the people who said that his strength lay in his opening preparation forgot that he had to find the right moves in the middlegame and endgame after the opening!

It is possible that Carlsen had gained greater training and practice than Anand in just the types of position which Anand lost in the fifth, sixth and ninth games.

If Carlsen had gained greater training and practice than Anand in these types of position it is not hard to guess what the result would be. He would have attained to greater proficiency in the handling of such positions.

In the ninth game Carlsen fell into Anand's preparation but handled it with greater proficiency and won.

One very serious mistake which Anand's team made was to agree to play without adjournments. In all of the games he lost, that is, in games five, six and nine Anand may have made mistakes because of fatigue in the fifth hour of play.

Despite being over forty years old Anand could get away with this against earlier opponents, but Carlsen plays well enough for this to become a serious problem in the fifth hour of play.

Against Carlsen, the seven hour sessions were too long for a player in the fifth decade of his life.

Anand's team would have been advised better to try to gain agreement to the traditional three hour sessions with adjournments.

The purpose of seven hour sessions is to prevent cheating. However there was no danger of that in this match.

You only need such precautions if you are afraid that the opponent is going to cheat, but in this match there was no cause for such fear.

It is too late for Anand to complain now, of course. As Anand said, the rules were agreed by everyone. and so they were fair.

Be that as it may, it seems to me that Anand's team made a very serious mistake by not paying enough attention to this matter, and that Anand paid the price for it in games five, six and nine, the games which he lost.

Jan-13-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: I suggest that the second game cost Anand the match.

I suggest that the quick draw in game 2 against a Caro-Kann cost Anand the match in 2013 just as a quick draw in game 2 against a Caro-Kann cost Spassky his match against Karpov in 1974, and for similar reasons.

It is possible that Anand both overestimated and underestimated Carlsen and was not able to play Carlsen objectively just as it is possible that in 1974 Spassky both overestimated and underestimated Karpov and was unable to play Karpov objectively.

I suggest that in this respect the Madras match was almost a carbon copy of the 1974 Spassky-Karpov match.

It is possible that Kramnik was right to say that Anand was afraid of Carlsen.

One reason for Anand to listen to Kramnik is that Anand might have then found a remedy eg to play objectively, as Carlsen would have played.

This meant playing game two as Carlsen would have played it, not granting an easy draw but using White's greater space to place some pressure on Black.

Who knows but that this quick draw in game 2 caused Anand to miss a win in game 3.

Another thing is that by showing a lack of confidence Anand increased Carlsen's confidence, so to some extent this had the same effect on Carlsen as that of a loss on Anand's part.

This suggests that although Anand was experienced he made the mistake of spplying his own experience but of failing to apply the experiences of others.

Karpov put continual pressure on Korchnoi and Kasparov from the very first game in his matches against them and the scores in the first ten games of those matches speak for themselves. Kasparov perhaps learnt a lesson from this and did the same thing against Short in 1993.

This suggests that in his first match against Carlsen Anand should have placed Carlsen under continual pressure from the first game, as Karpov did against Korchnoi and Karpov and as Kasparov did against Short,so that Anand should have placed Carlsen under pressure in game two.

Jan-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: The following message is for the benefit of the some of the younger users of this website. It seems foolish to assume that the mathematicians here won't already know the technique that follows but I assume as well that no harm will be done by posting it. Take the number 229.

How may one write down rapidly - or read rapidly - the difference between this number and 1000 ( eg the change left over from $10.00 after having spent $2.29)?

Here is the procedure.

Step 1. Subtract the first digit 2 from 9. The difference, the number 7, is the first digit of the answer.

Step 2. Subtract the second digit 2 from 9. The difference, 7, is the next digit of the answer.

Step 3. Subtract the last digit not from 9 but from 10. The difference, 1, is the last digit of the answer.

More generally, to write down rapidly (or to read rapidly) eg the difference between the number abcde and, in this case, 100000, write down (or read) 9-a, 9-b, 9-c, 9-d and 10-e.

As far as I am concerned, if you wish to copy or paste my message for your own personal use or for any educational use and not for profit, you may feel free to do so. But then, any number of mathematicians may have published the technique above in any number of places already.

Jan-25-14  GREYSTRIPE: The square root of five is Einstein's Radian...
Mar-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: Here is Lord Dunsany's epitaph for Capablanca and his poem about chess players. I quote from <British chess magazine>:

<It may also be recalled that when Capablanca died Lord Dunsany published the following epitaph in CHESS, June 1942, page 131:

Now rests a mind as keen,
A vision bright and clear
As any that has been
And who is it lies here?
One that, erstwhile, no less
Than Hindenburg could plan,
But played his game of chess
And did no harm to man.

The theme of the harmlessness of chess was taken up again by Lord Dunsany the following year in what is perhaps the finest chess poem ever written. It marked the death of R.H.S. Stevenson and was published on page 74 of the April 1943 BCM:

One art they say is of no use;
The mellow evenings spent at chess,
The thrill, the triumph, and the truce
To every care, are valueless.
And yet, if all whose hopes were set
On harming man played chess instead,
We should have cities standing yet
Which now are dust upon the dead.>

Mar-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Ulhumbrus> Dunsany also wrote probably the best chess story ever, <The Three Sailors Gambit>.
Mar-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: In the game Anand vs Topalov, 2014 one interesting question is why the movie 21...Bxf2? counts as an error.

It may seem at first sight that after the manoeuvre Nf2-d3-e5 the bishop will be no better than the knight, so why not exchange it for the knight?

Perhaps Topalov thought so, and made this choice partly for this reason.

Yet after this exchange Black is left with the bad bishop.

One answer is that the value of the bishop is not confined to the bishop alone. It is a member of a bishop pair.

Lasker's remarks in his book <Lasker's manual of chess> suggest that Lasker would say that the ability of the bishops to complement each other had a value over and above that of either bishop on its own, so that the king's bishop had a value greater than that of the bishop on its own.

If this is so it suggests that Topalov underrated the value of his king's bishop: Even if on its own it seemed no more valuable than the knight, it was more valuable than that when it formed a member of a bishop pair.

Mar-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: In the game Mamedyarov vs Aronian, 2014 the exchange sacrifice 20 Rxd5!! can be called a dynamic stratagem: It relies upon its efficacy upon the ability of White's side of the position to change in White's favour ( ie improve) until it overpowers Black's side of the position

This can be called a stratagem worthy of Boris Spassky and is the kind of sacrificial stratagem which Spassky might have employed during his best years

Mar-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: <If Russia has a war with the US - who will win?> I am about to speak falsely in a way because in speaking in language others can understand I am going to refer to conventional beliefs whereas my beliefs are not conventional even by my own religion, but here is my answer: America will win, providing that the God of America so decides so that the servant of that God i.e. fate, against which there is no defence, decrees it. I suggest that what fate decrees will depend on the inner intentions of the persons who wield power and influence. One cannot predict what they will take it into their heads to choose, and for this reason the outcome cannot be predicted.
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