Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chess960: Memorable moments in Moscow and America

Thanks to Mark Weeks highlighting the Fischer Random tournament in Moscow last weekend, I found a great quote by Emanuel Lasker at the Chessvibes reporting of the event.

"Education in Chess has to be an education in independent thinking and judgement. Chess must not be memorized, simply because it is not important enough. ... Memory is too valuable to be stocked with trifles." - Emanuel Lasker

It's not so much the memory that is too valuable, but the investment in time. Even a genius like Magnus Carlsen has still spent a major portion of his life memorising vast amounts of opening variations. He has the memory capacity to do that, but it was the investment in time that is questionable. Sure he has been rewarded for it by becoming the world champion, but think of the thousands of almost-as-good-players that aspired to it as well and spent just as much time memorising opening moves without the same result.....
This brings me to the points Hikaru Nakamura has made over the last few weeks. In an interview after the Zurich tournament this year, Hikaru said:
"In general I like reading a lot, book on just about everything. I'm also quite interested in languages, and spend a lot of time studying Italian and French. Sometimes I'm into hiking. Maybe I have too many interests, and that's why I'm not so good at chess. I just try to enjoy life as much as I can"
Sounds logical to me! Rather that than sitting in front of a computer studying the latest Livebook database findings for the latest fashions in chess opening fads.....
An interesting interview in America by Hikaru on Chess960 here:
Question - Do you think there will ever be a time in the future when Chess960 is a serious competitive chess format? Do you feel it does a good job of shaking up the theory-heavy metagame for more "casual" observers?
Hikaru - "I think chess960 is great as it is simply pure intuition and understanding without theory or computers. In my opinion, a lot depends on the trends. For example, at the moment everyone is playing the Berlin Defense which has severely reduced the number of games with 1.e4 If this trend of attempting to "kill" the excitement continues, it is hard to believe 960 won't take over at some point. However, if we start seeing a lot of deep preparation and exciting games in in the Najdorf or Dragon, then I think the scope of normal chess will continue for a very long time"
Why isn't chess960 as popular as normal chess yet?
Do you like it more than regular chess?
"I've answered this before, but I think it depends on which openings and which styles of normal chess dominate in the coming years. Chess960 is not as popular mainly because there is less financial incentive and because normal chess is still quite alive. For the most part, I do like chess960 more."
A really special Fischer Random interview in Russia translated here:
Translated by Google: E.SUROV: What is the prospect of Fischer chess and the statement "to replace it (chess)?"

A.DEVIATKIN: I have to say that I - a supporter of the Fisher chess and, therefore, perhaps be a little subjective. The question itself is really quite categorical: replace or not? Actually, why replace chess, why cancel and switch to the classic Fischer chess? Here, rather, we are on a parallel system of competition, about how to organize more and more tournaments in Fischer chess....

S.GRIGORIANTS: Even most fans of Fischer chess do not say that something needs to be replaced. Of course, everyone likes classical chess....and they can coexist and not interfere with each other, rather complement each other.
Enjoy 960

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