Chess Legends

“We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.” – Winston Churchill

Here are a few parallels that came to mind while watching the latest Kasparov-Short bludgeoning.

When Fischer returned to chess 20 years after his retirement in 1992 he played his “client” Spassky, who was rated among the Top 100 at the time (approximately). The result – public swooning for a Fischer return. Obviously Kasparov (who was probably jealous of  the record-breaking prize fund) was one of the loudest critics of the legends’ outdated and untheoretical rubbish openings, way of playing, and suggested Fischer should have picked someone his own size.

Kasparov picked Short 10 years after his retirement (and also a bit earlier, in another exhibition in 2011), a great “client” of his, whom he demolished in their World Championship match in 1993 and continued to stomp ever since. The result – oohs and aahs of the chess public begging for a Kasparov return.The openings – outdated and rubbish (Short even went for 1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Nge2, the move-order played almost all the time in the Fischer-Spassky rematch!). The way of playing – Short was beyond atrocious, as if serving the sole purpose to show how great Kasparov is even in retirement. Perhaps Kasparov should have picked someone his own size? But of course not, just like Fischer, Kasparov picked someone he knew inside out and risked very little.

At the press conference before the bludgeoning, the Grand Chess Tour was announced. The same 9 players (Carlsen, Caruana, Grischuk, Topalov, Anand, Aronian, Giri, Nakamura and Vachier) (+1 wild card for each tournament) will play in 3 already established tournaments (Norway Chess, Sinquefield Cup in St. Loius and London Classic) for an even higher prize find. As the saying goes, the rich are getting richer… I still think that having the same players play among themselves again and again is not the most interesting thing, but the elite has always been a closed circle. I will be curious to see how Grischuk fares so that is something to look forward to.
Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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  • Apr 28,2015 at 11:34 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Anonymous
    Apr 28,2015 at 10:55 pm

    Spot on, mate! Both on Kasparov and Grand Tour. I thought it really can't get more stupid than FIDE Grand Prix Tournaments, but now we have Grand Tour with the same players over and over again. What's the purpose of Candidates then? We will again have almost the same players there…

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