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  1. #1
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    Topalov versus Kramnik: Twelve Games too soft a measure?

    It used to be that in the old days, much longer matches took place. With twelve games for this unification match, who is kidding whom? We are going to have a world chess champion after just twelve games? Or settle it with tie breaks in rapids? Super size it or drive up fast food window? What has become of classic chess?

    Think of Karpov-Kasparov, Capablanca-Alekhine, Bottvinnik-Tal? How long were many of our top matches? We all already know the answer to that. What does this say about us?

    Is this a practical adaption to a results hungary world, or have we all just gotten soft and this is but of a reflection of our own selves?
    Last edited by dkTransform; 17-09-2006 at 07:03 PM.

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    yeah i'd prefer 16-24.

  3. #3
    CC International Master Carl Gorka's Avatar
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    My problem is not the length of the match but the lack of emnity. I just looked at the FIDE website story.....how can you have a World Championship without some hatred
    I've never been so broke that I couldn't leave town

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  4. #4
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Indeed. It's hardly a grudge match, is it? On another forum I post on, someone who also posts here a bit wrote as follows re Topalov:

    No nice smiling man should ever be World Champion.
    As for the 12 games, indeed too short, but beggars can't be choosers. At least it is a real match for the World Championship and accepted by FIDE as such and we haven't had one of those for well over a decade.

    The usual excuse being offered is that these things cost more than they used to to stage.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Indeed. It's hardly a grudge match, is it? On another forum I post on, someone who also posts here a bit wrote as follows re Topalov:



    As for the 12 games, indeed too short, but beggars can't be choosers. At least it is a real match for the World Championship and accepted by FIDE as such and we haven't had one of those for well over a decade.

    The usual excuse being offered is that these things cost more than they used to to stage.
    Agreed let's get a unified champion first.
    No this is silly, the whole premise is silly and very badly written. I'm the senior officer here and I've not had a funny line yet so I'm stopping it.

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  6. #6
    CC International Master Carl Gorka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Indeed. It's hardly a grudge match, is it?
    For once all the focus will be on the games, and just the games....hope they live up to it....
    I've never been so broke that I couldn't leave town

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  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireeater
    For once all the focus will be on the games, and just the games....hope they live up to it....
    I'm fearing that the shortness of the match will produce a reluctance to take risks and that both players will be happy to draw a bunch of games and head for the playoffs.

    However it may lead to interesting play with both striving to land the "knockout punch". I also think that Topalov just can't sit back and play a dozen draws, it isn't in his nature.

  8. #8
    CC International Master Carl Gorka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I'm fearing that the shortness of the match will produce a reluctance to take risks and that both players will be happy to draw a bunch of games and head for the playoffs.

    However it may lead to interesting play with both striving to land the "knockout punch". I also think that Topalov just can't sit back and play a dozen draws, it isn't in his nature.
    Hope you're right, but I'm feeling pretty cynical at the moment.....wonder what Kramnik will defend against 1.e4?
    I've never been so broke that I couldn't leave town

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  9. #9
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkTransform
    Karpov-Kasparov
    Let's not mention 1984.

    But I think the world has moved too far from those days. This match is a step in the right direction I think the important thnig is that we are moving in that direction. We can't go from chaos to perfection in one iteration.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    If the match is completed, I will be more than happy.
    meep meep

  11. #11
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    "But I think the world has moved too far from those days"...

    Dear Rincewind, I got on line today not sure if there would be zero or a dozen replies, sincerely with no expectations. To me this is a valid question that I have asked, since we have instant noodles, instant communication, instant lab results... we want our results, and we want them fast. Your reply that I can see is the only one that responds to what is being said, as aside from two friends chatting or grandstanding publically so see who can...

    If we go back to Petersburg, New York, London or any of the big tournements, we had truly epic contest of minds. Of course, in tournements, all play all is the big test, if not all play all white and black. Then not only do the leaders go toe to toe, but we get to see who has the best score against the lagging players. And so in the old Soviet Chess Championships, we had gigantic battles. Recently, to be very honest, I was truly shocked to see Dortmundt over so fast... I had been busy in a new relationship, and despite being a good student of the game, failed to see how abbreviated was the contest. Kramnik wins, was the headline. This short tournement tested to see who was the best for that span? Excuse me?

    Now Topy and Kramn. Twelve games. Compare that to some other WCC matches, let me go grab my Gelo, Chess Championships, All the Games, All the Diagrams, 1834-1998 compendium (to those who don't know of it, it has all the game of all the matches, in one handsome volume, McFarland, 1999 2nd Edition): I open randomly and cite figures to some major matches:

    Alekine-Euwe 1935, 30 games
    Botvinnik-Smyslov 1954, 24 games
    Tal-Botvinnik, 1960, 21 games
    Spassky-Petrosian, 1969, 23 games
    Kasparov-Karpov, 1987, 24 games ...

    this does not even mention Steinitz or Capablanca, etc.

    Of course, now we have big sponsers, luxury resorts, the press, television, the internet, publicity and marketing and coaches, and seconds, and families, the whole works, the entorage that follows....

    I respect T and K both. Both are great artists who will furnish beauty for sure. But despite being a unification match, sadly feel that something is wrong, and percieve that T and K are both 'cashing in' (or Kashing in!) while the going is getting good.

    david, seattle
    Last edited by dkTransform; 18-09-2006 at 10:20 AM.

  12. #12
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkTransform
    I respect T and K both. Both are great artists who will furnish beauty for sure. But despite being a unification match, sadly feel that something is wrong, and percieve that T and K are both 'cashing in' (or Kashing in!) while the going is getting good.
    I can't blame them really. Actually for players who are the best in the world in what they do and given the amount of preparation that goes into a match of this size the prizemoney is really pretty modest.

    Matches used to be longer partly because it was practical to play to X number of wins. These days with so many draws that is no longer an option. As matches have increasingly gone over to set lengths it seems the set lengths are gradually becoming shorter.

    The concept of a match that is long enough to rigorously test which player is the best seems to have vanished. Still better than many other sports in which the supreme title can be decided by one final game.

    Also this is probably the last match of its kind since FIDE's plan is to have the WC as eight-player 2xround robins (like the one Topalov won) rather than matches in the future.

    It's actually a no-win scenario in terms of having longer matches in future. If this match is a fizzer it will strengthen the case for supertournaments not matches. If this match is exciting it may be used as a case for more matches, but will be used as an argument against longer ones.

  13. #13
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    I don't know that it has a lot to do with a general trend for instant results. Most sports are played over the same time frame as they always were. I can't think of a sport that has shortened itself (cricket has introduced one-day and more recently 20/20 but that's an extra, not a replacement). The world game has even abandoned "golden point". In the US, where they allegedly like things done quickly, they still play golf for four days, baseball for nine innings, and as far as I know basketball and gridiron games are still the same length.

    I would point the finger at Kasparov who in his private title defences always came up with excuses why matches should be shorter than previously. Perhaps it was to differentiate "his" matches from the FIDE marathons of the late 70s and 80s. Some might say he was planning to take an unassailable lead before his opponent settled. Maybe it was that as promoter he was bearing the costs. Whatever, the principle seems to have become embedded.

    Certainly I would agree the match is too short. It's conceivable that it could be decided 1-0; Kramnik only won two games in the match against Kasparov. In any case it's a pity that such an exciting contest is going to be over so quickly.

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    I just hope that one of the players wins a game early.

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray
    I just hope that one of the players wins a game early.
    Yes that will mix things up a bit. I wouldn't bet on it though, I think both players will start very conservatively, probably even a couple of 'Grandmaster draws', although I hope against it.

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