May 27, 2011 • General
Greetings to everyone once again! It has been a long time, but I have been extremely busy with preparations for my recent match as well as the upcoming double round robin I will be competing in Bazna, Romania shortly.
This past week and a half I played a 10 game match at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis against Ukrainian GM Ruslan Ponomariov. With all the commotion over the ridiculous amount of short draws in the Canadidates Matches to determine which challenge would face World Champion, GM Viswanathan Anand, I thought both Ruslan and I played very enterprising and fighting chess. Overall I came out ahead 3.5-2.5 in classical and 3-1 in the rapid games. With a total score of 6.5-3.5, I was pretty happy with the end result. That being said, it was a very tough match and had Ruslan not made a critical error in the 3rd game, I very easily could have lost the match. Similar to my one prior match against GM Sergei Karjakin, I was substantially outprepared but fought very hard and equalized in the middlegames. Hopefully both of these matches will serve as constant reminders of how much harder I need to work on my opening preparation in order to have a chance in the World Championship Candidate Matches 2-4 years down the road.
Following this long match, I attended a Free Film Screening of the new HBO Documentary, Bobby Fischer Against The World at the Tivoli Theater here in Saint Louis. Overall, I thought the movie was good as it showed the great struggle and the fine line between genius and insanity. I was very impressed by the interviews with IM, Dr. Anthony Saidy as well as the late GM, Larry Evans. I was a tad disappointed by the lack of interviews with the following generation of Americans (Benjamin, Defirmian, Fedorowicz, Christiansen, Seirawan) who would become very strong in their own right. But as with any documentary, it is no easy task putting together massive amounts of footage and combining it with interviews. Therefore, I must congratulate the director Liz Garbus on putting together many of the pieces in a cohesive film which will hopefully generate some more interest from the general public in chess.
I am now going to relax over Memorial Day Weekend before heading off to Madrid, Spain to give an exhibition for Club de Campo-Villa de Madrid against 30 players. Following this, I will spend the week in Madrid relaxing before heading off to Bazna, Romania and competing against Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Karjakin, Radjabov and Nisipeanu in this incredibly strong event. Hopefully a week of relaxation in the Mediterranean sun will help me come back stronger than before!
Saint Louis, Missouri