Agde Recap, Upcoming Events, General Musings
November 03, 2008 • General
Since I was in a rush to finish the prior blog as I had to rush off to the airport, I will attempt to add a little bit more about the event. Looking back on the event now that I’ve had a day of rest&relaxation, I’d like to point out to everyone (primarily Mig) that Ivanchuk did in fact offer me a draw before I went Rc2 in the second rapid game. What I have noticed is that most people have failed to recognize is that once we reached that endgame, I was not playing for a draw and blitz tiebreaks. That was obviously my original gameplan, however the situation was very much of a low risk high reward case where I would have had to make a disastrous blunder in order to lose. So the comments I have which suggest that somehow Ivanchuk was only drifting towards blitz are quite erroneous. Another story which I must comment on are the appauling remarks which Anatoly Karpov made in an interview on the last day in Cap D’Agde. Although I have a great deal of respect for Karpov and his chess abilities, I think that perhaps he needs to re-evaluate the Russian school of chess as I think saying that Caruana has a better understanding of chess than Carlsen is quite absurd to say the least. One other key point which I would like to make is that I was also highly disappointed in the manner of which Conquest and Vachier-Lagrave completely misunderstood my ending against Ivanchuk in game 1. To put it simply, at no point there is white “completely winning” as Vachier-Lagrave rather arrogantly commented. In fact, based on the body language of Ivanchuk, it was quite clear that he also felt I was the one pressing for a win in the endgame. All in all, I feel that the better player won in the final match.
For now, I will be in Paris for a few days before I head off to Austria to play in the Austrian League on November 7,8,9. After this, I will head to the Olympiad in Dresden which begins on November 12th if I remember correctly. Currently, I would very much liken myself to my beloved Tennessee Titans in the sense that they are currently 8-0 (NFL) and the best team, yet they consistently get no respect or press coverage for their solid wins. I think the exact same can be said of my chess. Everyone says Ivanchuk blew the match and I didn’t win it. If that is how it goes, so be it. Since this seems to be my little period of talking about sports, I’d also like to take a page out of the Curt Schilling book and say that nothing feels better than being able to shut up all the naysayers. Last, but not least, as the US election is now only two days away, I would encourage anyone who wishes to see the US return to prestige and preeminence vote for Obama. Perhaps the US will be ok under McCain, but I do not have very much optimism.