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    Saint Louis Chess!

    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



    1. Congratulations on a great result against Ponomariov. Best wishes for more success in the future!

    2. Wade1961

      I was really impressed with both your and Ruslan’s command of the King’s Indian. I will have to replay those games again to see what I can learn. Congratulations on winning the match.

    3. Socrates

      Congrats on winning the match against Ponomariov. We will be pulling for you next month!!

    4. It was a very nice match with Ponomariov, when we could see two top level GMs palying Chess without being scared by their own shadows (any reference to Kazan is not at all coincidental…).
      A question about that strange stammer that Ruslam was showing: is it something he has in front of the cameras or does he speak like that all the time (I’m not laughing at him, just curious)?

      If you want to have a perfectly working brain:
      – sleep at night for 8-9 hours (for an effective neurotrasmitters’ recharging, in a well stabilized circadian rhythm to optimize the process),
      – do cardiotonic physical activity in the open air during the day, one hour or more with 20 minutes pause after 60 of exercise (cardiovascular system health is crucial for everything, and for the brain in particular)
      – and always include vegetables and fruit in your diet (this is for a properly working metabolism, because it maintains coenzymes’ supplies).

      Good luck for your future games: keep it up!

    5. Barone (from Italy)

      I didn’t mean anything different from what you say on GM Ponomariov: very polite and modest in those post-game interviews, too.
      As I said, it was just curiosity.
      If I understood what he said when he was telling part of the story of his early youth’s experience in chess learning, peaking with his world title, the man has already quite the life-story considering his young age!
      But I’m not that confortable with English myself. So pardon if there was some miscommunication.

    6. jhbchess

      Pack some good Bob Dylan for the trip and keep the updates coming on here or twitter!

    7. Jeremy W

      Was a joy watching the games and listening to you and your partners commentary!

    8. Bill Harris

      I told them on ICC years ago you would be a great player one day. It’s amusing to hear comments from the same players who used to be rude and stupid (e.g., in games when you continued to resist in hopeless positions or played them out to mate). Now that you have established yourself as a force in world class chess, they fawn like children. Why is it that the ones who make the most offensive comments are also the first to rush in with praise once power is demonstrated to them? Ah well … 🙂

      My take on it was that this was training you both to avoid such chess positions and also to steel your nerves for the times when bad positions did occur. And did it ever pay off! 🙂

      It is very satisfying to see you make the progress I always knew that you could. Remember: you’re not responsible for outcomes, just for doing your best.

      Good luck, Hikaru.

    9. Good luck in Bazna Hikaru!

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