Tuesday 17 June 2008

First Fischer, then Kasparov, now ...

Every generation sees a player who breaks the mould. Before Fischer there tournament strategy was to win with white, draw with black*. Fischer of course strived to win with white, then win with black. Kasparov then began to dominate events through his extensive opening preparation. His aim was to get out of the opening with a clear advantage, whether he was white or black.
It now seems the current generation of players has taken these lessons to heart and decided that winning isn't enough. Winning big seems to be the plan, whether it was Topalov in the WCC, Ivanchuk at Mtel, or Carlsen in the current Aerosvit tournament. And while Kasparov deserves credit for pointing the way in regards opening research, I think the example being followed is more Fischer's will to win.
Of course one tournament's "dominator" may be relegated to a supporting role in the next event. In the case of the Aerosvit tournament Ivanchuk is lying in equal 2nd, but at this stage I'm not sure anyone is noticing. Except for this blog.

Shirov,A (2740) - Ivanchuk,V (2740) [D85]
Aerosvit Foros UKR (8), 16.06.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bd2 Bg7 6.e4 Nb6 7.Be3 0-0 8.Bb5 Qd6 9.Nge2 c6 10.Bd3 e5 11.dxe5 Qxe5 12.Bd4 Qe7 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Bc2 Rd8 15.Qc1 Na6 16.0-0 Be6 17.Nf4 Bc4 18.Re1 Nb4 19.a3 Nxc2 20.Qxc2 Qf6 21.Nce2 Rd7 22.b3 Ba6 23.Rad1 Rad8 24.g3 Qe5 25.f3 Kg8 26.a4 h5 27.Kf2 Rd6 28.Qc3 Nd7 29.Rxd6 Qxd6 30.Rc1 Ne5 31.h4 Qf6 32.b4 (D)
32. ... Rd3 33.Nxd3 Qxf3+ 34.Kg1 Bxd3 35.Qxe5 Qe3+ 36.Kh2 Qxe2+ 0-1

*Of course Alekhine also crushed his opponents before World War II, although he did pick and choose his fields.

1 comment:

TrueFiendish said...

And the precocious and insistent Carlsen leads by a point and a half with a performance rating of over 2900...