27 September, 2006

World Chess Championship

I am having the best sort of day today. I'm a big chess fan, especially in autumn and winter when the nights are long, and at the moment, there is a unification world chess championship match going on, between the FIDE (world chess federation champ) Veselin Topalov and the Classical chess champion (there was a split in 1993 when then champion Garry Kasparov went independent) Vladimir Kramnik.

Today is game 4 and I have been following it live on the playchess server. I have also been listening to live radio commentary on the game from grandmaster Yasser Seirawan which has been fascinating. It's also been a bit of a wonders of modern technology sort of a day as there has been a chat stream running alongside the game, and I have been able to read all about some grand-masters telling stories of travelling around the world playing chess, recommending different moves and making jokes about Ronald Reagan. It's been great. At the moment, this game looks like a draw which leaves Kramnik 2 wins up with 8 to play.

Topalov is the player I am supporting because he is more exciting and aggressive, but he is losing because of over-aggression at the moment. I think that chess is about the art of letting other people make mistakes, and nobody is better at that than Kramnik.

Must sign off now as the commentary is about to start again. If you're interested in this stuff, I recommend www.chessbase.com and Nigel Short's Guardian column on a Thursday which is published on their website.


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