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Chess World Championship


gunnarthor
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Anyone watching the chess championship? Magnus Carlson v. Ian Nepomniachtchi. Carlson has won three games (Game 6, 8, and 9). Game 6 was the longest game in chess world championship history while Nepo blundered a bit (by GM standards) in games 8 and 9. I'm no good at chess but I've really enjoyed watching this. 

This guy has a fun chess youtube channel for those who want to see more. 

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Here’s another good channel @gunnarthor!

https://m.youtube.com/user/AGADMATOR

I have been checking out the commentaries on this channel at night after the games have been played. Good teasers but no spoilers as he walks through the games. 

I’ve been following this guy for a while. Hearing occasional comments from him and putting pieces together, and it sounds to me like Magnus might be getting a little bored and might not defend in 2023? Which would be natural, but a shame, because there is an amazing young Iranian-French player named Alireza who is developing, very strong and dynamic. 

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2 hours ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

Here’s another good channel @gunnarthor!

https://m.youtube.com/user/AGADMATOR

I have been checking out the commentaries on this channel at night after the games have been played. Good teasers but no spoilers as he walks through the games. 

I’ve been following this guy for a while. Hearing occasional comments from him and putting pieces together, and it sounds to me like Magnus might be getting a little bored and might not defend in 2023? Which would be natural, but a shame, because there is an amazing young Iranian-French player named Alireza who is developing, very strong and dynamic. 

I love agadmator. He's fantastic for breaking down games for non-GMs. (A few GMs have mentioned his work but also said that what he's saying isn't that relevant to their thinking process). Here's his excellent video of Magnus v. Alireza at the Tata Steel tournament last year. I watched the last half hour or so of it and was really exciting. My wife called me a nerd.  🙂

Magnus won't quit. He wants to be #1 all-time and to do that, he needs to be "the guy" for 20 years, like Kasparov did.

Lastly, GMHikura (once ranked #2 in the world and current blitz world champion) has a nice youtube channel as well. But his thinking process is insane, when he gets into it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting update for you @gunnarthor

I guessed that Magnus wouldn’t defend his title in 2023; you said he wants to be considered #1 of all time: We were both right. He wants to keep increasing his rating and be the best ever, but he is bored with the world chess championship and won’t defend it once 2023 unless it’s against Alireza Firouzja. 

I was wrong to suggest if Magnus was getting bored with chess. He’s only bored with his competition. Imagine being that much better than 2nd best in a game where all the information is right there on the board available to both players, and there are no secrets. 

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  • 9 months later...
Just now, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

@gunnarthor any thoughts on Hans Niemann? 

I think it's pretty straight forward. He cheated a lot more in online games than he admitted to and chess.com showed him up on that, which made Hans look really, really bad. But I also think he legitimately beat Magnus at the Springfield Cup and his game the other day against Christopher Yoo was a true masterpiece. I don't think he's cheating now or in any over the board game.

I think what happened is that he cheated b/c he wanted 1) to play the better players and didn't want to wait for his ratings to go naturally up; 2) he wanted money. I also believe him when he says that chess is all he does and he's been studying chess for 12 hours a day since COVID. His rise isn't shocking even if it's a bit unusual. And COVID probably stunted a lot of development. He's only 19 and everyone agrees his natural talent probably puts him in the 2650-2700 range. Looking at super GMs describe his game against Magnus and none saw anything suspicious. Magnus played bad. Hikaru had a nice video of a game where Hans beat Fabiano and noted that g4 was a strange move it was also the wrong move. Fabiano just reacted poorly and then got into a position where any super GM would win. Don't have the link off the top of my head right now.

I'm probably a bit forgiving of Hans because he was a kid when he cheated - I don't think he's cheated as an adult and the big report by chess.com (covered by the WSJ) also never found evidence of him cheating as an adult or ever in an over-the-board match. Second, I think Magnus is absolutely punching down on someone and Hans is dealing with it about as well as anyone could. I can't imagine the emotional pressure and stress that happens after you beat the best player in the world straight up and he accuses you of cheating. Third, I think Magnus' subsequent retirement after two moves in a game a week later was extremely immature. 

Lastly, I like what Hans is doing right now. The g4 move was a strange move but an incorrect move. But he might be making strange moves because chess has become a bit over reliant on "the right move" and a bit less about the positional game. Super GMs tend to talk poorly about past greats like Tal b/c his games are judged poorly by computer play. But that's what playing Tal did - he made so many strange moves and strange attacking chances that opposing players never found the best moves against him. So I'm thrilled to see new positional chess come back. Like I said, the game against Yoo was wonderful, even though Hans got in time trouble. 

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Also, relooking at this thread, I was completely wrong when I said Magnus would absolutely defend his title. Oh well.

Other fun related chess channels - 

https://www.youtube.com/c/AnnaCramling Anna Cramling is a strong woman's player (her mother was a WGM and top woman's player in Switzerland, I believe. Her dad was also a GM and was coach of the Woman's Olympiad). Anna's videos are usually short but she's popular enough to have had on Super-GMs, like MVL. She also explains things pretty well for us lay-persons to understand.

https://www.youtube.com/c/CoffeeChess - fun channel about a bunch of chess players, usually talking smack (total PG smack, but still). Very family friendly. Sometimes they'll have big time players show up and you can see the difference between Super GMs and normal, good chess players. 

https://www.youtube.com/c/GothamChess - gotham chess. Levy Rozman is an IM and chess coach. I think he has the most popular chess YouTube channel but it's at least one of them. Some people don't like him, and he's a bit hit-or-miss but he usually has good coverage of big chess events and chess news.

I know there are a lot more but those are some fun ones. 

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1 hour ago, gunnarthor said:

I think it's pretty straight forward. He cheated a lot more in online games than he admitted to and chess.com showed him up on that, which made Hans look really, really bad. But I also think he legitimately beat Magnus at the Springfield Cup and his game the other day against Christopher Yoo was a true masterpiece. I don't think he's cheating now or in any over the board game.

I think what happened is that he cheated b/c he wanted 1) to play the better players and didn't want to wait for his ratings to go naturally up; 2) he wanted money. I also believe him when he says that chess is all he does and he's been studying chess for 12 hours a day since COVID. His rise isn't shocking even if it's a bit unusual. And COVID probably stunted a lot of development. He's only 19 and everyone agrees his natural talent probably puts him in the 2650-2700 range. Looking at super GMs describe his game against Magnus and none saw anything suspicious. Magnus played bad. Hikaru had a nice video of a game where Hans beat Fabiano and noted that g4 was a strange move it was also the wrong move. Fabiano just reacted poorly and then got into a position where any super GM would win. Don't have the link off the top of my head right now.

I'm probably a bit forgiving of Hans because he was a kid when he cheated - I don't think he's cheated as an adult and the big report by chess.com (covered by the WSJ) also never found evidence of him cheating as an adult or ever in an over-the-board match. Second, I think Magnus is absolutely punching down on someone and Hans is dealing with it about as well as anyone could. I can't imagine the emotional pressure and stress that happens after you beat the best player in the world straight up and he accuses you of cheating. Third, I think Magnus' subsequent retirement after two moves in a game a week later was extremely immature. 

Lastly, I like what Hans is doing right now. The g4 move was a strange move but an incorrect move. But he might be making strange moves because chess has become a bit over reliant on "the right move" and a bit less about the positional game. Super GMs tend to talk poorly about past greats like Tal b/c his games are judged poorly by computer play. But that's what playing Tal did - he made so many strange moves and strange attacking chances that opposing players never found the best moves against him. So I'm thrilled to see new positional chess come back. Like I said, the game against Yoo was wonderful, even though Hans got in time trouble. 

I am trying to come up with a good rebuttal, but don’t have one.

Niemann cheated in the past but no one can really point to anything specific in the recent OTB games. The best case that Niemann was cheating comes from Magnus I think, when Magnus says Niemann’s body language was off and he just didn’t seem engaged in the game or in calculating positions, yet somehow he was making winning moves. Another site I just watched had a good breakdown of Niemann’s behavior too. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hiaWVcjiMBo

This is probably enough for me to take Magnus’s side, but it doesn’t help that Niemann seems to have the emotional intelligence of a two-year-old, which makes reading behavior and body language that much harder. 

It’s not impossible to be all of those things at once: a past cheater, a complete jerk, and also a brilliant genius chess player. 

 

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1 hour ago, gunnarthor said:

Super GMs tend to talk poorly about past greats like Tal b/c his games are judged poorly by computer play. But that's what playing Tal did - he made so many strange moves and strange attacking chances that opposing players never found the best moves against him. So I'm thrilled to see new positional chess come back. Like I said, the game against Yoo was wonderful, even though Hans got in time trouble. 

I liked the Yoo game as well and love the Tal reference. AlphaZero is the best chess engine we have seen to date and a lot of those games look like Tal games, in sacrificing material in order to gain positional advantage, which was a radical style in Tal's day. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

I liked the Yoo game as well and love the Tal reference. AlphaZero is the best chess engine we have seen to date and a lot of those games look like Tal games, in sacrificing material in order to gain positional advantage, which was a radical style in Tal's day. 

 

It's funny. I watched Hikaru's video on the Yoo game after I responded to you and he was completely dismissive of the game, saying both sides kept making mistakes. Oh well, I loved the game while it happened. It looked fun and was exciting to figure out the attack. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's not frivolous. It's not the type of law I practice but it's a real law firm (as opposed to all the kracken law suits we've seen in the last year). Defamation against Magnus has legs, less so against Hikaru but at the same time Hikaru really doesn't want to get deposed. Hans is also arguing more than "they called me a cheater", he's arguing that Magnus has attempted to keep him from making a living through chess by trying to blackball him from events. That's a serious charge but also a serious problem that Hans had to deal with, in real life. If events are like, "well, we can have Hans but then no Magnus ..." Hans isn't going to get the opportunities someone of his skill should get.

Some of the defendants, especially Hikaru, will probably file motions to dismiss but MTD require the court to take as true all allegations. It won't be easy to get out of this although some charges against Hikaru and Rensch might be dropped.

The legal things I've read have said there might be some jurisdiction issues but, assuming those aren't fatal (and a MTD isn't successful), I suspect that in about 9-12 months, we'll get a settlement of some sort. It won't be disclosed. Hans probably gets some money and his chess.com access reinstated while the defendants will make no admission of wrong doing or liability.

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2 hours ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

Yikes. This feels like the Astros suing MLB for accusing them of cheating in 2017. What do you think? Any background in this area? I think when a side uses the language "speaks for itself" it's not always a good thing for your case, but I don't know. 

Also, the "speaks for itself" is a reference to a rapid game Hans played against Magnus a few months ago in the crypto cup. It was best of four games but Hans won the second game spectacularly. Then, when he was interview, he just said "the chess speaks for itself" and walked away. At the time, there were no cheating allegations so people were like, "Dude!" And it was talked about for the next few days as such a silly thing to say. Also, Hans got crushed in that tournament, I believe he came in last and Magnus won the other three games agaist him, if my memory is correct. As GM Finegold has said, the super GMs didn't mind having Hans in tournaments when they won.

So Hans has used that phrase - "speaks for itself" - a few times now in interviews.

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58 minutes ago, gunnarthor said:

It's not frivolous. It's not the type of law I practice but it's a real law firm (as opposed to all the kracken law suits we've seen in the last year). Defamation against Magnus has legs, less so against Hikaru but at the same time Hikaru really doesn't want to get deposed. Hans is also arguing more than "they called me a cheater", he's arguing that Magnus has attempted to keep him from making a living through chess by trying to blackball him from events. That's a serious charge but also a serious problem that Hans had to deal with, in real life. If events are like, "well, we can have Hans but then no Magnus ..." Hans isn't going to get the opportunities someone of his skill should get.

Some of the defendants, especially Hikaru, will probably file motions to dismiss but MTD require the court to take as true all allegations. It won't be easy to get out of this although some charges against Hikaru and Rensch might be dropped.

The legal things I've read have said there might be some jurisdiction issues but, assuming those aren't fatal (and a MTD isn't successful), I suspect that in about 9-12 months, we'll get a settlement of some sort. It won't be disclosed. Hans probably gets some money and his chess.com access reinstated while the defendants will make no admission of wrong doing or liability.

My second thought after seeing the lawsuit (my initial thought was wtf?) was that some attorneys are looking for a payday. 

I hope you stick around to discuss. I am also going to read the complaint; maybe that will help me see some nuance. I agree if it does settle we probably won’t hear what the terms are. One wrinkle from an NPR article i just read is that Magnus is seeking to buy chess.com so not sure if the terms of a settlement will actually let Niemann come back there. :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

More crazy chess news. Former world chess champion Antatoly Karpov is hospitalized after a pretty nasty fall. Karpov is a national hero in Russia. He became world champion after Bobby Fischer refused to defend his title in the 70s and held the title for about a decade, until Gerry Kasparov became champion. Those two were the unquestioned best two players of the 80s and most of the 90s. 

In Putin's Russia, Karpov is a member of the duma (I think that's what it's called) and has a huge stake in oil, making him extremely rich. While a staunch supporter of Putin (and the USSR), he had recently, mildly criticized the Ukrainian War. Then he slipped. Or fell. Or was attacked. Or nothing happened and he's fine. 

https://www.businessinsider.com/anatoly-karpov-russia-criticized-ukraine-war-serious-head-injuries-reports-2022-11

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