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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:03 pm 
A variant on the famous "who would you invite to a dinner party" game. Imagine none of the candidates was available for a tournament in London in December this year, and you wanted to invite five players to join England's top 4 for a tournament. Who would you invite?

(Candidates are: Vishy Anand or Boris Gelfand, Magnus Carlsen, Lev Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Svidler, Alexander Grischuk, Vassiliy Ivanchuk, +1 organisers choice which I'm ignoring as unknown)

I vote for:
Vishy Anand (reigning world champion, sorry Boris)
Judit Polgar (top woman player ever)
Hou Yifan (womens world champion, player of the moment, might be about to take a step forward in level)
Alexander Morozevich (pretty much guaranteed to have lots of interesting and decisive games)
Anish Giri (very young, very strong. Comes across as a nice guy, and a tactical move to suck up to the Dutch ahead of Wijk!)

I'd have liked to invite Victor Kortschnoi, but perhaps a little too strong for him :-(. Still, he is my first reserve.


Last edited by Paul Cooksey on Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Paul Cooksey wrote:
I'd have liked to invite Victor Kortschnoi, but perhaps a little too strong for him :-(. Still, he is my first reserve.

The tournament seems also too strong for some of the English players, maybe time to have fewer English players and more of the super-GM ?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:22 pm 
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A fun game! I wouldn't want to have anyone too good and an obvious winner, and would want to please the crowd, so I'd go for

Morozevich - style
Shirov - style
Judit - style, but being female helps too
Caruana - also an elegant style, and potential world leader, but maybe not too good just yet
Kasimdhanov, or however it's spelt - nice to have a former world champion, seems amicable and generally one feels he's had a raw deal in the chess world, perhaps because of his unspellable name!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:22 pm 
Paolo Casaschi wrote:
Paul Cooksey wrote:
I'd have liked to invite Victor Kortschnoi, but perhaps a little too strong for him :-(. Still, he is my first reserve.

The tournament seems also too strong for some of the English players, maybe time to have fewer English players and more of the super-GM ?
I disagree :). I think having some slightly less strong local players makes for a more exciting tournament, as it generally does in Wijk too.

I am prepared to think about Caruana if Giri not available if that is a compromise :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:27 pm 
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In my first ever post on this forum, back in 2008, I said that Caruana as the most famous chess playing Italian since Greco. I thought that was quite funny, even Mig-worthy, but no one picked it up. So now I repeat it :evil:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Vishy Anand
Hikaru Nakamura
Hou Yifan
Fabiano Caruana
Veselin Topalov

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Well, having Korchnoi this year couldn't be any worse than that Bob Wade nonsense a few years ago :evil:

(of course, that is not intended as a slight on the greatly respected and much missed RGW in the tiniest degree. It *is*, however, against those who felt it would be some sort of clever headline-catching gimmick to invite him as a lamb to the slaughter :twisted: )

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Well, having Korchnoi this year couldn't be any worse than that Bob Wade nonsense a few years ago :evil:


As a digression, this is the link to the first termite sighting
http://www.chess.com/article/view/staun ... the-scenes


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:06 pm 
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The "players of a lower standard" referred to by Schiller in that (typically) dismal piece rarely scored zero points. Even more rarely were they almost universally predicted to do so from the outset (the most famous exception to this - the hapless [and luckless] Colonel Moreau - was in fact a last minute stand-in)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:39 pm 
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Matt Mackenzie wrote:
The "players of a lower standard" referred to by Schiller in that (typically) dismal piece rarely scored zero points. Even more rarely were they almost universally predicted to do so from the outset (the most famous exception to this - the hapless [and luckless] Colonel Moreau - was in fact a last minute stand-in)


I can think of a few instances recently, but they mostly seem to be people like Vince Brady at Coulsdon 2010: players hastily drafted in to a norm tournament to ensure there are enough foreigners.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:44 pm 
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Tal of 1960, Smyslov of 1953, Schlechter of 1910, Speelman of 1983, Blackburne of 1873, Hou Yifan of 2012, Korchnoi of 1978, Alekhine of 1931, Romanishin of 1977 and Larsen of 1967.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:50 pm 
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You are taking liberties with the question, James! But OK, why would you take Speelman from 1983, instead of abducting him in your Tardis in 1987?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:11 pm 
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If we are doing time travelling, is it too late to put in a bid for Deepest Blue from 2137?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:15 pm 
Keres definitely should be in James' line-up, but the year even trickier with him!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Morozevich, Polgar and Shirov for their tendency to produce the most interesting games. Nakamura fits the same criterion, and since he plays London anyway I might as well invite him back. And probably Hou Yifan, since she's in the spotlight and the moment and it would be interesting to see if she can maintain the level she was playing at in Gibraltar.

The lack of any 2800s should even the field a bit for the English players, although I think it would be slightly harsh to say that it's too strong for them as it is - Adams had a shocker last year, but considering his performances at the European Team before and Gibraltar afterwards, you can't really say that showed that he wasn't up to it, he just had one bad tournament. McShane always seems to rise to the occasion. I think there might be a case for dropping Howell, though - maybe invite Ivanchuk instead (in a non-Candidates year) or any of the above.


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