lunes, octubre 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!



Meet Paula Echevarría - a Spanish Style Icon

პაულა ეჩებარია ესპანელი მოდელი და მსახიობია, და დიდი ხანია, სრულიად დამსახურებულად ინარჩუნებს სტატუსს - როგორც ერთ - ერთი საუკეთესოდ ჩაცმული ქალბატონი ესპანურ შოუ - ბიზნესში. იგი აგრეთვე ცნობილი მომღერლის დავიდ ბუსტამანტეს მეუღლეა. წყვილს პატარა ქალიშვილი - 3 წლის დანიელა ჰყავს.


როგორც ბევრ ცნობილ  style icon - ს, პაულასაც აქვს საკუთარი ბლოგი, რომელშიც ძალიან ხშირად ნახავთ ახალ - ახალ პოსტებს. წერს თავის მოვლის საშუალებებზე, გვიზიარებს საკუთარ გამოცდილებას, გვაძლევს რჩევებს მოდასთან თუ სტილთან დაკავშირებით, და დებს უამრავ ფოტოსურათს საკუთარი "დღის ლუქით". მე პირადად ძალიან მომწონს მისი "აუთფითები", ძალიან გემოვნებით და დახვეწილად იცვამს; თუმცა, ისიც უნდა აღინიშნოს, რომ ავანგარდი თითქმის არ არის მის ჩაცმულობაში, ძირითადად იმას ეტანება, რაც ნაცნობი და "გამოცდა გავლილია", ასე ვთქვათ.

ქვემოთ გიტოვებთ მის რამდენიმე ფოტოს მისი ბლოგიდან, რომელსაც ამ მისამართზე შეგიძლიათ, ეწვიოთ: http://paula-echevarria.blogs.elle.es/














აქვე დავიდის ერთ - ერთი კლიპი, სადაც სწორედ საკუთარი მეუღლე გადაიღო:





A No - Introduction - Necessary Interview. Full Attention Needed. (Part II)

INTERVIEW

for:

the Official Magazine of the Catalan Chess Federation "El Butlletí d'Escacs"

by:

Ana Matnadze


Being a chess pro is tough. We are constantly traveling. What is your secret to deal with jet lag?

Sadly, I have no secret for jet-lag.  Throughout my career it has had a negative impact on my play at the start of events.  Terribly so I might add. 

And your secret as to how to recover from a bitter loss?

One can never overcome a ‘bitter loss.’  The way to deal with a loss is before the tournament.  I think most professional players simply have to accept that when they play in a tournament, to win it, they will have to take risks.  So if before a tournament a player mentally girds themselves and say, “Okay, I’m going to lose a game, two or three, but I’m going to play hard for a victory,” then ‘accepting’ a loss is easier.  Although the bitterness is long-lasting.  Secondly, losing is part and parcel of the game.  Get used to it.  It will happen!  Instead, we have to learn to take our losses in stride and learn from them.  What did we do wrong?  Why did we make the mistake we did?  And so on.  Losses will help us learn if we make the correct deductions. 



The number of Chess fans all over the world is growing every day, however, it is not yet meant as popular a sport as, for example, football or tennis… What do you think would be necessary to do to make chess more popular? What would be your strategy or ideas to attract more Sponsors?

My approach is far different than the questions imply.  In terms of ‘athletic sports’ one doesn’t have to be a golfer to understand the game.  Through simple observation we see there is a ball and a club.  The golfer uses his club to smash the tiny ball into a hole that is two hundred meters away.  Most athletic sports are simple to understand, soccer, the world’s most popular sport is simplest of all to understand.

Chess on the other hand is too complex for the public.  Someone may observe for hours and hours and still not understand the basic rules.  So we should not only ‘accept’ but ‘embrace’ this limitation.  Chess is a complex game appealing to a small but significant segment of our populations.

Salgado and Seirawan having a great time during the official closing dinner

Where chess fails is on several levels.  My experience tells me that in the case of the United States Chess Federation, for example, we need one hundred players who play and understand the game, to produce one USCF member.  The reality is that we ‘lose’ ninety-nine players because somehow – on the organization level – we are not doing enough to ‘appeal’ to the ninety-nine players we lose.  In short, our ‘retention’ levels for those who learn the game is simply abysmal failure.  We need to better understand how we can make ‘organized chess’ more appealing.

Recently, in August, I visited my sister in Phoenix Arizona. While there I hooked up with my friend Scott Frenaux who organizes a scholastics chess network.  Scott and his staff reach out to hundreds of schools and teach chess to about 25,000 children a year.  By the second year, half have dropped out.  By the third year, another forty percent.  Those that stay in the program eventually become champions and USCF members but the ‘attrition’ and turn-over rates are staggering if not at times depressing for the coaches.  Still, for all that effort, many lives are positively impacted.

The truth is that there really are untold millions of people world wide who have – at times – found chess to be enormously interesting.  We need to make greater efforts at ‘re-capturing’ those who have ‘left’ our sport and bring them ‘back into the fold.’  If we are successful at that, chess would be, instantly, the most popular board-game in the world.

As regards sponsors, I think this is a ‘top down’ approach.  Here what I have in mind is the ‘crown jewel’ of chess, the World Chess Championship title.  Universally acknowledged to be one of the most important ‘intellectual titles’ in the world.  This title has been the providence of FIDE for sometime.  Here FIDE has made a hash of its own title.  When the rules are without sense, the sponsors flee.  So even to begin to think about ‘how do we attract sponsors to chess’ we must first realize that our most important events, world and national championships must have sensible rules, sensible regulations and attract the best players.  Failure in this most obvious ‘top down’ approach means no or limited sponsorships for lesser events. 

What do you think about the “short draws phenomenon”? What would be the mechanism to avoid them?

Funnily enough, I don’t share the concern that ‘short draws’ are a problem.  Really, I see it as overblown hysteria.  The obvious solution is what was used in the Magistral event: No draw offers before move forty.  Simple.  End of discussion.

The greater concern is actually getting games with ‘content.’  Again, I refer back to my complaints regarding the advancement of opening theory.  Let us say to the players, okay, play till move forty at least!  Both players show us their homework coming out of a long theoretical dispute of say thirty moves, a late middlegame, endgame evolves where the ‘machines’ have judged a ‘small pull for white.’  The players continue playing ‘correctly’ and by the end of another ten, twenty moves the game is clearly drawn.  Well, that was nice.  Right?  Correct play by both players led to a draw.  But was the game either ‘fun’ for the players or ‘enjoyable’ for the spectators?  Were the players ‘just going through the motions’ for the last ten or twenty moves to meet the expectations of the rules?

This is what I worry about, that the opening theory has become so deep, that the levels of sophistication for the defender is reaching so high, it becomes harder and harder for the elite to gain victory.

I’m not saying that ‘chess is played out.’  No, no, no, not at all.  I do however worry that theory has made such rapid advances, half the players’ armies are reduced before the players are ‘playing on their own.’  

What is your opinion about cheating? It is becoming a very serious problem.

Cheating has always been a concern.  Long before computers ever became strong.  That is players receiving advice/information during a game.  In truth, at the most elite level charges of ‘cheating’ are simply ridiculous and don’t exist.  On the amateur levels however cheating, again even before the computer could have been a problem.  A coach telling his student what move to make.  Now with electronic devices, such charges, are far more worrisome.

Here I think there is a ‘disconnect.’  Again, at the elite level cheating is not a problem but there is a public perception that there could be a problem and then it gets blown well out of proportion.  A “possible” problem “becomes” a problem that doesn’t exist.

It was terribly unhelpful for the image of chess when Topalov accused Kramnik of cheating during ‘toilet-gate.’  Without any proof or any evidence whatsoever.  Just a charge of, “my opponent is a cheater!”  When Kramnik won in Rapid play, without leaving the board, Topalov explained that Kramnik’s method of cheating had simply been improved!  My goodness, how silly was that? Topalov damaged his own image and brought chess into disrepute.  What sponsor wants such an association?

Cheating is an ‘image’ problem for chess.  If the world ‘perceives’ that computers are better than humans and that humans ‘could get help at the board’ it would mean that there would be less and less interest in chess.  Even if no cheating at all is taking place.

In my view, chess authorities should take a ‘pro-active’ stance, to convince the public that there is simply no possibility of cheating at all.  Some simple suggestions include no electronic devices of any type by the player (a security wand before the start of play); as well as a time delay for the relaying of the moves.  These should more that suffice.  

                                                             To be continued...



Mi pregunta del día es:

Qué opinión te merece Fernando Torres?


sábado, octubre 29, 2011

Mi pregunta del día es:

En qué os fijáis, aparte de la posición en sí, cuando asistís a una partida de ajedrez en vivo?


viernes, octubre 28, 2011

A No - Introduction - Necessary Interview. Full Attention Needed. (Part I)


INTERVIEW

for:

the Official Magazine of the Catalan Chess Federation "El Butlletí d'Escacs"

by:

Ana Matnadze


Hello Mr. Seirawan, welcome to Barcelona. Could you please, describe to us your preparation process for the Magistral Casino Tournament? What chess analyzing program do you use?

Thank you very much.  It is a pleasure to have been in sunny Barcelona as I live in Amsterdam where it was windy and chilly when I left.

I use three programs Rybka, Fritz 12 and Houdini.  I like Houdini best.

The majority of the players in Barcelona were unknown for me.  My preparations were mostly to review their most recent games (last two/three years) and to get a feel for their style of play.  What types of positions they excell in and to see if they have favorite openings that I like to play as well.  

Whom were you expecting to be the most difficult opponent? Are you happy with your play here? Which was the best and the worst game and why?

Again as I wasn’t familiar with the players.  Before the start I thought that Smirin was the clear favorite.

Overall, I’m satisfied with my play.  It was consistent.


My game with Smirin was my worst for sure as I made a howler (a bad blunder) when I missed his Nf4-d5 stroke, which wins on the spot.

My best game was versus Peralta.  We played a main line Pirc and I played a very powerful strategic idea Nc3-b5, which my computer doesn’t find but gives me a long-term advantage of the two Bishops.  I kept a grip on the position and played very well throughout.  Really, Fernando was never given a chance to get into the game. 

Yasser analyzing his game with Peralta

You told me on the first day you had been to Barcelona before. Tell me more about that, please. Did you plan any sightseeing now? Has Barcelona changed much?

I played in Barcelona for the first time in 1989 during one of the GMA World Cup events.  It was extremely well organized and I had wonderful memories of Barcelona.  That event was much longer with several free days.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do any sight seeing during the Magistral event as there were no free days.  I did however enjoy my walks along the beach boulevard to and from the hotel to the casino.  If possible, Barcelona has become more beautiful than I remembered. 

Back to your extensive bio… you were born in Damascus. Do you still keep roots, family connection, there? What are your childhood memories?

Yes, I have an ‘extensive’ family of Seirawan’s living in Damascus.  This comes from my father’s side of the family.  Unfortunately, when I was nine years old my mother and father divorced and I lived with my mother, so much of my knowledge of my Syrian side has been ‘lost.’  Through my father I’m kept informed of what is happening there.

The family left Syria when I was four years old.  I have only two memories of Syria which I wrote in detail in my book, “Chess Duels.”  Those memories were of pain and pleasure.  An interesting twinning.  


Your career has been tremendously successful in all aspects. Apart from winning a lot of prestigious tournaments and having been the ninth highest rated player in the world, you succeeded in chess writing, publishing, organizing, founding, as a commentator. And I´m already lost. Do you ever sleep?  And, what is your primary occupation?

I’ve always enjoyed being busy and like working on projects.  These days I mostly do reading and writing and fewer projects.  I do some financial investing advising others but I’d say my primary occupation today is as a writer.  

How good are you at S-Chess? (Tell us more about that).

S-Chess or (Seirawan Chess) is a joint effort between Bruce Harper, a friend and strong chess master from Vancouver, BC, Canada and I.  It happened by accident, I was visiting Bruce and while we were in his kitchen preparing something to eat I was lamenting about the state of chess.  Specifically, the awesome advances taking place in opening theory.  Nowadays it is rather common to see elite players playing a theoretical line that is twenty moves deep and even longer.  In a recent game, Jakovenko made a novelty – h2-h3 – around the 34th move as White against Gelfand.  My goodness!  What is that?  I complained to Bruce that the “creativity” possible in a game between two elite players was being inexorably reduced, because of theoretical advances.

I also complained to him that as Black, against a well prepared opponent, it was becoming increasingly hard to ‘create play’ where the second player had a chance for victory.

While complaining I also noted my admiration for what Capablanca had called, “Capablanca Chess.”  He had created two additional pieces, what he called a “Marshall” and a “Chancellor.”  These two pieces had the power of a Rook and Knight in one case and the power of a Bishop and a Knight in the other.  Capablanca created a 10 x 10 board, which I don’t like.  I much prefer the 8 x 8 board.  Trinity College in Dublin suggested a 10 x 8 board which Capablanca accepted.  Otherwise, the armies are simply too far apart.  “Capablanca Chess” never really caught on – you don’t see to many 10 x 8 chessboards do you?  Yet I loved the movements of “Capa’s pieces.”

Bruce and I started to think how to place Capa’s pieces on an 8 x 8 board?  From the starting chess position should we ‘push’ the a2-pawn to a3 and tuck one of the new pieces on the a2-square?  And do the same for the h-pawn?  Well one look and you see what an artificial construction that becomes.

So we began to think that the starting position for chess is just fine – perfect in fact.  Capa’s pieces would have to remain “off” the board at the start of the game and be “introduced” into play as pieces come off the back rank and are “developed.”  As we understand from chess, it is very natural that all the pieces start from the back rank, protected by a pawn in front and then come into play.  In no time, we realized that was a perfect introduction for the new pieces.  A player would have eight opportunities to bring the two new pieces into play.  There would be no ‘symmetry’ of play as one player need not copy the opponent.  Each game would be unique.  We immediately became enthusiastic about our new find.

The next thing we did was to rename Capa’s pieces.  I mean think about it.  What exactly are a Marshall and a Chancellor?  When I try to create an image in my mind of these two titles, I think about men.  Specifically, in the case of a “Marshall” a military general and as for a Chancellor, a politician wearing a huge necklace of office.  Reducing these images into a chess piece, is simply confusing.  So we had to rename the pieces and create easily identifiable images.

Once you start along these lines, and recalling the history of chess, you immediately start to think of an elephant.  Chess ought to have an elephant!  Since, Bruce and I thought that the piece with the powers of Rook and Knight would be stronger than Bishop and Knight, we called it an Elephant.

The second piece a Bishop and Knight becomes more tricky.  What is it?  What should it become?  What image should we create?  Thanks to the power of the Bishop, in one sense, it can ‘fly’ across the board.  This conjured up the image of a ‘raptor’ or an eagle if you like.  The image of a bird, is of course, universal and some birds are fantastic predators.  I liked the image of an ‘eagle’ but eagles are mostly scavengers, preying on the dead or dying.  So we settled for a Hawk.

Then we began to play the new game and discovered that it was really great.  Seriously, we enjoyed ourselves immensely.  Virtually no draws as well.  Theoretically, the new game could feature nine Hawks or nine Elephants as pawns could promote to any piece – accept the King.

The great thing about the new game is that nothing in chess has to change.  Same board, same armies, just the addition at the start of four new pieces, two for each side.

Bruce and I commissioned the making of ‘kits’ for the new game and away we went.  Today, we have been a bit blocked as we need to make the new game available for play on the Internet.  Once we manage that I’m confident the game will explode in popularity.

Lastly, what to name the new game?  Clearly, it is a derivative of “Capablanca Chess” but both Bruce and I felt uncomfortable about using or dare I say abusing his cherished name.  I liked “Sharp Chess”.  The first word being a mixture of our last names “Seirawan” and “Harper.”  We wanted to copyright the name but discovered the “Sharp Stores” chain of retail outlets had already claimed “Sharp Chess.”  As Bruce and I expanded our name search we discovered that all kinds of names for chess games had been made.  For example, “Animal Chess” was taken by Disney, and so on.  We were stuck.

Even worse, we discovered that practically nothing ‘appropriate’ for our efforts existed at all.  In order to avoid becoming a target of a lawsuit we called our joint effort “Seirawan Chess” which we’ve reduced to calling “S-Chess” for now.  We want to have a future ‘name the game’ contest when it becomes more popular.  Too, I’m uncomfortable with “Seirawan Chess” for the simple reason it overlooks the contribution of Bruce altogether.

I’m very good at S-Chess.  I’ve played with many Grandmasters and do extremely well.  

Yasser at post - mortem, GM Illescas and IM Ana Matnadze and GM Iván Salgado kibitzing

Tell us about your family.

I’m married to a Dutch lady, Yvette Nagel, who is a FIDE FM.  We live in Amsterdam where Yvette works for the city and Mayor’s office.  We don’t have children but we have brothers and sisters who do.  Our parents are all alive and in good health so we travel often visiting our relations wherever they may be.  

                                                                      To be continued...






Vote for Moris Meladze!

And I already have my favorite at Geostar 2011 - Moris Meladze!!! Vote for him, message him 3012 or 30125 (for 5 messages)

 

Isn´t he amazing? ♥♥

Mi pregunta del día es:

 Cuál es tu complejo?


miércoles, octubre 26, 2011

Torneo Magistral Ciudad de Barcelona - Casino de Barcelona 2011, Crónica Final
















Del 12 al 20 de octubre se ha disputado en la renovada sala BSpace del Gran Casino de Barcelona el Magistral Ciudad de Barcelona - Casino de Barcelona 2011, que este año ha sido organizado por la Federación Catalana de Ajedrez y ha contado con el patrocinio del Casino de Barcelona (Grupo Peralada), el Ayuntamiento de Barcelona y la Generalitat de Catalunya.
El torneo, incluido en el ACP Tour, se ha jugado por el sistema de liga a una vuelta. El único inconveniente ha sido la inesperada baja a última hora de uno de los favoritos, el vencedor del Circuito Catalán 2011 – el GM venezolano Eduardo Iturrizaga, quien la misma madrugada del inicio del torneo comunicaba a la Organización que había sufrido un accidente automovilístico de camino al aeropuerto, por ende no iba a poder viajar. Su plaza no ha sido recubierta y el torneo se ha jugado con 9 participantes, descansando uno en cada ronda.
El ritmo de juego ha sido de 90 minutos más 30 segundos de incremento para las primeras 40 jugadas, más 30 minutos y 30 segundos de incremento para cada jugada hasta el final de la partida. Los àrbitros del torneo han sido el AF Manolo Navarro y la árbitro de la FEDA Laura Gallardo.

El ganador de esta edición 2011 ha resultado el joven GM gallego Iván Salgado, quien no partía como favorito por elo pero sí como favorito del público, pues ya había sido el subcampeón del torneo el año pasado, tras el imparable Bruzón. Este año Iván había cambiado su estratègia un poco de la siguiente manera: prepararse mucho antes del torneo para así tener mucha energía durante la competición; mantener su espíritu de lucha y adoptar más versatilidad en su juego, pues el año anterior habían sido todo sicilianas prácticamente. Este año, de todo un poco.

El segundo lugar, con los mismos puntos pero peor desempate, lo ha ocupado uno de los debutantes en el Casino pero un jugador con mucha experiencia – el norteamericano Yasser Seirawan. Yasser ha estado retirado de la competición durante años, pero ahora està de vuelta y planea pasar la barrera de los 2700 puntos elo en breve. Y en este torneo ha demostrado que va por buen camino: pues ha ofrecido un ajedrez combativo, creativo e interesante.

El tercero ha quedado el canadiense Kevin Spraggett, quien había estado luchando por los primeros puestos también, pero la sólida defensa del catalán Marc Narciso en la última ronda le ha dejado con medio punto menos que Salgado y Seirawan. Spraggett ha mostrado un juego estratégico impecable en este torneo.

El cuarto puesto ha sido para Óscar De La Riva, jugador – revelación del torneo, quien ha llegado imbatido a la última ronda donde ha sufrido su única derrota y no ha sido ni más ni menos que con el Campeón del torneo. Óscar, que últimamente no juega muchos torneos y se dedica más al entrenamiento, ha hecho una demostración de juego sólido y posicional, y su victoria sobre Spragget ha sido una de las mejores partidas del torneo con el famoso tema de la “clavada”.

El israelí Ilya Smirin partía como favorito, pero ha tenido que conformarse con el quinto puesto. Se ve que no estaba muy en forma, pues en sus partidas faltaban el fuego y la diversión que tanto le caracterizan. En la partida con Seirawan parecía que estaba volviendo a su estilo habitual, pues ha sido otra de las mejores partidas del evento; pero no ha sido suficiente para conseguir una mejor posición.

El sexto y el séptimo lugar han sido para los catalanes Marc Narciso y Daniel Alsina, respectivamente. Cabe destacar el hecho de que Marc ha sido el único jugador en derrotar al Campeón del torneo, también es el jugador que en más ediciones ha participado del Magistral. Dani Alsina ya tiene en su Currículum un campeonato – la edición 2009 – donde, además de quedar primero, siendo el jugador más joven del torneo, también consiguió su título de GM.

En octava posición ha quedado el argentino Fernando Peralta, quien, ha reemplazado al cubano Yuniesky Quesada quien estaba inicialmente invitado a esta edición, pero no ha podido venir por problemas en conseguir el visado. Fernando ha jugado muy bien, luchando hasta el final en partidas largas y duras, se ve que le ha faltado un poco de preparación ante rivales de ese calibre.

Y cierra la clasificación el GM Josep Oms, quien claramente ha jugado mejor ajedrez de lo que demuestra su posición final, pero no se ha podido recuperar durante el transcurso del torneo, pues el formato cerrado es bastante duro si te encuentras en una mala racha.

La organización ha ofrecido unas simultáneas a cargo de la WMG Ana Matnadze, el sábado 15 de octubre,  en ell Club de Ajedrez Sant Andreu, como actividad paralela.

Las partidas del torneo se han podido seguir por la web de la Federación Catalana d’Escacs www.escacs.cat , el portal Internet Chess Club www.chessclub.com y Playchess. Varias webs importantes han estado cubriendo diariamente el evento.


Final standings
Rk.
NombreEloFED123456789Pts.Des 1
1GMSalgado Lopez Ivan2614ESP*½½110½115.520
2GMSeirawan Yasser2652USA½*½½011115.519.25
3GMSpraggett Kevin2576CAN½½*01½1½1518.25
4GMDe La Riva Aguado Oscar2541AND0½1*½½½½½415.75
5GMSmirin Ilia2678ISR010½*1½½½415.25
6GMNarciso Dublan Marc2519ESP10½½0*½½½3.514.25
7GMAlsina Leal Daniel2529ESP½00½½½*½13.512
8GMPeralta Fernando2602ARG00½½½½½*½311
9GMOms Pallisse Josep2493ESP000½½½0½*27.25

Mi pregunta del día es:

Cuál es el navegador que más usáis?


lunes, octubre 24, 2011

Mi pregunta del día es:

No te conozco. Es hora de que te presentes. Pero tienes que hacerlo de la manera que me lleve la mejor impresión de ti en una sola frase, PERO ha de ser todo verdad. Cómo te presentarías contándome lo más importante que has hecho (o una de las más importantes) en tu vida? De lo que te sientas ESPECIALMENTE orgullos@? La frase tendría que ir en plan: Hola, soy X y he hecho/estoy haciendo TAL (X) cosa en mi vida. Qué me dirías?

domingo, octubre 23, 2011