Kramnik on no-castling-chess

Apparently Kramnik – after he retired from chess – came back with the intention to spoil my project. In an article on he proposed to eliminate castling from the rules of the game and argues that this would make forced draws less likely or even impossible.

I must protest against this subversive way of thinking! Chess is neither about talent nor creativity over the board. Chess is the equivalent of life! You study hard, you work hard, you pass the test and you achieve exactly the same as everyone else. Chess is all about equality and engines are the tool to create social justice! You study forced draws, you memorize your analysis, you make the draw and everyone is happy. Nobody is better, nobody is worse, nobody is superior, nobody is inferior. There are no gender differences, there is no racism, it is just white pieces vs. black pieces. Ok, black starts a tempo down and must fight for equality, but at least the players will switch colors afterwards. We are living in an age where people study hard and work their asses off all day long to get absolutely nothing. Chess should not provide a loophole to break out of the hamster wheel. This clown world deserves clown grandmasters with Elo 3800 openings and 1900 playing strength.

I even go a step further: If the engine shows 0.00 players should be allowed to claim a theoretical draw to end the game right there!


Ok, let’s get more serious. It would be interesting to make a study of openings that immediately become unplayable for black without castling, or where castling is the only way to keep an advantage for white. Kramniks preferred treatment of the Qc2-Nimzo would be illegal all of a sudden. How good is the Rauzer Sicilian if white cannot castle long anymore? Would the Four-Pawns-Attack refute the KID? The Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez would be gone because white can’t castle at move 5. Engines would find something.

Tournament of Peace

Very peaceful indeed!

QGA: Food for Thought


A weird game occurded between Anand and Caruana last night. According to the commentators this was some hot prep by Kasim, but I am pretty sure it was Anand’s hot prep as well.

Perfect chess by Anand and his computer.

Out in Heartbreaker

Radjabov’s match strategy is simple: Play for a draw in every game and hope for your opponent to either lose patience or blunder. After a bunch of draws Dubov had enough of this.

So it was do or die for Radjabov and he almost managed to do it.

State of the Art

This game is clearly a landmark in chess history. It features a forced draw, an important moveorder finesse, russian superstar Dubov, world class drawmeister Radjabov, the next german No.1 Huschenbeth, upcoming drawmeister Christansen and Domanski, unfortunately not me, but it proves that we are on to something.

Breaking the rules

Nakamura’s slump continues. I don’t know what is wrong with him. The only explanation – apart from physical issues – is that he is trying to break the rules of positional play on purpose in order to confuse his opponents. That clearly seems to backfire though.

When I look at this game I can recognize that black is a former World Champion. I don’t know who was playing white though.

It is quite interesting to play around with graphs. Surprisingly the top-player whom Naka shows the most similarity with, is Kramnik. Going by opposite performance the Anti-Naka seems to be Nepo.

What went wrong?

So what went wrong here? Christiansen probably couldn’t remember the theory and put his rook on e1 instead of e2. Then he defended the f2-pawn with the bishop and this bishop with g3. Then he didn’t know what to do, so he put his king on a1. At that point the game was already over. What he completely missed was the critical point of the game, his one and only chance to turn the tide.

The improvement

On a sidenote: Did Shirov just blunder a piece or didn’t he see that black can put something on b8 in the end?

Drawmeister of the Day

Another line that Aronjan can’t play against underdogs anymore.

Play it safe!