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There are no late bloomers in chess

A few months ago I suggested that Vincent Keymer should play a match with Igor Rausis to gain some more or less free rating points, because I had the feeling that Rausis was clearly “overrated”. As the link shows, Lawrence Trent thought the same.

Now the latest news is that Rausis got caught using his mobile phone during a game. So much about that.

Beating the Grünfeld

Chess24: Play the French

This is a short review of the video series on chess24 about the French by Edouard. I am not going into detail on every line, because there is on obvious flaw which pretty much devaluates the whole project. Edouard recommends a line that is also covered in the brilliant book by Negi, but he isn’t even mentioning the critical lines given by Negi. I mean come on dude! This is just weak.

Two interesting games

In the first game Caruana caught Naka in a memory contest.

The second game is a draw in a sharp line between comrades.

At least he tried

Ok, after making some not so friendly remarks on Svidler, I have to give him credit for fighting in this time. For a reason that only he knows, he didn’t go for the critical line with e3, but went for something fresh in a well known line. He pretty much dumped a pawn for nothing and couldn’t prove compensation. Svidler’s game is all about tactics and since there were no tactics, he couldn’t find ’em.

Another pointless game

Yesterday Peter “nice guy” Svidler played his good old friend Gelfand, whom he drew like 100 times before, and the result was as expected. Today he and Danil “not so young anymore” Dubov repeated the game of two “amateurs” and managed to draw in 21 moves. Why play chess if a draw is the expected result?

Drawing for a Living

Here is a recent example how to be successful in chess without playing chess at all. One of my biggest idols, Peter “nice guy” Svidler, follows a blitzgame from a chess.com match. Dominguez, who analyzes his own games too, plays the computer improvement and Svidler immediately forces the draw. That’s how you do it, boys and girls! Why play chess if a draw is the expected result?

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I am the boss here, so I can make PR for whomever I want, even if they don’t pay me for it. Chess24 has just released a video series where Dorfman explains his famous “Method in Chess”!!!

There are people who learn from books and there are people who learn by listening. I knew Dorfman’s books, but listening to him put it on another level for me. The big difference is that he can put emphasis on points in his speech that he cannot do in written text.

Actually there is a funny point to it. Gustafsson did the presentation together with Dorfman and it seems to me that he learned something as well. I am curious about his next tournament. The thing is that such lessons stick in your memory, even if you are not aware of it, and you start to recognize patterns, if you want or not.

P.S.: In my opinion Part 6 is worth the price of the series alone.

Ranked 7th, finished 7th

The last game was nothing to write home about either. Conceptionally I find it rather weird to play 1…d5 if you have the Sicilian in your repertoire, but apparently he likes his d5-systems. The resulting variations lead to Slav/Caro Kann structures and should not suit a dynamic player at all though. Here is how such positions in the Oberliga between a veteran GM and a FM usually play out: Black gives up the bishop pair, white slowly impoves his pieces, gains space, creates a weakness, wins a pawn and converts.

With a performance of 2430 Keymer sadly showed once again that he is currently not underrated and that is exactly the problem. Now let’s assume he went for the Drawmeister (Qc2-Nimzo etc.) except against the unknown dude instead. It would/could/should have resulted in +1 against an average of 2588, which should be a 2600 performance. If his opponents play for a win and overpress, he could have scored even better. Tournament strategy is key!

Note: This is not some wiseguy comment from an armchair quarterback. There is a clear difference in going for dynamic imbalanced positions and keeping things under total control. Nobody prevented him from playing the Berlin and the Ragozin as recommended by Leela. Nobody prevented him from going for forced draws with white either. It was a concious decision to go for positions where the onus is on him to prove something.

Two more games

The first one is an uneventful draw against a 2573 GM which shows once more that the Najdorf is a negative freeroll for Keymer.

Finally he got his first win, against a 2401 FM whom I have never heard of before.