In the Name of Duchamp

Время публикации: 12.06.2012 00:53 | Последнее обновление: 12.06.2012 10:52

«Chess can be described as movement of pieces eating one another».
Marcel Duchamp

After the interview with Maria Manakova which I took in the first day of the Tal Memorial, I again got this feeling of self-dissatisfaction, because I've actually visited the event she was talking about! Maybe not for a long time, but I was a participant of the artistic "night of chess"; and the fact that Marcel Duchamp was the key figure who connected chess and other forms of art has also been known for me due to a large number of posters.

I surely remember that I decided to get to know more about the works of this extraordinary artist, who by the way, has been put in top-ten of the world's best artists by The Times; but probably you've already understood that I couldn't do that then. Filling that gap would be better than all those lame excuses for not doing it. Thus, the report from the 3rd playing day of the Tal Memorial will in Duchamp's style.

"Not all artists are chess players, but all chess players are artists." This quote by the famous French chess player - artist -  art critic - innovator  best explains the creativity of the Tal Memorial participants. The percentage of the thrilling games is extremely high after only three rounds.

Carlsen is now first to come at the stage. 

After the first two games where Magnus was escaping defeat by a chance, there were two possible outcomes: either he would win against Caruana to start the next triumphal winning of the tournament, or he would lose confirming his unfavourable shape.  

However, third outcome took place. Fabiano applied Grunfeld (it soon will be a nightmare for the players playing white) and equalized the position soon not leaving Magnus any better decisions than start to exchanging the pieces. 

That led to a completely drawn position with the different squared bishops at 30th move. Repetition of moves and they added another 1/2 to their 1 point.  

The youngest participants of the Memorial had different reaction to the result. Italian's face was calm and showed satisfaction, while Norwegian illuminated a slight but thoroughly hidden dissatisfaction. 

* * *

Radjabov - Kramnik lasted a bit longer, but their encounter finished in even shorter number of moves in comparison to the previously described one.

However, it can't be classified as an eventless game. At least because of the sacrifice black made in order to equalize the game. The former champion is applying this kind of conceptual sacrifices more often and they work out almost always. Maybe this is another reason for "the new Kramnik" to have even more fans than he had at the times of being the Champion. 

«I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste."

* * *

Тhe third draw - Nakamura-Tomashevsky - was completely different. 

The fact that the King's Gambit took place in the game has attracted attention to it. However, Evgeny wasn't surprised by Hikaru's choice. He equalized quite quickly and even made a convincing try to get the advantage. In a mutual time trouble the rivals got into a sharp position and missed some opportunities suggested by the computer, but they still played in a good "human" way and after the game agreed that they both are satisfied as with the quality of the game so with its logical result. 

"I guess that the artist doesn't know what he is doing. I pay more attention to the spectators. He is the creator of art."

* * *

As for the spectators the Tal Memorial has fewer visitors this year in comparison to November 2011. This fact can be easily explained by several reasons: after the three-week world championship match not only the organizers, participants, seconds are exhausted, but the spectators as well Now they prefer to follow chess from their homes.

Another important reason is the season - summertime. If the playing hall was full on weekends in November, now it has noticeably less visitors. At the opening ceremony the organizers hinted that maybe the Memorial will always be held in June from now on. No doubt this decision has a lot of advantages: the weather, less freer schedule and so on. But it also has some disadvantages, like the one we've already mentioned. What is more important and what should be chosen is a subject of a serious thinking.

"The artist may shout from the rooftops that he is a genius; he will have to wait for the verdict of the spectator in order that his declarations take a social value and that, finally, posterity includes him in the primers of Art History." 

The same is in chess. We don't mean all the spectators, but a devoted, responsive, well-prepared spectator is a measure of the part of chess which claims to being praised as art. 

* * *

And here's the dessert. Two decisive games of the round. The first of them Aronian-McShane had a small prehistory. Luke came to the stage earlier than his rival. He changed his suit to more comfortable clothes. 

Then he went straightly to the head arboter. "What's wrong?", Filipovic asked.

"Well, from the place I'm playing at I can see the screen which is put up for the spectators. That wouldn't be a problem if there wasn't displayed all the variants suggested by the commentators on-line.

It's hard to guess did Luke see this exactly before Round 3 or he saw it in previous rounds when playing at the same board. However, one can't reproach him in anything - even if he saw anything accidentally, it evidently didn't help him. After two rounds he head a sole lead in the end of the table with 0 points. And actually not many believed that he would manage to change the situation in the 3rd round playing against Aronian with Black! That wasn't easy...



Levon laughed sincerely after he got to know the reason of one of the screens to be moved,

and took his place in very good spirits.

After fifteen minutes he faced an exchange sacrifice. After the game Levon confessed that after move 14...Kc6 he finally remembered the variant  - not a very favourable for white. He understood that he had to try to play fast in order his rival would be unable to find the strongest continuations. His plan almost worked out if only he himself wouldn’t help McShane in making his wish come true. He didn't pay attention to his king's safety provoking Mcshane to play actively; finally that brought Englishman a win. 

McShane didn't conceal his joy. 

«I was really trying to invent instead of merely express myself. And what satisfies me most in life that I never worked for survival." 

Indeed, Luke can't be reproached for leaving professional chess for "earning for survival". He is just talented in everything. And he loves his job not less then what he had to leave...

* * *

The last game to end was the encounter of Russian players Grischuk and Morozevich. 

The advantage moved from one player to another. However, the time trouble decided the final result of it. Despite Black's inaccurate play, White got a good, but very responsible position. They had to attack, invent, sacrifice, calculate, but Grischuk had extremely little time for all this. As Morozevich has noted later: "I thought: if there's a checkmate - then that's a mate, if not - everything will be fine." His strategy was enough for winning. 

Alexander's second success and we have an intriguing Round 4: two leaders will face each other. Morozevich has white, Radjabov plays black. Both players - as the Russian, so the Azerbaijani GM, are very original, which means that the game will be full of fight and creativity. 

«The individual man as a man, man as a brain, if you like, interests me more than he makes, because I've noted that most artists only repeat themselves." 

Three rounds are over. One could make some conclusions after 15 games that have already been played, but...

"I don't believe in art. I believe in artists..."


  


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