I doubt this will be of much excitement to many Troppodillians, but, emboldened by Troppo’s webmaseter Scott Wickstein, I am posting my second chess post. The first was a game by Albert Einstein.

Every now and again something amazing happens and right now someone whose been in the top ten for a while – Veselin Topalov – is going beserk. He’s won 5 1/2 points out of 6 against the best the world has to offer (except for Gary Kasparov who recently retired). As Chessbase puts it “Veselin Topalov is on a rampage, the likes of which have not been see for a very long time in chess.”

Perhaps Kasparov has done this well somewhere – but the only time I remember someting like this – and it was more amazing than this by quite a margin – was when the most remarkable player of all time, Bobby Fisher destroyed the careers of two of the top ten players in the world, Mark Taimanov and Bent Larson beating each 6-0 in the Candidates matches leading up to the 1972 bout with Spasky. Neither was quite the same ever again. Anyway, if you want to see some amazing moves, have a look at almost any of his games. This one just goes to show that you never know when the old Topalov might clean you up.

Also of interest is that Judit Polgar is in this World Championship. This is the first time ever a woman has got this far. Is this genetics or culture? No doubt there’s some culture there, but my guess is there’s genetics there too. But who knows.

Here’s Judit.polgar08.jpg

And Topalov is pictured at the head of this post.

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2024 years ago

Go Judit!

It looks like she’s not going to win, though. Oh well. Hasn’t the world championship usually been a one-on-one thing? Is this current tournament a precursor to the main event?

Scott Wickstein
2024 years ago

It’s all been very messy over the last 15 years and would require an essay to fill you in. I wrote one for Samzidata a while back.

2024 years ago

I know. I gleaned most of my knowledge of world chess champions from Reinfeld books and the Encyclopaedia Britannica set my parents have. Consequently, I have a fairly detailed knowledge of the championships, up to about the late 1970s, when Fischer gave up the game and the championship defaulted to Karpov.

Everything after that is kind of a blur.