Is watching chess like watching grass grow? Not when it’s blitz

Well folks, some of you may not be chess fiends. But tonight and for the next two nights even you may be intrigued to pop in and watch world championship blitz tourney. Players have 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move each. So they’ve got to get a wriggle on. And they are stupendously good. Watching it’s just amazing how many things they can keep in their head at any one time as they race through the games. 14 tonight. 14 tomorrow night. 10 on Thursday night.

Here are the players. And their ratings (I presume) are their blitz ratings. So enjoy. The official website is in Russian but translated seamlessly by Google if you want.  I’m watching the live cam right now and the players are being announced – how amazing.

VI World Blitz Moscow RUS Tue 16th Nov 2010 – Thu 18th Nov 2010
Start list:
1 Carlsen, Magnus GM NOR 2802 1503014
2 Aronian, Levon GM ARM 2801 13300474
3 Kramnik, Vladimir GM RUS 2791 4101588
4 Grischuk, Alexander GM RUS 2771 4126025
5 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar GM AZE 2763 13401319
6 Karjakin, Sergey GM RUS 2760 14109603
7 Ponomariov, Ruslan GM UKR 2744 14103320
8 Radjabov, Teimour GM AZE 2744 13400924
9 Eljanov, Pavel GM UKR 2742 14102951
10 Gelfand, Boris GM ISR 2741 2805677
11 Nakamura, Hikaru GM USA 2741 2016192
12 Svidler, Peter GM RUS 2722 4102142
13 Movsesian, Sergei GM SVK 2721 310204
14 Nepomniachtchi, Ian GM RUS 2720 4168119
15 Caruana, Fabiano GM ITA 2709 2020009
16 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime GM FRA 2703 623539
17 Andreikin, Dmitry GM RUS 2683 4158814
18 Mamedov, Rauf GM AZE 2660 13401653
19 Grachev, Boris GM RUS 2654 4129199
20 Savchenko, Boris GM RUS 2632 4147332

And you can watch the games live.  They should be up on this amazing site, where you can look at all the latest big tourneys. For normal tourneys where players get two hours for forty moves, it also displays computer analysis alongside the live game which enables you to figure out who’s winning, why and what the best continuations are (in the opinion of Stockfish which is a fairly seriously good computer program.)  But I’ve not verified how it works for this tourney – though it’s there so it should work fine. If not, check out the page of the official site for live games.

Enjoy!  It’s an amazing world. We’re an amazing species. Don’t let anyone give you that crap about how chimps are just like us.  They’re not.  Trust me.

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