18 responses to “GM Levon Aronian answers your questions: Part I”

  1. Very entertaining, thanks! :-)

  2. Thanks again mishanp and colleagues from Crestbook, as well as Aronian!

    You (all) were blissfully unaware of it, but with respect to the second fact or myth, publication of Aronian’s answer to my question is timely in a funny way: It falls in the middle of heated discussions on a German chess blog ( http://www.schach-welt.de ) on several comments by GM Georg Meier. He complained about lack of opportunities in the German chess scene, stating with at least 99% confidence that Giri couldn’t/wouldn’t have realized his potential if he had ended up in Germany rather than the Netherlands. That’s hypothetical, but maybe Meier (while a respectable GM) isn’t quite as talented as Aronian and Giri … .

    That multi-author blog tends to be negative most of the time, but the main author IM Löffler is a big fan of Aronian – see, among other examples, the start of his article on the first round of the candidates matches where Aronian was eliminated: “Disgusting. Simply disgusting. And sad.” [“Ekelhaft. Einfach ekelhaft. Und traurig.”]

  3. He was “only” rated in the mid-2600s at age 21-22, before starting his meteoric rise.

    Hmm, I thought meteors crashed and burned and became meteorites.
    I hope Aronian Doesn’t become a meteor.

  4. Ok, Meteoric rise – He made a sudden eye-catching appearance, faded quickly, and made quite an impact in the end. I still hope Aronian doesn’t become a meteor.

  5. Rather on-topic as Aronian also mentioned the Bundesliga: The fact that it is a strong and rich league is beneficial not just for (young) foreign players – Aronian is one example, another one would be Wojtaszek: Anand “discovered” him and hired him as a second after their Bundesliga game in 2007, then both could be happy with the result of their collaboration. It is, at least in theory, also beneficial to ambitious German players who face the same strong opposition, can earn GM norms (harder to impossible if there were less foreign players), etc. . On the other hand, also “German chess circles” complain that most of the money goes to foreign players, and rather few spots are left for Germans. One reason is that foreign players (from Poland and other Eastern European countries) tend to be cheaper because they need less to earn a living in their home countries – outweighing their travel expenses. Two sides of the very same medal … .

    No more off-topic than mishanp’s comment ,:) :
    1) On various blogs, the Polish federation was praised for supporting and investing in promising Polish players. As far as I can tell (I have to rely on an awkward Google translation), Konikowski is rather critical – not that they “do something”, but what they do or how they do it.
    2) For Georg Meier, the Netherlands seem to be some sort of chess paradise. While I am living there, I cannot really comment because I’m just a humble amateur. But …. a few years ago, Sokolov changed federations (back) to Bosnia because they offered him more money. He was rather frank about it, stating that he felt pity for Dutch players who don’t have such an opportunity, and hoped that his decision would wake up the Dutch federation. Recently, Sokolov changed federations back-back to the Netherlands, reportedly because the Bosnians didn’t or couldn’t fulfill their financial promises.
    Somehow in many countries, the grass seems to be greener elsewhere (at least until you take a closer look?).

  6. Thanks for your superb work! (and yes, I like my jazz question.., and the answers; great fun!)

  7. “Cheap trickster” may well be a myth, but I don’t think that was the allegation. The more palatable term “supreme trickster” has be used to characterize Levon’s play. “Cunning” is Shipov’s repeated term. Levon is particularly resourceful at seeing and creating this element of chess – call it what you will. Ths style of play is effective, instructive, and entertaining, and hardly something to be disavowed (unless his denial is also a trick!)

  8. how much longer to P2?

  9. oh…. i thought it’s just a marketing gimmick to post it in parts.

  10. ahem…. everything alright??

  11. Glad that your hobby’s helping you with the bills !! Quite rare, that….

  12. Grischuk: “Generally speaking, I was brought up in the Soviet way and consider that to be absolutely ugly and undignified behaviour, so I’m amazed you find anything whatsoever to admire there. ”

    LOL!! I love this guy more and more…. (pity u don’t seem to be credited as well)

  13. i am an indian. one can’t have better plus score in classical chess over Anand and be a ‘cheap trickster’

    may be Aronian’s talents are ‘indecipherable’.
    definitely a fantastic player that Aronian is!
    And a good fellow he looks.

  14. I found this comment from Aronian to be fascinating:

    “If in the opening position a player with a rating of 2600 takes away his two central pawns against a player with a 2100 rating, then I don’t think he’ll have any chances of victory, but if you take the two outside pawns, then I think the stronger player will have an edge.”

    I set up the positions described in Houdini 1.5, and went 23 ply, and Houdini’s take is:

    Opening position with center pawns missing:
    23 -1.01 1735.7M 12:30.84 Nf3 Nc6 c4 g6 Nc3 Bg7 Bd3 Nf6 O-O O-O Qe2 d6 h3 Nd7 Be3 Nc5 Bb1 Be6 Rd1 b6 Ng5
    Opening position with outer pawns missing:
    23 -0.41 711.8M 5:30.76 e4 d6 d4 Nf6 Nc3 g6 Bf4 Bg7 Qd2 h6 O-O-O a6 Kb1 g5 Be3 Ng4 Bc4 Nc6 Nge2 Nxe3 fxe3 b5 Bd5 Bd7 g4

    Conclusion: Aronian is talking about a half-pawn difference, between the two described positions, from the machine’s point of view. But maybe the difference in having and not having your center two pawns shows only at a (much) deeper level than 11.5 moves. (Also note, in neither position is there a quick win.) Much food for thought.

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