A short visit to a short game

by Maxim Dlugy
11/29/2016 – Maxim Dlugy was in a hurry when he came to watch game 12 of the Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin match. But there was not much to miss. After 30 minutes the last classical game of the match was over: draw. Dlugy still found time to play blitz, greet old acquaintances and discuss religion and education with Henrik Carlsen and Richard Conn.

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I only had 50 minutes for visiting game 12 and that turned out to be enough, not only to see it in full, but to also play two blitz games against Fabiano before he had to leave. How is that possible? Magnus wanted me to see the whole game!! Actually, it is possible to relate how you just want to call it a day when fatigue sets in. I think that's what happened here, as Magnus probably thinks his chances are higher in the tiebreaker. Enough about the match, lets see what happened offline.

As it turns out, a few cool things: First, I got into a nice conversation with Richard Conn and Henrik Carlsen. Richard recently finished a book he has been working on since he was 12? It's a book on how to bring up your child without religion. With a very recent endorsement by Richard Dawkins, he is excited to share his life's work with those who have waited that long to get the answer. Henrik commented that Norway has solved the issue by replacing religion with oil, but of course that is just one country, and I am sure the solution needs to be a bit broader. Anyway, I can't wait to get a copy which Richard promised me im  return for my upcoming book 'Grandmaster Insides'.

Henrik Carlsen and Richard Conn

Then, amazingly, I noticed the legendary organizer Jose Cuchi walking away from me. I called him out and the brilliant organizer of the New York Open and International tournaments  - which he stopped in 2000 - indeed turned around. He explained that he had a stroke in 2000 while preparing to organize another edition of the Super Strong Swiss and was faced with a choice - to concentrate on his business which put bread on the table or on chess. He chose his family's well being.

I remember these tournaments well: they were a real test of skill and gave young players a chance to compete against the world's best. Smyslov, Tal, Spassky, Kortschnoi, Portisch, and a host of other famous players competed in those events. I was fortunate to tie for first in one of them back in 1985.

Kirill Zangalis, Sergey's manager, told me that a TV crew from one of Russia's top channels had made it to New York. He told them to visit my Academy and take some good shots. That was welcome news as I am hosting a blitz event on Tuesday and will be waiting for them. My friend Andrey Minkov, who was playing blitz with another very good friend of mine, came over and asked me for my clock. As I gave it to him, he asked who he was playing. "Three-times U.S. champion Lev Alburt", was my reply. "So I have no chances", Andrey inquired. "None", I agreed.

Just as we were beginning to get ready for Magnus to pull a rabbit out of a hat, and wind up with one of those nagging slight edges, everything was exchanged and the players agreed to a draw 30 minutes after the start of the game. I spotted Fabiano and although I didn't have enough time to play a real match, we decided to play a couple of 2 minute games. After getting a nice opening as Black, I spoiled it with overly aggressive play and reset the pieces to try and get enough with White. I blundered badly in the early middlegame and though I was down an exchange and pawn, I created sufficient headaches for Fabi to have him overstep when he already taken all my material. 1.5-0.5 to him. Spectators at a sold out round were disappointed but then Ilya Merenzon from Agon announced that holders of last round tickets are also set for the tiebreaker on Wednesday. Playing blitz well is key! Isn't that what I was trying to make you understand during all of my reports?

Postscriptum after the match - the World Championship reports by Maxim Dlugy:

Maxim Dlugy was born 1966 in Moscow and in 1977 his family emigrated to the US. In 1985 Dlugy became World Junior Champion and later made a career on Wall Street. He is married with children, lives in New York, and loves to play blitz.


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