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Monday, January 12, 2015

What a Disappointment...

...this game must have been for the relatively unknown Singapore master. He had the former world champion on the ropes, but couldn't deliver the knockout punch. The game is annotated in part in Soltis's book, The Inner game of Chess, How to Calculate and Win. It's not my intention to review the book here. It's been called a classic and it's been called poorly written. The book came out in 1994 and computers were able to play chess fairly well but the book contains quite a few analytical errors, so it's obvious Soltis didn't error check his analysis. Still, the book is a fascinating insight into GM thinking and I think it's still a worthwhile purchase.  If you take your time to go over the games, especially with an engine, it will at least make you think.
     The following game is a case in point. Soltis's analysis was really bad. But that aside, you really have to feel for Tan; he played extremely well, got his opponent, one of the unappreciated greats of chess, on the ropes but then lost the thread of the game and just couldn't put him away.  It's obvious that a lot of Tan's errors were due to time pressure because he finally overstepped the time limit in a slightly inferior position. According to Komodo 8, which was running for about an hour on the final position while I was out blowing snow, black's advantage is a little over half a Pawn. I think black's position was good enough that Smyslov probably would have been able to squeeze out a win. I can empathize with Tan. Years ago I had a 2500+ IM busted by move 12 in a weekender, but couldn't put him away. After much dalliance, I blundered a couple of times and lost!

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