55

Rashid Nezhmetdinov, aka “Super Nezh”, was clearly GM strength, having a plus score in the 20 games he played against World Champions, including a plus score against his friend, Tal. He was also a five-time Russian champion (this title predates the Soviet Union, and is not the same as champion of the Soviet Union). I was a Russian linguist in the Air Force ...


44

A repetition giving the opponent the opportunity to claim a draw is a de facto draw offer but not a de jure draw offer. What does that mean? Well the "de facto" part means that in practice it has the same effect as a formal draw offer while the "de jure" part means that legally it is not a formal draw offer. Psychologically it makes a ...


39

Herbert Simon touched on this question. He received the Turing Award in 1975 and the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1978. His primary research interest was decision-making and is best known for the theories of "bounded rationality" and "satisficing". Satisficing is a decision-making strategy or cognitive heuristic that entails searching through the available ...


35

When a GM, or even lesser strong players reach a position that is totally unfamiliar, they have to break it down into components. They evaluate the following for BOTH sides. In general, a lot of this is done subconsciously by strong players. Material, and what pieces are better. Sometimes a well-placed knight can be better than a rook, for example. Can any ...


34

The website 2700chess.com has a database with the FIDE ratings (from May 1st, 2019). Their search form only offers the option to show the top 50 or 100 players satisfying the search results, but it's possible to modify the submit request and ask for the top 5000 instead. When I do that, I get 808 results: So the other 700 must have ratings lower than 2500 ...


34

So in the sense of holding down a job while playing he was an "amateur" player. So was Unzicker, a GM in the 70's, the last amateur GM? No. Here are 4 current British "amateur" grandmasters. English GM Matthew Turner is a teacher at Millfield School in Somerset. English GM Matthew Sadler is a computer consultant in the Netherlands. English GM ...


34

Where am I wrong? None of "the world's best intellectuals" spend much time playing chess. The only strong (GM strength) chess player who qualifies as an intellectual is Dr John Nunn GM who graduated with a first in mathematics from Oxford University at the age of 18. Why do people even play chess? The best answer to this was given by Siegbert Tarrasch ...


32

Enjoying chess and getting better at it can be viewed as an instrumental good, as well as possibly an intrinsic good. As an instrumental good, chess can help us be better in other areas of life. For example, playing consistently might help sharpen certain areas of your mind. Coming up with plans could help one make plans in real life as well. Knowing when ...


31

If you are prepared to use standard Linux command-line tools like wc and grep then I think my free PGN processor, pgn-extract, will do much of the pre-processing necessary to count games in each category. Below is a basic bash script I put together as a proof of concept. It assumes your file of games is called inputfile.pgn - adjust as necessary, or pass it ...


29

In essence, you are asking- Can memory (or other brain functions) be improved or is it a natural trait? The answer is yes to both. While it is true that one's memory can be improved, it is also commonly observed that some people are more "gifted" when it comes to memory (and other brain functions) than others. To play blindfold chess, you need three ...


29

Let's take a conversation. The number of sentences that could be said are infinite. The number of grammatically correct is still infinte, as is the number of logically/conversationally correct would be. The humans pare down what they say in any situation by intuition/experience. As chess players study what should be played, their task is much easier than ...


28

Brilliant little data mining project! I used the wiki list of GMs and wrote a quick and dirty script to extract the data. Feel free to use and expand/alter it, if you are interested. As it turns out, the average age for reaching GM is just above 28. It is, however, skewed by "old" generation players and players from time before GM title was a thing. It was ...


27

I know a few GMs in 2500-2600 range who would be considered professional -> ie chess provides the primary means of earning income for them. It is very hard work with wages not matching the effort/skill spent: Being the primary player for medium club team (European/Middle East/Far East) Teaching (preferably within said club as it guarantees steady supply of ...


25

Humans try to understand a game like this, to formulate rules, try to recognize patterns of what worked in one position and apply them in positions they consider similar. And it turns out that that is possible, otherwise there wouldn't be humans of different playing strengths, everybody would just be guessing. Then we used that knowledge to create engines ...


24

Probably more often than people realize. There have been several notable instances where GMs (even world champions) have missed simple mates in one. From my own experience, when I analyze my games the engine frequently will point out some ridiculous 25 move forced mate. In a game, I'm not going to take the time to calculate something like that out if I have ...


22

It really depends on what you mean by "lengthen". I am not a GM, but as an "ordinary" Master, I have played 1700s before, who were lost by move 10, but the game still took 50 moves to finish. If you are trying to stay equal longer, that is a harder question to address. If you are just taking about purely lengthening the game, then you are looking to trade ...


22

I agree with you, more than your coach. Just analyzing a GM game, even with a computer, is not helpful just by itself if you have no idea what is going on. For example, just earlier today, I answered a question here, where the person gave a computer line that made no sense as far as the plans for the position were concerned, so the computer was really no ...


22

I will try to answer this in a different manner, the way I understand this topic. Do we think on every signal, turn, fork when we drive? Do we think every time we eat food or walk on the street? The answer is yes, we do, but that thought process has moved to our reflexes to the extent that our brain does not let us know that it is doing a task (Thankfully!) ...


20

The short answer Yes, they do, although very few GMs do and by a margin of less than 10%. This does not seem to be due only to random factors (see long answer). An example is GM Joseph Gallagher. As you can see in his FIDE profile page, he has the following games record (as for 15 Dec. 2020): White +124 =118 -73, score = 58.1% Black +126 =124 -67, score = ...


19

In many top level tournaments you are not allowed to offer a draw before a certain number of moves are played (often 30 or 40). The purpose of such a rule is to prevent very quick draws. However, one of the ways to make a draw anyway is to simply repeat moves. Even if that rule is either not active or the move number has passed, it may still be encouraged to ...


18

From this Chess.com Discussion In terms of games played, it would be Tal with 95 games (46 wins, 49 draws) from October 23, 1973 to October 16, 1974. He also has the second longest streak of 84 games (47 wins, 39 draws) from July 1972 to April 1973. In terms of time, Capablanca was undefeated for 63 games (40 wins, 23 draws from February 10, 1916 to ...


18

There are actually three different distinctions in the USCF system that have to do with a 2200 rating. First is the National Master title. It is awarded to anyone who has ever had an established (not provisional) rating of over 2200. Once a player is a National Master, they have the title for life no matter what happens to their rating. The NM title has no ...


18

The economist Ken Rogoff (b. 1953) achieved the GM title in 1978, but was never a "professional" chess player. Rogoff is currently a professor of economics at Harvard University.


18

It really depends on what counts as a missed checkmate. In Blitz we occasionally see a missed mate in 1. In slower games, mates in a few moves are rarelly missed. But the problem is that sometimes long mate sequences will be "intentionally missed", as the player will go for a solid advatange that guarantees victory rather than calculate a 15-move ...


17

You are wrong because you want to enslave the world's best intellectuals to dedicate their time and effort to tasks that you deem important rather than on what they find enjoyable and fulfilling.


17

Are there such examples of torturous winning, where a grandmaster resists his urge to resign and lets the opponent take all of his pieces before he gets checkmated? No, there aren't, for the simple reason that that sort of behaviour would require both players to behave in an extremely childish manner and childish behaviour (e.g. "hope chess") is ...


17

Are there asymmetric time controls where a GM can still beat Stockfish? Certainly, as long as you give Stockfish little enough time. I think the time you give to Stockfish is almost more important than the time that the GM gets. At 20ms I would favor the GM even at tournament time controls. A few years back I played a handicap game against Komodo where I ...


16

As I have said before, this requires physical fitness and strong memory. In order to play blindfolded chess properly you need to master the following: Having always clear vision of the board. Properly move and capture pieces. Properly update the overall position on the board after the move is played. Now it is time to implement solutions for the above ...


16

I wrote to Dan Heisman to get his take on the question. Here's his reply: “Everyone is a little different. The book is algebraic so others can read and understand it. In practice some just think in pictures; no verbalization is accompanying. Others might think more "If I go there..." Sometimes algebraic is helpful to clarify in your own mind what ...


16

This depends a lot on the position and cannot be answered generally. If you have a forced line, i.e. a position where there are only few candidate moves at every step, a grandmaster can calculate many moves. I am reluctant to give a concrete number because it really depends, but to give you a rough idea, let's say 20 moves. On the other hand if the position ...


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