Did I mention that today is a rest day in the suddenly-quite-exciting world championship?
Well, that's no reason to sit around with a long face; there's plenty of other interesting chess news that was on my mind:
A nice article from Dana Mackenzie about why translating is still more art than science: Of Knights and Knaves on F5 ... or Why Translations Will Never Be Automated
If you ever want to think deeply about a language (even your own language, or perhaps I should say especially your own language), you should try translating something into it or out of it.
Vinay Bhat reflects on the match, at its halfway point (before the most recent two decisive games): At the (Classical) Halfway Point
But just like it’s easier for me to suggest that my opponent sacrifice his pieces, it’s easy to tell two players playing for the World Championship that I want them to take more risks and possibly lose.
At my Alma Mater, a casual speed chess culture has developed: In back of Hutch, a nightly game of kings
“You can actually learn a person’s character by seeing him playing,” he said. “Stingy people don’t like to sacrifice a piece. But sometimes you need to do so in order to win. You can also tell whether a person is aggressive or materialistic in the same way.”
And a nice follow-up piece highlighting Nakamura's final game in the U.S. Championship: Nakamura wins U.S. Championship
The critics (including me) would have said "What was he thinking!" if Naka had lost. But no, it worked like a charm - Naka crushed Seirawan, while Kamsky drew. This gave Naka the championship by a full point, undefeated, 8.5/11 (6 wins, 5 draws). This is comparable to Fischer's typical score in U.S. Championships. Congratulations to Hikaru Nakamura on his gutsy play and incredible performance!
You really should play through that Nakamura-Seirawan game -- it's magnificent! Seven of Black's first 11 moves are pawn moves, and by move 15, when White has 6 developed pieces to Black's one, it's hard to believe you're watching a current and a former U.S. Champion playing each other; it looks like one of those games you might encounter in Hutchinson Commons in the Reynolds Club.