Monday, December 7, 2009


Boris Gelfand is having a great performance in this year's World Cup.  Mig compares him to L.A. Lakers utility man Kurt Rambis.

After a 2005 Chicago simul. from left: pudgy blogger, Lana Pritzker, Boris Gelfand, Tamara Golovey, Leonid Bondar, nice person whose name I forgot

Mig writes:
The word "gangly" was invented to describe Boris Gelfand. He's got a Kurt Rambis vibe, that supporting cast feel that makes you think he's destined for a life as a character actor, never the leading man. But you sleep on him at your peril, as player after player has found out at the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Israeli veteran, both the top seed in the event and one of the oldest players in the original field at 41, smoothly disposed of Jakovenko in the rapids, drawing the first with black and then winning two in a row. And he's already halfway to the final match, wasting no time and beating Sergey Karjakin with the black pieces in a sharp attack. Always one of the deepest calculators in the game, Gelfand's preference for slower play, and especially his recent dropping of his Najdorf for the Petroff, make this a welcome reminder of how tactically acute he is.


Altaica said...

Kurt Rambis??! What does Greengard know about supporting actors? He's not even on the catering crew!

The writing on that blog has deteriorated rapidly since he became dutiful waterboy to the perennial last-place Team Post-Retirement Kasparov. But don't get me wrong here - it was never that good to begin with lol...

Bill Brock said...

I'm a big fan of Mig's blog. It isn't as detailed as it used to be, but higher quality annotations are now available elsewhere virtually in real time. This wasn't true in the early days of the WWW. Keep in mind that it was Mig who first brought the world detailed annotations of Kasparov-Topalov, Wijk aan Zee 1999.

So now it's become a place for informed partisans to shoot the breeze. That has its place, too.

Mig's USCF rating is lower than mine, but I have no doubt that he's a signficantly stronger player than I am.