Organisers - Pick the Right Players!
'Creativity takes courage.' - Henri Matisse
Whether chess is an art form, science, sport or something completely different. The chess games that I most enjoy watching/playing, are the ones which are unique in some shape or form.
When I see a new idea, or an imaginative concept my soul jumps a beat. For a second, I will indulge myself in a moment of pure joy. I mention this as following twitter message from famous chess photographer, David Llada, got me thinking:
Would I rather watch two of the top players in the world play a perfect game of chess, that ends in a peaceful draw. Or would I rather watch an imperfect, yet fascinating game, containing mistakes from both sides that eventually ends in a win? I will always pick option number two.
This could even be called 'The Chess Players Paradox' - Is it possible that the stronger a player becomes, the more boring the game may seem to be? Without mistakes, is a game of chess not rather dry and boring? Take the two following games as an example of this:
Game one - The perfect game
Game two - The not so perfect game
How much more fun was Tal's epic encounter!!! More of that please sir . I am not being critical (or too critical...) of the first game, as this is the way top level chess often is nowadays. Yet, the imperfect effect of Tals, was so much more entertaining in my opinion. The problem is that in modern times, top players just cannot get away with playing in such a crazy way. Well that is most players...
Bring on the likes of Baadar Jobava, Richard Rapport, Shirov and (where is he now!?) Morozevich! Check this game of Rapports out.
Now all I ask, is for organisers of top/elite chess tournaments to take a risk.
Do not just invite the highest players on elo rating, but also consider inviting the most imaginative players in the world. Give the spectators some crazy entertainment! I would love to see a tournament with a mix of elite players and the most entertaining players. I would be a bit worried about a whitewash, but hey it will sure be fun to watch!
I must admit that I sometimes feel that this desire to play in a crazy way has held my chess play back somewhat. Take a look at the following video:
But at least it was fun What do you think?