When an email goes to pieces, or hardware flips out, I want to get to my people! So I have signed up with WordPress. I am not sure this is the right place either but BLOGGER was owned by Google and they often did things which would piss off the Pope.

I will contact my “audience” to tell them it (a BLOG) is “back.” For good or for hmmmm.

Let’s start. Wait a minute, my email address is — appreciate your thoughts. Get off your duff and write something on my new BLOG.

Wait another minute: if you like a “written” Blog in PDF (which I like as it is easier to put pictures and ads in) you can get FREE from me “Your Morning Cup of Chess.” The work you will have to do is seriously minimal:

Need: Your email address and your whole name

In the event I want to actually ship you a physical object or paper, I will need your street address. city, state, and zip code (USA)


Years ago I wrote a large computer program in Fortran called URBWAR for the Defense Dept. What a job! It was about “testing” Strategies. During that time I was involved in a 2-day seminar with a Marine Colonel (and others from all over) about various strategies concerning urban assault.

The colonel, a grizzled WWII or Korean War vet. said to me, “What did your computer program find out?” I gave him my answer and he looked quite irritated and said, “We knew that was the best tactic in the war I fought (in the cities).” In my youthful eagerness to be affirmed, I replied “Aren’t you glad to know you were right?” Well… what can I say, he was not pleased… BUT I WAS! I knew nothing about his tactics, I just thought about the problem and came up with the same solution!

I think about Carlsen and Anand too. It’s not the statistics of a 100 rating points difference, or stuff like that– it is more like “What is going on in THEIR minds?” In advertising and marketing one great suggestion (was it Caples or Hopkins who said it?) “Put yourself in the mind of the audience/person you are selling to.” Not always easy, but a fine suggestion.

So with Carlsen I see a guy, magnificently matured (at 22) and growing more successful with each event, who WANTS to be world champion of chess. With Anand, he has been many times champion in many different formats. He clearly loves being the world chess champion. He is idolized in India. He is one of the greatest speed chess players of all time (my favorite is probably Tal or Fischer)! But Carlsen is great at blitz too. I don’t think Anand wants to test Carlsen in blitz.

The first two games: checking each other out. Why are the spectators all anxious for action? 1.Nf3 was a brilliant strategical choice. Next two games: more steam in them. World champ Anand seems to have a strategy of “rope a dope.” During this time I think he should have “scared” Carlsen–but he didn’t. Problem, I think, was he was too afraid himself and was unsure what on earth would scare Carlsen in the first place. Already that HAS to be a losing strategy because after all these months of preparation he hasn’t uncovered anything. That was Carlsen’s significant ace-in-the-hole.

Some were aware (as GM Jan Markos wrote in a recent issue of SCORE) that Carlsen could be unpredictable because he was truly UNIVERSAL–he could play anything, especially…tada… the endgame, the middlegame, and any other kind of game! A prodigious memory. Even Anand was amazed at that and how very little seemed to faze Carlsen. Anand had a BIG task in front of him.

When Carlsen won the next game all the garbage came out that Anand came back the next game after Topalov and Gelfand beat him in their first WCC outing. Someone even mentioned the reverse happening to Anand when he beat Kasparov first in 1995 and then lost the next game (and many more). These are meaningless statistics because these are isolated incidents–not happenings of it in 30 different world chess championships involving Anand (clearly a ridiculous number).

Carlsen won the next game (it was also trotted out that Anand had never lost two games in a row (anytime or just in WCC matches?)) that was supposed to mean something–but, it didn’t. When I did simulations for the URBWAR project we “replicated” events using Monte Carlo methods, over and over and over. THAT will give you a trend (if there is such a thing as a truly random number!)

Then we had two draws. This was a TACTIC designed by the Soviets to “stabilize” the man in the inferior position (over the long haul). Really? What it did was bring Carlsen 2 games closer to becoming the new world champion. Anand DID NOT practice under adverse conditions the way Botvinnik, Rocky Marciano, Tiger Woods and others did. I always thought having the match in Anand’s own country was a mistake. In spite of that flawed “mathematical analysis” on the Chessbase website yesterday concerning match game limitations, it didn’t seem to really occur to the analyst that in some “short” matches that the reason they were short (when there weren’t any limits on number of games, just number of wins) was because one player had become clearly stronger than his opponent and had more HUNGER before the event event started or had already dialed up his total match strategy).

There is a rest day today. Anand still has HUGE problems to solve. I think his only remaining strategy is: hope (never a good strategy) that Carlsen will be bored; and/or Carlsen will do something stupid. He’s relying on Carlsen’s attitude toward opening preparation being different from his own.

There is no reason Carlsen hasn’t already thought of this. He won’t be experimenting like he has in some of his tournaments. By experimenting I mean, trying something offbeat.

When I put money on the line, I invariably lose a bet. When I use COLD LOGIC and no $$$ my “bets” are usually right on. I don’t think Anand will belly up to the bar and really put him to a big test–he’s gotten too used to being afraid of losing. His own confidence has been drained.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see three more draws. Anand can say, “Kasparov only lost two games too.” (Of course that was over 16 games rather than 12 in this instance.)

Maybe YOU don’t care, but my chess business thrives on success. I believe Carlsen will help that whether or not he writes a book (and I don’t expect him to). Probably 6.5 – 4.5 or possibly (but unlikely) 6.5 – 3.5.

What are your theories? I have run into a number of “friends” who didn’t even know there was a world chess championship going on. These people do not provide ANY inspiration to me. I enjoy winning against them–I had to say that.


Bob Long





  1. Bob, it’s great to see you back to blogging. seems to me to be a superior site to the Google blog offering. I think psychology plays a big part in all matches, but especially in this one. I recall reading that Spassky, in the 1992 rematch with Fischer, said that he believed he could have extended his early lead but something within him wanted Fischer to win the match (maybe a rationalization, maybe true) and he didn’t play as well as he might have. Anand’s play so far reminds me of this.

  2. Bob, great you back blogging as whether I agree with you or not you make it interesting. One bit of warning about WordPress is be sure to keep it up to date as many trolls and hackers try to exploit any problems with it.

    I thought Anand had a chance to beat Carlsen, but he seems to be playing not to lose instead of trying to win. So we will have a new champion. Long live the King!

  3. Bob, Great to see you are blogging again. Best wishes.I do not think that Anand actually believed he would win this match. No shame in losing to someone who outrates you as much as Carlsen does at this level. Not sure Anand will win a game unless Carlsen messes up in an equal endgame. I seem to recall he has done it before.

  4. Welcome back, Bob! Rather than fighting it out with all guns blazing, Anand is handing over his title in orderly fashion, trying to mitigate the loss will have on his status in chess history.

  5. Welcome back, Bob! Anand seems to have chosen to mitigate the loss will have on his status in chess history and is trying for an orderly handover rather than a last stand, with all guns blazing…

  6. Greetings, Bob. Like your other readers, good to see you back again. Is this going to replace ‘Your Morning Cup of Chess’ as I do enjoy receiving those e-mails? My money is on Carlsen. I think he will be good for chess. Plus if he wins, I can say I’ve “met” and got an autograph from 2 world champions (the other Karpov). Thanks, St. Louis Chess Club. Hey, carry on and I’ll be looking for ya.

  7. Bob,
    I’m always a little bit skeptical of any kind of mathematical analysis that is applied to world championship chess. Think back to all the rhetoric that was bantered back and forth when Fischer made his demands about the WCC in 1975!? 10 wins with draws not counting and the current world champion keeps his crown if there is a 9-9 tie. People took a stand on both sides of this issue for years!

    I tend to agree with “Ron’s” comments, but after today’s game (Thursday) his last paragraph is busted! Carlsen will more than earn his crown…


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