Saturday 13 November 2010

Any Dancing Partners for Magnus?

GM Simen Agdestein on Norwegian TV's 'Dancing with the Stars' - but could his protégé Magnus Carlsen demonstrate similar fancy footwork were he to attempt a breakaway world chess championship?

Leonard Barden's Guardian column of 13 November 2010 is on Magnus Carlsen's withdrawal from the World Chess Championship Candidates' competition. In the column, Leonard makes this point:
"... the bold move could be for London, as in 1993, to go for a high profile breakaway series in 2011 which would still allow the winner to play the official match a year later."
I noticed that Leonard wrote "series" and not "match" and that was probably for a good reason. One difference between Magnus's vision for the championship and the 1993 breakaway match between Kasparov and Short (or Fischer's attempt to play Karpov in 1975 without FIDE's blessing) is that Magnus doesn't seem to be talking about matchplay as a championship system. In the past it has taken 'two to tango' to set up a breakaway match - and that has proved quite hard enough - but Magnus would need a whole dancing troupe were he to attempt a breakaway to suit his aspirations. Perhaps Magnus should seek advice from his former mentor, pro-footballer-cum-GM Simen Agdestein who starred in Norwegian TV's equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing.

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