Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Who says chess is boring?

I've been following Wesley So's games online at the FIDE World Cup. Chess can be quite exciting specially if you're rooting for a countryman. Wesley did not disappoint. He managed to win over Ivanchuk and Kamsky, two very highly rated players. It is safe to say that he is the star of the tournament because of the big wins. He is the 2nd to the lowest rated player in the round-of-16 but his game is highly anticipated due to the prospects of another upset.

But the upset did not come. The first two games were drawn. Wesley lost the third game played in rapid fashion. In the fourth game, another rapid, Wesley was doing very well in the early goings. Malakhov was in time trouble. Malakhov initiated an exchange of major pieces and a series of weak moves by Wesley turned the tide swiftly. Wesley cannot advance his pawn while at the same time he cannot prevent Malakhov's from queening. He lost but he gained a lot of experience here. Wesley we're proud of you.

What makes the game more exciting to follow is the very good website: http://livechess.chessdom.com/site/. The games are presented live. It is not using Flash at all. I think it is AJAX. Hats off to the designers and administrators. The only drawback is Filipinos have once again invaded the site, as they did many other online sports sites/forums. They flood the forum with chit-chat not even related to the game, prompting administrators to ban comments at some intervals. This is another case of Filipino online power gone bad.

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