Learning From The World Championship

Farbror the Guru suggested that I do a post on what can be learned from a World Championship. Actually we have a clue from Boris Gelfand’s comment: “We are playing a match, not entertaining spectators”. For the average player there’s not much of educational value either.

Why is this? Well the first problem is that chess knowledge needs to be built up in a structured way with one layer being built upon an earlier one. What Vishwanathan Anand and Gelfand were doing is simply too advanced for most of us to follow with the ‘classical chess’ games in particular being dominated by computerized opening preparation.

The second problem is that unless you hand pick games to illustrate particular ideas they won’t be that helpful, so it’s better to look at the most instructive games from chess history, classified according to theme. Anand and Gelfand were not trying to give us particularly instructive games and any such content would appear purely by accident.

On the other hand occasions such as this do at least get people looking at chess, and if you watch them live you can develop a certain involvement by trying to guess the next move. Of course you don’t really need a World Championship match to start doing this and collections of well annotated games are better. Yet for some strange reason nobody wants to do this.