“Nerves beat quality”

The FIDE World Cup in Tromso has seen some excellent commentary from Susan Polgar, Lawrence Trent and Nigel Short, among others. Even former World Champion Garry Kasparov, in his words “the highest-rated ever kibitzer”, rang in to add his views and you can still listen to his comments by clicking on this link.

One of the interesting things he said was that “nerves beat quality” in the knock-out tournament format, with performance in rapid and blitz games being key to making progress. Also, sheer stamina is required to merely survive the schedule. Indeed, failing to turn up on time to a game was enough to eliminate one player, misunderstanding or not.

Kasparov still concludes “eventually Kramnik will win” because of his “immense quality”. “Nerves beat quality” in knock-outs, unless you’re playing Kramnik then!

Angus James