DS and Wisp OP plz nerf.
Congratulations for the sweep, town!
Type: Posts; User: LanMisa
DS and Wisp OP plz nerf.
Congratulations for the sweep, town!
Congratulations to the top four! Also would have liked to see Haze in the top four... but at the same time I wouldn't even know whom to take out of the current ones since all of you were playing so well. I hope that the jury will send a few more people from this game to the semifinals. Good luck to all of you!
Like, I won't write it if it's just for one interested person, but for a few I would.
For whom it may concern: Flavour is done, sorry for the dip in quality. Writing a long wall post was not good for the brain. Next time let it come to F3 please so that I have more time between each writing segment. KTHX
Flavour coming tomorrow instead of today, I am utterly pooped.
After the prelims you might also do a podcast with the jury and/or the first placers from their respective games.
Post Game Flavour and voting details are pinned in Threadmarks
After G4 running smoothly enough I offer my flavour for any of the later rounds, if people would like to have me. I promise that it will not be chess-based again so that people don't actively fall asleep reading it.
Day 5 and post-game flavour is up or should be up soon, endgame flavour will come tomorrow since it will take a lot of time to write the character writeups of the five remaining players.
For those of you interested in the details: All flavour titles were leaning on songs from CHESS-The musical, all losses and disqualifications come from real rule breaks or cheating methods, some of which I experienced myself.
By the way, I curse everyone for the D3 hammer which forced me to speed-write my flavour which was not prepared yet at that point, with me expecting to need it 24 hours later.
Nobody ever thinks about the poor flavour writer...
Also yeah, D5 and endgame flavour incoming later.
3) I am not 100% certain, but the main issue with edits is in-game since if you could just edit stuff scum could just "erase" or retcon events - and since Forum Mafia is all about backreading and finding scum that way this would lead to problems. On the other hand, when you are in wolf chat you don't intend to fool anybody (since you are amongst teammates) so I assume that there is no restriction here.
Since I normally always use Discord wolf chats when playing here I cannot say much else about this topic, unfortunately.
Ah, one thing about the voting: While every player is obviously free to come to their own conclusions and make their votes based on their own and personal criteria, I suggest looking at wolf chat and Graveyard chat as well. Both are definitely well worth a read (and not too long either) and offer valuable insight to both the wolves' play as well as give the players who died earlier more opportunities to show their skills.
I am also not a big fan, normally, to put the blame for a certain outcome on a single player once the game has passed a certain threshold of days.
Town losing a lynch because of the modkill was a bit unfortunate; not sure if Birphub would have been a likely mislynch candidate at that point or not. I still believe that generally the D3 mislynch, in the way that it happened not even 1/4 into the phase, might have been what cost town quite a bit, but I might be biased here. I don't remember winning any game as town ever when an early hammer happened that wasn't on a mechanically outed wolf.
And I am not chiding the players, it's just that one read I had all game. The game WAS difficult with the savage bus and the pure D1 wagon.
Which town player ever throws down a long-winded wallpost to justify their vote mere seconds before EOD?
And I am surprised that not a single player picked up on it, apparently.
Endgame: Mountain Duet
After Tal's disqualification, nothing stood between the Grandmasters Steinitz and Kasparov any more. Early in the tournament they had discovered each other's willingness to break the rules when the two of them bumped into each other - in the toilet, with a smartphone device in hand, using it to cheat against their opponents. Instead of ratting each other out they swore to help each other in their endeavours. While they had also recognised Kramnik's cheating attempts they had decided to not interfere since his clone had been a little unstable (and was replaced during the tournament). Now, with the formerly leading Tal out of the way, the first two spots in the tournament were finally in their hands, and they were not willing to give them up anymore.
The first of the remaining players to be eliminated was Max Euwe. Euwe, never having been a professional player himself, nearly got eliminated due to placement a few times, but barely made the cut several times, mostly due to the aforementioned cheating attempts and staged eliminations of other players. So it was not a surprise of him not making the cut as much as it was a great showing of him holding his ground in the player tournament for so long - and coming in at a respectable fifth place. But please, no mistakes here - Steinitz and Kasparov didn't just stop cheating because of them leading in the tournament: For emergency reasons they had brought old PSP consoles to the tournament area - items so archaic and widely unknown that none of the tournament participants nor fans nor arbiters recognized them at being able to run a chess program. Not a strong one, mind you, but the consoles had been brought in for emergency purposes in the first place.
RandomTask has been eliminated from the tournament. They were:
You are Machgielis "Max" Euwe, born in 1901, died in 1981, World Champion from 1935 to 1937.
Max Euwe is a story from a world when sports were much less railroaded and controlled than they are now. He was the only amateur player to ever become world champion - being a full-time math teacher before, during and after his time as a champion. He was not chosen to become the candidate because of winning lots of tournaments, or showing exceptional results - but mostly because World Champions could decide their contenders themselves at the time and Euwe, while being a great player with some standout results, was seen as an easy yet still acceptable opponent by Alekhine who tried to avoid facing Capablanca as already told. In an interview before the match, Euwe himself admitted that his chances of winning were slim and that Alekhine was the big favourite, and thus, for most experts, the match was basically decided before it began.
Why did Euwe win then? First, while he wasn't a professional he had taken a few months off before the match to properly prepare for it, training every day, preparing opening ideas and getting ready, physically AND mentally, to face Alekhine. Meanwhile the overconfident Alekhine arrived at the match in a desolate state with his alcoholism and tobacco addiction at his peak, little preparation for his opponent and also the high expectations of everyone put on him. The match itself lasted eighty days and while Alekhine had the better start, winning three games quickly, he didn't have the stamina to last - winning five of the first ten matches, but only three more in the other twenty(!). Meanwhile, Euwe showed an impressive amount of consistency, winning three games each during the first ten, second ten and last ten games and ending up winning the title by one point - a stunning comeback victory from the underdog.
Most impressive was his life off the chess board: While being a teacher and playing chess for a living, Euwe discovered his fascination for Computer technology and ended up becoming a professor for Computer Science at the tender age of 63. Even later in 1970 he became the President of the FIDE, the World Chess Federation, and became to be known for a morally robust person who didn't falter against attempts from different sides to use chess for politics and who managed to resist the Sovjet influence, or political influence in general, as much as possibly no president before or after him. Some even go as far as to call him the last FIDE president with integrity and without corruption. When Euwe wasn't teaching or presiding over Chess he wrote Chess books - all in all 70 of them, ranging from beginner's books to Expert books. Many of them are still considered essential books for studying chess today.
All of this did not allow you to find the cheaters before it was too late, unfortunately. Better luck next time!
The second player that was eliminated was Boris Spasski. Spasski had performed exceptionally well during the tournament, showing of his genius more often than his laziness. Being a "master of all trades" he had been in a leading position before the restart already and was also close to the top for most of the second half of the tournament. Being seen as a threat, both Kasparov and Steinitz went all out: They had put buzzing devices into their shoes which helpers with access to chess engines could remote control. Different buzzing signals meant different moves - and by giving advise in certain crucial positions, both Steinitz and Kasparov won every single game against him that day, catapulting him into last place and eliminating him in fourth position.
Drew-Sta has been eliminated from the tournament. They were:
You are Boris Vasilievich Spassky, born in 1937 and still alive, World Champion from 1969 to 1972.
Spasski's talent was remarkable and obvious starting from a young age. After defeating a certain later World Champion Botvinnik during a simul match at age ten (!), Spasski got regular training from master level coaches starting from a young age, reaching the title of master at age 15. One year later he reached the title of International Master during a tournament in Bucharest, Romania, during which he managed to beat Smyslow, the player who became World Champion just a year later. During his first Sovjet Championship, a tournament filled to the brink with Grandmasters and former, later and current World Champions, he tied for third place in 1955, being eighteen. Afterwards he fell into some sort of "hole", possibly because he had reached all that he had set out to, possibly because of the risen expectations - although personal matters might play a big role as well, having gotten into a deep marriage crisis that lasted for three years and ultimately ended in his divorce.
In 1961 Spasski managed to turn around the ship though, and quickly established himself as a top player in the world, eventually gaining the right to challenge Petrosian in 1966 (but losing) and again in 1969, finally winning the crown. Unfortunately this marked yet another turning point, as the loss of a further goal to accomplish and the burden of the chess crown influenced his game massively. Spasski himself later called the years until the Fischer match "the unhappiest ones of my life". He ended up losing against Fischer, despite having a host of helpers from the Sovjet Union backing him up during the tournament, which caused political trouble - high ranking officials claimed that Spasski had thrown away his title willingly by badly preparing for the match. It comes to no surprise that, after marrying a french woman who was a consulate worker in Russia, he moved to France and even gained French citizenship. While he tried to reconquer his crown he didn't manage to play another match but stayed an active player for another three decades, He ended up moving back to Russia in 2002 after his divorce and is still living there, being the oldest former World Champion who is still alive.
Spasski was also part of the Jugoslavia match against Fischer, but not being an US citizen he was not subjugated to legal trouble, unlike his friend and rival Fischer. After Fischer got arrested in Japan he even wrote an open letter to US president Bush jr. to cease legal actions, but to no avail. A last interesting anecdote is that one of his games against Grandmaster Bronstein ended up being "played" in the James Bond movie "From Russia with love" and, of course, his match against Fischer being immortalized by the Musical "Chess".
In this tournament, however, genius could only get you so far, and thus you lost against chess engines. Better luck next time!
The last player to be eliminated was Emanuel Lasker, the former German World Champion. Steinitz, for whom Lasker had been a rival and who never got over losing his title to him, had kept him for last. And what he had prepared was devilish: With only three players remaining, one of them always had a break. Thus he directly teamed up with Kasparov: Both of them had a listening device in their ears. Thus, whenever they weren't playing each other, the player would receive help from his helper who was currently free. Drawing each game against each other and crushing Lasker in every game he played against either of them they not only beat him, but humiliated him. All according to Keikaku.
macros (Malazan) has been eliminated from the tournament. They were:
You are Emanuel Lasker, born in 1868, died in 1941, World Champion from 1894 to 1921.
Lasker was a late starter into chess, but one of the players who managed to stay at his peak for the longest. He originally learned how to play chess from his brother as a twelve-year old when the two of them were living in Berlin - his brother to study Medicine, Lasker to receive higher education. His parents were worried that this would influence his grades and sent him to a different school AND city instead. 1889 he started his studies in Mathematics, but after winning several strong tournaments and beating a Grandmaster level player in Liverpool comfortably over several matches, Lasker decided to take a break from his studies and become a professional chess player in London instead, financing his life by playing chess and writing on chess magazines - and in a way, fulfilling the fear of his parents. In 1893 he moved to New York to do the same thing in the States, where he ended up winning the World Championship title from Steinitz in 1894. While his style couldn't be called spectacular, Lasker was prone to almost never making mistakes and being fearsome in using the errors of others. After five more years of professional chess, Lasker abruptly stopped playing and moved back to Berlin, resuming his studies and promoting as a Doctor of Mathematics in 1901.
One of Lasker's biggest fears was to die in poverty, a fate that Steinitz had befallen. Because of that he asked for high amounts of prize money in his championship matches, to the dismay of some. He also wrote studies in Mathematics and Philosophy, worked on different Chess papers and wrote chess books to finance his life. Many of these attempts didn't amount to much, just like his attempt in 1913 to buy a farm(!) and generate income that way, which drove him back into professional chess and big tournaments time and time again, demanding to be paid for his appearance by the organisers. One of these tournaments was the famous 1914 tournament in St.Petersburg.
During the 1920's, Lasker began to slowly slide away from chess, losing his crown to Capablanca, but he was still an elite player, winning a high-class tournament in 1924, a year after the title loss, with a wide margin in front of Capablanca. Instead he concentrated on other strategic games, Bridge, Go and Poker, and managed to reach master level in each of them despite already nearing or being in his 60's - a stunning accomplishment. Other accomplishments were his studies on the different forms of Nim-games which are nowadays seen as a cornerstone for the development of game theory. He even ended up having theoretical disputes about the theory of relativity with a rather well-known Physicist called Albert Einstein. In that way, Lasker can be called an "universal genius", I believe. The only thing that ended up irking him is that his attempts at philosophy - a field where Lasker hoped to gain more lasting glory in than in his chess career - were mostly ignored by the academia. Instead, Lasker ended up being added into the German Sports Hall of Fame as the only Chess player yet in 2008.
Since you were eliminated before the final match it will be impossible to add more years to the 27 ones during which you wore the crown of the chess world. Better luck next time!
With all other players eliminated, the final two players had been decided. Now it was a question of which of them would end up winning the tournament and end up playing Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship Crown. The question was: With both of the players working together and being familiar with the other's methods of up-ending the others, what would it mean for their Finals match? Would they end up playing a fair-and-square match, or would they end up trying to out-cheat each other?
TvK reached the top two finals! They were:
You are Wilhelm Steinitz, born in 1836, died in 1900, World Champion from 1886 to 1894.
Steinitz was the first World Chess Champion, and the story of the first Championship match is an interesting one: While there have been "strongest players of their time" even centuries before, in the late 19th century the chess world was trying to look for criteria to find "the greatest one" among themselves. The problem was that the player many believed to be the strongest, the American Paul Morphy, had retired from chess after beating the European chess elite a few decades before. But after Morphy's death in 1884 the demand for a "true champion" rose. It was then decided by the chess world that a match between two of the strongest players of the time, Zuckertort and Steinitz, should decide the bearer of the Chess crown. Funnily enough, both players also had parties who tried to retcon the title and make retroactive claims for the title on grounds of beating other strong players in matches or on tournament results (and other players did as well), but nowadays it is accepted that the 1886 match decided the first "official" World Chess Champion.
Steinitz' main contribution though was to change our fundamental understanding of chess. In the centuries before, players mostly thought about Chess aggressively, concentrated all their energy on the attack and threatening the opponents, opening themselves up for strong counterattacks if their attacks fizzled out, and material possession was seen as secondary. Generally, pieces were placed where they had an immediate threat. Steinitz on the other hand started to put more focus on the positioning of his pieces - giving them space to maneuver, trying to find positions from which they had the strongest effect on the board itself - and then following up with the attack that naturally followed from how his pieces were placed. While this sounds basic - find good spots for your pieces - it was in some way a break with century-old conventions and it is the basic of modern chess that we still play today. In this regard one can say that Steinitz had the longest-lasting effect on Chess of all the World Champions.
Interestingly, his new play style was attacked very harshly by the people of his time at first, with some players calling it "cowardly" and "boring", with some people claiming that Steinitz had no skill at Chess. This changed with the Championship match where he outclassed his opponent - a member of the old school of chess - and his style was completely re-evaluated, with Steinitz being highly praised by the end of the 19th centuries by his fellow players like World Champion Lasker himself, calling him a "thinker worthy of a seat at the University".
As a professional chess player, Steinitz played for money to make a living. An anecdote has it that one of the players paying him for games a lot was a young aristocrat who lost every single match. After a while, Steinitz thought that this was bad for business since he feared that the young man might become disheartened, and not come back to play again, so he threw a game without his opponent realizing it. After the game ended though and he tried to congratulate his opponent, said opponent stood up, loudly proclaimed that now, after beating the World Champion, he had reached his pinnacle - and never came back.
This mistake was not repeated by you, though, and instead of giving yourself up you decided to power through - if needs be, with "other means" - and gained a slot in the Finals match against Kasparov. Good luck!
Haze with a Z reached the top two finals! They were:
You are Garry Kimovich Kasparov, born in 1963 and still alive, World Champion from 1985 to 2000.
Where does one even begin? Kasparov was the Champion for 14 years straight, a time span only broken by Lasker. Between 1986 and 2005, which includes a time frame from after he had lost his crown(!), he was the highest rated player on the planet for 225 of those 238 months. Kasparov was the first World Champion that had a match against a Computer Chess program - and lost (most likely still feeling Deeply Blue about it). At some point you managed to win in fifteen (!) tournaments straight - a record nearly unthinkable in Modern Chess. And there was no player ever younger than Kasparov when winning the title (with Kasparov being 22 at that time).
Most of all, Kasparov was, and still is, a man who opposes unfair structures. In 1986 he founded the Grandmaster's Association since he felt like FIDE was not doing enough to keep their top players financially afloat and broker good enough deals with tournament organisers. This came to a head when before the planned title match in 1993, FIDE had managed to come up with a prize money pool that was much smaller than expected. At that point, Kasparov and his challenger, Nigel Short, decided to play their championship match outside the FIDE with local sponsors, citing the corruption and lack of professionalism inside FIDE as reason. This caused the aforementioned split of the World Champion Title from FIDE (that was only mended by Kramnik many years later). While Kasparov's project of creating a better, more player-friendly chess organisation ultimately failed it did cause change in FIDE itself and nowadays Chess players are much better paid and better treated than they were at the beginning of the 90's:
Kasparov also became a prominent politician in Russia, being a founder of the Democratic Party of Russia back in 1990, supported Russian president Yelcin in 1996, created a new party, the United Civil Front, in 2005 and ended up being one of the creators of "The Other Front", a bloc of parties in opposition to Putin. His candidacy for 2008 ultimately failed though when he found himself unable to rent out a room big enough to hold a supporter's assembly, something he blaimed the then-current government for. Apart from his political engagement, Kasparov is also the current Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, a title that he has held since 2011.
One of the things Kasparov is most famous for is his match against Deep Blue, a chess computer built by IBM who used to sponsor the PCA Kasparov had founded. He won the first match in 1996, but lost a game during it, which was the first time ever a World Champion lost any match against a PC engine. The rematch one year later was then won by Deep Blue by one point, and while Kasparov protested, claiming that the engine was "fixed" by humans mid-match, later logs showed that this was indeed not the case. The loss meant not only that engines could compete with world class players under tournament conditions, it also ushered in the era of computer-assisted chess and all the boons and negatives it brought with it (for example, opening studies with engines nowadays create move patterns of 15 to 20 moves that Grandmasters then just follow blindly over the board, memorisation ability has taken over a massive part of "chess skill")
Despite losing to the PC back in 1997 you didn't falter and this time you yourself used modern technology and Chess engines to beat your opponents. Your gain was a spot in the Finals match against Steinitz and thus the chance to fight against Carlsen, should you win. Good luck!
Day 5: Heaven Help my Heart
Michail Tal was in a splendid position. Leading the tournament comfortably he could already see himself fighting off against Magnus Carlsen. His aggressive style worked very well in those short-time games that the tournament was running since the restart, and he was racking up victories - so many, surprisingly, that him getting into the finals was almost guaranteed by that point. Even if he had some worse days to come, unless he started to lose all his games he was certain to be a top contender.
His only "weakness" was his tobacco addiction. Having been a strong smoker forever, Tal lost some games since his smoking breaks were too long and too often. The times had changed since back then, and smoking was only allowed in key select areas. Those were close by, but still, going there, leaving the board, it was a hassle for him and one that he only grudgingly accepted.
On his way to the smoking area he encountered another Grandmaster who was known for his tobacco consumption. But that Grandmaster halted him, informing him that the smoker's lounge had been having some trouble with a burst water pipe and that the smoking area had been changed to another place in the building. Tal thanked his fellow opponent and went towards the direction he had been pointed to.
Lighting his cigarette on the way he didn't really pay attention to where he was going and thus he was utterly surprised when he arrived at the location he had been told to go to, despite having been here a few times in the past: He had arrived at the viewer's area. This was, unfortunately, problematic in many ways:
1) He was smoking in a non-smoking area where children could see him, thus breaking the tournament's non-smoking rules.
2) He had left the tournament area, that is, the area where the players were allowed to be in while the games were live, as to prevent cheating.
3) He was coming in straight to another grandmaster analysing his game with an engine, and thus indirectly profiting from technical help.
4) And last but not least: With the cameras everywhere, all eyes were on him. There was no talking his way out of the situation.
Obviously, the news about the water damage had been a blunt lie. But that didn't help Tal at all. He was disqualified on the spot.
Carlos has been disqualified. They were:
You are Michail Nechemjewitsch Tal, born in 1936, died in 1992, world champion from 1960 to 1961.
Tals nickname, "magician from Riga", says it all: His play on the chess board was magical and captivated the players back then as much as it does today. Going all-in, taking risks whenever it deemed him correct, or even interesting, sacrificing pieces for attacks that were sometimes sound and much more often less so. His aggressive out-of-the-box approach forced opponents to think on the spot and often find their way through narrow corridors - with correct play they were better, sometimes much better, but often they had to find exactly the right move for many moves in a row - or face certain defeat. Many of these manouevers came from a deep tactical understanding, but many others also came from gut feeling. And as somebody who was used to playing complicated and unorthodox positions all the time it comes as no surprise that Tal was excellent in blitz games where such positions occur much more frequently. In later years his style became calmer and less riskier after his results had plummeted, with his opponents getting used to his playstyle, but he still stayed in the world elite for a long time.
Tal was born in Riga and had to flee from the Wehrmacht due to being born into a Jewish family. His right hand was deformed on birth, which didn't stop him from also excelling in sports like football and table tennis as a child and even learning how to play the piano. He was also exceedingly intelligent, skipping two years of school and starting his university studies at the tender age of fifteen years; with only twenty he became an elite player by winning the USSR championship in Moscow, the strongest tournament of the time due to the strength of the Russian school of chess. A bright future as a chess player laid before him.
Unfortunately he himself was his strongest enemy: Tal lived excessively, drinking lots of alcohol and smoking an obscene amount of tobacco every day. Even a kidney operation in 1962 didn't stop his lifestyle. His health often became an issue for his professional career, with his results heavily dependent on his kidney's status at the time of any match. Speculations about a morphine addiction exist, but couldn't be proven. Still, he was still part of the world's elite up until his death, attempting several attempts to challenge current world champions, playing his last candidate's tournament 1985 at the tender age of 48 and winning his last pro tournament one year later. Unfortunately his health got worse and he ended up dying due to his kidney disease in 1992
Who knows what a healthier lifestyle would have gotten you to? In the end, smoking not only impacts one's health, in this case it also led to your disqualification from the tournament. Better luck next time!
Night 4: Anthem
Despite the tournament dropping two players during the day already - and thus one more player than the tournament schedule expected to - it was decided that games were supposed to proceed as normal. Which meant that after the afternoon matches the next player was to be eliminated from the tournament to crown the candidate to play against Magnus Carlsen.
One of the bottom players was Wassili Smyslov. He was no tournament favourite by any means, having lost his title immediately in the rematch (something he shared only with Euwe and Tal) and a player who favoured the art and style over results his main drive in the competition was to produce beautiful and harmonious games, so he didn't mind as much as some of the other players. Nonetheless, he had the full intention of winning so that he could keep showing his style to the broader audience and captivate them with his chess.
During his last match of the day he noticed something peculiar. It was a... humming sound, like somebody was singing. Smyslov, being an singer himself, was intrigued by that. Was there another lover of music in the audience, or even amongst the players? He didn't mind, was even driven by the music to show an exceptionally good result so that the music and the game would be a perfect match of beauty.
...In hindsight, though, it would have been better to tell an arbiter about it. What actually transpired was that his opponent had placed a helper in the audience who himself got help from an outsider using a strong chess engine. The sound, the song, from where and how it was sung and how loud it was - all of that was information, hidden as music, for his opponent. And his opponent used those codified messages in difficult positions to steer on track and bring home an astounding victory that later would end up winning the price for the "most beautiful game of the tournament". And with that, Smyslov was out.
Arete has been eliminated, they were:
You are Vasily Vasilyevich Smyslov, born in 1921, died in 2010, World Champion from 1957 to 1958.
Vasily "The Artist" Smyslov was not only called like that for his harmonious and beautiful play style which had no weaknesses and was especially strong in positional and endgame play - he was also an Opera singer! In the late 40's he took singing lessons and even participated in an audition at the world famous Bolshoi Theatre in 1950 - if he hadn't been rejected to join it back then he most likely would never have become a professional chess player in the first place! Even then he didn't stop making music, producing records and CDs with his Baritone voice, giving performances at chess tournaments (often accompanied by Grandmaster and Concert Pianist Taimanov) and gave concerts in big halls (for example, in 2001 he performed at Karpov's 50th birthday party which took place at the very Bolshoi Theatre that had rejected him about 61 years earlier.
Being a creative mind, one of his many hobbies and interests included chess compositions - chess puzzles of different shape or form. He continued creating them up until his death, even though he had lost most of his eyesight about ten years prior, which tells us a lot of his dedication to his "arts". Very art-like was also his game, with a style that was not fixed to any specialty, but in some way "wholesome" - he didn't try to walk paths others had threaded before, or follow the rules and norms of what was accepted or seen as "normal", but he tried to find his own "truth" on the board and had a strong "feel" for positions. His biggest weakness, possibly, was that he was driven by the art and not results and thus had neither the drive to stay at the top for a long period of time nor did he feel like diving deeply into variations at time, playing by intuition rather than calculating variations which led him to lose some games where he already had the advantage by overlooking his opponent's counterplay.
Unfortunately for you, you will not see the ending of this tournament since the art you love so much was misused by a shady figure to beat you and it eluded you. Better luck next time!
Day 4:The Deal (No Deal)
Tigran Petrosian was in a difficult position, being in last place before the final match of the morning session. Furthermore he was supposed to play Anatoly Karpov, currently leading in the tournament and a player that he hadn't had much faith in winning against: While he had a positive record of 2-1 against him during the time when both were still alive, both of his wins happened when Karpov was still very young and hadn't reached his peak yet, and in the tournament he had suffered two losses against him already. His more cautious, defensive style that had led him to win the title way back was also not very suited to win a decisive "make-or-break" game like the one he was facing right now.
Nonetheless, the unthinkable happened: Karpov made a strategical error at the beginning of the game, giving Petrosian a positional advantage which he rode out into a victory - a victory which catapulted him onto the second-last place and thus out of elimination range.
But this is when it began: A storm of outrage flooded the internet and the viewer channels: "The game was fixed", cried some, "Karpov was tanking to get easier opponents tomorrow" others said, "The corruption of this tournament knows no bounds!" was another thing that was repeatedly written all over the net. #Bangkokgate became a trending hashtag on Twitter and the tournament directors were heavily criticised for letting such an outrageous display of result collusion stand.
...In fact, there was no collusion at all. The game had been fair, Karpov had simply miscalculated and paid the price. And even worse: The main reason for the $#@! storm that hit the web was caused by a bot army: Spreading misinformation, riling up real people and influencing opinions - all of that to put pressure on the tournament directors to act. And act they did: Already hanging in the rails after the previous events they decided to ban both Karpov and Petrosian from the tournament to quell the protests from the chess community. And thus, whomever had ordered this bot strike had managed to eliminate two opponents at once.
BirPhup has been disqualified, they were:
You are Tigran Wartanowitsch Petrosjan, born in 1929, died in 1984, World Champion from 1963 to1969.
Petrosjan might be the Champion who started chess the latest: Only at 12 years old was he taught the moves by watching Sovjet soldiers play - most "top level" chess players of modern times are already participating in international tournaments at this age nowadays. Only five years later, still being underage and a chess player for a measly five years(!), he won the Armenian Championship, making him officially become the strongest player of his country (well, Sovjet Republic). This is even more astonishing as he had lost both his parents during the Second World war, nearly dying himself due to an illness which left him deaf on one ear. But if Petrosjan was one thing, it was being a fighter.
Petrosjan's specialty was "not losing", making him gain the nicknames of "iron tiger" and "Armenia's best goalkeeper". One example: The Chess Olympiad is the most prestigious chess tournament for teams, comparable to a Football World Championship. During his chess career between 1958 and 1978 Petrosjan played exactly 130 games over the years in that tournament, winning 50 of them, drawing 79 - and losing one(!) game, winning "best player" awards in a majority of his showings. As a result, Petrosjan is still heavily revered in Armenia with a lot of chess schools and avenues being named after him, his face being printed on money bills and there is even a second Armenian Grandmaster called Tigran Petrosjan who was named after him as a child(!). A grandmaster that I had the fortune of seeing back in 2008, by the way. On the flipside, his more passive, waiting playstyle also led him to drawing a lot of matches which, at that time, made him fail to win a lot of tournaments since he was always a few points behind the more aggressive, double-edged players - which would make him a top player nowadays though where in super tournaments, 80% of all games end up in draws. In that way one can say that Petrosjan was "ahead of his time".
Petrosjan died young, not surviving his (short) battle with stomach cancer, and unfortunately so did you during this game. Better luck next time!
Also, Exile has been disqualified, they were:
You are Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov, born in 1951 and still alive, World Champion from 1975 to1985.
Oh, where to even begin: If there is ever a netflix series about a World Chess Champion, Karpov would give them enough material to cover ten seasons. He was the first and only chess player to be given the title without playing a single match due to Fischer refusing to play the young contestant. This blemish was one of the main driving forces for young Karpov at the beginning of his career, feeling desperate to prove his worthiness of the Chess crown. He began playing lots of tournaments and winning most of them, having a win streak of nine tournaments in a row at some point and thus setting a new world record. He dominated the late 70's, leading the ELO rating list for most of the time (during his career he was the world's highest rated player for a total of 102 months, or 8 1/2 years!) and having positive records against almost all of his peers. While barely keeping his crown against his first challenge against Kortchnoi in 1978 by one point, he massacred the same opponent three years later, winning 6-2 with ten draws and in a great position to dominate the Chess world for the next decade as well.
That is when young Kasparov emerged, and the drama began: 1984 saw their first bout for the chess crown, but the match was forfeited after lasting for five(!) months and 48 games(!!) after Karpov had lost both games 47 and 48 and was clearly reeling from the stress of the last few months while his much younger opponent was in a much better shape. Many still see this as a political decision to help Karpov, who had friends in high positions in Russia, over his younger and more free-thinking opponent, save his face and keep his title. During the rematch under new rules that took place in late 1985 he consequently lost his title to Kasparov and didn't manage to win it back in either of their three rematches that followed in 1986, 1987 and 1990. While he was given back the title by FIDE after Kasparov defected from the organisation, most people say that the title followed Kasparov and do not count him as Champion after 1993.
His rivalry with Kasparov was not only based on Chess but also politics, with Kasparov later emerging as a politician for mostly minority parties opposing the government while Karpov has been a member of the Public Chamber of Russia since 2005, supporting the Crimean Annexation and being loyal to the current Russian government. He also tried to gain the title of FIDE president in 2010, getting support from his former rival Kasparov, even, but losing the election eventually.
There would be many more stories to tell (like his time in the Botvinnik school of chess where Botvinnik originally dismissed his skill and talent for chess) or his playstyle (being called "boa constrictor" for slowly but surely restricting his opponents into unplayable positions where even a small mistake means doom) but there simply is not enough space for all of this. Like in real life, however, this Karpov didn't manage to regain his title either and is no longer participating in the fight for the crown. Better luck next time!
Night 3: Embarrassed Lament
Mikhail Botvinnik was in a difficult position. While not in last place after the morning rounds that saw Capablanca being eliminated, he was still clearly in the danger zone. Too many losses in the afternoon matches and he might slip back onto last place. And unfortunately, after a series of games that ended very quickly and prematurely he had sunk towards the bottom of the list. It felt like the situation had made him fall into a psychological trap of wanting to escape it quicker, which led to him playing faster and thus introducing more errors into his game play.
And so, the situation before the last game of the session was easy to understand: A win and he would survive to see another day, a draw would most probably be enough, but a loss was almost surely going to put him into the elimination spot. And as luck had it he was playing the currently leading player of the tournament.
This was a surprise for some: Unlike the other players, this one had opted to bring a PDA with him to the matches to annotate his games, despite it not being necessary according to the rules of short-time chess matches. While electronic devices are normally forbidden for Chess because of the possibilities of electronic cheating, this one was an exception since the program used was one that could solely be used for annotations and had no engine running that would help the players themselves.
....That is at least what everyone thought. Had anybody taken a more thorough look at the PDA they would have noticed that the "chess annotation" program was indeed a self-made chess engine, hiding behind the camouflage of the real chess annotation program, using the same displays, the same name, the same skins.... only if somebody had known what they were supposed to look for, or if somebody had taken a deeper look into the coding of the program, would the chess program have been discovered.
Unfortunately for Botvinnik this was not the case here. Using the engine to check for the best moves at a few key moments in the game his opponent brought home a magnificent victory. With the results on the other board it meant that he was out of the tournament. Whether it was good or bad for him that he was oblivious to the cheating of his opponent lies in the eye of the beholder.
orangeandblack5 has been eliminated from the tournament. They were:
You are Mikhail Botvinnik, born in 1911 and died in 1995, three times World Champion (from 1948 to 1957, 1958 to 1960 and 1961 to 1963.
In some ways, your World Championship title marks the beginning of an era, in many ways. You were the first World Champion of the "Sovjet School of Chess" - while Alekhine was also a Russian World Champion before you, he had fled to France and became French after the Russian Revolution. From your winning the title until Anand's win in 2007, the World Chess Champion has always been Russian(!), ignoring the short intermission by Fischer from 1972 to 1975. And the last three Russian Champions - Karpov, Kasparov and Kramnik - have all been taught by you and by your principles. So in a way, you brought forth not one Champion, but four!
Botvinnik won his title in a tournament after the previous owner Alekhine had died while holding it, and won it back twice after losing it, both against Smyslow and Tal. You also helped push the popularity of Chess in Russia in the 1930's which laid the foundation of the early period of dominance of the Soviet school of Chess in the 1940's to the 1970s, by vastly popularising Chess in all of Russia, only to later lay the foundation for the second period of dominance in the 1980's and 1990's by founding the Botvinnik School of Chess which gathered the greatest talents from all of Russia, established some core principles of how to develop and thrive as a chess player and is still carried in principle by the best chess teachers in the world in newer times (like Jussupov and Dvoretzky, both former Botvinnik students!). As if that wasn't enough of an achievement you also had a degree in mechanical engineering and wrote programs to plan maintenance for the power grid of the whole Sovjet Union! Parts of that program was a decision-making algorithm called PIONEER that Botvinnik formerly developed to write a chess program, trying to improve the boundaries of Artificial Intelligence at its time.
In terms of Botvinnik's style he was one of the first players to popularise sacrifices for positional advantages - having weaker pieces, but in stronger positions - which the Sovjet style later became famous for, and he was known for a narrow, but deep opening repertoire - something Fischer later picked up for himself. He was often seeking out asymmetrical positions, willingly allowing himself to have slight weaknesses in his positions if it meant creating bigger, or more easily exploitable weaknesses in his opponent's position that he could exploit. In these regards he can be seen as the grandfather of modern, or even hypermodern, chess, which took both of these principles to a new level. While not many consider him the strongest player of all times, and he himself admitted to lacking in some areas like calculating abilities, his influence will quite possibly outlast the influence of many World Champions that came after him and who are yet to come.
Regrettably, during this tournament you were not able to show your former students that you can compete with them, and ended up being eliminated from the tournament. May they carry your torch and better luck next time!
Day 3: Endgame
After the disastrous events of the previous days and the resulting storm of outrage from the fans, the FIDE decided that the tournament had to be reworked. With all the dropped-out players, previous results had become basically meaningless, with some of the players having played against two or three of the dropped-out players (and thus gaining free wins) while others had only played against their peers who were still participating. With that, the tournament restarted from zero.
Since redoing the tournament in the originally planned style would take too much time though, the organisers decided on a different mode: Elimination mode. With that, every day the players who had shown the worst results so far would be eliminated from the tournament. This would happen twice during the day, once after the morning matches and once after the evening matches. At the same time, the game times would be reduced from long-time game with about two hours per player per game to shorter matches where every player only had 20 minutes for every game.
One of the players that was affected by this most was José Raúl Capablanca. The Cuban master of Endgames had had a great start into the first tournament, winning many matches with his unmatched skills of winning positions where only a handful of pieces was left on the board, but he struggled with the turbo style of short-game matches. Still, all he needed to escape elimination was to win his final match of the day. And as luck had it, Capablanca was in a winning position. His pawn was on the 7th rank, about to promote to a queen, and with the newly acquired queen, winning was but a formality. There were only two problems:
1) He had mere seconds left on the clock, and
2) The original Queen, the one his opponent had captured, was nowhere to be found to replace the pawn on the 8th rank after promoting.
With no arbiter in sight - these had been removed from the immediate vicinity after the bribery scandal from the day before - he did what the rules dictated: He stopped the chess clock, told his opponent that his intention was to queen his pawn, that he needed to get a replacement queen for that and that he would be back at the board in a little bit. Then he stood up, left to find an arbiter to give him a new queen, and then he returned with the arbiter to resume the game. But to his big surprise, once he got back to the board he found his clock to be depleted of all time.
Furious for an explanation, Capablanca demanded his opponent to admit to him restarting the clock after he had left, but his opponent just smirked and claimed that he, Capablanca, had merely forgotten to stop the clock properly and left with it still running. The head arbiter was called and demanded to look at the video footage, but coincidentally, during the moment when Capablanca stood up from the chess board, another player had blocked the view of the camera so that no conclusion could be drawn from the video at all. With the situation being a "he said - he said" situation, there was no choice but to deny Capablanca's allegations of tampering with the clock and his game was ruled a time loss. Thus, Capablanca was out.
evaaaa was eliminated from the tournament, they were:
You are José Raúl Capablanca, born in 1888, died in 1942, World Champion from 1921 to 1927.
Even during his childhood, Capablanca was already a strong player, having beaten the reigning Cuban Champion in a 13-game match at age 12(!) and beating the strongest US master of the period, Frank Marshall, 1909 in a landslide victory. Capablanca was officially an ambassador, a job that was on-paper only, as his true job lay in promoting Cuba all over the world with his chess skills. Capablanca paid them back with royalties, winning a lot of internationally acclaimed tournaments all over the world, including the world famous tournament of San Sebastian of 1911 which saw the whole world elite compete. From 1916 to 1924 Capablanca didn't lose a single(!) official match, a time frame which included him winning the World Championship title from Dr.Lasker in 1921 (who had unofficially resigned the title to him a year prior in acknowledgement of Capablanca's strength which was not accepted by the broader chess audience of the time and lead to the match in the first place).
Capablanca laid the foundation to modern Chess endgame play (situations on the chess board when most pieces have already left it and the main goal is often to promote a pawn to a stronger piece (like a queen) to gain an advantage, and the theoretical approach to endgames is still basically unchanged since back then. He also laid groundwork in positional chess and piece assessment that was revolutionary at its time. His only weakness was, perhaps, complacency, which led to him not preparing properly for his title match against Alekhine and to him losing his title, which he never managed to get back due to the former player's refusal for a rematch (which ended in them becoming bitter rivals). Another thought on his mind was his warning that Chess might die since with perfect play, all games would end up in draws, and he proposed several new chess variations with extra pieces to solve this issue. These proposals never managed to take off, though.
Capablanca died young, having fought with vascular diseases and high blood pressure for most of his adult life, suffering the stroke that ended up killing him after entering a chess club in New York.
While you didn't die here, you were again eliminated far too early from the chess world yet again, and won't be able to increase the reputation of Cuba any further. Better luck next time!
Night 2: Fischer quits
With three players having been disqualified because of cheating or other behaviour that could not be in the interest of the tournament organizers, FIDE was frantically searching for a way to improve the reputation of this seemingly failing tournament - and quickly. An idea came to mind - to appeal to the history of Chess, and - since the players themselves had proven to be absolutely unreliable so far - to introduce a non-human element to it. Enter: The Turk.
Miraculously, a rebuild of this contraception from 1770 which was sold to the people of its time as an "automaton playing chess", while in reality there was a very small chess player hiding inside the "machine" to perform the moves The original "Turk" got so famous that even celebrities like Napoleon Bonaparte, Benjamin Franklin and Frederik II. "The Great", of Prussia, ended up playing games against him. It was decided that some of the players competing during the tournament were supposed to play against it to garner favourable publicity.
The first person to be chosen to play against the Turk was Robert James "Bobby" Fischer, the American Wunderkind with the unstable mind. While his start into the tournament had been great, first signs of him having inherited the fits of paranoia and his persecution complex had fostered as well, possibly fueled by the events before that already caused three chess players to be banned from the tournament. Despite being aware of the story of the Turk, Fischer felt like somebody was out to get him and that there were higher machinations at work. This machine was just another way of getting to him.
...And he wasn't wrong. While the original Turk had been controlled by a human Chess player, the rebuilt version was controlled by a chess program since the people behind rebuilding it didn't want to force anybody to cram themselves into the tight spaces as people had to two hundred years earlier. Since it was only used for small exhibition matches, the chess program used to steer the Turk normally was a weak one, beatable by moderate Amateur players. But somebody had exchanged the program with a data connection straight to AlphaZero, the self-learning Chess AI that had only recently demolished all traditional chess programs in direct play. The result was... ugly. Fischer, one of the best players of all time, was CRUSHED. Publicly humiliated by the machine, for all to see.
After the game, Fischer began screaming, blaming the cameras, the reporters, the Government of the United States and Thingyman for actively sabotaging him and his tournament, hurling insults at the other players in the tournament and trying to destroy the machine he had just utterly lost against. All in front of the cameras that were still running. It took a lot of personnel to finally get him under control again and stop his outbreak. The event ended immediately, of course.
It is unclear whether Fischer too was disqualified or if he just quit outright and decided to take the fastest flight to Newfoundland. Either way, the tournament was now reduced to but eleven players.
SAMax left the tournament, they were:
You are Robert James "Bobby" Fischer, born in 1943, died in 2008, World Champion from 1972-1975.
The next-most controversial World Champion next to Alekhine, Fischer became infamous after his title match against Spasski where he won the crown under dubious circumstances - which included him boycotting game two after blaming the cameras for his game 1 loss, and him threatening to quit the match at several points during the tournament. Only an intervention from Henry Kissinger got him to continue playing. Fischer also got infamous for being openly antisemitic and anti-american, going so far as to praise the terrorists of 9/11 on the day of the terrorist attack. After playing a rematch against Spasski in Jugoslavia in 1992, during the Civil war(!) and while the country was under US embargo, Fischer had become a wanted man and never saw his home country again until he died on Iceland, the country in which he had won his title in the first place.
On the other hand, Fischer was a genius on the chess board. His games inspired dozens of the best players from today's times, his chess book "My most memorable 60 games" is a staple among the best chess books of all times. He invented Chess960, a variation with a differing starting position for all chess pieces which was done to counter games ending in "theoretical lines" and "home studying" all the time and to promote actual solving on the board. Another idea of his, to give players a time increment for each move to prevent them from losing on time, the so-called "Fischer Increment", has become a staple in modern chess from high-level tournaments to regional cups, with the rise of digital chess clocks. Fischer is the only person up to this date who managed to win the US Championships with a perfect score of nine games, nine wins. And his Championship duel with Spasski, hyped up to be "the clash between East and West" due to the Cold war rivalry, inspired many people and is the basis of the musical "Chess".
During this game, however, the crazy genius ended up being more on the "crazy" side and was thus eliminated from the competition. Better luck next time!
Day 2: Pity the Clone
During the early Day 2, something strange happened: Out of nowhere, the clone of Vladimir Kramnik started breaking down, having strong gastry attacks - something must have gone wrong with regards to the cloning process. As a result, a new clone of Kramnik (Codename: S.C:A.R.E) had to be brought in to take over his place at the chess board.
Unbeknownst to the other players in the tournament, both Kramnik clones had been "faulty" and were created as Cheaters who didn't care about the rules and regulations of chess as long as they were winning the tournament itself. Thus the "new" Kramnik was delighted that the "old" Kramnik had left behind instructions in case he himself would no longer be able to compete: He had managed to bribe one of the arbiters in the tournament area to conspire with him if necessary. Since his arrival on the tournament site was on short notice and he had already had to forfeit the first game of that day due to arriving late, Kramnik knew that he needed a win quickly, now.
When his match started, he began making his moves. Moves that are commonplace on beginner's boards, but moves unheard of in Grandmaster games. This was the position after White's third move:
Immediately after moving his Queen to h5, Kramnik loudly called for an arbiter - and, as planned, the arbiter who had been bribed came to the board. Kramnik then claimed that his opponent had clearly touched the Knight on g8 to make a move - which would have been a grave mistake. Both the pawn on e5 and f7 are under attack from the Queen and not protected. Since the queen taking the pawn on f7 would result in immediate checkmate the Knight would have to go to h6 to protect the pawn - but this would leave the central pawn on e5 defenseless. Obviously no Grandmaster would ever touch that Knight in that position (since touching a piece forces the player to use it, if possible) and neither did his opponent, so of course a riot broke out. The arbiter naturally sided with Kramnik and it seemed like he had his win in the bag...
...Until the head judge of the tournament stepped in, reminding both players that, of course, there was video footage of the games, with the tournament being broadcasted internationally. And unfortunate to Kramnik, being late to the venue, he had had no time to check for the camera angles and positions. Once the pictures started showing on the screen it was obvious that Kramnik had been lying - and instead of his opponent bagging a loss, Kramnik was disqualified on the spot for unsportsmanlike conduct, bribery and attempted cheating.
Also, the arbiter was arrested on the spot.
Scare was disqualified, they were:
You are Vladimir Kramnik, born in 1975 and still alive, World Chess Champion between 2000 and 2007.
Your rise to greatness came at a crazy time. In 1993 there was a fallout between the then-current World Champion Garry Kasparov and his opponent for the title match, Nigel Short, on one side, and the World Chess Federation of FIDE on the other side, mostly over price money and lack of player support. As a result, a majority of the Chess Elite split up from the FIDE to form their own Chess organisation, the Professional Chess Association, and took their World Championship title with them. In 2000 you beat Kasparov (without losing once, something that no challenger had managed to do in decades!), but since the FIDE had started to create a "new" World Championship title you had to play a "title reunification match", similar to how boxing events work, in 2006, and managed to win against Topalov. Because of these shenanigans, some claim that you were World Champion from 2000 on, others claim that it was only in 2006 and 2007, but this writer sides with the first group, since defeating one of the strongest players of all times in a duel has more meaning than the luck-based tournament World Championships the FIDE held concurrently.
Another anecdote is that shortly after your title loss in 2007 you played for Russia in the Chess Olympics which were held in Dresden - and where a young, aspiring chess player saw you play live who later came to write flavour for Mafia Championship games. Unfortunately your board was basically swarmed by reporters and viewers which made it difficult to get a clear view of you, but it was still awe-inspiring.
You quit the chess world only recently in 2019 after a series of bad results which had slowly led to you dropping out of the top ten in the world (being one of only two 40+ year old top ten players at that time, the other one being Anand) and had become a fan favourite by then, giving up your more pragmatic, "better not lose" style for a more aggressive and double-edged style which won the hearts of many fans.
Unfortunately for you, you were caught cheating red-handed here, but who knows what would have been possible if not for your regular health problems and the turmoil in the chess world while you were at your peak. Better luck next time!
I just looked at how blatantly I ignored everything there was supposed to be done with regards to the hosting form.
Night 1: The Russian and his drinking buddy
Alexander Alekhine was having a good day - having won both his matches that day and having lost a rival earlier he felt full of confidence. Surely this tournament could only be better if his long-time rival Capablanca would also lose his upcoming matches? Be that as it may, he felt like he was on top of the world and nothing could stop him. The title match was basically in his grasp.
In the evening, Alekhine decided to visit the bar of the hotel he was staying in and was delighted to find another player from the tournament having a drink. Since said Grandmaster had very mixed results so far, Alekhine gloated, boasting about his genius moves and that nobody would be able to stop him from getting his title back. The other grandmaster smiled, acknowledged Alekhine's skills and invited him to have a drink - "to celebrate the former and future best chess player that ever was and ever will be." Alekhine, always open to test out some new beverage, couldn't refuse but accept this invitation. And so he spent the next few hours at the bar, having one drink after another, partying like the championship was already won.
When the next morning came, all players were ready at their boards, with one prominent exception - Alekhine. The games started due to pressure by the sponsors and helpers were sent out hastily to look for the former World Champion. Only an hour later did they find him - still in his hotel room, passed out from all the alcohol and possibly some other substances that had been mixed in with them.
This development was huge: With Chess being played by men, women and children all over the world, having one of their players appear during this tournament in this sorry state was simply unacceptable. Alekine did not only forfeit the game he was unable to play, but he was also disqualified from the tournament. As for his drinking buddy.... he was the player Alekhine had to play first thing in the morning, and it appeared that all he drunk the evening before was non-alcoholic. A coincidence?
squire12 was disqualified. They were:
You are Alexander Alekhine,born in 1892 and died in 1946, World Chess Champion between 1927-1935 as well as 1937-1946.
Alekhine was one of the most controversial chess players of all time. His refusal to let former Champion Capablanca have a rematch to regain his title was legendary and it went so far as the two of them not playing a single game against each other anymore during either player's lifetime. During the second World War, Alekhine began to support the Nazi regime openly and even wrote anti-Jewish propaganda. And his title loss to the Chess Amateur Max Euwe was mostly because he just couldn't resist drinking heavy amounts of alcohol and because of his tendency to underestimate his opponents. At the same time, Alekhine was a brilliant player and a master in combinations. In 1933 he managed to set a new record for chess games played blind (that is, without EVER looking at the board) against American masters, playing 32 games simultaneously(!), winning a stunning number of 19 of them while only losing four. He is also the only World Chess champion who died while holding the title. Other anecdotes of his wild life include him fighting in and being wounded during the First World War, and there exists a rumor of him being imprisoned during the Civil war under accusation of being a Royalist spy, only to be released from prison after playing a game of chess against Leo Trotzki himself.
While not dying by choking on a piece of meat (like in real life), not being able to resist your biggest vice cost you the chance to regain the title and play Magnus Carlsen. Better luck next time!
Day 1: Opening Ceremony
With the clones having safely arrived and the rules of the tournament were explained to both the viewers and the players. All of the fifteen players were playing each other twice so that both sides would be black and white against everyone once. With an odd number of players, every player would have exactly two days of rest. Additionally, since this was THE opportunity to shine for Chess as a sport, strict regulations in terms of cheating and doping were implemented. Whether this was to show how clean chess is compared to other sports like cycling, weightlifting or DOTA, or whether the officials had been alarmed over the possibility of malfunctioning clones was unknown. Right after the lots were drawn the first matches were started to kick off the tournament to a good start.
Anand was in a great position. During his first match he had shown brilliant moves, pushing his opponent to the brink of defeat from which there was no reasonable way for a comeback. "What a way to start into a tournament", he thought to himself. The only thing that made him feel strange was the fact that his opponent hadn't given up yet - courtesy of great chess players to not prolong games unnecessarily once they were dead lost, to save their opponent's time and effort. "What could he still be hoping for in this horrible situation?"
Then, suddenly, tournament officials went straight for his board and stopped the match clock. "Grandmaster Anand, we would like you to come with us for a bit. There has been an anonymous claim that you have used Modafinil to give you an edge in this match. The lopsidedness of this game makes us believe that in order to guarantee the integrity of this tournament a quick test needs to be done. Please, without causing a scene."
Obviously, Anand followed the request willingly - only to scream in horror once the drug test came back with a positive result. He was certain that he had not taken any illegal substance whatsoever: The doctors at the venue were trained to advise the players about the forbidden and allowed substances, his lunch was cooked by his personal kitchen chief and his water bottle he had carried with him all the time to prevent any manipulation with it.... but then again, didn't he see a small brown flask in his opponent's hands when he went for an urgent toilet break about halfway in the match....? And what was that smirk he had seen in his opponent's face once he had gotten back from the lavatory...?
Unfortunately this realisation came too late for him. He was disqualified from the tournament on the spot and nobody cared enough to look into his claims.
Lollipopz was disqualified, they were:
You are Viswanathan Anand,born in 1969 and still alive, World Chess Champion between 2007 and 2013.
Your career is like a picture book story: Becoming an International master at age 15 and becoming India's VERY FIRST Grandmaster level player at age 18 you were born in a world where Chess was not especially well-known in India. But you went out to change that. In 1987 you won the Junior World Chess Championship as the first Indian ever (naturally), increasing your fame in the whole world but also slowly getting the attention of your fellow country members. After winning your title in 2007 you were awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, and were the first sportsperson to receive the award in Indian history. In the wake of your success, hundreds of Chess schools opened everywhere in the country so that now in 2020, millions of Indians play chess and there are currently 32 active Indian Grandmasters - an unimaginable number only two decades before.
Unfortunately, being the fair sportsman that you were you did not even think of the possibility of your opponent cheating and were disqualified from the tournament. Better luck next time!
Prologue: One Tournament in Bangkok
"Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don't know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world
In a show with everything but Yul Brynner"
The world of Chess was at an impasse. It's the year 2020, the year that the World Chess Championship between Magnus Carlsen and his yet unknown contender was supposed to take place. Magnus Carlsen? He is the current World Chess Champion, aged 29, and a professional model for a Norwegian suit company:
Unfortunately there are two problems: First of all, the Candidates tournament to decide his challenger had to be halted due to the Coronavirus encroaching on the play site of Yekaterinburg in Russia. The second problem is that Carlsen is literally UNBEATABLE. He hasn't lost a serious long-time game in years and sits on an undefeated record of 121 games - world record by over 20 games. So even if by some miracle the Candidates Tournament could proceed at some point it would be all but guaranteed that Carlsen would crush his opponent in the finals. And such a match would be boring and could potentially lead to a financial loss for FIDE, the World Chess federation.
Fortunately though, the main leaders of FIDE are cunning enough to solve both of these issues in one go: Instead of having players risk their lives in a tournament to decide who is the second best player in the world they decided to send clones to participate. And not just ANY clones: They cloned all the former World Champions and raised them to their prime age of 29. That way, not only would there be no harm to actual humans but there is also the chance that whoever wins the tournament will be a worthy opponent for the current champion - and that an interesting title match will result in November. A venuewas hastily prepared in Bangkok which is further away from the epidemic epicenters, the streaming rights were sold to the highest bidder and the players were shipped to the location in time.
Meet the participants:
1) Wilhelm Steinitz (Clone name: @TvK ): The first official World Champion, the inventor of strategical and positional play in Chess and the oldest person to ever win a Championship title. This Austrian is not to be underestimated!
2) Dr. Emanuel Lasker (Clone name: @Macros (malazan) ): A doctor of mathematics and psychology, he held the title for over 27 years, longer than anybody else. It is only natural that he wants his title back at all cost.
3) Jose Raul Capablanca (Clone name: @evaaaa ): The King of Endgames who revolutionised the analysis of this last part of the Chess game. At his peak he was nearly unbeatable and some say that his knowledge of chess was even greater than that of the modern champs.
4) Alexander Alekhine (Clone name: @squire12 ): A master of combinations and blind chess, one time playing blind chess against 32 players at the same time! During his lifetime his excessive smoking and drinking held him back at times, but if the clone starts erratic behaviour, he can always be replaced with a replacement.
5) Max Euwe (Clone name: @Random Task ): The only amateur player to ever become the world champion, being the first player who showed how much of a difference proper preparation can make in a decisive situation. The dark horse of the tournament, but will him being a former FIDE president open new avenues?
6) Mikhail Botvinnik (Clone name: @orangeandblack5 ): Not only did he win the title three times (admittedly, after losing it twice again), but he is also the founder of the most famous school in chess, a school so influential that it brought forth three MORE world champions in Karpov, Kasparov and Kramnik. But today, Botvinnik is here to show who is the master and who is the pupil.
7) Vasily Smyslov (Clone name: @Arete ): Being called "Jack of all trades" and "the artist on the chess board", his greatest strength lies in not having any weaknesses and his flexibility to play any style, depending on his opponent. Will this be the key to bring it home?
8) Mikhail Tal (Clone name: @Carlos ): "The magician", one of the strongest players in terms of combinations and sacrifices. He played his games like he lived his life: Intense, full of risk and almost always with a cigarette in his mouth. Are his moves brilliant, or just lunacy?
9) Tigran Petrosian (Clone name: @BirPhup ): The "iron tiger" was famous holding even the most difficult positions; his defensive masterpieces are in stark contrast to Tal's all-out chess. Will any chess player manage to overcome this iron wall of his?
10) Boris Spasski (Clone name: @Drew-Sta ): The "lazy genius" and "master of all trades" might have been the best player of all times, but also the one with the most wasted potential of them all. Losing almost all interest in Chess after becoming World Champion it is to be seen whether competing with the best will ignite his fighting spirit.
11) Robert "Bobby" Fischer (Clone name: @SAMax ): The American Wunderkind was one of the strongest and most tenacious fighters on the board, being great at understanding positions and endgames and being the only player in history to have won the US Championship while winning every single game. Unfortunately his mind deteriorated after his title win and he became paranoid. Let us hope that his clone got better luck.
12) Anatoly Karpov (Clone name: @Exile ): Inventor of the "Boa Constrictor" style of chess, pressing the opponent on a minimal advantage over hours until they break down and lose. One of the most resourceful players, with a strong feel for positions and their demands. He is still alive, but for age reasons, his clone will have to do here.
13) Garry Kasparov (Clone name: @Haze with a Z ): Maybe the chess player with the strongest calculation abilities. During his prime time, not a single other player came even close to his skill level. He expanded the opening repertoire massively and his dynamic and aggressive playstyle was only rivalled by Tal. A player to look out for!
14) Vladimir Kramnik (clone name: @BleedingRayne ): He perfected Karpov's playstyle and at his peak was a player who could even win equal or slightly worse positions with his tenacy and unyielding spirit. He only recently dropped out of professional chess, still having been a top 25 player in his late 40's. Will his clone get help by the Original one?
15) Viswanathan Anand (clone name: @Lollipopz ): The last World Champion before Carlsen and the only Asian to ever win the title. This Indian Grandmaster reached his peak rather late, partially due to only starting with Chess at an older age, and single-handedly made the sport popular in India. While the Original is still an Elite player nearing his 50's, his younger double will no doubt be even more fearsome.
There is but a slight problem: All the cloning was performed by [name unreadable] in the country of [redacted], so naturally, accidents are prone to happen. To be more precise, about one in five clones gets created without any kind of conscience, so they feel nothing about cheating and winning using dirty methods. At the same time, about two in fifteen clones are born with better perception than any normal human being and with an especially righteous mind. The FIDE claims that "naturally, none of this has happened to OUR clones", but these claims should be taken with a grain of salt.
Now, with the stage being set, the lots being drawn, let us commence with the first round of this story for the ages, the Chess equivalent of Ali vs Frazier, the ultimate battle of the human minds.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
All chess players who are used as flavour are based on their real life counterparts. Almost all player elimination methods are based on real life examples that did occur (but which are not necessarily tied to the player flavours).
The flavour of the players was randed on the participants of this Mafia game before the roles and alignments were assigned, so flavour and alignment are independent of each other.