Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chess World Cup: On the contrary folks, Malakhov sends Wesley home

Although we personally had our doubts that Wesley So would even reached the semi finals even after beating the favorites of the world cup such as Ivanchuk and Kamsky in round 2 and 3, it still surprises us that So should received such a crude beating at the hands of Malakhov in the rapid tie break games, going down against the Russian, 0-3. So plays quite good in rapid, true. But perhaps, it was not Wesley himself, right? It's the man who defeated him, the ice cool Russian Vladimir Malakhov! We're all talking about experience against brute talent at the start of round 4 and we say Malakhov's experience, who reached the quarterfinal of this event in 2007, exhibits more profoundly in his playoff games against one of the most popular participant in chess world cup. I thought Wesley excel in tactics and opening preparation, so his opponent. But it was Malakhov's excellent time management and psychological gambit against the young So that proved to be decisive.

The world cup, in my opinion, is Wesley's greatest achievement by far since winning the tough Dubai Open two years ago when the then 14 years old boy bested out more than 30 Gms. Of course there was the Corus C but he was the top seeded there.

Nonetheless, Wesley will return home fully accomplished and deserves a hero's welcome making his legion of fans proud of the new found sports hero's dramatic run in world cup. Boy, he nearly sent Ivanchuk into premature retirement.

Notes posted on Susan Polgar's blog following Wesley So's defeat:

as I said before, Wesley has enormous natural talent. But unless he will improve his weaknesses and enhance his various areas of strength, he will have a hard time now that the elite players will seriously prepare when they play him.

Karjakin and Radjabov both faced similar problems in spite of their early success. They had to work hard to overcome "the wall". I do not want to go into details about his weaknesses in public for the obvious reason.

His success in the World Cup can be a both a good and bad thing. The good thing is he now knows that he can hold against the best of them. But the bad is he is no longer a "surprise" to the top players. So in order to consistently have success against top level opponents, he needs proper coaching and assistance.

Only Wesley can decide how far he wants to go in chess.

Best wishes,


Pacfan said...

Kind of weird why so many people predicted Wesley So to win the cup just because he defeated Ivanchuk and Kamsky. They are not being objective. So, on his part, gains all the necessary experience he needs to compete in top level competition in the future.

Anonymous said...

Susan Polgar's comment regarding 'the wall' is very clear. Wesley So needs to improve upon his overall technique in his game.
True, his surprise value is now nil against the best. He has to work hard and 'make his technique world class' which was his main failing in the first two games of the tiebreak rapids. They were easy draws, not to mention ahead in time.
Chess is not all opening preparation and sharp creative tactics, you need to master endgames/technical positions as well.
He needs someone special who can coach him in that area. It cannot be learned by the thorough study, nor trial and error.
I hope his backers now know his main weakness and eradicate it.
This is true to all young prodigies, and I hope they get the picture.


Des Catolos said...

We'll get over them by and by :)

you hit the point man.

Tempo newspaper said...

So is a strong candidate for the PSA athlete of the year award!

DF of Tempo