07 May 2013

Danailov's Puzzles

For various reasons that I won't bore you with here, I'm not a big fan of Twitter. Even so, I spend a little time on it every week to catch up with a few personalities who occasionally have something interesting to say. One of my favorites is the current president of the European Chess Union (ECU), who can be found here: Silvio Danailov on Twitter. Over the last month or so, he has been tweeting an occasional 'puzzle', usually related to the World Championship. The first one I noted was

Silvio Danailov - 29 Mar: Chess puzzle of the day: Guess who is the most happiest player in the world after today's round in London? Small track: He doesn't play there??

That date marks one of the last rounds of the recent 2013 Candidates Event, specifically Candidates R12 – Kramnik wins, overtakes Carlsen, as Chessbase.com summarized it. A few days later, after Carlsen had won the event, Danailov asked,

Silvio Danailov - 2 Apr: Puzzle of the day: Please name the other two players from London besides Carlsen who ever have qualified for WCC match?

Unlike the previous puzzle (if you're still stumped, the initials of the 'most happiest' player are V.A.), the ECU president provided an answer, probably because he wanted everyone to know that Kramnik wasn't a member of the group. Danailov isn't known for subtlety.

Silvio Danailov - 4 Apr: The right answer of my yesterday puzzle is: Ivanchuk and Gelfand

If you're scratching your head about Ivanchuk, he lost the final match to Ponomariov in the 2001-02 FIDE World Championship. A week later Danailov tweeted,

Silvio Danailov - 13 Apr: Very appropriate day for the puzzle of the weekend: Who is the most privileged top player on the recent chess history? The answer next week.

I'm not sure what he meant by 'appropriate day for the puzzle of the weekend', unless he was referring to Kasparov's 50th birthday on 13 April. The phrase 'recent chess history' is open to interpretation. If this means the last 50 years, I would say Karpov was the most privileged, but I suppose has was taking another swipe at Kramnik.

The next puzzle had the entire chess world puzzled, and still does.

Silvio Danailov - 21 Apr: Puzzle of the week: Why FIDE is on such a rush to organize the match Carlsen - Anand in Chennai without bidding procedure?

My guess was that FIDE wanted Carlsen to withdraw from the match, thereby handing his place to Kramnik. Ilyumzhinov, after all, depends on the Russian Federation to nominate and endorse him before each election, and 2014 will be an election year (during the Olympiad in Norway!). I can think of other, equally outlandish, reasons. A few days later Danailov gave a hint.

Silvio Danailov - 23 Apr: Many interesting theories on my puzzle but so far nobody have a clue. Do you remember the slogan of my ECU electoral campaign? "I know.."??

I doubt that anyone remembers the slogan. What did he know and when did he know it?

Silvio Danailov - 2 May: Puzzle of the week: FIDE WCOC commission will have balls to introduce Sofia Rules in Carlsen - Anand WCC match this year or not?

Re having balls, is there something controversial about the Sofia Rules? They make complete sense to me.

Getting back to the previous tweet, maybe he meant something like, "What evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!" Whatever Danailov knows or doesn't know, I hope he keeps tweeting his puzzles. Chess needs more of this sort of entertainment.

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