19 oktober 2015

Elke Russische schooljongen weet dat

De Russische grootmeester Alex Yermolinsky, die al lang in de VS leeft, bespreekt op een (betalende) Amerikaanse site geregeld schaakpartijen, of bepaalde stellingen daaruit, meestal eindspelen. Hij is vaak grappig, ook al omdat zijn Engels zo Russisch is. Zijn rubriek heet: “What every Russian Schoolboy Knows”. Dit is een beroemd zinnetje, vaak toegeschreven aan wereldkampioen Michail Botwinnik die bij een analyse samen met andere grootmeesters een mysterieuze zet van hemzelf in een toreneindspel zou hebben toegelicht met: “Elke Russische schooljongen weet dat je dat hier zo moet doen.” Maar toch lijkt het erop dat het gezegde van David Bronstein afkomstig zou zijn (en Leon Trotsky mag dan geboren zijn als Lev Davidovich Bronstein, maar hier is de grote schaakmeester bedoeld).
Hieronder gebruikt Yermolinsky een variant ervan, namelijk de wending "something that everybody knows". Het gaat dan ook niet over schaken, maar over de "annexatie" van de Krim.

All right, so what are we going to be talking about today is a match, a match that took place in round two, between Alexander Onischuk of the United States, and Sergei Karjakin of Russia. So we have the United States, and we have Russia, right? Well, and we have this… I mean it’s an era of tension, it’s Cold War reloaded, Cold War 2.0. Ironically, both players, they hail from the Crimean peninsula. The Crimean peninsula was the sticking point of this conflict between Russia and Ukraine as they say, and then, well, they both grew up there, both. They are obviously separated by fifteen years of age. Maybe more than that separates them. Alexander has been living in the US for a, for a long time, while Karjakin switched his, his residency, and no, and then his chess activation to Russia. Actually before the annexation of the Crimea.
I mean, once again without getting into this political stuff you know, I would say something that everybody knows, that this has always been Russian territory. In terms of like, there’s a Russian speaking people, you know, that’s not… this being part of Ukraine was a historical curiosity, sort of like. A thing you know that Soviet authorities made, I guess as a sign of friendship or whatever, no, I mean, I don’t know. Well, you think what you want. Let’s wait till the Hawaiian independence movement will come in full force, and let’s see how we feel about that. You know, is it really...? But over there it’s long as history, you know.
But anyway, we’ll leave it at that but I’m sure there were no conflicts... but I did hear every once in a while in ...during the nineteen nineties how the players from that area, particularly my long-time friend, grandmaster Vladimir Malaniuk, were kind of amused at the insistence of some of their players and coaches that all the team meetings ...they should be, well, conducted in Ukrainian. I guess the push was coming, you know from, from the Western parts.
Anyway, all right, sorry about that. I did not mean to delve into this. You are here not to listen to my political commentary, you’re here to look at a chess game. Anyway, I don’t think that there is any personal conflict between Onischuk and Karjakin, although I happen to know that they hold different opinions* when it comes to that particular situation and have different political views. Which happens, but it doesn’t mean that… their relationship has always been very professional.
All right, so this line, played by Karpov many times, on the black side and on the white side as well, é4-ç5. It’s so heavily theoretical a lot of people… I mean usually white takes a… takes…

* Karjakin zou nu persona non grata zijn in Oekraïne.

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