Anish Giri: I remember less than 10% of concrete moves
The game between Hikaru Nakamura and Anish Giri was the quickest in the third round and ended in a draw.
– I looked this line for someone else who is obviously much weaker, and then I decided to try this idea here. I thought maybe it is not easy to find all the right moves over the board, but Anish played it very correctly.
– There are three reasons why I know this line. First of all, I saw some article by, I think, Smerdon. Usually I read his articles because they are funny. This one probably wasn’t funny, but at least I learned something. Another reason is that once I had this line in an online blitz game. And the third reason is that a friend of mine recently recorded video series on sidelines in the Italian, so I was up to date even in insane lines like this. I guess I was even more educated than Hikaru.
– It’s clear I should have tried this against a weaker player!
– That article that I read was written from White’s prospective, so it stated that if Black finds all the right moves, White still has some kind of pressure. I thought it cannot be any pressure, as Black is a pawn up, but during the game I understood what he meant: if somewhere White will regain the pawn, and he’ll be centralized, he might get some slight pressure.
– It’s not a secret that these days chess grandmasters have to store many variations in their memory. My question is how much of it is always in your brain, and how much do you have to “upload” prior to a game?
– I don’t know about percentage, but in general positional lines are easier to remember, and in sharp tactical positions you have to be 100% sure – one wrong move, and you basically lose the game. You have to review something like that every couple of weeks. In general I probably can remember the end of the line and its basic idea, but it’s more matter of how to get to that point, I think.
But for the most part modern day chess is all about preparation. Very high percentage!
– I remember almost all the evaluations, know which lines are good for Black, and which are good for White. However, there are so many details in analysis, so if you ask me about the percentage of moves I remember, it would be extremely low. Probably below 10 percent. But it’s hard to speak in such terms because some moves are irrelevant, other moves you can find over the board. Generally the top players keep quite a lot of it in their memory.
– Are you able to follow all the opening information that appears in chess media?
– Some people can do it, but I am not one of them. I will read articles here and there, but for games you normally go to a database. Maybe if I was more crazy about chess, like Ivanchuk, I would probably know every single game.
– I read all more or less important publications to make sure I am not behind, and I am not behind, so that’s fine.