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A small digression - about bye weeks.

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Original post.


One of the greatest chess methodologists, if not the greatest one, the sixth World Champion, Mikhail Botvinnik, wrote in one of his books (about the 1948 World Chess Championship Tournament):

A tournament must go on a uniform schedule, so that the participants would get used to a certain pace of competition. ...

The Dutch organizers neglected that. They didn't take into account that plenty of free days (because of the holidays, and because the number of the participants was odd) may break that rhythm and take the participant out of the equilibrium.

When I found out that one of the participants is going to "rest" for six days before the last gameday of the second round, I suggested to my colleagues Mr. Keres and Mr. Smyslov that we would submit a protest together. Alas, they didn't support me! Angrily, I told them then: "You'll see, one of us is going to rest six days in a row at the Hague, and on the seventh day he'll lose without putting up any resistance..."

And here came true the first part of my prophecy: after the six-day rest, Keres, pale as a sheet, sat at the chess table across from me, worrying, probably, that the second part of it will also come true...

Keres lost a rather short and lopsided game.


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