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I think that after game 9, the momentum might have swung back to Carlsen a bit, odd as it may sound. Best strategy for him is not to force the issue, play normal until game 12, if he hasn't won 1 by then he will have to go all in of course. But he should show Karjakin that he's perfectly fine winning only one game and playing rapid/blitz to decide the match. Karjakin would have liked to win this one I'm sure, but he didn't and he might actually feel the nerves a bit in the upcoming games.

That being said, I'd be happy for Karjakin if he were to win this.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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...3 games to go . carlsen will have the white in 2 of those, including tonight. i have a strong hunch it will NOT be a draw. i seriously doubt that playing 'quietly' having the white fits the world champion's temperament. his entire record points towards an incremental, active style.

then, a lot will depend on the opening he will have chosen tonight. in that regard it is instructive to look at the last 2 games opening options. leaving aside the terminology, it could be simplified as follows. in the game 8 which he lost with the white, he strove to open with a rarely played at the elite level system aiming to divert the game AWAY from the well studied modern theory. if you are a magnus, with his phenomenal ability to just play the board better than almost any human, it is a smart tactic. that's how he prevailed so far - outperforming his opponents 1st in the middle and then in the end game. why did it misfire against karjakin ? was he outplayed in his own game ?

the full answer is still not clear, but what we can see looking at the actual game, there was more to that loss than magnus just being overambitious. karjakin too committed several errors, both were under the severe time pressure, both took long time to think...there was something else as astutely noted by Fabiano Caruana (the world's #2 atm) magnus had a hard time finding a plan, switching plans, running in place. he was playing so b/c karjakin did not let him carlsen playing differently. karjakin kept him off-balance both the way he played at the board and off the board. the 'off-the board', according several grandmasters observations, refers to karjakin driving magnus crazy by his deliberate avoidance of ANY risk in ALL games. iow, he got on magnus' nerves. and we saw it clearly. thus, it would not be unreasonable to state that in game 8 karjakin outplayed carlsen both in terms of 'just playing' and psycologically...

fast forward to game 9. this time the opening was the opposite of the game 8 in terms of its very, very well studied routes. both blitzed almost 20 moves in 10 minutes along the well known mains. again a splendid game in which magnus, this time with the black, barely saved his ards. surprisingly to most it was a different karjakin - active, holding the initiative from the get-go and even sacrificing pieces. that's how magnus typically plays. but he was defending in game 9, in fact brilliantly so, just like karjaking was earlier.

why am saying all this ? to point that the 2 are well matched, that both are deep, persistent, ambiguous, universal and healthy. both are prodigies. if there is a slight difference, it is that karjakin seems to posses the nerves of steel.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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the last game of the classic chess format ended in a fast draw today. i feel both stupid and vindicated.

stupid b/c i, and just about every commentator, wrongly predicted that carlson playing the white in his last chance classic game will go into a blazing attack so much characteristic of his style. i fully expected him winning the match tonight looking at the magnus superb play after his win in the game 10.

in stead. the world champion surprised the chess world tonight by choosing a deliberately passive variant where a pretender forced a fast draw. why did he do it ?

clearly, the one obvious answer is to avoid the risk of losing since he was already punished once by karjakin playing the black for being overly aggressive in game 8. thats a sign of respect for the opponent. for the record, this is the 3d world chapionship match for carlsen and the first where he is unable to defeat the pretender ahead of the 12 game format.

the 2nd reason could be that carlsen strongly believes he has an advantage this wednesday when they must decide the world title in 4 rapid or, if still undecided, several more blitz games.

but does magnuss - looking objectively - have an advantage in quick chess ?

yes he does. but not with the margin he was supposed to win - but really couldn't - when looking at the classic time control. more specifically, before the match 95% of experts predicted, and in chess it really works, that magnus will win ahead of schedule based on his classic elo rating (the worlds #1 vs #9). it never happened.

looking at their rapid chess rating the advantage is still with carlson (the worlds current # 1vs # 3). clearly they are closer. in the blitz magnus is considered much better again (#1 vs # 9).

but...but...these are the evaluations of their PAST performances having nothing to do with the CURRENT level demonstrated in this match under the time pressure. in that regard, both appear on par having navigated the time controls with about equal number of mistakes.

it is still wide open. i don't feel the pundits have it right.
 
Re:

python said:
the last game of the classic chess format ended in a fast draw today. i feel both stupid and vindicated.

stupid b/c i, and just about every commentator, wrongly predicted that carlson playing the white in his last chance classic game will go into a blazing attack so much characteristic of his style.
But why did they expect this? It would have been foolish. It hasn't worked for him at all throughout this match. The one time it did he was fortunate Karjakin missed the forced draw.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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while everyone is still wondering why carlsen chose a passive game, i thought it would be interesting to hear the explanation from his own mouth...he didn't really clarify much in the press conference. here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5qfrvR7bgg

most grand masters who opined believe either magnus was not 100% healthy or he believes in his rapid chess. interestingly, karjakin himself did not think the 12 th game was destined to be drawn even after the opening. he showed why carlsen went for a mass exchange after his relatively unusual move in the spanish opener proved ineffective.

if maghus was unhealthy, it is absolutely not obvious from his looks or demeanor at the press conference. neither he looked overly nervous or impetuous like when he stormed out after his loss.

it is interesting to compare their personalities. karjakin while coeval with magnus looks and behaves as an older and wiser man. it turns out karjakin at 26 is on his 2nd marriage already and just fathered a son. reportedly both are in nyc NOW. magnus is single and has a wonderful support from his parents and 3 sisters. he's more boyish looking and sounding. it may or may not matter in the rapid chess but i find there personal details an interesting supplement to their style.

to complete the style impression, i youtubed a couple of their rapid and blitz games. they differ a lot. while magnus plays like a machine, quickly and crisp, karjakin is slower and deliberate. in no game i saw him panic even when there was 10-12 seconds left. for ex he beautifully forced svidler to resign in a world cup final blitz with 10 second left when svidler had almost a minute. strong nerves. or he masked it well.

the nerves could be a decider. karpov thinks the one who sleeps better on wed will win. he also said something i did not read from anyone - this was the 1st ever word ch. match when neither player produced an opening novelties. that is, he thinks they contributed zero to the chess theory.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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...some exciting stuff is happening as i type. they have just finished the 2 rapid games of the 4.

in both games magnus had held a a tangible advantage. he was ahead both positionally and time wise.
in the rapid game 2 he was at one point 11 minutes ahead (mind you, out of a total 50 mins). yet karjakin coolly played the incremental rule (10 sec per move) to achieve a final time score almost equal or basically equal where carlsen - as expected - had not expected karjakin to find a draw. \

we now have the rapid game 3...of a total 4 before the blitz. what i have gleaned it is still a theoretical draw. means nothing a short time commitment can produce ANYTHING...
 
Sep 25, 2009
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sorry for boosting the thread as i think no more than 5 or so members read it...

...i thought it is news worthy that TODAY in doha karjakin became a world blitz chess champion winning over magnus , who defeated serhey in the classic title match in nyc this nov.. serhey won their personal game as well as the overall tournament, though they accumulated the same total points. the karjakin win over carlsen was achieved via his opponent's blunder. but that's what the blitz is - a 3minute fury of thoughts and mistakes.

interestingly, carlsen confirmed his exceptional class by placing 3d in the rapid and 2nd in the blitz. also curious is that karjakin has now added a blitz world champion title to his 2012 world rapid title while being the #2 in the classic chess. a collection of the world titles only second to that of magnus. i feel karjakin is like putin, his boss, a slow and a deliberate steam roller.
 
Feb 23, 2017
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I play, not as much as I use to, but I cheat when playing in that I'll use all sorts of "poker" type stuff to throw the opponent off, so even though I'm not that good I usually can win against average chess players because I get them to overthink when I want them to and underthink when I want them to. When I was in high school I did beat the schools chess champion with his instructor present in 15 or so minutes doing the poker thing, the instructor said I was brilliant in my tactics, then he paused and then added physiologically but not so much in chess theory! The instructor knew what I was doing all along but kept silent and never warned his chess champion, and he also said after the game that chess does have elements of poker strategy which he had never seen a high school student employ.

For fun in 1983 or 84 I bought a Fidelity Elegance Chess Computer which I can't play poker with! so since I can't play poker with it it always beats me! LOL! I have used the game over the years to play against other computers and it always won until I played it against Komodo 9 and Komodo beat it soundly.

I still play the Fidelity computer once in awhile and it still beats me...it's sort of depressing! LOL!!!
 
Are you ready to rumble? :lol:
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/27/fabiano-caruana-magnus-carlsen-candidates-tournament
American Fabiano Caruana to play for world chess title after candidates win

The American grandmaster Fabiano Caruana will challenge for Magnus Carlsen’s world chess championship in London this fall after winning the candidates tournament in Tuesday’s final round of competition in Berlin.

No player born in the United States has won or even competed for a world championship since Bobby Fischer in 1972.
 
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/sep/02/who-will-be-king-three-way-battle-for-control-rocks-international-chess
Who will be king? Three-way battle for control rocks international chess

Accusations of corruption, lies and Russian meddling fly as the World Chess Federation’s presidential elections approach

Candidates are feuding bitterly before a vote marred by accusations of vote-buying, “fake news” and Russian meddling. It may sound like Brexit or a US election, but this is an arguably thornier issue: a three-way battle for control over international chess.

The Greek acting president of the World Chess Federation (Fide), Georgios Makropoulos, has been accused of currying favour from cash-strapped federations. He in turn has accused Russian newcomer Arkady Dvorkovich, a former Kremlin aide, of using Moscow’s influence across the globe to mount an upset campaign.

The third candidate in Fide’s October presidential vote is Nigel Short, a punchy British grandmaster running on an anti-corruption ticket, who has nevertheless riled many in the sport.

The Russian bid sees one of the Kremlin’s most capable and modern lieutenants unleashed on a sport that, frankly, seems small fry for him. Dvorkovich was Russian deputy prime minister for six years and chaired Russia’s World Cup organising committee, which spent an estimated £10bn on the tournament. By contrast, the Fide’s annual budget is just £2.3m.
...
Observers of the game say the October vote is a chance for change after a generation of the sport being dominated by the eccentric Russian businessman Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. He was forced out earlier this year after being sanctioned by the US for his ties to Bashar al-Assad, leading to Fide’s Swiss bank accounts being frozen.

There remain deep reservations over how chess is run today. As one popular joke goes: it’s like Fifa, just lop off a few zeros.
 
October 3 2018 -
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/oct/03/kremlin-lieutenant-elected-head-of-world-chess-governing-body
Kremlin lieutenant elected head of world chess governing body

An influential Russian bureaucrat has been elected the head of the world chess governing body after a brutal election campaign that saw accusations of Kremlin meddling and vote-rigging.

Arkady Dvorkovich, former Russian deputy prime minister for six years and close associate of the prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, won a vote in Batumi, Georgia, after the British grandmaster Nigel Short dropped out of the race and pushed his support in the Russian’s favour.

The win anointed FIDE’s first new president in more than 20 years, after the eccentric Russian millionaire Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was ousted. He had been sanctioned by the United States for his close relations with dictators, including Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

Chess insiders claim the sport has been plagued by corrupt dealings that have limited its growth.

Dvorkovich, in a short speech following his 103 to 78 victory, promised “a professional, efficient and transparent institution,” according to chess.com. He largely ran on a technocratic campaign, citing a tradition of elite chess in his family as the source of his interest in the post.

But the presidency did appear a small fry ambition for a Kremlin lieutenant who had managed Russia’s economy and chaired the organising committee for Russia’s hosting of the 2018 World Cup.

His opponent, acting FIDE president Georgios Makropoulos, had accused Dvorkovich of using Russia’s diplomatic power to mount a campaign to take control of the sport.
 
November 9 starts The World Chess Championship match between current World Champion Norway's Magnus Carlsen, and challenger from the US Fabiano Caruana in London. 12 matches to be played followed if necessary by play-off games. The games commence each day at 15:00 UK time.

- details at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Chess_Championship_2018

Official website at https://worldchess.com/ with pay-per-view live video, news etc.

Thor versus Captain America?!
 
Fischer was a one-off, his name is used merely as a synonym for "US Chess World Champion" in order to create attention. Caruana is a very strong player who could potentially become world champion, that's about all they have in common.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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imo, it is silly to compare the 2 american players.

fischer was not only a different (and in my opinion deeper) chess player, but the chess were/are different then and now.

today computers play better than humans making any computer-aided analysis and the home prep indispensable to a world title win... then computers played at a chess master level (a difference of 100s elo points !!) where the home analysis of a team of dedicated grand masters was the key. it was one of the reasons the soviets excelled so much then. and held the world title...

what fischer did to the soviet winning machine was nothing less than a humiliating smashing. doing it literally alone and on his own. there was never a player before him nor after who could win 12 game matches against the world's very best w/o even making a single draw !

the only thing where caruana has an advantage, is that he's a nice guy by comparison a real prijk bobby. i met caruana 2 yo at the carlsen-karjakin face-off in nyc. a totally normal looking, talking and acting young chap.
 
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2018/nov/09/magnus-carlsen-v-fabiano-caruana-world-chess-championship-game-1-live
... a seven-hour, 115-move draw. Four very exciting hours that saw Magnus Carlsen nearly become the first champion to win Game 1 of a world title match as black in 37 years, followed by three quite boring hours after a Carlsen blunder (40. ... Bxc3) which made the draw all but a foregone conclusion.
though Caruana was pleased to get a draw
This was not the most pleasant experience to defend this extremely long game with white. I think I was quite fortunate to end up with a draw.
This does not bode well for "Captain America".
 
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2018/nov/10/magnus-carlsen-v-fabiano-caruana-world-chess-championship-game-2-live
“This was not very good,” Carlsen says, per Tarjei Svensen. “I was surprised in the opening. I thought I had chances to a small advantages. I mis-calculated something. Then I had to beg for a draw, but that went without problems.”

He adds: “I am not happy about this, but it’s better than losing.”

More Carlsen: “He played a completely new move that actually doesn’t look natural to me. I have to look at it later. We’ll see if it was a surprise in this game or if he found something new.”
Caruana’s 10th move (Rd8) really stopped Carlsen in his tracks and made up for his Friday's problems. Has Caruana more tricks in his bag though?
 
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2018/nov/12/magnus-carlsen-v-fabiano-caruana-world-chess-championship-game-3-live
Carlsen “From the start, I thought it was a bit uncomfortable. I just tried to limit his advantage as much as possible. When we reached the endgame, I thought I had equalized. When we reached the endgame, I didn’t really play for a win. ... It was only when I had forced his pawn on a black square and established it there, I thought I would be able to press him.”

He’s asked about being uncomfortable in the opening: “I miscalculated the position. I thought what I entered was very close to equalizing. Then I realized I was clearly worse.”
Caruana's opening has again Carlsen "uncomfortable" but can not force a win - game 3 draw. Still all equal.
 
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2018/nov/13/magnus-carlsen-v-fabiano-caruana-world-chess-championship-game-4-live
“It was a bit disappointing,” Magnus Carlsen says, per Tarjei J Svensen. “I thought I was better after the opening. ... I have to start winning games soon.”

He adds, in a televised interview: “He seems to have out-prepared me with the black pieces so far, so I’ll have to try harder next time.”
Carlsen tried a different opening but came up short. Caruana seems able to hold his own, but can he force a win?
 
Game 5 - draw, still all square.
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2018/nov/15/magnus-carlsen-v-fabiano-caruana-world-chess-championship-game-5-live
“This line is really interesting and if Black cooperates it can get also very, very exciting,” Caruana says of the 6. b4!? surprise. “But Magnus knew the line quite well and I think played it in a very logical way. I guess the endgame we got was more or less balanced.”
...
“A well-played game with some fireworks,” Caruana tells Norwegian broadcaster NRK, according to journalist Tarjei Svensen.

Carlsen has a bit more to say.

“It was a long preparation from him,” the champion reflects, per Svensen. “But I wasn’t very worried about the position that arose. I felt that I had sufficient compensation with my bishop pair. After that I found a way to play for advantage, but I found nothing clear.”

He adds: “I felt that I had a fine position after the opening. I hoped to press him. I don’t think I played particularly well today. There were not many difficult decisions. ... I definitely hoped more than I have shown until now. I have to focus on that now. I am pretty pleased with today’s game as long as I didn’t miss anything I will regret.”
Carlsen has two games with white, so it's time to show what he's got.
 
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2018/nov/16/magnus-carlsen-v-fabiano-caruana-world-chess-championship-game-6-live
“I was just way too casual,” says Carlsen when asked to explain Friday’s near-upset. Yet there was nothing nonchalant about the Norwegian’s dogged fightback to salvage a draw in a game that could have, at least temporarily, cost him the world No 1 ranking that he’d held for more than seven years uninterrupted.

The champion, who famously claimed he doesn’t believe in fortresses during his world title defense against Sergey Karjakin two years ago in New York, took refuge in a defensive structure and moved with precision and ingenuity throughout the tense endgame, even as the Stockfish evaluation engine found a forced mate in 30 moves for black after 67. Kg6.
Carlsen, World Champ & with white, nearly loses! Geezus! Caruana is pushing hard & 1 win could decide the match. If I was a betting man, I'd stick a wager on Caruana winning.
 
Re:

Robert5091 said:
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2018/nov/16/magnus-carlsen-v-fabiano-caruana-world-chess-championship-game-6-live
“I was just way too casual,” says Carlsen when asked to explain Friday’s near-upset. Yet there was nothing nonchalant about the Norwegian’s dogged fightback to salvage a draw in a game that could have, at least temporarily, cost him the world No 1 ranking that he’d held for more than seven years uninterrupted.

The champion, who famously claimed he doesn’t believe in fortresses during his world title defense against Sergey Karjakin two years ago in New York, took refuge in a defensive structure and moved with precision and ingenuity throughout the tense endgame, even as the Stockfish evaluation engine found a forced mate in 30 moves for black after 67. Kg6.
Carlsen, World Champ & with white, nearly loses! Geezus! Caruana is pushing hard & 1 win could decide the match. If I was a betting man, I'd stick a wager on Caruana winning.
All sounding very interesting guys. Thanks for the updates.

How many games do they end up playing in the world championship battle?
 

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