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27

Carlsen is being criticized for his preparation with white, particularly e4. He knows that Caruana is going to play the Petrof yet nevertheless Caruana equalizes effortlessly. Carlsen appears to have no new ideas in this opening. Since there is no more important competition he could be saving novelties for it tells us he has no novelties. No novelties = poor ...


27

Carlsen crushed it, made almost no mistakes whatsoever in rapid. It is as if he was playing at classical time controls. Chess is about not making mistakes. If your opponent doesn't make mistakes then you're only going to get a draw even if you play like an engine. He did play good moves as well. Example on move 37 the position is a draw but he gave himself ...


23

Is the tournament leading to some consensus on how good/bad Carlsen's decision was? Not quite. As others have pointed out, Carlsen's decision was based on factors outside that one game. With a stronger position and a large time advantage, Carlsen most likely could have won game 12, but Caruana had just tied Carlsen in 11 consecutive games, several of which ...


21

Carlsen is 21 years young and is currently the highest-rated player in the world. He scored a win against Karpov and a draw against Kasparov at the tender age of 13 (Reykjavik Rapid 2004), and was the second youngest player to become a grandmaster (at the time he did it). Things like that are enough to brew confidence, garner world championship expectations, ...


20

What rules (if any) cover a situation like this? 3.10.2 of the FIDE Laws of Chess defines when a move is illegal - 3.10.2 A move is illegal when it fails to meet the relevant requirements of Articles 3.1 – 3.9 Articles 3.1 - 3.9 basically describe the moves of the pieces. Inarkiev's move was illegal because it breached 3.9.2 - 3.9.2 No piece can be ...


20

Is the tournament leading to some consensus on how good/bad Carlsen's decision was? No. Consensus on Carlsen's play and decision has already been reached, I would suggest. Psychologically Carlsen made it clear in the post match interview that his goal before this game was a draw to reach the rapid playoff where he thought (correctly) that he was strong ...


19

I am surprised that the paper "Intrinsic Chess Ratings" by Ken Regan and Guy Haworth hasn't been posted yet. It is exactly what's asked for, serious research into rating inflation. PDF Basically they got games from three periods (1976-1979, 1991-1994, 2006-2009), in several rating ranges (e.g. both players within 10 points of 2200, within 10 points of 2300, ...


18

One of the Russians (Filatov?, maybe even Karjakin himself?) brown-nosed to the media that every match is 50-50 odds on the face of it... But more seriously, Carlsen's rating has consistently been 2850 plus/minus a small amount (20) for some time now, while Karjakin has been more volatile, currently 2775 (near his career best 2788 of July 2011). So I think ...


16

In pretty much any endeavor that requires one to develop or acquire complex sets of skills, be it chiefly intellectual or chiefly physical, starting young will generally be a huge boon simply because of the fact that younger brains are more plastic than older brains; they can more readily adapt to new sorts of tasks and information. Because of that fact, ...


16

Magnus Carlsen drops out of World Championship cycle (contemporaneous chessbase.com article) Largely he didn't like the format (knockout matches rather than round-robin tournament). Carlsen wrote a letter to FIDE explaining why he skipped the Candidates Matches, quoted in part below: After careful consideration I’ve reached the conclusion that the ...


16

my feeling is that Caruana lost the game, more than Carlsen won it. Whenever two players play a game without making any errors the result is a draw. Most games have lots of errors and it is usually the player who makes the last error who loses. As far as I can tell, Carlsen didn't make any winning!! or distinctly good moves Not true. Carlsen made many ...


15

There have been some shorter ones, for instance Kasparov-Kramnik (2000), game 7, draw in 11 moves. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1252046 Kasparov-Anand (1995), game 18, draw in 12 moves. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1241980 Karpov-Kasparov (1984), game 29, draw in 13 moves. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=...


14

From a purely positional point of view, 18...Nxb6 would have been a terrible mistake, as it would have allowed white to then forcefully trade the light squared bishops with the immediate Bg4 move, leaving exposed all the light square weaknesses that black has created with the d6-e5-f4 setup. These weaknesses (created holes) would then have been permanently ...


13

Carlsen is criticized because he's in a defense position (he's defending his title, and doesn't need to win all games), and people want to see crazy games with new things, as simple as that. While I must admit that this kind of games are pretty boring, we cannot "hate" on him for having poor preparation. He's not there to entertain people.


12

I just wanted to add a bit more to Ed Dean's Answer. These are some fun facts: In October 2005 he took first place at the Arnold Eikrem Memorial in Gausdal with eight out of nine points and a performance rating of 2792 at the age of 14. When Carlsen was 18 years old, he became one of the few people in history to have an Elo rating over 2800. Carlsen ...


12

I poked around some. You've probably seen these pages, but I'll post them anyway: a. This page will interest you. It includes a photocopy of a letter from Elo himself stating the possibility: Thus over time the rating scale could drift unless some measures are taken to stabilize it. He further mentions that the ratings scale has no anchor, no fixed ...


12

Game 1 of the tiebreak: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1937923 37 Rc7 is a brilliant endgame move under time control, that induces the opponent to make the mistake 37...Kxe4. There were few other options for Carlsen, v.i.z., 37. Kh3 or 37. Rb4. You can see the evaluation jumps couple of points from +0.3 to +2.1 even though materially Caruana ...


11

One of Anand's strengths relative to Carlsen is better opening knowledge, and Anand also had the better analysis team. (UPDATE: According to Carlsen in a recent interview, his team of seconds during the Chennai match consisted of Hammer, Fressinet and Eljanov.) To repeat openings was a natural match strategy for him, trying to turn the match into an opening ...


11

Wilhelm Steinitz learned "how" to play chess at the age of 12, but it was only after attending the Vienna Polytechnic that he actually began to play serious chess (sometime during his twenties). Siegbert Tarrasch learned how to play chess when he was 15, but he was 20 when he first tried himself at a "Hauptturneier" (Chess Tournament) in 1882 at Berlin, he ...


11

After 18 ... Qe8 the bishop on b6 is attacking thin air and isn't very annoying. After 18 ... Nxb6 19. Nxb6 the knight on b6 is very annoying indeed. The a8 rook is forced to a7 and black's pieces are becoming uncoordinated. After 18 ... Nxb6 19. axb6 Rxa1 20. Qxa1 black is in trouble. White's b6 pawn is looking dangerous, black's b7 pawn is going to come ...


10

The final position is a very typical position of weak bishop against strong knight. The knight has good outposts on d5 and b5, where it is supported/protected by white pawns and cannot be challenged by any black pieces unless black sacrifices an exchange (rook for knight). Also the white knight is very mobile and can basically go wherever it wants. In ...


10

It will not show how good or bad Carlsen's decision was - humans play and assess differently from computers; there are positions that are extremely easy for computers, but terribly difficult for humans and vice versa. So a computer evaluation of ~+1 might not give any chance for a human win and in many cases a position with equal computer evaluation is an ...


10

Several reasons I can think of: black is obviously playing on the kingside and Qe8 is a useful move aiming to transfer the queen to f7, g6 or perhaps h5 later. Also it might be useful to push e4 later. the bishop on b6 is not annoying. At the moment it attacks the black queen but that's about it. To some extent it is also blocking other white pieces. Also ...


9

First, note that the final ratings depend entirely on the score of the match, not on the particular games. For example, if they each win a game, their ratings will change by the same amount as if they draw both games. This may seem like a coincidence but it's just a consequence of the way that FIDE ratings work. Here is the entire table of possible results. ...


9

It does take awhile for FIDE to update their ratings, which is monthly (see article) compared to the unofficial Live ratings site at Live Ratings. But it is interesting to note that Carlsen is due for a 2 point bump according to the Live rating site.


9

In the old days variations were named after players who did serious theoretical work and/or played one line consistently over a longer period. As openings got more and more analyzed it got increasingly more difficult to find new variations comparable to those old masters. Nowadays the top players might find a novelty around move 20 or so. If you want, you ...


9

Carlsen didn't make any winning!! or distinctly good moves. I doubt. Carlsen's play was almost accurate. He could exploit almost all of Caruana's mistakes in the rapid games. Game 1: Carlsen realizes his opponent is in serious time trouble, in which a move like Rc7! seems the most suitable. Without thinking, a human player would like to collect 2 pawns ...


9

As was stated in the answer to this post made by D M, one idea of capturing in this manner is to open up the g-file for white's rooks to attack black's king. In the game this proved to be a very potent idea, and in general it's a good idea to open up lines for one's rooks against the enemy king if one intends to attack it. But there is another point to ...


8

[FEN ""] [Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.08"] [Round "1"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [Eventdate "2014.11.08"] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 ...


8

So far, following seconds have been revealed (NRK, ChessBase): GM Peter Heine Nielsen (no surprise as he was part of team Carlsen in WCC 2014) GM Laurent Fressinet (also no surprise as he was part of team Carlsen in WCC 2013 and WCC 2014) GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (quite a surprise as he is the current world's nr. 4) GM Nils Grandelius GM Jan Gustafsson (...


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