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Rorshach

Chess - the world in black and white

66 posts in this topic

Simply say Sopiko. :)

Not really that interested in the challengers this year. I was kinda tempted to check out the Xiong games, since he will probably join the 2.700 club. But his opening choices are somewhat too different from mine.

Talking about youngsters Wei Yi is doing quite well this year.

+1 and he has already played Carlsen (his loss last round) and Aronian. In addition his choice to play the Petroff is kinda interesting for me. Go Wei. Or to put it into a more lame pun Wei to go.

What on earth was Karjakin doing yesterday aganst Adhiban? That looks like he went into full Kamikaze mode, and simply wanted to crash his lower rated opponent with that unsound assault. Total auto-destruct.

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I was debating with myself how familiar I could make myself with someone unknown :)

Magnus I tend to use first name only (because that's what we Norwegians do with him), but Aryan Tari (part of the reason why I keep an eye on the Challengers, Nils Grandelius the other part) I can't seem to just call "Aryan". And I wouldn't consider using first name only for the rest of the field .. however, going with mrs. Giri is also somewhat patronizing.. I'm creating problems for myself here.

Hard to know with Karjakin. Perhaps he thought that Adibahn was already going down, so he'd buckle under pressure, but if so, that backfired badly. It did help Adibahn, though, who held So today. Well done him!

There's little I'm able to learn here, as I'm not good enough - perhaps I can pick up a nuance or two, but that's about it. Still enjoy it - with Peter Svidler.

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Hum.

After Carksen missed a clear win yesterday against Giri (and he rarely misses such nice little tactics) he was today beaten by Rapport. 

And Giri lost a very nice game to Aronian. Positional exchange sac, and Leva simply crushed Giri. Really nice game. Reminded me a bit of Aronian's beauty with black against Giri a few years ago.

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Got a bad feeling today, when Magnus was thinking for half an hour on move .. what, 22? That long a think is the clearest indicator available that he's out of sync. After the think, he played like me - which is bad.

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I am not exactly sure what MC missed. 25.f4-26.e4-27.e5 was/is really not particularly hard to see.

He really must have seen a mirrage, something like that he had .the square e4 sufficiently covered. It's really a bit inexplicable.

And Nepo is suffering a bit against van Wely. He should hold, but I don't think it's particularly pleasent with this weakness on a7.

And Andreikin played a horrible game against Adhiban this round.

I will take a closer look a Wei Yi's game later on, because Petroff. Though if I remember my theory correct 6.Be2 is rather tame.

A more "normal" way to play is with 6.Nb3 Ne6 7.Nbd4 etc.

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I'm guessing he was going for a win, and his way of doing that in equal positions is playing something proviking. d3 was that move. When that unravelled, so did his play. Sort of like game 8 in the WC. 

van Vely-Nepo looks very drawish now.

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It was drawish before, just with van Wely being on the more fun to play side of it.

And draw agreed. No disrespect for King Loek, but he is really the player with the biggest sign reading "Target" on his back. So to say Nepo is not enjoying a particularly great event sounds like an understatement.

Carlsen will be happy that tomorrow is a rest day after the horrors of today and yesterday.

Looks like So might actually win Wijk this year. But it's still pretty close at the top.

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Just skimmed through todays games. Damn Eljanov must be kicking himself for letting Andreikin escape. 

30...Qxb7 31.Bc6 (what else) and simply returning one exchange looked like a more reasonable choice than dealing with those connected pest passed pawns on c6 and b7.

To get back to Sopiko. One should remember she is not there as a token invitation or to do a favor for  Anish or something. Sopiko qualified for her place by finishing a qualifier second behind Dobrov last year.

That she gets outshot so badly there. I think this might be her first event after the baby break, so she probably was/is a bit rusty, and then as the lowest rated player in the field. Tough luck.

 

Edited by Notone

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On 1/22/2017 at 5:23 PM, Notone said:

And Giri lost a very nice game to Aronian. Positional exchange sac, and Leva simply crushed Giri. Really nice game. Reminded me a bit of Aronian's beauty with black against Giri a few years ago.

Aronian won an impressive game against Rapport in round 10, too.  It's good to see Aronian playing well -- he's slipped down the rating list quite a bit over the past few years, and I think he's probably missed his best chances to reach a world championship match, but maybe he can surprise me. 

It's actually looking surprisingly possible that somebody will overtake Carlsen in the live rating list this year; both Caruana and So are not too far away, and So at least seems in much better form at the moment.(and has extended his current unbeaten streak to 53 games)

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Yeah, I just hope Levon's slump is over. But in all fairness, Levon did okayish in most of the tournaments despite being out of form. He just lost his brillancy. Both games are imho good contenders for the game of the tournament. Another candidate would be that Eljanov - Andreikin game.

Yes, it looks possible. I hope it won't be So though. I simply can't stand his Filipino fanbase. Bunch of overzealous crybabies. And besides every run comes to an end at some point. Well, maybe dropping in the rating list would inspire Carlsen to work a bit more on his chess again.

But objectively speaking Carlsen is also playing a good tournament, if it wasn't for that point he dropped in two rounds. The missed mate against Giri, and then him subsequently overpushing and autodestructing against Rapport in the next round. If he had not overlooked the mate in 3, Carlsen probably would not have gone beserk and accepted a draw against Rapport. And he would be on top with 8.5 instead of trailing with 7.5

Caruana is atm struggling a bit in Gibraltar.

I am not sure who the player of the tournament is at Wijk. So is obviously a contender as tournament leader (and likely winner, did I mention that I don't like his fanbase?), but Wei Yi is also making a case with a very strong performance. And so is Adhiban with his gutsy play.

And again I can't help, but to feel sorry Sopiko at the challengers. 

Edited by Notone

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All in all, I would say Adhiban deserves the mention as player of the tournament. He came in with a rating even worse than Loek van Wely, and is currently at +1. He's been playing well as the tournament progressed, as well. 

Wei Yi can actually (along with Carlsen and Aronian, and So of course) win the whole thing. Amazing from him as well. So has been good, but lucky (his win against Rapport was more Rapport deciding to gift him the point, rather than So doing anyting). I'd say Adhiban - Wei Yi - So.

Also exciting in the challengers, where we've also got a four-player fight for first. Looking at the matchups for tomorrow, they do perhaps favour Jeffery Xiong (white against Bok). Worth mentioning, of course, that Aryan Tari beat Xiong today, to move up to +1. Well done!

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Well, that was a bit of an anticlimax at the end -- only skimmed the game but So seems to have had a winning position after about ten moves.  Agree he's had some luck this tournament, and he seems to have had a bit more luck today with Nepomniachtchi's opening choice.

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Just came home and I am atm checking what's going on in Wijk.

What on earth was Nepo doing there? That had nothing to do with the Trompowsky. That was simply a very bad game Nepo produced to end a rather poor tournament from his perspective.

Talking about openings, I am not entirely convinced by what Aronian played today. That Slav simply looked bad. By move 15. I somewhat prefered white's position already. Bad day at the office for Levon.

van Wely's Catalan win looked nice. Though I am not entirely sure, what Harikrishna's Knight was doing on c6. His whole set up on the queen side, maybe my theory is outdated, but I thought, if you play the open Catalan with an early capture on c4 as black you play with an early activation of the queen side with a6-b5 Bb7, and then the idea is to get the pawn break c7-c5. So Nc6 doesn't really fit into that. Again, whatever Harikrishna was playing there might very well be modern theory. But I somewhat doubt it.

 

 

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Hum, this thread has been silent for a while, and there were a few tournaments played.

2 tournaments of the 4 tournament Grand Prix qualifiers have been played.

Atm Mamedyarov is in the lead with very good 280 points. With Ding Liren in atm occupying the second qualification spot with 240.

Both have already played two tournaments. To me it looks like Mamedyarov is in a very good position to clinch his ticket to the candidates, if he does not play a horrible third tournament.

Grischuk and MVL with 211 from their first two tournaments are also in a position in which they can qualify, but they need to post a strong results in their third tournament.

Giri, Svidler, Radjabov with 71 and Jakovenko with 70 points from a single tournament also still have some chances to qualify, but all players need to post a really good result in the last two Grand Prix.

Everybody else, has probably to pick another qualification route. Well, maybe Nakamura has some very slim chances by winning his last Grand Prix outright and pray that at least three of the players with more GP points than him play a really bad tournament.

Aronian's only hope would be winning the two remaining Grand Prix tournaments outright, which looks like a very long shot. A pity he played that uninspiring in Sharjah. I mean he can still play as he has shown at the Grenke Chess Classics, which he totally dominated, hell he even could afford the luxury to let Caruana escape in the final round.

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It is, of course, theoretically possible that Giri and Svidler could produce outstanding results, but I doubt it - Svidler's not putting in much effort in preparation and training these days, and Giri simply isn't the player to win supertournaments. 

Javovenko isn't good enough, I think, and Radjabov .. no. 

Mamedyarov has been impressive all year, so I think one spot is his. The second spot .. If I was a gambling man, I'd go for Grischuk. I think he has a higher ceiling. MVL is possible, but I think he's not playing well enough this year. Ding, I can't comment on. Perhaps he's able, perhaps not. 

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And Leva just crushed Carlsen in Norway. Carlsen almost managed to escape a few times, but in the end he cracked. That's the Aronian I want to see more often. Really great game.

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If it hadn't been Carlsen, or here at home (I really should have been there, but the wife is working and the kids can't look after themselves - curses!), I'd agree. Aronian does play wonderful chess when he's in form.

Also, Anish Giri won. I think this heralds armageddon.

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Well, Aronian continued a bit with rampage by beating Kramnik and Karjakin, to take the lead.

While Carlsen lost quite badly against Kramnik. But at least he is winning now against Karjakin, so he might at least finish this event at 50%, if he wins one more game, that is.

As for the other game (Giri-Caruana) that is still running, this must be horribly frustrating for Anish. Bishop vs. Knight Ending with two pawns against zero, and this is still just a draw.

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Anish should be used to snatching draws both from wins and losses, so he'll probably be all right.

But yeah, he's bound to be frustrated.

Otherwise, I'm quite uncertain as to whether Carlsen will remain the world number one. His play is a lot less precise these days, and he constantly slumps into long thinks, which gives him time trouble at the end. I guess the two are related, and that he spends a lot of time because he knows he should find better moves at times, or he's uncertain if the moves he sees are the best. Anyway, I'm thinking his glory days are over.

Levon is back, however. And given that he plays very elegant chess when he's in form, that's a joy. A lot more pleasing to watch than, say, Wesley So.

 

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Well, but you can't fault his effort in trying to beat Caruana. The ending simply was not winning, and Caruana found the right plan to hold. Still one of the more annoying draws.

Anyway. The last round had a few interesting games.

Giri going full bananas in his game, and Big Vlad duly punished him. I guess that's what game looks like when a player (Giri in this case) says, Screw you guys I am going home.

Caruana - Nakamura is interesting in several ways. a.) it's an interesting game b.) it's a theoretical interesting battle.

Caruana played the (imho) most principled response to the Najdorf with 6.Bg5 and Nakamura also played the most principled way by going for the poisoned pawn variation. Well, Caruana is winning.

Since Aronian's game has already ended in a draw, it's fair to say congratulations to Lev for a great victory in a very strong tournament.

Carlsen finishing with -1 is surely not what anybody would've expected.

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