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Rorshach

Chess - the world in black and white

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1 hour ago, Yukle said:

I'm not supremely good, but I thought it was really 12 that was the death knell. Roeder was determined to get a check but didn't seem to have thought much further ahead than that.

CHeck my follow up post on the game.

6...c5 leads to a main line of the semi-Tarrasch. Personally I don't like the structures (and thus positions) you get as black. But it's playable. The semi-Tarrasch has become a bit of rarity in top tournaments. The only top player who occasionally employs it right now is Kramnik, I think (at least I can't think of anybody else).

Grischuk - Kramnik 2018 from the candidates.

A move can be bad without losing by force on the spot. Having that said, 6...g6 looks dubious to me, to say the least. And here are the reasons why. An old rule of the thumb is, if your opponent has a center it's your first and foremost priority to attack it. In that sense 6...g6 is too slow. Another advantage of 6...c5 7.Nf3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2 10.Qxd2 is that it exchanges material, and it takes some of the dynamic out of the position. White pushing d5 and create an Isolani is one idea, and it usually has some more bite with more pieces on the board, especially the dark squared bishop is a piece white would rather keep and put it on g5 there (check Nimzovich "My System" on how to play a position with an isolated queen pawn). Another downside of g6 is that it creates a hook for white's king side attacks. Thus Carlsen immediately pushed 7.h4 immediately. Add to that, g6 really weakens dark squares (namely f6 and h6) on the kingside, and that's where the king will end up, as castle to the queen side looks somewhat suicidal to me. And that weakening is not trivial. E.g. if black had played 7...h5 to stop white playing it, white can probably play e5 and the Bishop on g7 looks a bit silly. White can then at some point play bg5 and relocate the Knight to e4 (and suddenly the f6 square is a real problem). And you really don't want to play f6 as that just weakens g6 too much. So 6...g6 seems to create some long term problems you really don't want, and it's really not in the spirit of the position.

In the game itself the weak dark squares are also a theme. Let's start here: 9...e5 looks ugly, but I can see why he played it, white playing e5 himself is among the least desirable things I can imangine (check above).  The downside being, it weakens the diagonal a2-g8 and f7 is suddenly a target. Thus Carlsen played 10.Bc4 exd4 I am not really taking a deep look into the game, so quite possibly I am missing something, but I can't find any good moves for black, maybe 0-0 was "safer" but with the horrible kingside structure I doubt the black king will find happiness there. Anyway, 11.Bg5! remember the warning about the dark squares? 11...Bf6 again, it's hard to criticise Roeder for playing this as (11...f6 looks just horrible, 11...Qd7 doesn't look much better, white's attack continues and black has problems to untangle and mobilize his queen side), anyway, so back to the game 11...Bf6 however runs into 12.Qf3! the bishop on g5 is obviously taboo as (12...Bxg5 runs into Qxf7#).  12...dxc3 what else? This looks depserate and it probably is. 13.Bxf6 Qd2+ yes, it's a check. Too bad it ends there. The queen alone will never be able to bring down that King. She needs some sort of support for her hunt (like say at least a knight or a bishop). 14.Kf1 and black has run out of checks already. 14...c2  looks more threatening than it actually is. 15.Bb2 the most straightforward and elegant way to answer the "threat" of c1. And suddenly Qxf7+ is a real threat again. I will stop here, because it's plain obvious at this point how this is gonna end, white is a piece up, he is better developed and his king is relatively speaking way more secure than his black counterpart.

Ok, I just did a quick search, and I couldn't find any games where black went 6...g6 in that position. So the odds are it's really just bad move. To me it looks like Roeder somehow stumbled into an opening and had no idea how to play it. It sounds harsher than it's actually meant. Misplaying a position happens to all of us, just that normally us mere mortals don't get to misplay it against Carlsen.

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Posted (edited)

I promise you, I am reading it, but I don't remember every terminology off the top of my head. A couple I've had to lookup, because I have forgotten them. :P

If nothing else I reckon the opening 11 moves or so were a solid - but not perfect! - opening, and I don't think it was an accidental Queen's gambit declined.

ETA: Took a while. but I went through Grischuk vs Kramnik. 0-0 isn't until turn 11, but is that what you're suggesting Roeder should've done, too?

Edited by Yukle

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Not to reply for Notone, as he’s more able than me to analyze it, but I think what he would advise Roeder to do when entering the Queen’s gambit declined, is to play the semi-Tarrasch with 6 ...c5. The following line, as he mentions, exchanges material, and makes the position more easily playable. Less pieces to misplace :)

The computer doesn’t give 6 ...g6 as a big blunder, but it gives you some long term weaknesses, which you rarely need in general and certainly does not need when playing the World Champion. And it is comfortably a worse move than 6...c5.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Rorshach said:

Not to reply for Notone, as he’s more able than me to analyze it, but I think what he would advise Roeder to do when entering the Queen’s gambit declined, is to play the semi-Tarrasch with 6 ...c5. The following line, as he mentions, exchanges material, and makes the position more easily playable. Less pieces to misplace :)

The computer doesn’t give 6 ...g6 as a big blunder, but it gives you some long term weaknesses, which you rarely need in general and certainly does not need when playing the World Champion. And it is comfortably a worse move than 6...c5.

Well, my first recommendation is not to play the semi-tarrasch. But I think by move 6 had no choice but to go for it and play 6...c5 I still dislike those positions for black, but that's my personal taste. It's playable as shown in the Grischuk-Kramnik game.  Roeder's choice 6...g6?! just appears to be something between dubious and plain bad. 

It was like turning down the option to play the QGD semi-Tarrasch in favour to play some trash which had some superficial similarities to an Grünfeld Indian Exchange line, just that black has wasted precious time with the inclusion of e6. 

For the sake of complecity the Grünfeld line I mean goes like this: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 c5 similar but not quite the same as in the Roeder-Carlsen game.

Edited by Notone
forgot a move pair :)

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Posted (edited)

Back to more evenly matched games.

Norway Chess tournament has started.

The first round featured the encounter between Carlsen and his challenger Caruana. And there were some takeaways.

First Carlsen won that game, secondly Carlsen chose the Bishops opening (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4). He has done so in the past, but the question is, whether he wants to keep some of his prep hidden or if he simply doesn't have anything he considers promising (enough) against the Petroff (which presumably will be part of Caruana's repertoire in their WC match).  That game has been the only decissive one in the first two rounds.

Round three has also been draws only thus far, but Carlsen has a slight pull in his game against Lev, whose pieces seem to be somewhat lacking coodrination.

So-Nakamura is also still running, but there I think a draw is the most likeliest outcome.  R+B vs. R+N with So having a slightly worse structure for his Bishop. Engines seems to favour So slightly, but I don't see Nakamura losing this.

 

Edit: And Lev cracked under time pressure.

Edited by Notone

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11 hours ago, Notone said:

Back to more evenly matched games.

Norway Chess tournament has started.

The first round featured the encounter between Carlsen and his challenger Caruana. And there were some takeaways.

First Carlsen won that game...

Interesting stat: Carlsen's rating is back to 2851, level with Kasparov's peak.

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First time in almost two years that Carlsen cracks 2850. He seems to enjoy this tournament thus far, and has been playing well in all three rounds. He was helped a bit today by Lev choosing a passive line - because Lev really does not do passive well. You sort of knew that this would end horribly for him when he was down to eight minutes for 14 moves or so, and he still lapsed into a five-minute think.

Still quite a way to peak Carlsen, though - 2887 if I recall correctly.

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So.. 

Before round six, it seems this is more or less done and dusted. One point is that Ding broke his hip, I believe, and has withdrawn, leading to the loss of a round. Another is that Magnus is plus two, and yesterday, Karjakin, the only other player on a plus score, lost - meaning most everyone apart from Magnus is on 50%. With only three rounds left to play, that probably doesn’t help anyone but Magnus.

Today he’s playing So, and I don’t think So has ever beaten him. Those games are generally dull with So as white, as he plays terribly boring. Too much respect for his opponent. 

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Posted (edited)

Yep. Cycling accident and Ding suffered a broken hip. And the first games are already drawn (Lev-Caruana and Anand-Shak).

The other two games are a wee bit more lively. Nakamura's offbeat handling of the sicilian has given him a little something, something. I am just not sure it's enough. (move 19) I'd probably go for something like Re1-Bf1-Nd5 and try to build around that. Not much, but at least it's not totally symmetrical.

So-Carlsen is an exchange Slav. Looks like Carlsen novelty with 14...Nc4 with the pawn grab on a3 was not the best of ideas, but it keeps the game going (instead of 14...Nxc5). He got the Bishop pair however I prefer So's position (move 20) as it looks a bit more harmonic and generally speaking I prefer positions with some spatial advantage.

Edit: if anybody has an idea of what the immediate point of 22.Bg3 is, please share it. Rfd1 looked like a more natural move to me.

Edited by Notone

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Posted (edited)

GM Hammer on Norwegian TV thought it was to avoid the e5 fork.

ETA: 22. ...e5 23. Bxe5 Bxc5 24. bxc5 Qxe5

Edited by Rorshach

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Posted (edited)

And just like that So is much better/close to winning. 

Nice technical game from him. I don't think Carlsen's novelty will catch on.

There's just one move So has to spot and it's completely crushing and that's after gxf6 gxf6 b5! that shuts down counterplay and Carlsen will have problems defending against Rb2-Rb7 motifs. And it's just crushing with Qxf6 coming in.

Edited by Notone

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eh? 38.g6 for realz? It looks tempting to tigten the rope around Carlsen's neck, but cracking the kings position open looks like the right approach. Now his King is entombed, but So also has a much harder time accessing it.

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Should have known when I lamented what I thought would be a boring game :)

Congratulations to So. Nice game, even if I missed the end on account of a round of Ultimate Frisbee.

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Just to keep the thread alive.

In somewhat under reported news.

Two of China's best players got to play some mini-matches.

Ding got to play to former Fide Champion Topalov. And Wei Yi is being pitted against Ernesto "Che" Inarkiev (around 2.700 rated, I think atm he is a bit below the magic number at 2690+

Both Chinese players have performed rather convincing thus far.

Ding scored two wins against Topalov and held the former champion to two draws to end the four game mini-match with a score of 3-1 in his favour.

While Wei lost the first game and then proceeded to beat Inarkiev in the next 3 games straight. The fith game has been drawn, thus Wei Yi has clinched the victory in that match before the sixth and final game of their match.

In the first game Wei engaged into a risky pawn grab and Inarkiev punished him. In the second game Wei just minituarized Inarkiev in a closed sicilian. Third was a Grünfeld that was either handled poorly by Inarkiev or brilliantly by Wei, but again Inarkiev got miniaturized. In the fourth game Wei managed to grind out the full point in a rook ending. In the fifth game Wei had to defend a bit against Inarkiev.

Side effect, Ding has climbed above the 2.800 mark, congratulaions.

And Wei has also gained some rating points and is back in the top 20 on the live ratings.

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