Game 10: Carlsen strikes back / Notes by Wesley So

11/25/2016 – The World Champion wins his first game in New York City and evens the score: 5-5 now with two games to go. Sergey Karjakin had several chances to equalize but the game was tense and both players missed a lot of opportunities. Wesley So tells us why this was a great game. Newsblog - Nov. 25 ...

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World Chess Championship - Newsblog 2016-11-25

Game No 10 - Notes by Wesley So


17.45 / 11.56 am: Our reporter Maxim Dlugy was there when Carlsen stroke back. See what happened when the watching grandmasters were electrified after 20.Nd2 and before 20...d5 in his report.

Question: Magnus, can you describe the tension and the relief, right now?

Question: What's the strategy for the two last games. Laconic answer by Sergey Karjakin

16.56 Hamburg / 10.56 am New York: Yannick Pelletier did a round up show on game 10 on Watch it here.

13.30 / 7.30: Press conference of game 10: Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin aswer questions from the journalists.

13.09 / 7.09: Press conference of game 10: Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin share their thoughts about the game.

12.13 / 6.13: Daniel King shows in his video analysis the dramtic moments of game 10.

13.14 / 7.14 am: Spanish novelist Fernando Arrabal joins the scene. Using a metaphor by Garry Kasparov, the vegetarian times are obviously over. Arrabal, who is living in Paris, commentates: "Magnus Carlsen is not eating flesh. He gorges himself on flesh."

9.00 Mumbai/ 4.30 Hamburg/ 10.30 pm New York: ChessBase India tries a novel idea of analyzing the tenth game with the new Tactical Analysis feature of ChessBase 14. Check it out here

2.32 / 20.32: Karjakin resigns! Carlsen evens the match. This loss might be a heavy blow for Karjakin who could have drawn in about 20 moves. With two games to play the score is now 5-5.

02.27 / 20.27: Carlsen solved his biggest problems and reached a rook endgame that looks like a relatively easy technical win. Judit Polgar: "It is impossible that Carlsen does not win."

02.17 / 20.17: A rook endgame is on the board and this endgame is probably won - but Carlsen still might go wrong.

02.10 / 20.10: Karjakin shows tenacious defense again and with 63...Kb8 poses Carlsen unexpected problems. Moreover, Carlsen's clock is ticking down and he suddenly has to find precise moves to secure the win.

02.02 / 20.02: It's an endgame but suddenly tactics flare up and Karjakin might have hopes that Carlsen goes astray in the complications.

World Chess Championship 2016 Newsblogs:

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jacersjacers jacersjacers 11/26/2016 07:30
My GOODNESS GRACIOUS ..OLE!...FANTASTIC SO NOTES AND ZESTFUL PLAYFULNESS WITH WORDS..the man also has an awesome future as both pundit and ALL AMERICAN Minnesota good guy! Jude Acers/New Orleans Ps.. Crew.. believe me . Grandmaster So is also delightful fun to meet, pumpkin latte in hand, on a one time only elevator basis ...his whole fiery wonderful family the Planet Hollywood hotel elevator.. 2015 Millionaire Chess . WITH NEW IN CHESS SO BIO ARTICLE JUST READ MINUTES AGO.... YOU JUST STEP INTO THE ELEVATOR AND PRESTO EL DORADO ... with no introduction whatsoever..boom!.. YOU GET TO THANK A STARTLED INDEED LOIS THE GREAT AND FAMILY FOR PERSONALLY SAVING MR. SO'S DONKEY!) happens every day...ahhhh,,,,this is the life, And chessbase grandmaster annotator Mr. Ramirez replete with femme fatale will of OF COURSE step instantly into your elevator going right back up! Happens evety day..All in 4 minutes flat. Now that's entertainment.
yesenadam yesenadam 11/26/2016 01:57
"if we consider only the results, he is putting a good fight but the quality of his chess (especially his opening play) is deplorable for this level and from this point of view he simply doesn't deserve to be World Champion."

That's just absurd, caliche2016. Deplorable compared to your engine? Have some respect.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/26/2016 10:36
Great fight! First Karjakin scored with the absolutely brilliant h5!! and then Carlsen bounced back. Too bad the Championship lasts only for 12 games. I also admire Karjakin's approach to his defeat. This might be the moment when he fails to be World Champion and his childhood dream is shattered at least temporarily, but still, he is commenting as if nothing happened. Before the match I thought Carlsen will play it safe and eventually win some games where he outplays Karjakin from an equal or slightly worse complicated middle game and Karjakin might press in some positions where he gets an advantage out of the opening. This turned to be erroneous, Karjakin is certainly a worthy Challenger. I hope Carlsen will win, but Karjakin would be a worthy champion. I am looking forward to see the next Karjaking vs. Dragnus game.
benavas3 benavas3 11/26/2016 02:32
My problem with So's annotations is that he says nothing about 56. .... Rhh7, which, according to computers, was a decisive mistake. There was nothing special about Carlsen's 57. b5, but rather about Black's previous move.
Peter B Peter B 11/26/2016 02:21
Here are Carlsen's and Karjakin's comments (with moves made on the demo board in parentheses) from the press conference, regarding the missed draw with 20... Nxf2:
MC: I just missed that he could take on f2... and so I can do this (21 Kg1 Nh3 22 Kg2 Ngf4+ 23 gxf4), but you're better, eh? So I mean, I thought I had to do this (21 Kg2) and this (21... Nh4+) and I'm drawn.
SK: I mean of course I saw (20...) Nf2, but I thought he goes (21) Kg1
Interviewer: (21...) Nh3?
SK: Yeah, somehow I blundered. (22 Kg2 Ngf4), what, is it better for black actually?
MC: (23 gxf4 Nxf4 24 Rxf4 Qxf4) and black can never lose. eh?
SK: Yeah, ok.
KingRadio KingRadio 11/26/2016 01:42
Kudos for getting great players to annotate some of these games. It's always interesting to see what the very top players have to say. So's notes are great stuff. I'd love to see Kramnik have a go at a future game.
jsaldea12 jsaldea12 11/26/2016 12:56
Very neat commentary by GM So, only a GM can see. Congrats Cqrlsen, makes the champ;ionship bout more tense, exciting, and lively. The last two final tames is like the last two rounds in boxing: Both Carlsen and Karjakin are tired and groggy. He who has the stamina has the never to play for win.
flachspieler flachspieler 11/25/2016 10:20
Thanks to Wesley So for commenting. One question: Why is there no remark on move 55 ... Rhh7? According to "the engines" this was a decisive mistake.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/25/2016 08:50
On translating Fernando Arrabal from French, I propose:

Magnus Carlsen does not eat meat; he devours the flesh.

Original text: Magnus Carlsen ne mange pas de viande; il dévore la chair.
Álvaro Pereira Álvaro Pereira 11/25/2016 06:44
Very interesting notes by So, with a lot of original ideas. However, besides what he wrote about 20...Nxf2+, already commented here by others, I think that he missed the point of 45.Nc5: to avoid 45...g5, possible after 46.Tc1, the move he suggests instead. After 45.Nc5! g5?, of course 46.Nxe6+ Rxe6 47.Rxf5 gxh4 48.Rxh5 hxg3 49.f4!
ChessTalk ChessTalk 11/25/2016 06:34
Magnus Carlsen vs Wesley So : Bilbao (2016) ... So was the "strong grandmaster" I like that.
clkauto clkauto 11/25/2016 06:20
Too bad Carlsen won, I was looking forward to his funny fgaces and crying and leaving the conference. It was so much fun, certainly much more than his boring chess.
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 11/25/2016 06:03
Wow, I thought Fabi's fabulous annotations couldn't be improved upon. But Wesley's are simply the best I've seen in years. The insights, the references, the humor. Brought the game fully to life.
caliche2016 caliche2016 11/25/2016 05:43
I think the match is now basically over: Karjakin must be demoralized and it is hard to believe he might have any chances even on the tie briek if he gets there somehow....

True, if we consider only the results, he is putting a good fight but the quality of his chess (especially his opening play) is deplorable for this level and from this point of view he simply doesn't deserve to be World Champion. For some reason (sheer fear of Carlsen?) the Karjakin of the WCC match is a timid and feeble version of the Candidates' winner.

He has the potential, unfortunately he lacks confidence and is always reluctact to take reasonable risks, two basic ingredients of a true champion. 11/25/2016 05:27
Funny how people completely missed that So's reference about "strong GM" was to himself! It was _he_ who lost that game to Magnus in Bilbao 2016!
Monosthatos Monosthatos 11/25/2016 04:51
Some interesting notese here by Wesley So, but the comments concerning move .. Nxf2 are simply misleading!!

It was neither planned nor "a trick in Carlsen's sleeve" to allow Nxf2 and play Kg1.

Instead, both Karjakin and Carlsen frankly admitted in the press conference
that they both overlooked blacks possibility of ...Nh4+

Also, Magnus mentions that in the line after Kg1 (leading to
the position with 2 knights for w against rook plus extra pawns for black, that
"black can never lose"... so looks like the two players seem view this as less promising for white as suggested by Wesley.
Monosthatos Monosthatos 11/25/2016 04:49
Some interesting notese here by Wesley So, but his comments concerning move 20 ... Nxf2 are simply misleading!

It was not "a trick in Carlsen's sleeve" to allow Nxf2 and play Kg1.
Instead, both Karjakin and Carlsen frankly admitted in the press conference
that they both overlooked balcks possibility of Nh4+
Also, Magnus explicitly mentions that in the line after Kg1, Nf4+ etc (leading to
the position with 2 knights for w against rook plus extra pawns for black
"black can never lose"...
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/25/2016 04:27
Game 10. Why did not SK take the f pawn with his N. at move 21? Second chance in a row of drawing offered by MC on a gold platter. Let us say that it was not that obvious at move 20, but at move 21, SK’s N. was en prise, as well as the f7 pawn – the solution was whispered by the board. And SK thought for 26 minutes before playing some other move.

Indemonstrable hypothesis: Carlsen fear. When Fischer was at his peak, he still could make a dubious move once in a while (no one is totally perfect), but because of his reputation and, indeed, is high quality of play, his opponents would wonder what could be hiding behind this move, what trick is that they did not see from Fischer… and blunder – that phenomenon was called “Fischer fear”. Similar phenomenon here? If so, SK will have to attend this attitude. .

Or maybe it is plain fatigue – tension has been high for long and this is very difficult, for both players – Magnus also made mistakes (such as involuntarily offering two times in a row a draw). It is only after the middlegame that we saw the good old Magnus – who, we must say, played an extraordinary endgame.

This will require a lot of psychological strength from SK. On the other hand, it is still equal after 10 rounds. Many players could be happy of that in a 1 on 1 with MC. Technically, equal chances.
vgn2 vgn2 11/25/2016 04:20
Nice annotations - however the point on Magnus setting a deep trap with 19.Be6 is not accurate as both players admitted at the press conference that they missed 20...Nf2+
zdrakec zdrakec 11/25/2016 03:55
Wonderful annotations by So. Get him to do that some more!
SULAYI_LANG SULAYI_LANG 11/25/2016 02:56
Wesley is a phenom. Becoming a Philippine National Champion at the age of 12! I think he could had been the youngest GM in history if only he has gotten the full financial support. I could remember Kamsky: his dad knew his huge potential thats why he forced their way to US but fate may have fell short on him. He could have been world champion at the age of 16!
Chessbaser Chessbaser 11/25/2016 02:36
Wesley So's annotations are so amazing that he can consider an alternative career as a chess annotator and a teacher! But, well maybe he can think about that after he becomes the World Champion! :)
geraldsky geraldsky 11/25/2016 02:34
just like they begin the match with only two games and whoever gets 1.5 pts wins the match.
Kenster Kenster 11/25/2016 02:15
Very good commentary by So I thought. For an amateur player like me, most of the comments were not too difficult to follow; they were honest, instructive, and written in a style that just made it easy and exciting to read !), and also brought out something of the "pressure moments" in the game, if I can use that phrase.
ICCF Grandmaster ICCF Grandmaster 11/25/2016 01:45
Great commentary!
tonttu tonttu 11/25/2016 01:27
Well annotated in clear, positive style. Thank you!
Denix Denix 11/25/2016 12:28
fightingchess fightingchess 11/25/2016 12:27
magnus did not set any trap. he simply miscalculated ...Nxf2 and judged the position So mentions in favor of black in the press conference.
GregEs GregEs 11/25/2016 12:14
Great notes by GM So, some ideas are quite advanced though. Funny when he mentioned a game of olympiad without the name of the losing side, only the name of Carlsen as white, which only shows he was pulling it out directly from his memory.