Newsblog WCC Carlsen-Karjakin, Game 2 draw, 11-12

11/12/2016 – Game 2 draw. Karjakin opened with 1e4, a Ruy Lopez. Before the game, Magnus Carlsen looked nervous. Both players started fast in the first 12 moves, a closed Ruy with 6d3. First exchange of pawns on move 18. Queenless middlegame after move 20. Updates coming up. More...

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World Chess Championship News - 2016-11-12

2016-11-13 9.00 Mumbai time / 4.30 Hamburg time/22.30 New York time: Was it just a boring dull draw or were there deep points to learn from? In depth analysis of Game two on ChessBase India newspage. The article is entitled as Carlsen's Mysterious rook moves and as the title suggests there are plenty of things we can learn from the World Champion's play.

Game 2 - comments within Sunday morning, CET:


23.14  / 5.14 pm New York time: After the game, reporters urged Karjakin to reveal his preparation secrets. Karjakin insists not to talk about openings during the match. Carlsen is impressed and joins forces. A phalanx of two Kings against the international media. Updates within the next 12 twelve hours, including commentary. Game 3 on Monday.

22.53 / 4.53 pm: No pawns on the Queenside anymore. A pair of knights and a rook for everyone. Draw.

22.40 / 4.40 pm: The game is a perfect example for a NQE, how Glenn Flear is calling these kinds of queenless middlegames in his book "Practical Endgame Play - Beyond the Basics". NQE stands for Not Quite an Endgame. The fact that the Queens are off the board and the Bishops doesn't mean it's a technical issue now. Compare to the expert opinion given by GM Karsten Müller.

22.37 / 4.37 pm: The venue, seen from outside by our correspondent Albert Silver

21.55 / 3.55 pm: Polgar is not satisfied with Karjakin's last moves (18-22), starting with 18de5. "I think Karjakin has completely misplayed this game. Black is going to be very active... Magnus is considering to take over the game. No problems for Black whatsoever. No chance that the game is going back to develop to Karjakin's favour." Judit Polgar's commentary is vivid and honest. What is most astonishing is that her voice is stable for hours. She will like to keep silent tomorrow to give her voice a break. The anchorman instead could be more inspiring and amicable.

21.47 / 3.47 pm: Packed crowd outside the 'dark room'.

21.39 / 3.39 pm: Two results for Magnus Carlsen only, according to Judit Polgar. Spanish torture comme il faut.

21.34 / 3.34 pm: First exchange of pawns on move 18d4xe5. Judit Polgar says Karjakin wants Carlsen to suffer in this game. "I can tell you, playing Karjakin in this situation, it's not fun. Even for Magnus."

21.34 / 3.34 pm: Carlsen leans forward, period of great concentration

21.27 / 3.27 pm: Body language for both players - relaxed attitude is over. Both players are highly concentrated. Carlsen is like a cat following a mouse with his eyes. Not moving, but with a straight back slightly leaning forward to the board. 

21.13 / 3.13: The players will run out of waiting moves soon. The position hasn't opened up yet. It's like baseline Tennis. 

21.10 Central European Time / 3.10 a.m. New York Time: We're giving both times now

20.54: There is a tremendously long line inside to get into the dark room, which is what is dubbed the inside spectator area by some.

20.47: Sergey Karjakin's second Vladimir Potkin expects a strategical battle.  

20.21: Today is a packed house. Hundreds in line in front of the venue to get in. The spectator area is extremely crowded. Far more than a massive chess geek gathering, it is a family day with parents in tow with their children.

20.02: Game 2 underway. Karjakin is opening with 1e4. It's a Ruy Lopez. 

Game No. 1 - Notes by Ruslan Ponomariov:


19.32: Apology letter by Agon: "Yesterday, the World Chess Championship started in New York City, and for the first hour of the broadcast, at least 50% of premium subscribers experienced technical glitches. We very much apologize for this and will make sure this will not happen again."

19.02: Check out the report of our man in New York City, Albert Silver: In the Epicenter

16.10: Some video impressions from the start of game one: ->Click here<-

11.58: Check out also our commentary by Daniel King: ->Click here<-

9.48: India is first: "Carlsen's benign Trumpowsky!" On ChessBase India IM Sagar Shah analyzes and looks at highlights of the first game of the Carlsen-Karjakin match. 

World Chess Championship 2016 Newsblogs:


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Resistance Resistance 11/14/2016 02:25
They wanna reduce the time controls for Classical Chess not only to make it fit for a possible television broadcast, but because they wanna cheat it out of its prestige. By putting the words 'Classical Chess' to something that barely resembles it --a long rapid game--, they think they can entice people into respecting it the way they respect the Classical format ("Oh, look! It's "Classical Chess"."). For we already have shorter time control versions that are pretty fun to play and watch and which attract many people (bullet, blitz, rapid; think of the internet), yet they lack the prestige. (the title of Classical World Chess Champion is not something your average Joe Chess can or will ever be able to achieve: it is for the few, and will forever be a sign of the highests achievements of the human mind and spirit; the Classical World Chess Champion is, in this sense, a highly respected and admired person). Because the difference between all of these faster formats and the Classical one is, well, one of quality. From the perspective of the higher quality, you cannot avoid feeling a certain disdain, a certain contempt for that which is worse in terms of quality: it's human nature, and rightly so. However, that doesn't mean that the Classical time control format and the faster ones cannot coexist: it's just that they are different, that's all.

Now, I can see why some players are trying to promote these faster versions of "Classical Chess" ---"Well, if I can't beat Magnus at Mount Olympus, then I might be able to cheat it of his Classical title here, where the light doesn't shine and where anything can happens... "--- No. Let's not cheapen our beloved game, for there is really no need for it. I certainly wont.

koko48 koko48 11/13/2016 10:08
To me it's not even so much the number of draws in a match, but the nature of the draws

There's nothing wrong with draws as long as they are fighting games....There was also a long stretch of draws in the Fischer-Spassky match, but they were interesting, fighting draws....That's what people pay to see...A game with interesting possibilities that they can sink their teeth into

I just find most of the draws in classical WC matches nowadays, tend to be more staid...where the balance is never really broken, and there is little suspense as to the outcome
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/13/2016 04:28
@sizenando : Yes, it's very interesting. After posting my (erroneous !) comment, I checked all the world championship matches and this is quite true : the only one that began with 8 draws was the Kasparov - Anand one ! And I didn't remembered at all that this match began with such a series of draws !
sizenando sizenando 11/13/2016 01:36
@Petrarlsen: Both matches you've mentioned had a series of draws, but at least one of the first two games was decisive! From what I've checked, the longest series of draws at the beginning of a match was in Kasparov-Anand 1995. They played 8 draws until in Game 9 first blood was drawn... and it was a victory from Anand! After that, Kasparov won 4 of the next 5 games! =)
joakimu joakimu 11/13/2016 11:28
So is it possible to somewhere watch an after game interviews with any of the players?? No press coverage? What's going on.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/13/2016 07:03
@koko48 : Even in the 1927 match between Alekhine and Capablanca, there was a series of 8 consecutive draws. And, nonetheless, Alekhine wasn't reputed to be a passive and purely defensive player ! Since 2006, the "worst" draw series were of 6 consecutive games (in the Anand - Gelfand match) and 4 consecutive games (in each one of the two Carlsen - Anand matches), so we are actually somewhat below the "draw level" of the Alekhine - Capablanca match. It would be interesting to delve into "draw statistics" more extensively, but I really don't think that things have globally significatively worsened in this respect these last years... Which obviously don't mean that the Rapid and Blitz Championships wouldn't deserve to be improved and developed !
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/13/2016 06:45
@koko48 : Personally, I generally don't find these "Carlsen's draws" dull. Yesterday's game, for exemple, was quite tense at certain moments when you follow it closely, in my opinion. In particular, when Carlsen has White, he nearly always try to "push" for a win at one moment or another.

But one thing that I would very much support, would be to organize much more seriously the Rapid and Blitz world championships, and to give them more importance (perhaps, for exemple, by increasing the prize fund of these competitions).

What I would "ideally" prefer would be to have on a "equal" footing the three (Classical, Rapid, and Blitz) world championships. It could also permit to the persons that would prefer shorter time controls to choose to follow one or the other world championship. As for myself, I would follow the three of them !...
koko48 koko48 11/13/2016 06:29
@Petrarlsen I consider the 1984 match to be an anomaly, it was an unlimited match where both players were playing for draws (for different reasons)

I think it's too easy to play for a draw in classical games nowadays, with comp analysis...and the draws are usually more insipid, it's become too easy to steer the games into dead lines

Also we live in an internet age, when most broadcast spectacles are faster....Faster chess games are more interesting games, more spectator friendly and internet friendly imo
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/13/2016 05:42
@koko48 : During every world championship from the last ten years or so, there are always persons that predict "death by draws" for the classical time controls. But, if we take real facts into account, have we seen for exemple, during all the last world championships, series of draws comparable to the two series in the 1984 match between Kasparov and Karpov (one series of 14 consecutive draws, and one series of 17 - yes, 17 ! - consecutive draws) ? And this was before the "computer era", so I don't really see where the problem could be today. Personnally, I like to watch rapid and blitz games, but, objectively, the chess content is necessarily of a much higher level in classical time controls, so I wouldn't think that it would be such a good idea to replace classical time controls by rapid time controls in the World Championship...
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/13/2016 05:28
@Aighearach : I also very much disagree with the persons that find Carlsen's play uninteresting. The contrast is indeed great with the games of the matches of the pre-Carlsen era, that were much more frequently short draws. And as for Carlsen's style, what I see is that it works ! And very well ! Furthermore, I don't see at all why, for exemple, an ending by Carlsen would be less interesting than an attack by Topalov. Why should every chess champion play in the same style ??? When I see certain commentaries, I have the impression that, for certain persons, the only "legitimate" style is the "attacking" style ; personnally, I like to study attacking games by Topalov, Vachier-Lagrave, or Nakamura, for exemple, but if all the games were in this type of style, I would find this very dull... And, furthermore, what is also interesting with Carlsen is that his most typical games (for exemple his first victory in his first match against Anand) are quite different from anything that could be played by the other 2750+ players of today. While a typical attacking game by Topalov, for exemple, isn't so different from games that could be played by Nakamura, Mamedyarov, or Grishuk, for exemple. I don't consider originality to be something essential in chess, but it nonetheless adds an additional touch of interest to certain of Carlsen's games...
koko48 koko48 11/13/2016 05:16
At some point major broadcasted chess tournaments, including the World Championship, will have to be faster time controls imo

sharpnova sharpnova 11/13/2016 04:36
These games and matches are far better and more interesting than they were twenty years ago. Also the idea to gate the broadcast was, IMO, the last straw for chess popularity in America. Finally, those who gated it will make less immediate money than they would have with a free broadcast and a resultant better sponsor.
Aighearach Aighearach 11/13/2016 03:56
You just can't expect big sponsor money and also use fees to make money off the viewers. If you want sponsor money, you have to build up the broadcast, not restrict it; spending some of the money from the sponsors on the broadcast. You're not going to make big money at both ends just because companies want to throw money at chess. People who complain that the games themselves are not exciting are apparently too young to remember the pre-Carlsen Age, when draws were routinely agreed after 16-20 moves without any middlegame. A match could go over a week between actual contested games!
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/13/2016 03:13
@sizenando : I didn't check - obviously, with Wikipedia, it would be too simple ! -, but at first sight, I would perhaps say the Alekhine Capablanca match ? I remember too that the first Kasparov - Karpov featured a extraordinarily long string of draws, but I'm nearly sure it was near the "end" of the match (or, was there two strings of draws in this match ??).
koko48 koko48 11/13/2016 01:50
Traditionally photographers have been allowed to take photographs of games in progress, during the first five minutes

It is assumed that since they are still in the first few moves of the game (and almost always still in theory), it is not too distracting
sizenando sizenando 11/13/2016 12:11
Since Steinitz-Zukertort up to Carlsen-Anand - going through all PCA matches - I could find only 10 matches (out of 46) that started with 2 draws. From these, one saw first blood in Game 3, one in Game 4, four in Game 5, two in Game 7, one in Game 8 and one in Game 9.
Anyone can guess what was the match that only saw first victory in Game 9?
KOTLD KOTLD 11/12/2016 11:53
Regarding the video, the bystanders should have to leave once the clocks are started. Karjakin's trying to concentrate, and there are people walking around, talking, and taking photos.
RodrigoFreyre RodrigoFreyre 11/12/2016 10:46
romualdo romualdo 11/12/2016 08:04
It is sad that we can´t see a free live transmissition of the match. We need to pay for. Great for both players and for FIDE and a sad no-service in favour of chess. Hope the players and FIDE are happy with this "great" idea.
geraldsky geraldsky 11/12/2016 04:28
The venue is dark..not comfortable to play
carlsenzzz carlsenzzz 11/12/2016 02:03
For those who are wondering why this match didnt attract sponsors the answer lies in this game. Nobody wants to sponsor a snooze-fest. I myself wont watch, it's way more interesting staring at the empty wall.
X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 11/12/2016 12:01
Well, 2...c5 is another interesting reply to the tromp. Of course if black hadn't opened with 1...Nf6 [but d5], then something I personally find exciting and "modern" is the options after 2...f6!?... But the opening game was completely lacklustre. Magnus is great for revolutionising our approach to the openings, going off beat etc, but sometimes he takes that too far. Sometimes a little more mainstream would be better, to get some rich middlegame position
vladivaclav vladivaclav 11/12/2016 11:53
ponomariov was a fide world champion, not a world champion. there's a big difference, don't you know that?
peterfrost peterfrost 11/12/2016 11:30
Excellent annotations by Ponomariov. Explanation through words rather than myriads of computer generated variations. I hope we see more notes from this annotator. I also admire Sagar Shah's notes for the same reason.