Tragicomedy on Thanksgiving

by Maxim Dlugy
11/25/2016 – See what happened backstage while Carlsen and Karjakin fought it out in game ten: Maxim Dlugy reports: "It was getting clear that Magnus has to make the most out of today’s White pieces. The fight was tense, grandmasters watching the game were electrified. Read about the crowd in the VIP Lounge in our report from Fulton Market, Manhattan.

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Behind the Scenes: Game 10 / By Maxim Dlugy

Your reporter with my wife Inna. Its still bright and beautiful outside on the terrace of the VIP hall.

Your reporter with his wife Inna. It's still bright and beautiful outside on the terrace of the VIP hall

Today I decided to take my wife Inna and two year old daughter Daniella to witness the possibly most important game of this event. It was getting clear that Magnus has to make the most out of today’s White pieces, as relying on them for the last game (even he holds the next one to a draw) has only met with success four times in the history of World Championships, with Lasker, Botvinnik, Kasparov and Kramnik beings the heroes who saved their titles by winning the last game with White. 

Playing Mr. Sofia Rules

My daughter was having a nap, so I was quite free to go about looking for interesting nuggets of information. Silvio Danailov challenged me to some blitz, offering me to give him slight odds of 3 to 5 minutes. He hasn’t played chess in 12 years, but has recently agreed to participate in a round robin where he scored 2/9 in a tough field. I was intrigued to play the man behind the Sofia rules that I believe helped the perception of chess in the world and after the first two of my wins, Silvio played very well to beat me in the third game. 

At this point I stopped, as my student Joris Katz arrived with his father Paul. Joris is my student who I haven’t seen in over six months since he started attending a boarding school,  and I wanted to spend some time with him.

Ian is taking on my pupil Joris Katz

Ian is taking on my pupil Joris Katz

Incidentally Paul was responsible for bringing the Pawn Sacrifice movie to the chess world, a task which I helped him with over a year ago. Paul and I discussed the possibility of marketing the chess book I recently completed, 'Grandmaster Insides', outside of the chess world, while Joris signed up to plan Ian Nepomniachtchi in the simul. When my student played the Scandinavian, I came over and Ian looked with a puzzled look and said: "He is playing your Scandinavian". I confessed that he is playing my pupil. After equalizing in the opening though, Joris castled queenside, which gave Ian enough tactics to break through. 

Electrifying moves

I decided to concentrate on the key game at that point and went over to Lev Alburt to analyze the game by hand on a board. At that point it seemed White should play g3 to force the knight to h3, whereupon Kg2 looked like the most sensible king retreat, so as to meet Ng5 with Ng1. Magnus did play g3, but retreated the king to h1, which I didn‘t understand. A few moves later as he exchanged bishops on e6, I was surprised again. Bc2, Nd2 or even Bc4 looked much more sensible to keep the game going. As it turned out as soon as Sergey recaptured the scene in the VIP crowd electrified. 

 

Mark Glukhovsky, the Russian Federations CEO, Igor Burstein, the owner of the 64 Magazine, Georgy Kacheishvili, one of the top chess coaches in NY and Kirill Zangalis, Sergey's manager besides many others, like myself, were certain the game will end momentarily as the not-so-deep forced line starting with Nxf2 was obvious to everyone who played a some chess. 

Discussing the capture 20…Nxf2

Former Colleagues at 64 Magazine, Mark Glukhovsky and Igor Burstein. Always nice to see them!

Former Colleagues at 64 Magazine, Mark Glukhovsky and Igor Burstein. Always nice to see them!

When Karjakin produced ...d5 - everyone gasped, while Lev Alburt even ventured to guess that Karjakin could not have missed the draw after Nf2, and simply wants to play on. That was hard to believe as Kirill quickly checked the engine and announced it was now about half a pawn in White's favor. 

Game 10 after 20.Nd2 and before 20...d5

Game 10, after 20.Nd2 and before 20...d5

It seemed Magnus saw he was reprieved and looked for a way to pounce. The audience assumed he would go with f3, which seemed to keep a nice edge, but he quickly went for Qh5, another suboptimal move which allowed Black another draw incorporating the idea he just missed with another two tactical ideas. At this point the feeling in the audience was that Sergey will now be forced to find the draw staring at him on the board, as the alternative clearly led to a worse ending, but the challenger’s vision was not crisp enough and he opted to sound retreat. It looked like Magnus will finally have a chance to win his first game in the match when he produced the very superficial 26. Ref1, which could have seen his advantage reduced substantially after 26...Raf8, forcing him to find Nd1 or Rf1, as Re2 would be met with Nf4! 

When I looked at the screen, I could not believe it. Black had quickly responded 26...h5 evening the number of unforced errors at three apiece within seven moves. I had to go to Thanksgiving dinner, but as I was leaving the feeling that Karjakin has now ALSO lost his form had me think that this could well be Magnus's day after all.

There you have it - we are looking towards a weekend of amazing tension!

I can’t wait to be there.

Postscriptum after the match - the World Championship reports by Maxim Dlugy:

Georgi Kacheishvili - life is good!

Georgi Kacheishvili - Life is good!

 

Anastasia Karlovich - always has good questions for the stars

Anastasia Karlovich - always has good questions for the stars

 

Lev Alburt is here to find out whats really go on in the main game, like in the good old days

Lev Alburt is here to find out whats really go on in the main game, like in the good old days

 

Famous music producer Paul Katz with the reporter's better half Inna Dlugy

Famous music producer Paul Katz with my better half Inna Dlugy

 

 

My boy has a chance to strike back today, thinks Espen Agdestein

My boy has a chance to strike back today thinks Espen Agdestein

 

The youngest master in U.S history Christopher Yoo at 9 years is squaring off against another talented youngster who is well on his way at 2070.

The youngest master in U.S history Christopher Yoo at 9 years is squaring off against another talented youngster who is well on his way at 2070

 

Irina Krush - 7 time U.S Womens champion is learning from the best to win it the 8th time

Irina Krush - 7 time U.S Womens champion is learning from the best to win it the 8th time

 

 



Maxim Dlugy was born 1966 in Moscow and in 1977 his family emigrated to the US. In 1985 Dlugy became World Junior Champion and later made a career on Wall Street. He is married with children, lives in New York, and loves to play blitz.