World Championship Game 12: And on to the rapids...

by Antonio Pereira
11/27/2018 – Two years after Magnus Carlsen openly went for a draw with White in the last classical game of his match against Sergey Karjakin, the World Champion offered a draw in a playable — slightly superior — position to take the struggle to rapid tiebreaks. Fabiano Caruana understandably agreed to split the point and now everything will be decided on Wednesday, when four rapid games — and blitz and Armageddon if the tie is not broken — will determine the champion. Guest analysis by GM WESLEY SO and GM ERWIN L'AMI. | Photos: World Chess

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"It’s just absurd. I’m completely shocked"

It first looked like a far-fetched scenario, but as the match progressed it became increasingly likely; especially those who think classical chess needs to be somehow modified or adjusted to the new computer era were very keen to talk about it; all eyes were put on the two players that are clearly on top of the chess elite...and it finally happened: the classical portion of the match ended with all draws. It is the first time in history that this happens in a World Championship match. 

We cannot say it was without excitement, though. Carlsen replied to Fabiano's 1.e4 exclusively with the Sicilian — and Caruana did not stop using Fischer's 'best by test' move nonetheless. In fact, the World Champion was very close to starting the match with a win, which would have undoubtedly changed the whole dynamics of the duel. And there were more wasted chances for both sides...

With the score tied, one game to go, Carlsen a clear favourite to win the tiebreaks and Caruana having the white pieces in the last game, the stage was set for a great show. Then, everything seemed to go the spectators' way: another Sicilian appeared on the board; for the first time in the match, Magnus outprepared Fabiano with the black pieces; the Challenger had a chance to go for a repetition, but refuted to do so; a complex struggle ensued, with Caruana low on time…do not miss the analyses below by star annotators Wesley So and Erwin l'Ami. But the main story of the day was the 'last move': Carlsen offering a draw from a position of strength!

It was tough

The 'Today in Chess' show, produced by the Saint Louis Chess Club, brought two connoisseurs as guests: former World Champion Garry Kasparov and the person who took the crown from his hands, Vladimir Kramnik. When the game abruptly finished with an agreed draw, the latter was asked what his immediate reaction was. Kramnik:

Let me tell the first word which comes to my mind: It’s a shame…He’s just better without any risk. How can you offer a draw? This is out of the question for me. He can offer a draw any time — in 10-15 minutes. It’s just absurd — something is wrong with Magnus. I have a feeling he cannot withhold the pressure. He’s a great chess player but this is not the way you play a World Championship. You have to fight, especially in such positions. It’s frankly showing such a weakness.

I can understand if he would be one point ahead, and maybe offer a draw in this position, but maybe not. It’s just absurd. I’m completely shocked.

After the tense struggle, the players still had to face the press

These are strong words, but there is something to be said about Carlsen's decision: it is now evident that he was happy to draw and go for the tiebreaks, naturally. Having the black pieces against one of the better-prepared players in the world, who incidentally has also shown great nerves throughout the match, Magnus probably arrived in the game with the idea that a draw was a desirable result. Apparently, he could not adjust this mindset during the game, when he actually got the upper hand.

Nerves, of course, played a big role — both Kasparov and Kramnik talked about their previous experiences in this regard. Kasparov:

I never was in the same situation. All decisive games I played, that was the last game of the match. Either I had to win or draw to retain the title, so whatever your plan was, that was it.

Garry then correctly pointed out that you could not think about a tiebreak — there was none. He concluded:

Every game was all or nothing. This is not all or nothing.

A packed house on Monday

Kramnik, on the other hand, talked about how it might be different for some players to deal with the pressure and find ways to motivate themselves:

My approach was always just to forget about it. Think about the game — as if I were playing a regular game…in such moments, especially in a World Championship match. Maybe I have a strange and old fashioned way of seeing it, but it’s already not so much up to you what will happen…the only thing which you control is your player, your stamina, not to get too nervous, to play as well as you can at this particular moment. [...] As simple as it sounds.

He speculated that he might have a different approach than Magnus:

Maybe [other players] need another approach — exactly the opposite — to get to [their] best. It’s very individual, it depends very much on your temperament [and] on your character…so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

There is a lot of room for discussion, but the outcome of the game now means that the players will probably have a couple of long nights ahead before deciding who will be regarded as 'World Champion' for the next two years. The tied score after the classical portion changed the paying structure from 60/40 to 55/45, but it seems this is the last thing the players are thinking about. When asked, Carlsen said he was not even aware of the regulation and Caruana replied: "I don't care about the money".

Anyway, it will all be decided on Wednesday when Carlsen will have the white pieces in the first rapid game at the same starting time.

Will Caruana get to beat Magnus in the tiebreaks?

Replay the first moves of Game 12 with commentary

Judit Polgar: "I think it's the most stressful game of his life, no doubt about it"


Match standings

 

Game 12 summary

GM Daniel King presents a brief summary of the game


Game 12 press conference

Caruana: "I was a bit surprised by the draw offer..."


Game 12 analysed by Wesley So

Current world's number 10 and someone who will very much be in the run to qualify for the next match, Wesley So, took a closer look at the game. He wrote about the Challenger:

"All his tournaments, all the work of his life has been aimed at reaching this point. After accomplishing everything necessary to reach the goal of playing for the World Championship, Fabiano has survived eleven tough rounds to get to this last game. I cannot think of any game where there's so much to play for."

 

Round-up shows

GM Erwin l'Ami reviews the game


All games of the match

 

Macauley Peterson contributed reporting from London

Links




Antonio is a freelance writer and a philologist. He is mainly interested in the links between chess and culture, primarily literature. In chess games, he skews towards endgames and positional play.
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Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/29/2018 06:27
@ lajosarpad: I quite agree that these four examples cannot be considered as a proof, but I nonetheless consider that they create a clear pattern in this direction...
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/29/2018 01:36
@Petrarlsen

I think your hypothesis is premature, since we have very few examples of players reaching that level. It is possibly true, but not yet well founded. As about fears for rating, a player of 2750 will not lose so much points if he/she plays risky chess, because a loss against another 2750 player has not as a high cost and the gain is higher. A 2800+ player will lose a lot and gain little by playing lower rated opponents.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/28/2018 09:02
@ lajosarpad:

"I think the style change of 2800-ish players to be more solid can at least partially be attributed to the fear of losing Élő points."

In my opinion, it is difficult to imagine that it can be a pure coincidence that, between the four active 2800+ or ex-2800+ players who had a very aggressive style, all of them had this type of style when they were somewhere between 2700 and 2800, and that ALL of them globally ceased to play in this style when they passed the 2800 mark. One mor time, in my opinion, this very probably shows that it isn't really possible anymore to play in a more or less "Tal-like" style when you are above 2800.

As for the fear of losing Elo points, I don't really see why these players wouldn't have this fear when they were between 2750 and 2800 (they played quite agressively then), and began to fear Elo losses when climbing above 2800.

Many top-players seem to fear losses of Elo points, but my point is that I don't see why, for Grischuk, Nakamura, Mamedyarov, and Aronian, this would have changed at the moment they became 2800+ players.

In particular, I remember clearly, about Mamedyarov, who is the last of these players to have passed 2800, that his great breakthrough occured at the EXACT moment he changed his style. Before, he was extremely aggressive, spectacular, fearless... but was more or less around 2760, if I remember well. He changed his style for a more solid style... and, climbed very quickly above 2800...
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/28/2018 01:33
@OR_Log

I agree with you that there is a problem with the system and improvements are needed. I do not agree with Das Monde's suggestion, even though it would be an improvement in comparison to the current system.

@Dumkof

So the critics should shut up because they are patzers? Do you see the fallacies in your "argument"?

@PatChessFan

"Next time around let there be no tiebreak after g12.

The tiebreak may be exciting but there is the world rapid and world blitz which are always fun to watch ....better than this ....but this tiebreak type is not good for classical chess which should be the crowning glory of the game!"

I completely agree.

@Petrarlsen

Interesting thoughts. I think the style change of 2800-ish players to be more solid can at least partially be attributed to the fear of losing Élő points. Sharp, attacking style can lead to good results if the player does not accidentally get into a prepared line, which is also a cause of fear, regardless of its validity.

@Staleno

Memorization is a chess ability.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/28/2018 01:04
@DMG-Chessman

I'm surprised you call Giri Drawnish and praise Carlsen at the same time. Giri is flesh and blood aggression in comparison with the Magnus, who offered a draw in a superior position. I do not think Carlsen was obliged to continue the game, it is his crown which is at stake, but that does not mean I like his approach.

"Because a WC is just a great thing! "

This WC has been flushed by that draw offer in game 12.

@Raymond Labelle

"As a whole, this match showed high-quality, high-level chess - the quasi-insults to the players coming from the incapacity to see that, just because the results were drawn, are very unfair. "

This is argumentum ad hominem, which is of course a fallacy. For one, I did not have any problems with the players up until that draw offer in game 12. I do not doubt of Carlsen's right to do that, but this act is so far from what I expect from a champion, that I hope Carlsen will lose his title ASAP. I cannot speak for the others, but I generally do not think about their "incapacity to see" things, but rather think about their arguments.

"If you prefer decisive results from blunders, watch lower-rated and lesser-quality chess - decisive results are more probable there."

I think we need more people to watch chess instead of sending them away. Draws can be very interesting, but a world champion not even trying to win a better position is something one do not want to see.

@Pionki

Not everyone is talented in giving a speach and many of us is not able to reach a high level, however, the arrogance with which Carlsen dismissed some questions, calling them irrelevant is not justified by his play in this match.

@dixondeuxyeux

I disagree. As early as in game 1 Carlsen had a winning advantage, which is not even too difficult to find even on tournament level, let alone World Championship level.
staleno staleno 11/28/2018 10:33
I never claimed preparation equals memorization. But the fact that these guys in some games play up to move 15-20 on pure knowledge (i.e. without thinking out the moves over the board) says a lot. It's correct that, at that point the positions can still be sharp with plenty of play left, but the position is also much simplified compared to a 960 start position with 32 pieces on the board.
jsaldea12 jsaldea12 11/28/2018 09:50
It I likely this championship match will be decided in the first four play-off games, semi-classical games. Just play casually and be cool.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/28/2018 07:33
@ staleno: "Chess at the highest level has become too much memorization and too little chess ability." / "Preparations would play only a minor role. Chess ability from move 1."

But preparation is a very important part of "chess ability", so I cannot agree...

And to reduce preparation, at 2800+ level, to memorization, is just plain wrong; 2800+ preparation is much more that simply memorization. At amateur level, yes; not at 2800+ level.

Furthermore, there were very few games in this match which were clearly drawish at the end of the opening phase, so I don't see how it could be said that "preparation killed the match", as some seem to say.
staleno staleno 11/28/2018 07:07
Chess at the highest level has become too much memorization and too little chess ability. There is a very simple way to get away from that problem. Abandon regular chess, and play 960. Preparations would play only a minor role. Chess ability from move 1.

Yes, it's a drastic proposal, but would support it 100%. The better chess player would prevail.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/28/2018 06:23
@ bbrodinsky (3/3):

Yes, Kramnik plays very interesting games, but he wasn't even close to win the last Candidates - he finished in the 5th rank, 2.5 points from Caruana. And, all these last years, each time players who originally had very risky, sharp, and agressive styles crossed the 2800 mark, they changed considerably their styles towards a much more solid style: this was the case for Grischuk (who, originally, considered that the style he aimed to have was very close to Shirov's and Morozevich's styles), Nakamura, Mamedyarov, and Aronian (for example as for Aronian, in a 2007 interview on ChessBase, it was mentionned that he called his style "chaotic", and he said: "I love unclear positions in which nobody can predict the outcome precisely. In such positions I have the necessary scope for my creativity." In my opinion, most of the time, the 2018 Aronian has a MUCH more solid style than this...).

My impression is that, today, it isn't possible anymore to compete successfully at the highest level with a crazy attacking style à la Tal, as all the players who played previously in a style rather resembling to this changed their styles when climbing above 2800.

In my opinion, globally, what must be changed is the system, and this will be sufficient to see more decisive results and to avoid boring matches...
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/28/2018 06:22
@ bbrodinsky (2/3):

And what was the result? A match featuring in particular one streak of 14 consecutive draws, and one streak of 17 (!!) consecutive draws...

So, even with Kasparov's legendary fighting spirit, the results of the 1984 match weren't particularly better that what we have seen in the Carlsen - Caruana match.

If even such a player as Kasparov can play 17 consecutive draws in a World Championship match when the match format is inadequate, it tends to show, in my opinion, that it is really VERY important to have a good match format.

And as the present match format is inadequate, I think that the first thing to do is to change this format; in my opinion, this would very probably be sufficient to change quite significantly what happens in the World Championship matches.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/28/2018 06:22
@ bbrodinsky (1/3):

As for your last post, I very much agree with some points, and disagree with some others...

About Tal or other players of the past, I think that we musn't oppose players of different times; what Tal did what perfectly justified at his time, because it was quite spot-on to put pressure on his opponents like he did; yes, his combinations were frequently objectively "inaccurate", but the only thing that counts is that it worked, at his time, and with the players against which he played. But with the progress in defense due to the computers, today, such play wouldn't work anymore (...which doesn't make Tal's play inferior; such a talented player would in my opinion quite certainly have adapted himself to today's situation, and have played differently...).

I don't agree with the fact that the games of this World Championship were boring; the only game in which more or less nothing happened was Game 11; even Game 12 was full of tension; it ended prematurely, but, in my opinion, wasn't at all boring. It isn't "Tal-like" chess, but this doesn't make it uninteresting. The only problem is the lack of decisive games, and for this, I think that, very probably, to increase the number of games and to suppress these tiebreaks would be sufficient.

You say: "find the next Tal or Kasparov, please!". But the match-systems used in Kasparov's time must also be taken into account: nearly all his matches against Karpov were played with a 24-games format using the "draw-odds to the Champion" rule - so there was always one of the players who had to play for a win. And I note one point: for ONE of his matches against Karpov, a different format was used - the 1984 match, which used the "first to six wins" system. This system doesn't give a particular incentive to win to the players; if they draw, "so be it, we'll see in the next game", as draws don't count.
HTD2016 HTD2016 11/28/2018 05:21
The Art factor has vanished from chess, and players have lost their originality mimicking computer moves. Computers can play like humans, but not vice versa. Players can steal a Novelty from computer analysis but fail to proceed in actual game, because they can't Calculate all the moves of a position, like computers.
After 12 games, Match should be decided based on result of set of 2 Classical Games, till the result comes.
lubejob77 lubejob77 11/28/2018 04:39
There's a simple rule change, costing nothing and very easy to implement, that I suspect would lead to considerably more fighting play in world championship matches. The rule would be that in order to be automatically placed in the next world championship match two years later, the winner would have to win in the classical phase of the match. If it went to tiebreaks, the winner would still be world champion, but both contestants would be seeded into the next candidates' tournament and the top two from that tournament would play a match for the title. A possible extra rule would be for the next cycle to be shortened from two years to one following a world championship match decided by tiebreaks, but this is not essential and could be discarded if it created too many scheduling complications. The point is to give both players a very strong incentive to try to win the classical match outright and not take their chances on the tiebreaks.
bbrodinsky bbrodinsky 11/28/2018 03:44
By today's misguided standards, Tal was a "lousy" player, because his combos were, largely, "inaccurate". But what today's apologists miss is, the game is being played by humans. When Tal executed one of his "inaccurate" moves, he put the other player under tremendous pressure, with a clock ticking. Many times, the other player could not respond and lost. The apologists call this "chess full of blunders". I call it SPORT and COMPETITION. The apologists have what they want: 12 draws of boring chess, where they strain to call it exciting..... Cut the clock, or increase the number of games, and cut out that asinine rapid tie-break system. And find the next Tal or Kasparov, please! Kramnik is doing his best, and he is to be admired, but he's a little up in age to have much effect. But bravo to him, and shame on C-C and shame on the system.
jsaldea12 jsaldea12 11/28/2018 03:24
Super computers?, stockfish…machine flicks each move by the speed of light. While human beings thinks slowly a thousand times slower. Thus, human player losses. But place them both on equal term. To equalize, give human player, (like GM Caruana or GM Carlsen) twenty minutes, more or less, to make each move, compared to speed of light each move by super computer and see the result. Read that famous fable race between a rabbit and turtle?
jsaldea12 jsaldea12 11/28/2018 02:59
Super computers?, stockfish…machine flicks each move by the speed of light. While human beings thinks slowly a thousand times slower. Thus, human player losses. But place them both on equal term. To equalize, give human player, (like GM Caruana or GM Carlsen) twenty minutes, more or less, to make each move, compared to speed of light each move by super computer and see the result. Read that famous fable race between a rabbit and turtle?
ArcyKen ArcyKen 11/28/2018 02:11
The many draws and the lack of fight have nothing to do with any computer era chess or the strength of players, it is simply a consequence of the bad rules. It was perfect when the challenger had to beat the title holder to become world champion. In no way would it be a too great advantage for the reigning champion : Carlsen would have probably suffered much more if Caruana sat in front of him with murder ideas ! Now the challenger could become world champion without having beaten him once ! This must be avoided at any cost.
Adilson Adilson 11/28/2018 12:55
No way Carlsen is gonna lose this battle. I think he is relying upon the fact he´s the world’s top-rated rapid player and top-rated blitz player compared to Caruana’s respective No 8 and No 16.
jsaldea12 jsaldea12 11/28/2018 12:34
Just how prepared Caruana is for this match. Here is comments by GM So:"All his tournaments, all the work of his life has been aimed at reaching this point. After accomplishing everything necessary to reach the goal of playing for the World Championship, Fabiano has survived eleven tough rounds to get to this last game. I cannot think of any game where there's so much to play for."
SKAcz SKAcz 11/28/2018 12:29
Well its simple, we all already know chess is very drawish game when players are certain level. Compare to strongest computer matches where 12 or even 14 games draw series are not so rare. To decrease number of draws (for those who dont like it) here is only solution : decrease time for game to increase number of mistakes made. Not necessary to play bullet chess yet, but faster ... Or stay tuned in era of precise chess where most interresting question is not if game will be draw, but in how many moves. All humans especially much weaker than C & C should learn how to equalize positions and from this view the games was very inspiring :)
PatChessFan PatChessFan 11/28/2018 12:22
I enjoyed the match in parts but overall has been a poor showing.

I was at a chess event at the weekend and really there was little enthusiasm for this championship's games ...except for maybe a couple of games ..though most folk as myself were looking to follow G12.

G12 in this and the last championship have been very poor for spectators.

Yes they are great players. Better than all of us. Yes there is tension and nerves.

All elite sports have talent , tension and nerves but in football or tennis fans would be booing the players and rightly so I think.

Imagine travelling to watch these games live in venue and being treated to this rubbish! Spectators should be asking for money back.

If there is a bigger picture in trying to get corporate sponsors rather than patronage from rich individuals then this match has been pretty poor....we should not be making excuses for these millionaires...they should be putting it all on the line and have not done so.

Next time around let there be no tiebreak after g12.

The tiebreak may be exciting but there is the world rapid and world blitz which are always fun to watch ....better than this ....but this tiebreak type is not good for classical chess which should be the crowning glory of the game!
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/27/2018 10:24
@ Raymond Labelle:

"Draws can happen for many reasons - but not because the system favours that both players draw. If a player has an interest in drawing, the other player necessarily does not to the same extent- inescapable - chess is a zero-sum game."

I think that you don't take everything into account.

Yes, globally, IF you consider the match as a whole, including the tiebreaks, the players cannot have an interest in drawing EVERYTHING.

But when, for example, the players are at the 12th game of the match, that they know that every slightly risky move can cost them the title and all that goes with it, then it can be perfectly understandable that they would prefer to go into a 4-games Rapid match. This is one of the reasons why many commentators (including myself) consider that these tiebreaks with accelerated time controls have a negative effect on the "classical games'" part of the match: without this playoff, a result would in any case be obtained at the end of the last classical game, so at least one of the players wouldn't have anything to lose, and would be willing to take risks.

It is exactly the meaning of the passage about Kasparov in this article:

"Kasparov: I never was in the same situation. All decisive games I played, that was the last game of the match. Either I had to win or draw to retain the title, so whatever your plan was, that was it.

Garry then correctly pointed out that you could not think about a tiebreak — there was none. He concluded:

Every game was all or nothing. This is not all or nothing."

I think that your reasoning works only for a continuous match, without any distinct parts; when there is a very significant change, as for the transition from the classical part of the match towards the playoff, this cannot be systematically applied...
Ajeeb007 Ajeeb007 11/27/2018 10:05
This isn't super accurate chess, it's risk free chess. The match is too short and the stakes too high to take any risks. As in his last match Magnus plays for a draw in game 12 so as to settle it with a completely different type of chess. Who will become the World Rapid Champion or World Blitz Champion? Stay tuned.
dumkof dumkof 11/27/2018 09:52
It's funny to see patzers criticising Carlsen for drawing the 12th game :) These guys are equally 2830 and surely know what they are doing. Carlsen would surely have pressed for hours if he had seen the slightest chance.
When the 2 best players of the planet play a match, everyone should lean back and enjoy the games. These guys are universal players and play what the position demands, not what the audience demands. They have no obligation to entertain anyone.
bbrodinsky bbrodinsky 11/27/2018 07:34
If “accuracy” creates draws, if these guys are so accurate, why would they go 0-12 against a computer? I say it’s a mindset, not”accuracy”
OR_Log OR_Log 11/27/2018 07:08
I agree with das monde. Game 12 was too much but we can also blame the system. Carlsen may think (right or wrong) that his decision is rational from his point of view, but system should always encourage fighting chess. Our technology time has changed today's chess, so WCC Match should reflect that and it must be changed more suitable one. das monde's suggestion is a good starting point but probably not enough.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/27/2018 06:51
Draws can happen for many reasons - but not because the system favours that both players draw. If a player has an interest in drawing, the other player necessarily does not to the same extent- inescapable - chess is a zero-sum game.

As a whole, this match showed high-quality, high-level chess - the quasi-insults to the players coming from the incapacity to see that, just because the results were drawn, are very unfair.

If you prefer decisive results from blunders, watch lower-rated and lesser-quality chess - decisive results are more probable there.

You know what, to beat Carlsen of Caruana is not that easy, even if you are Carlsen or Fabuana. You try.

That being said, I admit I would have preferred Magnus to try more in game 12, and I would favour Fischer Chess to carve out of the game opening preparation. But let's not forget to see the match as a whole. Often opening preparations from both players cancel out and players are on their own in the middle game. But still, this makes it less interesting when you see a comment on move 18 like "Novelty". Or when it still happens that a team of seconds beat the other team of seconds in a game or another - it is the players who should be the center. But that is not a reason to insult the players on an unfair basis.
dixondeuxyeux dixondeuxyeux 11/27/2018 05:42
We are witnessing what we have all feared, the death of chess. Two super talented Grandmasters, so well booked, so computer trained and tested, are showing that with proper technique, all games short of unnecessary risks are 100% drawn. I don't know whether it's Stockfish, Komodo, Shredder, Hiarcs, Houdini, Crafty, Gull, who played this month but you can be sure they have every silicon advantage necessary. Blitz and rapid may test the speed of their recall, but not their game. It's back to billiards people. No two nine ball breaks are ever the same.
romualdo romualdo 11/27/2018 05:00
Another boring WCC Match. One book seated in front of the other making moves that some commentators and zumbis´fans of these players called " accurate moves" trying to justify 12 games without no winner, without no fight, without respect of millions of chess fans world wide. A waste of time, waste of money for who have paid to watch live broadcast of this shame match. Super GMs ? They don´t deserve such title ! Two cowards at least being polite. We can watch more fighting in normal chess tornaments in any category and learn more from them compared with this match.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/27/2018 04:39
Even though not his exact words, Kasparov was referring to the rule which applied when he played that, in the case of equality in classical games, there were no additional tiebreak games: Champion kept the title. As a result, if it was equal before the last game, the last game was necessarily decisive in the sense that a draw meant that the Champion kept the title – the Challenger would have been in a must-win situation.

That being said, under that system, Magnus would even have had a greater interest in having a draw in Game 12 than in the situation he really was. Under the principle of that old system (champion keeps title in case of equality in classical games), he would now already be champion without having to go the tiebreaks.
das monde das monde 11/27/2018 04:25
Carlsen's preference for rapid chess is an irksome flaw for the classical championship matches. That would disappear if the match would continue after the 6-6 score with *gradual* reduction of thinking time from 100+50 minutes to 90+45, 80+40, ... each two subsequent non-decisive games, until say games 23, 24 with just 40+20 minutes, and eventually possible game 25 as some Royal Armageddon (with nearly rapid time limits) with the challenger chasing a checkmate one last time. That would be an improvement on several accounts, no?
Petrosianic Petrosianic 11/27/2018 04:22
It's not at all clear that Magnus deserves the heat he's getting for drawing this game. Yes, Black is clearly better, but after 32. Qa3, he has no way to increase his advantage, other than a well-prepared b5. If Carlsen saw that that leads to nothing, and felt confident that Fabian saw it too, there would be no reason to play on.

People think that just because they have an engine that they see as much or more as the world's top players. The truth is they still see less.
doctormate doctormate 11/27/2018 04:17
I'm not a fan of draws, but it's hard to believe that anyone with a reasonable chess knowledge would call the match a "dreadful bore". The last game ended too early, but there were many fighting games, and plenty of exciting play. They are both really good, and chess is a hard game to win.
IdesofMarch IdesofMarch 11/27/2018 03:52
Carlsen stands for C= coward. At least he could have TRIED to win. Bobby Fischer would not stop at one time when there were only two kings on the board. He lacks that figthing spirit. But he had it once. If you are not motivated any more, like he said, stop playing chess.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/27/2018 03:27
I think that Kasparov's words are misinterpreted; I think that he only means that, as in all his matches with Karpov (except the 1984 match, which was ended without a result), there was no playoff, the last game was really completely decisive for the match; at the end of the game, there was a match-winner, and a loser, and nothing more to add. While, with the present system, after the last game..... there is a playoff, and, in effect, a new match (4 rapid games) begins... So the last game is MUCH less important that in the Kasparov - Karpov matches.
Green22 Green22 11/27/2018 03:11
MC had a clear adv. game 12 he knew it we all saw it so maybe there's something going on behind the scenes with him.. I'm rooting for Fabi anyway.
geraldsky geraldsky 11/27/2018 03:07
Whoever wins in the tiebreaks, shall be crowned as the World Rapid or World Blitz Champion.
DMG-Chessman DMG-Chessman 11/27/2018 02:50
@tom_70 That's a fairly good question, though the statement by itself may be just speculating. Why don't we all wait until this is over, let Carlsen reflect on it and when the time is right i'm sure we'll learn what really happened. Maybe he wasn't feeling 100%, maybe something occurred in his private life, maybe he is tired, or maybe maybe maybe? And as you point out, maybe he's just 5 years older. But, does it really matter if Real Madrid qualifies over two soccer games for the final, drawing 1-1 away and 0-0 at home, conceding a red card and playing afwully bad? At the end Carlsen doesn't has to prove anything anymore. Magnus was playing way above average, not even close to dull. He just played Fabi! Else, what to say about Fabi? If Carlsen would be that bad and unprepared etc, how come Fabi couldn't make a fist? I truly think this WC between these two phenomenal players was tough enough, highly accurate, very edgy and very much misinterpreted. All i hear and read is people being disappointed. People wishing for results like +3 =7 -2. Those Kasparov/Fischer days full of blunders and inaccuracies are over. (Well...Giri would achieve that being on the losing end). Remember, these guys found their moves hanging over the board, not relaxt analyzing while looking at engines evaluations with a cup of hot chocolate milk and ABBA music in the back ground...
rzulu rzulu 11/27/2018 02:20
I still feel today's chess is so different from the active chess of the past.Besides these are the two strongest players on the planet. What risk did pipo want them to take???