[CHESS] Carlsen vs Caruana - World Chess Championship match

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Szlia

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I am very bad at chess, but a mix of childhood memories and youTube, lead me the last few months to watch a lot of chess lessons, commented matches and chess live streams. Anyway... the reigning chess world champion, norvegian Magnus Carlsen is currently defending his crown against american Fabiano Caruana. They play 12 games in classical time control over a couple weeks and if they end with the same score they play some rapid games (on paper, Carlsen is heavily the favorite if it comes to that). At this point 6 games have been played. 4 have been boring draws (which is kinda the norm when two Super Grand Masters play in this type of format) but the 1st game was a pretty exiting game of cat and mouse and the 6th game started like it would be another fast and boring draw, but some dubious play by Carlsen as white gave a slight advantage to Caruana and suddenly it became a fight for survival for the World Champion (losing as white would be pretty a serious blow to his chances to keep his crown). It still ended in a draw, but the end game will probably be in many chess puzzle manuals as the computer at some point found a line for black to win... in 30ish moves, but at the start of these winning lines were two very counter-intuitive moves, making them almost impossible for a human to find, especially in the context of a World Championship after 6 hours of play.

Anyway... game 7 started as I write this! Any chess fans/players around here?

PS: The live stream of the match is a pay per view thing, but there are several twitch channels that do analysis as they play. for one.
 
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So Magnus has been champ for 5 years. Really even matches thus far, moreso than previous years I believe. But most commentators think a Magnus win in the end.
 

Gankak

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So Magnus has been champ for 5 years. Really even matches thus far, moreso than previous years I believe. But most commentators think a Magnus win in the end.
I think in classical time controls Magnus an Fabiano are evenly matched. I think most commentators think Magnus retains the title due to the blitz timebreakers. Magnus is a beast in blitz and Fabiano not so much
 

Szlia

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Carlsen is being a bit timid with white. He gets nothing out of the opening, plays lukewarm moves in the middle game, is happy to trade everything to reach the end game and it's only once there that, during a handful of moves, he makes a half-assed attempt at opening the position and playing for a win. Since Caruana does not blunder (even with the slight time pressure he had today), Carlsen assesses that the attacking lines are too risky and we never go out of draw land.

PS: That being said, when you are the favorite should the match reach a tie-break, it's only natural to be risk averse and dare your opponent to take risks and possibly get countered.
 

Gankak

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That is the way Carlsen has played since he got older. He plays lots of safe openings with white. He doesn't take many chances, his strategy is to grind people down. Eventually they make a mistake and he capitalizes.
 

Szlia

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The game currently going on looks a lot less draw'ish than the previous ones. Pretty exciting.
 

Gankak

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Yeah h3 was a head scratcher for sure.... I think this ends up being a draw now from the given position due to opposite color bishops.
 

Gankak

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Ended in a draw as I suspected it would. h3 seemed to let the air out of white's position just enough
 

Szlia

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Characterizing h3 as a blunder is a bit much! We have the computer estimation and we see it going from 2ish to 0ish, but the way it evaluate things is not very human like. Caruana in the position can feel he has an advantage, but capitalizing on it without facing counter-play is far from trivial. The computer gave little value to Carlsen's attacking potential, because the computer can defend perfectly, but it's natural for a human to not be as confident!

It goes to show winning is hard when two people of that caliber face each other. Half chances get nixed by a single inaccuracy.
 

Gankak

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Interesting game today.... I think Magnus has winning chances despite bishops of opposite colors but I suspect we are headed towards a draw again
 

Gankak

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Damn... today's game. What a blunder Kd4 was for Magnus. I thought for sure he had a win in that position.
 

Szlia

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These guys play so well and, because of the circumstances, so conservatively, that it feels very difficult for games to not end in a draw. Gankak Gankak , you characterize Kd4 as a blunder, but again, the engines thought it was a draw before that and did not like the move, but it's a move played for the win, to give the opportunity for Caruana to make an inaccuracy that could lead to a win for Magnus. The engine will not play inaccurately, so it files the move under "are you serious?", but it's still a draw after it. Caruana played the right move, Carlsen rightfully ran his king to safety and voilà.

The analysis of this game is pretty crazy with all the traps and dangerous lines that could have happened for one and the other, but both simply played too well, by calculating accurately or at least by having a good sense of danger.
 

Szlia

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While some of these draws have been pretty exciting, today's game was pretty lame. Carlsen apparently found himself quickly out of prep' even if what was played by Caruana was one of the main lines of a classic opening. To avoid bad surprises, Carlsen tried to trade everything and Caruana oblidged. It quickly lead to an ending with opposite colors bishops. White had a one pawn advantage, Carlsen made an effort to turn it into a passed pawn, but Caruana defended too accurately for it to ever happen, so they shook hands.... Caruana will have the white pieces on Monday for game 12. It's a bit of a do or die situation considering Carlsen supposed advantage in the quicker formats used for the tie breaker.
 

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While some of these draws have been pretty exciting, today's game was pretty lame. Carlsen apparently found himself quickly out of prep' even if what was played by Caruana was one of the main lines of a classic opening. To avoid bad surprises, Carlsen tried to trade everything and Caruana oblidged. It quickly lead to an ending with opposite colors bishops. White had a one pawn advantage, Carlsen made an effort to turn it into a passed pawn, but Caruana defended too accurately for it to ever happen, so they shook hands.... Caruana will have the white pieces on Monday for game 12. It's a bit of a do or die situation considering Carlsen supposed advantage in the quicker formats used for the tie breaker.
that's probably why carlsen is playing so tamely throughout, he's just biding his time for the rapid chess.
 
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