Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

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Mats Winther
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Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Mats Winther » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:17 am

Carlsen didn't perform as a world champion at Tromsö. His game against Saric was very bad. I don't know why this hasn't been discussed more. A world champion should be able to prove his superiority. At least, he shouldn't lose against secondary players. Is Carlsen sandbagging, for some reason? Or is he experiencing a psychological reaction against his hero status?

/Mats

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Rob Thompson
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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Rob Thompson » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:56 am

His tpr in Tromso was 2799, which is hardly a disaster.
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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:14 am

Rob Thompson wrote:His tpr in Tromso was 2799, which is hardly a disaster.
When you are the world's highest rated player, if you lose, it is always against lower rated opposition. But what was he trying to do in that Bird's Defence to the Spanish, effectively giving pawn or two odds to the Serbian number 1?

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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Simon Brown » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:12 am

Not giving anything away in the light of a certain match in November? If it goes ahead.

Lewis Martin
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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Lewis Martin » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:24 am

Roger de Coverly wrote: But what was he trying to do in that Bird's Defence to the Spanish, effectively giving pawn or two odds to the Serbian number 1?
It has happened before. Remember when he tried the Norwegian Defence against Mickey Adams and duly got crushed?

Carlsen tried to make the position more complicated obviously taking a 2600 to be some amateur who has no idea what he is doing. Even some of us in this forum could beat him with those odds.

Saric is Croatian by the way.

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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Lewis Martin » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:39 am

Mats Winther wrote:A world champion should be able to prove his superiority.
Ha! So just like Anand did where he was only world number 1 for a short period? I didn't see you complaining about that.

edit: He is already ahead of the rest by a long way. He is already superior enough. There are just 7 players within 100 points of him.

(I am not discrediting Anand, he is one of the greatest players of all time.)
Mats Winther wrote:At least, he shouldn't lose against secondary players.
Why not? You are discrediting the chess population, by calling them secondary players, are you seriously expecting him to not lose against every single 2600 in the world?

Kasparov-Lautier comes to mind, and this was when Kasparov dominated the chess scene more than Carlsen today.
Mats Winther wrote:Is Carlsen sandbagging, for some reason?
No. Norway was fairly unlikely to get a medal. He'd still try his best no matter what, but he is not showing his opening preparation to Anand. I'd rather think that had the Olympiad been played elsewhere, he would not have been playing.
Mats Winther wrote:I don't know why this hasn't been discussed more.
What is there to discuss? A world champion not performing at his best and losing rating points? Shock, horror, disaster!

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Mats Winther
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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Mats Winther » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:08 am

I am speaking, of course, of the responsibility a world champion has to play sound chess. Of course, we can't expect every game to be a master-piece, but we can at least expect soundness and stability. A world champion shouldn't self-destruct and he should know his way in the opening phase.

/Mats

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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Ray Sayers » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:05 am

Mats Winther wrote:I am speaking, of course, of the responsibility a world champion has to play sound chess.
No he doesn't! Since when was that a requirement of a world champion? Look at Lasker, look at Tal. Both those guys 'played the player' too. The world champion justifies himself by winning the world championship. Someone who is the world classical, rapid and blitz champion has already proved his worth.

I am surprised by some of his opening choices, sure. But in a world championship year, I am sure he is protecting his preparation. Also, try to put yourself in his shoes. If you just roll over everyone, who knows, maybe he is bored and trying to mix it up a bit, give himself a challenge.

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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Barry Sandercock » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:42 am

Also, chess is a difficult game and sometimes things don't the way they should.

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Mats Winther
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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Mats Winther » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:30 am

Tal and Lasker had strong credos. Tal didn't play unsound. He sacrificed a piece for good chances, which is sound. To give two pawns for no compensation, as in Carlsen's game, isn't sound. In the following game, Botvinnik regarded the knight sacrifice on f4 as a bluff move. But research shows that it is sound. Later, Kasparov also used to sacrifice a knight in the King's Indian, because it is natural. /Mats


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MJMcCready
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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:53 am

I thought his performance was disappointing overall. He seems to have lost some of his motivation now that he has made to the top. I thought he didn't take some of his opponents seriously enough.

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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by MartinCarpenter » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:06 pm

I think that motivation gap goes with playing in the Olympiad with nothing much at stake, rather than having made the top. Very understandable really.
(Well no realistic chance for Norway to win, no matter how well he'd done.).

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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Barry Sandercock » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:25 pm

At least he is still playing, unlike Fischer after he won the world championship.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:30 pm

We don't know quite yet seeing that he's already asked to postpone the world championship match. Maybe he'll do a Fischer and not turn up

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Carlsen's performance at Tromsö

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:41 pm

I tend to agree that Carlsen won't play many more Olympiads - conceivably, none at all. He also performed (and played) far below his level in 2010, where he lost three games. I would guess that he missed in 2012 because he realises that the party atmosphere and lack of personal incentive do him no favours at all, and probably played this one with some regret since he could hardly refuse (he does, I am sure, genuinely want to promote chess in Norway).

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