Anand v Carlsen

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Mark Hannon
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Mark Hannon » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:45 am

Geoff Chandler wrote:"If Carlsen is a sadist like Fischer was I think he could win all the remaining games."

A sadist?

Fischer offered draws in the shape of perpetuals to Larsen.
Larsen knocked them back and drifted into lost positions.

The candidates were matches of ten games.
At 5-0 Fischer had settled to win the match 5½ - ½ but Larsen refused the draw.

What would you have Fischer do? Stop playing on in a won position when he was 2-0 up and offer draws.
Larry Evans who helped Fischer write My60MG said that Fischer's least appealing side was his sadism (his most attractive being his sense of humour or humor as he probably spelt it)

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Geoff Chandler » Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:08 pm

Hi Mark,

Larry Evans came out with that guff after he fell out with Fischer.

This will be the same Larry Evans whose writing is "sloppy, dishonest, and riddled with factual inaccuracies" (Edward Winter.)

Fischer enjoyed winning a game of Chess, don't we all.
We know the suffering a loser feels, we have to ignore it else we would never win again.
If Fischer took pleasure from seeing his opponent squirm does that make him (or us) a sadist?
We are talking about a game. Not sticking hot needles into flesh and laughing.

A sadist inflicts plain for the pleasure of inflicting pain.
I know of no case were Fischer inflicted psyical pain on anyone just for his amusment.
(Apparently him and Benko came to blows once in the early 60's but that appears
to have been forgiven as Benko gave him his place to get onto the World Championship Cycle.)

Back on track.

Hi Jonathan,

""we" could perhaps expand our lexicon a little. Draw distinctions between positions that are 'level', 'equal', 'drawn' and 'dead drawn'.

How about:
Level, Equal, Drawn, Dead Drawn, and Carlsen will win anyway.

In Game 3 where the players were left with a King and Bishop each.
We all know that if Carlsen had played on he would have won thus:


Roger de Coverly
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:15 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote: Draw distinctions between positions that are 'level', 'equal', 'drawn' and 'dead drawn', perhaps.
The coverage at chessbomb.com and also the Euro Team event make use of an on-line Houdini engine which supplies its best three suggestions. You can see how stable a position is by how the evaluations differ between them. So when all three top moves have the same evaluation, the choice of moves obviously isn't critical. When the top move shows an advantage, the second equality and the third a disadvantage, the position is obviously critical. You can see the same thing on the Shredder tablebase. If there are twenty moves and ten of them draw, that's far less critical than twenty moves with nineteen losers and one winner.

If you are within opening theory and you have a tree with evaluations at your disposal, you can see the same pattern. Except in the very sharpest of openings there is usually a reasonably wide choice in many positions, notwithstanding the opinions of authors who would recommend their pet line and regard all other moves as inferior.

Nick Ivell
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Nick Ivell » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:21 am

Can I ask a question?

I admire Magnus. He is probably the best player of all time, but I have a reservation. Is this style good for the game?

This eking out of small advantages (or no advantage at all) is turning chess into a test of stamina. I try and learn from him but at this rate, I might as well train for a 4-minute mile and with as much hope of success.

Fischer v Spassky I was inspired by. I wanted to play like them. Will this generation of 10-year-olds be similarly inspired? I doubt it. Give me Fischer or Kasparov any day.

I do not intend to detract from Carlsen's wonderful technique, but this is very much chess for the connoisseur.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:01 am

Nick Ivell wrote: but this is very much chess for the connoisseur.

Berlin defence and rook endings? What's not to like?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:03 am

Nick Ivell wrote: Fischer v Spassky I was inspired by. I wanted to play like them. Will this generation of 10-year-olds be similarly inspired? I doubt it. Give me Fischer or Kasparov any day.

I do not intend to detract from Carlsen's wonderful technique, but this is very much chess for the connoisseur.
Looking at game 7 currently at move 19, you can be reminded of play by 100 standard club players. These players being good enough not to put pieces en prise, but not good enough to make anything happen except by accident. It's deceptive obviously in the case of Anand and Carlsen, but you can understand their play in the context of playing any cautious legal move, with the broader picture only becoming apparent many moves later. That said, Anand has come up with idea of trying to remove all the Rooks from the board.

Barry Sandercock
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Barry Sandercock » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:10 am

I agree,Roger. I would find it hard to know what to do with either Black or White at move 19.

Simon Brown
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Simon Brown » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:39 am

Looks like they couldn't either. Draw agreed

Nick Ivell
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Nick Ivell » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:40 am

I am getting a bit bored by this. With Vishy, his middle-age decline is clear for all to see. I know the feeling!

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:48 am

Nick Ivell wrote:I am getting a bit bored by this.
I'm not sure chess - and match chess in particular - is the ideal game for people with short attention spans
Last edited by Jonathan Bryant on Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

AustinElliott
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by AustinElliott » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:52 am

Barry Sandercock wrote:I agree,Roger. I would find it hard to know what to do with either Black or White at move 19.
The players didn't seem to do that much better. A very cagey draw, which obviously helps Carlsen far more than Anand. So far Anand's 'famed opening prep factory' seems to have been utterly neutralised by Carlsen's disinclination to get involved in 'debated' sharp lines.

As another of the 70s junior generation, though a much lesser player, I concur to some degree with what Nick Ivell said up above - it is not terribly inspiring fare for a wider audience, though one has to admire Carlsen's endgame mastery. I guess what it shows us as well is how much general technique and especially accuracy at the upper and especially 'Super GM' sort of level has improved since Fischer's day.

Of course, this is somewhat what Gary Kasparov typically used to say when asked about 'rating inflation' since the early 70s, and whether playing standards had truly risen. He would generally point out that nowadays there were many GMs who knew stuff that back in the 60s/70s very few (Fischer being one) knew. I guess this also inevitably mitigates against players taking risks, since the chance of you then getting gradually ground down is the greater.

Anyway, I suppose this is telling us that we should also be sure to prize those contemporary players, like Ivanchuk, who on their day remain capable of doing the unexpected - even if they never make it to playing for the title.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:13 pm

I felt a bit sorry for Anand at the Press Conference on Saturday, where he was asked twice what he was going to do now. "What can I say? I will try my best."

Another dopy question a few days ago when Kasparov had arrived.

"Do you feel intimidated knowing Kasparov is in the building?"

"What? - has he turned into Elvis?"

Nice one Vishy...

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:21 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote: "Do you feel intimidated knowing Kasparov is in the building?"

"What? - has he turned into Elvis?"

Nice one Vishy...

Yeah, I liked that one. I've always enjoyed seeing Vishy speak after games at the London Chess Classic. Very different style to Kramnik, for example (who I also very much like in this regard) but he has a quiet dry wit.

The the various attempts to beatify Gazza amuses me. "Kasparov would never play this way" comes the claim from folk who have conveniently forgotten that he used to do exaclty that.

A two dozen short draws in Moscow? Presumably a great inspiration to the kids of '84.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:30 pm

I think Anand's only viable strategy is to keep playing solidly, trust that he will at some point get a glimpse of another chink in Carlsen's armour (some of the previous games give him hope there), win a game, and then hope Carlsen cracks under the strain of having to avoid losing game 12 (with memories of what happened in the Candidates tournament).

John Cox
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Re: Anand v Carlsen

Post by John Cox » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:39 pm

The European was also decided on R&P -v- R in a sense, since Radjabov won one in an earlier round which won the match for Azerbaijan. That was drawn too, so much so that even superannuated IMs knew the right move blindfold, which was more than the 2600 GM playing Black could manage. It was along the lines of the 2700 Norwegian GMs blunder against Aronian which JB mentioned above.

This last game wasn't some dry technical nonsense as NI suggests; Carlsen's idea was sharp and bold. He's only a tempo or so from losing; it wouldn't be hard to miscalculate such a thing.

Anand's never been good at this stuff; to some extent Carlsen's match strategy is going to be dictated by the dual need to keep out of Anand's superior prep and exploit Anand's most obvious weaknesses (age and poor technique, relatively speaking). It doesn't mean he always plays that way; he wouldn't tackle Kramnik like this. It's match play for you. I'm tired - very tired - of hearing whinging about it.

If Anand had truly wanted to win this match; I suspect his best strategy would have been to spend the last six months taking physical exercise and defending stuff like this against computers eight hours a day, and let his seconds worry about the openings. Perhaps he did? Time waits for no man, as they say.

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