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Tal Memorial Tournament

Magnus Carlsen5.5/9(+2 -0 =7)[games]
Fabiano Caruana5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Teimour Radjabov5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik4.5/9(+2 -2 =5)[games]
Alexander Grischuk4.5/9(+2 -2 =5)[games]
Alexander Morozevich4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Levon Aronian4.5/9(+2 -2 =5)[games]
Luke McShane4/9(+3 -4 =2)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura4/9(+1 -2 =6)[games]
Evgeny Tomashevsky3.5/9(+1 -3 =5)[games]

 page 2 of 2; games 26-45 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
26. Morozevich vs Nakamura 0-1472012Tal MemorialD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
27. Grischuk vs Radjabov ½-½412012Tal MemorialB30 Sicilian
28. Carlsen vs Aronian ½-½602012Tal MemorialC67 Ruy Lopez
29. Caruana vs McShane 1-0672012Tal MemorialA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
30. Kramnik vs Tomashevsky 1-0832012Tal MemorialD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
31. Radjabov vs Caruana ½-½632012Tal MemorialD85 Grunfeld
32. Nakamura vs Carlsen ½-½432012Tal MemorialE10 Queen's Pawn Game
33. Tomashevsky vs Morozevich 1-0412012Tal MemorialE90 King's Indian
34. Aronian vs Grischuk ½-½282012Tal MemorialE15 Queen's Indian
35. McShane vs Kramnik 1-0942012Tal MemorialC67 Ruy Lopez
36. Grischuk vs Nakamura 1-0352012Tal MemorialB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
37. Radjabov vs Aronian  ½-½452012Tal MemorialA06 Reti Opening
38. Morozevich vs McShane 0-1402012Tal MemorialD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
39. Caruana vs Kramnik 1-0402012Tal MemorialC45 Scotch Game
40. Carlsen vs Tomashevsky ½-½852012Tal MemorialA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
41. Aronian vs Caruana 1-0542012Tal MemorialD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
42. McShane vs Carlsen 0-1402012Tal MemorialC85 Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation Doubly Deferred (DERLD)
43. Nakamura vs Radjabov ½-½392012Tal MemorialB30 Sicilian
44. Kramnik vs Morozevich ½-½722012Tal MemorialD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
45. Tomashevsky vs Grischuk  ½-½472012Tal MemorialE81 King's Indian, Samisch
 page 2 of 2; games 26-45 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 71 OF 73 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-20-12  Bobwhoosta: I think the offense that some take (myself included, to less and more extent depending on the context, sometimes not at all) with mentioning "luck" as the reason a player won a tournament is you take out the person themselves. In other words, you take their skill and replace it with luck.

Yes, a number of circumstances came together fortuitously in order for Carlsen to win this tournament. Those same circumstances would not have produced me as the winner of this tournament. That is, Carlsen had to be EXTREMELY skilled in order to be in a position to BE lucky in the first place!!! So someone who SEEMS to get lucky so often could only be skilled, as in a game with such a high skill element you must be highly skilled to get lucky.

That's exactly why Capablanca's comment is so pertinent: "The best chessplayers are lucky". He understood that in a game of half points, you must be WITHIN a half point in order for that half point to matter. Keep yourself within that half point consistently, and lucky you, things just MIGHT happen!!

The fact that Carlsen finds himself surrounded by fortuitous circumstances so often indicates that he is consistently in a position for said circumstances to occur.

And THAT, my friends, is ALL SKILL.

Jun-20-12  kappertjes: I agree that you can be lucky with somebody else's move like <Bobwhoosta> just elucidated.

However i would argue that even a game with 2 equal computers, e.g. at ply 10, same hardware and software, has an element of luck. It could even be said that all wins and losses between two such computers are due to luck.

In think this luck is that their horizon-prediction/calculation corresponded more closely with actual optimal moves, even though they are actually the same. With equal-ply comps this is simply because some important move is a single ply further away at a more or less critical point (which of course none of the programs could have seen).

One way to view chess is as a game of hypotheses/conjectures about what the best moves are. The quality of these is determined by search-depth/experience/calculation and understanding of long-term consequences. The luck comes in where your hypothesis about the best moves (set of moves) corresponds to the unknown (unknowable?) actual optimal moves, but for reasons outside of evaluation, i.e. at a point not considered. It follows that for weaker players this luck is more important, since more is outside of evaluation range. This luck can also be the 'I just got a good position' or 'I seem to be slightly worse for some reason'.

In the long term the law of large numbers will mean that the player with the best hypotheses has the better games. So the more games, the less luck is a factor.

FWIW,anyway. Not too clear perhaps but too tired to go back.

Jun-20-12  ajile: <Petrosianic: This is splitting some major hairs, to be sure, but the reality is that there is no luck in chess (the game contains no random elements), but there is luck in life. And there's some overlap between the two.

If you upset the pieces, reset them in the wrong places, and win the game because of it before the mistake is discovered, that's surely luck. But that's luck in life, not luck in chess.>

Absolutely perfectly stated.

Jun-20-12  goodevans: Some positions can be calculated exactly, but most can't. When a position cannot be calculated exactly then you have to exercise judgement. Now I would suggest that as soon as judgement replaces exact calculations then an element of luck has entered the game.

If you overlook something but it turns out to be something that doesn't matter then that's good luck. If you make what appears to be a good move only for it to be undone many moves later by some quirk of the position that nobody had foreseen, then in my book that's bad luck.

The trouble is that chess can be evaluated in hindsight. Moreover we have a tendency do this as if chess is a completely knowable game (which OTB it most certainly isn't). I would argue that it's only in our hindsight evaluation that the element of luck that was present in the game disappears, to be replaced by notions of good or bad judgement.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <achieve: To get back to the central post by <Honza Cervenka>, I doubt that it is correct to describe Kramnik's 2 unexpected losses, added by Morozevich's collapse after a super start, as contributing factors to the extent to which the tournament winner's "been lucky"... I do understand that when you look at everything that has happened it in retrospect seems to have favored the "emerging winner", he must have been lucky! - it can become a tempting thought. In my view though slightly off the mark.>

Well, Kramnik's and Moro's bad performance in the second half of the tournament had nothing to do with Magnus who played against them in first two rounds and who was saving a half point from worse position in those games. And without it he wouldn't be the sole winner here. In fact, if Moro would not be himself and would have went for draw, which he had in hand in all his three lost games, he would have become sole winner here. And if Kramnik would have avoided his two losses, Magnus would have finished on the shared second place like in Tal Memorial (2009) with exactly the same +2-0=7 performance.

Jun-20-12  King Death: < Petrosianic: ...If you upset the pieces, reset them in the wrong places, and win the game because of it before the mistake is discovered, that's surely luck. But that's luck in life, not luck in chess.>

While we're talking about resetting the pieces the wrong way, see the second and third kibitzes by <sneaky pete> to this game: E von Feyerfeil vs Lasker, 1889.

If not for this, one world champion probably wouldn't have a page here or at least one worth mentioning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Btw, it's not as if Carlsen himself fully took advantage of all the opportunities that he got throughout the tournament. He could gave gotten good winning chances against both Grischuk & Tomashevsky - in the former game, had he spotted the idea of 25.Bxe6 fxe6 (25...Nxe6 26.f4!) 26.Bxe5! Qxe5 27.d4; in the latter, had he played Nd6 a move earlier, instead of doubling rooks on the d-file on move 32. So if we're awarding hypothetical points to his competitors, based on scenarios in which they are performing better, we might award him as well a hypothetical extra point which puts him at +4, and say that the other players were "lucky" that he didn't win both those games, otherwise they wouldn't even have a fighting chance against him (well, except perhaps for the hypothetically stable, non-losing Morozevich)...
Jun-20-12  Bobwhoosta: <Eyal>

I agree, when it gets into speculation we can start the "what if" train rolling into Illusion-ville.

But it surely can be fun!!!

Also, we can't argue forever about what IS, there are only so many things that ARE. Eventually we need to touch on what could-have-been, where the arguments are never ending.

Jun-20-12  twinlark: <Eyal>

What you said. It illustrates the slippery nature of the idea of luck if it's reified as something separate from probability.

The ubiquity of the notion of luck shows that most of us are still a wafer-thin distance from engaging in overt superstition.

Jun-20-12  King Death: < twinlark: ...The ubiquity of the notion of luck shows that most of us are still a wafer-thin distance from engaging in overt superstition.>

Maybe I should join that crowd and start in with a Ouija board, it might get me the bracelet in Vegas come November!

Jun-20-12  voratco: Carlsen was lucky, there is no denying, luck played an important role winning the tal memorial 2012. It was a retrospective luck which is the outcome of the event that is favorable to him under consideration.

The collapse of Moro and the unlucky Caruana losing in the last round is for consideration. Given the circumstances, luck alone can not win you tournaments but it can alter the results. It requires skills to win, definitely, and with that in mind, Carlsen was lucky to have zero loss. Skills plus luck under circumstances equals favorable result.

Jun-20-12  twinlark: <King Death>

I've read the entrails and you should do well.

Jun-20-12  LIFE Master AJ: Once more, Carlsen DID go undefeated ... something that Aronian and Kramnik could not manage ...
Jun-20-12  Bobwhoosta: <King Death>

Who are you, so I can root for you if I happen to catch it?? That is, if you feel comfortable divulging that information. It's not in your profile...

Jun-20-12  achieve: <The ubiquity of the notion of luck shows that most of us are still a wafer-thin distance from engaging in overt superstition.>

Though this sentence is craftily composed, the majority of posts here shows in fact the very opposite, since the ubiquitous notion- and use of- the word luck has been critically examined. Taken out of superstition-ville. That's the exercise "we" - many if not all contributors - have been engaging in here.

In addition the "wafer-thin distance from engaging in <overt> superstition" wording is much overloaded in my view, as if we are about to engage in pure blasphemous idolatry.

Granted, the phrase <is frighteningly apt in describing human nature and 21st century mythology presented as science, which is threatening mankind and all that is beauty under the heavens and beyond - but here in CG-ville?


Jun-20-12  twinlark: "we" I was referring to humans at large.
Jun-20-12  achieve: Hahah! - Humans "at large"?

You drew the broad brush mightily fast then, Billy! ;)

But I must believe you, and in fact thought the discussion "was" enlightening, informative, and delightfully non-conclusive.

"All this hard work... But in the end what for?" -

Jun-20-12  Bobwhoosta: <achieve>

If we end with more questions than answers, we have done our work by philosophers to come.

Jun-20-12  achieve: It's your call, <Bobwhoosta>, and disclosure is near. Or in the words of Futurist Ray Kurzweil, "The Singularity is Near".

(Quoted from the Time Magazine article by the same name earlier this year.)

"In other words does God exist? Well, I'd say not just yet." - Kurzweil

Jun-20-12  achieve: 2045: The Year Man Will Become Immortal

Jun-21-12  achieve: Immor<Tal>

Misha shines a new light on the etymology of the word, and personified it and embodied immortality <long> before Kurzweil and his Cyborganic Singularitarians were wetting their diapers.

What a wonderful coincidence and painful contrast that I posted the TIME article on this Memorial page.

Jun-21-12  Shams: I can't buy Kurzweil's singularity theory, much as I grant its sex appeal.
Jun-21-12  achieve: <Shams> It's not a theory as much as it is a goal that is worked towards relentlessly, and the words "buy" and "grant" you are using here are very revealing :)

NASA hosts the Singularity University, cofounded by Kurzweil, and co-sponsored by Google, Nokia, LinkedIn etc., and has branches in Europe as well; it's THE globalists' toy, and the heart of modern day transhumanism movement. (Check out Global Future 2045 / <GF2045 -- “Russia 2045,” a global social initiative based in Moscow, together with the Eurasian Center for Big History & System Forecasting, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences , are pleased to announce that on February 17-20 the International Conference “Global Future – 2045” will be held in the conference hall of the Radisson-Slavyanskaya Hotel in Moscow.

The goals of the Congress are as follows:

- Discussion and demonstration of the newest developments in the fields of cognitive sciences, robotics, and modeling of living systems;

- Evaluation the potential for transforming planetary civilization in light of the rapid pace of technological development;


Very much for real, and with unlimited funds pushing forward all the time. They (CEO Peter Diamandis et al) predict that Homo Sapiens will be replaced by a far superior cyborg man-machine hybrid, and of course the Nanotech already used in Genetic Engineering is facilitating all this.

Luckily there are critical voices raised but for the time being they can go ahead as they please, government supported, we know what that means, so there really is no stopping this.

Kurzweil called it "the singularity" because no-one including him knows where this in the end will lead to.... At the moment talk and research is very much geared to colonizing space, I kid you not, and "infusing all matter and planetary bodies with intelligence, self-replicating AI", as by their own words.

Jun-21-12  Shams: <[T]he words "buy" and "grant" you are using here are very revealing :)>

Pray, what do they supposedly reveal?

<It's not a theory as much as it is a goal that is worked towards relentlessly>

Well, whether it is worked towards or not, and that either consciously or not, the fact remains that I am being asked to recognize that our "machines" are on the cusp of overtaking us in intelligence, and this in or near my lifetime no less, to the effect of soon creating an "event horizon" beyond which events are quite inconceivable to mine or any other human brain. I'm not sure how you would like me to phrase my disbelief of this, but there it is.

Jun-21-12  twinlark: <Shams>

Dunno about the future but there are hard headed writers that can speculate on this with quite stunning originality. Probably the one that comes to my mind most readily is <Accelerando> by Charles Stross, who also hosts this rather interesting blog:

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