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Biel Chess Festival Tournament

Wang Hao19(+6 -3 =1)[games]
Magnus Carlsen18(+4 -0 =6)[games]
Anish Giri16(+4 -2 =4)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura16(+4 -2 =4)[games]
Etienne Bacrot7(+1 -5 =4)[games]
Viktor Antonovich Bologan4(+1 -6 =1)[games]
Alexander Morozevich0(+0 -2 =0)[games]

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Carlsen vs Nakamura ½-½392012Biel Chess FestivalB53 Sicilian
2. Wang Hao vs Bacrot 1-0362012Biel Chess FestivalE97 King's Indian
3. Morozevich vs A Giri 0-1512012Biel Chess FestivalD97 Grunfeld, Russian
4. Carlsen vs Wang Hao 1-0352012Biel Chess FestivalE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
5. Nakamura vs A Giri ½-½412012Biel Chess FestivalD02 Queen's Pawn Game
6. Bacrot vs Morozevich 1-0252012Biel Chess FestivalD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. A Giri vs Bacrot 1-0372012Biel Chess FestivalE97 King's Indian
8. Wang Hao vs Nakamura 1-0472012Biel Chess FestivalB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
9. A Giri vs Wang Hao 0-1572012Biel Chess FestivalE84 King's Indian, Samisch, Panno Main line
10. Bacrot vs Carlsen ½-½562012Biel Chess FestivalE00 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Bologan vs Nakamura 0-1812012Biel Chess FestivalD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
12. Wang Hao vs Bologan 1-0472012Biel Chess FestivalA58 Benko Gambit
13. Nakamura vs Bacrot 1-0342012Biel Chess FestivalE92 King's Indian
14. Carlsen vs A Giri ½-½492012Biel Chess FestivalC01 French, Exchange
15. Nakamura vs Carlsen ½-½332012Biel Chess FestivalD91 Grunfeld, 5.Bg5
16. A Giri vs Bologan 1-0922012Biel Chess FestivalE60 King's Indian Defense
17. Bacrot vs Wang Hao ½-½332012Biel Chess FestivalD90 Grunfeld
18. Bologan vs Carlsen 0-1402012Biel Chess FestivalB30 Sicilian
19. Wang Hao vs Carlsen 0-1602012Biel Chess FestivalE15 Queen's Indian
20. A Giri vs Nakamura ½-½302012Biel Chess FestivalD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
21. Bologan vs Bacrot ½-½352012Biel Chess FestivalE70 King's Indian
22. Bacrot vs A Giri 0-1352012Biel Chess FestivalB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
23. Nakamura vs Wang Hao 0-1412012Biel Chess FestivalA23 English, Bremen System, Keres Variation
24. Carlsen vs Bologan 1-0402012Biel Chess FestivalA59 Benko Gambit
25. A Giri vs Carlsen ½-½372012Biel Chess FestivalE15 Queen's Indian
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 24 OF 39 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: In the 1970s the Oakland A's had a pitcher named Catfish Hunter, who didn't throw very hard but still was very effective. When he shut out the powerful Cincinnati Reds in the 1972 World Series, afterwards a couple of Reds were seen putting out their hands (indicating a pitch) and saying, "Nothing!" As in, he's not so tough, we can hit him.

Carlsen seems similar. He doesn't just roll over anybody, and the games tend to seem even for a long time, and without tremendous complications. Then, all of a sudden, he wins. I think he leaves opponents saying, "Nothing!", wondering how they lost.

Just a thought.

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Some people go on about Carlsen's lack of form and yet he's been number one for a couple of years, wins almost every tournament he enters, is leading Biel with a TPR of over 2900, has the second highest rating of all time which is also currently his PB.

I'd love to see how he goes when he's "in form". Especially when his opening preparation is not so "poor".

Seems like winning almost every tourney isn't enough and that anything that is less than winning every game is a failure.


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < twinlark: ....Seems like winning almost every tourney isn't enough and that anything that is less than winning every game is a failure.


The kid's laughing all the way to the bank.

Here's to one gritty player whose best is yet to come.

Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: <Bobwhoosta> how you find time to post with those two small kids...not to mention the diapers....
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <perfidious>

I think so too. He'll continue improving, barring accidents, for a long time yet as did Kasparov and many others. So he could reach 2900 or more (in today's values, ie: barring inflation) in my opinion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  achieve: <twinlark> <Seems like winning almost every tourney isn't enough and that anything that is less than winning every game is a failure.> Bit of an exaggeration (understandable and intentional I take it) following Tkachiev's own rather strong and emotionally worded comments (as are some on this page here), and maybe you have your tongue in your cheek here, but let me attempt to explain what is going on here, while pointing out that Tkachiev does attract attention and creates traffic, which is good for his employers. But the latter as an aside.

- - - - >

Back to the point, i.e., what is going on here--

GM <Tkachiev> in his own unique way addressed how the games themselves develop, not so much participating in "scoreboard journalism", as he is hired to comment on every round here. It's striking that it appears Carlsen wins or draws from equal or inferior positions every single game here, and Tkachiev opines that "this is not sustainable, Carlsen can't keep that up!" ... Or words to that extent, or stronger.

Funny thing is this:

Carlsen <can> keep that up, since 2008/9 he re-writes chess literature and history, and continues to do so as we speak, scoring the best ever (inflated but compared to his adversaries-) results - TPRs, tournament wins, shared wins, 3rd places, approaching the record 2851 - <without> any detectable or deep opening prep.

People have difficulty coming to grips with that. I did, too. But if you just watch the individual games, Carlsen's versatility in the openings (he has to be!), and the way he handles every brand or style of play/position, is of such quality that his strengths in technique - particularly visible in transition to middle game and endgame - prove enough to set the scores that Carlsen has done since 2008.

That's the pattern that emerges.

So, there you have it. Carlsen incorporates the style of practical super players like Capablanca and Karpov and in that style dominates Chess in the 21st Century. This is "unique", unprecedented. No other player has come through like that in the past 40 years.

It also leads to journalists and analysts born and raised in the Kasparov/Kramnik era of chess to write as they do, often awkwardly.

But what we are seeing here in Biel is essentially the same modus operandi from Carlsen as we saw in 2008/9, except for when he worked with Kasparov. In effect Carlsen has since <gained> confidence, is <more> mature and stable, and as a result keeps pushing up his "personal best" in terms of ELO rating.

I read an in depth article on the Carlsen Technique, by Timman (NIC 2009), and from that analysis the assessment I just gave is utterly plausible and realistic.

Premium Chessgames Member
  achieve: P.S. - I refer to the Timman article as being from 2009, but it is from NIC issue no.5, 2008.

Here are Timman's introductory words:

<After the conclusion of the Corus tournament, <<<Kortchnoi observed that Magnus Carlsen was not a deserving co-winner,>>> as he had seen far too few chess positions in his young life.

'Incomprehensible criticism',
a Dutch journalist called this. I did not agree.

It is part of a tradition for Kortchnoi to speak slightingly about up-and-coming stars. In the early 1990s, for example, he said about Anand that 'he's playing just for tricks', a remark he took back later. And his observation about Carlsen doesn't even have to be taken as criticism.

Regardless of whether Carlsen's victory in Wijk aan Zee was deserved, it is a considerableachievement for a 17-year-old player with relatively little experience to score a top result.

Carlsen is a strikingly all-round player. He plays many different types of games and seems to feel at home in all of them. As a result, it is very hard to take him by surprise. I think he is at his best in technical positions. There has been a trend of late for very young players to display excellent endgame technique. Halfway the 1990s, Karpov drew attention to how good Leko's technique was, and some years later Kramnik praised Bacrot for the same reason.

<<But Carlsen is even better in this respect>> than the above-mentioned GMs.>

Then Timman proceeds to illustrate with concrete examples.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Carlsen reminds me, more than any other past great, of Lasker.

For a first-class master, Carlsen's openings are nothing special, but he handles middlegames with a fine understanding and the ending with a special virtuosity. Combine this with the tenacity of a bulldog in all phases and a superb practical player, and the result is someone well nigh impossible to defeat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: There's no denying the kid's got all the talent in the world.

I believe he will be even more formidable in the next few years.

Premium Chessgames Member
  achieve: In addition, what makes Carlsen stand out among his colleagues is his ability to handle tension. As in nerves, weight of expectation, Zeitnot (time "pressure"). I think this is the clincher; today in his press conference even after the time control he judged his position as "holdable", until Hao missed that Nb6 shot. Magnus stayed on the ball, undeterred, where others may waver under the pressure. The demands on energy, and handling that. Nervousness drains energy reserves.

Talented package, non?

Premium Chessgames Member
  achieve: To illustrate, I think this observation is spot on (from the game page):

<[...] the main problem from Wang's point of view may have been that this was the first move after the time check, and that he had been putting the heat on his opponent throughout the middlegame. Making the psychological adjustment to the change in circumstances can be very difficult indeed.>

Norwegians are renowned for their ability to "stand the cold", but this one here in Biel can handle a bit of heat with similar ease.

Premium Chessgames Member
  achieve: To complete my contributions with regards to the 2008 NIC article I previously cited, these are Timman's closing words:

<Magnus Carlsen belongs to a different generation, of course. He has grown up with the computer, which means that he can operate efficiently under all kinds of conditions and is not hampered by the prejudices that used to be part and parcel of classical chess.

An old dictum had it that a player of 17 still needs to be formed, that his style still needs to crystallize out. In Carlsen's case this applies to a lesser extent. But one thing is clear: he can still get stronger.>

Bold statement by the grand old master, and 4 years later here we are, witnessing Carlsen's remarkable ascent, not having reached his Zenith, by any means.

Jul-31-12  Bobwhoosta: <achieve>

Great stuff, all of it. I find it is the crux of the criticism leveled against him that his detractor's just don't understand how he can be "that" good. I honestly think we are looking at the continued rise of perhaps the greatest chess talent ever to live.

But we shall see.

Premium Chessgames Member
  achieve: Thanks, <Bobwhoosta>, a remark like that is worth the effort I put in.

I think at this point it is warranted to say that Carlsen needs a rival, not so much to "expose" or punish him for his taking liberties in the Opening, but to challenge him in any other area (in OTB chess) as well.

Clearly as it is nigh impossible to "prepare" for Carlsen, for now it seems that as far as piece placement, just all-round technique, he needs a rival from the 1990 and younger generation, to challenge him, also and especially mentally, for tournament victories, and by standing their ground regarding Technique.

This would force Carlsen perhaps to work harder, similar to Kasparov in 1984 when facing Karpov's flawless technique and positional feel.

Talent needs to be tested in order for it to come to full fruition.

Anand used to be capable, Kramnik had the strength, but Karjakin, Caruana or Giri will have to start climbing the ladder, otherwise it will get "cold upthere" for Magnus. He himself of course won't mind, but for Chess a rivalry is needed. Preferably a small group of challengers from the younger generation. Giri has the potential, technically, Caruana seems to mature now, Karjakin as well, but the challenge has yet to commence.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: If Anand has said that Carlsen " a player you see once or twice a century", that's good enough for me.

Unlike some great GMs (Fischer, Korchnoi, Lasker...) Anand doesn't seem to say outrageous things, doesn't make unlikely predictions or grossly inaccurate characterizations of his contempraries or past greats.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Anand would know a thing or three when it comes to talent, and his opinions are worthy of respect.
Premium Chessgames Member
  achieve: <bobwhoosta>-<I find it is the crux of the criticism leveled against him that his detractor's just don't understand how he can be "that" good.> Exactly. And there may be envy involved as well. Also, the fact that computers show that there are atill a lot of inaccuracies in Carlsen's play, seems to detract people, including GM journalists, from gaining an objective understanding <why> Carlsen has amassed so many points, tournament successes, in the past 4 years. A large portion in understanding that is found in understanding the mental side of OTB chess, the confidence factor, the psychological aspects... Those were very well understood by former greats like Lasker, Tal, Botwinnik, Kasparov... All you need to do is closely examine their writings.

Especially in this era of chess absolutism with (not because of!!) the modern "all-seeing" engine, this lack of understanding is only increasing, ironically.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bureaucrat: Hey <achieve>, thanks very much for the Timman quotes from NIC and for those excellent posts of yours about Carlsen.

There has been lots of talk about Carlsen's openings, that he should study openings in more depth, that his openings are substandard, etc, etc. I think most of the best chess players devote huge amounts of time for opening study. But what do they do when the don't study openings? Contemporary games, middle game ideas, tactical excercises, endgame technique, training games, or what? Perhaps Carlsen likes to focus on other things than openings, and that it actually helps him *more* than studying openings all day long. You only have so much time, and who's to say that massive opening prep is the only way to go?

Jul-31-12  siamesedream: <Magnus Carlsen`s Blog

Lucky day in Biel!

Not much chance to get bored these days. Eight rounds in a row for me, London Olympiad on most channels, and usually some football or basketball nearby in the evening. Important game against Wang Hao today. We played a slightly unusual variation of the Queens Indian. He had more space, but I felt quite comfortable in the early middle game and tried to keep the game alive. After his c6! sacrifice my position was a bit tricky but manageable. After the first time control he looked very confident. Even after the exchange of queens I thought black could hold the endgame without too much difficulty as I had seen the 46Ö. Nb6 trick. He did blunder with Ndb2, and the endgame a pawn up is probably won for black. I think I found several important moves in the knight endgame. His Ne5 and g4 were mistakes, and a few moves later he resigned. Things have turned out really well for me the last two days. The other two games were drawn. Based on the football score I share the lead with Wang Hao with 13 points ahead of Giri 12 and Nakamura at 10. In case of a tie for first in the end, there will be tie-break games on Friday. Tuesday Iím white against Bologan in round 8. Magnus Carlsen, Biel, July 30th, 2012

2012-07-30 23:01:25>

Premium Chessgames Member
  achieve: <HeMateMe: If Anand has said that Carlsen " a player you see once or twice a century", that's good enough for me.> Yes, it appears so, but in order to be able to discuss <why> Carlsen is so successful, you need to do a bit of homework and thinking of your own. But if I had to follow a lead, a guru, I agree with you the man from India is a great pick. Not kidding.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobby Fiske: Heeey - I wake up, log on to and suddenly almost the whole forum page has turned yellow! How is that possible?
Premium Chessgames Member
  achieve: <Bureaucrat> Good to see you again. Needless to say I agree with you, and if I didn't, Carlsen wouldn't even mind. ;)

I never was a believer in huge prep, but Kasparov did show us a thing or two. But Kasparov - confirmed, as I learned from a Botwinnik interview (NIC 1984) - carried an excess supply of energy with him. Carlsen is a very different person, and if he needs 10 hours sleep a day, than that is it. As you say only 24 hours in a day.

Gotta go now; appreciated. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Rolfo: Interesting words and reflections, and a most valued reading. Thanks
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <you need to do a bit of homework and thinking of your own. >

Oh, THANK you, wise sage. If only we all could reach your exalted level.

Jul-31-12  siamesedream: <Bobby Fiske: Heeey - I wake up, log on to and suddenly almost the whole forum page has turned yellow! How is that possible?> You should change your dealer, Bobby ;)
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