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YourNextMove (Rapid) Tournament

Wesley So7/9(+5 -0 =4)[games]
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave6/9(+4 -1 =4)[games]
Magnus Carlsen5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[games]
Anish Giri5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Ian Nepomniachtchi4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Levon Aronian4.5/9(+4 -4 =1)[games]
Viswanathan Anand4/9(+3 -4 =2)[games]
Vassily Ivanchuk3.5/9(+2 -4 =3)[games]
Baadur Jobava0.5/9(+0 -8 =1)[games] Chess Event Description
YourNextMove (Rapid) (2017)

Players: Magnus Carlsen, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Viswanathan Anand, Wesley So, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Anish Giri, Vassily Ivanchuk and Baadur Jobava.

Official Site:

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Carlsen vs Aronian 1-0492017YourNextMove (Rapid)E49 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System
2. Jobava vs Ivanchuk 0-1332017YourNextMove (Rapid)C15 French, Winawer
3. A Giri vs Aronian 1-0302017YourNextMove (Rapid)A29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
4. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Kramnik ½-½442017YourNextMove (Rapid)C53 Giuoco Piano
5. Carlsen vs W So 0-1512017YourNextMove (Rapid)E53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
6. Anand vs I Nepomniachtchi  1-0672017YourNextMove (Rapid)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
7. Aronian vs Jobava 1-0322017YourNextMove (Rapid)D16 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
8. Kramnik vs Anand 1-0392017YourNextMove (Rapid)C50 Giuoco Piano
9. I Nepomniachtchi vs A Giri  1-0502017YourNextMove (Rapid)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
10. W So vs Kramnik 1-0622017YourNextMove (Rapid)C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
11. A Giri vs Anand  ½-½482017YourNextMove (Rapid)A08 King's Indian Attack
12. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Ivanchuk 1-0382017YourNextMove (Rapid)C41 Philidor Defense
13. Jobava vs I Nepomniachtchi 0-1542017YourNextMove (Rapid)E60 King's Indian Defense
14. Ivanchuk vs Carlsen ½-½332017YourNextMove (Rapid)C89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
15. W So vs M Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½602017YourNextMove (Rapid)D85 Grunfeld
16. Anand vs Ivanchuk 1-0342017YourNextMove (Rapid)B09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
17. W So vs Anand  1-0602017YourNextMove (Rapid)C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
18. M Vachier-Lagrave vs A Giri  ½-½442017YourNextMove (Rapid)C53 Giuoco Piano
19. Ivanchuk vs I Nepomniachtchi 1-0742017YourNextMove (Rapid)A20 English
20. Carlsen vs Jobava 1-0332017YourNextMove (Rapid)E67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
21. Kramnik vs Aronian 0-1562017YourNextMove (Rapid)C53 Giuoco Piano
22. Jobava vs M Vachier-Lagrave 0-1712017YourNextMove (Rapid)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
23. I Nepomniachtchi vs Aronian  1-0512017YourNextMove (Rapid)A29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
24. Carlsen vs Kramnik 1-0442017YourNextMove (Rapid)A02 Bird's Opening
25. W So vs Jobava 1-0572017YourNextMove (Rapid)E70 King's Indian
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 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 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-04-17  SugarDom: <Jambow>. The only perfect engine game was accomplished by Carlsen. And it was in a rapid game.

Carlsen's accuracy does not fall much in a rapid game. So the new standard in chess should be the rapid 25/10 time controls. In a tournament, the players should play each other twice in one round, alternating colors.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<diceman> Id imagine that there's some natural age degradation in blitz>

I would think that there would eventually be an age degradation of performance regardless of the time control. In his book, "the Rating of Chessplayers Pas & Present" Dr. Elo used data from tournaments since the 1850s through 1975 to determine the change in ratings for 36 master and grandmaster-level players based on games played at classical time controls. He also used this data to determine a composite player development curve. Not unsurprisingly, the curve rises relatively quickly during a player's teenage years, slows as the player approaches his peak at about age 35, then it starts a relatively slow decline. The actual shape of the curve, of course, depends on the player.

I would think that a player's development curve at rapid and blitz time controls would be similar, a rise in performance when the player is young, a leveling off, and then an eventual drop in performance is older. But the rate of performance increase and decrease, as well at the player's age at their peak, could presumably be very different than the same player's development curve at classical time controls.

So I looked at the ratings of those players currently ranked in the top 30 at classical time controls and who are currently older than 40: Adams (45), Anand (47), Gelfand (49), Ivanchuk (48), Kramnik (42), Svidler (41), and Topalov (42). Ratings, after all, give an indication of the player's relative performance against his contemporary opponents.

FIDE's site lists the players' ratings for classic time control games since Jan-2000; initially semi-annually, quarterly since Jul-2000, then bi-monthly Jul-2009, and monthly since Jul-2012. It also lists the number of games on which the rating is based and the total number of games rated range from a low of 774 (Topalov) to a high of 1,385 (Ivanchuk). I then plotted each player's rating over time. None of them showed a nice, clean parabola-like performance curve like Dr. Elo indicated and, in particular, none showed a drop in ratings starting at age 35 or so. Most player's ratings have remained steady; only Gelfand and Topalov have shown a decline in the last 2 Ė 3 years and some and some, like Kramnik, have shown an increase. Perhaps the player's ratings need to be adjusted to take ratings inflation into account.

FIDE's site lists the players ratings for rapid and blitz time control games only since Sep-2013 (for Rapid) and since Jun-2013 (for Blitz). There hasnít been enough time (less than 4 years) or games (an average of 99 for Rapid and 138 for Blitz) to establish a development performance pattern. There have been some drops in Rapid ratings (Adams, Svidler, and Topalov) and some increases as well (Gelfand). For Blitz ratings there have been both decreases (Anand) but mostly increases (Adams, Gelfand, Svidler, and Topalov). But, given the relative amount of time and games considered, I don't think that anyone should form any definitive opinions based on this data.

If you or anyone wants to the data, you can download it from

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <SugarDom: <Jambow>. The only perfect engine game was accomplished by Carlsen. And it was in a rapid game.

Carlsen's accuracy does not fall much in a rapid game. So the new standard in chess should be the rapid 25/10 time controls. In a tournament, the players should play each other twice in one round, alternating colors.>

You sound like Carlsen's lawyer. I'm sure he would love that, but maybe the others can find beautiful moves, too, just not at lightning speed. Should they be penalized and should the overall quality of the games suffer by using speed as a general criterion?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Whitehat1963> Blitz is just way too fast.>

Way too fast for what? To say that the quality of the games is less than the quality of the games at classic time controls is hardly news, and the same can be said for the quality of games at rapid time controls. If you really want to see the best quality of games, go check correspondence games, particularly if computer assistance is allowed.

As far as seeing a comparison of the quality of games at rapid and blitz time controls, yes, that would be interesting. But I have not seen an article that I believe uses a proper methodology that will stand to critical scrutiny to determine game accuracy at classic time controls based on engine/player move comparison so, until that's done, I doubt that I will see any attempt to determine game accuracy at either rapid or blitz time controls. And I wouldn't trust the results anyway.

But the data that I recently looked at (see YourNextMove (Rapid) (2017) (kibitz #99) above) shows that the older players (older than 40) seems to be able hold their own at Rapid and Blitz time controls against the younger players as evidenced by the ratings increase in some of the older players, or at least a maintenance of their rating. But, as I said above, given the short amount of time that the data has been gathered and the relatively small number of games rated, I don't think anyone should form a definite opinion based on the data. Still, it does not show a consistent inability of the older players (with perhaps some exceptions, Anand being the most notable) to keep up with the younger players as evidenced by their ratings increase.

One thing that I thought was interesting was that there did not seem to be a correlation between the players' performance at Rapid time controls and Blitz time controls. Some players that showed a rating increase at Rapid time controls showed a ratings decrease at Blitz time controls and vice versa. You and anyone else can download the data from the link above and see for yourselves.

As far as your guesses as to the relative quality of Rapid and Blitz compared to Classic time control games, I think that they're too high. But that's also just a guess on my part. As you said, we're not experts.

Jul-04-17  SugarDom: Rapids 25/10 is still chess. Top players like Carlsen would find an eternity of time with that time control. They are able to play strategically and not just tactically.

The same cannot be said for blitz 5 minutes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <SugarDom> Well, you're right, but you got it backwards. The more time you have, the more you can calculate and the more tactically you can play. The less time you have the less you can calculate and the more you have to rely on your strategic and intuitive understanding of the positions you encounter during the game.

And there is no such thing as an "eternity" in chess. Even at correspondence time controls players, even GMs, can and do make mistakes, even with computer assistance. Play over the last few Chess Challenge games against GMs, all won by the World Team if you don't believe me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: The older players might benefit from shorter games (not blitz). 1 hour per player looks worth a test to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: one year, I believe in the 1970s or '80s Bill Robertie won the USA speed championship, when the USCF sponsored a five minute championship. His rating was around 2300. I think that shows how skewed results can be when you start speeding up the game.

Robertie is better known as one of the world's best backgammon players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tuttifrutty: <SugarDom: <Jambow>. The only perfect engine game was accomplished by Carlsen. And it was in a rapid game.>

Just like this one???

Carlsen vs W So, 2017

Jul-05-17  SugarDom: Tactical play and deep calculation are 2 different things.

Some tactics you can spot in a few seconds. So having 25 mins and 10 seconds for a game is long enough.

If you notice on the tournament result above, about 50% of the games are still drawn. Anish had 6 of 9 drawn!

Jul-05-17  SugarDom: And besides have you ever taken a test that gives you sufficient time to answer?

IQ tests are designed to make you run out of time to finish.

Chess is a sort of IQ test too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <SugarDom:

The only perfect engine game was accomplished by Carlsen.>

At least until we get the perfect engine! :)

Jul-05-17  SugarDom: Lol. I know the typo. Should be "engine-perfect" game.
Jul-06-17  QueentakesKing: <Nina Myers> SMD
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM>, the year of Robertie's victory was 1970.

And <nimrodmoron>, spewer of vitriol, can SMD as well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Sugardom,

"Tactical play and deep calculation are 2 different things." Spot on for the reasons you cited.

"Chess is a sort of IQ test too."

In a way yes, but in chess your opponents keep rubbing out your answers and replacing the questions whilst you are trying to do the same to them.

IQ test are a measure of how good you are taking IQ tests. Nothing more.

A rating is a measure of how good you are at playing a game. Nothing more.

Jul-06-17  Whitehat1963: Excellent commentary. Thank you!
Premium Chessgames Member
  tuttifrutty: <IQ test are a measure of how good you are taking IQ tests. Nothing more.>

That's BS...IQ test measures your general intelligence. It will also measure whether you have a tiny pea size brain.

Enough with the BS<I'm not a good test taker>. If you know the will not forger it. Dumb rich kids use this s-hit as alibi to hide their ignorance.

There...more but nothing less.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tuttifrutty: <A rating is a measure of how good you are at playing a game. Nothing more.>

Tell it to the marines...

Premium Chessgames Member
  tuttifrutty: <forger it.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Tutti,

Actually it measures your ability to solves problems under test conditions. Many (all) of the tests are totally useless to general everyday life.

I'm coming in from the angle you do not need to be a genius to excel at chess. Some natural talent, yes, that needs to be honed. But if that talent is solely for chess then you could argue it's a form of the Savant Syndrome.

The Chess Savant Syndrome. Who knows? All chess players to me appear to be in someway just odd. ('odd' as in different, in a nice way, to the non-players I know.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<SugarDom> Tactical play and deep calculation are 2 different things.>

Of course they are different things. Anyone can play tactically regardless of the time control, even in bullet chess. And you will likely get away with it if you grab the initiative since it is usually easier to attack than play sound defense if you don't have much time to play your moves.

And true, <some> tactics you can spot in a few seconds. So if you could do that all the time you wouldn't need 25 minutes for a game or even 5 minutes for a game. But no one can.

But to play tactically <soundly> (which is what I meant), i.e. play moves that will stand leisurely post-game analysis against the best defense, you need to do deep calculation. And you can't do that if you don't have the time.

So what is the alternative? Develop the ability to do a correct assessment of the position and play moves that meet the needs of the position with little or no calculation. In a situation like that, the player who can do that better will likely win the game. And that requires both a lot of work as well as natural ability. So, assuming that both players are willing to do the same amount of work, the player with the greater natural ability will likely win. And this will be most apparent at the faster time controls. Which is what I said originally.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Another welcome blast of sanity from <ayler kupp>!
Jul-07-17  nok: and the 200 words that go with it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: When is YourNextMove's next YourNextMove?
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