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Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand
Anand - Carlsen World Championship (2013), Chennai IND, rd 10, Nov-22
Sicilian Defense: Canal Attack (B51)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 35 OF 35 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-28-13  SimonWebbsTiger: Nunn chose Karlsbad 1911 because it had "the qualities I was looking for": a large number of games; top players and lesser known players; a tournament book by a well known player (Vidmar) to assist in finding errors.

Biel Interzonal 1993 also had a large number of games, with players ranging from Kramnik and Anand to Gluckman and Kalesis.

Nunn looked for serious errors to negate 80 years of chess Development.

The entire discussion/reasoning is in the 2009 Gambit book "John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book."

Nov-28-13  RedShield: I'm not sure whether one can readily distinguish tactical errors from shortcomings in technique, especially in the endgame, but did Nunn take into consideration whether the blunders took place mainly in time trouble?
Nov-28-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: '(A) well-known player....to assist in finding errors'.

That seems odd somehow, given that computers 'proved' that some of the lesser masters played at ~2100 level, nicht wahr?

Nov-29-13  SimonWebbsTiger: @<redshield> and <perfidious>

John mentioned Vidmar's book was completely useless! Vidmar overlooked about 90% of the errors. Nunn did run the games through the late 90s version of Fritz in blundercheck mode -- the first edition of his puzzle book was published in 1999, so Biel IZ 1993 was recent then too -- and then looked at the games "by hand" which turned up serious errors, eg. overlooking the loss of a piece and overlooking the win of that piece in return!

No mention about time trouble/pressure errors though. I presume the number of such errors was not relevant compared to the overall picture.

His tentative conclusion, for it is as he admits not a fully researched subject, is that the general level of play was far worse in the past. The greats made mistakes but the frequency was low whereas the "lesser" players did play far more weakly compared to GMs today.

Dec-01-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I think that it is obvious that chess players are on average stronger: how much is difficult to assess and when from is another. But sometimes in conversation the mistake is made that the players were inherently weaker: and that it would take ages (if he even could for say Morphy or Capablanca to be able to play todays masters but I think this is erroneous. Also the "inflation" is assured, as the actualy inherent capacity to judge and calculate is the same. Opening knowledge and other techniques are better (than say 100 years ago): but that is partly due to the work and games of the players of those times to now. Also there must be a cut off as there is only so much knowledge or training etc

Tal in his 20s was as good as any GM today as was Karpov or Emmanuel Lasker or Rubinstein.

The difference in openings etc and the numbers of players and the stakes makes up the "inflation" but that will fall away. In fact there may well be an adjustment. I would say Kasparov's true rating was equivalent if not higher that Carlsen's and the same applies to all the other strong masters. Given that Steinitz and others required a lot of catching up.

But ironically it is because of the ideas adn games of the above last two we have such knowledge.

I think books as Kasparov's predecessors is more useful to read than anything by Nunn.

I DONT mean any of his books as of course hie puzzle books are great, and I have the book of his own games and his bio. partly and that he is or was a maths boffin, and he works with NZ's Murray Chandler for Gambit books...I think these books (like John Watson's) as long as we realise they are something we need to dispute or keep critical of. Watson similarly contradicted himself as there is no way to write about not learning basic chess ideas being wrong without learning the basic ideas.

And for most of us, not being computers, those ideas are very useful most of the time - but I think that only the most dogmatic would not see the useful and some times ingenious exceptions to the rules.

Dec-01-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I dont think that analysis that overlooks errors found by a computer is useless as in many cases computers actually choose moves that humans dont. U noticed that Carlsen was choosing weaker moves than "recommended" by my computer in a number of positions but that didn't mean he was making bad moves the differences were small. And the analysis done is "human". Even Carlsen was often taking the "human" approach: he didn't need to play the sharpest lines (or even the best) against Anand in many of the recent games (and indeed from a computer point of view he didn't.

The time situation, the psychology involved, these and many other factors make this kind of investigation slightly dubious.

Chess is won not by "perfect" moves. I've noticed that in many cases GMs - including many famous World Champions lose through relatively avoidable errors, or win through "unsound" attacks.

Often they simply become confused in complex positions.

Nunn wouldn't risk a comparative analysis of today;s players. He might prove that e.g Kasparov and Fischer were really only 2100 players and then Chandler might have to sack him!

Dec-03-13  LIFE Master AJ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wk...

My video on the last game ...

Dec-03-13  john barleycorn: Thank you, sooooo much.
Dec-03-13  MarkFinan: <Richard Taylor: I think that it is obvious that chess players are on average stronger:>

You may have missed my exchange with that GM who commentated here on this game live. He was trying to tell me that your average premier league footballer is just as good a player as Garrincha! He said he'd of beaten the chess players of a 100 year ago. I have to disagree with him on that.

Dec-03-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I just love this game.
Dec-03-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Richard Taylor>

<Nunn wouldn't risk a comparative analysis of today;s players. He might prove that e.g Kasparov and Fischer were really only 2100 players and then Chandler might have to sack him!>

Well, no, that wouldn't happen. That was one of Nunn's points -- he compared the Biel 1993 games against the 1911 Carlsbad games and found that the former were played at a much higher level. No one is going to take an engine and prove that Kasparov or Fischer played at a 2100 level.

I am sympathetic to Nunn's view. I haven't done the kind of analysis he did, but I have looked at the games from London 1851 v. Hastings 1895, and I can tell you the level of play at Hastings was much higher. Similarly if you compare Hastings 1895 and Zurich 1953.

On the other hand, analyses have been performed that purport to show that Capablanca was the most accurate player of all time, and on this website bridgeburner did an analysis that indicated that Schlecter-Lasker 1910 was played basically on the same level as Anand-Kramnik.

It seems to me that Nunn and bridgeburner can't both be right. If an average player at Carlsbad was about a 2100, a modern super-GM would be expected to win every game or almost every game against the field. Schlechter (who finished tied for second at Carlsbad) fell well short of that.

Dec-03-13  haydn20: My students routinely solve problems that defied the best efforts of Archimedes. Of course, if Archemedes were alive today he wouldn't be one of my students, having learned everything I could teach him by age 17 or so. Who knows what he might have discovered--or he might have endded up, God forbid, a chessplayer, and frittered away his genius on pages like this.
Dec-03-13  LIFE Master AJ: Just my thought ...

I have heard that kind of nonsense before. (Older players were weak, modern players could give them Knight odds ... modern players play/plays hundreds of points higher than the old guard.)

It is all smoke and mirrors and pure rubbish to me.

And I have annotated many of these games.

I have also done tests. Famous game, Anderssen-Lange. Gave it to about a dozen FM's over the years, so far none of them have solved it. (Done the same thing with about 30 of Morphy's games.)

In my teenage years, I was famous for "little black books." I kept whole games, chess puzzles, all kinds of stuff in them.

Dec-03-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: This is a very nice game and a good ending to the match. However, I want Carlsen to take the knight off the board for symmetry.

66.Kxc5!

Dec-04-13  MarkFinan: <<In my teenage years, I was famous for "little black books." I kept whole games, chess puzzles, all kinds of stuff in them.>>

And you wander why you got your head kicked in??
Whereas mine had chicks phone numbers, AJ'S had puzzles!

I think I need a break. ✌

Dec-04-13  MarkFinan: I also can't believe that KxN isn't the last move in this game! It just looks better....
Apr-09-14  joddon: just so seems magnus always has his queen on any square that has power whilst his opponents are wondering where the heck to put their own queen....must seem quite awkward to fight against magnus' queen no matter where it is, eh....other opponents usually make some kind of blunder cus placing the queen uses time figuring out squares....magnus seems to have all his squares always figured out!why is this????????????got to wonder.
Apr-14-14  goommba88: Well, its pretty clear from this thread that richard taylor is a moron
Jan-05-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <SimonWebbsTiger: @<redshield> and <perfidious>

John mentioned Vidmar's book was completely useless! Vidmar overlooked about 90% of the errors.>

Haha, yes, I have Nunn's <Chess Puzzle book> and he takes Vidmar to task. Vidmar complained about the small remuneration he received for the book, and Nunn implied that Vidmar didn't work hard on the analyses because of it.

Jan-05-16  Shams: <tga> <Vidmar complained about the small remuneration he received for the book, and Nunn implied that Vidmar didn't work hard on the analyses because of it.>

"You want me to attack Smyslov for three rubles a day?"

Jul-18-17  andrea volponi: 43Nd2 Nd1 -Kd4 Nf2 -h4 Nh1 -Nf1 Nf2 -b4 Ne4 -g4 Nd6 -g5 Ne4 -Nh2
Apr-18-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <keypusher: On the other hand, analyses have been performed that purport to show that Capablanca was the most accurate player of all time, and on this website bridgeburner did an analysis that indicated that Schlecter-Lasker 1910 was played basically on the same level as Anand-Kramnik.

It seems to me that Nunn and bridgeburner can't both be right. If an average player at Carlsbad was about a 2100, a modern super-GM would be expected to win every game or almost every game against the field. Schlechter (who finished tied for second at Carlsbad) fell well short of that.>

I think it probably all depends on whether the old players were playing openings in which a lot of theoretical progress has been made since then. If not, there's no reason why the modern players should outperform them unless they're more intelligent, which I strongly doubt.

If the old players could be resuscitated and the new guys could force them into lines they haven't had a time to learn yet, then the geezers would get shellacked but that doesn't mean they were less talented because if given time to catch up on theory they would no doubt still be among the top players.

Apr-19-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Old players versus today's players>

This is the age-old <nature versus nurture> question. What has Magnus Carlsen got that Gioachino Greco hasn't got?

<visayanbraindoctor> has posted extensively on the <nature> side (perhaps relying on some brain science but I haven't seen the details), positing that nobody will ever play better than Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine, due to the limits of human brain capacity.

I've posted on the <nurture> side (citing research by De Groot and others about the pattern-based nature of chess skill), suggesting today's players are stronger because they have learned more patterns.

But I think he and I agree on one thing. It's not about the openings. Nobody ever shellacked Capablanca with an opening novelty. It takes a better understanding of the position.

May-03-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I take the liberty of repeating my post since you omitted it and reduced it to <old player's vs. today's players> Anyway, what I said was:
< think it probably all depends on whether the old players were playing openings in which a lot of theoretical progress has been made since then. If not, there's no reason why the modern players should outperform them unless they're more intelligent, which I strongly doubt.

I think it probably all depends on whether the old players were playing openings in which a lot of theoretical progress has been made since then. If not, there's no reason why the modern players should outperform them unless they're more intelligent, which I strongly doubt.>

After implying that the subject has already been exhausted by the great minds (including your own), you say:

<It's not about the openings. Nobody ever shellacked Capablanca with an opening novelty. It takes a better understanding of the position.>

I don't think that's a valid refutation of my argument because:

1) You yourself recently admitted in another post that the Qxg4 line of the fried-liver attack (I believe) was considered to be bad but a single game of Kasparov vs. Shirov changed everything and now that variant is considered good for black. That means that opening theory progresses.

2) Knowledge of progress in opening theory constitutes an enormous advantage for modern players. Capablanca is relatively recent but say Carlsen or Giri or any of today's 2700 or 2800 players was projected back in time to the age of Philidor or even Steinitz and Lasker. It's extremely likely that he would trounce those players in an opening in which a lot of cumulative progress has been made or that didn't even exist at the time, like the Reti (I presume). You could argue, but who would bet on Steinitz in a game under those conditions?

3. I think your distinction between "a better understanding of the position" and "openings" is flimsy. Most openings these days are theory up to move 18 or so and the average number of moves in a tournament game is probably about 40 (just guessing), so the question is when does knowledge of the position break off from opening theory? Modern players often just memorize the first eighteen move or so (although there are rare innovations in the openings still) so the only positions that they have to have a feel for are from move 19 on, which would already be the mid-game back in the day.

Conversely, if you could somehow tip Steinitz off about the all innovations in opening theory (and I'm not saying it wouldn't be a daunting and time-consuming task for him to catch up), then there's no reason why Steinitz should be outplayed by Carlsen based on the latter's "better understanding of the position".

I'm not saying that Steiniz would immediately become world champ again but given adequate time and materials to catch I don't see why he would be crushed by the contemporaries' superior cognitive abilities and "pattern recognition" (which is largely due to memorization).

Sep-05-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: When Alekhine's Gun faces Alekhine's Gun.

Position after Black's 32nd. move.


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Boom! Bang! Boom! Bang! Boom! Bang! and three moves later...


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