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Magnus Carlsen vs Wesley So
London Chess Classic (2017), London ENG, rd 5, Dec-06
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-06-17  evzal86: Carlsen used to win these kind of games!
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  Kapmigs: meaning, he is getting weak and So is getting better? Lol
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  Check It Out: Lots of pawn pushing in this game.
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  Calli: I guess Magnus missed 60.Rg6+ K-moves 61.Rxa6 Bxa6 62. Kxf3 and two pawns up? Did he interview after?
Dec-06-17  Olavi: <Calli> That's a draw.
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  iking: Wesley defended well, did not give in under pressure.
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  Calli: <Olavi> Thanks. I did not know that!
Dec-06-17  knightF5: Yes. Carlsen used to win those kind of games that was why he gained so much elos before. Not anymore plus the fact that Naka stops contributing so much elos to Carlsen. 10-0 classical Carlsen -Naka before that could mean 40+ elos.

Those days were over. Carlsen's play is still strong but his opponents are catching up and learning especially Wesley.

Dec-06-17  sudoplatov: Unlike the Caruna-Anand game, this one is a Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense.
Dec-06-17  evzal86: Actually, i dont know how Wesley managed to hold this game against Carslen ! He usualy melts against Carlsen!
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  tuttifrutty: <Carlsen used to win these kind of games!>

Wesley is perfecting the art of war...

Rule number 1...

Know your opponent...

Dec-07-17  JPi: Am I alone? I think many top players will have managed to draw this. White is clearly better for sure but I doubt there is any win here (Except Black does one mistake.). Bishops work on opposite squares. The number of pawns doesn't matter if one of them can't be promoted. Here pawns are connected (Disconnected will give better chance! For example: Ke1 pawns b2 & g2 and Bf1 vs Ke8 and Bf8 is winning but if g2 pawn is on c2 then it's a draw.) and too far from the promotion line. If one have a winning line to suggest I'm ready to learn.
Dec-07-17  Pulo y Gata: Patzers see some scary positions to patzers, then they conclude "Carlsen used to win these kinds of games"
Dec-07-17  Ulhumbrus: Carlsen sets So a tough examination in the rook and opposite coloured bishops endgame and So passes the exam.
Dec-07-17  121212: EMIR GAMIS... pseudo-intellectual and self-proclaimed genius hahaha
Dec-07-17  chessnewsome: Lucky for Wesley, Magnus is not in his A game
Dec-07-17  frogbert: Like suggested by Stockfish at, the line 55. Bc1 Kc2 56. Bd2 Bxa6 57. Ba5! would've given white a much greater advantage, despite temporarily giving up a pawn. It might still be a draw, but black's practical difficulties would've been tougher to solve in that line.

Carlsen's choice of Bc5-d4, keeping his bishop centralized, looks very natural and human, but the advantage of the other line, is that black's king is out of play on c2; it's more or less offside. :)

Dec-07-17  frogbert:

click for larger view

White will win black's g5-pawn, get to passers, with the rooks on and with black's king a long way from f7-g8 and the defence. On the flip side, white may have to allow some a-pawn counterplay.

Dec-07-17  frogbert: *two passers
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