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Magnus Carlsen vs Peter Svidler
Carlsen-Svidler blitz match (2019), chess24, rd 5, Feb-25
Modern Defense: Beefeater Variation (A40)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-20-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: What a beatdown... Different class of GM
Mar-20-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: This opening variation isn't very good, and vegetarians are not advised to play it under any circumstances.
Mar-22-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  wtpy: TGA, In blitz or rapid, Magnus is clearly superioe; in classical Svidler has plus score. Svidler is maybe my favorite chess commentator. He has a droll, self deprecating wit.
Mar-22-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <wtpy> Geller also did well against Fischer, but was not in his class.

The loss by Carlsen in 2013 was due to him pressing too hard to qualify for the WC, I think.

But it was 6 years ago, so I might not be remembering it correctly.

Apr-03-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I totally disagree with <tga>'s claims that Carlsen is in a "different class" than Svidler, and Fischer was in a "different class" from Geller. As <wtpy> notes, Svidler has a plus score (+2 =15 -1) in 18 games against Carlsen. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... Geller had a plus score in ten games against Fischer (+5 =3 -2), http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches..., and indeed had a plus score against world champions as a whole. At the 1962 Curacao Candidates (1962), Geller finished just half a point behind the winner Petrosian, and three points ahead of Fischer. (Had Geller advanced, he probably would have won the world championship from Botvinnik, against whom he had a +4 = 7 -1 score. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...) At the World Championship Candidates (2013), Svidler beat Carlsen in the last round and finished half a point behind him. To say that Carlsen and Fischer occupy different classes than Svidler and Geller is to rob that phrase of all meaning.
Apr-03-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The engines all say that 8...d6 is better than Svidler's 8...Qa5. The latter looks good but fails tactically, since Black has no way to win material and ends up just losing time. Magnus thought his own 9.Nf3 was inaccurate, and indeed 9.Qc2! may be a bit more precise. Faced with an otherwise crushing attack, Svidler had to go into an ending with three pawns for a piece, but they weren't enough. Carlsen thought 13...e5 (rather than Svidler's 13...e6) was the only chance; after long thought, Komodo spits out 14.dxe6 dxe6 15.Bd2 Nd5 16.cxd5 exd5 17.O-O c4 18.Bh6 cxd3 19.Bxf8 Kxf8 20.Rae1! Kg7 21.Ng5 Kh6 22.Nf7+ Kg7 23.Nd6 Nc6 24.Re8 Bg4 25.Rxa8 d2 26.Nxb7 d1=Q 27.Rxd1 Bxd1 28.Nc5 and White is winning (+2.55). The game continuation was hopeless for Black, although Carlsen was mad at himself for missing 19.Nxd4!, when Svidler could resign. But the game still only lasted a few moves longer.
Apr-18-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <FSR: I totally disagree with <tga>'s claims that Carlsen is in a "different class" than Svidler, and Fischer was in a "different class" from Geller. As <wtpy> notes, Svidler has a plus score (+2 =15 -1) in 18 games against Carlsen. >

Let us then test your commitment to your expressed viewpoint.

Where are Fischer and Carlsen on your list of all-time greatest chess players?

Now, where do Geller and Svidler rank on that list? Or do they even make your list of all-time greats? Feel free to use carriage returns, to separate your paragraphs, when replying.

Sometimes someone just "has the number" of the other guy, despite not being even close to the other guy's level.

It happens, in every sport. The 1992 Los Angeles Rams finished 6-10, and were a bad team.

They went into Dallas and defeated the Cowboys in the Cowboys' home stadium, yet the Cowboys finished that season 13-3 and were clearly the best team in the NFL. They won the Super Bowl in an absolutely dominant performance.

The Cowboys were clearly in a different class than the Rams, yet lost to the Rams that year at home.

Apr-19-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Fischer and Carlsen rank high up on the list of the greatest chess players of all time. Svidler is an extremely strong player, but I wouldn't rank him among the all-time greats. Geller is one of the strongest players never to become world champion. Had things gone a little bit differently, he could have been world champion.

But the question we were discussing was whether Fischer is "in a different class" from Geller, and whether Carlsen is "in a different class" from Svidler. To my mind, that phrase denotes a large difference in playing strength, such that the stronger player is a huge favorite against the weaker player. Likewise, a "class" implies a 200-point rating difference, e.g. between a senior master (2400) and a master (2200), or between a 2800 and a 2600. By that criterion, Carlsen is not in a different class from Svidler, and Fischer is not in a different class from Geller. There is a difference between the players, but not a quantum difference. The weaker player will only be a slight underdog against the higher player. A draw is the most likely result between the players. On a good day, the lower-rated player can beat the higher-rated player and no one will be too shocked.

Apr-19-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Jack Peters opined in a 1977 interview published in <CL&R> that at US master level, a twenty-point difference in ratings was significant--to me, this is merely fluctuation and I have no idea how such inferences can be drawn on the quality of play of Player A, with a rating of 2285, vis--vis Player B, with the august rating of 2305. I played numerous events with players that strength and was then one myself, and these players were all tough.

That said, while certainly the idea that the idea of Fischer and Carlsen being in different classes than, respectively, Geller and Svidler is utterly risible if one uses <FSR>'s definition, when one is talking about truly top-class players, discussion is invariably forced into the finer points.

Whereas Fischer and Carlsen have been indisputable world number ones before even ascending to the supreme title, the case is rather different for Geller and Svidler; at most, both managed to get into the top five.

While the fact is clear enough that the titleholders were minus against the titans in question (and indeed Geller had a fine record against world champions overall), why, then did neither become world champion?

More than once across the years, I have posted on this re Geller; while less knowledgeable about Svidler's career, my impression is one of a certain psychological instability, which also proved Geller's undoing in critical moments. At this point in the ascent of Mt Olympus, those little things mean a great deal.

I do not necessarily agree that, had Geller come out winner at Curacao, that he would probably have defeated Botvinnik. It will be remembered that Alekhine had never won a single game outright from the redoubtable Capablanca before Buenos Aires. The psychology of match play is rather different than that of a tournament; in my mind, the question of calling a putative Geller-Botvinnik title bout is irresoluble, interesting though it would have been.

Apr-19-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <FSR: Fischer and Carlsen rank high up on the list of the greatest chess players of all time. Svidler is an extremely strong player, but I wouldn't rank him among the all-time greats. Geller is one of the strongest players never to become world champion. Had things gone a little bit differently, he could have been world champion.

But the question we were discussing was whether Fischer is "in a different class" from Geller, and whether Carlsen is "in a different class" from Svidler.>

Exactly! That was the question.

Two of the players in question belong on the list of all-time greatest chess players. Two of them don't. That is a distinct difference in class.

You say Geller could have been world champion, if things had gone differently. I don't see it. Unless by "gone differently" you mean that Fischer, Larsen, Spassky, Korchnoi, Petrosian and Tal had all taken up tennis instead of chess, or something along those lines. Whatever did Geller accomplish to prompt your assertion?

<To my mind, that phrase denotes a large difference in playing strength, such that the stronger player is a huge favorite against the weaker player.>

Large, of course, is subjective when it comes to playing strength. Is Svidler someone you think will ever make it into a WC match? If he is not in the group that can even compete for WC, then he isn't in Carlsen's class, IMO.

<Likewise, a "class" implies a 200-point rating difference, e.g. between a senior master (2400) and a master (2200), or between a 2800 and a 2600.>

I think this is the heart of our disagreement. My understanding is that GMs themselves consider a difference of 25 to 50 Elo points to be a difference in class, at the <elite> level. In one of his books GM Nunn said something along the lines of he did such and such work and gained 25 Elo points, or 50 (I don't recall exaclty), which was equivalent to moving up a class.

I think your distinction makes sense at the lower levels of chess. Really, anyone under 2500 has vast room for improvement of their game (<if> they will actually do it is another question), so adding 200 isn't as tough for IMs and below, as it is for a GM (like Gawain Jones e.g.).

<By that criterion, Carlsen is not in a different class from Svidler... There is a difference between the players, but not a quantum difference. The weaker player will only be a slight underdog against the higher player.>

Who did you expect to win their blitz match? If Svidler had won, would it be a slight upset, or major upset?

I say major upset, and I expected Carlsen to win the match easily, which he did.

Apr-19-19  nok: <You say Geller could have been world champion, if things had gone differently. I don't see it.>

You don't see it because there's a cultural tendency, apparent in Kasparov's hagiographies, to view those who got that title as fundamentally different. However that competition is biased and dependent on the luck of matchups. Things would have gone differently if the 1998 Shirov Kramnik match had counted. What if Stein had qualified in 1964? Geller, who had his number, may have avoided Spassky.

If you look at a less biased system, but not necessarily easier, the Soviet championship, Geller won it twice. Svidler's display in the successor event hasn't been shabby either.

Apr-20-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <thegoodanarchist> <Whatever did Geller accomplish to prompt your assertion?>

Gee, let's see, there was this tournament: Curacao Candidates (1962). Do you consider Petrosian's finish half a point ahead of Geller to be a crushing victory? Presumably not, since that would make you an idiot.

Had Geller won that tournament, he would have gone on to challenge Botvinnik for the world championship. Geller would very likely have won that match, since (a) he had a plus score against Botvinnik http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... ; (b) Botvinnik was 51 years old; and (c) Botvinnik NEVER won a match AS WORLD CHAMPION (as world champion, he drew Bronstein in 1951 and Smyslov in 1954, lost to Smyslov in 1957, lost to Tal in 1960, and lost to Petrosian in 1963. Botvinnik didn't get a rematch this time, so Geller would have reigned as world champion for at least three years.

Similarly, Svidler finished only half a point behind Carlsen at the World Championship Candidates (2013). As at Curacao, it would have taken very little - for example, Svidler winning one of the games he lost - in order for him to advance to the world championship instead of Carlsen.

Apr-20-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: The fork 25...Ng4 is met by the exchange of rooks with 26.Rf8+ RxR 27.BxRf8 and White retains his clear piece advantage. Black's central pawns won't hold up thereafter with the Bishop snipping at them from behind on the dark squares.
Apr-20-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: World Rankings: https://2700chess.com/

Svidler is not the champ, but he's no chump. He's a Top 20 player!

These two squared off for three draws at the 51st Biel Chess Festival. Biel (2018)

Apr-20-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <nok: <You say Geller could have been world champion, if things had gone differently. I don't see it.>

You don't see it because there's a cultural tendency, apparent in Kasparov's hagiographies, to view those who got that title as fundamentally different. >

That's because they <are> different. The champions had the nerves of steel, the creativity, the determination, when it counted most.

They put in more work than the competition. They had more talent than the competition. They had the creativity at the board when it mattered most.

Apr-20-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <FSR: <thegoodanarchist> <Whatever did Geller accomplish to prompt your assertion?>

Gee, let's see, there was this tournament: Curacao Candidates (1962). Do you consider Petrosian's finish half a point ahead of Geller to be a crushing victory? Presumably not, since that would make you an idiot.>

We were having a nice discussion, and all of a sudden you decided to start acting like a jerk.

All right, be a jerk about it then. Piss off.

Apr-20-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: On the Eve of Easter Sunday, the celebration of the resurrection proving eternal life after physical death of Our Redeemer, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Fredthebear harkens back to when...

My Momma Bear used to say "Two lefts don't make a right." No, that was probably Poppa Bear. Momma surely said "Two wrongs don't make a right."

I think that means I am responsible for me, what I say and do, regardless of what others say and do. Their actions are not an OK excuse for me to do wrong. I gotta say and do right regardless of others. Turn thy cheek to the right, do right, right makes might, right sleeps well at night. Right on!

Fredthebear found out he has to control/subdue his thoughts and emotions if he wants to maintain self-control of his words and actions. Our inwards lay the groundwork for our outwards.

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain

"I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care." - Lou Holtz

"I'm not perfect in my walk but I want to do the right thing." - Kirk Cameron

"We live in a world where everyone thinks they do the right thing, so they are entitled to do the wrong thing. So ends can justify the means." - Alex Gibney

"...thy (Father God's) will be done..."
- The Lord's Prayer

"With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt." - Zig Ziglar

So, WHO is RIGHT?!?

Apr-20-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <fredthebear>
<WHO is RIGHT?!?> Let he who has never posted an off-topic kibitz cast the first stone.

<Our> Not all kibitzers are Christians, and that is OK.

I'll take any response in my own forum.

Apr-20-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <nok: However that competition is biased and dependent on the luck of matchups. Things would have gone differently if the 1998 Shirov Kramnik match had counted. What if Stein had qualified in 1964? Geller, who had his number, may have avoided Spassky.>

I agree greatly. I think the idea of matchups isn't as recognized now as 50 years ago because of the qualifying process. Man against man matches have a way of really boiling down not only each side's strengths and weaknesses, but how each will attempt to magnify their areas of advantage and minimize their areas of disadvantage. In modern America, I think the NCAA basketball tournament would be the most obvious showcase of how important matchups are. I have no doubt some tournament winners would not have won had they had the misfortune to run into a bad matchup along the way, but through fortuitous scheduling, avoided those roadblocks.

Apr-21-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Well that went South fast.

Off topic?

Apr-21-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <thegoodanarchist> I'm the jerk? You're the one who wrote:

<You say Geller could have been world champion, if things had gone differently. I don't see it. Unless by "gone differently" you mean that Fischer, Larsen, Spassky, Korchnoi, Petrosian and Tal had all taken up tennis instead of chess, or something along those lines. Whatever did Geller accomplish to prompt your assertion?>

Condescend much? I don't like being talked to as if I were a two-year-old.

Apr-21-19  rogge: He can't help it, because he's better than everyone else, you see.
Apr-21-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <rogge> True.
Apr-21-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: And the most honest too.
Apr-21-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Both players did a livestream of this game...

Carlsens's: https://youtu.be/5m1Ju9_vJ8I?t=1925

Svidler's: https://youtu.be/-FipZmDXak0?t=1909

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