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Sergey Karjakin vs Magnus Carlsen
Gashimov Memorial (2019), Shamkir AZE, rd 8, Apr-08
Uncommon Opening (A00)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-08-19  Fanques Fair: Why not 24-Rc1 ? Actually, Kariakin could have played it before, instead of taking the Champion's pawn on h5, losing tempo just like Giri did yesterday . c5 five was the correct idea, but played rashly , and giving Black play on both wings. Carsel is on top form but games like this proves that computer chess has made some evil to top grandmasters, as they seem uncapable of dealing whith this kind of middle game struggle with plenty of pieces .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Fanques Fair> If 24.Rc1, then 24...Bg4! is very strong for Black; after Carlsen's queen maneuver on moves 22-23 there are already some concrete threats on the light squares around White's king. 24.c5 was an attempt to get some active counterplay - as was already mentioned here, the more defensive Qd1 was probably best (at least according to the engines).
Apr-08-19  csmath: The final position is clearly hopeless. There is no defense from Nxf2 and Re2 (or Re3) so it does not matter what the time was.

I am sure Karjakin will find out the improvement as I cannot believe that the opening is bad. For one thing there are already thousands of engine analyses on chessbase so I guess this is currently the most analyzed game.

Apr-08-19  Fanques Fair: Eyal, how about 21-Rac1, instead of taking that useless h5 pawn ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Was Carlsen playing mind games with Karjakin. Here:

click for larger view

All Karjakin had to do was play 14.Qa4, Carlsen had to play 14...Bd7 it is a three fold rep.

Everyone, fans, organisers and sponsors, are furious at the 14 move draw and the finger points at cowardly Karjakin. (14...Bd7 is forced so it's not Carlsen's fault. )

Thankfully Karjakin is better than that and instead of squelching a few rating points and incurring the wrath of planet he played 14.h4 Game on.

Carlsen has gone up a notch. Cancel the 2020 candidates, it's pointless finding a challenger till 2030.


Apr-08-19  csmath: Well, yeah. But the onus is on white. And it is about the win on the tournament. Karjakin was half a point behind and playing with white plus he has just lost WC match to Carlsen. And Karjakin is not Leko, he has a little more of a fighting spirit than that. Moreover I think Carlsen knew that Karjakin would play h4 one way or the other.
Apr-08-19  BOSTER: I guess that Karjakin's king "fortress" was weak from the beginning.White bishop supposed to be on g2. I do not think that Carlsen's ideas in this game reminds AlphaZero games because most moves relay on best computer's choices.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: Magnus!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

I agree csmath, Carlsen knew that Karjakin could not/would not do it.

But others will, So Carlsen can expect to this line again.


Hi Boster, I too saw that AlphaZero was getting all the credit.

<" I seriously think that Carlsen has learned from AlphaZero.">


<"Yes, was thinking that too. The centralized knight vs the knight on the rim is an A0 staple." >

Good Grief. (Carlsen has been crap all these years...)

The Rule of Thumb about Knights on the rim (bad) v centralised Knight (good) is older than God's dog.

Tarrasch who coined the term 'Knight's on the rim..etc.' he must have had access to AlphaZero as well.

Carlsen has got good, there must be a reason. Conclusion, he is using AlphaZero.

How about the others guided by Carlsen being off form for a while think they have a chance and go for him allowing Carlsen to display all his talents other than grinding out wins.

No it's obviously a computer.

If players like Giri are grabbing pawns that had written on it in gigantic red letters.. 'Do Not Take'. then the fault is with them.

Hello again Boster,

Expect a reply to from 'them' saying the other computers are learning from AlphaZero as well.


Apr-08-19  Jambow: I would say that Magnus over the past couple of years has made a concerted effort to increase the strength of his play in these open tactical positions and if I didn't know who played this game I would have guessed it was Levon Aronian not Magnus Carlsen. Magnus is in great form since the WC match... If Magnus can retain and impliment his former stylistic advantages and add to it what it appears he has woe to everyone else.

Very interesting game the Alphazero algorithm seems to be working well.

Go Carlsen!!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: One fine day, Wilhelm Steinitz decided to change from the Morphy style of combinative play and became a more refined positional player and that led to his becoming a great player.

Magnus Carlsen, a player with a very strong positional style of play, has now added a highly dynamic edge to his style.

Already great, and possibly becoming greater.

Visionaries tend to roll like that.


Apr-08-19  frogbert: <Magnus Carlsen, a player with a very strong positional style of play, has now added a highly dynamic edge to his style.>

Well, he started out as a dynamic, attacking player, a style he refined and adjusted when his opponents became stronger and better at defending. Then his positional understanding and end game skills brought so much success that it became a trademark (and increased the average GM game length by 30-40% in the process).

However, as opponents improved further, also becoming relatively younger (compared to Carlsen), his game seems to have developed - again. The versatility has increased over the past 1-2 years, and the clearest "sign" came when Caruana's 1. e4 was consistently met with 1... c5 during the World Championship match. Carlsen again plays sharper openings and positions, unafraid of sacrificing material for initiative, as seen in games here and in Wijk this year.

That's how I see it, anyway. A simplification, of course, but possibly a more complete picture of his development.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Carlsen has got good, there must be a reason. Conclusion, he is using AlphaZero.>

Sally, you’ve got to get over your tragic love affair with strawmen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <If Black plays ...Nd3 then White can immediately play Bxd3 and remove that horrible piece.>

White will die a horrible death on the light squares without that LSB on the kingside.

Apr-09-19  Cedroke: You could say Karjakin got "Sveshnikoved" or perhaps even "Sveshnishoved". I'm so impressed by Carlsens play.
Apr-09-19  Jambow: As to <frogbert> and <chancho> we are all seeing the same thing.

I will note that Magnus's greatest success came as a positional maestro, with his dynamism actually arising from seemingly innocuous positions that even the elite would miss until a fatal wound was inflicted.

It is very unusual for a player to switch from positional play to dynamic play as they get older. Carlsen is still young but is already a multi time defending world champion. I hope he can continue this streak and rather enjoy his dynamic play.

I don't think initially Magnus was this strong after he altered his style a few years back and frankly questioned his wisdom in so doing. I didn't know if he could surpass the elite players in that dynamic style. I stand corrected...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi K.P.

Not Strawman...Strawcomputer!

The claim that this game was the result of AlphaZero discovering new positional ideas (knights on the rim etc...) and Carlsen has picked up on them deserved such a strawman response.


Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> The claim that this game was the result of AlphaZero discovering new positional ideas (knights on the rim etc...) and Carlsen has picked up on them deserved such a strawman response.>

I didn't read any posted comments that said that AlphaZero discovered any new positional ideas, although some of the more radical AlphaZero fanboys and fangirls might think so. On the contrary; in "Game Changer" it's main author, GM Matthew Sadler, lists 18 historical parallels which show that AlphaZero emulated some of the best players in history (Kasparov, Tal, Larsen, Capablanca, Botvinnik, etc.) with regards to some of the ideas they had and some of the moves they made. But nowhere in the book is there an example of a new positional idea discovered by AlphaZero, just some very good exploitation of these "historical" ideas. I doubt that they are "new" to Carlsen and they probably would have gone unnoticed if not for the cult following that AlphaZero has achieved.

Try reading the book, I think that you might enjoy it. Sadler does the best job that I can remember in breaking down chess themes and giving examples of them. Just take the presumed superiority of AlphaZero over Stockfish with a grain of salt since no one, except for DeepMind, has provided any data that reflects the overwhelming computational performance advantage that AlphaZero enjoyed over Stockfish in their matches.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dr Winston OBoogie: Just been through Magnus's last 3 games and this is the best but 33. Bg4?? was appalling, really confusing.

click for larger view

And that knight on a4 is just useless. Great game to play through though :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MKD: Why the ECO code for this game is listed as Aoo? Shouldn't it be B33?
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: When games are presented live they start with A00, as there are no moves, and it sometimes takes a while to make the correction.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi AylerKupp,

This is the not the first time we have had an AlphaZero discussion. I predicted it's arrival back in 2014.

Zurich Chess Challenge (2014) (kibitz #1342)

I said:

I'm not anti-computer, I just don't think they have reached their full potential and are being programmed solely to beat other computers. The fact they can hammer humans is a by product.

If we can get them seeing and thinking like we do then they really will enrich the game. At the moment our 1400 players are displaying more imagination than them.


They are on the right path with AlphaZero. (at last).


Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Sally Simpson: ***
Was Carlsen playing mind games with Karjakin. Here:


All Karjakin had to do was play 14.Qa4, Carlsen had to play 14...Bd7 it is a three fold rep. >

yea BUT.. was there draw stipulation in this event? No draws under 30 moves, or similar? If so, then yes i would think Carlsen was deliberately using this to force a less than best 3rd time Qa4? and possibly a weakening or risky choice? I looked on the official page and didn't see rules posted, but curious anyway.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: well the shortest draw i see in the game list was Grishuk/Giri 22 moves, so if there was a stipulation it would be 20 moves or less presumably. hmmm.
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 <d 23 dpa done

1. = / + (-0.27): 30.f3> Nxf3+ 31.Rxf3 Bxf3 32.Rf1 Bf6 33.Qd2 c3 34.bxc3 bxc3 35.Nxc3 Rfc8 36.Rxf3 Bxc3 37.Rxf5 Bxd2 38.Bxd2 Rc2 39.Ba5 Rxe2 40.d6 Rxa2 41.d7 Ra1+ 42.Kg2 Rd1 43.d8Q+ Raxd8 44.Bxd8 Rxd8 45.Ra5 Rd6 46.Kf3 Rb6 47.Ke4 f6 48.Kf4 Kh7 49.Ra2 Kg6 50.Ra3 Kf7 51.Ra4 Ke6 52.Ra3

2. - / + (-0.84): 30.f4 Qg6 31.Bf2 Nd3 32.Bh5 Qxh5 33.Qxe4 Rae8 34.Qg2 Bf6 35.g4 Qh7 36.Nc5 Re2 37.Nxd3 cxd3 38.Qf3 Bxh4 39.Rad1 Bxf2+ 40.Rxf2 Rxf2 41.Qxf2 Qe4 42.Qf1 Qd4+ 43.Kh2 Re8 44.Rxd3 Qxb2+ 45.Kg3 Qxa2 46.d6 Qe6 47.d7 Rd8 48.Qb1 a5 49.Qc2 Qb6 50.g5 Kf8 51.Qd1 Qc7 52.Kg4 g6

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