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Wesley So vs Magnus Carlsen
GCT Croatia (2019), Zagreb CRO, rd 10, Jul-06
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Noa Variation (E34)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: <LameJoke>, I guess it's ironic?
Jul-06-19  Pedro Fernandez: <<LameJokes>: The final position is a piece of art. Congrats So. It reminds us of Michelangelo's chef-d'úuvre.> My dear <LJ>, a proposition: Print it, mounting it and hang it at your hall. Is it not a nice idea?
Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: Very symetric, yes, indeed, like a "jardin ŗ la franÁaise" rather than like a masterwork of Michel Angel, in my humble opinion...
Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: Just hoping a little less "symmetrical" positions are the stuff of some other games of this round; let's see...
Jul-06-19  LameJokes:

Dear Pedro and Dernier. Yes.

So had the white pieces and he had opportunity to catch up with the leader. Chess fans would have liked him to show more ambition. In that sense, my previous post could be construed ironic.

On the other hand, there is symmetry that is rarely achieved. So, it could be chef-d'úuvre as well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: White could have tried a little bit harder with 29.d6 (instead of b4) Bxb3, but it's pretty certain that's nothing either - Black just puts the rook on d7 and White can't make any progress (as by penetrating with the king); e.g. 30.Re1 Rd7 31.f3 Kf7 32.Kf2 Be6 33.Ke3 Rb7 34.Bb4 Rb8 35.Kd4 Rc8 36.Bc5 Ra8 37.Kc3 Ra4 38.Bb4 Ra8 and here you can agree to a draw with a fully clear conscience.
Jul-06-19  Ajahg: The final position is 100 percent symmetrical,typical of a world championship game
Jul-06-19  csmath: Nothing much out of this game.
Jul-06-19  pajaste: So, it took Carlsen 31 moves to win a ply. Total symmetry. If the game had continued to 62 moves, would he be a whole move ahead? Doubt it. Half a point was possibly acceptable for both of them.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: 23. Bx d5 is the loosing move ??
Jul-06-19  csmath: Don't make any conclusions out of the number of moves. They are forced to play that because of tournament rules.

I would not make anything about being tired from many rounds either. In the old times people were playing longer tournaments and adjournments on the rest days and had to analyze those games without computers. Why would nowadays players became addicted to rest days when they are of younger age than the guys 40-50 years ago.

People are always looking for excuses when they are not playing well. If not that then it would be "too much chlorine in the water" or "too much pollen in the air." I heard those as well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: 23.Bf1 was the only move viable to play for a win!
Jul-06-19  csmath: The game was not close to any win anywhere. And So would have not pushed his luck if the life depended on it. That is his style, certainly even more so when he plays Magnus.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Tarjei J. Svensen
3h3 hours ago
The game between #1 and #2 in the event turned out to be the most boring game of the entire event. Carlsen leads half a point ahead of So before last round of Croatia #GrandChessTour>
Jul-06-19  Captain Hindsight: <the most boring game of the entire event.> What an understatement.
Jul-06-19  csmath: It was boring, don't know about the most boring but it is surely a candidate for that title. :-)

Given the fact that more than a half of it was played on well established precedents ... yeah, it was definitely below expectations. It was not poorly played though but it was not very challenging either.

But then again it is understandable. Magnus did not need a win and So did not want to lose.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Told ya
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: If Carlsen wins the event tomorrow, that will be 8 consecutive tournament wins. Throw the current 78 games undefeated streak (not to mention his 2878 live rating) into the mix and it's been nothing but incredible stuff by the World Champ.

In addition, if his rating continues to go up, we may end up witnessing the first player to ever reach 2900 elo.

Anyone who knows their chess history has heard of the Rubinstein year.

This could be the year of Magnus.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <The onus had been on Wesley So, who was trailing by half a point, to play for a win with the white pieces, so that was the topic of the first few post-game interviews. Vishy Anand mounted the first defence:

"Of course Wesley had White and he could have pressed more, but heís coming off a difficult year and heís having what is really a very good result, tour points, prize money, everything, so I can also understand he didnít want to take excessive risk today."

Then there was Magnus:

"It seemed that Wesley wasnít going to go all-in, thatís not the way he plays, so he just tried a little bit, and I can understand that. Itís not like itís only first place thatís worth something here. Itís a qualifier for the final and heís played an excellent tournament. He thought heíd try a little bit, if I defend well then itís a draw, and I think thatís more or less what happened."

Essentially there was nothing more that needed to be said, but Wesley couldnít help protesting much, much too much! In a short interview he came up with a litany of reasons why he hadnít gone in all guns blazing in the penultimate round:

1.A bad mood after yesterday's bad game (the close shave vs. Nepo)

2.His level of play is getting worse

3.He was playing the best in world, a player 100 points higher-rated

4.He was unsure what opening his opponent would choose

5.He didnít want to play something crazy (sacrifice a pawn!) vs. the best player in the world

6.He was really tired: "As Levon Aronian pointed out, having one rest day in 11 games is not enough". It's 11 games vs. the strongest in the world - "these are not patzers, this is not an open tournament"

7.Magnus wins a lot of games with Black

8.A draw with White is never a bad result given how Magnus is playing

9."I want to be a fighter but also our earnings are based on points", not on wins or losses

10.Ding and Nepo wanted to beat Magnus and now regret it

11.It doesn't matter what colour you play vs. Magnus at the moment

12.Carlsenís chances of winning were higher if Wesley had pushed, "objectively"

13.A quick game meant time to recover and sleep before the key game vs. Aronian tomorrow> (

So's 13-excuses-interview:

Jul-06-19  csmath: LMAO. I missed that but it is hilarious.
Jul-07-19  fabelhaft: <Anyone who knows their chess history has heard of the Rubinstein year.

This could be the year of Magnus>

Nothing wrong with Rubinsteinís year, but none of the five events he won had the best players of the time, Lasker or Capablanca, participating.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Thanks, <Eyal>. Classic.
Jul-07-19  savagerules: "The old chess is dead." -Fischer I don't really blame Carlsen for this since White can really take the air out of a game if he/she wants to at this level.
Jul-07-19  fabelhaft: <ĒThe old chess is dead.Ē -Fischer>

Now this is dead for ya :-)

Petrosian Memorial (1999)/Vasily Smyslov

Jul-07-19  fabelhaft: Not an exciting game, obviously, but around move 20 it looked like the type of thing Carlsen wins as white now and then. Anyway, So will maybe have to work harder for the draw with black against Aronian to get second place.
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