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Alexander Onischuk vs Magnus Carlsen
41st Biel International Chess Festival (2008), Biel SUI, rd 4, Jul-23
Slav Defense: Czech Variation. Classical System (D18)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-24-08  Mulyahnto: maybe they'll play until time control and call it a draw
Jul-24-08  Waitaka: <keypusher: Right you are; Q+N also score better with two pawns apiece according to the same source. My assertion came from a Watson book; I'll have to check it.>

Hey, don't take statistics to seriously.

You know the quote about statistics and bikinis:

"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital." (Aaron Levenstein)

There are a plenty of good statistics quotes here:

After you read it, you will never trust any statistics anymore. :)

Jul-24-08  Ulhumbrus: One question is whether White can win by 34 f3 instead of 34 f4
Jul-24-08  offtherook: <Anand frequently toasted GM-strength opponents using half an hour on his clock. In fact, he is often scorned as "cheap" because of his speed.> He's "cheap" because he was better at chess than just about everyone else without having to work quite so hard? That doesn't make much sense.
Jul-24-08  MyCatPlaysChess: f6 is a silent draw offer...
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: there is a plan for Black...close Kingside, bring his king to b6, sacrifice pawn with c4, and then Kc5, trying to penetrate on the Queenside..WAIT! I AM DREAMING AGAIN!
Jul-24-08  Xenon Oxide: Carlsen probably spent as much time+energy on this 40-move draw as an ordinary GM would on an ordinary 25-move short-draw
Jul-24-08  Udit Narayan: OK Draw
Jul-24-08  lost in space: ...f5 would have opend the position; this is mostly better for the side with the ♗
Jul-24-08  Xenon Oxide: <He's "cheap" because he was better at chess than just about everyone else without having to work quite so hard? That doesn't make much sense.>

That's what people used to say. Nobody calls him cheap now, but they used to, I think. (I wasn't following chess at that time either, but that's the impression I got!)

Jul-24-08  HFBA: <keypusher: <Waitaka: According Endgame explorer Q+B+PPP x Q+N+PPP results in:

20.4% Q+B+PPP wins
55.5% draws
24.2% Q+N+PPP wins>

Right you are; Q+N also score better with two pawns apiece according to the same source. My assertion came from a Watson book; I'll have to check it.>

Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy: Advances since Nimzowitsch

Jul-24-08  Xenon Oxide: I'd like the Dominguez vs Bacrot one! That's a complicated game.
Jul-24-08  Atking: Difficult to restrain myself "Congratulation to Onischuk" Draw with with against Carlsen is good performance. I propose to the organizers to put a time handicap to Carlsen.
Jul-24-08  Waitaka: I love chess, but I hate draws. They are so boring...

Unless, of course, I am on a severe material disadvantage, and find a forced draw! :)

Jul-24-08  cuendillar: <I propose to the organizers to put a time handicap to Carlsen.> Why? He's already done that to himself.
Jul-24-08  Waitaka: <Xenon Oxide> uhn... are you Jessica?
Jul-24-08  SetNoEscapeOn: As Josh Waitzkin said: playing quickly can be a sign of confidence, but it can also be a sign of nervousness; an inability in sit within a complex position.

I have seen players of both types, but I think it's safe to say that for Carlsen and Anand it is born out of confidence.

Jul-24-08  messachess: Hello everyone. Just now looking at the game, it looks drawn at 21...h6. I wonder about that white getting a pawn on d7 in this variation. I assume this is in the GM 'book.' Right? (To a non-master like myself, it appears risky, if not fatal.)
Jul-24-08  Ulhumbrus: It may be that after 34 f3 (instead of 34 f4?) Black has a difficult ending to defend, if Black can defend it at all. One question is whether 34 f3 leads to a win.

After 35 g4 Black can keep White's King out in either wing. Another question is whether after White can win after 35 fxg5 ( instead of 35 g4) 35...hxg5 36 h4

Jul-24-08  researchj: I felt that 28...Qd6 left better chances for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: In my earlier post, I wrote that Carlsen would need a special reason to swap the Queens, after which he immediately proceeded to do so. But we can see why--he built a fortress to guarantee the draw.
Jul-24-08  Atking: On my last post I made a miss print. The second "with" was white :(. More seriously I felt again that Onischuk opted for a draw strategy with White. At least: no risk. Indeed Alekseev tried more and got a very dangerous position. I'm afraid that strategy could be applied by the other players when they have white vs Carlsen.
Jul-24-08  messachess: <white vs Carlsen> Maybe the advice is relevant here that Kasparov got in his first championship match with Karpov. Kaspy was down 1-5 with Karpov needing one win to take the match. Kasparov was advised to draw with white--the implication being to make Karpov have to come a take the final win (rather than Kasparov trying to win and getting over-exteded again.) Karpov could not and the rest is history.
Jul-25-08  euripides: 31...Qc5 is particularly elegant because the apparent weakness on c5 is in fact a necessary part of the fortress, protecting d4.

White could get an outside passed by 35.fg hg 36.h4 but it wouldn't help.

An eye for the geometry of fortresses is an asset of very strong endgame players. Another recent example where the fortress prevents the use of an outside passed pawn as a decoy:

Sutovsky vs Onischuk, 2008

Jul-25-08  euripides: I'm not sure Onischuk was looking for a draw. Someone posted very good statistics for White after 13.d5. And if the following rather puzzling score is right, White has won the position at move 21:

E L'Ami vs Hector, 2007

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