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Magnus Carlsen vs Vladimir Kramnik
Grand Slam Chess Final (2010), Bilbao ESP, rd 4, Oct-12
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-14-10  acirce: <But have you made mistakes if you don't end up in a lost position, even if it's worse? In my opinion it is not a mistake if it keeps the game "within the same score", that is turning a win to a draw or a draw to a loss.>

Now that.. is a quite unusual view of "mistake" in chess.

For instance, you will often be able to blunder a pawn or more for absolutely nothing in an objectively drawn position and the position still remains drawn. It's still a mistake. Same applies for mistakes that don't lose material but otherwise worsen your position.

Fischer's ..Bxh2?? against Spassky blundered a piece for two pawns and it seems that it was still a draw. I thought the only ones insisting on that not being a mistake were crazy Fischer fans.

Oct-14-10  acirce: Hm, sorry if I sounded a little unpleasant in that post. It was certainly not my intention.
Oct-14-10  Appaz: <acirce> I guess that depends on the definition and your view of chess. If the result is what matters, as Carlsen has stated it does for him, they are obviously not mistakes if the result is unchanged. If you view the game as a work of art, then it is a mistake.

I commented on Shipovs statement on this page during the game, and I thought Carlsens <Avoiding some drawish lines I instead ended up with a very difficult ending> confirmed my belief: this is just his style.

There was a lot of comments containing variations of the word "lost" during the game, but the game ended up drawn, even if no big mistakes from Kramnik has been pointed out.

Oct-14-10  Appaz: <<acirce> Hm, sorry if I sounded a little unpleasant in that post. It was certainly not my intention.>

Not at all!
I've seen you much more unpleasant other times, even if not directed at me (not saying it was not deserved for the object). I'm just glad I didn't become the target for the infamous <acirce> irony! :)

Oct-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: ...Actually, having looked a bit further, <visayanbraindoctor>'s suggestion of 43...Rg2! - following 42...Rg4 43.Rc3 - looks quite strong; after 44.Kd3 Bxb4 Nxb4 Rxb4 White has serious troubles in defending both his pawns and against various tactical threats by the black rooks. So maybe 42.d4 does give Black a winning advantage.
Oct-14-10  acirce: <If the result is what matters, as Carlsen has stated it does for him, they are obviously not mistakes if the result is unchanged.> I disagree and I'm fairly sure Carlsen does too. Funny though that we both think diametrically opposed statements are "obvious". Look at it this way - if you strive for a certain result, and the result is what matters, then a move that makes it more difficult to reach that result should reasonably speaking be a mistake, shouldn't it.

But just to be clear: do you think it would <not> be a mistake to blunder a pawn or two for nothing as long as the objective evaluation stays the same? There are even positions, and not too rare, where you can blunder much more than that.

Oct-14-10  polarmis: <Appaz: If Carlsen made mistakes my logic tells me that Kramnik must have made equal big mistakes, but Shipov did not mentioned that in this comment, that is why I think he maybe was a little patriotic and optimistic on behalf of Kramnik.>

It doesn't really follow that Kramnik must have made equally big mistakes - it's just that some much better endings (especially with rooks) turn out to be draws. You could try and claim that was Carlsen's brilliance for going for that ending in the early middle game knowing it was safe - but then you'd have to compare Carlsen's own words, where it's clear he was unhappy with his play and by no means certain he could hold (now that I've read his comments in full I have to say you picked a pretty selective quote! he agrees the moves Shipov pointed out were mistakes, as far as I can see).

On patriotic bias... I think Shipov tends to be pretty objective when it comes to chess - and note he did criticise some Kramnik moves at the end and he especially criticised Kramnik for playing on (perhaps unfairly given the Sofia Rules). If anything as someone associated with Kasparov he's probably got a slight anti-Kramnik bias. And for what it's worth Carlsen's popular in Russia (as is Nakamura).

Oct-14-10  Appaz: <acirce> and <polarmis>, I'll try to answer later today as I have to do some work now.
Oct-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Attention is sure to be focused on 18 a6 as an improvement in this game. <Eyal> mentioned it here during the game, and Carlsen also said he should have tried it.

However, it is not the kind of move you want to play without home analysis, since it can be answered sensibly either by taking the pawn, or by bypassing it with 18...b6 or 18...b5, and each requires huge analysis.

I let Rybka 3 look at it for 8 hours (so far) on deep analysis. Taking the pawn with 18...bxa6 is still the main line, although it may be overtaken by 18...b5 if the assessments hold.

18 a6 bxa6 19 Nc5 Bxg2 20 Kxg2 Qd5+ 21 Kg1 a5 22 Na6 Bd6 23 bxa5 Qb5 24 Nb4 Ne7 25 Qb3+ Kf8 26 Qc4 = 0.25/20


click for larger view

This looks promising for White, Black will have weaknesses to protect into the endgame.

Oct-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <difficult> is a matter of human perception though. A computer knows no "difficult" positions - it's either won, or, drawn, or lost. Is it really a mistake if a ("perfect") computer would play that move (which it might play as the result doesn't change)?

How about blundering a pawn in a <winning> position and still being winning? Is it a mistake?

Oct-14-10  acirce: Okay, if it comes down to debating whether or not ..Qg7 is a mistake in this position:


click for larger view

..then count me out. :)

I agree that it is in the strictest sense of "objectively" as good as any move that keeps the knight, since Black still has a miracle draw according to tablebases. But there is no player in the world who would not call it a mistake.

As long as we are talking about human chess (and Carlsen is a human as far as I know) ..Qg7 is a blunder deserving at least two question marks. If we are talking about something else then sure, maybe not. That discussion is too abstract for me. But I'd note that <perfect> chess-playing entities <per definition> doesn't make mistakes.

Oct-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: 18 a6 b5

Rybka after 10 hours considers this the main line, but still gives White a minimal edge

19 Re1 Nb6 20 Bf3 Na4 21 Bg4 Be7 22 Qc2 g6 23 Nc5 Bxc5 24 bxc5 Kg7 25 e4 dxe3 26 Bxe3 = 0.12/22


click for larger view

Not so easy for Black to play, as going after the a pawn seems to get him in hot water

if 26...Qa5 27 Bd7 Rf8 (27...Rg8 28 Bd4) 28 Bf4 and White has initiative whether or not Black takes a6

Oct-14-10  Appaz: I've read over Shipovs comments again, and believe something is lost in the translation. In this passage, "You wonít believe it, but despite all Carlsenís blunders heís got chances of saving this tough encounter.", <blunder> is probably a too strong word and I guess the Russian word would mean more like "inaccuracies", which I can agree too (based heavy on computer evals, as my chess understanding is much too poor to fully understand a game between two such players).

But even with these "inaccuracies", and even the loss of a pawn, Carlsen managed to hold the draw, and there is chance that a weaker player than Kramnik would not have been able to solve the problems correct.

It was the word <blunder> that triggered my reaction because I could not see any clear blunder during the game, and also because a lot of people mentioned that Carlsen was losing (probably also supported by computer evals) while the computers continued to eval the position just a little better for Kramnik.

The style of Carlsen often leads him to choose not the "best" moves, even when he sees them, but those he mean will give his opponent most trouble and chance to go wrong, hence his "reputation" as a "lucky" player.

It's easy to judge a move after a game ("if I lose it was a blunder, if I win it was a sacrifice") but during a game between super grandmasters it will often pay off to take some chances if you believe are the better player at the moment (not that this apply to Carlsen when playing Kramnik <just yet>)

Oct-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <acirce> to me a game in which black plays Qg7 in that position <and> finds the "miracle draw" afterwards, <did> play perfectly (BTW is the position itself surely drawn? With the knight on the board I mean).
Oct-14-10  polarmis: <Appaz>, the word "blunder" in English is also open to interpretation, but I think the translation there was normal e.g. at Google: http://www.google.com/dictionary?so... And one of the listed sources mentions "serious mistake" as a synonym.

And e.g. taking on d4 with the wrong piece was considered a blunder by Carlsen, Kramnik and Shipov. Maybe just "mistake" would be more neutral, but blunder's just the more common word in chess terminology.

Now to try and get my site working again :(

Oct-14-10  Beholder: <Appaz> is right.
Oct-14-10  Bridgeburner: I noticed this interesting debate on what constitutes a blunder in recent posts, so I would like to add my perspective to this conversation, if I may. My perspective includes an intensive move by move engine analysis of every move of the World Championship matches of 1910 and 2008. The purpose of this exercise was to compare the accuracy of the two sets of players to try and establish a relatively objective means of determining whether their playing strengths were comparable.

Putting aside theoretical debates, a game is only decided if one player makes at least one mistake. Frequently of course, a number of errors are made during the course of a game which may or may not generate a result, depending to some extent upon the old maxim about who makes the last mistake.

Leaving aside mistranslations from other languages, the word "blunder" tends to be used somewhat arbitrarily to describe moves an analyst really doesn't like . Usually such moves either lose or completely spoil a position, but sometimes one is hard put to see why a move is described as a blunder as distinct from an inaccuracy or other term such as dubious move or bad move.

I've seen what I describe as a blunder given exclamation marks by GMs, while on occasions relatively minor inaccuracies are harshly judged.

GM's may have a different idea of a blunder to lesser mortals. It can have the obvious meaning of a move that blunders away a game or a win, or it can mean that it represents the first move of a strategic plan that's bad and wrong, without clearly being a losing move in and of itself.

In my project methodology I use three levels of mistakes: blunders, bad moves and dubious moves - describing errors in descending order of seriousness, and they're defined by the extent to which an evaluation changes between adjacent moves. This avoids the problem posed by <acirce> that the free gift of a Knight might not be seen as a mistake because the game can still be drawn.

However one scales errors, the only really rigorous means of doing so is quantitative assessment, otherwise it comes down to judgment calls by the analyst.

My method counts a blunder as a move that shifts a game evaluation over the threshold into a lost game, or from a won game to a drawn game - <Appaz>'s approach is exactly right IMO, otherwise why would it be a <blunder>. This approach doesn't of course make any allowances for the psychology of a game, which is as fascinating as any other element of chess.

Mistakes that don't lose games or shift the result from a win or a draw by themselves I count as bad moves or dubious moves depending upon their seriousness, because rather than causing a loss, they simply make a game harder to defend. My own arbitrary scale is to weight a blunder as 2, a bad move as 1 and a dubious move as 0.5, and then weight a game for errors, but the important thing is to distinguish mistakes by their seriousness.

One thing I've also learned is that the full answer to the questions posed by a game, especially one between titans such as Carlsen and Kramnik, cannot be fully solved on the day, even with the best engine assistance. Engines may now be significantly stronger than GMs, but this is not true for every move, only for avoiding the silly mistakes that humans make. GMs can and frequently do make moves that takes an engine time to understand.

Oct-14-10  Kinghunt: <How about blundering a pawn in a <winning> position and still being winning? Is it a mistake?>

I think in objectively won or lost positions, it's easy enough to decide what to call moves like that. Only moves that cause a winning position to become a drawn position can be called "blunders," but moves that make the win longer can rightly be called inaccuracies (as can moves that lose faster, even if the position is already lost). The only complications come from when the most obvious winning plan from a human point of view is not the fastest win, but in your example, I think it would be safe to say that blundering the pawn was not part of a winning plan, so it would be safe to label an inaccuracy.

Once we start discussing positions that are objectively drawn, it becomes far messier. Like the position <acirce> posted, if we had a 32 piece tablebase, I suspect it would show that after 1. f4 d5 2. Kf2 white still has a draw, but that doesn't mean it's at all a good opening. In these cases, ultimate objectivity simply clouds a more accurate (yet less precise) evaluation of the position.

Oct-14-10  Bridgeburner: <Kinghunt>

<...moves that cause a winning position to become a drawn position can be called "blunders,">

By the same line of reasoning, moves that cause a won or drawn position to become lost positions can be called blunders.

<Once we start discussing positions that are objectively drawn, it becomes far messier.>

Not if you distinguish the seriousness of errors. At its simplest, errors that don't objectively disturb the status quo are inaccuracies, errors that do (causing win-->draw or win-->loss or draw-->loss shifts) are blunders.

Bad openings such as exemplified simply mean inaccuracies in the opening, which make harder to defend the game and make it easier to subsequently make fatal mistakes.

Some mistakes are blunders from the psychological point of view as they play on the way OTB participants perceive a game, and the psychological ascendancy that may occur. These blunders may or may not coincide with objective valuations of blunders.

Oct-15-10  visayanbraindoctor: This is the link for any one interested in what <Bridgeburner> is saying.

User: Bridgeburner

Jun-10-12  notyetagm: SHIPOV IN ENGLISH -> http://www.chessintranslation.com/2...
Jun-10-12  notyetagm: Game Collection: SHIPOV'S EXCELLENT COMMENTARY IN ENGLISH
Jun-10-12  notyetagm: Carlsen vs Kramnik, 2010

http://www.chessintranslation.com/2...

<First of all you need to work out if white isnít going to lose the pawns on the queenside. But the traditional cup of coffee needs to be drunk before that. Iíll mention the first result of the day Ė Anand didnít manage to beat Shirov! Draw. But letís return to our game. It looks as though black has to give up the b4 pawn, staking everything on active counterplay with his pieces. That aim can be achieved by the move 41. Rc2! Magnus is thinkingÖ 41. Nc2?! Too passive.

[In good form Carlsen here would play 41.Rc2! Rxb4 42.Nf5 Be5 <<<and now not 43.Rh3? Rgxe4+!>>>, but 43.Rf1! , intending to invade black's back ranks with his rooks. Analysis shows that in this case black is taking no fewer risks than white. It's approximate dynamic equality.]>

Jun-10-12  notyetagm: Carlsen vs Kramnik, 2010

http://www.chessintranslation.com/2...

(SHIPOV VARIATION)

<[In good form Carlsen here would play 41.Rc2! Rxb4 42.Nf5 Be5 <<<and now not 43.Rh3? Rgxe4+!>>>, but 43.Rf1! , intending to invade black's back ranks with his rooks. Analysis shows that in this case black is taking no fewer risks than white. It's approximate dynamic equality.]>>


click for larger view

43 ♖f3-h3?


click for larger view

43 ... ♖g4xe4+! <line-opening>


click for larger view

44 d3x♖e4 ♖b4-b3+ <skewer>


click for larger view

Dec-31-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  KWRegan: Strange to relate, the ChessBase Big 2013 disk has a truncated version of this game. The divergence is at Move 55

Game: 55. Ra1 Rc5 56. Rd1+ Kc7 57. Ra1 Kc6 58. Ke3 f5 Big 2013: 55. Ra1 Kc6 56. Ke3 f5

ChessBase is the only divergent source---the Shipov live commentary quoted here, ChessBomb, and the official site give the same moves as here. The Big 2013 conclusion is:

55. Ra1 Kc6 56. Ke3 f5 57. exf5 Rxf5 58. Kd3 Rf3+ 59. Kc4 Rf4+ 60. Kc3 Kc5 61. Rh1 Rf3+ 62. Kc2 Ra3 63. Rh7 Kc6 64. Rh6+ Kc7 65. Rh7+ Kb8 66. Rh8+ Ka7 67. Rh5 Re3 68. Kb2 Kb8 69. Rc5 Re6 1/2-1/2

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