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Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana
Tal Memorial (2013), Moscow RUS, rd 3, Jun-15
King's Indian Attack: Yugoslav Variation (A07)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 17 OF 17 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-16-13  Jim Bartle: Yes, So defeated Caruana when he was 11 and Caruana was 12.
Jun-16-13  devere: I wonder what chess hallucination caused Carlsen to play 17.Nc5?

It's just one bad game on one bad day. But I've got to wonder what would have happened if Caruana had been invited to the Candidates Tournament.

Jun-16-13  Chess for life: I will rephrase: Does this game expose a deficiency in Carlsen's understanding of rook endings?
Jun-16-13  Absentee: <Chess for life: I will rephrase: Does this game expose a deficiency in Carlsen's understanding of rook endings?>

In his understanding? Doubtful.

Jun-16-13  cro777: "I am pretty sure Magnus is losing the rook endgames because he just sees too much. No sarcasm." (Anish Giri)
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: By analogy with Giri's statement as cited, I have a recollection from the distant past of Robert Byrne losing a game to Orest Popovych circa 1969, through going wrong in time trouble and some remarks being made, on the lines that Byrne tried to see everything through to the end, rather than being practical in his approach.
Jun-16-13  maelith: Once again, Carlsen shows his rook endgame weakness.
Jun-16-13  marljivi: Excuse me,why didn't white play 59.Rb2? To me,this looks like a draw: 59.Rb2Kg3 60.Rb3Kh4 61.Rb2Rg4 62.Rb8Rg2 63.Kf4Rf2 64.Ke3Rf7 65.Rh8Kg3 66.Rg8Kh2 67.Ke2=. White's king should be cut off somewhere on the c-file in order black to be winning.
Jun-16-13  SoUnwiseTheKnight B4: If rook endgames really are an issue for Magnus, maybe Anand should consider 1.d4 for the match in november. I remember hearing that queen pawn openings lead to a higher percentage of rook endgames while king pawn openings lead to more minor piece endgames.
Jun-16-13  JoergWalter: <maelith: Once again, Carlsen shows his rook endgame weakness.>

oh, I like to be that weak.

Jun-16-13  Lupara: Greetings <marljivi>. Your suggested move 59.Rb2+ is slightly better than the move played by Carlsen, because it prolongs White's eventual defeat by one move according to the endgame tablebase.

But lets investigate your suggested move order:

<59.Rb2+ Kg3 60.Rb3+ Kh4 61.Rb2 Rg4 62.Rb8 Rg2 63.Kf4 Rf2+ 64.Ke3 Rf7 65.Rh8+ Kg3 66.Rg8+ Kh2 67.Ke2=.>

Your suggested line does lead to a draw. However, Black can improve on two moves; one allows a faster win for Black and the other does not throw away the win in your suggested line.

Instead of 61... Rg4, (which still preserves the win for Black) better is 61... Ra1, which protects the first rank for queening purposes: 61... Ra1 62.Rb4+ Kg3 63.Rg4+ Kf2 (63.Rb3+ leads to a quicker loss for White 63... Kg2 64.Rb2+ Kg1 and the Pawn will soon Queen) 64.Rf4+ Kg2 65.Rg4+ Kh1 66.Rg6 (the Rook can move to g3, g6, g7 or g8, it matters not) h2 67.Kf4 Rg1 68.Rb6 Kg2 69.Rb2+ Kh3 70.Rb3+ Kh4 71.Rb7 Rf1+ and the Pawn queens next move.

Also in your line, after 61... Rg4 62.Rb8 (according to the tablebase, keeping the Rook on the second rank is better, at a2, c2,d2) Rg2 is a mistake that throws away the win. Instead 62... Rg5+ 63.Kf4 h2 64.Rb1 (64.Rh8+ allows the bridge building move Rh5) Rg1 65.Rb7 Rf1+ and the Pawn queens.

I cannot take credit for the analysis, because the moves are straight-up endgame tablebase. :-)

Jun-17-13  maelith: <JoergWalter: <maelith: Once again, Carlsen shows his rook endgame weakness.> oh, I like to be that weak.>

Just look at his games, Carlsen lost many rook endgames. A GM in a book mentioned that rook endgames is Carlsen's weakness.

Jun-17-13  marljivi: Haha,thanks,Lupara,and greetings to you too.Actually,it just crossed my mind that instead of 62...Rg2?,the move 62...Rg5 wins,so I wanted to explain/correct that,when I noticed that you've already done that for me. :-) And yes,I also agree that 61...Ra1 (instead of 61...Rg4) also wins.
Jun-17-13  FISCHERboy: Nice instructional game. Congratulations, Fabiano!

One loss and some people are already talking about Magnus' "weakness." A lot of people here are so quick to offer conclusions. The other day, Magnus was God, now with a loss, he's relegated to human again, with all these talks about his weakness. LOL

Jun-18-13  JPi: Well Rb8 instead of Rf8-Rxf7+ wasn't such difficult choice and Carlsen knew Rb8 is a draw but was probably angry to himself to have gave up a pawn for nothing like a beginner. 16.b4 then Na4~Nc5 was probably what Carlsen had in mind. Did he forget to play b4 first did he thought move order has not such importance...? A day off is also my explantion. Caruana played it well but not such impressive. Carlsen commits more and less a chess suicide. May be time to wake up for Carlsen. He uses to start slowly and finish strongly most of his tournaments.
Jun-19-13  Feldgrau: <Anish Giri ‏@anishgiri 15 Jun

I am pretty sure Magnus is losing the rook endgames because he just sees too much. No sarcasm.>

Jun-21-13  Neogy: I like the manner in which we casually criticize GMs :-).

But seriously, those pronouncing Carlsen's demise are a tad bit premature.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Neogy>: To hear some tell the tale, one is only as good as one's last game.

There will no doubt be a barrage of criticism aimed Nakamura's way after his loss to Gelfand by certain detractors on this board, who seem to live for those moments when they can play Monday morning quarterback, same as all the refuse which has appeared on this game.

Jun-21-13  RookFile: It's laughable to criticize Carlsen's endgame technique. He's conducted MANY a fine endgame, outplaying the world's best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile>: I can't agree more with your view, but the apparently overwhelming compulsion to find the feet of clay in the hero overtakes all else, becoming the master of many.
Jun-21-13  SetNoEscapeOn: It's just resultism, happens after most decisive games on this site.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <SoUnwiseTheKnight B4: I remember hearing that queen pawn openings lead to a higher percentage of rook endgames while king pawn openings lead to more minor piece endgames.>

I've never heard that one myself. In a way it sounds obvious, but I thought I'd do a little investigating anyway.

Now, I should emphasize that this is not scientifically precise research. I don't have the tools for that. More research should be done. But still, this might be interesting.

Broadly speaking, the king pawn openings are in ECO classifications B and C, while queen pawn openings are in A, D, and E. (Yes, I know that "A" contains a lot of stuff like the English/Reti, but they're more of a queen pawn anyway.)

I've got a copy of our database which I can limit by certain types of positions. First, the total number of games:

Total: 677957

KP: 328551 48.5%
QP: 349406 51.5%

Maybe I should toss out the English/Reti and make it more equal. Well, it's not a big difference.

<Rook only>

Total: 82223 (12.13% of all games)
KP: 41240 (12.55% of KP games)
QP: 40983 (11.73% of QP games)

Interesting. The KP openings are more likely to lead to rook-only endings.

<Minor piece only>
Total: 84063 (12.40%)
KP: 39842 (12.13%)
QP: 44221 (12.66%)

And QP leads in minor piece only endings!

A couple more, just for fun:

<Queen only>
Total: 14063 (2.07%)
KP: 6693 (2.04%)
QP: 7370 (2.11%)

Very close.

<Pawn only>
Total: 14845 (2.19%)
KP: 7767 (2.36%)
QP: 7078 (2.03%)

Romantic gambits notwithstanding.

Again, I repeat my caveats about this not being the Final Word. But it may well be significant that all of the KP/QP match-ups vary by less than 1%.

Nov-21-13  lajube: <PhonyBenoni> The experts say rook endings are by far the most common ending type. But according to your numbers knights+bishops are equally common.
Apr-23-14  hedgeh0g: <lajube> The second statistic is presumably a sum of all knight-only and all bishop-only endings in the database, so the fact that that figure is similar in size to the number of rook-only endings, should be some indication that rook endings win that contest hands-down.

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised to find that QP openings yield a lower proportion of R/greater proportion of B/N; closed positions where rooks tend to get traded off on the c-file and minor-piece manoeuvring dominates is almost thematic, particularly in Queen's Gambit-type positions.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <SetNoEscapeOn:

It's just resultism, happens after most decisive games on this site.>

More draws!

...lets stamp out resultism in our lifetime.

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