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Fabiano Caruana vs Magnus Carlsen
Sinquefield Cup (2015), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 2, Aug-24
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Archangelsk Variation (C78)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-24-15  Kinghunt: Carlsen wins <by miracle>, as Kramnik might say.
Aug-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <iatelier....(Caruana's) blunder....shows, no matter of time constraint, that those big names are also sometimes nothing but Patzers.>

We have all been there, qv:

Capablanca vs Tarrasch, 1914

Fischer vs Letelier, 1959

L Christiansen vs Karpov, 1993

Aug-24-15  SirRuthless: There is no luck in chess but we all know that saying is crap.
Aug-24-15  Sally Simpson: Carlsen was due a rub of the green regarding time controls after round one in Norway.

What goes around comes around.

Time trouble can never be offered as an excuse. Both players start off with the same time allotment.

The clock is the 17th piece. One can misplace time just as one can misplace a piece.

Probably not wise to go toe to toe in a time scramble with Carslen.

Aug-24-15  dumbgai: <Time trouble can never be offered as an excuse. Both players start off with the same time allotment.>

Agree. The players are responsible for deciding how to manage their time: play faster and risk overlooking something, or take your time and risk time trouble. Caruana misjudged the balance between the two and paid the price.

Aug-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: <SirRuthless: There is no luck in chess but we all know that saying is crap.>

That's a great topic that I've heard discussed many a time. The philosopher will demand first, before any discussion is allowed, that the word "luck" be defined. Sure there are definitions in the dictionary, but sometimes those aren't as fleshed out as they could be. There is more to a word than first meets the eye in many cases. So, what is luck?

Another interesting thing to think about is that we might be confusing feelings for fact when we talk about luck in chess. That is, we may *feel* lucky when our opponent blunders (or does x,y or z), but that doesn't mean luck occurred or that luck was manifested somehow, or that luck was actually experienced.

We all know that Capablanca said something like 'a good player is always lucky' but that sounds almost funny. He sounds like he was being a bit facetious. Still, luck has to be fully defined. It's not so easy.

Aug-24-15  dumbgai: Well, I'll try one definition of "luck": achieving a positive result (winning) in spite of poor decision making that should normally lead to a negative result (losing) in the absence of external factors beyond the lucky person's control.

Applying this definition to this game, I guess one could argue that Carlsen was "lucky" if you consider his inferior position as a result of poor decision making (inaccurate moves), and Caruana's time-pressure blunder as the external factor. But you also have to give credit to Carlsen for his better decision making regarding his time management.

Another relevant question: was Caruana unlucky? My opinion is that he lost due to poor time management and blundering, not bad luck.

Is luck in chess a zero-sum game?

Aug-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: <Well, I'll try one definition of "luck": achieving a positive result (winning) in spite of poor decision making that should normally lead to a negative result (losing) in the absence of external factors beyond the lucky person's control.>

I see where you are going here, and it makes sense, but this isn't exactly a definition of luck. It's more like an example of luck in chess.

What is luck? Luck doesn't always have to do with chess. Luck, some people say, occurs in a variety of situations in life.

Therefore, what is luck?

If you think luck exists then where does it come from? What causes luck to act?

Without really knowing what luck is, we all talk past one another when asking whether or not there is luck in chess.

Aug-24-15  1971: If you blunder are you unlucky? No, you just made a mistake. Therefore there is no luck in chess.
Aug-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: And if your opponent blunders are you lucky? Of course. There is lots of luck in chess.
Aug-24-15  galdur: 'a good player is always lucky'. Sure, he tends to be good at helping the opponent be 'unlucky'. Like Magnus here.
Aug-24-15  Sally Simpson: Hi,

Of course there is luck in chess.

I'm sure every OTB player must have experienced this scenario or one very much like it.

A piece being on the right square at the right time but was originally played there for a totally different reason.

After the game your opponent shows you a winning idea you had not even considered but this piece just happened to be on the right square to prevent it.

That's luck.

If not then what else do you call it?

---

" The philosopher will demand first, before any discussion is allowed, that the word "luck" be defined."

and Good Luck with that.

Aug-24-15  kupton: Well put Big Pawn! We are all Lucky to have that explained to us.
Aug-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Therefore, what is luck? >

When your opponent's cell phone goes off during the game, and he/she then gets thrown out of the tournament hall.

Aug-25-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <Sally Simpson:> Not having checked this games with engines yet but seeing the 39.Qe4 engine move you mentioned - it is an amazing move, seemingly not scared about Rd1+ from black which is Carlsen's main threat with doubling rooks with the idea of mating on h1. Qe4 defends h1 indirectly!

It is often the case that one major threat is parried but it creates a "weakness of the last move" in time trouble situations especially - so another major threat becomes available instead!

I have seen this decide many GM games around move 40. It is difficult to defend positions in time trouble basically!

Aug-25-15  galdur: Well, I thought black had a threat but saw on closer look that he has nothing UNLESS white self-blocks e4 for the queen after which Rd2 is deadly. Pretty sly trap to lay for your time scrambling opponent, Rbe4 somehow looks so natural - at very first sight.
Aug-25-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I think I get it more now if one checks the official coverage video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNg...

It seems that the players may not have been used to the absense of the 30 second increment per move. Essentially they entered "bullet mode" and Magnus Carlsen thought that Rxd2 was simply a "reflex reaction". It is more understandable given no increment. Any move apart from Rxd2 might be okay for White. I haven't engine checked this yet at all.

Aug-25-15  galdur: Ah yes, after Qb3 instead of Rxd2 I guess black doesn,t really have anything except draw most likely.
Aug-25-15  Ulhumbrus: 16 Bg5 begins a plan of conceding the bishop pair in order to support an attack on the point d5. The plan does not succeed. Black manages to hold on to the d5 pawn and after 24...Qf6 Qhite has no compensation for the bishop pair. Perhaps Caruana saw something too late.
Aug-25-15  Gegga: Caruana also said he didn't write down the moves (obviously), and he didn't know he was about to make move 40. If he had known, he might have used 2 seconds more. That would probably be enough ...
Aug-25-15  fgh: <kingscrusher: <Sally Simpson:> Not having checked this games with engines yet but seeing the 39.Qe4 engine move you mentioned - it is an amazing move, seemingly not scared about Rd1+ from black which is Carlsen's main threat with doubling rooks with the idea of mating on h1. Qe4 defends h1 indirectly!>

Qe4 has nothing to do with defending h1. The critical line (which is easy to miss when you have just a few seconds on the clock and your opponent is weaving a mating net) goes:

39. Qe4 Rd1+ 40. Nxd1 Rxd1+ 41. Re1 Qxe4 42. Rxe4

Aug-25-15  znsprdx: actually the more you replay this game you will realize that 29...Rd7 was far from "passive" it was a profound diversionary tactic which White too hastily responded 30.Ra4. When Black regains the sacrificed pawn with 34...Bxe4 it almost forces White to play Bd5 (to parry the crushing Qf3 threat- the Bb5 alternative seems pretty unconvincing) 36...Qc6 put the worm on the hook- Black is far from lost
Aug-25-15  Sally Simpson: Hi guys,

I never mentioned 39.Qe4.

However if it works and is a good move then yes: Say it came it from me.

Aug-28-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: Perhaps this game shows how difficult it is to beat Carlsen.
Aug-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I don't understand what was going on around move 25. Didn't Carlsen have anything better to do than ...Kf8, ...Kg8? Did he have to play 27.....b5-b4?
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