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Magnus Carlsen vs Yannick Pelletier
European Team Championship (2015), Reykjavik ISL, rd 5, Nov-17
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Hedgehog Defense (A30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-17-15  cfountain: What in the world is going on with Carlsen?
Nov-17-15  Luceana: Petrosianic & asiduodiego I disagree with both of you guys. Carlsen has been losing to guys rated in the 2500's & 2600's lately. The WC match is usually 10-12 games, and comes down to 1 or 2 wins per player.

Certainly, I still give Carlsen a very slight edge, is his match, but definitely nothing guaranteed.

For example, if he loses the first game or two, then it will be very hard for Carlsen to come back against someone like Caruana, or Aronian to win the match. Also, Carlsen doesn't have an aggressive opening repertoire, and relies too much on grinding out equal endgames.

Maybe I would give Carlsen a 55% chance of winning, but not much more, due to his shaky performance lately.

Nov-17-15  Petrosianic: Definitely nothing is guaranteed.

Aronian outplayed him, but today's loss was due to trying too hard to win.

And yeah, sure. If he lost the first game or two of a championship match (especially two), it would be hard to come back.

Yes, his repertoire is definitely his biggest weakness. It's like having Reshevsky as world champion.

Nov-18-15  EhsanBalani: How much time took Magnus to make the blunder (45.Rg8??)?
Nov-18-15  engineerX: Carlsen will win many games in a row for the rest of this tournament.
Nov-18-15  asiduodiego: <EhsanBalani> He took 40m40s in playing the fatal 45 Rg8??. And for that reason, I think it was an hallucination. Is a typical situation when you feel comfortable, you consider some plans and ideas, without checking if there's a hidden tactical shot there. It's a sad mistake, but it reflects more a lack of clarity of mind in the moment, rather than he's somehow "losing his chess powers" or whatever.
Nov-18-15  Petrosianic: <engineerX: Carlsen will win many games in a row for the rest of this tournament.>

If wanting to win were all it took, he'd be 3-0 now.

Nov-18-15  dumbgai: Carlsen's performance rating so far in this tournament is 2365. Let that sink in for a moment.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <dumbgai> Wow. I had a 2300+ performance rating in a tournament once. Can I be world champion now, please?
Nov-18-15  Sokrates: Carlsen seems to have lost his skis and now he's tumbling down the Norwegian mountains while bumping into trees he would easily have avoided a year ago. How could a world champion (with white pieces!) lose to a player 200 rating points below (with all due respect to Pelletier)? Could you imagine Botvinnik, Karpov or Kasparov doing that? He is both shaken and stirred and no Bollinger seems to be at hand for the moment. I wonder what is going on in his mind these times.
Nov-18-15  AzingaBonzer: Pretty sure Kasparov himself had some bad tournaments as well in the past.
Nov-18-15  maelith: <AzingaBonzer: Pretty sure Kasparov himself had some bad tournaments as well in the past.>

But as a word champion, I can't remember Kasparov losing to a 2500 player and blundering like that.

Nov-18-15  latvalatvian: Please note Carlsen is playing at the same level. What's happening is every grandmaster and his dog is studying his games day in day out. What can Carlsen do? He would have to ask himself "How would I go about beating myself?" But if he asks that then it could be detrimental to his psyche. It is safer to be yourself and lose then be three people and win.
Nov-18-15  Est2002: Magnus must be in love. He seems somewhat distracted and his form hasn't been the best this year. He lost to a fellow Norwegian player this year also, that must have been pretty painful for him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Ulhumbrus: How about this explanation : He could have felt sorry for Pelletier following news of the Paris attacks and so played at less than full strength, although not intentionally.>

How about this explanation: <Ulhumbrus> just realised that Paris isn't in Switzerland. Doh!

Nov-19-15  Ulhumbrus: <MissScarlett: <Ulhumbrus: How about this explanation : He could have felt sorry for Pelletier following news of the Paris attacks and so played at less than full strength, although not intentionally.>

How about this explanation: <Ulhumbrus> just realised that Paris isn't in Switzerland. Doh!>

I stand corrected. I have looked it up and Pelletier was a member of the Swiss team, not the French team

Nov-19-15  kamagong24: Pulo y Gata: Maybe Magnus, after breaking some notable positive records, is now eyeing the opposite achievement (if you can call it that), most losses in a year for a reigning champ included. A man for the records.

a trademark crab mentality atittude, always looking to pull people down given the chance... beware!

so a world champ lost, he is human too!

Nov-19-15  Pinkerton: < kamagong24 > way to stand up for your man Carlsen but you've got to have even just a little bit of sense of humor.
Nov-19-15  Pulo y Gata: Yes, a plateful of humor please! The comment quoted was made tongue-in-cheek in reaction to earlier comments.
Nov-20-15  galdur: I think "pulling people down" is a way too lofty term in this context. It isnĀ“t exactly like Einstein is pulling down Oppenheimer or anything like that. If you get my drift.
Nov-21-15  Luceana: <engineerX: Carlsen will win many games in a row for the rest of this tournament.> How is that prediction working out now?
Nov-21-15  pinoy king: Latvalatvian: latvalatvian: "Please note"... you literally sound like a pathetic Carlsen apologist begging to excuse his failures! Did Carlsen lose in the opening here? Middle game? No he dropped a piece in the endgame. What a silly thing you suggested. Carlsen knows no one is to blame for these losses besides himself, you don't know better.

As a side note, congratulations to strongest Norwegian player Hammer for an excellent performance so far. It looks like he will shatter 2700 this tournament.

Dec-16-15  kengol: This looks like one of those "trying too hard to win" games to me.
Dec-16-15  JoeBerylwood: I think Magnus likes giving his friends a gift from time to time is all.
Jan-19-16  yurikvelo:

from +0.51 to -2.33 in 2 moves

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