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Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana
Carlsen - Caruana World Championship Match (2018), London ENG, rd 6, Nov-16
Russian Game: Karklins-Martinovsky Variation (C42)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Here's the game with prepared moves against Komodo. Just before the end I knew he had better moves but I suspected he would take the rook!

This is my (not dull) draw with Ben Hague at the Asian-Pacific Zonal:

B Hague vs R Taylor, 2017

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: <Ceri> Driving is often exactly the laboratory I need for my problem solving. Often the solution to (mostly non chess) problems is bleeding obvious somewhere along the lane. I've often suspected it's because I'm not in a problem solving mode at the time.
Nov-18-18  Ceri: My lad just solved it 4 minutes and he is about Q odds worse than I am.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: About 2 minutes. Guessing that rates a Rook worse than Ceri.
Nov-18-18  Albion 1959: Seven games into the match and still no decisive result. This is not without precedent - Karpov v Korchnoi 1978 took until game eight before Karpov broke the deadlock. You can't say that these two are not trying and are settling for short easy draws. Up to know my view is that these are two evenly matched players and that there may only be a point margin either way to settle this. A foe who will not fall ! It could go the same as in 2016 with both players tied after 12 games and then it goes to sudden death in a series of rapid play games:
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Driving is often exactly the laboratory I need for my problem solving. >

I prefer to think about how to drag a hippopotamus out of a marsh for a while. Then I return to the problem.

Nov-18-18  hudman653: Is it just me or compared to Fischer vs. Spassky 1972 are these games extremly boring ??
Nov-19-18  Ceri: <OhioChessFan: About 2 minutes. Guessing that rates a Rook worse than Ceri.>

Hi, OCF.

My point was to confirm Sally's assertion that weaker players could solve this at least as well as experienced ones.



Nov-19-18  rogge: Less than one minute, which proves I'm a patzer :)

Today's the day Caruana wins the championship, my <current prediction>. Hope I'm wrong, though ;)

Nov-19-18  qqdos: <cehertan> the comment that "68...Bh4 is clearly superior" is well supported by the engine provided by above on this page and the move was not unfathomable as so many pundits have been suggesting. White had only four pieces, one immobile and any move by the King or h-pawn would be fatal and easily calculable by any super GM, however strapped for time. The only free-ranging White piece, the Bishop on c4 will have to abandon one of the 2 vital squares it has to guard. That is why the waiting move 68...Bh4, far from losing, is both a winner and beautiful.
Nov-27-18  Saniyat24: The prancing Russian ponies...!
Nov-27-18  alfamikewhiskey: Interesting.

The forced mate in 30+ found by Stockfish/Sesse at round about move 67 was, apparently, altogether undetected by AlphaZero ( at 15.30).

Nov-27-18  Saniyat24: well here is Svidler's video...
Nov-28-18  Saniyat24: blah...I don't see a win for black, perhaps it is possible...!
Dec-02-18  rcs784: When Carlsen played 50. Qh6+!! against Karjakin two years ago, Slate remarked that such beautiful two-movers--longtime staples of tactics textbooks--"don't ever happen" between two top players on the final move of the final game of the World Championship.

Forget all that. The position after White's 68th move in this game would not raise one eyebrow if it were published as a composed endgame study (with colors reversed, or course, per convention). And yet this extraordinary position, in which such beautiful, study-like wins were possible (never mind that they were not found over the board--that is not the point), not only occurred in a game, but in a game between the two strongest players in the world, with the highest title in chess on the line.

I am utterly speechless.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Endings question: Would taking the pawn instead of the bishop, 81. Qxf6 have been a draw as well?
Dec-03-18  Count Wedgemore: <saffuna: Endings question: Would taking the pawn instead of the bishop, 81. Qxf6 have been a draw as well?>

Yes, absolutely. After 81.Kxf6, it is a clear draw. White will not be able to hold on to his f5-pawn, and after that it is a B+N vs B endgame, which is a dead draw. Black cannot win.

Dec-08-18  qqdos: <rcs784> Far from <speechless>. You expressed your admiration very eloquently. I would hope that, if published as an endgame study, the innate beauty of the position, its solutions and the way Black can lose a move with his Bishop to impose and/or re-impose zugzwang would raise many an appreciative eyebrow.
Dec-08-18  Count Wedgemore: Yes, this endgame is quite suitable for a comprehensive endgame study, particularly with regards to zugzwang-related themes, and building a strange kind of fortress, that at least in practical play stood firm, even if, with the help of our silicon-based friends, we now realize that the fortress wasn't at all as impenetrable as it may have seemed, at first glance..
Dec-09-18  qqdos: <Count Wedgemore> "quite suitable" seems exceptionally understated when the variations are so beautiful. Yes, the strange fortress was vulnerable and brought about entirely by Carlsen's 2 moves 67.Kg6 and 68.Bc4. At first glance and second, surely the position is crying out "Nimzowitsch/zugzwang" and, with so few pieces on the board, should not White be prompted to look for a way to embarrass (by overloading) the Bishop on c4, which has those 2 vital squares g8 and e2 to guard. Somewhere Nakamura says that Caruana is very good at calculating when there are only a few potential moves to consider. Here, there there were realistically a tiny number of moves to analyse for White. And as I have ventured before the "esoteric solution" (Kasparov's phrase) was not beyond the comprehension of a mere mortal.
Dec-09-18  qqdos: <Count Wedgemore> P.S. I have just read one of your earlier posts about Lasker, which I would like to discuss. My reading of Lasker's approach was to give his opponents problems with difficult positions, time management dilemmas etc. certainly not precluding taking a punt with a possibly questionable move - for example 68.Bc4 rather than the prosaic Nf3. This is exactly why I think that the esoteric solution would have suited Lasker down to the ground and that he might very well have found it and taken the chance. Another candidate might be Korchnoi for similar reasons. I would welcome your views.
Apr-10-19  qqdos: <Chess Informant 138> This game, somewhat unusually for a long draw, has been awarded the Best Game of Volume 138 by the editor - a selection I fully endorse.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

I thought the best game etc...was shown in the following Inf. (which by my reckoning should No.139) in which case T Hillarp Persson vs T Laurusas, 2018 or R Praggnanandhaa vs T S Ravi, 2018 will be, or should be up there.

It's been years since I bought a new up to date Inf. (1982 when I was hot, now I'm not even lukewarm.) but I have picked up dozens 2nd hand including No.1 on my travels.

Have they changed the format regarding best games and TN's.

Just re-read your post, 'Editors choice.' so maybe not.

This game had it's moments but IMHO (the 'H' stands for 'Humble') not the best from the latter half of 2018.

They (that is 'them' who know better than us as what we do and don't like) will probably declare an AlphaZero game (take your pick) best of the year and then put it forward for a Nobel Prize.


Apr-13-19  qqdos: <Sally Simpson> Hi! Yes, there have been changes, perhaps due to cost cutting. Quite a number of changes to the format - lots of articles on the openings and far fewer annotated games. The panel which chose the Best Game has been superseded and the editor now chooses, or maybe his editorial team. The game from Volume 138 was announced in the most recent Volume. I think the editor may have been unduly respectful to the World Championship Match, because he also chose Carlsen's win in the first game as Best Theoretical Novelty. I agree with your opinion about this game as a whole but just love the unsung endgame study "paragraph" from move 68.
Thank you also for your choices - most enjoyable as games per se.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I remember this and seeing Svidler's analysis and I tried to work it out but no matter what I did I couldn't see what was going on. This was something I put in the too hard basket. But I remember seeing that there was a ridiculously long analysis that I thought was some stupid thing or a joke.

When I saw it was taken seriously I tried to see what it was or what it meant but the position defeated me. I would have taken a draw in club game I think or played until I either fluked a win or it was a draw....

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