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Wesley So vs Magnus Carlsen
Tata Steel Masters (2020), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 13, Jan-26
Four Knights Game: Scotch Variation. Accepted (C47)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-26-20  ndg2: Lol, with good predictability CG chooses the lamest game as the live game to watch
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <ndg2> We voted for this game to be shown instead of Artemiev-Caruana (Tata Steel Masters (2020) (kibitz #622)), so don't blame <CG>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <We voted for this game to be shown instead of Artemiev-Caruana (Tata Steel Masters (2020), so don't blame <CG>>

Back in the days -- some 15+ years ago -- <CG> made an informal experiment (carried an experiment and a debate, really) how to chose the game of the day: (i) always show the game of the guy in the lead or (ii) by a vote. By a luck or design, we found that (i) seemed to work better: (a) it chose one of the better games of the round more often than not, (b) there seemed to be a sense of fairness of the policy in that the leader 'earned' the honor, (c) the policy sawed less discord in our ranks here.

We occasionally overwrote the policy, but the stress here in on the word 'occasionally'. In general, the policy has served us well.

Jan-26-20  Pedro Fernandez: Hey <Gypsy>, what's up my friend! The choice of So-Carlsen game was totally correct. Caruana already had won the Tour., and that game was the most interesting one as it the 2nd vs the 3rd spots. Now I see quite natural the justified frustration of those of our pals who wanted an interesting game. But it did not happen, no big deal, period!

A warm greetings for you my dear friend.

PS. For those of our members who don't know this: "Did you know that Mr. <Gypsy> is the unique partner whoa has the great privilege to announce the victory of any successful game at CG?".

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Agree with <Gypsy>. Also, Wesley So almost invariably heads more or less directly for a draw when he has White against Carlsen, so the chances this game was going to be interesting were not good.
Jan-26-20  ndg2: Thanks for the explanations, Gypsy and Count Wedgemore
Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: Magnus played the Sicilian Defense - and with great effect - in his title defense against Caruana. Mag doesn't seem to play the Italian Game anywhere near as well, Anand and Kramnik are both better at handling this line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <Clement Fraud: Mag doesn't seem to play the Italian Game anywhere near as well, Anand and Kramnik are both better at handling this line.>

First of all, this wasn't the Italian Game, but a Scotch Four Knights. Second, Magnus handles both the Scotch and the Giuoco Piano exceptionally well. So to conclude: your comment is pure nonsense.

Jan-26-20  morfishine: King vs King is more than likely a draw
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

<This was the position after 91.Kxb8 in the game NewRival1816 - Faile06 in a computer tournament in 2001. According to the rule, the game should have been stopped as a draw here, but this rule apparently wasn't implemented in either program, and they continued to use their brute force against each other, evaluating billions of positions per second until, at move 493, a referee intervened and declared it a draw.

493 moves is a new world record, but there had already been a few computer games of over 300 moves, most of them endgames with Bishops of opposite colors between programs that did not know the 50-move rule.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: <Count Wedgemore> Perhaps my earlier remark was a bit sloppy, but I stand by my viewpoint that Magnus Carlsen plays the Sicilian Defense a lot better (than when he defends the e4 e5 lines). The Sicilian games versus Caruana were a lot more tense and double edged than the game here, which saw a lot of quick simplification.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: More common is 10...Nxe4, as in M Schaar vs J Canibal, 1999. According to ChessBase Online, that move was played in 45 games, with Black scoring a robust 65.6%. But the engines say that after 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Qh5, White gets a minute plus after 12...Qd5 13.Qe5 or 12...Qe7 13.Qe5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: I would be willing to make a friendly wager with anyone here that, had Carlsen opted for the Sicilian, So would certainly have avoided the Lasker-Pelikan with something like the Rossolimo or gone in for 7.Nd5, as Caruana repeatedly did--no chance at all that So would play into the razor-sharp morass of the main line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I don’t think it’s a matter of playing a line well or badly, it’s just that there are quite a few lines after 1.e4 e5 (this one, for example) that don’t provide much winning chances to either side.

Carlsen presumably thinks it’s a bad idea to play the Sicilian all the time, and he’s got a world championship match to later this year. I checked Tata 2018 — he mostly played 1....e5 there too (one French).

It would be nice to go to a match every third year rather than every other year, if we could get a longer classical match out of it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: There was a clear-cut reason why, after the early twentieth century, White turned chiefly to the Spanish as his workhorse in these open games and many of the byways which had formed the basis of praxis till then largely languished in obscurity: that explanation is contained in the second sentence of <keypusher>'s post.

Had it not been for Kasparov's revival of such lines as the Scotch and his imbuing them with new life, perhaps the Lopez would have remained the workhorse through at least the 1990s; a contributing factor also, in my view, was Kramnik and the renaissance that his adoption of the Berlin proved to be, a method of avoiding the Spanish Torture which had fallen into desuetude at top level since the aforementioned early 1900s, and which proved a masterstroke against his great rival Kasparov in 2000.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Will he still be playing this game in the future?

Jan-27-20  Sally Simpson: ***

Annie K. No more voting for the live game. This bunch of Podsnaps did what they always do, add up the two players grades and made that their choice.

'Ooh look at the grades, this will be good.' Predictable and pathetic.

Caruana had already won the tournament so any dipstick could see Carlsen was never going to bust a gut trying to win and all Wes So needed was a ½ point to make sure he got a good share of the money.

From now on Annie let the choice be yours and yours alone. If you encourage voting for the live game it will cause arguments (witness this post.)

Also, it is bound to put you in a position where you have to cast the deciding vote and whoever you vote against will feel aggrieved, hard done by, sulk and next time deliberately vote for a game nobody wants (sounds like something I would do!)

Instead of a live-live game how about giving us an old-live game.

Hide one of the games from the G.C. DataBase (for example a WC game between Botvinnik - Smyslov 1954. that was a cracking match Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954))

Don't tell us who it is between just feed us one move at a time with an interval of 3-4 minutes.

Upon resignation, joy of joys, we can have a dancing Rook with, in this case, a face with either Botvinnik or Smyslov on it. I'd vote for that.


(edit - posted this twice, deleted it twice....senior moment.)

Jan-27-20  SChesshevsky: < First of all, this wasn't the Italian Game, but a Scotch Four Knights...>

It's an interesting opening that can turn out more complex. In the 2019 World Chess Armageddon show, Karjakin - Kramnik day 7, match game 2. Opening went same to 7. Bd3 when Kramnik went ...0-0 then 8. 0-0 d5 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Bg5 c6 11. Qf3 and after a little think Kramnik played 11...Rb8 with some lively play.

A like game was:

Deep Blue vs Kasparov, 1996

where Kasparov retreated with 11...Be7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> Don't tell us who it is between just feed us one move at a time with an interval of 3-4 minutes.>

I like your idea, keep us in suspense while the game is in progress and only reveal the players after the game is finished. This will start a lively discussion to guess who the players are while the game is in progress.

Jan-28-20  Sally Simpson: *** Hi AylerKupp,

It was a joke but when you think about it and as long as it was not well known game and possibly finishing with blunder then it may work.

I like the idea of a game turning blunder with everyone predicting and expecting a win when something like this happens - from a skittles game I played a few days ago (I was Black- to move)

click for larger view

1...Rh1+ 2.Kxh1 c1=Q+ 3.Kh2

And I went for the classy...

3...Qf4+ 4.Qxf4 Be5

click for larger view

Pretty neat eh?

But although the White Queen is pinned it still cover f6,f7,f8 and h6 so Ra7+ Ra8+ Ra7+ Ra8+ draws.


Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sally Simpson> Yes, I knew it was a joke and, in turn, so was my response.

But, looking at your position after 1...Rh1+ 2.Kxh1 c1=Q+ 3.Kh2 Qf4+ 4.Qxf4 Be5

click for larger view

Yes, pretty neat. You conclude by saying that although the White queen is pinned it still covers f6, f7, f8, and h6 so Ra7+, Ra8+, Ra7+, Ra8+ draws.

But does the White queen really cover these squares? This is what FIDE's most recent Laws of Chess ( say:

"1.2 The objective of each player is to place the opponent’s king ‘under attack’ in such a way that the opponent has no legal move. The player who achieves this goal is said to have ‘checkmated’ the opponent’s king and to have won the game. Leaving one’s own king under attack, exposing one’s own king to attack and also ’capturing’ the opponent’s king are not allowed. The opponent whose king has been checkmated has lost the game."

If Black's king were to move to f8, f7, f6, or h6 it would obviously be under attack or at least exposed to attack (I'm not sure what the difference is) by White's queen. But White's queen could not capture Black's king because White's king would then in turn be under attack or exposed to attack by the Be5. In that case, would Black's king really be under attack or exposed to attack by White's queen since White's queen could not capture Black's king?

Just food for thought. :-)

Speaking of blunders, many years ago a had a position something like this as Black:

click for larger view

I could have simply played 1...Rxf1+ with an easily won game but instead I played the "classy" and "neat" 1...Ba7+. Because of the horizon effect a computer would probably have responded 2.Rd4 to delay the inevitable as long as possible even though after 2...Bxd4+ it would have been in the same situation and he would have been forced to play 3.Qf2

So instead, consciously or unconciously, White set a trap and played 2.Qf2. leading to the following position:

click for larger view

But I was a human after all and instead of the simple 2...Bxf2+ I once again played the "classy" and "pretty neat" 2...Rxf2. My opponent immediately and gleefully replied 3.Rd8+ and loudly exclaimed "CHECKMATE!" The game was being watched by several of our friends and they all started laughing.

I could have simply played 2...Rf8+ (and maybe #, depending on the resolution of your situation above). But instead, flustered, confused, and not noticing the discovered check I <RESIGNED> because after 2...Rf8 (if no check) 3.Rxf8 would have been mate. I'm not sure if "resign" is a move but, if it is, then surely that would be a candidate for the worst move ever played.

No, I couldn't make this up even if I tried. And, yes, this was a <tournament> game and I don't think that there was a time trouble issue by either side.

Jan-31-20  dhotts: <morfishine> A player can win a King vs King ending simply by placing enough cash on the board such that the opposing king resigns...Most pro chess players are poor, so money talks!
Jan-31-20  morfishine: <dhotts> Good point
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <chancho:

Will he still be playing this game in the future?>

He looks 65 years young in that picture!

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <I could have simply played 2...Rf8+ (and maybe #, depending on the resolution of your situation above). But instead, flustered, confused, and not noticing the discovered check I <RESIGNED> because after 2...Rf8 (if no check) 3.Rxf8 would have been mate. I'm not sure if "resign" is a move but, if it is, then surely that would be a candidate for the worst move ever played.>


Oh, that's hilarious, but I'm so sorry. A few years back I did something similar, but I luckily remembered that my Rd1+ retreat/discovered check won the game. Probably only because I was playing online. :-)

click for larger view

25.Qc4 Qb1+ 26.Rd1+ 1-0

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