June 20, 2014 17:51

Carlsen Triple World Champion, Nepomniachtchi & Nakamura Shared Second in World Blitz

On Friday Magnus Carlsen also won the FIDE World Blitz Championship in Dubai and so the Norwegian now holds the crown in three different time controls. He finished on 17.0/21, a full point more than Ian Nepomniachtchi & Hikaru Nakamura, who finished two points ahead of the rest of the pack.

All photos © Chess.com

He wasn't top seeded in either event, and with so many rounds and so many top players present, Magnus Carlsen wasn't considered more than a slight favorite among the favorites in Dubai. To win both the rapid and the blitz tournament is simply outstanding, even for him!

Even though the Rapid & Blitz World Championships have only been organized in this format a few times, this achievement can definitely be called historic. Vishy Anand was the king of rapid chess for a long time, partly during his reign as the classical champion, but Carlsen can now call himself the official world champion in classical, rapid and blitz chess.

So how did that final day at the Dubai Chess & Culture Club unfold? As a reminder, Carlsen's 9.0/11 meant a half-point lead over Hikaru Nakamura and Georg Meier. That was the starting point, with Carlsen having already played against four quickplay specialists: Ian Nepomniachtchi, Hikaru Nakamura, Le Quang Liem and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Carlsen immediately started with a win against one of the surprises of day 1, Georg Meier. It wasn't a convincing victory, though. If the German GM had found the c4-c5+ idea earlier (on move 34!), the result could have been very different.

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Meier did much worse on the second day; he scored only 3.5 points - just like the other surprising name, Lu Shanglei. The Chinese player lost Friday's first round to Nepomniachtchi, who stayed half a point behind the leader. Nakamura dropped back a bit while escaping with a draw against Sargissian.

Speaking of players who disappointed: after winning the Norway Chess tournament, Sergey Karjakin played a good rapid tournament (shared sixth), but then apparently the energy was gone. He came 61st in the blitz.

The second day would see another relatively unknown player beating a bunch of famous grandmasters: Sergei Yudin, who holds a modest classical rating of 2546.

Sergei Yudin, one of the surprises in the blitz

Yudin's rise in fact started on Thursday evening as he defeated Radjabov in round 10. On Friday a black win versus Svidler followed, after surviving a very difficult (in fact lost if White goes 25.Be5 and 26.Qd4) position.

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Yudin then also set aside Lu, drew with Le, and then beat both Wojtaszek and Nakamura! Especially the game with the American was a heroic fight, where Nakamura kept on playing for a win while being material down.

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Round 13 saw the second encounter in Dubai between the players of the next world title match: Carlsen, again with the white pieces, against Anand. This game was perhaps of higher quality than the one in the rapid, with Anand playing solidly and defending a slightly worse position almost without effort.

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And so Anand won the “minimatch” in Dubai 0.5-1.5, while playing Black both times. Not bad!

Nepomniachtchi decreased the gap with Carlsen to half a point after beating Sargissian, and Nakamura recovered well with a win against Riazantsev. Meanwhile Caruana, who isn't an especially great blitz player and couldn't play for the top prizes, won a nice game against Movsesian.

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Just play through his next game with Paco Vallejo and you will realize how easy it is to make a blunder after a long game.

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Of almost the same category was Anand's round 15 game against Nepomniachtchi. The Indian was in control from the start, got a promising rook ending but then… one king move in the wrong direction and the position changed from won to lost. These rook endings!

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Some unfortunate moments for Anand

After two good wins over Polgar and Mamedyarov, something even worse happened to Anand. He won a pawn against Nakamura as Black, couldn't find the most accurate moves after which it was a dead draw, then he grabbed his king on move 41, put it on f6, changed his mind and moved it to g6 instead, missing a knight fork. Horrible!

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Round 14 had another nice tag to the game on board one: the highest rated player ever against the strongest female player ever. “Will we discover Magnus's weak spot?” joked GM Ian Rogers in the playing hall. The answer was negative.

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On the board next to them, an absolute amazing game was played. From a Queen's Gambit Accepted Nakamura got three pawns versus on on the queenside, and instead of developing, he just kept on pushing pawns there! The position after move 12 is quite a sight.

Mamedyarov found an ingenious way to deal with those pawns: giving a rook, but winning a piece back elsewhere. Focusing on the Black king, the Azeri GM got a winning advantage but somehow the game ended in a draw!

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After 15 rounds Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi both had 12 points while Nakamura and Mamedyarov were a point behind. Two players were behind them: Yudin and Aronian.

Nepomniachtchi grabbed the lead in the next round by beating Mamedyarov, while Carlsen drew his game with Aronian.

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Carlsen escaped:

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In round 17 Nepomniachtchi didn't have much trouble with Yudin. Dreev was a lot tougher to beat, but Carlsen eventually managed to grind him down in an almost equal ending:

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Nakamura stayed close; his game with Aronian was decided in a pawn ending:

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In round 18 both Nepomniachtchi and Carlsen drew their games, against Mamedov and Morozevich respectively, and so with three rounds to go Nepomniachtchi was still in the lead, Carlsen half a point behind, and Nakamura a point behind Carlsen. It all came down to who would be the sharpest and fittest after five days of fast chess!

And in fact it was the very next game where Nepomniachtchi blew it. He got a queen against rook & bishop (and passed pawn) for Korobov, missed a win to two and had to settle for a draw.

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Carlsen was worse against Mamedov. He decided to set a trap, and his opponent fell for it:

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And so we had two leaders, with two rounds to go! Carlsen again did what he had to do, and beat Yudin - in just a few minutes it was over.

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Carlsen stood up from the board, wrote down the result and then walked to board 2 to check out the position there. When Nepomniachtchi noticed him, he turned around towards Carlsen's board, to see where the kings were placed. The two monarchs were on white squares, so the Russian knew Carlsen had won. He frowned, continued defending his slightly worse ending and eventually lost.

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Aronian defeated Nepomniachtchi in a crucial game

Suddenly the tournament seemed already decided, because Carlsen was a point clear with one round to go, and also had a better tiebreak. But, because that tiebreak (average rating of the opponents cut one) could still change in favor of Nepomniachtchi in the last round, Carlsen was certainly going for at least a draw. And he even got a win as Korobov blundered a pawn in an equal position.

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Korobov resigns, Carlsen wins his third world title

A convincing victory! Or, in Carlsen's own words, if you score 17.0/21 you deserve to win. When Anastasiya Karlovich asked him the obvious question “what's next”, Carlsen: “I can do it again!”, adding that he will be just as motivated next year.

When GM Ian Rogers asked him if he wanted to go for the world title in correspondence or bullet, Carlsen replied: “I don't have the patience for correspondence or the hands for bullet.”

Magnus Carlsen in between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Ian Nepomniachtchi

Here's the full press conference:

Nigel Short


World Blitz Championship 2014 | Final Standings (Top 40)

Rk. SNo Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2
1 4 Carlsen Magnus NOR 2837 17 2738 257,5
2 9 Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2816 16 2740 256
3 1 Nakamura Hikaru USA 2879 16 2734 256,5
4 8 Le Quang Liem VIE 2817 14 2718 254,5
5 7 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2822 13,5 2722 252,5
6 3 Aronian Levon ARM 2863 13,5 2707 250
7 6 Anand Viswanathan IND 2827 13,5 2694 251,5
8 12 Mamedov Rauf AZE 2766 13,5 2666 233,5
9 32 Sargissian Gabriel ARM 2689 13 2716 245
10 17 Morozevich Alexander RUS 2741 13 2673 233
11 14 Svidler Peter RUS 2757 13 2651 228,5
12 86 Yudin Sergei RUS 2559 12,5 2747 249
13 29 Dreev Aleksey RUS 2701 12,5 2725 250,5
14 37 Harikrishna P. IND 2669 12,5 2718 248,5
15 21 Wojtaszek Radoslaw POL 2726 12,5 2691 231,5
16 13 Korobov Anton UKR 2758 12,5 2686 234,5
17 10 Grischuk Alexander RUS 2801 12,5 2675 236
18 23 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo VEN 2722 12,5 2673 231,5
19 16 Bacrot Etienne FRA 2744 12,5 2670 231
20 35 Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2674 12,5 2666 222
21 26 Radjabov Teimour AZE 2706 12,5 2659 231,5
22 22 Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2725 12,5 2659 231
23 30 Malakhov Vladimir RUS 2700 12,5 2645 219
24 15 Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2746 12,5 2642 217,5
25 34 Eljanov Pavel UKR 2674 12,5 2622 213,5
26 36 Polgar Judit HUN 2673 12 2751 251,5
27 43 Meier Georg GER 2663 12 2739 255
28 61 Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2628 12 2703 237
29 57 Andriasian Zaven ARM 2633 12 2702 231
30 67 Matlakov Maxim RUS 2618 12 2700 233
31 55 Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2636 12 2690 240,5
32 5 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2835 12 2680 235
33 89 Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2539 12 2658 210,5
34 20 Dubov Daniil RUS 2729 12 2651 222,5
35 39 Lu Shanglei CHN 2668 11,5 2713 251,5
36 31 Caruana Fabiano ITA 2697 11,5 2678 230
37 44 Safarli Eltaj AZE 2661 11,5 2667 232,5
38 27 Fressinet Laurent FRA 2705 11,5 2666 227,5
39 50 Van Wely Loek NED 2647 11,5 2653 219
40 28 Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2703 11,5 2646 228

(Full standings here)


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Thomas Richter's picture

I may be wrong, but I thought Lineker had been quoted several times before, also by known Carlsen fans.

64 pieces - silly mistake late in the evening, corrected.

rogge's picture

"I may be wrong"

Yes, you often are. But here you're right. The Lineker quote was adopted years ago. I think Lineker expressed both respect and admiration for the German team. However, some people disliked the Germans. The Schumacher - Battiston incident is only one of the reasons why.

Anonymous's picture

Often delusional but always obsessive

observer's picture

"IMHO". Hmmm. Seems we get an awful lot of Thomas's "IMHO" here there and everywhere. He is one humble guy.

Grandma's picture

+ 10 @PortaNigra

Regarding your nickname: May I ask if you come from Trier, the interesting and beautiful city in the wonderful Mosel valley? :-)

PortaNigra's picture

Hei Grandma!

Yes, I´m from Trier. Good catch! :-)
I also spent one semester in Norway (Bergen). That was in 2007. Even back then, when I mentioned that I play chess, non-chess playing Norwegians immediately asked about Magnus! I specifically remember one guy at a party: "We hear a lot about Magnus in the media. Is he really THAT good??" When I told him, that in my opinion, Carlsen is the future world champion, he had a hard time believing it :-)

matu's picture

Carlsen is not that good compared to Anand. He earned these last two titles in one week. No big deal because no deep thinking with blitz and rapid. Anand held the world championship title in three different formats. And this involves deep thinking. This cannot be considered momentous since every year there is going to be a world championship cycle for blitz and rapid making the crown a seemingly cheap commodity;while in classical, world championship, now every two years thereafter.And to to top it all, Anand defeated Magnus in rapid and drew with blitz.

Theearthisflat's picture

I agree, Anand is much better than Carlsen.

Hernán Ruiz's picture

It seems you forget a little detail: Carlsen has defeated
Anand for the World Champion title not long ago.And without a single victory of Anand.He is still a great player, of course, but no match for Carlsen.

PircAlert's picture

Did you not see the rapid game Anand - Carlsen?

observer's picture

Yes. Carlsen blundered a piece late in the game.
It's one rapid game. Whoop-de-do.
Did you not see the final results? Carlsen came ahead of Anand in both rapid and blitz.

jmason's picture

Lucky :))) , all the players that finished in the first places got lucky , that's what separates them from the rest - they don't make so many mistakes , also seeing all those tactics in blitz it's not that easy .
Did you see the Anand-Nepo game ? Anand with 30+ seconds calculated quite some time and then went for a pawn ending clearly lost . that was the biggest gift possible , If Nepo won the blitz with 1/2 points ahead ? The idea is that such things happen in blitz and whoever wins after 21 rounds i think it deserves to win .

Grandma's picture

Like @PortaNigra I have also read Schackticker and Thomas Richters biased and IMO weird blogarticle.


PortaNigra has indeed got the essence.

But i will also add a few words about Richter view on the last rounds.

(and I apologize in advance for my limited translations-skills.)

According to Thomas Richer:

Round 18:

Nakamura was lucky because Anand defeated himself!

("Anand hat sich selbst besiegt")

Round 19

Nakamura was lucky again!

TR: "Previously was long unclear who actually still played to win, now Nakamura in a rook ending, but the position is probably still a draw.
But Nakamura won, thanks to the white pawn on b5."

(The white pawn destroyed the fun for Thomas)

Carlsen was of course lucky too.

Thomas: Carlsen was lucky - he just played (again) g7-g5, again it was overzealous and objectively bad.

(German: "Carlsen im Glück – gerade hat er (wieder) g7-g5 gespielt, wieder war es übereifrig und objektiv schlecht.")

Victory instead of (possible) defeat, and in the crucial phase of the tournament.

(German:"Sieg statt (möglicher) Niederlage, und das in der entscheidenden Turnierphase")

Round 20:

Of course, Magnus was lucky also in here!.

TR: Again, Carlsen played overzealous and badly (this time 11-b5), again it could have gone wrong, and again he won the game anyway.

"Wieder brachte Carlsen einen übereifrigen Bauernvorstoss (diesmal 11.-b5), wieder hätte es schief gehen können, wieder gewann er die Partie trotzdem in wenigen weiteren Zügen"

And would you believe it?

Carlsen was lucky also in round 21!

Thomas Richter: Round 21: Carlsen 1-0 Korobov (Korobov that overlooked a springer fork and thereby a draw turned into a lost position.

About Nakamura and Carlsen's luck:

"In blitz chess everyone ​​has his day, but that was a twin pack for Carlsen and Nakamura previously in the crucial phase of the tournament.

And for gold, it was crucial tournament, which is part of my point of view to the tournament report it."

German:("Im Blitzschach hat jeder mal Glück (ohne geht es nicht), aber das war ein Doppelpack für Carlsen und zuvor Nakamura in der entscheidenden Turnierphase. Und für Gold war es turnierentscheidend, das gehört aus meiner Sicht zum Turnierbericht dazu")

And he admits:

" I sympathize generally with players who are more likely to be underexposed in the (Western) media."

Yes, Thomas, we know that!.

Well, I sympathize with Nepo too, (and so does Magnus, they are good friends), but Magnus turned out to be the better player.

I must conclude: Thomas Richter and I have barely watched the same games.

Where I, and most chessfans, recognize extraordinary skill, Thomas just is able too see "luck" (when it comes to Carlsen and Nakamura)

I can't help wondering: How would Richter have written this blog article if - let's say- Kramnik had played Carlsen's games and Karjakin had played Nakamura's games?

And why is it so difficult to congratulate a triple and historic World Champion?

Roberto's picture

Thomas is just getting crazy.

Grandma's picture

"Springer fork" should be "Knight fork" in English.


(I'm used to the German, Danish and Norwegian Chess terminology.)

PortaNigra's picture

"I can't help wondering: How would Richter have written this blog article if - let's say- Kramnik had played Carlsen's games and Karjakin had played Nakamura's games?"

The same way he wrote about Norway Chess. He would have praised Kramnik to high heaven for fighting spirit, creativity and counter attacking skills.

observer's picture

@ PortaNigra

Yes, precisely. He avoided answering me when I asked him something similar recently.

Thomas Richter's picture

"I must conclude: Thomas Richter and I have barely watched the same games." Just the most obvious example: Which game Nakamura-Anand did you watch? Should Nakamura get credit for Anand's 41.-Kg6??

As to the end of Morozevich-Nakamura, this is the correct/complete translation of what I wrote: "Before it was long unclear who still played for a win, now Nakamura has an extra pawn in a rook endgame that should still be in the drawing zone. There followed 48.b5?? (48.Kd3 or 48.Rd3) 48.-Rh2+ 49.Kd1 Rd2+! 50.Rxd2 cxd2 51.Kxd2 Kb6 with a winning pawn endgame for black - thanks to the white pawn on b5." Another example of a wrong pawn push, punished immediately.

"And would you believe it? Carlsen was lucky also in round 21!" It is hard to believe, that's my point (but I obviously mean something else than what you imply). Do you deny that Carlsen could have been lost against Mamedov, worse (pawn down without any compensation) against Yudin and was just equal against Korobov before the latter blundered? Obviously the last game had just 'statistical meaning'.

Anonymous's picture

"Obviously the last game had just 'statistical meaning'."

No, it certainly makes no sense to arbitrary pick out a few games out of several hundreds and to claim that whatever conclusion you draw from these games has 'statistical meaning'.

Thomas Richter's picture

Statistical meaning referred to: it doesn't make a big difference if Carlsen's score had been 16.5/21 half a point clear, or 17/21 a full point clear. Otherwise I do not claim statistical significance, but didn't select games arbitrarily - focusing on the top boards in the final rounds.

Anonymous's picture

"Statistical meaning referred to: it doesn't make a big difference if Carlsen's score had been 16.5/21 half a point clear, or 17/21 a full point clear."

Thomas, your choice of words is confusing. If there is no big difference between 16.5/21 and 17/21, aren't you in fact saying that the difference is NOT statistically significant? Isn't your whole point precisely the absence of statistical significance, hence the possibility that a player's result would be due to chance?

Grandma's picture


"Do you deny that Carlsen could have been lost against Mamedov, worse (pawn down without any compensation) against Yudin and was just equal against Korobov before the latter blundered? Obviously the last game had just 'statistical meaning'.

Could, could, coulds, ifs and buts........

All sorts of hypotheses.

A short answer, but I don't think it helps.

Magnus COULD have been lost against Mamedow, if he had been an average player or even a 2700 player.

He COULD have lost if it hasn't been for his middlegame and endgame skills.

In this particular game he had Rh6, which he called a little trap, and he won easily.

Against Yudin Magnus had a short and easy game, and Yudin was mated after 17 moves.

Of course, Magnus COULD have lost, if he weren't Magnus, but a 2500- 2560- player, an ordinary GM.

Or if he had been Thomas Richer.
Or Grandma.

"was just equal against Korobov before the latter blundered?"

Sometimes I wonder if you have seen any Carlsen-games at all.

But you probably watched the WCC-match i Chennai.

Due to his unique endgame skills which no other human being can match, Magnus outplayed Anand in two superb and beautiful endgames where international «experts» saw "just a draw."
(game 5 & 6)

Well, that is one of the the differences between Magnus and lower rated players, journalists , bloggers and commentators.

Winning "equal" endgames is Carlsen's most famous trademark!

Don't tell me that this is unknown to you!

Anand's 41.-Kg6 against Nakamura was a wrong move, but before that move they have played some others moves.

You must make up your mind:

Is it
a) _always_ "luck" for a player when his opponent blunders or play a suboptimal move, or is
it _never_ luck?

b)Will you give Kramnik credit for winning a game in the candidates because Mamediarov blundered in his last move when he was totally winning?

Was Karjakin's victory in Norway Chess undeserved because of Giri's blunder which immediately lost?

c) Was it due to luck or skill when Thomas Müller made three goals for Deutschland recently?

(I would say skill. The best ones tend to be
" lucky".)

To sum this comment up:
In my opinion:

1. you don't understand and you don't appreciate endgame skills.
I have better endgame understanding than you, believe it or not. (If I shall judge from what you are writing.)
2. when your favorite players are lucky, their wins are deserved. In other cases, its not deserved.

3. You don't seem to understand when a player wins due to his skills after having had a worse position.
In your opinion he COULD and SHOULD have lost.
(if he isn't Kramnik or one of your other favorite players.)

Grow up and face facts, Thomas!

And NOW:

Good Luck Deutschland tonight!

Anonymous's picture

The funny thing is that the guy is so deluded that he even complains about Korobov trying to win the game from an equal position, i.e. The only way he could stop Carlaen from winning the gold. Korobov didn't just give Carlsen the draw he needd but forced him to find a win in a nervous situation. And Thomas? Complains.

Thomas Richter's picture

As to Korobov: The will to win of course wasn't wrong, BTW it was certainly in his own interest - the prize money difference between shared 12th place (what he eventually got) and shared 9th place (with a draw against Carlsen) was far smaller than the difference between shared 9th and shared 5th place. The way he tried to win (simply blundering a pawn) was all wrong, and thereafter the win for Carlsen was rather easy and straightforward.

Anonymous's picture

"The way he tried to win (simply blundering a pawn) was all wrong"

Of course he didn't blunder a pawn, he sacrifices it to open lines for attack against the white king. There was no other way to try to win, and Carlsen blundered when attacked by Lu Shanglei so it could have happened again. It didn't, and Carlsen won, but Korobov at least tried to stop him instead of just taking the draw.

Anonymous's picture

some people are nutjobs because they are obsessive and delusional.
not saying who, exactly.
use your judgment to diagnose.

Thomas Richter's picture

If this was a short answer, what would be a long answer? Carlsen's middle- and endgame skills are undisputed, but I asked about specific games (that BTW never reached the endgame). If Mamedov had found the forced win, even Houdini's middle- and endgame skills most likely wouldn't save the black position. Likewise, Yudin missed the chance to win a clear pawn and then collapsed completely - if white loses in 17 moves, he must have gone awfully wrong, unlike several other games of Yudin.

But your approach seems to be: Carlsen won, Carlsen is simply the best, no need to look at the actual games objectively.

As to Germany-Ghana: fascinating match (at least in the second half) for anyone to watch, including neutral observers - of course I wasn't all neutral and would have preferred a different result (3-2 as in Netherlands-Australia).

Anonymous's picture

I'm sure the Germans would be severely embarrassed to have you as a supporter if they knew you, especially after your display on this thread.

Grandma's picture

Löw should prefer Schweinsteiger from the start!

Khedira is not in his best form.

Deutschland needs Bastian in the Mittelfeld!

I would also have preferred 3-2, but Ghana played well, and draw was a fair result.
Very exciting and funny game to watch.

I'm just too tired to discuss chess moves now, but you haven't answered or commented my main points.

Klose is einmalig and HISTORIC! :-)

Grandma's picture

"But your approach seems to be: Carlsen won, Carlsen is simply the best, no need to look at the actual games objectively"


I'm fully aware of that Magnus also can blunder once in a while like all humans, and I can sometimes criticize him for watching too much TV in the nights before important games.

I also think that he maybe should work a little more with his opening preparations, but NOT like the players of the "Russian school".

How objectively are you when you are writing about your Russian favorites?

Does Kramnik deserve to win when his opponents blunders or play less good moves?

Remember: The players at the board can not use computer aid during the games.

Try to watch and analyze the games without computers during the games, (as I do), and then use the computer aid afterwards if you need to.

You must read what I write with an open mind.

" If Mamedov had found the forced win", - he didn't find it, but Carlsen found the right move,as i already have explained.

Korobov didn't blunder a pawn.

He sacrificed it.
And he was outplayed by a better player.

And now: Good night! :)

Thomas Richter's picture

Good morning!

"You (Thomas) must read what I write with an open mind." You (Grandma) must read what I write with an open mind ... and, for starters, acknowledge that I do have a certain level of chess understanding - I assume that you also do and can make an effort to overcome blindness of a fan.

Carlsen's moves against Mamedov were or turned out to be 'right' because Mamedov's answers were wrong - for no other reason, and saying anything else is fanboyism and/or annotating by the results of the game. 27.-g5? was objectively bad and losing, 29.-Rh6 was objectively one of the best moves, but not crushing if Mamedov had played the logical 30.Kg2 - get out of the pin, don't allow the black queen on h5. It was also a trap, and Mamedov naively fell for it, thinking that Carlsen had blundered. In the very next game, Carlsen DID blunder on move 11, and was lucky that Yudin blindly believed him.

Against Korobov, maybe black didn't simply blunder a pawn, but sacrificed one for nebulous attacking chances (only Korobov himself knows). I certainly wouldn't say that Carlsen outplayed Korobov, unless 'outplay' and 'win' are synonyms. Outplaying means gradually getting an advantage, here the evaluation of the position changed after one of _Korobov's_  moves. The rest was consolidation from Carlsen, and his advantage kept growing because Korobov desperately tried to make his sacrifice work. At this stage, his choice was between a quick loss (or maybe a miracle escape like Lu Shanglei) or a slow death, possibly in an endgame.

As to Kramnik-Mamedyarov from the candidates: White was clearly better out of the opening, then he used the wrong way trying to cash in and ended up worse later losing, then he was lucky. The blitz game between Mamedyaro and Nakamura had similar but much wilder twists and turns, and a draw was arguably a fair result in the end (as in Germany-Ghana).

Anonymous's picture

It isn't that people need to "make an effort to overcome blindness of a fan", it is that every time Carlsen wins it hurts so much that you must post these 50 overlong posts explaining why the final result could/should have been different. The few times someone else wins it is just the natural result and not worth commenting on, except in an upset tone about someone implying that Karjakin had things going his way in Norway etc. But with Carlsen it is the same same every time. His wins are declared to be because of luck, every time, and some blitz game is pointed out where the result could/should have been different if just this or that had happened. It is just pointless to wish that the result had been different or declare that it should have been different.

Anonymous's picture

Anyone remember Wijk a few years back when Kramnik had lost positions in four games, for example against Short, Tiviakov and Ivanchuk and miraculously reached second spot, his best finish there since the 1990s. What was the conclusion from our resident Carlsen hater then? That Kramnik had been "lucky"? No, that it was Kramnik that had deserved to win, since saving lost positions was admirable :) It's always a different tube depending on the circumstances but the refrain is always the same: Carlsen was lucky, Carlsen didn't deserve to win, the result could/should have been different etc etc. Repeat mode year after year after year after year :)

Anonymous's picture

Thomas already answered this point. The more Carlsen wins and gets praised for his unbelievable achievements, the more Thomas believes it is his mission to push in the other direction, in order to bring balance to the universe.

In other words, Thomas is the chosen one.

Grandma's picture

Good afternoon!

Should we maybe analyze ALL games by all players both in the rapid and in the blitz with the blessed assistance from both Houdini and Stockfish?

If many people joined the conversation, we could easily reach at least 2000 comments, probably more. ;-)

Apropos Stockfish:

Do you know Lübeck well? A beautiful city, i think, even if I prefer the south of Germany, Bayern and the Mosel valley.
The trade with the northern countries in the middle age, not at least with stockfish, which was important for Catholics in South Europa who could not eat meat before Easter, was crucial for the wealth and culture in Lübech and for the Scandinavian countries too, especially for Norway and the North Norway with its huge amounts of cod, first and foremost in Lofoten.

Off topic, I know, but for a history teacher it's interesting.
And I stick more to facts than to hypotheses. Hypotheses are interesting in Philosophy, but not that important in history.

What happened, happened, and no hypothesis can change that, not in chess, not in football, not in politics, not in the world history.

The only things we can do, is to learn from the past, from the history, and THAT is important!

Other players can study Carlsen's games, learn from them and improve by learning, doing and failing,

Seriously, all these ifs, coulds and shoulds don't make much sense.
Talking about the "objectively right moves" are mainly talking about the computer moves, and in hindsight.

You should also remember that Carlsen is the very best defender in our time, and Houdini doesn't always understand his defense.
Nor does Houdini understand his ability to win when the computer evaluation is "just a draw."

No players are computers. They don't play the absolute best computer moves all the time, Gott sei Dank, and from time to time some strong players, for example Magnus, deliberately chooses NOT to play the Houdini suggestions, because he finds better plans.
( do you rembember c3?)

I see that you have got some good answers here since yesterday night, and I do agree with Anonymos, kcmclvr, Nonino, observer, PortoNigra, and its not necessary for me to repeat there statements.

As I wrote before the tournament:

Magnus was not my clear favorite to win whether the rapid nor the blitz.

I have long considered him as the very best Classical Chessplayer, which he is without any doubt, but I was more uncertain about what he could manage in rapid and blitz.

I had Caruana as a slightly favorite in rapid and Nakamura as a favorite in blitz.

Well, I was wrong, although Caruana was extremely strong in rapid and Nakamura/Nepo in blitz.

Magnus Carlsen proved again his superiority.

For the time being he's simply the best, in classical, rapid and in blitz.

It's stunning.

He's the first player who has achieved this, and it is not "fanboyism" to realize this fact.

Its just common sense.

But don't be afraid.
His reign will not last forever.:-)

"I certainly wouldn't say that Carlsen outplayed Korobov, unless 'outplay' and 'win' are synonyms. Outplaying means gradually getting an advantage, here the evaluation of the position changed after one of _Korobov's_ moves"

Well, I shall not argue with you about semantic questions in English. Semantic questions in English and English synonyms are not my strength, to put it mildly. But I'm willing to learn.

"acknowledge that I do have a certain level of chess understanding - I assume that you also do and can make an effort to overcome blindness of a fan."

I don't doubt that you have a decent level of chess understanding, like many other people here, and that you have a strong and genuine interest in chess.

I'm sure that you are able to write good articles about many tournaments and chess events, not at least events with good and promising chess players who are not quite in the world elite.

But when Carlsen is involved, your bias against him overshadows your chess understanding, both here and on the Schach-ticker blog.

It's a pity, and most of all a pity for yourself.

If you could overcome this little weakness and write more objectively, your articles would become much better and more interesting.
Why don't give it a try?

"that you also do and can make an effort to overcome blindness of a fan."

I have never had any blindness of a fan.

Magnus is my favorite player because he's the best, and I like high quality.
I like his positional style, and I'm as you know, not a big fan on long and deep computer preparations at home.

I used to be a Karpov fan, but I was also a Kasparov fan.
Of course, Kasparov was stunning in his openings, (he was great in all phases), he was the father of the openings revolution and did more or less a chess revolution with computers.
A great effort, everybody will probably agree.
It was the time for the opening revolutions and to learn to use the computers.

But I say with Bob Dylan:

Times they are a'changing.

Now it's time to prepare in another way.
When the engines are so strong as they are, become even stronger, we can risk that all top-players become so computer prepared that the enigma and excitement with chess disappears, because the computer do the thinking and the players just learn it and memorize.

In the long run it could ruin our game.
What a pity!

. IMO Kramnik is a representative for this style.

(I exaggerate, and I do think that Kramnik is a really strong player, but I hope you understand what I mean.)

Therefore the impact of a player like Carlsen is so crucial. He will probably not invent a new opening variation with his computers, (well, who knows), but he can teach other a lot about how to think with his own brain during a game, how to improvise and find good and unexpected solutions and moves, how to defend a worse position and how to win, not only when he has a clear advantage, but also when he is worse.

Why do I write here on Chessvibes?

I don't know, but I think because I thought that a female voice should be heard among all the men, also because I'm somehow a part of the Karpov and Kasparov- generation, a bit older than Kasparov, but younger than Karpov, and because I learned to play chess without computers, (but there were many good books to read also in the good old days), and I guess that I'm the only one here who have played chess for many years without being addicted to computer aid. :)

I came in from the garden and the nice work with our flowers and trees to write this comment.

But NOW:

Thumbs up for de Rode Duivels uit België in their difficult game versus Russia!

Grandma's picture


Sorry for not spelling your nickname correctly!

observer's picture

@ Thomas

Thomas, you analysing the blitz games like this to try and prove 'luck' is ridiculous. Have you never played blitz chess? If you did, you would know that everyone makes weak moves and blunders. Sure Carlsen was lucky on occasion, so were the others. Carlsen was unlucky to lose the game he lost - he should have won it. Etc. It's a case of the better player makes less bad moves and makes more good ones.
Over a lengthy 21 rounds, Carlsen OVERALL played the best. 17/21 with only 1 loss is an extremely good result, that is indisputable.
In addition, note the big gap between third and fourth places. Carlsen was WELL ahead of all but two players. He was at least a HUGE 3.5 points ahead of the likes of Aronian, Anand, Grischuk, Karjakin, Caruana, Mamedyarov, Lagrave, Svidler, Morozevich etc.

Carlsen simply played the best overall and deservedly took the title. What is wrong with you that you cannot even consider this as any sort of achievement at all? This is not Carlsen fanboyism, or not giving other players their due. It is simply common sense, something you seriously lack.

kcmclvr's picture

@Thomas Richter, you seem to be ingnoring a commonsensical point in trying to prove a point. What holds some relevance to Classical Chess you are applying to everything. Blunders in Blitze are common and natural. Weak moves are common in Rapid. In Blitze, players simply rely on their feel for positions and it is closely related to their playing strengths. The games are for thrill and enjoyment. Can be analyzed, but, it's meaningless to draw conclusions based on such analysis. If a player makes mistakes in many games, if still wins all or most, it's possible and not a surprise. If a player's opponents makes mistakes, player losing all or most is also possible. Expecting clean wins at Blitze is unrealistic. Analyzing and coming to conclusions or use it to prove point is plain crazy. Carlsen being the best, has a better chance of triumph mistakes or no mistake by him or his opponents. It's also possible that he may be pushed to as low as 2 to 6th in some Blitze tournament. It makes no statement. What makes a statement is what is average level of success in Blitze. What your technical analysis has to do with other than confusing yourself, perhaps, for the purpose of irritating others. Blitze is for fun. Enjoy it even with technical analysis and do not use it to draw meaningless conclusions. When the creative prowess of an outstanding talent has culminated in an incredible triple crown success, it's time to wonder and rejoice.

Anonymous's picture

Well said, kcmclvr.

Nonono's picture

What's funny is that it really doesn't matter that much in classical games either. The goal of chess is to win, not to say "Well, I lost the game, yes, but briefly - around move 38 - I had a superior position according to Houdini." Your superior position means exactly bupkus if you can't convert it, in any time control.

Anonymous Prime's picture

I could not agree more, very clever indeed.

Anonymous's picture


Cantankerous's picture

Indeed. As the saying goes in Norwegian: "Hvis tanta mi hadde hatt pikk, hadde hun vært onkelen min."

For English speaking readder: "If my aunt had a dickie, she would have been my uncle."

Anonymous's picture


Roberto's picture

I must congratulate you @PetterDoggers, for this wonderful report. Very nice!

I hope you get your IM norm soon, but keep with this wounderful reports. Would be nice if you guys register more chess videos also!


MamedyarovFan's picture

"I must congratulate you @PetterDoggers, for this wonderful report. Very nice!" I totally agree with Roberto. Peter exhibits great chess knowledge along with his talent for interesting, informative and professional writing.

Pest and Troll Control's picture

Greetings all.

Are you sick and tired of all the trolling here?
We are holding a SURVEY. Please take part and post your answers - the more that take part, the better. Thank you.

Answer as follows: Take the number of the question, and then a brief answer - Yes; no; probably; not sure/undecided; etc.
1) Yes
2) Yes

Any additional comments are welcome.
You could head up your reply: Response to SURVEY

1) Should the ability to spoof others be stopped?
2) Should the ability to adopt multiple handles and/or continually change handles be stopped? (ie the requirement be that you must adopt one handle only {that is dissimilar to others} and stick to it.
3) Should posting as "Anonymous" be disallowed?
4) Should the poster whose original handle was "S3" be banned? (perhaps after an unheeded warning) [This question could be answered "Yes, now"; or "Yes, after an unheeded warning"]
5) Should voting be restored to Chessvibes?

Best wishes to you all.
The Pest and Troll Control team.

Anonymous's picture

Good effort, but there's nothing to prevent anyone from voting multiple times, is there?

Pest and Troll Control's picture

No, unfortunately we do not have the power at present to stop this (do you have any suggestions here?).
So we thought we would see what would happen anyway.
The regular contributors are known and their opinion would carry more weight. Votes under "Anonymous" may be disregarded, or carry little weight.
At least it's a try. Comments welcome.

Anonymous's picture

I don't have any suggestion except posting as Anonymous. If I understood correctly, Peter said that there would be some significant changes soon in the comments section.


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