The world championship chess match so far

by on November 19, 2016 at 8:42 am in Current Affairs, Games | Permalink

Magnus Carlsen was heavily favored, but after six games with Karjakin — half the match — they are all draws.  The first noteworthy feature of play is that Karjakin has matched what is usually a big stamina advantage for Carlsen.  If Carlsen were playing against Anand again, and creating similar positions, he probably would be two points up, as he was pressing strong endgame advantages for hours in two of the games.  Yet Karjakin held firm and found the necessary defensive resources in both cases and victories fell from Carlsen’s grasp.  Overall we have seen few obvious mistakes in the play.

The second noteworthy feature of the first half of the match is that Carlsen has shown no inferiority of opening preparation, unlike what is usually the case; if anything Carlsen has had slightly better prep.  (And note that Karjakin has Putin and thus an army of seconds on his side; Karjakin has a connection to Crimea and used to play for Ukraine but now plays for Russia and basically endorsed the territory transfer, get the picture?)

I believe one should root for Carlsen.  Yet this is 2016, and I suppose anything could happen at this point…

1 Thiago Ribeiro November 19, 2016 at 9:23 am

Many questions arise from this sitation Does the crowd understand? Is it East versus West, or man against man? Can any nation stand alone? Can Trump make American chess great again or will the American regime, instead of having a Bobby Fischer of its own, have to depend on its Norwegian puppet?

2 MikeP November 19, 2016 at 10:07 am

American chess is great right now, so yes.

3 Thiago Ribeiro November 19, 2016 at 10:10 am

American chess is decadent.

4 Lanigram November 19, 2016 at 12:43 pm

You funny Thiago. I didn’t know that Norway is our puppet. That is good because I love fjords – I have a fjord f250 with a 6.9L diesel V8 that I call “the big stinker”. I guess I’ll bring my big drum and plant a US flag up there.

Toca zambumba que a terra e nossa!

5 Thiago Ribeiro November 19, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Norway is a puppet of the American regime, afounding member of NATO, an organization that has only one goal: American world domination. But your lapdogs will be made pay for their crimes.

6 msgkings November 19, 2016 at 4:07 pm

By whom, Brazil? Buncha losers. I doubt you’ve improved much since 1891. The prophet Bandarra once said “Brazilians are sissy boys and girls with chest hair”

7 Jacob Aaron Geller November 19, 2016 at 9:27 am

Carlsen opened the match the week of the election with a Trompowsky attack. Which is surprising and unusual. Coincidence…? (Straussian…?)

8 anonymous November 19, 2016 at 9:34 am

Probably intended.

. Guess there are times White doesn’t win with Trompwsky .

9 Ray Lopez November 19, 2016 at 9:43 am

+1, and wise commentary by master Cowen.

10 msgkings November 19, 2016 at 4:09 pm

But Trompowsky will simply use the Brazilian method for keeping his Blacks in servile despondency.

11 anonymous November 19, 2016 at 9:28 am

I thought Game 5 , Carlsen was expected to lose but managed a draw ?

It certainly is much more of a fight than most anticipated.

12 Yancey Ward November 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Carlsen was in some bit of trouble at the 40 move mark, but I don’t think it was clearly losing in any case, and it would have been difficult for Karjakin to find the right thread and actually win with it.

13 Tom November 19, 2016 at 10:48 am

I’m rooting for Carlsen, but I wanted Caruana.

14 leppa November 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

If Karjakin wins and Caruana is the next challenger , Caruana vs Karjakin , could be on the lines of Fischer v Spassky.

15 Yancey Ward November 19, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Stamina was the main issue Anand had vs Carlsen, so it was pretty easy to predict that Karjakin would prove quite a bit tougher an opponent.

I usually cheer on the underdog in competitions unless my nationalism requires otherwise. Karjakin is the underdog, and has already made the right enemies in the media. Go Karjakin!

16 londenio November 19, 2016 at 1:21 pm

I guess we can all agree that Karjakin was underrated before the match.

17 Boris_Badenoff November 19, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Carlsen has typically been a slow-starter. The second Anand match was closer than it appeared: had Vishy not overlooked the simple Knight fork, it could have been a different match. But Anand is an all-time great: he not only won the World Championship in every format (match, knockout, & round robin tourney) but also played a total of six title matches, five against 2800-level opponents (Kasparov, Kramnik, Topalov, & Carlsen twice). Karjakin isn’t him.

Carlsen is clearly the stronger player & should still be a strong favorite. We keep wondering if this or that will rattle him but the young man has never appeared rattled in his career – not even when he played a Tal Memorial with the flu some years ago & Ivanchuk showed up for their game wearing a medical mask.

18 Not A Communist November 20, 2016 at 3:41 am

It is not very satisfying to watch machines imitate humans. Seems the converse is also true.

19 ex-enthusiast November 20, 2016 at 7:11 am

It’s weird how I lost interest in chess after AI surpassed humans, despite the fact that when I became interested in chess, I didn’t realize that AI *hadn’t* yet surpassed humans.

20 Tyle November 21, 2016 at 10:31 am

Just as another point of comparison – I was not interested in chess until I learned (in about 2008, many years after I learned about chess) that AI had surpassed humans.

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