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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) what's your take on carlsen in bilbao? (Read 12360 times)
GabrielGale
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #43 - 04/29/13 at 01:29:14
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Dear All,

I would like to resurrect this thread instead of starting a new one on Carlsen. The impetus is from a new blogpost http://vbhat.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/musings-on-a-chess-style-a-winner-just-win...by US GM Vinay Bhat. GM Bhat's blogposts (when he does blog) is really good value especially his commentary on various tournaments form his "amateur" GM perspective (not being disrespectful but he has "retired" from active tournament play and full-time chess professional).
Some of his conclusions (but the whole entire blogpost bears reading):
Quote:
His goal is simply to win games.
General principles have been established, numerous concrete exceptions have been introduced, and chess is at a stage now where it’s well known that the objective drawing margin is quite large. So as long as you stay out of your opponent’s heavily prepared cross-hairs  you will have good practical chances.
I do believe that in this transition, Magnus has been the first to embrace this approach with both colors. And while I think this is good for chess in the long-run (in the sporting sense), this is more like addition by subtraction than addition by addition (in the chessic sense of expanding the breadth and depth of opening and middlegame tactics and strategies). As noted above, the top players seem to recognize that focus has diminishing returns now, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fundamentally new approaches to be made, and so even in this sense, he’s not doing addition by addition.

And GM Bhat gives an example from the Lond Candidates in Carlsen's game vs Svidler:
Quote:
As Kramnik has said, somebody of Magnus’s talent level can pick any style he wants, but he seems to have made a conscious decision to play in this straightforward and consistent manner as much as possible. His dad confirmed this when talking about the first game against Svidler from the London Candidates where he didn’t consider 25…Bxh3!!, winning on the spot.
The entire winning line isn’t obvious for sure, but the first move looks like an obvious candidate with the Q+B battery and rook on the 5th rank. Instead, he played the much more prosaic 25…exd3 with a clear plus, but it certainly wasn’t winning on the spot. Under pressure on the board and the clock, Svidler blundered terribly on move 33 and lost. Paraphrasing his dad about this game, as Magnus has matured, this is the style he prefers.
This style is one that prioritizes good moves (often the best, but not necessarily so like previous maximalists following Kasparov) and fighting as long as possible. To me, this style permeates most of his decisions now, and so flies against the claim that he plays many openings. That used to be the case, but it’s a tougher claim to defend these days I think.

You should read GM Bhat's conclusion about Carlsen's repertoire which may surprise a few ChessPubbers.
Final conclusion:
Quote:
None of this is to say that Carlsen isn’t anything special. There’s a reason he’s far and away the highest rated player in the world. But it doesn’t necessarily follow from the clear #1 ranking that he’s innovating in a chess sense, and in fact, based on his games, I’d say the opposite – he’s narrowing his chess focus and instead playing to his even bigger comparative advantages in terms of focus and stamina. It all goes back to his primary goal: he just wants to win. And while in a more direct, move-to-move fight, there are people who can hang with him, nobody can put in the same energy move-in and move-out, day after day.

Before reading the entire blogpost, as a chess trivia challenge, consider this: GM Bhat has a quote at the beginning of the blogpost by Kasparov. Can you guess who is Kasparov describing?
  

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chk
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #42 - 10/25/12 at 09:15:28
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Myself I don't really see the point of directly comparing Carlsen (or any other contemporary player) to past masters. As already mentioned previously, today's players are standing in the shoulders of the past giants.

It is more interesting if we take today's top players and try to fit them into say Lasker's era.

It is there where maybe Carlsen is more of a Lasker and Kramnik is more of maybe a Capa and Aronian is more of a ..., etc.
  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #41 - 10/19/12 at 11:38:20
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I meant in terms of him being a level above, not not being able to see something of his play Smiley

Karpov is still fairly modern of course but mostly my main thought was how the way that Carlsen is playing right now would be aimed directly at Karpov's massive natural strength.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #40 - 10/19/12 at 11:11:28
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MartinC wrote on 10/19/12 at 10:03:59:
I'm not at all sure about Karpov there Smiley

Why not?  Huh
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #39 - 10/19/12 at 10:03:59
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I'm not at all sure about Karpov there Smiley
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #38 - 10/19/12 at 08:49:03
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chk wrote on 10/19/12 at 08:16:29:
Would this suffice to you then? :
Kramnik interview (I have selected a just few passages, but you can read it all here: http://www.kramnik.com/eng/interviews/getinterview.aspx?id=61 )

- In my view, Lasker was a pioneer of modern chess. When you look through Steinitz's games you understand they were played in the century before last whereas Lasker had a lot of games that modern chess players could have had. Lasker is the first link in the chain of "global" chess where various fighting elements are taken into account. Steinitz mainly concentrated on individual positional elements. For instance, if he had a better pawn structure along with a promising attack on the enemy's king, he thought his advantage was almost decisive. But Lasker understood that different positional components could offset each other. He realized that different types of advantage could be interchangeable: tactical edge could be converted into strategic advantage and vice versa.
...
Lasker was an impressive person. He managed to understand a lot in chess. I was looking through his games again some time ago and was astonished: his knowledge was incredibly extensive for his time!
...
Lasker was very flexible and undogmatic. He was the first undogmatic player in the history of chess.
...etc. (to be fair he talks also about Lasker & chess psychology  Wink )


A few other interesting quotes of the same document:
'his knowledge was incredibly extensive for his time'
There is no doubt that today Carlsens knowledge is many times better than Laskers. Very normal considering the fact that Carlsen was able to learn from almost 100 extra years of chess.
' Lasker began to realise that dynamics played an important role but it did not form the basis of his games, he just kept it in mind and sometimes used it.
From any topplayer today, dynamics play a crucial role. Also here you can see that Carlsen plays on a different level than Lasker.

You see indeed in Carlsens play something of Lasker, Capablance, Karpov,.... However he is surely playing on a level above these former worldchampions.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #37 - 10/19/12 at 08:16:29
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Uhohspaghettio wrote on 10/18/12 at 23:50:32:
You don't have to understand the chess fully, you could research how great players assessed him, that's a legitimate way to find information on him. Serious people have studied it a lot, it's not just lazy journalists.

Would this suffice to you then? :
Kramnik interview (I have selected a just few passages, but you can read it all here: http://www.kramnik.com/eng/interviews/getinterview.aspx?id=61 )

- In my view, Lasker was a pioneer of modern chess. When you look through Steinitz's games you understand they were played in the century before last whereas Lasker had a lot of games that modern chess players could have had. Lasker is the first link in the chain of "global" chess where various fighting elements are taken into account. Steinitz mainly concentrated on individual positional elements. For instance, if he had a better pawn structure along with a promising attack on the enemy's king, he thought his advantage was almost decisive. But Lasker understood that different positional components could offset each other. He realized that different types of advantage could be interchangeable: tactical edge could be converted into strategic advantage and vice versa.
...
Lasker was an impressive person. He managed to understand a lot in chess. I was looking through his games again some time ago and was astonished: his knowledge was incredibly extensive for his time!
...
Lasker was very flexible and undogmatic. He was the first undogmatic player in the history of chess.
...etc. (to be fair he talks also about Lasker & chess psychology  Wink )

  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #36 - 10/18/12 at 23:50:32
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ErictheRed wrote on 10/17/12 at 19:46:05:
My gut feeling is mostly that both players were extremely non-dogmatic and blazed new trails, interpreted positions differently than many of their peers, etc.  This leads contemporaries that don't fully understand their chess to say that they are deliberately playing inferior moves, using tricks and psychology, etc.


I don't know about this paragraph EricTheRed, isn't it fairly well established that Lasker was like this? He was said to have accepted it himself also. Over time, old portrayals have been re-evaluated and the same picture of Lasker is still stated. You don't have to understand the chess fully, you could research how great players assessed him, that's a legitimate way to find information on him. Serious people have studied it a lot, it's not just lazy journalists. 
 
  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #35 - 10/18/12 at 09:15:23
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Ametanoitos wrote on 10/17/12 at 17:58:09:
No, in my opinion Lasker was a different thing. Lasker was a chameleon, he could play wild tactical games and very boring ones also. Lasker was playing with the mind of the opponent. Carlsen is not like this. Carlsen is the "active positional" player that modern chess loves so much (because this style is not reckless but also puts enormous pressure to the opponent without the need of "Topalovian" or "Kasparovian"-like calculation). Carlsen plays "objective" chess according to his style. For Lasker there was simply no "objectivity", only practicality. Carlsen is a practical player but not of the kind of Lasker, not at all. (In my humble opinion of course)


Wasn't it Dvoretzkij (iirc) writing that Lasker played as good as possible for him and fighting even in lost positions for his chance to catch up?

Lasker wasn't understood at his days. Maybe the same happens with Carlssen.

Personally I'm interested in reading about this from stronger players but I'm to weak to judge it.  Embarrassed
  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #34 - 10/17/12 at 19:46:05
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I agree with CHK, and respectfully disagree with Ametanoitos.  I think the whole "chess psychology" thing with Lasker is way over-blown, probably from lazy chess journalists and writers that didn't actually understand what he was doing at the board.  Practical, absolutely; psychologist?  I don't really think so.  I don't think that he remained the strongest player in the world for what--27 years?  I'm too lazy to check--without having some deep chess understanding.  When he chose an unconventional continuation, in my opinion, it was usually due to situations on the board, trying to maximize his chances of obtaining the result he wanted, and not overly concerned with "psychology," in the sense that I don't think his approach varied considerably from opponent to opponent.

I do feel that Botvinnik and Tal were both the "psychological" types and Smyslov was not, for a point of reference.  Of course all players engage in some amount of psychological fighting...

My gut feeling is mostly that both players were extremely non-dogmatic and blazed new trails, interpreted positions differently than many of their peers, etc.  This leads contemporaries that don't fully understand their chess to say that they are deliberately playing inferior moves, using tricks and psychology, etc.

I'm too weak a player to really understand the large body of Carlsen's and Lasker's games though, so who knows.

Afterthought: I think something similar with Fischer as well.  He often played moves that his contemporaries didn't understand, like that famous Nxd7 (Knight takes "bad" Bishop) game where it was reported that all the Russian spectators breathed a sigh of relief--Fischer just made a mistake!  But he didn't, he won the game with ease.  It's just that Fischer had a greater/different understanding than them, he changed the game, and it took another generation (Karpov's I guess) to fully assimilate his ideas and make them look "normal."
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #33 - 10/17/12 at 19:26:28
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Well, this is precisely were I base my opinion, imo Carlsen is one of the most practical players (given his level that is). Of course, no direct comparison can be made to Lasker, but if one compares Carlsen to his contemporaries, I personally consider him quite 'practical'.

And as I posted above, I do not think that Lasker was merely 'playing with the mind of his opponent'. He took well calculated risks and had an enormous sense of danger. He was a different player compared to his contemporaries and you cannot achieve that solely by psychology.

I could be wrong, but my opinion for Lasker has changed quite a lot after studying a few of his games. The man was an OTB chess genious.
  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #32 - 10/17/12 at 17:58:09
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No, in my opinion Lasker was a different thing. Lasker was a chameleon, he could play wild tactical games and very boring ones also. Lasker was playing with the mind of the opponent. Carlsen is not like this. Carlsen is the "active positional" player that modern chess loves so much (because this style is not reckless but also puts enormous pressure to the opponent without the need of "Topalovian" or "Kasparovian"-like calculation). Carlsen plays "objective" chess according to his style. For Lasker there was simply no "objectivity", only practicality. Carlsen is a practical player but not of the kind of Lasker, not at all. (In my humble opinion of course)
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #31 - 10/17/12 at 16:04:52
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I also have this feeling that Carlsen mostly resembles Lasker - at least more than the resemblance other posters see with Capa or Karpov.

Lasker managed to stir things up by giving ground to his strongest opponents. It was not only so to unsettle them psychologicaly; he was also accepting to lose some ground in order to unbalance the game and gain some chances elsewhere (on the board). This is why many people feel that he was playing 'imperfect' or 'controversial' chess.
  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #30 - 10/17/12 at 15:34:05
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WSS wrote on 10/17/12 at 15:03:05:
While I'm not a chess historian, it seems to me there are some similarities between Carlsen's approach and Emanuel Lasker's style.  Lasker has a controversial reputation - by some thought to be one of the the top 5 strongest players of all time and by others as a "coffee house player."  The latter reputation was earned because of his willingness to adopt unconventional (some would say "bad") moves considered inferior to the theory of the time.  Others describe him as a chess psychologist whose pragmatic approach was to try to pull his opponent out of his comfort zone.  Some thought Lasker didn't know opening theory while others thought his understanding was quite broad.  Beneath this swirl of conflicting perception was a player of deep substance whose contributions to opening theory (for example the Lasker defense to the Queen's Gambit) have stood the test of time.

Bill


I was going to point out the same thing, more or less.  I'm not a strong enough player to seriously comment on Carlsen's play, but I wonder whether he does some deep and serious thinking about which types of positions will be uncomfortable for which opponents, with less regard to "theoretical status." 

I still highly doubt that Carlsen thinks he's playing suboptimal moves; my personal view is more along the lines that humans are quite dogmatic, and there are more ways of playing positions well than we realize.  This seems to be backed up by computers in many cases, though I don't like to claim computer evaluations as some sort of gold standard in chess truth.  Still, in many positions a computer will give 5-10 continuations that are all within 0.15 "points" of each other, whereas in the same positions most human players will only consider a couple of candidate moves based on the patterns we've accumulated in the past, having read what the "proper" way of playing a position is in My System, etc.   

I think that Carlsen is, in some ways, showing us a new sort of System, where he has found less known but equally viable ways of playing many positions.  But this is just speculation on my part; I'm not strong enough to really understand.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #29 - 10/17/12 at 15:03:05
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While I'm not a chess historian, it seems to me there are some similarities between Carlsen's approach and Emanuel Lasker's style.  Lasker has a controversial reputation - by some thought to be one of the the top 5 strongest players of all time and by others as a "coffee house player."  The latter reputation was earned because of his willingness to adopt unconventional (some would say "bad") moves considered inferior to the theory of the time.  Others describe him as a chess psychologist whose pragmatic approach was to try to pull his opponent out of his comfort zone.  Some thought Lasker didn't know opening theory while others thought his understanding was quite broad.  Beneath this swirl of conflicting perception was a player of deep substance whose contributions to opening theory (for example the Lasker defense to the Queen's Gambit) have stood the test of time.

Bill
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #28 - 10/17/12 at 13:05:04
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MartinC wrote on 10/17/12 at 12:15:48:
The biggest issue is that club level doesn't even reach the 'first' stage of anyone getting blown apart by home preparation. Not remotely often anyway.

In consequence there's rather little motivation to actively move around. In practice if you did I don't think you'd have many genuine problems.

The discussion is about what it takes to be really considered as a leader in innovation, bringing something new to the game. 99,9% of the players are followers as in other domains. I am pretty sure that today you can apply Morphys approach to chess and still become a strong player. It is even a well known rule that one should first learn from the old masters before moving forward to more sophisticated approaches. So my statements have indeed little to no relevance to clubplay.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #27 - 10/17/12 at 12:49:58
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tony37 wrote on 10/17/12 at 12:01:04:
I think the basic element of Carlsen's play is variety (in opening choices), if he would choose the same variations all the time, people would definitely be able to play 'powerplay'/home preparation against him, so a very broad opening knowledge is necessary to play like this, which I think is just unattainable for most players.

Variety sure but not everything works. You still need to make the right choices. I last read the following quote from Giri on http://schaaksite.nl/page.php?al=waaraan-had-ik-in-hemelsnaam-mijn-uitnodiging-t...
I translate to English: "The clever Norwegian found again a way to avoid easily the theory and we arrived quickly on unknown territory." I interpret this as Giri admires the way how Carlsen every time succeeds in finding new fertile grounds bringing his opponents out of their comfortzone. This requires a special skill which goes beyond just variating openings.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #26 - 10/17/12 at 12:15:48
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The biggest issue is that club level doesn't even reach the 'first' stage of anyone getting blown apart by home preparation. Not remotely often anyway.

In consequence there's rather little motivation to actively move around. In practice if you did I don't think you'd have many genuine problems.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #25 - 10/17/12 at 12:01:04
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I think the basic element of Carlsen's play is variety (in opening choices), if he would choose the same variations all the time, people would definitely be able to play 'powerplay'/home preparation against him, so a very broad opening knowledge is necessary to play like this, which I think is just unattainable for most players.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #24 - 10/17/12 at 09:16:36
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Ametanoitos wrote on 10/17/12 at 08:01:42:
First of all (something that i have never stated before and i feel that i should do): Brabo, congratulations for your truly excellent blog. I know lots of people who would really like to see it in English (Google Translation sucks!).

I published in less than 9 months around 70 often lengthly articles (I realise that I won't be able to keep up this speed.) Translating all this to English will be a painstaking job while I am not sure if there is really interest in it as often the topics are starting from local scenes to discuss more general aspects.

Quote:
I am not sure if we disagree.

It is very difficult to express in a few lines a good balanced view of a certain topic. This is also the reason why often my blogarticles are lenghty and even then I often receive wrong interpretations of readers.

Quote:
What i said and probably passed unnoticed, is that Carlsen (according to his coach's book "Wonderkid") was raised by studying EVERYTHING! Really, there was not a single book (and opening book ones) that Carlsen didn't read and practicaly memorised (in this book there are many anecdotical stories about Carlsen's memory). So, Carlsen HAS a huge opening knowledge.

I fully agree with this. It is well known that it is very difficult/ impossible to become a master without a solid base. I remember an exception on this rule : the Peruvian GM Julio Grand Zuniga. The story says that he just came out of his apple tree orchard and became GM. Only after becoming GM, he started to study openings but nobody can of course fully confirm this story.
Quote:
Maybe not in the sense of knowing the most recent novelties like Aronian and Kramnik for example, but a wide general opening knowledge. This fact doesn't contradict your opinion about his approach to chess, but it puts it in a different level. Carlsen doesn't play like this because he doesn't know theory or because he is bored to work on openings (althought this may be true!), but because he can has a broad knowledge of opening and stored patterns and has chosen to avoid sharp theoretical lines.

For me this clever selection of lines, using his broad knowledge of opening and stored patterns is the new element in chess. It is still not (fully) understood today how Carlsen does it and how his system works against all this super prepared heavy theory. I tried to give a very superficial view of this system in my above mentioned articles but I certainly don't claim that I understood it fully.
Quote:
But Karpov did the same, didn't he? He didn't really seecked opening advantage but rather a "Karpovian"-like position he would outplay his opponents from it. So, Carlsen's approach isn't new. Yes, it is true that today's Carlsen is probably somewhat stronger than the prime years of Karpov (although someone would like to see more evidence to be convinced and make such comparisons), so your argument "nobody managed to achieve his level before with the way he approaches chess" is correct in my opinion, but what i said is that this is not a new approach to chess.

There are certainly some resemblances between Karpov and Carlsen but there are also big differences.
1) Karpov played during quite long periods of time with a fixed frame of openings. I see Carlsen change very frequently of openings in very short periods of time.
2) Karpov had to face weaker opponents and weaker advanced theory which required less sophisticated approaches.
3) Karpov also studied often very deeply openings,  also coming up with its own strong novelties as was clearly shown in part 2 and 3 of Modern Chess by Kasparov. Afterall Karpov was still a child of Botvinniks school and indoctrinated that one has to work hard on openings.

Quote:
Before Karpov, Capa had the same attitude. You can state a lot of differences between those 3 players (Capa, Tolya and Magnus), but the aproach was the same.

Capa is even going further back in time. An approach can only work if you successfully adapt yourself to the circumstances, the opponents. Today we are playing a completely different game of which only the basic rules have stayed the same. Calrsen can't be the number one if he would use the same approach as his ancestors. You see the same in real life. An approach can work for some time but then things (in the beginning not noticeable) start to change and suddenly you are not leading anymore.

Quote:
I am not saying this because "i am an author of opening books and i want my books to sell", but as a conclusion, i don't want a new chessplayer to understand this wrongly such as this: "Magnus doesn't put emphasis on openings in his play, so i'll too not study openings" because this is not what happened with Magnus! Magnus, on the contrary, had just the healthy aproach. Study openings (and quite deeply) but only as a fraction of the study you should do as a chessplayer.

Today books like yours at least bring the impression that knowing the latest status of the theory gives you a guaranteed advantage on the board. I am also a follower of this system (I call this the powerplay system). However nowadays I see a very quiet shift to something new. There is no real name for it although I once heard from Anand something like the 'hit and run' system. I've not seen any books explaining this new system yet although i see more and more strong players using something similar. I believe this is still virgin territory for the general public.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #23 - 10/17/12 at 08:01:42
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First of all (something that i have never stated before and i feel that i should do): Brabo, congratulations for your truly excellent blog. I know lots of people who would really like to see it in English (Google Translation sucks!).

I am not sure if we disagree. What i said and probably passed unnoticed, is that Carlsen (according to his coach's book "Wonderkid") was raised by studying EVERYTHING! Really, there was not a single book (and opening book ones) that Carlsen didn't read and practicaly memorised (in this book there are many anecdotical stories about Carlsen's memory). So, Carlsen HAS a huge opening knowledge. Maybe not in the sense of knowing the most recent novelties like Aronian and Kramnik for example, but a wide general opening knowledge. This fact doesn't contradict your opinion about his approach to chess, but it puts it in a different level. Carlsen doesn't play like this because he doesn't know theory or because he is bored to work on openings (althought this may be true!), but because he can has a broad knowledge of opening and stored patterns and has chosen to avoid sharp theoretical lines.

But Karpov did the same, didn't he? He didn't really seecked opening advantage but rather a "Karpovian"-like position he would outplay his opponents from it. So, Carlsen's approach isn't new. Yes, it is true that today's Carlsen is probably somewhat stronger than the prime years of Karpov (although someone would like to see more evidence to be convinced and make such comparisons), so your argument "nobody managed to achieve his level before with the way he approaches chess" is correct in my opinion, but what i said is that this is not a new approach to chess. Before Karpov, Capa had the same attitude. You can state a lot of differences between those 3 players (Capa, Tolya and Magnus), but the aproach was the same.

I am not saying this because "i am an author of opening books and i want my books to sell", but as a conclusion, i don't want a new chessplayer to understand this wrongly such as this: "Magnus doesn't put emphasis on openings in his play, so i'll too not study openings" because this is not what happened with Magnus! Magnus, on the contrary, had just the healthy aproach. Study openings (and quite deeply) but only as a fraction of the study you should do as a chessplayer.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #22 - 10/17/12 at 07:34:51
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Ametanoitos wrote on 10/16/12 at 17:31:41:
Carlsen hasn't done something like this untill now. What we have seen is an incredible practical ability with deep active positional understanding....which is not new! Carlsen steps so far to the shoulders of the chess giants of past. Future is ahead for him, but in order to become a true world champion he has to show more on another level! And i am sure that he'll do... Wink

I don't agree with this statement. I believe what Carlsen today shows is new as nobody managed to achieve his level before with the way he approaches chess. I believe he simply isn't understood correctly as his play is too advanced for us. He is already influencing other topplayers. One recent example: http://schaken-brabo.blogspot.be/2012/09/schots-vierpaardenspel.html (Dutch) . I am pretty sure Kramnik would've never played this opening without Carlsens influence.

You and me, we are raised up with the traditional chessvalues mainly introduced by Botvinnik. We have learned that studying openings is a necessary element of becoming a master. As author from openingsbooks you surely will advocate this theory otherwise you won't sell much. However Carlsen proves today time after time that chess can be played differently. I more or less explain this in my article http://schaken-brabo.blogspot.be/2012/07/tanguy-ringoir-is-belgisch-kampioen.htm... (Dutch)
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #21 - 10/16/12 at 17:31:41
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Greeks work much more than all Europeans, it is a fact. I see people that work from 15 to 70 here. We are chessplayers (thus thinkers) and getting fed up by what mass media like us to feed with is not something i'd expect. Today there is a big discussion in Greece about the new cuts. Finally we started saying "no". On the other hand it is not nice mocking a nation (any nation, i am not talking only about Greece which should deserve respect for what has done about our civilation) as it is not nice mocking a world champion that is the oldest one since Botvinnik. On the other hand we (chessplayers) have also developed a curious sense of humour, so to be honest i kind of smilled with the joke about Greece and Anand!  Grin

In general Carlsen and Anand are way different as players. Calrsen, from very young, combined as a player the deep classical education with enormous chess talent. Anand has an amazing talent but only after being a respectfull GM worked significantly on his education and technique. Anand, as every world champion till today, has marked chess with a personal addition to our game's heritage. The way the Sicilian is played for White today for example has been influenced greatly by Anand. The "re-birth" of the modern Semi-Slav is also another thing that comes to mind. Carlsen hasn't done something like this untill now. What we have seen is an incredible practical ability with deep active positional understanding....which is not new! Carlsen steps so far to the shoulders of the chess giants of past. Future is ahead for him, but in order to become a true world champion he has to show more on another level! And i am sure that he'll do... Wink
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #20 - 10/16/12 at 16:24:09
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Well, Carlsen vs. Anand was a fantastic game, Carlsen again playing for a congenial type of game, not an opening advantage, then making it look simple. Fascinating how Carlsen and Topalov, both of whom work heavily with computers, have more or less opposite relationships to the beast in their choice of opening lines and playing style. Not to speak of the actual generation of moves during play (Cf. my earlier post in this thread on computers and the evolution of chess.)
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #19 - 10/16/12 at 16:19:44
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If my good Greek friend, Nikos, is any indication, he works around the clock with very little sleep (writing, analyzing, coaching, etc.), his retirement (whenever he finally chooses to take it) will be well deserved!

Back on topic, I think it is marvelous to see Carlsen taking this approach and being successful.  It only adds to the richness and diversity of the game we love.

Bill
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #18 - 10/16/12 at 13:54:33
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In 2010 Anand defended his title against Topalov successfully. During the press conference Anand mentioned, that every championship makes him ten years older, so he was asked, if he retires, because virtuelly he would be 70. Anand replied with a smile: "Am I greek?"
  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #17 - 10/16/12 at 10:29:33
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chk wrote on 10/15/12 at 16:25:21:
gewgaw wrote on 10/13/12 at 19:36:23:
Anand is no greek, but he should retire from professional chess...etc.

Can you please elaborate on that?

A Greek

P.S.: Some respect for Anand wouldn't harm either..


It´s probably a play on the idea that greeks retire at 40, and well, I´m sure you know the rest.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #16 - 10/15/12 at 16:25:21
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gewgaw wrote on 10/13/12 at 19:36:23:
Anand is no greek, but he should retire from professional chess...etc.

Can you please elaborate on that?

A Greek

P.S.: Some respect for Anand wouldn't harm either..
  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #15 - 10/13/12 at 20:54:33
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a nice last game, maybe Caruana isn't used to playing the hedgehog, a6 was completely unnecesary in that position since there is no knight on c3, Qc7 was necessary since an unprotected bishop on b7 is playing with fire

edit: but there was a knight on d4, now I at least understand why he played a6, so he probably should have played Qc8 (or better: waiting with Nbd7, and play a6+Qc7 first)

but, just from my general understanding of the hedgehog, I don't think it was a good idea to play a hedgehog to start with since white has played e4 without problems, in the comparable English position he has to play Re1 etc
(but I'm quite sure Caruana wouldn't have messed up like this if this was the first round)
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #14 - 10/13/12 at 19:36:23
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Congrats to "The Power" Magnus for an other fine tournament victory!

http://www.chessdom.com/final-masters-sao-paulo-bilbao-2012-live/

new live rating: 2847,6
http://www.2700chess.com/

Anand is no greek, but he should retire from professional chess like Garri did, when he felt he was his zenith.
  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #13 - 10/12/12 at 14:47:08
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Uhohspaghettio wrote on 10/12/12 at 14:37:46:
Is he consistently playing the same suboptimal openings, or is he playing them for surprise value? 


I doubt that he thinks of them as suboptimal.  Most of the world's top players seem a lot less dogmatic about that sort of thing than a lot of club players do.

He's probably done a lot of original research, has a lot of new ideas, and is playing what he considers to be good chess.  Does he feel that he's playing the most critical lines all the time?  I doubt it, but I don't think that he feels that he's playing suboptimal lines. 

That's how the wheel of fashion turns!
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #12 - 10/12/12 at 14:45:48
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More perpetual surprise it seems, although I think its mostly this tournament where he's really branched out?

Whether he'd do it against someone like Kramnik/Anand or Aronian in a match situation is obviously rather less clear.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #11 - 10/12/12 at 14:37:46
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Is he consistently playing the same suboptimal openings, or is he playing them for surprise value? 
  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #10 - 10/12/12 at 09:55:13
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And now he's even playing the 7.. o-o Winaver with black. (and drawing relatively easily it seems.). Its fun to watch Smiley
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #9 - 10/11/12 at 19:00:28
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BTW, 5. g3 always reminds me of a game Tal won as Black, in which he lured White's KB to h3 ...
(edit:  sorry, it was Vasiukov-Tal, and was drawn.  Annotated by Tal in his "Life and Games" book, I believe.)

Perhaps thinking has changed about 5. c3 Bd6 (5...a5 allows the pseudo-Guimard possibiity of 6. e5 plus d4); twenty years ago Psakhis considered it dubious due to 6. b4.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #8 - 10/11/12 at 18:52:32
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Thanks, kylemeister. Maybe I'll try ...Nc6 myself then as Black sometime for a lark.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #7 - 10/11/12 at 18:41:03
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Well, I have the impression that 5. g3 de plus ...e5 and ...Bc5 has long been thought a comfortable equalizer, and the deployment of White's KB there not too impressive.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #6 - 10/11/12 at 18:23:49
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Interesting. What is the basis of the change, if you remember (or can figure it out)? The most salient thing is Black's early enhanced control of e5. But do standard KIA strategies then no longer work?
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #5 - 10/11/12 at 18:19:55
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I seem to recall advocacy of the reversed Philidor approach versus 4...Nc6 by Dvoretsky and perhaps Davies.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #4 - 10/11/12 at 17:55:06
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Agree. In fact, that is one logical response to the depredations of computer preparation. Fashion, on the large scale, tends to follow the strongest player; and today that is the computer (as diverse as programs are, compared with humans, brute-force-based algorithms can be taken to form a single style).  Ultimately I believe that is why chess is "becoming more concrete": right now, tactical analysis simply refutes less tactical analysis, just as in the early eighties, when Karpov's team simply refuted other more tactical theoreticians' ideas, it  appeared that a positional style was more correct. I would love to see a program that truly played in the style of Capablanca become the strongest analyst. That is certainly not impossible: if chess were "solved" then there would simply come into existence a comprehensive tablebase, and there would be only three evaluations possible. Crystal-clear positional winning lines ultimately are as legitimate as bizarre-looking tactical winning lines.Capablanca's own style, as Bronstein said, was based on "fiendish tactical ingenuity" in protecting the clear waters.

Yet despite the dominance of the computer, it is perhaps too alien for us to rely on in the end. Anand and Kramnik have both lost world championship games (against Topalov and Leko) by relying too much on remembering long prepared lines rather than on using their own light of reason. So I love Carlsen's approach.  And it is wonderful to have a positional player as the stable world no. 1; I have missed that since the days of Karpov.

By the way, what on earth was Carlsen's first opening? Not the King's Indian Attack, but the Old Indian Attack! Very original at this level, and a great solid offbeat idea vs. the antipositional Nc6.
« Last Edit: 10/12/12 at 12:41:55 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #3 - 10/10/12 at 13:13:01
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It's not the first time I express my thoughts about the modern Carlsen's approach to the openings' area.
I think it's easy to understand.. Instead of learning by heart 30 moves or more entering into an equal endgame which is well known by the opponent he just plays a suboptimal line of whatever opening, heading for an unknown endgame where his superior skills and knowledge prevail.
It's nothing new.. Looking at the history we can recognize the approach of Reti with his Reti Opening, Larsen and his 1.b3 tries, even Uli Andersson's heading for an endgame from almost equal position...and so on..
It seems not necessary to play 35 moves of the poisoned pawn Sicilian Najdorf's variation (for example) waiting for a dead blow prepared by your opponent, just to enter a dead draw ending. It could be done easier, you know...especially if you're a master of the endgames.  Wink
Edit: Even the great Capa did it intentionally - entering into equal but complex endings.
  
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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #2 - 10/09/12 at 22:52:16
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Exchange Winawer isn't just your normal Exchange French. It usually gets put in the category of "black needs to know what he's doing, be very precise, and only then can he obtain equal chances."

As for the French KIA line... I was looking at Caruana's choice a few weeks ago and decided black has to work a lot harder than you would think to keep things level.

Carlsen is a breath of fresh air for the game.
  

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Re: what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
Reply #1 - 10/09/12 at 21:19:30
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I would consider the KIA. But nowadays I play 1.e4 rarely and mostly for fun; if I want to try for an advantage I play 1.d4...

It's not that illogical for Carlsen. His main strength over his opponents is not in opening knowledge but in strategy and endgames, so just getting a playable, unbalanced position from the opening is OK for him. The results certainly vindicate those choices, right? Smiley
  

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what's your take on carlsen in bilbao?
10/09/12 at 21:07:37
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so carlsen played king's indian attack and the french exchange, 2 so called subpar openings, against caruana respectively vallejo, i.e. 2700+ opposition, and still won.

What's your take on this? Who in this forum would ever seriously consider to play one of these openings against the french?
  
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