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    Monday
    Nov132017

    2017 Champions Showdown, Day 5: Carlsen Obliterates Ding to Win the Match

    Is "obliterates" too strong a word? If so, then just barely. Ding Liren won the first of today's 10-minute games, playing terrific chess, and then he scored just half a point in the remaining seven games. Ding is a candidate, the #10 player in the world, a former blitz #1 and the #3 player at the start of the match. No matter: after his one win Carlsen won the next four, and after a draw finished with two more wins.

    It was just an awesome performance by the world champion, who clinched match victory with a day to go and pushed his blitz rating to a crazy 2974. It's not so unusual to read something like that in the context of nine round round-robins, but in this case there are 12 games left. Again, no matter: with his insane 19.5-4.5 victory today his overall score is 50-18; he in fact clinched victory with his win in today's penultimate game.

    Apparently tomorrow's games won't be rated - FIDE's rule is that match games played after one side has clinched victory won't be rated, so the only question is whether either player will demonstrate much intensity or motivation tomorrow. It's amazing that as bad as the Nakamura-Topalov beatdown was - expectedly - this was even more decisive. Incredible. It will be interesting to see if Carlsen can carry over this form to the next Grand Chess Tour event, when the players return to classical time controls. If so, he may yet be able to make a run at 2900.

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    Reader Comments (3)

    Are speed games rated just like classical time control games---in other words, do they go "into the same pot" as classical games, as far as FIDE games?

    [DM: Howard, have you ever looked at the 2700chess website? If not, go have a look. You'll find it interesting, and you'll also see the answer to your question.]

    November 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHoward S Sample

    How crazy is a 2974 rating? We're talking a chess engine rating. Magnus is now around a 100 points higher than any of his rivals in blitz. I can only think of three players that may have had that distinction. Fischer, Tal or Kasparov.

    [DM: Do you mean in blitz? There weren't any blitz ratings until pretty recently. If there had been, then you're undoubtedly right that Fischer would have been 100 points higher-rated than everyone else during his glory years of 1970-1972, and it's possible that Kasparov would have been as well. But Tal? No. He was one great of many in the USSR, not clearly dominant in blitz over someone like Petrosian, Korchnoi, or Spassky for example. Certainly not 100 points ahead of those guys. And Karpov overtook them all in his day.]

    November 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLarry L.

    Hi Dennis . Yes I meant in blitz. I realize the official ratings are relatively new. But I do remember Fischer playing a Blitz tournament in the 1970's where he pretty much devastated the field but Tal was 2nd. Tal won the World Blitz title in the 1988 in which Karpov played. However, I remember Tal being a dominant blitz player because of his style. Kasparov was a great blitz player I just am not sure if he dominated. As for Karpov, my impression was he was not that great at blitz or rapid didn't Anand win many of the Amber tournaments in the 1990's and 2000's?

    [DM: Tal was a great blitz player, but he was very fortunate to have an easy draw in the World Blitz Championship in 1988. Kasparov and Karpov were both upset early on. But Kasparov was a beast in blitz. One example off the top of my head was the 5' blitz tournament at Hoogovens in 1999, where he won with 10.5/13, losing only a sloppy game to Manuel Bosboom. But who did he beat? Anand, Ivanchuk, Svidler, Topalov, Kasimdzhanov, Timman and others. He was a point and a half ahead of Anand and Ivanchuk, and two points ahead of Kramnik. As for Amber, that was rapid chess, and Kasparov never played in it because he refused to play blindfold. Karpov too was great in blitz from early in his youth. Funny enough, he won the Hoogovens blitz the year before, in 1998, sharing first with Gelfand ahead of Adams, Kramnik, Shirov, Polgar, Timman, Salov, Topalov and others. And this when he was in his late 40s.]

    November 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLarry L.

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