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    Entries in 2016 World Championship (37)

    Friday
    Nov182016

    2016 World Championship, Game 5: Another Draw, But This Time Karjakin Presses

    After a pair of very long games in which Sergey Karjakin was forced to defend inferior positions against Magnus Carlsen, he got to enjoy the upper hand in game 5 before splitting the point. Carlsen had White and was pressing for an edge, but his 18th and 19th moves left Karjakin with a pleasant position and a kingside initiative. While it looked like Karjakin's play was more effective than Carlsen's over the next few moves, there was nothing seriously wrong with White's position until 41.Kg2, and by 42...d4! White was in a little trouble. Unfortunately for Karjakin, his opportunity for a serious edge was lost one move later, when he played the natural 43...Bd5 rather than 43...Rh8! Carlsen seized his chance to prevent Karjakin from using the h-file, and the game was drawn soon thereafter.

    Game 6 is coming up today (tomorrow still for some of you), on Friday; for now, here are my notes to game 5.

    Wednesday
    Nov162016

    2016 World Championship: Game 3 Analysis Up

    It's already there as an update to the relevant post, but here's the link again just in case.

    Wednesday
    Nov162016

    2016 World Championship, Game 4: Karjakin Survives Again After A Long Defense

    How long can Sergey Karjakin skirt the precipice before succumbing to Magnus Carlsen? For the second straight game Karjakin was in big trouble from early on, but saved the day with dogged defense. It's very impressive, but very dangerous, and his team will have to do a better job of giving him positions where Carlsen will have to do some defending.

    Today is a rest day, and game 5 is tomorrow. Game 4 is here, with my notes.

    Tuesday
    Nov152016

    2016 World Championship, Game 3: Karjakin Ekes Out a Draw UPDATED with Analysis

    After a pair of relatively tepid draws in the first two games, the battle in game 3 gave both players the chance to display their signature strengths. Magnus Carlsen took a micro-edge in a 5.Re1 Berlin and found ways to keep creating problems for his opponent, and Sergey Karjakin demonstrated his well-known prowess as a defender. I'm not sure if Carlsen ever had a clear-cut win, but he did get pretty close in what was a dramatic ending.

    Unfortunately, I don't have time (at least not now) to analyze the game, but I hope to come back to it later. For those of you who haven't already seen the game somewhere else, you can replay it here.

    Game 4 is today (Tuesday) at the usual time.

    UPDATE: Here's my analysis.

    Sunday
    Nov132016

    World Championship 2016: Game 2 Also Drawn

    Now both Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin have had a shot with the white pieces, and neither player has come close to achieving anything seroius with the privilege. This time it was Karjakin's chance to make good use of the first move, but he didn't come close to achieving anything. Carlsen equalized pretty easily (maybe Karjakin missed a very small opportunity for an edge, on move 19, but not more, and only very briefly), and the players called it a day pretty quickly, after just 33 moves.

    Game 3 takes place on Monday; for now, here are my comments to game 2.

    (Updated to give the correct day for the next game.)

    Friday
    Nov112016

    World Championship 2016: Game 1 Drawn

    The match is underway and game 1 was drawn. With White Magnus Carlsen went straight for the sidelines with the Trompowsky (the Tromp, for short, but not the "Trump" - this seems to have been the joke of the day). After a bit of feinting around Black's c-pawn, Carlsen finally collected it and enjoyed a very slight endgame advantage against Sergey Karjakin.

    It wasn't much, but it was usable - at least until White played 27.f4. This allowed Black to play 27...h5, after which Karjakin had a fairly easy time neutralizing the dregs of White's initiative. The game went through to the end of the time control, and ended almost immediately afterward in a draw by repetition.

    Game 2 is tomorrow; you can replay game 1, with my notes, here.

    Thursday
    Nov102016

    World Championship 2016: Carlsen-Karjakin Starts Tomorrow/Today (Friday)

    Magnus Carlsen's second title defense, this time against Sergey Karjakin, starts this Friday at 2 p.m. local time (ET) at the South Street Seaport in New York.

    It's a 12 game match (not counting tiebreaks, if necessary), and the schedule until the last round is this: a game one day, a game the next day, and then a day off. This continues until the very last round, which has one extra day off beforehand. Players will alternate colors the first six games, and then everything gets switched. Specifically, the pairings have been set and Carlsen has White in game 1. He will therefore also have White in games 3 and 5, but then in the second half it will be Karjakin who starts each game pair with White, so Carlsen will next play White in game 8.

    There's a report on the opening ceremony (with video) here and the official site is here, but let's get to the question we all want to answer: what's going to be the margin of Carlsen's victory? I'm going for +2, 6.5-4.5.

    Thursday
    Nov102016

    Carlsen Concerned About Russian Hackers?

    It isn't clear that this is a serious story - that Magnus Carlsen is really concerned about his opening preparation being hacked by Russians looking to give Sergey Karjakin a leg up in their forthcoming world championship match - but in principle it could be a genuine worry. As a fun exercise of the imagination, think of how Bobby Fischer would have worried about this had present-day technology been around at the time of his 1972 match with Boris Spassky. Oh my!

    Thursday
    Nov102016

    Polgar the Commentator

    Not particularly newsy, but for what it's worth Judit Polgar will be the official commentator at the forthcoming world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin. More about that, and an interview with her, here.

    HT: Robert Davis

    Monday
    Nov072016

    Excitement Over the World Championship, or Not?

    How marketable is chess? This article investigates the question from a largely anecdotal perspective in the Big Apple itself.

    HT: Marc Beishon