When Nakamura bursted into the scene he had one huge weakness and that were his openings. Over the years he made the transition and incorporated freerolls and forced draws into his repertoire. Just look up his win in the English against Karjakin and you know what I am talking about. In the following game Naka is willing to repeat an old line that dates back to the Kortchnoi-Karpov match in 1978. It looks like Karjakin smelled a rat and went for the forced draw.
Every once in a while you can see what happens, when engine-kids are on their own. In such cases the game usually ends very fast and things can become rather ugly. In the featured game, Wesley was obviously caught out of preparation in a static type of position, where dynamic resources simply don’t exist. The weird thing is that he refused to castle and instead tried everything he could to open up files against his own king. I bet the most difficult task for Carlsen in this game was to hide the grin on his face.
On a sidenote I should mention that I underestimated Carlsen in my predictions. Playing something other than his match openings doesn’t hurt him that much, because there are so many quiet systems to chose from, where he can make something out of nothing.
The tournament in Bilbao has about the worst lineup that one could ever imagine. Carlsen and Karjakin can’t play their main openings, Giri and Wei Yi are both Drawmeisters, So is a classical Bumhunter, but there are no bums in the field, which basically leaves it to Nakamura to grab the money.
Vacation is over and the Drawmeisters are back at work shuffling pieces around for no purpose other than stealing rating points. This time Pono shows us a simple way to tame Kramnik’s already rather tame Semi-Trash Variation: Push a4-a5 and liquidate the queenside!