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Karjakin on the KID

Karjakin shows a very interesting transposition in the King’s Indian. He loses a tempo in a subvariation of the a4-line, but in fact by doing so he gains a tempo on the official refutation. Black doesn’t go for the acid test, so Karjakin gets away with it easily.

Here are some examples of the typicals plans from my own practice. As usual I managed to throw away every advantage.

Stat Padding in St. Louis?

I don’t know what this format was all about, but it certainly had an impact on the Live Ratings. Caruana gained 47.2 Rapid-Elo and 32.2 Blitz-Elo, Nakamura lost 20.8 Rapid-Elo and gained 44.0 Blitz-Elo, and So gained 13 Rapid-Elo and lost 76.8 Blitz-Elo. Playing rather long matches against carefully selected opponents as a clear favorite cerainly looks like stat padding to me. One could also call it a simple case of rating manipulation, because the “targets” don’t get invitations to the top tournaments on a regular basis. The results show that it doesn’t always work, especially when the opponent refuses to roll over without a fight, and there is also some short term luck, even in chess, but there is a risk in everything. By the way, one such mismatch is enough to call this whole thing out.

The Immortal Draw

According to my database 44 games ended in this way.

6. Nb3 in the Najdorf

About a month ago I wrote some comments on a loss by Vincent Keymer in this fashionable line. Yesterday Marie Sebag tried to improve, but went down fast. Sorry, but this concept looks wrong to me. Black cannot transpose to setups from the English Attack.

Au Revoir Vlad

Vladimir Kramnik has declared his retirement from professional chess! This somewhat explains his reckless play over the last two weeks where he didn’t seem to care about the result. Nevertheless it’s very sad, because Kramnik was the biggest opening inovator in chess history after all. Here is a collection of his biggest hits:

Carlsen’s Novelty in the Sveshnikov

After the commentators were wondering why Carlsen made such a weird decision to put the bishop on b7 instead of the natural e6, it naturally reminded me of the following arguably very tragic game:

Note: In Carlsen’s game with the dynamic pawnstructure on the queenside, Bb7 (+0.33) is actually the top candidate move, ahead of Be6 (+0.45). In my game with the static pawnstructure, it is only the second best choice (0.00) after Be6 (-0.41).

Drawmeister of the Day

Drawmeister of the Day