The struggles continue

The first day of the Blitz obviously went horrible for MC, but maybe we can take away some insights.

Karjakin doesn’t lose often with 1.e4, but when he does, it happens quite often in the French. Nevertheless it’s pretty weird that Carlsen went for the endgame-variation, because it only requires basic knowledge from white in order to secure a safe advantage. Karjakin probably surprised him with the AlphaZero-move h4.

Against Yu he played the Bd7-Sicilian and transposed to a slightly better version of the Dragon than with the regular moveorder. Nevertheless the resulting position is pretty bad and once again his opponent converted his advantage like a machine.

Finally there was this…

Such tournaments are tough because once you fall back you don’t really want to use your valuable novelties to catch up. I assume Carlsen just decided to play some crap in order to get over with it. At least there was some respect left, otherwise he could have tried the infamous Bongcloud.