Chess

The 2019 Sinquefield Cup is on. Of course Magnus Carlsen is the favorite even if he had a bad performance at the recent rapid/blitz tournament. He has white against Anish Giri in his first game.

As a casual observer, it’s fun to have the coverage on in the background. The commentators include Jennifer Shahade (also a poker player) and Maurice Ashley, who does a good job with interviews and adds a lot of energy.

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Pretty quiet first round so far. Three draws in the books, including Magnus’ game. Whenever Maurice interviews Magnus, people always comment about tension between them because of some supposed dust-up a while ago. It’s greatly exaggerated, afict.

Lol, Anish is asking for a $10 incentive to participate in the confession booth (they have a soundproof room where players can go to comment on on-going games).

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Wow. It looked like all the games were going to end in a draw but Nepomniachtchi gifted a win to Anand with a blunder. That after Nepo had struggled long and hard to get to a position that everyone said was drawn. So Anand is now in sole first. That doesn’t make him the favorite with 8 rounds to go but good for him!

Obviously if it can happen to a GM this strong it can happen to anyone, and Nepo seemed to take it as well as could be expected.

Adrawsh Drawri

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thanks i’m here all week

Really bad blunder from Nepo. Even a club player finds it straight away.

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Round 2. Anand has white vs. Carlsen. Magnus showed up late. Anand waited like 30 sec before playing his first move. Nepo gets black against Caruana so it’s uphill for him after that catastrophe yesterday.

Correction: counting today there are 10 rounds remaining, as the tournament was expanded from 10 players to 12 this year.

Round 2 result: 6 draws out of 6. Anish Giri was close to a win but couldn’t quite convert a small endgame advantage against Levon Aronian. Anand still leads the tournament.

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Through 4 rounds (24 games), there have been a grand total of 2 wins scored. Anand and Caruana are now co-leaders. I don’t know how to do the handicapping math, but I’d guess Caruana is a small favorite to win the tournament at this point. After tomorrow, they take a break for a day. If nothing exciting happens, maybe they should just cancel the rest and give it to Fabi before everybody dies of boredom.

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Naka had to have been feeling pretty pissed going into the rest day after losing that endgame to Nepo. I’m curious how he’s going to approach his game today with white against Magnus,

I don’t know what this means but it looks cool.

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I followed a bit today, I don’t know if I’m in the minority, but these days watching active draws to me are just as exciting as watching wins. I loved the last WC, hated the tiebreakers (and I only play blitz fwiw).

@ChrisV:

Saw your post about the London/Grünfeld.

I play the King’s Indian style you described against the London and play Grünfeld against d4+c4+Nc3. I was quite happy with. You can definitely (in practice) play for more than a win as Black and understanding the principles of the opening better than the White player can give you an edge. You have to put in some work to learn some of the sharper lines.
The Russian variation (with Qb3) is quite good against the Grünfeld but I rarely encounter it. If it were more common I’d probably abandon the Grünfeld.
The bigger issue I have is the London with Nc3 when the best reply is d7-d5. You have to prevent e2-e4 which to not transpose to an unfavorable Modern/Robatsch. With g6 you really want the queen pawn on d6 though. I haven’t found a satisfactory line.

OK, thanks!

Really exciting last couple rounds from a casual chess fan’s perspective.

Love watching blitz, you get to see the openings, some middle game, but with time pressure the game actually heats and up and gets insane at the end instead of “welp its another draw”

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I’m puzzled by this because the Grunfeld features g6 and d5. What is it about white’s London set up that makes this less appealing?

I wasn’t able to watch most of the last few rounds. Just saw last few minutes of the blitz. Quite a finish. I’ll go back and watch the whole playoff when I get a chance.

It’s a King’s Indian setup against the London. The pawn on d6 takes the e5 square away from the bishop and keeps it from projecting power all the way to b8. Further it will support the pawn attack with e7-e5 & f7-f5.
White also typically hasn’t played c4 yet and might skip it completely so counter-attacking in the center is less of a priority.

Testing

I was hoping you would. :relaxed: