I guess Giri just wanted to draw.
Karjakin did not capture 14...Nxd2
Well yeah, if you play the Berlin against 2700 oppostion you are normally very happy with a draw. Really after White goes 5.Re1 you more or less are playing for a draw (assuming two players of decent strength, and strength of same level) . Also, Giri's game is far more relevant, as it was a classical game of an important tournament - the FIDE World Cup, and Karjakin's game was only blitz.
I do not trust the uneventful draw by Giri, it smells like pre-arranged.
Here is another Karjakin Game
Why did not he play 11...Bb7 and instead went for 11...Re8?
Why is 10 Re2 and then 11 Re1 stronger than 10 Re1 right away?
That is the very famous game from the 2016 WCh match which I mentioned as the game that inspired me to play the 10. Re2 line.
Karjakin started thinking immediately after 10.Re2 and spent something like 20 minutes there, so he clearly didn't really know how to meet the move, and he came up with the reply 10.. b6 which is very logical. Magnus without any thought replied with the strange 11. Re1 and so Karjakin probably assumed that Carlsen will have preparation against 11... Bb7 so he instead went for the most boring move in the position.
The idea behind 10. Re2 as opposed to 10.Re1 is quite subtle. In some lines, White will recapture on e2 with the bishop, or even the knight from c3, or in some cases the queen, that is if Black replies with the normal plans of ..Re8 or ..Nf5 and ..d5.
After the critical reply 10..b6 White just plays 11. Re1 and argues that the pawn on b6 will present more of a weakness than a strength, creating a hook for a queenside initiative with moves like a4-a5. If Black believes and wants to prove that the extra tempo of ..b7-b6 is actually a strength more than a weakness, he continues with ..Bb7 and plays for all three results. Otherwise, what Karjakin did is more or less fine.
Of course, the differences are quite subtle, and 10. Re1 does remain the main line, Re2 is mainly a surprise weapon as used by Carlsen. I like to play it sometimes because I have done some research on the move and most people probably haven't.
I do not understand 14 c3. With the pawn on d5 it seems more appropriate to play b3, Bb2 and c4 so as to support d5.
It's a restricting move, playing against the black dark squared bishop and controlling the d4-square. I don't like c4 in this structure on generaln grounds.
OK c3 makes sense with the black bishop on f6, but here black has retreated his bishop to e7.
@BornHyper-Twitch Thank you! Means a lot coming from such a strong player.
@tpr Well, just in the long run I don't like giving up squares that way. I'm very used to playing d4-d5 and c2-c3 in the structure. Your approach is more ambitious though.
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