I can't believe Magnus gave the challenger a draw.
He was ahead and he had a near easy win.
According to Magnus himself, he wasn’t there to take large risks. When told in the press conference after the match that the move 25… b5 would have put the advantage to -.2 his reply was “I don’t care” (*this was exaggerated, my engine shows -1 at 30 moves deep).
He had a near easy win? At that level of chess, nothing is easy when both side play so sharp. Had Magnus played 25…B5 and from that point forward each side play perfectly then yes Magnus would have won. Mate doesn’t happen until move 85 though…
However Magnus never played 25… b5 and played 25… a5 which took the advantage to -.4.
Now as for our personal opinions … I agree this sucks majorly. I lost quite a bit for the player himself. I still respect his talent but I lost respect for his character. He wasn’t willing to keep applying pressure and force blunders under time control. It’s almost as if all the pressure has gotten to him since game 10 and missing a win on game 1. A large part of the chess community reacted negatively to the draw offer. I watches streamers everywhere go nuts and fans comment “chicken move” etc. etc. It boils down to the fact that he clearly feels the wins will come more comfortably in rapid and blitz where Fabiano will take more risks and Magnus can just wait for Fabi to blunder.
Would personally love to see Fabiano win on tie breaks and for someone to dethrone chess’ arrogant golden boy but it’s a big guess. You have a lot to factor in here Magnus is arrogant and has obviously done less prep work as a result of feeling superior. Fabi has been grinding the prep and is all about chess and improving his game. Magnus has been busy spending more and more time away from chess to do other things like be a model and rep clothing lines etc etc. It’s no surprise he said that the player he wants to be is the player he was a few years ago resting at 2882 FIDE. But he was to work like he used to work or someone else that is willing to do the work is going to eventually come and take it. I hope that person is Fabi but as much as I dislike Magnus’ character he is without a doubt one of the best chess players to grace the board with his presence.
831 classic rating [x]
Magnus had a 'near easy win' [x]
Chess is about maximizing your chances and not aesthetics. I think Carlsen took the action that carries the highest chance of a win.
For instance, if we think about the way Carlsen typically loose, it is by overpressing -- now I could imagine Carlsen is well aware of that and had taken the decision beforehand he would not press in this game. Let's not forget Sesse kept finding lines that evaluated to -0.6 but where the last position was a draw.
You can fault the organizers for the format, but I think it is unfair to fault Magnus for doing what he believes maximizes his chances for a win.
@Dixie2011 maximizes chances for a win yes, but not under classical time controls. We already have tournaments for rapid and blitz championships, why declare a classical champion under non classical time controls? He was a sucker and took the easy way out...
The objective for both the players is to win the world championship. IMO, I think Carlsen did what was best in the circumstances and cannot be blamed.
"He was a sucker and took the easy way out..."
aka: "he did what he thought was optimal given the match circumstances, but I don't like it and the engine gave -0.6 in a complicated line that terminated in a dead position".
@Dixie2011 on the deeper spectrum its what we found out via the press conference that is most upsetting. He wasn't ever playing to win today. He was unwilling to take risks. Unwilling to analyze deeper or even consider trying to squeeze water from rocks like he did in other matches. Why stop on game 12? It's the fact that in his head today was a draw before it began unless of course fabi made a very critical error. If you even read my previous comment I already acknowledged that it was only a win for him had he played b5 and played perfectly after. I understand that from where the game stood at the time of the offer it was already draw territory unless blunders were had. Again its his character and how he approached today as a whole that I am more upset with. He very much could have played a few more moves under time restraints to induce a blunder and then offer a draw, but he didn't.
Episcopul: YMMW, but I think Carlsen took more chances in the opening than Caruana did yesterday with the petrov and generated more interesting play. Did Caruana seem like he was playing for a win yesterday?
The tournament is constructed in such a way you have to be mad to take chances with black in the last games unless you are behind. I think that affected both players, and Carlsen took the rational decision in the situation. Do you agree or not?
I don't get what you are saying about b5. No engine can see from move 25 to 85 in a complicated game so you can't conclude b5 was a win or not.
Asides that, how on earth is a crazy engine line remotely relevant? Let us for a moment pretend b5 was a forced win. If Carlsen saw the win in 60 moves(!), I think we can agree he would have played it. We can, therefore, conclude Carlsen did not see the win in 60(!) moves. So are we are now faulting Carlsen for not evaluating a certain move as an engine...?
The problem, if there is a problem, is the tournament structure disincentivize any form of risk-taking for Carlsen. I can't see why we can fault him for that...
@Dixie2011 : I agree that nobody is expected to see 60 moves ahead. I do not fault the man at all for that. What I do fault him for is playing for the draw from the get go. I think I made it clear that I was faulting him for not trying to win with fabi under time pressure with 9 moves remaining until the next time control. Just saying, while the opportunity may not have been there if Fabi wasn't under time pressure, he was and there was more chess that could have been played before the draw was offered. It is very possible that Fabi could have miscalculated before reaching time control. In the event that he didn't blunder and was able to hold his ground until time control, I believe this draw offer would have been better received.
But again, this all about us as Fans and what we think and what we want. At the end of the day, I understand that chess is about finding the best possible position. Sometimes there is a win, sometimes the best possible outcome is a draw despite what the fans want to see. I fault Magnus for his mentality from the beginning of the match. I'm not the only one who feels this way. A few GM/IMs that I follow, whose opinions should speak volumes more than mine, also felt this way. But at the end of the day this is just my set of opinions. I am one player and one fan out of millions...
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