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GobbleDog

World Chess Championship 2021

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Defending Champion: Magnus Carlsen 30 y.o. Norwegian rated 2855 (world #1).  Considered one of the greatest of all time. Became Champion in 2013 and since defended the title 3 times. His style is considered "conservative" as he takes few risks, finding a small advantage and grinding out a win.

Challenger: Ian Nepomniachtchi ("Nepo") 31 y.o. Russian rated 2782 (world #5). Qualified for title game winning recent Candidates tournament. His style is considered "crazy" playing unusual moves and piece sacrifices complicating positions and confusing opponents. His play is exciting and makes for incredible victories, but also devastating losses.

The players have faced 77 times with Carlsen leading  23 to 14, and 40 draws. Most of those consist of blitz chess and many when they were young. They've played 13 classical chess games with Nepo leading 4 to 1, and 8 draws.

Carlsen is the favorite (-350). Games held in Dubai, November 26 to December 14, 2021 - Game 1 commences 7:30 am tomorrow.

https://www.chess.com/news/view/2021-fide-world-championship-press-conference-opening-ceremony

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2 hours ago, Cloaca du jour said:

Chick from Queens Gambit

 

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Game 1 is in the books!  Nepo had the white pieces and opened e4. The game transitioned into a Ruy Lopez opening. Chess fans were expecting early fireworks from Nepo, but it never happened. The queens were traded fairly early and Magnus was able to trade down most remaining pieces.  Neither player gained any significant advantage throughout and there were no major tactical blunders.  On move 43 the game ended in a draw, due to a three-fold repetition of moves.

Game 2 starts tomorrow morning with Magnus playing the white pieces.

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We should do a chess tournament here. I’m not any good, but know how to move the pieces. 

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2 minutes ago, bostonlager said:

We should do a chess tournament here. I’m not any good, but know how to move the pieces. 

Or on the moon. 

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Just now, Mike Isles said:

Or on the moon. 

That is how lazy I am. Didn't bother to read two posts above

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That said. Lots of apps out there that offer free play. We can do a round robin and then playoff brackets. 

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56 minutes ago, bostonlager said:

That said. Lots of apps out there that offer free play. We can do a round robin and then playoff brackets. 

All you Bro. Set it up and I’m in. Probably a first round exit though. 

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3 minutes ago, Mike Isles said:

All you Bro. Set it up and I’m in. Probably a first round exit though. 

I will start a thread here in a bit to see if we have any interest. 

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We could do fantasy chess here possibly.  How hard would that be?  Do the rows have numbers and letters?  I'm assuming not both so we are dealing with rows and columns.  And then numbers.

That sounds like a lot of work to do it fantasy.

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Game 2 is in the books and what a crazy game it was.  Magnus with white played 1. d4 and the position eventually transitioned into the Catalan opening - a very sharp position.  Chess experts felt Nepo played right into Magnus's opening preparation and just like in the first game, Magnus was the first to play a novelty move and put Nepo on the defensive and under serious pressure.  Nepo showed his strength surviving the early attack and then in the middle game Magnus made an sizeable inaccuracy. All of a sudden, Nepo went from hoping to pull out a draw, to pressing for a win.  However, Nepo didn't find the best moves and slowly dwindled away the advantage.  Eventually, most of the pieces were traded away and on move 58, the players agreed to a draw.

Game 3 starts tomorrow. Nepo has the white pieces and must be feeling confident having survived two of Magnus's surprise openings and novelties.

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Game 3 is in the books. Nepo with white played 1. e4 with the position turning into another Ruy Lopez opening, same as first game. The first novelty was played by Nepo on move 15, but wasn't much of a game changer. No player gained any significant advantage throughout and after lots of exchanges on move 41, the game ended in a draw on move 41 due to three-fold repetition. 

There will be a rest day tomorrow and play resumes on Tuesday morning with Magnus playing white.

To recap - Game 1, 2, 3... all draws. Sadly, the last World Championship consisted of 12 games.... all were drawn, before blitz tie break settled it. Chess fans are hoping that doesn't happen again. But Magnus is so good it seems he can draw almost any game, and knows he's the king of blitz. So if it goes to that, he'll probably win easily again.

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Game 4 is in the books. Magnus opened 1. e4 and Nepo responded playing the Petrov Defense, which is considered a rather dry opening - though Nepo with black was mostly hoping for a draw anyway. Magnus was the first to deviate from known book moves on move 18 playing an unusual knight move, which chess engines didn't much like.  It was obviously some weird computer line Magnus had prepared for the event, hoping Nepo would not accurately respond to the new position. But Nepo lived up to the task and eventually a position was reached in which only black could realistically win. As such, Magnus had to bail out and forced a three-fold repetition of moves resulting in a draw on move 33.

Game 5 starts tomorrow morning.  The score is tied 2-2.

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Game 5 is in the books. Nepo opened 1. e4 and the game transitioned into another Ruy Lopez. Magnus was the first to play a novelty on move 13. As the game wore on Nepo gained the tiniest of advantages and definitely had the more comfortable position, but eventually Magnus was able to trade off most of the pieces and grind the game down to an endgame leaving little chances for either player to win. On move 43 the game was drawn due to three-fold repetition of moves.

Nepo is a more unpredictable player, but in this tournament it's been Magnus who's been making novelty moves and taking more chances, albeit small ones. Chess experts predict the games might continue to be fairly drawish and stale, until a decisive result finally occurs and forces the other player to take bigger risks.

The players will rest tomorrow with play resuming Friday morning. The score is tied 2.5 to 2.5.

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2 minutes ago, fandandy said:

I love your summaries.  Is this cut and paste?  

After the games are over I watch "recap" Youtube's by grandmasters and then summarize for Geek consumption. I'm just happy someone is reading them.

I know everyone is sick of yet another draw - so are chess fans.  At the elite level draws are a given, but it's getting ridiculous. According to the experts, the odds of all 14 games drawing like the last Title event are slim to none. So hopefully any day now...

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Magnus will dominate when they get to the Fingal Fingers.  🤨

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