Carlsen - the beast

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen is a beast. A comeback beast. With a magnificent performance in the second half of the Masters Final tournament he managed to draw the level with Fabiano Caruana and ultimately beat him in the blitz tiebreak. What I personally like about Carlsen, is that he just wants to play. While most top players spent tons of hours preparing the opening, he seems to be not caring about this stage of the game. And by doing this, he makes subliminally a very confident statement to his opponents: "I don't need a good opening preparation. I will just outplay you in the middle game." The first two rounds in Bilbao were a perfect example.

In two white games Carlsen faced twice the French defence. Against Caruana he chose 1.e4 e6 2.d3, which is probably not the refutation of this opening. By avoiding the well known theoretical paths, Carlsen forced Caruana to think on his own very early in the game. Consequently, the better chess understanding plays a greater role. Carlsen managed to achieve a small advantage and converted it in a full point later in the endgame. One round later Vallejo Pons tried the French as well, but this time Carlsen replied with the exchange variation, which is considered to be rather dull and benign. Nevertheless Carlsen achieved a full game and was more capable to find his way through the complications.

One should now imagine, what would happen if Carlsen had the same opening preparation level as Levon Aronian or Vladimir Kramnik. He would be completely out of reach.

Now, the most thrilling game was the encounter of what many are hoping will be the next world championship: Carlsen - Anand. And of course I could not contain myself from doing another video analysis. Here you go:

Anand can be hardly satisfied with his result. Like last year, only the fifth place for him and additionally not winning a single game, one would expect more from the world champion. In general, it seems Anand has lost his aggressiveness or maybe his hunger ?! According to my database, he won only two games out of 26 this year. Needless to say, a frightening quota. I really hope he will recover and come back with his old strength and aggressiveness, which gave him once his moniker "Tiger of Madras".

Standings, pictures and much more of the Masters Final tournament can be found here.

Okay, enough from me, I should get back on studying for the two exams coming up next week. Cheers!