31 Jan 2010

Shock horror defeat for Carlsen?

Not quite!

From an almost lost position, Carlsen managed to extract a draw after a virtual masterclass in a Knights endgame from both players.

Notes as the endgame drama unfolded and play-through game at the end of this post.
Notes on the first 40 moves in previous post.

I can't see him draw now, let alone win.

Caruana seemed totally not in awe of his illustrious opponent today.

Carlsen was playing games with him, and seems to be losing.
Time may have been of the essence for Caruana, but he slipped through the net and delivered the killing move on move 40.

Material is equal: 4 Pawns and a Knight each, but the advance from Black is telling.
What Rybka calls: "The upper hand". (-1.44 and -1.8 on Junior.)

Is there still a draw to be had? And why was Carlsen skating on such thin ice today?

A draw would be good enough for the overal win. Else it is a three-way top shared with Shirov and Kramnik.

Whatever, they are still playing.

leading to:

Are we watching a Master class in a Knight endgame?

I've been a great Carlsen fan for a number of years now, but even so, I hope that Caruana will not lose his cool and blunder.

Rybka is already calling it even (-0.17), but doesn't consider move 47...Kf4

ah, he does now, on 25 ply, but still calls it evens.
I am getting -1.03 from Junior.

49 vs 31 mins

======= Beginning of this game, up to move 40 , in previous post. ======

It is a cruel game at times.
This is the last thing the organizers were hoping for. Everybody anxious to catch planes and trains.

48...g5, h3+ or Nb2?
I'm voting for g5

Caruana chooses 48...Nb2
and now Carlsen has his draw.

Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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