Friday, November 16, 2018

Carlsen-Caruana game 6: 0.5-0.5

The match is half over, and it's tied, 3-3.

But today's game was full of drama! (As 538 put it, Chess World rattled as someone nearly wins game).

Caruana, with the black pieces, managed superbly to create a passed central pawn, and Carlsen was forced to sacrifice (?) his knight for 3 black pawns to eliminate it.

Caruana then won back two of the pawns and was, more or less, a knight ahead.

Carlsen then sacrificed a third pawn in order to get his king locked into a corner of the board in such a way that Caruana was a in danger of making a stalemate, and then, while maneuvering to try to break through, after 6 hours of play, he allowed Carlsen to force the draw.

So, there we are. What will the second half of the match bring?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

It's not just a game ...

... it's a world of individuals, going about their daily routines, doing their chores, going shopping, cooking dinner, ....

Carlsen-Caruana game 5: 0.5-0.5

OK, OK, I know: another draw.

And only 33 moves, no less: the shortest game of the match to date.

But this one was FUN!

Caruana, with the white pieces, sprung a crazy opening surprise on move 6!

Apparently Carlsen didn't watch the video, after all?

Or maybe the video didn't really exist, or it didn't cover this particular detail.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this game, even if it was a draw in the end.

I mean, you never, ever, EVER see a pawn on the 6th rank on move 14. Or on the 7th rank on move 16!

Game 6 tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Carlsen-Caruana game 4: 0.5-0.5

Do you sense a bit of a storyline growing?

4 games, 4 drawn results.

In this game, Carlsen had the white pieces, and opened c4 (the "English opening").

The queens came off the board on move 19, and soon afterwards a draw was agreed.

The length of the games so far is:

  1. 115 moves
  2. 49 moves
  3. 49 moves
  4. 34 moves

Tomorrow is a rest day.

Monday, November 12, 2018

A Version of the Truth: a very short review

Somehow, up to the top of my stack of books came A Version of the Truth.

The heroine of this romance novel, Cassie, is a bird lover who works, on and off, at the Topanga Canyon Wildlife Rescue Center (which is I think modeled on a real place), and so the book is full of ivory-billed woodpeckers, ferruginous hawks, barn owls, even an African gray parrot.

There are people, too, and something of a story.

But I suspect the authors (there are two authors) are bird-lovers themselves, and the African gray parrot is far-and-away the most fully drawn and engaging character in the book.

Carlsen-Caruana game 3: 0.5-0.5

Game 3 started out like game 1, at least for the first 5 moves, then Caruana varied slightly and the remainder of the game was very different.

The queens came off the board on move 23, and after 49 moves a draw was agreed.

Tomorrow Carlsen has the white pieces; will we see a decisive result?

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Carlsen-Caruana game 2: 0.5-0.5

Game 2 was considerably quieter than game 1, and considerably shorter.

Carlsen had the white pieces for game 2, and opened d4.

It seemed to me that Caruana came out of the opening quite comfortably, and posed some significant problems for Carlsen.

When the queens came off the board at move 24, Carlsen briefly had 2 pawns on the 6th rank, and it looked quite threatening. But his king was too far away and couldn't support the pawns and Caruana's accurate play snapped them up, at which point it was Caruana as black with an extra pawn, and the computers were giving Caruana a strong advantage.

But Carlsen quickly neutralized that threat and a draw was agreed at move 49.

Tomorrow is a rest day, with game 3 to be played on Monday!