Wednesday has been a quiet rest day on Twitter. After the long draws in game 3 and 4, the chess Twitter-sphere seemed to need a short break from the board and the screen after 247 moves in 4 games.
@chessgamescom: “247 moves played in the first four games of #CarlsenKarjakin; only 4 shy of the record 251 moves from the Botvinnik-Smyslov rematch in 1958.”
@shaxmatist2000: “Is a 94 move game not a record in modern times? For players of this caliber, it is tantamount to playing 10 sets of tennis.”
Let’s ask an expert: @DanielKingChess: “Nowhere near a record! Korchnoi-Karpov 1978 had a 124 move draw. Carlsen-Anand 2014, game 7, was 122 moves.”
@chessninja: The campaign to avoid short draws has been pretty successful with move minimums. With Carlsen-Karjakin, move maximums perhaps also needed.
What do you think of the match so far, @russell_francis: “3 things about the World Chess Championship, 1 guy’s a Trump guy, 1 guy’s a Putin guy and the Berlin Wall has been erected.”
You have probably seen the analyses of the games on various websites and in videos. @fabianocaruana found something: “So 42…Bd5 43.g3 g4!! probably would have won for Carlsen in the 4th game, but not easy to find and convert the advantage”.
Another top 10 player showed this variation @anishgiri: “45…Be6! 46.Nf2 Bd7! -+ while after 45…f4?=. Will most likely be published in NIC, if my bad jokes pass the censorship.”
And in case you missed all the action last week, Gunnar Bjornsson knows the score @skaksamband: “Heimsmeistaraeinvígið er í fullum gangi í New York. Staðan er 2-2 eftir fjórar skákir.”
I can read “New York” and “2-2”. That’s actualy all you need to know.
Before we go to game 5, let’s say happy birthday to GM Michael Adams, who turns 45 today. @garylanechess: “Is Michael Adams on team Carlsen again? I say yes.”
What do we want to see in game 5? Some grandmaster advice from Nikita Vitiugov, @n_vitiugov: “Eagerly waiting for the first blood in New-York. Hope for a good old piece blunder. Basically, chess is all about that.”
@johnchess: “Looking forward to the next instalment of Magnus Grindstone vs Sergei Groveljin this evening”.
What’s on the menu tonight, Johathan Tisdall? @GMJtis: “Have a feeling for something Italian today. Maybe even Sicilian.” @nigelshortchess: “Southern European anyway. How about the Hellenic Counter-Gambit?
And what did we get? Italian! @nigelshortchess: 21st century homo chessicus has concluded that white should put his bishop on c4, attacking f7 – as they already understood 500 years ago.
Not everybody was happy, though: @GiddinsSteve: “Everyone excited by a d3-Giuoco. I guess to a starving man, even beans on toast is a feast.”
@JonathanRowson: Whether it’s an Italian or a slow Lopez, I think even top GMs are basically confused until something actually *happens*.
Something actually happened: 14.Bxf7+. GMSimon Williams aka @ginger_gm: “Not sure why these guys hate their light square bishop so much.”
After that move, the players took some time to ponder over their next moves, giving the spectators online some time to do other (better?) things:
@twistsler: Okay then. I have been away for over an hour and only missed 5 turns.” A more precise tweet came from @schlaura_schi: “The good thing about Chess is, that you can take a shower without missing a thing.”
Playing the move 19…Qh4 (or not), that was the question.
@ginger_gm: If Sergey Karyakin is going to win this match he needs to start playing moves like 19…Qh4!? added by some psychological advice from @jonathan_rowson: Yes, and it’s not just the move, but *how* you play it. Speed, sound, smoothness, eye brow altitude – it all matters.”
@anishgiri: “Folks shouting Qh4! but having made a couple of hundred passive moves in a row this seems rather unorthodox for Karjakin”.
Of course, Karjakin played 19….Qh4. @Nigelshortchess:” My hunch is that Magnus missed that after 19…Qh4, 20.e6 is not possible”.
Surprising plot twists in game 5
Sergey seemed to have a slight advantage, but that plus score slipped away: @GMjtis:“Minimalism from Karjakin again. Back to our normal programming. Magnus can now plonk around & try to magic up some chances”. @joshfriedel:”Karjakin’s Bxc5 from game 5 looks an awfully lot like Bxc4 from game 4.”
@GMLars: 19 Bxc4 in G4 was chess error; 20…Bxc5 in G5 not bad chess-wise, but psychological concession by Karjakin. 2 result game.
So, there are good chances for Magnus to win the game then? Not really:
@Terendle: “Really odd play by Magnus. It almost looks like he’s forgotten that it’s possible for him to lose this game…”@GMjtis: “I really really really really don’t like the way Carlsen has played 95% of this game. Begging for trouble.”
@Unudurti: “If Karjakin is able to put serious pressure now, match dynamics will resemble Anand-Gelfand 2012 in Moscow”.
@duhke64: “And now Houdini demonstrates the art of vacating a square for piece. Position is looking grim for MC”.
However….@Cazhansen: Bd5 right away? It seems like Karjakin just dropped the ball on the 10-yard line while running towards a touchdown.”
Many viewers wanted to go to bed, but were a obviously afraid to wake up with an unexpected result. @joseaf_PT asked: This is a draw, right? If i go to sleep, i’m not going to get another surprise like Trump,right?
You can go to sleep, another draw was agreed, although Jonathan expected a different result.
@jonathanrowson: “Bit confused. Went to bed. Carlsen -Karjakin suggested Karjakin might be winning.Open computer. No sign of that whatsoever. Draw.”
Perhaps @team_bleezy has an answer? Karjakin has played defensively every match. As they say, “scared money don’t make money.” Missed opportunity with Black.
One last tweet for today,: @danielkingchess: “A strange game. Throughout it seemed that Carlsen forgot that Karjakin could play for a win. And Karjakin forgot too.”