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Styles of players in Candidates Tournament


  • 13 months ago · Quote · #1

    gundamv

    What are the playing styles of the players in this year's Candidates' Tournament?

  • 13 months ago · Quote · #2

    waffllemaster

    Well, they each may have their strengths and preferences, but really all today's top players are universal players.

    But maybe I don't know enough about this set of players?  Maybe someone else can write a few sentences about each?

  • 13 months ago · Quote · #3

    varelse1

    Carlsen doesn't win a whole lot. But he never loses. It's uncanny. How can a human being be so infallible?

    He doesn't take a whole lot of chances. But why should he? It is more interesting, watching his opponents go crazy, looking for some way to beat him.

    He also doesn't study openings quite as deeply as others of his calibre. But his opening repetoire is not geared for sharpness, so he can get away with that. The later the game goes, the more dangerous Carlsen becomes. He is an endgame player.

    Other than that, I do not really associate anyone else on the roster with a "style." These days, style is considered equivalent to weakness. (Your opponents recognize there's an aspect of your game your weak at, and try to exploit it.)

     Most players, going back to Spassky and Fischer, try to avoid having one.

  • 13 months ago · Quote · #4

    gundamv

    bump!

  • 13 months ago · Quote · #5

    JRTK73

    A lot of the players don't have clear styles. I would say that Gelfand is more a positional player though.

  • 13 months ago · Quote · #6

    beardogjones

    Gelfand is underrated. Ivanchuk can go wild at any time. Kramnik is only 1-2

    steps behind carlsen in solidity + calculation and has more experience. Svidler is absolutely solid

    but unexciting. Aronian may not be hungry enough.

  • 13 months ago · Quote · #7

    Fear_ItseIf

    i dont know if you could say 'styles' since top players need to know how to attack when necessarily and play slowly, or deensively when necessary.

    Though some players will steer the game into certain types of positions, Ivanchuk for one excels in complicated tactical positions, which is why id love to see him play in the WC.

  • 13 months ago · Quote · #8

    beardogjones

    Radjabov  due to creativityis capable of a string of wins at any time...

    However' Carlsen's strength may undermine the creativity of the

    rest of the field. But one wonders if early adversity may shake the

    young Norwegian.

  • 13 months ago · Quote · #9

    lakers4sho

    Note that I am speaking in relative terms. Obviously all these guys are the best when considered as a whole. At this level it's hard to speak of a real "style", "strength", or "weakness".

    • Carlsen - sheer natural talent allows him to play any given position. Has a very intuitive feel for where the pieces should go, which shows in his middlegame skill and impeccable endgame technique. Plays very pragmatically, does not go for unnecessary risks. Simply tries to play the best move he can think of in the moment, and then push his opponents to death in the endgame. Does not get flustered and has amazing, amazing nerves. Less sharp tactically (relatively speaking of course). Opening preparation not as good as the next 2 guys, but his pragmatic style of play allows him to remain in the game until he can find a breakthrough (or until the position is dead draw).
    • Kramnik - very technical player, prefers position struggles. Superb understanding of the middlegame strategy allows him to shine in unbalanced positions. Superior opening preparation. Kramnik behind the Berlin is an immovable rock. Underrated calculator. There are some concerns regarding his stamina coming into the tournament.
    • Aronian - his imagination is endless, creativity in the middlegame is matched by no one at the moment, not even Carlsen. Has a knack for small combinations that he can see at lightning speed (was a Blitz WC). Solid opening preparation. Lately has been having some trouble converting a slightly better position to a win. Should be extremely motivated though since his entire country is behind him.
    • Radjabov - many consider him to be the dark horse. Prolonged inactivity prevents people from accurately pinpointing his current strength level. Wins a lot of games with Black, so-so with White. As black, likes to play in positions that promises some sort of counterplay, and then goes hard at it when the opportunity presents itself.
    • Grischuk - has a deep sense for initiative, has a fondness for having a space advantage. Probably more talented just than most of the competitors here, but lack of motivation sometimes an issue (he's been playing a lot of poker as of late). Likes to complicate positions which can be a double edged sword. Many times it results to him producing very creative chess, other times it leads to a quick defeat. Current blitz champion, can amazingly navigate his way even in time trouble.
    • Ivanchuk - Very talented, yet unpredictable at the same time. If he's in form can beat anyone in this tournament. At the same time he can also finish near the bottom. Can play any position, loves complications and sacrificing material for initiative. Tremendous endgame player. Less mentally strong than other top players.
    • Svidler - Plays a universal style, but prefers highly dynamic, tactical positions; says his personal favorite is Tal. Excels at handling initiative, especially with White. Sometimes his playing style is very erratic though.
    • Gelfand - World Championship opening preparation will obviously be an asset. Best strength is his positional understanding, although does not back down from tactical tussles. Less prone to mistakes, very pragmatic and often goes for the solid moves rather than taking risks. Respectable results on both colors.
  • 13 months ago · Quote · #10

    LastImpression

    lakers4sho wrote:

    Note that I am speaking in relative terms. Obviously all these guys are the best when considered as a whole. At this level it's hard to speak of a real "style", "strength", or "weakness".

    Carlsen - sheer natural talent allows him to play any given position. Has a very intuitive feel for where the pieces should go, which shows in his middlegame skill and impeccable endgame technique. Plays very pragmatically, does not go for unnecessary risks. Simply tries to play the best move he can think of in the moment, and then push his opponents to death in the endgame. Does not get flustered and has amazing, amazing nerves. Less sharp tactically (relatively speaking of course). Opening preparation not as good as the next 2 guys, but his pragmatic style of play allows him to remain in the game until he can find a breakthrough (or until the position is dead draw). Kramnik - very technical player, prefers position struggles. Superb understanding of the middlegame strategy allows him to shine in unbalanced positions. Superior opening preparation. Kramnik behind the Berlin is an immovable rock. Underrated calculator. There are some concerns regarding his stamina coming into the tournament. Aronian - his imagination is endless, creativity in the middlegame is matched by no one at the moment, not even Carlsen. Has a knack for small combinations that he can see at lightning speed (was a Blitz WC). Solid opening preparation. Lately has been having some trouble converting a slightly better position to a win. Should be extremely motivated though since his entire country is behind him. Radjabov - many consider him to be the dark horse. Prolonged inactivity prevents people from accurately pinpointing his current strength level. Wins a lot of games with Black, so-so with White. As black, likes to play in positions that promises some sort of counterplay, and then goes hard at it when the opportunity presents itself. Grischuk - has a deep sense for initiative, has a fondness for having a space advantage. Probably more talented just than most of the competitors here, but lack of motivation sometimes an issue (he's been playing a lot of poker as of late). Likes to complicate positions which can be a double edged sword. Many times it results to him producing very creative chess, other times it leads to a quick defeat. Current blitz champion, can amazingly navigate his way even in time trouble. Ivanchuk - Very talented, yet unpredictable at the same time. If he's in form can beat anyone in this tournament. At the same time he can also finish near the bottom. Can play any position, loves complications and sacrificing material for initiative. Tremendous endgame player. Less mentally strong than other top players. Svidler - Plays a universal style, but prefers highly dynamic, tactical positions; says his personal favorite is Tal. Excels at handling initiative, especially with White. Sometimes his playing style is very erratic though. Gelfand - World Championship opening preparation will obviously be an asset. Best strength is his positional understanding, although does not back down from tactical tussles. Less prone to mistakes, very pragmatic and often goes for the solid moves rather than taking risks. Respectable results on both colors.

    Very nice!

  • 13 months ago · Quote · #11

    Estragon

    Chessbase has been hosting profiles of the candidates one by one, including their records against each other.  I started putting topics with links to the first couple of them, but there seemed no interest.  They are still up over there, you may have to go back a couple of pages for the first, which was Svidler, I think.

    Today's Super-GMs are all universal players, as waffllemaster suggests.  Any of them can end a game with a quick attack or grind down a slightly better ending.

     

    It is not correct to say Carlsen never loses OR that he does not take risks.  In fact, most of his losses in the last couple of years happened after he avoided a certain draw to try to win a game.  However, he NEVER takes stupid risks or weakens his own position unnecessarily. 

  • 13 months ago · Quote · #12

    gundamv

    lakers4sho wrote:

    Note that I am speaking in relative terms. Obviously all these guys are the best when considered as a whole. At this level it's hard to speak of a real "style", "strength", or "weakness".

    Bingo!  Exactly what I was looking for.  Thank you very much!


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