Why so many draws in WCC 2018?

dantewitt
Why have Carlson and Caruna drawn 11/11 games? Are they so evenly matched they can hardly win or lose? Has something happened to chess itself? Has defensive theory advanced farther than offensive theory?
Colingohmann98

games have messed up on both sides where there could have been a decisive win. In 2016, all 12 games were drawn and Magnus ended up winning in the tiebreak. I have a feeling that is going to happen again this year too.

PolarBearKiller
Colingohmann98 wrote:

In 2016, all 12 games were drawn and Magnus ended up winning in the tiebreak. 

Only the first 7 games were draws. Karjakin won game 8 as black and Carlson won game 10 as white. All the other games were draws bringing it to 6-6 which is why it went to the tie break. This current match is a record for the most consecutively drawn games in a world championship match. 

quadibloc
dantewitt wrote:
Has something happened to chess itself? Has defensive theory advanced farther than offensive theory?

Well, something did happen to chess itself a long time ago. Steinitz put the understanding of chess on a scientific basis, and proved the validity of his style of play by defeating Anderssen for the first World Championship.

So when the Romantic era of Chess ended, when fireworks like Anderssen-Kieseritzky became less common because players at a high level knew what mistakes not to make, Chess got a reputation as a dull game with a lot of draws.

With the specific Carlsen-Caruana match, Carlsen had the opportunity to win in the first game, but he overlooked a Queen sacrifice needed to do it. If he had won that game, then Caruana would have had to struggle for a win, taking big risks instead of playing it safe for the draw, and he probably would have ended up losing more games.

As it was, despite Caruana facing a disadvantage in the tiebreaks, Carlsen took some risks, but calculated ones, attempting to score a win during the match, but it was not to be.

So the players are very evenly matched, and, yes, defensive theory has advanced even more, partly because now powerful computers are available to help analyze games.

But really, "something happened" to Chess a long time ago. It was masked by the fireworks of a couple of very spectacular players - Capablanca and Fischer - and by Chess going "off the radar" during the long period of Soviet dominance.

Jenium

Chess is doing well. They are just incredibly strong and have even stronger engines to prepare. And games are not won or lost without mistakes...

Jenium
quadibloc wrote:
dantewitt wrote:

Chess got a reputation as a dull game with a lot of draws.

 

There is nothing dull about defending or not accepting a sacrifice/sacrificing back to get a good position...  In fact, it is more dull to run into every trap and ignore obvious threats ...

Revenant_1
PolarBearKiller wrote:
Colingohmann98 wrote:

In 2016, all 12 games were drawn and Magnus ended up winning in the tiebreak. 

Only the first 7 games were draws. Karjakin won game 8 as black and Carlson won game 10 as white. All the other games were draws bringing it to 6-6 which is why it went to the tie break. This current match is a record for the most consecutively drawn games in a world championship match. 

It was not the record for most consecutives draws in world championship !

The record was 17 straight games in 1984 Karpov-Kasparov match (with another 14 games row in this match).

The record was only for the longer initial draws series !

Revenant_1

The reason of so many draws was the very high level of players, 150 years of opening analysis with a faster ratio in the last decades thanks computer (engines and databases) and probably huge superiority of Carlsen in faster time control tie-breaks that make the overall match strategy a bit conservative !

Of course you could argue that it was Caruana duty to make more wild the match, but at this level if only one of the player push very much it go almost ever against him !

Anyway he tried ( and even Carlsen a bit) so they was neither so prudent as many paint them !

AnthonyAtanasov
Revenant_1 wrote:
PolarBearKiller wrote:
Colingohmann98 wrote:

In 2016, all 12 games were drawn and Magnus ended up winning in the tiebreak. 

Only the first 7 games were draws. Karjakin won game 8 as black and Carlson won game 10 as white. All the other games were draws bringing it to 6-6 which is why it went to the tie break. This current match is a record for the most consecutively drawn games in a world championship match. 

It was not the record for most consecutives draws in world championship !

The record was 17 straight games in 1984 Karpov-Kasparov match (with another 14 games row in this match).

The record was only for the longer initial draws series !

But that doesn't count because it was a 24 game match.

Nickalispicalis71
Revenant_1 wrote:

The reason of so many draws was the very high level of players, 150 years of opening analysis with a faster ratio in the last decades thanks computer (engines and databases) and probably huge superiority of Carlsen in faster time control tie-breaks that make the overall match strategy a bit conservative !

Of course you could argue that it was Caruana duty to make more wild the match, but at this level if only one of the player push very much it go almost ever against him !

Anyway he tried ( and even Carlsen a bit) so they was neither so prudent as many paint them !

I am not so sure about the "High Level of Play." What I saw was that in game one, Magnus should have won and didn't and never threatened to win again thereafter, culminating in that disgraceful draw offer in the last game. 

Typically the games followed engine lines for about the first 15 to 20 moves, then we see a drop off as the players had to start finding moves on their own. Caruana was especially exposed (in the rapids) as a player that fumbles once he gets out of his home preparation.