If he wins this tournament by a clear one and a half or two points that will be a splendid achievement in itself.
Hou Yifan has done well.
+ 7 in a tournament this strong, out of only 12 games played, is the stuff of legend. Smyslov's +8 at Zurich 1953 was an incredible result, but that was a 28-round tournament!
Remember, it was just over two years ago that Anand reached his goal of taking back the #1 spot from Carlsen. At that time Anand was 2804, Carlsen 2802, Aronian 2801, Kramnik 2791, Topalov 2786. A tight little bunch with only 18 points from 1st to 5th.
Since then, Carlsen has been on a tear and gained over 70 points, Aronian & Kramnik are roughly +10 each in that time, Anand is down 20, Topalov is struggling back to where he was.
There has been a sea change at the top. Carlsen is putting serious distance between himself and the field of Super-Duper-GMs, and no one is closing the gap.
Yep. He's running away from them like he stole something. Just like butter he's on a roll.
How has Carlsen managed to do this? Are there any hypotheses other than some appeal to talent or genius? Does anybody think he has some different approach to training that has helped propel him to a new level above and beyond the rest of the elite?
I think Magnus is more inclined to study the LONG TERM STRATEGICAL CONSEQUENCES when he chooses plans. I think most of his peers focus more on opening theory and probably spend more time on openings. Carlsen gets stronger and stronger the further onto the game it goes instead of the other way around. That's just my guess.
Carlsen's endgame prowess is vastly superior to anyone elses. He just grinds until he wins pretty much.
Something tells me that I know chess better than these talented world class professionals
But the entire point of opening study are long term strategical consquences. For example, you wouldn't play the Bxc6 Ruy Lopez because it gives up the bishop pair, or play a certain variation because it gives an open/semi-open file, etc.
Magnus Carlsen is genius on the chess board. One of a kind. A class unto himself.
That's true about all opening theory being to establish long term plusses.Also about him being a genius. I think what I meant to say is he has a much broader positional understanding and chooses openings where his opponents have to think for themselves over the board to solve issues instead of mainstream theory. He feels he can outplayed most of his peers when in unpopular territory.