How does Magnus survive without opening prep???

  • #1

    I mean you would think someone like ivanchuk would beat Carlsen every time because of how sharp his opening preparation is but it turns out carlsens and ivanchuks record is +8 -2 =11 for Carlsen (on my database). When they say Carlsen doesnt know opening theory/ do preparation what does that mean? like no he doesnt know the 23 move of the sicilian dragon yugoslav deffered or what? How is Magnus surviving? Super Gm's should be able ot get an easy advantage out of the opening against him? Carlsen is amazing tactically and hes good at grinding out a won endgame.

  • #2

    He plays unexpected opening moves that are either uncommon or have a weakness, but his opponents usually don't know what he is doing.

  • #3

    He just do math. If he play the up-to-date openings, he'll have to remember 25 moves. After these 25 moves, he'll have around 25 moves to gain an advantage, before the game becomes unwinable (in average). If he plays openings with 15 moves theory, he'll have around 35 moves to outplay his opponents. And he has great middlegame and endgame techniques, so using the main lines doesn't give him anything.

  • #4

    Saying a GM doesn't have opening preparation is silliness. If he didn't he simply could not compete much less be the highest rated in the world.

  • #5
    orangeishblue wrote:

    Saying a GM doesn't have opening preparation is silliness. If he didn't he simply could not compete much less be the highest rated in the world.

    He is known as one of the least prepared opening wise players of Super GM's. 

    The first two posts are ridicoulous. Carlsen's main weapons are the Ruy lopez closed which is a heavy body of sharp theory especially since he likes the Breyer and he plays the Sicilian Dragon which is ridicoulously sharp. 

  • #6

    Perhaps you meant the opening question to be "Why don't I know that Magnus does his opening prep quite well, finding opportunities to go into tricky lines that opponents aren't prepared for? Why do I NOT KNOW THIS?"

    Does this help clarify things for you?

  • #7

    Magnus still prepares lines to play, I'm sure he does, just not super deep and narrow like only the najdorf and always out to move 30 for example.

    I think Kasparov said Carlsen can find the right plan very quickly.  Carlsen simply plays better chess through the middlegame and endgame phases so that's how he wins.

  • #8

    It's known that Carlsen doesn't prepare openings deeply or broadly as his opponents. That does not mean he is not well prepared for the openings he plays. 

    It just means that instead of preparing 400 different lines in 20 different openings, he's preparing 100 different lines in 8 different openings -- but his prep is sufficient to cover all the eventualities of what his opponents will throw at him. And obviously he's confident that any novelties that might arise in the lines he's choosing aren't one's that will kill the line.  

  • #9
    steve_bute wrote:

    Perhaps you meant the opening question to be "Why don't I know that Magnus does his opening prep quite well, finding opportunities to go into tricky lines that opponents aren't prepared for? Why do I NOT KNOW THIS?"

    Does this help clarify things for you?

    lolz, quoted Money Mouth

  • #10

    Hi chessteenager, You compared Ivanchuk and Carlsen.  Interesting choice.  Both of them play extremely wide repertoires.  In fact, they pretty much play everything, which makes them different from other elites.  Ivanchuk is not that much more prepared than Carlsen.  The distinction should be made that Carlsen seems to me to be more prepared with black than with white.  With white, Carlsen does not play the sharpest lines.

  • #11

    When Carlsen states he does not put as much emphasis as his fellow GM's on openings prep, bear in mind this probably means he only spends 3-4 hours a day on openings, instead of 5-6, devoting the rest of his time to positional play, endings, tactics, etc.

  • #12

    Carlsen is lazy, just like the young Karpov was. He's almost like Karpov reincarnated, in terms of his lack of opening prep/knowledge.

  • #13

    It's just so cute how y'all know the details of how Carlsen spends his quality time. Like you download his diary every morning.

  • #14
    steve_bute wrote:

    It's just so cute how y'all know the details of how Carlsen spends his quality time. Like you download his diary every morning.

    http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7778

    "Carlsen agreed with the suggestion that studying openings occupied 80% of a player's time, provoking the following question:

    But… looking at your games you get the opposite impression! If you take the Tal Memorial, in the first four rounds you could have got 0/4 given the openings, but then you should have scored 3.5/4. You constantly outplayed your opponents…

    Probably that’s because I like the middlegame and endgame much more than the opening. I like when the game turns into a contest of ideas and not a battle between home analysis. But that, unfortunately, doesn’t happen often.

    That concerns you?

    To an extent, but what can I do!

    Work more on the opening, as the others do…

    I already work more on it than I want.

    But at the same time, as I understand it, you’re generally inferior to them?

    Yes. It’s no secret for anyone that my opening preparation is inferior to Anand’s and Kramnik’s and that of many others. They’ve got much more experience, prepared ideas… They’re great specialists in that! But I try to place my pieces correctly on the board, so the advantage won’t be so great that I lose immediately."

     

    Not exactly a diary, but it will do until the real thing comes along.

  • #15

    carlsen and karpov had some of the best opening prep of all time; if somebody plays an idea that's new to carlsen, he will choose the safe and simple path.

    in seirawan's book about his games against wc's you get the sense from the writing that karpov completely outclassed his opponents in all facets, and particularly in opening preparation.

    carlsen wouldn't play lines like the ruy archangel and sicilian dragon as black without extremely good preparation as evidenced by his games in those lines.

    these players were not very lazy; they studied chess for so much time.  today i expect the top players work much harder than when karpov dominated chess; there's a lot more theory.

    the hardest working player i've read of is the rising Rapport (currently T-1st in tata group B) according to an interview studies chess over 10 hours every day ... and loves it.  i'm expecting that he will be a WC someday.

  • #16

    I guess this suggests Carlsen does study his fair share of openings, but he really, really, seems to keep it in the dark! Whereas guys like Anand or Giri or a ton of people may, in a post-game interview, say something like "Well I prepared this line for 8 hours about 14 years ago but unfortunately I forgot most of it," Carlsen will say something like "I felt like playing the King's Gambit today," and leave it at that. He never, ever seems to say anything more specific than that! He'll just say he had to play something and that's it.

    It almost makes me think he is trying to give the impression that he studies openings a lot less than he actually does, so that his opponents will assume Carlsen never has anything special waiting for them.

  • #17

    If I were Carlsen, I would be saving up my opening novelties for the WCC match anyway.

  • #18

    He obviously studies openings.  But also obvious is that he's not as good as his peers (or would be peers ;).

    If he were regularly outplaying people in the opening then there may be something to this secret preparation thing.  But secret or not he seems to deviate early, enter an equal (or not losing) position and rely on his middlegame and endgame skills to win a game.

  • #19

    I too wouldn't downplay Karpov. He took some of Spassky's rough opening ideas, refined them, and won with them. That's not a sign of a player who neglects openings.

  • #20
    waffllemaster wrote:

    If he were regularly outplaying people in the opening then there may be something to this secret preparation thing.  But secret or not he seems to deviate early...

    But if he were trying to keep his opening prep secret for the WCC match, he would have two choices:

    1) Play critical opening lines but choose a variation that he considers to be inferior instead of using his novelty.

    2) Avoid critical lines, so as to avoid entering situations where his novelty might get exposed prematurely.

    I feel that we don't have enough evidence to judge Carlsen's opening prep. Once he is in a match for the WCC... THEN we will know.

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