Sunday 30 June 2013

Carlsen - Predojevic 2,5-1,5

At the end, all finished as it was expected, by a victory of World number one, but the games showed something else.
The encounter was more close that anyone could predict.
Carlsen won the game number three, and in the last game, Carlsen had some initiative in the beginning, but later on saved a draw with activity and advanced d-pawn in the position with a extra pawn for Predojevic.

About Magnus Carlsen we know almost everything, and I assume that all chess players knows who is Borki Predojevic.
However, there are not so many people that know that Borki was World Champion in Youth categories when his rivals were some of today´s leading players.
What is the reason that this Grandmaster never reached, let´s say top 30 in the World.

If one want to understand that, it is necessary to understand the chess culture on Balkan, or more precisely, former Yugoslavia.
In that region we can find about 130 Grandmasters.
In order to compare that with the leading countries in the World, only Russia has 219 Grandmasters, followed by 89 by Ukraine.
Anyway, Russia and Ukraine has many leading GMs, while former Yugoslav republics has only average players with 2600-2650 Elo points.

How is possible that in such an army of 130 Grandmasters, there are no material for World class players?
The answer is simple, it is not possible!

If I leave all false modesty behind me, I can say with open heart that it would be very hard to find more then five more competent persons who experienced the chess life in ex Yugoslavia and can compare it with the rest of the Europe, then me.
The chess professionals on Balkan, plays a lot of leagues in Yugoslav republics, and there are a lot of quick draws between them.
In order to go, let´s say from 2620 to 2700, one needs to beat, with huge score, all the colleagues who are around 2600 in Elo.
On Balkan, it is almost impossible!

The players who are aiming for 2700 or more, needs to play more closed tournaments, or the strong open tournaments such as EICC, former Aeroflot, Chigorin Memorial, Gibraltar, Botvinnik Memorial e.t.c.

Such tournaments are very rare on Balkan.
In 2010 there were Bosna Open, but later editions became more as a typical Balkan tournament with some addition for outside World, then the big open tournament.
On the other hand, the leading players in ex Yugoslavia earns enough for a pleasant life, and do not have ambition to invest time, energy and money with a goal with very questionable results...

The only exception right now is Ivan Sokolov....and look at his calendar!
He is playing almost exclusively outside of Balkan.

After this short analyse, which has only one aim to be food for thoughts, let´s go back to the games of Carlsen and Predojevic.

Here are the all four games:

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