Russian chess star Sergey Karjakin took the candidate's Tournament victory after check mating Fabiano Caruana in the final round. Caruana -an American sometimes Italian, needed the win to play for the world championship in November. He seemed to lack the aggression needed to whump Karjakin rather than vice versa.
At the super-GM plus 2700 rating of contemporary chess draws are usual the majority of the time. Style and position tend to be first rather than clever classical Mikhail Tal-like check mates. Karjakin in an earlier match against Veselin Topolov had a similar classical-looking sacrifice and straightforward checkmate as he had against Caruana. Those who forget the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them in chess, politics, economics and habitat loss.
Caruana had unlearned aggressive, sacking chess so far as to fail to methodically advance his A pawn along with the B and sack them in order to enfilade Karjakin's king position that should have been a naked singularity. Shorn of defenders a Caruana check mate rather than vice versa was possible. Caruana instead allowed too many moves to pass without removing the king's proximal defenders and letting Karjakin have time and tempo sufficient to break through Caruana's own center pawns plodding forward. One wonders when Tal advanced his pawns in the center in order to lead a checkmating attack? Tal wasn't Vladimir Kramnik.
A fair and balanced approach does work for positional and clever victories for Super GMs of course. Yet the direct crash and thrash checkmate wrecking a king's defenders is also useful to remember. Karjakin seemed to remember the lesson a little better than Caruana.
In two years Caruana will be older and wiser in chess and perhaps better prepared to win the Candidate's tournament against some very skilled chess players including perhaps the rising Chinese chess star Wei Yi who just narrowly missed qualifying at the 2015 World Cup.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GDViK2w2wY the Karjakin-Caruana struggle
Robert Fischer said; 'sack, sack and mate' (along the A file) in describing how to win against a particular chess defense; the Sicilian dragon. Robert James Fischer vs Fridrik Olafsson (1961). Caruana also needed to find a way to obliterate the king's defenses on the a,b,c files.