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Posts Tagged ‘Magnus Carlsen’

Carlsen Shades It (10.12.2016.)

Last weekend in New York, the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, narrowly beat his challenger, the Russian Sergei Karjakin.

The match was over 12 games, at the end of which both players had one win, the rest being drawn. Many on-line observers around the world thought these games were pretty thin gruel, as neither player wished to take risks.

Then came a tie-break match of 4 rapidplay games, with approx 30 minutes thinking time for each player for all moves. After 3 of the 4 games, Carlsen led 2-1 and the Russian had to win the next in order to stay in the match and take it to the final tie-break stage of games played at 5 minutes per player, although viewed by many as an unsatisfactory way of deciding such a prestigious title.

This is that final rapidplay game that Carlsen only needed to draw.

White: Magnus Carlsen. Black: Sergei Karjakin.

Sicilian Defence – Maroczy Bind. [B55]

1.e4 c5 Karjakin is 2–1 down and needs to win this last Rapidplay tie-break game in order to stay in the match, so, for the first time, he adopts Black’s most potent weapon against 1.e4 – a Sicilian Defence. 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 e5 6.Nb3 Be7 7.c4 The Maroczy Bind, named after the Hungarian master, Géza Maróczy (1870- 1951), aimed at preventing Black from playing an early …d5 which usually frees up Black’s position, and preventing it often secures a lasting positional edge for White. 7…a5 8.Be3 a4 9.Nc1 0–0 10.Nc3 Qa5 11.Qd2 Na6 12.Be2 Nc5 13.0–0 Bd7 14.Rb1 Rfc8 15.b4 axb3 16.axb3 Qd8 17.Nd3 Ne6 18.Nb4 Bc6 19.Rfd1 h5 20.Bf1 h4 21.Qf2 Nd7 22.g3 Ra3 23.Bh3 Rca8 24.Nc2 R3a6 25.Nb4 Ra5 26.Nc2 Black is stuck for any good move and time is ticking by. 26…b6 27.Rd2 Qc7 28.Rbd1 Bf8 29.gxh4 White is taking a bit of a gamble by weakening his kingside pawn structure, though Black has no immediate threats. 29…Nf4 30.Bxf4 exf4 31.Bxd7 Qxd7 32.Nb4 Ra3 33.Nxc6 Qxc6 34.Nb5 Forcing further simplification. 34…Rxb3 Losing the exchange, but it’s the least worst option. 35.Nd4 Qxc4 36.Nxb3 Qxb3 37.Qe2 Be7 38.Kg2 Qe6 39.h5 Ra3 40.Rd3 Ra2 41.R3d2 White would like to simplify at this stage in order to increase the possibly of getting the draw he requires to win the match, but Black must try and avoid this. 41…Ra3 42.Rd3 Ra7 43.Rd5 Rc7 44.Qd2 winning either the d- or f-pawn. 44…Qf6 45.Rf5 Qh4 46.Rc1 Ra7 47.Qxf4 Ra2+ 48.Kh1 Qf2 Threatening mate on g2, which Carlsen blithely ignores, because he’s seen something special. 49.Rc8+ Kh7 which brings us to this week’s position.

Carlsen (W) is about to be mated on g2, and his world championship title is on the line. Should he now defend or continue to attack? You may have seen it elsewhere during the week, but enjoy the moment again anyway. The move had spectators purring and forgiving the Norwegian for all the earlier dross. Not only that, but it was Carlsen’s birthday that day, and this was his gift to the whole chess world.

White to play and win

2nd Grand Bournemouth Congress (11.05.2013.)

The 2nd Grand Bournemouth Congress took place recently with one of the largest prize funds on the local circuit. The main prizewinners were as follows:

Open: 1st GM Nick Pert (£1,000). 2nd= Zhuo Lim; IM Robert Bellin; FM Tony Corkett; Steve Homer (Exminster) & Roger de Coverley (£120 each). De Coverley and Homer got the British Championship qualifying places.

Challengers (U-160): 1st Brendan O’Gorman (£300). 2nd= Armel Collard & Barry Sandercock (£100 each).

Intermediate (U-130): 1st= Ian Blencowe (Gloucester) & Patrick Reid (£187 each).

Minor (U-110): 1st Tony Tatam (Plymouth – £200).

Here are a couple of instructive miniatures from the Open Section. Over-hasty attacks before piece development is completed can often rebound on the aggressor, as here.

White: Ray Gamble (167). Black: Ian Clarke (179).

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nbd2 Nbd7 4.e4 e5 5.Bc4 Be7 Almost universal here is 6.c3 but White chances his arm for short-term gain. 6.Bxf7+ 6…Kxf7 7.Ng5+ Kg8 8.Ne6 Qe8 9.Nxc7 Qg6 10.Nxa8 exd4 11.Nc7 Ne5 12.Rg1 Nxe4 13.Nd5 Bh4 14.Qe2 By now, White must be regretting his earlier foray. 14…Nxd2. If 14…Bg4?? 15.Qxe4; 14…Nxf2? is answered by 15.g3; If 14…Bxf2+?? 15.Qxf2 Nxf2 16.Ne7+ Kf7 17.Nxg6 Kxg6 18.Kxf2 and White is a rook up. 15.Kxd2 Bg4 16.f3 Bxf3 17.gxf3 Qxg1 18.c4 Be1+ 19.Kd1 19.Kc2 d3+ wins the queen. 19…Ba5+ wins it anyway. 0–1.

White: M. Clancy (175). Black: K. Goater (191).

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.a3 Ne7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 a6 7.Bd3 d6 8.Nf3 Nd7 9.0–0 g5 10.Bg3 Bg7 11.Bc4 Ng6 12.Re1 g4 13.Nd2 h5 threatening 15…h4 winning the bishop. 14.f4 giving the bishop a flight square at the cost of his d-pawn. 14…Bxd4+ 15.Kf1 h4 16.Qxg4 White might have tried 16.Bf2 Bxf2 17.Kxf2 g3+ 18.Kg1 Nxf4 but things are little better. 19.Qg4 gxh2+ 20.Kxh2 Ng6 21.Nf3 h3 22.Qg3 (22.gxh3 Nde5 23.Nxe5 Nxe5 24.Qg7 Qh4). 16…hxg3 17.Qxg3 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qf6 0–1 White is a piece down and facing a strong attack.

In last week’s position, Adams won by playing 1…QxR+! 2.RxQ NxB 3.RxR+ RxR and White cannot both save his queen and avoid mate on e1.

Magnus Carlsen won the recent Candidates’ Tournament for the right to challenge for the World Champion, Vishy Anand, a match that will take place later this year. Here is a game he lost when still a child prodigy, aged 13. How did White end the game at a stroke?

White to play and win.