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Magnus Carlsen vs Xiangzhi Bu
Biel Chess Festival (2007), Biel SUI, rd 1, Jul-23
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-23-07  chessic eric: great tenacity by Magnus!

84...Rxe6 85.a7! and one of the pawns queens...

Jul-23-07  patzer2: Not sure if it's forced, but 21. Be1! Nxd5 22. Rc5! initiates a series of double attack threats (coupled with pin and discovered attack threats) from which Black is never fully able to recover and equalize.
Jul-23-07  Ezzy: Carlsen's rook and bishop always had a target {'b' pawn and f7 pawn) where black's had none. This was a nice game from Carlsen against a man in top form.

This young man's talent is frightening.

Jul-23-07  Rolfo: <This young man's talent is frightening.>

Yes, he is "l'enfant terrible" of Chess..

Jul-23-07  chessmoron: This is really baffling that Bu Xiangzhi did not play 70...Kxg4.
Jul-23-07  chessmoron: <patzer2> You're numbering is wrong. <24.> Be1! Nxd5 <25.> Rc5!
Jul-23-07  Atking: Yesterday I saw the game in live. Carlsen was leading nearly 1 hour. Time pressure works too here. I'm not sure 49...Bh2 stopping f pawn progession may draw. What impress me much is the way Carlsen won that game. Not the last trick (Quite obvious) but from an indifferent opening he got at least a winning position against such opponent. Yes Eric <tenacity> may the right word.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Atking: Yesterday I saw the game in live. Carlsen...>

I'm so jealous!

Jul-24-07  argishti: good game. really good. that pawn was gonna go, and carlsen just took it and won the game.
Jul-24-07  Manic: <chessmoron> After 70...Kxg4 doesn't 71.Bd7 win with the idea of trading rooks then getting the white king to b7 and advancing the pawn?
Jul-24-07  chessmoron: What about 71...Kg5?
Jul-24-07  Atking: <chessmoron: What about 71...Kg5?> Probably I don't understand. Do you mean 70...Kg4 71.Bd7 Kg5? Then simply RxRf6 KxRf6 white King on b7 and black B has to been sac for the a pawn... ?!
Jul-24-07  Billy Ray Valentine: You know, the position after White's 32nd move makes this thing look a dead draw--with the opposite colored bishops ending. Karpov would have been proud of this performance!
Jul-24-07  Appaz: <<Billy Ray Valentine> Karpov would have been proud of this performance!> Karpov is present, so I guess he followed the game with interest.
Jul-24-07  Elxiddicus: Can anybody explain why white put off capturing the e4 pawn for 5 moves (37.-41.)?
Jul-24-07  ganstaman: <Elxiddicus: Can anybody explain why white put off capturing the e4 pawn for 5 moves (37.-41.)?>

I'm not fully sure, but I don't think he needed to be in any rush to take the pawn. It wasn't going anywhere, and the only protectors it could have had would have lost the f-pawn. So white knew he had some time to do other important things first before getting one of those 2 pawns.

Jul-24-07  Billy Ray Valentine: If anyone has annotation for this game, I'd be interested to see it...

Here are comments by Steve Giddins on

Magnus Carlsen joined the birthday girl in the lead, by winning the longest game of the day. Having converted the small advantage of the bishop pair into an extra pawn in an opposite-coloured bishop ending, he ground down Bu Xianghzi in a marathon effort. To those who are wondering how he managed to win the position, I can only point out a little-known postulate of endgames, namely Giddins' Rule. This states that in opposite-coloured bishop endings, it is always better to have the light-squared bishop. If you don't believe me, check your database – the light-squared bishop wins in a ratio of at least 3:1!

Jul-25-07  Billy Ray Valentine: <Elxiddicus: Can anybody explain why white put off capturing the e4 pawn for 5 moves (37.-41.)?>

This seems to be a recurring theme in Carlsen's games. Delaying an obvious move because he can solidify his position elsewhere. (Just look at how he delays playing Rf7+ in his game against Aronian. Carlsen vs Aronian, 2007) But that's one of the elements that makes his games satisfying to look over...

Jul-25-07  ajile: Looks like Carlsen didn't make the Bu Bu this time.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <To those who are wondering how he managed to win the position, I can only point out a little-known postulate of endgames, namely Giddins' Rule. This states that in opposite-coloured bishop endings, it is always better to have the light-squared bishop.>

That probably means that I have won in P Puchmajer vs J Cervenka, 2000 despite of clear disadvantage. I am quite glad that I did not know this rule before...:-D

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Carlsen plays beautiful chess - particularly strategical plans and endings - but also nice tactics - like a Capablanca.
Aug-19-07  Justawoodpusher: <Billy Ray Valentine> is something theoretically known about Giddins' Rule? I can't really figure out why this rule should apply. Maybe it has something to do with common pawn structures in end games?
Dec-25-07  notyetagm: A simply beautiful position after 84 ... ♖h6x♖e6 85 a6-a7!:

click for larger view

White promotes a passed pawn by force.

Note that the Black e6-rook is prevented from stopping the White a7-passer from promoting because the White d3-bishop <DEFENDS> the a6-square -behind- the a7-passer while the White f7-passer <DEFENDS> the e8-square.

More tremendous tactical endgame play from Magnus Carlsen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: The finish to this game is simply artistic.
Dec-18-12  Jim Bartle: ajile: Looks like Carlsen didn't make the Bu Bu this time.

But there's no reason to boo Bu.

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