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Teimour Radjabov vs Magnus Carlsen
Morelia-Linares (2008), Morelia MEX, rd 6, Feb-22
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-23-08  inad: Carlsen was trying to hold on the extra pawn like a patzer instead of improving his position.
Feb-23-08  percyblakeney: Radjabov had less than 20 seconds left when playing his 40th move, but he played an excellent endgame and had no trouble converting his advantage in spite of rather limited time on the clock.
Feb-23-08  ahmadov: There are a few players which are very difficult opponents for Radja... I would say Carlsen and Aronian are in the first place among them... So, this win deservedly makes me, and I believe other Radja fans as well, very happy...
Feb-23-08  Eyal: Position after 18.Rfe1:

click for larger view

Instead of the (very natural) 18...Rad8, Larry Christiansen suggests in his commentary on the game (at 18...Ne5 19.Be2 (forced to defend f3, if White doesn't want to give up the bishop pair) 19...g5, anchoring the black knight at e5. He claims that Black is rock-solid here and cannot lose - probably an exaggeration, but still it might very well have been a better option for Black, in view of what happened in the game.

Feb-23-08  Eyal: 35.Bc5 was a clever move by Radja, but is White really winning in the rook endgame resulting from 35...Nxc5 36.Rxc6 Rc4 37.bxc5 Ra4?

click for larger view

An important point here is that in some lines Black is ready to give up all his kingside pawns for White's queenside pawns, leading to a theoretical draw with f+h pawns (made famous since the Kramnik-Aronian game from Corus...)

Feb-23-08  KingG: Nice game, but I agree with <Ulhumbrus> that Carlsen's plan of exchanging on f3 looks a bit odd, since he can't prevent f4.
Feb-23-08  chessfan30iasi: i still believe carlsen lost it somewhere on the road to 1/2 - 1/2
Feb-23-08  Jim Bartle: "i still believe carlsen lost it somewhere on the road to 1/2 - 1/2"

I understand what you're trying to say, chessfan30, I really do. But really, couldn't you say that about every single game a player ever lost?

Feb-23-08  tud: Very good game, excellent for Radjabov (no matter how we may feel as Carlsen fans). Overall Radjabov had very good performances in big tournaments and he has a word to say for the future of chess.
Feb-23-08  Eyal: <Jim Bartle> That's exactly what I was thinking myself - every loss in the history of chess occurred somewhere on the road to 1/2 - 1/2; the question is only where and how along the road...
Premium Chessgames Member
  The Diamond: <Eyal> and <Jim Bartle> ... Oh, please, guys. First, I think you know that chessfan30 was saying that he believes that after ~20 moves the position was roughly equal, and in a drawish way (not drawish in the way of K vs K, but far from the way in which a Najdorf Sicilian position may be equal). In other words, the path to the draw shouldn't have been as tricky as the paths in other positions. (You may disagree with this assessment, but that's another issue.)

Second, to sniggle a bit -- how can you be SURE that every single loss was on the way to 1/2-1/2? It's not clear that best play would result in a draw. Maybe White would win with best play.

Feb-23-08  Jim Bartle: "Second, to sniggle a bit -- how can you be SURE that every single loss was on the way to 1/2-1/2?"

Ouch. You're right, of course. I can't be sure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  The Diamond: <Jim Bartle> I hope it's a relatively inconsequential ouch. :) (But you do have those coca leaves at the ready, just in case?)
Feb-23-08  Jim Bartle: In fact, I do. They're a surefire cure for sniggling.
Feb-23-08  LivBlockade: <Eyal:>

click for larger view

Interesting suggestion, but it seems unlikely that Black can reach the f+h ending without having his King cut off on the queenside (c or d file), when it should be an easy win. Also, after 38. a6 White already threatens Rc7+ followed by a7.

Feb-25-08  notyetagm: <jovack: strong game for radjabov>

Yes, one of the best games I have ever seen Radjabov play.

It's not easy to beat a player as strong as Carlsen with his 2750+ live rating as easily as this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Carlsen's move 19...Rxd1 seems like the mistake to me. Control over the open file may have been the plus that Carlsen needed. He should have contested it. White's pawn structure was weaker.

Also, Black should have garnered some space on the queen side when the bishop was on c5.

Jul-05-10  Jafar219: <Radjabov's crystal-clear play a la Capablanca crushes Carlsen>

I like this statement :-)

Aug-27-10  Jafar219: Carlsen? Who is that?
Feb-08-12  kia0708: wow, what a beautiful game ....
Feb-08-12  Chessmaster9001: Indeed, very strong positional play from Radjabov. One of the key moves is 27.Ba6!! converting to a better endgame.
Feb-08-12  drukenknight: could he not support the N w/ 36...g5?
May-23-13  VaselineTopLove: "Teimournator" for this game?
Jan-18-15  SpiritedReposte: Indeed Carlsen looked consolidated but Ba6! shook things up.
Feb-16-20  csmath: Goes into my collection for Anti-Berlin. Excellent long-term strategic struggle.
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