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Magnus Carlsen vs Leinier Dominguez Perez
M-Tel Masters (2009), Sofia BUL, rd 7, May-20
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Byrne (Simagin) Variation (D97)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-20-09  Gambitor: Is 12.d6 a novelty? Fritz book says 12.Qc4 and 12. Qd1 were played before, with no success...That passed pawn proved to be very strong in this game.
May-20-09  falso contacto: es una bestia.
May-20-09  outplayer: Carlsen is Dominguez nemesis.
May-20-09  Ezzy: Ezzy: Carlsen - Dominguez [D97]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0–0 7.e4 Nc6 8.Be2 e5 <Quite a rare continuation. 8...Bg4 is main line.> 9.d5 Nd4 10.Nxd4 exd4 11.Qxd4 c6 <So the knight can take on d5 if white plays 12 e5.> 12.d6 <Novelty I think, 12 Qd1 or 12 Qc4 have been played before.> 12...Nd5 13.Qd3 <13 e5 Qxd6> 13...Nxc3 14.bxc3 Qf6< Some punching and counter-punching here. Black obviously threatens 15...Qxc3 winning >15.Bb2 <Now white threatens 16 d7 winning.> 15...Rd8 16.Rd1 Qe6 17.f4< Black will get his sacrificed pawn back, but Carlsen decides it's not going to be the d6 pawn. [17.a4 Be5]> 17...Qxa2 18.Rd2 Qa5 <This doesn't seem to achieve anything, so could be considered some what passive if the idea is to retreat to d8. The computer seems to like ...a5 and ....b5. Whites center does seem intimidating though, and it is probably best to keep an eye on that, rather than hitting out with a wing attack, because Dominguez isn't a computer [18...a5 19.e5 b5 20.0–0 a4 and black is at least creating some counterplay.]> 19.Qe3 Bd7 20.Kf2 Re8 21.Ra1 Qd8 22.c4 Bxb2 23.Rxb2 b6 24.Bf3 Qh4+ 25.Kg1 Qf6 26.Qd2 g5 27.g3 gxf4 28.gxf4 Kh8 29.Kh1 Rg8? <Carlsen now gets a free move to start his central push. [29...Qh6 30.e5 f6 and black can attack whites pawn chain.] >30.e5 Qh4 31.Qd4< An innacuracy by Magnus. If Dominguez now plays the most accurate defence 31...Rae8 then if 32 e6+ f6 white can't play 33 exd7 because of 33...Re1+ winning. With the white queen on c3, the e1 square is protected. So 31 Qc3! was much better. Magnus still has a strong position though.> 31...Rg7? <[31...Rae8 is better - see above]> 32.Rg2 <[32.Rxb6!] >32...Rag8?< [32...c5 33.Qf2 Qxf2 34.Rxf2 Rag8 35.Bd5 Puts up a better fight.]> 33.e6 Bxe6 34.Rxg7 Rxg7 35.Bxc6 f6 36.d7 Bxd7 37.Bxd7 Re7 38.Be6< Go on then, you can have it!> 38...Rxe6 39.Qd8+ Kg7 40.Rg1+ Kf7 41.Qg8+ Ke7 42.Rg7+ Kd6 43.Qf8+

Nice game by Carlsen! Dominguez never solved the problem of the d6 pawn, and consequently created no play of his own and got slowly strangled.

Basically, Dominguez never got a 'look in' and Carlsen completely dominated to produce a fantastic win. 'Norway's got talent.'

May-20-09  rogge: Thanks again for your annotations.
May-20-09  Bondsamir: The type of mistakes that Dominguez made in this game showing that he failed to read Carlsen's mind rather than miscalculating.
May-20-09  solskytz: What I liked about this game is how long Carlsen kept the tension, resisting the temptation to advance e4-e5 and protect his pawn on d6, creating a formidable pawn chain - but giving up some white squares and diagnoals.

One of the fruits of this patience was the golden opportunity to exchange the dark-square bishop. Really masterful play. I keep learning :-) Thanks Magnus

May-20-09  jmboutiere: Carlsen outplayed Dominguez starting out with 7 ... Nc6, I think Lenier studied less the variation Qb3. According to Rybka Carlsen chosed almost all the best moves during the game.
May-20-09  Eyal: <Gambitor: Is 12.d6 a novelty? Fritz book says 12.Qc4 and 12. Qd1 were played before, with no success...That passed pawn proved to be very strong in this game.>

Yeah, apparently it's a novelty; both Christian Bauer on chessdom and Dennis Monokroussos on his blog have suggested <12...Re8> in response as an improvement for Black - apparently White would have to part from one of his two central pawns, instead of the a-pawn in the game. Monokroussos gives the following analysis:

12...Re8 13.Qd3 (13.Bg5 Nxe4!= ; 13.e5 Nd5 14.f4 Qxd6!= ) 13...b5 14.a3 (14.f3 Re6 [15.Bg3 Nh5]) 14...Be6 15.f3 Bc4 16.Qd2 Re6 17.Bxc4 bxc4 18.0-0 (18.Qe2 Rxd6 19.Qxc4 Nxe4! 20.fxe4 (20.Qxe4? Re6 ; ; 20.Nxe4? Rd1+ [actually it's not so simple after 21.Ke2 Rxh1 22.Bg5, but should still work out fine for Black with 22...Rxa1 23.Bxd8 Rxd8 24.Qxc6 Ra2]) 20...Bxc3+ 21.Qxc3 Qh4+ [21...Rd1+? loses to 22.Ke2 Rxh1 23.Bh6 f6 24.Qc4+] 22.Qg3 Qxe4+ 23.Be3 Re8 24.Qxd6 Qxe3+ 25.Kd1 Qb3+ 26.Kc1 Qc4+ 27.Kb1 Qe4+ 28.Ka2 Qc4+ 29.Kb1 Qe4+ = ) 18...Rxd6 19.Qe2 Rd3=

May-20-09  DeepTrouble: Ezzy wrote:

<31.Qd4 An innacuracy by Magnus. If Dominguez now plays the most accurate defence 31...Rae8 then if 32 e6+ f6 white can't play 33 exd7 because of 33...Re1+ winning. >

I don't think Qd4 was an inaccuracy, at least objectively (nor does Rae8 appear to be better, subjectively speaking). White doesn't play exd7 if 32. ... f6. Instead white plays e7!

Rybka 3 evaluates this variation as +3.73 (19 ply), compared to Be6 which was Rybkas preferred move for black after Qd4 (+1.88, 19ply). Even Rg7 (which was actually played) had a lower score than Rae8 (+2.72, 19 ply). (note that higher positive scores are better for white and vice versa).

May-20-09  DeepTrouble: My previous post might seem a bit confusing, so in order to clarify a bit:

After 31. Qd4 if black responds with (sorted from best to worst for black):

Be6: then +1.88 for white
Rg7: then +2.72 for white
Rae8: then +3.73 for white

31. Qc3 which you suggested is significantly weaker than Qd4 (black is able to put up a tougher defense):

31. ... Rg7 32.e6 Bxe6 33.Bxc6 Rag8 34.Qd4 Qd8 35.Rg2 f6 36.Re1 Bd7 37.Be4 Rxg2 38.Bxg2 Rg7 39.h3 Qc8 40.Kh2 Qf8 41.Be4 Rg8

(1.06) Depth: 19

May-20-09  Ezzy: <DeepTrouble:> Thanks for the Rybka analysis. Yes, I stopped looking at the position too deeply on move 31, and only looked at the 33 exd7 move to show one of the resources available to black.

I did see the e7 move was strong, but didn't let the computer run for very long to give the higher evaluation for white. I knew that no defence was that good.

Yes, I shouldn't be calling Carlsen's 31 Qd4 an innacuracy as I didn't study the other lines thoroughly enough. My bad

Thanks for your post.

May-20-09  pulsar: Seemingly effortless execution by Magnus, attakid. <Ezzy, Deep Trouble> Thanks for the helpful analysis!
May-20-09  shintaro go: Carlsen's play was dominating that even the bishop was taboo. 38. Be6 was a nice move. I like this win better than the one against Topa.
May-21-09  enqwert: what is wrong with 33...fxe6 so that bishop continues blocking the d pawn?
May-21-09  Oliphaunt: 33...fxe6 34.Rag1 Qh6 35.Qe5 with the idea of Rg5-h5 winning the queen. There's not much black can do; if 35...Be8 36.Rxg7 Rxg7 37.d7 1-0
May-21-09  Albertan: I have posted analysis of this game on my blog:

The analysis is at the bottom of page one of my blog, and I used the program Chessviewer Deluxe to post this analysis on my blog. I highly recommend this program to those of you interested in posting chess games to a blog or website. Go to for more information about this free product.

I hope some of you will come and check out the analysis, I used the programs, Deep Rybka 3 and Zappa Mexico II, and set these programs so they were able to detect changes in the position as minimal as 1/10 of one pawn unit.

May-21-09  enqwert: <Oliphaunt: 33...fxe6 34.Rag1 Qh6 35.Qe5 with the idea of Rg5-h5 winning the queen. There's not much black can do; if 35...Be8 36.Rxg7 Rxg7 37.d7 1-0>

but rook is not on g5 yet, or do you mean 35.Rg5 ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: One of the best games so far played in Sofia. Carlsen did not win because of a blunder. He won because he has a better understandement of the position than his opponent. It reminds me of Karpov at his best.

1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Nc6 8. Be2 e5 <Unusual. 8...Bg4 is usually played.> 9. d5 <After 9.dxe5 Ng4, White has to return the pawn.> Nd4!? 10. Nxd4 exd4 11. Qxd4 c6 12. d6 <An improvement on 12.Qd1 or 12.Qc4 played once.> Nd5 13. Qd3 Nxc3 <13...Nb4 14.Qd1 Be5, Black winning back the d6 pawn should be considered too.> 14. bxc3 Qf6 15. Bb2 Rd8 16. Rd1 Qe6 <The only way to force White to return a pawn.> 17. f4! <White has to return a pawn. 17.a3 Be5. 17.a4 Qb3 (or Qa2). 17.0-0 Qxa2 18.Rd2 Be5. This is the point of 17.f4.> Qxa2 18. Rd2 Qa5 ?! <Passive. Better 18…a5, trying to make use of his main weapon : his Queen side pawns. At this point, Carlsen has an edge. Now, all he will do is just to improve the position of his pieces until Black position collapses.> 19.Qe3 <The point of this move becomes clear in a variation like 19.Kf2 Qc5+ (19...Qb6+) 20.Qe3.> Bd7 20.Kf2! <More accurate than 20.0-0 Qb6. The King will support the Queen if Black plays Qb6 (as, of course, White doesn’t want to play Qxb6 opening a file for Black’s Queen Rook).> Re8 21.Ra1 Qd8 <A tricky move instead of 21...Qb6.> 22.c4 <22.Rxa7? Qh4+.> Bxb2?! <Somewhat better 22...b5 looking for counterplay with his Queen side majority. Now White will dominate all the board.> 23.Rxb2 b6 24.Bf3 Qh4+ 25.Kg1 Qf6 26.Qd2 g5 27.g3 gxf4 28.gxf4 Kh8 29.Kh1 Rg8 30.e5 Qh4 31.Qd4 <threatens e6. White wins material> Rg7 <31...Be6 32.Bxc6.> 32.Rg2 <32.Rxb6.> Rag8 <32...Rxg2 33.Bxg2 Kg8 34.Rg1, White wins too.> 33.e6! Bxe6 <33...fxe6 34.Rag1 Qh6 35.Qe5 followed by Rg5-h5 wins.> 34.Rxg7 Rxg7 35.Bxc6 f6 <35...a5 36.d7 Qd8 37.Re1!, the threat f5 wins.> 36.d7 Bxd7 37.Bxd7 Re7 38.Be6! Rxe6 39.Qd8+ Kg7 40.Rg1+ Kf7 41.Qg8+ Ke7 42.Rg7+ Kd6 43.Qf8+ <43...Kc6 44.Qc8+ Kd6 45.Qc7 mate.> 1-0

May-21-09  Oliphaunt: <engwert> No, after 35.Qe5 36.Rg5 followed by 37.Rh5 can´t be prevented.
May-21-09  TheChessGuy: <Mateo> Yeah, agreed 100%! Reminds me of any vintage Karpov Grunfeld crush!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: Could Black not recover his pawn with 16...Bf8?
May-23-09  Oliphaunt: <kamalakanta> white plays 17.Ba3 in that case
Jul-06-09  whiteshark: <12.d6> is another fine example for a successful <middlegame strategy> --> Game Collection: 51- -> Birth and Power of a Central Passed Pawn
Aug-02-09  watermate: God - It's like playing chess with a python!
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