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Magnus Carlsen vs Boris Gelfand
"Magnus P.I." (game of the day Apr-02-2013)
World Championship Candidates (2013), London ENG, rd 10, Mar-27
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack (B30)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 27 OF 27 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-11-13  Ulhumbrus: After 9 Be3 a better alternative to 9...cxd4 may be 9...b6 because while both moves lose time for development and the former move opens the d file for the benefit of White, on 9...b6 White has to lose some time himself if he plays dxc5 in order to open the d file
Apr-11-13  Ulhumbrus: One brilliant point after 20 Rd1 which appears only in the notes, as they say, is that after 20...Qe8 (instead of 20...Qb6) on 21 Rd4! Rd8 22 Ne4!! takes advantage of White's rook's momentary presence on d4, in what Bronstein says is the style of Lasker. On 22..Nh5 23 Qe3! Rxd4 24 Bxd4 threatens 25 g4 and on 24...g6 25 g4 Ng7 26 Nf6+ Bxf6 27 Bxf6 gains the bishop pair and an unopposed dark squared bishop.
Apr-14-13  lost in space: Just starting to look at this game a bit deeper.

Normally I agree with <Uhlumbrus>, but his idea 9...b6 is not that good - from my point of view.

After 10. Nc3 there is threat of d5 and Black has not that much options.

click for larger view

10...cxd4 or 10...Nxd4 is a worse compared to 9...cxd4. Other moves like 10...Ra7 are looking artificial.

10..Bd6 11. dxc5 bxc5 12. Na4 and white is fine

10...Bb7 11. d5 exd5 12. Bxc5 and white is more than fine

10. Be7 11. Na4 Nd5 12. dxc5 Nxe3 13. Rxe3 bxc5 14. Qxd8 Kxd8 15. Rc3 and white has close to be wining.

Apr-14-13  Ulhumbrus: <lost in space>

On 9...b6 10 Nc3 Be7 Black has the d5 square covered three times and White has d5 covered only twice because White has not played the advance c4 yet.

On 9...b6 10 c4 Be7 11 Nc3 the advance d5 is still not yet a threat as long as Black can overpower the d5 pawn by ...Nb4 in reply eg 11...0-0 12 d5 ed 13 cd Nb4

On 9..b6 10 c4 Be7 11 Nc3 0-0 12 Qd2! prepares to get the queen's rook to d1 and now Black cannot prevent the advance d5. On 12...Re8! 13 Rad1 Bd6 14 d5 ed 15 cd Ne5 White may end up with some advantage.

9...b6 does concede an advantage to White. The question is whether it concedes less advantage to White than 9...cxd4 concedes to White.

9...cxd4 clears the d file and clears partly the c file. It therefore opens additional lines, and it does that in a position where White is ahead in development, so that it is White who can be expected to benefit from the additional opened lines.

Apr-15-13  lost in space: Hello <Uhlumbrus>, the line I don't like is the following:

9...b6 10. Nc3 Be7 11. Na4

click for larger view

and I would definitely prefer white here, more than after 9...cxd4.

A possible line: 11...Ng4 (or Nd5) 12. dxc5 Nxe3 13. Rxe3 14. Qxd8+ Kxd8 15. Rc3 and Black is in trouble (my perspective)

click for larger view

If Black does not play 10...Be7 or 10...Bd6 white has d5.

Apr-15-13  Ulhumbrus: <lost in space: Hello <Ulhumbrus>, the line I don't like is the following: 9...b6 10. Nc3 Be7 11. Na4
and I would definitely prefer white here, more than after 9...cxd4.

A possible line: 11...Ng4 (or Nd5) 12. dxc5 Nxe3 13. Rxe3 bxc5 14. Qxd8+ Kxd8 15. Rc3 and Black is in trouble (my perspective)>

In this sequence the manoeuvre 11..Ng4 followed by 12...Nxe3 increases still more White's lead in development. It won't be surprising if White ends up winning at least a pawn, and that just to begin with. Instead of 11...Ng4, 11...Nd7 defends the c5 and b6 pawns without drawing out White's rook.

Apr-20-13  lost in space: o.k,

lets have a look to this position, after 11...Nd7

click for larger view

Of course I can not cover all options here, but this is what I checked:

12. d5! exd5 (to be checked: 12...Na5; Nb4)

13. Qxd5 Ra7
(13...Bb7 14. Rad1 Qc8 15. Ng5 Nd8 (15...0-0 16. Qxd7 1:0; 15...Bxg5 16. Bxg5+ Kf8 17. Nxb6 Nxb6 18. Qxc5+ Kg8 Rd8+ 1:0) 16. Qb3 with serious white advantage)

14. Bxc5 Nxc5
(14...bxc5 15. Qxc6 0-0 16. Rad1 Nb8 17. Qb6 Qxb6 18. Nxb6 Bg4 19. Nd7 Rxd7 20. Rxd7 Bxd7 (20...Nxd7 21. Rxe7 with a similar position) 21. Rxe7 Be6 Ng5 22. Bxa2 Rc7 with serious white advantage); (14...0-0 15. Bxe7 Nxe7 16. Qd6 Nf5 17. Qf4 Qc7 18. Qxc7 Rxc7 19. c4 and white should be able to win)

15. Qxc6+ Kf8 16. Qxb6; close to 1:0

click for larger view

I will now have a look to 12...Nb4

Apr-21-13  lost in space: 12...Nb4 isn't good either.

12...Nb4 13. c4 b5 14. d6 bxa4 15. dxe7 Qxe7 16. Qxa4 bb7 17. Ne5 0-0-0 18. a3 Nxe5 19. axb4 Qc7 and white is better

click for larger view

12...Na5 is even worse
12...Na5 13. dxe6 fxe6 14. Ng5 Nf6 15. Qf3 Bb7 16. Qh3 e5 17. Rad1 Qc8 18. Qg3; looks like close to 1:0

click for larger view

After 11...Nd7 white is better in development and is able to open central lines versus the black king, which is still in the center.

Apr-21-13  Eyal: Today Gelfand repeated the line in the 1st round of the Alekhine Memorial (Svidler vs Gelfand, 2013), so we know where <he> thinks Black should deviate - on move 9.
Apr-22-13  lost in space: Yes, he played 9...Be7. Looks like a good choice. Will have a deeper look.
Sep-03-13  Neogy: How about 29...Qc2 -providing protection for the Bishop on e4 about to be chased by b5. Instead of played e5 which drives away the white Rook BUT creates a loose piece which subsequently falls.

Thereafter, if 30.Bd3 then Qc1+. How does this pan out?

Sep-03-13  Nerwal: 29... ♕c2 doesn't work unfortunately. White plays 30. b5 ♗e4 anyway and after 31. ♖d8 Δ ♖xf8+ ♕d8+ black has no good answer.
Feb-17-14  Chessman1504: Finally, another relatively recent win in Carlsen's notable games.
Mar-07-14  knowall: In my opinion this game is the work of a chess genius. Whites strategy is to utilize the queen side pawn majority;the king side demonstration facilitated this plan;28 Qa5 further advanced the strategy, as did the brilliant bishop sacrifice. The economy is wonderful. Genius.
Jul-05-14  Chessman1504: This game reminds me of Capablanca or Fischer. In a relatively equal position, Carlsen exploits the full power of the pieces, showing the power of centralization and piece harmony. Through forceful maneuvers and neat tactics, Carlsen gains powerful long-term advantages, advantages he rides to a powerful endgame. The precision and accuracy with which he executes his ideas is astonishing.
Oct-23-14  tranquilsimplicity: <Chessman 1504> Very well put. The analysis is perfect!#
Feb-10-15  1971: This is one of MC's best games ever imo.
Jul-26-15  upmitvaliant8791: Another board masterpiece by Carlsen!
Apr-28-16  otc: In an interview with ChessBase in March 2016 Gelfand said about this game "this game played by Magnus against me was simply fantastic. Maybe it is Magnus’ best game of his career to date." see
Jun-28-16  talhal20: Carlsen is master in promoting his pawn to queen and has won many games.
Mar-04-17  Carlsensilyo: I really love seemingly effortless games
Mar-03-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

<if 7...Qxd5>:

8.Nc3 Qd8 9.Ne4 Nf5 10.c3 Be7 11.d3 b6 12.a3 0-0 13.b4 e5 14.bxc5 bxc5 15.Rb1 Be6 16.h3 Qa5 17.Neg5 Bd7 18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.Rxe5 Bxg5 20.Bxg5 f6 21.Qb3+ Kh8 22.Rxf5 Bxf5 23.Be3 Rfd8 24.Qc4 Rac8 25.a4 Bd7 + / = (0.29) Depth: 27 dpa

8.d3 Qd8 9.Nbd2 Nf5 10.a4 Be7 11.Nc4 Nd6 12.Nfd2 0-0 13.a5 Qc7 14.g3 Bd7 15.Bg2 Rad8 16.Nxd6 Bxd6 17.Nc4 e5 18.Be4 Be6 19.Bg5 Rde8 20.Qh5 h6 21.Nxd6 Qxd6 + / = (0.34) Depth: 27 dpa

Mar-03-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

if 7...Qxd5:

8.d3 Qd8 9.Nbd2 Nf5 10.a4 Be7 11.Nc4 Nd6 12.Nfd2 0-0 13.a5 Qc7 14.g3 Bd7 15.Bg2 Rad8 16.Nxd6 Bxd6 17.Nc4 e5 18.Bd5 Nb4 19.Bxb7 Qxb7 20.Nxd6 Qc6 21.Ne4 f5 22.Nc3 Qd6 23.Bg5 Rb8 24.Qe2 h6 25.Bc1 Rfe8 + / = (0.33) Depth: 28 dpa

8.d3 Qd8 9.Nbd2 Nf5 10.a4 Be7 11.Nc4 Nd6 12.Nfd2 b6 13.Nxd6+ Bxd6 14.Nc4 0-0 15.g3 Bb7 16.Bg2 Bc7 17.Bd2 Rb8 18.Bc3 Nd4 19.Bxb7 Rxb7 20.Bxd4 cxd4 21.Qf3 Rb8 22.Qe4 Qd7 23.Kg2 h6 24.h3 Rbc8 + / = (0.35) Depth: 29 dpa

Mar-04-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 31 dpa done

1. = (0.14): 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.d4 Nf6 9.Be3 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Bd7 11.Nd2 Be7 12.Nc4 0-0 13.c3 b5 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.Ne5 Bb7 16.Bd4 Rc8 17.a4 b4 18.Rc1 bxc3 19.bxc3 Ne4 20.f3 Nc5 21.Rb1 Qc7 22.Qc2 f6 23.Nd3 Bd6 24.Nxc5 Bxc5 25.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 26.Qf2 Bd5 27.Bxa6 Qxf2+ 28.Kxf2 Rxc3

2. = (0.03): 7.d3 d4 8.e5 b5 9.a4 Bb7 10.Na3 Ng6 11.Bd2 Be7 12.axb5 axb5 13.Nxb5 Rxa1 14.Qxa1 Qb8 15.Nd6+ Bxd6 16.exd6 Qxd6 17.Ng5 0-0 18.Ne4 Qe7 19.Qa3 Nb4 20.Qa7 Bxe4 21.Qxe7 Nxe7 22.dxe4 Rb8 23.Rc1 Nbc6 24.Rb1 Ra8 25.f3 g6 26.Kf2 Kg7 27.Bc4 Ne5 28.Be2 h6 29.f4 N5c6

Jul-25-21  tonsillolith: <28. Qa5!> is a nice example of tactics in service of strategy/position. It doesn't win material, but it does allow the repositioning of queen to the weak <b6> square, where it helps guard White's queenside pawns, pressures the b7 pawn and bishop guarding it, and removes Black's control of a-file in the process.

I imagine Carlsen saw this before <25>, and probably earlier.

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