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Sergey Karjakin vs Magnus Carlsen
Norway Chess (2013), Sandnes NOR, rd 5, May-13
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Breyer Defense Zaitsev Hybrid (C95)  ·  0-1



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Given 17 times; par: 48 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The conclusion of this game illustrates how resourceful players of the highest class can be, and is a cautionary tale for we ordinary mortals that even the strongest players can have difficulty in making psychological adjustments when the game takes a sudden turn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Sad to see Karja lose from such a promising position. He certainly lost momentum with 29 Bc2, although it was an understandable move to have played.

<Eyal> absolutely. IMO 31 Kh1 was playable but Kh2 was a truly dreadful move. It looked just plain wrong to me at the time - no engine, less than half my mind on it - W self-skewering like that. The impending ... Nxf4 might not have been easy to calculate but you'd think he'd have a gut feeling about it.

May-13-13  docbenway: 42...c3 is a beauty and would make a good Monday/Tuesday puzzle. Took me a few moments to see the black Q move if white takes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Man, exciting to watch a game like this unfold.
May-13-13  babakova: Tricky game. I felt Karjakin was strategically winning at one point and desperate measures like giving the e-pawn seemed like the best case scenario for Carlsen. Unbelievable how the game turned around.
May-13-13  solskytz: Magnus showing who's boss

Typically, late in the tournament, when it counts.

A winner at heart!

And I got a nice attacking victory against a FIDE 2100 in a tournament today. Hooray!

May-13-13  twinlark: Here's the position after <38...Qc6>:

click for larger view

My engine recommends <39. Be4> to cut the diagonal, and rates it as a win for Black, but can't seem to find a winning line as it flatlines on variations that involve piece shuffling. After <39. Be4 fxe4 40. Re3>:

click for larger view

the position looks fairly solidly blockaded. What's the winning line here for Black?

May-13-13  Marmot PFL: Nobody found a forced win for black, although it's very unpleasant for white. Karjakin did not play well beginning with 31 Kh2?, but he was due for a bad game after 4 straight wins.
May-13-13  chessguru1: Pun: "A pawn for King safety". Sergey's game started to go down after 28. Ne5 (IMO, 28.Be5 is better). He simply overextended. Carlsen gave up the pawn to weaken white's camp. White must give the pawn back by returning the bishop on c3 after taking the pawn at e5.
May-14-13  Naniwazu: <twinlark> Carlsen in the press conference after the game suggested 39. Be4 fxe4 40. Re3 (40. Bxg7 e3 ) Re7 Δ Rd7-d3 .
May-14-13  Eyal: <Carlsen in the press conference after the game suggested 39. Be4 fxe4 40. Re3 (40. Bxg7 e3 ) Re7 Δ Rd7-d3> It's not obvious, though, how to break White's defense after, say, 40.Re3 Re7 41.Bc3 Rd7 42.Qf2 Rd3 43.Qf4! (defending against Qb6) - the presence of BOOC helps White to establish blockade on the dark squares.
May-14-13  twinlark: Exactly.
May-14-13  QueentakesKing: I criticize 19. Rad1? Fisher,Karpov or Kasparov will never hide their rook from a1 when faced with this kind of rook to rook confrontation. I think a basic rule or principle of chess was violated here.
May-14-13  pbercker: @ <queentakesking> I would <speculate> as follows ...

At move 18/19 white was better and perhaps black wanted to trade rooks to simplify things which white didn't want to do. Moreover, rooks should be on open files, and 4 moves later the d file is open, hence the possible point of 19. Rd1 ... maybe ....

May-14-13  QueentakesKing: <pbercker> Check!
May-14-13  Ulhumbrus: Apart from the error 28 Bc2 instead of 29 Bb5, as Carlsen replies to 19 Rad1 with 19...Nb6 this suggests 19 c4 at once eg 19...bc 20 Nxc4 before Black plays ...Nb6

An alternative to 31 Kh2 is 31 Ba4 to be followed by Bb5 and Bxc4 as before

Anoither interesting alternative to 31 Kh2 which seems worth taking a look at is to offer to return the pawn and then to offer two minor pieces for a rook and passed b pawn in an ending eg 31 Rd4 Bxe5 32 fxe5 Rxe5 and now 33 Rxc4 Qxc4 34 Bxe5 Rxe5 35 Qxe5 Qxc2 36 Qb8+ Qc8 37 Qxc8 Bxc8 38 b5 Kf1 39 Rc1 Be6 40 b6

May-14-13  Eyal: <An alternative to 31 Kh2 is 31 Ba4 to be followed by Bb5 and Bxc4 as before> It can't be done as before once 30.f4 has been played - 31...Ra8 32.Bb5?? Qb6+ wins the bishop; so White has nothing better than going with bishop back to c2.
May-14-13  WiseWizard: Hmm it would be interesting to see if there is a pattern in Karjakin's play where he rejects unclear lines for safe and sound as in 29. Bb5/Bc2. This could indicate a lack of confidence in sharp play which is a clear weakness to attack him in.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: 31.Kh2 puts the king right in the during line. But the concept of the move (I think) is to assist the g2 pawn in going to g3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <The blockade 39.Be4 fxe4 40.Re3 (40.Bxg7 e3!) 40...Re7 41.Bc3 Rd7 can be eventually broken. White is stuck with a passive defence.> Kavalek in the Huffington Post via

I haven't seen any analysis that shows how to break through. Kavalek should at least mention the method briefly if one exists.

For that reason, I would query 39...Qd5?!, as the win after 39...c3 looks much more sure.

May-25-13  SoUnwiseTheKnight B4: 36.Bd4 doesn't look great, it undefends the rook allowing f5 push and the e-pawn drops anyway. Qc1 and Bb1 are other choices, but the chessbomb lines for them don't look much better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: On second look 39...Qd5 is not questionable at all. The game is already decided at that point.

I'll let Houdini have another go at the blockade position after 39 Be4 fxe4 40 Re3

Perhaps Karjakin rejected it because he didn't want to face an endless passive defense against Carlsen, but the resulting dark square blockade looks relatively easy to handle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Houdini finds ways to attack the blockade after 39 Be4 fxe4 40 Re3 Re7 41 Bc3 Rd7 42 Qf2

As this is the start of the line Magnus indicated he would follow, it is fascinating to speculate how far he saw since Houdini takes endless preparation to finally get to the critical points.

42...Qa6 43 h4 Rd8 44 Qe2 Qe6 45 Qf2 Rf8 46 Qe2 Be6 47 Qg2 Rd8 48 Qf1 Rd5 Qh3 Rf5 50 Qg2 Qf7 51 Be1 Rd5 52 Qf2 Qd7 53 Qa2 (53 Rxe4 Rf5 is a key tactic, White cannot take the e pawn) Qe6 54 Qe2 Rd4 55 Qf1 Rd1 56 Qf2 Rd3 (Black finally comes to this square which was the destination Magnus ended his brief consideration) 57 Qf4 c3! 58 Bxc3 Qa2+ 59 Kh3 (if 59 Kg1 Qa7!; or if 59 Kh1 Rd1+) 59...Bd7+ 60 g4 Qe2

click for larger view

Forcing the exchange 61 Rxd3 Qxd3+ 62 Qg3 e3! 63 Be1 Qf1+ 64 Kh2 Bc6

click for larger view

This is at Houdini 1.5 x64 at 28 ply overnight.

Forcing a position where the King has to go to h3 appears to be the reason for the seemingly mindless maneuvering but then the tactics show up, and Black can finally break the blockade.

May-26-13  anandrulez: Karjakin didn't defend well after getting a blow Nxf4 ! Looks like he lost psychologically already , something you hardly see in players like Karpov and Carlsen ... They play positions with less emotions and more like lets play the position ...
Nov-13-16  RonW: A truly brilliant game by Carlsen. Two nice variations in the final position - a)43...Qc7! 44.Rg3 h4 45.Rxc3 Re1+!! 46.Rxc7 Rh1 mate. b) 43...Qc7! 44.Qf4 Re2+! 45.Kg3 g5!! 46.Qxc7 h4 mate!
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