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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Magnus Carlsen
Gashimov Memorial (2014), Shamkir AZE, rd 6, Apr-26
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Noa Variation (E34)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Perhaps Mamedyarov thought that a wounded Carsen was vulnerable, but as the Nerwegians say, Dont sell the skin, until you have killed the bear.>

Do they have a lot of bears in Norweg?

Apr-26-14  john barleycorn: Usually they don't sell the skin of a bear but the fur.
Apr-26-14  RedShield: <Return of the Mag>
Apr-26-14  SirRuthless: Mamed missed a forced draw with 14. e5 Nd5 15. Bxh6 gxh6 16. Qd2 Nxc3 17. Qxh6 Ne2+ 18. Kh1 Be7 19. Ng5 Bxg5 20. Qxg5+ Kh8 perpetual... Horrible game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: < SirRuthless: Mamed missed a forced draw with 14. e5 Nd5 15. Bxh6 gxh6 16. Qd2 Nxc3 17. Qxh6 Ne2+ 18. Kh1 Be7 19. Ng5 Bxg5 20. Qxg5+ Kh8 perpetual... Horrible game.>

Have you checked with an engine? Does 16...Kg7 not work?

Apr-26-14  SirRuthless: No I just worked that out on the analysis board but I guess you are right but after the mass exchanges 16...Kg7 17. Nxd5 Bxd2 18. Nxb6 Nxb6 19. Nxd2 Rfd8 20. axb5 axb5 21. Ne4 white has to be fine if not a little better. I doubt Carlsen would have fought against the draw, But you are correct, not forced.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 5.Nf3 is a rarity for White, presumably because Black gets a huge plus score with 5...dxc4 (albeit in just a few games). Opening Explorer The most famous example is Capablanca vs Nimzowitsch, 1928, where Capablanca scrounged a draw by perpetual after Nimzowitsch missed lines that would have won for Black.

Nonetheless, Houdini 3 still likes this line for White, so it may merit further exploration. Two possible improvements:

(a) 6. e4 c5 7. dxc5 Nc6 8. Bxc4 O-O 9. O-O Nd4 10. Nxd4 Qxd4 11. Be2 Qxc5 12. Be3 Qa5 13. Rfd1 Bd7 14. a3 Bxc3 15. Qxc3 Qxc3 16. bxc3 Rfc8 17. c4 Ba4 18. Rdb1 b6 19. f3 Nd7 with a tiny advantage to White (+0.20);

(b) 11. Ne5 Nxe5 12. Bxf6 gxf6 13. dxe5 fxe5 14. Rfd1 Rb8 15. Qe4 Qc7 16. Qg4 Bxc3 17. bxc3 a5 18. Qg7 Ke7 19. Qg5+ Ke8 20. Qe3 c5 21. Bxb7 Rxb7 22. axb5 Rxb5 23. Qe4 h6 24. Qxc4 Rb8 25. Qh4 with a large advantage to White (+0.81).

Apr-26-14  csmath: 4. Qc2

[I am sure Carslen was expecting this as this is one of the two variations Shark played lately. Honestly, I was expecting 4. f3 regardless of the Calrsen's dominating game against Karjakin.]

5. Nf3
[I wonder why is Shark playing it although it is not the first time.]

5. ...dxc4!
[This is now crystalized as the best answer.]

6. Bg5?!
[This is again standard move for Shark since he has not been yet punished in this opening. This will change now.]

7. ...b5!
[It is not usual to put exclamation mark in bookish opening but this deserves it and Magnus will prove that in the game.]

9. Bg2
[White dragon is just too slow. The whole white opening is simply too slow.]

10. 0-0
[10. Ne5 is the alternative but it is nothing better.]

11. e4?

[Probably under impression of initiative white misses opportunity to equalize the game:

11. Ne5 a6
12. Rfd1 0-0
13. Bxf6 Nxf6

with compensation.

click for larger view


13. ...0-0!

click for larger view

14. d5
[But let's be honest - how many people would play this. It does look like white is having dangerous break.]

14. ...c5!
[With the idea 15. dxe6 Qxe6 and a clean pawn up black should win the game.]

15. a5! Qd8

After 18 moves white is down a pawn but there are few weak white squares around black king.

20. h3?

click for larger view

[Strange waste of time. 20. Rd6 e5 21. Re1!]

20. ...Rf7!
[White is strategically lost as it is obvious that it will not be possible to defend e4 and to monitor square b4.]

26. Rd1?!

[In already difficult position white has overlooked the simple strike. 26. Qf2 also loses e4 pawn and with bad pawn structure white has nothing to hope for.]

27. ...Be4!
[There goes a pawn again as white queen is overloaded.]

What a simple win but dominating opening as well.

Apr-26-14  cro777: Carlsen was surprised by Mamedyarov's choice of opening, sacricifing a pawn (5.Nf3).

"I was basically out of book on move 5. Any preparation I did was for nothing." (Carlsen)

1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. Nf3!?

click for larger view

5...dxc4! followed with ...b5.

With the bishop on b4 Black is in a good position to support his extra pawn. This is why White’s main move in this line is 5.cxd5, to give up the tension in the center.

Apr-26-14  csmath: Mamedyarov played this before and was not punished so he assumed it was OK. Well, obviously Magnus proved him wrong rather quickly although there are few moves Shark could have played better.

This game shows that if World Champion gets upper hand in an opening there is very little chance any opposing player would survive the game.

Apr-26-14  galdur: Outstanding play. Rf8-7 eying d7 what can I say.
Apr-26-14  devere: Instead of 14.d5 White might have tried 14.e5 Nd5 15.Bxh6 gxh6 16.Qd2 with a promising attack, probably good enough for at least a draw.

click for larger view

Apr-26-14  csmath: Actually:

14. e5 Ng4
15. Bf4 c5
16. d5 Bxc3
17. bxc3 exd5

and according to engines black is somewhat better though the game is one of a complete mess.

For example

18. Qf5? Qe6
and black is better.

If 18. h3 (the best) then black has 18. ...d4! and after 19. hxg4 d3 20. Qd2 Rae8

black has tremendous compensation for a piece in view of queenside pawn avalanche.

21. axb5 axb5
22. Rdb1 f6
23. Bxh6 Nxe5
24. Nxe5 Rxe5
25. Be3 Bxg2
26. Kxg2 Qb7+
27. f3 Rfe8
28. Bf2 b4
29. cxb4 Re2
30. Qf4 Qd5

and here engine still prefers black. Whether these guys could find this sequence is a good question.

Apr-26-14  csmath: I think many players would play 14. d5 just based on wrong instinct, not expecting 14. ...c5.

Carlsen could be one of the few that would indeed play 14. e5 as white ... but he was playing black pieces here. I wonder whether he actually contemplated 14. e5.

Apr-26-14  csmath: 31. b5 c3
32. b6 c2
33. Re1 d2
34. Rxe2 Rxe2
35. b7 d1Q
36. b8Q Kh7
37. Qb2 Qe6

and here I went further by no means in the only way and it seems the game draws after a number of crazy moves.

Apr-26-14  galdur: Well done altough the man may not have an established girlfriend.
Apr-26-14  cro777: Carlsen mentioned the following variation:

click for larger view

14. e5 Nd5 15. Bxh6 gxh6 16. Qd2 Kg7 (16... Bxc3 17. Qxh6 Rfc8 18. Ng5 Nf8 19. Be4 Qc7 20. bxc3 ) 17. Nxd5 Bxd2 18. Nxb6 Nxb6 19. Nxd2

click for larger view

A possible continuation

19...Rfd8 20. a5 Rxd4

Apr-26-14  csmath: And a likely draw. Fantastic! I thought this would be something HE would play if he feels like it. It is just too crazy to be able to calculate all that.

Now you see why he is a World Champion.

In London 2013 he lost a game to Svidler exactly because he was going over all the tactical madness and then got himself into serious time trouble when time is the most he needed. This is why he has become more conservative player over the years.

Apr-27-14  Ulhumbrus: GM Jan Gustafsson gives <14. e5! ♘d5 15. ♗xh6‼ which Carlsen himself pointed out in the press conference. 15... gxh6 16. ♕d2 White exploits a pretty geometric motif to create play due to the double threat of Nxd5, winning a piece, and Qxh6 with an attack on the king. I can't find anything better than 16... ♕d8 (16... ♗xc3 17. ♕xh6 ♖fe8 18. ♘g5! is curtains ; 16... ♔g7 17. ♘xd5 ) 17. ♕xh6 ♕e7 18. ♘g5 f6 19. ♕g6+ ♔h8 20. ♕h6+ with perpetual check.>
Apr-27-14  Ulhumbrus: GM Jan Gustafsson said that after 22 Re1! Black might have got into trouble whereas 22 f5?? undid all the work done by White's previous moves
Apr-27-14  RedShield: Yes, I saw the computer favouring 22.Re1, but that's a cold-blooded move to find. <Chess is a matter of delicate judgment, knowing when to punch and how to duck>.
May-06-14  Boris Schipkov: This game with my commentary in Chess Siberia
Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: Instructive annotations by GM Csaba Balogh:
Oct-05-14  Garech: Definitely GOTD material!


Apr-17-20  jerseybob: <Natalia Pogonina: Instructive annotations by GM Csaba Balogh:> Excellent annotations by GM Balogh. I love a good Pawn snatch, and this is a classic.
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