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Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin
Bilbao Masters (2016), Bilbao ESP, rd 3, Jul-15
Sicilian Defense: Delayed Alapin (B50)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-15-16  TheBish: I think avoiding the opening preparation of his opponents has helped propel Carlsen to where he is now! He seems to do pretty well just following opening principles and playing chess... which usually means outplaying his opponents. Of course, Carlsen is well prepared in many openings, make no mistake about that. You don't become World Champion without knowing opening theory!
Jul-15-16  Arditi: well done!
Jul-15-16  CountryGirl: Well, non-theoretical Sicilian lines worked well here, but not so good against Nakamura. Perhaps Naka is more used to unusual positions and takes them in his stride, maybe owing to both his general inclinations and his experience in blitz.
Jul-15-16  JohnBoy: An so MC moves into first place... Ho hummmm
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <Sokrates>, even when Black can "safely" take the e4 pawn in this variation, he might decline the gambit anyway because of the advantage in development and space that White gets in return. For example, see the database after 1.e4,c5; 2.Nf3,d6; 3.c3,Nf6; 4.Be2,Nc6; 5.d4,cxd4; 6.cxd4,Ne4; 7.d5. For an example of the drastic punishment that might await Black in the 3.Bb5+ version of this gambit, see Browne vs Quinteros, 1974.
Jul-15-16  karthick2229: "sockrates": if black capture e4 then Queen check an fork
Jul-15-16  Sally Simpson: The e-pawn is held tactically from moves 4-9. Either the Knight on e4 falls or the c6 Knight drops with d4-d5.

After 4.Be2

click for larger view

4...Nxe4 5.Qa4+ a trick that has caught many victims. I know of a player in the Glasgow League who caught 3 players OTB with this trick in the same year!!

Our Chess World Champion has been reduced to setting opening traps!

Jul-15-16  Sokrates: My thanks to <LlanelliCC>, <An Englishman>, <karthick2229:> and Geoff - appreciated! Can't believe I didn't see Qa4 at the start of it. Age takes its toll! :-)
Jul-16-16  Eyal: Karjakin's opening play wasn't necessarily so horrible; some of the comments here look like annotation by result. The point where things really started going south for him is apparently 20...Rc4 (a move condemned both by comp evaluations and by the players after the game). He didn't get any real counterplay on the Q-side, while his K-side that was weakened by 18...g5 (certainly not a forced move either) was dismantled by Carlsen. Apparently, he had either to really go for it on the Q-side with 20...Nc4 21.Bd3 Nc5 22.Be2 Bxc3 23.bxc3 Qxa2 (a line mentioned by Carlsen in the press conference) and very sharp play, or play more defensively with 20...Ng6 followed by ...Be5, to counter the f4 break. (Note that after 21.Kh1 it was already too late for 21...Ng6, since with the rook on c4 the knight is needed on e5 to prevent Bd3.)
Jul-16-16  morfishine: I would've asked the wedding photographer to delete this one:


Jul-16-16  WorstPlayerEver: Lol Narjakik played 10... Nb8???
Probably he didn't want to reveal his 10... Na5 preparation. Otherwise it's insanity.
Jul-16-16  Sally Simpson: Hi Sokrates,

Missing a trick from a diagram in a forum happens. We do not have our chess hat on all the time.

My DB has over 100+ players taking that e-pawn in the exact same position.

After losing the Knight some of the players with the Black pieces have gone onto win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: a5 does not look secure for the knight - from b8 he can easily redeploy to d7
Jul-16-16  Sokrates: Hi Geoff,
Que sera sera. If both players in a game play flawlessly, all chessgames will be drawn. Another example proving that it's the errors and flaws that makes human life interesting and computer programmes boring.
Jul-16-16  WorstPlayerEver: @plang

Agreed, but in a match Ragnus would probably play 15. Bg5, seems Ragnus was pretty sure to complicate the game and play on time pressure. Because Black has to deal with many variations. Uncommon territory always seems to favor Carlsen somehow. I didn't even mention his pair of Bishops. All and all a weak psychological game from Karjakin. My 2c.

Jul-16-16  Sally Simpson: Hi Sokrates,

One day a computer might just deem 4...Nxe4 a good move.

You get a central pawn, a lead in development on the exposed Queen.

As I said Human players have lost this as White in OTB games. I would not fancy my chances taking White against one of the top dog computers.

Infact I'm just wondering how 2000-2200 punters like me would fair against Rybka at Knight Odds.

Next time I get a chance I'll take one on giving me Knight odds...If I don't come back to you on this you will know what's happened. If I do, I've won.

(Better get this back on track before the Thread Police make a visit.)

Yes a bit of shadow boxing going on in this game. Karjakin hinting he may employ a Sicilian, Carlsen not giving anything away (Carlsen may also have decided he won't play 1.e4 in the W.C. match so slipped one out here and in other games to lead Karjakin's seconds up a garden path.)

The match starts in November, the mind games began in April.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Jul-16-16  whiteshark: IM Rensch analysed this game:
Jul-17-16  whiteshark: and here's Daniel ♔'s analysis:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Carlsen takes opening theory seriously but he probably avoids the lines his thinks his opponents want to go down. This means he steers for positions where it is perhaps less position. He also seems to be able to play any kind of opening or position or he plays attacking or solid, or he manoeuvres...but someone will find a weakness one day. But he is still young enough to keep interested.
Jul-22-16  Nonnus: He will develop weaknesses as he gets older.
Jul-25-16  Ayaend: Waw, this game playing by Carlsen is very cool to look !after move 21. Black double the towers and the position looking good for black good space and all development but after a nice attack on the black King side white win , very intense game with the Wolrd champ and the futur Challenger Karjakin!
Jul-31-16  johnkr: White attacks with 3 major pieces on the k-side. Doesn't even use his B and N from the q-side! And, White's king is also castled k-side while this is going on. Very instructive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < chancho: 7...Qb6 does not appear in the OE. >

Here it is...

Opening Explorer

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < WorstPlayerEver: Lol Narjakik played 10... Nb8??? Probably he didn't want to reveal his 10... Na5 preparation. Otherwise it's insanity. >

Stockfish 7/64 evals .Na5 only about 0.25 better than ..Nb8 . Granted, i don't prefer anti developing moves, but the Breyer is an example of such redeployment and is a reasonable defense. In this line however, its not the tempo loss with Nb8 but so quickly giving up the light squared bishop (a concession in the line) that i find somewhat distasteful.

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