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Sergey Karjakin vs Magnus Carlsen
"We're On e3 Street" (game of the day Oct-01-2019)
Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship Match (2016) (rapid), New York, NY USA, rd 13, Nov-30
Spanish Game: Closed. Martinez Variation (C78)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-01-16  aporia: Is it clear that 36. ... Nxc4 allows a perpetual check or something? There must be something obvious I'm missing. Qb2 looks very strong but much less clear.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <aporia>
Maybe 36...Nxc4 <37. Qb4> Qf2 38. Qxc4 Ra2 <39. Qf1> holds?
Dec-01-16  aporia: Thanks, beatgiant.
Dec-01-16  Al2009: After 22. Qe2?! why 22… a5?!

22…Nh5! (threatening Nhg3!) seems much better

a) 23. Bd2 Nhg3! 24. hxg3 Nxg3 25. Qd1 Nxe4 26. fxe4 Bg3!

b) 23. Nf2!? Ne3! 24. Bxe3 fxe3 25. Qxe3 Nf4! 26. Ng4 h5!

OK Carlsen won the PENALTY challenge.

Again, I do prefer the old formula: 24 games, not only 12. Only 12 games to decide the WCC is – as Clint Eastwood would say – a “pussy generation” formula :-)))))

Dec-01-16  Open Defence: If White tries to draw by 33.Rxe3 then 33...Qd4 34.Qd3 Qb6 35.Kf2 Qc5 36.Bb3 Rb8 37.Qc3

and Black should not play 37...Qxe3 but 37...fxe3+ and after 38.Qxe3 Qxb5 Black should be winning

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: nice roll to finish by champ
Dec-01-16  fisayo123: Carlsen's best game of the match.
Dec-04-16  mistreaver: I really liked the point behind 29...gxf6.
For instance, after the approximate
30 Kh1 Rg8 31 Rg1 there is 31... Bg3! And Black is winning:

click for larger view

Dec-10-16  jerseybob: <FSR: <jerseybob> This was a rapid game, not blitz> My mistake.
Dec-23-16  1971: 22...a5! is one of the best moves I've ever seen. This game typifies Carlsen's style.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Yes,22-a5 is very instructive.A way of finding it is to start with the weakness of d4,combined with Nf5,eying the white bishop and queen.
Jan-17-17  Al2009: <1971> <"22...a5! is one of the best moves I've ever seen. This game typifies Carlsen's style.">

I showed 22...Nh5! to 4 GM, and all of them agreed that 22...Nh5! and the sac 23... Ng3!! were quickly winning.

Shut up IDIOT and ridicolous conformist!!! You would say that Carlsen is right even if he's putting a pole in your ass! Why are you trying to play chess, if you don't know the difference between a knight and an orangutan???

Jan-22-17  YouRang: 38.Rxc7 was a blunder that lost immediately to 38...Ra1!. It seems that white's best move was <38.Rb1>

click for larger view

But the question that remains is whether the resulting position could have been held. Black still has a strong rook on the 2nd rank, a powerfully placed knight on e3, an active queen, and even Pf4 that supports the Ne3 and controls g3, next to white king. Since white's heavy pieces are in poor position to counter-attack, black can even threaten to push the g and h pawns.

Without a doubt, Carlsen (who had a considerably more time on his clock, and who is among the best at fast chess) would have tried to press these advantages for the win.

Trying to determine best play with deep sliding engine analysis, I come up with this:

[PART 1 OF 2]

<38...Qf6 39.Be2>

I think Carlsen would have found 38...Qf6 quickly since the only reasonable choices are d4 and f6, and f6 presents more threats. After that, 39.Be2 is practically forced.

In preparation for attack, Black has time to get his king off of h1, where he could be vulnerable to checks on the 8th rank, as well as checks on the a1-h8 diagonal (which give him more freedom to play ...g5). Attacks always work best when counter-attacks are pre-squelched.


click for larger view

Stockfish_16090917_x64_modern @ 37 ply:
-1.87 40.Qf2 Rd2 41.Kg1 Qd4 42.Kh1 Qc3 43.h4
-1.92 40.h4 Qd4 41.Kh1 Rd2 42.Qf2 Qc3 43.Re1
-2.04 40.Kg1 Qg6 41.Qf2 Nxd5 42.Rb3 Ne3 43.b6

<40.Qf2 Rd2>

click for larger view

Stockfish_16090917_x64_modern @ 41 ply:
-2.24 41.Kg1 Qd4 42.Kh1 Qc3 43.h4 h5 44.Kg1
-2.30 41.Kh1 Qc3 42.h4 h5 43.Kg1 Kh8 44.Kh2
-2.32 41.h4 h5 42.Re1 Qb2 43.Kg1 Kh8 44.Kh2

<41.Kg1 Qd4 42.Kh1>

click for larger view

Stockfish_16090917_x64_modern @ 51 ply:
-2.44 42...Qc3 43.h4 h5 44.Re1 Kg8 45.Kg1 Qb2
-2.28 42...Kh8 43.Qe1 Nc2 44.Qf1 Qc5 45.e5 dxe5
-2.02 42...Qa4 43.Re1 Qa2 44.Kg1 Qa7 45.Kh1 Qc5


click for larger view

Stockfish_16090917_x64_modern @ 44 ply:
-2.42 43.h4 h5 44.Re1 Kh8 45.Kg1 Kg8 46.Kh1
-2.61 43.Re1 g5 44.Kg1 Kg6 45.Kh1 Qb2 46.Kh2
-2.64 43.Kg1 g5 44.Re1 Kg6 45.Kh1 Qb2 46.Kh2


Jan-22-17  YouRang: [PART 2 OF 2]

<43.h4 h5>
Stockfish_16090917_x64_modern @ 40 ply:
-2.42 44.Re1 Qb2 45.Kg1 Kg8 46.Kh1 Nc2 47.Rd1
-3.92 44.Kg1 Qc2 45.Re1 Qb2 46.Kh2 Kg6 47.Kg1
-4.14 44.Kh2 Qc2 45.Re1 Qa2 46.Kg1 Qb2 47.Kh2

<44.Re1 Qb2 45.Kg1 Kg8>

click for larger view

Stockfish_16090917_x64_modern @ 38 ply:
-2.92 46.Kh2 Kh8 47.Kg1 Kh7 48.Kh2 Kg6 49.Kg1
-4.66 46.Kh1 Nc2 47.Rd1 Nd4 48.Rxd2 Qxd2 49.e5

<46.Kh2 Kh8>

click for larger view

Stockfish_16090917_x64_modern @ 46 ply:
-4.06 47.Kh1 Nc2 48.Rd1 Nd4 49.Rxd2 Qxd2 50.Kh2
-4.99 47.Kg1 Kh7 48.Kh2 Kg6 49.g3 Nc2 50.Rd1

<47.Kh1 Nc2 48.Rd1 Nd4 49.Rxd2 Qxd2>

click for larger view

Stockfish_16090917_x64_modern @ 31 ply:
-4.35 50.e5 Nxe2 51.Kh2 dxe5 52.d6 cxd6 53.b6
-4.35 50.Kh2 Nxe2 51.e5 dxe5 52.d6 cxd6 53.b6
-8.08 50.Qf1 Nxe2 51.Kh2 Kg8 52.Kh3 Qe3 53.Kh2

<50.e5 Nxe2 51.Kh2 dxe5 52.d6 cxd6 53.b6 Qb2 54.b7 Qxb7 55.Qxe2 Qe7>

click for larger view

Stockfish_16090917_x64_modern @ 53 ply:
-5.97 56.Qe1 Kh7 57.Kg1 d5 58.Qa5 Qd6 59.Qa8

I'll stop here. I think black is clearly winning, up two pawns with one of them a passed pawn. The engine evals are steadily rising. Easily resignable.

Jan-22-17  YouRang: <Al2009: <1971> <"22...a5! is one of the best moves I've ever seen. This game typifies Carlsen's style.">

I showed 22...Nh5! to 4 GM, and all of them agreed that 22...Nh5! and the sac 23... Ng3!! were quickly winning.>

You really are a most unpleasant person aren't you?

It's only made worse by being a poor and yet overconfident analyst. In this case, you posted this:

<Al2009: After 22. Qe2?! why 22… a5?! 22…Nh5! (threatening Nhg3!) seems much better

a) 23. Bd2 Nhg3! 24. hxg3 Nxg3 25. Qd1 Nxe4 26. fxe4 Bg3! >

click for larger view

The line was pretty solid, except it should have ended " ". Your winning line for black is a winning line for white.

Jan-24-17  Al2009: SACRIFICE 22...NH5 – NHG3! INSTEAD OF 22…A5

The sac is correct, however the analysis can be improved…

After 22…Nh5! 23. Bd2, Nhg3!! 24. hxg3 Nxg3 25. Qd1 (25. Qe1 Qh6! ) now 25…Nxf1! (and not 25…Nxe4?) 26. Qxf1 Bg3! and then 27…Rf5! (with idea Rh5 etc.) is clearly winning for Black.

If 27. Nf2 Bxf2+ 28. Kxf2 (28. Qxf2 Qxd3 ) Qg3+ 29. Kg1 Rf5! for instance 30. Be1 Qg6 31. Qe2 Rh5! 32. Qe4 Qh6 etc.

Material is almost the same (Rook + 1 pawn against 2 Bishops) but Black’s attack on Kingside is devastating.

Jan-24-17  YouRang: <Al2009: SACRIFICE 22...NH5 – NHG3! INSTEAD OF 22…A5 The sac is correct, however the analysis can be improved…

After 22…Nh5! 23. Bd2, Nhg3!! 24. hxg3 Nxg3 25. Qd1 (25. Qe1 Qh6! ) now 25…Nxf1! (and not 25…Nxe4?) 26. Qxf1 Bg3! and then 27…Rf5! (with idea Rh5 etc.) is clearly winning for Black.>

I'm afraid you have white making an ill-advised move after 25...Nxf1:

click for larger view

You have 26.Qxf1? which boxes in the king which is clearly going to come under attack after ...Bg3.

Much better is to recapture with the king: <26.Kxf1>

click for larger view

and now 26...Bg3 is not even a threat. White has superior mobility and probably a winning game after opening up his bishops with a c4 break.

But even if you did have a better move (and you don't), responding to someone's comment about a different move with "IDIOT IDIOT" is uncalled for.

Jan-31-17  ColeTrane: <Al2009> whatever happened to your lecture on "respecting other chess players"...?
Premium Chessgames Member

A Knight on the sixth rank is famously called a "bone in the throat" due to its deep penetration into enemy territory while controlling several key squares. Here's the best known example, also from a WC match = Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985

White chose a quiet Ruy Lopez line (6. d3 & 8. a3) in this key playoff game, and sometimes that system includes h3 Opening Explorer . I have always admired Carlsen for playing mainstream defenses as Black against the Spanish Torture, and scoring quite well with them. After the fact, watch how he trades on d5, then gets in 15 ... f5 gaining space, then 16 ... f4 17. c3 Nf5 and the Knight is perfectly perched on the Kingside. After 25 ... Ne3, you get the sense that Black has a strategically won game. White blundered with 38. Rxc7?? leading to 38 ... Ra1 (Skewer) 0-1 and Carlsen only needed a draw in their final Rapid playoff game to retain his WC title.

Many purists object to WC contests being ultimately decided by Rapid or Blitz games, but in our modern era, we must end the match sometime.

Aug-03-17  mathlover: Is this a classical game or otherwise.
Aug-26-17  thegoodanarchist: In the history of pawn sacrifices, there have been many great ones. Many famous ones. Many profitable ones.

Surely 30...e4 must rank highly in the list of famous pawn sacs, allowing Black to make the most of his beast knight on e3.

In fact the beast knight is so valuable Carlsen could be considered to have a material advantage anyway, after the pawn sac.

Oct-01-19  Ironmanth: Good game, thanks chessgames! Y'all keep cool, and be respectful, out there in chess land.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Try again =

The other YouTube versions are way too graphic.

Good game. =)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Interesting comments on black's 22nd move, I ran Stockfish on a powerhouse computer for 6 minutes.

1) -0.59 (28 ply) 22...Qh5 23.Qd1 a5 24.axb5 axb4 25.Rxa8 Rxa8 26.cxb4 Bg3 27.Nxg3 fxg3 28.h3 Ra1 29.Qd2 Nd4 30.Qb2 Ra8 31.Be3 Nxb3 32.Qxb3 Qf7 33.Rc1 Nxd5 34.Bd2 Rf8 35.Qc4 h6 36.Be1 Nf4 37.Qxf7+ Rxf7 38.Ra1 Nxd3 39.Bxg3

I also ran Al2009's recommended Na5 also for 6 minutes:

1) =0.00 (29 ply) 23.Ra2 Nf6 24.Bd2 Qh5 25.Nxf6+ Bxf6 26.Rfa1 Rab8 27.axb5 axb5 28.Qf2 Qg6 29.Kh1 Bh4 30.Qa7 Qf7 31.Kg1 Qe7 32.Ra6 Qg5 33.R6a2 Qe7

2) +0.22 (28 ply) 23.Bd2 Nf6 24.Ra2 a5 25.bxa5 Rxa5 26.axb5 Rxb5 27.Ba4 Rb7 28.Nxf6+ Qxf6 29.Bd7 Kh8 30.Qe4 g6 31.d4 exd4 32.Rc1 Bg5 33.Be6 Rbb8 34.Kh1 Qe5 35.Bxf5 Rxf5 36.cxd4 Qxd5 37.Ra7 c6 38.Rd7 Qxe4 39.fxe4 f3 40.Bxg5 fxg2+ 41.Kxg2 Rb2+ 42.Kh1

Finally, I ran for 6 minutes the so called 'winning' line proposed 3 years ago by Al2009:

<After 22. Qe2?! why 22… a5?!

22…Nh5! (threatening Nhg3!) seems much better

a) 23. Bd2 Nhg3! 24. hxg3 Nxg3 25. Qd1 Nxe4 26. fxe4 Bg3! >

It does win, but for white according to the computer:

1) +3.15 (29 ply) 27.Qf3 Qg5 28.Bd1 Qe7 29.Qg4 Rf6 30.Qg5 Qe8 31.Bh5 Qb8 32.a5 c6 33.dxc6 Qc7 34.Be1 Bxe1 35.Rfxe1 Rc8 36.Rac1 Qa7+ 37.d4 Rxc6 38.Kh2 h6 39.Qg4 Qe7 40.Red1 Kh7 41.Qh3 exd4 42.Rxd4 Qc7 43.Bg4 Rc4 44.Rxc4 Qxc4

Al2009 may have missed that in this line, black can't threaten mate on h2 because after 27 Qf3 Qh6 is spoiled by Qxg3!

Jul-18-21  joddon: why is carsin the greatest of all time, cus hes the greatest defensive player who knows how to effectively play Queen positions in the end. in the opening and middle game he can delay as much time, use knight moves , go back and forth with his army moving at a slowest rate, even his pawns exchange and move slowly foward....but then as his enemy opponent leaves small holes in his position, he takes mental notes in his head and quickly fortifies his position as its needed.....knows the difference between offence and defence at the brink of TIME like EINTEIN....must be reincarnation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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