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Magnus Carlsen vs Alexey Shirov
Isle of Man Grand Swiss (2019), Douglas IMN, rd 6, Oct-15
Russian Game: Modern Attack. Center Variation (C43)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I was being facetious. A long drawn out endgame with a small but enduring advantage is exactly want Carlsen relishes and he would no more offer a draw than he would adopt cricket as a sport. Look at how he kept Hou playing in a dead even pawn endgame until she finally cracked and blundered. He'd play bare king against bare king if the arbiters would allow.
Oct-15-19  not not: Maga make attorney get attorney!

Fisher s proud of this game!

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: The world's strongest amateur is in deep Hao Hao.
Oct-15-19  rogge: Carlsen, the <Messiah> of chess


Oct-15-19  Ulhumbrus: The computer evaluations suggest that after the pawn advance 10...f5 Carlsen actually has the upper hand throughout the game.

The computer evaluations suggest that 16...b6 which disturbs the queen side pawn formation increases White's advantage and that it is better to keep this pawn back if it is going to become a target instead of a weapon.

The computer evaluations suggest that 20...gxf4 is not the best and that 20...d4 at once is better and 20...Bf8 may be better still.

The computer evaluations suggest that 24...Rg8? is a mistake and marking time by 24...Qc7 is better. Getting the black king boxed in allows White to win the exchange back later and the game with it.

Oct-15-19  ewan14: Trump would have to remember that Norway has an OIL FUND not that I am jealous
Oct-15-19  Pedro Fernandez: <<rogge>: Carlsen, the <Messiah> of chess> <Massiah> is the Carlsen's <amulet!> Think about it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Not waiting for mate in x moves. (laughs)
Oct-15-19  AdolfoAugusto: Look into the mirror Mr. Caruana, Magnus is coming for you.
Oct-15-19  csmath: So ... as much as Shirov used to be considered a great endgame player he could not hold this against Magnus. And I knew right from the point when Magnus sacrificed the exchange that he sees the positional win no matter what Shirov does. I mean I trusted Magnus here more than my SF engine.

Sometimes, or maybe more than sometimes Magnus is really heads and shoulders above the competition in understanding positions. Way better than anybody.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <And I knew right from the point when Magnus sacrificed the exchange ...>

But he could see that 31. e6 and 32. Be5+ would regain the exchange.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: He had to see that the resulting queen+pawns endgame was won for White. Although black gave him an assist by chucking away the f pawn.
Oct-15-19  Carrots and Pizza: Carlsen gives us a nice exchange sacrifice in this one. Sometimes these queen and pawn endings can be really tricky, but Magnus had it all under control.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Fitting he overtook Tal’s 95 unbeaten streak against a fellow Latvian.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Shirov looked particularly tortured in the middle game,contorting his face when Magnus was away from the board, when his aggressive 17...g5 was met with the calm 18 h3.

He really had no choice but to pursue the d4 break as he had no other avenue of attack.

But the problem with 22...d4 was that Carlsen could meet it with another quiet move 23 Qf2, with no fear of 23...dxc3 24 Rd6!! Bxd6 25 exd6 Rg7 26 Be5 Rdd7 27 Re1! Rg6 28 Bh5 Qd8 29 Bxg6 hxg6 30 Qg3 g5 31 h4 g4 32 Bxc3 Rxd6 33 Qe5 Qe7 34 Qh8+ Kf7 35 Qh5+ Kf8 36 Be5 Rc6 37 Qh6+ Kg8 38 Rd1 Bd7

click for larger view

No doubt Shirov saw the outlines of such a variation when he did not take the c pawn, and it is not surprising White has a forced win with 39 Qh8+ Kf7 40 Qh7+ Ke6 41 Qg8+! Qf7 (if 41...Kxe5 42 Re1+) 42 Qxf7+ winning the bishop

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Shirov looked particularly tortured in the middle game>

Was the canteen closed?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Another 3:2 queen ending with all the pawns passed. A big difference between super-GMs and mortals is that they're not afraid of queen endings.

Yifan Hou vs Carlsen, 2013

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: So how far would Carlsen have calculated when he went into the queen endgame?

Did he calculate long variations, or did he believe the endgame was winning on principle? Did he definitely believe it was winning at all?

Oct-17-19  SChesshevsky: <saffuna: So how far would Carlsen have calculated when he went into the queen endgame?...>

Guessing once Carlsen saw 24...Rg8 he saw at least to 30...Bd5 where's he's down an exchange for a pawn. But he has the two B's and a protected passed pawn on the fifth and Black King cornered. As a lot of it is forced, most likely saw also the 31. e6 trick where he at least gets the exchange back and really pressures the King and then the 35. Qxf5 continuation where he ends up in the Q plus passed pawn endgame.

Not sure what the endgame books say but I always figure the ending is won with the extra passed pawn. Except for possibility of opponent perpetual. But the more advanced the pawn is and opponent king exposed or cutoff the easier.

Given the position at 38. Qf4+, the pawn's not that far advanced, king's kind of close and there could be perpetual threats. So Carlsen probably figures it's winning but still some good technique required. Shirov seems to make it easier by dropping the h-pawn without much compensation. Maybe something like 38...Qf7 puts up some hopeful struggle. Though likely still losing and with more suffering.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <saffuna>

Putting aside the comedy of me holding forth on queen endings….

There is one kind of queen ending that anyone can win, when your king is well protected and you have an outside passed pawn. Passed pawns are important in any ending of course, but they tend to be especially critical in queen endings, because it’s so hard to blockade them.

click for larger view

The queen protects the king on the long diagonal and clears the path for the pawn, meanwhile Black has no counterplay. I think Fine has something like this in BCE.

In essence, it appears that Carlsen’s ending against Shirov wasn’t much harder than that ending. The queen guards the king’s diagonal and shepherds either the h-pawn or the d-pawn forward. The g-pawn shields his Majesty’s flank. White’s passers are more advanced and the queen dominates the board. Even if both sides queen on the same move, Black is going to get mated, given the unfortunate position of his king. In fact, according to analysis whiteshark posted, it was already a forced mate by move 41. And sure enough, Shirov resigned almost as soon as the 3:2 ending was on the board. I doubt Carlsen worked out the mate in 21, but I’m sure he regarded the ending as a breeze.

The Carlsen-Hou ending was evidently trickier, and certainly lasted a lot longer.

What I remember at the time was that Carlsen “missed” several quicker wins, including before the ending even arose, but obviously he had no concern about entering and no fear of not winning it. I remember people were especially impressed with

click for larger view

54….Ka6, with the idea 55.f5 b2 56.Qxb2 Qh1+ winning the queen.

Clearly he had to do a lot more calculating in that ending, but how much I have no idea.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Shirov seems to make it easier by dropping the h-pawn without much compensation.>

I should say that when I'm talking about the Carlsen-Shirov endings, I am referring only to the point after Shirov in effect traded his h-pawn for Carlsen's a-pawn on move 40. Counter-intuitively, it was a little trickier before that.

Oct-18-19  WorstPlayerEver: 54... Ka6, with the idea 55. f6 b2 56. Qxb2 Qh1+ winning the queen.

Yifan Hou vs Carlsen, 2013

Oct-18-19  SChesshevsky: Queen and passed pawn ending probably winning but still need to be careful. Carlsen goofs it from here though likely due to time trouble. Video out on YouTube.

After 36...Ka8

click for larger view

Carlsen vs Gelfand, 2010

Oct-19-19  thegoodanarchist: Mozart of chess strikes again!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <thegoodanarchist> did you mean 'the Justin Bieber of chess'?
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