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Magnus Carlsen vs Levon Aronian
Clutch International (2020) (rapid), INT, rd 2, Jun-12
English Opening: King's English. Two Knights' Variation Smyslov System (A22)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Just doesn't seem possible that 16.fxe3 was a good move. Would have played 16.Nxe3 followed by the usual f2-f4-f5 (with proper preparation, of course) and the usual King side pawn storm.

And yet the continuation 17.Nec3 and 18.Nb5 does seem to give White a better position. Unless Aronian missed better defenses later, this looks like another example of Carlsen winning with what he likes to call "concrete thinking."

Jun-13-20  MordimerChess: But 16.fxe3 gives also some advanteges. Control of f4, d4 (no knight jumps), d5 and f5 (outposts) + semiopen f-file. By playing 22.Ra2 he wanted to double the rooks on the f-file. However in this case f6 would solve most of the problems.

More interesting are all the tactics later (not played by Magnus), some were really mindblowing.

26. Nf6 Qe7 27. Nxd7 Qxd7 28. Qg6! Bang!


27. Rf6! Bang! :D

My video analysis with all the fancy lines and tactics:


Jun-13-20  SChesshevsky: < But 16. fxe3 gives also some advantages...> Carlsen also seems to like to keep that f7 target in sight. Mentioned it in his QGD win over Nakamura in recent Lindores Rapids.
Jun-13-20  Nietzowitsch: Lemon Erronian strikes again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: To be fair to Aronian, his position before 22...Nc8 is not exactly anything to write home about. Even just visually without analyzing it seems obvious that white must be at least slightly better. The way Carlsen exploits this mistake is logical and concrete.

If Aronian had played 22...Kh8 or h6 instead, it's unclear how white can exploit anything immediately.

After 22...Nc8 23.Ra8 Kh8 24.Qh5 it seems impossible to suggest an adequate defense so I don't think it's fair to criticize Aronian's play after this point. Also as far as I can tell, Carlsen plays the rest of the game without error (there may have been even faster ways to bring about black's demise than the line winning the queen, but why quibble when this wins just as easily?).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: It’s been strange seeing Carlsen over the past few years adopt the systems I’ve played my entire chess amateur life (much lower level, of course) The English with an early e4 in some ways mirrors his Sicilian lines.

<Englishman> <Mordimer><Schess>, I like White’s 16th for the reasons mentioned. The capture limits his opponents piece play while amplifying his own. Besides the optically negative doubled pawns, the pluses are real.

Jun-15-20  MordimerChess: <Everett> So now you have another two games with the same system. Moreover with 6. f3 7. Kf2 :D Hahaha, English Bongcloud :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <MC> yeah, Carlsen is able to create quite a bit within the optically stiff structures

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