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Teimour Radjabov vs Magnus Carlsen
Meltwater Tour Final (2021) (rapid), Chess24 INT, rd 7, Oct-02
Pirc Defense: Classical Variation. Quiet System (B08)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Boom! :^)
Oct-03-21  Gaito: Magnus has lately been trying opening experiments when playing rapid games. Why is he doing that? He has just lost to Artemiev and also to Radjabov with the same score in each case (+0 =2 -2), and that meant four zeros and four draws out of eight games for Carlsen in two matches of four rapid games each. In addition he looks kind of tired and exhausted. Lately he even has shown baggy eyes, so it is obvious that the guy is tired of playing too many chess games. I believe that he should now take a break and rest up some time. He needs that break in order to have a little "chess hunger" during the upcoming World Chess Championship in November. Maybe Carlsen should play soccer or just travel and forget about chess for a few weeks; it looks like this boy is fed up after having had to play so many chess games lately.

There are almost four thousand games played by Carlsen in databases. Capablanca played a little more than one thousand chess games in his whole life. So did Bobby Fischer; and Carlsen has already played almost twice as many games as Capa and Fischer in their whole lives put together. Is it healthy for the mind to play so many chess games? I don't think so. The human brain is not a machine that can be forced to work all time without a rest.

Oct-03-21  Gaito:

click for larger view


Radjabov played 11.f3, a move that is rock solid, but the engine (SF14) believes that 11.f4 was perhaps a more energetic alternative (computer evaluation: +1.24). For example: 11.f4 c6 12.Bf3 c5 13.Nb3 (13.Nde2 also deserves attention) Nbd7 14.Bf2, and White stands clearly better.

Oct-03-21  Gaito:

click for larger view


24...Ra8? looks like a hasty move (the engine suggests 24...Rb8). Carlsen thought for only one second before playing 24...Ra8 and he was not pressed by the clock. After 25.Nxb5! Black's game quickly went down in flames.

Oct-03-21  Gaito:

click for larger view


White already has a winning advantage. Radjabov played 27.a6, which was sufficent to win, but according to SF14, 28.Qc3! would have been even stonger (evaluation: +5.30), for example: 28...Bd7 29.Nb3 Bg7 30.a6, and if then 30...Qb8 31.e5 Ne8 32.f4, and Black's cramped pieces almost fall off the board. (See diagram below):

click for larger view

Oct-03-21  Gaito: 27...Qc7? was a blunder that lost outright, but even after 27...Qc8 Black was devoid of any hopes.

Excellent game by Radjabov!

Oct-03-21  fabelhaft: <He has just lost to Artemiev and also to Radjabov with the same score in each case (+0 =2 -2), and that meant four zeros and four draws out of eight games for Carlsen in two matches of four rapid games each>

Yes, but as you say he has been playing much the last weeks, in all more than 50 games in classical (13) rapid (27) and blitz (12) in three and a half weeks, with some international travel in the middle of it. After the Artemiev match he scored +2-0=2 against Nakamura and won against Giri, so one should maybe not conclude too much by picking the two worst results. And difficult to avoid some experiments when playing all these games.

Carlsen had just won the event here and was maybe losing some concentration. Or maybe he just played a couple of bad games. For example So in second place was lost in his last seven games even if he “only” lost five, Aronian took the draw in a winning position in the last game since that was sufficient to win the match.

Oct-03-21  lentil: I was following the game. MC resigned immediately after ...Qc7, almost before Qc3 was played. I think ...Qc7 was a mouse slip.
Oct-03-21  Gaito: <Oct-03-21 lentil:I was following the game. MC resigned immediately after ...Qc7, almost before Qc3 was played. I think ...Qc7 was a mouse slip.> Yes, he did. But he knew he was lost anyway, no matter what he had played; moreover Magnus needed a win in order to go to tiebreaks, as a draw or a loss would have concluded the match. Perhaps that explains the weird opening used by him. Otherwise he might have tried a Sicilian. But today Magnus has continued with his opening experiments. As Black against Levon Aronian, Carlsen has just played 1.e4 Nc6?! (is this defense called the Chigorin Defense?) 2.d4 d5. I had never seen Magnus defend with such strange system. But he is so good that he can play anything, even bizarre openings, and still manage to reach decent positions most of the time.
Oct-03-21  Gaito: The game Aronian vs. Carlsen has just finished.

Magnus lost again.

He is obviously exhausted after playing so many chess games.

Please give the guy a break!

Oct-03-21  SChesshevsky: <Magnus has lately been trying opening experiments...>

True. Does seem he does get into innovative moods. Especially in these fast online tourneys. Here there's extra incentive as he doesn't want to give any hints for the upcoming WC.

But the Pirc/ Modern isn't that unusual for Magnus. Leaning toward that he has a soft spot for it as it has somewhat similar feel to the Dragon. Which he also has/had an affinity for. He also has used the ...Nb8 retreat, playing against the extended d pawn before. Nice win vs Svidler in a banter blitz match where he discusses.

Feels here white doesn't get much early, though black is fairly passive. Then appears Magnus gets sloppy with 19...Qb7. Killing mobility for the B. Radjabov isn't going to miss that and goes to take advantage. Magnus continues to ignore the misplaced ...Qb7 and it gets bad quickly.

I usually look for a couple of things to judge when Magnus may be playing a bit too loosely. He leaves a piece of two hanging and/ or he cuts off the mobility of his own pieces. His instinct is so good, he usually wouldn't consider these unless seeing a clear tangible benefit.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Gaito has dropped off his pace.

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