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Magnus strikes again: Part 1

May 2, 2014
StaffCoachIGMLessenmakers 2565
Game Viewer » Widget

In my upcoming blogs I am going to be analyzing yet another great tournament victory of World Champion Magnus Carlsen. What made his victory in the Gashimov Memorial even more special is the fact that he showed that he too, like the rest of us, is human! With Magnus winning the first two rounds against Mamedyarov and Nakamura, the Norwegian chess reporter Tarjei J. Svensen felt very optimistic on twitter:


And why not? With Carlsen on a roll things can happen! As we all know, it did not. In round 3 Carlsen uncharacteristically allowed Karjakin to escape with a draw with what looked like a very unpleasant endgame. This game was followed by two shocking losses against Caruana and Radjabov. 

Visibly struggling with his chess form Carlsen then managed to scrape a win against Mamedyarov before facing Hikaru Nakamura with the black pieces. Hikaru, just as in Zurich, managed to build up an overwhelming position, but, just as in Zurich, failed to deliver the final punch after which Magnus 'stole'  the point.

Two draws later Carlsen was facing Caruana in a direct fight for tournament victory. I felt Caruana never really got the full compensation he was looking for after he sacrificed a pawn early on in the game. The World Champion carefully extinguished black's threats and slowly but surely brought the point home. Yet another tournament victory for the 23-year old Norwegian!

But perhaps the biggest news, as I mentioned before, is that Carlsen showed some vulnerability this tournament. I'm sure Vishy Anand also took note of that!

In this blogpost I'll be taking an in-depth look into the first round game between Carlsen and Mamedyarov. You can play through the moves using the PGN-viewer or check the video below! 


Carlsen, M. - Mamedyarov, S.

Vugar Gashimov Mem 2014 2014.04.20

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 Qa5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Rc1 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Ba3 10.Rc2 b6 11.Be2 Ba6 12.O-O Bxe2 13.Qxe2 O-O 14.e4 Rac8 15.e5 Qa4

15...h6 16.Bf4 c5 17.d5! exd5 18.Nh4

16.c4 Rfe8 17.Rd1 c5 18.d5 exd5 19.Rxd5 Nf8 20.h4 h6 21.Be3 Ng6?

Diagram #1

21...Rcd8 22.Qd3 (22.Rcd2 Rxd5 23.cxd5 Bc1 24.Rd3 Qe4 =/+) 22... Rd7 = (22... Rxd5 23.cxd5 Nd7 24.Rc4 Qb5 25.Bxh6! gxh6 26.Rg4+ Kh8 27.Qxb5 +-)

22.Qd3 Re6 23.h5 Ne7 24.Rd6

24.Rd8+! Rxd8 25.Qxd8+ Kh7 26.Rd2 Bc1 27.Rd7 Bxe3 28.fxe3 Qxa2 29.Qf8! (29.Rxe7 Rxe7 30.Qxe7 Qxc4 31.Qxa7 b5 +/-) 29... Qb1+ 30.Kf2 Qc2+ 31.Rd2 Qf5 32.Rd8 Qxh5 33.g3! +-

24... Bb4 25.Rc1!

Diagram #2

25... Re8

25...Qxa2 26.Rd8+ Rxd8 27.Qxd8+ Kh7 28.Qf8 +-

26.Rxe6 fxe6 27.Nh4 Qc6 28.a3 Ba5 29.Rd1 Qc7 30.Ng6 Nxg6 31.Qxg6 Qf7 32.Rd3 a6 33.a4 Rf8

33...Qxg6 34.hxg6 Kf8 35.Rd7!? Re7 36.Rxe7 Kxe7 37.g4 Bc3 38.f4 Be1 39.Kg2 Ba5 40.Kf3 Be1 41.Ke4 Bb4 42.Bf2 Ke8 43.Bh4 Kf8 44.f5 +-

34.g4 Qe8 35.Rd6 Qxa4 36.Qxe6+ Kh8 37.Bxh6!

Diagram #3

37... Qa1+ 38.Kg2 Rxf2+ 39.Kxf2 Qe1+ 40.Kg2 Qe4+ 41.Kh3 Qh1+ 42.Kg3 Qe1+ 43.Kf4 Bd2+ 44.Rxd2 Qxd2+ 45.Kf5 gxh6 46.Qe8+ Kg7 47.Qe7+

47.Qe7+ Kg8 48.Kg6 Qd3+ 49.Kxh6 Qd2+ 50.g5 +-


 Stay tuned for part 2 where we will be looking at the game between Caruana and Carlsen!


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sapientdust 19:36 - 11 May 2014
Great commentary! Looking forward to more videos from GM l'Ami.
arunjchess 17:26 - 16 May 2014
hi Erwin, we got a nice comment about your article on our facebook page:

"Great analysis, again. Was wondering in the 24 Rd8 line what would happen after 33 g3!, g5. The (computer)answer is a beautiful mate in 8 with 34 g4!! Totally overloads Blacks position, f7 and g6 (as a flight square) have to be guarded. I'm not good enough to see these lines myself, unfortunately. Looking forward to the next one. Keep up the good work!" Klaas Harmsen

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