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John Arni Nilssen vs Magnus Carlsen
Bergen Chess International (2001), Bergen NOR, rd 3, Aug-06
Catalan Opening: Closed Variation (E06)  ·  1-0


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find similar games 1 more J A Nilssen/Carlsen game
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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sergash: This was the second game opposing John Arni Nilssen and Magnus Carlsen, the first one having taken place at the Troll Masters in Gausdal, in January of that same year. In this game, Carlsen was playing White and had lost in 22 moves against Nilssen's Sicilian Defense.

John Arni Nilssen is born in 1974 and thus was 26 or 27 years old when he played the actual game, while Carlsen was 10 years old.

Nilssen is a member of the Faroe Islands Chess Federation (Denmark) and became an international master in 2006.

I went through the game with the program Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<18...Bxc5?!> We often tell beginners not too study openings too much, but rather know the general principles (centre, piece development, castling sooner than later etc.). Here, we are still in the theory! But the move played is inferior.

Instead there were 18...a5 19.c6 Bd6 (Olivier Renet (2480) vs Gilles Miralles (2360), France Championship 1986, Playoffs, round 2, draw) 20.Nd4! =

Also 18...g5!? Cedric Paci (2301) vs Anna Rudolf (2242), Marianske Lazne IM (Czech Republic) 2008, B2, round 4, 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sergash: <21...Rc1!N 22.Rxc1 > This is the theoritical novelty of the game, better than 21...Rd5 22.Kf3 Rxd1 23.Rxd1 (Peter Heine Nielsen (2500) vs Jorgen Juul Kristensen (2335), Aars (Denmark) 1995, round 9, 1-0) h5

<26...b4> Better would be 26...Rb8

<28...Nf6 29.Ne5! > Carlsen seems to be slowly drowning... 28...Ne7! 29.Ne5! Kf8 /

<29...Rc7? 30.Rxa5 > Now Carlsen is losing... Apparently a desperate attempt to activate the rook. 29...h5 20.h3 Kg7 21.Ke3! (what Carlsen seemed to be afraid of is not dangerous: 31.Nc6! Rd7! 32.Nxa5! Rd3+ 33.Kg2 Nxe4 34.Rxb4 Nf6! followed by Nd5) Kf8

<30...Rc2 31.Ra8! Kg7 32.Ra7> The black king doesn't feel safe anymore! Better is 30...b3 31.axb3 Rb7 32.Ra3 Nd7

<35.Rxf7?! Nh5!> After repeating the position to gain some time on the clock, Nilssen decides to crash through! But he should have captured that pawn with the knight: 35.Nxf7! Rxb2 36.Nh6+ Kh8 37.e5! Nd5 38.Nf7+! Kg8 39.Ng5 followed with Nxe6.

<36.Ra7?!> Nilssen seems to be short on time! 36.b3! Rc3+ (or 36...Rxa2 37.Rb7! ) 37.Kg4! Rc2 38.Rb7

<38...Rc3?!> Better is 38...Nf6 39.Kd4! Ng4 40.Nxb4!

<39.Kd2?!> 39.Kd4!

<42.Rb7?!> 42.Ra4 is better.

<43...Rxh2> If Black wanted to continue playing, he should have played 43...Rc3+ 44.Kd4! Ra3... The a-pawn is now unstoppable!

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