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Magnus Carlsen vs Dejan Stojanovski
ECC (2001)  ·  English Opening: Symmetrical. Rubinstein Variation (A34)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
May-26-16  Sergash: Dejan Stojaanovski, born in the Republic of Macedonia (formerly part of Yugoslavia) in 1984 (so he was 16 or 17 years old when he played the actual game), became FIDE Master the same year this encounter took place. The next year, 2002, he would become International Master.

At the time of this game, Stojanovski was rated 2417 (early 2016, his FIDE rating is 2438), while Carlsen was 10 years old and rated 2084.

It seems to me that when Carlsen was hoping for a draw in this period (or not in a fighting mood?) he would play the English. An example would be Carlsen vs S Rukovci, 2001 where Carlsen agreed to a draw after 6 moves.

<16.Rfd1N Ned4!> This appears to be the theoritical novelty of the game, as before that we had 16.Rfe1 Nb4 17.Qxd7 Rxd7 18.Kf1 h6 19.a3 Na6 20.Red1 Nd4 = Dan Cramling vs. Pawel Stempin, World Junior Woman Championship 1977 in Innsbruck (Austria), round 6, draw.

<17...Nxd4N> This can also be considered a novelty, as it was possible to transpose with 17...Bxd4 18.e3 Bxc3 1/2 - 1/2 Jesus Nogueiras Santiago (2580) vs. Viktor Kortchnoi (2625), 3rd World Team Championship in Luzern (Switzerland) 1993, round 4.

<20...Nb4?! > 20...Nb8! = Komodo 9.42 64 bits.

This game could have continued like this: 20...Nb4?! 21.a3! Na6 22.Nb5 Komodo 9.42 64 bits.

I assume Stojanovski offered the draw, which surprises me as he was rated over 330 points above Calsen. One would assume that he would try any poossible way to win, extending the game as long as possible to see if his younger opponent would crack and make a mistake?

Maybe Stojanovski did not like his position very much, or did not see any clear possibility to complicate matters and confuse his opponent?

Or maybe the trip to Panormo (Crete, Greece) had tired him and he wanted some time off to recover?

Anyway, this is quite a surprising short game and result to me!

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