Dec0507   andynmac: I guess she didn't see 35. ... Qe7. And Carlsen's finish here is very neat. I only looked at this game because I always play 3. ... Nc6 in the Alapin and was heartened to see Carlsen do the same. That is where the similarities end, however... Twice his age, about half his elo. 

Dec0507   Xaurus: <andynmac>
Well Magnus was 11,5 years old when this game was played, so his strength back then wasn't near what it is today. :) 

May0910   jeremyh20man: Does white have a fortress idea at move 47 instead of Rxf4? I am vaguely seeing an idea of a Q sac for the R on f3 or h3 once the black king is ready to take the a pawn and quickly queen though. 

Jan1112
  wordfunph: "I lost to that little prick!"
 Heather Richards (after the game) 

Jan1212
  OhioChessFan: <jeremy: Does white have a fortress idea at move 47 instead of Rxf4? > Not with the a Pawns. I was curious about the position if the a pawns were gone. After playing with it a while, I think the Black King enters at g4 and White is just crushed. 

Jan1212
  OhioChessFan: A position that full of tension and White plays 32. h3? Maybe she didn't realize that wasn't a null move, since the obvious response by Carlsen to play Re3 leaves the h Pawn in a world of hurt. 34. Qc2 might have let her hold on a while but I think the game is already lost. 

Jan1212   King Death: It was better to play 32.Rc7 and answer the idea of 32...Re5 with 33.Rb7 Rd5 34.Qa4. The d pawn can't be held so White should have tried to liquidate the queenside. If she can force off all of the queenside pawns there are definitely drawing chances, but with the heavy pieces still on the board Black may be able to play for a win by direct attack. 

Oct1018
  Sergash: Heather Richards was born on March 27 of 1983 and the actual game was played on... March 27 2002. So this was Heather Richards birthday! 19 years old... vs. 11 for Carlsen. That very same year, Richards who is from Australia, became a Woman International Master. The highest rating she's reached so far was 2275 in July of 2002. According to Chessbase, when that tournament began Carlsen was rated 2127 and Richards was 2209. <3...d7d5!> A new move for Carlsen, which seems as good as 3...c5xd4 which Magnus had played twice before this game: 3...c5xd4! 4.c3xd4 d7d5 5.e4xd5! Qd8xd5! 6.Ng1f3! e7e5 7.Nb1c3 Bf8b4 and here: A) 8.Bc1d2! Bb4xc3 9.Bd2xc3! e5e4 10.Nf3d2?! (10.Nf3e5! ⩲ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) Ng8f6! 11.Bf1c4 Qe5g5! 12.Qd1b3 00! 13.000?! (13.h2h4!= Komodo 9.42 64 bits) Bc8g4 14.h2h4!? Bg4xd1? (14...Qg5f4! ⩱ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) 15.Rh1xd1?? (15.h4xg5! ⩲ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) Qg5f5+ 16.g2g4? (16.Nd2f1!+ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) Nf6xg4 17.Rd1g1 Ng4xf2?? (17...Ra8c8!+ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) 18.d4d5! Nc6e5 ⩱ 19.Rg1g5! Qf5d7?! (19...Qf5h3! ⩱ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) 20.Bc3xe5?? (20.Rg5xe5!= Komodo 9.42 64 bits) f7f5?? (21...f7f6!+ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) 21.d5d6+ + and Carlsen resigned. M Weighell vs Carlsen, 2001, 10 B) 8.Bc1e3?! Bc8g4 9.Bf1e2 Ng8e7 10.00 Bb4xc3! 11.b2xc3 e5e4?! (11...e5xd4!= Denis Rosandic (2330)  Hrvoje Jurkovic (2270), Zadar Open (Croatia) 1994, draw) 12.Nf3d2 Bg4xe2 13.Qd1xe2 00 ⩲ A Gronnestad vs Carlsen, 2002, 01, played earlier in the same tournament than the actual game. <4.e4xd5 Qd8xd5▢> With this move, Carlsen transposed in another one of his past games (M G Petrov vs Carlsen, 2001, draw; Petrov was rated 2425 vs. 2064 for Carlsen!), which continued this way: 5.Ng1f3 Bc8g4 6.Bf1e2 c5xd4! 7.c3xd4 e7e6 8.Nb1c3 Bf8b4 9.00 Qd5a5! 10.a2a3 Bb4xc3 11.b2xc3 Ng8f6 12.Ra1b1 00 13.Rb1b5 Qa5c7! 14.h2h3 Bg4f5= We can see that Carlsen was already quite familiar with this opening line! 

Oct1318
  Sergash: <5.Bc1e3?! c5xd4 6.c3xd4 e7e5 7.Nb1c3 Bf8b4▢=> The best moves is 5.Ng1f3! mentioned in my previous post. <8.a2a3 Bb4xc3▢ 9.b2xc3 Ng8e7 10.c3c4 Qd5e4=> Another line, maybe superior, is 8.d4xe5!? Qd5xe5 (or 8...Bb4xc3+ 9.b2xc3 Qd5xe5 10.Ra1c1= Christian  Trzcielinski  Christian Hauke (2235), JBLN West (Germany) 1992, 10) 9.Ra1c1= Jane Anson (1800)  Anne P. Martin (1885), Luzern Olympiads (Switzerland) 1982 (Women), round 6, 01. <11.Ng1e2 Ne7f5 12.d4d5! ⩱> 11.d4d5!? Nf6d4! 12.Ra1c1= Vinko Piber (2030)  Roberto Dilic (1925), Portoroz Open (Yugoslavia) 1995, 10. <13.Be3xd4? Nf5xd4! ∓> This is a mistake. White must play either A) 13.Ne2g3 and here Black could continue with Nf5xe3 14.Ng3xe4▢ Ne3xd1 15.Ra1xd1= Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT; or B) 13.Ne2c3 Qe4c2 14.Be3d2= Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <14.f2f3?! Qe4h4+▢ 15.Ke1d2+> Better is 14.Ra1c1! Bc8g4! 15.Rh1g1! (not 15.f2f3? Bg4xf3! 16.g2xf3 (16.Ke1f2 Qe4h4+! 17.Kf2g1 Qh4g5+ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) Qe4e3+ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) Bg4f5 ∓ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <15...Bc8f5?? 16.Ne2xd4! Qh4xd4▢ 17.Kd2e1▢ ⩱> Terrible move which loses most of the advantage earned so far! 15...Nd4f5! 16.Ra1c1 00+ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <17...Qd4c3+ 18.Ke1f2▢=> Possibly better is 17...Qd4e3+!? 18.Bf1e2▢ 00 ⩱ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <18...00 19.Bf1e2 e5e4!=> Despite the king still in the center, the immediate 18...e5e4!? 19.f3xe4! (19.Ra1a2 e4e3+! 20.Kf2g1▢ 000 ⩱ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) Bf5xe4= Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. 

Oct1418
  Sergash: <20.f3xe4 Bf5xe4 21.Rh1e1 Rf8e8 22.Ra1a2 Qc3f6+ 23.Kf2g1▢ Qf6b6+! 24.Kg1h1! Qb6f2 25.Re1g1▢ Re8e5! ⩱> Better try to trade this invasive black queen with 20.Qd1c1! Qc3f6! 21.Rh1d1= Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <26...Ra8e8?! 27.Be2f3= / ⩱> Doubling the rooks seems a good idea, but stronger is 26...Qf2c5 27.Qd1b3! b7b6 ⩱ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. Here there was also the stronger 27.d5d6! Re8d8 28.Be2f3 Be4xf3! 29.g2xf3! Qf2c5! 30.Rg1e1 ⩱ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <27...Qf2c5?! 28.Bf3xe4 Re5xe4 29.d5d6 Qc5xc4 30.d6d7 Re8d8=> 27...Be4xf3! 28.Rd2xf2▢ Bf3xd1 29.Rg1xd1 b7b6 ⩱ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <31.Rd2c2 Qc4e6▢=> Two moves were maintaining a seemingly perfect equality: A) 31.Qd1b1! Qc4c6 (or 31...Re4e7 32.Qb1xb7 Qc4c5 33.Rg1d1= Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT; also 31...Qc4a4 32.Rg1c1 Re4c4 33.Rc1e1 g7g6▢ 34.Qb1a1!= Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) 32.Rg1c1! Re4c4▢ 33.Rc1e1 (or 33.Rc1d1=; or also 33.Rc1xc4 Qc6xc4 34.Qb1d1= Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) g7g6 34.Qb1d1= Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT; and B) 31.h2h3!= Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <32.h2h3?! h7h6 ⩱> As spotted by <OhioChessFan> this move is not well timed, but Black appears to only have a small advantage yet. <KingChess> then mentioned a correct move: 32.Rc2c7= But after the game move Carlsen was still far from winning this game! <33.Rc2c7?! Re4e3!> A 2nd concecutive imprecise move which possibly smells zeitnot? <OhioChessFan> is probably correct in his assessment that Richards seems to have completely missed 32...Re4e3! The correct line is 33.Rc2d2! Re4e3! 34.Qd1c1 ⩱ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <34.Qd1d2? Qe6e4!+> This is a losing move! Has Richards cracked under time pressure? The only move here is to control the e4 square with 34.Qd1c2!▢ Re3e2 (or 34...a7a6 35.Rg1d1 Re3e1+! 36.Rd1xe1 Qe6xe1+ 37.Kh1h2 ∓ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) 35.Qc2d3 (or 35.Qc2b1 ∓ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT, or also 35.Qc2a4 ∓ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) and if here 35...Re2e3 36.Qd3c2 ∓ repeating the position. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. 

Oct1418
  Sergash: <35.Qd2xe3? Qe4xe3 36.Rc7c8 Qe3e7 37.Rg1d1 Kg8h7+> Heather Richards, maybe because of a lack of time on the clock, panicked... Without the queen, White is hopeless. The two best moves here are A) 35.Kh1h2 Qe4e5+! 36.Kh2h1 Re3e2 37.Qd2c1 Qe5d5+ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT; and B) 35.Rc7c3 Re3xc3 36.Qd2xc3 Qe4a4!+ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <38.Rc8c7+> More precise is 38.Rc8xd8 Qe7xd8 39.Rd1d3+ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <38...Qe7e2+> 38...Qe7e4! <39.Rd1c1 Qe2d3+> Better is 39.Rd1b1 winning either the 'b' or the 'a' pawn. and now 39...a7a6! Δ40.Rb1xb7 Qe2e1+ 41.Kh1h2 Qe1e5+ 42.Kh2g1 Qe5a1+! 43.Kg1h2 Qa1xa3+ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <40.Rc7xb7?! Rd8xd7 41.Rb7xd7 Qd3xd7 42.Rc1c3 f7f5 43.Rc3f3+> Allowing Carlsen to eliminate this passed pawn and to trade his rook will free him to put his winning plan into action. A better resistance was to play 40.Rc7c3 Qd3xd7 41.Rc3e3+ Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. Heather Richards plan is clear : keep the rook protected on the 3rd rank which, in turn, will maintain the pawn on a3. But this won't be enough... <45...h6g5> Good enough, but here, Black has a mate in 12 moves : 45...Qd7d2! and now A) 46.Kh1g1 h6h5! 47.Kg1f1 (or 47.Kg1h2 Kh7g6 48.Rf3b3 (or 48.a3a4 g5g4 49.h3xg4 h5xg4 50.Rf3b3 f4f3 and mate in 6 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) g5g4 49.h3xg4 h5xg4 and mate in 7 moves) g5g4 48.h3xg4 h5xg4 and here the longest mate goes with 49.Rf3xf4 Qd2xf4+ and mate in 7 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. B) 46.Kh1h2 h6h5 47.Rf3f1 (47.a3a4 g5g4 48.h3xg4 h5xg4 49.Rf3a3 (49.Rf3f1 f4f3 and mate in 7 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) Qd2f2 and mate in 7 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT; 47.Rf3b3 g5g4 48.Rb3b7+ (48.h3xg4 h5xg4 etc. mate in 8 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) Kh7g6 49.h3xg4 h5xg4 and mate in 7 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) Kh7g6 48.Rf1f3 (48.a3a4 g5g4 49.h3xg4 h5xg4 50.Rf1b1 Qd2e2 and mate in 6 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) g5g4 49.h3xg4 h5xg4 50.Rf3b3 f4f3 and mate in 6 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. C) 46.Rf3f1 h6h5 47.Rf1b1 (47.Kh1h2 would transpose; 47.a3a4 g5g4 48.h3xg4 h5xg4 49.Kh1h2 transposes) g5g4 48.h3xg4 h5xg4 49.Kh1h2 Kh7g6 and mate in 7 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. 

Oct1418
  Sergash: <46...g5xh4> This initiates a mate in 20 moves, while there was one in only 12 moves beginning with 46...g5g4! 47.Rf3xf4 g4g3! 48.Rf4f1 Qd7g4 49.Rf1b1 (or R anywhere else) Qg4xh4+ 50.Kh1g1 Qh4d4+ 51.Kg1h1 Kh7g6 and mate in 6 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <47.Rf3xf4 Qd7d1+! 48.Kh1h2 Qd1d6! 49.g2g3> As <jeremyh20man> noticed, this capture is not the best move and shortens the game to a mate in 13 moves for Black. We are in a forced mate in 20 moves which goes on with 47.Kh1g1 Qd7d2 48.Kg1f1 Kh7g6 49.Rf3h3 Kg6g5 50.Rh3f3 Qd2e3! 51.Rf3xe3 (51.a3a4 Kg5g4 52.Rf3xe3 f4xe3 53.Kf1e2 Kg4g3 54.Ke2f1 e3e2+ and mate in 12 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT) f4xe3 52.Kf1e2 Kg5g4 and mate in 14 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. <49...h4xg3+ 50.Kh2xg3 Qd6xa3+> Mate in 11 moves here, while the game move (49...h4xg3+) mates in 19 moves. 49.Qd6d2+! 50.Kh2h3 Qd2e1 51.Rf4f7+ Kh7g6 and mate in 8 moves. Stockfish 9  64 bits POPCNT. In the final position, Black is mating in 16 moves. 



