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Heather S Richards vs Magnus Carlsen
XII Open NOR Junior Ch (2002), Lysaker NOR, rd 7, Mar-27
Sicilian Defense: Alapin Variation. General (B22)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-05-07  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.
Dec-05-07  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. :)

May-09-10  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "I lost to that little prick!"

- Heather Richards (after the game)

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Jan-12-12  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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...d7-d5!> A new move for Carlsen, which seems as good as 3...c5xd4 which Magnus had played twice before this game: 3...c5xd4! 4.c3xd4 d7-d5 5.e4xd5! Qd8xd5! 6.Ng1-f3! e7-e5 7.Nb1-c3 Bf8-b4 and here:

A) 8.Bc1-d2! Bb4xc3 9.Bd2xc3! e5-e4 10.Nf3-d2?! (10.Nf3-e5! ⩲ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) Ng8-f6! 11.Bf1-c4 Qe5-g5! 12.Qd1-b3 0-0! 13.0-0-0?! (13.h2-h4!= Komodo 9.42 64 bits) Bc8-g4 14.h2-h4!? Bg4xd1? (14...Qg5-f4! ⩱ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) 15.Rh1xd1?? (15.h4xg5! ⩲ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) Qg5-f5-+ 16.g2-g4? (16.Nd2-f1!-+ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) Nf6xg4 17.Rd1-g1 Ng4xf2?? (17...Ra8-c8!-+ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) 18.d4-d5! Nc6-e5 ⩱ 19.Rg1-g5! Qf5-d7?! (19...Qf5-h3! ⩱ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) 20.Bc3xe5?? (20.Rg5xe5!= Komodo 9.42 64 bits) f7-f5?? (21...f7-f6!-+ Komodo 9.42 64 bits) 21.d5-d6+ +- and Carlsen resigned. M Weighell vs Carlsen, 2001, 1-0

B) 8.Bc1-e3?! Bc8-g4 9.Bf1-e2 Ng8-e7 10.0-0 Bb4xc3! 11.b2xc3 e5-e4?! (11...e5xd4!= Denis Rosandic (2330) - Hrvoje Jurkovic (2270), Zadar Open (Croatia) 1994, draw) 12.Nf3-d2 Bg4xe2 13.Qd1xe2 0-0 ⩲ A Gronnestad vs Carlsen, 2002, 0-1, 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.Ng1-f3 Bc8-g4 6.Bf1-e2 c5xd4! 7.c3xd4 e7-e6 8.Nb1-c3 Bf8-b4 9.0-0 Qd5-a5! 10.a2-a3 Bb4xc3 11.b2xc3 Ng8-f6 12.Ra1-b1 0-0 13.Rb1-b5 Qa5-c7! 14.h2-h3 Bg4-f5= We can see that Carlsen was already quite familiar with this opening line!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sergash: <5.Bc1-e3?! c5xd4 6.c3xd4 e7-e5 7.Nb1-c3 Bf8-b4▢=> The best moves is 5.Ng1-f3! mentioned in my previous post.

<8.a2-a3 Bb4xc3▢ 9.b2xc3 Ng8-e7 10.c3-c4 Qd5-e4=> Another line, maybe superior, is 8.d4xe5!? Qd5xe5 (or 8...Bb4xc3+ 9.b2xc3 Qd5xe5 10.Ra1-c1= Christian - Trzcielinski - Christian Hauke (2235), JBLN West (Germany) 1992, 1-0) 9.Ra1-c1= Jane Anson (1800) - Anne P. Martin (1885), Luzern Olympiads (Switzerland) 1982 (Women), round 6, 0-1.

<11.Ng1-e2 Ne7-f5 12.d4-d5! ⩱> 11.d4-d5!? Nf6-d4! 12.Ra1-c1= Vinko Piber (2030) - Roberto Dilic (1925), Portoroz Open (Yugoslavia) 1995, 1-0.

<13.Be3xd4? Nf5xd4! ∓> This is a mistake. White must play either A) 13.Ne2-g3 and here Black could continue with Nf5xe3 14.Ng3xe4▢ Ne3xd1 15.Ra1xd1= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT;

or B) 13.Ne2-c3 Qe4-c2 14.Be3-d2= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<14.f2-f3?! Qe4-h4+▢ 15.Ke1-d2-+> Better is 14.Ra1-c1! Bc8-g4! 15.Rh1-g1! (not 15.f2-f3? Bg4xf3! 16.g2xf3 (16.Ke1-f2 Qe4-h4+! 17.Kf2-g1 Qh4-g5-+ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) Qe4-e3-+ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) Bg4-f5 ∓ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<15...Bc8-f5?? 16.Ne2xd4! Qh4xd4▢ 17.Kd2-e1▢ ⩱> Terrible move which loses most of the advantage earned so far! 15...Nd4-f5! 16.Ra1-c1 0-0-+ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<17...Qd4-c3+ 18.Ke1-f2▢=> Possibly better is 17...Qd4-e3+!? 18.Bf1-e2▢ 0-0 ⩱ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<18...0-0 19.Bf1-e2 e5-e4!=> Despite the king still in the center, the immediate 18...e5-e4!? 19.f3xe4! (19.Ra1-a2 e4-e3+! 20.Kf2-g1▢ 0-0-0 ⩱ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) Bf5xe4= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sergash: <20.f3xe4 Bf5xe4 21.Rh1-e1 Rf8-e8 22.Ra1-a2 Qc3-f6+ 23.Kf2-g1▢ Qf6-b6+! 24.Kg1-h1! Qb6-f2 25.Re1-g1▢ Re8-e5! ⩱> Better try to trade this invasive black queen with 20.Qd1-c1! Qc3-f6! 21.Rh1-d1= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<26...Ra8-e8?! 27.Be2-f3= / ⩱> Doubling the rooks seems a good idea, but stronger is 26...Qf2-c5 27.Qd1-b3! b7-b6 ⩱ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT. Here there was also the stronger 27.d5-d6! Re8-d8 28.Be2-f3 Be4xf3! 29.g2xf3! Qf2-c5! 30.Rg1-e1 ⩱ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<27...Qf2-c5?! 28.Bf3xe4 Re5xe4 29.d5-d6 Qc5xc4 30.d6-d7 Re8-d8=> 27...Be4xf3! 28.Rd2xf2▢ Bf3xd1 29.Rg1xd1 b7-b6 ⩱ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<31.Rd2-c2 Qc4-e6▢=> Two moves were maintaining a seemingly perfect equality: A) 31.Qd1-b1! Qc4-c6 (or 31...Re4-e7 32.Qb1xb7 Qc4-c5 33.Rg1-d1= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT; also 31...Qc4-a4 32.Rg1-c1 Re4-c4 33.Rc1-e1 g7-g6▢ 34.Qb1-a1!= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) 32.Rg1-c1! Re4-c4▢ 33.Rc1-e1 (or 33.Rc1-d1=; or also 33.Rc1xc4 Qc6xc4 34.Qb1-d1= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) g7-g6 34.Qb1-d1= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT; and B) 31.h2-h3!= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<32.h2-h3?! h7-h6 ⩱> 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.Rc2-c7= But after the game move Carlsen was still far from winning this game!

<33.Rc2-c7?! Re4-e3!> A 2nd concecutive imprecise move which possibly smells zeitnot? <OhioChessFan> is probably correct in his assessment that Richards seems to have completely missed 32...Re4-e3! The correct line is 33.Rc2-d2! Re4-e3! 34.Qd1-c1 ⩱ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<34.Qd1-d2? Qe6-e4!-+> This is a losing move! Has Richards cracked under time pressure? The only move here is to control the e4 square with 34.Qd1-c2!▢ Re3-e2 (or 34...a7-a6 35.Rg1-d1 Re3-e1+! 36.Rd1xe1 Qe6xe1+ 37.Kh1-h2 ∓ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) 35.Qc2-d3 (or 35.Qc2-b1 ∓ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT, or also 35.Qc2-a4 ∓ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) and if here 35...Re2-e3 36.Qd3-c2 ∓ repeating the position. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sergash: <35.Qd2xe3? Qe4xe3 36.Rc7-c8 Qe3-e7 37.Rg1-d1 Kg8-h7-+> 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.Kh1-h2 Qe4-e5+! 36.Kh2-h1 Re3-e2 37.Qd2-c1 Qe5-d5-+ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT; and B) 35.Rc7-c3 Re3xc3 36.Qd2xc3 Qe4-a4!-+ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<38.Rc8-c7-+> More precise is 38.Rc8xd8 Qe7xd8 39.Rd1-d3-+ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<38...Qe7-e2-+> 38...Qe7-e4!

<39.Rd1-c1 Qe2-d3-+> Better is 39.Rd1-b1 winning either the 'b' or the 'a' pawn. and now 39...a7-a6! Δ40.Rb1xb7 Qe2-e1+ 41.Kh1-h2 Qe1-e5+ 42.Kh2-g1 Qe5-a1+! 43.Kg1-h2 Qa1xa3-+ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<40.Rc7xb7?! Rd8xd7 41.Rb7xd7 Qd3xd7 42.Rc1-c3 f7-f5 43.Rc3-f3-+> 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.Rc7-c3 Qd3xd7 41.Rc3-e3-+ 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...h6-g5> Good enough, but here, Black has a mate in 12 moves : 45...Qd7-d2! and now

A) 46.Kh1-g1 h6-h5! 47.Kg1-f1 (or 47.Kg1-h2 Kh7-g6 48.Rf3-b3 (or 48.a3-a4 g5-g4 49.h3xg4 h5xg4 50.Rf3-b3 f4-f3 and mate in 6 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) g5-g4 49.h3xg4 h5xg4 and mate in 7 moves) g5-g4 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.Kh1-h2 h6-h5 47.Rf3-f1 (47.a3-a4 g5-g4 48.h3xg4 h5xg4 49.Rf3-a3 (49.Rf3-f1 f4-f3 and mate in 7 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) Qd2-f2 and mate in 7 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT; 47.Rf3-b3 g5-g4 48.Rb3-b7+ (48.h3xg4 h5xg4 etc. mate in 8 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) Kh7-g6 49.h3xg4 h5xg4 and mate in 7 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) Kh7-g6 48.Rf1-f3 (48.a3-a4 g5-g4 49.h3xg4 h5xg4 50.Rf1-b1 Qd2-e2 and mate in 6 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) g5-g4 49.h3xg4 h5xg4 50.Rf3-b3 f4-f3 and mate in 6 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

C) 46.Rf3-f1 h6-h5 47.Rf1-b1 (47.Kh1-h2 would transpose; 47.a3-a4 g5-g4 48.h3xg4 h5xg4 49.Kh1-h2 transposes) g5-g4 48.h3xg4 h5xg4 49.Kh1-h2 Kh7-g6 and mate in 7 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sergash: <46...g5xh4> This initiates a mate in 20 moves, while there was one in only 12 moves beginning with 46...g5-g4! 47.Rf3xf4 g4-g3! 48.Rf4-f1 Qd7-g4 49.Rf1-b1 (or R anywhere else) Qg4xh4+ 50.Kh1-g1 Qh4-d4+ 51.Kg1-h1 Kh7-g6 and mate in 6 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<47.Rf3xf4 Qd7-d1+! 48.Kh1-h2 Qd1-d6! 49.g2-g3> 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.Kh1-g1 Qd7-d2 48.Kg1-f1 Kh7-g6 49.Rf3-h3 Kg6-g5 50.Rh3-f3 Qd2-e3! 51.Rf3xe3 (51.a3-a4 Kg5-g4 52.Rf3xe3 f4xe3 53.Kf1-e2 Kg4-g3 54.Ke2-f1 e3-e2+ and mate in 12 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) f4xe3 52.Kf1-e2 Kg5-g4 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.Qd6-d2+! 50.Kh2-h3 Qd2-e1 51.Rf4-f7+ Kh7-g6 and mate in 8 moves. Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

In the final position, Black is mating in 16 moves.

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