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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Magnus Carlsen
Corus Group A (2007), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 3, Jan-15
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-15-07  Shajmaty: Magnus gets totally destroyed by Ruslan. So sad. Why 16...Qxc8? Was 16...Ra8; 17. Nxd6, Qxd6; 18. Qxb7 so terrible? Opposite-colour Bishops, so the ending is not lost at all...
Jan-15-07  euripides: I wonder if Carlsen had seen N Pert vs C Tippleston, 2006. I guess Ponomariov had.
Jan-15-07  sandmanbrig: If 16 Ra8 then 17 Nxd6 Qxd6 18 Bb4.
Jan-15-07  notyetagm: Egads! Has Magnus -ever- played a worse game than this? This game looked like Ponomariov vs NN.

Jan-15-07  dehanne: 7...Ra7 starts the Claustrophobic Rook variation of the Slav.
Jan-15-07  alicefujimori: It looks like black is really struggling in this line. Fortuately for black there's the 5...b5 variation to rely on but this game was a great display of technique by Pono. Just look at how he played against black's b6 weakness and the surrounding dark squares.
Jan-15-07  Shajmaty: <sandmanbrig: If 16 Ra8 then 17 Nxd6 Qxd6 18 Bb4.> Thanks, dude. I missed 18. Bb4 at work...
Jan-15-07  positionalgenius: Boy,this is turning into a nightmare for carlsen.And he's got a tougher tourney in february-Linares.
Jan-15-07  notyetagm: <alicefujimori: It looks like black is really struggling in this line. Fortuately for black there's the 5...b5 variation to rely on but this game was a great display of technique by Pono. Just look at how he played against black's b6 weakness and the surrounding dark squares.>

Ponomariov has an ideal skill set: very strong tactically, tremendous endgame skills (IMHO the best current endgame player), and tenacious will to win.

Today he made Magnus look like a patzer. Ponomariov played against the weak queenside dark-squared complex like he was Capablanca!

When did this game leave theory?

Jan-16-07  Jafar219: Carlsen played like 1800 player.
Jan-16-07  notyetagm: What a massacre! Magnus could have resigned after 14 ♘a4!.
Jan-19-07  Mameluk: <notyetagm> Would you be surprised if I told you 13...Qxd7 is a novelty? And 13...Kxd7 was played in two solid GMs games, PH Nielsen(!)-SB Hansen 1/2 and Vaganian-Frolov 1-0.
Jan-22-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: An unusual disaster at such a level. It was won in the opening. The best thing Black could achieve is an ending with a pawn down, or the position of the game.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 a6 5. Nf3 Bf5 6. Ne5 h6 7. Qb3 Ra7 8. cxd5 cxd5 9. Bd2 e6 10. Rc1 Nbd7 11. Bb5 Bd6 <11...axb5? 12.Nxb5, White wins.> 12. Nxd7 <12.Bxd7+, P H Nielsen vs S B Hansen, 2003 1/2-1/2> Nxd7 13. Bxd7+ Qxd7 14. Na4 <Threatens Nb6 followed by Rc8+.> O-O <14...Bc7 seems sbetter. But after 15.Nb6 Qd8 16.Qa4+! Ke7 17.Ba5 (threatens 18.Rxc7+) Bxb6 18.Qb4+ Qd6 19.Qxb6 Qxb6 20.Bxb6 Ra8 21.Rc7+ Kf6 22.Ke2 Rac8 23.Rhc1 Rxc7 24.Rxc7, White will win a pawn when he wants with Ba7.> 15. Nb6 <Wins the exchange or like in the game gets Q vs R+B.> Qd8 <15...Qb5 16.Qxb5 axb5 17.Nc8 wins the exchange (if 17...Ra6 17.Nxd6 Rxd6 18.Bb4). 15...Qe7 16.Nc8.> 16. Nc8 Qxc8 <16...Ra8 17.Nxd6 Qxd6 18.Bb4 wins the exchange.> 17. Rxc8 Rxc8 18. Qb6 Bb8 19. O-O Kh7 <19...Rc2? 20.Qd8+ Kh7 21.Qxb8 wins.> 20. Rc1 Bc2 <20...Rxc1 21.Bxc121. Ba5 Kg6 22. Qb4 Rc4 23. Qd2 Bf5 24. Rxc4 dxc4 25. Bb6 Ra8 26. Qe2 <wins another pawn.> e5 <26...Bd3 27.Qf3.> 27. Qxc4 exd4 28. Qxd4 f6 29. f4 Bb1 30. Qd5 1-0

Sep-23-07  dx9293: DAMN! This qualifies as a 100% beating!
Nov-14-10  YCP: What happens if 11... axb?
Nov-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: 11...axb5 12.Nxb5 Ra8 13.Nc7+ Ke7 14.Qb4+ Nc5 15.Qxc5+ Qd6 16.Qxd6+ Kxd6 17.Bb4#.
May-16-14  Method B: What's the idea behind 6...h6? May be black wants to create a retreat square for the bishop if white plays g4?

Later that year (2007) Leko got in serious trouble playing 7.g4 against Carlsen: Leko vs Carlsen, 2007. I can't find any new game with 7.g4 since. It seems white shouldn't worry about his bishop this early in the opening. Wasting a move on the king's side when white will play against black's queenside weakness.

Is there any other motive playing h6?

May-16-14  dx9293: <<Method B>: What's the idea behind 6...h6? May be black wants to create a retreat square for the bishop if white plays g4?>

Yes, Black wants to preserve the bishop. But it is risky to leave a White N unchallenged on e5 for long in the Slav; and here White also has the tempo Qd1-b3 against Black's weakened queenside, another idea Black has to watch for in some Slavs.

Black was very solid structurally, but he just didn't have the time to untangle his pieces that he thought he did, as White's mobilization was too quick, emphasized by 11.Bb5!

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