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Magnus Carlsen vs Etienne Bacrot
41st Biel International Chess Festival (2008), Biel SUI, rd 3, Jul-22
Semi-Slav Defense: General (D43)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-22-08  messachess: Hello everyone. Well, this was quite a game--a tactical slug-fest, and Bacrot got out-calculated. I wasn't aware that Bacrot is such an entertaining player.
Jul-22-08  ajile: Is this the so called "positional queens gambit declined" line? White's simple idea is to develop/trade his dark squared bishop then build a pawn chain on white squares. He then exchanges cxd5 to open the c file. The surprise to me was 0-0-0 since White would normally want to use the half open c file for play. Carlsen adds the unusual twist and gets a nice attacking game.
Jul-22-08  Ezzy: Carlsen,M (2775) - Bacrot,E (2691) [D43]
41st Festival GM Biel SUI (3), 22.07.2008

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.cxd5 exd5 7.e3 Be7 8.Qc2 Nh5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.0𢠢 Nb6 11.h3 Be6 12.Bd3 0𢠢 13.Kb1 Kb8 14.Nd2 g6< Novelty I think. 14...Nf6 has been played before. Bacrot decides his knight is not so well placed on f6 and so plans to exchange whites d3 bishop via f5> 15.Nb3 Ng7 16.f3 Bf5 17.Bxf5 Nxf5 18.Rhe1 Nc4 19.Qc1 Qg5 20.g4 Ng7 <[20...Nfxe3 21.Rd3 Threatening 22 Nd1! and the e3 knight can't move because the queen on g5 is 'en pris' 21...h6 22.Rdxe3 Nxe3 23.Qxe3 Qxe3 24.Rxe3 Rhe8 25.Re5 f6 26.Re2 Rxe2 27.Nxe2 Re8 28.Nf4 Perhaps Bacrot didn't trust this endgame with 2 knights against rook and pawn, but I have played it out a few times and it seems to lead to a draw. But Bacrot isn't a computer and he must of felt that the knights will dominate his rook.and didn't want to risk it.]> 21.f4 <Difficult to know whether this was an oversight by Carlsen, (because it loses a pawn - more on that later.) or was it one of his super energetic moves to keep the game extremely complicated knowing that he can out calculate his opponent. [21.e4 Qxc1+ 22.Rxc1 is the more straight forward choice, but it simplifies things with queens off the board.]> 21...Qh4 22.e4 Qxh3 23.exd5 cxd5 <Now did Carlsen miss that he couldn't win the pawn back (after 21 f4) with 24 Nxd5 Qxg4 25 Qxc4 Qf5+! 26 Ka1 Qxd5 and black re-gains the knight and is a pawn up. My hunch is that he willingly gave up the pawn to complicate things, because the guy is a genius.> 24.Nc5< With idea's of 25 Re7 which would be a killer.> 24...Ne6 25.b3!< Carlsen relentlessly keeps it complicated, as any other move favours Bacrot [25.Nxd5 Qxg4 26.Nxe6 (26.Qxc4 Qf5+ 27.Ka1 Qxd5 28.Qxd5 Rxd5 29.Nxe6 fxe6 30.Rxe6 And white has weak pawns) 26...fxe6 27.Nc7 Kxc7 28.Qxc4+ Kb8 29.Qxe6 Qxf4 Black remains a pawn up with 2 passed pawns.]> 25...Nxc5?! <[25...Nd6 26 Nxd5 Nb5 27 Ne3 Nbxd4 and black has the edge with his extra pawn.>] 26.dxc5 Na5? <Now the momentum swings Carlsen's way [26...Na3+ 27.Kb2 d4 28.Ne4 Nb5 29.Qc4 Nc3 30.Rxd4 Nxe4 31.Rdxe4 Qxg4 32.Qxf7 Rd2+ and the game remains balanced]> 27.b4 Nc4 28.Nxd5 Na3+ 29.Ka1 Rhe8?? <[29...Nb5 30.c6 Rc8 31.Ne7 Rc7 32.Qb2 Qc3 33.a4 Qa3+ 34.Qxa3 Nxa3 35.Kb2 Nc4+ 36.Kb3 Nb6 37.cxb7 Kxb7 38.a5 Nc8 39.Nxc8 Kxc8 And Bacrot is still in the game.]> 30.c6 bxc6 31.Qxc6 1-0 <and if 31...Qxg4 32.Qc7+ Ka8 33.Nb6+ axb6 34.Rxd8+ Rxd8 35.Qxd8+ Ka7 36.Re7+ Ka6 37.Qa8+ Kb5 38.Qd5+ Ka6 39.Qb7+ Kb5 40.Re5+ Ka4 41.Qa6+ Kxb4 42.Qxb6+ Kc3 43.Qe3+ Kc2 44.Rc5+ Nc4 45.Rxc4+ Kd1 46.Rc1#>

Blimey, it took me hours to understand what was going on in this game. This Carlsen Kid plays some amazing games. The lad is so fearless it抯 frightening. He seeks complications knowing that he has a better vision of the resulting position from the calculations he has in his head.

I would like to ask Magnus if he overlooked losing a pawn with 21 f4 or whether he just saw massive complications arising out of it and decided that was the way to go, lets have some fun.

Anyway, Bacrot got completely lost in it all and suffers another defeat at the hands of Magnificent Magnus! It抯 just like watching Brazil!!

Jul-22-08  drnooo: I for one feel this is bad for Carlsen showing up here, that is unless he wants to try to run the table> This is not much more than a simul exhibition for someone like him. Forget the ratings,or perhaps, anybody know what the prize fund is. That's the only reason, were I he, to show up. If he loses to anybody it will be from sheer disdain (secretly of course,)of his brethren. Right now he should be playing the 15 best and let the rest go. He just is too good for this level, would be better off studying the games of a very few others he will soon be meeting for the world championship(or at least what they call that these days) But who knows, maybe the guy just likes to travel. Nothing wrong with that.
Jul-22-08  Pjalle: drnooo, guess you are right but keep in mind that the schedule and players was put up well in advance. Magnus won Biel last year but it was actually one of his first tournament wins (his first?) and it was shared with Onishuk, he didn't outclass the rest of the field. After that he did well in Corus and Linares and ok in Baku. In Foros he seemed to reach a higher level and now he is floating on that experience he gained during only one year.
Jul-22-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: I disagree. Carlsen, or any other rising player, needs to know how to win solidly as the favorite, not just surprise everyone when he's an underdog. (Not that Carlsen will probably be an underdog in any tournament for long.)
Jul-23-08  Pjalle: why is this game listed as having the kings pawn game opening... weird
Jul-23-08  Ulhumbrus: In the position after 25 b3 White has an extra Rook in play. This suggests that Black is advised to avoid opening lines by 25...Nxc5.

After 27 b4 one variation where White's extra Rook in play helps to win the game is 27...d4 ( making a counter-attack on White's N) 28 Ne4 Nc6 29 b5 Nb4 30 Nd6 (preventing 30 ...Rhe8) 30...Rxd6 ( the threat was 31 Rxd4 a5 32 a3 trapping the N) 31 cxd6 Rd8 32 d7! Rxd7 33 Re8+ Rd8 34 Rxd8 mate. In this variation on 31...Rc8 instead of 31...Rd8 White plays 32 d7! all the same, and wins as Black has no satisfactory answer to the threats of 33 Rc8+, 33 d7-d8/Q+ and 33 Re8+ eg 32... Rxc1+ 33 Rxc1 Qd3+ 34 Ka1 Nc2+ 35 Rxc2 and Black has run out of checks.

Jul-23-08  offtherook: <Marmot PFL:At any rate the average ratings of the top players are consistently rising. In no way does a 2700 rating mean what it used to as far as being one of the world's best players.> That's probably because the best chess players today are stronger than the best chess players in the past. With more access to all the accumulated chess theory of hundreds of years, extensive databases, rigorous training programs, etc it shouldn't be any surprise that the modern chess elite are better than their predecessors.
Jul-23-08  popski: <That's probably because the best chess players today are stronger than the best chess players in the past.> Who, when?
Jul-23-08  newtonbag: This isn't a "King's pawn game"!, it's a QGD.
Jul-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: <the best chess players today are stronger than the best chess players in the past.> I expect this is true, but don't see that this can be the source of Elo rating inflation as the system measures how people do against each other, rather than how good they are by some absolute standard. I recall that in the 70s/80s there was much criticism of FIDE for allowing over-generous ratings to newcomers, and the subsequent inflation was predicted; Marmot's point about those leaving the system being more likely to have declining ratings also makes sense to me, and that would also tend to cause inflation.
Jul-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Not if one counts inactive players as part of the system too :)
Jul-23-08  Shams: <the best chess players today are stronger than the best chess players in the past.>

"Alekhine knew less than today's masters" -- Kasparov.

of course, Alekhine could outplay a mere master of any age, but with so much more knowledge and so many more people playing, I should think it goes without saying that the quality of play at the highest levels is, today, higher than it has been in the past.

Jul-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: <Not if one counts inactive players as part of the system too :)> I don't understand this point. I take Marmot to be saying that a typical player's rating will be declining at the point where he leaves the system, and that does seem to be my impression, whether the player leaves through disillusionment with chess, or through old age. Of course there are exceptions like RJ Fischer, or promising juniors who give up to start careers. But if, on the whole, people are sliding in the ratings when they drop out of the system, then the people who stay will have inflated ratings because they played these guys when they weren't quite as good as the ratings they won the year before, no?
Jul-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <I take Marmot to be saying that a typical player's rating will be declining at the point where he leaves the system> It will be declining, but it rarely be lower than the rating with which he <entered> the system. The "leaving the system" argument would actually be good for deflation and not for inflation, as nearly the only players who leave the system with a lower rating than they enter it are those who have trouble holding themselves above the rating floor.
Jul-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <then the people who stay will have inflated ratings because they played these guys when they weren't quite as good as the ratings they won the year before, no?> They were as good as ratings told. Decline is a conitniuous thing, not some momentarily effect. I.e., one doesn't suddenly start to play worse, one worsens continuously...
Jul-23-08  Shams: from the chessbase article, after 25.b3:

<We were dictating the game to Garry Kasparov, who is on a seaside vacation, and his reaction at this point was: wait, Nd6 and Black can win, can't he? Indeed our chess engines seemed to agree with Kasparov's lines: 25...Nd6 (Kasparov: "This is a move you play automatically and work out the variations later") 26.Nxd5 (Kasparov: "Or maybe 26.g5 is White's best chance to hold a draw?!") 26...Qxg4 (Kasparov: "Or 26...Nb5, both with good winning chances"). The rest of the impromptu analysis was drowned by the waves of the Mediterranean...>

I just had to post this here for <acirce> and others to have fun with. Now Garry doesn't even need the board to find the winning improvements instantly. :)

Jul-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: Interesting. I wonder, though, if what we're looking at on a year-by-year basis is, we just lost 600 guys with a declining rating and 300 whose rating had been increasing? in which case some degree of inflation follows. In any case, I'd expect the big effects to be caused by the ratings we give to ungraded players. I don't know the Elo system, but here in England I believe we assume ungraded players to be 100ECF = 1750! for the purposes of computing the grades of those who play against them. I expect they're mostly weaker than that, and you'd expect inflation to be the consequence.
Jul-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: <They were as good as ratings told. Decline is a conitniuous thing, not some momentarily effect> I agree it's continuous, but <they were as good as ratings told> doesn't follow. If a team has an old guy who's rating's been slipping for years, and an improving youngster, both rated 2000 when ratings were calculated last year on the results of the year before, it's more than likely the younger player is stronger now. This year, we all beat the old guy and next year he packs it in, taking his new rating of 1750 with him. This is Marmot's inflation scenario and it seems plausible to me.
Jul-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <pawn> In FIDE Elo, as far as I know, the unrated players are either counted by their performance (with no initial rating at all) or not counted at all. Just look rating calculations of my third favourite player - she has some 2-3 games in each tournament rated though she clearly played more than 2 games in that tournaments, just that her other opponents were unrated...

And, as I said, normally one compares the ratings of enter with that of leaving the system, not the ratings at some imaginary point. If Carlsen retired now, he would take out of the system 730 points... I doubt there has ever been a player who brought into the system 730 points by leaving it (i.e. was rated at the end of his career 730points lower than at the beginning).

Jul-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <If a team has an old guy who's rating's been slipping for years, and an improving youngster, both rated 2000 when ratings were calculated last year on the results of the year before, it's more than likely the younger player is stronger now. This year, we all beat the old guy and next year he packs it in, taking his new rating of 1750 with him.>

I knew a player in his 80s, who fit that description exactly. Once someone asked him his rating, he replied 1800. The other guy said that's great for your age, and the old man said that was as low as it could go. He was playing worse than that, but everyone that played him got credit for playing an 1800 player. I know the counter argument, that young players improve faster than their ratings and take more points than they should from established players, but at least their ratings will eventually catch up.

Jul-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <Marmot> One cannot get a 1800 Elo without playing at least one big event (or two not so big ones) at 1800 level.
Jul-24-08  FHBradley: <Blimey, it took me hours to understand what was going on in this game. This Carlsen Kid plays some amazing games. The lad is so fearless it抯 frightening. He seeks complications knowing that he has a better vision of the resulting position from the calculations he has in his head.> Carlsen looks like the present day Lasker.
Jul-25-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Well, I suppose 29...Rhe8?! is not the best move since the computers found a defense with 29...Nb5! .

However, I prefer to argue that Carlsen planned a great surprise attacking move with 30. c6! to undermine Black's weakened Queenside castled position.

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