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Ni Hua vs Magnus Carlsen
London Chess Classic (2009)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Canal Attack (B51)  ·  0-1
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Given 5 times; par: 74 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessgames.com: That's it for today. We'll be back tomorrow morning at 9:00am Eastern for the penultimate round of the 2009 London Chess Classic. Hope to see you then!
Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <tpstar> how is it that a ♕ + ♘ complement each other better than a ♕ + ♗? i've heard that b4, but it seems like it would be the opposite because the ♕ & ♗ can both control diagonals. please elaborate on that.
Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: this kind of endgames depends on some factors, e.g. king's safety, strength of pawn shield or type of position (open/closed). At least these three were favourable for black here.
Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBB: <eternaloptimist> I guess it's a matter of trying it out. I'm not very good, but I can "feel" how the queen and knight fit together. It may be so simple that the bishop's moves are a strict subset of the queen's, while a knight has genuinely unique moves.
Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: <Jack Kerouac: <agile> That bishop check is lethal.....>

When I left the position looked equal.

Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Landman: <eternaloptimist> The theory I've heard is that Q+B's capabilities overlap, and the Q+N are a bit more compltementary. Sounds right to me.
Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <shark & TheBB> thx for ur input. <shark> it does indeed depend on those factors that u pointed out. in this case the ♕ + ♗ prevailed over the ♕ + ♘ because of ni's weak e-pawn & the threat ...♗d3+. i think that whether or not u have ♙s or not on both sides of the board is very important because the ♗ has a speed advantage over the ♘. if ♙s r on both sides of the board then the ♗ will win in most cases because the ♘ is too slow & awkward to have time to defend its ♙s.
Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: <eternaloptimist: <shark & TheBB> thx for ur input. <shark> it does indeed depend on those factors that u pointed out. in this case the + prevailed over the + because of ni's weak e-pawn & the threat ...d3+.>

The fact that White played a wrong move also might be a factor. 39..Qc2?

Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: that's true <ajile>. also, the spite check 40.♕c8+?! didn't help matters for ni either.
Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <eternaloptimist: <tpstar> how is it that a Q + N complement each other better than a Q + B? i've heard that b4, but it seems like it would be the opposite because the Q & B can both control diagonals. please elaborate on that.>

<TheBB>'s answer is as good as any. The idea that the Queen and knight complement each other better goes back to Capablanca. But if I recall correctly, John Watson looked at the statistics and found that Q+B outscored Q+N.

A lot depends on the player, as well as the position. I'd rather have the Q+B myself. As an illustration, if you put a white king on g1, a black queen on h3 and a black bishop on c5, I think you'll agree that the queen and bishop are complementing each other very well.

Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: it's good to see people replying to my posts in a positive & helpful context @ this game. a pretty good bit of time either people only comment if they disagree w/ me or they ignore my comments altogether. although, i don't mind people disagreeing w/ me some. thx guys.
Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <keypusher: ...As an illustration, if you put a white king on g1, a black queen on h3 and a black bishop on c5, I think you'll agree that the queen and bishop are complementing each other very well.> LOL :D yes, they would be "complementing each other very well" because the white ♔ would be checkmated. thx for ur interesting comments...the opinion of capa, the research of watson & the humor as well.
Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Another well-played game by Carlsen.
Dec-13-09  GreenFacedPatzer: Games like this just demonstate how I don't understand endgames, particularly endgames with queens still on the board. Five moves before the end, I'd've said this was a dead draw. Pawns are symmetrical, there's a Q+N vs Q+B imbalance, but ordinarily I'd be hard-pressed to turn that into anything like a winning advantage in a position like this.

And in five moves, without any move from white that looked horribly wrong to me, it's all over.

Like I said, I don't understand these endgames. :)

Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Position after 37...Bb5:


click for larger view

<Games like this just demonstate how I don't understand endgames, particularly endgames with queens still on the board. Five moves before the end, I'd've said this was a dead draw. Pawns are symmetrical, there's a Q+N vs Q+B imbalance, but ordinarily I'd be hard-pressed to turn that into anything like a winning advantage in a position like this.>

Well, another way to describe it - probably closer to how Carlsen saw it - is that White's king is much more exposed than Black's, the Q+B are more active and better coordinated than the Q+N, and the pawns on the light squares b3 and e4 are vulnerable:-) But yeah, during the actual game I also felt surprise at how quickly White's position collapsed at the end.

In the diagram position, there's already quite a dramatic change in how it looks (better for Black, worse for White) compared with move 34, before Carlsen's ...Ba4!:


click for larger view

Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: I've just got back from a thoroughly worthwhile 300 mile round trip to watch today's play. Highlight for me was the extensive post mortems by Short (occasional comments by Adams); McShane; and Carlsen (kudos to Ni Hua who turned up to listen to Carlsen's expo). Carlsen came across as very modest in his account of the game: like kibitzers here, he wasn't at all clear he was winning until very late on. Compared very favourably with the ordinary club guys who tell you how they had it wrapped up by move 10 and the rest all went according to plan. He was very ready to talk the position with the audience: one guy earned a round of applause for the crazy-looking suggestion 13.b4!?...and no doubt some here can refute it with only their own talent and Rybka to fall back on, but nobody could on the spot, including Carlsen himself. Fascinating lecture, and if anyone's thinking of going for either of the last two days I'd urge you to get there.
Dec-13-09  Ezzy: Hua,Ni - Carlsen,Magnus [B51]
The London Chess Classic London/England (5), 13.12.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 a6 5.Bxd7+ Bxd7 6.dxc5 dxc5 7.Nc3 e6 8.Bf4 Ne7 9.Ne5 Ng6 10.Qh5< Novelty. Bg5 has been played before. 10 Qh5 defends the f4 bishop because of the attack on f7 >10...Bc6 11.Bg3 Nxe5 12.Bxe5 c4 <Threaten's 13...Qa5 14 f4 Bxe4> 13.00 Qa5 14.Qg5< Stops black from playing 14...Bb4 because of the g7 weakness. >14...h6< [14...f6 15.Bxf6 Qxg5 16.Bxg5 And a pawn up and solid pawn structure.] >15.Qg3 f6< Looks scary, but Magnus has calculated he can keep his king in the center >16.Qg6+ Ke7 17.Bf4< Better than 18 Bd4 which allows 18...Qg5 exchanging queens.> 17...Be8 18.Qg3 Kf7 19.Rad1 Bc6 20.Rd2 e5 21.Be3 Bb4 22.f4 Rhe8 23.f5 <Threaten's 24 Bxh6! and if gxh6?? 25 Qg6+ Kf8 (25...Ke7 26 Qg7 Mate.) 26 Qxf6+ Kg8 27 Qg6+ Kf8 28 Qxh6+ winning.> 23...Bc5 <Some scary tactics for Magnus to solve. Magnus probaly would have had a nightmare trying to sift through the complexities of 23..Re7 but here is some idea's of how complex it is to assess in the minds eye. [23...Re7 24.Bxh6 gxh6 25.Qg6+ Kf8 26.Qxf6+ Kg8 27.Rf3 Qb6+ 28.Kh1 Qc7 29.Nd5 Bxd5 30.Rxd5 Qc6 31.Rg3+ Kh7 32.Qh4 Rg7 33.Rxg7+ Kxg7 34.Qg3+ Kf7 35.Qxe5 Must have been scary for both players]> 24.Rfd1 Rad8 25.Rxd8 Bxe3+ 26.Qxe3 Rxd8 27.Rxd8 Qxd8 <And this position is much more clear than the above complex variation.> 28.Kf2 Qd6 29.a3 a5 30.Kf3 Kg8 31.g3?< Black now gains a strong initiative. White should play 32 Ke2 and if 31...b5 32 Qb6. This wouldn't be possible with the King on f3 because of 32...Bxe4+ and the queen on b6 is lost.> 31...b5!< Threatening the very strong 32...b4 33 axb4 axb4 34 Nd5 (34 Ne2 Qd1 With big winning chances. ) Bxd5 35 exd5 Qxd5 winning a pawn with a strong initiative.> 32.Ke2 b4 33.axb4 axb4 34.Nd1 Ba4 35.b3 cxb3 36.cxb3 Qa6+ 37.Kd2 Bb5 38.Qc5 Qa2+ 39.Qc2?< Allowing black to infiltrate through the center when whites pawns will be lost. [39.Kc1 Be2 40.Ne3 Qxb3 41.Qd5+ Qxd5 42.exd5 (42.Nxd5? Bf3) 42...Bb5 43.Nc2 Kf7 44.Nxb4 Ke7 45.Nc2 With chances to draw with accurate play.] >39...Qa7 40.Qc8+ Kh7 41.Kc1 Qa1+ 42.Kc2 Qd4 01 <And black will eat the white pawns>

This Carlsen guy just mesmorises me. NI Hua was threatening some dangerous attacks, but Magnus found the correct defence and challenged whites control of the 'd' file. Once everything was resolved on the 'd' file, Magnus found a way to grab the initiative on the queenside with 31...b5!. A couple of innacurate moves later (39 Qc2?) by Ni Hua, and Magnus was dominating the center with his queen, and whites pawns are going to fall.

Another classy win by Carlsen. He very rarely misses chances to punish errors by his opponent.

Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Ezzy: He very rarely misses chances to punish errors by his opponent.>

Right on target <<Ezzy>. Carlsen on the go never overlooks any inaccuracies by his opponents.

Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <pawn to QB4: I've just got back from a thoroughly worthwhile 300 mile round trip to watch today's play. Highlight for me was the extensive post mortems by Short (occasional comments by Adams); McShane; and Carlsen (kudos to Ni Hua who turned up to listen to Carlsen's expo). Carlsen came across as very modest in his account of the game: like kibitzers here, he wasn't at all clear he was winning until very late on. Compared very favourably with the ordinary club guys who tell you how they had it wrapped up by move 10 and the rest all went according to plan. He was very ready to talk the position with the audience: one guy earned a round of applause for the crazy-looking suggestion 13.b4!?...and no doubt some here can refute it with only their own talent and Rybka to fall back on, but nobody could on the spot, including Carlsen himself. Fascinating lecture, and if anyone's thinking of going for either of the last two days I'd urge you to get there.>

Nice post -- glad your effort was rewarded!

Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: From Carlsen's blog: <In our game today I chose a somewhat unusual variation in the Sicilian opening. It is probably objectively playable but quite risky. I had overlooked a strong queen move he made in the opening, and spent nearly an hour on the first 10 moves. Fortunately I found a way to consolidate my position, and close to the first time control (move 40) he started to make some inaccuracies. With his last two moves before the time control his position went from difficult to lost, and he resigned a few moves later.> (http://arcticsec.no/index.php?butto...)

So Carlsen missed 10.Qh5 (it's not a novelty actually, but was played in a game Brkic - Feletar, Croatia 2009, where White got a big advantage after 10...Nxe5 11.Bxe5 Bc6 12.0-0 Qa5 13.Rd1 c4 14.Qg5 Qc5 15.Re1 f6 16.Bxf6 Qxg5 17.Bxg5 Bb4 18.a3 Bxc3 19.bxc3) - and maybe he wasn't familiar with some other games where the Ne5-Qh5 idea was played, like Adams vs Bu Xiangzhi, 2008; but he managed to find otb better moves than the ones played by Black in those games. 9...Ng6 is certainly better than Bu's 9...Bb5? which got him into a horrible position, and compared with the Brkic - Feletar game Carlsen managed to gain an important tempo (the exchange of knights on e5 takes place with the bishop already on c6).

Also, in an interview to Europe Echecs (at their video report on chessbase) he mentions what he considers two critical mistakes by Ni - first, leaving the king on f3 instead of e2, since on e2 Black can't make progress with b5 (it's answered by Qb6, and in case of ...b4 comes axb4 axb4 Nd5!; with the king on f3, however, Qb6 loses the queen to ...Bxe4+); then playing 35.b3 (instead of, presumably, Qd2), after which Black's bishop gets too much scope and consequently the white pawns become too weak.

Dec-13-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: <GreenFacedPatzer: And in five moves, without any move from white that looked horribly wrong to me, it's all over.>

But White did make a horrible move.

Dec-14-09  Cibator: Just look at those diagrams posted by <Eyal>. It's pretty clear that in each case the knight has no decent squares (supported by pawns) that it can get to, at any rate without incurring disadvantages elsewhere. And when that's the situation, the knight is not a very useful piece.
Dec-14-09  brucejavier: after this game, carlsen is now 2812 in the live ratings.. strong performance
Dec-14-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Some questions were answered after the game. Was Carlsen going to accept doubled c pawns, for example?

<[11.Nxc6 Qb6 12.Ne5 Qxb2 13.0-0 Qxc3 was Carlsen's intention.;> TWIC

The resulting position appears playable for Black, although untidy. I did a deep analysis with Rybka from that point-

14 Nxg6 fxg6 15 Qg4 Qc4 16 Be5 Be7 17 Bxg7 Rg8 18 Be5 0-0-0 19 Qh3 h5 20 Rab1 Bd6 21 Bf6 0.04/16


click for larger view

Dec-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: My beloved Guardian (UK) claims that 13.f4 would have given White an advantage, but does not go into great detail.
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