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Magnus Carlsen vs Ian Nepomniachtchi
Tata Steel Group A (2011), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 10, Jan-26
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Opocensky Variation Traditional Line (B92)  ·  0-1


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Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkThornton: I am very impressed indeed by this game - it flows beautifully and Nepo played well in all of its phases.

Carlsen's resistance was also very stubborn, and it is hard to pin down where he went wrong. This adds to the value of the game.

I wouldn't be surprised if this comes to be regarded as a masterpiece.

Jan-26-11  polarmis: Here's the final version of Sergey Shipov's commentary on the game (with a few comments from his video round-up afterwards as well):

Jan-26-11  harish22: The game reveals the psychological and positional flaws in Carlsen's game.

Carlsen has won a lot of his games against the game's elite. Besides Kramnik, no other super GM has been able to handle him. Anand has lately been able to hold his own. But other established GM's have crumbled. This maybe due to their ego. But Carlsen seems to lose often when he plays with GM's his own age or younger to him. The current loss, coupled with loses to hammer, giri and his olympiad losses seem to confirm that. Anand was able to break away from players of this own generation. And that included some super GM's like Ivanchuck and Gelfand. Hope he is able to handle it.

The e4 pawn "sac" was probably done so that he could have opened his bishop pair against the king. But Carlsen never got going. Nepo was able to force the exchange of the bishop using the N on g6. Carlsen positional sense seems to have deserted him when he did not fully analyze the effect of that extra piece on black's kingside. One can assume from the length of the game that it was a tough game, but Carlsen was never in it and just fighting to stay along. Not impressive at all.

Jan-27-11  okba12: wherse myearly kibitzing about the penis of nepo visa vi this of smeet?
Jan-27-11  Ulhumbrus: 24 Bf3 concedes the counterpart of Black's powerful Queen's Bishop for a N and creates a weak pawn on f3. Black has a threat of 24...Ng3+ but the centralization 24 Qd4! may answer it.
Jan-27-11  kia0708: which move was decisive for Carlsen's loss ?
Jan-27-11  anandrulez: Very hard to say which was the decisive move , after Carlsen declining 18 qd4 draw by rep , He became slightly worse and then he was always striving to =lize in the middle game , after Qe8 he was like -1.0 and then with the Knight in center it looked difficult to hold for Magnus . I didnt analyse too much on this game . Maybe some one can enlighten .
Jan-27-11  Kazzak: .22. Nxe7

Up until then he might have fought for a draw?

Jan-27-11  anandrulez: 41.Re3 was a blunder I read in Shipov's commentary I guess
Jan-27-11  fisayo123: This is now one of Nepo's 'notable games'........nice!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Kazzak> -- < I wonder why BobCrisp asks this of every game that is marked <Uncommon Opening>?>

Because the last time I answered this question, I said that nobody would have to ask it again.

He's proving me wrong. A tad childishly, true, but he didn't have many options.

Another couple of repetitions and his query becomes a *ten bob note*.

Jan-27-11  Kazzak: I was joking too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: *Ian Nepomniachtchi* forked his opponents in Beijing, making him *China Tine Champion*.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <24 Bf3 concedes the counterpart of Black's powerful Queen's Bishop for a N and creates a weak pawn on f3. Black has a threat of 24...Ng3+ but the centralization 24 Qd4! may answer it.>

The centralization 24 Qd4?? actually loses immediately: 24...Ng3+! 25.hxg3 (25.Kg1 Nfg5) Nxg2 winning Be3 or Re1. Other attempts to preserve the bishop pair would fail as well, e.g. 24.Nd4 Ng5! or 24.Bd3? Nxg2! 25.Kxg2 Ra4!! 26.Qxa4 Nc3+ (lines pointed out by Shipov).

Both 23...Nh4! and 25...Qd7!! (removing the pin on the e-file, preparing Ra4 and then Qg4) were really star moves by Nepomniachtchi, and he had to see them quite in advance, because they're necessary to justify his previous aggressive play. For example, 25...Nf6? just loses to 26.Bg5 Qd7 27.Bxf6 gxf6 28.Qf4. Of course, the knight can't be taken on move 26, because after 26.fxe4 Ra4 White loses the queen or gets mated: 27.Qc3 Bxe4+ and next the queen comes to g4.

Jan-27-11  rapidcitychess: <Domdaniel> You can't be Chinese and use a fork!

In China, a royal fork is called a royal chopstick.

Jan-27-11  Jim Bartle: So if they're driving and there are two roads, it's called a chopstick in the road?
Jan-27-11  rapidcitychess: <JB> No. They say it in chinese. :)
Jan-28-11  Ulhumbrus: <The centralization 24 Qd4?? actually loses immediately: 24...Ng3+! 25.hxg3 (25.Kg1 Nfg5) Nxg2 winning Be3 or Re1.> This suggests that the attack 23..Nh4 is a sound attack based upon a positional advantage, in which case it will probably win against any defence. Looking at the either side's state of development, most of Black's pieces are placed better than their White counterparts, and this may add up to a winning advantage.
Jan-29-11  freeman8201: har har.... This is the same way Ian won back in 2003: in a BK vs RK endgame with pawns and colors reversed.
Aug-22-11  MartijnvanWingerden: I think that if white hadn't play 48.c4 he had a good chance too win. 48.Qe2 looks much better for me. Lets see what Tarrasch has to say.

It looks that Qe2 and Qf3 both loose too Qg4.

Sep-15-15  ajile: <outplayer: 25...Qd7 is a cool move. the knight can't be taken although i didn't see the entire variation.>

If 26.fxe4 Ra4!! is crushing. To avoid mate White has to lose his queen.

click for larger view

Jul-03-17  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini :

1. = (0.00): 13...Ne5 14.Qd4 Nc6 15.Qd2 Ne5 16.Qd4 Nc6

Jun-20-19  Diana Fernanda: Well, good done, the tecnike of Ian Is level superior, congratulaciones
Jun-20-19  SChesshevsky: Was great technique. Pretty consistent throughout the game. I thought 33...Qc8 was maybe not first to consider but was really clever.
Jul-08-19  BxChess: Nepo saw K was open
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