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Magnus Carlsen vs Vugar Gashimov
Tata Steel (2012), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-14
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Hedgehog Defense (A30)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-23-12  Shams: <it's a major theme in the najdorf, too, shams.> Yes, and other Sicilians too. But as <keypusher> pointed out Black is not handed the bishops in those lines.

<keypusher> You surprise me, the kingside fianchetto alone would seem to put this in a whole different phylum from the Najdorf game. Which doesn't say I'm right about ...e5, of course.

Jan-23-12  Shams: <several sicilian main lines can't be understood in terms of general principles; they work out for black even though they "shouldn't".>

This is only true if you don't count dynamics as a "general principle", but of course you very much should count it. "Keeping afloat via the tactics" is a general principle.

Jan-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <<keypusher> You surprise me, the kingside fianchetto alone would seem to put this in a whole different phylum from the Najdorf game. Which doesn't say I'm right about ...e5, of course.>

<shams>
I'm just being obnoxious and contrarian, of course. I think ...e5 would be a bad move here (on move 9; not sure it was bad when Gashimov actually played it) and obviously it's a perfectly good move in the Najdorf. But I also think that the example of the Najdorf shows that to say that move X weakens Y square, or even that it leaves Z pawn backward on an open file, is not an adequate basis, without more, to say that move X is bad.

Jan-24-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <hm. i wonder if watson says anything about this in secrets of modern chess strategy ...>

He does, as I recall. But I thought Michael Stean did a good job in Simple Chess.

Jan-24-12  frogbert: i guess "dynamics" features more prominently in 'modern chess strategy' than in the older, more dogmatic understanding of "sound play". and hence that my statement possibly should be modified and/or restricted to be referring to the principles of what's "positionally & structurally sound".

btw, i agree with you on it being quite a leap from this game to the sicilian positions where black plays d6 and e5.

Jan-24-12  Shams: <...not an adequate basis, without more, to say that move X is bad.>

I agree. Maybe I should have given a more complete response. I do know you hate it when general tenets are offered, unadorned, as analysis. Here the general principle just struck me as totally vindicated.

Still: Committing twitter-length evals to publication here should be a privilege reserved for Masters. I'll show more work.

Jan-24-12  frogbert: my previous post was directed at shams, obviously. :o)

< I also think that the example of the Najdorf shows that to say that move X weakens Y square, or even that it leaves Z pawn backward on an open file, is not an adequate basis, without more, to say that move X is bad.>

it's tempting to agree with this too, keypusher - but the implicit context of most such statements is the specific position, and since most chess commentary doesn't go into enormous amounts of detail, we're mostly supposed to trust the annotator on his judgement/description being true for the concrete position at hand.

so, we need to trust annotator shams on this, unless he explicitly shows us that he has dug deeper. :o)

Jan-24-12  Shams: <SimonWebbsTiger> Can't leave the thread without noting that fine contribution of yours.

<Simple Chess> Superb book.

Jan-24-12  SimonWebbsTiger: or Pachman.

One of the major points is ...e7-e5 in the Sicilian restricts white's attacking chances by grabbing control of d4 and f4 and preventing any e4-e5 thrusts from white.

Having settled the centre, black is placed to mount his minority attack with b7-b5 and pressure down the c-file.

Jan-24-12  SimonWebbsTiger: apropos Watson and the backward pawn in the Sicilian; he discusses the following concepts:

The piece arrangement with a W N on c3 and N on d5 -- the N on c3 is Dvoretsky's superfluous piece; it's not doing anything. The N on d5 looks pretty but if it isn't helping white's play, it is merely standing in the way of pressure against the d6 pawn. Black can play around the strong point and N on d5.

As Watson also notes, it took a long time with lots of analysis and GM praxis before such conceptual changes took place.

Jan-03-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: One of the first chess books that landed on my hands was a recount of the XXVII USSR Championship. I remember my surprise at seeing Petrosian (I think it was him, not sure) playing e7-e5 in the Sicilian. I went "What! Why is that fool weakening the Pawn structure?" Admittedly, I still had a lot to learn.
Jan-03-13  haydn20: Didn't some chess writer once write "A weakness is only a weakness if it can be exploited."? For instance, the hanging pawns, or White's isolated d-Pawn in some openings. It's possible (maybe not here) that while a player is piling on a d Pawn, he is getting slaughtered on the Kside.
Jan-03-13  haydn20: So I checked 9...e5 in Opening Ex & it's not there, so I tried one line 10. Qd2 Nbd7 11. Rfd1 h6 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. Nb5. The hole at d5 may be bad, but the potential one at f5 (after a forced g6) may be worse, and the White B may xray Black's position from h3. And yes the d6 P looks like a money-pit.
Jan-03-13  Everett: ajile: Black has a pretty dismal position with less space and almost zero counterplay. And what separates GMs from regular masters many times is simply patience. The ability to tack back and forth and wait for a slight misstep by the opponent. Plus with the space advantage White will usually have more ways to improve his position and mobility.>

Karpov-style. Carlsen has translated Karpov's style into 21st Century chess language.

Jan-03-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Yes <haydn20>, Black's position has been compromised.

But isn't that the difference between good players and great players? Knowing when established rules do not apply?

Mar-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: 8...Nb8 should move, it would be more precise .... eighter to c6 or a6
Jan-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Sad to see that in less than two years after this game was played, that Gashimov would pass away. :(
Jan-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <maxi....isn't that the difference between good players and great players? Knowing when established rules do not apply?>

Part of improvement in chess-at a humbler level as well-is achieving this sort of understanding.

By memorising certain precepts, one can come to be an average player, but greater gains come with the experience and knowledge that come as one learns the numerous exceptions to the rules.

Jan-11-14  Everett: <16..Rxc4 17.Nxe6 Rxe4 18.Nxd8> favors White, as does <16..Rxc4 17.Nxe6 Qc8 18.Rd4>

Pretty slick.

Jan-11-14  Dave1: Rd2 and after Rxc4 Nxe6 Rxe4 Nxd8 there is no Rxe2 and R is bad placed as white can play Nb7 with the threat Nxd6
Jan-09-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Part of improvement in chess-at a humbler level as well-is achieving this sort of understanding.>

As <perfidious> implies, this is not a matter of either/or. It's not a question of crossing a single threshold, but several.

In order to improve, it is necessary to absorb and discard the truisms of successive levels of chess ability.

Jan-09-16  ajile: White plays positionally to pressure Black's weak d pawn.

Black tries to escape the pressure by giving up this pawn in exchange for White's h pawn but this only trades one White advantage for another since now White gets an unopposed q-side pawn.

Nice play by Carlsen.

Jan-09-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <well, i guess we're back to my friend's explanation: several sicilian main lines can't be understood in terms of general principles; they work out for black even though they "shouldn't".>

Which only implies that there's a problem with 'general principles'.

Jul-16-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier:

0.39 51... h5 52. Rb7 g5 53. Bd5+ Kh8 54. Bc4 Rc2 55. Be6 Rd2 56. Ke4 Re2+ 57. Kd5 Re3 58. Nc5 Rg3 59. Rf7 Nh7 60. b5 Rg2 61. Rc7 Nf8 62. b6 Rd2+ 63. Kc4 Rc2+ 64. Kb5 Rb2+ 65. Kc6 Rc2 66. Kb5 Rb2+

1.04 51... f5 52. Bf5 Ra2 53. b5 Ra7 54. Ra7 Ba7 55. Nf4 Kf7 56. Nd5 Bb8 57. b6 Ne6 58. g4 Nd4+ 59. Ke4 Ne2 60. b7 Ng3+ 61. Kf3 h5 62. Nf4 Nf5 63. f5 h4 64. Kg4 Ke8

1.56 51... Bb6 52. Rb7 f5 53. Bf5 Bd4 54. Ke4 Bg1 55. b5 Re2+ 56. Kf3 Ra2 57. Be4 Ra5 58. Kg2 Be3 59. Bd5+ Kh8 60. Kf3 Bd4 61. Ke4 Bc3 62. Nf4 Ra4+ 63. Kf5

1.7 51... g5 52. g4 Bh2 53. Rb7 Rc2 54. Bd5+ Kh8 55. Rf7 Nh7 56. b5 Rc3 57. Ke4 Bc7 58. Nb2 Bf4 59. Ra7 Nf8 60. b6 Re3+ 61. Kd4 Rg3 62. Rf7 Nh7 63. b7 Rg4 64. Kc5 Bb8 65. Re7 Nf8 66. Nc4 h5 67. Nd6 depth 17

Jul-16-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier:


click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 26 dpa

1. = (0.13): 16...Qd7 17.b3 b5 18.cxb5 axb5 19.Qd3 Rc5 20.a4 bxa4 21.b4 Rc7 22.Nb5 Rcc8 23.Nxd6 Rcd8 24.Nb7 Bxb4 25.Qxd7 Rxd7 26.Rxd7 Nxd7 27.Rxa4 Bc5 28.Nxc5 Nxc5 29.Ra7 Rc8 30.f4 g6 31.Kf2 Kg7 32.g4 Nb3 33.Be4 Nc5 34.Bf3 Nb3 35.g5 Rc3 36.Be4

2. = (0.15): 16...Bf6 17.e3 Qc8 18.Bf1 Nd7 19.Rad1 Rd8 20.b3 d5 21.cxd5 Nc5 22.Qg4 Rxd5 23.Bg2 Rd8 24.Qh5 b5 25.Qg4 Bxd4 26.Qh4 Rd6 27.exd4 Nd7 28.Qf4 Qf8 29.a4 bxa4 30.bxa4 Rc3 31.a5 Nf6 32.d5 exd5 33.Bxd5 Nxd5 34.Rxd5 Rxd5 35.Rxd5

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