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Luke McShane vs Magnus Carlsen
London Chess Classic (2012)  ·  Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio Gambit Accepted (C67)  ·  0-1
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Given 11 times; par: 98 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  SetNoEscapeOn: I left for a tournament just after McShane blew his chances with the off-the-mark Kh1.

Coming back and seeing the result now, I can't say that I'm surprised.

Dec-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: An aspiring player could do a lot worse than to play through some of Carlsen's endings, where even top-class grandmasters are forced to play with extreme precision in seemingly dry positions.

Lasker too had an extraordinary capability when it came to handling these, as did Capablanca and Fischer, especially late in the latter's career.

Dec-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Nice King walk. McShane didn't plan out a perpetual, when he started trading pieces. Better to just grab a half point, when playing carlsen.
Dec-01-12  Everett: <Ulhumbrus: <SteinitzLives: <McShane went too far trying to win by choosing the unsound attack 18 g4> Rubbish! 27 Kh1? wimped out which made g4 ultimately look bad. g4 was what gave McShane the advantage!> Not at all. White's advantage was not great enough to justify an attack as ambitious as 18 g4, which means that 18 g4 began to pass the advantage to Black. What do you suggest White should have played instead of 27 Kh1?>

Have you gone to see a therapist for your fetished hatred of White playing g4? Leave the poor pawn alone, for crying out loud, and it's move 18, not the Keres Attack.

Dec-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  haydn20: on 44. Qc8 there is a dead draw, so I go xmas shopping for the grandkids. I come back and Luke has lost. I can't tell you how bad a move I thought 46. b3 was. It doesn't lose, but it shows that LM is still laboring under the delusion that he can do anything but sit on his hands, answer threats, and accept the draw. Every move after this one has some downside. Ugh! (Tho' I am a MC fan, I hate to see a guy take a beating like this.)
Dec-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Everett> Agreed-the modern player needs to operate with concrete ideas, not an outmoded thought process which dogmatically proclaims that g2-g4 or a similar move must be bad because old Dr Tarrasch said so.

Even the good doctor came round to hypermodern ideas, playing Alekhine's Defence against a man who was anything but a slave to dogma (Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1923).

Dec-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I was watching the game this morning until move 40. I hated 27.Kh1 and somehow I saw it coming: I just knew Luke was going to play it. I just came back and saw Luke lost. I checked the position with Houdini 3 and it gives 27.h4 a full point advantage. Several guys this morning suggested 27.h4, too. What s**t.
Dec-01-12  Everett: <perfidious>
Seriously, I'm thinking about creating a game collection called <play g4 and win>.

Maybe I'll start with this game, off the top of my head Karpov vs Portisch, 1982

Dec-02-12  The17thPawn: I'm sure there are reems of computer generated analysis in the previous nine pages that I haven't bothered to read, but maneuvering the black king to to h3 with queens on the board is gutsy as hell.
Dec-02-12  dejavu: Carlsen Grind is machine-like and hence imperceptible and seemingly innocuous and his opponents usually don't know what hit them when it is too late. He does not rush an attack or miss a sequence which is agonizing and bores his opponents to death or mate.
Dec-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  virginmind: when you've got raw calculating power and enough time to do it (as compared to opponent's time), you can get your king over to g3/h3 squares, provided it has 2 pawns around for cover while also protecting them - and a fully dynamic queen. magnus created a dangerously advancing fortress, apparently neglected by luke for a while (or rather, he was helpless in stopping it, while desperately trying his own pawns advance on the queen side).

a bit weird though how come black has allowed white earlier building that attack...

Dec-02-12  Hesam7: <luzhin: McShane should have followed 18.g4 with 19.g5! The point is that after 19...Ng6 (forced) White has 20.Bxc7! Qxc7 21.gxf6 gxf6 22.Ne3 after which Black has multiple pawn weaknesses.>

That is an interesting idea but at the end of your line after 22...Nce7


click for larger view

How does White make any progress? Note that 23 Ng4? is met by 23...Qf4; 23 Ng2? does not solve the problem b/c of 23...Kh8!. The weakness of the f4-square saves Black in other lines as well: 23 Ne1 Kh8 24 Qf3 Qf4 25 Qf4 Nf4 26 Kf1 Rg8.

Dec-02-12  Hesam7: McShane really blew his chances with <27 Kh1?> instead 27 h4! would have forced Black to solve very difficult problems:


click for larger view

Black has two weaknesses: d5 & f7. To see this look at 27...b5? 28 Qf3! Rf8 29 Be7 Qe7 30 Nd5 . Defending f7 with the Knight does not work either: 27...Nd8?! 28 h5! and White simply crashes in. The best move is the passive 27...c6 28 Qf3 Rf8 29 N5g4 (29 N3g4? Nf5)


click for larger view

White has a menacing position, .

Dec-02-12  Ulhumbrus: <Hesam7: <luzhin: McShane should have followed 18.g4 with 19.g5! The point is that after 19...Ng6 (forced) White has 20.Bxc7! Qxc7 21.gxf6 gxf6 22.Ne3 after which Black has multiple pawn weaknesses.>

That is an interesting idea but at the end of your line after 22...Nce7 How does White make any progress?

Note that 23 Ng4? is met by 23...Qf4; 23 Ng2? does not solve the problem b/c of 23...Kh8!. The weakness of the f4-square saves Black in other lines as well: 23 Ne1 Kh8 24 Qf3 Qf4 25 Qf4 Nf4 26 Kf1 Rg8.

McShane really blew his chances with <27 Kh1?> instead 27 h4! would have forced Black to solve very difficult problems: Black has two weaknesses: d5 & f7. To see this look at 27...b5? 28 Qf3! Rf8 29 Be7 Qe7 30 Nd5 . Defending f7 with the Knight does not work either: 27...Nd8?! 28 h5! and White simply crashes in. The best move is the passive 27...c6 28 Qf3 Rf8 29 N5g4 (29 N3g4? Nf5) White has a menacing position.>

On 27 h4 c6 28 Qg3 Rf8 29 N5g4 White's f4 square is attacked by Black's queen on d6 and Black's knight on e6 and invites invasion by Black's queen or knight. After 29...Qf4 White's king side attack looks considerably less menacing

On 27 g5 Ng6 28 Bxc7 Nxf4 29 gxf6 the recapture 29...gxf6 is not forced. Black has the in-between move (or zwischenzug or intermezzo) 29...Qf4 forking the f6 pawn and White's king's knight on f3.

I therefore atand by my original opinion: the attack 18 g4? is unsound, and for this reason: If White can indeed be said to possess any positional advantage after 17...Nxf5, it is not great enough to justify embarking on an attack with an aim as ambitious as that of 18 g4.

If White can be said to stand better than Black at all, White does not stand so much better than Black that he can afford to start an attack risky enough to concede so much to Black.

Dec-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: I'm surprised there aren't more comments about Magnus' brilliant win already. I mean a huge cheer wentout throughout the London Chess Classic Olympia Center when Bh2 got played. Indeed Stuart Conquest declared it hopeless at this point. The brilliant kingwalk deserves commendation by any chess fan - even the most ardent anti Magnus folk. Qc8 looks optically good but indeed it turned out not to be enough even for the computers to see past their horizon that Magnus had calculated. I would say though that Luke definitely had his chances earlier on with h4 instead of Kh1. However, it was pretty funny to hear multiple different GMs call Luke's opening choice "the dullest of dull that chess can ever get" but both players had their go of it.
Dec-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Hesam7> At the time, I was watching this and it seemed to me that Carlsen was in for a very difficult defence if McShane had played some combination of g5, h4 and N3g4.

After 27.h4, I agree that Black is in for a hard time. With Petrosian playing White, this is probably close to 1-0 already.

Dec-02-12  Laskerschueler: Luke said afterwards that he forgot about Nxg5 "for a moment" when he played Kh1. If 27. h4, it seems very difficult for Black to escape (I wonder if his position is lost), but there are enough chances for both sides to blunder. Later on, Carlsenīs play was downright outstanding!
Dec-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <On 27 h4 c6 28 Qg3 <should be Qf3> Rf8 29 N5g4 White's f4 square is attacked by Black's queen on d6 and Black's knight on e6 and invites invasion by Black's queen or knight. After 29...Qf4 White's king side attack looks considerably less menacing>

30.Qxf4 Nxf4 31.Bxe7.

Ulhumbrus, if you insist on posting endless analysis for every live game, get an engine.

Dec-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher>: I would settle for <Ulhumbrus> displaying the ability to think critically and not mechanically pontificating on hidebound theories, even in the face of truckloads of evidence to the contrary. Then again, we have the <Rogoff page>, where that passion play keeps 'em coming back for more every day.
Dec-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: After the game McShane demonstrated what he had planned if Carlsen had tried to break out with 26...Qb5-- 27.Qf3 Qxb2 28.Bxg7 Qxb1+ 29.Kg2 Nxg7 30.Qxf7+ Kh8 31.Ng4! now if 31...Nc6 32.Nh6 Nxe5 33.dxe5 amazingly Black has no good defence to 34.Qg8+!! And if Black tries to defend on the light squares with 31...Qb1 then 32.Qg8+!! Kxg8 33.Nh6+ Kf8 34.Nd7 mate or 33...Kh8 Nef7 mate. Wonderful! But Carlsen's comment was that he had rejected 26...Qb5 simply because of 27.b4, which is indeed better for White.
Dec-03-12  Ulhumbrus: <Luzhin> Thx. Indeed wonderful, as you say.
Dec-03-12  DrAttitude: an amazing game! the king walk at the end outstanding. " i have the better king!" go magnus!
Dec-06-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm:


click for larger view

Dec-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Game Collection: PAWN FORK TRICK
Dec-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <luzhin><But Carlsen's comment was that he had rejected 26...Qb5 simply because of 27.b4, which is indeed better for White.>

While 27.b4 might be even better, in the post-mortem Carlsen says "b3" and not "b4" was what he saw.

McShane and Carlsen's commentary can be seen here-- skip to 1:09:00 of the Round 1/Part 4 video: http://www.londonchessclassic.com/v...

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