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Magnus Carlsen vs Dragan Solak
Chess Olympiad (2014), Tromso NOR, rd 9, Aug-11
English Opening: Anglo-Slav Variation. General (A11)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-11-14  Doniez: Interestingly Solak was able to lose his match with a single disaster move, 32...a3+. In that moment the eval bounced from -1,5 in his favour to +1,7 in Magnus favour. He was in time trouble, only 2 minutes for the last 15 moves, maybe that was the cause.
Aug-11-14  fgh: It seems to me that Carlsen was mocking his opponent, as if he wanted to tell him "I can beat you despite putting my king in the line of fire and allowing your bishops to hunt him." Maybe he is bored by playing players rated below 2700, and needs to challenge himself by making his own life difficult?

44. ? would make a great Saturday/Sunday puzzle.

Aug-11-14  Doniez: Well, acceptable explanation of Magnus approach to the game. He was bored and decide to test his middlegame huge skills by getting out very poorly from the opening.
Aug-11-14  beenthere240: Maybe he was bored but he got beat just two games before. And if playing badly in the opening is a strategy, that's one that MC has exploited on numerous occasions.
Aug-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Of course Carlsen is bored. He could clock simul most of these teams and still score 3/4.
Aug-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: An absolute miracle for Carlsen today. GM Solak must be heartbroken. Magnus has got to stop underestimating his opponents!

-Garech

Aug-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: jphamlore posted in another fourm.

"I think following Carlsen's games over the Internet is the closest we will ever come to having an experience similar to those who could see Emanuel Lasker's games in real time."

One the best best posts I seen for a while. MC's OTB presence must be immense. It was even transcending the bounds of the Internet. People could see he losing but they kind of knew he would win.

Heaven knows what it must be like playing him. Every move plants a seed of doubt in your mind. It's like trying to pick up an eel with boxing gloves on.

The trick may be not to have advantage so he can spin it around. Refuse to be lured into the playing the best moves. Go 2nd or 3rd without actually giving yourself a lost game.

It's obviously some kind of witchcraft.

Hmmm.....I've not seen Maguns wearing a crucifix....

If Dragan had arranged his black pieces so...


click for larger view

...perhaps his opponent may have disappeared in a puff of sulphur smelling smoke.

Aug-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: What a terrible position for Carlsen after, say, move 24. With the black side he could easily have won from that position. Mr. Solak played very well, but like it often happens, when you get an apparent advantage against a stronger player, you begin to doubt your good fortune and own capabilities. "Am I really better here, or haven't I seen the depth in the position like the champ?"

Yes, the analogy to Lasker becomes still more obvious. Lasker didn't gamble, though. He only played risky, when he thought it would be the most annoying for a specific opponent. You didn't see him play risky against Rubinstein or Capablanca.

I am with the argument that he sort of exercises his limits when playing against lesser opponents. You can call it underestimation, but it's merely a kind of testing strategy, as I see it.

Aug-12-14  SirRuthless: Players tend to freeze up and play far beneath their abilities when faced with Carlsen. Only Giri, Caruana, Naiditsch, Wang Hao, Ivanchuk, Radjabov and Svidler have been able to close the deal recently in classical chess. He is overwhelming to play against. Part of that is the fact that he is a Hyper GM and World Champ. Players end up second guessing themselves and convincing themselves that they are missing something.
Aug-12-14  Ulhumbrus: With 30...a4 Black appears to he heading for a masterpiece of a win. With his queen and two bishops placed on the diagonals a2-g8, a1-h8 and b1-h7 respectively and so aimed towards White's king he brings another unit into the attack.

However Houdini indicates that with 32...a3+? Solak goes wrong and passes the advantage to White. Houdini indicates that the exchange sacrifice 32...Rxd4! 33 exd4 Bxd4+ heads for a win.

Perhaps after having sacrificed a pawn and then having played an "exciting" attack up to this point it was psychologically more difficult for Solak to assume the added burden of an exchange sacrifice although this was the right way to continue the attack.

Aug-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <Ulhumbrus: ... Houdini indicates that the exchange sacrifice 32...Rxd4! 33 exd4 Bxd4+ heads for a win...> Exactly what I thought when playing the game. The move is actually very obvious since it opens all diagonals for the bishop pair. I think Carlsen would have done it instantly.
Aug-12-14  beenthere240: I don't think he's bored. He's probably anxious for his team to pick it up just a little bit more. It's an Olympiad!
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