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Magnus Carlsen vs Vassily Ivanchuk
World Blitz Championship (2016), Doha QAT, rd 16, Dec-30
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack (B30)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-30-16  sledgehammer: Chucky is 2:0 in rapid and blitz agains Carlsen! Go Chucky!
Jan-08-17  miroo: Молодец, Вася!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Interesting. The centralization of White's pieces does not prevent Black from stopping the White pawn majority on the queenside, while Black pushes his pawn majority on the kingside.
Jan-09-17  izimbra: The first half of this game was unbelievably accurate for blitz time control. Later on, both players started to miss key moves, and Carlsen ended up making the greater errors. <45.Bxe5> was a dead even game...<45.Rf3> seems to already lose with correct play.

Black could have won quickly after <40...Bxf3!> keeping attacks on c2 and adding an attack on g4, and making the White king very vulnerable to a back rank mate.

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<41.Rd4 Rxb3!> now cxb3 is prevented by the back rank mate threat.

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<42.Rfd2 Rb1+ 43.Kf2 Bd5 44.R4d3 Rc1 45.Be3 R8xc2 46.Rxc2 Rxc2+ 47.Rd2 Rc8>

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At the SuperGm level White can shake hands here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Maybe it's me but after 40... Bf3 I'd play 41. Bd4
Jan-09-17  izimbra: <WorstPlayerEver: Maybe it's me but after 40... Bf3 I'd play 41. Bd4> <41...Rxb3> is good for Black there. The recapture cxb3 fails for the same reasons as I analyzed above - White has to avoid a back rank mate. <...40.Bxf3 41.Bd4 Rxb3> Now White has to play Kg1 or Rd1, and more pawns will fall.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: <izimbra>
Thanks. White is indeed lost.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: It seems White's trouble began at 27. a5
Jan-09-17  izimbra: <WorstPlayerEver: It seems White's trouble began at 27. a5>

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We can guess what went wrong in Carlsen's blitz time control conception. White thinks like this: "Well, it's an even game, but Black has the bishop pair, and Black's DSB is potentially supporting a weak pawn on b4, so if I can trade my N off against that DSB, I should have an advantage!"

This fails because the maneuver W chooses ends up helping Black's development substantially. Black has a backward pawn on d7 and a plan to attack White's pawn on c2, which naturally involves developing Bc8 to b7, clearing c8 for the other rook.

<27.a5 Be7 28.Bb6> White is following his plan, isolating b4, but...<28...Nc4 29.Bxc4 Rxc4> Now black has two pieces protecting b4.

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What to do? Exchange the N for d7 and drive away the rook! But... <30.Nd4> solves Black's problem. He can play Bb7 first, before d5, and then protect d6 with his King: <31..Bb7 32.b3 Rc8 33.Rad1 Kf7 34.Ne2 d5> Now Black is clearly better:

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White needs to start thinking defense, and he makes another mistake by allowing Black to get a pawn to h3 before White can play h3, breaking up White's KS pawns. It's a close call, but I think White is lost at that point, even with accurate play. g4 makes White's position worse compared to allowing hxg2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: The a5 idea is good though, but first the DSB has to be removed. S8 gives this line: 26. Na5 Bc5 27. Kf2 Be3 28. Ke3 Rc5 29. Nb3 Rc7 30. a5 Nc4 31. Ra4 Nc4 32. Bc4 Rc4 33. Nd4 Bf8 34. b3 Rc5 35. Rb4 and White is better.
Aug-01-17  ZackyMuhammad: Go chucky! Beat carlsen again.
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