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Magnus Carlsen vs Wesley So
Your Next Move (Rapid) (2017), Leuven BEL, rd 3, Jun-28
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Bernstein Defense Except Gligoric System (E53)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-29-17  SirRuthless: Total domination.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Interesting final position. There is a subtle drawing chance here. If Ke4 is followed by Rc4, seemingly winning the queen for a rook, black achieves a draw with Rh1+! Black cannot escape checks.

After Ke4, black should play Rh2!

In a rapid game like this, I would have thought Carlsen should have played till Rh2 at least. Even then, the winning procedure could take some time with the remote chance that Black blunders the endgame under time pressure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: I wouldn't call this game total domination. It was relatively even until 45. h5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: 45. h5 gave black the maneuvering room he needed.
Jun-29-17  zuain2017: Check mate Carlsen!
Jun-29-17  WorstPlayerEver: Nah, until 33. h4?

White should at least have avoided the threat of Qg1 by playing 33. Qd3, Ke2 or Kf1. Black threats Qg1>Rf5=double attack on f2. 33. h3-h4 is therefore crucial tempo loss. Whimsical.

Maybe 33. bxa5 works as well but it seems pretty risky to play in a rapid game; safety first, then the children.


After the forced 35. f2-f4 things get really complicated for White, not?

Jun-29-17  SirRuthless: <ajk68: I wouldn't call this game total domination. It was relatively even until 45. h5?>

That's exactly my point. Carlsen used to get these even endgames and then just by his sheer presence alone would cause his opponents to destroy their own positions. I believe Wesley is already there. He was the opposition of materialistic. he maximized his pieces from a position standpoint while Magnus went chasing phantasms and then suddenly Magnums had no good moves left and he Wesley just took what Magnus puked up. That is true domination. To destroy your opponent by using their own weakness against them, you have evolved to psychological chess warfare.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Whatever is happening this year is no reflection on what might be happening next year.

Maybe Wes will win the candidates tournament and maybe he will end up being the World Champion.

Who knows?

It all depends on what his form will be like by this time next year.

I do hope they play a match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Typical fanboi rubbish re domination by a grandmaster of fanboi nonsense; in any case, this was a rapid game, so why devote so much time to 'proving' So is the stronger player, or what <sirgormless> is really after: making his pathetic case that Carlsen is already a hasbeenusetawas, aged 26.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: My precocious 8-year-old Grandson and I struggle with heavy piece Queen, Rook and Pawn versus Queen, Rook and Pawn middle games.

Apparently, we're not alone as these world class players also struggled more than once to find the best moves in this game.

Case in point is Black missing 36...axb4+ (-7.05 @ 29 depth, Stockfish 8) with an immediate winning attack on the exposed White King.

Also surprising is White missing 41. Rd8 = (0.00 @ 38 depth, Stockfish 8), and instead playing 41. Qc4? allowing 41...Qg2+ (-3.36 @ 35 depth, Stockfish 8) or 41...Rf6 (-1.13 @ 29 depth, Stockfish 8) as actually played by Black in this game.

Jun-30-17  WorstPlayerEver: <patzer2>

Nice example is Nepo vs Giri:

click for larger view

Nepo has just played 24. Rbf3
Giri played 24... Rab8, which was not a bad move, but there was a far better move 24... Ra4.

The Black Rook is still behind pawn a3 and it attacks pawn b4. Also it is the more active move; when there's only heavy artillery and pawns, the pawns should be used to support the artillery and not vice versa. As a matter of rule for communication lines between the pieces. NB Ra4 indirectly supports Qc4 as well. And it makes way for a possible Rf8-a8 in the future and it puts extra pressure on the fourth rank as well.

For exactly the same CRUCIAL reason White should've played 24. Rfb1, the White Rook supports the b4 pawn and gets Rf1 out of the attack from Qc4. It also opens the way for a possible King attack; Rb3-h3

Multitasking is the concept here; Black is two pawns up. The heavy pieces make the position active for both sides; any delay should be out of the question. It's as simple as it is, I'm afraid.

Jun-30-17  WorstPlayerEver: PS note that such moves make the difference of about 1.0 as it comes to the evaluation of the position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: great seeing a GM squeeze a win out of dry looking endgame, very instructive. Looks like white's King finally ends up on a bad square on the b1-h7 diagonal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: This was a fine game Wesley So. It looks much as if he or possibly Aronian for now are possible challengers to Carlsen.

But the main thing is he plays interesting games like this. He improved on a small advantage and kept the pressure on. In fact he played like Carlsen himself! Of course it is Rapid and that time control is murderous.

I think Wesley So had a forced mate (as well as he could win the Q) if 51.Ke4 but I haven't checked it on my computer

Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: <ajk68> I don't see a perpetual here for White after 52.Ke4 Rc4 53.Rh1+, the Black king simply walks up the white squares to freedom, doesn't he?
Premium Chessgames Member
  The Boomerang: So's first ever win over Carlsen:) Congrats! Where Carlsen has resigned I mean.
Jul-05-17  RandomVisitor: After 32...a5, white played 33.h4?! and allowed Qg1+ followed by Rf5, attacking the weak pawn at f2. Maybe better were either:

click for larger view

Stockfish_17061704_x64_modern: <55 minutes computer time>

0.00/55 33.<Kf1> axb4 34.Rxb4 Rxb4 35.Qxb4 b5 36.Qb2+ Kh7 37.Qd4 Qh5 38.Kg2 Qg5+ 39.Kf1

-0.10/54 33.<bxa5> Rb1+ 34.Ke2 Qh5+ 35.Qg4 Qxa5 36.Kf3 Rb5 37.Qd7 Rf5+ 38.Rf4 Rxf4+ 39.Kxf4 b5 40.Qd5 Qe1 41.Qd4+ Kg8 42.Kg3 Qg1+ 43.Kf3 Qh1+ 44.Kg3 Qa8 45.Qd6 Qc8 46.Qb4 Qd7 47.Kg2 Qf5 48.h4 Qd5+ 49.e4 Qc6 50.Kf3 Qb6 51.Kg2 Qb8 52.Kf3 Qb7 53.Kg3 Kh7 54.f3 Qc7+ 55.Kf2 Qa7+ 56.Ke2 Qa6 57.Ke3 Qb6+ 58.Ke2 Kg8 59.Kf1 Qa6 60.Kf2 Qa7+ 61.Kg3 Qb6 62.Kg2 Qb8 63.Kf2 Qb7 64.Ke2

Jul-05-17  WorstPlayerEver: <RV> If I remember well, and I do, Carlsen also could play 33. Qd3 to cover the f1 square.
Jul-05-17  User not found: Just a slow gradual process of wearing Carlsen down. I see the idea behind h5 here but it was pretty pointless because even I wouldn't have fallen for it

click for larger view

Jul-05-17  RandomVisitor: <WorstPlayerEver>After 33.Qd3 Qg1+ the machine plays 34.Ke2 because after 34.Qf1 Qxf1 35.Kxf1 Rxb4 the rook and pawn ending favors black.

click for larger view

Stockfish_17061704_x64_modern: <32 minutes computer time>

-0.48/54 33. ... Qg1+ 34.Ke2 Rf5 35.f4 axb4 36.Rd8 Qg2+ 37.Kd1 Qb2 38.Qd4+ Qxd4+ 39.Rxd4 Rb5 40.Kc2 b3+ 41.Kb2 Rh5 42.Kc3 Rxh3 43.Kd3 Rh5 44.Rb4 b5 45.Rxb3 Kf6 46.Kd4 Ke6 47.e4 Rh4 48.Rxb5 Rxf4 49.Rb6+ Ke7 50.Ke3 Rf1 51.e5 Kf8 52.Rf6 Re1+ 53.Kf4 Rb1 54.Ke4 Kg7 55.Rf2 Rh1 56.Rf6 Kf8 57.Ke3 Rd1 58.Ke4 Ra1 59.Rf2 Re1+ 60.Kd5 Rb1 61.Kd4 Rd1+ 62.Ke4 Kg7 63.Rf6 Re1+ 64.Kd5 Re3 65.Rf2 Re1 66.Kd4 Ra1 67.Ke4

Jul-06-17  WorstPlayerEver: <RV>

Thanks. Later on I will take a look at it.

Sep-23-17  Jykk: To ajk68 : Sorry, but I do not agree with you. Black CAN escape white´s checks after 52.Ke4 Rc4. Yes, white can make few checks, like 53.Rh1 check Kg6 54.f5 check Kg5 55.Rg1 check Kh4 56.Rh1 check Kg2 and so on.However, Black King will travel all the way to white´s side and the game is over.
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