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Wesley So vs Magnus Carlsen
Sinquefield Cup (2017), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 5, Aug-06
Scotch Game: Malaniuk Variation (C45)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<arnaud1959> Qe2 is a very natural counter attacking move. I think he has rather missed 25...Rb1 which is unnatural.>

I think that the fact that So spent 19 1/2 minutes considering 21.Rxe8+ after 20...Bxd6 and only 15 secs for 26.Rxb1 after 25...Rb1 shows that 25...Rb1 did not take him by surprise. Instead, it was the unexpected 20...Bxd6 and its consequences (he probably only considered 20...cxd6 in which Black is in trouble after either 21.Qxd6 or 21.Bxd6) shows where the oversight was.

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<tuttifrutty> I am telling you again. Wesley will beat Magnus when it matter most.>

When do you think that So will consider that beating Carlsen will matter most?

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Steve Skojec> So did not play badly overall. He miscalculated somewhere around move 18 or a little earlier and got beat. And that can happen to anyone; no one is perfect. The problem with making a miscalculation at this level of play is that your opponent is not likely to miscalculate in return, and you will very likely lose the game as a result.
Aug-07-17  devere: <arnaud1959: <SS : Back on move 19 Wes may have missed the 10th move 23...Qe2>. Qe2 is a very natural counter attacking move. I think he has rather missed 25...Rb1 which is unnatural. It gives up an active rook on the second rank which puts pressure on f2 and a2.>

I am guessing that he missed that he couldn't trap the rook advantageously with 20.Bb3. White can win the exchange, but Black gets more than enough compensation to give him the advantage.

Aug-07-17  Nf8: In case anyone didn't realize this game was a walk in the park for Carlsen:

https://twitter.com/MagnusCarlsen/s...

Aug-07-17  devere: If he had played 19.b3 Wesley So would have kept the advantage:


click for larger view

White threatens to win a pawn with Bxd7 followed by Bxc5. According to Stockfish Black's best defense is Be4, and while White keeps a persistent advantage (SF +0.43 depth 44), It appears that Black can successfully defend.

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: Nice comeback by Carlsen after his defeat, but in only five games he's thrown away 1.5 points. Looking forward to seeing his form for the rest of the tournament.
Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: The worst Wesley game I've seen in the last year.
Aug-07-17  Nf8: <AnEnglishman: Good Morning: Nice comeback by Carlsen after his defeat, but in only five games he's thrown away 1.5 points>

He threw away a point vs. MVL, what's the additional half? (in case you're thinking about the pawn-up rook endgame vs. Anand, that's a well-known theoretical draw analyzed in Dvoretsky's Manual).

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  SirRuthless: Yeah I don't know why Wesley had to leave the pawn hanging when there were several superior alternatives. This wasn't some brilliant game from MAgnus. He simply waited patiently in a slightly worse but energetic position and Wesley got a little too excited. 19.b3 and he almost certainly doesn't lose and might win.
Aug-07-17  Nina Myers: <<epistle: The best game of this tournament.> Let's hope for a better one #85> Her prayers were answered and the wait rewarded.

Now agog with expectation: #86

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  bubuli55: < SirRuthless: Yeah I don't know why Wesley had to leave the pawn hanging when there were several superior alternatives. This wasn't some brilliant game from MAgnus. He simply waited patiently in a slightly worse but energetic position and Wesley got a little too excited. <<< 19.b3 and he almost certainly doesn't lose and might win. >>>>

It seems you sir got a little too excited yourself. You're well aware that every move thereafter can go a little too excited. Consider 29.Ne5

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tuttifrutty: <When do you think that So will consider that beating Carlsen will matter most?>

When Wesley snatch the crown...when he beat Magnus on a championship match... that will make Magnus storms out from an interview with his tail behind his legs...

Don't blink...it will be coming soon at a theatre near you...and if you are rooting for Magnus....please don't forget to order a truckload of napkins to ease your painful experience.

Yes...it will be Wesley all the way.

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <tuttifrutty>: <When Wesley snatch the crown...when he beat Magnus on a championship match... that will make Magnus storms out from an interview with his tail behind his legs...>

If this game is any indication, that won't ever happen. White played the surprise opening with nothing up his sleeve, and seemed to be foundering within a few moves. You'd almost think he was the surprisee, rather than the surpriser? Didn't he prepare the Scotch at all before playing it? Black seemed to equalize almost immediately.

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <Yeah I don't know why Wesley had to leave the pawn hanging when there were several superior alternatives.>

Best guess is he overlooked 23...Qe2, and thought his pin on the Kt after 23. Qxd6 meant something. But still, the whole game was played pretty limply.

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobby Fiske: Seems Magnus now is beating on a regular basis both Karjakin and Wesley So. Accordingly, he benefits when both of them qualifies for the Candidates. Karjakin as the ex-contender and So for his high rating (likely).

The best ones for Magnus to stop in the World Cup, blocking out of the Candidates if possible, would be Aronian and Maxime.

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I seem to remember a claim out there that Magnus was not a real champion until he played Wesley So otb.

Well, 24 games (in different forms) of chess later:

search "so v carlsen"

This game was not that exciting, sure, but Wes wanted to win it very badly, and Carlsen needed to win it in order to stay in the chase.

One of them accomplished their objective.

The other, failed.

These two will play many games against each other in the future.

There is a potential for a serious rivalry here.

But at the present time it is a rather one sided rivalry.

Aug-07-17  devere: <Petrosianic: If this game is any indication, that won't ever happen. White played the surprise opening with nothing up his sleeve, and seemed to be foundering within a few moves. You'd almost think he was the surprisee, rather than the surpriser? Didn't he prepare the Scotch at all before playing it? Black seemed to equalize almost immediately.>

I do not agree at all. I think that White had a noticeable advantage before 19.Bf4?, and Black can only hold the position with accurate defense. If anything it was Carlsen's opening play that looked a bit improvised; 5...Bc5 has a much better reputation than 5...Be2. <tamar> early in the game had described Carlsen's position as "ramshackle"; I was thinking of replying, but then thought that maybe it was correct.

<john barleycorn> described Carlsen's play as Lasker-like, and that seems accurate. Lasker was famous for sometimes playing inferior openings and then punishing an opponent who tried for too much too soon. In Muhammad Ali's boxing day that same strategy was called "rope-a-dope", and it worked like a charm against George Foreman.

It seems almost silly, but 19.Bf4? is the sort of mistake a strong player makes against a weaker opponent of whom he has no fear. Why Wesley So should play that way against Magnus Carlsen is a mystery to me. But then why did Emanuel Lasker's opponents play that way against him?

Aug-07-17  QueentakesKing: Wesley was not prepared with the Scotch. Next time he should try Whisky.
Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  SirRuthless: <Bobby Fiske> he has been beating them but is no longer beating MVL and Nakamura in classical chess and is in fact losing to them so like I said before, not the Carlsen of old.
Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<tutifrutty> When Wesley snatch the crown...when he beat Magnus on a championship match>

Dont get too far ahead of yourself. He has to win the 2018 Candidates Tournament first. And that's no easy task.

Aug-07-17  Sally Simpson: Hi arnaud1959,

Sorry took a while to reply.

I think we can agree, and Wes might too, that he missed something when pondering on his move here.


click for larger view

and played 19.Bf4. As AylerKupp suggests 20...Bxd6 looks like the candidate.


click for larger view

Wes only took a handful of minutes on his last few moves but spent 20 minutes before playing 22.Rxe8+ that was the sign something had gone wrong.

It's not a disaster but it can undermine your OTB confidence when you miss something during a game. At the back your mind you know blunders always in twos. It just a question before the 2nd one came.

It was a well judged move by Carlsen taking on b2 when Bb3 and Bc1 was in the position but he was prepared to sac the exchange on b3. Black pieces come alive. Good game by Carlsen.

Aug-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <Sally Simpson: It was a well judged move by Carlsen taking on b2 when Bb3 and Bc1 was in the position.>

Position after 19.Bf4?!


click for larger view

19Rxb2

Magnus Carlsen: "I was shocked that he played Bf4 so quickly. I sat there thinking for a while wondering what I had missed, and then I decided I can't live my life like this. I take on b2 and hope for the best. Probably there wasn't anything there. Afterwards he didn't really put up much resistance."

20.exd6? This was the decisive mistake.

< It's not a disaster but it can undermine your OTB confidence when you miss something during a game. At the back your mind you know blunders always in twos. It just a question before the 2nd one came.>

As Carlsen pointed out, afterwards Wesley didn't really put up much resistance.

With 19.f4?! Wesley lost his advantage, but the decisive mistake was 20.exd6?

Aug-08-17  devere: <<cro777> 20.exd6? This was the decisive mistake.>

I think that 23.Qxd6 was the decisive mistake. If instead 23.Nd2 d5 24.Nb3, White's game is a bit ugly but it looks defensible to me.


click for larger view

Aug-08-17  bien pensant: Scotch on the Rocks
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