Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

(If you register a free account you won't see all these ads!)
Magnus Carlsen vs Bu Xiangzhi
World Cup (2017), Tbilisi GEO, rd 3, Sep-09
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Modern Bishop's Opening (C55)  ·  0-1


NOTE: You are using our new chess viewer, "Olga." For more info see the Olga Quickstart Guide. You can switch back to the old viewer (pgn4web) from the pulldown menu below. If you have questions or suggestions see our Olga chessforum.

explore this opening
find similar games 7 more Carlsen/Bu Xiangzhi games
sac: 15...Bxh3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: If you find a mistake in the database, use the correction form. There is a link at the bottom that reads "Spot an error? Please suggest your correction..." Avoid posting corrections in the kibitzing area.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-09-17  Toribio3: I think GM Carlsen underestimated the humble Chinese GM. Xiangzhi has the skills to beat the reigning World Champion because of a mindset that the courageous Chinese GM is of low caliber quality. From now on, Carlsen must prepare on a good and solid opening even against the lowly grandmaster from anywhere on Earth!
Sep-09-17  Whitemouse: Bu a humble Chinese GM? Does Carlsen only play chess recently?
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Jonathan Sarfati: Score one against what Visayanbraindoctor calls "Narcissistic Generation Syndrome"? Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918>

Definitely. There were masters in the past that I believe were better defenders than Carlsen (such as Lasker, Capablanca, and Petrosian). (Having said that, I believe that Carlsen IS the best defender in the world, currently, together with Karjakin.) <21. Re2, as <SirRuthless> suggests, appears to be an idea that the human mind, and especially a Super GMs mind, can easily understand.> Capablanca probably would have moved 21. Re2 in a jiffy. It looks like a perfectly logical move to mobilize the rook. From 1909 to 1924 Capa made something like less than a single definitively losing error per year, and in several cases defended more difficult positions than this, including the game above where Marshall introduced his brilliant idea for the first time. I believe it was his ability to see and avoid tactical errors better than anyone in chess history which made him nearly invincible. (You have to make a losing error in order to lose, and the young Capablanca did not make many of those.)

Going back to Bu's dauntlessly courageous strategy for this game, I believe this again is another proof that it's the only way to play against Carlsen and still hope to win. Bu offers a gambit pawn, Carlsen as usual grabs it (he always does). Bu sacs a Bishop. Carlsen tries to retain the piece with 17. Nf1 when he could have immediately bailed out into a draw with with 17. Qf3 Bh2+ 18. Kh1 Bg3+ and perpetual. Carlsen rises up to the challenge of the gambits (which I like about him), but fails to survive the tactics (this time).

On the other hand, Carlsen is quite unbeatable in positional play. No one has positionally outplayed him for the longest time. As I've posted before <He builds up minute advantages like a juggernaut and grabs on small mistakes like a crocodile, irresistibly dragging his opponents into the swamp.> He has this 'swampy' style of play that sucks in even the strongest of today's GMs into the cloying mud. Had this game gone along quieter positional lines (say Bu did not essay the gambit, or if Carlsen had declined it), I would give Carlsen a 60% chance of winning sometime in the endgame. These positionally maneuvering Ruy and Italian positions seem to particularly suit his style.

Note that ALL the (five classical) games which Carlsen has lost this year were lost due to tactical mistakes or misjudgements in sharp positions. The same pattern mostly applies in the past decade. After having said that, one must note that Carlsen is one of the best tacticians in the world too. It's just that this is the only field where he can be predictably beaten.

The suggests something important for his would-be Challenger. Deploy the sharpest, but still sound openings, against the World Champion. Try to keep the middlegame double edged if such an option is possible. Try to decided matters before you reach the endgame. (This strategy actually worked for Kasparov against Karpov in their second match, so it's not without precedence.)

And if there are other options, do not play passively like this Carlsen vs Karjakin, 2017

Food for thought for the next World Championship match.

Sep-09-17  The Kings Domain: Nice win by Xiangzhi, he could score the biggest upset of the tournament. It's games like this that nearly make up for the Demchenko and Kovalyov fiascos.
Sep-09-17  1971: That's an amazing post, VBD. Thanks for sharing. I read it like 10 times.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <SirRuthless: 30. Rd1 is not a human move with 7s on the clock. It locks the K in with no cracks to escape to the Q side after 30...Bg3+ and 31.Kf1 is forced. That looks insane to the eye. Impossible to play that in a real game;that's the definition of an engine move.>

I don't think so. In fact, 30.Rd1 is quite logical move, as in some variations the Rook on a1 is simply hanging (let's say after any "pass" move like 30.a3 black can unpin the Rook on g6 by 30...Kh6 and now Rg1+ or Qxb2 look like a serious problem for white with unprotected Rook on a1). 30.Rd1 also brings the Rook into the game. Of course, at first glance the position after 30...Bg3+ 31.Kf1 looks dangerous for white but if you look at it for a while, you can see that white is ok here. White Queen protects f2, and black with uncovered King and still pinned Rook has no way to strenghten his pressure facing quite a lot of Queen checks with perpetual in many lines. It was not impossible to figure that out over the board, of course with more than just a few seconds left on the clock. On the other hand, it was quite apparent that white's attempt to flee with King to the Queenside turns passed h-Pawn into decisive factor in the position. Magnus simply made a bad decision in critical situation, and it decided the outcome of the game. After all, he is a human and humans may err.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <30.Rd1 is quite logical move>

Yes, with the understanding that human logic and silicon logic are somewhat different. Rd1 not only brings rook into the game, as you say, but gives the King a potential escape route via d2-c1.

If Magnus chooses to style himself after <Joe90> he must expect to be held to a very high standard.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Good game to beat the World Champion!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Later on I will add some diagrams to show how Carlsen makes losing look easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ahmadov: I should admit I like to see the World Champion losing a game, losing with a style at that.
Sep-10-17  kinggeorgia: Its a draw,if only Carlsen move Qf3 on the 17th, and Bu would settle for a perpetual check and a draw since he was a piece down.
Sep-10-17  Clement Fraud: BRAVO!! I like the way Bu Xiangzhi plays. White loses out in this opening when he plays d2-d3 so early, as this allows black to equalize with his Bishop placed on e7.

To refute the Hungarian Defense, white needs to keep open the option of playing d2-d4 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Be7? 4.d4!).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <visayanbraindoctor: Capablanca probably would have moved 21. Re2 in a jiffy.>

Compare 16. Re2 in Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918 Capa had a good feel for the defensive power of major pieces. In My Chess Career, he emphasised the defensive power of his Q on f3 while it kept pressure on f7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Jonathan Sarfati: <visayanbraindoctor: Capablanca probably would have moved 21. Re2 in a jiffy.>

Compare 16. Re2 in Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918>

I should have said <almost certainly> instead of <probably>. After all Capablanca, in a similar situation, did move Re2 in order to mobilize his rook.

More mind-boggling is this post from the Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918 page.

<Shajmaty: In 23 moves (between 14. ♕f3 and 36. ♗xf7+), Capablanca plays the best move (i.a.w. Stockfish) 21 times!>


1. That game is one of the most complicated double-edged and tactical games in chess literature. Virtually replicating the best computer lines move after move for two dozen moves in real time in such a game is almost inhuman. I doubt if any living master nowadays could do such a thing. We would be seeing lots of red moves live in the internet.

2. When the thematic Marshall-type position first arose in that game, no one much knew anything about it (except Marshall who prepared it). There was no precedent available to Capablanca. Yet he played it almost perfectly. Capablanca was a freak of a chess player.

Sep-11-17  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 19 Bb3, 19 Bd2 connects the rooks.

20 f4 disturbs the king side pawns. Instead of this 20 Bd2 connects the rooks.

22 Rxe3 helps to develop Black's rook. Instead of this 22 Bd2 connects the rooks.

After 23...g5 Black threatens 24...Rg8 followed by 25...gxf4+. Instead of 24 Kf2, 24 Rc1 prepares to develop the piece placed worst, the queen's rook. On 24...Rg8 25 fxg5 avoids opening the g file for Black's rook. However Black can avoid this by playing 24...gxf4 first. This suggests 24 fxg5 avoiding opening the g file and on 24...hxg5 25 Rc1 gets ready for 26 Rc2 but 25...f4 refuses to wait for Rc2. This suggests 24 fxg5 hxg5 25 Qc2 pinning the f5 pawn and getting ready for Qg2 and Qh2

Sep-12-17  Clement Fraud: <Ulhumbrus> <20 f4 disturbs the king side pawns. Instead of this 20 Bd2 connects the rooks.>

As I see it, black was threatening to advance his KB Pawn to f4 & f3 (creating an unavoidable mate with his Queen on g2).

Sep-12-17  blackdranzer: Ulhumbrus ..I don't mean to offend but some of your analysis is wrong . Not just this post but as I have observed. Sometimes the suggested moves ( which you suggest ) are worse although it might have some logic behind, like Bd2 connecting the rooms and so on.
Sep-12-17  Ulhumbrus: <blackdranzer: Ulhumbrus ..I don't mean to offend but some of your analysis is wrong . Not just this post but as I have observed. Sometimes the suggested moves ( which you suggest ) are worse although it might have some logic behind, like Bd2 connecting the rooms and so on.> It is entirely possible that my analysis or my comment is wrong when it consists of just kibitzing. In which case you may form your own opinion about it as with any kibitzing.
Sep-13-17  beatgiant: Chess teaches us the importance of understanding how to balance the general and the specific.
Sep-13-17  Arconax: That is true. The Classical School taught us about the general aspects, while the Soviet School focused on the specifics of the position.

It is finding the right balance that is the key to true chess mastery.

Sep-13-17  QueentakesKing: A funny game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < Ulhumbrus: <blackdranzer: Ulhumbrus ..I don't mean to offend but some of your analysis is wrong . Not just this post but as I have observed. Sometimes the suggested moves ( which you suggest ) are worse although it might have some logic behind, like Bd2 connecting the rooms and so on.> It is entirely possible that my analysis or my comment is wrong when it consists of just kibitzing. In which case you may form your own opinion about it as with any kibitzing.>

You don't analyze, Ulhumbrus. You just select from your small stock of <My First Book of Chess Strategy> chesshomeric epithets:

"disturbs the kingside pawns without necessity"

"moves an already developed piece"

"connects the rooks"


As in an epic poem, whether the chosen epithet relates to what is actually occurring at a given moment is matter of chance.

Sep-13-17  Chessmusings: This is a very instructive game that chess coaches will make good use of. My lesson plans for the game are posted here:
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Houdini 4

10...h6 11.h3 Rfe8 12.d4 exd4 13.cxd4 d5 14.e5 Nh7 15.Nf1 Bf5 16.a3 Bxc2 ⩲ (0.29) Depth: 23

Sep-20-17  Al2009: This was not the game of the "humble" GM Xiangzhi. This was the game of the HUMBLE H PAWN!
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
parmetd's favorite games
by parmetd
First time of reigning WC on World Cup and falls on Round 2
from Chess stories for History by syracrophy
15...Bxh3!? Audacity against World Champion pays off!
from Trust your intuition. Tal would have approved! by syracrophy
...Bxh3 16.gxh3 Qxh3
from 70b_middlegame SACS on h6 (or h3) by whiteshark
from JohnO.O's favorite moves by JohnO.O
2017 games
by Severin
h awareness campawn
from 99_whiteshark's favorite games of 2017 by whiteshark
from sonia91's favorite games by sonia91
sacrifice of bishop ah h3 !!
from best games of chessgames 2017 by caracas1970
World Cup 2017
by frogmanjones
fisayo123's favorite games
by fisayo123
How beat the World Chess Champions
by Eduardo Bermudez
Best games of 2017
by fisayo123
Bruce Graham's favorite games 2
by Bruce Graham
Best Games
by markz

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2017, Chessgames Services LLC