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Magnus Carlsen vs Gawain Jones
Tata Steel (2018), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 8, Jan-21
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Modern Line (B76)  ·  1-0


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sac: 18.h4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-22-18  JPi: The problem is not what you can see but what you don't. Indeed 21...Kh8 is not such obvious move. Of course i can see its merits but I doubt I will select it among other moves. 21...Bf8 or 23...g5 are options that GM Gawain Jones has surely considered. But he had to found a plan not a move. On 21...Kh8 22.Qg1 and what... On 23...g5 Black could be worried by Ng3-Nf5 or/and Bd3 (Qe4-Qh7). I will nt call it obvious especially if I have to play the game. Really a lot of us could be confused by for example an Allgaier gambit which show some similarities with the actual position (Pawn for a piece but an unsafe king). I read a comment on Chess Base which enlightened better this game than computer moves suggestion. Indeed Black didn't get a winning position by a better strategy but because a big blunder and he has to set up his mind with it. I mean I will be more upset when a player by a better strategy got a winning position and didn't. Here Black has to understand why his position has became suddenly clearly better. And the position isn't such simple.
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  alexmagnus: I have a collection of GM blunders on my game collection list. But I'm not sure of to include this game. The blundering player <won>.
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  rogge: Postgame interviews

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  Richard Taylor: It is a blunder if you lose and a sacrifice if you win.

Of course Carlsen overlooked the consequences of his move. These things happen all the time and to Carlsen himself (he blundered to lose a game against Caruana once.)

Gawain Jones is a good player.

Jones once played an enterprising attacking Queen sac against Carlsen. Carlsen in that case had seen it coming.

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  Richard Taylor: <nok: To be fair, Gawain not playing ...g5 five moves later is as big a blunder, I'd say even worse.>

...g5 was better than what he played but what he played wasn't too wrong. I suspect he thought Carlsen had sacrificed on purpose as in the game it always looks worse (or better).

Everyone in chess or life makes errors. Without error there would be nothing, no change.

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  MikhailGolubev: Annotated the game Carlsen-Jones for ChessBase:
Jan-22-18  nok: <Back when Carlsen-Hou was played you said that Hou’s 44....h5 was worse than Petrosian failing to see that the other guy’s horsie could take his queenie.> I checked that one. Yes, it was really bad. Hou was too relieved to exchange queens and didn't think.

<You telling a grandmaster what moves ought to be second nature to him in his signature opening is comic.> That's what a blunder is, basically, a mistake a player of your mileage wouldn't normally do. And you're left with how to explain it. Here Gawain was too eager to exchange queens. But I'm sure he kicked himself all the way to the bar for not playing ...g5.

<I would say a Dragon specialist is less likely to play the automatic line-closing move than a circumspect positional coward like me.> It is very thematic and a Dragon player will often play ...h6 or even ...f6 to achieve it.

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  beenthere240: Chessgames lists 17. g4 as a sac. It certainly jolted the game out of the potentially drawish rut it was stuck in.
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  MissScarlett: <Sac de merde> as the French say. That's what Jones feels like today.
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  Marmot PFL: If indeed the knight sacrifice was unintended than the only explanation that makes sense is that white intended 17 h4 followed by 18 g4 and somehow inverted the move order. I do that all the time but am a patzer and besides over twice Carlsen's age, when such things occur more frequently.
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  jaime gallegos: Many lectures on this game. Great to learn what we can and cannot do playing chess. BTW the chess ratings are so inflated!
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  Richard Taylor: <MikhailGolubev: Annotated the game Carlsen-Jones for ChessBase:

Good. I thought at first Carlsen was lashing out a bit like a Tal as he sometimes seems to like to appear, and then he changes back to his more common "Capablanca or Fischer" or one of those. I think I was persauded to adopt the Maroczy Bind systems against the Sicilian after seeing some of Carlsen's games....But I analysed the Carlsen-Jones and printed it using Fritz (analysis with Komodo, the free version).

Do you also coach? There might be some on here want assistance.

Jan-22-18  BOSTER: I have another interpretation pos after 17...f4 which cut off line b3-g5. Carlson wants to play 18.Bxf4 If. exf4 19.Rxd5 cxd5 if 19...Rxe1+ Rd1+
If after 20. Bxd5+ Qxe8 and here he saw the refutation.
Jan-22-18  JustAnotherMaster: what a fun game...thx for the entertainment as always MC
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  chancho: <"Fischer is Fischer, but a knight is a knight!"

~Mikhail Tal>

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  HeMateMe: just wonderful--black is effectively playing without two pieces, the blocked in LSB and the pinned Knight. Carlsen can bring the heat.
Jan-23-18  frogbert: And a bishop means nothing ...
Jan-24-18  WorstPlayerEver: Fair trade
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  Richard Taylor: I cant see that the assertion by Rudolf that Carlsen is "never emotional" in such situations is nonsense. He would feel like anyone else. After blundering one effect is to play more fearlessly having little to lose. I suspect he was very annoyed and thinking he would lose.

IM Rudolf and some other commentator online forget that this game is not an example of Carlsen recovering where others wouldn't it is an example of a player against the World Champion probably feeling the pressure considering who he is playing.

In fact it could show that Carlsen is losing it compared to his once seeming invincibility.

Of course, as Kasparov (wittily?) says, "Luck is an essential skill for a great chess player."

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  perfidious: <keypusher....I would say a Dragon specialist is less likely to play the automatic line-closing move than a circumspect positional coward like me.>


You a coward?

I rather doubt that.

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  Sally Simpson: Hi Alex,

Carlsen vs G Jones, 2018 (kibitz #58)

Carlsen admitted it was a blunder, so it was a blunder. therefore why not include it in your collection.

What is relatively surprising is that he did not blunder again. These things usually come in pairs.

A few guys at the club were saying how awful the Dragon must be if White can just give a Knight for nothing and still win.

The opening was not to blame. At the board Jones is not sure if it was meant or not. Carlsen's OTB presence will be overpowering giving no hint he has blundered. Jones (am I winning, am I this a draw?) allows his position to be become dry and tepid, Carlsen now firing on all cylinders wins.

Some of the lads refused to believe Carlsen would make such a blunder. I replied that everyone blunders. 90 minutes later I dropped a Rook in a league game and lost.

Feb-18-18  BanyCheck: Carlsen blundered and Gawain failed to win. Bad for both ;)
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  beenthere240: I can believe that Jones could have become convinced that Carlsen's g4 was a deep deep sacrifice. what else to expect from the WC. he then began to play very gingerly.
Mar-07-18  veerar: Early a6 and b5,are typical of the Sicilian.But Black plays as if it were the KID,while White has castled on the Q's side.e5 and f5 weaken Black's position.And d5 is supposed to be the freeing move in the Sicilian for Black.Very mysterious play by Black in this game,what with N-pin on the BQ and later on the King simultaneously!
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  The Boomerang: Carlsen goes from Patzer to Genius.....not an easy transition to handle..
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