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Magnus Carlsen vs Anish Giri
Gashimov Memorial (2019), Shamkir AZE, rd 7, Apr-07
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: All the rather large talk of Giri being Carlsen's bete noire seems to have died an ignominious death.

It is Black's misfortune that the exchange sacrifice, which so far as I can tell is forced if he wants to stay on the board, does not slake his great opponent's thirst for retribution, but merely paves the way for conversion to an easily won ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SugarDom: Why do you say the exchange is forced?

Stockfish says 18...Kh7 is good for black.

Apr-08-19  Steve.Patzer: 11....Qe6 seems to be a loss of tempo.
Apr-08-19  Imran Iskandar: Fantastic play by Carlsen, generating sharp play from what seemed to be a dry position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <SugarDom: Why do you say the exchange is forced? >

Because White is threatening 28.fxg6.

Itís a shame Carlsen missed 26.Rxg6+, but still a great game. Lots of videos already.

Apr-08-19  The17thPawn: Nepomniactchi is Carlsens current bÍte noire. No one else comes to mind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SugarDom: <Itís a shame Carlsen missed 26.Rxg6+, but still a great game. Lots of videos already.>

I think he saw that too. He just went for the less complicated line.

Apr-08-19  Captain Hindsight: Better would have been < 27. d4 !! >

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: 18...Kh7 does not look (to me at least) like a move a human selects.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Daniel King shows my analysis was completely wrong:
Premium Chessgames Member
  SugarDom: <beenthere240: 18...Kh7 does not look (to me at least) like a move a human selects.>

I'm no GM but I've seen Kasparov make K-h1 or K-h7 moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SugarDom: OK to be fair. One will not move kh7 when there's a bishop in the diagonal. So it's a computer move.
Apr-08-19  Ulhumbrus: One alternative to 17...exf4 is 17...f5 acquiring a formation of e and f pawns similar to that in the games Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1968 and Larsen vs Ljubojevic, 1979
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dr Winston OBoogie: I wonder how long black looked at this pawn for

click for larger view

Just went through the game and that immediately stood out. Apparently only f6 here evens things up

click for larger view

so why would you take a pawn that looks poisoned to us mortals only to follow it up with Rd8?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Apparently only f6 here evens things up [...] so why would you take a pawn that looks poisoned to us mortals only to follow it up with Rd8?>

19...f6 doesn't really even things up (the last moment for that was apparently a move earlier, with 18...Kh7!) - it's just the only move that allows Black to somehow stay in the game and not lose quickly by force. But from a human viewpoint it looks extremely unattractive in the way it weakens the light squares around the king, and it's actually quite difficult to realize that you're surviving tactically after 20. Be4 Qh3! (only move) 21. Qg6 Bg4! (again, only move - otherwise Rg1 is crushing) and now the black king is chased into the wild blue yonder after 22. Qh7+ Kf7 23. Bg6+ Ke6 24. Rce1+ Kd7 25. Qxg7+ Kc8 26. Be4:

click for larger view

Good luck believing (as Black) that this is a playable position for you...

According to the press conference after the game Giri was already quite desperate about his position by the time he took the e3 pawn; it's not like he expected good things after that. As the moves following 19...Rd8 show it was an attempt to get some kind of a defensive setup with Bf8 & Rd5, which obviously wasn't enough.

Apr-14-19  Marvken: 27...Bg7 28. Be7 Rxe7 29. Qxe7 Qe5 30. Qh4 g5
Here, Giri lasts a bit longer
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Marvken>
On 27...Bg7 White has <28. fxg6> and I'm not seeing how Giri lasts long after that.
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