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Carlsen's Unusual Openings
Compiled by theidiot117
--*--

A catalogue of Carlsen's unusual opening choices against 2700+ level opposition, organised chronologically. Other than outright bizarre choices, it also includes:

- Openings that are only unusual at 2700+ level, such as the Ponziani or Dutch Stonewall (despite the latter's occurrence at the top level during the 90's).

- Unusual sidelines of mainstream openings.

- His unusual treatment of common openings.

Note: I may be mistaken about the unusualness of some of the games as my opening expertise is limited.

[Alekhine]
Topalov vs Carlsen, 2008 
(B04) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 44 moves, 0-1

[Pirc]
F Vallejo Pons vs Carlsen, 2012 
(B07) Pirc, 41 moves, 0-1

[KID] Nc6-Nb4 without e5
Aronian vs Carlsen, 2013 
(E90) King's Indian, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

[Ponziani]
Carlsen vs Harikrishna, 2013 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 49 moves, 1-0

[Trompowsky]
Carlsen vs Kramnik, 2013 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 72 moves, 1-0

[Dutch] Leningrad
Aronian vs Carlsen, 2013 
(A80) Dutch, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

[Semi-Slav, Marshall Gambit] Nc3 (WC2013 G5)
Carlsen vs Anand, 2013 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 58 moves, 1-0

[anti-Berlin] Early Bxc6, h3
Carlsen vs Caruana, 2014 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 47 moves, 1-0

[Slav, Schallopp] Be2,Bd3
Carlsen vs Nakamura, 2014 
(D12) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 61 moves, 1-0

[Indian Game: Przepiorka Variation]
Carlsen vs Caruana, 2014 
(A49) King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4, 49 moves, 1-0

[Scandinavian] Qd8
Caruana vs Carlsen, 2014 
(B01) Scandinavian, 50 moves, 0-1

[Grunfeld] without c5 push (WC2014 G1)
Anand vs Carlsen, 2014 
(D85) Grunfeld, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

[anti-Berlin] Re1,Bxc6,Nxb6,d5 (without c3),Ra3! (WC2014 G2)
Carlsen vs Anand, 2014 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 35 moves, 1-0

[Sicilian KIA] (WC2014 G4)
Carlsen vs Anand, 2014 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

[Sicilian, Kan] 7.Qd3 (WC2014 G6)
Carlsen vs Anand, 2014 
(B41) Sicilian, Kan, 38 moves, 1-0

[Nimzo-Larsen] 1...g6
Jobava vs Carlsen, 2015 
(A01) Nimzovich-Larsen Attack, 50 moves, 0-1

[anti-Berlin] Bxc6, very slow d4
Carlsen vs Radjabov, 2015 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 40 moves, 1-0

[Dutch Stonewall]
Anand vs Carlsen, 2015 
(A90) Dutch, 36 moves, 0-1

[Dutch Stonewall]
Caruana vs Carlsen, 2015 
(A90) Dutch, 52 moves, 0-1

[Ruy Lopez] 3...g6
Adams vs Carlsen, 2015 
(C76) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

[KIA vs QID]!? w/ d5-gambit
Carlsen vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2015 
(A05) Reti Opening, 54 moves, 1-0

[anti-Berlin] a5-pawn gambit using d4 pivot
Carlsen vs Kramnik, 2015 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 49 moves, 1-0

[Slav, Schallopp] Be2,Bd3
Carlsen vs R Mamedov, 2015 
(A15) English, 35 moves, 1-0

[English, Symmetrical] Nd5-Nxe7!?-Nxc8, Be3!?-Nc2-Nxe3
Carlsen vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2015 
(A15) English, 43 moves, 1-0

[KIA] h4-h5, f4, Kd2, d4
Carlsen vs Caruana, 2016 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

[London]
Carlsen vs Tomashevsky, 2016 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 30 moves, 1-0

[Catalan] Ne4,g5,Nd6-Nf5
Eljanov vs Carlsen, 2016 
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 34 moves, 0-1

[Ruy Lopez] 3...g6
Karjakin vs Carlsen, 2016 
(C60) Ruy Lopez, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

[Modern] 4a6
Wei Yi vs Carlsen, 2016 
(B06) Robatsch, 60 moves, 0-1

[Sicilian] Delayed Alapin
Carlsen vs Karjakin, 2016 
(B50) Sicilian, 40 moves, 1-0

[anti-Berlin] Bxc6,a3-b4!?
Carlsen vs W So, 2016 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 26 moves, 1-0

[QGA] a6,Bg4
A Giri vs Carlsen, 2016 
(D22) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 62 moves, 1/2-1/2

[London] Nd2,a4-a5
Carlsen vs A Giri, 2016 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 45 moves, 1-0

33 games

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