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Magnus Carlsen vs Philipp Scheffknecht
European Club Cup (2001), Panormo GRE, rd 3, Sep-25
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Modern Variation (B42)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-07-16  EhsanBalani: Why didn't Black eat the b-pawn after 29.Bb1?
Apr-07-16  BareKing: Probably because he felt the subsequent loss of the d6 pawn (thus giving white a strong passer on column d) would have been too dangerous, se he opted to defend d6 instead.
May-29-16  Sergash: Philipp Scheffknecht is an Austrian player born in 1981, so he was 19 or 20 years old when he played the actual game. Rated 2150 at the time, he never obtained any FIDE title, though the highest rating he ever achieved was 2197 in October 2005. Early 2016, his FIDE rating is 2072.

Magnus Carlsen, on the other hand, was 10 years old and rated 2084.

I checked this game with the program Komodo 9.42 64 bits and the Chessbase.

<5.Bd3> Earlier that same year, Calsen had played 5.Nc3 here, which is more popular historically. See Carlsen vs A Caoili, 2001

<13...Nxe5?!N 14.Nd4! > This is the theoritical novelty of this game. Before that, there had been the better 13...dxe5! 14.Qf3 (Rafal Lewandowski (2180) vs. Andrzej Ostrowski (2265), Augustow Open (Polland) 1996, section A, 0-1).

<14...Neg4?!> Strange move, the only purpose of which seems to annoy the white bichop on e3... 14...0-0

<15.Bg1?!> Carlsen misses the opportunity to secure a clear advantage here: 15.Bg5! h6 (not 15...Bc8?! 16.Qd2 / ) 16.Bxf6 Bxf6! 17.Ndxb5! Qd7! 18.Nxd6+ Qxd6 19.Qxg4 Bxc3 20.bxc3 0-0

<15...g6?! 16.Nd5! Nxd5 17.Qxg4! > A weakening move. Better were 15...Ne5 or 15...0-0

<18.Qe2? 0-0 = > A serious mistake! 18.Qf4!

<20.Nf3?!> 20.c4! bxc4 21.Bxc4 Ne5 22.Ba2 = /

<21.c3?!> Now Black gets the upper hand. 21.c4! bxc4 22.Bxc4 Rae8! =

<21...Rfe8?! 22.Bd4! = > Wrong rook! 21...Rae8!

May-29-16  Sergash: <22...Ne5?!> It was better to trade the bishops: 22...Bxd4! 23.cxd4! (to control c5 and e5) f5! =

<27...Rf8?! 28.Qf4 = / > 27...Bxe4! 28.Rxe4! Rxe4 29.Bxf7+ Kg7 30.Qf6+ (30.Bxe8 Rxe8 =) Kh6 31.Bxe8 Rxe8 =

<28...Qc2?!> 28...Qb6 29.Qh4 (or 29.Qf6 Qd8 ) Rd7! 30.Qf6

<29.Bb1?> Here there was the nice 29.Rf2! Rxe4! 30.Bxf7+! Kg7 31.Qf6+! Kh6 32.Rg1! Qc6 33.Rf3!

<29...Qc6?! 30.d5! > <EhsanBalani: Why didn't Black eat the b-pawn after 29.Bb1?> The best move was effectively to capture that pawn: 29...Qxb2! 30.Qxd6 Rfe8 =

<32...Rfe8?! 33.h3 > 32...Qd8!

<34.Rxc8+?! Bxc8 > Trading the rooks simplifies Black's defense. 34.Rcf3! Rf8 35.Qf6!

<40.Qf6?! Qxb2! > For the 2nd time in this game, Black gets the advantage. 40.Kh2! = /

<41...Be8?! 42.Qxd6 = > Scheffknecht missed an important intermediary move which would have controlled d8 and defended d6: 41...Qb6+! 42.Kh2 (or 42.Kh1 Be8 ) Be8

<43...a5?! 44.Qf4! > There was this nice Exchange sacrifice: 43...Bb5! 44.Rf2! Rxg3+! 45.Qxg3 Qxb1+ 46.Kh2 (or 46.Kg2 Qxe4+ 47.Qf3 Qe8 =) Qxe4 =

<45...Qe5> Alternate play could have been 45...Qxf2+ 46.Rxf2 (or 46.Kxf2 Rxh3 ) Rxh3 47.Kg2 Rh5

May-29-16  Sergash: The game was steering towards a draw when Scheffknecht made a terrible blunder: <47...Qc7?? 48.Qf6+! Kg8 49.g4! > The simple 47...a4! would have held.

Note that Black cannot play 49...Re5 because of 50.d6...

<52...Rg6> After this move, White had a mate in 5. Black would have held longer with 52...Re6 53.Qxg5+ Rg6 54.Qe7 Rg7 55.Bd5! Qb5 56.Rf5 Qe2+ with a little harassing of the white king.

Now Carlsen misses all the faster mates, like <53.Bxf7+> instead of the mate in 5 moves 53.Rxf7! Qxe4+ 54.Rf3+! Bf7 55.Qxf7+ Kh8 56.Qf8+ Rg8 57.Qxg8#

Or instead of <54.Qxf7+> there was the mate in 7 moves 54.d7! Qc2+ 55.Kg1 Qc5+ 56.Qxc5 Rd6 57.Qxd6 Kg7 58.Qf6+ Kg8 59.Qxf7+ Kh8 60.Qf8#

<57...Kg8> It was mate in 9 moves after 57...h6 58.Rf8+ Kh7 59.Qf5+ Rg6 60.Rf7+ Kh8 61.Qxg6 Qc2+ 62.Rf2 Qc8 63.d7 Qb8 64.Rc2 Qd8 65.Rc8 and mate next move.

I didn't care to give all the possible variations and sublines in the forced mates.

When Black resigned, White was to mate in 2 moves and it was obvious to both players I think.

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