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Bela Badea vs Magnus Carlsen
NOR-ch op (2001), Oslo NOR, rd 9, Apr-14
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-27-09  returnoftheking: Not a tasty pawn for Magnus; black seems more then ok around move 22.
Dec-19-11  kia0708: Carlsen lost against King's Indian Attack. Is this real ???
Jan-22-13  Checker2: He was only ten years old at the time.
Apr-15-16  Sergash: This game was the first time Carlsen, 10 years old at the time, was playing against an International Grandmaster!

Badea had become a GM in 1999, less than 2 years ago. In 1998, Badea who was born in 1969 had already obtained his highest rating until now: 2545. Since he became a GM, his top rating has been 2530.

A rating of 2500 is the minimum to first obtain the GM title, after which obtention it doesn't matter anymore.

At the time of this game, Badea was rated 2492, while Carlsen had had his first FIDE rating of 2064. A 400 points difference!

Also note that this could have been the first time Carlsen was playing against the King's Indian Attack (KIA), at least in a tournament. An opening that was often played by Fischer in his youth, but that Carlsen had never played himself.

Apr-15-16  Sergash: After <11.Nxd4 > White had a small advantage, threatening to win a piece with 12.e5 to which 12...Bxg2 would not work, in view of 13.exf6, still threatening 2 black pieces against none.

<11...Qb8> It appears better to first get the rook out of the corner, as in 11...Qc7 12.b3 a6 13.Bb2 Rac8 14.Rc1 Qb8 Lajos Portisch (2650) vs Ljubomir Ljubojevic (2565), Madrid (Spain) 1973, round 11, draw.

<12.f4N Rc8N> 12.f4 appears to be a novelty, but also 12...Rc8, because Carlsen could have transposed in a known path with 12...Qc7 13.Be3 a6 (13...Rac8 14.Rc1 Qb8 Andras Bernei (2325) vs Tibor Radvanyi (2120), Balatontourist Budapest (Hungary) 1997, round 6, draw) 14.Rc1 Rfe8 (14...Rac8 15.Qe2 Qb8 16.g4 Qa8! 17.Bf2 g6 Miklos Kovacs vs Martin Johansson Sr., 10th Asztalos Memorial (Hungary) 1967, 1-0) 15.g4 g6! (15...Nc5?! 16.Bf2! g6 Gintautas Piesina vs Gedimiras Rastenis, Latvia Championship 1981 in Klaipeda (USSR), 1-0) 16.g5 Nh5 Alex Yermolinsky - Valery Chekhov, USSR 1984, 1-0.


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<15...Ra7?! 16.Bf2 > A sophisticated plan to bring the rook in play after Ba8. Better was 15...Nc5! 16.Bf2 (or 16.Qc2 b5! 17.b4! Ncd7 18.cxb5 Ng4! = Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT) e5! and now

A) 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.Nc2 a5! = Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT

B) 17.Nc2 exf4! = / Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT

C) 17.Nf5 g6! 18.Ne3 (18.b4 Ncd7! 19.Ne3! b5! = Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT; or 18.fxe5 dxe5 19.Nh4! = Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT) Nfxe4! 19.Bxe4 (19.Nxe4 Nxe4! would transpose) Nxe4 20.Nxe4! Bxe4 = Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT

Apr-15-16  Sergash: After his 19th move, Carlsen had achieved complete equality. <19.Nxf5!? Nc5! = 20.Ng3 Rae7! 21.Nd5> Suddenly the computer prefers Black (not by much though!).

Better was 20.Nd5 Ncxe4! 21.Bh4 = Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Also : 21.Bxc5! bxc5 22.g5 Nd7 23.Qd2 = / Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT

Then Carlsen calculated a long series of exchanges that brought him a small advantage :


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<21...Bxd5! 22.exd5 (the recapture with the 'c' pawn was as good) Rxe1+! 23.Bxe1 Rxe1+! 24.Qxe1 Nd3 25.Qd1 Nxc1 26.g5!>

25.g5 is a necessary intermediate move. I guess grandmaster Badea was now realizing the 10 year old untitled kid in front of him had got the better position now?

Then <26...Nxa2?!> losing the newly built advantage...

Carlsen had to play 26...Ng4! 27.Qxc1 (or 27.Qxg4 Nxa2 Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT) b5 28.h3! Qa7+! 29.Kh1 Nf2+ 30.Kh2 g6 Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Then I think Carlsen was in zeitnot (time pressure) between the 30th and the 40th nove.

First mistake: <30...Kh8?>

The kid had to play 30...Qe5! 31.Qc8+ Bf8 32.Bxh7+ Kxh7 33.Qxf8 Qf6! = Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT.

But Badea went for <31.Kf1? Qd8! => maybe to restart the boy's clock quickly?

Or maybe he was afraid of all those checks that could follow? So he missed 31.Qh4! (threat: Qxh7#) h6 32.Nf5! Kg8 33.Nxd6 Qe5 34.Nf5 Qa1+! 35.Kg2 Qb2+ 36.Qf2! Qxf2+ 37.Kxf2 Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT

Then <33.Qf5 (again threatening Qxh7#) Qg8??>

This was the fatal mistake. Carlsen would have survived with 33...Kg8! 34.Qxh7+ Kf8 = Stockfish 7 - 64 bits POPCNT.

After <34.Nf6+! Bxf6 35.Qxf6+ Qg7 36.Qd8+ Qg8 37.Qxd6 a5 38.Qxb6> there was no hope left...

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