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Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Dolmatov
Aeroflot Open (2004), Moscow RUS, rd 3, Feb-19
Zukertort Opening: Dutch Variation (A04)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  egilarne: The great expert GM Stefan Kindermann proposes 8...c6 9.Bf4! in his book on the Leningrad variation (2005), page 182:

"The position arising after 9 Bf4 does not exactly inspire confidence, from the black point of view, as the two games played and some analytical material show. The insecure position of the black king and the weakness of the central squares are a source of constant anxiety."

Feb-28-08  midknightblue: <refutor> I know that you know your stuff. Nevertheless, thought I would mention that in Neil McDonalds recent book "Chess Success:planning after the opening" he cover this game and says that 2.d3 is "a shrewd move to take his opponent out of the typical dutch pawn structure that arises after 2.d4 Nf3..." I don't know these systems as well, since I usually answer Nf3 with Nf6 and I don't play 1Nf3 as white. However, I thought McDonald's comments seemed sensible. By junk, do you mean waste-basket of openings that aren't well defined or junk as in bad? If so is there any concrete analysis?
Apr-29-09  returnoftheking: There is an entire chapter on this opening in Nic's SOS series, volume 1; where they call it the improved Lisitsin gambit like <poisonpanws> above indicated. Coincidentally; SOS volume 1 was published not long before this game was played! I guess "patzer books" are sometimes useful even to GM's.
Apr-29-09  returnoftheking: This one Korchnoi vs Dolmatov, 1999 is for the dude above who thinks Dolmatov is lost in unknown positions..
Oct-15-09  beenthere240: The Latvian declined 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3. d3 can make the black player think that he's going to have it easy, but it ain't necessarily so.
Dec-19-09  lefthandsketch: Actually, following 1.Nf3 f5 2. d3 prevents the leningrad dutch according to Steffan Kindermann, who cites this game saying that dutch players shouldn't play 1...f5 against 1.nf3, because it is so simple for white to steal the initiative and the center forever with the simple pawn push black players instead should play 1...d6 against 1.Nf3 and try to transpose into the dutch later- though they may be forced into a pirc obviously.
Dec-20-09  Shams: On 6...e4 what is white's best?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Here is the new link for Kavalek's comments:

Dec-22-11  eyalbd: <<Q: I still recall the scene with Alexander Nikitin, Kasparov’s coach, who at one of the first “Aeroflots” stood next to your table and witnessed you crush Dolmatov in 20 moves. He then went around the hall with the scoresheet of that game and breathlessly informed everyone: "This is the game of a genius">

Carlsen: Yes, I remember that, I was 13 then (laughs). I want to thank Nikitin for the good promotion he did for me then. He’s an authority figure, and I even heard about it when I returned home. Yes, he also predicted a great future for me.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: A quick whip by Carlsen at such a young age.
Dec-27-11  Cemoblanca: On his chess development (From ChessPro, translated by ColinMcGourty)

ChessPro: I still recall the scene with Alexander Nikitin, Kasparov’s coach, who at one of the first “Aeroflots” stood next to your table and witnessed you crush Dolmatov in 20 moves. He then went around the hall with the scoresheet of that game and breathlessly informed everyone: “This is the game of a genius”…

Magnus: Yes, I remember that, I was 13 then (laughs). I want to thank Nikitin for the good promotion he did for me then. He’s an authority figure, and I even heard about it when I returned home. Yes, he also predicted a great future for me.

Here is the full interview:

Jun-27-12  Poisonpawns: This game reminds me of Morphy so much its scary. Is Magnus the reincarnate Morphy?
Jul-13-12  Poisonpawns: Can you refute 8..Bxc2
Perhaps 9.Bf4 Nc6(c6) 10.Rc1 Bf5 11.Bc4
I like white. No refutation per say but very hard for black. Other move for black to try that is better than the text is 11..Qe7+ What does white play? I like 12.Kd1 0-0-0 13.a4!
It seems 1.Nf3 buries f5 to the trash bin of openings. Question: How does a dutch player get to the dutch after 1.Nf3 without playing 1..f5?
Sep-28-13  EGarrett: Given the quote from the interview, this should be a Game of the Day under the title, "Alexander's Delight."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Kingscrusher highlights this game:

Sep-16-14  MarkFinan: <Check It Out: Kingscrusher highlights this game:

Just watched the video. I got distracted for about 30 seconds so that's maybe why he lost me, although I do think his vids are brilliant most of the time. Can't really comment on the game itself now, lol, but I just wanted to say I liked the part where 'Kasparov's trainer' walked around the playing hall saying that "This is the game of a genius!".

Btw.. If you're training Kasparov then you're either a genius yourself or you just know what you're talking about, lol. Either way he was right because Carlsen is now WCC and already up there with the greats throughout history.. Imo! ✌

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The 'what is this opening?' debate from 10 years ago is amusing. Comments range from saying that 2.d3 is 'junk' to calling it a refutation of 1.Nf3 f5.

Neither, obviously, is true. Nor is this a Dutch, though 2.d4 would have transposed into one. It's a Neo-Lisitsyn ... an improved version of the original Lisitsyn Gambit, 1.Nf3 f5 2.e4.

I've played both 2.e4 and 2.d3 and have come to prefer the latter. Carlsen's treatment of it here is inspirational, though not all opponents are quite so helpful.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: < This game reminds me of Morphy so much its scary. Is Magnus the reincarnate Morphy?>

No, not really. All it takes to play a Morphyesque game is basic tactical skill plus help from the opponent. Most masters have played a few... even I have a couple of games that look superficially Morphy-like, though I know my opponents were weaker.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom> one of (probably) very few Morphy-type smashes in my career came after 1.Nf3 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3, when my 1900-rated opponent incautiously took what was on offer, going down in eight moves.

Being a positional grinder was more my style, rather than playing for a quick kill.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> As was I, most of the time. But I can think of a couple of games that were superficially Morphyesque (and a couple more that I lost).

I reckon the basic Morphy tactics are part of everyone's armory now.

Oct-23-17  The Kings Domain: Neat and simply efficient win by Carlsen. One of the finest miniatures of the game.
Aug-20-19  tigreton: I really like 6. d4, I think it's a very difficult move to spot.
Aug-09-21  Gaito: < InspiredByMorphy: 10. ...b5? is weak. I liked Black's play up until this move. I think 10. ...d5 was much stronger.> I agree with you, 10...b5 does look like a weak move (10...b5), yet the engines seem to like it! Stockfish 14 believes that 10...b5 is Black's best move in that position. It is reminiscent of the Opera game Morphy vs. Duke and Count, but in this position the engines recommend 10...b5! I have strong confidence in what the engines recommend to play.

Actually, Black's first mistake came later.

Aug-09-21  Gaito:

click for larger view


This diagram depicts the critical moment of the game. Dolmatov played the seemimgly logical and obvious developing move 11....Be7??

Why would such a natural looking move be the losing mistake? Well, Sergey Dolmatov obviously lacked a developed sense to smell possible danger.

Some grandmasters of the past, like Korchnoi, Lasker or Petrosian, could smell danger several moves before the danger appeared; but most ordinary players do not perceive danger until it is too late! It is a gift some players have and some other players do not have.

In this position Black ought to have played 11...h6! according to SF14. But 11...h6 is an engine's move, not a human move. Just imagine you are playing Black in this position: you are behind in development in a position where White can castle on either side, the e-column has been dangerously opened, and then the engine suggests that you play a non-developing move! But the engine has a more acute sense of danger than Petrosian or Lasker, because the engine calculates future possibilities at a rate of several million nodes per second, and so it could easily "smell" the approaching danger when the human players could smell nothing.

A possible continuation would have been something like this:

11...h6! 12.Qe3+ (or 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Ne2 Qxd4 14.Nxd4 Bd7=) 12...Qe7 13.Bxf6 Qxe3+ 14.fxe3 gxf6 15.Rf1 Bd7 16.Ne4 (or else 16.Rxf6 d5 17.e4 b4 18.Ne2 Bg7=) 16...O-O-O! 17.Nxf6 Kc7 18.c3 d5 (=). See diagram below:

click for larger view

According to the engine (SF14) White's extra pawn is of little or no significance in this position (Computer evaluation: +0.15)

Aug-09-21  Gaito: <Apr-12-05 Weadley: Why is this a win? help me out here.>

click for larger view

A possible continuation could have been 19...gxh4 20.Nxd5 cxd5 21.Qxh8+ Qe8 22.Qxh6, whereupon Black's weak pawns would be picked up like ripe apples. (See diagram below):

click for larger view

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