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Vasilios Kotronias vs Magnus Carlsen
Gausdal Classics GM (2002), Gausdal NOR, rd 2, Apr-12
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Neo-Modern Variation Early deviations (B62)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-24-05  Whitehat1963: Well played by the Player of the Day.
May-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The 9.Nxc6! bxc6 10.Bf4! line employed by Kotronias is the scourge of Classical Sicilian players. Even the young Carlsen couldn't find a way to handle it.
May-14-15  cunctatorg: Well, a twelve year old Carlsen isn't a young Carlsen, he is a child, a boy Carlsen...
Nov-23-18  Sergash: Vasilios Kotronias, a Greek chess player born in 1964 (he was 37 when this game was played), became International Master in 1986, 4 years before Carlsen's birth. He later became a Grandmaster in 1990, the year Carlsen was born. Kotronias was the Greece national champion 10 times so far. He also represented Cyprus between 1998 and 2004, before going back to play as a Greek player again. He was also a candidate to the European Parliament with The River party for the elections of 2014. At the time of this game, according to Chessbase, Kotronias was rated 2568, compared to 2127 for Carlsen.

Carlsen, on the other hand, was 11 years old (not 12 as <Cunctatorg> said, as the tournament was held in April and Carlsen was born in November and was a 5th grader in elementary school) and could have been considered a candidate national master, or an Expert.

<7...a7-a6 8.0-0-0 h7-h6> A new approach for the boy, as in a previous game Carlsen had played 7...Bf8-e7 8.0-0-0 Nc6xd4 9.Qd2xd4 0-0 10.e4-e5 d6xe5 11.Qd4xe5 Bc8-d7! 12.Qe5-g3 Nf6-h5 13.Bg5xe7 Qd8xe7 14.Qg3-g4 Nh5-f6 15.Qg4-h4 Bd7-c6! 16.Bf1-d3 Qe7-c5 17.Rh1-e1 Rf8-d8?! (17...b7-b5!= Komodo 9.42 64 bits.) 18.Bd3xh7+! Kg8-f8 ⩲ H Kummerow vs Carlsen, 2001, draw.

<9.Nd4xc6! b7xc6 10.Bg5-f4! d6-d5 11.Qd2-e3! Bf8-e7 12.Bf1-e2 ⩲> Puntuation from <FSR>. This knight trade might not be as big a deal as <FSR> suggests, though it is a very good line for White. The most played line in History here is 9.Bg5-e3 Bf8-e7 10.f2-f3! Nc6xd4 11.Be3xd4 b7-b5 ⩲ G Timoshchenko vs S Makarichev, 1978, draw.

Nov-23-18  Granny O Doul: I played my first tournament in years a few months ago and met with this same line from White in both Sicilians. I had never known of it before. I heard Dlugy say it was a product of people's observation of computer evals, and elsewhere that Yakov Murey invented it. I suppose it could be both. If so, Murey came up with quite a bit in his day.
Nov-24-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <I suppose it could be both. If so, Murey came up with quite a bit in his day.>

Shure he did.He was e.g. one of Kortchnois seconds.

Nov-24-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Actually played an event or two with Murey and faced him in the Quebec Open blitz event in 1997. Got waxed in the first game and ground down in the second.

Mild and unpretentious in appearance, he could well have been a top GM in different circumstances. No doubt, he was a ferocious opponent, a trait much in evidence in his games.

Nov-25-18  Sergash: <12...Qd8-a5!?> 12...0-0 13.h2-h4! Nf6-d7! 14.Kc1-b1 ⩲ J. Mabusela (2213) - B. Hercules (2155), RSA (South Afrika) Rapid Championship 2017 in Cape Town, round 8.4, 1-0.

<13.e4xd5?!=> Kotronias would have had a clear advantage after the moves 13.a2-a3 ⩲ Arkadij Naiditsch (2425) - Francesco De Gleria (2433), NRW Team Championship under 18 98-99 (Germany) 1998, round 3, 1-0; or 13.h2-h4 ⩲ / ± Attila Groszpeter (2470) - Wang Rui (2495), Perenyi Memorial 2000 in Gyula (Hungary), round 8, 0-1.

<13...Nf6xd5?! 14.Nc3xd5! c6xd5 ⩲ / ±> Trading this knight will weaken Black's king-side. 13...c6xd5!= / ⩲ Bojan Vuckovic (2472) - Orce Dancevski (2426), Macedonian Open in Struga 2002, round 8, 1-0.

<15.Bf4-e5?> A mistake. Better is 15.Kc1-b1! Qa5-c5 16.Qe3-g3! Be7-f6! ⩲ Mladen Palac (2582) - Georg Danner (2450), Schwarzach Open (Germany) 2009, section A, round 4, 1-0.

<15...0-0 16.Kc1-b1=> Carlsen should have gone for 15...Qa5xa2!? 16.Be5xg7 Rh8-g8 17.Bg7-c3 (or 17.Bg7-e5?! Rg8xg2 ⩱ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) Bc8-b7= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<16...Bc8-d7?! 17.Qe3-g3! (threat: Qg3xg7#) f7-f6 18.Be5-f4! (threat: Bf4xh6) Kg8-h7 ⩲> 16...f7-f6! 17.Be5-d4 (or 17.Be5-c3 Qa5-c7= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT) Ra8-b8= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<19.c2-c4?!> 19.Be2-d3+ f6-f5▢ 20.Rh1-e1 ⩲ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<19...Bd7-c6?!> 19...f6-f5!= / ⩲ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<20.Be2-d3+?! f6-f5▢ 21.Rh1-e1 Be7-f6 22.c4-c5=> 20.Rh1-e1! ⩲ Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Dec-23-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: I love how the Justin Bieber of chess maintained complete and absolute inability to control his nerves in this game.

34. ...♔f8 or ♔f7 was not happy or comfortable at all, but black might defend tenaciously in that position.

29. ...♗b5 is super calm.

28. ♖xa6! +-

25. ...♕xc5 was absolutely required, to force ♖e6 back to the first rank.

24. ♖xe6! ♗xd1 25. ♗xf5+ ♔g8 26. ♕g6 with a serious attack.

23. ♗e5 was more direct.

Magnus was incompetent to see that there is nothing wrong with 15. ...♕xa2 16. ♗xg7 ♖g8 17. ♗c3

13. ...♘xd5 was a strategic error, that valuable defending piece should have been left untouched, of course.

Maybe creating problems on the kingside with 13. ♕g3 was better than simplifying away the center with 13. exd5. Depending on your blood pressure you can think of 13. h4 or 13. a3, too. These lines are pretty unclear.

Dec-23-18  rogge: Mocking a 11-year-old kid, how mature.
Dec-23-18  I Like Fish: to rogge

He is not the messi-ah ...
he is a very naughty boy ...

Dec-23-18  rogge: A sad misanthrope.
Dec-23-18  I Like Fish:

yeah...
grow up ...
messiahntrope ...

Dec-31-18  Sergash: To continue our review of this game... one month later and after looking at the following position in details with the help of the new Stockfish 10, and fully in the Holiday Season - Happy New Year 2019 everyone! - let's resume

Position after 22.c4-c5


click for larger view

<22...Qa5-b4?! / ?> In an equal position, Carlsen decides to threaten a mate in one move (Qb4xb2#), a mistake. He would have maintained equality with the surprising and quite tricky line (and I am not mentioning all the possible variations here) 22...Bc6-a4! 23.Re1xe6 (or 23.Rd1-c1 Bf6xb2▢ 24.Kb1xb2▢ Qa5-b4+▢ 25.Kb2-a1 Qb4-d4+▢ 26.Ka1-b1 Qd4-b4+ = with perpetual check. Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Ba4xd2 (also 23...Bf6xb2 24.Kb1xb2 (or 24.Re6-b6 Bb2-c3= Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Qa5-b4 ⩲ with perpetual check. Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) 24.Bd3xf5+ Kh7-g8▢ 25.Qg3-g6▢ Bd1-h5▢ 26.Qg6xh5 (or 26.Qg6-h7+ Kg8-f7 27.Bf4xh6▢ Rf8-h8▢ 28.Re6xf6▢ Kf7xf6 29.Bh6xg7+ (or 29.Qh7xg7+ Kf6xf5 30.Qg7-d7+▢ Kf5-g6 31.Qd7-g7+▢ Kg6-f5 32.Qg7-d7 ⩲ etc. Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Kf6-g5▢= Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Bf6xb2 (or correct this time would be to threaten mate on b2 with 26...Qa5-b5 27.Bf4-c1 (or 27.Qh5-e2 Bf6-g5!= Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Ra8-b8= Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) and here :

A) 27.Re6xh6 Qa5-e1+▢ 28.Kb1xb2 (or 28.Kb1-c2 Qe1xf2+ with perpetual) Qe1xf2+▢ with perpetual check. Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT ;

B) 27.Bf4xh6 Rf8xf5 28.Qh5xf5 Qa5xc5 29.Qf5-g6 (or 29.Bh6-e3 Bb2-d4 30.Be3xd4▢ Qc5xd4= Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Bb2-d4 30.Re6-e8+▢ Ra8xe8 31.Qg6xe8+ Kg8-h7 32.Bh6-d2= Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT ;

C) 27.Bf5-c2 Ra8-d8 28.Bf4-d6 (or 28.Bf4xh6 Rd8-b8 29.Bc2-h7+ (29.Qh5xd5 Qa5xc5▢ 30.Qd5xc5▢ Bb2-d4+ 31.Bc2-b3 Bd4xc5= Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT; 29.Bc2-b3 Qa5xc5= Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Kg8-h8= Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT; also 28.Re6xh6 Qa5-e1+ 29.Kb1xb2 Qe1-b4+▢= etc. Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Qa5-b4! 29.Qh5xd5▢ Bb2-e5+▢ 30.Bc2-b3 (or 30.Qd5-b3 Qb4-e1+▢ 31.Bc2-d1 Qe1-e4+▢ = Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Qb4-e1+▢ 31.Bb3-d1▢ Qe1-b4+ = etc. Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Even better than the game move would have been 22...Bc6-d7= Stockfish 9 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<23.Bf4-c1?!> Better is to simply play 23.Re1-e2 Kh7-g8! ⩲ with a comfortable advantage. Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<23...Bc6-a4?> Why not the prudent 23...Bc6-d7= Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<24.Rd1-d2? Ra8-c8 25.Re1xe6▢ ∓> As <Messiah> pointed out: 24.Re1xe6! Kh7-g8 (or as given by <Messiah> 24...Ba4xd1! 25.Bd3xf5+ Kh7-g8▢ 26.Qg3-g6▢ Bd1-h5▢ 27.Qg6xh5 Ra8-b8 ± Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) 25.Rd1-e1 Qb4xc5 (25...Ra8-c8 26.Qg3-f4! Bf6-d4▢ 27.c5-c6! (stronger than 27.Qf4-d2 Qb4xc5▢ 28.Re6xa6 Ba4-d7 ± Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) Rc8xc6▢ 28.a2-a3! Qb4-c5 29.Re6xc6! Ba4xc6▢ 30.Bd3xa6 ± Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT) 26.Bd3xf5 Bf6-d4! 27.Qg3-g6▢ Rf8xf5▢ 28.Qg6xf5 Ba4-d7 29.Qf5-g6! Bd7xe6 30.Qg6xe6+ Kg8-h8 31.f2-f3 ± Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Dec-31-18  Sergash: <25...Bf6-g5? 26.f2-f4▢ ±> as <Messiah> mentioned, Carlsen would have been better after 25...Qb4xc5! 26.Re6-e1▢ d5-d4! ⩱ Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<26...Qb4xf4? 27.Qg3xf4▢ Bg5xf4+-> The only move here that was giving some hope of survival to Black is 26...Qb4xc5▢ 27.Re6-e1▢ Bg5-d8! ± Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<28.Rd2-f2?! Bf4xc1▢ 29.Rf2xf5!? ±> As evocated by <Messiah>: 28.Re6xa6! Bf4xd2 29.Bc1xd2+- Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<29...Rf8xf5?! 30.Bd3xf5+ Kh7-g8▢ 31.Re6xa6! Rc8xc5! 32.Ra6xa4 ±> 29...Ba4-B5! 30.Bd2xb5 Rf8xf5▢ 31.Bb5-d3 g7-g6▢ ± Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<32...Bc1-g5 33.b2-b4! Rc5-c1+ 34.Kb1-b2+-> Probably not the best. We might suggest 32...Bc1-d2 (threat: Rc5-c1#) 33.Bf5-c2 Kg8-f7+- / ± Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<34...Rc1-e1? 35.Bf5-g6! Re1-e2+ 36.Kb2-c3+-> 34...Kg8-f8+- Stockfish 10 - 64 bits POPCNT.

A game that was far from perfect, especially from Kotronias...

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