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Keith Arkell vs Magnus Carlsen
Gausdal Classics GM (2002), Gausdal NOR, rd 4, Apr-14
Queen's Gambit Declined: Three Knights Variation. General (D37)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: Played, Keith! This result should appreciate in value like a fine wine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <pawn to QB4> got that right! 16...Rc8?? was a horrific blunder.
Mar-25-20  Sergash: Keith Charles Arkell is a British Grandmaster born January 8, 1961. So he was 41 years old when this game took place, and rated 2463; in comparison Magnus Carlsen, 11 years old, 5th grader was rated 2127.

Arkell became International Master in 1985, and Grandmaster in 1995. His top rating ever achieved was 2545 in 1996. In 1998 he was British Rapidplay Chess Champion. He became British Chess Champion in 2008, and later Senior European Champion (50+ years old) in 2014 ex-aequo, but was 2nd after tie break.

<1.d2-d4 Ng8-f6 2.Ng1-f3 d7-d5 3.c2-c4 e7-e6 4.Nb1-c3 Bf8-e7 5.Bc1-g5 h7-h6>

This is the second most played move in this position. Previously, in that position Carlsen had played the most played move: 5...0-0 6.e2-e3 Nf6-e4?! 7.Bg5xe7 Qd8xe7 8.Bf1-d3 Ne4xc3 9.b2xc3 d5xc4 10.Bd3xc4 c7-c5 11.0-0 b7-b6 12.e3-e4 Rf8-d8 13.Qd1-c2 Bc8-b7 14.Ra1-d1?! Nb8-c6 15.Rf1-e1 c5xd4 16.c3xd4 Ra8-c8 = K Christensen vs Carlsen, 2002, 0-1.

<6.Bg5xf6 Be7xf6 ▢ 7.c4xd5 e6xd5 8.b2-b4!?> 8.b2-b4 is an interesting move that was played for the first time in a game Luis Alberto Gomez Jurado (2375) vs. Josep Espau Guillem (2115), Catalunya Team Championship (Spain) 1999, round 1, 1-0. We could debate about its real value, but I don't think it is the absolute best move. Interestingly Arkell played it again in 2018, for another quick win in less than 30 moves! See: Arkell vs C Boino, 2018

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Mar-28-20  Sergash: <8...0-0 9.e2-e3! c7-c6 => A way to try to refute White's pawn push could be 8...Qd8-d6 (as was played a few years later in Andreas Mitscherling (2242) vs. Suat Atalik (2561), ZMD Open in Dresden (Germany) 2005, round 4, 0-1) and now:

A) 9.b4-b5!N a7-a6 (9...0-0 10.e2-e3! a7-a6 = Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT) 10.a2-a4! Qd6-b4! 11.Qd1-d2! a6xb5! 12.Ra1-b1 ▢ Qb4-a3! 13.a4xb5! (or 13.Nc3xb5 Qa3-e7 ▢ 14.Nb5-c3 (or 14.e2-e3 Nb8-a6 ⩱ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT) c7-c6 ⩱ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT) Bc8-e6 = Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

B) 9.a2-a3N (given by Atalik in his published game analysis) 0-0! 10.e2-e3 (or 10.Qd1-d2 Bc8-g4! 11.e2-e3! Bg4xf3 12.g2xf3 a7-a5! 13.b4-b5! = / ⩱ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT) c7-c6! =/ ⩱ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

C) 9.Qd1-d2N?! c7-c6 10.a2-a3 (if 10.b4-b5 Bf6-d8! ⩱ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT) a7-a5 11.b4-b5! Bc8-g4! 12.e2-e3! Bg4xf3! 13.g2xf3 (13.b5xc6!? b7xc6! 14.g2xf3 0-0 ⩱ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT) 0-0 ⩱ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<10.h2-h3?!> This move is unnecessary! Arkell will later improve White's play here, in a game mentioned in a previous post, with 10.Bf1-d3! Bf6-e7! = (Arkell vs C Boino, 2018, 1-0) and now either 11.Qd1-b1N=, 11.Qd1-b3N= or 11.a2-a3N= Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<10...Bc8-e6?! 11.Bf1-d3! Nb8-d7 12.0-0=> Carlsen missed a very good move here: 10...Bf6-e7! 11.a2-a3 (11.Ra1-b1N b7-b5! (11...Be7-d6?! 12.Bf1-d3 ⩱ / = Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT) 12.Bf1-d3 a7-a5! 13.a2-a3 ∓ / ⩱ transposing into Lu Shanglei vs Ji Dan, 2010, China Championship, 1-0) b7-b5! ∓ Lu Shanglei vs Ji Dan, 2010, China Championship, 1-0.

Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: @Sergash Keith Arkell did not win the British championship in 2008 - Stuart Conquest did. KA finished joint English champion that year.
Mar-28-20  Sergash: <13...a7-a6?!> A mistake. Black has to be more active here. The momentum for playing 12...b7-b5 had somewhat passed, but that was still a playable move. But now, Carlsen had to play 13...a7-a5!= Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

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<14.a4-a5?! c6-c5! 15.b4xc5 ▢ Nd7xc5 ▢ 16.Bd3-c2 => Arkell apparently thought: let's jam the queen-side and freeze this c6-backward pawn on an open file. Promising kids usually see that kind of tactics in the blink of an eye! White's move is a tactical error that allows Carlsen to get rid of this c6-weakness... Better to maintain some tension there and play 14.Nc3-e2! Nd7-b6 (or 14...Bf6-e7 15.Qd1-b1 ⩲ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT) 15.Bd3-c2 ⩲ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<16...Ra8-c8?? 17.d4xc5! +- Rc8xc5 18.Qd1-d3! g7-g6 19.Nf3-d4 ▢ Be6-f5 20.Nd4xf5 ▢ +-> A terrible mistake! Carlsen realizes that 17...Bf6xc3?? is not possible because of 18.Qd1-d3! threatening mate on h7 and the bishop on c3... Carlsen had to play 16...Rf8-e8! and here

A) 17.Nc3-e2! Nc5-e4 18.Nf3-d2! Ra8-c8 (or simply 18...Ne4-d6 = / ⩱ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT) 19.Bc2xe4 (19.Nd2xe4 d5xe4 20.Bc2xe4 Be6xh3 ▢ ⩱) d5xe4 10.Nd2xe4 Bf6-e7 = / ⩱ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

B) 17.Nf3-e5 Ra8-c8 ⩱ / ∓ Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<20...Rc5xc3 21.Nf5xh6+ ▢ +-> More precise would have been 20...Bf6xc3 21.Nf5xh6+ Kg8-h7 22.Nh6-g4 Bc3xa1 23.Rf1xa1 +- Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

Mar-29-20  Sergash: Thank you for the precision about Arkell <Woldsmandriffield> !

<21...Kg8-h7?! 22.Nh6xf7 ▢ Rc3xd3 23.Nf7xd8 +-> The correct move here, so to speak as White is winning against any move, is 21...Kg8-g7 22.Nh6xf7 ▢ Kg7xf7 23.Qd3xg6+ ▢ Kf7-e7 +- Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<23...Rd3-d2> A little better is 23...Rd3-c3. Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<24.Nd8-e6 Rf8-c8 25.Bc2-b3! Bf6xa1 26.Rf1xa1> 24.Ra1-a2! Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

<27...Rc3-c4> A kind of last try, reasoning that if White captures this rook, Carlsen would get nice passed pawns. But 28.Bb3xc4 d5xc4 29.Ne6-c5 wins easily Stockfish 11 - 64 bits POPCNT.

The loss of this game is only caused by a single and huge mistake: 16...Ra8-c8??... a missed tactics!

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