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Magnus Carlsen vs Michael Adams
"Dispatch Adams" (game of the day Apr-18-2012)
37th Chess Olympiad (2006), Turin ITA, rd 7, May-28
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Nimzo-English Opening (A17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-31-06  TheGladiator: <notyetagm> I don't think you should stress Kamsky's peculiar #8 position in 1990. I'm not able to understand the math that went into that happening, but I guess the reason is that I lack some tournament results. But if you have a look at the alternative ChessMetrics rating for Kamsky for age 16-17, you'll see that in that system, he was only number 87 in the world at 16y0m and number 67 at 17y0m.

Why I think the 2650 rating looks funny? Well, first (for the record) the players in front of Kamsky at the time:

Kasparov (2800)
Karpov (2730)
Timman (2680)
Gelfand (2680)
Ivanchuk (2665/2680)
Ehlvest (2655)
Salov (2655)

(Ratings taken from ChessBase)

Kamsky was rising fast at the moment, and at some point in time his rating was 2510. After that I find 3 complete tournaments in 1990:

Reykjavik open (2560 performance), New York open (2660 perf) and Paris ch. (2630 perf). He also probably played the US open and the Bern open, but I don't have these results. Anyway, this amounted to a rating gain of 140 points, reaching 2650!

I don't know if the FIDE rating system has remained unchanged since then, but this looks somewhat wrong to me. Anyways. Despite some strong opponents both at the New York open and the Reykjavik open, he didn't meet really world class opposition until Manila 1990. That didn't go too well:

In the Manila Interzonal he only got a 2470 performance (reality check?), but then at Tilburg everything went his way, and he did a 2715 performance (another reality check !?!), but still dropping slightly to 2640 in early 1991. Then followed

Reggio Emilio (2580 perf), Linares (2410 perf, another blow), New York open (2660 perf, the US has been nice to Gata ;) and he dropped again, this time to 2595.

Despite strong performances in the two US opens (1990 and 1991) and in Tilburg 1990 (amazing!), I think it's safe to say that Kamsky was quite overrated at 2650 in 1990. He couldn't sustain this level against world class opposition, and it took another couple of years (until 1993-94) before he became consistent at top 10 level.

Of course, I don't see why sampling at a random point ("first time among top 10") says very much about capacity, so the comparison you're making appears kind of random (except that it obviously fits you to choose this metric).

Well, Kamsky was (and probably still is) very talented, same goes for Magnus. I think it's equally clear that Kamsky was more than a bit overrated at 2650/16 years. Time will tell who'll be the greater.

May-31-06  Captain Scarlet: What is this - the Magnus Carlsen fan club?

Surely accurate play by Adams would have yielded a draw, wouldn't it?

May-31-06  Hongkonger: <PinkPanther: <Hongkonger> "Not all prodigies make it to the top" is a stupid comment.>

Pourquoi? Explanation please. It may be stating the obvious - but I don't understand what is "stupid" about it.

May-31-06  deshad: <Hongkonger> Nothing is stupid about that comment other than PP's response. One of the most exciting things about watching young prodigies is that you never really know what they will amount to. You only have a vague idea of their real potential.
Jun-01-06  MoonlitKnight: <Hongkonger> It's not a stupid comment at all. But I don't really like your examples. Kamsky rose extremely fast to the top, and could possibly have been world champ if he hadn't quit chess at a young age. And though Bacrot isn't the very best player in the world, he is among the very few who gets invited to the majour tournaments.
Jun-01-06  Young Sun: The novelty 12 Bh4 was home preparation according to this Norwegian site -
Jun-01-06  aragorn69: For those who, like me, were wondering what exactly were the winning manoeuvers in the final position:

a) 73.-Nxh4 74.Rg7+ Kf8 (74.-Kh8 leads to mate in two after 75.Kf7) 75.Rh7 wins the knight.

b) 73.-Kh8 74.Be5! Be4 75.Ke6+ Kg8 76.Rd7 wins.

c) 73.-Nxd4 74.cxd4 c3 45.Rc7 wins of course easily...

Jun-02-06  pavkata: <For those who, like me, were wondering what exactly were the winning manoeuvers in the final position:

a) 73.-Nxh4 74.Rg7+ Kf8 (74.-Kh8 leads to mate in two after 75.Kf7) 75.Rh7 wins the knight.

b) 73.-Kh8 74.Be5! Be4 75.Ke6+ Kg8 76.Rd7 wins.

c) 73.-Nxd4 74.cxd4 c3 45.Rc7 wins of course easily...>

actaully 73. Nxh4 Ra8+ 74. Kh7 Kf7 followed by mate on h8..all lines lead to mate in a couple of moves

Jun-06-06  GlennOliver: supertimchan: Isnt 27...Bb5 stronger?

Yes, significantly, IMHO.

With best play thereafter, not less than a draw for Black, and with possibilities to advance the a-file pawns for the Black win.

E.g. 27. Rb1 Bb5 28. h4 Kf7 29. Kg2 e5 30. fxe5 Ke6 31. Bf8 g5 32. Bxh6 Bc6+ 33. Kf1 gxh4 34. Rb6 Nxe5 35. Bf4 Kd5 36. Bxe5 a5 37. Bd4 a3 38. Be3 a2 39. gxh4 a1=Q+

Doubtless, better analysis than that is possible, but 27...Bb5 is a strong move, to which White has no obvious winning response.

Jul-27-06  ianD: 27...Bb5 looks so obvious...suprised adams rejected it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dim Weasel: <<ianD> 27...Bb5 looks so obvious...suprised adams rejected it.> Maybe Adams thought that B on b5 would look too much like the famous 'tall pawn' ;)

Mar-22-12  LoveThatJoker: Tremendous game by the budding Super-GM!


Apr-18-12  rilkefan: Playing over the game I wondered about 27...Bb5. Since Adams didn't play it I guess the rook gets through on the kside and the bishop is a big pawn in the meantime.

Ok, for what it's worth, stockfish chooses ...Bb5, evaluating it as +0.6 at a depth of 36 (1Gnode). I'm seeing what look like a lot of aimless moves in the main line, so ymmv.

Apr-18-12  rilkefan: Also per sf, 17...Nc5 was rather better than ...fe: +0.3 at a depth of 26 after 18.ef+ Kxf7 19.e5 instead of +0.7 at the same depth in the game line.

And it prefers black after 10...h6, avoiding the unpleasantness seen in the game - oops, no, now it's going for a Botvinnikesque setup with Bh4 and Nxg5 - nope, back to 11.Bf4 and -0.5 at a depth of 26 - and back to a very tactical Botvinnik with just a slight edge to black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Pretty good predictions in May-2006 by <Mulholland>:

2007: Predicted = 2700, Actual = 2714 (Oct-2007)

2008: Predicted = 2750, Actual =2786 (Oct-2008)

2009: Predicted = 2800, Actual = 2801 (!) (Nov-2009)

Apr-18-12  Qxf7: rilkefan: Stockfish (like most engines) is pretty useless at endgame analysis. The winning lines are typically beyond most engines event horizon, and the pruning makes matters far worse.

Personally, I'd have played ... g6 at that point, aiming for ... Kd7 without dropping a pawn to Bf8. White's rook can get penetration on b8, but it can't do anything useful from there. And when you're playing for a draw you're trying to neutralize the threatening play, not the stuff that looks scary but is completely harmless.

Premium Chessgames Member
  rodchuck: I am also astonished that Adams didn't play Bb5 on move 27. Fritz 11 recommends Bb5 with white at +0.21 (depth 23/24), but that's the computer. In this position I would want to stop the rook menacing the back ranks and both the bishop on b5 and the knight are well positioned to prevent this.
Apr-18-12  Garech: Great endgame play from Carlsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White was able to turn his exchange ad into a victory...
Apr-18-12  pericles of athens: oh wow a patch adams pun. nice!
Apr-18-12  Edeltalent: The endgame reminds me a bit of Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990. Kasparov had a harder time penetrating with his king though.
Apr-18-12  kelsoh: Carlsen's move to nab the rook starting at 19. bd8 was quite the nice tactical find! Would make a great addition to a tactical trainer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: That phrase "Dispatch Adams" is familiar. Where does it come from?
May-27-16  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini

1. = (0.00): 17...Nc5 18.exf7+ Kxf7 19.e5 Bb7 20.Bh3 Bc6 21.Bg4 g6 22.Bf6 Rb6 23.Bd8 Rb7 24.Be2 Be4 25.Rd4 Bc6 26.Rdd1 Be4

2. (0.31): 17...fxe6 18.e5 Nxe5 19.Bd8 Nd3 20.Bxc7 Rb7 21.Bxb7 Bxb7 22.a4 bxa4 23.Rxa4 Nb2 24.Rxa7 Nxd1 25.Rxb7 Re7 26.Rb8+ Kf7 27.Be5 Ne3 28.Rc8 Ng4 29.Bd4 e5 30.fxe5 Nxe5 31.Bxe5 Rxe5 32.Kf2 Ke6 33.Rxc4 Kd6 34.Kf3 Re1 35.h4 Rf1+ 36.Kg2 Ra1 37.Rc8 g6 38.Kf3 Rf1+ 39.Ke3

Jun-03-19  Cobax12: A great game by Magnus, winning the exchange quality, and winning a heavy grand finale vs a tough defensive knight and bishop by an interesting resistance from M Adams

Rook and Bishop V Knight and Bishop ending ; )

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