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Andrei Volokitin vs Magnus Carlsen
Biel Int'l Festival (2006), Biel SUI, rd 9, Aug-02
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Dragon Variation (B60)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: I cannot help noting that young Magnus still seems to be possessed of the rather uncommon notion that (as one of my even-younger-than-Magnus students put it) playing chess should mostly be about “having fun” … May Carlsen (and others, like Nakamura) never lose their youthful zeal for our wonderful game! In that spirit, Magnus seems to enjoy getting into theoretically inferior positions and then seeing if he can trick his opponents into tactical errors. It has worked twice so far in this tournament against Morozevich, who has otherwise been invincible (and even un-drawable). Nevertheless, the position Carlsen got in this game after 6. … g6 against Volokitin’s Richter-Rauzer set up was just so utterly bad (in essence, sacrificing a pawn to accelerate his opponent’s development) that it is hard to imagine how he could have entertained any hope of saving the game from the moment he played his extremely dubious move 6.
Aug-02-06  thom: where was the head of carlsen in this game? 6.. g6? gives white easy game from the begining! explorer just says 75% for white.
Aug-02-06  KingG: This reminds me a bit of Motylev vs Carlsen, 2006, where Carlsen played another slightly dubious ...g6.
Aug-02-06  ianD: A suprisingly poor game from Carlsen. That must realy hurt.
Aug-02-06  chessmoron: I just don't get it, why can Magnus beat Volokitin? Is he intimidated to him or what? This sucks for Carlsen, being Volokitin's biatch (pardon my french) just a little while.
Aug-02-06  AdrianP: In my Mega Database, after 6. ...g6 White wins 47%, loses 25% and draws 28% (out of a total of 99 games), so the statistics are hardly as bad as the database suggests.

I think Carlsen's deliberately playing provocative openings in the hope of getting into interesting middlegames which haven't been analysed to death (with computer assistance). And this is an approach to be encouraged. He can always 'regularise' his repertoire later in his career.

Aug-02-06  AdrianP: 12. Qc7 was the novelty - according to my database, and it was a strong one.
Aug-02-06  Interbond: Next time Magnus choose to play a unsound gambit I hope he plays Blackmar Diemer Gambit. Not good, but very entertaining, and think about all the attention such a game will get!!
Aug-02-06  thathwamasi: Volokitin blues continues for carlsen..I hope it doesnt become like Alekhine-colle kinds, Anand vs Adams kinds....this kind of makes me think volokitin's record against magnus is going in the direction of mcdonald's record against cows(often compared to anand's record against adams)...
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Peligroso Patzer> I agree some of Magnus' openings seem deliberately provocative.

Makes you wonder what is going through his head.

Morphy had a similar trait. Going through these kind of painful defeats does not seem to deter him.

Aug-02-06  Isolated Pawn: Maybe he feels that draws aren't going to be good enough to win the tournament. So, he's playing awkward lines, as others have said, to trick his opponents into blundering.
Aug-02-06  aragorn69: <<PP> Magnus seems to enjoy getting into theoretically inferior positions and then seeing if he can trick his opponents into tactical errors. It has worked twice so far in this tournament against Morozevich>

True for this game. True for the second game against Moro. Untrue for the first game against Moro, where Magnus's opening and pawn sacrifices were anything but unsound - and even received Kasparov's praise...

Aug-02-06  MrSpock: Don't forget, Marcus is 15! It is very common for young players to love tactical chess and to have a lack in endgame technique.
Aug-02-06  Xaurus: <Don't forget, Marcus is 15!>Who the heck is Marcus?
Aug-02-06  Amulet: Marcos?, He is dead.
Aug-02-06  Interbond: MRSpock I think it must be a long time ago since Magnus lost 0.5 or 1 point because of lack of endgame skills.
Aug-03-06  Atking: Indeed Carlsen is still 15 years old and here he may play chess more to learn mutch about it than to win the tournament. I think that in one or two years he will able to win Biel as Morozewitch does today.
Oct-05-11  DrMAL: Opening at first looks provocative if not just plain bad, but it has it's positive sides and is better than appearances. Roman Dzindzi was doing well with it playing blitz on ICC around that time, probably was influence on decision to try here. He made video of it friend showed me

Computer lines (truncated) after 7...exf6 are given for reference, 8.Qd2 and 8.Bc4 transpose.

Houdini_20_x64: 30/68 19:16:30 524,049,441,506

+0.29 8.Bb5 Bd7 9.Ba4 Bg7 10.Ndb5 0-0 11.Qxd6 Be6 12.Rd1 f5 13.Nc7 Nd4 14.Qxd8 Raxd8 15.Nxe6 Nxe6 16.exf5 Nc5 17.Rxd8 Rxd8 18.Bb3 gxf5

+0.20 8.Qd2 Bg7 9.0-0-0 0-0 10.Bc4 f5 11.Ndb5 Qb6 12.exf5 Bxf5 13.Qe3 Qxe3+ 14.fxe3 Bxc3 15.Nxc3 Rfe8 16.Rxd6 Rxe3 17.Nd5 Re5 18.g4 Bxg4

+0.20 8.Bc4 Bg7 9.Qd2 f5 10.Ndb5 0-0 11.0-0-0 Qb6 12.exf5 Bxf5 13.Qe3 Qxe3+ 14.fxe3 Bxc3 15.Nxc3 Rfe8 16.Rxd6 Rxe3 17.Nd5 Re5 18.g4 Bxg4

White took the pawn 10.Qxd6 instead of 10.Qd2 also good the game line is also a theory, with 15...Rad8 a pawn sac. Play on both sides was very accurate. Problem was that, with second pawn sac and trade 23.Bxc6 Bxc6 24.Rxb4 black only has four pieces to compensate two pawns with, difficult to maintain.

With 27.gxf3 now only R+B against R+N black still had compensation white's advantage was very small, but any black inaccuracies were even more important now. Black got one pawn back correctly, but 31...Rxh2 was inaccurate, correct was 31...Rxf3 but this very subtle error pointed out by Houdini was not taken advantage of via 32.b4!

Instead, after 32.Rb5 obvious move, black had several drawing lines (32...Rh1+ 33.Ka2 Bf8 computes as strongest) but 32...Bd2?! was not one of them. 33...h5 was second small error but it made big difference between these two young chess geniuses. Maybe Magnus got tired game was draw up to here, level of accuracy in first 30 moves was simply amazing.

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