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Magnus Carlsen vs Boris Gelfand
Tal Memorial (2006), Moscow RUS, rd 1, Nov-06
Slav Defense: Czech Variation. Bled Attack (D17)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-06-06  Ybrevo: Is 12. Bf1 "theory"?
It looks like Carlsen was struggling after this move. And I don´t think the 6. Nh4 move with the idea of K-side pawn-expansion is such a great idea in this opening. Especially against a Slav-expert like Gelfand.
Nov-06-06  mrjones: In the final position, looks like white can't stop, or defend against, Rd3.
Nov-06-06  halloween: Why doesn't Black grab a pawn with 14. .. Bxc3+ 15. b2xc3 Qxc3+
Nov-06-06  THE pawn: 12.Bf1 is a «novelty» that led to the loss of a pawn, and then Gelfand gradually outplayed Carlsen like a true super grandmaster.
Nov-06-06  Veryrusty: I think 39. ... Ne4 is coming, followed by mate or loss of heavy material.
Nov-06-06  Veryrusty: <mrjones: White can't stop, or defend against, Rd3> Yep, that's painful too.
Nov-06-06  Ezzy: Carlsen,M (2698) - Gelfand,B (2733) [D17]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (1), 06.11.2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Nh4 Bg4 7.h3 Bh5 8.g4 Bg6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.e3 e6 11.Bxc4 Bb4 12.Bf1 <Novelty, but not a very good one. re-routing the bishop to g2 seems very slow, and white also blocks the bishop in with 13 f3 leaving his kingside weak>. 12...Qd5 13.f3 Qa5 14.Bg2 c5 15.dxc5 Nc6 16.0–0 0–0 17.f4 Qxc5 18.g5 Rfd8 19.Qe2 Bxc3 20.bxc3 Nd5 21.Qb5 Qxc3 22.Rb1 <If white goes chasing the b pawn then his queen gets trapped and white has to shed a piece. [22.Ra3 Qc2 23.Qxb7 Rab8 24.Qa6 Ndb4 25.Be4 Qxe4]> 22...Ndb4 <White is a pawn down and behind in development. Seriously bad opening play from Carlsen.> 23.Qe2 Rac8 24.Be4 Na5 25.Bb2 Qc4 <Black has to defend the b4 knight. If 25...Qc7 26 Bxg7 and 27 Rxb4> 26.Qg2 Nb3 27.Bxb7 Rd2 28.Qf3 Rcd8 29.Be5 Nc5 30.Rbc1 Nc2 31.Bc6 a6<[31...Nb3 Seems to cause more havoc in Carlsen's position]> 32.Rf2 Nb3 33.Rcf1 Nb4 <33...Qc5 attacking the e3 pawn appears to be strong.> 34.Qe4? <[34.Bb7 Keeps the game alive.]> 34...Qxc6 35.Qxb4 Rxf2 36.Rxf2 Qc1+ 37.Kg2 Qxe3 <With the powerful 38...Rd3 threat> 38.Qb7 Nd2 <And the threat of 39...Ne4 or 39...Rd3 is too much for white.> 0–1

Because of Carlsen’s slow opening play, Gelfand developed his knights on strong squares. The 2 knights dominated the 2 bishops because black always had the initiative.

Carlsen’s 12 Bf1 novelty was much too slow, and his kingside weaknesses proved fatal.

Poor opening play from Carlsen, but a well played game from Gelfand who relentlessly kept up the pressure.

Nov-06-06  flamboyant: Dont be to harsh on Carlsen's game today, the kid is there to learn, dont forget that hes playing against much stronger opponent with more experience!
Nov-06-06  halloween: No one wants to answer my question?

And, since Black does not grab the pawn, why did White not play 17. Bd2 to hold on to the pawn?

Nov-06-06  Ezzy: <halloween: Why doesn't Black grab a pawn with 14. .. Bxc3+ 15. b2xc3 Qxc3+> Black would give white the 2 bishops and the initiative (ability to create threats) for the pawn. For an example line - 14..Bxc3 15 bxc3 Qxc3+ 16 Bd2 Qc4 17 Qb1 Qa6 18 a5 Nbd7 19 g5 Nd5 20 e4 Nc7 21 Bf4 and 22 Bf1 and you can see that black's knights are on passive squares, and the 2 bishops are starting to look strong. White has all the play. All of this is just too much hassle for the sake of a pawn.

<And, since Black does not grab the pawn, why did White not play 17. Bd2 to hold on to the pawn?> White would prefer an open board for his bishop pair. Losing the pawn for black's bishop is a better deal for white (having the 2 bishops). With the power 2 bishops can exert on a position, black is in no way interested in a misely pawn.

Nov-06-06  Atking: <halloween: And, since Black does not grab the pawn, why did White not play 17. Bd2 to hold on to the pawn?> Probably 17. ...Rad8 You could test 18.Qe2 RxBd2 19.QxRd2 Nd5 with Nxc3 or Nxe3 I'm not sure that the exchange sacrifice is good but it shows that Black have a strong position. Therefore Black could keep the d file control and take back the pawn c5 later (Rd7). White's problem is the formation e3-f3-g4-h3 (Bg2) has no time to work againt e6-f7-g7-g6 (Nf6). The center is too open for that.
Nov-06-06  Atking: <The center is too open for that.> I mean under control of Black pieces.
Nov-06-06  Atking: <Ezzy> again a good general analysis from you part ! thanks.
Nov-07-06  halloween: Ezzy and Atking, many thanks for your replies!
Nov-07-06  Atking: <halloween: Ezzy and Atking, many thanks for your replies!> You are welcome.
Nov-07-06  Ulhumbrus: After 17...Qxc5 Black is two moves ahead in development. This will be enough for the bishop pair, if Black can make this lead count. This suggests that If White is to derive advantage from his bishop pair, he has to catch up in development. This suggests 18 Bd2! Rdb8 19 Qe2 planning Rfd1 trying to catch up in development before doing anything else. The advance 18 g5 begins an attack from a position where one cannot say as yet that White has the advantage, so this attack can be forecast to fail. After 38 ...Nd2 Black threatens to invade the third rank by 38...Rd3 and White has no satisfactory answer to the threat, so he resigns.
Nov-07-06  Cyphelium: <Ulhumbrus> After 18. ♗d2 ♗xc3 19. bxc3 ♘d5 20. ♕f3 ♘a5, I think black has a comfortable edge. What is the bishop doing on d2?
Nov-07-06  Ulhumbrus: <Cyphelium> On 18 Bd2 Bxc3 19 bxc3 Nd5 20 Qe2 offers a P on c3 as in the game, but without having spent a tempo on g5. As for Bd2, the bishop connects the Rooks by vacating the back rank, but has the option of Be1 and Bg3 or Bh4, if Black permits it, which Black seems unlikely to do. Black's compensation for the bishop pair consists of his lead in development. 18 Bd2 begins to reduce that lead and catch up. If Black can make his lead count, two tempi after all, he should have enough to equalize, at least. The question is : can Black prevent White from catching up in development, without making positional concessions equal to the bishop pair in value? On 18 Bd2 Bxc3 19 bxc3 Nd5 20 Qe2 Nxc3 21 bxc3 Qxc3 22 Rfc1 Qb3 23 Rcb1! Qc3 24 Rcb1 invites a draw by repetition. In this variation White can overtake Black in development but only temporarily, and at the cost of his bishop pair : 23 Bxc6 ? ( instead of 23 Rcb1) 23...bxc6 24 Rxc6 Rfc8! and White's Q is tied to the defence of the e3 pawn, while White's Ra1 is tied to the defence of the a4 pawn, and this hampers White's development . On 25 Rxc8 Rxc8 Black has the lead in development again and now White is in trouble. It may be that if Black can make his lead in development count, White gains no more than equality. Instead of 17 f4, which does not get another piece out, 17 Bd2 may be better. Then on 17...Qxc5 18 Qe2 Bxc3 19 bxc3 Nd5 20 Rfc1 White has reduced Black's lead in development and may be able to at least dream of getting an eventual advantage.Carlsen tries to attack without even trying to catch up in development first, and goes on to lose.

Nov-08-06  Cyphelium: <Ulhumbrus> After 18. ♗d2 ♗xc3 19. bxc3 ♘d5 20. ♕e2, I would think twice before exchanging that clumsy bishop, especially since black, as you show, doesn't get much play either. 20.- ♘a5 looks better.
Nov-08-06  Ulhumbrus: <Cyphelium> On 18 Bd2 Bxc3 19 bxc3 Nd5 19 Qe2 Black can decline to take the QB, but then he declines the c3 pawn as well, and the QB is out of play only temporarily. I would guess that if Black makes his lead in development count, either White or Black gets a draw with best play, but not more. However on 17 Bd2! a move earlier instead of 17 f4, White may be able to at least dream of getting more than equality.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Gelfand's pair of Knights was tremendous.
Nov-12-06  dehanne: The immortal knights game.
Feb-26-09  notyetagm: <Honza Cervenka: Gelfand's pair of Knights was tremendous.>


click for larger view

May-07-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: Gelfand's Best Games
Oct-13-15  Garech: Gelfand's only win against Carlsen, not a bad effort at all! It's quite something to see the comments condemning Carlsen's opening play when he is still eschewing mainlines nine years later and world champion!


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