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Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand
Morelia-Linares (2008), Morelia MEX, rd 3, Feb-17
Semi-Slav Defense: Anti-Moscow Gambit (D44)  ·  0-1



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Given 23 times; par: 121 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-17-08  VaselineTopLove: Poor Carlsen. Got his ass whupped by Anand again...
Feb-17-08  whatthefat: Is 10.f3 a new move? I'm not sure I agree with the idea of taking the bishop off the h2-b8 diagonal. It seemed that once Anand got ...e5 in, White was facing an uphill battle.
Feb-17-08  Voltaic: chessdom's goran urosevic says it's has been used before

<10.f3!? This is older move, 10. h4 being main weapon at the moment. Bellon Lopez is the only Grandmaster that used it, while his wife Pia Cramling played 10. h3!? against Loek Van Wely on one occasion.>

Feb-17-08  amuralid: <Is Rook/Pawn vs. Bishop/Pawn a theoretical draw?> Not this one. The pawn is too far ahead. The side with the rook has one BIG advantage in that his can take pretty much any position while the rook limits the mobility of the other king. Here the strategy will be to:

1. push the white king outside the square of the black h-pawn

2. use the rook and king to limit the squares of the bishop

3. sac the rook for the bishop: no need for K vs K+p, just K+P vs K+P is sufficient

- Example (that could be reached from the position Carlsen resigned)

click for larger view

Black to move

- In the position above, Black can simply play 1. ... Ke5 after which Whit e is lost. e.g.: 2. Bc8? Rc7+ or 2. Bg4 Rg4!

Feb-18-08  MostlyAverageJoe: <amuralid: <Is Rook/Pawn vs. Bishop/Pawn a theoretical draw?> Not this one. The pawn is too far ahead.>

It is interesting to note that if you move the final position up by one square, it becomes a draw:

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <Kaspablanca>, your idea is quite good, and would work if the Black King is already at h2 or g2. On f4, there's a small tangle betwixt King and Rook. After 60.Bc8 (for example) the Bishop is still protecting the h pawn, so if 60...Rg3 simply 61.Bd7 or Be6 keeps the Bishop out of harm's way.

Nonetheless, both you and <amuralid> had some valid ideas that I had long since forgotten.

Feb-18-08  sallom89: 25.Rxd5, was it that important... ?

he been playing in a strange way against Anand like if he is 2500 wijk an zee he sac 2 pieces or 1 which i dont remember, and he had a win.

Feb-18-08  percyblakeney: <Another win by Anand against Carlsen in classical time controls. Its a somewhat interesting phenomenon, where two players are in the elite, but when they face each other, the score is lopsided>

Yep, for example Carlsen and Radjabov are fairly even, but when they play Anand Radjabov for some reason seems to be 300 Elo stronger than Carlsen.

Feb-18-08  MarkThornton: From the final position:

click for larger view

According to this website,, White's most stubborn defence begins

<60. Bc8> Rg8 61. Be6 Rd8+

click for larger view

There are now two winning methods, depending on how White defends:

A) <62. Kc4> Kg3 63. Bg4 Rd2 64. Kc3 Rh2 (63. Kc3 Rd1 64. Bg4 Rh1 is very similar.)

click for larger view

White, to move, has no defence to the threat of <65...Rxh3>

B) <62. Kc3>

click for larger view

White hopes to stop the Black rook's path to the kingside, by trying to control the d1 and d2 squares. But now a tactical weakness emerges. If Black can force the Bishop off the h3-c8 diagonal, then ...Rg3+ will win the h-pawn. He can make this happen as follows:

<62....Rd6> 63. Bg4 Rg6 (threatening 64...Rxg4!) 64. Bd7 Rg7 65. Be6 Ke5!

click for larger view

B1) <66. Bc8> loses the bishop to 66...Rc7+

B2) <66. Bg4> loses the pawn race after 66...Rxg4 67. hxg4 h3

B3) Moving the bishop off the h3-c8 diagonal loses the pawn to 66...Rg3+

Feb-18-08  Ulhumbrus: 17 d5xc6 moves the pawn a third time to exchange itself for a c pawn moves only once, making a loss of two tempi for development. That is a concession, whether or not White gains enough in return for it.

18 axb5 simplifies. On 18 b3 b4 attacks the N and so supports ...c3 with tempo. This suggests 18 Nd5 preventing ...Nb6 and ...b4 with tempo. The N may then go to e3 and thence to f5.

At the risk of repeating what I said elsewhere, this opening defence may bring to mind the poisoned pawn variation of the Najdorf. It looks suicidal, but White has failed to win to against it after the majority of numerous attempts.

Feb-18-08  notyetagm: <MarkThornton> Thanks for the great post on how to win this endgame. I will have to print it out and study it carefully.
Feb-18-08  Open Defence: boy you gotta be precise in these end games... no way I could have won this in a 100 years
Feb-18-08  Ezzy: M Carlsen (2733) - V Anand (2799) [D43]
Morelia-Linares Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (3), 17.02.2008

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Ne5 h5 10.f3 h4 11.Bf2 Bb7 12.Be2 <Novelty. 12 Be3 12 a4 have been played before. Perhaps in white should be forcing the issue with 12 Be3. 12 Be2 seems too passive.> 12...Nbd7 13.Nxd7 Nxd7 14.0–0 e5 15.a4 a6 16.d5 Rh6 17.dxc6 Bxc6 18.axb5 axb5 19.Rxa8< If Carlsen wanted to live on the edge, he could play against Anand's uncastled king, giving up a pawn or 2 for some oiece activity. I suppose anything is better than the squeeze he suffered in this game. [19.b3 Rd6 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.exd5 Nb6 22.Qc2 Rxa1 23.Rxa1 Rxd5 24.bxc4 bxc4 25.Qh7 Rd2 26.Re1 Qc7 27.Qg8 With Anand's king in the center, I quite like this variation. 27...Nd5 28.Qxg5 Bc5 29.Qxd2 Bxf2+ 30.Kf1 Qc6 31.Bxc4 Bxe1 32.Qxd5 Qxd5 33.Bxd5 And a draw! Yes, I like that line :-)]>19...Qxa8 20.Qc1 Rg6 21.Rd1 Bc5 22.Bxc5 Nxc5 23.Qe3 Nb3< Carlsen has lost the opening duel. Anand has some nice squares for his pieces. Whites bishop looks a sorry figure.> 24.Qb6 Nd4 25.Rxd4< Carlsen eventually realizes his position is dire and gives up material for more freedom for activity, but I think he should of done it earlier as in the line after 19 b3 >25...exd4 26.Nxb5 Bxb5 27.Qxb5+ Qc6 28.Qe5+ Re6 29.Qxd4< Perhaps keeping queens on would give Carlsen better chances to hold the game. Simplifying the position is surely easier for a world champion to eventually convert to a win.> 29...Qb6 30.Qxb6 Rxb6 31.Bxc4 Rxb2 32.g3 f6 33.Be6 Ke7 34.Bg4 Re2 35.gxh4 gxh4 36.h3 Kd6 37.Kf1 Rb2 38.f4 Kc5 39.e5 Rb4 40.exf6 Rxf4+ 41.Ke2 Kd4 42.Bf3 Rxf6 43.Bb7 Rb6 44.Bc8 Ke4 45.Bg4 Rb2+ 46.Ke1 Ke3 47.Kf1 Kf4 48.Ke1 Kg3 49.Kf1 Rf2+ 50.Ke1 Rf4 51.Bc8 Rf8 52.Bg4 Kg2 53.Ke2 Re8+ 54.Kd3 Kf2 55.Bf5 Re3+ 56.Kd4 Kf3 57.Bg4+ Kf4 58.Kd5 Re5+ 59.Kd4 Rg5 <Flawless endgame technique from Anand.> 0–1

Carlsen seems to be approaching this tournament with caution. His passive play with the white pieces here got him in in all sorts of trouble. I suppose when you play the legendary world champion who you have never beat, the psychology would tell you to be cautious.

Carlsen hasn’t come to life yet, but there is plenty of time.

Great play by Anand. He notices small inaccuracies in the openings and makes you pay dearly. He breezed through this game. Not without some endgame resistance from the talented Carlsen, but Anand’s technique was of world championship class and he methodically won the full point!

I don't think Carlsen will be playing 12 Be2 again. It's a very stale passive move.

My line with 19 b3 is a fun variation to go through. At least it leads to a draw :-)

Feb-18-08  dramas79: This rivalry reminds me of Kasparov-Petrosian where Kasparov used to draw or lose against Petrosian (in a similar attacking manner like Carlsen-Anand in Corus 2007) but later started winning. It also appears that Carlsen may become the next Kasparov after these trials by fire against Anand.
Feb-18-08  vraja: nice analysis ezzy. useful to illiterates like me.
Feb-18-08  Ezzy: <vraja: nice analysis ezzy. useful to illiterates like me.> We are all illiterates when it comes to understanding these great players games. The good thing is, is that we now have computers to help us understand that bit more than what we used to know. This makes it a lot more fun for the amateur chessplayer like myself.
Feb-19-08  euripides: According to Carlsen's father's blog, he overlooked 16...Rh6 in his preparation but saw it, too late, during the game while Anand was thinking.

Rook lifts are perhaps one of those ideas that are relatively difficult even for very strong players to see. Aronian's rook lift in Anand vs Aronian, 2008 might prove an important new approach to the Marshall, though his rook lift against Topalov was rather less successful.

Feb-19-08  Rolfo: <Carlsen hasn’t come to life yet, but there is plenty of time.>

I've noticed on pictures that some young girls often are standing around his board, I guess it's only when starting the game, else no wonder a 17 yeo boy may overlook things on the board :) :)

Feb-19-08  weisyschwarz: <euripides: According to Carlsen's father's blog, he overlooked 16...Rh6 in his preparation but saw it, too late, during the game while Anand was thinking. Rook lifts are perhaps one of those ideas that are relatively difficult even for very strong players to see.>

You get caught up in that "He is going to castle" mindset.

Feb-19-08  euripides: Of course Carlsen himself can spot a mean rook lift:

Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2008

Premium Chessgames Member
  egilarne: Here's a real rooklift, a gem from the Norwegian Championship 2005 :) Carlsen vs G Tallaksen, 2005
Feb-19-08  euripides: <egil> very nice ! I was going to say that the game against Kramnik was a double rook lift or a double Alekhine's gun or something, but it seems Carlsen had done it before. On a very quick look Rh3 seems particularly amusing.
Feb-20-08  Eyal: Position after 23...Nb3:

click for larger view

<According to Shipov, Carlsen missed a big chance here with 24.f4![!] gxf4 (24...exf4 25.Qb6 and the Black knight is out of play [there's no Nd4 as in the game]) 25.Qh3 Qa7+ 26.Kh1 Nd4 27.Qxh4> (

Feb-21-08  r1xze: Poor Carlsen. Has a very bad record against Anand. According to CG 8 to 0 with 7 draws. Seems like Carlsen really proved himself as a SuperGM,just now need to beat the Champ. Hope he does, Carlsen has to be my fav. active player.
Feb-26-08  Fast Gun: This endgame is similar to a game played between Rogoff v Csom: Biel 1976, O - 1 (78) Though this game does not feature in the Chess Games.Com database, it is equally instructive: Having looked at some of the comments and some of the analysis, it is a pity that Carlsen did not play on for a few more moves. Okay to a super GM it may be a clear-cut win, but to us mere mortals at club level, the win is not so easy to find. It would have been interesting and instructive to see just exactly how Anand would have achieved the win:
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