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Magnus Carlsen vs David Navara
Baku Grand Prix (2008), Baku AZE, rd 10, May-02
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Flohr System (C92)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-02-08  messachess: Nice save by Navara.
May-02-08  minasina: this was live commentary
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: 12.d5 is patient -- White concedes he has no attack, and goes for long-term cramp. It makes his KB "bad" for a while, but Black will open the center himself eventually.

15..c6 turns Black's backward d-pawn into a permanent target, and he never manages to play d5. 34.R3d2 attacks the b5-pawn -- more deeply, it looks like Carlsen is offering his Q-side pawns to break through in the center. 34.Qd2 Rd8 seems drawish.

38..Qf4! covers h2, and now White is in some trouble. 39.Qa2 returns pressure on Black's own weak back rank, and forces Black to take the draw.

Credit to Black for daring to play 31..Qd7 (to protect b5), knowing that she's vulnerable if White ever breaks through on d6. Navara must have calculated the perpetual before 37.Rxb4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: From Baku round 10 report: "

Although Carlsen "wanted to try hard for a win" today, he couldn't prevent a short draw against Navara, who had surprised him by playing the Zaitsev

Ruy Lopez. The Czech even came up with an interesting novelty <21…Bb7>, followed by the nice manoeuvre <22…Be7!> and <23…Bg5!>, which prevented the White knight from getting to d5. This way he "absolutely equalized the game", according to Sergey Shipov.

Carlsen thought he still had some advantage there: "But then overestimated my position, when I went for 35.a4. After that I missed that after 38...Qf4 39.g3? Black can simply take on e4." Navara admitted that he only spotted the move 35.a4 after he played 34...Ra6, but "fortunately it was only a draw".


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