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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Magnus Carlsen
Cap d'Agde (2008) (blitz), Cap d'Agde FRA, rd 13, Oct-31
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Hedgehog Defense (A30)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-01-08  notyetagm: Wow, Chucky just *crushed* Carlsen in this game.
Nov-01-08  notyetagm: This game by Ivanchuk is just masterful. One threat after another after another: the d6-pawn, the e6-square, the <UNDEFENDED> Black e7-bishop.

I have never seen Carlsen outplayed so completely in a blitz game before.

Nov-01-08  Ladolcevita: a perfectly decent and classy positional win,from the start till the end
Nov-01-08  notyetagm: 32 ♗e5-d4


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Ivanchuk's <CENTRALIZED> White pieces dominate the board.

I particularly like how the dark-squared White d4-bishop defends the <BACKWARD> White e3-pawn on the half-open e-file.

Nov-01-08  notyetagm: <Ladolcevita: a perfectly decent and classy positional win,from the start till the end>

Yes, this smooth, seemingly effortless win against Carlsen(!) positional win by Ivanchuk would make a great game for GM Danny King's "How Good Is Your Chess" column.

Nov-01-08  Kwesi: Maybe 9.O-O was more accurate.

That d6 pawn was a real problem for Black.

Nov-01-08  Woody Wood Pusher: classy positional crush by Chucky...this guy is on fire right now!
Nov-01-08  Ladolcevita: <Woody Wood Pusher><notyetgm> Yep,a handsome and piano win from white,just like the white's tiny advantage smoothly became the winning appearance,very beautiful.
Nov-02-08  arnaud1959: I don't understand why this variation is called "symmetrical". In English opening there are symmetrical variations but certainly not this one.
Nov-04-08  Ulhumbrus: On 12...d5 the black Q is overworked, as she can't defend both the Be7 and the b6 pawn eg 12...d5 13 Bxe7 Qxe7 14 cxd5 Bxd5 15 Nc3 Nf6 16 Qxb6

16 Qe3 pins the e6 pawn to the Be7 so that 16...Nd7 invites 17 Nf5. This suggests preparing ...Nd7 by playing 16...g6 first. Bobby Fischer has said in an article that after the opponent has made a move, a player should ask himself why the opponent has played that particular move before doing anything elae.

Nov-04-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Carlsen certainly didn't handle in this game the Hedgehog formation nearly as well as he did in Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2008 ... 12...Bxe4, instead of the natural Nc6, looks very dubious; and after 16...Nd7, allowing 17.Nf5 which forces Black to part with his remaining bishop, Black's position is probably hopeless in the long run.
Nov-04-08  Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: Carlsen certainly didn't handle in this game the Hedgehog formation nearly as well as he did in Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2008 ... 12...Bxe4, instead of the natural Nc6, looks very dubious;>

On 12...Nc6 White has an interesting exchange sacrifice: 13 Qd2 d5 14 cxd5 Bxa3 15 dxc6 Qxd2 16 cxb7 Qxd1+ 17 Rxd1 Rb8 18 Rd7 eg 18...f6 19 Nd4 followed by Nc6.

However this exchange sacrifice may not be necessary. On 12...Nc6 13 Qd2 d5 14 cxd5 Bxa3 15 dxc6 Qxd2 16 Rxd2 Bxc6 17 Ne5 threatens Nd7 as well as Nxc6 eg 17...Bb5 18 Nc3 Rc8 19 Nxb5 axb5 20 Nd7

Nov-04-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: After 12...Nc6 13.Qd2 d5 14.cxd5 Black should probably play 14... Qxd5; 14...Bxa3 just looks bad after 15.dxc6 Qxd2 <16.Nfxd2> Bxc6 17.Nc4, which wins a pawn for White. Black is under no obligation to play 13...d5, however; there's also 13...Qc7, which indirectly defends d6 (14.Nxd6? Rd8 15.Nxe8? Rfxe8 16.Qb2 Bf6).
Nov-04-08  Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: ...Black is under no obligation to play 13...d5, however; there's also 13...Qc7, which indirectly defends d6 (14.Nxd6? Rd8 15.Nxe8? Rfxe8 16.Qb2 Bf6> In this variation at move 15- that is, after 14 Nxd6 Bf6 - White has the in-between move or zwischenzug 15 c5 bxc5, and now with the a3-f8 diagonal obstructed for Black's KB, 16 Nxe8 Rfxe8 17 Qe3 with advantage
Nov-04-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: ...Black is under no obligation to play 13...d5, however; there's also 13...Qc7, which indirectly defends d6 (14.Nxd6? Rd8 15.Nxe8? Rfxe8 16.Qb2 Bf6> In this variation at move 15- that is, after 14 Nxd6 Rd8 - White has the in-between move or zwischenzug 15 c5 bxc5, and now with the a3-f8 diagonal obstructed for Black's KB, 16 Nxe8 Rfxe8 17 Qe3 with advantage> No, after 17...Qa5 it's actually Black who has the advantage, since White has either to lose a pawn after 18.Bb2 Rxd1+ and Qxa2, or to give Black control over the d-file after 18.Rxd8+ Rxd8.
Nov-04-08  Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: <Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: ...Black is under no obligation to play 13...d5, however; there's also 13...Qc7, which indirectly defends d6 (14.Nxd6? Rd8 15.Nxe8? Rfxe8 16.Qb2 Bf6> In this variation at move 15- that is, after 14 Nxd6 Rd8 - White has the in-between move or zwischenzug 15 c5 bxc5, and now with the a3-f8 diagonal obstructed for Black's KB, 16 Nxe8 Rfxe8 17 Qe3 with advantage> No, after 17...Qa5 it's actually Black who has the advantage, since White has either to lose a pawn after 18.Bb2 Rxd1+ and Qxa2, or to give Black control over the d-file after 18.Rxd8+ Rxd8.> In the last variation after 18...Rxd8 all points of invasion on the d file are covered, Black'a Q side remains broken and Black's Bb7 remains a potential target. This suggests that it is White who has the upper hand. The move 17...Qa5 suggests 17 Qe1 instead of 17 Qe3 although this may be unnecessary.
Nov-04-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: I didn't say Black is winning immediately by invading on the d-file, but he certainly has excellent piece activity to compensate for the certain weakness in his pawn structure, after e.g. 19.Bb2 Nd4. Do you seriously want to claim this isn't clearly better than what Black got in the actual game after 12...Bxe4?
Nov-04-08  Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: I didn't say Black is winning immediately by invading on the d-file, but he certainly has excellent piece activity to compensate for the certain weakness in his pawn structure, after e.g. 19.Bb2 Nd4. Do you seriously want to claim this isn't clearly better than what Black got in the actual game after 12...Bxe4?> Two possible improvements are 17 Qe1 preventing 17..Qa5 and 13 Qd3 instead of 13 Qd2 so that on 13...Qc7 14 Nxd6 Rd8 15 Nxe8 Rfxe8 White has 16 Qc4 Qa5 17 Ne5 Bxg2 18 Kxg2 and the Q on c4 covers c2 and e2
Nov-04-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Two possible improvements are 17 Qe1 preventing 17..Qa5> Qa5 isn't essential; the basic evaluation I gave earlier still stands after moves like 17...Nd4 or e5.

<and 13 Qd3 instead of 13 Qd2 so that on 13...Qc7 14 Nxd6 Rd8 15 Nxe8 Rfxe8 White has 16 Qc4 Qa5 17 Ne5 Bxg2 18 Kxg2 and the Q on c4 covers c2 and e2> This is just nonsense; there's a white pawn on c4, so Qc4 is impossible.

Nov-05-08  Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: <Two possible improvements are 17 Qe1 preventing 17..Qa5> Qa5 isn't essential; the basic evaluation I gave earlier still stands after moves like 17...Nd4 or e5.>

On 17 Qe1 the basic evaluation, if based upon the pawn structure, is that Black has a broken Queen side and stands badly if he cannot distract White from starting a plan of attack upon it eg after 17...Nd4 18 Rac1.

<<and 13 Qd3 instead of 13 Qd2 so that on 13...Qc7 14 Nxd6 Rd8 15 Nxe8 Rfxe8 White has 16 Qc4 Qa5 17 Ne5 Bxg2 18 Kxg2 and the Q on c4 covers c2 and e2> This is just nonsense; there's a white pawn on c4, so Qc4 is impossible.>>

I gave the wrong variation, the one without the intermediate move 15 c5 dxc5 inserted. What I meant to say was this: After 13 Qd3 instead of 13 Qd2, on 13...Qc7 14 Nxd6 Rd8 15 c5 dxc5 16 Nxe8 Rfxe8 as an alternative to White has 16 Qc4 Qa5 17 Ne5 Bxg2 18 Kxg2 and the Q on c4 covers c2 and e2

Nov-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Ulhumbrus: I gave the wrong variation, the one without the intermediate move 15 c5 dxc5 inserted. What I meant to say was this: After 13 Qd3 instead of 13 Qd2, on 13...Qc7 14 Nxd6 Rd8 15 c5 dxc5 16 Nxe8 Rfxe8 as an alternative to White has 16 Qc4 Qa5 17 Ne5 Bxg2 18 Kxg2 and the Q on c4 covers c2 and e2>

This is really getting too ridiculous. We're discussing the line beginning with 12...Nc6, remember? Ergo, there's a knight on c6; ergo, Black cannot play Bxg2 on move 17. Btw, Black is actually winning in this line after 16...Qa5! instead of Rfxe8.

Anyway, since you have this obsession with Nxd6 and unwilling to admit a mistake on principle, and also don't even have the courtesy to make sure you're posting legal moves, I'm not going to waste any more time on refuting your lines.

Nov-05-08  Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: <Ulhumbrus: I gave the wrong variation, the one without the intermediate move 15 c5 dxc5 inserted. What I meant to say was this: After 13 Qd3 instead of 13 Qd2, on 13...Qc7 14 Nxd6 Rd8 15 c5 dxc5 16 Nxe8 Rfxe8 as an alternative to White has 16 Qc4 Qa5 17 Ne5 Bxg2 18 Kxg2 and the Q on c4 covers c2 and e2> This is really getting too ridiculous. We're discussing the line beginning with 12...Nc6, remember? Ergo, there's a knight on c6; ergo, Black cannot play Bxg2 on move 17. Btw, Black is actually winning in this line after 16...Qa5! instead of Rfxe8. Anyway, since you have this obsession with Nxd6 and unwilling to admit a mistake on principle, and also don't even have the courtesy to make sure you're posting legal moves, I'm not going to waste any more time on refuting your lines.>

No discourtesy intended, just another unintended error which I would have preferred not to make, and which I admit to freely, now that you have pointed it out. The line I have in mind is 12...Nc6 13 Qd3 Qc7 14 Nxd6 Rd8 15 c5 dxc5 16 Nxe8 Rfxe8 and now as an alternative to 17 Qe1 White has 17 Qc4 Qa5 and the Q on c4 covers c2 and e2

I am not convinced yet by your analysis, and so I don't believe yet that you can in fact refute White's best play after 13...Qc7.

It is unfortunate if the mistake may have exasperated you enough to accuse me of either discourtesy or an obsession with Nd6 at my door, or an unwillingness to admit error.

While it is conceivable that you have become a troll, I shall assume for now that you have made your false imputations because of exasperation at a mistake which I have made - again it seems, unfortunately- in good faith.

Unfortunately I cannot guarantee you that any messages which I send you will be free from error. If you demand that as a condition of replying to messages which I send you, you had better stop replying to them, and I propose to stop replying to any messages which you send me.

Jul-11-12  TaminoX: I just lost a few hours ago with exactly the same first moves. I wasn't aware of the possibilty of 9.b3 and still don't find nothing convincing against it. Against Nakamura, Carlsen played 9. ... Nbd7 10. Nb5 d5 11. Bf4 0-0 wich is fine for black but it's too passive. Actually, white has a forced draw with 12. Bc7 Qe8 13. Bf4 Qd8 14. Bc7 repeating moves. Maybe that's why he switched to 9. ... a6 against Ivanchuck. On the other hand 9. ... 0-0 seems fine against 10. Aa3, but i'm wondering about transpositions, as a6 or Nbd7 are not so easy to make. Ok I've spent all morning with this, maybe it's time to go to work…
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