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Jonathan Rowson vs Magnus Carlsen
Dresden Olympiad (2008), Dresden GER, rd 10, Nov-23
Slav Defense: Modern Line (D11)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-23-08  JonathanJ: this needs analysis
Nov-24-08  shintaro go: Dominating performance by Carlsen. Makes it look easy against a 2600 GM.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: White's queen never escaped harassment after 33 Qd3. Rowson never got breathing space after this move.

Rybka suggests 33 b4 and if 33...Bc6 34 Qa4 Qe6 35 g4! with just enough play to draw.

Play could continue 35...d3 36 Rcc1 d2 37 gxf5 dxc1Q 38 Rxc1 Qxf5 39 Bxe4

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the pin forces exchanges and the probable draw 39...Qxe4 40 Qxd7 Qg6+ 41 Kh1 Qe4+ although even here Black could fight for more with 41...Rd8

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: An unusual feature is that both players had their major pieces aligned in tiers with rooks on the first two ranks and the queen on the third.

click for larger view

Then Carlsen divided the board by driving his pawn to d2, and the strength of his formation increased while Rowson's diminished, so much so that White's rooks became a liability.

The co-ordination of Black's pieces is marvelous to watch.

Nov-24-08  notyetagm: 23 ... ♖c3-e8

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This looks kinda like a Queen's Indian position on steroids for Black, with the hanging c-,d-pawns, finchetto b7-bishop, and outposted e5-knight.

And since Carlsen will beat you with with the QID, you just *know* he will win a suped-up version. :-)

Nov-24-08  notyetagm: A powerful game by Carlsen.
Nov-25-08  sshhhh: In case anyone else is as slow as me, 33...Bc6 in tamar's first post should be 33...Ba6. Then it all makes sense
Nov-26-08  wollkay: if 41. Qxf4 Nxg3 white has no better option than to capture the knight. 42. Qxg3 Qxc2 Carlsen will wrap it up.
Nov-30-08  Eyal: <tamar: White's queen never escaped harassment after 33 Qd3. Rowson never got breathing space after this move.>

Carlsen's win does seem inevitable at first after this move, but actually White should probably still be able to hold with 38.Qe2 instead of Qe3. The game sequence wouldn't work then for Black, because f4 isn't played with a tempo.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Eyal> 38 Qe2 does improve. If Carlsen were to try the same breakthough, he would fall short by a tempo as you suggest.

38 Qe2 Re8 39 Be5 Rxe5 40 fxe5 Ng5 41 Bg2 f4 42 Bxb7 Qxc2 43 h4! and White wins with the threat of Be4+ and/or pushing the e pawn.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Could Rowson have held with 38 Qe2? The reply 38...Re8 as in the game does not work. Here is some analysis after the intriguing alternative 38...c4

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It looks at first sight as if White can accept the pawn with 39. bxc4 or 39. Rxc4, or decline it with 39. Bg2, preparing to take it later, but in reality he must take it now, as Rybka demonstrates in this long analysis.

After 38 Qe2 c4 39 Bg2 c3 40 Bxe4 fxe4 41 Rxc3 e3!!

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If 42 Qxe3 Re8
If 42 fxe3 Qe4
If 42 f5 exf2+ 43 Qxf2 Qg4 44 Rxd2 Qe4

Each variation is crushing. Not even mentioned in the top three is 42 Rxc8 Qe4!

So Black must take the offered pawn at move 39.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: After 38 Qe2 c4 39 bxc4

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39...Qc6 40 Bg2 Rcd8 41 Be5 Rd3 42 Qf1 Qc5 43 Rb2 Bc6 44 Bh3 g6 45 Bg2 Qxc4 -.95/18 Rybka

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No great fireworks, but Black is gradually getting back material while hanging on to the d2 pawn.

White's only active continuation runs into a tactical refutation in fact.

46 g4 Qc5 47 g5 Nxg5 48 Rb8 Rxb8 49 Qxd3 Qc1 50 Rf1 Bb5 51 Qd5 Nf3+!

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The knight sortie deflects the queen or leads to the exchange of the e5 bishop, in either case making way for a new queen.

An amazing variation, which took Rybka hours and hours to find, but which validates Carlsen's early decisions to sacrifice for this positional bind.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Finally, after 38 Qe2 c4 39 Rxc4

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39...Rxc4! (Not 39...Ba6 40 Qe3 Bxc4 41 Bxc4 and White is doing okay)

40 bxc4 (Important that Black makes White take with pawn. Here 40 Qxc4 Nxf2! 41 Kxf2 Qb6+ is the tactical reason)

40...Bc6 Going after the other rook.

41 f3 Ba4 42 Kg2 Bxd1 43 Qxd1 Nc5 44 Be2 Qe8 45 Be5 Nd3 46 Qb1 Nxe5 47 fxe5 Qxe5 48 Bd1 -4.32/21 Rybka White has been obviously busted once the rook falls.

Oct-12-09  notyetagm: <shintaro go: Dominating performance by Carlsen. <<<Makes it look easy against a 2600 GM.>>>>

Carlsen is 2800, you know. :-)

Oct-12-09  notyetagm: Game Collection: Grooming pawns for promotion -- Seirawan

35 ... d3-d2

click for larger view

Apr-28-10  brucejavier: wow amazing stuff, attacks both sides of the board, all his pieces attackin the white king, great imagination from carlsen
Nov-23-11  whiteshark: "During the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Dresden, I propagated the opening [Stonewall] with the rest of the Norwegian team and was happy to see <Magnus> score an enterprsing win with it against <Rowson>, while <Leif (Johannessen)> used it to secure a usefull draw. A few months later <Jon Ludvig (Hammer)> too was playing the Stonewall with great effect"

~ Simen Agdestein

in the foreword of <Win with the Stonewall Dutch> by Sverre Johnsen and Ivar Bern, Gambit Publications, 2009

Dec-11-12  Cemoblanca: <JonathanJ: this needs analysis>

Indeed! ;)

Apr-06-17  CountryGirl: This should be listed as a stonewall dutch, as whiteshark implies.

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