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Magnus Carlsen vs Dmitry Jakovenko
Dortmund Sparkassen (2009), Dortmund GER, rd 1, Jul-02
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-02-09  percyblakeney: <I dunno, it looks like Jako mangled that pretty badly. He had some fairly clear drawing attempts before time control>

The 37. ... c5 line looks like it would have drawn, but it was maybe not that easy to find. GM Zagrebelny missed it at Chesspro and Chessvibes and Chessdom didn't mention the possibility in their annotations either.

Jul-02-09  acirce: <percyblakeney> I agree. On the other hand it seems Mig is probably right that without trying ..c5 it is close to hopeless. But I don't know, of course. More strange to me is that he ended up in such a difficult position to begin with.

To be noted is that just because you are a great endgame player it doesn't follow that you play all endgames well, but as most often it probably had more to do with his opponent.

Jul-02-09  percyblakeney: Chessvibes point out that the position after 23 moves was almost identical with the one in A Volokitin vs E Alekseev, 2009, the only difference being that Carlsen's rooks were on d1 and e2 instead of e1 and d2.
Jul-02-09  returnoftheking: It seems Carlsen has a good memory.
But I prefer this game

A Volokitin vs E Alekseev, 2008

Jul-02-09  karnak64: I had to leave mid-game and just replayed it. The boy wonder seems to have made something out of nothing. Pretty impressive.
Jul-02-09  returnoftheking: In power chess with pieces Timman has an entire chapter about these seemingly easy/drawish positions.

The side with the bishop is sometimes surprisingly powerless.

Here are a number of examples-different from the game of today but also with some similarities, mainly the difference between the power of knight and bishop-even when there are no obvious pawn weaknesses.

Saidy vs Fischer, 1964

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984

or more recently

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984

Today's game was certainly impressive but with all these games you get the impression that the defending side has to make little mistakes sooner or later.. But I still don't know what those where today.

Jul-02-09  returnoftheking: Khalifman vs D Barua, 1999
Jul-02-09  SugarDom: Wow, after the queen exchange and it was late night here, i slept thinking it would be a long endgame ending in a draw...
Jul-03-09  visayanbraindoctor:

click for larger view

In this position after 36. g4, Black is in deep trouble because of his weak pawns and bad Bishop. White on the other hand does not have to worry about defending his pawns, is about to create an outside passed h-pawn by which to divert Black's King to the Kingside so he can attack the Black Queenside pawns with his King, and can harass Black's weak pawns with his King and Knight.

What is the only practical way for Black to survive? Black will have to liquidate as many of his weak Queenside pawns as he can, or they are sitting ducks. Thus, a plan based on an eventual c5 is perfectly logical in this position, as it liquidates the weak Black c-pawn. I am sure that Jakovenko would have done this if he were not in time trouble (36... hxg4 37. fxg4 c5). However, managing one's clock is part of the game, and Jako did not do well in this particular aspect in this game; and so is saddling your opponent with weak pawns and trying to create outside passed pawns, which Carlsen proficiently did. And so Carlsen got the full point.

Jul-03-09  visayanbraindoctor: <returnoftheking: In power chess with pieces Timman has an entire chapter about these seemingly easy/drawish positions.

The side with the bishop is sometimes surprisingly powerless.

Here are a number of examples-different from the game of today but also with some similarities, mainly the difference between the power of knight and bishop-even when there are no obvious pawn weaknesses.

Saidy vs Fischer, 1964

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984

or more recently

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984

Today's game was certainly impressive but with all these games you get the impression that the defending side has to make little mistakes sooner or later.. But I still don't know what those where today.>

Rarely, it is the bad Bishop that wins. Here is a game played by a 12 year old kid, where he makes the bad Bishop eat the jumping Horsie alive.

J Corzo vs Capablanca, 1901

Jul-03-09  percyblakeney: Also Lilov missed the drawing resource 37. ... c5 in the full Chessbase report:

Jul-03-09  percyblakeney: <It seems Carlsen has a good memory>

Jakovenko was almost half an hour up out of the opening after following a game that was drawn five-six moves later, so I don't think his memory is too bad either...

Jul-03-09  returnoftheking: hehe..I know, I am sure both knew that game.
@ vishy..interesting; didn't know that game.
Jul-03-09  Ulhumbrus: The move 34...Ra6 shatters Black's Queen side pawn structure after the exchange 35 Rxa6 bxa6. On the other hand, Black's Rook seems to lacks any way to get into play. This suggests the question of how Black can bring his Rook into play without breaking his Queen side up. If we look at an earlier position, on the poaition after 27 Rxa4 White's Rook threatens to occupy the seventh rank while Black's Rook is unable to get into play. So how can Black disentangle himself? 27...Bc8! defuses a potential Ra7. On 27..Bc8 28 Rd4 Ke8! prepares to bring Black's Rook into play via the d file. On 29 Nd3 Rd5 the aim is achieved. From contortion to the stars.

According to Nimzovich, in a bishop versus knight ending, the bishop prevails because the bishop is wonderfully good at stopping an opposing passed pawn or else at supporting his own. So why isn't the bishop wonderfully good here? One answer is that Nimzovich's explanation may be intended to apply in positions where other things are equal. In the position after 42 Ke3 other things are not equal at all. They are in fact most unequal.

In the position after 42 Ke3 if Black tries 42...Bb1, on 43 Kf4 Kd5 44 Ne5 Kd4 45 Nxf7 Kc3 46 Ne5 Bh7 47 Kg5 Kb3 48 Kh6 Bg8 49 Kg7 Bd6 50 h6 Be4 51 Ng6 wins.

In this variation after 43 Kf4, White's King, Knight, and passed h pawn are all ahead in development of their Black counterparts, namely, Black's King, Bishop, and f pawn. Moreover Black's Queen side is much more vulnerable to attack than White's Queen side is vulnerable to attack.

Jul-03-09  Calli: <The move 34...Ra6 shatters Black's Queen side pawn structure>

why not 35.Rxa6 Bxa6 36.b5 c5?

Jul-03-09  znprdx: I'm curious: A classic Coffeehouse tactic:...33.Ba6 (perhaps that was the reason for Bc4 in the first place)certainly looks preferable to the text...

Also I don't understand how g4 forces the creation of a passed pawn - doesn't ...f6 hold at some point?

Jul-03-09  returnoftheking: c** computer with fritz 5 gives white an advantage (+1) after c5 bxa6 cxd4 Kd3 bxa6 Kxd4, for what that's worth.
Jul-03-09  Calli: <returnoftheking> It makes a nice study in opposition. Black can try to block with f6 and Ke6-Kc6-Ke6. Can White breakthrough on the k-side? I don't know the result.
Jul-03-09  returnoftheking: I guess white always has a tempo in store with it's pawn on g2.

Funny (not engine made so maybe not so funny..) line after Kxd4 would be ..f6 f4 Kc6 ke4 Kd6 f5 g5 g4!
but black can of course play other than Kc6 and Kd6 or maybe even go for the a pawn.

I can imagine it was hard for time troubled Jakovenko to decide on this ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: These endgames have really let us see a gap between Magnus and the other top GM's.

The openings are so long now, and chiseled almost to perfection with computers peering almost into every possibility, that once the players get fully on their own, you often notice a drastic falling off in strength.

With Magnus there are fewer seams. Just very strong moves, and very few errors.

Jun-23-14  DcGentle: During the first moves of Chessgames Challenge: The World vs Naiditsch, 2014 I posted the following annotations on the game pages:


[Event "Dortmund"]
[Site "Dortmund GER"]
[Date "2009.07.02"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Magnus Carlsen"]
[Black "Dmitry Jakovenko"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2770"]
[BlackElo "2753"]
[Annotator "Gentle,DC"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Ke8 10. h3 h5 {<This is the same position as in the game discussed before.>} 11. Ne2 {<This knight is heading for f4 in order to control the squares e6 and g6. The squares d6 and f6 are already controlled by pawn e5. So a rook on h6 would have no useful target squares on the sixth rank.>} Be7 12. Bg5 {<Now White can trade bishops whenever he wants, because moving this bishop again would be a tempo loss. And trading bishops would forgo the advantage of the bishop pair.>} Be6 13. Nf4 {<Engines calculate that White wants to trade his knight f4 with bishop e6, but White has other motifs.>} Bd5 {<attacking knight f3.>} 14. Bxe7 Kxe7 15. Ng5 {<Now White is threatening to put a rook on d1.>} (15. Rad1 {<would be bad due to>} Bxf3 16. gxf3 {<and White's pawn structure is in ruins.>}) 15... Nd4 16. Rad1 {<Obviously knight d4 should not take pawn c2, because then bishop d5 would be attacked twice.>} Ne6 17. Ngxe6 Bxe6 18. h4 {<saving knight f4 from a kick by pawn g7. A rook on h6 would still find no useful squares.>} a5 19. a3 {<With Black's bishop attacking the light squares, White wants his pawns to be on dark squares.>} a4 {<Obviously Black wants to develop rook a8 via a5, and White found a clever plan to conquer the a-file.>} 20. Rfe1 {<White doesn't mind the black rook coming to a5, so this move seems like a prophylactic measure in order to cover pawn e5, but there is more behind it.>} g6 {<relieving rook h8 from the task of covering pawn h5.>} 21. f3 {<preparing a quick path for the king to the center. And a white king on f2 will have another task, as we will see.>} Ra5 22. c3 {<controlling d4 in order to prepare a rook move to this

Jun-23-14  DcGentle: ... continued

square.>} Rb5 {<Black believes that White committed a mistake, weaking b2, but this is all part of White's plan to lure Black into believing that pawn e5 is up for grabs.>} 23. Re2 {<covering b2.>} Ra8 {<playing into White's hands, Black wants to double rooks on the 5th rank.>} 24. Rd4 {<attacking pawn a4.>} Raa5 {<Now Black thinks that White has no good way to rescue pawn e5.>} 25. Kf2 {<This is not only a clever waiting move, making Black believe that White doesn't know anything better and cannot save pawn e5 anymore. White has thought further: Firstly, this king moves controls the squares e3, e2, and e1, denying a black rook on e5 any entry into White's camp, and secondly he knows that he must be ready to block Black's king later, and this tempo is important. >} (25. Rde4 {<is not good due to>} Bf5 26. R4e3 Be6 {<threatening 27... Bc4 28. Re1 Rxb2.>}) 25... Rxe5 {<And Black took the bait. Did he win a pawn? Not really, and he lost something more important even.>} 26. Rxe5 Rxe5 27. Rxa4 {<The point of White's maneuver! Black must recognize that he not only didn't win any pawn but also lost the control of the a-file and cannot even invade with his rook e5!>} Rb5 28. b4 {<Now none of white kingside pawns can be attacked by a black piece.>} c5 29. Ra7 {<binding rook a5 to the task of controlling b7.>} cxb4 30. cxb4 Kd7 31. Ne2 {< heading for d4, in order to control b4.>} Rb6 32. Ke3 {<Here the king controls d4 delivering support for the knight heading for this square and will block White's king later.>} Bc4 33. Nd4 {<controlling d4 and c6, denying the black king access to the queenside.>} Kd6 34. Ra5 {<keeping Black's king within its own camp.>} Ra6 {<White has nothing better in order to remove Black's rook from the a-file, because the strategic squares b5, c5, and c6 are under the control of White.>} 35. Rxa6+ bxa6 {<Now Black's queenside pawn structure is in ruins.>} 36. g4 hxg4 37. fxg4 Ke5 {<Notice that White's king has the opposition. No entry for the black king!>} 38. Nc6+ Kf6 39. Kf4 {<White's strategy to deny any good squares for Black's pawns and pieces has won already.>} Ke6 40. h5 gxh5 41. gxh5 {<Both sides have got passed pawns, but the one of White is much more advanced and so much more dangerous. And h8 is a dark square.>} Bd3 42. Ke3 Bf1 {<Black's bishop cannot cover a6 and h6 simultaneously.>} 43. h6 Kf6 44. Ne5 {<attacking f7. This knight is obviously immune.>} Bb5 45. Kd4 Ba4 46. h7 Kg7 47. Nxf7 Kxh7 48. Ng5+ Kg6 49. Ne6 {<attacking c7, so Black resigned. A great positional effort by Carlsen.>} 1-0


After appending the two parts you can copy & paste the above text into a PGN viewer like


Jan-12-18  SpiritedReposte: Squeezed everything out of the position. So much for bishops being stronger than knights...even in an endgame with material on both sides of the board.
Sep-06-18  tonsillolith: Reminds one of the game Capablanca vs Ragozin, 1936, if one is I.
Apr-17-21  nummerzwei: The concluding stroke, beginning with 46.h7, is identical to the game Mecking vs Petrosian, 1972 (82...h2+ and 83...Nxf2). In both cases, a resignable knight versus bishop endgame is reached.
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