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Magnus Carlsen vs Boris Gelfand
Tata Steel Group A (2012), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-21
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation. Schallopp Defense (D12)  ·  1-0



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Given 21 times; par: 86 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-21-12  Kinghunt: Classic Carlsen win. Little pressure here, little pressure there, suddenly a winning endgame appears.
Jan-21-12  lost in space:

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I don't see any white pressure here. My impression is that Gelfand succed (blundered) a pawn and was not able to get compensation.

Jan-21-12  AlphaMale: Carlsen also put his Q on b1 in his win over Gashimov: Carlsen vs V Gashimov, 2012

Maybe it'll become a new trend in chess. Some aspiring IM will bash out a treatise upon it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Carlsen also beat Gelfand in their last classical meeting (with the same colouration). Carlsen vs Gelfand, 2011
Jan-21-12  AlphaMale: Couldn't Gelfand do a Benko and cede his place in the world championship cycle to Carlsen? LET'S GET IT ON!
Jan-21-12  AlphaMale: <same colouration> Nordic pale vs pinkish-red, getting redder.
Jan-21-12  haydn20: <lost in space> This is the pos after MC's somewhat questionable 28. Nf4, tho' 28. Be3 doesn't give much either. With 30...Qa5, it might be White who feels a little pressure! 31...Qc2 instead of Qb5 and then 33...Ba3(?) seem to be bad enough to be fatal against MC.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < AlphaMale >

I mean as Carlsen playing the white pieces and Gelfand playing the black pieces, not skin colour.

Jan-21-12  lost in space: Had a look together with shredder 12 on this game round about move 30.

My impression was that White has no advantage here and shredder agrees.

After 30. h4 Black simply can play 30...a5 (instead of 30...Nd7) and on d = 22 shreder 12 gives a 0,00.

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After 30...Nd7 there is a white advantage of round about 0,4

Jan-21-12  WiseWizard: Posterity, Carlsen was at 2841.6 on the live rating list after this win, less than 10 points from the all time high.
Jan-21-12  leonn0077: How is Gelfand going to compete against Anand ?? Seems that he has no chance
Jan-21-12  Marmot PFL: I commented on Gelfand's last loss (to Nakamura) that he usually plays well until the 4th hour of play, when he seems to tire quickly. Happens here also, and against a player as fast as Carlsen there is no chance to rest.
Jan-21-12  chegado: I would not say that Carlsen had his most startling perfomance today, but this guy certainly has the guts to hold back his pieces and force the complications when its time to. Also, it is always a pleasure to see two great GMs playing sidelines. In the Slav!

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6

6. Nh4
Although such a logical manouvre, this move has no entry in ECO. Can we just call it Carlsen Variation?

6...Bg6 (Be5 be can played) 7. Nxg6 hxg6 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9. O-O Bd6 10. h3 dxc4 11. Bxc4 O-O 12. Qc2 Qe7 13. Rd1 Rac8

My impression is that White could bring the middlegame to its critical point with 14.e4. Rybka gives the following continuation: 14...e5 15.dxe5 Bxe5 16.Be3 b5 17.Be2= Seems that Carlsen opted for a more soft play here.

14...Nb6 15. Bf1 e5 16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. Rac1 Rcd8 18. Be1 Rxd1 19. Rxd1 Rd8 20. Rxd8+ Qxd8

21. g3!
I love this move, it's so sensible. In the fight for iniciative, White chooses the right plan against the Black knight's most promising squares by keeping an eye in e4 and d5 with the g2 bishop.

21...Qe7 22. Bg2 Bd6 23. Bd2 Qe6 24. b3 Nbd5 25. Ne2 Nb4 26. Qb1 Qf5 27. e4 Qc5

28. Nf4?!
Honestly, I didn't get this. Black may have a pleasant game after, for example: 28...g5 29.Nd3 Qd4 30.Bxb4 Bxb4 Qxb4 and after all this bishops and knights slaughter, Black has a superior queenside and a safe king.

28...g5 29. Ne2 g4 30. h4

A mistake but not a blunder, enough to make Wonderboy win. Gelfand should have prevented Be3 with Be5, and now must pick one of this two bad alternatives: put his queen away from where the actual game is taking place or force the exchange with Qc2. In the first one, could it be 31...Qa5 32.Qd1 Qc7 33.a6 Na6 34.b4! I don't see much hope for Black here.

This endgame is basically a struggle between well-placed bishops and not so well-placed knights. But the deal was already sealed.

52.a4! Lights out.

Jan-21-12  notyetagm: Remind me again, which of these players is playing in a WC match in May?


Jan-21-12  galdur: Careless play by Gelfand, well exploited by Carlsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The great players can win with small advantages. It's fun to watch him do it.
Jan-22-12  ptrckmackay: I believe that 51...Kf8 is a big blunder, much better was bxa, it gave black some extra fighting chances to try to draw the game, at least it would have make Magnus have to show his excellent endgame technique which for us club players are great opportunities to learn endgame technique in a fun manner. The big blunder 51...Kf8 just lost immediately to a5 because of the black pawns on b5 and c6 and the control of e6 by Magnus Bishop and knight.

Please show me if it was possible to draw the game if black would have played 51...bxa.

Jan-22-12  SChesshevsky: <<28. Nf4?! Honestly, I didn't get this.>>

I'm guessing that White was tempting ...g5 as it leaves the pawn hanging without support of the Queen which really isn't a great defender.

It opens up a nice Knight outpost on f5.

And if White gets a chance for Bxg5 Black needs to adjust because probably doesn't want Bxf6 afterward.

Jan-22-12  kardopov: <notyetagm: Remind me again, which of these players is playing in a WC match in May?> Why? It's Gelfand of course. He earned his ticket.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I'm in awe about the ability to have seen 44. e6! way ahead of time -- probably around move 42. 52. a5, another proffered piece sac, is also beautiful.
Feb-03-12  Thecas: I might have played 30....Be5. If White replied Be3 , 31..... Qc2 then ......Ne1 to get the pawn back.I am doing this without any comp. I wonder what do others think.
Feb-03-12  Kinghunt: <Thecas> All I see after 31...Qc2 is 32. Qxc2 Nxc2 33. Bxa7 and white is a pawn ahead.
May-05-12  Sigmapt: very good game
May-05-12  positionalgenius: games like this remind me of classic karpov.
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