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Magnus Carlsen vs Viktor Antonovich Bologan
World Rapid Championship (2012) (rapid), Astana KAZ, rd 4, Jul-06
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation. Schallopp Defense (D12)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-06-12  waustad: He is well and truly Zugged.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Bologan lost a pawn for no compensation almost right out of the opening - after 10...Bd6? Black can't meet 11.Qa4+! with 11...Nd7 because of 12.Nb5! with a double threat on a7 & d6 (the right way to develop the bishop is to e7, as Carlsen himself did in Aronian vs Carlsen, 2011). Carlsen seemed to be cruising to a win, but at a certain point he miscalculated - missing a clear win with 43.Kb4! since with the black king out of d6, 43...Na6+ doesn't work - 44.Kxa3 Nxc5 45.dxc5 and the connected pawn triplet should win easily. Instead he went for 43.Bf5+ (removing the bishop from d3, so that it won't be under attack after 45...Nxc5) followed by Kb4 & Ka5, perhaps overlooking that Black can extricate the knight with 46...Nb3! followed by Nxd4. Then Bologan could have saved the game with 49...Nd8! e.g. 50.b7 Nxb7 51.Kxb7 Kc5! And White will eventually have to give up the bishop for Black’s d-pawn, resulting in a drawn pawn endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Superb endgame!
Jul-07-12  master of defence: <Then Bologan could have saved the game with 49...Nd8! e.g. 50.b7 Nxb7 51.Kxb7 Kc5! And White will eventually have to give up the bishop for Black’s d-pawn, resulting in a drawn pawn endgame.> For me, this variation seems win for black.
Jul-08-12  Babes: I agree. After the further 52. Ka6 Kb4 53. Kb6 d4 54. Be4 Kc3 55. Kc5 d3 Black wins the pawn endgame because Black's f-pawn queens before White's a-pawn. Also, running White's king to the kingside to take Black's h6-pawn is too slow: 52. Kc7 Kb4 53. Kd6 d4 54. Ke7 (54. Kd5 Kc3 effectively transposes to the first line) Kc3 55. Kf6 d3 56. Bxd3 Kxd3 57. Kg7 Ke3 58. Kxh6 Kxf3 59. Kxg5 Ke3 60. h4 f3 61. h5 f2 62. h6 f1=Q 63. h7 Qa1

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This may not look so clear with White's connected passed pawns, but Black just puts the queen on f8 and as you may see for yourself, Black is winning easily.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <After the further [49...Nd8! 50.b7 Nxb7 51.Kxb7 Kc5!] 52.Ka6 Kb4 53.Kb6 d4 54.Be4 Kc3 55.Kc5 d3 Black wins the pawn endgame because Black's f-pawn queens before White's a-pawn.>

White can make it harder for Black and reach a queen endgame - but yes, eventually it should be lost for him: 54.h3 Kc3 55.Ka5 d3 56.Be6(!) d2 57.Bb3 (this way Black has to waste more time with the king) Kb2 58.Kb4 Kc1 59.Kxa3 d1Q 60.Bxd1 Kxd1 61.Kb2 Ke2 62.a4 Kxf3 63.a5 Kg3 64.a6 f3 65.a7 f2 66.a8Q f1Q and now White loses his K-side pawns; the best he can do is apparently 67.Qa3+ Qf3 68.Qd6+ Kxh3 69.Qxh6+ Kxg4:

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This should be winning for Black with accurate play, but there are some practical drawing chances for White. At any rate, it looks as if Bologan may have even missed a win with 49...Nd8!

Jul-08-12  Octal: Huh. Bologon is 2730 and Magnus is 100 points over him. Weird.
Jul-13-12  Babes: The Be6-b3 idea is one I missed, but it looks like Black wins more easily than in that queen endgame. After 58. Kb4 in your line, aka this position

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Instead of 58...Kc1, 58...d1=Q 59. Bxd1 Kxa2 60. Bb3+ Kb2 61. Kc4 a2 62. Bxa2 Kxa2

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Since White can't contain Black's king on the queenside, White will race towards the h-pawn, which will result in certain failure for White.

As for applying the Be6-b3 idea in the Kc7 line, let's play instead of 56. Bxd3, 56. Be6 d2 57. Bb3 Kb2 58. Kg7

click for larger view

Here 58...d1=Q 59. Bxd1 Kxa2 60. Be2 is met by 60...Kb3.

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