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Magnus Carlsen vs Hikaru Nakamura
Biel Chess Festival (2012), Biel SUI, rd 1, Jul-23
Sicilian Defense: Chekhover Variation (B53)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-23-12  lost in space: Tja. draw and nothing happened during the game. Black was clever enough not to hang himself.
Jul-23-12  Ulhumbrus: <Yeah, it's not easy - maybe Black can actually hold, e.g. after 35.Qh6+ Kg8 36.e5 dxe5 37.h5 <Qd6> 38.hxg6 hxg6 39.Qxg6+ Kf8 40.Qh6+ Ke7 41.Qg7+ Kd8 42.Bf5 Qe7> No, this does not save Black: 43 Qh8+! Qe8 44 Qxf6+ Qe7 45 Qh8+ Qe8 46 Qxe8+ Kxe8 46 Bc8! Not to mention alternatives to this sequence.
Jul-23-12  RookFile: I appreciate Carlsen's play - he pushed a little in this game, but didn't try too hard. This strategy will score you a lot of points in a tournament.
Jul-23-12  BUNA: <he pushed a little in this game>< maybe black can hold><white can harass Black but not immediately destroy him>

No one was "pushed", "harassed" or almost "destroyed" here. Houdini had a serious advantage after 34... Kxf8, but Houdini wasn't playing.

Very unambitious play by Carlsen (4.Qxd4). He won't win any serious match in that fashion.

Jul-23-12  SirRuthless: yESS !!Great result! Naka needed a draw or better to get off in the right mode in this tourney and with black pieces against the great Magnuss he passed what should be his toughest test.
Jul-23-12  SirRuthless: Magnuss has not beaten Nakamura in classical chess this year as of yet.
Jul-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Very unambitious play by Carlsen (4.Qxd4). He won't win any serious match in that fashion.>

This kind of "unambitious" play - avoiding very forcing or heavily theorized lines, and focusing on positional play - exactly suits Carlsen's style and has played a major part in turning him into the most dominant tournament player since Kasparov. In this game it brought him strong pressure and a winning position by move 34 (which this time he failed to exploit, though).

Jul-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: In a video where both players - but mostly Carlsen - comment on the game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeRO...) they mention the winning line as an alternative which Carlsen regrets not playing, but it's a bit hard to understand whether he simply missed the idea or just miscalculated something. They give 35.e5 dxe5 36.Qh6+ Kg8 37.h5 Qxb2+ (Carlsen mentions 37...f5 38.d6!! with the idea of Bc4+) 38.Kh3 Qa1 39.Bxg6 hxg6 40.Qxg6+ Kf8 41.Qxf6+ and here stop, apparently not completely sure if it wins – according to Houdini it should, with accurate play: 41...Ke8 (41...Kg8 42.h6) 42.Qe6+ Kd8 (42...Kf8 43.Qc8+ picking up the bishop) 43.d6 Bxd6 44.Qxd6+ Kc8 45.Qe6+ Kb8 46.Qxe5+ Ka7 47.Kh4 and White should be able to win this queen endgame.
Jul-23-12  RookFile: <Very unambitious play by Carlsen (4.Qxd4). He won't win any serious match in that fashion.>

Evidently, you missed the Anand vs. Gelfand match, where Anand also won by not trying too hard. In this particular game, Eyal is pointing out that white had an opportunity to win.

What was your point again?

Jul-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <<Yeah, it's not easy - maybe Black can actually hold, e.g. after 35.Qh6+ Kg8 36.e5 dxe5 37.h5 <Qd6> 38.hxg6 hxg6 39.Qxg6+ Kf8 40.Qh6+ Ke7 41.Qg7+ Kd8 42.Bf5 Qe7 [42...Qxd5?? 43.Qf8#]> No, this does not save Black: 43 Qh8+! Qe8 44 Qxf6+ [...]>

Agreed, this should apparently be winning for White. In fact, after 42.Bf5 in this line Black is in near-zugzwang:


click for larger view

The king can't move, since 42...Ke8 43.Bg6+ leads to a quick mate; the queen can't move to any other square other than e7 (dropping the f6 pawn) since it has to defend against mate on d7; and if the bishop moves, it drops the b7 pawn. Black can play 42...a5, but after 43.a4 it looks like he's in actual zugzwang. (Interestingly, moving the b-pawn is fatal since it weakens the a8-d5 diagonal: 42...b5 43.Qg8+ Ke7 44.Bg6 Qd7 45.Qf7+ Kd6 46.Qf8+ Qe7 47.Qa8! Qd7 48.Be8; or 44...Qb6 45.Qf7+ Kd6 46.b4! Bd8 47.Bf5.)

Jul-23-12  BUNA: <RookFile: <Very unambitious play by Carlsen (4.Qxd4). He won't win any serious match in that fashion.>

Evidently, you missed the Anand vs. Gelfand match, where Anand also won by not trying too hard.>

What does "not trying too hard" mean? Does it mean "not posing any problems in the opening"? Haven't witnessed that during the championship. They rather tried to out-prepare each other.

<In this particular game, Eyal is pointing out that white had an opportunity to win.>

White had an opportunity to win after black first donated the c file to him and afterwards tried to exchange the intruded rook. Where's the "pushing"?

<What was your point again?>

You've explained my point very well.
Had this game been played by Anand and Gelfand we would talk about an unambitious game.

Jul-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: There's absolutely nothing wrong with Chekhover's 4.Qxd4-in fact, in the old main line 4....Nc6, there's a considerable body of theory and if Black doesn't know what he's doing, here's what can happen: Tal vs R Byrne, 1976.
Jul-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <White had an opportunity to win after black first donated the c file to him>

If Black doesn't donate the c-file by exchanging rooks and plays 24...Rfc8 instead, then - as Carlsen points out in the video - White removes the rook from the file by 25.Rce1 and starts operations on the K-side with f4 and/or h4; the doubled black rooks on the c-file may look impressive at first glance, but don't really do anything there. I don't know if it's winning for White, but it can definitely be unpleasant for Black. The point is that at this stage of the game Black was under pressure, and it had a lot to do with the type of play that the opening led to.

Jul-23-12  mrbasso: 42...e4 43.fxe4 d3
Jul-23-12  RookFile: <BUNA: What does "not trying too hard" mean? Does it mean "not posing any problems in the opening"? Haven't witnessed that during the championship. They rather tried to out-prepare each other. >

There are these other phases of the game, called the "middlegame" and the "endgame". Did you see any efforts in that match akin to the all out war of Fischer vs. Spassky, game 13? As soon as Anand or Gelfand concluded they had no advantage out of the opening, the game was on its way to a draw. That's what I call not trying too hard. Anand just won with the strategy.

<BUNA: White had an opportunity to win after black first donated the c file to him and afterwards tried to exchange the intruded rook. Where's the "pushing"? >

Now you're starting to get it. Carlsen played it safe and gave Nakamura chance to beat himself. It almost worked. I said that Carlsen almost won by <not> pushing too hard.

Jul-23-12  Marmot PFL: <<Very unambitious play by Carlsen (4.Qxd4). He won't win any serious match in that fashion.>

It's a good surprise weapon to gain time on the clock, but not too dangerous against a prepared opponent. So not intended as a primary match opening but it's good to have several lines to choose from.

Jul-24-12  RookFile: Here's an example where a boring player like Tal rolls up a world title contender in 22 moves with it.

Tal vs R Byrne, 1976

Jul-24-12  e4 resigns: <boring player like Tal> Uh...
boring?
Game Collection: Mikhail Tal's Best Games
Jul-25-12  coolchess1: Carlsen has many lovers on this site, so they will defend whatever their "lover" has played.

The advantage has Carlsen has in a tourney is he can munch the low rated players and stay on more or less equal against big guns like Anand, Aronian, Kramnik etc. That is why he scared to play a WC match, where he knows his chances are no more than 50%. He is a cunning fellow, and on top of that has many lovers to support his theory of playing WC on a tourney basis.

As long as he doesn't win a WCC in a match I don't bother about his ratings.

Jul-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <e4 resigns>: <RookFile>'s humour went over your head, I think. He quoted the same 'boring' game I did a few posts before.
Jul-25-12  e4 resigns: Ahh, thanks for the explanation.
Jul-25-12  Rolfo: <As long as he doesn't win a WCC in a match I don't bother about his ratings.>

Why bother in the first place, saves you a lot of energy not mentioning him

Jul-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < coolchess1: ....The advantage has Carlsen has in a tourney is he can munch the low rated players and stay on more or less equal against big guns like Anand, Aronian, Kramnik etc....>

Change 'Carlsen' to 'Nakamura' and we heard the same sort of criticism after the latter won Corus eighteen months ago. If Carlsen wins an event whilst losing a game to one of the tail-enders, bet you et al would be crying about that and saying he was unworthy in some way.

<....That is why he scared to play a WC match, where he knows his chances are no more than 50%....>

How are you certain Carlsen's expectation of winning the title is negative (since he must win the match outright to gain the title)? Have you already fixed the match, which hasn't even been scheduled yet?

<....As long as he doesn't win a WCC in a match I don't bother about his ratings.>

It's plain enough by your mentioning it that it matters to you.

Jul-26-12  Ulhumbrus: 4 Qxd4 brings the queen out early. This suggests 4...Nc6.
Jul-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Ulhumbrus> At first glance, indeed it does, but life isn't that simple.
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