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Victor Bologan vs Magnus Carlsen
Biel Chess Festival (2012), Biel SUI, rd 3, Jul-29
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack (B30)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-29-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessgames.com: Thanks to everybody for coming by today. The tournament will continue tomorrow morning at 8:00am USA/Eastern--hope to see you then!
Jul-29-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Gypsy: <40...Ra1+> Time for White to resign.>

Indeed. In three more moves, it would have been too late to resign.

Jul-29-12  Pedro Fernandez: In my opinion GM Bologan lost the game when he played 25.Qe2 instead of 25.Nfd2. Please review this position.
Jul-29-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Pedro Fernandez: In my opinion GM Bologan lost the game when he played 25.Qe2 instead of 25.Nfd2. Please review this position.>

Your suggestion (<25. Nfd2>) certainly looks better than Bologan’s choice (<25. Qe2>). Although the White position was probably still theoretically defensible after move 25, it was so passive that the practical realities probably made loss to an opponent as formidable as Carlsen almost inevitable.

Later in the game, <33. Rd2> (seemingly active, but not really so since the Rook was tied to defense of the second rank; and, besides, placing it where it would come under attack if a Black N reached c4, as occurred at move 35); and <36. Re2> (dubious since, with b2 doomed anyway, the R at this juncture might as well have advanced into Black’s position (<36. Rd7>) in the hope of generating counterplay) sealed White’s fate well and truly.

Jul-29-12  vinidivici: whats wrong with 34...fxe5?
Jul-29-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: It should probably also be mentioned that, although Carlsen never actually took the offered sacrifice (having better ways to exploit his advantage), <34. Bxe5> seems to have been excessive desperation on Bologan's part. There had to be better alternatives at that point.
Jul-29-12  Eyal: <It should probably also be mentioned that, although Carlsen never actually took the offered sacrifice (having better ways to exploit his advantage), <34. Bxe5> seems to have been excessive desperation on Bologan's part. There had to be better alternatives at that point.>

I think the desperation was actually justified. Here is the position after 33...b3:


click for larger view

Black's most obvious plan is to follow with c4-Nc5-Na4, and there isn't much White can do against it - so long as he doesn't resort to "desperate" measures - except for wallowing in total passivity with something like 34.Ne1 c4 35.f3 Nc5 36.Nd1 Na4 37.Ke2; and then Black can bring the other knight to b5 via b7-d6, and White's Q-side crumbles.

Or look at it this way - on h2 the bishop is completely out of the game; for all intents and purposes White is playing with a piece less where the action really is (the Q-side); so saccing the bishop on e5 is really the only constructive thing that can be done with it (which also isn't enough to save the game, as it turns out).

Jul-29-12  Ulhumbrus: So Bologan has lost.

If after 29...Ra2 White has no defence to the threat of ...b3 followed by ...c4 and ...Ne6-c5-a4 this suggests that 29 h4? is a losing mistake and that 29 Nd2 is necessary so that 29...Ra2 can be answered by 30 Nd2-c4.

It does not take much to turn a promising game into a lost game.

The good player is always lucky and Carlsen plays well enough to be lucky

Jul-29-12  abuzic: 25.Qc2
for the 25.Nfd2 there is this interesting variation:
25...Rxd2 26.Nxd2 c4 27.Ba4

<27.Nxc4 Bxc4 28.Qd3 Na5 29.Bxc4+ Qxc4 30.Qxc4+ Nxc4 31.cxb4 Bxb4 32.Re2 Ne6


click for larger view

>;

<27.Bxc4 Bxc4 28.Nxc4 Qxc4


click for larger view

>

27...b3 28.Bxb3 cxb3 29.Nxb3


click for larger view

and black should be satisfied

Jul-29-12  Pedro Fernandez: < Peligroso Patzer: Your suggestion (<25. Nfd2>) certainly looks better than Bologan’s choice (<25. Qe2>). Although the White position was probably still theoretically defensible after move 25, it was so passive that the practical realities probably made loss to an opponent as formidable as Carlsen almost inevitable.

Later in the game, <33. Rd2> (seemingly active, but not really so since the Rook was tied to defense of the second rank; and, besides, placing it where it would come under attack if a Black N reached c4, as occurred at move 35); and <36. Re2> (dubious since, with b2 doomed anyway, the R at this juncture might as well have advanced into Black’s position (<36. Rd7>) in the hope of generating counterplay) sealed White’s fate well and truly.> You're right! <Peligroso>, but anyway, I think with 25.Nfd2 white had the chance, at least to draw. Also Bologan before played Na3?! instead of the natural Nbd2.

Jul-29-12  csmath: Routine win by Carlsen. What is going on with Bologan, why playing so exotic? Is he trying to replace Morozevich in style?
Jul-29-12  Bobby Fiske: Who does Magnus Carlsen think he is? -Does he really think he can play black against a super-GM, without any particular opening preparations, and expect to outplay his opponent in the middle game and win just like that?
Jul-29-12  BUNA: Very interesting game, especially the opening phase. I didn't know the Rossolimo could be transformed into a fully fledged Ruy Lopez that easy. But why did Bologan open the a-file on move 13 just to hand it over to Carlsen? (Nakamura did something similar during his first encounter with Carlsen at Biel.)

Why not follow the typical Ruy setup
13.Qe2 c4 14.Nbd2 0-0 15.Nf1 Be6 16.Ne3 Qc7
where White seems to be slightly better and keeps all options?

After 20... g5 you would expect Carlsen to win. Nice win though!

P.S.
Will Bologan include this game into the next edition of his <The Rossolimo Sicilian: A Powerful Anti-Sicilian that Avoids Tons of Theory>.

;)

Jul-29-12  BUNA: <Bobby Fiske>

He met a like-minded super-GM, who chose the Rossolimo <to avoid tons of theory>.

SCNR

Jul-29-12  Kinghunt: <Does he really think he can play black against a super-GM, without any particular opening preparations, and expect to outplay his opponent in the middle game and win just like that?>

In short, yes. It seems to be working quite well for him, too.

Jul-29-12  notyetagm: <Bobby Fiske: Who does Magnus Carlsen think he is? -Does he really think he can play black against a super-GM, without any particular opening preparations, and expect to outplay his opponent in the middle game and win just like that?>

Hell yes.

Jul-29-12  twinlark: Well said.
Jul-29-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < BUNA: <Bobby Fiske>

He met a like-minded super-GM, who chose the Rossolimo <to avoid tons of theory>.>

Bologan's been known to play 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5 as well, thus creating theory. IIRC, he lost a game to Benjamin at the world team event with this in the 1990s, though it isn't in this DB.

Jul-29-12  twinlark: Bologan is one of the world's top theoreticians in the Rossolimo.

He published a training DVD in 2010 called <The Sicilian Rossolimo for White>, and books in 2011 titled:

<The Rossolimo Sicilian: A Powerful Anti-Sicilian that Avoids Tons of Theory>, and

<Beating the Sicilian: Grandmaster Bologan's Repertoire Vol. 1, 2 and 3>.

Carlsen didn't seem to have too much of a problem with any of this.

Jul-30-12  vinidivici: what about 34...fxe5?
Jul-30-12  vinidivici: what about it?
Jul-30-12  Pedro Fernandez: < Bobby Fiske: Who does Magnus Carlsen think he is? -Does he really think he can play black against a super-GM, without any particular opening preparations, and expect to outplay his opponent in the middle game and win just like that?> +1
Jul-30-12  twinlark: <+1> -1
Jul-30-12  twinlark: <vinidivici>

<Eyal> answers the reasoning for the sacrifice and Black's decline of the offer a few posts previously.

It's an ingenious attempt at a swindle. Black can take the Knight in exchange for a couple of pawns, but White gets some initiative, piece activity and space that gives him chances to save the game. For example, after <34...fxe5>:


click for larger view

<35. Nxe5+ g3 (denying black the f4 square)> and Black cannot continue with the buildup described by <Eyal> as the Knights on e3 and e5 prevents the pawn moving to c4>.

It's a position worth studying, not the least because Carlsen was not tempted unduly by the offer when his actual move snuffs out Black's counter-attack and effortlessly forces the win, rather than opting for the <possibility> of a hard fought win.

Moreover, he didn't even take the sacrifice when it would have won quite easily after <37. Nd2>:


click for larger view

with <37...fxe5>, as <37...c4> is still the stronger and better move, not to mention thematic. White's pieces are just not coordinating.

It was a great game, especially by Carlsen with Bologan providing an honourable standard of opposition.

Jul-30-12  kappertjes: Most impressive to me was how Carlsen blitzed out the best moves. From his blog post I deduce he figured all this out in Bologan's time. I guess most of the position hinges on the fact that white is tied down to the QS. As Eyal (and others) shows the play without sacrifice is relatively straightforward and stifling black. Since Bologan was thinking as long as he was you can almost expect something drastic. So MC probably had 1/2 an hour to go through 34 Bxe4. Still those tactics are far from easy (especially 36. Nxb2 came as a surprise to me), as is clear from the fact that Bologan lost his way, despite having 40? mins or so to go through them.
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