chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Magnus Carlsen vs Alexander Grischuk
World Championship Candidates (2013), London ENG, rd 4, Mar-19
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 25 times; par: 45 [what's this?]

Get this game explained with Decode Chess

explore this opening
find similar games 102 more Carlsen/Grischuk games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Premium members can suggest a game for Guess-the-Move with the Guess-the-Move Suggestion Queue.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.
PREMIUM MEMBERS CAN REQUEST COMPUTER ANALYSIS [more info]

A COMPUTER ANNOTATED SCORE OF THIS GAME IS AVAILABLE.  [CLICK HERE]

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-20-13  JENTA: What about 22... Nf4 23. Qf4 Bc4 24. Nc4 Qf6, attacking pawn d4? (25. Ne5 Bc5). The question is how to activate Bf8.
Mar-20-13  JENTA: Carlsen played 30. Nf3!
(30. Qc6? Bd5!)

Grischuk answered 30... Qg6
(After 30... Qg2+ 31. Rg2 Rg2+ 32. Kh1 Bd5 I think about 33. Rf1)

Carlsen's plan 23. Ne5 following 24. Bh2! was strong. If white's knight is on e5, white needs the dark bishop do defend it - because black dreams about Of8:c5, d4:c5, Qf6:e5.

After c4-c5 and Bd6-f8 black failed to find a way to activate Bf8. Even g7-g6 and Bf8-g7 had been better, pressing on pawn d4.

Mar-20-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: 7. ... a6 was the beginning of Black's downfall 7. ... Bd7 keeps him from pawn weaknesses.

After that he was ripped apart by Carlsen.

That's the way tear the bunnies to pieces and draw with the top dogs. That's what the wise players will do. Dull chess at times but it works in winning tournaments and these days the fans and sponsors don't want or care about good or beautiful chess, just winners.

Mar-20-13  Hesam7: <Eyal: Carlsen said that he didn't like Black's position already after 17...f5, but it certainly took a big turn for the worse with 18...Qg6, allowing Nc4. White can prepare this move even after 18...Qe6 by 19.Qc1, but then Black gains some time: 19...Nf6 20.Nc4 Nd5 21.Nbxa5 Qf6! (with the threat of f4, which Carlsen managed to completely neutralize in the game) 22.Bg5 Qxd4 23.Nxc6 Qxc5 24.Ne3 and it should still be better for White, but more balanced than in the game.>

<A> After 18...Qe6 White still can manages to play Nc4, so allowing Nc4 alone can't be the reason 18...Qg6? is a mistake.

<B> Your 18...Qe6 19 Qc1 is an improvement over Glazer's 19 Bf4?! Nf6 20 Bc7 Nd5 21 Bh2 (21 Ba5? Qg6! ) 21...Nb4 where Black has full compensation and the initiative. But I think even in your line Black is fine: 19...Nf6 20 Nc4 Nd5 21 Nba5 Qf6 22 Bg5 Qd4 23 Nc6 Qc5 24 Ne3, now continue with 24...Be6 25 Qc5 (what else?) 25...Bc5 26 Rec1 Be3 27 Be3 (27 fe3? h6!) 27...f4 28 Bd2 e3 29 Be1 f3!


click for larger view

30 a5 fg2! 31 Rc5 (31 Kg2? Nf4) 31...ef2 32 Bf2 Nf4 33 Bg3 Nd3 34 Rc3 Bf5


click for larger view

And Back seems to equalize. If this holds up this means that 17...f5 was not a mistake.

<C> Finally how about 18...Qe6 19 Qc1 h6, now 20 Nc4? is bad b/c after 20...g5 21 f4 ef3 22 Bd2 Qg6 23 Re8 Qe8 24 gf3 Bg7!


click for larger view

Black is better! 20 Bf4 is the right move and after 20...Nf6 21 Bc7 Nd5 22 Be5 Nb4


click for larger view

one gets the final position of Glazer's line but with Qc1 & ...h6 added, which makes a big difference now White can play: 23 Na5! Nd3 (23...Ra5? 24 Qc1; this is where Qc1 counts) 24 Qc3

Mar-20-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: 16. ... a5 is putting his head in the lion's mouth also. He has a weakness and he offers it up. Other wise it is approx. = it seems. Chess is a bastard of a game.
Mar-20-13  WiseWizard: 16...a5 is logical, it threatens to move the knight off b3 so Black can play c5. I looked it up on chessbomb and its Houdini's top choice. In hindsight I dont think d5 was the best plan for Black, by leaving himself with the doubled/isolated pawns his position had no flexibility and if he doesnt have a kingside attack where is his play? Whats the best strategy? 24. Bh2 is high class. It's Karpov at his finest. When you eliminate your opponents threats he must come up with a new plan, and more often than not this is when they fail. It only works when you have a long term advantage vs your opponents dynamic threats, when those run out ITS CURTAINS. Grischuk decided to go all in instead of going into damage control. No poker bluffs here sir.
Mar-20-13  furrer: To Hesem7:
After 20. ... Nd5 what about 21. Ne5 instead? This seems to give white a small edge in most variations. But maybe after 21. ... f4!? black equalizes: A) 21. ... f4!? 22. Bd2 and e4 is weak. This sugests either Qf5 to defend the weak pawn or f3. After 22. ... f3 forced is 23. g4! h5 and it seems like black has more than enough counterplay.


click for larger view

Therefore it seems like, that 19. Qc1 doesn't give any advantage to white; afterall, if it does not stop f4, it isn't as usefull as wanted. Therefore i looked at 19. Bf4 trying to improve this. After 19. Bf4 Nf6 20. Bxc7 Nd5 I think 21. Be5 is an improvement. There are two lines: B) 21. ... Qg6 22. Nc4 f4 23. Kh2 Be7 (23. ... Nb4!? is maybe an improvement) 24. Nbxa5 e3! (24. ... Rf8!?) 25. Qf3!


click for larger view

and in this complicated position it looks like blacks counterplay isn't as scaring as in some other cases . C) 21. ... Nb4!? 22. f3 and now the exchange sacrifice 23. fxe4! Bxe1 24. Qxe1


click for larger view

and white seems to be pressing , but maybe ojectivly this is just equal (24. ... Qg6 25. Nc4 - finally the knight reaches this square; 24. ... fxe4 25. Qxe4)

Mar-20-13  fgh: I notice an interesting parallel between this game and Lasker vs Capablanca, 1914. Speaking of the latter, Kramnik said:

<Lasker realised that the e5-square could be weakened because it was difficult to exploit. And then they started talking about his psychological approach! It had nothing to do with psychology. Lasker grasped a deep concept, which is being automatically employed now: he gave up the e5-square and "fenced in" the c8-bishop.>

The same is seen here; although many players would dismiss 18. c5 as anti-positional, since it enables black to have a formidable knight or bishop on d5, it led to the restriction of black's DSB. Both games were wins by white in the Ruy Lopez; I wonder if Carlsen had this game in mind when playing against Grischuk yesterday?

Mar-20-13  csmath: What is amazing to me is that Magnus plays a "conceptual" chess with obvious ideas. He plays that regardless of who is the opponent. He simply plays the strongest moves. His plans are dynamic and he executes them precisely.

Sometimes he makes mistakes and choses wrong plans but that is now less and less the case.

The first time I analized his game was in Wijk 2004 when he blew away Ernst. It was sort of obvious we were dealing with tactical player with tremendeous willpower. He changed, now he is a positional strategist with tremedeous willpower. :-)

I will be amazed if he does not become WC. I think match between him and Anand, assuming Anand in good form, would be truly a majestic event.

Mar-20-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <furrer> In your line A, Black might be able to equalize even more directly by 21...Be7, aiming for Bf6.

<Hesam7: After 18...Qe6 White still can manages to play Nc4, so allowing Nc4 alone can't be the reason 18...Qg6? is a mistake.>

Ok, I should have said allowing Nc4 <immediately>...

Mar-20-13  furrer: Eyal:

That seems right. After 22. Bd2!? Bf6 23. Nxa5 Bxe5 24. dxe5 black has the strong 24. ... Ba6!

Mar-20-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Grishchuk looked genuinely puzzled when asked where he went wrong.

He expected the point of 19 Nc4 Nf6 was 20 Ne5 after which the exchange sacrifice gives Black good chances.

But he discounted the alternative plan which Magnus implemented of slowly taking pawns, but keeping such co-ordination that nothing worked for Black.

At a later point of the press conference, Magnus said he was confident he could handle any attack, and did not offer any specific calculations, but was proven right.

Mar-20-13  Everett: <The same is seen here; although many players would dismiss 18. c5 as anti-positional, since it enables black to have a formidable knight or bishop on d5, it led to the restriction of black's DSB. Both games were wins by white in the Ruy Lopez; I wonder if Carlsen had this game in mind when playing against Grischuk yesterday?>

Nice observation, but we've come a long way in a hundred years, and all these players have created backward pawns left and right in every other game nowadays.

Mar-20-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <fgh: I notice an interesting parallel between this game and Lasker vs Capablanca, 1914. Speaking of the latter, Kramnik said:

<Lasker realised that the e5-square could be weakened because it was difficult to exploit. And then they started talking about his psychological approach! It had nothing to do with psychology. ...>

>

There is one problem with all this: The alleged psychological move was <4.Bxc6...> -- the very <choice of the exchange variation> which under normal conditions would have suited Capablanca just fine.

But Lasker reasoned that Capa, who needed only a draw would play timid and would not fully utilize his 2B compensation for his doubled pawn. Lasker (if this theory is correct) reasoned that Spanish exchange needed vigorous handling from Black and that Capa was not mentally poised for such play, on that particular day.

Mar-21-13  Hesam7: <Eyal: <Hesam7: After 18...Qe6 White still can manages to play Nc4, so allowing Nc4 alone can't be the reason 18...Qg6? is a mistake.>

Ok, I should have said allowing Nc4 <immediately>...>

I did not mean it in that way, I think 18...Qg6? is bad because of concrete tactics but humans want to come up with a "human explanation" and then we get "it allowed Nc4".

Mar-22-13  Just Another Master: thanks for the great input csmath, always enjoy your posts
Mar-23-13  fgh: <Nice observation, but we've come a long way in a hundred years, and all these players have created backward pawns left and right in every other game nowadays.>

True, and Kramnik did say "automatically employed now"; I was just pointing out the conceptual similarity.

Mar-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <But Lasker reasoned that Capa, who needed only a draw would play timid and would not fully utilize his 2B compensation for his doubled pawn. Lasker (if this theory is correct) reasoned that Spanish exchange needed vigorous handling from Black and that Capa was not mentally poised for such play, on that particular day.>

I hate to see you hawking this most persistent of chess cliches, gypsy. No one ever suggests that the player with the bishop pair has to play particularly aggressively (unless they are discussing Lasker-Capablanca, of course). Instead "the future belongs to the man with the bishops" and it is the player with the knights that is supposed to play aggressively to avoid falling into a disadvantage.

Here's a model exchange game for black. Factor vs Rubinstein, 1916

Black certainly plays strongly but not particularly aggressively. Certainly he is not in any hurry. Of course you shouldn't play weakly or passively with the two bishops, but you shouldn't do that in any other kind of game either.

Lasker was a great expert with the Exchange Variation and played in in many critical games, including in WC matches against Steinitz, Tarrasch, and Janowski. He had an amazing record with it, so there was no reason for anyone to think he played it with a draw in mind. Capablanca squashed Janowski with the variation earlier in the tournament and Alekhine lost with it against Lasker. I'm sure it was a mild surprise to Capablanca to see Lasker play it against him, since like everyone else Lasker usually played 4.Ba4, but if it was any more than a mild surprise Capablanca was a much stupider man than I take him for.

Mar-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: In Nuremberg 1896 Lasker faced Tarrasch in the penultimate round with a 1.5 point lead. So obviously Tarrasch needed a win to have a chance of catching Lasker. Since playing the EV against Capablanca, who only needed a draw, was supposedly a psychological masterstroke, it follows that playing it against Tarrasch, who needed a win, was psychologically idiotic.

Nevertheless, that's what Lasker did.

Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1896

Incidentally, there were three rounds to go at St. Petersburg after Lasker-Capablanca, and the score was even going in (though Lasker still had a bye to go) so Capa couldn't have clinched the tournament with a draw.

Mar-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <fgh> is known to be a parvenu.
Apr-04-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <WiseWizard: 24. Bh2 is high class. It's Karpov at his finest. When you eliminate your opponents threats he must come up with a new plan, and more often than not this is when they fail.>

Yeah, I also got a "Karpovian" impression from the prophylactic sequence 20.Bf4-21.Qd2-24.Bh2.

Apr-04-13  RookFile: White does not need to be particularly aggressive in the Ruy Lopez Exchange variation, particularly the way it was played in Lasker's day. If he can simply trade pieces and preserve his kingside majority, he'll have either an advantegous or winning endgame. It's true that Rubinstein, who knew as much about the endgame as anybody, would cheerfully take black and welcome the two bishops - typically winning with the black pieces.
Apr-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: A couple of very precise moves by Carlsen to repel Black's desperate bid at couterplay with 24...Rxa5 & 25...Rxb2:

<26.Rab1!> taking control of the b-file before Qa6, which if played immediately would fail to [26.Qa6?] e3 27.fxe3 Qg5 28.Re2 Nb4! and the queen cannot keep defending the rook on e2.

<30.Nf3!> blocking the long diagonal while attacking the queen - 30.Rxa2? Bxa2 31.Rb2 Bd5 and White can't defend g2; and you need to see that 30...Qxg2+ 31.Rxg2 Rxg2+ 32.Kh1 Bd5 doesn't work for Black because of 33.Re1! Bxf3 34.Rxe3 Bd5 35.Re5!

May-02-13  Boris Schipkov: A very interesting game. My commentary in the Chess Siberia http://www.chessib.com/carlsen-gris...
Sep-12-13  PinnedPiece: GTM score 51 par 49

Totally missed some of Carlsen's excellent pressure moves.

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 10)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.


NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Berlin Defense
from Ruy Lopez by Granmaestro
World Championship Candidates (2013) Rd.4
from Candidates 2013, Women's WC 2012, London 2012, by partien
Positional beast, Karpov incarnate
from Mixed Bag by Everett
Absentee's favorite games
by Absentee
Spanish Berlins 1990s+ Brought Fredthebear Food
by fredthebear
Candidates, round 4
from Carlsen in World Championships: the 2013 cycle by alexmagnus
53
from The Berlin Defense Study by jakaiden
Volume 56, Game 1
from # Chess Evolution Volumes 51-100 by Qindarka
Spanish B Defense Bin Fed Fredthebear
by fredthebear
Power Chess - Carlsen
by Anatoly21
best of 2013
by Chnebelgrind

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2020, Chessgames Services LLC