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Peter Svidler vs Magnus Carlsen
World Championship Candidates (2013), London ENG, rd 6, Mar-21
Spanish Game: Closed. Martinez Variation (C78)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 15 OF 16 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-22-13  csmath: 33. ... Qe4 is a quiet, classic, and powerful move.

It is so simple and immediately clear. This is how Magnus plays - his moves are natural and powerful. Yet they are easy to overlook as Svidler did.

Svidler is one of the most talented chess players in the world but he lacks courage and this is the only reason why he is not at the very top.

Mar-22-13  DrGridlock: <csmath: <But White actually did have a better move after the exchanges with 20.Qe4! preparing d4. > I don't think Svidler had enough guts to play that. It would force him into sharp continuation which not too many people want to play against Magnus.>

Kibbitzing during the game, this was a point we discussed, with my contention that Svidler's failure to find 20 Qe4 was one of the turning points in the game. With some more time to let search engines run, we can get into the details of White's options at move 20.

Komodo evaluates these options for White:

click for larger view

1. (0.33): 20.Qe4 Bd6 21.d4 f5 22.Qe2 Bf7 23.dxe5 Bxe5 24.Nxe5 Rxe5 25.Qd1 Rxe1+ 26.Qxe1 Bc4 27.Qe3 Rb5 28.Qf4 Qe6 29.Be3 Qf7 30.h3 g5 31.Qf3 Rd5 32.Ra4 Nxa5 33.Rb4 Qf6 34.Bd4

2. = (0.08): 20.Ba4 Rxa5 21.Be3 Bd7 22.Bxc6 Rxa1 23.Rxa1 Bxc6 24.Nxe5 Qe6 25.Nxc6 Qxc6 26.Qc2 a5 27.h3 Bd6 28.Rxa5 Bb4 29.Ra2 Qxc3 30.Qxc3 Bxc3 31.Kf1 Be5 32.Ke2 Kh7 33.f4 Bd6 34.g4 Rb1 35.Kf3 Kg6

3. = (-0.11): 20.Be3 Bf5 21.d4 exd4 22.Nxd4 Nxd4 23.Bxd4 Bxc2 24.Qxc2 Qf5 25.Qxf5 Rxf5 26.g3 Bc5 27.Bxc5 Rxc5 28.Kg2 g6 29.Ra4 Rxc3 30.Rd4 Kg7 31.Re7 Rc5 32.Rf4 Rf8 33.Rd7

4. = (-0.12): 20.c4 Rd8 21.Ba4 Nd4 22.Nxd4 exd4 23.Bd2 Bd6 24.Rab1 Rxb1 25.Rxb1 Qa8 26.Be1 Qa7 27.g3 Rb8 28.Rxb8+ Qxb8 29.Qe4 c5 30.Bc6 Qb3 31.Bd5 Bxd5 32.Qxd5

With Qe4 as the only option which preseves an edge for White.

Komodo prefers 20 ... Bd6 to the suggested 20 ... f5!. While 22 d4 might have led to the unclear continuation given above (though there are some improvements for White in that line), 22 Ba4 leads to a wild set of exchanges which leave White with an advantage:

click for larger view

1. (0.31): 22.Ba4 Rxa5 23.h3 Qf6 24.Bd2 e4 25.Bxc6 Rxa1 26.Rxa1 exf3 27.Bxf3 Bd6 28.d4 Bc4 29.Re1 a5 30.Bc6 Qf7 31.Bc1 g5 32.Qf3 Kg7 33.Kh1 Rb1 34.g3 Rb8

For some analytical "fun" go through that tree, and try to determine why Rxa5 is black's better option than Rxd3.

This position gets murky quickly, and involves more tactical calculation than positional judgment. However, that is simply the dues that one has to pay if one wants to avoid getting into inferior positional games against Carlsen.

Mar-22-13  csmath: <Svidler's failure to find 20 Qe4 was one of the turning points in the game.>

That might well be the case. All I am saying is that it is not surprising because even if he considered it. Svilder would be expected to shy away from such a play and you can bet that Magnus would go for attack no matter what if it is conceptual. Magnus sometimes (rarely) misses tactical blows but conceptual (positional) attacks he would never miss.

This is the big difference between the two. Svidler lacks courage and Magnus has the killer's instict.

Mar-22-13  Garech: What a game from Magnus. This win reminded me of Fischer's play - the clinical accuracy, constant threats, positional domination and tactical icing-on-the-cake. Superb!


Mar-22-13  Just Another Master: 6 time Russian champ with White DESTROYED in the biggest game of his life....WOW
Mar-22-13  KnightPusher: He wasn't DESTROYED and it wasn't the biggest game of his life. Way to exaggerate.
Mar-22-13  Just Another Master: Yes it was and yes he was .
Mar-22-13  KnightPusher: Svidler vs the highest rated player ever is the biggest game of his life? Instead of bigger games where he could beat lesser players? And he got DESTROYED where if Carlsen didn't make a mate-saving move he wouldn't have won?

Come on.

Mar-22-13  Just Another Master: It was his 1 chance to play for the WC, as a 6 time...yes 6 time Russian Champion is that not his goal, this was it, he wont make another candidates and he has busted his fat...well ex-fat @ss to do it, this is an embarrassment to him.
Mar-22-13  IndigoViolet: Magnus's first win in classical chess against Peter.
Mar-22-13  JENTA: Excellent game by Magnus.
I red all the comments above, very illuminating. Thus, I am starting to understand something about this game. Some things not mentioned above:

1) Why not

15. Ba4 Bd7 and only now 16. Bc2,

I do not grasp.

2) Why not at once 16. Ne3 and only after 16. Qe2 Rd8 17. Ne3, again I do not see. After d6-d5. white took on d5 anyway and if white's queen is on e2, it is not at all safer to take Ne5.

I mean:

16. Ne3 d5 17. ed5 Nd5 18. Nd5

and now:

18...Bd5 19. Ne5 and white's queen is not on a dangerous e-file;

18...Rd5 19. Bb3 perhaps?

3) 20. h3 is a suicide, perhaps even Andersen would say that in the present position.

4) 21...Qd7 now perhaps 22. Ba4.
Therefore, black played 21...Qe6.
After 22. Bb1? black can already play 22...Qd7!

I think that after 22...Qd7 white has to confess the mistake and must play

23. Bc2

back to defend the rook on d1.

5) Why not

31. Bg7

I do not see yet? I mean

31. Bg7 Kg7 31. Qe5+ and 32. Qc5

In a blitz, I would play 31. Bg7 without thinking, because the position is worse anyway and trading the bishops would only help white because of the pawns on dark squares a5 and c3.

6) 34. Qf7 Qe5 35. Qg8+ Kg6

Now white cannot give a check on the 6. road.

36. Re8 Rd1#

34. Bg7 Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Bd6+ 36. g3 Qf2+
37. Kh1 Qf1+ 38. Kh2 Rd2 and checkmating.

Actually, Magnus Carlsen did not do anything so special in the middlegame. He simply applied usual manoeuvres in Spanish games. The point is simply his high exactness. For example, the moment of the move d6-d5.
Rd8:d5 was original and possible due to the lack of white's bishop on b3 (and the impossibility of the move Bc2-b3). Everything else was standard. The endgame is simply better for black because of the wrong-colour pawns a5 and c3. Here, in the endgame, however, Magnus was supremely exact and the finish is enjoyable.

Mar-22-13  FamilyTree: <The thing to note about 33.Qh5 is that it threatens mate by either 34.Qf5+ g6 35.Rh8#>

Wesley So would have played 33...Bd6?? for sure. lol.

Mar-22-13  xyzxyz: Carlsen's 33. ... Qe4 was a big blunder.

Svidler could checkmate by
34. Ra8+ Kxa8
35. Qxh6+ Kg8
36. Qxg7#

Mar-22-13  xyzxyz: Sorry, did not see 35. ... Qa7
Mar-22-13  csmath: <5) Why not

31. Bg7

I do not see yet? I mean

31. Bg7 Kg7 31. Qe5+ and 32. Qc5

Black is not obliged to take the bishop.
31. ... Rd2
and if now white attempt to defend bishop with 32. Qe5 then he will lose queen after 33. Rd1.

Mar-22-13  mojonera: 35.Qh6 Qh7 0-1
Mar-22-13  hchrist: Svidler looks like a patzer in comparison to Carlsen.
Mar-22-13  Ulhumbrus: After 14...Qc8, 15...Rd8 and 16...Bf8 Carlsen is ready to play 17...d5 even without a rook on e8 defending the e5 pawn. What makes it possible? One answer is the move 17 Ne3. This suggests keeping the N on c4 and playing 17 Ba4 instead.
Mar-22-13  Ulhumbrus: In a way the most impressive achievement of the tournament so far. From the black side of a Ruy Lopez, no less, Carlsen simply outplays his opponent and gets the upper hand.
Mar-22-13  engineerX: Svidler's rating is 2750, and from the way this game went, we conclude that his opponent is about 200 elo stronger.
Mar-22-13  b0ch0: <xyzxyz: Carlsen's 33. ... Qe4 was a big blunder. Svidler could checkmate by
34. Ra8+ Kxa8
35. Qxh6+ Kg8
36. Qxg7# >

35. Qxh6+ Qxh7
and nothing happens....

Mar-22-13  b0ch0: sorry for the typo. Qh7
Mar-23-13  JENTA: Today I took a larger and normal chessboard. Again: I am trying to understand the position after Carlsen's risky move

<31... Bc5>

Yesterday, I intuitively suggested to white the move

<32. Bg7:>

to trade the bishops, because white's bishop is bad due to the dark-coloured pawns a5 and c3.

I suggest the following now:

<32... Rd2>

Among other things, white has no good place for the queen to defend the bishop on g7.

<33. Qg4>

Trying to sacrifice the bishop for three pawns.
There are no better possibilities:

33. Qe5 Rd1+ 34. Rd1: Qd1:+ 35. Kh2 Bd6 and black wins the queen (this possibility was a couple of times mentioned above by other commentators);

33. Qc4: Bf2:+ and white is in a checkmate threat:

34. Kh2 Qd6+ 35. Kh1 Rd1+ 36. Rd1: Qd1:+ 37. Kh2 Qg1#


34. Kf1 Qf5

After 33. Qg4:

<33... Bf2:+ 34. Kh2! Qg4:>

Not 34... Qd6+? 35. Kh1 and white can win.

<35. hg4: Kg7: 36. Ra4>

That's white's plan: after the exchange of the queens the pawns c4 and a6 are vulnerable.

<36... Rd3!! 37. Rc4:>

Otherwise simply 37... Rc3:

<37... Bg3+>

Black plays on the checkmate.

<38. Kh3>

The only move.

<38... Re3!>

Black plays on the zugzwang.
38... Bf4+ 39. g3! Rg3:+ is complicated, because the bishop f4 is as yet attacked by white's rook on c4.

<39. Rc6>

Now the point f4 remains without defense.
Perhaps 39. g5 is better, to save the king.

<39... Bf4+ 40. g3>

40. Kh4 Bg5+ 41. Kh5 Re1 threatening 42... Rh1#

<40... Rg3:+ 41. Kh4>

41. Kh2 Rc3:+ wins the rook.

<41... Rg2>

Threatens 41... Rh2# .

<42. g5 hg5:+ 43. Kh5 f5!>

Again: threatens mate Rh2#

<44. Rg6+ Kf7 45. Rg7+ Kg7:>

Unfortunately, white won the pawn c4 and the pawn c3 is free, so there is no stalemate:

<46. c4 Rh2#>

This calculation is 15 moves long and is not forced.

However, there is another idea of trading the queens without the sacrifice of the bishop, to attack with the rook black's pawns a6 and c4:

<32. Qg4 Qg4: 33. hg4:>

For example:

<33... f6 34. Bd4>

Here again there is a possibility to consider the sacrifice 34. Bf6: gf6: 35. Rc4 .

<34... Bd4: 35. cd4: Rd4:>

Unfortunately, I am incompetent to evaluate that rook-endgame. Perhaps

<36. Ra4 Rg4: 37. Rb4>

with the hope to play 38. Rb4-b6:a6-c6.
Personally, I would make a draw against a weaker player. An expert analysis is required.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <JENTA> Your move numbers are all wrong - it's 30...Bc5, not 31...Bc5. At any rate, the rook endgame after 31.Qg4 Qxg4 32.hxg4 f6 33.Bd4 Bxd4 34.cxd4 Rxd4 should be winning for Black. After your 35.Ra4 Black doesn't even have to bother with the g4 pawn; the most direct way to win is Kf7-Ke6-Kd5 with c3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <Jenta>

Not looked at all your post but I'm guessing Carlsen intended 15..Bc4 after 15.Ba4.

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