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Teimour Radjabov vs Magnus Carlsen
"Savoy Ruffle" (game of the day Oct-05-2013)
World Championship Candidates (2013), London ENG, rd 13, Mar-31
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation (E32)  ·  0-1



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Teimour Radjabov vs Magnus Carlsen (2013) Savoy Ruffle
Photo by Anastasiya Karlovich.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-01-13  Kinghunt: <stst> The position was lost whatever Radjabov's 84th move. He likely calculated Kc3, saw that it lost, then played Nxa5 as the only reasonable alternative. You can't blame him for playing a losing move when all moves lose anyway.
Apr-01-13  stst: < I cheer Carlsen and I know that he's deserved a win in view of his overall record against Radjabov, but today's victory is somewhat strange, to say the least.>

How to prevent such 'Back-door' transaction??

I have a suggestion, make it a "blind" game, for every game. How? Every player is assigned a unique ID, AND, when playing, he does not really know who his opponent is. Just like playing with a machine, a software, or a robot. Only the audience, arbiters etc know when the game is being played. Any player will know it - ONLY AFTER the game, when the result becomes a fact and cannot be changed. So in every game to be played, each player knows nothing of the opponent. What the player knows, is how many games he has won, drawn, and lost. That's it. Sounds crazy.. not really, in this way, any buying of games will be very difficult, not to say impossible.

Apr-01-13  stst: <. You can't blame him for playing a losing move when all moves lose anyway.> Then as I suggested, he'd better just resign right after move 80, going further is meaningless anyway, showing that kind of ??? is even worse.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <notyetagm>, <waustad> Have you actually been reading my posts? (Svidler vs Aronian, 2013). I'm flattered, but I wonder about your judgment. :-)

As Groucho Marx once said, ""Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member".

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <marljivi> I believe you.
Apr-01-13  Jay60: Besides 64.a4, was there really any reason for 48.Rxb7+?

It seems that if Rajda's desire is to draw the game, then keeping the active rook would help.

Now I know that Radja had been playing for a very long time, but the principles that say moves 48 and 64 are wrong are rather simple. At least that's how it appears to the non-expert me.

Apr-01-13  Shams: It really is amazing how all these folks who know how to hold Carlsen in a drawn ending are emerging from the woodwork. Thank goodness I don't have to face you people in my weekend tornados.
Apr-01-13  Karpova: <Big Pawn: For the other game I predict that Kramnik will win. Ivanchuck is having a bad tournament (plus I don't trust these Russians completely but that's another story). Who knows.>

So you will be relieved to find out that Kramnik does not face a Russian in the last round...

On a more general note, if Kramnik (against Aronian) or Carlsen (against Radjabov here) win drawish endgames due to blunders by their opponents after many hours of play in complex endgames (you know, complex and drawish don't exclude each other), then maybe it's simply not due to throwing games (for whatever reason) but fatigue after being pressed for hours, defending a position when they finally can't keep an eye on every weakness or nuance and succumb to the pressure.

Apr-01-13  BUNA: <Shams: It really is amazing how all these folks who know how to hold Carlsen in a drawn ending are emerging from the woodwork.>

I'd say 64.a4 is much more amazing then that. Because between 52...a5 and 63...Kc6 the pawn structure remained unchanged AND Carlsen didn't make any progress. It is not easy to see how he could have changed that situation.

But Radjabov apparently decided to exchange some queenside pawns with c5. And in order to do that he had to fix black's b-pawn with a4.

Apr-01-13  csmath: <Besides 64.a4, was there really any reason for 48.Rxb7+?>

Of course not. That is a horrible move. You can only explain it that Radjabov wanted to draw as soon as possible.

If he kept that active rook Carlsen would have a real hard time to do anything since he would have been harrassed constantly.

That was the crucial piece of white defence and should have not been exchanged.

Note to beginners: do not ever exchange your most active piece unless you really have to. :-)

Apr-01-13  csmath: Radjabov played weak chess but you have to give it to Magnus - he played another perfect ending. He would have not win that without Radjabov's "cooperation" but he did whatever he could to induce Radjabov to "cooperate." And finally Radjabov did - like a woman courted relentlessly for a date. :-)
Apr-01-13  csmath: I think everybody forgets

Look at the position after 13 moves. Had Radjabov played 14. a4 which is really very natural move, black would have been in dire straits. His undeveloped pieces and choked queenside would be extremely hard to handle. White would have solid opening advantage and black would be fighting to survive.

I wonder would Magnus be able to survive that against people like Kramnik, Anand, or Kasparov. He needs to learn from this, I hope he does. His openings are horrible! Radjabov just could not get anything going from moves 14 to move 20 and got himself in a bad position which is in itself amazing course of the game to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Carlsen needed this win and he got it.

That's clutch right there.

Apr-01-13  asiduodiego: <csmath> In fact, it could be said, in a subtle way, that Rxb7 was the real losing move: it doomed White to passive defense, in a strategically worse position. In such positions, the worst side must defend with activity, stopping the progress of the better side by creating threats. 64 a4 was the culmination of the inability of White to mount a good defense.

I think many of Magnus' opponents make this mistake. For example, in his first game with Gelfand, he collapsed and traded off his most active piece. That's a recipe for disaster in an endgame in which your position is slightly worse.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: A couple of interesting points mentioned in King's review of the game (

After 74.Nc4+ Ka6 75.Na3+ Kb7 76.Nc4:

click for larger view

Carlsen had to repeat with 76...Ka6, since defending the a-pawn by 76...Nc6?? (which he intended to play at first) suddenly loses the bishop after 77.Nb2... whereas 76...Bb5?? loses to 77.Nd6+. That's why after 77.Na3+ Carlsen corrected himself with 77...Ka7! so that now 78.Nc4 can be met by 78...Bb5 without worrying about the knight check on d6.

A few moves later, after 78...Nc6+

click for larger view

The position is turning very sharp, and it might seem that White can even try to play for a win by 79.Kd5, going after Black's K-side pawns. In order to see that Black is still on top, one has to calculate the line 79...Nb4+ 80.Ke6 Nd3 81.Kf6/7 Nxf2 82.Kxg6 Nh1!:

click for larger view

and here the white king can't take either of the black pawns due to Nxg3+ winning the bishop, and 83.Bxh5 also loses to 83...Nxg3 - the bishop can't move and Black is threatening Be8+ to win it - 84.Kg5 Nxh5 85.Kxh5 f4! and the white knight can't stop the pawns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: People complain about how bad Carlsen's openings are. Looking at the results, maybe he's figured out something we haven't.
Apr-01-13  RookFile: He's the modern day Reshevsky.
Apr-01-13  IndigoViolet: <Daniel King ‏@DanielKingChess 31 Mar

Never seen Carlsen so expressive after winning: a joyous and explosive high-five with his manager in the press room #candidates2013 #chess>

Apr-10-13  Ulhumbrus: <csmath: I think everybody forgets HOW BAD MAGNUS PLAYED OPENING!

Look at the position after 13 moves. Had Radjabov played 14. a4 which is really very natural move, black would have been in dire straits>

14 Be3 invites 14...Ng4 and on 14 Bb2 Black can play 14..Na4. This suggests the move which you have indicated, 14 a4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: Carlsen knew his chances were good.
He had already squeezed him in an equal ending.

Radjabov vs Carlsen, 2012

Apr-18-13  Jay60: The more I look at 64.a4, the more convinced I become Radja threw this game. And did he say something like "If I had to lose a game, this was the one" in the postmortem?
Premium Chessgames Member
  fiercebadger: ever Since Carlsen won with 1a4 in the 2012 world blitz

Carlsen has the EVIL EYE over RAJi the Rabbit

Aug-27-13  Dragi: I am deeply convinced that Radja deliberately left this game ...

after 50 moves it is a pure draw

Aug-27-13  Dragi: and why 64 is a4 ...even patzer like me knows that pawn on a3 square must stay where it is
Aug-27-13  notyetagm: <Dragi: and why 64 is a4 ...even patzer like me knows that pawn on a3 square must stay where it is>

Radjabov always <SELF-DESTRUCTS> like this against Carlsen.

He is one of Carlsen's best "customers".


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