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Magnus Carlsen vs Boris Gelfand
Zurich Chess Challenge (2014), Zurich SUI, rd 1, Jan-30
King's Indian Defense: Normal. King's Knight Variation (E60)  ·  1-0



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Given 33 times; par: 45 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-31-14  Ulhumbrus: 7....Nfd7 loses more time for development than the move 6 Qa4 loses time for development. This suggests 7...Bf5 or 7...Nbd7
Jan-31-14  Cooleyhigh: Thank You RedShield and Perfidious. I stand to be corrected. Very good truths. I was wrong.
Jan-31-14  Ulhumbrus: is 18...e5 necessary? After eg 18...ef 19 Nxf3 White has still to regain his pawn.
Jan-31-14  hedgeh0g: <Cooleyhigh> Boris Spassky was one of the most imaginative middlegame players of all time. Take a look through some of the game collections composed here in his honour - the man was a tactical wizard.
Jan-31-14  DaringSpeculator: This is what Carlsen said about this game yesterday.

“It showed that I hadn't played for a long time. I couldn't make decisions. After a few moves I remembered how to play chess again”...

“It was really just a very fun game. Lots of tactical and positional stuff and from move 15 it was all tactics on every move and this is fun, especially if you're calling the shots.”

Jan-31-14  RedShield: <It showed that I hadn't played for a long time. I couldn't make decisions. After a few moves I remembered how to play chess again.>

I thought he was referring to the blitz games.

Jan-31-14  DaringSpeculator: <RedShield: <It showed that I hadn't played for a long time. I couldn't make decisions. After a few moves I remembered how to play chess again.> I thought he was referring to the blitz games.>

Actually he was referring to this game. You can find his press conference in the first 10 minutes of the last video, here.

Jan-31-14  rickycota: Just wow! amazing positional chess from Carlsen. Carlsen it's getting closer to Fisher and Kasparov. Now he must sustain that level for years and that would be great.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: < Kinghunt: Even after the game, analyzing it with the help of computers and GM commentary, it is difficult to understand where exactly Gelfand went wrong. Truly phenomenal play by Carlsen, well worthy of his first game as King. >

There are hundreds of examples of this I find when playing over recent or older masters games. This isn't to criticize Carlsen, who can calculate rapidly and deeply, but at this stage of his career his judgement is mostly better than most of his opponents.

Now it is this tactical-positional judgement that is the strongest factor.

Anand and other players had that when they were younger. They still have it but they are not as consistent now.

It seems as though his wins are incomprehensible but most can be explained and in fact this phenomena is due to a) a number of small mistakes by his opponents (tactical and or positional - given that these factors are interconnected) b) very good knowledge and memory of position types (Carlsen adds this to what most other GMs have but he has that extra alertness, speed of calculation etc) c) the type of chess he plays is psychologically difficult to "beat" d) while he is supposedly lax in openings I think that is nonsense he knows enough (hence his pulling out that "reversed" Budapest against Anand in a blitz game.

I once was at a lecture by a GM and he showed a win by Topalov when after about 25 moves his opponent resigned. Neither the GM nor anyone present could see any direct tactical issues, or how it was Topalov had brought about the win. Topalov was then the best player in the world. The whole game was one of those mysterious deteriorations that happen.

Computers (so far) aren't very helpful as they cant discuss strategy etc

But this game aside there are many games where such as Kingcrusher etc on YouTube or some analyst in a magazine or book can show the methods and plans involved.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: One factor in this game is the way Black's Bs are never very active with Gelfand's N on e4.

Also Carlsen judged that his doubled pawns were an asset in this case as he had good use of the open files.

Carlsen (in this game) seemed to have a more creative or more flexible plan: he combined piece activity with so called "static" weaknesses. His doubled pawns were only visually weak. In terms of the total dynamism of the game they weren't weak.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: But it is still a mystery to me how these guys (not only Carlsen) win many of their games - or even how I win some of my own in the rare cases I do! There is often a mysterious "transform" from one state to a dream, nothing to pin down, or not much...
Feb-01-14  Fanques Fair: 28-... , Nxc2 !?, 29- Bd5+ , Kh8 , 30- Bf7 !? , Nxe3 ! , 31- Bxg6 , Nxf5! , 32- Bxf5 , with good chances for a draw. It´s a very complicated and explosive position, and I´m not using a computer, so I ask somebody to take a look at this variant to see if there´s some major flaw. But it seems that there was this narrow way for Gelfand to escape with a draw in this brilliant game by the world champion.
Feb-01-14  AvramVlad: Why Carlsen's <15.g4> is a winning move ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: Another notable g4, here on move 32, yet still with the middlegame raging.

Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1951

Feb-02-14  john barleycorn: <Everett> g4 is also a favourite of Shirov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: Feb-02-14
member < john barleycorn: <Everett> g4 is also a favourite of Shirov.>

But of course it really all begins with Botvinnik.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Everett> thus exposes Botvinnik as the man responsible for inducing paroxysms of dogmatism in <Ulhumbrus>, every time a player moves pawns in the opening and early middle game.

The one which puts me on the floor is <U> explaining why the Keres Attack vs the Scheveningen is bad. Wish I could dredge it up-twentyleven laughs a minute.

And we all thought Botvinnik was nothing more than a system player.....

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: You're all wrong. Played back when Botvinnik was still in short pants: I Koenig vs H Weiss, 1919
Premium Chessgames Member
  devere: <Fanques Fair: 28-... , Nxc2 !?, 29- Bd5+ , Kh8 , 30- Bf7 !? , Nxe3 ! , 31- Bxg6 , Nxf5! , 32- Bxf5 , with good chances for a draw.>

After 28...Nxc2 29.Bd5+ Kh8 30.Rxe5!

click for larger view

Rg7 31.Rxg7 Kxg7 32.Bf4 Rxe5 33.Bxe5+ Kf8 34.Kf2 and White has a decisive advantage.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: < keypusher: You're all wrong. Played back when Botvinnik was still in short pants: I Koenig vs H Weiss, 1919>

You're just being clever, especially from a great appreciator of Botvinnik.

Thanks for the game, btw. It's a gem.

Feb-05-14  blue wave: <Marmot PFL> <15...nxd2 16 Nxd2 Be6 ignores g4 but keeps the important d pawn.>

I agree. This is the turning point of the game IMO.

g4 is a poisoned pawn. When Gelfand takes it he starts to lose control of the centre.

Very nice play by Magnus. His play shows deep understanding and courage.

Feb-21-14  Vdh: why not 24. . . Rf7 to control white rook?
Mar-18-15  Conrad93: <why not 24. . . Rf7 to control white rook?> It doesn't really control the rook. 25. Ra4! and the knight has nowhere to go, so 25...Bd6 26. Nc6 and black is in some serious trouble.

24...Rf6 stops the knight or the bishop from reaching c6 and also defends the pawn.

It's actually very equal at that point.

Jul-30-16  1971: Definitely one of Carlsen's best games ever, imo. This was his first game after a long layoff from tournaments and his dynamic style in this game was a surprise after he won the WC in dry, technical, relentlessly accurate endgames. Beautiful piece coordination controlling the whole board after 33. b4.
May-13-20  Captain Hindsight: Carlsen has analysed the middlegame of <My First Classical Game As World Champion> in a recent video:

We can dismiss some deviations from the sequence of moves presented here with a clear conscience under artistic-pedagogical freedom.

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