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Magnus Carlsen vs Yifan Hou
Tata Steel Masters (2015), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-17
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-17-15  Laskerschueler: Another nice win by Magnus. It would´ve been even better if he had found 40.Na4, a simple but impressive example of combined play on two wings.
Jan-17-15  Jim Bartle: < I consider this game a draw. >

Then Giri-Jobava, So-Aronian and Jobava-So were also draws among other decisive games.

Jan-17-15  haydn20: <pinoy king: Terrible win by Carlsen once again. Hou had an easy draw if 51.Qxe4> Would you mind quoting a clear drawing line? Without computer help, I'm only finding positions that look about +1.0 to +2.0 for White, and it's not <easy> to hold these against MC.
Jan-17-15  Sokrates: <John Abraham: cmon magnus have some manners don't beat girls> I agree. A gentleman loses galantly to a lady and gives her a bunch of flowers afterwards. Where is the chivalry, the noble art of losing when you know you can win? O tempera, o mores!
Jan-17-15  schweigzwang: <troll king: Terrible win by Carlsen once again. I consider this game a draw.>

Ig it, don't dig it.

Jan-17-15  whiteshark: The Battle of the reigning Chess World Champions analysed by GM Jan Gustafsson:
Jan-17-15  alfamikewhiskey: Gustafsson: Probably the best chess youtuber.
Jan-17-15  johnkr: Great game by Carlsen, Magnus magic at work. Isn't it against FIDE rules to use magic?
Jan-17-15  ragtag: Je suis shocked, I tell ya, shocked.
Jan-17-15  shintaro go: Brave defense all throughout. Almost escaped with a draw with Magnus'inaccuracy at the end but Yifan's last mistake did her in. Will now follow her games after this tournament.
Jan-18-15  Pulo y Gata: Hard to believe black could lose it, but that's just Magnus with his magery.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Gustafsson: Probably the best chess youtuber> Agree - very clear and incisive analysis every time. I like how he acknowledges computer suggestions without overlooking the human element.

He made a highly insightful comment about Carlsen's "little moves" improving his position, but also strengthening his attacking chances.

Jan-18-15  Ulhumbrus: Both Seirawan and the computer evaluations indicated that the move 42...b5? was a mistake.

Seirawan said in a very good commentary that Carlsen gave a master class of how to handle the White side of the position. It seems that - as Seirawan indicated - whereas White could prepare Nd3 and c5 Black could neither play her N to d4 not advance her d6 pawn to d5 without exposing the e5 pawn to capture.

This suggests that if Black is going to play ...b5 Black needs to be able to play moves such as eg ...Nd4 or ..d5 in reply to c5, moves such as Hou Yifan was not able to play in the present position.

One really brilliant resource (amongst others) indicated by the computer which Carlsen may have missed was the waiting move 47 Qd1!! Then on 47...Kh7 48 Qf3!! Rxf3 49 Rxg7+ comes with check and on 49...Kh8 50 Rg8+ Kh7 51 Rg3-g6 is mate.

Perhaps Carlsen was not looking for a waiting move at move 47 but was looking for only forcing or attacking moves.

That can be one useful purpose of the computer, to help increase the resourcefulness of the human player. Carlsen will of course see more resources than most will see although even he can miss something on occasion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Analysis of this game:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I think these long manoeuvering games are among the hardest to play. After a long game shuffling pieces one or the other side "cracks". It is as much a psychological struggle as strategical. I saw games by - inter alia - Karpov and Fischer like this.

[I can never spell that long m word as I have my spell-checker set to US English for some reason despite that I write in NZ English, but I think it is wrong in both. Actually I just checked a dictionary and it seems to be maneuver in US English and manoeuvre in proper English so perhaps manoeuvreing is correct...]

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: < whiteshark: The Battle of the reigning Chess World Champions analysed by GM Jan Gustafsson:

Thanks for this link. Yes, he might be one of the best chess YouTubers, I also like the enthusiasm of Kingscrusher (!)...but this certainly clarifies the game. Gustafsson also praises Hou's defensive skills, as well, of course, Carlsen's very clever strategical and tactical logic.

29...a5 and later b5 were the main positional mistakes. 29...a5 is an easy one to make in such a position: but it is the kind of move, allowing a potential invasion of the white N to b5 that Carlsen is able to exploit very well.

An interesting game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: 46...Rh4 was a confusing move to meet over the board, and Carlsen after a long think, could find no better than to exchange it.

It looks on the one hand like a purely evasive move, but it prevents Qh5 and keeps the attack on e4.

Carlsen exchanged it, but started looking unsatisfied, and even grimaced before taking on h6 with the Queen, but Hou Yifan never looked at him, or she might have been alerted he was worried about 51...Qxe4

It transpired that there was a big flaw with 46...Rh4 47 Qd1 which would have validated the move c5 earlier.

click for larger view

There are many paradoxical lines, like 47...Rxe4 48 Qh5!, but the main point is that if 47...dxc5 48 Nxe5 and the Queen has an open path to d8 where it will fork King and the h4 Rook.

Jan-26-15  Severin: <Magnus Carlsen beat Yifan Hou 3 to 0.> This man is just beastly. No mercy.
Jan-27-15  echever7: <Ulhumbrus> 47. Qd1 is not exactly a "waiting move". It poses the inmediate threat 48.Nxe5 and- if the knight is taken- 48. Qd8+ For me this game could be the best Carlsens game in the tournament.A Karpovian masterpiece. But just 'could'...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Never knew the site disciple of Reinfeld had an inkling of what constitutes a waiting move.

Then again, <u> believes the Keres Attack is not a viable line vs the Scheveningen Sicilian.

Jan-29-15  Conrad93: <This man is just beastly. No mercy.>

A 2800+ beating a 2600+ isn't beastly, just predictable.

Feb-01-15  Boris Schipkov: My commentary in
Feb-01-15  Rolfo: Thanks to Boris Schipkov for instructive comments
Apr-28-15  Chess1750: 40 Na4 seems strong. Threatens Nb6 driving away rook on d7 and squeezes black.

Of course always easy for engine afterward, but it just "feels" like white gets pressure on both sides. Black must play Na8 basically reducing piece value by 3/4ths. Black just patrols back rank until white breaks through at his leisure.

Nov-04-17  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 :d 29

1. = (0.22): 16...Rac8 17.Bf3 Kh7 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.cxd5 Ne7 20.Ne3 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Rc8 22.Rxc8 Nxc8 23.Qc3 Qd8 24.g3 g6 25.Kg2 Kg7 26.a4 h5 27.Qc2 a5 28.Nc4 Nd7 29.Be2 b6 30.Qc3 Nc5 31.Qe3 Qd7 32.Bf1 f5 33.Nd2 Ne7

2. + = (0.26): 16...Rab8 17.Bf3 Rbc8 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.cxd5 Ne7 20.Ne3 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Rc8 22.Rc4 Rxc4 23.Nxc4 Qc5 24.Qa5 Qxa5 25.Nxa5 b5 26.Kf1 Kf8 27.Nb7 Nc8 28.Ke2 Ke8 29.Bg4 Nxg4 30.hxg4 Kd7 31.Ke3 Kc7 32.Na5 Ne7 33.Kd3 Kb6 34.b4 Kc7 35.g3 Kd7 36.a3 Kc7

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