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Arkadij Naiditsch vs Magnus Carlsen
GRENKE Chess Classic (2015), Baden-Baden GER, rd 3, Feb-04
Modern Defense: Standard Defense (B06)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-04-15  visayanbraindoctor: <Sally Simpson: Quite an entertaining, refreshing and straight off the cuff game.

Not often one sees the current World Champion spec-saccing just for the sheer hell of it.>

One of the best traits of the current World Champion is that, unlike some of his predecessors often contented with draws, he comes into every game aiming to win it. A trait World Champions after Fischer have often lacked.

The piece sac right out of the opening channeled the middle-game into doubled edged tactical lines. In such positions, it's almost inevitable that both sides would make tactical errors, and both did so, but in general I believe both masters played at a general high level of accuracy (kibitzers with computers might prove me wrong though).

It was only toward time control that Naiditch began to lose thread of the game, embarking on a wrong plan with 31. Bg2?

At this stage, Carlsen has fully activated all his pieces, and is threatening to ram his connected Kingside pawns into White's King. One of his rooks is on White's second rank, the other positioned behind his pawns in order to support their advance. and his bishop is centralized raking both sides of the board and also ready to support a Kingside pawn storm.

However, the tactics inherent in the position at move 30 allows White an easy way through, probably at the cost of losing his remaining queenside pawn. The White Knight is relatively passive, the Black Bishop active, and White so happens to have tactical options at the 6th rank. The position then logically suggests exchanging White's passive knight for black's active bishop, and then hitting the 6th rank with White's rooks to gobble up at least one of the Black connected Kingside pawns. Thus Naidich could have gone into a virtually risk free more simplified endgame with him having all the chances to win by playing Nxe5 and Rb6, or alternatively Rb6 first then Nxe5. He would have eliminated at least one of black's kingside pawns removing their connected nature, and more importantly he liquidates Black's dangerous Bishop and simplifies into a more easily playable endgame. He would likely lose his a-pawn, but if he manages to protect his remaining f-pawn from capture, he would be a piece up in a simplified endgame with all the winning chances.

After the passive 31. Bg2?, I believe the initiative passes to Black and it is now Carlsen who has the better winning chances. Not surprisingly, he begins to play for a win, implementing a plan of advancing his connected Kingside pawns.

In most cases, such a plan entails advancing the pawns with the king behind to support them. IMO Carlsen somehow lost the thread of the endgame when he placed his King in front of his pawns instead 48.. Kg5? (A simple 48.. a2+ would have been better, winning a tempo and tying up the White King into the corner.) He quickly realized that he was stuck with no way to push his pawns that were blocked by his own king, and tries to rectify his error by retreating his King again behind the pawns and advancing them after Naiditch's brilliant waiting move 49. Kh1! which neutralizes potential Black tempo winning tactics based on Rg5+ and h2+, and asks Black the perplexing question 'what would you now do?'

So we see Carsen answering by retreating his king 49.. Kf6. But by then, he has lost three tempi in a sharp imbalanced asymmetrical endgame. Now it's suddenly White that has all the winning chances once again.

Essentially White uses Black's waste of three tempi to soundly capture the Black a5 pawn and then exchange off the dangerous Black Bishop. Naiditch wastes no time by moving 50. Nc4 and then 51. Nxa5. Carlsen's plan to advance his connected kingside pawns never properly took off, and instead, we see Naiditch the one pushing up an outside passer up the a-file to win the game. Naidich never would have the tempi to pawn grab the black a-pawn had Carlsen not wasted three tempi himself in the first place.

Feb-05-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <whiteshark>, back in the days when I played ...d6 and ...g6 vs. 1.e4, in similar positions after 6.h3 I would play 6...h5!?, leave my King in the center and go berserk on the Queen side. I have no idea if the idea is sound, but the resultant positions always left both players baffled, which was great fun.
Feb-05-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Black had the same idea as Carlsen here:

R Tischbierek vs S Reschke, 1999

Feb-05-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: GMARK can beat this patzer, but The World was a different animal.

The World vs Naiditsch, 2014

Feb-05-15  john barleycorn: Naiditsch in an interview basically saying that he is not everybody's punching bag (in german)

http://www.grenkechessclassic.de/at...

Feb-05-15  john barleycorn: Here is a review of the game

http://www.grenkechessclassic.de/de...

Feb-05-15  sanju1996d: Magnus Be Like ' I Don't Always Lose In Chess, But When I Do I Make Sure My Opponent Is Rated Atleast 100 point lower.
Feb-05-15  Overgod: <pinoy king: Carlsen's so called endgame prowess was once again debunked.>

On the contrary; he proved he's the best endgame player in the world with his crush against Mickey Adams.

His game vs. Naiditsch was a rare fluke, where he made the mistake of disrespecting his opponent to the extent that he fell asleep during the game.

W.So has yet to prove he's a world class endgame player. Perhaps you can coach him with your chess.com games?

Just remember: W.So. will never become world champion while Carlsen is still a professional chess player. Never forget this, Glenn. In fact, you seem to have a poor memory, so I will make sure to remind you as often as I care to respond to your repetitive trolling.

Feb-05-15  Sally Simpson: Hi visayanbraindoctor,

Playing through the game and where it looked like Carlsen was right back in it do you think Carlsen was suddenly caught in two minds. Win it or draw it.

Indeed did the thought he was not going to win ever enter his head....Does it ever?

He's some incredible chess player, we are lucky to have him. Chess is in good hands.

Feb-05-15  Ulhumbrus: 6 h3 ?! moves a pawn in the opening in order to prevent the pin ..Bg4 although Black has also lost time by ...a6

7 g4? looks like an unsound attack although White has more space.

7...e5 reacts in the centre with perhaps a brilliant purpose in mind, as one can expect from Carlsen but more on that in a moment. One alternative way to react in the centre is 7...d5

After 8 d5 White has more space on the queen side but in a manner of speaking he can be said to have neglected his queen side in advance by 7 g4. Nimzovich would say that in consequence Black will become stronger there and this suggests Black's taking action there by eg 8...c6 as Carlsen indeed does play.

Besides, after a move like g4 White may want to castle on the queen side so Black will want to seek a way to expose White's king there. So that also suggests a move like ...c6

Is 9...cd the best way to attack the queen side? One interesting alternative is a Benko gambit style pawn sacrifice by 9...b5 10 axb5 Bb7

Is 10...Bxg4 necessary? An alternative is once again a Benko gambit style pawn sacrifice by 10...b5 11 axb5 Nb8-d7

It may be that Carlsen's response of trying to attack the queen side in response to g4 was right but that he did not make the right choice of attack

Feb-05-15  1971: After 10. exd, is there a model game for Black in this structure? It looks like white has a classic space advantage and black will have to make concessions on the kingside in order to gain counterplay. Carlsen obviously didnt like that option and thought the piece sac/kingside expansion would give him a game, which almost worked. I would say this a dubious opening from black.
Feb-05-15  SirRuthless: A speculative sac motivated by Naiditsch's luck comment after his last victory over Magnus. Dubious chess duly punished.
Feb-05-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: The usual suspects are getting a kick out of Carlsen losing this game, but in the end, what has changed?

The Earth still turns on it's axis, Carlsen is still the World Champion, and he still has the highest rating.

Oh, and he won Tata Steel a few weeks ago.

Wouldn't it be funny if he won the Grenke tournament after losing this game?

Feb-05-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <1971: After 10. exd, is there a model game for Black in this structure? It looks like white has a classic space advantage and black will have to make concessions on the kingside in order to gain counterplay. Carlsen obviously didnt like that option and thought the piece sac/kingside expansion would give him a game, which almost worked. I would say this a dubious opening from black.>

It's a King's Indian where Black has a kingside pawn majority, White's development is backward, he can't castle safely on either side of the board, and his knight is blocking his c-pawn. As someone who used to play the Pirc, I'd be thrilled to get this position.

This isn't that close, but I just love the final combination.

M Mukhitdinov vs Botvinnik, 1967

Feb-05-15  Petrosianic: <Overgod>: <Just remember: W.So. will never become world champion while Carlsen is still a professional chess player.>

How much money have you guaranteed on this, and at what odds?

<Never forget this, Glenn. In fact, you seem to have a poor memory, so I will make sure to remind you as often as I care to respond to your repetitive trolling.>

You'll remind him of your opinion at every opportunity, and see nothing trolling about that. Never mind, I withdraw the first question, as the answer now seems obvious.

Feb-05-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <chancho> Maybe Carlsen, like at Tata Steel, needs an early loss in order to get motivated. He is only 1/2 point out of 1st place with 4 rounds to go. I'm not saying that he will, but does anyone seriously think that a focused and properly motivated Carlsen is not capable of making up 1/2 point in 4 rounds?

After his reaction to his loss to Naiditsch in the video, I feel a little bit sorry for his next opponents, starting with Anand tomorrow. After all, you don't tug on Superman's cape.

Feb-05-15  azlane: I am a beginning player with what is probably a stupid question regarding move 46 Rf3. Why not go for the fork at f3 with the Knight?
Feb-05-15  bennyvsfischer: i feel that carlsen was disrespectful over naiditsch whit the sac.
Feb-05-15  Overgod: <Petrosianic: <Overgod>: <Just remember: W.So. will never become world champion while Carlsen is still a professional chess player.> How much money have you guaranteed on this, and at what odds?

<Never forget this, Glenn. In fact, you seem to have a poor memory, so I will make sure to remind you as often as I care to respond to your repetitive trolling.>

You'll remind him of your opinion at every opportunity, and see nothing trolling about that. Never mind, I withdraw the first question, as the answer now seems obvious. >

1) I have a bet with Glenny, that W.So. will never become world champion -- period. The bet is: if W.So. does become world champion, I will cease making posts on chessgames.com for the duration of his reign.

2) Selective reading again, as per usual. I never stated I will remind him at every opportunity. I stated that I will remind him at every moment I care to respond to his trolling. Huge difference. Firstly, he has to be trolling, and specifically about Carlsen. Not all his posts are troll posts (although, most are). Second, to keep up with this putz' trolling is a full time job in itself. So I'll remind him (as I clearly stated already) whenever I care to respond to his troll.

Thank you for proving my point again, that you lack basic English comprehension, logical reasoning and common sense.

I'll remind you of this whenever I care to respond to your trolling as well.

Here's the first reminder:

<<Overgod:> I will make sure to remind you as often as I care to respond to your repetitive trolling.>

<Petrosianic> interpretation:

<<Petrosianic:> You'll remind him of your opinion at every opportunity, and see nothing trolling about that.>

Definition of a forum troll (amongst other things): Intentionally or unintentionally (in your case, a bit of both) continue misinterpreting other users' posts and form arguments on the basis of these misinterpretations. Straw man arguments are a troll's bread and butter.

Feb-05-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <azlane> probably a stupid question regarding move 46 Rf3. Why not go for the fork at f3 with the Knight?


click for larger view

No question is stupid. But after 46.Nf3 Black easily gets out of the fork with 46...Rg4+. Then White's king has 3 moves:

(1) 47.Kf1. Now 47...Bc5 and White has to worry about Black's h-pawn queening and must play 48.Nh2 to stop it. A possible continuation would be 48...Rg2 49.Rxh3 (forced) Rxf2+ 50.Ke1 g5. Now Black has 2 connected passed pawns ready to march down the board and White's knight is somewhat out of play since 51.Nf3 is met by 51...g5.


click for larger view

I would think that Black is a little bit better. Stockfish 6 evaluates the position at [-0.43], d=38.

(2). 47.Kh1. Now after 47...Bxf2 48.Rxd6 g5 Black has 3 connected passed pawns.


click for larger view

But White's pieces are more active than in line (1) above and Black's king is prevented from advancing and supporting the passed pawns so I don't know who stands better, if either player does. Stockfish 6 evaluates the position at [0.00], d=38 since Black has a draw by repetition after 49.Bd3 Rg3 50.Ne5 g4 51.Bxf5 Rg1+ 52.Kh2 Rg2+ 53.Kh1 Rg1+ etc.

(3). 47.Kh2. Probably the most active since White's king threatens to capture Black's advanced h-pawn. After 47...Bxf2 48.Rxd6 g5 Stockfish also evaluates the position at [0.00], d=38 although Black does not have the draw by repetition after 48.Nd2 g5 49.Kxh3 Rg1 50.Kh2 g4 51.Nc4 f4 52.Rd2 Bc5 53.Rg2 Rxg2+ 54.Kxg2


click for larger view

Black could defend his Pa5 by 54...Bb4 but after 55.Bd7 Black must advance 55...g3 and after 56.Kf3 White has a bind on the light squares which Black can never break so a draw is the likely outcome. Stockfish instead suggests 54...Kg6 (active defense is usually better than passive defense, even at the cost of a pawn) and after 55.Nxa5 f3+ (Black's pawns on light squares work much better with Black's DSB) 56.Kg3 Kg5 57.Bd7 Bb4 58.Bxg4 (if the knight moves, say 58.Nc4, then 58...Bd1+ and the Black pawns will advance. Black will likely win; Stockfish evaluates the position at [-11.78], d=42) 58...Bxa5 59.Kxf3 and this is clearly a draw since either side can give up its bishop for the opponent's pawn.


click for larger view

So I don't think (with Stockfish's considerable help!) that 46.Nf3 provides White with any winning chances.

Feb-05-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <One of the best traits of the current World Champion is that, unlike some of his predecessors often contented with draws, he comes into every game aiming to win it. A trait World Champions after Fischer have often lacked.>

Agree. How refreshing to have an active World Champion who fights to win as Black from Move 1. It wasn't too long ago when we worried about professional chess dying a short draw death. Exhibit A = 21st Linares (2004)

Black certainly got plenty of compensation for the speculative sacrifice, making White convert a sharp endgame.

Feb-05-15  frogbert: It seems like 49... Kf6? was Carlsen's final mistake:


click for larger view

49... Rf4! offering the exchange of rooks seems to hold in all lines. White can accept this exchange with either 50. Rxf4 or 50. Bxc6, or decline with 50. Rxh3 or 50. Rg3+ (followed by 51. Rxg6) - but in either case black appears to have enough counterplay.

Whether Carlsen was playing for a win at this point and overpressed, or "simply" wasn't able to find the objectively best black defence, is something only the World Champion can shed light on. He spent almost half of his 27 minutes on the fatal mistake 49. Kf6, so lack of time is no explanation.

Stockfish at analysis.sesse.net gives +0.17 for white at 54 plies (66 selective) after 49... Rf4, and it's quite incredible how rich some of the possible lines are. An example (certainly not forced):

50. Rxh3 Rxf2 51. Nc4 f4 52. Nxa5 f3 53. Kg1 Bd4 54. Nc6 Bc5 55. Kh1 Kf4 56. Rh2

(analysis diagram)


click for larger view

56... Rxh2+ 57. Kxh2 d5 58. a5 g5 59. a6 g4 60. a7

(analysis diagram)


click for larger view

60... g3+! 61. Kh3 g2 62. a8:Q g1:Q and both players have queened.

Feb-05-15  frogbert: <50. Rxf4 or 50. Bxc6>

That's 50. Bc6 of course.

Feb-05-15  Overgod: @<frogbert>: Thanks for taking the time to go through some of intricacies of this game. Definitely a very interesting game -- but deserving win for Naiditsch. He really played resourcefully and avoided a lot of the pitfalls many other GMs would not have. Daniel King provides a really good and fascinating analysis of this game on chessbase or his channel on youtube.
Feb-06-15  iking: 28. Nxe4! Wow! nice combo thereafter ...
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