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Magnus Carlsen vs Etienne Bacrot
GRENKE Chess Classic (2015), Baden-Baden GER, rd 7, Feb-09
Torre Attack: Fianchetto Defense (A48)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-09-15  YouRang: <tamar: at first it looks like the White King can walk to h5, but it might be the most dangerous, as it can get mated there.>

He may be able to walk to h5, but the h6 pawn is definitely poison.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <tamar: at first it looks like the White King can walk to h5, but it might be the most dangerous, as it can get mated there.> Do you see how? I don't. If it doesn't go to h5, it's a draw by perpetual check. It cannot go all the way down to h1 because there it does get mated after Be5 (with the black rook on f2)
Feb-09-15  cro777: It seems Carlsen wins on tiebreak (in case of 3-way tie).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Okay, I guess Kh5 would have been met by Kh7. Now it's a draw by perpetual.
Feb-09-15  Marmot PFL: At this point I hope they all draw as i still have a drawfest bet alive.
Feb-09-15  chessdgc2: Carlsen is probably enjoying this King chase...but LO! When it ends.....
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Yes. If Kh5, Kh7 followed by Bf6 and white gets mated. Carlsen has to accept the perpetual check.
Feb-09-15  haydn20: Short is unstoppable today: he says that in Caruana's game Black must watch for "unexpected penetration".
Feb-09-15  Kinghunt: I was under the impression there would be a rapid playoff.
Feb-09-15  YouRang: <Fusilli> I think if Kh5, black keep checking with the rook (e.g. Rf5+) <hoping> that Carlsen tries Kxh6??

Then ...Nf4 threatens Bg7# or Rh5#

Feb-09-15  whiteshark: Credits to Bacrot who came up with sufficient counterplay
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Believe it or not, this is the first game to finish.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Good thing Carlsen avoided a Bacrot mate.

Great fighting draw.

Feb-09-15  whiteshark: and also 'congrats' to Drawcrot for his <7 draws streak> @ Grenke Chess Classic
Feb-09-15  chessdgc2: I thought Carlsen could slip out of things earlier when Black moved 1...Nf4+ while White's K was on g2 by playing Kf3 and then moving over to the Q-side...but Carlsen has chosen to keep his "old man" on the K-side. If now, 1. Kg2 Rf2+ 2. kh1?? Be5!!
Feb-09-15  Marmot PFL: Carlsen has never lost to Naiditsch in blitz
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <YouRang: <Fusilli> I think if Kh5, black keep checking with the rook (e.g. Rf5+) <hoping> that Carlsen tries Kxh6??>

Yes, but that needs Carlsen's help. As I put it in my other post (responding to myself), I think that if Kh5, Kh7, followed by Bf6 and Rh4 mate. I don't see how to stop that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Oh wait (responding to myself again!), if Kh5 Kh7, white can play Nxb5 and if Bf6, white has Rd7+ and mate averted.

So, better for black to play <YouRang>'s line

Feb-09-15  Appaz: <<Marmot PFL> Carlsen has never lost to Naiditsch in blitz>

...but this seem to be Naiditsch' big tournament, so I don't feel confident on the result at all.

For all eternity the results will show that Naiditsch shared the win in this tournament with the World Champ, ahead of the former Champ, the world #2 and the former #2 (no one remembers tie breaks anyway, which I think is good).

It must be his career highlight, so bravo Naiditsch, what ever happens in the play off!

Feb-09-15  Appaz: Well, maybe not <ahead> of the world #2 - there is still some play left in the Caruana game - but that doesn't diminish the achievement of Naiditsch.
Feb-09-15  Severin: Nxa7...NEVER make a good move too soon. Very uncharacteristic play from Carlsen today. This is the kind of mistake he made when he was a lot younger. I was following this game without an engine and c3 was the move that I would have played without a doubt. I didn't see Bacrot's exact follow-up, but I realized that if there was any drawing tactics then c3 would snuff them out instantly, creating a completely lost position for black without taking any risks. Obviously Carlsen saw the prophylactic c3 as a possible move, but didn't see the specific drawing line so he just went for Nxa7 anyway. Sometimes you have to defend against threats that you aren't sure exist. Because no human can see everything. I'm a complete patzer who only learned how to play chess less than a year ago and I would have never been bold enough to allow Bd4+. A little humility can go a long way.

Still, some very brilliant moves from Carlsen to create the won position against Bacrot's solid play. And Bacrot's defense was absolutely perfect, despite his time trouble. This is still the kind of game that makes me realize how much better these guys are than the rest of us.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Carlsen made it hard on himself by botching this game, but somehow he found a little extra in the playoff.

He deserves credit for that.

It's not easy to feel confident when the tide begins to turn against you.

Doubt can creep in during that time, and that can inadverdently lower your playing strength.

(take a look at Anand as an example.)

Carlsen can dig deep to find a strong belief in himself that helps him to get out of the most difficult of situations.

That's not something to easily dismiss when all the chips are on the line.

Feb-09-15  Poisonpawns: What I like about this game;is that Carlsen shows that he can play almost anything he wants. Yes;he almost had a win a messed it up. However;look at the "dull" opening Carlsen played against a KID expert.The fact that he turned this seemingly dull opening into a winning position against a specialist in the defense is striking.
Feb-10-15  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 17...Qxe6 is 17...fxe6 freeing the f pawn at once
Feb-10-15  Progman: Interesting how Carlsen butchered himself after the game. He called the Nxa7 "insane", and on Norwegian television he promptly labeled his play as a sign of "cerebral hemorrhage". A bit harsh if you ask me...

Actually the engines still gave Carlsen a significant advantage if he had sacked the rook on move 40: Rxd4.

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from 98_A46/A48_Torre Attack 3.Bg5 by whiteshark

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