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Arkadij Naiditsch vs Magnus Carlsen
GRENKE Chess Classic (Tiebreak) (2015) (blitz), Baden Baden GER, rd 2, Feb-08
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: There was an interesting moment in the opening of this 10-minute game. The Grenke commentators (especially Nigel Short) were basically mocking Naiditsch for his opening, and after 11 moves he already stood a little worse and was over a minute behind on the clock. Carlsen, playing very aggressively though he only needed a draw, played 11....Bg4 12.h3 Bh5!?. Now 13.g4 Nxg4 would have been bad for White. So Naiditisch played 13.g3, which initially elicted more scorn from Short, but seems to be a very good move. It keeps the threat of g3-g4 in reserve, while taking away f4 and h4 from the black knight. Meanwhile g4 is guarded by White's h-pawn. So Carlsen's minor pieces on f6, g6, and h5 suddenly look like an awkward little jumble. They are in each other's way, and can't undertake anything. Black can play ...Bxf3, of course, but there goes his advantage. Carlsen burned a ton of time figuring out how to contiinue, bringing his clock even with Naiditsch's. The game continued 13....d5 14.Kg2! d4 15.Ne2 Bxf3+ 16.Kxf3 Bxd2 17.Qxd2 and White was fine. He even went on to win.
Feb-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: Naiditsch is the first to queen and check. After 68. g8=Q black resigns since d1=Q 69. Qe6+ Kd8 70. Ra8+ Kc7 71. Rc8+ Kb7 72. Qc6+ Ka7 73. Ra8#
Feb-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  drleper: <PawnSac> That's the way the computer goes, but to me even easier is just 69.♕g7+ ♔e8 70.♖a8+ with no calculation required. Or you could walk the king over with 70.♖e6+ ♔d8 71.♕e7+ etc.
Feb-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: It's funny how Magnus's rooks wound up so horribly placed. Starting at move 33 White had several chances to play g4-g5 and end the game a lot quicker. By move 45 it was even again but (shades of their game from the tournament!) Carlsen proceeded to lose it a second time.
Feb-12-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: <drleper: <PawnSac> That's the way the computer goes, >

ummm.. ok, i'll take your word for it. I did not consult a computer.. I'm like Ian and Nigel; i prefer to do analysis and commentary without consulting engines. It's more fun and challenging, AND it's the way we play OTB.

< Or you could walk the king over with 70.♖e6+ ♔d8 71.♕e7+ etc.>

70.Re6+?? Well.. 68. g8=Q d1=Q 69. Re6+ Kd7 70. Qe8+ Kc7 71. Rc6+ Kb7 72. Qc8+ Ka7 73. Ra6# also mates in the same number of moves, and is the mirror image pattern to the line i gave. I assume this is what you meant, but got the move numbers mixed up (?).

< ..but to me even easier is just 69.♕g7+ ♔e8 70.♖a8+ with no calculation required. >

Your idea 68. g8=Q d1=Q 69. Qg7+ Ke8 70. Ra8+ certainly wins, as Qd8 71. Rxd8+ Kxd8 72. h7 Rxh7 73. Qxh7 with mate in 4, or 71.Qg8+ and Qxd8+ also wins with eventual mate, but both lines take many more moves.

To be sure there are multiple paths to win, and the way one most easily visualizes it is typically how he plays it OTB. And that's fine. The line i gave also doesn't really require any real analysis, its just pattern recognition. But taking the easy (or lazy) path to victory can often result in a surprizing turn for the worse. It is said that one of the most difficult things to do is win a won game, and this is largely because once we achieve what seems to be sufficient material to win easily, there is a tendency to relax, and rather than press to the end with precision, we stop "working" at the position, and with disasterous results.

Besides, there's the philosophical side to the play... In a gun fight, you can fill your enemy with holes until he finally falls over and bleeds out, or you can finish it with a precise and lethal shot. Likewise, in chess, the shortest path to mate is generally considered the most humane and masterly.

Beginners and amateurs typically start capturing all the opponents pieces, and will obviously and eventually win with overwhelming material as they finally maul the loser to death, but you will find in GM games that the superior player often forgoes the capture of material in preference to a paralyzing and winning tactic, and when confronted with multiple mating options of equal length, will often choose the one that does not capture the heavy material, thus humiliating the defender, but will choose the option that mates DESPITE the presence of heavy material! That one is often the more esthetically pleasing, and demonstrates greater tactical superiority.

Feb-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  drleper: <PawnSac> I didn't say that you used a computer, just that your line is the computer's choice (because it's the absolute fastest), although the wins starting with 69.Qg7+ looked more straightforward to me.

As I said, 69.Qg7+ Ke8 70.Ra8+ and there's nothing much to think about (RxQ in there is really not necessary), or the pattern recognition 69.Qg7+ Ke8 70.Re6+ Kd8 71.Qe7+ etc (by walking the king over at a8). Same thing with 69.Re6+, which omits the unnecessary Qg7+, I didn't see that, but it's the same thing. All I meant was that those lines look _to me_ to be more straightforward than the line you gave. I happen to think they look a bit cleaner somehow, but there's really not much to analyse here :)

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