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Magnus Carlsen vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
"Ensnared" (game of the day Oct-02-2016)
Gashimov Memorial (2015), Shamkir AZE, rd 5, Apr-21
King's Indian Attack: Spassky Variation (A05)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Incidentally, the position after 5.c4 has come up 27 times in the database and Black hasn't played ...bxc4 even once.

Opening Explorer

Maybe he's a misunderstood genius. Or maybe, just maybe, Ulhumbrus doesn't know what the @#$% he's talking about.

Apr-23-15  haydn20: A plausible line after 5...bxc4 is 5 Nxc4 Bd5 7 Ne3 e6 8 Nxd5 exd5 9. Nd4 and I love my position: beautiful pieces and pawns, Qb3 and at least a +1 initiative. The concrete variation always defeats the general precept. U seems to forget this as he presents ye olde chess wisdome (or dogma). On the other hand one doesn't flaunt these old rules without something concrete in mind.
Apr-23-15  haydn20: IMHO Black looks fine after 10...Nc5. Sure he's moved the a pawn twice, etc., but White's Reti is slow, so no harm done.
Apr-23-15  MindCtrol9: In less than 10 moves, Carlsen was clearly winning this game the way I see in the positions sence.I realized Carlsen plays very positional, and when you have the pieces well placed, it is not that difficult for a .GM like he is to keep the advantage up to the end of the game.Carlsen has confidence and that makes him a really strong player.I have been studying many G Ms how they play, and many of them fall in the aperture like in this game Lagrave did, at least in this game not saying all to make that clear.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <haydn20: IMHO Black looks fine after 10...Nc5. Sure he's moved the a pawn twice, etc., but White's Reti is slow, so no harm done.>

I think Black's position is pretty bad after 13 moves. Neither black bishop is well placed, White has a strong and very difficult-to-challenge center, and it's hard to see where Black's play is going to come from.

So where did he go wrong? 12....e5 doesn't look so good, but 12....d6 doesn't look much better.

Stockfish on chessbomb liked 11....Nfe4, with a continuation that looked sort of similar to the game but with a pair of knights traded off, which would have helped Black.

It seems to me White had some edge after 9.d5! (9....ed 10.Nh4) and 10.Nfd4!. Probably Black should have played ...c5 on move six or seven.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: What if Black doesn't play 24....c6 and just sits there? How does White make progress?
Apr-25-15  MarkBuckley: keypusher: What if Black doesn't play 24....c6 and just sits there? How does White make progress?

A g-pawn advance looks promising: Kh2/Rg1/g4-5. Black appears tied up.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <MarkBuckley> Precisely. 24...c6 can perhaps even be considered a losing move, but it is hard to find an active defense for Black. The plan you mention for White, Kh2, Rooks on the g-file and the advance of the g-Pawn, looks crushing. What to do? Is Black already lost?
May-05-15  1d410: I'm not saying the open Sicilian is decisive for black, if there are any misunderstandings. Just that central pawn superiority can be a lasting advantage. One of many Sicilian players consider.
May-05-15  1d410: Funny game!
May-05-15  1d410: btw who cares what Larsen thinks? lol
May-08-15  Blind Pigs: Carlsen, to me, seems like the re-incarnation of Capablanca, but with 21st Century precision.
May-08-15  Blind Pigs: I also think the true statistical test of a player's dominance, even more than elo, is winning percentage. How does the player stack up against his contemporaries? Capa and Fischer were head and shoulders above their peers in this regard, even more so than anyone since.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Blind Pigs: I also think the true statistical test of a player's dominance, even more than elo, is winning percentage. How does the player stack up against his contemporaries? Capa and Fischer were head and shoulders above their peers in this regard, even more so than anyone since.>

That makes no sense. Winning percentage ignores strength of opposition. Elo takes into account both winning percentage and strength of opposition. Therefore, Elo is a superior measure of a player's dominance.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Blind Pigs> If you're talking about cross-generational comparisons, though, neither winning percentage nor Elo is particularly valid.
Jul-22-15  dunamisvpm: Superb calculation by the "Magnus Force," he's a risk taker. Notwithstanding the scramble for the second time control. Have fun chess fans! GOD bless
Sep-26-15  Tal1949: My natural thought is that Carlsen was making things hard for himself with the bishop blocking the rook. Suddenly the black king goes sideways and Bang! Awesome game by 21st century Capa.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In the final position Black cannot avoid a Goodanarchist mate. (Q.v.)
Oct-02-16  thegoodanarchist: For example 54...a1=Q 55.Rf7+ Kg5 56.Rg5#

54...Rh1+ 55.Kg4! w/ Rf7# to follow

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: That's the fella! In both senses.
Oct-02-16  Taulmaril: Just at a glance could Maxime not have drawn this game? I assume the idea after a1=Q is kg4 threatening rf7# but after rc7 rxc7 qa7 rxa7 it's a stalemate.
Oct-02-16  Taulmaril: Oh, nevermind, I see it now. Rf7+ and rf5#
Oct-03-16  kevin86: White's pieces encircle the black king.
Feb-14-18  yurikvelo:


Nov-04-19  SpiritedReposte: A cold, calculated finish.
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