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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

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: So perhaps MVL should have tried 52...a2 and set Carlsen the trap of trying to mate right away. Who knows...
Apr-22-15  Howard: Karpov's "White Key Symphony" game was, presumably, Game 4 of his second match with Kasparov.
Apr-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: This game will no doubt make it to some <best ever chess games anthology.>

But Carlsen still has four rounds of Chess left to play, and surely he knows that today's <hero> can be tomorrow's <zero.>

Magnus knows that he cannot take anything for granted in these elite tournaments.

All these players are dangerous otb.

So hopefully more good stuff to come!

Apr-22-15  Ulhumbrus: The eccentric move 2...b5 brings to mind the Polish defence 1 d4 b5 employed unsuccessfully in the game Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966

4 Na3 ?! matches eccentricity with eccentricity and there may be something to be said for doing this as a psychological tactic but it does place a knight on the rim

5 c4?! offers a c pawn in exchange for the less valuable b pawn. However Vachier-Lagrave misses this chance.

5...bxc4! gains a permanent advantage by exchanging the b pawn for the more valuable c pawn. True, 6 Nxc4 gains a tempo for development for the N but this is a temporary gain whereas 5...bxc4 makes a permanent positional gain. Instead of this 5...b4?! loses a tempo for development.

8...Be7?! makes no attempt to prevent 9 d5. In some lines of the Queen's Indian defence and the Nimzoindian defence the advance d4-d5 can be called a threat if it gains the advantage as well as greater space

14 Bg5! sets Black a trap and on 14...Nxd5 the point of 15 Bh6 !! now is that Black's king's knight has conceded the square g4 to White's queen and the check Qg4+ is able to regain the piece with advantage.

Vachier-Lagrave praised this resource, saying that it showed typically Carlsen's strength and that it was much more difficult to conceive or find such a resource beforehand than it was difficult to understand or explain the resource afterwards.

One way to look at the resource 14 Bg5! Nxd5 15 Nh6!! is that it is an improvement on an immediate 14 Bh6, as it induces Black's knight to abandon its defence of the g4 square so that White's queen can help White's knight on f5 and the bishop on h6 by coming to g4.

The Russian commentator on the official site seemed to be a very strong player: he was not sure at first what Carlsen gained from the pawn offer, but then he doubted that Carlsen would offer a pawn on d5 like that and after further examination he found the move Bh6!! Perhaps he is a Russian grandmaster.

Which other masters might have come up with such a resource? Lasker comes to mind.

Apr-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Ulhumbrus The Russian commentator on the official site...>

GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko, ukrainian.

Apr-22-15  Ulhumbrus: <chancho: <Ulhumbrus The Russian commentator on the official site...>

GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko, ukrainian.> I beg pardon if needed, no offence intended

Apr-22-15  hedgeh0g: One of the finest games of chess I have ever had the pleasure of watching.
Apr-22-15  ColdSong: The Norwegian seems very able to reach 2900 soon.
Apr-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Apr-22-15 Ulhumbrus: <chancho: <Ulhumbrus The Russian commentator on the official site...> GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko, ukrainian.> I beg pardon if needed, no offence intended>

Don't apologize. That's not nearly as offensive as your annotations.

<5....bxc4! gains a permanent advantage.>

I guess 3....cxd4 in the Sicilian gains a permanent advantage for Black too? Since he's trading a c-pawn for a d-pawn?

Apr-23-15  1d410: <keypusher: I guess 3....cxd4 in the Sicilian gains a permanent advantage for Black too? Since he's trading a c-pawn for a d-pawn?> yes
Apr-23-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher: Don't apologize. That's not nearly as offensive as your annotations.>

If you want to call <u>'s drivel such.

<I guess 3....cxd4 in the Sicilian gains a permanent advantage for Black too? Since he's trading a c-pawn for a d-pawn?>

This recalls Larsen's tongue-in-cheek comment in his CL&R annotations to a win as White--might have been vs Kavalek--from the 1970s in an open Sicilian in which he noted that, despite his misgivings, he had somehow scored well overall when playing against them.

Apr-23-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <I guess 3....cxd4 in the Sicilian gains a permanent advantage for Black too? Since he's trading a c-pawn for a d-pawn?>

This recalls Larsen's tongue-in-cheek comment in his CL&R annotations to a win as White--might have been vs Kavalek--from the 1970s in an open Sicilian in which he noted that, despite his misgivings, he had somehow scored well overall when playing against them.>

some professionals claim that the sicilian (3-cxd4!)is the reason,or one of;why 1.d4 scores better than 1.e4

Apr-23-15
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.
Apr-23-15
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.

Apr-23-15
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.

Apr-27-15
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.
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