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Magnus Carlsen vs Alexander Grischuk
Sinquefield Cup (2015), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 7, Aug-30
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Opocensky Variation (B92)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <MissScarlett>:"You can talk or you can analyse; the best you can do is talk about analysis."

It sounds to me like a rather limited view of chess.

Aug-31-15  lost in space: Communication breakdown during the life game....Wonderfull that Grishi won against former wonder boy.

This poor sucker of a horse on h6 is the same that was misplaced on a1.

Aug-31-15  Karposian: 16.Na1 looked strange, but I suspect that Carlsen expected Grischuk to take on b4 after 17.b4. After 17...axb4 Carlsen surely planned 18.Nc2 followed by Nxb4 and Nc6. So, his plan with Na1 was probably to get the knight up to a good outpost on the c6-square.

But then the cunning Russian made a clever move. He abstained from taking on b4. Instead he played 17...Ng7. And now, after 18.bxa5 bxa5 Grischuk still controlled the b4-square thereby denying Carlsen the knight maneuver Na1-c2-b4-c6.

Still, even with his misplaced knight on a1, Carlsen should not have lost the game if he only had focused on protecting his d-pawn. But he didn't, so he lost the pawn and eventually the game.

Aug-31-15  lost in space: Anyway, the risk that Carksen in dominating the chess word was real in 2014 and disappeared in 2015.

The knight on a1 was misplaced even there might be a clever plan behind - as mentioned by the life commentary. By the way, the knight was also misplaced on b3 in this position directly before he moved the knight to a1

click for larger view

Carlsen never found a way how make use of this piece.

After he played 16. Na1 I thought it is planed to place this piece on b5 via Nc2-a3-b5.

Aug-31-15  Ulhumbrus: If 18 ba allows Black to blockade White's c pawn on c5 an alternative is 18 a3 followed by Nb3

Comments by Alejandro Ramirez on the chess base (here is a link: )suggest that with 32 g4? Carlsen begins - to use Tarrasch's expression - to <play to lose> in other words to attempt to win a position where he cannot hope to more than draw. Carlsen has indeed won many games in the past which have been objectively drawn but this time he does not succeed and in the end it is he who goes wrong in time trouble.

Aug-31-15  Pulo y Gata: Wrong opening classification by chessgems.
Aug-31-15  teymur1985: gris win
Aug-31-15  lost in space: <<Ulhumbrus> 32 g4? Carlsen begins - to use Tarrasch's expression - to <play to lose> >

Nice expression and very true here. And yes, it is a Najdorf, no Rossolimo

Aug-31-15  morfishine: Hard to believe Carlsen drifted into a loss. Looking more solid is <24.Bb3> (instead of 24.Bc6) followed by 25.Nc2 and White, at the least, can make plans using all his pieces
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I am not sure why MC did not play 27.Qc4. It seemed to be the only move to try to keep the a-pawn around for a few more moves.
Aug-31-15  rayoflight: <parisattack>May you put your biography back? Thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Marmot PFL: 63 Nf2 looks very bad. no wonder Carlsen was depressed. Grischuk wouldn't say if 63 Kd2 was a draw but said he wouldn't be surprised.>

"<63.♔d2!> was the only way to hold the position. There seems to be no way to break down the position."

-- Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez

calling K. Mueller ...

Aug-31-15  Eyal: <63 Nf2 looks very bad. no wonder Carlsen was depressed. Grischuk wouldn't say if 63 Kd2 was a draw but said he wouldn't be surprised.>

click for larger view

Yeah, it looks like <63.Kd2!> draws, because White manages to establish a light square blockade which Black can't break without giving up his d & e pawns - and the h pawn isn't enough for a win (even without the white knight) because its queening square is of the "wrong" color.

63.Kd2 denies c3 from the black king, and prepares Nb2+ or Ne5+ in case of a bishop move (depending on where it goes), followed by Kd3. If 63...Kd5, there's 64.Ke2 Ke4 (otherwise Kf3 next move) 65.Nc5+!

A key difference compared to the game is that after 63.Nf2? Be7!, 64.Kd2 doesn't work anymore because of, say, 64...Bd6 65.Nd3 Kd5 66.Ke2 Ke4 and there's no saving knight check on c5.

Aug-31-15  teymur1985: g4???? interesting
Aug-31-15  teymur1985: g4????
Aug-31-15  fisayo123: The thing with 63.Kd2 is that it seems, at least optically, white is about to be put in zugzwang after say a waiting move like 63...Bg7. Also, white has to follow up Kd2 with several only moves that would have been very difficult to find in time trouble. I'm not surprised Carlsen rejected it.
Aug-31-15  haydn20: Given the net availability of chess news, data-bases and computer analysis, it is no surprise other GM's are catching up to Carlsen. In another era, his strategy of playing "innocuous" opening lines into more or less equal positions, followed by teasing out small middlegame advantages, and then grinding out an ending, might have prevailed for a decade or more. Now, one has to run harder just to stay in place.
Aug-31-15  Edeltalent: <King Radio: Really wish the broadcast wouldn't use engines so much. Towards the end of this game it was absurd: "the engines are saying this is a draw!" "The engine are saying this is a blunder!" C'mon, guys, you are GMs....this position wasn't that complicated (albeit still a bit tricky). Yeah, I understand it was a time scramble, but still.>

Couldn't agree more. <Especially> in time trouble it would be way more interesting to give the spectators an impression of how difficult it is for the players. Instead Ashley shouts out engine assessments without even understanding the ressources they are based on.

Aug-31-15  Kinghunt: <whiteshark: <Marmot PFL: 63 Nf2 looks very bad. no wonder Carlsen was depressed. Grischuk wouldn't say if 63 Kd2 was a draw but said he wouldn't be surprised.> "<63.♔d2!> was the only way to hold the position. There seems to be no way to break down the position."

-- Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez

calling K. Mueller ...>

No need for K. Mueller, Komodo with tablebases evaluatesthe position after 63. Kd2! as 0.00, which is as clear a proof that it should be objectively drawn as you could possibly ask for.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <63.Kd2!> Thanks all for the enlightenment.

note to self: Ask your ceegee mates straightaway for help, the endgame guru won't answer anyhow.

Aug-31-15  maviahb: Game pun: The rites of a grisly passage.
Aug-31-15  zanzibar: Or Grisly Barely...
Sep-10-15  A.T PhoneHome: Carlsen felt like going six feet under, Alexander came at MC like a raging thunder. After MC's apparent mental breakdown, government car was ready to take him out of the town.

The reason for Carlsen's loss is actually quite simple, the explanation need not be overly nimble. A man can be a victim of his own mind, creating complications resulting in a mental self-bind.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Carslen got off to a great start
Yet Grischuk displayed a lot of heart

9. Qd3 is not a common move
9. g4 may be one way to improve

Black is known as a blitz freak
But here he showed great technique

After the typical post mortem dawdling
Magnus finally left and went modeling

Jul-15-17  cormier: -0.84 33... Bc5 34. Rd2 Rxd2 35. Nxd2 Nxc6 36. dxc6 Rc8 37. Kg2 Kf8 38. Rc1 Rxc6 39. Ne4 Ke7 40. g5 Kd7 41. Nf6+ Ke6 42. Ne4 Kd5 43. Nf6+ Ke5 44. Nxh7 Ra6 45. Nf6 Kf5 46. Rc4 Ra2 47. Ne4

Stockfish 6 depth 21,

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