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Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin
World Blitz Championship (2015) (blitz), Berlin GER, rd 11, Oct-13
Formation: Queen Pawn Game: London System (D02)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-13-15  siggemannen: 48. Nc7 Rc6! kills
Oct-13-15  spysfi: The real killer was 31. ...Ra1, a shocking distraction of white's rook & queen, an idea which amazingly both players missed several times!! "Thrashing the London system" by Karjakin
Oct-13-15  bobthebob: In blitz you can miss a lot but I thought the idea of ra8 was to do ra1
Oct-13-15  anandrulez: Missing Ra1 was odd at this level. Usually that's the sort of tactics that makes GM as sharp as they are. It comes naturally to them so really surprised to see that both of them missed it several times.
Oct-13-15  SirRuthless: I can definitely understand why they kept Karjakin away from Norway chess with the contrived play-in tournament offer.
Oct-13-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  patfoley: Karjakin must be feeling pretty sheepish for a guy who just beat Carlsen. Ra1 was obvious over and over.
Oct-14-15  JohnDMaster: Missing the Fischer like Ra1!! was indeed strange, it came to me rather quickly, but I must keep in mind this is blitz chess and anything can happen among top GMs
Oct-14-15  PJs Studio: Nice play. The white queen is overloaded trying to protect both the knight & f2 mate.

At first I couldn't see how Karjakin would break through. 46.Ra6!

Oct-14-15  BOSTER: Carlsen was first who had the illusion that a1 is enough defended, other side he'd play 31.Na4 closing the a file. I guess that Karjakin trust him.
BTW, this is nice POTD for Tuesday.
Oct-16-15  scholes: Before this game Carlsen was up +8 -0 =2 in blitz and +8 -0 =7 in rapid. This game showed how to play carlsen. He went +3 -4 =5 from this game in blitz.

Karjakin missed around 10 winning moves but position was so complicated that carlsen also could not found the only saving chance in the game. After 41 .. Qf6 42 Qd2 is draw.

Point is that, both of them missed Ra1/Rb1 idea 9-10 times in the game but there was one another deadly idea available to black. After 30.. Ra8 if white plays 31 Na4 blocking a file then, 31 ..Rd8 32 .. Rd6 33 .. Rf6 34 .. Qxf2+ 35 QxQ RxQ+ Now if 36 Kh1 Bf3 + and mate quickly follows, white can only sacrifice the rook to delay the mate.

So when Karjakin played 41 .. Kf6, it deprived his rook of f6 square and allowed f4 after 42 Qd2

FWIW even stockfish, thinks that before 25 Nxa6 white is significantly better. It considers even Nxa6 as minor blunder. And takes quite a time by engine standards to see that white is lost 28 .. Qf3

Very puzzle like game.

Oct-17-15  kamagong24: what about 37... Ra1 for black, i think it wins right away
Nov-07-15  Agferna: 31..Ra1!! is flashy but preventable with 31. Na4 keeping the queen side closed off to the rook, forcing Black to find a king side win. Black missed the nice kill with 31.Na4 31..Ra6! followed by c5 to get the rook to h6. The more quiet and patient maneuver Rd8-d6-h6 also works. Also available later 35..Rh6 was missed. Carlen sees this but can't prevent the Rh6 maneuver; that's why he take a chance and opens the queen side or otherwise Black sooner or later would find Rh6. The point is after the unstoppable Rh6, then Qg2+, rook takes pawn takes check, and the White king is assassinated by Bf3 and Rh1.
Apr-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pedro Fernandez: Honestly, 31...Ra1 does not deserve an admiration sign, it was not too hard to see. But also Carlsen did not see it!! 30...Ra8! was a very good move, paralyzing all the three major white pieces (after 31.Na4). According to SF7, 30...Rd8 is -M13, but this move is not a human move! Likewise, SF7 tell us that 25.Nxa6 was a bad idea


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Well, taking the black a-pawn, White loses the dominion of the very important a-file which, at the end, was the main cause Carlsen were defeated.

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