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Magnus Carlsen vs Enamul Hossain
Chess Olympiad (2016), Baku AZE, rd 2, Sep-03
Zukertort Opening: Quiet system (A04)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Hossain said a few Hosannas, but it wasn't enough.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobby Fiske: <whiteshark: Game related summing-up cut:

Nice video link, thanks Shark! It's a fascinating concept: -Some chess maniac somewhere in the world is recording the live stream from Baku, then he goes through the 7h long material, subtracting the bits and pieces related to noteworthy games and publishes it on YouTube the same evening! Generating a few thousand clicks, it can hardly be profitable, so it must be a work of love. Anyway, we should just be grateful for the effort:-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Magnus should've played 32.h6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: Why??
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: So he could wear him down over 150 moves, and I could label the game <Enamul Erosion>....
Sep-04-16  Ulhumbrus: Reti's book <Masters of the chess board> has given one objection to White's opening 2 e3 and 3 c4, which is a queen's pawn opening defence reversed: An opening defence which is suited well for playing to equalize with Black may be not suited well for playing for an advantage with White.

After 3...d5! Black may have little trouble gaining equality.

5...Bb4 transposes into a Nimzoindian defence. Instead of this 5...d5 may be adequate but 5...c5! which transposes into the famous game Bogoljubov vs Botvinnik, 1936 may be better still.

9 Ne1 frees White's f pawn. This suggests 9...f5 so that on 10 f3 Nf6 will not obstruct Black's f pawn. One alternative to this is 9...Qh4 10 f3 Ng5.

After 10...Nf6 Black's knight has lost two moves which is to say that White has gained two moves. How valuable is this time? One answer - or one part of an answer - is that if both players continue to develop, a few moves from now a single tempo may decide whether an attack succeeds barely and wins or fails barely and loses.

Instead of 11...Ne8, 11...Nc6 seems necessary if we assume that d5 has now become possible for White. 11...Ne8 does not answer the threat.

12 d5! makes use of one valuable tempo. If Black's queen's knight were at c6 at this point, it could go to a5 in order to attack White's c4 pawn. Moreover if Black can't play ...Na5 that means that his queen's bishop will be out of play as well.

After 12...d6 White has a very dangerous threat although it will be carried out gradually and not suddenly: White threatens to throw his pawns forward and overwhelm Black.

Moreover Carlsen excels in the prosecution of gradual attacks, as Lasker might have done, as Carlsen has shown more than once.

Black needs to find an answer to the threat if he can. One answer is to play 13...f5 without delay, before White can prevent this move.

After 14 Ne3 White has already prevented ...f5 for the moment. Now White will advance gradually his pawns and pieces and overwhelm Black if Black does not find an answer to the threat.

The sequel to the choice of 18 exd5!! suggests that it opens the e file but in return it avoids freeing Black's c pawn or Black's queen's bishop or giving Black a target on e4.

Instead of 19...Nf8 at once, 19...Kh8 clears the square g8 for the N on f6

At the end Black has still not managed to free his queen's bishop.

The choice of 19 exd5!! looks like a masterly example of the art of evaluation on the part of Carlsen. In his training Carlsen may have acquired some experience in handling the consequences of such choices, and indeed Lasker has indicated that evaluation is based upon a store of experience.

Sep-04-16  kamagong24: pawnstorm!!!
Sep-05-16  Ulhumbrus: In my previous message <19 exd5!!> in the last parahraph should be <18 exd5!!>
Sep-05-16  Ulhumbrus: In my message before the previous message <19 exd5!!> in the last paragraph should be <18 exd5!!>
Sep-06-16  Eusebius: Hossain called Magnus for a visit with his friends at his kingside. And Magnus followed the invitation humblely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: The opening is all well known up to 9.Ne1

< 9...c5 ?! > ..f5 is normal, to restrain white's center expansion, which of course ..c5 does not do.

see the Opening Explorer

<EhsanBalani: Bangladesh's fifth GM looks like a patzer against MC!>

A critical mistake on black's ninth provides a nice lesson on center restraint or the lack thereof. After..

< 18.ed5 > black's Qside pawns are fixed, and white is completely free to begin expansion on the K side! Black thereafter does a lot of back-peddling.

< 22. ..Bc8 > Now, if only black had time for Qb7-a8 and Nb8 he would have ALL his pieces on the back rank. What a novel defense! < NOT > LOL

< 31.f6! > Better than Bxe5, which increases black's resistence on the kingside.

< 31. ..g6? > 32.hg and it's over. The position collapses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Impressive display of space advantage.
Sep-08-16  Mudphudder: I have to ask: this 1.e3 move...was this Carlsen's showboating more than anything else?
Sep-08-16  Howard: Well, here's one way of looking at it...if you look in the Chessgames opening explorer section, you'll see that only about 350 games have opened with 1.e3. That probably tells you something.

Offhand, I suspect Carlsen probably just wanted to make the game a bit more challenging for himself, rather than want to showboat.

Sep-09-16  Mudphudder: Howard, 300+ games with 1.e3 says nothing when you compare to the 369,000+ games with 1.e4. So you're statistics as not as impressive from this perspective.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I wouldn't speculate too much about 1.e3...especially since the game transposes to a bog-standard position immediately afterwards.

If Carlsen wanted to showboat with his first move, a better choice would be something like 1.g4 or 1.b4. Unlike those moves 1.e3 doesn't have much of an independent character. It's just a quiet path to some other opening destination.

It's interesting to see who has made use of 1.e3 in the past. It seems to be split up among "I'll play anything" types like Blackburne and Tartakower, what Kasparov calls "left-handed" masters like Nimzowitsch and Elijah Williams, and positional endgame specialists like Eliskases. Of course those categories overlap, and I think Carlsen fits into all three to varying degrees.

Not surprising that Gerard Welling has played it quite a bit.

Sep-10-16  Al2009: It is not so unusual to play 1. d3 because you re-enter in usual closed Sicilian openings, and King's Indian reversed as you want. And yet, 1.e3 (Van't Kruijs opening) is quite unusual, because after 1...e5, 2. d4, the opening pattern is totally different from other openings. In there are 157 games recorded after 2.d4, and Black wins in most of cases. However, Magnus Carlsen is Magnus Carlsen, he is not a "common" White player.
Sep-10-16  Howard: Not exactly sure what Mudphudder meant by his comment, but then keypusher definitely raises a good point which I hadn't thought of. If Carlsen wanted to "showboat", he certainly had more appropriate choices on his first move.
Sep-10-16  Shams: <keypusher> What did Kasparov mean by "left-handers"?
Sep-10-16  Mudphudder: Playing an exceptionally rare opening move can definitely be interpreted as a way of showboating. Not necessarily what Carlsen was doing in this game, of course. But one must wonder when the world #1 plays a rare opening move against another grandmaster. Especially in the tournament as big as the Chess Olympiads.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Shams: <keypusher> What did Kasparov mean by "left-handers"?>

People who play like Nimzowitsch and Williams. I'm too lazy to avoid circularity. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher: People who play like Nimzowitsch and Williams....>

Definitely not my style, despite my own sinister tendencies. (laughs)

Sep-13-16  drleper: <Mudphudder: Playing an exceptionally rare opening move can definitely be interpreted as a way of showboating. Not necessarily what Carlsen was doing in this game, of course. But one must wonder when the world #1 plays a rare opening move against another grandmaster. Especially in the tournament as big as the Chess Olympiads.>

I think it's the same thing he's been doing for a while: Avoiding the other player's preparation at the cost of eschewing an immediate theoretical advantage. Carlsen gets a reasonable middlegame, and outplays the guy from there. "Setting the opponent to his own resources" as Capablanca used to say. Seems more like pragmatism than posturing to prove superiority, and it might be especially useful when you don't always know the other players so well (like in an Olympiad).

Sep-13-16  drleper: Obviously black can pretty easily transpose 1.e3 into something familiar, but I still think one of Carlsen's common aims is to avoid theory as much as possible and reach a playable middlegame. Many players will do a lot to stay in theory these days, here's an extreme example (not sure if it's 100% serious or not though) S Ernst vs A Kovchan, 2011.
Sep-22-17  Saniyat24: "Magnus,too loud".
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