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Magnus Carlsen vs Alexander Grischuk
Gashimov Memorial (2019), Shamkir AZE, rd 9, Apr-09
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-09-19  Bobwhoosta: I love this shift into a more dynamic style, something I have been seeing in Carlsen's game starting maybe a year or more before the WC Match. The transition was filled with many ups and downs, but it really seems he's found his stride, and is playing at a level perhaps higher than he ever has.


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: the man is unconscious! I wish we'd seen a little more of this in the WC matches.
Apr-09-19  beenthere240: I think he plays in a manner most likely to win the event. If drawing every classical game and dominating in the tiebreaks seems best , then why not? But in a super tournament a small plus may not be enough. I suspect hes decided that the 80-move grinds have become suboptimal. Hence the livelier play and speculative pawn sacs.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Carlsen is the best. Some people may not like that fact, but they sure as hell know it.
Apr-09-19  An Indianman: Good morning: sorry people, Justins not crying today 😊
Apr-09-19  botvinnik64: Magnus again! Everyone else should give up chess, really. MC will be dethroned when he retires, I have to admit. He just keeps on winning from all sorts of positions. Amazing TPR.
Apr-09-19  Dr Winston OBoogie: This has to be the worst game in terms of quality and precision I've seen from Magnus in a good few years. This is what the Carlsen app aged 16 plays like - it'll destroy you but it'll still take over 30 moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Thanks <MissScarlett>.

There are some other numbers flying around: 2990 and 2991. If I had any stamina I would calculate it myself, but alas...

I guess <parmetd> got it right with 2990.8

Gashimov Memorial (2019) (kibitz #344)

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: TPR = 2988
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: <ajk68: TPR = 2988>

I've seen that number, and I've seen others. <parmetd> is the only one that has shown any math, and his numbers seems to check out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Or maybe not...
Apr-09-19  parmetd: Or.maybe so :o)

Anyways, this game is really impressive! To beat a GM of any caliber from the position after 18. Bxb3 let alone someone of Grischuk's caliber!

Apr-09-19  Fanques Fair: Third win in a row, three pawn sacrifices !!! Magnus is a magician ! This one is the most astonishing, since it was a middle game without queens or prospects of mating attacks, and White's compensation didnLt seem apparent on the postion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Next stop on the killtown express, now boarding via crushification city....
Apr-09-19  Everett: Like Karpov
Apr-09-19  boz: Look at those white rook pawns.
Apr-09-19  csmath: Strange loss by Grischuk.
Did he have any explanation for 32. ...f5? move?

The move does not make sense since he is giving away a whole pawn for a place for his knight and opening position for white bishop pair. Yes, the position with uncoordinated black pieces looks bad but this is making it a lot worse.

Apr-09-19  csmath: This is a positionally very clever game. The way white coordinates his pieces throughout middlegame while black gets tied in knots is truly something to study.

For a player like Grischuk to be positionally outplayed like this is a rare sight. It looks that after black missed 21. ...h6 (I think this is pretty much needed given the reign of the bishop pair) things are just going down for him.

Apr-09-19  csmath: <Everett: Like Karpov>

You nailed it. Indeed, this is the closest to the way old champ used to play.

Apr-10-19  Fanques Fair: Certainly f5 must be a bad move, not only bad looking. But I'm still much more impressed with Carlsen's sacrifice. For a start, 23...- Nd7 is the first really questionable move : Black's knight cannot aim to the b6 square, while its only possible good square is c5 , whereas from e8 it could manouver to c7, e6 and eventually d4 . Its seems strange that Grishuk could have not noticed that. Actually, Grishuk noticed that his e-pawn shouldn't ever be traded after White's f4 advance, and the knight needed to protect it. , but it was possible to antecipate f4 with 24-... Rf6 !?, after White's move 24-Bc1 . if now White plays f4, Black can defend his e-pawn with Bd6, and then, remanovering the knight by c7 or g7. At this position, it becomes clear that the mere domination of the open d file brings Black no easy game, once the white bishops cover all entry squares. But Black's big problem is that his pieces lack coordination, and his knight never really got a good square for the rest of the game.If 23...Ne8 ! , 24-Bc1 , Rf6 , 25- f4, Bd6, 26-Rd1 !, Bc7! , 27- fxe5 , Bxe5 , 28- Bg5, Rd6, 29- Red2, White's still much better but I think Black is very much in the game. 29- Be3 !! is genius ! White sacrifices a whole pawn on the middle of the board and in the middle of the game, just to keep the opponent's c- pawn pinned and Black's bishop's enslaved by the need to defend it. Therefore Grishuk's desperate f5 move, just to try to gain some conterplay that never really happens.
Apr-10-19  Jambow: <Bobwhoosta: I love this shift into a more dynamic style, something I have been seeing in Carlsen's game starting maybe a year or more before the WC Match. The transition was filled with many ups and downs, but it really seems he's found his stride, and is playing at a level perhaps higher than he ever has.>

Yes I feel that it was over a year ago Carlsen decided he would address the aspect of the game he wasn't dominant in and that was in open dynamic tactical positions. Frankly I didn't think it was a wise move as he already had portions of this grand game where clearly there was no equal to him. Now he is playing for real space, time and piece activity from the first move, instead of for a minor advantage that nobody but himself could convert to a win. Both are impressive, but what stands out is that usually people become less dynamic and more positional as the sands of time march on. Magnus has done the exact opposite. Again I questioned his wisdom initially but he held the course and now is reaping the rewards. I hope Carlsen continues to succeed with this approach.

Just feel bad for everyone else if he does. If he is able to seamlessly transition as the positions demand, oh my 2900 elo coming up.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Instead of 32...f5 black should have played 32...Nb8 with idea Nc6 improving thus the position of his Knight and increasing manoeuvrability of his Rooks by freeing d7.
Apr-18-19  Ulhumbrus: With 16...b5 Grischuk probably hopes that White's a pawn instead of Black's a pawn will become a target, but it is not to be. That suggests that Grischuk has failed to foresee something.

17...Bxb3 concedes the bishop pair and it may be that here too Grischuk has not foreseen something.

May-25-19  HeadCrunch: Carslen seemed to get lucky here and he ended up with a good position but I've seen him not be so lucky and lose!
Jun-08-19  Howard: London-based Chess Monthly remarked recently that Alpha Zero may be having an influence on Carlsen's playing style. In his last three games in this event, he sacrified a pawn. Quite typical of Alphazero !
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