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Vincent Keymer vs Magnus Carlsen
GRENKE Chess Classic (2019), Karlsruhe GER, rd 1, Apr-20
Benoni Defense: Modern Variation (A56)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Richard>, I am far from convinced that....Bxc3 is bad here; it is actually a common motif in this King's Indian pawn structure when Black has managed to get in ....c5, so that a minor piece cannot make its way to d4. White will typically play for the lever g4, even as a sacrifice of a pawn, as this is his only active possibility.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: A little astonishing that 30.Qh1 gives White an edge--what does it do? Earlier, it seemed to me that White had to play 22.g4. 22.a4 just seemed to make it easier to grab the a-pawn.

The pawn structure after 14.bxc3 reminded me of the Hubner Variation of the Nimzo-Indian, which won a ridiculous number of games for me in my career. Indeed, this game felt like those games where I had secured a won position by move 40, yet had to play another umpteen gazillion moves before my opponents finally resigned.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Sally Simpson I put up my own curtains. It is true they are a lot of messing around. As a teenager I had no idea about screwdrivers etc but I learned over the years how to use tools. Not that I am a top class tradesman or anything: I have been painting and renovating my house for some years while doing other things.

But I have mainly worked either as a labourer or a tradesman (I was a linesman and at one stage a roading tech) but never in an office or anything. So we had to learn about tools and over the years...the other great help is YouTube and the DIC programs which are a bit addictive...

As to chess I only played in one tournament before Xmas last year where I won quite a few games to my own surprise.

As to puzzles there are a lot, esp. some of those old ones by Leonard Barden that he used to put into the Guardian that have me stumped.

The other thing is getting the time to try to solve, e.g. the ones on here.

I mainly look on here for opening moves if I study a game or lose or win a blitz game due to the opening. Speaking of which I had a completely won game just now and missed that my opponent had moved and lost on time!

I liked playing over games that kind of fulfil the more or less classical dicta...I have an old book of Karpov's games I got from somewhere and I am slowly playing them over.

I found this interesting to play over:

Karpov vs Krogius, 1970

Partly as I play the Tarrasch against the French. Carlsen and others play similar kinds of strategies but if it isn't an opening I play I am sometimes baffled why certain moves are played.

This game was technically impressive at the end but otherwise up to the mid game it was mostly even a bit better for White.

What was impressive by Carlsen was he knew that overall by taking on c3 and leaving White with Bishops restricted, even if "mathematically" it still wasn't better for Black as such, that the endgame would be hard to play for White because of that weakness, the outside passed pawn and the fact that in this game Black's knights were potentially and psychologically superior to the Bishops.

I get the feeling that Keymer needed at one stage to "do nothing" but that is usually not good. So it was a difficult situation. Keymer played well but eventually he was worn down by Carlsen's manoeuvering and so on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Actually I don't think his opening was dodgy. I feel Leko is being a bit unfair. It is only a reputation. The Benoni in the right hands is still a good opening. It was almost a Czech Benoni. Carlsen can handle just about any kind of opening. And he has a range of styles he can tap into. He is a great player for sure. But not unbeatable!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <An Englishman: Good Evening: A little astonishing that 30.Qh1 gives White an edge--what does it do? Earlier, it seemed to me that White had to play 22.g4. 22.a4 just seemed to make it easier to grab the a-pawn.>

I agree. Perhaps the "conclusion" of my computer was a load of cobblers. But sometimes the best move is a waiting move. Otherwise I don't know what it does and it does look a rather silly move.

And of course, you are right about 22 g4. Unless there is some trick by Black. I suspect at that point Keymer was a bit wary considering who he was playing...

But every one surely would consider 22 g4 I haven't looked at it on a machine but I would have played it. a4 seems to do nothing.

I understand Keymer's nervousness, as I say, considering who he is playing.

[Just checking with cgm's Stockfish it seems to be possibly the best move, but I wasn't too surprised. And in fact White has a big advantage if Black doesn't play carefully.]

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Richard,

Curtain and fittings going up this Wednesday or Thursday. Dreading it. Live in old Georgian House with windows taller than a small bungalow. I'll be on the top rung an old wooden creaky stepladder, a set of circumstances that has household accident statistic written all over it.

Tried to persuade Mrs. C to get these chequered curtains to match everything else in the house. (I married her because she has black and white checked eyes - also financially made sense. Long curtains are expensive.)

Only valid reason I can see why 30.Qh1 was selected as best and this is without any analysis at all to back it up.

click for larger view

Black has just played 29...Qd8-a5.

30.Qh1 and should Black take the a-pawn the three heavy pieces on the first rank probably trap the Black the Queen. From h1 the WQ skip along to d1/e1 to cover flight squares.

But this I emphasis is a 'perhaps' line. Taking the a-pawn in such situations even without Qh1 is anti-human but if these things can see a way to wriggle out then they will.

Taking the a-pawn there is probably (again emphasise probably) leads to a perpetual and we know that is what Carlsen did not want. But the computer does not know who is playing who or what any situation a game is in (a must win game for one side, time trouble etc...)

Makes me laugh though. Everyone quotes and post computer lines and evals but often nobody knows as to the why.

What we need is a computer to explain the computer.

These are the kind of problems I really enjoy.

click for larger view

Whose move is it? (no computer safety net here.)


Apr-21-19  rogge: The new VK arriving on the big stage? :)
Apr-21-19  dumbgai: Viktor Korchnoi
Vladimir Kramnik

Any other famous VKs?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Viktor Kupreichik
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Vitaly Kunin

Vladislav Kovalev

Vasilios Kotronias

Vasiliy Korchmar

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

"Any other famous VKs?"

Val Kilmer


Apr-21-19  spazzky: Fearless play from Keymer. Carlsen scrapped it out, but objectively the two bishops looked good against him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Valid kweschun
Apr-22-19  Fanques Fair: Very nice game from the boy. It looks like the famous Carlsen x Kasparov when the Magnus was the kid, pressed the champion, who managed to get away with a draw, with the difference that here the Champion, Magunus himself, was even able to win after being on the weaker side of the game.

Still, we have to compliment Vincent's courage to move his king in the opening in order to use the g-file for attack. He was tottally in the game, rising to the occasion, and actually could have well won the full point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Scary, Scary Knight>
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: didn't white make the cardinal error of defending a king side attack by advancing his kingside pawns?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Sally Simpson

I agree re the reason for Qh1. I haven't really studied any of the other games. I find, for some reason, top level chess less interesting than chess a little lower down (with more fireworks etc although paradoxically I like playing over games by Karpov) or I like playing over (other) master games, even old ones.

Curtains are pain I can imagine your Georgian House. It's good for some! Although I haven't met your wife!

I think I prefer more normal problems but I have seen things like that. In the good old days or relatively recently I used to solve some really difficult ones. Not in record time or anything.

But others (say that Barden used to and sometimes still does in his weekly column in the NZ Listener) also stumped me.

I have an old book of Sam Loyd but I haven't looked at it.

I might have a look at this one. I've more or less lost interest here with Carlsen winning and no new player to challenge him much...all the same names. Those strange problems might be just the ticket to drive away my occasional blues.

Mostly I am pretty upbeat but just fell into one of those Sloughs of Despond one experiences, I think due to the Cycladian (sleep and wakefulness) rhythms.

By the way I think if you play chess at your peak alertness in that cycle you play much better chess. The problem is sustaining the level...Someone mentioned Lasker so I looked him up. They called one of his great results at the age of 66 a "biological miracle". Perhaps there is hope for me? Mind you as I rarely play in tournaments these days this is a remote one....

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: My guess is it's White's move...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Richard,

It's Black's move.

click for larger view

White has all 8 pawns so the d1 Bishop came from f1. Black has lost 6 pieces that explains the WP's on g6 and f7.

White has lost two piece. The Q. and the DSB.

It is important to justify these captures because it looks like the h7 pawn has passed through or jumped over the pawn on h6.

The h7 pawn was the h2 pawn. It got to h7 because the Black h7-pawn (which in the puzzle position no sits in g4) captured on the g-file (and the g7 pawn now on h6 captured on h6 after the White h-pawn went to h7. That takes care of the only two Black captures.

If you now look how the Kingside is all gummed up you have to figure out what were the last moves there.

It would have to be this.

click for larger view

The pawn must have been on g2 else the BK cannot get to h4 and Kh4 must have been the last Black move in that position.

The White King could be anywhere in the vicinity of c2. I've placed it there because that is where it ends up.

play went 1...g4 2.Kc1 Rg5 3.g3+ Kh5

That brings us to here.

click for larger view

There has been no White under promotions and we have established the pawn came from g2 so the White LSB must have stayed on f1 for the whole game.

You now need to get the WB to d1 and the WK to c2.

1.Bg2 a6 (using the double pawn fails)
2.Bd5 a5
3.Bb3 a4
4.Bd1 a3

The puzzle position.

click for larger view

Black to move. (easier to solve than explain.)

Now for the curtains.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I cant follow any of this! But I believe you are right. I have no idea. Too complex for me...

But I know these things can be very interesting.

So this is how you thus your time, waiting for death.

(A paraphrase of a line by an American poet called Mark Strand).

May-01-19  Jambow: Karpovianesque...
May-14-19  castleguy12: Bxc3 is a typical exchange in this position. But I think Magnus does not know what to do after. Rf7-Rg7 then Nf8-Ng6 is a plan here as to prevent both g4 and white's dark squared bishop manuever to h4. I checked it with engine and it looks like the manuever is just right in time just before white could be able to place his bishop to h4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: The very tough fight lasted 6.5 hours. This video shows the full game in fast motion and musically underlaid with some classics: (~ 38m:40s)
Mar-14-22  tonsillolith: <13...Bxc3!> I would be very reluctant to part with my dark squared bishop in a position like this, but after a brief inspection of the position after <14. bxc3> one can see that now White's DSB is confined to a small space for the foreseeable future.

When watching GM games, I'm usually caught off guard by these kinds of captures, but they're always instructive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: agadmator's viewpoint:
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