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Magnus Carlsen vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
GCT Croatia (2019), Zagreb CRO, rd 11, Jul-07
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Modern Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-07-19  Count Wedgemore: <KnightVBishop: do you guys rate Magnus above MVL at the moment?>

Nah, that would be going too far. I'm sure <nok> will agree with me that MVL has done things Carlsen could only dream of. For instance, has Magnus ever won the French Championship? No? Exactly. But guess who has won that prestigious tournament, three times!That's right: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <CW> Not only that, but is Magnus known by three initials? Nope. <MVL> has that one in the bag, along with <RJF>, <RFK>, and <OBL>.
Jul-07-19  csmath: KnightVBishop is going for a record of the most consecutive infantile inquiries.
Jul-07-19  Steve.Patzer: And I thought MVL would soon be a challenger to Magnus.
Jul-07-19  rogge: <csmath: KnightVBishop is going for a record of the most consecutive infantile inquiries.>

A troll if you ever saw one. And the worst patzer on

Jul-07-19  Count Wedgemore: <<CIO: Not only that, but is Magnus known by three initials? Nope. <MVL> has that one in the bag, along with <RJF>, <RFK>, and <OBL>.>

And let's not forget the greatest of them all, that brilliant Congresswoman from New York: <AOC>. And then there's <chessgames>' very own <CIO>..!!

Jul-07-19  Bureaucrat: <Count Wedgemore: <CIO: Not only that, but is Magnus known by three initials? Nope. <MVL> has that one in the bag, along with <RJF>, <RFK>, and <OBL>.

And let's not forget the greatest of them all, that brilliant Congresswoman from New York: <AOC>. And then there's <chessgames>' own <CIO>..!!>">

Good points. Will <MØC> catch on anytime soon? I doubt it.

Jul-07-19  Count Wedgemore: <Buro> I think our American friends here will have some slight problems with that middle initial..
Jul-07-19  Bobwhoosta: <CountWedgemore>

Here in Kentucky we call him Magnus "No Smoking" Carlsen.

Jul-07-19  Count Wedgemore: LOL, <Bobwhoosta>! Our letter 'Ø' does indeed look a lot like a prohibition sign.

Alternatively you can call him "No Parking" Carlsen.

Jul-07-19  That Roger: woah, that was so nice
Jul-07-19  Steve.Patzer: At the start of the tournament, the top contenders to Magnus were Caruana, Ding, Giri, MVL, and Nepo. Magnus beat each one except he drew Caruana. Now So has crept up the rankings.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: <in terms of all time you guys rate Magnus above MVL at the moment?>

Am I missing the sarcasm?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Gypsy,

Yes at last 37.Rc7 and resigns!!

Remember back here.

click for larger view

Engines and everyone else wanting 22. Rc7. (He played 22.Bb5)

I think we are sussing Carlsen out. He spots the obvious good move and then looks around a good reason for not playing it, but still threatening to play it.

He is using Nimzovitch's maxim about the threat being stronger than the execution to the full.

He also tampering with Lasker a maxim.

If you see a good move sit on your hands and look for a better move, but don't play it, play something else threatening to play the better move.

Well it's 10 am on the morning of Monday the 8th of July 2019 and I ( and Gypsy) have figured out Carlsen and how to upset him.

Threaten to force him to play good moves.

After this post I'll email the rest of the boys the solution to the Carlsen Problem.


Jul-08-19  Ulhumbrus: It appears that the purpose of 22 Bb5 in place of 22 Rc7 is to deprive Black's rook on d6 of squares on the d file.

More specifically the move 22 Bb5 prepares 23 d5 in reply to 22...f5 by depriving the black rook on d6 of the square d7 and so preventing the move 24...Rd7 in reply to the zwischenzug 24 Bf4 in reply to the capture 23...exd5.

In other words when Carlsen chooses 22 Bb5 he has foreseen the sequence 22...f5 23 d5 exd5 24 Bf4 and wants to prevent 24...Rd6-d7 at this point.

Jul-08-19  NrthrnKnght: Sting,Ali,Madonna,amd now ladies and gentlemen....MAGNUS!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<An Englishman> However, we also need to avoid depending too much on the computers.>

We certainly need to avoid depending too much, or at all, on computers poorly used. The tournament computers used Stockfish but they stop it analyzing at very low search plies, in the low- to mid-20s ply. At such low depths Stockfish's evaluations are not very reliable and can show wide differences as you pointed out, [+0.68] for 23.d5 after Vachier-Lagrave played 22...f5 and [+1.16] after Carlsen played the exact same move that that the computer evaluated to be the best just one ply earlier.

Stockfish's evaluations at search plies in the 20s tend to swing wildly depending on the position and don't really stabilize until the search plies reach the high 30s or low 40s. To have much confidence in Stockfish's evaluations in the low- to mid 20s is unwise.

I once asked the web masters why they just didn't let the Stockfish analyze until the player's opponent made his move. This wouldn't let Stockfish analyze very deeply if the opponent plays quickly but of course it would let it analyze a lot longer if the opponent spends more time deciding on his next move, as would probably happen in complicated positions which need the extra time for analysis, both for humans and computers. I received a reply along the lines that they didn't want to tie up the computer just doing analysis since they used it for other things. I replied that I run my chess GUI at a low priority so if I'm doing other things the computer's chess analysis gets suspended and it resumes when I've stopped doing these other things, or when I'm thinking during the time I'm doing other things. That way the computer analysis does not interfere with whatever else I might be doing. I never received a response to that suggestion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: I mean, Magnus is pretty good, but as already noted, it would be very hard for him to go down in history as a guy known by his initials. M(thorn)C just doesn't look right outside of Scandinavia.

So, MVL will likely have a greater all time legacy in the annals of people known by their initials.

Jul-29-19  cormier: 14...Bxf3?
Jul-29-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 22 dpa done

1. = (0.17): 13...Bg4 14.Ke2 Rad8 15.d5 e6 16.Rb5 b6 17.h3 Bxf3+ 18.Kxf3 f5 19.Ke2 exd5 20.Rxd5 fxe4 21.Rxd8 Rxd8 22.Bxe4 Nc4 23.Bc1 Kf7 24.Re1 b5 25.Bc6 a6 26.Bg5 Rd6 27.Be4 Re6 28.f3

2. = (0.24): 13...b6 14.Ke2 Bg4 15.Rbc1 Rfd8 16.d5 e6 17.h3 Bxf3+ 18.Kxf3 Be5 19.Ke2 exd5 20.exd5 Rd7 21.g4 Rad8 22.Be4 Re7 23.Kf3 Nb7 24.Rhe1 Nd6 25.Bd3 Nb7 26.Bg5 f6

Aug-09-19  cormier: in both lines 17...Bxf3 might be weak ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <cormier> I assume that you meant 14...Bxf3. Why don't you run an analysis after 14.0-0 to see what your engine suggests as alternatives to 14...Bxf3?
Oct-05-19  PJs Studio: I’m working hard on the gruenfeld right now as black and this line is a bit troubling. I DO NOT want to face this kind of smooth developing by white. Does anyone know where MVL went wrong? I’d like to have an antidote.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi P.J.

Unless you are going to be playing Carlsen and his gang on a regular basis I'd not worry too much about where MVL went wrong.

Round about the 2000 level (is that American expert?) you will get theory dodgers who will not play 4.cxd4 and instead have up their sleeve one of the many other 4th moves at White's disposal.Opening Explorer

If I was a 1.d4 player then that is where I'd look about for a line v the Grunfeld. 4.cxd4 it is where the bulk of their knowledge will be, side-step it.

What I am saying is you may find the antidote, say on move 15, but the chances are you may never see it OTB.

Just play chess and don't worry too much what Carlsen is doing to MVL. Master the two move trick, that works in any position from every opening at any level and should you one day find yourself in the Carlsen and Co company then anything anyone here suggests will be of little value. (don't wear Bermuda shorts is sound advice.)


Oct-05-19  SChesshevsky: Computer probably believes 10...cxd4 11. cxd4 0-0 12. Qxa5 Nxa5 equalizes but I'm skeptical. Especially after ...Bxf3 when white gets the two B's, solid center and black has an offside N. Maybe black keeping the bishop or at least get a tempo for white h3 improves.

Maybe 10...a6 lines offer clearer equalizing ideas though maybe more complicated tactically. Yusupov-Kasparov 1988, MVL - Caruana 2013, and LQ Liem - Gelfand 2016 are examples.

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