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Magnus Carlsen vs Ding Liren
Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Finals (2020) (rapid), INT, rd 1, Aug-10
Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Tarrasch Defense (D40)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-11-20  Ulhumbrus: The dubious innovation 5...cxd4?! was introduced by Paul Keres at the Zurich candidates tournament in 1953 in the games

Stahlberg vs Keres, 1953

Geller vs Keres, 1953

Najdorf vs Keres, 1953

White might have gained the advantage in all three games although Keres won the first two and drew the third.

One annotator and possibly the commentators including Leko indicated that Ding Liren managed to defend the game up to a point but then went wrong at that point.

The computer evaluation suggest that 23...Rab8? passes the advantage to White.

Instead of this 23...Rxb1!! is correct.

There are two reasons for this.

One reason is that after 24 Kxb1 while White's rook is still on d4 and has not yet gone to d6 Black can play 24...e3! and White lacks the option of 25 Bxe3. After 25 fxe3 Black has the option of the fork...Ne4 if White's rook goes to d6.

A second reason is that with White's king on the b file if White's bishop tries to attack the a pawn by Bb6 Black can pin the bishop by ..Rb8.

Instead of 26...Ne5 26...Nxc5 27 Rxc5 produces a rook and pawns ending. However White has Black's a pawn attacked and after 27...Ra7 White's king has a lead in development over the black king, unless Black's rook can attack the king side. Partly because of Carlsen's reputation in the ending Ding Liren may be worried that he will lose this ending.

Carlsen has done it again, winning a drawn ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It is inspiring to look at this. Black keeps the extra pawn for awhile, MC is improving his king position to force home a passed pawn. The white Bishop guards all the key squares to stop Black's rook from penetrating.

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