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Alireza Firouzja vs Magnus Carlsen
"The Lost Opposition" (game of the day Jan-13-2021)
Norway Chess (2020), Stavanger NOR, rd 9, Oct-15
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-16-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: Carlsen told ChessBase that he noticed Firouzja was getting nervous at the end, so he kept playing. Bet we won't see Ali blunder like that again! ^^I like what <Sally> said. Who never blundered once in a serious game? Magnus proves yet again that he possesses the complete skill set. I don't get the Justin Bieber reference, I mean I get it, but <Mess> you have lost this war!
Oct-16-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Mehzinho>I noticed that you and me have the exact same score at chessbookie!
Oct-16-20  Sally Simpson: ***

HI Messiah,

Obviously...yup..it's six and two threes ....it's not the only winning line after 69.Kc2. (why am I getting '??' you did not give to Alireza any after his 69.Kc3.)

Something must have twigged from the time I was keen and used to look at these things 69.Kc2 Ke6 and the King owning the Kingside is first the line I saw/recalled.

As I said my Kc2 was a first reaction, I was being honest. Perhaps trying to answer your <'unexplainable.'>

Hopefully with time I may have double checked it. (I did that sometimes) With 5 seconds it would have been a quick 69.Kc2 and a roll of the eyes.

Typical, I get two '??' for admitting I too would have blundered and yet Alireza gets nothing but it is 'unexplainable.' Huh!

Hi Williebob,

<Who never blundered once in a serious game?>

Jacob Aagaard once said my endgame play is just too good for words.

Well he never actually said that, he said it left him 'Speechless!'

***

Oct-16-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Sally Simpson: ..Even a slob like me knew Kc3 was wrong. No I'm not joining in the uncalled for Firouzja bashing. If a player of his class drops a clanger like this then it's pure human nerves. It happens.>

I don't fully agree. For decades I have noticed that GMs are reduced to beginners when it comes to ♔+♙ endings. Those endings are very hard, almost like a separate game, and they need long, focused study to get them right.

Oct-16-20  Sally Simpson: ****

Hi offramp,

I'm going with T.T. we have all been there, we know what it's like. The mind goes to jelly as all the potential blunders flash before your eyes. One stray thought and it's over.

see Williebob's post:

" Carlsen told ChessBase that he noticed Firouzja was getting nervous at the end, so he kept playing...."

I figured on T.T. nerves before seeing that post. All one can do when digging for an explanation is to give an honest opinion based on what ever experience you have.

With time on his clock I reckon Firouzja would have dodged the bullet.

Regarding GM's playing like beginners in some KP endings. No comment :)

***

Oct-16-20  tessathedog: What was the time control for this game? Didn’t F have a decent increment, say, 30 seconds, to keep his head cool and avoid such an obvious clanger?
Oct-16-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: < tessathedog: What was the time control for this game? Didn’t F have a decent increment, say, 30 seconds, to keep his head cool and avoid such an obvious clanger?>

Google is your friend:
<Time control main game:
Each player will have 120 minutes on the clock with an increment of 10 seconds after move 40. Participant is obliged to record the moves on the score sheet starting from the first move. A player can stop recording the moves when he has less than 5 minutes.>

https://norwaychess.no/en/regulatio...

Oct-16-20  tessathedog: Thanks Diademas. Well, 10 seconds is considerably more ruthless than 30. An accident is much more likely to occur...and did. Personally, I dislike it when top players aren’t given enough time to think properly. No way would he have played Kc3 if he had been on a proper increment. I don’t think any game with less than a 30 second increment should be deemed to be “classical”, no matter how much capital time one has. It’s clearly rapid at the finish, and anything can happen in rapid.
Oct-16-20  Justin796: Kc2 runs into ummm Kd4 what are any of you guys talking about?
Oct-16-20  Justin796: Ah nevermind
Oct-16-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: This blunder by Firouzja is reminiscent of Carlsen’s blunder fourteen years ago (at the 2006 Tal Memorial when Carlsen was age 15 – and almost 16 – when he lost a rook ending to Aronian that is not merely a theoretical draw, but involved theory that should be well-known to every GM:

Aronian vs Carlsen, 2006

Of course, this endgame that 17-year-old Firouzja needlessly lost is even more basic theory than the rook endgame Carlsen failed to defend accurately in 2006. Clearly, the explanation by Sally Simpson is correct – sheer nerves when playing on increment.

Interestingly, today against Aronian, Carlsen again lost a rook endgame that should have been drawn. In today’s game, Carlsen played 50. Rxf6?? rather hastily in a position that one would expect him to calculate accurately, and suddenly he was lost. (That game from today is not yet in the CG datebase, but will likely be available shortly.)

Oct-16-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: <Sally Sensei:
Jacob Aagaard once said my endgame play is just too good for words.

Well he never actually said that, he said it left him 'Speechless!>

That is splendid. Wait, was this serious?! I just noticed the potential self-deprecating joke. Also splendid. Chess players, you gotta peel back the layers.

Oct-16-20  SChesshevsky: Yeah, the result should of been a draw. But practically, the odds that Firouzja would draw were probably pretty low.

Why? Basically three reasons. First is because of Carlsen's extra pawn, some calculation is necessary. Not only does Firouzja have to worry about opposition in one side but also the chance black's king can swing around with advantage. Or even exchange pawns with advantage. In fact, Polgar was looking at swinging black 's king around with potential at the end.

Second, you don't really want to have to rely on significant calculation with less than 30 seconds in the clock.

Third, and calculation is going to be very unreliable at the end of a long game at the end of a long tournament. Especially when it's also obvious that your opponent can easily torture you for at least an hour just waiting for a slip or time out.

True a tough loss for Firouzja. But maybe more likely than not given the circumstances.

Oct-16-20  RadioBoy: Why not 69. Kc4 Kc6 71. Kb4? I can't see that
71. f5 wins and what else is there? Evidently I'm missing something really obvious...
Oct-16-20  RadioBoy: Excuse me, 70. Kb4 f5...
Oct-16-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <RadioBoy: Why not 69. Kc4 Kc6 71. Kb4? I can't see that 71. f5 wins and what else is there? Evidently I'm missing something really obvious...>

<RadioBoy: Excuse me, 70. Kb4 f5..>

In the line that you give, <Radio Boy>, after 69. Kc4 if Black continues 69. … Kc6, he is still winning, but the move wastes time. After 69. Kc4, the correct winning plan for Black is to run his king over to the kingside, for example:

69.Kc4 Ke6 70.Kd3 Kf7 71.Ke3 Kg6 72.Kf3 Kh5 73.Kg3 Kg5

And now, Black has the opposition with his king one rank further advanced than with kings on c4 and c6. This makes all the difference, as Black will be able to outflank the white king and thereby win the pawn on e4.

Similarly, if White had played 69. Kc2, the correct winning plan for Black would have been to run his king to the kingside. In this line, the move 69. ... Kc6, described as "obvious" in one of the comments, does preserve the win, but simply wastes time.

In the game, of course, with 69. Kc3? Kc5, Black obtained the direct opposition with his king on the algebraic 5th rank, so he did not need to take the time to run his king to the kingside, although 69. ... Ke6 would also be winning for Black after Firouzja’s text (69. Kc3?).

Oct-19-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <Sally Simpson: ***

HI Messiah,

Obviously...yup..it's six and two threes ....it's not the only winning line after 69.Kc2. (why am I getting '??' you did not give to Alireza any after his 69.Kc3.)

Something must have twigged from the time I was keen and used to look at these things 69.Kc2 Ke6 and the King owning the Kingside is first the line I saw/recalled.

As I said my Kc2 was a first reaction, I was being honest. Perhaps trying to answer your <'unexplainable.'>

Hopefully with time I may have double checked it. (I did that sometimes) With 5 seconds it would have been a quick 69.Kc2 and a roll of the eyes.

Typical, I get two '??' for admitting I too would have blundered and yet Alireza gets nothing but it is 'unexplainable.' Huh! [...]>

I think you severely misunderstood me. Firouzja's move was equally '??', and there is nothing personal against you. These moves are simply losing, and - certainly - you understand and already understood it yourself, long before I commented.

Apologies for the terrible wording of my commentary, it was very misleading.

Jan-13-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 68. Kd2 also preserves the distant opposition.
Jan-13-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A very good pun today by zisa16742029. A strange mistake by Firouzja. Might have been a mouseslip.
Jan-13-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 69.Kc3?? It hurts....

Ages ago, when I was eleven or twelve, and I was a newbie among juniors in my up to this day home chess club then called ÚDA Praha, there was an older player giving us youngsters a few lessons on endgames. And I remember that something very similar to this he was showing us as the first thing....

Jan-13-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ironmanth: Am ever curious as to the accumulated mental fatigue that occurs in intense games, and the overlooking of basic principles that we see at all levels, particularly at the very top. Perhaps it is that that keeps us all returning to our beloved game, the need to keep improving, and the feeling that we will never entirely comprehend the vastness of the Royal Game. Be safe out there today, people!
Jan-13-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Honza Cervenka>. I remember when my dear old mother was in hospital. My dear old father came to see us both.

I opened my eyes for the first time. He showed me a large book, and he said,

<"קוק אויף דעם בילד. איר זען די צוויי מלכים? זען ווי זיי שטיין מיט אַן מאָדנע נומער פון סקווערז צווישן זיי? שטענדיק געדענקען אַז.">

I have never forgotten that.

Jan-13-21  knaugle: Stockfish set a record on the position after 68. .. Kd6. On 69. Kd2 and fumes, it said equal and on 69. Kc6 it said mate in 57. Longest mate claim I've ever seen!
Jan-13-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Ironmanth:
Am ever curious as to the accumulated mental fatigue that occurs in intense games, and the overlooking of basic principles that we see at all levels, particularly at the very top. Perhaps it is that that keeps us all returning to our beloved game, the need to keep improving, and the feeling that we will never entirely comprehend the vastness of the Royal Game...>

"...Darryl K Johansen, thank God, did not know quite all, even though he saw the city and the Thing, but I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea, known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them on the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air..."

HP Lovecraft.

Jan-13-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knighthawkmiller: Move 58.Kg3 loses the pawn. 58.Ke3 is preferred. 1) =0.00 (49 ply) 58.Ke3 Nc6 59.Be8 Nd8 60.Kf2 Ne6 61.Bf7 Ng7 62.Kg3 Nxh5+ 63.Bxh5 Kxh5
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