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Magnus Carlsen vs Alireza Firouzja
Norway Chess (2021), Stavanger NOR, rd 6, Sep-13
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Position after 41.Ke5. Firouzja presumably doesn't want to allow Bb7, so 41....Kg6 42.Kxf4 Kf6, but now 43.Bd5 is zugzwang -- 43....Ke7 44.Ke5 Kd7 allows 45.Be6+, for example.

Black could have hung on with 41....Bh3 and if 42.Bb7 Bf1! (obstructing his own pawn) 43.Bxa6 f3! 44.Bb7 f2 45.a6 Bh3 and draws.

Sep-13-21  dhotts: Magnus, the Mozart of Chess, demonstrates again how to win drawn positions...As this game was unfolding and Magnus pushed his pawn 10.a5, I was wondering if there was a strategic reason for this move...As the game progressed some commentators were complaining how Magnus plays out drawn positions...As the pieces cleared away it became apparent how powerful the pawn at a5 was especially with two WSB in play. Even though evals showed even there was no doubt in my mind that Magnus would maneuver to win, which he did...I wonder when Magnus know he had a won endgame, probably 20 moves before the end, the Mozart of Chess!
Premium Chessgames Member
  DrDaveExeter: dhott Did he know? ..."Whether this advantage is decisive or not does not interest Capablanca. He simply wins the ending! That's why he is Capablanca!" -- EUWE
Sep-13-21  thebully99: It is of my opinion the blunder has more to do with Firouzja's nerves while playing Carlsen under time trouble, than his ability to calculate in the endgame. Firouzja has yet to conquer this weakness that we learned last year, and Carlsen is happy to exploit it while he still can.
Sep-13-21  Olavi: I sincerely think the Covid has damaged the youngster's development. Instead of playing real OTB tournaments with proper time controls, he has spent 18 months playing blitz on the internet, at a critical age. Also this is not a first in such endings; I wont call it trivial, but absolutely holdable, and he played without a compass, making fundamentally dubious decisions.

I'm told Judit Polgar said today " she would spend 8 or 9 hours a day studying – not only on openings, but also on basic endings. She said it was much more painful to lose points messing up theoretical endings than being hammered in the middlegame."

I have a suspicion that Firouzha hasn't done his homework properly. Might be nerves too, yes, but it has happened quite a few times now.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Daniel King analyzes the ending:

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