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Magnus Carlsen vs Richard Rapport
Superbet Blitz Poland (2023) (blitz), Warsaw POL, rd 6, May-24
English Opening: Great Snake Variation (A10)  ·  1-0



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sac: 34.Rxe5+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-24-23  Atterdag: What a scuffle. Amazing that RR got away with the exchange 10.-Rxe3 for such a long time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Atterdag>, from long ago I recalled Botvinnik vs Kavalek, 1969, which was in <Botvinnik's Best Games 1947-70>.

Had the position after 10.Be3 at least once in the 1980s and was hopeful that my opponent in one game (Thomas J Costigan) would go in for the win of a pawn with 10....Bh6 11.0-0, but no such luck. He left the pawn at e3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Knightf7mate: Wow what a game.

Rapport missed a much better move! He played 10..RxB+ which Stockfish rates as +1.16, not so very good for Black!

He should have played Nxd5! After cxd, black’s bishop picks up knight and rook on the long diagonal. Black gets R, N, P for N, B. Stockfish rates this move as -2.80.

Eventually, Carlsen gives back the exchange with 34. RxN+ and goes on to win.

I checked the chessgames database. The position after 10.Be3 has been reached 273 times before. The most common next move is 10..Bh6. The move Nxd5 is not in the database at all! You’d think someone would have seen this combination before.

Stockfish rates 10.Bh6 as only +.67 after 11. O-O and just +.45 after 11.Qd2.

I am very surprised no GM has seen 10Nd5 before. The bishop springing forth to pick up pieces on the long diagonal is not what you would call an obscure tactic. It’s the primary reason for Fianchetto in the first place!

Best move, Stockfish
1) -2.80 (26 ply) 10...Nxd5 11.cxd5 Bxc3+ 12.Bd2 Bxa1 13.Qxa1 Nd7 14.Bc3 b6 15.h4 Ne5 16.Nxe5 dxe5 17.Bxe5 f6 18.Bxf6 Qxd5 19.Bh8 Re7 20.Qc3 Be6 21.O-O Rd7 22.Bc2 Qc4 23.a3 Qxc3 24.Bxc3 Rad8

As played
1) +1.16 (22 ply) 11.fxe3 Qe7 12.O-O Nbd7 13.Qe1 Nh5 14.g4 Ne5 15.Nxe5 Bxe5 16.Rf3 Nf6 17.Qf2 Bxc3 18.Rf1 Be5 19.Rxf6 Bxf6 20.Qxf6 Qxe3+ 21.Kg2 Bxg4 22.Qxf7+ Kh8 23.Qf6+ Kg8 24.hxg4 Qxd3

Most common move in database: Bh6

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Knightf7mate> I'm struggling to make sense of your line. Are we looking at the same position?

After 10...Nxd5 11. cxd5 Bxc3+, 12. Bd2 is not possible as the bishop is pinned, and 12...Bxa1 is not possible as the b-pawn is in the way. Also, after 10...Nxd5 11. cxd5 Bxc3+ White could simply play 12. bxc3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Knightf7mate: Too good to be true!

Stockfish analyzed the wrong position! It forgot about the pawn on b2. After 11..Bxc3+, 12.bcc! End of story.

Here is the image from the Stockfish analysis. Where did Stockfish put the pawn on b2????? Compare the game image on move 10. I took a screen shot of the Stockfish analysis but don’t know how to paste an image here.

In any event, 10..Nxd5 is no good for black.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Knightf7mate> <Where did Stockfish put the pawn on b2?????> Your diagram has it on e3 instead of the bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knightf7mate: Sorry folks. Clearly, something went wrong but I don’t know what when submitting the computer analysis to Stockfish. I’ve used the analysis tool many times before so it’s a puzzler what went wrong. I think I need another drink of coffee.

In my line of work, I tell people if you’re going to make a mistake, make it an interesting one. I’d call this an interesting mistake.

Thanks everyone for pointing out the issue.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Knightf7mate> It's hard to construct a valid sequence of moves leading to the diagram, so my best guess is a software glitch caused the analyzer to make the computer equivalent of a fingerfehler (logikfehler?) and assume the impossible move 10. b2-e3 instead of the game's 10. Bc1-e3.

Yes, an interesting error and a momentary ego boost for humans, showing we can still transcend our machines.

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