Friday, January 31, 2014

Zurich Chess :A masterpiece by Carlsen against Gelfand!

Round one of the Zurich Chess witnessed a really high level of chess. Out of the 3 games, 2 were decisive with Carlsen beating Gelfand and Aronian getting the better of Anand. Nakamura and Caruana drew their game.
But definitely the game of the day was between the Norwegian wonderkid Magnus and the Israeli Super hero Boris.  
Carlsen showed today that he can beat you even if you dont make a mistake!
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Gelfand thinks to himself: Is it even possible to beat this kid!!
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Such Powerful was Magnus's play that Gelfand lost the game without making any real error! This one is really a gem and can teach you how you can squeeze the minutest of advantages to win a position! Lets go over to the game!

(I was using this board viewer in my last article but unfortunately the analysis turned out to be too huge for the board to hold, and I couldnt generate the board. So today you will have to use a chess set to go over the analysis!)

(1) Carlsen,M (2872) - Gelfand,B (2777) [D78]
Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 (1), 30.01.2014
1.c4 The Reti and The English seem to be Carlsen's best friends these days! 1...g6 2.d4 Nf6 Gelfand goes for the Grunfeld Defense, the opening in which he is quite an expert. 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 c6 I think this is one of the hardest nuts to crack for white. Its a very solid system for black. [4...d5 could be another way to play this opening.This keeps the center more fluid. 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.e3 0–0 9.0–0 we get the main line of the fianchetto variation in grunfeld.] 5.Bg2 d5 A very interesting point in the game. Usually this position can be reached even with both sides having 0–0. How should white play now? 6.Qa4


Have a pause here and think for sometime as to what would you play here as white.

15.g4!! sheer brilliance consists not in finding the combination where it exists but in creating one where it doesnt! In this very calm position where queens have been exchanged, Carlsen plays a move which maybe not be super strong, but it sets fresh problems to the opponent. And thats what we have to keep doing. Keep setting problems to the opponent and he is sure to make a mistake soon. [15.Rfc1 can now be met with 15...Rac8=] 15...Bxg4 the normal human move. If i dont see what is wrong with a move then why not make it. [15...Nxd2 16.Nxd2 Be6 17.Nb1! I like such ideas to improving the piece placement! 17...Rfc8 18.Nc3 Nb4 19.Ra5 stopping black from playing a5. 19...b6 20.Rb5 Nd3 21.Nxd5 Nxf4 22.Nxf4 Bd7 23.Rb4² white is a pawn up, though black has some compensation.] 16.Nxe4 dxe4 17.Nd2 f5 many people would have left their calculation at this point but Carlsen goes one step ahead. 18.f3 e5!? a very human decision. If you go through the analysis of ef3, you will realise that it makes sense to close the f4 bishop and thats what Gelfand does but Carlsen is like an engine once he gets an advantage. Look how he plays now! [18...exf3 lets look at this natural move. 19.Nxf3

Sometimes superficiality cannot get you out! You have to analyze in depth! Try it out here! and find whats the best defense for black.

19.dxe5 exf3 20.Nxf3 Rae8 [20...Nb4 21.Nd4 and the black queenside is falling apart.] 21.Ra5!

what a great move! Defending e5 so that Nd4 can be played now. [21.Nd4 Bxe5 22.Bxb7 Nb4 23.Rxa7 Bxf4 24.exf4 Rf7 lands white into serious difficulties.] 21...Nb4 Boris is a very practical player. Look how he is sacrifing pawns to activate his position. first he gave up the e5 pawn and now a7. But carlsen doesnt wish to take the pawns. He presses on. Top class chess. 22.Nd4! extremely strong move unleashing the g2 bishop. You can see how white pieces are so very active. [22.Rxa7 Bxf3 23.Bxf3 Bxe5 24.Rxb7 Bxf4 25.exf4 Nd3 white has an advantage here too. 26.Rd1²] 22...b6 23.Rxa7 Bxe5 24.Bh6! Rf6 [24...Rf7 25.Ra4! its possible that Boris missed this backward move. If the knight moves then Bd5 comes and after 25...Bd6 26.Rfa1± threatening Ra8. You can see in all these variations how totally useless is the bishop on g4.] 25.h3!!
Can someone explain it to me why I gave this move two exclamations?!!

Gelfand resigned here. Rg2+ is a deadly threat and so is Nf5 or Nd5 37...-- [37...Bxe7 38.Rg2+ Kf7 39.Rxh6+- A beautiful game by Magnus. I am throroughly impressed by his move g4 which started the type of play where he showed he is better than even the best in the world. An experienced and great player like Gelfand couldnt cope with the problems set by Carlsen, this shows what a great master the Norwegian wonderkid is.]  1–0

 Round 2 pairing!
Round 2Boris Gelfand-Fabiano Caruana
Viswanathan Anand-Hikaru Nakamura
Magnus Carlsen-Levon Aronian

As world no.1 and 2 meet today, it will truly be a game to remember!! :)

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