Sochi, Game 2: Quietly but Swiftly

Время публикации: 10.11.2014 17:32 | Последнее обновление: 10.11.2014 21:32

Magnus Carlsen at his best. The 2nd game of the match with detailed annotations

The Ruy Lopez
1.e4 e5. Why not Najdorf? A possible answer is that Anand's memories about his game vs Carlsen in the Grand Slam final (Bilbao/Sao Paulo 2012) might not be too pleasant, as that time he got simply crushed after the 'calm' 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+, etc.
2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 (deviating from the Berlin Defence) 4...Bc5 5.0–0 d6 (a brilliant positional player Michael Adams, who is one of the best experts of Ruy Lopez, prefers to avoid weaknesses by 5...Nd4) 6.Re1!

Surprisingly, this quiet move is a very rare one. Probably it isn't the real improvement over usual 6.c3, 6.Nc3, 6.h3 (or 6.Be3 as in Adams-Ponomariov, 2014), but in this particular game 6.Re1 has worked unexpectedly well.
6...0–0 (6...Bd7!?) 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.h3 Re8 (probably Black wanted to stop 9.d4; another possible move was 8...h6, for example: 9.c3 Bb6 10.d4 exd4 10.cxd4 Re8 11.Nc3 c5 12.d5 Ba5 with complicated play) 9.Nbd2 Nd7 10.Nc4 Bb6 11.a4 a5 (11...a6!?).

12.Nxb6! This transformation of the pawn structure, in connection with the next move, gives White some initiative, although the engines say the position is equal. It looks like Carlsen has already worked out the whole plan of Nh4 and Ra3-g3 before playing 12.Nxb6.

12...cxb6 13.d4 Qc7 14.Ra3! Nf8 15.dxe5!? dxe5 16.Nh4 Rd8 17.Qh5 f6 18.Nf5 Be6?! Too careless. 18...Bxf5 19.exf5 might be a bit better for White, but 18...Qf7, pushing the queen away, looks the safest: 19.Qf3 (19.Qxf7+?! Kxf7 20.Rb3 Rb8 21.Be3 c5 22.Bxc5?? Bxf5 23.Bxf8 Be6) 19...Ne6, etc.
19.Rg3 Ng6 20.h4

20...Bxf5?! An unpleasant surpsise for Black is that 20...Rd7 can be met with 21.Bh6! - the bishop joins the attack straight from the initial square, and Black's position becomes difficult. The main line is 21...Nf4 (otherwise Qg4, h4-h5, etc. is unpleasant) 22.Bxg7! Rxg7 (22...Nxh5 23.Nh6#) 23.Nxg7 Nxh5 24.Nxe6+ Nxg3 25.Nxc7 with advantage for White.
The engines suggest 20...Kh8 21.Rxg6 Qf7 'with equality' but I doubt that's the way one wants to choose against the World Champion. The tactical justification (or one of) is 22.Nxg7 Qxg6 23.Qxg6 hxg6 24.Nxe6 Rd6 25.Nc7 Rc8 with the repetition.
21.exf5 Nf4 (21...Nf8 22.Bh6 Rd7 23.Qg4 is not so pleasant too because of the march by the h-pawn) 22.Bxf4 exf4 23.Rc3. Changing the direction. Now White is much better positionally because his king is safer and the black pawns are more vulnerable. Besides, there is a nice e6-square for his rook.
23...c5 24.Re6 Rab8 25.Rc4 Qd7 26.Kh2 (of course, not 26.Rxf4 Qd1+; now it's not easy to suggest a good plan for Black) 26...Rf8

27.Rce4!? Many players would just take the f4-pawn heading for the technical stage, but the solution by Magnus turns out to be more efficient.
27...Rb7 28.Qe2 b5 29.b3?!. 29.Re7 Qd6 30.f3! seems more accurate: 30...Rxe7 31.Rxe7 bxa4 32.Qe4! (threatening Qb7 as later in the game) 32...Kh8 33.Re8! with the very strong threat of 34.Qd3!
29...bxa4 30.bxa4 Rb4 31.Re7 Qd6 32.Qf3. 32.f3 was still possible, but, surprisingly enough, Carlsen's move works much quicker. Of course, he couldn't predict the blunder by Anand, but...
32...Rxe4 33.Qxe4 f3+! (getting some counterplay at last) 34.g3.

34...h5?? After 34...Qd2! 35.Qxf3 (or 35.Qc4+ Kh8 36.Qxc5 Rg8, and 37.Ra7? is bad due to 37...Qe2 where 38.Qe3?? Re8 even loses) 35...Qxc2 36.Kg2 Kh8 Black would have kept slight chances to hold because the 4 vs 3 rook endgame might be drawn.
35.Qb7 1–0
(Annotated by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

All the information about the Carlsen - Anand match

[Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.09"] [Round "2"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2792"] [ECO "C65"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Berlin defence"] [EventDate "2014.11.04"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O d6 6. Re1 O-O 7. Bxc6 bxc6 8. h3 Re8 9. Nbd2 Nd7 10. Nc4 Bb6 11. a4 a5 12. Nxb6 cxb6 13. d4 Qc7 14. Ra3 Nf8 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nh4 Rd8 17. Qh5 f6 18. Nf5 Be6 19. Rg3 Ng6 20. h4 Bxf5 21. exf5 Nf4 22. Bxf4 exf4 23. Rc3 c5 24. Re6 Rab8 25. Rc4 Qd7 26. Kh2 Rf8 27. Rce4 Rb7 28. Qe2 b5 29. b3 bxa4 30. bxa4 Rb4 31. Re7 Qd6 32. Qf3 Rxe4 33. Qxe4 f3+ 34. g3 h5 35. Qb7 1-0 


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