'Bishop Takes g4? What The Heck Is That?!'

Время публикации: 05.02.2015 18:51 | Последнее обновление: 05.02.2015 19:12

Baden-Baden: Arkadij Naiditsch beats the World Champion for the 2nd time in a row

After the calm start, the 3rd playing day of the GRENKE Chess Classic supertournament in the German city of Baden-Baden has undoubtedly been the most interesting so far, with the great probability of remaining such to the very end of the tournament. Apart from as many as 3 decisive games out of 4, the 3rd round has been remarkable for the sensational loss by Magnus Carlsen to Arkadij Naiditsch, 29 years old representative of the hosting country. Of course the world champion is still a human being (as well as Aronian) who is capable of losing to a strong GM like Naiditsch, and the latest confirmation of the fact can be found in the recent Tata Steel tournament. What's more sensational about the game is, however, not the result itself, but the champion's move that has been the root of his defeat.

Baden-Baden 2015, round 3

The Pirc Defence
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Be3 a6 5.a4 Nf6 6.h3 O-O 7.g4!? e5 8. d5 c6 9.Nge2 cxd5 10.exd5.

10...Bxg4?!? 11.hxg4 Nxg4. Black just gives up a piece for a pair of pawns. An astonishing decision by the best chess player of our planet!

Arkadij Naiditsch is striving to realize what has happened (screenshot taken from the official translation on grenkechessclassic.de)

The official live commentators' reaction was quite indicative:
'Bxg4? What the heck is that?!' - Nigel Short;
'I wouldn't think about this even for a second!' - Jan Gustaffson.

As for the happy winner who has joined the commentators after the finish, he thinks that Black's position was already 'quite difficult':
'Maybe Bxg4 isn't such a bad practical try. I was of course quite shocked, but if something like 10...Nbd7 then 11.Ng3, intending g4-g5 and then Ne4, and White is much, much better here'. Answering the question if he thought that the sacrifice came from the desperation, Naiditsch said it could be so.

Well, it should be added for better understanding of the situation that the German GM has been never accused of excessive pessimism over the board. White is better indeed, but Black can consider many ways of keeping a playable position without such radicalism: apart from 10...Nbd7, there are also moves like 10...Ne8 11.Ng3 (11.g5 f5) 11...f5, or even 10...h5!? 11.g5 Nh7 11.h4 f5.

11.hxg4 Nxg4 12.Qd2. Naiditsch was also thinking about the long forced line 12.Bd2 Qb6 13.Ne4 f5 14.a5 Qa7 15.N2c3! h5 16.Bh3 (the machine suggests an improvement: 16.Qe2! fxe4 17.Nxe4 saying that White has a big advantage, which is the fact indeed) 16...fxe4 17.Nxe4 Qd4 18.Qe2 'and White's advantage is massive since Black is going to be mated soon'. Nevertheless, he refused this line in favour of something more circumspect. As a result, the game transposed into a long technical phase of convertion straight from the opening. However, Naiditsch had to give up one more pawn in order to exchange the queens; besides, he missed the best solutions a few times - for instance, he was very disappointed by his 31th move.

31.Bg2?! Naiditsch: '31.Nxe5 dxe5 32.Rb4, and White is completely winning'. Stockfish doesn't confirm that, saying that after 32...a5 33.Rc4 h5! 34.Rb5 Ra1+ 35.Kh2 Ra2 (or 35.Kg2 g5 intending g5-g4) Black has big chances for equality, but it should be added that White has 32.Rb6!? as well.

After the time control had been made, Carlsen has finally managed to repair his position sufficiently by enormous efforts, but then he started to make mistakes, probably tired of the very hard defence.

48...Kg5? It looks like White cannot make any progress in case of 48...h2+! 49.Kh1 Rd4 (stopping Nc4). All the black forces are active, and one shouldn't forget that he has 3 pawns for a piece. Naiditsch replied 49.Kh1!, and Magnus couldn't find anything better than to move the king back to f6. After 50.Nc4 White won the a5-pawn and was precise to the very end, while it's hard to point out a clear chance for Magnus in the rest of the game. (Annotated by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

The German GM is becoming an uncomfortable opponent for the world champion since he has already defeated him for the second time in a row (the first defeat took place in the Tromso Olympiad; available in Russian only - CN). No one has been able to do so during Carlsen's official reign; Vishy Anand used to have such a series in classical games against Carlsen twice, in 2007 and 2008.

Another amazing fact related to the game can be seen in Carlsen's Twitter:

The other events of the 3rd playing day remained slightly in the shadows of this encounter, even though they were by no means boring. Levon Aronian lost with White against Fabiano Caruana as a result of strange blunders which have been, regrettably, quite usual for him lately. Michael Adams won a quick game against David Baramidze who had missed a series of blows while looking for initiative. The calmest game of the round was the Bacrot - Anand draw in the Berlin variation.

Today GRENKE Chess Classic has its only rest day. Four remaining rounds will be played from February 6th to February 9th. The leaders are Naiditsch and Caruana with 2 points out of 3 each.

Baden-Baden supertournament: crosstable, pairings, results, etc

All the 3rd round games can be viewed below.

[Event "3rd GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.04"] [Round "3.3"] [White "Naiditsch, Arkadij"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B06"] [Opening "Robatsch (modern) defence"] [EventDate "2015.02.02"] 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 a6 5. a4 Nf6 6. h3 O-O 7. g4 e5 8. d5 c6 9. Nge2 cxd5 10. exd5 Bxg4 11. hxg4 Nxg4 12. Qd2 Nd7 13. Ne4 f5 14. Bg5 Qb6 15. Bh3 Ndf6 16. Nxf6+ Nxf6 17. Nc3 Qxb2 18. Rb1 Qa3 19. Rxb7 Rf7 20. Rb3 Qc5 21. Qe3 Qc7 22. Qb6 e4 23. Qc6 Rc8 24. O-O Qxc6 25. dxc6 Rxc6 26. Rfb1 h6 27. Bxf6 Bxf6 28. Nxe4 Be5 29. Nd2 Rxc2 30. Nf3 Ra2 31. Bg2 Bf6 32. Nh2 Kg7 33. Bd5 Re7 34. Rb4 Rd2 35. Bc4 a5 36. Rb7 Rd4 37. Rxe7+ Bxe7 38. Bb5 h5 39. Nf3 Rf4 40. Kg2 h4 41. Rd1 Rg4+ 42. Kf1 h3 43. Rd3 Bf6 44. Nh2 Rh4 45. Kg1 Bd4 46. Rf3 Kf6 47. Nf1 Be5 48. Ne3 Kg5 49. Kh1 Kf6 50. Nc4 g5 51. Nxa5 g4 52. Rd3 f4 53. Nc4 Rh7 54. Nxe5 dxe5 55. a5 Rc7 56. Ra3 Rc1+ 57. Kh2 Rc2 58. a6 Rxf2+ 59. Kh1 g3 60. a7 Rd2 61. Ra1 1-0[Event "3rd GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.04"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Baramidze, David"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C84"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "closed defence"] [EventDate "2015.02.02"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 d6 7. c3 O-O 8. Re1 b5 9. Bc2 d5 10. Nbd2 dxe4 11. dxe4 Be6 12. a4 Bc5 13. Qe2 Ba7 14. h3 Nh5 15. Nf1 Qf6 16. Bd3 Ne7 17. axb5 axb5 18. Rxa7 Rxa7 19. Bg5 Qg6 20. Qe3 f6 21. Qxa7 fxg5 22. Nxe5 Qf6 23. Ng4 Bxg4 24. hxg4 Nf4 25. Bxb5 Nxg2 26. Kxg2 Ng6 27. Nh2 Nf4+ 28. Kh1 Nh3 29. Qe3 Nxf2+ 30. Kg2 Qe5 31. Bc4+ 1-0 [Event "3rd GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.04"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E32"] [Opening "Nimzo-Indian"] [Variation "classical variation"] [EventDate "2015.02.02"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. Bg5 c5 6. dxc5 Qa5 7. Bd2 Qxc5 8. e3 Qc7 9. Nf3 Be7 10. Bd3 Nc6 11. a3 b6 12. Nb5 Qb8 13. Bc3 h6 14. Rd1 a6 15. Nbd4 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 d6 17. O-O Bd7 18. e4 e5 19. Bc3 Rc8 20. Qe2 Be6 21. Nh4 g6 22. g3 Qc7 23. Ng2 Bxc4 24. Ne3 Bxd3 25. Rxd3 Nxe4 26. Bxe5 dxe5 27. Nd5 Qd6 28. Qxe4 Bf8 29. Rfd1 b5 30. Qf3 Kg7 31. Nc3 Qe6 32. Rd7 Bc5 33. Qe4 Ra7 34. Rd8 Rxd8 35. Rxd8 Bxf2+ 36. Kg2 Bb6 37. Rd2 Rc7 38. Qa8 Bd4 39. Ne2 Rd7 40. b4 h5 0-1 [Event "3rd GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.04"] [Round "3.4"] [White "Bacrot, Etienne"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Berlin defence, open variation"] [EventDate "2015.02.02"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 10. Nc3 h5 11. Bf4 Be7 12. Rad1 Be6 13. Ng5 Rh6 14. g3 Bxg5 15. Bxg5 Rg6 16. h4 f6 17. exf6 gxf6 18. Bf4 Nxh4 19. f3 Rd8 20. Rde1 Kf7 21. Kf2 Nf5 22. Rh1 Ng7 23. Ne4 Rc8 24. Nc5 Bf5 25. c4 b6 26. Ne4 Re8 27. Bxc7 Bxe4 28. Rxe4 Rxe4 29. fxe4 Ne6 30. Bb8 Rg8 31. Bxa7 Ra8 32. Bxb6 Rxa2 33. Be3 Rxb2+ 34. Kf3 Rb3 35. Kf2 Rb2+ 36. Kf3 Rb3 37. Kf2 Rb2+ 1/2-1/2 


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