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GM Carlsen - GM Naiditsch annotated by GM Naiditsch

User Rating: / 34
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 22 August 2014

By GM Arkadij Naiditsch, #1 German chess player
Best FIDE rating: 2737

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GM Arkadij Naiditsch scored a decisive win against World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen to seal the match victory vs. Norway for the German team. Today Arkadij annotates the instructive endgame which occurred in the encounter.

View the game or check out the "text + diagrams" version below.

Carlsen,Magnus (2877) - Naiditsch,Arkadij (2709) [E21]
41st Olympiad Open 2014 Tromso NOR (7.1), 09.08.2014
[Arkadij Naiditsch]

It is never easy to comment on your own games, especially on such an emotional one like against the current World Champion, but I will try to stay objective. I didn't play too well in the opening and was quickly a pawn down in a bad endgame. Strangely enough, Carlsen started giving me chances, and already before the time trouble we had a very messy position. With very little time on the clock, my opponent played few "uncontrolled" moves which have finally led to the position we see on the diagram.
41.Kf1 There is no other move to stop Black from playing d2.
The time trouble was over, so I took a fresh look at the position. With not too complicated calculations, I could see that I was going to be a pawn up but it was still hard to judge whether this endgame was winning or drawn. I was very motivated to give my absolute best as I don't often have the chance of beating the best chess player in the world...
42.Ke1 This move is also forced as I wanted to play d2.
The white pawns are doomed.
The bishop from b2 is attacking the a7 pawn which does not allow Black to play e5 now because of a4.
43...Nxa3 44.Kd2
[44.Bxa7 was losing to 44...Nc4 and the black king is going to f3.]
44...a5 In any case I need to push the a-pawn.
So far things were pretty forced, but now I had a couple of moves to choose from.

The right decision. I don't need to hurry with the a4 move, based on the line in the next variation.
46.Ke4 is White's only chance. [46.Kc3 was losing as after 46...Kf5 we will see why 44...Kg6!? was the right decision: 47.Kb3 It seems like White has caught the black knight, but... 47...Nb5 48.Kc4 now comes the very important 48...a4! 49.Kxb5 a3 The white bishop from b8 can't stop the a-pawn. 50.Ba7 e5 and Black is winning.]
46...a4 Of course my idea should be to push the a-pawn as far as possible.
47.Be5 Nc4 48.Bc3 a3
It is still not that clear if this position is a winning one or not because so little material is left on the board.
[In case of 49.Kd4 Nb6 (49...Nb2 was another possible alternative.) 50.Ke5 Nd5 51.Bd4 Kf7 Black should be winning because White does not have the option of playing Kf4.; Maybe the best chance for White was 49.f3!? gxf3 50.Kxf3 and now Black needs to choose the right square: 50...Kf5! (50...Kg5 just leads to a draw: 51.Ke4 Kg4 52.Kd4 

52...Nb2 53.Ke5 Kxg3 54.Kxe6 Kf3 55.Kd5 Ke3 56.Kc5 Kd3 and White is just in time with 57.Kb4) 51.Ke2 (Now 51.g4+ is not strong enough: 51...Kg5 52.Ke4 Kxg4 53.Kd4 Nb2 54.Ke5 Kf3 55.Kxe6 Ke4 and as we can see White is missing the important tempo from the line above.) 51...Nb2 and it seems like Black's winning chances are good here.]
49...Kh5 Of course I need to hold on to the g4 pawn.
50.f3 e5+! This move was not very hard to find, but still a very important one. I need the control over the g5 square.

51...Nd6+ 52.Ke3 And here comes the key move:
52...Kg5 Now I already want to play exf3 and e4 and White does not have the Kf4 move anymore because my king is on g5.
[Of course not 53.Bxe5?? Nc4+]
[53...Kxg4 was also possible.]
54.Kd2 Nb5
I wanted to be sure to have the e3 move in the future, in case the white king would try to go to b3, which is why I decided to chase away the bishop from c3 first.
55.Be5 Kxg4
Kf3 is the threat.
56.Ke3 Kf5 57.Ba1 Nd6
and my knight is back on d6. Kg4 is coming.
58.Kd2 Kg4 59.Ke3 Of course, I can't take on g3 immediately, so I keep improving my position even further
The g3 pawn is falling next.

[60.Kf2 Nc4 does not help White at all.]
The g3 pawn is gone, so my next plan is to bring the king back to f5 and to play Nc4.
61.Ba1 Kg4 62.Kd2 Everything else loses as well.
With the moment of the handshake I understood that I won a game with Black against the strongest opponent I have ever played before. My team also won with the smallest possible margin (2.51.5). A moment of happiness! 


Video report by

More annotated games, tactics & endgame puzzles, surprise section/study can be found in the weekly Chess Evolution "Top GM Secrets" bulletin. 25 pages total.

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Comments (1)
1. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 09:16 13 2014 .
Thanks for analyzing this endgame :)

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