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GM Saric - GM Carlsen annotated by GM Balogh

User Rating: / 10
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 30 August 2014
By GM Csaba Balogh, Hungary
Best FIDE rating: 2672

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Carlsen played a dubious opening and got convincingly beaten by the Croatian grandmaster.

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

Saric,Ivan (2671) - Carlsen,Magnus (2877) [C61]
41st Olympiad Open 2014 Tromso NOR (10.1), 12.08.2014
[Balogh Csaba]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 A rare move. The Bird defence of the Ruy Lopez. Black aims to change the pawn structure and obtain an unusual position where he could later outplay his opponent.
4.Nxd4 exd4

A counter-surprise! It actually has the idea to prevent the main development of the black pieces by putting immediate pressure on the f7 pawn. [The most common move is 5.00 but here Black could play 5...Bc5 followed by Ne7 and 00.]
[Now 5...Bc5 loses a pawn after 6.Bxf7+! Kxf7 7.Qh5++ and Qxc5.]
[6.e5 seems very strong at first sight, because the knight has no good place to leave, but he can play 6...d5! and Black is fine!] 6...d5 Carlsen was already out of book and this time he did not manage to find the right solution. White turns out to be clearly better a few moves later. [6...Nxe4 is the critical move, but it does not equalize either: 7.Bxf7+! Kxf7 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qd5+ Kg7 10.Qxe4 Qf6 11.d3
followed by Bf4 and Nd2 with a stable advantage due to the better pawn structure and the weakened position of the black king.; Now on 6...Be7 7.e5 already works as d5 drops a piece.]
7.exd5 Be7
Black must hurry to finish the development to avoid big problems around his king. [7...Nxd5 is met by 8.Qh5! c6 9.Qe5+ and the d4 falls, while Ne7 should not come into consideration as it blocks the development.]
White protects his extra pawn and obtains a clear advantage after only 8 moves against the World Champion...
[8...00 9.d3]
9.Qf4 00
Carlsen decided to not count the pawns anymore and tries to create compensation with quick development. However there is no logical reason why Black should have any counterplay for the sacrificed pawns.
10.h3 It is useful to open the back rank and ask the bishop where it wants to go before grabbing the d4 pawn.
10...Bd6 11.Qxd4 c5
Black tries to improve his pieces with tempo. He keeps on attacking the queen to confuse the coordination.
12.Qd3 [White should not fall into the trap of 12.dxc6?? Bh2+!+]
12...Bh5 13.Nc3
White is two pawns up, but it takes some time to connect his rooks by developing the c1 bishop. Black has 23 moves to find counterplay, but there is no good solution to solve this problem.

[On 13...a6 White always responds with 14.a4 avoiding the trap of the bishop with b5 and c4.; 13...Bg6 is met by 14.Qf3 Bxc2 15.d3+ and the bishop is trapped on c2 and there is still an extra pawn left.]
A very strong move! White wants to play d3 and Bd2, but first he needs to remove the queen from the d3 square. With his last move, Saric closed the diagonal of the d6 bishop and prepares to play Qg3!
14...a6 15.a4 Qd7 16.Qg3! Continuing the plan. White only needs d3 and Bd2 to be completely winning.
16...Ne4 [16...Rab8 is not serious in view of 17.a5 simply parrying the b5 threat.]
17.Nxe4 Rxe4 18.b3!
After the trade of the knights, the a1h8 diagonal is opened and the bishop developing to b2 might create very unpleasant threats. [18.d3 Re2 is also good for White, but less clear than the game.]
18...Qc7 Black attacks the f4 pawn and provokes d3 in order to be able to invade to the 2nd rank. [18...Rae8 19.Bb2 Bf8 20.Bd3 R4e7 21.Bf6+ and the rook is trapped.]
19.d3 Re2 20.Qg5!
Very concrete play! Suddenly the bishop on h5 feels uncomfortable.
[20...Bg6 loses to 21.f5 h6 (The same would have happened after 21...f6.) 22.Qg4!+ with a doubleattack on g6 and e2.]
Thanks to the Qg5 move, the long diagonal became vulnerable. Qf6 is a decisive threat.
[21...Rxc2 is refuted nicely by 22.Qf6 Rxb2 23.Qxb2 Bxf4 Black cannot hope for counterplay on the dark sqaures because of the following tactical strike:

24.d6! Qxd6 25.Bxf7+! Kxf7 26.Rxf4+! Qxf4 27.Rf1+]
22.Bf6! White is ready to trade the bishop because if he gets his queen to f6, d6 becomes a decisive threat. Additionally White is still two pawns up. [22.Qh6 Bf8]
22...h6 23.Be5!? [23.Qh4 was also winning, but the text move is nicer.]

[23...hxg5 24.Bxc7+ is also hopeless. White is threatening with g4 or d6 and he is two pawns up.]
24.Qxh6! Very well calculated by Saric, he had to foresee to upcoming ideas before playing 23.Be5.
24...Rxe5! Carlsen has pinned his hopes to this small tactical trick that after fxe5 Bg5 traps the queen, but Saric has prepared a counterblow!
The key is to open the diagonal of the bishop and the threat of take on f7 becomes decisive. [25.fxe5? Bg5]
[The point is after 25...Bf8 26.Bxf7+! Kxf7 27.Qh7++ and fxe5 wins.]
26.dxe7 Qxe7 27.f5+ The rest is easy. White has decisive material advantage and keeps on attacking.
27...Qh4 A last trap...
28.Qf4 [Actually even if White misses the trap with 28.fxg6 Rxg2+! 29.Kxg2 Bf3+ 30.Rxf3 Qxh6 31.gxf7++ White remains winning.; The easiest would have been 28.Bxf7+ Kxf7 29.fxg6+ Ke8 (29...Ke7 30.Qg7++) 30.g7+]
28...g5 29.Qxh4 gxh4
White decided to trade queens and win the endgame with the material advantage.
30.Rf4 Rxc2 31.Rxh4 Be2 32.Re4
White is ready to invade on the 7th. The bishop has no safe square on h5 anymore after eliminating the h4 pawn, because g4 traps it.
[32...Kf8 33.Re1 is also over.]
33.Re7 Bxd3 34.Bxf7+ Kf8 35.f6 Rd8 36.Bh5 Kg8 37.Re8+! [A nice finish to the game.
Black resigned in view of 37.Re8+ Rxe8 38.f7+!+]  


An interview with GM Ivan Saric after beating World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen:

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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Last Updated ( Saturday, 30 August 2014 )
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