Sochi, Game 8: Improvement Dug Out Of 19th Century

Время публикации: 19.11.2014 05:34 | Последнее обновление: 19.11.2014 06:57

Carlsen draws confidently with Black and maintains his lead in the match

The ongoing World Championship match in Sochi is peculiar for the difficulties experienced by Black more often than usual. In this context, the 8th game, almost sterile but quite interesting for the theoreticians, was rather atypical: the champion and his seconds have convincingly solved the opening problems posed by Viswanathan Anand as White.

Photo report by Mikhail Sholudko

The Queen's Gambit Declined
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0–0 6.e3 c5 (the alternative 6...Nbd7 7.c5, etc. has let Carlsen down in the 3rd game) 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.a3 Nc6 9.Qc2.

9...Re8!? A rare choise in the well-known QGD position. The rook move hadn't been noticed on the higher level except for a game from the 19th (!) century. Only time can tell us if 9...Re8 is a disposable move or a reliable way to equality.
10.Bg5. Of course, the Carlsen team must have analysed the alternative paths, such as: 10.Rd1 e5 11.Bg5 d4 12.Nd5 Be7; 10.0–0–0 e5!? 11.Bg5 d4 12.Nd5 Be7, and 10.Bg3 d4!?.

10...Be7. The majority of a dozen games on this topic, including the aforementioned one from the past (Showalter - Janowski, New York 1898) went 10...d4, which isn't in fact too good: 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Ne4 Qf5 (12...Qg6 13.0–0–0 Bf8 14.exd4 e5 15.d5 f5, as in Zidu - Wilczek, email 2011, is also unpleasant for Black), and now maybe 13.Bd3 (if 13.b4 then the sacrifice 13...Nxb4 14.axb4 Bxb4+ leads to unclear play) 13...dxe3 14.0–0 exf2+ 15.Kh1.
11.Rd1 Qa5 12.Bd3 (12.Be2 Ne4!? 13.cxd5 Nxc3 14.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 15.bxc3 exd5 16.Bxe7 Nxe7, Almeida - Mannheimer, Internet 2010) 12...h6 13.Bh4 dxc4 14.Bxc4 a6. Most probably, this is one of the key positions aimed at by Carlsen and his seconds in their preparation.

15.0–0. Anand: 'Maybe I should have tried 15.Ba2!?'. Then the way for Black to hold is probably 15...b5 (if 15...Ne5 16.Nxe5 Qxe5 17.Bb1 g6 18.0–0 b5, then White has the initiative after 19.f4! Qb8 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Ne4) 16.Bb1! g6! (16...Bb7?? loses by force because White plays 17.Bxf6, 18.Qh7+ and then throws his rook up to d7; 16...g5 17.Bg3 b4 18.axb4 Nxb4 19.Qe2!? is also in White's favour) 17.0–0 Bb7, and now if 18.Ne4 Nxe4 19.Qxe4 then 19...Rad8.
15...b5 16.Ba2 Bb7

17.Bb1. The following line is very important: 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Ne4 Be7 19.Rd7 Qb6 20.Bb1 g6! (better than 20...f5) 21.Qc3 Rad8 22.Rxe7 Rxe7! 23.Nf6+ Kf8, and White has to force the draw by 24.Nh7+ Kg8= because 24.Nd5? can be met with 24...Nd4!! 25.Nxb6 Ne2+ 26.Kh1 Nxc3 27.bxc3 Rd6.
17...Rad8!? 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.Ne4 (Black is also okay in case of 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Ne4 Rxd1! 21.Rxd1 Rd8) 19...Be7 20.Nc5. If 20.Ng3 (20.Rc1 g6) then 20...g6! 21.h4 and either 21...Rc8!? (Anand) or 21...Rxd1 22.Rxd1 Rc8.
20...Bxc5 21.Qxc5

The position is being simplified and the drawish tendencies are becoming clear.
21...b4!? 22.Rc1 bxa3 23.bxa3 Qxc5 24.Rxc5 Ne7 25.Rfc1 (after 25.Rc7 Black isn't obliged to take on f3 because he has 25...Bc6!? instead) 25...Rc8 26.Bd3 Red8 27.Rxc8 Rxc8 28.Rxc8+ Nxc8 29.Nd2 (29.Nd4 is similar) 29...Nb6 30.Nb3 Nd7 31.Na5 Bc8. One of the very few interesting moments of this ending is the clever decision by Magnus to keep the bishops alive. Knight endgames are always tricky, and this one could have been dangerous for Black: 31...Nc5 32.Nxb7 Nxd3 33.Kf1 Kf8 34.Ke2, and White is more active, while Black has to choose his moves very carefully.
32.Kf1 Kf8 33.Ke1 Ke7 34.Kd2 Kd6 35.Kc3 Ne5 36.Be2 Kc5 37.f4 Nc6

38.Nxc6 (after 38.Nb3+ the draw is also almost certain) 38...Kxc6 39.Kd4 f6 40.e4 Kd6 41.e5+. Draw agreed, as after 41...fxe5+ 42.fxe5+ Kc6 followed by ...a5 and Kb6 Black has a fortress: his only weakness is the e6-pawn which can be easily protected by the bishop. 1/2 (Annotated by GM Mikhail Golubev, translated from Russian by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

After 8 games, the score is 4.5-3.5 to Carlsen. Today is a day-off; the 9th game will be played on November 20th.

All the information about the World Championship match in Sochi

[Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.18"] [Round "8"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2863"] [ECO "D37"] [Opening "QGD"] [Variation "classical variation (5.Bf4)"] [EventDate "2014.11.04"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. a3 Nc6 9. Qc2 Re8 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Rd1 Qa5 12. Bd3 h6 13. Bh4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a6 15. O-O b5 16. Ba2 Bb7 17. Bb1 Rad8 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Ne4 Be7 20. Nc5 Bxc5 21. Qxc5 b4 22. Rc1 bxa3 23. bxa3 Qxc5 24. Rxc5 Ne7 25. Rfc1 Rc8 26. Bd3 Red8 27. Rxc8 Rxc8 28. Rxc8+ Nxc8 29. Nd2 Nb6 30. Nb3 Nd7 31. Na5 Bc8 32. Kf1 Kf8 33. Ke1 Ke7 34. Kd2 Kd6 35. Kc3 Ne5 36. Be2 Kc5 37. f4 Nc6 38. Nxc6 Kxc6 39. Kd4 f6 40. e4 Kd6 41. e5+ 1/2-1/2


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