Friday, November 06, 2009

Carlsen 1/2 Morozevich

[Event "Tal Memorial"]
[Date "2009.11.06"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Carlsen, M."]
[Black "Morozevich, A."]
[ECO "E25"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2750"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. dxc5 Qa5 9. e4 Nf6 10. Be3 O-O 11. Qb3 Na6 (A lesser known move. Most popular is 11...Nfd7) 12. Nh3 += (I expect Morozevich to play Nd7 here. Even though Black is down a pawn, he can recapture at c5 at will. However, I am not very impressed with Black's position. The Bishop on c8 is stuck.)

12... Nd7
(Now, White's best option is to take the Knight on a6. Even when Black recaptures with the Queen, White does not worry about the castling problem because White always has the f2 square for the King. White can also play c4 to block the Black Queen.)

Ba6 Qxa6 14. c4 (White can now castle safely.)

(The only decent square for the Knight)

15. Rc1 Bd7
(Pretty much a must since Black has to begin to develop his Bishop.)

16. Qc3 f6 17. 0-0 Ba4 += (The idea is to block the White's Rooks from the d file.)

18. Nf4 Rfd8 (White must chase the Black Knight from the best square e5. Bd4 would solve this problem. White can also solidify his Bishop with Ne2 eventually.)

16. Bd4
(Black has many choices to retreat his Knight. A logical spot is on f7. Nc6 is no good because of Nxe6. Ng6 is also playable and interesting.)

16...Ng6 (If White captures the Knight, it would lead to a Bishop opposite color endgame.)

17. Nxg6 hxg6 18. e5 (White is up a pawn. But after 18...f5, I am not sure if White has enough to score a full point.)

18...f5 19.h4 Rd7 += 20. Rf2 Rad8 (21. Rd2 is must.)

24. Rd2 Qc6 25. Kh2 Qc7 26. Qe3 Kf7 (White is up a pawn but has the double c pawns and opposite color Bishops. White is still slightly better.)

27. Kg3 (The only play White has is to open up the h file to have Kingside play. However, Black can simply park his Rook on the h file to hamper White's plan.)

27... Rh8 28. Qf4 (White has a dilemma. He must be careful not to exchange more pieces because the Bishop endgame would lead to an easy draw for Black.)

28...Qd8 (I still fail to see any real threat or plan for White. White can continue to shift his focus back and forth between the h and b file. However, Black has no problem defending against these plans. Many websites and servers have LIVE commentary as well such as,, ICC, PlayChess, etc.)

29. Rb1 Bc6 30. Rb2 = / += Qa5 31. Be3 (White is giving back a pawn voluntarily. I still see nothing for White.)

31...Rxd2 (I expect a draw soon.)

32. Rxd2 Qxa3 33. Qd4 (A possible idea is to play Bg5, Qd6, followed by Qc7 or Qe7 because the Black Queen is temporarily out of play. You have to give credit to Magnus for trying. His plan is quite sneaky :) Black can solve this problem with 33...Rc8 with the idea of Qa5 then Qc7.)

33...Rc8 34. Rd1 Qa5 (Obviously Morozevich is not afraid of giving back the a pawn to get the Queens off the board.)

35. Ra1 Qd8 36. Qxd8 Rxd8 37. Rxa7 (Black should have no problem drawing this game at this point with Rd3.)

37...Rd3 = (However, White has a neat possible trick up his sleeves with Bg5, then Ra8, followed by Bd8, Bc7, Bd6, and Rf8 :) I am sure Morozevich will see this though and not allow it.)

38. Bg5 Rd4 39. Be3 1/2
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