1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 Caro Kann defence by Karjakin and Carlsen. Escaping Sicilian and entering an opening rarely seen at 2700 level these days. We recently saw it at the first rapid game in Leon
3. e5 Bf5 Advance variation, favorite to Capablanca
4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 Still following the first rapid game in Leon, the idea with Ne7 is to transfer it later to c6 and the knight from b8 to move to d7. Actually, Carlsen already played Caro Kann with black against Karjakin and won, then Magnus chose 5. ... Nd7 with the following 5. Be2 Nd7 6. O-O Bg6 7. Nbd2 Nh6 8. c4 Be7 9. Qb3 Rb8 10. Qc3 O-O 11. c5 f6 12. exf6 Bxf6 13. b4 Nf7 14. Nb3 e5 etc. The game was Tal Memorial Blitz 2008
6. O-O c5 Total deviation from the rapid game in Leon, interesting game ahead today! c5 idea again used on the board, but the plan for black is different. Anand was surprised by Bg5, something that will not be discussed today in the same line.
7. c4 Nbc6 8. dxc5 Na3 is another topical move played in this position. Karjakin opts for keeping the status quo in the center and postpone queenside development.
8... d4 This isoleted pawn on d4 might prove to be the key of the game from now on. Time to see some home preparation from both players. Will Magnus pull something from his sleeve from Kasparov (excoach of Magnus), or will Motylev (current coach of Karjakin) preparation prove better?
9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Ng6 Returning the pawn from c4 and developing the bishop to follow for black, at the same time supporting the key d4
11. Qe4 Bxc5 12. a3 Karjakin is clearly not happy with the bishop on c5, and wants follow with b4 and possible c5 moves, but this is easily preventable with a5 push. 12.Nbd2 was the move played in previous games for example 12.Nbd2 Qc7 13.Nb3 Be7 14.Re1 Rd8, this is not seen at grandmaster level.
12... a5 Now comes the standart move, was Karjakin afraid of later Nc5-Nb4-Nd3 manuver?
13. Nbd2 Now comes the standart move, was Karjakin afraid of later Nc5-Nb4-Nd3 manuver? Qb6 now looks good for Carlsen, he will take control of the diagonal, while supporting further pawn advance on the d file by the rooks. Another option is O-O 14. h4 h5 15. Nb3 Qb6 16. Nxc5 Qxc5 17. Re1, but that removes the double threat posed by Qb6 in the line above. It is very possible that Carlsen's diverse arsenal with black caught Karjakin off guard today.
13... Bb6 After some thought Carlsen choses a different plan. He is worried about Nb3 insertion at a certain point. Bb6 also opens the option for Bc7 and more pressure on the e5 pawn.
14. Rb1 Karjakin goes for Rb1 instead of the multiple other solid options like h4, or Rd1. Now we see the point of a3 earlier, a b4 pawn move has always been in Karjakin's agenda. And all with the same idea - to turn d4 from strong point to liability. Moreover, the b7 pawn can easily turn into target in some lines, fighting game ahead for sure. Today's games commentary is reaching you thanks to ChessFriends
14... a4 Now b3 or b4 will give an open b file for white after axb and Rxb3, but at the same time will leave a3 as a weak pawn.
15. b4 axb3 Besides the mentioned option, white can opt for 16. Bb2 Bc7 17. Nxb3 or 17. Nxd4. Funny enough the following line will eliminate the pawn on d4, but bring another one on its place a few moves later 16. Bb2 Bc7 17. Nxd4 Ncxe5 18. Qxb7 Rb8 19. Qe4 O-O 20. c5 f5 21. Qe3 Re8 22. f3 Qd5 23. N4xb3 Nd3 24. Bd4 Ndf4 25. g3 e5 26. Bc3 Nd3 27. Nd4 exd4 28. Qxd3
16. Rxb3 A choice for Magnus ahead - secure first the king with O-O or put direct pressure on e5 with Ra5?
16... O-O 17. c5 Radical by Karjakin. This move invites for series of exchanges eliminating queenside pawns and possibly queens, but with that white's plan for concrete improvement is not clear. It is even the opposite, lines like 17... Bxc5 18. Rxb7 Qc8 19. Rb5 Ba7 20. a4 Qa6 21. Bb2 Rab8 22. Bxd4 Nxd4 23. Nxd4 Qxa4 24. Rxb8 Bxb8 25. N2f3 Rd8 26. Qb7 Nxe5 27. Nxe5 Bxe5 give even slight advantage to black, and white has to precise to find a draw.
17... Bxc5 18. Rxb7 Qd5 19. Qxd5 exd5 The question for Karjakin, can he now leave the pawns just on one wing and concentrate on exchanging material? Rb5 seems to work in that direction after 20. Rb5 Bxa3 21. Bxa3 Rxa3 22. Rxd5, while 20. Nb3 Bxa3 21. Bxa3 Rxa3 22. Nbxd4 Ngxe5 23. Nxc6 Nxc6 would leave the d pawn unresolved.
20. Nb3 Bxa3 21. Bxa3 Rxa3 22. Nbxd4 Ngxe5 As expected 20.Nb3 led to a pawn on d5. There is a lot of fighting in this position to follow
23. Nxc6 Nxc6 24. Rc7 The white knight is strategically placed on f3 at the moment, waiting to meet the d pawn at d4. It is difficult to see how can Carlsen advance it without compromising the connected pawns on the king side.
24... Rc3 25. Re1 Rc4 26. Rd7 Nb4 27. g3 h6 28. Ree7 Nc6 29. Re1 Rc5 30. Kg2 The position seems draw, but only black is the one playing for two results. The best case for white is to keep the status quo or exchange the knights, while black will aim to put a rook or two off the board. Engines are of little use here, it all comes to technique and we have two of the best players in the world on the board today.
30... Nb4 31. Ree7 Nc6 32. Re1 Rb8 On several occassions Karjakin suggested a draw repetition, but Magnus shows with his last move that he wants to make the pawn count! With 2 mins per move until time control precision is required.
33. h4 Karjakin makes the right choice, activity is needed to counter the material imbalance.
33... Rc8 34. Rb1 d4 And that is a draw invitation from Carlsen after Nxd4 to follow.
35. Nxd4 And the draw was agreed. Thank you for following with me GM Ipatov. Expect videos later today from GM Danielsen. See you tomorrow for more live analysis on ChessBomb.com and Chessdom.com! ½-½
Last edited by picasso on Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:31 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : update results)