Team Russia Works Overtime

The upcoming world title fight between challenger Sergey Karjakin and world champion Magnus Carlsen saw the two meet at Bilbao 2016.  Magnus Carlsen finished in lst with 17 points (rating 2872) versus Sergey Karjakin (rating 2743), taking 5th place with 9.

The Russians hated to lose the world chess title to anyone but another Russian. This came to an end with the victory of Robert Fischer over Boris Spassky. Russia had used the game of chess for political purposes and successful use of their training methods that produced so much talent was widely accepted as Russian domination of the sport.

White: Carlsen versus Black: Karjakin  Opening:  The Sicilian Defense

l. e4  c5  2. Nf3  d6  3. c3  Nf6  4. Be2  g6  5. O-O Bg7  6. Bb5+ Nc6  7. d4  Qb6  8. Ba4  c:d4  9. c:d4 O-O  10.d5 Nb8.

A good decision giving the Knight more scope via d7, eying both c5/e5 with the added comfort of possible play to the Kingside.  This jump backwards merely demonstrates how square selection offers future inroads and planning.

11. Nc3  Bg4  12. h3  B:f3  13. Q:f3  Nbd7 14. Rb1  Rfc8  15. Bc2!

Aggressively relining the piece structure with thoughts toward an eventual f4 support of e5 as well as possible opening someday of the f-file.  While Nimzowitsch’s comical saying to tarry is self-defeating, this plan patiently shows Carlsen willingness to bide his time without making any aimless decisions other than to quietly improve his position. An immediate angle is added defense to the R on b1.  Note that White is concentrating on the light squares.  Having accomplished this thought, he can now work on the dark squares!

15. … Ne5

Black’s idea is to concentrate on the one real weakness in White’s camp, being c4 where the Knight can cause time on the clock while firing up some threats.

16. Qe2  Nfd7

Carlsen recognizes that execution of planning is a two-way street.  One must be prepared to face difficult positions.  He now connects his Rooks and develops the Bishop using a most simplistic plan of advancing square dominance also known as my square count theory.  White continues to better his own position.

17. Bg5!  h6  18. Bh4

Completing development of his forces and causing Black to now have to weigh the deficit in square count.  His decision to remedy this leads to weakness in his K-side. The great Emmanuel Lasker liked getting his opponent into positions that contained latent flaws not fully understanding position needs.

18 … g5  19. Bg3  Qa6  20. Qd1

Correctly avoiding the exchange offer.  The doubling of pawns on the a-file would be offset by the half-open b-file showing a boost in square count for Karjakin.

20. … Rc4  21. Kh1  Rac8  22. f4! g:f4  23. B:f4  Qb6  24. Qh5!  Nf6  25. Qf5  Qd8  26. Bb3  Rd4 27. B:e5!  d:e5  28. Rbd1  Qd7 29. Qf3  Rb4  30. Rd2

Perhaps it finally falls on Karjakin that those White Squares are a bit more potent than the dark squares and the Rooks now began to infiltrate the K-side files.  The f7 square needs protection.

30. … Rf8  31. g4!  a5

Black falls back on, “It is usually best to counter on the Q-side when meeting a K-side pawn rollup.” But, in this case, it is just too slow.

32. Rg2  Nh7  33. h4  Rb6  34. g5  Kh8  35. Rfg1  f5  36. Qh3  Rb4  37. g:h6  38. Qg3  Nf6  39. Qg6  Ng4  40. R:g4 Black resigns.

The match will take place in New York City during November 2016.  It is an American icon of great chess events.  US chess will benefit from the exposure.

 

 

 

 

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