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#Chess Position Worth Sharing! 125

Today’s position is a practical tactical shot from the game GM Vladislav Artemiev vs GM Vladislav Kovalev at the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee played on 1/14/2020. Black has just played Rd8 for his 39th move. What is white’s Best continuation?

What is white’s best continuation?

How did Morphy and Alekhine get so good at chess?

Question: How did chess players like Morphy/Alekhine get good at tactics without the computers, books, and databases that we have today?

Paul Morphy and Alexander Alekhine

Answer: Both Morphy and Alekhine were born wealthy in a household that valued chess. Paul Morphy learned chess at an early age by watching games between his uncle and father. A young Alexander Alekhine was taught chess by his mother and frequently played games against his older sister and brother. Again, both families were wealthy and owned libraries which undoubtedly housed books on the game of chess. In fact, I would be very surprised if both chess players didn’t study from… https://www.quora.com/How-did-chess-players-like-Morphy-Alekhine-get-good-at-tactics-without-the-computers-books-and-databases-that-we-have-today/answer/Chris-Torres-13?ch=10&share=0055924d&srid=i4Sz

Do strong chess players today possess different qualities than their predecessors in the 1800’s?

Question: Given the increase in chess theory, are different kinds of people likely to be strong chess players now than in the 1800s or earlier (e.g., people with greater memory)?

Answer: It’s also important to realize that brute memorization is not a very important factor in chess success. The important factors that the 19th century chess masters used to excel at chess are by and large the same as today with the main difference being that, in the 21st century, chess is available to the masses and thus talented players have the ability to achieve great success regardless of their family wealth. The ten main factors for chess success common between 19th century and 21st century chess players are… https://www.quora.com/Given-the-increase-in-chess-theory-are-different-kinds-of-people-likely-to-be-strong-chess-players-now-than-in-the-1800s-or-earlier-e-g-people-with-greater-memory/answer/Chris-Torres-13?ch=10&share=069c8895&srid=i4Sz

Analyze That! October 20, 2020

Here is the notation for the games in the October 20, 2020 Analyze That!

This is helpful if you want to play along.

Site chess.com

White KarinRibeiro

Black manujlc

Result 1-0

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Nc3 Nf6

4.Bc4 Bb4

4…Nxe4 5.Nxe4 d5

5.Ng5 O-O

6.Qf3

6.d3 h6 7.Nf3

6…Nd4

7.Qd3 c6

7…d5 8.Bb3

8.exd5 Bf5 9.Nge4 Nxe4 10.Nxe4 Qh4 11.O-O Bxe4

8.Bxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 Qxg5

8…c5 9.Qg3 h6 10.Nf3 Bxc3 11.dxc3 Nxe4 12.Qxe5 Nxf3+ 13.gxf3 Re8

8.O-O d5

9.exd5 cxd5

9…b5 10.Bb3 Bf5 11.Qg3 Bxc3 12.dxc3 Ne2+

10.Bxd5 Nxd5??

10…Bf5 11.Be4 Nxe4 12.Ngxe4 Qh4

11.Qxh7#

1-0

Event Live Chess

Site Chess.com

White SpiderWithATopHat

Black climaco39

Result 0-1

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Nc3 Nf6

4.Bb5 a6

5.Bxc6 dxc6

6.d3

6.Nxe5 Bc5

6…Nxe4 7.Nxe4 Qd4 8.O-O Qxe5 9.d4 Qf5 10.Ng3 Qg6 11.Bf4

6…Bd6 7.d4 Bxe5 8.dxe5 Qxd1+ 9.Nxd1 Nxe4 10.Be3

6…Qe7 7.d4 c5 8.Bg5 cxd4 9.Qxd4

7.O-O

7.d4

7…O-O 8.d3

6…Bg4

7.h3 Bxf3

7…Bh5 8.g4 Bg6 9.Nxe5

8.gxf3

8.Qxf3 Be7 9.Be3 O-O 10.O-O-O

8…Bb4

9.Bd2 Qe7

10.Qe2 O-O-O

11.O-O-O Nd7

12.Rhg1 g6

12…f6

13.Qe3

13.f4 exf4 14.Qg4 Qd6 15.Bxf4

13…Bc5

14.Qg5 f6

15.Qg4 Bxf2

16.Rgf1 Bd4

17.Na4

17.Ne2 Bb6 18.f4 exf4

17…Kb8

18.a3 Nb6

19.Bb4

19.Nxb6

19…Qf7

19…c5 20.Nxb6 cxb4 21.Nd5 Rxd5 22.exd5 bxa3 23.bxa3 f5

20.b3 Nxa4

21.bxa4 Qa2

22.Rf2

22.Kd2

22…Bxf2

22…Be3+ 23.Rdd2

23.Rfd2 Qa1#

23.Bd2 Qa1#

23…Qa1#

23.Qg2 Be3+

24.Bd2

24.Qd2 Qa1#

24.Rd2 Qa1#

24…Qa1#

0-1

Magnus Carlsen’s Greatest Achievement in Chess

What do you think has been Magnus Carlsen’s greatest achievement in chess thus far?
19 votes · 19 answers

A Magnus Opus

[Event “Corus Group C”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2004.01.24”]
[Round “12”]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Black “Sipke Ernst”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2474”]
[ECO “B19”]
[EventDate “2004.01.10”]
[WhiteElo “2484”]

1.e4 { Magnus opens with a center pawn. }

1…c6 { Ernst Responds with the Caro-Kann Defence. In the Caro-Kann it is black’s intention to confront white’s center with d5. }

2.d4 { When your oponent does not match your center pawn, get two. }

2…d5 { As expected, black stakes his claim in the center. }

3.Nc3 { The only knight worth developing for white as Nf3 would allow black to play dxe4 with tempo. }

3…dxe4 { Ernst captures Carlsen’s king’s pawn and is thus inviting Nxe4 which is all very much part of Caro-Kann strategy. }

4.Nxe4 { Magnus accepts. }

4…Bf5 { For a moment, black gains the initiative. }

5.Ng3 { And then white takes it right back. } 5

…Bg6 { And black continues into the main lines of the Caro-Kann. }

6.h4 { Threatening to trap black’s bishop. }

6…h6 { But black easily creates an escape square. }

7.Nf3 { Oftentimes white plays h5 here. }

7…Nd7 { In the classical Caro-Kann, black’s knights are placed on d7 and f6. }

8.h5 { And now white plays the afformentioned h5 because he can. }

8…Bh7 { And Ernst’s bishop goes into its bunker. }

9.Bd3 { White is willing to trade this bishop for a little development. }

9…Bxd3 { And black is just happy to get rid of his “bad bishop.” }

10.Qxd3 { Carlsen now has three pieces developed and a pawn in the center. }

10…e6 { Ernst takes a moment to complete the Caro-Kann pawn structure. }

11.Bf4 { White now has a four-on-one advantage in development but it’s against the ultra-solid Caro-Kann. }

11…Ngf6 { Black develops the other knight to where it influences two center squares. }

12.O-O-O { With the h-pawn already advanced, castling queenside makes the most sense. }

12…Be7 { In the Caro-Kann, black does not play ambitiously with their dark bishop. }

13.Ne4 { Oftentimes, white plays Kb1 here first to tighten up their castled king. }

13…Qa5 { The main line here is: }

(13…Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Nf6 15.Qe2 {and then the black queen can either got to d5 or a5.} )

14.Kb1 { With a2 now threatened, Carlsen now takes a moment to play Kb1. }

14…O-O { Now we have a position which has occured in a hundred or so master-level games. }

15.Nxf6+ { Magnus trades one knight so that he can safely move his other knight to e5. }

15…Nxf6 { Black reloads the knight on f6 but this allows white to play Ne5. }

16.Ne5 { Carlsen’s knight can now safely advance to the e5 outpost. }

16…Rad8 { Ernst places his rook into the semi-open file with Carlsen’s queen. }

17.Qe2 { Carlsen drops his queen back to e2 in response to black’s last move. }

17…c5 { Playing c6 to c5 is a common theme in the Caro-Kann in which black is seeking to eliminate white’s remaining claim to the center. }

18.Ng6 $1 { Carlsen makes an ingenius knight offering to create a strong attack. }

18…fxg6 $2 { Capturing the knight here is an easy mistake to make. However, it is still a mistake. Ernst needed to decline the knight offering by instead playing: }

( 18…Rfe8 19.Nxe7+ Rxe7 20.dxc5 Red7 21.Rxd7 Nxd7 { I prefer capturing with the knight here to target the c5 pawn and it keeps white’s queen off e5. But Rxd7 was also playable. Now I wonder if Magnus would have played the defensive Be3 or the offensive pawn to g4. Based on what we have so far, I will continue with pawn to g4. } 22.g4 Nxc5 23.g5 { And things seem rather precarious for black. However, black has some reasonable defensive resources if he doesn’t panic. Starting with: } 23…Qb4 24.Qe5 Qe4 { Exchanging queens to remove the threat of mate. } 25.Qxe4 Nxe4 26.gxh6 gxh6 27.Bxh6 Nxf2 28.Rg1+ Kh8 { And Sipke Ernst would have survived Magnus’ attack but white still has a small edge. } )

19.Qxe6+ { The obvious way to continue after the knight sacrifice. }

19…Kh8 { Definitely not: }

( 19…Rf7 $4 { because of: } 20.hxg6 )

20.hxg6 { Black’s king is cornered and Magnus’ rook on h1 suddenly becomes a credible threat. }

20…Ng8 { Ernst defends h6 a second time with the knight while simultaneously attacking Magnus’ bishop. }

21.Bxh6 { Carlsen starts his final assault with a bold sacrifice. }

21…gxh6 { and certainly not: }

( 21…Nxh6 $4 22.Rxh6+ $1 gxh6 23.Qxe7 { Leaves Ernst with no meaningful way to stop the checkmate on h7. } )

22.Rxh6+ $1 { The onslaught continues. }

22…Nxh6 { Ernst’s only other choice was: }

( 22…Kg7 $4 23.Rh7# )

23.Qxe7 { Magnus captures the bishop but more importantly is threatening mate on h7 again. }

23…Nf7 { The only way for black to avoid the checkmate is to give back some material. }

24.gxf7 { Ernst survives for now and is rook up. But since the safety of his king is a deciding factor. Black now has the choice to pick his poison. }

24…Kg7 { Had he chose: }

( 24…Qa6 25.Qg5 Rxf7 26.Rh1+ Rh7 27.Qxd8+ Kg7 28.Qe7+ Kg8 29.Qxh7+ Kf8 30.Qf5+ Kg8 31.Qg5+ Kf8 32.Rh8+ Kf7 33.Rh7+ Ke6 34.Qe5# )

( 24…Qb6 25.Qe5+ Kh7 26.Rh1+ Qh6 27.Qf5+ Kg7 28.Rxh6 Kxh6 29.Qf6+ Kh7 30.c3 cxd4 31.g4 Rd7 32.Qf5+ Kg7 33.Qxd7 dxc3 34.Qxb7 Rxf7 35.Qxf7+ Kxf7 36.bxc3 { Is easily winning for white } )

25.Rd3 { Magnus lifts the rook to the third rank so that it can slide over and enage black’s king in the g-file. }

25…Rd6 { Under extreme pressure, Ernst misses his best defence which is in fact using the queen to black the coming check instead of the rook. For instance: }

( 25…Qa6 26.Rg3+ Qg6 27.Rxg6+ Kxg6 28.g4 Rxd4 29.c3 Rd1+ 30.Kc2 Rdd8 31.f4 Kg7 32.g5 Kg6 33.Qf6+ Kh5 34.g6 Kg4 35.g7 { which is losing for black anyways. } )

26.Rg3+ { Magnus’s rook greets the black king with a check. }

26…Rg6 { Black defense has just one problem. }

27.Qe5+ { Which, of course, Magnus exploits. }

27…Kxf7 { The alternatives would have been: }

( 27…Kh7 28.Qh5+ Rh6 29.Qf5+ Kh8 30.Qe5+ Rf6 31.Qxf6+ Kh7 32.Qg7# ) ( 27…Kh6 28.Rh3# )

28.Qf5+ Rf6 { Ernst could have tried: }

( 28…Ke8 29.Re3+ Kd8 30.Qxf8+ Kc7 31.Qf7+ Kc8 32.Qf5+ Kc7 33.Re7+ Kb6 34.Qxg6+ Kb5 35.a4+ Qxa4 36.Rxb7+ Ka5 37.Rxa7+ Kb4 38.Rxa4+ Kxa4 39.Qb6 cxd4 40.Ka2 d3 41.b3# )

( 28…Ke7 29.Re3+ Kd6 30.Qxf8+ Kc7 { and then we’ve reached the same position as the afformentioned variation. } )

29.Qd7# { Magnus concludes his opus with a very artfully played Epaulette mate. } 1-0