Monday, June 16, 2008


Nisipeanu, Liviu Dieter - Carlsen, Magnus

Foros Aerosvit 2008
Round 7


The participants enjoyed they day off and today the chess battles are to be resumed. The leader Carlsen faces a very dangerous opponent - the ex-European champion Nisipeanu - who as White plays not so fashionable but well prepared lines, that could cause trouble to any chess player. A game between two creative GMs is always fun to watch let's hope this one will be no exception.

1.e4 The Romanian's favorite move.

1... c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 The Sicilian Dragon was revived at the top level event lately by Carlsen.

6.Be2 Avoiding the immense complication in position with Kings castling on opposite flanks after 6.Be3

6... Bg7 7.O-O Nc6 8.Nb3 The standard way to hinder d6-d5

8... O-O 9.Kh1 a6 (9... Be6 is the main line.)

10.f4 b5 11.Bf3 This variation is considered to be harmless for Black but Nisipeanu obviously has a different point of view.

11... Bb7 Judging by the time spent by the Romanian after this move, this definitely is not his home preparation.

12.a4 ( Intending 12.a4 b4 13.Nd5) Clock readings: 1.01 1.20

12... b4 13.Nd5 This is what White is aiming for in positional lines of the Dragon. However, in this situation, it fails to impress. (13.Nd5 e6)

13... Nxd5 14.exd5 Na5 Another sound alternative. Magnus has comfortably equalized in the opening.

15.c3 Nisipeanu sacrifices a pawn to exploit the position of Bb7 but Black is in no hurry to accept it.

15... bxc3 16.bxc3 Rc8 (16... Bxc3 17.Rb1 though compensation still has to be proved.)

17.Rb1 Ba8 Time 0.24 1.05

18.Nd2 (18.f5 is thematic but Black gets rid of his Na5. 18... Nxb3 19.Rxb3 Qa5) The game continuation aims to leave a couple of Black light pieces stranded on the queenside while White attempts to attack the monarch.

18... Nc4 After this simple move White seems to be in trouble.

19.Nxc4 Rxc4 20.Bd2 Admitting the failure of his opening strategy.

20... Qa5 21.Qe1 (21.Qe2 offers more resistance.)

21... Bxd5 (21... Bf6 is solid advantage for Black.)

22.Be2 Qxa4 23.Bxc4 White won an exchange but his position remains difficult, especially having in mind the clock: 0.03 0.47.

23... Bxc4 24.Rf2 e6 25.Be3 Bd5 Magnus has excellent positional compensation for the sacrificed exchange.

26.Rfb2 Qe4 27.Qd2 h5 28.Bd4 Both opponents are playing in blitz tempo, though Carlsen has a lot of time left: 0.02 0.43.

28... Bh6 29.Be3 a5 After preserving the Bishop pair, Black starts pushing the passed pawn.

30.Rb8 Kh7 (30... Rxb8 31.Rxb8+ Kh7 was OK, but the game move is nastier in time trouble.)

31.h3 Rxb8 32.Rxb8 Bg7 Carlsen has winning advantage.

33.Bd4 Bxd4 34.cxd4 a4 The 'a' pawn can't be stopped.

35.Kh2 a3 36.Rb4 a2 37.Ra4 Qb1 White resigned. Nisipeanu tried to take Carlsen away from his familiar opening positions but only tricked himself, as after the harmless opening variation, Magnus got some advantage and was methodically increasing it to achieve a convincing victory.


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