domenica 21 gennaio 2018

Gambling for Fun

Magnus Carlsen – Gawain Christopher B. Jones
80th Tata Steel Chess Tournament; Wijk aan Zee, January 21, 2018
Sicilian Defence B76

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 0-0 9. 0-0-0 d5 10. Qe1 e5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. exd5 Nxd5 13. Bc4 Be6 14. Kb1 Re8. It’s just a reculer pour mieux sauter. Jones usually plays ...Ra8-b8; for instance: 14. ... Rb8 15. Ne4 f5 16. Ng5 Bc8 17. h4 h6 18. Ne4 fxe4 19. fxe4 Rf4(!) with typical Dragon pride, Lampert – Jones, 9th International Open 2015, Wunsiedel 2015. 15. Ne4 f5. If 15. ... Qc7 there might follow 16. Bc5 h6 17. g4 Nf4 18. Bd6 Qb6 19. Bxe6 Rxe6 20. Bc5 Qb5 21. b3 Ree8 22. h4 Qe2 23. Qxe2 Nxe2 24. g5 h5 25. Rd6 a5 26. Rxc6 a4 27. Re1 Nf4 28. b4 a3 29. c3 Red8 30. Kc2 Ng2 31. Rh1 Bf8 32. Bb6 Rdb8 33. Bf2 Rd8 34. b5 Nf4 35. b6 Nd3 36. Rd1 1 : 0 Lékó – Trent, 3rd Isle of Man International Chess Tournament, Douglas 2016. 16. Ng5 Bc8 17. g4? “It’s quite difficult to understand Carlsen’s blunder, but 17. g4 is a good move if Black plays 16. ... a5 (instead of 16. ... Bc8 what Jones did), so maybe Magnus mixed things up. (?)”, Ukrainian Grandmaster Mikhail Vladimirovich Golubev said. “I think he wanted to play h2-h4 and later g2-g4. And suddenly, he had the ‘brilliant’ idea not to lose time, forgetting about ... f5-f4. That kind of accident happen in the best families :-)”, Spanish Grandmaster Miguel Illescas Córdoba argued. 17. ... f4. “17. ... f4 would be positionally catastrophic for Black if it didn’t win a piece”, Scottish Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson said. After all, it’s something that looks like a compensation! 18. h4 fxe3 19. Qxe3 h6 20. Qc5 Bb7 21. Ne4 Re6!? Well, maybe it’s a nervous move, but it was not easy not to be a little nervous. 21. ... Bf8 was also worth considering. 22. h5! Qb6? Jones would need the help of Wilhelm Steinitz to survive the storm. Now 22. ... Bf8 followed by ... g6-g5 was, according to the computer, Black’s best way to play for a win. 23. g5! hxg5? Not 23. ... Qxc5? because of 24. Nxc5 Re7 25. Nxb7 Rxb7 26. Rxd5!+−, but 23. ... Bf8 was still called for. And it was probably last call. 24. Qa3! Carlsen has already turned the tables, at least from an emotional standpoint. 24. ... Rb8


25. b3! “I can’t be sure, but 25. b3 looks like one of those classy moves that makes Magnus the best. Most punters, even Grandmaster punters like me, would probably have taken on g5, but then after 25. ... Bf8 26. Qd3 Ba6 Black fights back. Now Black has more to think about”, Rowson said. 25. ... Qd8!? 26. Qxa7(!) gxh5? By now Jones is too demoralized to put up a more stubborn resistance with 26. ... Re7! eventually followed by ... Rb8-a8. 27. Rxh5 Rg6 28. Rxg5! Rxg5 29. Nxg5 Qc8 30. Rg1. The rest is easy. 30. ... Ra8 31. Qb6 Ra6 32. Qc5 Qd7 33. Ne4 Kh8 34. Qf2 Qe7 35. Bxa6 Bxa6 36. Qh2+ Kg8 37. Qh6 Qa7 38. Qe6+ Kf8 39. Rg5 Ne3 40. Qd6+ Kf7 41. Nc5 Bc8 42. Rxg7+ 1 : 0.

Artwork © Willum Morsch

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