Posts Tagged ‘chess games’

Magnus Carlsen Silences His Critics

November 29, 2018

The simplest way to silence your critics is to do what they claim you can’t do. They may mock your process loudly but never allow their words to cause you to take unnecessary risks.

[Event “Carlsen – Caruana World Championship Match”]
[Site “London ENG”]
[Date “2018.11.28”]
[Round “Tiebreaker 1“]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[Black “Fabiano Caruana”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[Result “1-0”]

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bb4 4.e4 O-O 5.Nge2 c6 6.Bg2 a6 7.O-O b5 8.d4 d6 9.a3
Bxc3 10.Nxc3 bxc4 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Na4 Be6 13.Qxd8 Rxd8 14.Be3 Nbd7 15.f3 Rab8
16.Rac1 Rb3 17.Rfe1 Ne8 18.Bf1 Nd6 19.Rcd1 Nb5 20.Nc5 Rxb2 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Bxc4
Nd4 23.Bxd4 exd4 24.Bxe6+ Kf8 25.Rxd4 Ke7 26.Rxd7+ Rxd7 27.Bxd7 Kxd7 28.Rd1+
Ke6 29.f4 c5 30.Rd5 Rc2 31.h4 c4 32.f5+ Kf6 33.Rc5 h5 34.Kf1 Rc3 35.Kg2 Rxa3
36.Rxc4 Ke5 37.Rc7 Kxe4 38.Re7+ Kxf5 39.Rxg7 Kf6 40.Rg5 a5 41.Rxh5 a4 42.Ra5
Ra1 43.Kf3 a3 44.Ra6+ Kg7 45.Kg2 Ra2+ 46.Kh3 Ra1 47.h5 Kh7 48.g4 Kg7 49.Kh4 a2
50.Kg5 Kf7 51.h6 Rb1 52.Ra7+ Kg8 53.Rxa2 Rb5+ 54.Kg6 Rb6+ 55.Kh5

[Event “Carlsen – Caruana World Championship Match”]
[Site “London ENG”]
[Date “2018.11.28”]
[Round “Tiebreaker 2“]
[White “Fabiano Caruana”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[Black “Magnus Carlsen”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[Result “0-1”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Nd5 Nxd5 8.exd5 Ne7
9.c4 Ng6 10.Qa4 Bd7 11.Qb4 Qb8 12.h4 h5 13.Be3 a6 14.Nc3 a5 15.Qb3 a4 16.Qd1
Be7 17.g3 Qc8 18.Be2 Bg4 19.Rc1 Bxe2 20.Qxe2 Qf5 21.c5 O-O 22.c6 bxc6 23.dxc6
Rfc8 24.Qc4 Bd8 25.Nd5 e4 26.c7 Bxc7 27.Nxc7 Ne5 28.Nd5 Kh7

[Event “Carlsen – Caruana World Championship Match”]
[Site “London ENG”]
[Date “2018.11.28”]
[Round “Tiebreaker 3”]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[Black “Fabiano Caruana”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[Result “1-0”]1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bc5 6.Nc2 Nf6 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Be3 b6
9.Be2 Bb7 10.O-O Qe7 11.Qd2 Rfd8 12.Rfd1 Ne5 13.Bxc5 bxc5 14.f4 Ng6 15.Qe3 d6
16.Rd2 a6 17.Rad1 Qc7 18.b3 h6 19.g3 Rd7 20.Bf3 Re8 21.Qf2 Ne7 22.h3 Red8
23.Bg2 Nc6 24.g4 Qa5 25.Na4 Qc7 26.e5 dxe5 27.Nxc5 Rxd2 28.Rxd2 Rxd2 29.Qxd2
Ba8 30.fxe5 Qxe5 31.Nd7 Qb2 32.Qd6 Nxd7 33.Qxd7 Qxc2 34.Qe8+ Kh7 35.Qxa8 Qd1+
36.Kh2 Qd6+ 37.Kh1 Nd4 38.Qe4+ f5 39.gxf5 exf5 40.Qe3 Ne6 41.b4 Ng5 42.c5 Qf6
43.c6 Ne6 44.a4 Nc7 45.Qf4 Ne6 46.Qd6 Qa1+ 47.Kh2 Nd4 48.c7 Qc3 49.Qc5 Qe3
50.c8=Q f4 51.Qg4

My Favorite #Chess Games: The Second Battle of Hastings

July 11, 2018

The first undisputed world chess champion, Wilhelm Steinitz (5/17/1836 – 8/12/1900)

The second Battle of Hastings occurred August 17, 1895, in the tenth round of the Hastings tournament nearly 829 years after William the Duke of Normandy decisively defeated the Anglo-Saxons seven miles northwest of Hastings. In the Second Battle of Hastings, Wilhelm Steinitz conducted a beautifully planned attack which concludes with one of the greatest chess masterminds ever offering a poisonous rook for several successive moves until his opponent left the board in utter disgrace. Considered by the first world champion to be the finest victory of his career, Wilhelm Steinitz brutal defeat of Curt Von Bardeleben continues to inspire every generation of chess players since it was played.


Steinitz – Von Bardeleben, Hastings 1895

(It may be helpful for the reader to copy and then paste the text below into your favorite chess program.)

[Event “Hastings Chess Tournament”]
[Site “Hastings (England)”]
[Date “1895”]
[Round “10”]
[White “Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE)”]
[Black “Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C54”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C54] Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) +5 =1 -2 Von
Bardeleben Kurt (GER) +0 =0 -1 Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE)-Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER)
+1 =0 -0[ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C54] Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) +5 =1 -2
Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER) +0 =0 -1 Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE)-Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER) +1 =0 -0}
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 {
This is the main line of the Giuoco Piano which in Italian translates into the
“quiet game.” In this line, white plays c3 to prepare pawn to d4. In the
meantime, black is allowed to be the first to have three pieces on the board by
playing 4… Nf6. Today, this opening would not be considered very “quiet” as
it creates early imbalances while opening the center. However, historically
speaking, it was considered “quiet” in the 18th and 19th centuries when
compared to other popular openings such as the King’s Gambit.}
Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 {
Greco’s Attack. White is planning to sacrifice the pawn on e4 to the f6 knight
in order to get castled faster and attack. If white does not wish to gambit the
e4 pawn he/she can play 7. Bd2. Both variations were played by Gioachino Greco in the early 17’th century.}
( 7.Bd2 {The Krause Variation also deserves attention.} Bxd2+
8.Nbxd2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.O-O O-O 11.Re1 Bf5 ( 11…Nb6 12.Ne5
{!} Nxd4 ( 12…Qxd4 13.Bxf7+ Rxf7 14.Nxf7 Kxf7 15.Qh5+ g6 16.Qxh7+
Qg7 17.Qh4 Bf5 18.Nf3 $14 ) 13.Nxf7 Rxf7 14.Bxf7+ Kxf7 15.Qh5+ )
( 11…Nce7 12.Ne5 c6 13.Ne4 Bf5 14.Nc5 Qc7 15.Qb3 $14 ) 12.Ne4
Bxe4 13.Rxe4 Qd6 14.Qd2 Rad8 15.Rae1 Nf6 16.Re6 {!} Qb4 {!}
( 16…Qd7 17.Qg5 {!} ( 17.Rxf6 gxf6 18.Qf4 ( 18.Qh6 Qf5 ) Qd6 )
h6 18.Qg3 {!} ( 18.Qh4 Nxd4 19.Rxf6 gxf6 20.Qxf6 Qd6 {!} ) Kh8
( 18…Nh5 19.Qh4 Nxd4 ( 19…Kh8 20.Rxh6+ gxh6 21.Qxh5 ) 20.Nxd4
Qxd4 21.R6e4 Qc5 22.Re5 Rd4 23.Rxc5 ( 23.Bxf7+ Rxf7 24.Qxh5 )
Rxh4 24.Rxc7 $16 ) 19.Rxf6 gxf6 20.Qf4 Kg7 21.Nh4 Nxd4 22.Re4
$16 ) 17.Qxb4 Nxb4 18.Re7 Nbd5 19.R7e2 {1/2-1/2, Tartakower Savielly (FRA) – Gruenfeld Ernst F (AUT), Baden-Baden 1925 It}
) d5 {Von Bardeleben declines Steinitz’s offer of a “free” pawn and instead strikes back at the center.}
( 7…Nxe4 {It is however recommended to understand the ideas after 7… Nxe4. Below is a short collection of games also worthy of study.} {%08DA}
8.O-O Bxc3 9.bxc3 {?} ( 9.d5 Bf6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Rxe4 d6 12.Bg5
O-O 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Qd2 Ng6 15.Nd4 f5 16.Ree1 Bd7 17.Rac1 a6
18.Bb3 f4 19.Ne6 fxe6 20.dxe6 Bxe6 21.Rxe6 Kh8 22.Rc3 Rg8 23.Qd4+
Ne5 24.Qxf4 Rg7 25.Qe4 c6 26.Re3 Qf8 27.h3 Rd8 28.Qh4 Ra8 {…1/2-1/2, Computer “Fritz 6” – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2771 , Frankfurt 1999 Match}
) d5 $15 10.Ba3 ( 10.Bd3 O-O 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Ng5 Bf5 13.Re1 Re8
14.d5 Ne7 15.c4 h6 16.Nxe4 Nxd5 17.Ng3 Ne7 18.Qf3 Nc6 19.Rxe8+
Qxe8 20.Bxh6 Qe5 21.Rf1 Bg6 22.Bf4 Qb2 23.h4 Qxa2 24.h5 Bh7 25.h6
Qxc4 26.Nh5 Qe4 27.Qg3 Bg6 28.Rd1 Nd4 29.Kh1 Qe2 {…0-1, Voiteanu Gabriel (ROM) 2236 – Miron Lucian-Costin (ROM) 2500 , Krakow 12/30/2010 It (open) “Cracovia”}
) dxc4 11.Re1 Be6 ( 11…f5 12.Nd2 Kf7 13.Nxe4 fxe4 14.Rxe4 Qf6
15.Qe2 Bf5 16.Qxc4+ Kg6 17.Re3 Rae8 18.Rae1 Rxe3 19.Rxe3 h5 20.h3
h4 21.d5 Ne5 22.Qxc7 Nd3 23.Qxb7 Bc8 24.Qc6 Qxc6 25.dxc6 Nf4
26.Re7 a6 27.c4 Kf6 28.Ra7 Nd3 29.Be7+ Ke6 30.Rc7 Ne5 31.Bb4
{…0-1, Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) – Lasker Emanuel (GER), Moscow 1896 Ch World (match)}
) 12.Rxe4 Qd5 13.Qe2 O-O-O 14.Ne5 Rhe8 15.Nxc6 ( 15.Re1 Bf5 16.Nxc6
Qxe4 17.Qxe4 Bxe4 18.Nxd8 Kxd8 19.f3 Bc6 ) Qxc6 16.Re1 Rg8 17.Re5
b6 18.Bc1 g5 {!} 19.Rxg5 Rxg5 20.Bxg5 Rg8 21.f4 Bd5 22.g3 Kb7
23.h3 Qb5 24.Kh2 Rg6 25.Qc2 f6 26.Bh4 Bc6 27.g4 Qd5 {?}
( 27…h5 28.f5 Rg8 ) 28.Qf2 {?} ( 28.f5 Rg8 29.Bxf6 Qf3 30.Be5
Bd5 31.Bg3 h5 32.Qf2 Qxc3 33.gxh5 Rxg3 34.Qxg3 Qb2+ 35.Kg1 c3
36.Re7 Qb1+ 37.Re1 Qb2 {=} ) h5 {?} ( 28…Rh6 {!} 29.Bg3 f5
30.g5 Re6 ) 29.g5 {?} ( 29.f5 Rg8 30.Kg3 hxg4 31.hxg4 Qd6+ 32.Qf4
Qd8 33.Re6 Qd5 34.Bxf6 Qg2+ 35.Kh4 Bf3 36.g5 Qh1+ 37.Kg3 Qg2+
38.Kh4 {=} ) fxg5 {!} 30.Bxg5 ( 30.fxg5 Rg7 31.Qg1 Rf7 32.Re5
Qf3 33.Re3 Qf5 34.Re2 Qd3 35.Qe3 Qb1 36.Re1 Qf5 37.Qe5 Qf3 38.d5
Bxd5 39.Qg3 Qd3 40.Qxd3 cxd3 41.g6 Rd7 42.Rg1 d2 43.Bg5 Bxa2
44.Rd1 Rg7 45.Kg3 Rxg6 46.Kh4 Bf7 47.Rxd2 Rc6 48.Rf2 Be8 49.Bd2
a5 $19 ) h4 31.Rf1 Rg8 32.Qd2 a5 33.a4 Re8 34.f5 Rg8 35.Re1 Qxf5
36.Re5 Qf3 37.d5 Qg3+ 38.Kh1 Qxe5 39.dxc6+ Kxc6 {0-1, Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) – Lasker Emanuel (GER), Moscow 1896 Ch World (match)}
) ( 7…O-O {%08DA} 8.O-O Bxc3 9.bxc3 Nxe4 10.d5 Na5 11.Bd3 Nf6
12.Qa4 ( 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bh4 b6 14.Qa4 c5 15.Rfe1 Bb7 16.c4 Rc8
17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Qc2 Re8 19.Qd2 Rxe1+ 20.Rxe1 Qf8 21.Qf4 Qg7 22.Re4
b5 23.Qf5 Kf8 24.Qxd7 bxc4 25.Rg4 Qxg4 26.Qxg4 cxd3 27.Qa4 Rb8
28.h3 Bxd5 29.Qxa5 Rb1+ 30.Kh2 Bxf3 31.Qd8+ Kg7 {…1-0, Kraemer Martin (GER) 2492 – Graudons Karsten (GER) 2000 , Wilhelmshafen 1998 Ch Germany (juniors) (under 13) (team)}
) b6 13.Qh4 ( 13.d6 c6 14.Bg5 Nb7 15.Qh4 h6 16.Bxh6 Nxd6 17.Bg5
Nde8 18.Ne5 d5 19.Rfe1 Be6 20.Re3 Qc8 21.Rg3 Bf5 22.Nxc6 Qxc6
23.Bxf5 g6 24.Qh6 Nh5 25.Be7 Nxg3 26.Qxf8+ Kh7 27.Qxf7+ Ng7 28.Qxg6+
Qxg6 29.Bxg6+ Kxg6 30.hxg3 Nf5 31.Ba3 Rc8 32.Rc1 d4 {…1-0, Pijpers Arthur (NED) 2313 – Beukema Stefan (NED) 2259 , Hengelo 8/12/2005 It (open) (juniors) (under 12)}
) d6 ( 13…Nb7 14.Re1 {+0.00 CAP} ) 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bxh6 Ng4 16.Bg5
f6 17.Qh7+ {+300.00 CAP} {1-0, Keres Paul (EST) 2580 – Karring G, Rakvere 1934 Ch Estonia}
) {%09DB} 8.exd5 {%09DB} Nxd5 9.O-O Be6 ( 9…Bxc3 10.bxc3 O-O
11.Qc2 ( 11.Ba3 Re8 12.Qc2 Bg4 13.Nd2 Nf4 14.f3 Bh5 15.Ne4 Na5
16.Bd3 Nxd3 17.Qxd3 Qd5 18.Rab1 Nc4 19.Bc1 Bg6 20.Rb4 b5 21.a4
a6 22.Bf4 c6 23.Ra1 a5 24.Rbb1 Bxe4 25.fxe4 Rxe4 26.Qf3 Rae8
27.axb5 cxb5 28.h4 b4 29.g3 {…0-1, Jolly Jean-Francois (FRA) 2385 – Andre Jean Philippe, Bretagne 1999 It (open)}
) h6 12.Re1 Be6 13.Bxh6 Qd7 14.Bd2 Bf5 15.Bd3 Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Rfe8
17.c4 Nf6 18.d5 Rxe1+ 19.Rxe1 Re8 20.Rxe8+ Nxe8 21.Qe3 Ne7 22.Qxa7
b5 23.cxb5 Qxb5 24.a4 Qb1+ 25.Be1 g5 26.Qe3 Kf8 27.Qxg5 Qb3 28.a5
Nxd5 29.h4 Nef6 30.h5 Qd3 31.h6 Ke7 32.a6 Qxa6 33.h7 Qa8 34.Qg7
Nxh7 35.Qxh7 Qa1 36.Qe4+ Kd6 37.g3 c5 38.Kg2 Qb2 39.Bd2 Qf6 40.Ng5
Qg6 41.Qe8 {1-0, Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) – Schiffers Emanuel S (RUS), Rostov on Don (Russia) 1896}
) 10.Bg5 {Steinitz develops with a threat while creating a situation that will make it
impossible for black to castle in a meaningful way.}
( 10.Qd3 Qd7 11.Bb5 f6 12.Bd2 Bd6 13.Rfe1 O-O-O 14.Rxe6 Qxe6
15.Re1 Qf7 16.Qf5+ Kb8 17.Nxd5 Bxh2+ 18.Kxh2 Rxd5 19.Bc4 Rxf5
20.Bxf7 Rd8 21.Bc3 a5 22.a4 b5 23.axb5 Rxb5 24.d5 Rbxd5 25.Bxd5
Rxd5 26.Re8+ Kb7 27.Rg8 Rd7 28.Rh8 h6 29.Rh7 {1-0, Bjornsson Tomas (ISL) 2300 – Weeks M (USA) 2205 , Paris 1990 Ch Paris (open)}
) Be7 ( 10…Qd7 11.Bxd5 Bxd5 12.Re1+ $16 Be7 ( 12…Kf8 13.Qd3
{+0.48 CAP} ) 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Nxd5 Qxd5 15.Qa4+ Qd7 16.Qb4 Qd6
17.Qb5+ Qc6 18.Qe2 Qd6 19.Rad1 f6 20.d5 Rd8 21.Nd4 Kf7 22.Nb5
Qe5 23.Qc4 {1-0, Angeli David (FRA) 2028 – Rispoli Rodolphe (FRA) 2010, Paris (France) 2001}
) 11.Bxd5 {After a series of trades, black’s king will be stuck defending a knight in the middle of the board.}
( 11.Nxd5 Bxd5 12.Bxe7 ( 12.Bxd5 Qxd5 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Re1 f6 )
Nxe7 13.Bxd5 Qxd5 14.Re1 f6 ) Bxd5 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 ( 12…Bxg5 13.Re1+
Be7 14.Nxe7 Nxe7 15.Qa4+ c6 16.Qb4 {Is even worse for black.} )
13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Re1 {And Von Bardeleben can not castle without losing a knight.}
f6 ( 14…Kf8 {!?} {Will leave black down a pawn and white with great piece placement.}
15.Re5 Qd7 16.Qb3 f6 17.Rb5 g6 ( 17…b6 {?} 18.Ng5 {!} fxg5
19.Qf3+ {and black is in serious trouble here.} ) 18.Rxb7 )
( 14…c6 {Appears to be the best move as as it only leaves black down by one pawn.}
15.Qe2 Qe6 16.Qxe6 fxe6 17.Ng5 Nd5 18.Nxe6 Kf7 19.Nc5 ) 15.Qe2
{Threatening mate while placing more pressure on the pinned knight.}
( 15.Qa4+ Kf7 16.Rac1 c6 17.Rxe7+ Kxe7 18.Qb4+ Kf7 19.Qxb7+ Kg6
20.Nh4+ Kh6 21.Rc5 Rab8 22.Qc7 Rxb2 23.Qf4+ Qg5 24.Nf5+ Kg6 25.Qe4
Rhb8 26.Ng3+ f5 27.Rxc6+ Kf7 28.Rc7+ Kf8 29.Qe6 Rb1+ 30.Nf1 Rxf1+
31.Kxf1 Rb1+ 32.Ke2 Qg4+ 33.f3 Qxg2+ 34.Kd3 Qxf3+ {…0-1, Fernandez Romero Ernesto (ESP) 2479 – Marquez Molina Jose Manuel, Malaga 1996 Ch Malaga}
) Qd7 16.Rac1 {Steinitz is now using all of his pieces. Von Bardeleben only has real piece in play.}
( 16.Rad1 {
Most masters would prefer placing the rook in the same file as the black queen.
But then again, most masters aren’t world champions.} Kf8 17.Nd2
Nd5 18.Qf3 c6 19.Re2 h5 20.Ne4 Qg4 21.Qa3+ Kg8 )
{At first this appears to stop Steinitz from playing d4-d5. In fact, it
emboldens him to play d4-d5 as a powerful pawn sacrifice. 16… Kf7 would have
been far superior as it unpins the knight on e7 while still affording the knight protection from the king.}
c6 {?} {At first this appears to stop Steinitz from playing d4-d5. In fact, it
emboldens him to play d4-d5 as a powerful pawn sacrifice. 16… Kf7 would have
been far superior as it unpins the knight on e7 while still affording the knight protection from the king.}
( 16…Kf7 17.Ne5+ fxe5 18.dxe5 Qe6 19.Qf3+ Ke8 ( 19…Kg8 20.Rxc7
Rb8 21.Rxb7 Rxb7 22.Qxb7 Kf7 23.Qxa7 Rc8 24.h3 Rc2 25.Qb7 Ke8 )
20.Rxc7 Qb6 21.Rxb7 Rf8 ) 17.d5 {!!} {
A beautiful pawn sacrifice by Stenitz. Now a black pawn will be interefering
with black’s pieces while the d4 square becomes available for white’s knight.}
cxd5 ( 17…Kf7 18.dxc6 Nxc6 19.Rcd1 $16 ) 18.Nd4 {Steinitz pieces are all beautifully placed while Von Bardeleben’s rooks sit quietly in the corners and knight remains pinned.}
Kf7 {The correct plan on move sixteen doesn’t quite cut the mustard two moves later.}
19.Ne6 {The knight has reached the sixth and Stenitz is threatening to use it’s influence to place a rook on the seventh.}
Rhc8 {?} {Placing the knight on c6 was the better way of stopping Steinitz’s rook invasion.}
( 19…Nc6 20.Nc5 Qc8 21.Qb5 Rb8 ( 21…Nd8 22.Nd7 $18 ) 22.Na6
Ra8 23.Qxd5+ Kg6 24.Nc5 Rd8 25.Qe4+ f5 26.Qh4 $18 ) 20.Qg4 {!}
{Threatening mate in 2 (1. Qxg7+ Ke8 2. Qf8#). Against Steinitz, no crime goes unpunished.}
g6 ( 20…Nf5 {!?} 21.Qxf5 Rxc1 22.Rxc1 Kg8 23.Nd4 Rd8 {and black is a piece down for the endgame.}
) 21.Ng5+ {!} {A check with the threat of winning a queen will force Von Bardeleben’s king to return to the dangerous e8 square.}
Ke8 22.Rxe7+ {!!} {
and Steinitz is playing the spiciest chess known to man. This rook sacrifice
must register approximately 500,000 Scoville units.} Kf8 {!}
{Black’s options here demand extra analysis but all roads lead to ruin.}
( 22…Kxe7 23.Re1+ Kd8 ( 23…Kd6 24.Qb4+ Kc7 25.Ne6+ Kb8 26.Qf4+
$18 Rc7 27.Nxc7 ) 24.Ne6+ Ke7 25.Nc5+ $18 Kd6 26.Qxd7+ Kxc5 27.Rc1+
Kb6 28.Rxc8 Rxc8 29.Qxc8 ) ( 22…Qxe7 23.Rxc8+ Rxc8 24.Qxc8+
Qd8 25.Qe6+ Qe7 26.Qg8+ Qf8 27.Qxf8+ Kxf8 28.Nf3 )
( 22…Kd8 23.Qxd7# ) 23.Rf7+ {!} {Even in such winning positions, white must not get greedy.}
( 23.Rxd7 {??} Rxc1+ 24.Qd1 Rxd1# ) ( 23.Qxd7 {??} Rxc1+ 24.Re1
Rxe1# ) Kg8 24.Rg7+ {!} {Again, capturing black’s queen is still the ultimate blunder for white.}
Kh8 ( 24…Kf8 {??} 25.Nxh7+ $18 Kxg7 26.Qxd7+ Kh6 27.Rxc8 Rxc8
28.Qxc8 ) 25.Rxh7+ {
and tale is that Von Bardeleben left the board never to return. In his absense,
Steinitz demonstrated that his opponent would either lose in ten more moves or
suffer a “runious loss of material.” For instance, if 25…Kg8 then 26. Rg7+
Kh8 27. Qh4+! Kxg7 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ Ke8 31. Qg8+ Ke7 32. Qf7+
Kd8 33. Qf8+ Qe8 34. Nf7+ Kd7 35. Qd6# is a very aesthetically pleasing conclusion.}
Z0 1-0


Steinitz presented this continuation in Von Bardeleben’s absence.


My Favorite #Chess Games: The Evergreen Game

June 22, 2018

Karl Ernst Adolf Anderssen (July 6, 1818 – March 13, 1879)

I keep returning to the combination of artistry, complexity and romanticism that is the Evergreen Game. The freshness of ideas that occur with close analysis continues to intrigue and inspire each new generation of chess players who choose to explore this breathtaking game. In fact, the actual moves of Adolf Anderssen and Jean Dufresne are just the beginning, the true beauty of The Evergreen Game lies in the endless possibilities surrounding blacks infamous 19th move. Had Jean Dufresne chosen better there, I remain confident that the game would still be evergreen. In my notes below I include all of my discoveries from two decades of teaching the game. For ease of study, I recommend copying the text and pasting it into your favorite chess program. Enjoy!




[Event “The Evergreen Game”]
[Site “Berlin (Germany)”]
[Date “1852”]
[Round “”]
[White “Anderssen Adolf (GER)”]
[Black “Dufresne Jean (GER)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C52”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ EVANS gam.,C52] Anderssen Adolf (GER) +20 =0 -7 Dufresne Jean (GER) +1 =0 -7
Anderssen Adolf (GER)-Dufresne Jean (GER) +6 =0 -1} 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3
Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 {
The Evans Gambit is an aggressive choice named after the Welsh sea Captain
William Davies Evans. Here white gladly offers a pawn so he/she can open the
center and develop faster than in the Giuoco Piano(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5
4.c3 Nf6 5.d4) by not having to spend a tempo on playing pawn to c3.}
Bxb4 {Although I recommend accepting the gambit, Black can also chose to decline it as seen below.}
( 4…Bb6 5.a4 a6 6.Bb2 d6 7.b5 axb5 8.axb5 Rxa1 9.Bxa1 Na5 10.Be2
Nf6 11.Nc3 O-O 12.O-O c6 13.d4 Qe7 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Na4 Bd8
( 15…Bc7 {?} 16.b6 Bb8 17.Qd2 $18 ) 16.Bxe5 Nxe4 17.Bd3 Ng5
( 17…Nf6 18.Bd6 {!} ) 18.Bd4 Ne6 19.Be5 Bc7 20.Qe1 cxb5 21.Bxb5
Nc6 22.Bxc6 bxc6 23.Qc3 Bb7 24.Bxc7 Qxc7 25.Nc5 Bc8 26.Ne5 Re8
27.Ned3 Nf4 28.Nxf4 Qxf4 29.Re1 Rxe1+ 30.Qxe1 Kf8 31.Nd3 Qd6
32.Qe4 h6 33.h3 Be6 34.Ne5 Qd5 35.f3 Qxe4 36.fxe4 Ke7 {?}
( 36…c5 37.Nd3 c4 38.Nc5 Ke7 39.e5 f6 40.exf6+ Kxf6 41.Kf2
Bd5 42.g3 Ke5 {=} ) 37.Nxc6+ Kd6 38.Nd4 Ke5 39.Nxe6 fxe6 40.Kf2
Kxe4 41.Ke2 Kd4 42.Kd2 g5 ( 42…h5 43.c3+ Ke4 44.h4 e5 45.Ke2
Kf4 46.Kd3 g5 47.hxg5 Kxg5 48.Ke4 Kf6 49.Kd5 {!} $18 ) 43.c3+
Kc4 44.g4 Kd5 45.Kd3 Kc5 46.Ke4 {1-0, Breyer Gyula (HUN) – Nyholm Gustaf (SWE), Baden-Baden 1914 It}
) 5.c3 {Attacking Black’s bishop again while preparing to play d4.}
Ba5 {White must also be prepared for 5… Bc5 and 5… Be7. See below.}
( 5…Bc5 6.d4 exd4 7.O-O d6 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.Nc3 Na5 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bh4
Nxc4 12.Qa4+ Qd7 13.Qxc4 Qf7 14.Nd5 Nh6 ( 14…Be6 15.Qa4+ Bd7
16.Qa3 {!} ) 15.Rad1 Bg4 16.Qc1 {!} Bxf3 17.gxf3 O-O 18.Kh1 Qh5
19.Qf4 Kh8 ( 19…g5 {?} 20.Nxf6+ Rxf6 21.Qxf6 Qxh4 22.Rg1 Nf7
23.Rg4 Qh6 24.Rxg5+ Qxg5 25.Rg1 $18 ) ( 19…c6 {!} 20.Nxf6+
Rxf6 {!} 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Qxf6 Nf7 $13) 20.Nxf6 {!} $16Qf7 21.e5
dxe5 22.dxe5 Ng8 ( 22…Rad8 23.Qe4 ) 23.Rg1 {!} gxf6
( 23…Nxf6 24.exf6 gxf6 25.Rd7 {!} Qe6 26.Qh6 $18 ) 24.Rxg8+
{!} Rxg8 ( 24…Qxg8 25.Rg1 Qe6 26.Qh6 $18 ) 25.Bxf6+ Rg7 26.Rg1
Rag8 27.Qh6 {!} $18 Bc5 ( 27…Bxf2 28.Rg4 {! ‘with the idea’ e6,e7} $18 {}
) 28.e6 Qf8 29.f4 Be7 30.Ba1 b5 31.f3 c5 32.f5 b4 33.Rg3 c4 34.Qxh7+
{1-0, Chigorin Mikhail I (RUS) – Yakubovich N (RUS), Russia 1879 corr.}
) ( 5…Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 {!} {
7. Ne5 – Kasparov – Short, London (active) 1993 7. Bf7 – Losev – Baikov,
Moscow 1989 7. Bd3 – Losev – A.Alekhin, Leningrad 1987}
( 7.Nxe5 Nxc4 8.Nxc4 d5 9.exd5 Qxd5 10.Ne3 Qd8 11.O-O Nf6 12.c4
O-O 13.Nc3 c6 14.Rb1 Re8 15.Bb2 Qc7 16.Qf3 Bd7 $13 )
( 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Nxe5+ Kf8 ( 8…Ke8 9.Qh5+ g6 10.Nxg6 Nf6 11.Qh4
$40 ) 9.Qf3+ Nf6 10.g4 d6 11.g5 dxe5 12.gxf6 Bxf6 13.dxe5 Nc4
14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Qxf6+ gxf6 16.Bh6+ Kf7 17.Rg1 Rg8 {=} )
( 7.Bd3 d6 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Nf6 10.O-O O-O 11.Qc2 c5 12.f4
c4 {!} 13.Nxc4 Nxc4 14.Bxc4 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Ng4 16.g3 Qb6 17.Na3
Re8 $45 ) exd4 {?} { 7… d6! – Melts – Finocchiaro, corr. 1991}
( 7…d6 {!} 8.Qa4+ c6 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Nxe5 Nf6 11.O-O b5 {!}
( 11…O-O 12.Rd1 Qc7 13.Bf4 Bd6 14.Rxd6 Qxd6 15.Ng6 $16 )
( 11…Qc7 12.Nf3 O-O 13.e5 $14 ) 12.Qc2 O-O ( 12…Qc7 13.Nf3
Bg4 14.Nbd2 Rd8 15.a4 a6 16.axb5 axb5 17.Ba3 $14 ) 13.a4 Qc7
( 13…b4 14.cxb4 Bxb4 {=} ) 14.Nf3 a6 {=} {(B) Belloskus – Melts, corr. 1983 (C) Melts – Jankind, corr. 1991}
) 8.Qxd4 {!} {8. cd – Melts – Usatchy, corr. 1989-91}
( 8.cxd4 Nf6 9.Qa4 b6 10.Nc3 Bb7 11.d5 O-O 12.O-O Re8 13.Bb2
c6 14.Rad1 d6 $13 ) Nf6 ( 8…d6 9.Qxg7 Bf6 10.Qg3 Ne7 11.Bg5
$16 ) 9.e5 Nc6 10.Qh4 { 10. Qf4 – Melts – Gajewski, URS 1981}
( 10.Qf4 Nh5 11.Qa4 g6 12.Bh6 $16 ) Nd5 11.Qg3 {!} g6 12.O-O
Nb6 13.c4 d6 14.Rd1 {} $16 {} Nd7 15.Bh6 Ncxe5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Nc3
f6 18.c5 {!} Nf7 19.cxd6 cxd6 20.Qe3 Nxh6 21.Qxh6 Bf8 22.Qe3+
Kf7 23.Nd5 Be6 24.Nf4 Qe7 25.Re1 {[ S. ABRAMOV ]} {1-0, Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2795 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2725 , Riga 1995 Memorial M.Tal (cat.17)}
) 6.d4 {A wise old man once said of the opening, “Always play to gain control of the center.”}
exd4 {Cracking the center open may be playing into white’s plans but the alternatives are even more difficult for black.}
( 6…d6 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.dxe5 Bb6 9.Nbd2 Na5 ( 9…dxe5 10.Ba3 Na5
11.Qb4 c5 12.Qb2 Nxc4 13.Nxc4 f6 14.Rd1 Qe6 15.Nd6+ Ke7 16.O-O
Nh6 17.c4 Nf7 18.Nxc8+ Raxc8 19.Rd5 $44 {Christiansen – Gretarsson, Yerevan (ol) 1996}
) 10.Qb4 Nxc4 ( 10…Ne7 {!?} 11.exd6 Nec6 $13 {Maeder – Heinz, Amsterdam 1969}
) 11.Nxc4 Bc5 12.Qb3 Ne7 13.O-O O-O 14.exd6 cxd6 15.Ba3 {!} {x d6}
Qc7 16.Nd4 Bxa3 17.Nxa3 Nc6 18.Rfe1 Qe7 19.Rab1 Ne5 20.c4 a6
21.Nac2 Be6 22.Ne3 b5 {%09} 23.Nd5 {!} {%09} Bxd5 24.cxd5 {} $16 { x c6}
Qf6 25.Nc6 Rfe8 26.Rbc1 g6 27.h3 h5 28.Nxe5 Rxe5 29.Rc6 Qe7 30.f3
g5 31.Qb4 Rd8 32.Rxa6 f5 33.Qa5 fxe4 34.Ra7 Rd7 35.Rxd7 Qxd7
36.fxe4 g4 37.hxg4 hxg4 38.Qc3 Qa7+ 39.Qe3 Qxe3+ ( 39…Qxa2
{!?} {} ) 40.Rxe3 Kf7 41.Kf2 Kf6 42.Re2 Re8 43.Ke3 g3 44.Kf4
Ra8 45.Rb2 Ra5 46.a3 Rxa3 47.Rxb5 Ra2 48.Rb6 Rxg2 49.Rxd6+ Kf7
50.Kf3 Rg1 51.Re6 {[ A. MITENKOV ]} {1-0, Short Nigel D (ENG) 2660 – Huebner Robert Dr (GER) 2580 , Dortmund 1997 It (cat.18)}
) 7.O-O {Castling out of the pin is the obvious plan for white.}
d3 {A clever push that has the intended consequence of leaving the c3 square
unavailable for white’s knight while trying to slow down white’s development. 7… Nge7 should also be strongly considered.}
( 7…dxc3 8.Qb3 Qf6 9.e5 Qg6 10.Nxc3 Nge7 11.Ne2 Bb6 12.Ba3
O-O 13.Rad1 Re8 14.Nh4 Qh5 15.Ng3 Qxh4 16.Bxf7+ Kf8 17.Bxe8 Kxe8
18.Rfe1 Qf4 19.Re4 Qf7 20.Qc2 Nd8 21.Rd3 Ne6 22.Rf3 Qg6 23.Qb3
c5 24.h4 h5 25.Kh2 Bc7 26.Rd3 b6 27.Bc1 {…0-1, Anderssen Adolf (GER) – Dufresne Jean (GER), Berlin 1851}
) ( 7…d6 8.Qb3 Qf6 9.cxd4 Bb6 10.Bb5 Kf8 11.e5 dxe5 12.Ba3+
Nge7 13.Nc3 Kg8 14.Ne4 Qf4 15.d5 Qxe4 16.dxc6 Be6 17.Qb2 Nxc6
18.Rfe1 Qd5 19.Bxc6 Qxc6 20.Nxe5 Qa4 21.Bb4 Rd8 22.Bc3 f6 23.Nf3
Kf7 24.Rac1 Qxa2 {0-1, Mieles Palau Daniel (ECU) 2486 – Granda Zuniga Julio E (PER) 2637 , Salinas 2/23/2005 It (cat.8)}
) ( 7…Nge7 8.Ng5 d5 9.exd5 Ne5 10.Bb3 O-O 11.Nxh7 Kxh7 12.Qh5+
Kg8 13.Qxe5 Nf5 14.Bd2 c5 15.dxc6 bxc6 16.Re1 Bc7 17.Qe4 Qf6
18.Bf4 {1/2-1/2, Short Nigel D (ENG) 2677 – Adams Michael (ENG) 2755 , Sarajevo 2000 It (cat.19)}
) 8.Qb3 {Developing the queen with a major threat to the belly button.}
Qf6 {Developing the queen onto a dangerous diagonal while providing a much needed defender to f7.}
9.e5 {Threatening the guard. Black can not capture the pawn because his uncastled
king would allow white to pin and win the knight with Re1.}
( 9.Re1 Nge7 ( 9…Bb6 10.e5 Qg6 11.Qd1 Nh6 12.Bxd3 Qh5 13.h3
Ne7 14.Nbd2 d5 15.exd6 cxd6 16.Nc4 Bc5 17.Bg5 f6 18.Nxd6+ Bxd6
19.Bb5+ Kf8 20.Qxd6 Nhf5 21.Qd8+ Kf7 22.Rxe7+ Nxe7 23.Ne5+ {1-0, Anderssen Adolf (GER) – Dufresne Jean (GER), Berlin 1855}
) 10.Bg5 Qg6 11.Bxe7 Kxe7 12.e5 Kf8 13.Nbd2 Bb6 14.Ne4 Nd8 15.Qa3+
Ke8 16.Nf6+ {1-0, Anderssen Adolf (GER) – Rosenthal Samuel (POL), Vienna 1873 It (matches)}
) Qg6 {Qf5 was also a possibilty.} ( 9…Qf5 10.Ba3
( 10.Rd1 Nge7 11.Bxd3 Qh5 12.Nbd2 {is also possible.} ) Nge7
11.Nd4 Qh5 12.Nxc6 Nxc6 13.Nd2 Bb6 14.Rae1 a5 15.Ne4 Nxe5 {?}
16.Nd6+ {!} cxd6 17.Qxb6 O-O 18.Qxd6 Ng6 19.Bxd3 Rd8 20.Bxg6
Qg5 21.Qc7 hxg6 22.Be7 {1-0, Eskelinen Aarno (FIN) 2191 – Tapaninen Jukka, Finland 1989}
) 10.Re1 {White’s attack is so powerful he has three strong choices.}
( 10.Ba3 Nge7 11.Nd4 Bb6 12.Nd2 Bxd4 13.Bxe7 Bxc3 14.Qxc3 Nxe7
15.Bxd3 Qc6 16.Qa3 Qe6 17.Bc4 d5 18.exd6 Qxd6 19.Qf3 O-O 20.Ne4
Qg6 21.Rfe1 Bg4 22.Qf4 Nc6 23.Qxc7 Rac8 24.Qd6 Bf5 25.Qf4 Nb4
26.Nd6 Bh3 27.g3 Nc2 28.Nxc8 Bxc8 29.Re7 Be6 {…1-0, Kuijpers Frans A (NED) 2375 – Von Saldern Ruediger (GER) 2143 , Les Dicqs 2002 It (open)}
) ( 10.Rd1 Nge7 11.Bxd3 Qh5 12.Nbd2 O-O 13.Ba3 d6 14.exd6 cxd6
15.Bxd6 Rd8 16.Nc4 Be6 17.Qa3 Bxc4 18.Bxc4 Nf5 19.Bf4 Qg4 20.Bxf7+
Kxf7 21.Qb3+ Kf8 22.Ng5 Nh6 23.Nxh7+ Ke8 24.Re1+ Ne7 25.Rxe7+
Kxe7 26.Re1+ {1-0, Wan Yunguo (CHN) 2487 – Zeng Chongsheng (CHN) 2456 , Beijing 9/18/2012 Zt}
) Nge7 {Black would obviously like to get castled.} 11.Ba3
( 11.Nbd2 O-O 12.Ne4 d5 13.exd6 cxd6 14.Bxd3 d5 15.Nc5 Qh5 16.Bg5
Ng6 17.Bd2 Bb6 18.Qb5 Bg4 19.Ng5 h6 20.h3 hxg5 21.hxg4 Qxg4 22.Be2
Qf5 23.Bd3 Qf6 24.Be3 Nge5 25.Be2 Rfe8 26.Rad1 Rad8 27.Qb3 Na5
28.Qb5 Qc6 29.Bd4 Nec4 30.Qb4 Nd6 {…1-0, Conquest Stuart (ENG) 2539 – Narciso Dublan Marc (ESP) 2476 , Pamplona 2002 It (cat.14)}
) ( 11.Qd1 d5 12.exd6 cxd6 13.Bxd3 Qh5 14.Bg5 Bd8 {-0.04 CAP} )
b5 {?} {Insatead of castling, Black decides to sacrifice a pawn to allow his rook and
bishop to enter into the battle quickly. This plan ends up being overly aggressive. Better was:}
( 11…d5 12.exd6 cxd6 13.Nbd2 O-O ) ( 11…O-O 12.Rd1 d2 13.Nbxd2
d6 14.exd6 cxd6 15.Be2 Be6 ) 12.Qxb5 {!} Rb8 13.Qa4 Bb6
( 13…O-O {?} 14.Bxe7 ) 14.Nbd2 {?} ( 14.Qd1 O-O 15.Bxd3 f5
16.Nbd2 ) Bb7 {?} ( 14…O-O 15.Ne4 d5 16.exd6 cxd6 17.Bxd3 Bg4
18.Nxd6 Qxd3 19.Qxg4 Qxc3 20.Nf5 Nxf5 21.Bxf8 Qb2 22.Kh1 Bxf2
23.Rec1 g6 24.Qe4 Rxf8 25.Qxc6 Bb6 26.Qc3 Qxc3 27.Rxc3 Rd8 )
15.Ne4 {!} Qf5 {?} {Lasker’s suggested improvement is 15… d2.}
( 15…d2 16.Nexd2 O-O ) 16.Bxd3 Qh5 17.Nf6+ gxf6 18.exf6 Rg8
19.Rad1 {!?} {A clever trap but black is not forced to accept it.}
Qxf3 {??} {
The key mistake at the key moment in the game. I could probably write an entire
book on the complexities of the alternatives. Below is some analysis worthy of a chessboard.}
( 19…Bd4 {!} {This move is definately good enough for the draw.} {%08DA}
20.cxd4 ( 20.Nxd4 {%08DA} Rxg2+ 21.Kxg2 Nxd4+ 22.Re4 Bxe4+ 23.Bxe4
Qg4+ 24.Kf1 Qe2+ 25.Kg1 Qxe4 26.Qxd4 Qxd4 27.Rxd4 Ng6 )
( 20.Bf1 {%08DA} Qxf3 21.Rxd4 Ne5 22.Qxd7+ Nxd7 23.Rxe7+ Kd8
24.Rdxd7+ Kc8 25.Rxc7+ Kd8 26.Rcd7+ Kc8 27.Rc7+ Kd8 28.Rcd7+ )
{%09DB} Qxf3 {%09DB} 21.Be4 Rxg2+ 22.Kh1 Rxh2+ 23.Kxh2 Qxf2+
24.Kh1 Qh4+ 25.Kg1 Qg4+ 26.Kh1 Qh3+ 27.Kg1 Qg4+ ) ( 19…Qh3
{!?} {Probably good enough for the draw and has more winning chances for black than 19… Bd4.} {%08DA}
20.Bf1 ( 20.g3 {??} Rxg3+ 21.hxg3 Qxg3+ 22.Kh1 Qxf3+ 23.Kh2 Ne5
24.Qxd7+ Kxd7 25.Be2+ Nd5 26.Bxf3 Nxf3+ 27.Kg3 Nxe1 28.c4 Rg8+
29.Kh4 Bxf2+ 30.Kh5 Rg3 31.Kh6 Rxa3 {and white is crushed.} )
Qf5 21.Kh1 {Eventually leads to a draw but with plenty of opprtunities for each color to play a game losing move.}
( 21.Bxe7 {?} Qxf3 22.Bc5+ Kd8 23.Re7 d6 ( 23…Bc8 {?} 24.Bxb6
Rxb6 ( 24…Qxf6 25.Bxa7 Ra8 26.Re3 Rxa7 27.Qe4 Bb7 28.Rde1 )
25.Rxf7 Qh5 26.Rg7 Rxg7 27.fxg7 Qg6 {and you have to like black’s chances.}
) 24.Bxb6 axb6 25.Rxf7 Qf5 26.Re1 Ne5 27.Rg7 Bd5 28.f4 Rxg7 29.fxg7
b5 30.Qd4 Nc6 31.Qe3 Qf7 32.g3 Ne7 33.Bg2 Bc4 34.Qa7 Rc8 35.Qd4 )
Qxf6 22.Bxe7 Nxe7 23.Rxd7 Kf8 24.Rexe7 Qxf3 25.Rxf7+ Qxf7 26.Rxf7+
Kxf7 27.Qf4+ Ke7 28.Qe5+ Kd8 29.Qf6+ Kd7 30.Qf5+ Kd6 31.Qf4+
Kc6 32.Qf3+ Kd7 33.Qf5+ ) ( 19…Rg4 {?} {A most interesting move that leads to a small advantage for white.} {%08DA}
20.Re4 {!} ( 20.Bc4 {?} {A clear second best to 20. Re4.} Qf5
21.Rxd7 Rxg2+ 22.Kxg2 Qg4+ 23.Kf1 Qh3+ 24.Ke2 Qxd7 25.fxe7 Nd4+
26.Nxd4 Qxa4 27.Bb5+ Qxb5+ 28.Nxb5 Be4 29.c4 Bg6 30.Rd1 c5 31.Rd5
Kxe7 ) Rxe4 21.Qxe4 d6 22.Re1 Qg6 23.Qxc6+ Bxc6 24.Bxg6 hxg6
25.Rxe7+ Kf8 26.Ne5 dxe5 27.Rxc7+ Ke8 28.Rxc6 Bc5 29.Bb4 Bxb4
30.cxb4 Rxb4 31.g3 Ra4 32.Rc7 Rxa2 33.Re7+ Kf8 34.Rxe5 Ra6 35.Re7
Rxf6 36.Rxa7 Kg7 {After all the excitement black is left 1 pawn down in a rook and pawn ending.}
) ( 19…Qg4 {??} {%08DA} 20.Qxg4 Rxg4 21.Bf5 Rf4 22.Bxd7+ Kf8
23.fxe7+ Nxe7 24.Bxe7+ Kg7 25.Nd4 Re4 26.Nf5+ Kg8 27.Bf6 Bc5
28.h3 Bd5 29.Rxe4 Bxe4 30.Nh6+ Kf8 31.Bf5 Bxf5 32.Nxf5 {White would win easily from here.}
) ( 19…Nb4 {??} {Mate in 4.} {%08DA} 20.Qxd7+ Kxd7 21.Bb5+
Kc8 22.Bd7+ Kd8 23.fxe7# ) ( 19…Ne5 {??} {Black gets a lot of checks but white will come out on top if he/she defends accurately.} {%08DA}
20.Rxe5 Rxg2+ 21.Kf1 Bxf3 22.Rxh5 Bc6 23.Qb4 Rxf2+ 24.Ke1 d6
25.Rxh7 Rxf6 26.Rh8+ Kd7 27.Rxb8 Re6+ 28.Kd2 ) ( 19…Rxg2+ {?!}
{A tempting move that certainly gives white plenty of opportunities to blunder.
However, it’s just not accurate enough to be a legitimate alternative.} {%08DA}
20.Kxg2 Ne5 21.Qxd7+ {!} Kxd7 22.Bg6+ Ke6 23.Bxh5 Rg8+ 24.Kh3
N7g6 25.Bg4+ Kxf6 26.Nxe5 Nxe5 27.Be7+ Kxe7 28.Rxe5+ Kf6 29.Rf5+ )
( 19…d6 {?} {
This was once suggested by a student as a means of interfering with the scope
of the dangerous a3 bishop. This may be true but white will still get a winning game after this mistake.} {%08DA}
20.Be4 {!} Kf8 21.fxe7+ Nxe7 22.Bxb7 Qg6 23.Nh4 Qf6 24.Bf3 Ng6
25.Nxg6+ hxg6 26.Re2 Rh8 27.Qc6 Kg7 28.h3 Rh4 29.Bg4 {and white has a winning material advantage.}
) 20.Rxe7+ {!} Nxe7 {?} {Setting up one of the most beautiful mating combinations every played! White to move and mate in 4.}
( 20…Kd8 21.Rxd7+ {!} Kc8 22.Rd8+ {!} Kxd8 23.Be4+ Nd4 24.Bxf3
Bxf3 {Is painful but still preferable over being checkmated.} )
{%09DB} 21.Qxd7+ {!!} {%09DB} Kxd7 22.Bf5+ Ke8 23.Bd7+ Kf8 24.Bxe7# 1-0

#Chess History Worth Sharing 

October 17, 2017

The “Game of the Century!”

The “Game of the Century!”

#Chess Puzzle Worth Sharing 61

August 18, 2017

What is white’s best move?

What is white’s best move? (Fabiano Caruana – David Navara, Blitz, St Louis 8/18/2017)

#Chess Game Worth Sharing 

July 1, 2017

Here is the game which the position from last night’s puzzle originated from. All in all, a fine miniature against the Philidor Defense, Hanham Variation (C41 – Philidor, Hanham variation: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nd7.)

Position after 10… Bg7.

[Event “Blitz”]

[Site “SocialChess”]

[Date “2017.06.29”]

[White “Chris Torres”]

[Black “Miranda36_2001 (1567)”]

[Result “1-0”]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nd7 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Bc4 h6 6.Nc3 c6 7.O-O Ngf6 8.Qe2 g6 9.Rd1 Qc7 10.Be3 Bg7 11.Bxf7+ Kxf7 12.Qc4+ Ke8 13.Nb5 Qb8 14.Nd6+ Ke7 15.Bc5 b6 16.Nxe5 bxc5 17.Nxc6+


Hidden Gems Abound at the 2016 Chess Olympiads

September 4, 2016

One of my favorite hobbies is treasure hunting for beautifully instructive chess games during the annual Chess Olympiads. With more than 180 countries each sending their best male and female teams to compete in one event, the Chess Olympiads is a veritable mother load of chess gems. For hunting these chess treasures, I follow along at:

The official site for the 2016 FIDE Chess Olympiads



Chess Daily News


FM Qiu Zhou of Canada

FM Qiyu Zhou of Canada

And to illustrate just the kind of hidden gems I am talking about, I present Sindira Joshi (Nepal) vs. Qiyu Zhou (Canada) from round 1 of the 2016 FIDE Chess Olympiads. Enjoy…

[Event “Chess Olympiad”]
[Site “Baku, Azerbaijan”]
[Date “2016.9.2”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Joshi, Sindira”]
[Black “Zhou, Qiyu”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “C54”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]


1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.d4 {The start to the Scotch.}

3… exd4

4.Bc4 Bc5

5.c3 {Transposing to a Giuoco Piano.}

5… Nf6

6.cxd4 Bb4+

7.Bd2 {White could have also chosen the equally popular Moeller Attack by playing Nc3 and gambitting the e-pawn.}

( 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.O-O Bxc3 9.d5 Bf6 10.Re1 O-O 11.Rxe4 Ne7 12.d6
cxd6 13.Qxd6 Nf5 14.Qd5 d6 15.Bg5 Bxg5 16.Nxg5 Qxg5 17.Qxf7+
{1-0, Euwe Max (NED) – Van Mindeno A, Netherlands 1927 It “AVRO”} )


Position after 7. Bd2

Position after 7. Bd2


7… Nxe4

8.Bxb4 Nxb4

9.Bxf7+ Kxf7

10.Qb3+ d5 {Discovered by Gioachino Greco, this line is a mere 400 years old.}


Position after 10... d5

Position after 10… d5


11.Qxb4 {Greco preffered Ne5+ here.}

11… Rf8

12.Nc3 {So far so good for the much lower rated Sindira Joshi. Her chances are about equal here.}
( 12.O-O Ng5 13.Ne5+ Kg8 14.Nc3 c6 15.f4 Nf7 16.Ne2 Nd6 17.Ng3
a5 18.Qa3 a4 19.Qb4 a3 20.bxa3 Nb5 21.a4 Qd6 22.Rab1 Qxb4 23.Rxb4
Nc3 24.Rb3 Nxa4 25.Ne2 Ra6 26.g3 Nb6 27.Nc3 Na4 28.Ne2 Nb6 29.Nc3
Nc4 30.Nxc4 dxc4 31.Rb4 b5 {…1/2-1/2, Schaefer Markus (GER) 2390 – Postny Evgeny (ISR) 2595 , Plovdiv 10/19/2010 Cup European Club})

12… Nxc3 13.bxc3 {?} {A slight innacuracy. Better was Qxc3 as seen in this game:}

( 13.Qxc3 Kg8 14.O-O Qd6 15.Ne5 Bf5 16.Rae1 Rae8 17.Re3 Re6 18.Rfe1
Ref6 19.b4 {1/2-1/2, Danilenko Dmitriy (UKR) 1992 – Pavlov Maxim (UKR) 2327 , Alushta 5/18/2006 Ch Ukraine (1/2 final)})

13… Kg8

14.Ne5 {?} {Another harmless looking mistake. Much better was h4 to prevent Qg5.}


Position after 14. Ne5

Position after 14. Ne5


14… Qg5 {Here comes trouble.}

15.g3 {?} {As dangerous as it looks, castling is to be preferred here.}

15… Rxf2 {!} {Qiyu Zhou starts her combination with a beautiful rook sacrifice.}


Position after 15.... Rxf2

Position after 15…. Rxf2


16.Kxf2 Qd2+

17.Kf3 Bh3 {Qiyu Zhou is putting on a tactical clinic.}


Position after 15... Bh3

Position after 15… Bh3


18.Rad1 {Sindira Joshi seems to be playing the most accurate responses but Qiyu Zhou continues to press her advantage.}

18… Bg2+

19.Kg4 Qe2+

20.Kh4 Bxh1 {Not just to win the exchange but also to set up a vicious fork.}


Position after 20... Bxh1

Position after 20… Bxh1


21.Rxh1 Qe4+ {and now Sindira Joshi’s only chance is to hope for a rare blunder from Qiyu Zhou.}

22.Kh3 Qxh1 {Qiyu Zhou concludes the prefectly executed 8 move combination.}

23.Qe7 {Sindira Joshi finally has a choice but it is to pick her own poison.}

( 23.Qxb7 Rf8 24.Qxc7 Qf1+ 25.Kh4 Qf6+ 26.Kh3 Qf5+ 27.g4 Qf1+
28.Kg3 Qf4+ 29.Kg2 g5 {seems very unpleasant for white.} ) {%09DB}

23… Qf1+ {Qiyu Zhou grabs the initiative again.}


Position after 23... Qf1+

Position after 23… Qf1+


24.Kh4 Qf6+ {Qiyu Zhou wisely choses to force an exchange of queens and head into a rook vs. knight endgame.}

25.Qxf6 gxf6

26.Nd7 Kf7

27.Nc5 b6

28.Nd3 Re8

29.Nf4 {Hats off to Sindira Joshi for continueing to play on and give us a chance to study good endgame technique.}


Position after 29. Nf4

Position after 29. Nf4


29… c6

30.Kg4 Re3

31.Kf5 {Nothing can be done to save white’s queenside pawns from a Qiyu Zhou’s rampaging rook.}

31… Rxc3

32.Nh5 Rc2

33.h4 Rxa2

34.Kf4 a5

35.Ke3 b5

36.Nf4 a4

37.Nd3 a3

38.Nb4 Rb2 {Sindira Joshi resigns as there is no hope left for white.} 0-1


Final Position

Final Position

Carlsen vs Anand World Chess Championship 2014: Game 11 Analysis

December 15, 2014

Timing is critical whether you are playing in a poker tournament at your kitchen table or in the World Chess Championship match. Often times, chess players wait until they are too far behind to play ambitiously enough to win the game.  In game 11 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match, Viswanathan Anand decided to “go for it” on move 27. Down a point with only one more game to go, Vishy took a calculated gamble on move 27 and unfortunately followed it up with an inaccuracy on move 28. Magnus Carlsen steered through the remaining pitfalls in the position with ease and emerged victorious in the game and match.


Norway's Magnus Carlsen shows his trophy at the award ceremony of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match  in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014.   Magnus Carlsen won against India's former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, left. At right is FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. AP/PTI(AP11_26_2014_000006A)

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen shows his trophy at the award ceremony of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Magnus Carlsen won against India’s former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, left. At right is FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. AP/PTI(AP11_26_2014_000006A)

Below are my thoughts on game 11 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match. It has been my goal during this match to break down the though processes of Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand to a level where it is accessible to the school age chess stars and weekend chess warriors. I hope you have enjoyed the effort.
[Event “FIDE World Chess Chamopionship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.23”]
[Round “11”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C67”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ RUY LOPEZ. BERLIN def.,C67]}

1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 Nc6
3.Bb5 Nf6
4.O-O {For 4. d3, see Game 2 from the Carlsen-Anand World Championship Match of 2014 or Game 6 and Game 7 from their 2013 World Championship Match.}
4… Nxe4
5.d4 Nd6 {5… Be7 was Lasker’s favorite:
5… Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7 9.Nd4 O-O 10.Nc3 Nc5 11.Re1 Ne6
12.Nf5 f6 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Ne4 Qg6 16.c3 d6 17.Ng3 Bd7 18.Be3 Rae8
19.Qc4 Kh8 20.Rad1 c5 21.Qh4 Bc6 22.Qb4 {1/2-1/2, Mason, James (ENG) Lasker, Emanuel (GER), London 1892 Match)}
6.Bxc6 dxc6 {It is best for black to take back with the queen’diagonals’s pawn to open up lines for his pieces.}
7.dxe5 Nf5
8.Qxd8+ Kxd8
9.h3 {Of course, Nc3 is also very playable as demonstrated by Tal:
{( 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.Ne2 Be7 11.Re1 Nh4 12.Ng5 Ng6 13.Ng3 h6 14.Nf3 c5 15.h3 h5
16.Ne4 Be6 17.Nfg5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 b6 19.Rad1 Ne7 20.Rd3 Rd8 21.Bf6 Rxd3 22.Bxg7
Rd4 23.Bxh8 h4 24.Bf6 Ng6 25.f3 Kd7 26.Kf2 Kc6 27.Ke3 Ra4 28.a3 Rd4 29.Re2 Rd1
30.Nc3 Rg1 31.Kf2 Rh1 32.Rd2 Bf5 33.Ne2 Ra1 34.Ke3 a5 35.Nf4 c4 36.Nxg6 fxg6
37.c3 Bd3 38.Bxh4 Kd5 39.Kf4 b5 40.Bd8 Kc6 41.e6 Re1 42.e7 Kd7 43.b4 {1-0, Tal, Mikhail N (LAT) 2660  Shamkovich, Leonid (USA) 2540 , Dubna 1973}
9… Bd7 {Vishy played this move in Game 4 from the Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match of 2013. For 9… Ke8, see game 7 and game 9 from the Carlsen-Anand 2014.}
10.Nc3 {In game 4 from 2013, Magnus played Rd1 here.}
10… h6
11.b3 Kc8 {Both Carlsen and Anand are playing straight out of “the book.”}
12.Bb2 c5 {Anand is choosing a rare line in order to test Carlsen’s preparations.}
13.Rad1 b6
14.Rfe1 {Magnus took a long think and played Rfe1 rather than the usual Nd5.}
( 14.Nd5 a5 15.Rd2 a4 16.Rfd1 Bc6 17.c4 axb3 18.axb3 Kb7 19.g4
Ne7 20.Kg2 Ra2 21.Kg3 b5 22.Nc3 Ra5 23.cxb5 Bxb5 24.Rc2 Bc6 25.Nd2 Ng6 26.Nc4 Ra8 27.Nd5 h5 28.Rcd2 hxg4 29.hxg4 Bb5 30.f4 Be7 31.Nxe7 Nxe7 32.f5 Rhe8 33.Na3 Bc6 {…1-0, Zhigalko Andrey (BLR) 2554 – Podolchenko Evgeniy (BLR) 2460 , Minsk 1/17/2007 Ch Belarus})
( 14.Rd3 Bc6 15.Re1 Be7 16.Nd5 Kb7 17.e6 Bxd5 18.Rxd5 Nd6 19.exf7 Bf6 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.Re6 Nxf7 22.Rxf6 Nd6 23.Rh5 Rhe8 24.Re5 Rxe5 25.Nxe5 Ne4 26.Rxh6 Rd8 27.Nd3 c4 28.bxc4 Rd4 29.Rh4 {1-0, Carlsson Pontus (SWE) 2502 – Aboudi M (JOR) 2192 , Dubai 4/12/2011 It (open)})
14… Be6 ( 14…Ne7 15.Ne2 Ng6 16.h4 Be7 17.e6 Bxe6 18.h5 Nh4 19.Nf4 Nxf3+ 20.gxf3 Bd6 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Rxe6 Rf8 23.Bxg7 Rf5 24.Re8+ Kb7 25.Rxa8 Kxa8 26.Bxh6 Rxh5 27.Be3 Kb7 28.c4 Kc6 29.Kg2 Rh2+ 30.Kf1 Rh1+ 31.Ke2 Rxd1 32.Kxd1 Kd7 33.Bg5 Ke6 34.a4 {…1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2800 – Nakamura Hikaru (USA) 2733 , London 12/ 8/2010 It (cat.19)})
( 14…a5 15.a4 Ne7 16.Ne2 Ng6 17.h4 h5 18.g3 Be7 19.c4 Bf5
20.Nc3 Kb7 21.Nd2 c6 22.Nf1 Bg4 23.Rc1 Rad8 24.Nd1 Rhe8 25.Nde3
Rd3 26.Bc3 Bc8 27.Nd1 Nf8 28.f4 Ne6 29.Nf2 Rdd8 30.Ne4 Nd4 31.Nfd2
Bf5 32.Kf2 Rd7 33.Nf6 Bxf6 34.exf6 {…1/2-1/2, Motylev Alexander (RUS) 2710 – Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR) 2727 , Khanty Mansyisk 11/28/2009 Cup World})
15.Nd5 g5 {A rare and interesting idea developed by the Russian chess player Yuri N Vitoshinskiy. With this move, Anand is allowing Carlsen’s knight an outpost on f6 but is stopping white from mobilizing his four on three pawn majority. Allowing your opponent a knight on the sixth is usually a disastrous mistake
which is why this idea has only been tried once before.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand played 15... g5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand played 15… g5.

16.c4 {Even in the heavily analyzed Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez, our players are “out of book” by move 16!}
( 16.Nh2 Kb7 17.f4 Nd4 18.Bxd4 cxd4 19.Nf6 gxf4 20.Nf3 Bb4 21.Rf1 c5 22.Nd2 a5 23.Rxf4 a4 24.Nde4 axb3 25.axb3 Ra2 26.Rf2 Rha8 27.g4 Ra1 28.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 29.Kh2 b5 30.h4 c4 31.bxc4 bxc4 32.g5 hxg5 33.h5 Bf8 34.Nxg5 Bh6 35.Nxe6 fxe6 36.Ng8 Re1 37.Nxh6 Rxe5 38.Ng4 Rxh5+ 39.Kg3 Rd5 40.Kf4 d3 {1/2-1/2, Zhidkov – Vitoshinskiy Yuriy N (RUS) 2165, Dubna (Russia) 2001})
16… Kb7 {This is a fine place for the king in order to move closer towards giving the rooks free access to the back rank.}
17.Kh2 {Carlsen responds by moving his king out the back rank as well. I imagine Magnus is waiting to discover Anand’s intentions before commiting to a more concrete plan.}
17… a5 {Anand grabs more space for his rook and could postentially open up the file if Carlsen falls asleep behind the wheel.}
18.a4 {Magnus shuts down all the activity on the queen-side for now.}
18… Ne7 {Anand makes a nice move that adds an extra attacker to Carlsen d5 knight as well as keeps the options open as to where Anand’s knight will transfer to.}
19.g4 {Carlsen blocks Anand off on the king-side as well. For the moment, Carlsen’s rook is the only rook in an open file.}
19… Ng6 {Capturing Carlsen’s knight here would be disastrous for black:} ( 19…Nxd5 20.cxd5 Bc8 )
20.Kg3 Be7 {Finally, Anand’s rooks are unified. Both players have navigated the opening well.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20... Be7.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20… Be7.

21.Nd2 {Magnus prepares his advance of a knight to the f6 outpost.}
21… Rhd8 {Anand places a rook into the open file as well.}
22.Ne4 Bf8 {Anand gives his bishop the option of moving to the a1-h8 diagonal.}
23.Nef6 {Magnus’ pieces are placed beautifully.}
23… b5 {!} {This is an aggressive and somewhat unexpected response from Anand. A more tempered approach would be:}
( 23…c6 24.Ne3 Nf4 25.Nf5 )
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23... b5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23… b5.

24.Bc3 {Magnus avoids playing axb5 immediately as it would give Anand the upper hand.}( 24.axb5 a4 25.bxa4 Rxa4 26.Rc1 Ra2 27.Bc3 Be7 )
24… bxa4 {Anand had several other paths to consider:}
( 24…bxc4 25.bxc4 Kc6 26.Rd3 ( 26.Kf3 Be7 ) Bg7 {and black looks good in either of these.})
( 24…b4 25.Ba1 Bxd5 26.Nxd5 Bg7 27.f4 gxf4+ 28.Nxf4 Rxd1
29.Rxd1 Bxe5 30.Bxe5 Nxe5 31.Nd3 Nxd3 32.Rxd3 Re8 {Would draw.} )
25.bxa4 Kc6
26.Kf3 Rdb8 {!?} {Better would have been Be7, but Anand has an interesting gamble in mind.}
27.Ke4 Rb4 {?!} {Anand takes a dangerous gamble based on his overall situation in the match rather.Vishy’s idea is to create mega imbalances by sacking the exchange for a strong passed pawn while retaining his bishop pair.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27... Rb4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27… Rb4.

28.Bxb4 {Carlsen accepts Anand’s rook and moves closer to retaining his World Championship title.}
28… cxb4 {?} {Better would have been recapturing with the a-pawn in part because it would create a semi-open file for the rook on a8 to enjoy. It’s unfortunate that Anand followed his gamble with a mistake.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28... cxb4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28… cxb4.

29.Nh5 {Magnus is preparing f4 in order to open the position and trade pieces.}
29… Kb7
30.f4 gxf4
31.Nhxf4 Nxf4 {With every trade of the pieces, Carlsen is that much closer to victory in the game and match.}
32.Nxf4 Bxc4
33.Rd7 {At this point it is very clear that Anand’s gamble just did not pay off.}
33… Ra6
34.Nd5 {Magnus is making sure that Vishy feels the pressure of his material advantage.}
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34. Nd5.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34. Nd5.

34… Rc6 {Anand is clinging to life by a thread.} 35.Rxf7 Bc5
36.Rxc7+{!} {This move pretty much seals the deal.}
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 36. Rxc7+.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 36. Rxc7+.

36… Rxc7 {Even with perfect play from black, white wins.}
37.Nxc7 Kc6 {The obvious recapture leads to an even more obvious loss.}
( 37…Kxc7 38.Rc1 b3 39.Rxc4 b2 40.Rxc5+ Kd8 41.Rb5 )
38.Nb5 Bxb5
39.axb5+ Kxb5
40.e6 b3 {I think Anand could have made Carlsen work a little harder by playing:}
( 40…a4 41.Kd3 Be7 42.h4 b3 43.g5 {ends up the same as in the game.})
41.Kd3 Be7
42.h4 a4
43.g5 hxg5 ( 43…a3 44.g6 a2 45.Kc3 Bb4+
46.Kxb3 Bxe1 47.Kxa2 Bxh4 48.g7 {is a more eventful way to lose.})
44.hxg5 a3
45.Kc3 {and Viswanathan Anand resigns in what will likely be his last World Championship game.}
The final position from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.

The final position from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.


I hope you enjoyed the series of lessons I posted from this epic match. Feel free to look through the other games in this series by clicking the links below:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Game 8

Game 9

Game 10

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 8 Analysis

November 21, 2014

After an epic battle of 122 moves in round 7, both contestants returned to the chess board in round 8 looking a little worse for the wear. Carlsen, in a World Championship first, even fell asleep in his chair during the early going of the game. Being a point down in the match, Anand returned to play “1. d4” as he did in his round 3 victory. Magnus was more prepared this time and had little trouble neutralizing any advantage Anand had with the white pieces.


Magnus Carlsen used round 8 to catch up on some much needed rest.

Magnus Carlsen used round 8 to catch up on some much needed rest.(


A key moment in this game came when Magnus Carlsen played 10… Be7 which is an innovation. Magnus had little trouble with Anand for the remainder of the game and the resulting draw was a huge victory for everyone on Carlsen’s team.


[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.18”]
[Round “8”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “D37”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ QUEEN’S gam. var. WITH 5.BF4,D37]}

1.d4 {Anand is obviously hoping to play a game that resembles his win from round 3.}

1… Nf6

2.c4 e6

3.Nf3 d5 {A Queen’s Gambit Declined as in game 3.}

4.Nc3 Be7

5.Bf4 O-O

6.e3  6. c5 {Magnus Carlsen changes course from following what was played during his loss in round 3. In that contest, Carlsen played 6… Nbd7 and found out the hard way that Vishy was extremely prepared for that continuation.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 6... c5.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 6… c5.


7.dxc5 Bxc5

8.a3 Nc6

9.Qc2 Re8

10.Bg5 ( 10.O-O-O e5 11.Bg5 d4
12.Nd5 Be6 13.Bd3 Bxd5 14.cxd5 Qxd5 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Bxh7+ Kf8
17.Be4 Qd6 18.Kb1 Rac8 19.Rc1 Bb6 20.Qd3 Red8 21.Rhd1 Rc7 22.Bxc6
Rxc6 23.e4 Rdc8 24.Nh4 Qe6 25.Nf5 Rc3 26.Qd2 Rxc1+ 27.Rxc1 Rxc1+
28.Qxc1 Qc6 29.Qxc6 bxc6 {…1-0, Forintos Gyozo V (HUN) 2317 – Vaisser Anatoly (FRA) 2536 , Tallinn 1986 It (open)})

10… Be7 {According to my database, this is actually an innovation though I suspect it
has been played many times in informal games as the move seems pretty obvious.}
( 10…d4 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.exd4 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 Qxd4 14.Bd3 Qe5+
15.Kf1 Kg7 16.Re1 Qc7 17.b4 Be7 18.Re3 f5 19.g4 f4 20.Rh3 h6
21.Rh5 Rd8 22.h4 Qd6 23.Rh3 e5 24.Bf5 Be6 25.Qe4 f6 26.g5 Bxf5
27.gxf6+ Qxf6 28.Rxf5 Qc6 29.h5 Qxe4 30.Nxe4 {…1-0, Delchev Aleksander (BUL) 2623 – Elbilia Jacques (MAR) 2390 , France 6/ 6/2010 Ch France (team) 2010})

( 10…dxc4 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Bxc4 Be7 14.O-O Rd8
15.Rxd8+ Nxd8 16.Rd1 a6 17.Ba2 Nc6 18.Bb1 f5 19.e4 Bf6 20.exf5
exf5 21.Nd5 Bd8 22.Ne3 Be6 23.Nxf5 Bxf5 24.Qxf5 Qxf5 25.Bxf5
Bf6 26.b3 Na5 27.Rd3 Re8 28.Kf1 Re7 29.Nd2 Rc7 30.Be4 {…1-0, Lev Ronen (ISR) 2449 – Ruderfer Mark B (RUS) 2344 , Israel 2002 Ch Israel (team)})


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 10... Be7.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 10… Be7.



11.Rd1 {Vishy pins the d5 pawn to Carlsen’s queen.}

11… Qa5 {and Carlsen unpins the queen by using it to pin Anand’s knight.}

12.Bd3 h6

13.Bh4 {Taking the knight would allow Carlsen to add more pressure to the c3 pin after he recaptures with his bishop.}

13… dxc4 {Carlsen could have added more pressure to the center with a move like Rd8 but instead aims for a very symmetrical pawn structure.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 13... dxc4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 13… dxc4.



14.Bxc4 a6

15.O-O b5

16.Ba2 Bb7 {Both sides are done with development and Anand is just a tiny bit better.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16... Bb7.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16… Bb7.


17.Bb1 {The obvious threat is Bxf6 followed by Qh7.}

17… Rad8 {Magnus isn’t too worried about Anand’s little threat and decides to take shared control of the open file.}

18.Bxf6 Bxf6

19.Ne4 {Anand improves his knight with tempo which is far better than:}
( 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Qh8+ Ke7 21.Qh7 {This is the kind of over-zealous mistake a lot of scholastic players make that results in white’s queen being out of play.})


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 19. Ne4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 19. Ne4.



19… Be7

20.Nc5 Bxc5 {Magnus is more than happy to trade his inactive bishop for Anand’s pesky knight.}

21.Qxc5 b4 {Magnus offers to trade queens.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 19... b4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21… b4.



22.Rc1 {Anand politely declines for now. Had he captured on a5, play would have continued:}
( 22.Qxa5 Nxa5 23.axb4 Nc4 24.Rd3 Nxb2 25.Rb3 Bxf3 26.Rxb2 Bc6
{and now it is black that has the small edge.} )

22… bxa3

23.bxa3 Qxc5

24.Rxc5 {With the queens off the board, there is not much here for Anand to use to pressure his opponent.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 24. Rxc5.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 24. Rxc5.


24… Ne7

25.Rfc1 Rc8 {Carlsen has easily and completely neutralized white’s opening.}

26.Bd3 Red8

27.Rxc8 Rxc8

28.Rxc8+ Nxc8 {Barring a catastrophe, this game is a complete draw.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 28... Nxc8.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 28… Nxc8.


29.Nd2 Nb6 {Still, it is nice to see Anand play on so that students of the game have more moves to learn from.}

30.Nb3 Nd7 {It was very important to stop Anand from playing Nc5 and doubling up on a6.}

31.Na5 {So Anand has to settle for the second best square for his knight.}

31… Bc8

32.Kf1 {Endgame rule number two from the Thirty Rules of Chess states that, “The king must be active in the ending.”}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 32. Kf1.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 32. Kf1.


32… Kf8

33.Ke1 Ke7

34.Kd2 Kd6

35.Kc3 Ne5 {Carlsen’s knight is allowed to improve on Anand’s time.}

36.Be2 Kc5 {I will be setting this position up for my students and seeing how close their games match the outcome of this one.}

37.f4 {Kicks the knight but sets up another trade.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 34. f4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 37. f4.



37… Nc6

38.Nxc6 Kxc6

39.Kd4 f6

40.e4 Kd6

41.e5+ {The players agrede to a draw which would have been the outcome in so many more moves. One possible continuation is:} (41… fxe5+ 42.fxe5+ Kc6 43.h3 g5 44.a4 a5 45.Bf3+ Kb6 46.Be4 Bd7 47.Bc2 Be8 48.g4 {with neither side having any hope for victory.)} 1/2-1/2


The final position from game 8 of the 2014 World Chess Championship.

The final position from game 8 of the 2014 World Chess Championship.


If you found this lesson useful, feel free to read through my other lessons on the 2014 World Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

and be sure to visit the official site of the 2014 Fide World Chess Championship in Sochi, Russia.

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 6 Analysis

November 17, 2014

Chess is sometimes a cruel game. I was reminded of this in game 6 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanthan Anand. Early on, Anand dug himself into a hole by choosing passive play and dubious plans. There was a glimmer of hope when Magnus Carlsen tossed him a lifeline by blundering but, on this day, the Tiger from Madras was toothless and completely missed his opportunity to attack. Still, all hope was not lost if Viswanathan Anand could regain his footing and escape with a draw. Anand, however, was not able to do this and the world watched as he self destructed. Now, only one question  remains unanswered from round six: Is the hole Anand dug the final resting place for his dreams of another world championship title?


Viswanathan Anand in Sochi, Russia(photo from:

Viswanathan Anand in Sochi, Russia(photo from:


The key moment in game 6 of the 2014 Carlsen-Anand Match came on move twenty-six when Magnus Carlsen made a terrible mistake with Kd2. At the time of the blunder, I started receiving excited messages from chess fans across the globe asking questions about Anand’s chances. Then, the most extraordinarily shocking moment of the game took place. Viswanathan Anand allowed Carlsen to escape from his blunder unharmed. At the time, I honestly thought that there must be some problem with the moves being relayed properly. However, it soon became clear that Viswanathan Anand had been so preoccupied with his own strategy for the game that he simply failed to examine all of his checks, captures and threats. At least there is a valuable lesson to be learned from round 6…

Below is my analysis:


[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.15”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “B41”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ SICILIAN def. Paulsen/Kan var.,B41]}

1.e4 c5

2.Nf3 e6

3.d4 {Magnus is coming back to the main lines after his 3. g3 detour in game 4.}

3… cxd4

4.Nxd4 a6 {This move classifies black’s opening play as the Kan Variation of the Sicilian Defense. The Kan is a good choice for those thinking of trying out the Sicilian Defense because it does not require massive amounts of memorized theory in order to play well.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 4... a6.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 4… a6.

5.c4 {Magnus Carlsen is not concerned with hiding his intentions and immediately sets up the Maroczy Bind. In the Maroczy Bind, white’s pawns on e4 and d4 make it very difficult for black to strike at the center with d5.}

5… Nf6

6.Nc3 Bb4

7.Qd3 {Vishy has played this move himself so we know that he knows this idea well.}
( 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Ne5 10.O-O d6 11.f4 Nxd3 12.Qxd3
e5 13.fxe5 dxe5 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bh4 exd4 16.e5 dxc3 17.Qxd8+ Kxd8
18.exf6 g5 19.Rad1+ Bd7 20.Bg3 Re8 21.Rd3 c2 22.Rd2 Re6 23.Rxc2
Ke8 24.Rd2 Rc8 25.c5 Bb5 26.Rf5 b6 {…1-0, Radjabov Teimour (AZE) 2748 – David Alberto (LUX) 2589 , Bastia 10/29/2010 It “Corsica Masters” (1/4 final) (active)})


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 6. Qd3.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 6. Qd3.



7… Nc6 {The game below has a neat trick for white which is worthy of study.}
( 7…Qc7 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.Qxc3 Nxe4 10.Nb5 axb5 11.Qxg7 Rf8 12.Bh6
Qc5 13.f3 bxc4 14.Bxc4 d5 15.Bb5+ Bd7 16.Rc1 Qxc1+ 17.Bxc1 Bxb5
18.Bh6 Nd7 19.fxe4 Ra4 20.exd5 Re4+ 21.Kd1 Re5 22.d6 Rd5+ 23.Kc1
Rxd6 24.Rd1 Bd3 25.Qg3 Nc5 26.b4 Ne4 27.Qg7 Rc6+ 28.Kb2 Rc2+
29.Ka1 {1-0, Kovacevic Aleksandar (SRB) 2575 – Kontic Djordjije (MNE) 2364, Cetinje (Montenegro) 2009.08.16})

8.Nxc6 dxc6

9.Qxd8+ Kxd8 {Anand’s position is known to be better than it looks. However, this is the kind of position that Magnus Carlsen is notoriously very strong at playing.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 9... Kxd8.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 9… Kxd8.


10.e5 ( 10.Bd2 e5 11.O-O-O Ke7 12.f3 Be6 13.a3 Bc5 14.Na4 Nd7
15.Nxc5 Nxc5 16.Bb4 b6 17.Kc2 Rhd8 18.Be2 f6 19.Rxd8 Rxd8 20.Kc3
a5 21.Bxc5+ bxc5 22.Rc1 Rb8 23.Bd1 Kd6 24.Ba4 Kc7 25.Rg1 h5 26.h4
Rd8 27.Bc2 Rd4 28.Bd3 g5 29.Rh1 Bf7 {…1/2-1/2, Ruan Lufei (CHN) 2453 – Cherenkova Kristina (RUS) 2256 , Sochi 5/ 2/2007 Ch Russia (club) (w)})

10… Nd7 {Anand plays the very passive Nd7 rather than the more agressive Ne4. We saw Vishy make passive choices like this last year in Chennai when he first lost his title to Carlsen.}
( 10…Ne4 11.a3 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Kc7 13.Be3 b6 14.Bd3 Nc5 15.Bxc5
bxc5 16.O-O-O Bb7 17.Rhe1 Rad8 18.Re3 Rd7 19.Bf1 Rxd1+ 20.Kxd1
Rd8+ 21.Kc2 Kd7 22.Rg3 g6 23.Rh3 Rh8 24.Bd3 h6 25.Kb3 Kc7 26.Rf3
Rh7 27.g4 Kb6 28.Rh3 Bc8 29.Be2 Bd7 30.Rf3 {…1-0, Flores Rios Mauricio (CHI) 2499 – Lemos Damian (ARG) 2495 , Villa Martelli 3/12/2008 Memorial R.Fischer (cat.9)})

11.Bf4 Bxc3+

12.bxc3 {Carlsen’s queen side pawn structure has been damaged but he can activate pieces much more easily than Anand.}

12… Kc7 {Anand’s position is cramped but has no weaknesses.}

13.h4 {Carlsen sends forth a pawn to irritate Anand’s kingside pawns structure. Also,there is the potential to move the rook to h3 giving it access to squares like d3 and g3.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 13. h4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 13. h4.


13… b6 {Anand is making it possible for his bishop to move to b7. Once there he can play c5 and his bishop will control the long diagonal.}

14.h5 {Carlsen commences the “irritation.”}

14… h6 {?} {By reacting to Carlsen’s pawn in this way, Anand creates a weakness on g7 that will come back to haunt him later in this game. Better was:}( 14…Bb7 15.h6 g6 )



The position after Magnus Carlsen castles queen-side on move 15.

The position after Magnus Carlsen castles queen-side on move 15.



15… Bb7

16.Rd3 c5

17.Rg3 {Carlsen wastes little time in attacking the target that Anand gave him.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 17. Rg3.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 17. Rg3.


17… Rag8

18.Bd3 Nf8 {Anand’s plan becomes clear. He wants to start exchanges on g6 which will finally allow his pieces to enter the game.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 18... Nf8.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 18… Nf8.


19.Be3 g6

20.hxg6 Nxg6

21.Rh5 {The best way of defending the pawn on e5. Had Carlsen simply played pawn to f4, he would have blocked his own bishop.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21. Rh5.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21. Rh5.


21… Bc6

22.Bc2 {Magnus is shoring up his position before pushing ahead for victory. Now Anand’s Bishop, knight and rooks have no way to penetrate white’s position.}

22… Kb7 {?!} {I am not sure as to why Anand felt it was necessary to move his king to b7. Probably because it wasn’t.}

23.Rg4 {?!} {Carlsen is getting a little overly prophylactic. His rook was better on g3 as it allows his king to move to d2 without it being a blunder as seen on move 26.}

23… a5


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23... a5.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23… a5.


24.Bd1 {?!} {Carlsen will have to admit to the dubious nature of this move when his bishop returns to c2 on his very next turn.}

24… Rd8

25.Bc2 Rdg8 {Based on Anand’s passive play, a draw by repition would suit him fine.}

26.Kd2 {?} {A terrible blunder by Magnus Carlsen. If he had left his rook on g3 a few moves back this would be fine.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 26. Kd2.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 26. Kd2.


26… a4 {?} {Viswanathan Anand is to focused on his own plans to consider all his checks, captures and threats. Had he explored his options he would not have lost this game and may have even taken the lead in the match. Play could have continued like this:}
( 26…Nxe5 27.Rxg8 Nxc4+ {I believe Anand may have missed this check in his calculations.} 28.Ke2 ( 28.Kd3 Nb2+ 29.Kd2 Rxg8 30.g3 Rd8+ 31.Kc1 Nd3+ 32.Kb1( 32.Bxd3 Rxd3 33.Kb2 Be4 34.Rxh6 Rd1 35.a4 Rb1+ 36.Ka2 ) Ne1 33.Rxh6 Nxc2 34.Kxc2 Be4+ ) Rxg8 29.g3 Na3 30.Bd3 c4 31.Bh7 Rd8 32.Rxh6 Nb5 33.Bd2 Bf3+ {and white still has drawing chances but the road to the half point will be difficult.})

27.Ke2 {Magnus Carlsen was visably relieved to escape unpunished.}

27… a3 {?!} {Anand wants to play Ra8 and then exchange bishops after Ba4. The problem is that this takes a lot of time and Magnus isn’t going to wait around.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27... a3.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27… a3.


28.f3 {!} {I really like this move. Magnus prevents Anand’s bishop from causing any trouble while simultaneously defending his rook on g4.}

28… Rd8

29.Ke1 {This is a high class waiting move. Whichever way Anand decides to go, Magnus will be able to react efficiently and attack Vishy’s weaknesses.}

29… Rd7

30.Bc1 {!} {It’s worth pointing out that Magnus would not have had a target on a3 without Anand placing it there.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 30. Bc1.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 30. Bc1.


30… Ra8

31.Ke2 Ba4 {After a long wait, we finally get to see Anand’s plan come to fruition. The only problem being that, it doesn’t work.}

32.Be4+ Bc6 {?} {At this point, the game became painful to watch. Anand’s chess has gone from dubious to ugly. It is worth pointing out that he did have one last potentially game saving idea:}
( 32…Ka7 33.Bxa8 Kxa8 34.Bxa3 Rd1 35.Rxh6 Ra1 {and black still has a fighting chance for a draw.})


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 32... Bc6.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 32… Bc6.



33.Bxg6 {!} fxg6

34.Rxg6 {All the dominoes begin to fall.}

34… Ba4

35.Rxe6 Rd1

36.Bxa3 Ra1

37.Ke3 Bc2 {?}

38.Re7+ {and Anand just couldn’t take it any more.}


The final position from game 6 of the 2014 World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.

The final position from game 6 of the 2014 World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.


Please check out my analysis of the other World Championship rounds:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

and the official site for the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship in Sochi, Russia.

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