Medias R4: Carlsen plays the King's Gambit in the King's Tournament!

6/18/2010 – Have we seen this opening in top tournament play in the current century? After all it's supposed to be refuted. Magnus Carlsen used it in his game against top Chinese GM Wang Yue (possibly to avoid the Petroff) and won a full point. Radjabov and Ponomariov also won their games, making it 3-0 for White in this round. Radjabov and Carlsen lead. GM commentary by Dorian Rogozenco.

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ROMGAZ and the Chess Club Society "Elisabeta Polihroniade” of Bucharest are staging a double round robin tournament with six top GMs: the world's highest ranked player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who at the age of 19 has an Elo rating of 2813. Ukrainian GM Ruslan Ponomariov is a former FIDE knockout world champion; Boris Gelfand of Israel, winner of the FIDE World Cup in 2009; the top Chinese player Wang Yue; Teimour Radjabov, the second highest ranked player of Azerbaijan, and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, the best Romanian player. The competition is taking place from June 14th to 25th 2010 in Medias, Romania.

Round four summary

By GM Dorian Rogozenco

Results of round four (Thursday June 17, 2010)
Radjabov, Teimour
Gelfand, Boris
Carlsen, Magnus
Wang Yue
Ponomariov, Ruslan
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter

Ponomariov,Ruslan - Nisipeanu,Liviu-Dieter [E10]
Kings' Tournament Bazna/Romania (4), 17.06.2010 [Rogozenco]

First win in round four: Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 b5 5.Bg5 b4 6.a3! a5. In case of 6...h6 7.Bh4 a5 White continues 8.axb4 cxb4 9.Nd4 with advantage: 9...Be7 (9...Bc5 10.Nb3!) 10.Nb5 d6 11.c5 0-0 12.dxe6 dxc5 13.exf7+ Kxf7 14.Nd2 Kg8 15.e3 Ng4 16.Bg3 Bh4 17.Ne4 Bxg3 18.hxg3 Nc6 19.Qxd8 Rxd8 20.Nxc5 with a pawn up for White, Ivanchuk,V (2787)-Nisipeanu,L (2668)/Khanty-Mansiysk 2007.

Knowing that this is Nisipeanu's pet variation in the Blumenfeld with 5.Bg5, Ponomariov prepared a powerful novelty. 7.e4! As indicated by Ponomariov after the game, this idea was discovered by his second Alexander Moiseenko. Previously White continued 7.axb4 cxb4 8.Nd4 Bc5 9.e3 but Nisipeanu has played it before with good results for Black. (with the bishop on g5 instead of h4 the move 9.Nb3 doesn't work in view of 9...Bxf2+ 10.Kxf2 Ng4+). 7...h6. 7...d6 8.axb4 cxb4 9.c5! with the idea 9...dxc5 10.e5 and White's initiative seems to be decisive. 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.e5 Qd8. 9...Qg6 10.Bd3 Qxg2 11.Rg1 Qh3 12.axb4 cxb4 13.Nbd2 is also far from attractive for Black. 10.Bd3. 10.d6 is not convincing in view of 10...Bb7 11.Bd3 g5! with counterplay against pawn e5.; 10.Nbd2 is an interesting alternative suggested by Ponomariov, with the idea to prevent 10...g6 which is just bad here because of 11.Ne4. 10...g6. It is already hard to suggest anything good for Black. 10...Bb7 11.Be4; After 10...d6 apart from 11.0-0, White can also consider the ultra-aggressive 11.axb4 cxb4 12.c5. 11.Nbd2 Bg7 12.Ne4 0-0 13.0-0 exd5 14.cxd5

Black's position is difficult and Nisipeanu tries to complicate matters by tactical means. 14...d6 15.Nxd6 Bg4. 15...Bxe5 16.Nxf7 is even worse.] 16.Re1! [16.Nc4 allows Black to complicate matters indeed: 16...Qxd5! 17.Nb6 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Qd8 (or 18...Qxe5 19.Nxa8 Qf4 20.Re1 Bxb2) 19.Nxa8 Bxe5 with compensation. 16...Bxe5. 16...Nd7 17.Nc4; or 16...Bxf3 17.Qxf3 Bxe5 18.Nc4 Bd4 19.d6 is also a large advantage for White.

17.Nxf7! After 17.Rxe5 Qxd6 Black is actually doing okay. 17...Rxf7 18.Rxe5 Bxf3 19.gxf3 Nd7 20.Re3 [20.Re6 Nf8] 20...Qg5+ 21.Kh1 Ne5 22.Be2 Rd8 23.axb4 axb4 24.d6

White is a pawn up and his king is safer. Besides, Black has no stable square for the knight. All this means that White should already be winning. 24...Rf5. Probably not the most stubborn way to put up resistance, but as mentioned, the situation was difficult anyway. 25.Qb3+ Kh8 26.Qe6 Nf7 27.d7 Kg7 28.Rg1 Qf6 29.Bd3 Rg5 30.Qe8 Rxg1+ 31.Kxg1 Qxb2 32.Re7 Qc1+ 33.Bf1 Qg5+ 34.Kh1 Qf5 35.h3 b3 36.Bc4 1-0. [Click to replay]

Radjabov,Teimour - Gelfand,Boris [C42]
Kings' Tournament Bazna/Romania (4), 17.06.2010 [Rogozenco]

Boris Gelfand at the start of his game against Teimour Radjabov

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Re1 Bg4 9.c4 Nf6 10.Nc3 Bxf3 11.Qxf3 Nxd4 12.Qd1 Ne6 13.Bf5

13...c6. A rare move. Gelfand played once before 13...d4: 13...d4 14.Ne2 d3 15.Nf4 Nd4 16.Bxd3 0-0 17.Be3 Bc5 18.Qb1 Qd6 1/2-1/2 Morozevich,A (2758)-Gelfand,B (2733)/Mexico City 2007. 14.cxd5 Nxd5 15.Qg4 Nxc3 16.bxc3 0-0 17.Rb1 Qc7 18.Bh6. 18.Bxe6 fxe6 19.Qxe6+ Rf7 is equal.

18...Bd6? Already the decisive mistake. Necessary was 18...Bf6 19.Qh3 Rfe8 20.Bxh7+ Kf8 with a messy position. 19.Qh3! Rfe8. After 19...gxh6 20.Qxh6 White will win back material and remain with a powerful attack.

20.Bxg7! This bishop sacrifice destroys the pawn shelter of the black king. White wins in all variations. 20...Bxh2+. Trying to confuse White. Unfortunately for Gelfand, there is no escape for Black. [20...Kxg7 doesn't change anything: 21.Qxh7+ Kf6 (or 21...Kf8 22.Rxb7! Qxb7 23.Bxe6 Rxe6 24.Rxe6) 22.Bxe6 Rxe6 23.Qh6+ Ke7 24.Rxe6+ fxe6 25.Rxb7! Qxb7 26.Qg7+ wins. 21.Kf1! Going to h1 21.Kh1 is worse in view of 21...Kxg7 22.Qxh7+ Kf6 23.Bxe6 Rh8 and Black has some time to defend thanks to the counterplay on the h-file.; And of course not 21.Qxh2 Qxh2+ 22.Kxh2 Nxg7 with advantage for Black. 21...Kxg7 22.Qxh7+ Kf6. 22...Kf8 also leads to a decisive attack for White: 23.Qh6+ Kg8 24.Re4 Bf4 25.Qh7+ Kf8 26.Rbe1. 23.Bxe6 Bf4. 23...Rxe6 loses after 24.Qh6+ Kf5 (or 24...Ke7 25.Rxe6+ fxe6 26.Rxb7 Qxb7 27.Qg7+) 25.Rxe6 fxe6 26.g4+ Kxg4 27.Qg6+ Kh4 28.Rb4+ Bf4 29.Qg3+ Kh5 30.Rxf4. 24.Qf5+ Kg7

25.Rb4! Bringing the queen's rook into attack is the last finesse. 25...Rxe6 26.Rxe6 fxe6 27.Qg4+ Kh8 28.Rxf4. The rest is clear. In order to defend Black will lose material. 28...Qh7 29.Qxe6 Qh1+ 30.Ke2 Qh5+ 31.g4 Qb5+ 32.Kf3 Qd3+ 33.Kg2 Qd5+ 34.Qxd5 cxd5 35.Rf7 b5 36.Rd7 a6 37.f4 Rc8 38.f5 1-0. [Click to replay]

The winner and now leader in this event: Teimour Radjabov

Looking for new challenges? Magnus Carlsen played the King's Gambit in Medias

Carlsen,Magnus - Wang,Yue [C36]
Kings' Tournament Medias Bazna/Romania (4), 17.06.2010 [Rogozenco]

1.e4 e5 2.f4. A big surprise: the King's Gambit is extremely rare on the top level nowadays. "Things weren't going so well in the tournament – I thought I'd just try it and see how it goes" said Magnus after the game. 2...d5. Carlsen himself played once with Black 2...exf4 3.Nf3 g5. 3.exd5 exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bc4 Nxd5 6.0-0 Be7 7.Bxd5 Qxd5 8.Nc3 Qd8 9.d4 0-0 10.Bxf4 Bf5 11.Qe2

There is almost no theory here. The impression is that White can hope for an edge thanks to his lead in development and somewhat better control in the center, but Black has the bishop pair and should be able to hold equality. 11...Bd6. A new and somewhat unexpected move, since Black is giving up the bishop pair and leaves the queenside undeveloped yet. Previously Black played 11...Nc6; Another move to consider is 11...c6. 12.Bxd6 Qxd6 13.Nb5 Qd8 14.c4 a6. More natural looks 14...c6 15.Nc3 Nd7. 15.Nc3 Nd7 16.Rad1 Bg6 17.Qf2 Re8 18.h3

White is slightly better, but since Black has no weaknesses it is far from easy to break through. 18...Rc8. What could be possibly be the purpose of this move? It does not prepare the advance c5 and Black doesn't need to protect the pawn c7 either. So the only explanation I find is that the Chinese Grandmaster wanted just to wait and see how his opponent is going to make progress. 19.Rfe1 Rxe1+ 20.Rxe1 c6 21.d5. Sooner or later White must make this move. 21...Nf6 22.Qd4 cxd5 23.Nxd5 Nxd5 24.cxd5 Qd6 25.Ne5

White's plan is to play at some moment Nc4 and then advance the d-pawn. If Black prevents it by playing b7-b5, then the weakness of square c6 is unpleasant. Therefore a good defensive plan is needed and Wang Yue fails to find it. 25...Re8. There was a reasonable way to force matters with 25...f6 26.Nxg6 (26.Nc4? is a blunder in view of 26...Qb4 27.Rc1 b5 and Black wins.; 26.Nf3 is also bad: 26...Bf7 27.Rd1 Rd8 and White loses the d5-pawn) 26...hxg6 27.Re6 Qc5 (Perhaps 27...Rc1+ 28.Kf2 Rc2+ 29.Kf3 Qd7 is also acceptable.) 28.Qxc5 Rxc5 29.d6 Rd5 and the endgame should be a draw. For instance: 30.Kf2 (or 30.h4 b5 31.Kf2 Kf7 32.Re7+ Kf8 33.Rd7 Rd2+ 34.Ke3 Rxg2 35.Ra7 Ke8) 30...g5 31.Ke3 (31.g4 b5 32.Ke3 Kf7 33.Re7+ Kf8 34.Rd7 g6 35.Ke4 Rd2) 31...f5 32.Re7 Rxd6 33.Rxb7 Kh7 34.a4 Kg6 35.a5 f4+ 36.Ke4 Re6+ 37.Kf3 (37.Kd3 Re3+ 38.Kd4 Re2 39.Rb6+ Kf5) 37...Kf5; 25...Bf5!?; 25...Qc5? loses due to 26.Qxc5 Rxc5 27.d6 Rd5 28.d7 winning. 26.Re3 Rd8. 26...b5 27.Nc4! Qd8 28.Rxe8+ Qxe8 29.Ne5 is the kind of position White is aiming for. ] 27.Nc4 Qf6 28.Re5!

28...h6? This allows White to advance the pawn. After 28...b5 29.Na5 (29.Qe3 h6) 29...h6 Black should be able to hold the position. 29.d6! Bf5. 29...b5 30.d7! Kh7 31.Nb6 is also unpleasant. 30.Nb6! Be6. 30...Rxd6 31.Nd5 forces Black to give up the exchange; 30...Qxd6? loses right away due to 31.Rd5. 31.d7 Kh8 32.a4. Black is almost paralyzed and will soon end up in a sort of zugzwang. 32...g6 33.Qc3 Kg7 34.a5 h5 35.h4

Here the Chinese player decided to give up the exchange and go for a position where he said "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg". 35...Rxd7. 35...Bxd7? 36.Rd5 loses the bishop; 35...Qxh4? 36.Rxe6+; Black could still wait with 35...Kg8 but then 36.Rc5 (or first 36.g3 ) 36...Qxc3 (36...Qxh4 37.Rc8) 37.Rxc3 Kf8 38.Rc7 and White wins. 36.Nxd7 Bxd7 37.Qd4 Bc6 38.b4 Bb5 39.Kh2 Ba4 40.Rd5 Bc6 41.Qxf6+ Kxf6 42.Rc5 Ke6 43.Kg3 f6 44.Kf2 Bd5 45.g3

45...g5? This loses by force, but on the other hand the position must be lost anyway. White brings the king to d4, then attacks with the rook the pawn f6, forcing Black to play Ke6, then White goes with the king to b6 and takes with the rook on b7, winning. 46.g4! This way White creates a passed h-pawn, which decides quickly. 46...hxg4 47.h5 Be4 48.Rc7 f5 49.h6 f4 50.h7 g3+ 51.Ke1 f3 52.h8Q f2+ 53.Ke2 Bd3+ 54.Ke3 1-0. [Click to replay]

Current standings

Dorian Rogozenco in ChessBase Magazine 135

In his first video survey GM Dorian Rogozenco looks back over the two great top tournaments in Wijk an Zee and Linares. He pays particular attention to two games of Shirov’s, which are good examples of his always sharp but in the long run not always lucky play in Wijk. At the same time Rogozenco characterises the differences between the performance of the two WCh protagonists Anand and Topalov. Unlike his future opponent in Wijk, the Bulgarian not infrequently took risks in Linares and was rewarded with victory in the tournament. Rogozenco cites as an example Topalov’s up-and-down victory over Grischuk. 
In the second video Rogozenco presents the surprising victors of the Moscow and Aeroflot Opens. As yet unknown in the West, it was the Russian GM Chernyshov who, due to a greater number of victories, won in Moscow ahead of Bareev, Inarkiev and Le Quang Liem. The Vietnamese GM did not only manage a shared first place in the Moscow Open, but he also went on to win the Aeroflot-Open. At the end of his video, Rogozenco takes a look at the latest situation chess Bundesliga and at Werder Bremen’s victory over OSG Baden-Baden. 


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