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A moment from Carlsen-Caruana

June 7, 2014

The ‘No Logo’ Norway chess tournament in Stavanger has got off to a great start, with three good rounds so far. I am writing this whilst watching round 4, where the games have been in progress for about an hour, so early stages yet. The most interesting games look like being Topalov-Carlsen, where black has eaten a pawn (on a2) so I await to see if it is poisoned; and maybe Karjakin-Grischuk, a Gruenfeld; with Aronian-Svidler being another Gruenfeld where lots of pieces have come off in a well known line- I assume both players are still in their preparation.

Since it is early stages, I have time to blog and do other things.

The earlier rounds have been on workdays, and since there is little time difference between the UK and Norway, during working hours. Hence, I have only been able to dip into the games very occasionally. One position I saw real-time was from Wednesday’s round 3.

I didn’t realise what was going on but from my quick glance didn’t like white’s position, after either 29 Nd5 or 29 Ne2. I know that in a game I would have played 29 Ne2 and seen what happened.

Alas, a Purdy player would have remembered one of my favourite quotes from CJS Purdy’s writings:

Purdy on threats, In Search of Chess Perfection, pg 289

 

You must see all real threats. That means you must also see the unreality of real threats…. When in doubt, you can always save time by remembering it is really your move. Try then the following way of thinking:

 

Imagine the threat could not possibly be executed. Then what would be my best move? Try out each attractive move separately, considering each one as follows. Visualise the whole position as it would be after this move of yours, and then work out whether the opponent would gain by executing his ‘threat’.

Also, a John Nunn LPDO player would have noticed that the Qe7 is LPDO- it is the sole LPDO on the board at present.

I think one of the insolvable difficulties of chess is that it is not how much you know, but how much you can remember or apply when needed. In my defence, I only took the quickest of peaks at the above position, also looking quickly at the other four games, but combining LPDO and ignoring threats leads to Carlsen’s move 29 Qa3! The engine gives it as white’s best move.

Caruana continued strongly with 29…a5! and now the engine suggests 30 Ne2 instead of Carlsen’s brave 30 Nb5!?- I say brave, maybe Magnus knew that the rook and pawns v rook and knight was drawn-then 30…b4 31 Qb2 and by comparison with 29 Ne2 white has improved his queen’s position: from b2 it looks at d4.

I won’t give too many more lines, since the point of this blog is to always spend some time ignoring threats. However, one plausible continuation after 30 Ne2 is 30…Rd8 31 Rd4 Rd4 32 Nd4 when yet again the LPDO motif comes into play.

Here, there are a number of LPDOs on the board: Nb6, Qe7, Pg3, Pe4, Rh1 and in Purdy terms, there is a jump check Qe7-e4+. Combining these, 32…f6! forces 33 Nef3 and black is probably better after 33…Qe4+.

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From → Chess

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