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Karjakin v Agdestein

June 8, 2014

Round 5 of the No Logo Norway tournament is presently under away, and early on in today’s play, most of the games look level. The most interesting games for me are the clash between Carlsen and Aronian, which looks like it could be interesting, and Grischuk v Agdestein. Simen has (bravely?!) repeated the defence in his round 3 game against Karjakin, a game that I found profoundly interesting. Simen was though the first to deviate.

Firstly, I am delighted that Chessbase’s Albert Silver has produced a series of three articles on how to analyse games with Fritz (the link is to the last of the three). Whilst I use Chessbase a lot (but am not very good at it, I just use the basic features), nowadays I don’t use Fritz much: I think there is absolutely no point in me playing against it, and I prefer to analyse games with Allan Beardsworth1.0, though I check my blog postings with one of the engines I have on my iPad (usually Stockfish).

So, I learnt several things from Albert’s clear summaries, and in particular how to generate the game bad charts- if truth be told, I was the reader who wrote to Albert to ask how it was done (though he changed my public school polite stilted English into ‘very cool bar charts’.

So, armed with a new weapon (basically: view tab, evaluation profile; blunder check, tick ‘save evaluation’) I had a look at my all time favourite game, my simul victory in 2010 against Viktor Korchnoi.

As I knew, having analysed the game a lot, but the visuals make it so apparent, Viktor made a poor move in the opening, which gave me an advantage, but I gave it all way; there then followed a long period of equality with, if anything, Viktor having whatever advantage there was, followed by a mistake in the endgame and Viktor’s rapid defeat. The game can be played through here (generated by Chessbase 12’s one click publish feature)

So, armed with this new toy tool, I have also looked at Karjakin v Agdestein which was a really tough fight from start to finish. The game was played during my working week and so I could only peek at it once or twice, but one of those times really caught my eye.

The position which really caught my eye was below, with black to play

Black to play:what would you play?

Basically the story of the game so far is: Karjakin novelty in the opening (move 17), keeping queens on, and hoping to prove black’s queen is offside. Speculative sacrifice (Nd5) to open the position up: wonderful and only move defence (Bb6) enabling black go squirrel his king away into safety; cat and mouse game, with black trying to change the guard from R to K over the Pe7; for some reason not known to me at the time, advancement of white’s king into open air, and at the same time advancement Ph7-h5-h4-h3 which I wrongly thought was to bring it nearer to the queening square.


Simen played the incredible 1…g7! in the above position, a move I would never even consider, not wanting to open up my king or the path for white’s queen to f8. And after a long think, Sergey staggered me by not taking the pawn, instead returning with his queen to d3.

I had to analyse the game. My analysis of the game is here. It turns out that the white K advanced envisaging an endgame/pawn queening race, so it wanted to attack (and win) the Pa6. Also, the h pawn was not aimed particularly at queening, but at giving luft to the rook: the story of the last dozen plus moves had been to release the rook from captivity. And Sergey didn’t take on g5 because he was trying to avoid the forced draw which occurs after it: because by checking the king to a square where black can play Qc8+, then Rg4 is defended, and the rook is free on the fourth rank. In fact, my analysis shows that Sergey’s move game a strong advantage to black, and he should have taken the draw. As it turns out, Simen played the entirely plausible exchange of queens some moves later, and Sergey found the sole drawing line.

A really great game. Really, you have to be in awe of the top GMs.

From → Chess

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on Chess Musings and commented:
    A nice game demonstrates the usefulness of computer engines for chess analysis.

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