[Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.01.17"] [Round "4"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E15"] [WhiteElo "2764"] [BlackElo "2859"] [Annotator "Rafael Leitao"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "6000+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 {In my analysis of the Gukesh-Ding game, played in the first round, I mentioned that the Queen's Indian was no longer as popular among the elite simply because of \"opening fashion.\" Is this a good time to humbly acknowledge that I was wrong $2 Or is it still too early to condemn this once popular defense $2} 4. g3 Ba6 5. Qc2 {Historically one of the most dangerous lines for Black. To fight for equality, he has to face a variation in which White sacrifices a pawn but gets good compensation.} Bb7 6. Bg2 c5 {This is the natural move and the only way to fight for equality. More than that, it's a matter of logic: if you're not going to play like this, it's better not to play the move 4...Ba6. To be honest, when I was a kid, I had great difficulty understanding the logic of putting the bishop on such a strange square: why not put it directly on the most natural diagonal with 4... Bb7 $2 One of the ideas is precisely this: moving the white queen to c2, so that in this position, the 6...c5 move is stronger since now the pawn is without queen protection after 7.d5. But white players discovered that it was possible to sacrifice this pawn, and a new chapter in opening theory began.} 7. d5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (7. O-O $6 { [%c_effect g1;square;g1;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bxg2 9. Kxg2 {This position does not offer any advantage to White, as the exchange of bishops helps Black, who can now complete his development.}) (7. dxc5 {is better than 7.O-O and worse than 7.d5.}) 7... exd5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 (8... Bxd5 $6 { [%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] is considered inaccurate and stopped being played in high-level games.} 9. Nc3) 9. O-O Be7 10. Rd1 Nc6 {I have defended this position with Black three times, once in a correspondence game, a variant in which I became a grandmaster, to my complete surprise, before abandoning it completely.} (10... Qc8 {is also playable.}) 11. Qf5 (11. a3 Nc7 12. Nc3 O-O 13. Bf4 Ne6 14. e3 Nxf4 15. exf4 d6 16. Rd2 h6 17. Rad1 Qc8 18. Nb5 Rd8 19. Nxd6 Bxd6 20. Rxd6 Rxd6 {½-½ Martin Clemente,J (2645)-Leitao,R (2572) W-ch26 email ICCF email 2010 and the players agreed on a draw.}) (11. Qa4 Nf6 12. Nh4 Qc8 (12... O-O 13. Nf5 d5 14. Nc3 Nd4 $1 { [%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is considered the best path to equality according to theory.}) 13. Nf5 Nd4 14. Nxg7+ $6 { [%c_effect g7;square;g7;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (14. Nxd4 {is the best. After} cxd4 15. Qxd4 O-O 16. Nc3 Re8 {White fights for a small advantage. }) 14... Kd8 {0-1 Valenzuela Gomez,F (2226)-Leitao,R (2636) Antofagasta Zicosur op 1st 2015 (1) With a complicated position, but one that is already more pleasant for Black.}) 11... Nf6 12. e4 d6 {Not a popular move. This reminded me of a game by the legendary Judit Polgar in which she had lost after this move. Carlsen himself played this position as White in a 2008 game—it seems like a century ago, but he already had a rating of 2775 back then. The theory here has not developed since 2010.} (12... g6 {is the critical move.} 13. Qf4 O-O 14. e5 Nh5 15. Qc4 Na5 {½-½ Mareco,S (2526) -Leitao,R (2620) Vanderley Cason Melo Memorial Campinas 2010 (11) My opponent and I were guilty of agreeing to a draw and ending the fight before it even started. But luckily, we have examples of braver players.} (15... d5 16. exd6 Bxd6 17. Nc3 Qb8 (17... Na5 $1 {[%c_effect a5;square;a5;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]}) 18. Bh6 Re8 {1-0 Kantor,G (2575)-Karjakin,S (2743) Wch Rapid Warsaw 2021 (4) This was played in Kantor-Karjakin, Warsaw (rapid) 2021. Now} 19. Nd5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] gives excellent compensation for White.}) 16. Qd3 f6 $2 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6; type;Mistake;persistent;true]} (16... Qc7 {is better.}) 17. Bh6 Rf7 18. Nc3 { 1-0 Donchenko,A (2639)-Vavulin,M (2550) CRO-chT1A 30th Porec 2022 (2.4) With an advantage for White in Donchenko-Vavulin, Porec 2022.}) 13. e5 Qd7 $1 { [%c_effect d7;square;d7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The only justification for Black's previous move. Now White has the option of exchanging queens and recovering the pawn or avoiding this exchange and continuing to fight for compensation in a sharp position.} 14. Qxd7+ (14. Qf4 Nh5 15. Qc4 O-O 16. Nc3 { 1-0 Topalov,V (2803)-Bacrot,E (2716) Nanjing Pearl Spring 3rd 2010 (7) With a complicated game: Topalov-Bacrot, Nanjing 2010.}) (14. Qc2 {Is an interesting try.} Nb4 15. Qe2 Ba6 16. Qe1 Nc2 17. Qd2 Nxa1 18. exf6 Bxf6 19. Re1+ Be7 20. Nc3 O-O-O 21. Qd5 Bb7 22. Qd3 {½-½ Joppich,U (2429)-Kharlamov,V (2487) W-ch35 sf02 email ICCF email 2011 This was played in the correspondence game Joppich-Kharlamov, ICCF email 2011. The position is very complicated, and anything can happen.}) 14... Nxd7 15. exd6 Bf6 16. Re1+ Kf8 17. Nc3 Nb4 18. Ne5 (18. Bg5 {was Carlsen's choice when he had this position.} Nc2 $1 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} (18... Bxf3 $6 {[%c_effect f3; square;f3;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} 19. Bxf3 Rd8 20. Bxf6 Nxf6 21. Re7 Nc2 22. Rd1 Nd4 23. Kg2 {1-0 Bareev,E (2643)-Polgar,J (2727) Candidates sf Elista 2007 (1.2) was better for White in Bareev-Polgar, Elista 2007.}) 19. Re7 $5 {[%c_effect e7;square;e7;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} (19. Bxf6 Nxf6 20. Re7 Bxf3 21. Bxf3 Re8 22. Rxe8+ Kxe8 23. Rd1 Nd4 24. Bg2 Kd7 25. Bh3+ Kxd6 26. Nb5+ {with a likely draw.}) 19... Bxf3 (19... Bxe7 $1 {[%c_effect e7; square;e7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is better. White has good compensation, but probably not more than that after} 20. Bxe7+ Kg8 21. Rc1 Nb4) 20. Bxf3 Bxg5 21. Rxd7 Rd8 22. Rxd8+ Bxd8 23. Rd1 Nd4 24. Bg2 h5 {1-0 Carlsen, M (2775)-Pelletier,Y (2569) Biel GM 41st 2008 (1) With the idea of 25...Rh6. Black is close to a draw, but Carlsen's technique was already known in 2008, and he won the game.}) (18. Rd1 {1-0 Dias,P (2406)-Lee,S (2109) Olympiad-38 Dresden 2008 (3) is also possible and was played in Dias-Lee, Dresden (Ol) 2008.}) 18... Nxe5 19. Bxb7 Rd8 20. Rd1 Nc4 21. d7 {All this is still a theory, but I'm not sure if the players knew about it. The next move is a novelty.} Nc2 (21... Ke7 {was played in a correspondence game, always a good indication of the correct path.} 22. Bc8 Nc2 23. Rb1 Nd6 24. Nd5+ Ke6 25. Nxf6 gxf6 26. Ba6 Rxd7 27. Bf4 Ke7 28. Rbc1 Nd4 29. b4 Rhd8 30. bxc5 bxc5 31. Bd3 Ne6 {½-½ Verhaeren,G (2310)-Jørgensen,P (2300) WS $146/144 email ICCF email 2016 and the game later ended in a draw. Verhaeren-Jorgensen, ICCF email 2016.}) 22. Rb1 Nd4 $2 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This is a mistake since it allows White to open the game.} (22... Ne5 $1 {[%c_effect e5; square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 23. Nb5 Rxd7 24. Rxd7 Nxd7 25. Nxa7 {and White has only a tiny advantage.}) 23. b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] An exceptional move. Now Black's position is unstable and difficult to defend.} Rxd7 $2 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7;type; Mistake;persistent;true] A mistake never comes alone, a poet once wrote. Now Black is lost.} (23... Ne5 {is better, although the position is quite dangerous.}) 24. Bd5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} Nd6 25. bxc5 bxc5 26. Ba3 {Black's position collapses.} Ke7 27. Bxc5 Ne6 28. Bb4 {A solid and human move. The computer finds other ways to win as well.} (28. Ne4 Nxc5 29. Nxc5 Rdd8 (29... Rc7 30. Re1+ Kd8 31. Na6 $1 {[%c_effect a6; square;a6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rc8 32. Bxf7 $1 {[%c_effect f7; square;f7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] winning an important pawn. Black is mated after} Nxf7 $2 {[%c_effect f7;square;f7;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} 33. Rbd1+) 30. Rd3 {The machine is quite happy with White's position, although this doesn't seem like a clear choice for a flesh and blood player.}) (28. Bc6 $5 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Here we have some brutal calculation.} Bxc3 (28... Nxc5 29. Nd5+ Ke6 (29... Kd8 30. Rb8+ Nc8 31. Bxd7 Nxd7 32. Nxf6 gxf6 33. Rb7 Ncb6 34. a4 Kc8 35. Rxa7 {with a winning position.}) 30. Rbc1 $1 {[%c_effect c1;square;c1;type;GreatFind;persistent; true]} Nce4 31. Bxd7+ Kxd7 32. Rc7+ Ke6 33. f3 Ng5 34. Nf4+ {White wins material.}) 29. Bxd6+ Rxd6 30. Rb7+ Nc7 $1 {[%c_effect c7;square;c7;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} 31. Rxc7+ Kd8 32. Rd7+ $1 {[%c_effect d7;square;d7; type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rxd7 33. Rxd7+ Kc8 34. Rxa7 Rd8 35. Rxf7 { This nice variation ends in a technically winning endgame for White.}) 28... a5 (28... Bxc3 {is the best chance, even though Black's position hurts the eyes.} 29. Bxc3 {With this magnificent pair of bishops, Giri would have no trouble winning.}) 29. Bxa5 Rc8 30. Na4 $1 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} Nc4 31. Rbc1 Be5 32. Bb4+ Kf6 33. Nc5 $1 {[%c_effect c5; square;c5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Nxc5 34. Rxc4 Rdc7 35. Ba5 {Another exceptional example of great opening preparation and a beautiful win by Giri.} (35. Ba5 Rd7 36. Bb6 Bd6 37. Bf3 {Further material losses are inevitable.}) 1-0