Malcolm Pein on…Carlsen’s KO


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Today’s Daily Telegraph column brings Malcolm Pein’s report on the latter stages of the Magnus Carlsen Invitational, with bad news for fans of the World Champion.

Malcolm Pein on…Carlsen’s KO

Magnus Carlsen was eliminated by Ian Nepomniachtchi after a tie-break in the semifinals of his own invitational, played online at Chess 24. The World Champion won two games ‘on demand’ in the second set to stay in the match before a loss of composure or excessive optimism led to his undoing in a Blitz game.

Yesterday we looked at Carlsen’s emphatic victory in game four of the second set. His win in game three involved a deep idea in the endgame.

Carlsen was better for much of the game and Nepo has just played 39.Re4, which looks at least good enough for a repetition after 39…Kf7 40.Rf4+ Kg8 41.Re4.

I. Nepomniachtchi – M. Carlsen

I. Nepomniachtchi – M. Carlsen

39…d3!! 40.Qxe6+ Qxe6 41.Rxe6 d2 42.Rd6 c5 (42…Kf7 43.g4 Ke7 44.Rd3 c5 was the most accurate when White does not have the Bd5+ resource as below and if 45.Kg3 Rc3!) 43.g4 c4 (White is curiously helpless to prevent the pawns advancing. He is hampered by the x-ray pin on his bishop and the inability of his king to move to g1 because of Rc1+ and d2-d1=Q) 44.Kg3 c3 45.Kh4? (Trying to avoid a sequence with …Rc1, …c3– c2, Rxd2, …Rg1+ and promotes. White had to find 45.Bf3 Rc1 46.Bd5+ Kf8 47.Bb3 when he survives by giving up the bishop on c2 to reach a drawn rook and pawn endgame) 45…Kf8 46.Bf3 Rc1 47.Rd3 Ke7 48.Kg5

Test Your Strength

Carlsen's KO

Black to play and win

A game from the Preliminaries. Carlsen’s eighth move takes the players ‘out of book’ but doesn’t look particularly good.

M. Carlsen – S. Mamedyarov
Sicilian Defence 15+10

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.a3 Be7 7.f4 0–0 8.e5 Nd5 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.Nxc6 bxc6 (10…dxc6 11.Be3 f6 can’t be bad either) 11.Bd3 Bc5 12.Qf3 d6 13.Be3 Rb8 14.b4 Bxe3 15.Qxe3 a5 16.0–0 axb4 17.axb4 dxe5 (17…Rxb4 18.Ra8 Qc7) 18.fxe5 Rxb4 19.Ra8 g6 (19…Qc7 20.e6! fxe6 21.Qxe6+ Bxe6 22.Raxf8#) 20.e6! fxe6 21.Rxf8+ Qxf8 22.g3 Rb1+ 23.Kg2 e5 24.g4 e4 25.Ba6 Bxa6 26.Rxf8+ Kxf8 27.Qa3+ 1–0

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

48…Rf1 49.Re3+ Kd6 50.Rd3+ Ke5 51.Rxc3 Rxf3 52.Rxf3 d1Q 53.Rf5+ Ke4 54.a5 Qd6 55.Kh4 g6 0–1

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