A lemon from the World Champion ensured Andrey Esipenko did not have a fruitless day.
Malcolm Pein on…The Tata Teens
There was a teenage rampage at the Tata Steel Masters as Magnus Carlsen was unceremoniously crushed by Russian youngster Andrey Esipenko. The 18-year-old pounced with a winning combination when the champion blundered. As we will see, Carlsen’s opening play had been so aimless, his opponent may have missed an earlier win.
Alireza Firouzja, only 17, took the sole lead of the tournament by outplaying Pentala Harikrishna to reach 5.5/8 with five to play, half a point ahead of the pack. Carlsen is languishing on 50 per cent
A. Esipenko – M. Carlsen
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.g4 b5 9.g5 Nfd7 10.a3 Bxg5 11.Qd2 Bxe3 12.Qxe3 Qh4? (A lemon; better 12…Qe7 13.0–0–0 Bb7 or 12…Nf6 and if 13.f4 Qb6 14.e5 Nc6!) 13.Rg1 g6 14.0–0–0 Qe7 15.f4 (After 15.e5 Nxe5 16.f4 Nc4 17.Bxc4 bxc4 18.f5 gxf5 19.Rge1 we get a related transaction to Caruana- MVL earlier in the event. Black is three pawns up, but his queen faces the entire White army and Nd4xf5 and Nc3-d5 are coming; If 15.e5 Nxe5 16.f4 Ned7 17.Bf3 Ra7 18.Ndxb5 axb5 19.Qxa7 wins and after 15.e5 d5 16.f4 Bb7 17.f5 the engines think Black gets overrun) 15…Bb7 16.Kb1 Nc6? (16…0–0 17.h4 Nc6 18.Nf3 with h4-h5 and f4-f5 to follow looks too strong an attack to withstand; 16…Nc5!? may have been best.)
Time to Pounce
White to play
17.Ncxb5! axb5 18.Nxc6 Bxc6 19.Qc3 0–0 20.Qxc6 (Black loses his d-pawn and the b-pawn is a liability. If 20…Nf6 21.Qxd6 Qxd6 22.Rxd6 Nxe4 23.Rd4 and b5 falls) 20…d5 21.exd5 Rfc8? 22.d6! Qd8 23.Qxb5 Rcb8 24.Qc4 Rxa3 25.Qc7 Qe8 (Endgames are hopeless) 26.Rg5 Ra4 27.Ra5 Rab4 28.b3 R4b7 29.Qc3 (White only needs to exchange some pieces and the game is won) 29…Qd8 30.Bf3 Rb4 31.Qc7 Qf6 32.Ra8 Rxa8 33.Bxa8 Qf5 34.Kb2 Rb5 35.Qxd7 Rc5 36.Rc1 Qxf4 37.Qe8+ Kg7 38.d7 1–0
This game has a twin: Ivanchuk- Negi, Peristeri 2010 went: First 10 moves as above 11.Qd2 Bf6 12.0–0–0 Bb7 13.Rhg1 Nc5 14.e5 Bxe5 15.Ndxb5! Nb3+? 16.cxb3 axb5 17.Bxb5+ Bc6 18.Bd4 Qc8 19.Bxe5 dxe5 20.Kb1 Rg8 How did Ivanchuk wrap up the game?
Test Your Strength
White to play
Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.
21.Ne4 1–0 21.Rg4-c4 also wins.