Amazing Chess Game : Magnus Carlsen vs Pentala Harikrishna – Tata Steel (2013) – Ponziani Opening

Amazing Chess Game : Magnus Carlsen vs Pentala Harikrishna – Tata Steel (2013) – Ponziani Opening

Morning all, let’s have a look at Magnus Carlson’s
game in round four against Pentala Harikrishna who’s a very very strong player 2698. Obviously not as high rate as Magnus who’s
2861 at the moment, the top seed in the world. The highest ranked player on the planet. Magnus kicked off with e4 and we saw e5. So far so good. So standard Kf3, Kc6. And a very interesting move now which I wonder
if you can guess actually this is not often, I’ll let you guess a move here. But can you guess what Magnus plays if I give
you 10 seconds and I’ll give you a clue. This opening goes back to 1497. It’s been discussed as far back as 1497. OK. He played the Ponzioni which is the move c3. Wow! On wiki there’s a little bit of information
about this and it’s being played most recently by Hikaru Nakamura against Becara in the U.S.
championship 2007 a very high level. What a fantastic surprise. So the idea is generally to play d4 rather
than d3 and I assume because d3 a little bit passive it could be like, I guess a king,
a reverse King’s engine attack if white maybe played g3 later, Bg2. But I think the intention is to get that stake
in the center and the classical two Pawns duo here. But okay it’s a really ancient opening and
in fact it was advocated by Howard Staunton and you don’t know Howard Staunton is, e’s
had a big influence on the piece design in chess. These Staunton pieces very esthetic, made
the game much more enjoyable to play. He was also you know he had some interesting
ideas Howard Staunton and maybe you can, we’re veering off. Let’s carrying on in the game before we get
sidetracked. So Nf6 hits the e4 Pawn. So will white be distracted from playing d4? Well he does actually play d4 here. So potentially it looks as though there’s
a little bit of a game going on already perhaps. Okay Although whites attacking e5, what if
black took then white would be forced maybe to play e5. Because after takes that then it is a gambit. So okay it’s interesting to maybe do a reference
check of this position, detailed reference tracking a second pass. Black immediately counter attacks in the center
of the d5. So in terms of development right now whites
use the Pawn there. Well blacks got two Knights out versus whites
one Knight. So blacks actually focus more on piece developments. White constructing this center. Maybe it does won’t have a significant advantage. But is the advantage necessarily just on the
board. He is really bypassed possibly all the opening
preparation has been thrown out both in Selma and future Magnus Carslons’ opponents are
going to be even more concerned about Magnus’s huge breadth of potential choices as a surprise
weapons. He’s going to be even more difficult to prepare
against. And a lot of you know one day professional
games is all about preparation and being able to get a nice position from the opening. So what a weapon to reel out. So Bb5 maybe inspired by Nakamuras choice
and successful of it in 2007. I assume success in 2007, but we’ll do a reference
check I say in the second pass. So Bb5 renewing the pressure on e5 in particular. So we see exd4. Now white is encouraged to play e5 always
looks to be, well Nxd4 might also be playable. But for the moment he plays e5, then we see
Knight e4. Now Knight takes d4 here. So if c6 is an issue, It’s defended with Bd7
and we get an imbalance, a major imbalance here. Bxc6, white is giving up the bishop pair. But inflicting some structural damage on black
and black wants to preserve the bishop pair. So it takes with the Pawn. And you might also think as well d files there
is pressure on b2. On the other hand if we look at this position
with this advanced Pawn whites f Pawn is also ready to run to help. Maybe an attack on the king side later. So it is a position rich here in imbalances
and for those that want to avoid and surprise the opponent. This looks like a fantastic idea. I think it’s already looking like a success. That is the absolute beauty of chess that
even on move 3 you know there’s a viable surprise weapons. We can go back in history and revisit these
old ideas and maybe with new vigor of engine analysis revitalize and modernize maybe these
ancient lines. So okay is it so bad? Maybe it was fought a bit suspect’s disposition
to give black the bishop pair. But you know if we played dynamically would
this black Trump card be of great significance? If for example these two Pawns could be more
important than say even losing a Pawn on b file. This knight is of course aggressive kicking
it would weaken the diagonal. So there’s a variety of imbalanced considerations
on the table already. White castles, we see bishop seven okay. And then we see Be3, which does seem to highlight
the c5 square as if white might be interested in trying to get a lock on c5. We’ve seen Nd3 kicking this time and maybe
trying to exchange off one of the bishops. So to get rid of black’s bishop pair would
be maybe a strategic goal here as well as sort of clamped down credit blockade in front
of the double Pawns. Nimzowitsch is always kind of had a preference
for blockades in front of double pawns in particular. So this looks like a targeted blockade coming
up potentially off the castles. For the moment actually we see now Nd2 to
try and do something about this pesky Knight here. The Knight goes back to c5. If it goes to g5 one would expect f4 and it’s
encouraging this Pawn roller and then maybe even f5 after that and we’ve got a ready made
attack against blacks King. So very interesting position. Black plays Nc5. Getting the opponents have to improvise much
quicker. It is perhaps a key goal of a modern chess
for those especially that don’t want to do tons and tons of preparation and want to focus
their skills more on middle game and end game playing and getting dependent on their own
resources to improvise. So b4 we see Nb7. It looks at this moment quite pleasant but
on the other hand this structure here is subject to attack, the Knights pretty useful potentially
in some way maybe for a5. But in general this structure is a little
bit wobbly and we’ve also got c5 as well. Potentially supported by Knight on b7 and
okay so f4, white starts to use this as Trump card, this extra mobility of these Pawns. Which looks to be coming out as a potential
battering ram here for black’s King side. So can black kind of balanced the position
by counterattacking on whites once weakness sticking out here b4 and what is the best
way to do it? Is it going to be c5 or a5? Well actually he chose a5, c5 we might have
to check that out in the second part c5. But here believe it or not, Magnus just goes
in for a Pawn sack. He’s saying to black, win that Pawn. But even if he plays f5 to sacking the b4
Pawn. These Pawns a double anyway. So it’s white that has kind of a running pass
born after this is liquidated. This a pawn, even which you know you might
think is a paradox by getting rid of this A pawn gives white past A Pawn and what and
black’s technical Pawn up as we’ve seen in many many Magnus Carlsen games might not be
worth what it technically represents. Because of all the dynamic compensation which
is building up here especially on this King side. And it’s always very nice to push the f pawn. Because the Rook is naturally kind of activated
in the violence much more aggressive than this Rook. And we’ve got potential squeeze as well with
e6 here. So very interesting position very interesting
compensation. Gambit, kind of positional gambit here which
is accepted by black. So black takes this Pawn and look at this,
this freehand on the king side. Although f6 is not afraid that would lose
the queen, by e6 and then bishop 86 as well as a threat, some dangerous threats here. Black plays Bc3 as though interested in winning
more material if this Rook moves. OK it’s going to be more material up. He’s already a Pawn up, but there is another
target. So OK. But his king, he’s putting his king potentially
at great risk here. He’s tying down the bishop though of course
because Ba6 but he can play Bxd4++ and then take care of Bh6 is totally ruled out. But this Rac1, Magnus is playing with apparent
disregard for these Pawns. He’s got this initiative on the king side. He wants to emphasize that. What’s one or two Pawns on the Queen side. I think is one of the sparse quotations is
something like you know what’s the point of these Pawns if there’s more important issues. There’s a quotation anyway by Kasparov about
winning Pawns as well. But after Bd4 we’ve got things pointing at
the king and in fact e6 here is threatening the bishop and g7 to mate black. Okay black plays though Rxa2 anyway, he is
attacking the Knight. So technically yeah black is two pawns up. Dynamic play for Magnus, he plays e6 and black
parries now with f6. But it might actually be the only sensible
way of pairing this g7 mate threat. Two Pawns down but look at this wench, look
at this extra space which can be used for attack. H7 might even be vulnerable. There is no defensive Knight on f6. So he moves the Knight and we’ve got a nice
potential blockade as well on c5 which is actually use straight off the bat. So after Nc5 we have that Nimzowitsch concept
of a blockade and the double Pawns. So you could argue that’s actually you know
neutral, if black’s Pawns are kind of dynamically neutralized then there’s white. The question is more philosophical question
does white retain his use of the Trump cards, his extra space initiative on the king side. It is not really a problem for a long time
these Pawns. Okay these extra Pawns of their not potential
queening candidates and white has got huge grip on c5. It’s giving white time to increase the pressure
maybe on the king side. So Nd6 at least threatens Ne4 to try and get
some maybe central pressure and keeping some central control. Okay we see Qf3 and it’s not entirely apparent
actually what the threat here. At least not on this intuitive inspection
this game. But I think possibly it’s to do with just
wanting to get rid of black’s only active piece. If we look at these pieces generally, the
only aggressive piece is this Rook. So perhaps the idea is, one key idea is simply
exchange that off and then carry on the attack and there’s also this is kind of lurking e
Pawn to go to e7 when black’s not ready for that. We see Qe7 and yes we see Rf2 just you know
how can this Rook be supported? It can’t and black doesn’t really want to
take it off and you think the person with the material advantage would want to take
off with zero to simplify. But no he plays Ra5. I think you realize his position is quite
difficult. Even though it’s kind of two Pawns up. Nb3 attacking the Rook and offering a replacement
blockade which would be a pin for the bishop if needed. Rb5 and we see Bc5, which also gives the
Nd4 now which puts pressure on c6. So black’s position is Nimzowitsch would be
proud about this blockade on this structure here. So Bh5 is trying to deflect the queen Wade’s
attempt to take on b3, Qc3. Look at this dark square grip. Very interesting. Ne4 technically is not perhaps working here
because of Be7, Bxf8. So Qe8 and we see the move in this position. And this is really interesting the move Qe3,
and it looks as though that might have been a waste of time. Why didn’t the queen just go to e3 straight off the bat. Well there are specific reasons for this. Because that Queen went back it looks as though
e7 is more effective than it was. So e7 as a potential threat here is one thing. OK. We see Qa8 and now Nd4 attacking the Rook. And this is already incredibly difficult. Where is the Rook actually running to now
given we’ve got less potential for e7 and Qe6++ potentially maybe even ceased. You know just taking on c6 at some point. If this knight wasn’t there or just
taking on d6. So there’s potential frets being built up
now in relation to a7. Maybe Bd6, Qe6 for example. But black decided here a very dynamic option
for black from black’s point of view is the sacrifice the exchange. So he lost the bit of his technical material
advantage with this exchange check. But the idea is to try and get it back immediately,
Ne4. But he is losing c6. So he’s losing one of his Pawns, Nxc6. Black only a Pawn up now and whites still
got a lot of the remnants of earlier opening play and he plays with Kxf2 rather than Q
f2. That would have our check and maybe implication
that or even worse. We’ll check that out in the second pass. But Kxf2 was played. So white has the remnants of the opening Trump
card, these advance Pawns, dark square control still a lot Pawn immobility but he’s got his
king. Is it going to be safer going to g3 soon? Check, it does go to g3. Very interesting the vastness of chess that
such an ancient opening can lead to a very interesting dynamic kind of positional gambit
that we’ve witnessed here. White is only a Pawn down now. But with clear compensation. H3 as though the king’s interested and just
being tucked away if needed on h2. We see Qa6, Qc3 now which indirectly protects
the Knights. So releasing the Rf8 Rxd5 to be now a threat
here perhaps. Be2 is played baiting white take the Pawn,
take the Pawn. What is the trap here? Well Magnus did take the Pawn. We see bishop b5. Okay so now equal on Pawns. Nb4 attacking the Queen. Qb7, Qc5 attacking bishop, and now well this
starts to get aggressive, Magnus’s play here. He makes use of this aggressive Pawn. Can you spot this next move if I give you
10 seconds starting from now. Wow aggressive move Rd7 Attacking c7 offering
a exchange sack. It looks as though it’s impossible to play
because of Qe7. That looks a very dangerous position if taking
but we’ll try that in the second pass. Intuitively it looked pretty dangerous so
black actually doesn’t do that. Plays Qe4 and went for the first time in the
game now. After all that being two pawns down, one pawn,
two pawn down is now one Pawn up and he’s got a Rook on the seventh and he’s still got
these aggressive Pawns. Black plays h5 and the king tucks in with
Kh2. Okay. Doesn’t black have some dangerous checks you
might think. Well weapons off the kg1, the White Queen
is controlling the dark squares. These two times squares in particular e3 and
c1 are covered here. So maybe the checks pointless. We see Kh7. Now Qf2 which seems to leave the Knight hanging,
but hold on it as easy as that . White if Qxb4. Qg3 for a example what would be frightening
media might and that doesn’t seem satisfactory for a black. Rg8, Qg6++ and mating with Qxh5. So taking this Knight it looks like a poisoned
Knight to take that. So black play Rg8 and now in the midst of
all this the Rooks great on the set of pinning this Pawn. The Queen’s great here, Various tactical opportunities
like Qg3 which seem very tempting as well here on Qg3 would in fact, it would be interesting
to see what black does. Maybe he just actually just takes this Pawn. There’s no problem, just takes this Pawn. So okay so what White does here is improve
the Knight, what he plays his Na6 and the Knight for example can go like this potentially
to check f6 if they did. But maybe, Okay let’s see. So Be8. Now Nc5 here is not played. What we see here is Rc5 which means that the
queen is now potentially free to move if needed. It’s not holding up f5. Qd3, now with tempo Nb4 getting to that default
score would still attack f6 doesn’t have to go from other routes, he can go with tempo. Qd6++, Kh1, Qd1++. And now Magnus offers exchange of queens. Of course he’s a Pawn up now. So perhaps not so interested again in exchanging
of Queens. Qd6 and Nd5. This Knight is now exerting horrible pressure
on f6 and in fact for example Qd4, Nf6 would win the Queen that case Rf8 and we see Qd4
threat Nxf6++ winning the queen. Kh8 and we see a magnificent idea. Because you might think this is a little bit,
okay little bit risky perhaps. Rc8 because of black’s next move which would
seem annoying to some extent or perhaps not or black play Bc6 and can you guess with this
move actually believe it or not black resigned and there’s an interesting tactical motive
here for white and for checking with an engine. I didn’t actually spot this one when playing
through the game at the end myself. I think it makes a good tactical exercise
here. What you will play with white in this position. So if I give you 10 seconds here what would
you play with white? And we’ll check with engine. I think. Okay, I think Nxf6 is a killer blow here offering
the queen and offering bishop, he’s hoping that’s harmless Bg2++. The idea Qxd4, Rxf8 would be mate. The Knight is guarding the exit point for
the king here. That’s mating. I don’t think anything helps here. So black resigned with his move there, which
is quite unusual, more unusual. But let’s see. So it just seems Nf6 and resigns. So Nf6 is the killer move. Bg2 is just harmless. Just take it and the same thing. There’s no important checks or anything. Very interesting game indeed for those that
want to be innovative with a4. Let’s have a look at this the ancient Ponziani
opening ruled out using a quiet amusing you got to say in this modern age. Came back to fourteen ninety seven discussed
in literature fourteen ninety seven. So okay there’s a counter gambit in 1769 with
f5. So that’s sharp opening theory with f5, but
no that wasn’t played. We seen like f6, what is the reference check
saying about this position? So I’m clicking reference. Let’s just go from this position. Not more, not earlier. So we’d be here a lot longer I think doing
a reference check. Okay, its interesting to see the years on
these games as well. Okay. We got games in 1846 as reference here quite
amusingly, Horwitz analysis or something. No we’ve got games in 1959 after, quite a
stretch for a history of chess here on this. It has been ruled out a few times in this
database. This is big time is in 2009. I need to update it but we get a good general
picture that actually Nf6, two thousand eight hundred eleven games is the most popular. D5, 1080 games, d6 356 games, f5 that aggressive
gambit, aggressive counter response 162 games, bishop c5 137 games. So Nf6 being played before by cam scheme Allen
Neilson Adams that was played in the game and we see now the four is that move, yes
that’s the most popular move here for white. Two thousand one hundred and eighty three
games. Nigel short played it before. Magami … And d3 has 427 games, it is much less play
defense. So d4 the aggressive, d4 and black responding
with d5. This is interesting, on the reference track
here the most popular move in this position, most beaten track is Nxe4, 891 games being played before by Kamsky, Anand, Khalifman, Korchnoi. Exd4 is also popular, eight hundred eighteen
games. Nelson Alexandrov Spassky has been playing
this before d6, 311 games being played by Tal before Geller, Balashov, Adgestein But this move d5 only one hundred and fifty
six games is slightly going off the beaten track with d5 and White’s but popular response
here by far is Bb5, hundred eighteen games. Exd5 only 20 games. So Dragoljub Velimirović Has played this before, Bb5. So we’re going into a much smaller reference
database very quickly. Black playing Nxe4 here is the most popular
forty eight games just slightly exd4 also popular 47 games far less popular bishop g4
10 games. So in the game we saw exd4. Now this is the most beaten track e5 not Nxd4,
40 games with e5, Velimirović has played this before. Nd4 not too many notable players with Nxd4. So the idea e5 here okay Ne4 is being played
39 times before. Nd7 only once. So Ne4 is the most popular move. Nxd4 most popular moves instead c3xd4. So twenty eight games with Nxd4. Velimirović one of the most notable
players. So Nxd4 and we see Bd7 here. Looks logical and most popular twenty six
games. Bc5 is being played twice before. So let’s go with Bd7. So like going for the double pawns is the
most popular 17 games on this. Other things are very very minor now. So this is the line. White castling Be7. In six games we’re going into a very small
subset of games now and in this position Be3 was played by Magnus, being played before
on this database. F3 five games being played five times before. Knight once d2 is being played before. So Be3 and what are we into if we play Be3? The game Dickstein, no this position has been
reached yet. Wolfgang Unzicker 1970 which was a draw and
we’ve also got a game against Hesse in 1976. Which was a win for black. Not particularly inspiring results according
to my database here. Okay Obasmin has played with a win here in
1963 against someone called Masters. Okay so Be3, okay black casting. Nd2, we’re still following all free games
with Nd2, Nc5. We’re following two of the games with Nc5. The other veered off with Nxd2. So the Unsika in 1970 played Nxd2. But the two games were still of Basman game. I’ve actually played British I am Michael
Basman, who’s famous for the grob. He played this in 1963. So clearly Magnus Carlsen is checking innovative
British IMs. Michael Basman. I actually drew Basman once actually as a
side note. So here okay Basmin did continue with f4 in
this position. Magnus now is maybe well d4 and f4 played
maybe transpose is to the Basman game because we get this anyway, b4 and f4. We’ve got this Basman reference game here
it’s being played before. Actually he played f4, Basmen in the Basmen
game he played f4 here. So this might be where we branched off totally. We saw f4 in the Basmen game and black responding
5 and also in the other game, f4, f5. So this is slightly new. It’s black which kind of hitting this position
didn’t play f5 which two people before him have played the move f5. So maybe that’s a starting point for a question
there. Why wouldn’t black ones play f5 here. On e6 we can still keep this
Protected with Be8. That’s something to check now maybe. But okay let’s see f5. Qf3, what’s the idea? What would be the threat of Qf3 to play c4. And then Rab1. Okay c4 looks like a powerful idea. And b5 as well. So say Qe8, b5 might also be an idea. Okay alright so f4, a5, white gets this gambit
going f5. Looks to be a serious threat here of f6. Black just took on b4 not minding f6 here
take on c3 I guess, let’s have a look. So f6 but it just takes on c3. It’s no big deal. G4 is being controlled here. There is no major threat it seems to black’s
Kings safety. OK so Magnus took on b4 and technically yes
he’s little bit down. The engine doesn’t really give that Pawn too
much weight. 0.37 in advantage for black at the moment
of this step. So we see Qg4, what’s the threat? Bh6 is the threat with e6 to follow. Black plays Bc3 tying that that down, that
Bishop. Rac1 and actually this has given us total
equal even though blacks winning another Pawn. This is not the preferred move for engine
point of view anyway. Let’s see. So something like Qe8 because it seems Bc5
that one is doing well as well. If Bc5, lets go of this. Knight here, Knight takes, Knight takes. Nxc6 and white is apparently doing quite well
attacking the Queen, white is still here okay. White has got a pleasant position here. This f6 look forward to here is a potential
threat. One of the Rook moves, Bd4 blockade though
first, blockade this d pawn and this should be a nice position as a pass Pawn here as
well to work with. Nice position for white even though he’s a
Pawn down. It’s a nice Pawn down. Okay so in the game let’s see Qg4 we see Bc3
and white is apparently technically equal believe it or not even though he is two Pawns
down. So Bd4, Bd4, Rxa2. This looks like a conversation visually. Play e6, so f5. White is actually better now. Nb3 any better move technically. Rc1 threatens e7 here. If black play this white could win the bishop. This looks important. Nb3. And white seems to be doing well here piece
up bottom. Okay so that’s interesting that Rook, this
Rce1 here. Okay it is an interesting thing to consider
and even worse is Rxd2, e7 and take this Rook. Qf4, that’s okay for white as well. He’s on c7 d2 here. Take on c7 because of that bishop. That’s okay for white as well. But in the game. Okay we see this Knight just calmly playing
a position two pawns down without wanting to win material. Just keeping these assets in place, just lurking
there. Okay so Nc5, let them mature later as assets. Nd6, so what is Qf3 actually employing? As a threat its not really, not really entirely
clear. In fact from an engine point of view this
position Ra1 is interesting, Rf3 , Rg3 this looks like another serious idea to consider. Because black is very tied down here in this
position. Something like if actually Rh3 is actually
threatening. But this bishop is just stuck here. White just got this dominating blockade. So intriguing position. Anyway we see after Qf3, Qe7, Rf2 not minding
getting rid of blacks active piece. What would black be left with in this position
without two pawns up? Well it looks like great blockade. Nimzowitsch would be proud here. Two pawns up, but stuck, really stuck to position. Say g6 trying to break out the bind. Fg, hg, Bd4, woops Bd4, if we follow this
through. What are whites’ prospects here? So it looks as though it’s very difficult
to assess. White seems to have what if black’s easy,
It’s easy to black to lose this. It looks as though here there’s a threat of
Qh6 and the bishop is guarding g6. It’s murky isn’t it. So let’s go back in the game we see Ra5, not
exchanging off rocks. Nb3 and now Bc5. Qc3, evaluation now looks promising actually
after Qc3 here. Looks like an accurate move Qc3. What’s the threat? Nd4 is the major threat here. So that Rook has been ruled out of a5 of Qc3. So Nd4 making that a major threat and funny
enough Magnus doesn’t play Nd4 here. He plays Qe3, mysterious. What’s wrong with Nd4 I wonder. Sorry I remember this yesterday I thought
this was magic. Because it looks as though Ne4 is really powerful. This is engine magic line. Nxb5 Queen sack believe it or not for e7 here. Now threatening e takes. So Rf7 virtually forced Nxc7 trying to lift
this blockade and getting the queen back. Crazy line where whites the exchange up here
and This could be good. This might be good, this position. Blockade again on the Pawns. Okay so that’s a crazy line. But no. Ne4 is kind of addressed it seems with this
move. Getting out of the white Ne4, Qa8, now Nd4
played. Qa8 wasn’t an accurate move. Ne4 might be giving black chance to remain
equal, takes, takes, f take, Qf8 and it’s a bit murky. Black might even be doing okay. These pawns just look dangerous though all
the time. So in this position, okay we see Qa8 and now
Nd4. It looks visually quite pleasant in many respects. And if the Rook just simply did move without
sacking the exchange, bishop takes, then I assumed, I assumed e7 but actually just here
just Nxc6 and what’s the threat? Nxa which is threatening the Rook. So. Okay didn’t want to do that. Where else can the Rook go? Anything well if Rook goes all the way back
again just taking one c6. So the exchange occurring here c6 still under
fire. Taken here whites doing well now. Check, Magnus is equalizing material and he’s
got the positional compensations though he’s got this very strong blockade strategy in
place and he’s even going, unfortunately material up soon. Rd7 is a killer move here. Let’s have a look. As Bxd7 and I guess this is insufficient because
of Qe7. If black tries this, then just all sorts of
things. Nc6 is a Nightmare for black here. Okay just willing material, in fact Knight
even taking the rook here just taking the queen after the check and siting the queen. So its absolutely crushing, it can’t be taken
out. So Rook has been installed the 7th and the
writing’s on the wall now for black. So even pulled up with these major assets. And cheeky move Qf2, it looks like a very
accurate move as well from an engine point of view. Qf2, this is a poison Knight Joy because of
Qg3 I am going to assume. So black would just be mated here if he goes
in for like this. If you can’t get the queen away from there. Got to keep a hold of f5 here to prevent g6 etc. So Qf2, it’s going very downhill now for black. Na6, Knight move is, Rc5 looks like an accurate
move. So the actual threat here Nc7 and then what? Maybe e7 coming up, Qg3 coming up. Qd3 we’re seeing Nb4 instead. Check, now this Nd5. So if white has given the chance Qd4 and Rc7
threatens the Nf6. So Qd4 now threatening Nxf6++ winning the
queen. Rc8 and one is the threat of black didn’t
play Bc6. Looks like e7 is powerful. And there’s also just Qd1 highly esthetic. Because that would be threatening. Re8 and Qh5. Let’s give an example, try and give an example
of that. Bc6 was the last move of the game. So Qa6 hitting the Rook. In this Ne7. Let’s go with this Qd1 here is very powerful. So threat Rxe8 and Qh5. Black tries to defend like this. fxg6. Well he is losing the Rook there to rxf8. It looks horrible. Qd1 is absolutely a nightmare for black. It’s just totally overloaded this position. Pins everywhere. OK. So it’s fairly hopeless here this position
it seems. Qh6 is not sufficient because of that Ne7. Lets check that once more. Qb1, Kh6, lets go with the desperate Kh6. Check, Ng6 are using that pin. Okay Attacking the rook. If the rook moves here e7, Qe1++. Now if the king moves here then Rxe8 anyway. That’s all over. As you can see. So this move Bc6 is entirely lost position
anyway. When Nxf6 is a killer blow. So successful use of a very ancient opening
as a surprise weapon. Interesting stuff comments or questions on
YouTube. Thanks very much.

64 thoughts on “Amazing Chess Game : Magnus Carlsen vs Pentala Harikrishna – Tata Steel (2013) – Ponziani Opening

  1. Thanks KC– Here's the quote you were thinking of: "When your house is on fire, you can't be bothered with the neighbors. Or, as we say in chess, if your King is under attack, don't worry about losing a pawn on the queenside." (credit to chessquotes[com])

  2. Magnus plays with the precision of a computer and the imagination of a human. Very dangerous combination for any opponent.

  3. This is actually my favourite opening. I love the fact Carlsen played it – It always annoys me when players, even worse than me even, tell me it's unsound, and the only line to play is d4, with some kind of exchange slaw. *yuk*

  4. Thanks KC. This type of opening postition is actually well known but in other move order. I use to play the following theoretical variation as black 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4,Nf6 4. d4 ed4 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nd4 Bd7 8. Bc6 bc6 and if you compare this to the game, Carlsen has saved one tempo by playing Bb5 directly instead of Bc4-b5, That tempo white invested in very, very useful move c3. I am sure Carlsen was aware of all that.His opponent was tricked by unusual move order.

  5. Hi Mr. Gavriel,

    I just want to express my general appreciation for the analyses you provide, analyses which are steeped in a deep historical sensibility pertaining to the game of chess. Please do not have lose that historical sensibility. It is something utterly precious and quite rare in this excessively suffocating "live in the present…give me a solution" world of ours.

  6. Kasparov was well known for digging up old oppenings. He brought the Scotch game back to live in his match against Kasparov in 1990. Obviously he has great influence on Magnus.

  7. I found this on Wikipedia:

    In the opening, Ponziani is best known as the eponym of the Ponziani Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3), although he did not originate it as it was published by Lucena around 1497. His name is properly attached to the Ponziani Countergambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 f5) in the Ponziani Opening as he published the first analysis in 1782.

    So, according to Wikipedia, the counter gambit that wasn't played was actually Ponziani's.

  8. In case anyone is wondering, this is why black doesn't respond with Bxd7 after the "aggressive" move Rd7 from white at 18:46:

    exd7 Rd8
    Qe7 Qa8
    Nc6 Rf8
    Qxf8+! Kxf8
    d8=Q+ Qxd8

    …and white's knight and three pawns win versus black's four pawns.

  9. Matches like these show me, what kind of a badass Carlsen is.
    I cannot fathom that th line he played was unprepared… I just cannot. How can somebody play 2 brilliant pawn sacrifices in the opening OTB? Pure Genius. Unbelievable.

  10. What is world's #1 chess player Magnus Carlsen's weakness?
    – The opening?
    – The middelgame?
    – The endgame?

    Correct answer: His haircut.

  11. i prefer this opening in blitz play. especially because i dont do much preperation and this gets into lines without a lot of theory behind it.

  12. On 10.53 bishop on e3 could go to h6 and queen eventually go to g7 mate. Why did carlsen did not do that ?

  13. that is illogical, and anyway kasparov didn't play himself in a match (in 1990). (+you bring stuff back to life, not live)

  14. I ment against Karpov. I`m sorry for the "life vs live" mistake.
    btw looking at Carlsen games, I get the feeling he doesn`t prepare openings as much as Garry did. Maybe it`s due to the fact that in the age of computer preparation defending is easier.

  15. at 20:17, why does Black not move Q4*WK4?? because even if white moves QG3 as next move, black can move QF8 to counter it (with white RE8 to support)… wouldn't that help Black a piece up?

  16. At 13:20, I think the purpose of the Qf3 move by Magnus was to completely rule out Ne4. Because now if Ne4 does come at some point, Nxe4 exe4, and then the blow Qb3 which threatens the discovered check with e7 and the hanging rook on a2.

  17. Magnus Carlsen Playlist:

    Join me for a game:

  18. The game itself has a few nice touches for the Annotator, and does make Carlsen appear quite the Dynamic flare for a change but here looks are deceiving, a bit anyway.

    Apparently his opponent was slightly overreaching going for a square of pawns in the center which made Whites tasks easier than needs be, the problem I gather being the do or die need to win for Black which isn't the hallmark of prudence.

    As the underlying text shows the book line is just to grab the 'e pawn' and hang tough, ergo;

    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 Nf6 4. d4 Nxe4 5. d5 Ne7 6. Nxe5 Ng6 7. Qd4 Qf6
    8. Qxe4 Qxe5 9. Qxe5+ Nxe5 10. Bf4 d6 11. Na3 a6 12. O-O-O Be7 13. Re1 Ng6
    14. Bg5 Bf5 15. Bxe7 Nxe7 16. Nc2 Bxc2 17. Kxc2 Kd7 18. c4 c6
    19. dxc6+ Nxc6 20. Bd3 d5 21. Rd1 dxc4 22. Bxc4+ Kc7 23. Kc3 Rad8
    24. Bd5 Rhe8 25. Bxf7 Re2 26. Rxd8 Nxd8 27. Bd5 Rxf2 28. Rd1 1/2-1/2

  19. 13:16 I don't understand why the black moves Qe7. If the white queen is moving to get rid of the attacking black rook, I think a much better move is Qa8. That move could lead to exchanges and a draw.
    Or even Nc4 if you want more attacking pieces.

  20. Amazing how such an ancient opening transpose to a more modern opening – a typical line of the scotch gambit where the plan is to get either a dark square blockade, an attack on the king using the f and e pawns or both.

  21. "Magnus is clearly checking out British IM's", Why isn't it possible that he just played whatever he felt like at the moment? Do GM's really only play some lines they studied from another GM/IM? That would be so boring…

  22. Replayable game link:
    Join me or other Youtubers for a game: – Cheers, K

  23. Ponziani is based on Black taking initiative and counter attacking with d5 early before ready. Black can transformed into dull defensive but difficult to breakdown with d6 and white's queen knight has to take a less effective d2 square. Magnus being Magnus can managed to take advantage of Black's material grab.

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