Chess Sacrifices: Magnus Carlsen Top Eight Amazing Chess Sacrifices (up until 2014)

Chess Sacrifices: Magnus Carlsen Top Eight Amazing Chess Sacrifices (up until 2014)

(Magnus Carlsen Sacrifice). Hi all. I thought we can have another
wonderful aesthetic experience looking at sacrifices of Magnus Carlsen up until
this year which is 2014. So let’s go through bits of his career even from
early childhood. Magnus Carlsen was capable of creating amazing sacrifices
and combinative play. My first example to show you is against Thomas Ernst who was FIDE 2474 at the time. Magnus Carlsen was already 2484. That was in 2004 and Magnus was
about 13 years old. He just played Queen e2 and Ernst played c5 and here we see a
fantastic conception unveiled which actually increases the dynamic potential
of many of White’s pieces in particular this rook on h1. Watch this rook down this
h-file. His next move Knight g6 so this guarantees White a small advantage. If
black just plays rook e8 then white can just collect that dark square bishop and
then a move like dxc5 is annoying for black to say the least looking in the
back row and that pawn is difficult to collect back. So Thomas Ernst accepted
the sacrifice. He played fxg6. Now we see Queen takes e6 check. So big
problems here immediately if rook f7 for example HG simply winning that block
with a clear advantage so we see King h8 and now hxg6 unleashing this rook on the H file potentially. It looks as though h6 is the immediate danger point with rook
takes h6 and Qe7 suddenly being very dangerous. So we see this retreat Ng8 –
does that keep black solid? Well can you see what Magnus Carlsen played here if I give you 10 seconds to pause the video starting from now. Okay Magnus crashes through here with
Bishop takes h6. Amazing so if Knight takes h6 which
wasn’t played then this is a forced mate. Rxh6 gxh6 Qxe7 threatens
Queen h7 and black is in trouble. It is unavoidable that Queen h7 that pawn is a major attacking
unit here. Black has to play desperate moves just to stave off mate.
So in this position gxh6 was played. But can you see what Magnus plays here? Okay he still plays for that mate on h7
with Rxh6. On King g7 that’s immediate mate with rook h7 checkmate. so Knight takes and now just Qxe7 and it looks as though the knight can do something about h7 now and tries to with Nf7. But gxf7 and now there is a threat of Queen f6 and rook h1 mating. So King g7
tried. And here Magnus actually has e1 control coincidentally. He plays
rook d3 so he is just going to calmly switch the rook into the attack.
Black tries to be resourceful in defending making use of the fact that
the Queen is looking at e1. Black plays rook d6 so it takes then Queen e1. It looks
as though Black is creating safety. Well check rook g6 check King takes. Now
Queen f5 check here. It’s all running with checks
in this position. So black has very bad options. If black played Ke7 here
then that’s a forced mate with Re3+ If King back then here this is just a forced checkmate with all these checks crashing
through. Eventually Black would be forced to give up the Queen. So in this
position after Queen f5 check black played Rf6 leaving a mate in
one now Queen d7 checkmate. So a fantastic demolition job you’ll have to agree
after Queen e2 I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that the natural-looking c5 we see
Knight g6. It’s basically creating lots of dynamic potential for all the pieces
here especially that rook on h1 and that pawn becomes a magnificent attacking
piece trying to mate black King very energetically. Okay let’s now look at
another example. Now this next example this is from 2003
Magnus Carlsen was playing Hans Krogh Harestad. And just played into
position Queen h4 and looks as though it’s already it’s a very very tricky
position indeed. What is going on here? Black tries in this position Bishop
d7. What is White actually threatening? Well immediately
maybe Bishop takes g5 just to take this off. So the bishop retreats. But again we
see dynamic potential of the pieces being expressed here. White liberates in
particular this Bishop on this diagonal now with this next move. I wonder if you
can guess it. I am giving you a big clue there. If I give you 10 seconds starting from
now what would you play here? Although technically this might not even be the
strongest move. But it’s one of the very strongest
according to engine checking. Okay e5 It opens up the bishop also strong
apparently was Nh5 check as well. But let’s go with this. dxe5 and now
Magnus plays Knight h5 check so unleashing that Bishop fully across the
diagonal. Black has bad options here basically. If he plays this (kxh6), then Knight takes
f6 check is not very pleasant at all This position is is really quite
crushing threatening. All sorts of nasties. So black would be getting
massacred. Knight takes h5 and Bxe7 and there’s very little
King safety here. Look at these bishops coordinating with each other. White is
now threatening the check here and then munching this and bringing in more
pieces for the attack. So in this position after Knight h5 check black
actually played gxh5 and now we see a forced checkmate in three actually. Queen takes g5 check. Amazing forced move Black has not got any options really here other
to take the Queen. If King f8 then Queen g8 is checkmate so fxg5 rook f7 check
and here you see that Bishop that beautiful bishop on that diagonal at
work care in either variation. Rook takes h7 here is played for checkmate. If King
h8 then again rook takes h7 because the knight covers the g8 escape square. So a crushing blow there, liberating in this particular example that Bishop on c2 is the
positional implications of this sacrifice. e5 so it could have been
done interchangeably with Knight h5 you could argue here.So a fantastic opening up of attacking pieces again is what we can
surmise from these two examples. Let’s go on to another example. Now this is very early on in Magnus Carlsen’s career and we’ve covered this in a video.This is at age 12
playing against someone who has become his second and very good friend
throughout his career. He is fellow Norway Grandmaster we’ve actually seen playing
the London classic. He won it twice the London chess classic FIDE Open. He is Ludovic hammer playing white. Magnus Carlsen playing black here – we see Rxe4
was played by Magnus rook e1 and can you see what Magnus Carlsen played in this position showing his great tactical awareness even at such a
young age. If I give you 10 seconds to pause the video here what would you play
with black? Okay I hope you can spot it. Queen h5
check so just that beautiful combination of the rook and Knight here
comes into play. White had to resign because gxh5 there is Rh4
checkmate. So just when he was 12 years old that makes that very impressive
I think to look out for such resources. Now let’s go to the Tata Steel tournament
in 2013. This is way in the game against fierce rival Sergei Karjakin and
this is deep into an endgame. White has got a small advantage but it is opposite
colors bishops. Magnus just played Bishop c4 Rb1 and Magnus presses for the win with
a dynamic move which engines will not rate in this position much. But there’s
nothing much to do from an engine point of view it’s just going to go around in
circles if white doesn’t try and do something o try and win. So white plays
g4 and apparently technically this should just be equal with perfect play from black.
Let’s see what happens after this g4 takes now another sacrifice h5 so white
is trying in this case get the dynamism of his pawns here to be maximized. It’s
not about particular pieces – rather the dynamic potential of these pawns
so if black dared took here then f5 and it starts to be really really dangerous for
example f6 check and then maybe e6 Kg8 d6 etc. So in this
position Black played rook h1 and we see hxg6 fxg6 Re6 and you know white has
established that passed pawn now. But the game did continue quite a bit bishop d5
but look at the coordination of the Rook and bishop compared to black’s pieces. Check
check takes here and now f5 takes and there’s two passed pawns now.
The game continues like this now f6 you see all of whites pieces and pawns are
reaching their full “career potential”. So the two connected
passed pawns are really dangerous the rook and Bishop are working well with
each other. This is now a crushing position this is about +5 from an engine perspective. White could
have actually played e6 here apparently Magnus Carlsen played instead check which is also good.
Taking here these two passed pawns are very dangerous and winning in this
position so white now is able to herd the pawns gradually with his King. The dark
squared Bishop can’t do anything about them in this particular position. The King is
in the wrong place so here black is busted. He is overstretched. He played King g7 and now just e7 winning. So it all started from what could have been
potentially in in the hands of most other GM’s at in this position without
this g4 h5 concept this could have been just a draw really. So it shows how
dangerous Magnus Carlsen is even late in the game. His resourcefulness and looking
at the dynamic potential of the pieces or pawns. Let’s look at another example
now from Bilbao masters in 2012 against Vishy Anand. Here Magnus plays e5. After
Knight e8 Magnus plays a disruptive pawn sacrifice e6. A positional pawn sac. F takes Knight
f4. Vishy Anand plays Bishop takes c3. After takes it looks as though black is
looking forward to keeping hold of that pawn by playing d4. Is the worst over?
Queen d2 c5 so holding on to that pawn. So really is a pawn sacrifice. It’s
damaged the communication a bit of blacks pieces to his King side and here
we see rook e1. It’s very difficult for black
to actually play this position. He defends that pawn but the remarkable thing here
is this knight is actually restricted with this next move g4. And we see
actually the dynamic potential of Queen and knight coming together very well with
this “installation procedure” basically after Rc6 we seem Nh3. The
Queen wants to install herself on h6. With the knight here all the time
restricting black’s knight from these two key squares. And it’s difficult for black
to do something about this even with the top engine move it is still an advantage
for white which apparently is Qb8. Qb8 tries to arrange the defense. For example Queen b8 Queen h6 Kh8 – this is dangerous for black increasingly so but this this might be the most
optimal way of trying to defend things but even so white has the advantage here
technically. If nothing else building up on e6 but Vishy Anand played actually in this position Ne8 so the installation procedure around the king now. Nf6 Ng5
and white basically has a very dangerous idea here. Or many dangerous
ideas like this for example and then using the H file. Switching a rook to the
H file. d3 was played we see Re5 introducing another idea of Knight
takes h7 for the Queen and rook. You see this lack of communication because of these double pawns that black is having difficulties
defending against Nxh7 here. Vishy played actually probably is the best
defensive move King h8 but it doesn’t help too much. Rook d1 is played now that
is just collecting that pawn. Creating new threats. Queen a6 is trying to generate some counterplay. But a4 is played and black is doing nothing here. And is unable even to play this because of Nf7
check so that pawn is being lost. Black is just
helpless here. For example. Vishy Anand resigned. If King g8 then
actually again this Nxh7 is mega dangerous for example like this
check and if here Rh5 for example so you might wonder well what about
earlier did this work here Knight takes h7 let’s see the point here. Well there’s
time for black in this position to react with Rg8. But if we step
that up if we prepared that again with Re5 and then say d2 – let’s test d2 here then this still actually works Nxh7 for the check this this is a menace.
Queen takes where white is having time for the attack and if King h8 then
slaughter time again will Rook here. So black had to try and defend his King. If he
didn’t do anything just just Re5 and Nxh7 is on the cards here. So d3 is a
desperate try. Ok let’s go on to the next example from the Zurich chess challenge
in 2014 so Magnus Carlsen here is playing
against Fabiano Caruana. This game is video annotated already on the channel in great detail.
Fabiano Caruana castled Queenside.Fabiano Caruana is now at moment is in
the 2800 club as of the time of this video 2014 – July 2014. So castling queenside
looked solid enough but Magnus Carlsen now plays B takes c4 and if D takes then
d5 is good forking two pieces. It doesn’t matter about Qb5. Queen f3 this
this is still good for white crashing through on f7 soon. So Fabiano Caruana took with the
Queen trying to keep a light square blockade. But it’s smashed up positionally.
That light square blockade can you see what Magnus Carlsen played in this position if
I give you 10 seconds you might want to pause the video so how would you ruin
black’s blockade strategy here? Okay Magnus Carlsen played rook takes f7 with rook on the seventh there are King safety issues introduced. The game continued like this
so Rook takes f7 immediately threatening things like Rook takes a seven so rook d7
and that’s actually just taken because now White’s getting another pawn and
this is enough for the exchange sacrifice. These pawns are very
dangerous and the King’s been compromised. We see the game continuing like this. Check Queen e6 threatening now d6 check to win the Queen. Check, Qe4.
Check again continuing Bishop f4 but black has very little real counterplay here sitting waiting for Magnus Carlsen to improve the position. The exchange up
so it’s a real positional sacrifice. These pawns now are gaining mobility so the quality of the pawns is going up. The full dynamic potential you see is being
realized here again through the sacrifice.Qb3. In this position
if black took on c4 then d7 is crushing it’s overloaded here. That Queen and that rook is overloaded here. So black dare not take on c4. So Ka8
was played. a4 rook e8 a5 and again the dynamic potential is revealed if
this pawn can go forward c5 axb6 ands it’s really quite bad
position for black totally now because of the d5 move encouraging Queen takes c5 because now
a crushing move which is played. Can you spot it if I give you ten seconds
here to pause the video? So White is giving up voluntarily his connected
pawns for this position to play this particular key move here
which is winning okay Magnus Carlsen played Queen a4. It’s really
quite vicious these threats. Multiple threats on d7. Check Queen takes Queen a8 check.
Black played Re3. We have check check and this position d7
check check and now up here the final move – can you spot it clarifying totally the
position? Queen c8 check so winning material. Black resigned. If Q takes and we Queen
and when we take the rook White is a Bishop up. So it all started from that very very
dangerous positional sacrifice here which
compromised black’s King safety. So that was the Zurich chess challenge earlier this
year so at age 14 let’s go back to age 14 again in a Norwegian championship now. This next example. So b6
Magnus played the fantastic move here can you guess what Magnus Carlsen played in this position? okay Magnus played Knight takes f7. It
doesn’t matter if it’s taken by queen or the king. It’s taken by the Queen here
now f5 vicious. Opening up the dynamic potential of the bishops and the rooks.
Look at these bishops and the rooks. Queen h5 was tried hitting
bishop on h4 for putting pressure on that. But now Bishop takes e6 so threatening a discovered check with e7 and now we see a real bone-crushing move indeed f6 with
the idea of trying to win the Queen with the discovered check so the knight takes
f6 was played and now that attacks the Queen. White is going to be a little bit
careful but even Bishop takes f6 apparently is okay for white even
inviting quince Qxh2 even that would be good but this is much more crushing. Rook
takes f6 so here if G takes then just Bishop g4 check winning that Queen. So
Queen takes h4 was tried and Magnus didn’t just take the Queen here although
that’s good enough. Apparently he actually played even
better. Q takes c6 check and went for the king straight mate will Rf7
and it’s a forced mate here. If King d8 then rook d7 check Bishop f7
Queen takes d6 is mating. But black helps a little bit.
We see a quicker mate by playing King takes allowing Queen c4 checkmate
so wonderful play emphasizing again the dynamic potential of whites pieces with
this original with this sacrifice here and move 17 Knight takes f7 you see the
dynamics of the pieces being emphasized At age 17 now for our next
and final example in this Magnus Carlsen career tour video against Levon Aronian. A
wonderful conception here – a5 was played Magnus Carlsen played a very very dangerous pawn sacrifice. d5 was played stretching out the bishop and the potential of the white pieces. You might think “What an earth is this about!”. Well there are so many ways to take the pawn if C takes then the check is extremely dangerous and clear cut. Or something like this that’s that’s very very bad for black so if
it’s taken my pawn like this then Knight d4 has interesting properties
like going for the c6 pawn. It was actually taken by the knight and now we
see Knight e5. Nf6 played now Queen a4 so looking at c6 herewith the King
still in the center. Black plays Bb4 but now after the Nxc6 White’s
compensation at this point is eminently clear here. King safety has been
compromised with the King still in the center Rfd1 threatening Bishop b5 with
the focal point of d7 emerging. Rook c8 queen drops back Queen b6. Now Bd4 so white has very good compensation here. Bishop a6 and now Bb7 with the idea for example like this and then maybe to
take and Bishop c5 where the bishops are helping each other across all the
light and dark squares. h5 is played with the potential of Knight g4 being a
nuisance. Magnus Carlsen plays h3 extinguishing that threat. Black plays h4 maybe with the idea of getting the rook out like this. Rad1 e5 but now white crashes
through here. White plays – can you spot what white plays
in this position if I give you 10 seconds starting from now? Okay rook
takes b4 so it’s no good to really take here for example. In fact even stronger
than taking here are other moves. Just even this is good apparently where
black’s king is in trouble but black played a takes b4 you know
probably best was actually exd4 but a takes b4
that’s the full wrath of White’s pieces now after the check and here a real
crushing move emphasizing black’s lack of King safety. Can you spot it? Okay not Qc6 although yeah
because King f5 and the Kings like running away. The Queen’s actually serving a useful role hair – the King coming up
with this instead rook a1 so leaving that Queen controlling that exit point
introducing rook a6 check. Black ties rook d6 that’s just taken King takes
check now in this position rook a8 just trying to win that rook so
then how to go for the mate? So Queen d6 whites just material up. White
just takes the Queen then takes the rook. This pawn looks a little bit dangerous
after b3 but Ba6 and it’s going to come to rescue here and
black played Nd7 And just Rxh4 there’s another way to
come for that pawn with Rb5. And here actually black resigned. In fact
white can just play Bishop c4 here which is relatively easy. If here then Bishop e2 you might
consider to what was wrong with e4 here in this position well again just Bishop
c4 the pawn is not really going anywhere anytime soon. So there’s an astonishing
surprise positional sacrifice right from the opening starting d5 it just
emphasizes dynamic potential of whites pieces. I think that’s what really a lot
of these sacrifices have in common the positional sacrifices are by their
nature positional emphasizing dynamic piece play but often we also see pawn
mobility as well being maximized by Magnus Carlsen
so it’s a small selection of sacrifices I hope you enjoyed this video and maybe
I can do an extended video 20 of Magnus Carlsen sacrifices another time. But this is a selection of just eight here which I hope you enjoyed. So please
leave comments or questions on YouTube and
and like the video if you like it okay thanks very much. Please also check out which has many more Magnus Carlsen puzzles from his games on the Improve Menu … Puzzle books after you register and login there.

69 thoughts on “Chess Sacrifices: Magnus Carlsen Top Eight Amazing Chess Sacrifices (up until 2014)

  1. I believe watching your videos has helped me so much!  I could actually see some of these moves coming.  I can't say I would have played them if I had the position but  still understanding MUST come before application.  Thank you KC!

  2. I love it. I do pawn sacs to open lines when I feel I'm behind or will be stuck defending but I love his thinking to do sacs like these when there is no demand for something bold. These give courage to trust in piece play even more. Thx for the share!

  3. Thanks KingsCrusher you deserve the greatest prize from the chess community for all these years dedicated analysing and understanding chess.

  4. Thanks man.. i appreciate the effort you put into these daily videos!  They help me to play with extra confidence in my own games.. your analysis teaches me how to think like a chess master. You are wonderful!  

  5. Small note: the first game is not against Swedish GM Thomas Ernst (as the video says) but rather against the Dutch GM Sipke Ernst.

  6. I don't find the first "sacrifice" with Ng6 that impressive (I thought of it myself, and I'm a weak player), but in any case, I fail to see any substantial advantage for white after 2. Ng6 Rfe8 3. Nxe7+ Rxe7. Both sides are likely to lose their minor pieces at some point, and the picture seems quite drawish afterwards to me. Or am I missing something?

  7. Why did he move the rook at 3:34 ? It gives the enemy the free checkmate if the queen moves to E1 which he apparently just didn't see.

  8. Well I think at 0:48 white could have used bishop to take the pawn at H6. The opponent will surely try to take the bishop out by pawn at G7 as knight and bishop together can end the game will little help. Take bishop at E7 by knight-check. Thrust the queen Forward at E5 and then take knight out even if king try to evade use queen to give a check and then take the knight out- check. Only one move for the king H7. Move D1 rook to D3 and then to G3. Then move the queen at G7. It's checkmate. Black will not take any hasty move for checkmate due to H1 rook and it's own pawn at E6. It will not take much sacrifices either, making pieces available to attack second time if needed. I know Carlsen is genius but if I would have been in his place I would have done this. The sacrifices are only a bishop and a knight if anyone one of the rooks come to E7 in between.

  9. So I found all the sacrifices (not choosing a random move but predicting the variations following atleast the ones that happen and some other if not all the plausible ones ) but I still suck at chess im not rated but I think im about 1400…. 1650 tops maybe…

  10. Impossible to watch with subtitles on!

    "thanks Chi and then we see Queen things"
    "me Jimmy would replace them checkpoints some nights thanks"

  11. Many great solid masters like Capablanca, Botvinnik, Petrosjan, Karpov …
    Many great tacticians like Aljechin, Tal, Larsen, Kasparov …
    Many brought great ideas to the game … the list is too long …
    Mr. Carlsen has done it all! Especially having been the best for a decade in times with advanced computer analysis and a zillion games available for everyone …

  12. If I turn the sound off I can watch the moves, but, your speech is a low growl as you don't pronounce clearly and your narrative is valueless.

  13. good thing you don't talk too much about the possibilities, some maniacs on yt do this for more than half of the video, it's good but it has it's limit, great video

  14. I have developed a fool proof strategy. If you are white, open pawn d4, then you can move your king out and totally throw your opponent off.

  15. I only watched number 8 so far and can't believe that a human being can play so many moves in his head. And this for moves which most people probably wouldn't even consider and bother to think about…

  16. Thank for posting this excellent video. I can see it was a lot of work to create this. The level of some of this chess is way beyond my level, particularly that last pawn sacrifice. All I can say is, "Wow!"
    I did see the earlier queen sacrifice where a rook mated the next move. I saw that right away because I know that pattern. But I'm 60 years old! It amazing to think a 12 year old child played that well.

  17. The funny thing about the first one shown is… Black had two moments where if he had just stopped, moved his queen from A5 to B6, he could've potentially saved himself… but instead he just refused to move it from that potential mating spot.

  18. that knight at #9:07 lol

    I don't think I've seen that level of intimidation before.

    #16:51 just play rook h5 anyway

    #27:07 why not king e8?

  19. I had to laugh as I watched this video. WOW !
    He's a kid and he's crushing these GMs with these beautiful but ferocious mating attacks.

  20. Closed captions (CC) have now been added to this video – hope they are useful to some of you 🙂 Cheers, K

  21. 9:35. how did l not see that? That's one of those so obvious that it's not even with the title being what it is. I guess that's why l lose so often lol

  22. I like your videos but your “ill give you ten seconds to pause the video and find the move” is extremely annoying.

    There’s no need for the additional ten seconds as I can simply pause after you say “you can pause the video to find the move if you like”

  23. Wow I thought Magnus was a boring players seems at the top u don't even get the chance to sacrifice very accurate players

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