Grandmaster Chess Tactics #5: Can you spot the line?

Grandmaster Chess Tactics #5: Can you spot the line?

Hello everybody it is jrobi again with another
Grandmaster Chess Tactics video I’d like to do. And this position actually took place
in a game between Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian in the recent Bilbao 2008 chess tournament.
And Magnus was playing white in this position and it is white to move. Now the tournament
itself interestingly enough the average ELO rating of the tournament participants was
2775, which is the highest average ELO rating of all time for chess tournaments. So this
tournament’s definitely going to go down in the books as one of the strongest chess
tournaments of all time. And now I’ve put the full PGN on up on my of
the entire tournament. It is on the left hand side when you first go to the site in the
tournament section. So definitely take a look. Like, I mean, one of the things that really
stuck out to me about this tournament as I was kind of tracking the progress was that
even at the top levels of chess mistakes happen and you are just punished for them. Like,
I mean, these are the best chess players in the world and when a mistake takes place on
the board, you know, they get punished for it. And to me that just says that the game
of chess itself is, you know, it is vibrant and it is strong. And to me that speaks volumes
about the competitive aspects of chess. Like, I mean, you know these are the best players
in the world squaring off. And it is not just about their knowledge or their memorization;
it is also about who they are as people when they sit down to face their opponent. It doesn’t
matter if you are a man or a woman or a boy or girl. When you sit down in a game of chess
it is your brain at that time versus your opponent’s brain. And it is the degree of
competition, the level of competition, demands that somebody, you know, is going to make
a mistake. It might end up in a draw; maybe you have really good play from both people.
But at the end of a tournament run, you know, mistakes will happen. And that’s just the
beauty of the competitive aspects of chess. So this tournament even though it had the
highest ELO average of all time, we are still shown that at the competitive levels, even
at the top competitive levels chess is still a competition. There is winners, there is
losers, there is exciting stuff taking place. So that’s good because when you look at
the chess engines and you watch chess engines play each other, those are the most boring
games you’ll ever go through. But when you are talking about the best in the world at
chess when it comes to people, whether it is men or women, you know, there is exciting
stuff going on. There is wins, losses, draws, just it is great stuff. And that’s what
the game should always be about. Anyway this is one of my favorite positions from the tournament
so far. And Magnus Carlsen was playing white and it is white to move in this position.
Aronian just played the Pawn down to E5 attacking Magnus’s Bishop. So if you want to pause
the video and see if you can figure out what Carlsen played in this position. Definitely
go ahead and do so and I am going to take a look at both players positions and then
we will get into the move that was actually played. So if you look at white first of all.
So white’s King is nice and safe on G1. The Rooks are connected. And white also has
a very powerful presence along this diagonal with the Queen supporting the Bishop. Now
this Bishop here on D4 is being attacked currently. So that’s definitely something to consider.
But you’ll also notice that white is down a pawn in material so far. But even though
that’s the case white still has a Bishop pair and the board is still fairly open. So
that’s definitely an advantage for white to have those two Bishops on an open board
to work with. So even though white’s down one point in material from a technical standpoint,
in terms of piece activity and presence white’s definitely got a good position to work from.
Now if we take a look at black’s position on the other hand it is definitely quite a
different story. Like we have the Rooks that are connected which is good. But the Queen
seems to be passively placed here on B8 and it is kind of married to the protection of
this Pawn currently. The Bishop is protecting the isolated Pawn on the A file and it is
also stopping the Rook from impacting this file. The Bishop also has another purpose
in that it is kind of protecting this diagonal from being used by white to deliver a check.
Which kind of brings us to the biggest weakness of black’s position in that this King is
very exposed. And when you are facing a Bishop pair supported by a Queen and the Rooks are
still on the board, like having an exposed King like that definitely can’t be a good
thing. The Knight over on F6 doesn’t really have a lot of jump squares that it can access
currently. A lot of them are just simply it would be captured. So the Knight isn’t really
serving a huge function right now. Actually it is not threatening anything and it is not
really defending anything either. So black’s position is although black is a Pawn up in
material it is definitely inferior to whites. Now the question though is what did Magnus
come up with in this position as the white player to capitalize on black’s position.
Well he came up with a really brilliant move actually. And even though his Bishop is being
attacked from the Pawn on E5, Magnus comes crashing into the position and captures the
Bishop with his Rook. And when I first saw this I was, you know, immediately I stopped
and you think to yourself, well, you know, he’s just… he’s sacking his rook for
a Bishop. What’s going on, you know, what’s the plan? And you try to find the plan and
interestingly enough, you know, at the beginning of the video I was talking a little bit about
mistakes and how they happen at the top levels of chess. Well Aronian made a mistake. And
actually went and captured the Rook. And from here Magnus was able to launch a series of
attacking moves that were just… you couldn’t stop. Like he even put this position on the
computer and it just… it is building up to a crushing victory. From here Magnus just
lands a check. The King moves to E6 and then Rook to A1 is just devastating. So black has
to block. Brings the Rook down to D6 and then from here white captures the Rook and as you
can see the position is just falling apart. From here King captures and Magnus comes in
and delivers a check. The computer actually liked an immediate Rook to A8 instead of coming
in with the Queen check. So Rook comes down this way here and attacks the Queen. But nonetheless
what Magnus played worked just as well. So he comes in hits the check. The King moves
off and then from here now Magnus plays Rook up. And as you can see like, I mean, blacks
position is just getting ripped apart. From here Aronian plays the Queen back to D6 and
Carlsen just captures because once King recaptures he can just come in and grab the Rook. And
it wasn’t too many moves after actually that Aronian resigned. Now you might be wondering
what mistake I was talking about. Well if we go back to when the Rook captured the Bishop
on B4, Aronian had another move that he could’ve done here in this position. And instead of
capturing the Rook it was to capture the Bishop. And the engines have the Rook coming over
and capturing the Pawn after black plays that and gives white theoretical one Pawn advantage
in positional strength. In terms of actual material though it would have been equal.
So there was definitely no doubt Aronian missed the best move in that position. But, you know,
credit’s also got to go to Magnus Carlsen because he must’ve, you know, looked at
both options either (a) his Rook gets captured and he has a completely winning game. Or (b)
his Bishop gets taken, material is now balanced so he’s no longer down a Pawn. And he’s
got a better position to work from. So, you know, that’s the beauty of chess and that’s,
you know, what it is all about. So take care. Hope you enjoyed the video and we will see
you next time!

100 thoughts on “Grandmaster Chess Tactics #5: Can you spot the line?

  1. Thanks foodope – I had to put the file together which took a little time. The released PGN's were broken down by round and there was inconsistencies in the PGN text that had to be cleaned up in order to get the thing working. Totally missed the folder information though – not a big deal but should be fixed now. Good catch!

  2. That wouldn't work out unfortunately. The line would go RxB4 RxD4 RBxD4 ExD4 ExD4 and white has a much stronger position. Interesting idea though – thanks for posting!

  3. I hardly play chess and stumbled upon your videos and I think this is great. It makes want to take the dust off my old chess set and give it a go. Looking forward to your next release.

  4. Great video Jrobi – and funny enough I have been thinking the same kind of thoughts myself – that even if super GMs are playing, they can still crush each other. Do you think Chess is in effect harder than say getting a PHD or anything academic?! – because you are battling againat someone else's mind ?!

  5. I enjoy reading the results of engine vs engine play – as in which one is dominating, etc. But those games where you have tons of moves in the end with each computer trying to play the position perfectly are the ones I find rather boring.

  6. No because either way after taking the rook black is gonna move bishop to c5+ then clutter blacks position and also white gets to keep the rook so white wins by even more.

  7. It was easy for me to spot the move now since i watched the game when it was played in Bilbao and remembered the move. I didn't see the move when Magnus played it though…

  8. Rxb4 e4 Bc5+ and black can choose between getting mated or losing a lot of material.

    F. ex. Ke6 Rb5+ Ke5 Qf4++ (black can wiggle a bit longer by putting stuff on e5 but loss is still imminent) or Ke8 Bc6+ Rd7 Bxd7 Nxd7 Qxe4+ and loss is imminent.

  9. Because White is threatening Ra6+ Kd7 Qc6 mate. Other attempts to prevent this are abortive:
    ..e4 Ra6+ Ke5 Qf4 mate or
    ..e4 Ra6+ Kd7 Qf5+ Ke8 Re6+ fe6 (Kd7 Re7 mate) Qe6 mate
    ..Nd5 Ra6+ Kd7 Qxd5+ Ke8 Re6+ fxe6 Qxe6 mate

    .. Basically anything which allows Ra6+ allows mate

  10. Thanks I am just starting to play chess and I love it. I try to play at least once a day. I never knew how much fun and pain could be in one game.

  11. Thanks ewhsdavism! And the mistakes still happen at the top levels, which is a great thing for the state of the game in my opinion. "Perfect" chess can stay in the realm of the machines. =)

  12. i noticed something…

    grandmasters aren't afraid to makes big moves.
    i would never even consider taking the openent's bishop with my rook.

  13. jrobi, these chess videos really got me into chess. I'm learning a lot just from watching your videos. I know this is a noob question, but what is that raiting thing you were talking about early in the video?

  14. Glad to hear that W! Rating is assigned based on win/loss/draw. It's never hard to pull up with solid play and lots of wins, but it can dip quite low especially when you first get going. I would say it would take around 30-50 games to hit a reliable spot to reference. Check out my Free Internet Chess server video on how to get setup there to play and get a rating. Hope that helps and thanks for checking out the vid!

  15. I did, im all signed up. thanks! From your videos im decent in the openings and end games. I'm still having a little trouble during mid games. But i think ill get better. Btw, my record is 2 wins and 6 losses

  16. That's awesome! I plan on making some middle game vids so hopefully those will help both of us. Also, when you play FICS always play rated games otherwise you will end up playing a lot of computers. Enjoy FICS and maybe we can hook up for a game sometime when we're both on. My user name there is jrobi.

  17. You can add me to your notify list and it will give you a beep whenever I come online. I think it's just "notify name" or "gnotify name" to make that happen.

  18. I am very young but i still luv to play chess and that kind of stuff.. but for some reason i can never find the absolute right move like all these grandmasters. But some of the chess tourneys i go to, i see these kids w/ ratings of 2000 and always make the perfect move. The thing is with chess tactics, You always know there is an exact, perfect move but in games i miss them cuz im not looking for them… if you have any suggestions to this problem let me know, but if you don't thts okay too…..

  19. Practise always helps you improve your chess knowledge and playing ability, regardless of your level.

    Also, you can't really say "perfect" because it's physically impossible for a move to be flawless.

    Anyways, I recommend starting to get into the habit of setting small goals throughout the whole game to accomplish things one at a time.

    And of course, keep watching videos like these (jrobichess rules!) and maybe go to the local chess club every so often.

    Awesome video btw, jrobi. 5/5

  20. Lol, I have the same problem as jjaco19, I see all these great combinations in games, but when I play a game of my own I get so caught up in capturing stuff that I don't really see the "right" move and end up suffering a devastating punishment for a mistake I did. I know practice makes perfect, but i've played a lot of games and still can't get used to looking for combinations

  21. Nice series, thanks for posting. AND I paused as you suggested and found the move! Yea. I saw the continuation with the 'correct' response by GM Aronian. Which seemed good enough. You are right about the mistake. Too many bishops and too many checks for black to survive.

  22. I am trying to learn how to play Chess well, using a game called Chess Titans. However, I am a little demoralized by how well the comp plays at even level 5/10. It seems to me that the main thing I learn from playing against a computer is good positioning. I do not learn how to execute offensive plans, because the comp never has "holes" in its lines, and never makes mistakes. Only through slowly taking "territory" can I beat it. My question is whether a comp plays very differently from a human?

  23. In my experience a comp plays very different than a human. For example if you set a comp to a certain level it may always see an average of 4 moves ahead. It will never not see less than that average so long as it has enough time to complete it's calculation.The only way to really consistently beat it is to think more moves ahead than it does.


  24. A human on the other hand is different. Through out the game they may see 7 moves ahead and at another point miss a good move that is only 2 moves away. And they may just blunder completely. If you happen to be seeing 5 moves at a point when he is seeing only 2 moves you might beat someone who is above your level.

    Computers don't have this problem, they are consistent. So turn the level down so you are about equal and then continue to play it, while turning it's level up slowly over time


  25. Doing this can help. Also you can replay the same opening position over and over while finding the mistakes in your game and eliminating them.

    To win consistently while using different openings your only real chance is to simply think ahead more moves than the comp does, through out the ENTIRE game.

    This is how I see it, it may be wrong, but there you go. Good luck. 🙂

  26. Thank you very much for the extensive reply!

    Slowly increasing difficulty is what I have been doing so far, and at this point I can easily beat the computer at level 4, but I am having great trouble on level 5. I probably just have to think more moves ahead, as you say, but that's harder than it sounds :/ I can simulate 3 or 4 moves well in my mind, but more than that is really hard :/ Also, this only works in situations where I can be more or less certain of the opponents move…

  27. I asume the computer simulates every POSSIBLE move, while I can only simulate the likely ones .. Perhaps I really need to find some human opponents, but they make me nervous *sigh*

  28. I'm not that good at chess, actually for that matter I suck, but anyway, if you say the comp never makes mistakes then it's completely different from a human being, though maybe if you play with someone very good, he/she will mostly do the right moves, though I personally think the computer is totally different.

  29. ur like my indirect mentor, love all ur vids, it helps with some of my own tactics and really helped me with my games, although my board site needs work, i just got back from a school match and i lost to like a version of the fools mate, and when i saw the position i had a much better move where id be a pawn and a knight ahead and stil have very consistent position i was so mad

  30. from what i know thay play differently becouse people have personalitys in the game. some like bishops more then knights some dont but relly good players generally dont have instent good moves aganst them

  31. i caught it right when the video spotted. That diagnal was so weak and all white had to do was remove the defender of it with a piece sac to get going

  32. I would extend analysis on second move with a king to Ke8 instead of Ke6.
    So 1. Rxb4 axb4 2. Bc5+ Ke8 3. Bc6+ Rd7[or 3. …Nd7 4. Qd5! Qc7 5.Bd6 Qa7 6.Qxe5X]4.Qxf6! gxf6(checkmatre was threatening on e7) 5.Bxd7+ Kd8 6.Bb5+ Kc8 [6. …Kc7 7.Bd6+ white is left with extra piece] 7.Ba6+ Kc7 8.Bd6+ with extra piece for white

  33. im not a grandmaster, but i saw the rook sacrifice
    just try to resolve a lot of tactics puzzles each day and you going to improve your vision

  34. @mikeusat dude if you were to belief that… i ur dreams… machines are made to do perfect jobs… this jobs have consistency, rules, etc… like chess have rules… that when u plug it in a machine it knows all right and wrong… it is logic not creativity… u already beat machines by creativity cause machines dont have creative thinking

  35. at 5:41 what happens if the Queen captures bishop instead of king.. i mean isn't that a better move then what black fella made?

  36. yes!! i got that one. Except that i imagined the king to move up to E8, with white slowly leading to a checkmate with the use of the 2 bishops

  37. But, in a wider scale of things, it does prove the power of man's own ingenuity, able to create some that completes a task better and more efficiently than he himself.

  38. Hi Jrobichess,
    Whenever I want to see some chess moves on you tube, I type in jrobichess without fail.
    You're awesome.

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