Magnus Carlsen vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave : YourNextMove (Blitz) (2017), Leuven BEL

Magnus Carlsen vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave : YourNextMove (Blitz) (2017), Leuven BEL

Hi all! Let’s have a look at one of the
amazing games coming out of the Leuven Blitz in Belgium this is Magnus Carlsen
against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (MVL) this is around Round 12 – second of July 2017. 1 c4
from Magnus so English opening at the moment and now e3 and this is of course
instructive for me because if I kick off the game with a e3 and they play e5 I could
get this position with c4 we’re combining a kind of reverse French
defense with reverse Sicilian defense and now after Knight f6 Knight c3 is
very logical waiting to be able to take here and open up that C file Nc6
but we will also into the mixture of systems a kind of Grob move now g4 so
Basman was keen with g4 on the first move .. So this aims to sometimes control
that d5 square but there’s other ideas in the Grob which actually Magnus makes
use of. After Bb4 g5 white gets this bishop pair but what good is the
bishop pair if this is blocked in later?! so this is another fantastic idea
the pawn is slightly vulnerable instead of protecting it one of the kind of more
aggressive ideas of the Grob system is to sometimes use that as a pawn sack to
get an active rook on the g-file … pressure on the G file but so White is interested in
boosting all his pieces here like this bishop on c1 this rook on h1 so yeah very
interesting idea sacking that pawn and also now after Queen g5 we get some
other effect that this bishop is also kind of targeted. First this Knight is
kicked but now this this pawn move locks in the counterpart – the Bishop over there so this one saying to this one ‘haha I’m not blocked and you are!’ so very
interesting pawn sack this whole idea sacking the ‘g’ pawn there
that kind of accepts imprisonment with c6 – what else can he do here ?! if he takes
it might be worse actually if he took then there’s things like Bishop a3 and
Queen takes d6 to follow this might be even more dangerous in a
practical sense. So c6 looks like a really miserable move imprisoning that
Bishop so white is also gaining with tempo Knight f3 and now Rg1 – look
at all of White’s pieces … from a practical point of view this is much
easier to play with the white pieces from the engine point of view it might be –
an engine might think black so okay but really this is so difficult for black to actually play
here – the immediate threat is parried with Ne6 and now another startling move … I
wonder if you can guess it if I give you five seconds starting from now … okay both bishop engines are activated now
with e4 – this opens up this bishop as well so we’ve got both bishops kind of
activated – it maybe this one needs a bit more activation later but this after e4
Queen takes e4 check .. Bishop e3 it’s all about the bishops being really
active and the pieces being really active and yeah this is getting
dangerous – Bishop d3 threatens immediately to trap the Queen so the
Queen moves – we have Queen f5 now Knight g5 very interesting to build take on e6
and then crash through on g7 … we have Nf4 trying to parry that idea … White gives up
one of the bishops this is taking out one of blacks only active pieces there’s
only the Queen that’s around at the moment and the Queen is subject to tempo
game .. rook g4 – and again Ne4 and now after Queen f3
White is potentially threatening here Queen g3 hitting e5.
This is a very very tricky part of the game here. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave plays
Knight f6 probably expecting Knight takes f6 which actually technically this
position if we just get this simplification is about equal here you
know black has paid some something for that Knight f6 here and this this from
you know from a technical engine point of view is about equal or even if anyone’s
better .. maybe black can start wriggling out with b6 but Magnus keeps
the tension in the position he plays a really really interesting move here … I
wonder if you can guess it .. if I give you five seconds to pause the video what
would you consider playing with white?! okay it’s a bit of a stunner … rook takes
g7 and black is probably shell-shocked by this move and he immediately plays probably not the most accurate reply
basically clearly it’s it’s very dangerous for black – you know the worst
move would be N takes because that’s a mate in two but um the best move is
probably King f8 here so giving the option of King take g7 it’s it’s a
very very calm resourceful response no panic about it .. King f8 if the rook goes
back then actually this d6 pawn might actually be a liability … Knight takes and
Queen takes d6 and a lot of blacks problems are solved now .. this
might be you know okay or even slightly better for black technically but Magnus is
playing against human who panicked here yeah this causes a panic. Queen takes g7
immediately … White has got masses of compensation here on the dark
squares by taking out g7 f6 has being weakened and e5 … it’s a whole ripple
effect on the dark squares which we start to see now after Knight takes we
start to see this from this position .. that there are actually issues now on
other dark squares so an amazing practical decision for Magnus causing a
suboptimal you know human reply it is just blitz after all as well so
interesting moment here … the King goes to d8 let’s have a quick look at this
if King f8 Queen f5 maybe the key move with Queen takes e5 to follow … and it’s
difficult for black to actually do something about this for example this
position is pretty miserable with these two threats .. you can see it’s not just
about the bishop being blocked in .. It’s the interruption on the whole back row
especially with this pawn … this is another attacking piece basically near
the king so there’s some dire issues here for black to solve .. we’d have to
actually give up a rook here which is not very very nice this is just totally
lost for black this position okay things like Queen d8 to follow so yeah the King actually goes to d8 preparing actually to shuffle the rook here so making space for the
rook to go there Queen f5 rook e8 to counter sac the
exchange to defend e5 on b6 this yeah this is just end of game after Queen
takes e5 for example like this and it’s just mating so black has to actually sac
the exchange here with rook e8 to defend that’s taken and now this Bishop is
activated c5 activating that Bishop and we have b5 at least trying to stop the
use of the c4 square I mean c4 might might be useful
But Bishop d3 … blacks not interested in the h7 form here and there’s no time to
try and win a rook you just get mated for example check it’s just a way of her
getting mated over here Queen takes e5 and then Queen h8
checkmate that pawn is part of the mating that there so there’s no time for
any material hunting .. f6 is played we have king e2 and this is a very
interesting move coming up here after king f7 white really wants to be able to
have an option of rook g1 but how to achieve that here ?! blacks really tied
down to d7 in this position so white plays a mysterious move looking move
here which caught my attention really I wonder if you can guess it if I give you
five seconds starting from now … mysterious looking move … what would you play here okay rook h1 it seems ridiculous to put the rook behind the
pawn but it’s actually like a sliding block puzzle because then this king can
go there and then rook can go there protected by the king so by
doing this it’s just making way for the king to come here but also in some
variations h4 is also useful supported by the rook – we have rook b8 let me just
show you one of those variations I’m mentioning … I’m thinking of Queen g6
Queen f3 here Queen g5 they could be h4 utilizing that
rook on h1 so it’s like a mysterious rook move and here white is also ready
with his passed ‘h’ pawn so this is winning for white basically so anyway
rook h1 rook b8 was played. Now King f1 so Rg1 was introduced we have
Queen g6 Queen f3 hitting the Queen Queen goes to h6 now finally Rg1
and there are ideas of Rg3 to h3 which would target h7. Bishop a6
finally black moves the bishop but d7 is a target which is immediately tapped into – that ‘weakness of the last
move’. Poor Bishop – the rook is tied down now to defend that instead. Rook g3 if check I don’t believe this is particularly good after Kg2 there –
the tempo gain there (Rxc1 threat) is a bit of a killer so humble move Rd8 Rg3 e4 –
this looks pretty desperate – Queen takes e4 now threatens Qe7 – now Re8
Queen g4 hitting d7 again and also potentially h7 is loose in these lines
as well so Bishop c8 King g2 taking away any potential checks there which might
have been useful Qg5 Queen f3 keeping the Queens on for a moment Qd5 and it’s here actually Magnus does take on d5 Queens do come off Bishop
takes h7 threatening Bishop g6 so it wasn’t just winning the pawn it was
getting that g6 square to threaten Bishop g6 Re5 coming
out of the firing line there on the diagonal f4 we have this check rook
takes h2 but now check here so getting that Center pawn with the immediate threat of rook to g8 checkmate – that’s parried Kf2 Bishop a6 and now the King marches up
the board in this final phase king d4 Rg7 – rook on the 7th – White’s got all the big positional trump cards here you can hope for
c6 undoubling his pawns technically and crashing through much more effectively
now – the rook on 7th is much more effective so a5 … the king
coming in to c5 and the game ended here … and that’s a very miserable
looking position visually let’s have a look say b4 c4
and say f5 Ra7 you know black’s not really doing much here say this.. rook a8
that nasty pin (c8 bishop pinned) because with the threat Bishop d7 why can just start picking off
the pawns at leisure and eventually you know blacks gonna have to do something
desperate like that because if black doesn’t do something desperate well
let’s say rook g7 Ra8 and there’s the threat for example of
sometimes d7 or even just Bishop d5 here let’s see Bd5 might even be
better just to go for that c8 without losing anything so this this is the kind
of thing – Bishop e6 – so it looks fairly hopeless this endgame scenario –
let’s look where the game ends again if we throw in the check … King b6
this position is yeah it’s just all pretty hopeless White’s going to just play
this ideally ..which threatens that mate to get that nasty pin so once
that happens you have similar situations before even with d7 let alone that
Bishop move .. d7 here is killing okay so it’s a totally killing
final position and yeah it just shows really for me as a blitz player as
you know from the Kingscrusher channel … well my first lesson from this
game is to combine the reverse French with the reverse Sicilian and the
machismo Grob with the gambit .. he basically in doing that .. he … both bishops
were really activated fully later and this Bishop was hemmed in most of the
game … d7 was an issue much of the game … there were constant threats to handle
basically and the endgame favors white basically massively with the rook coming into the position it was just fantastically active dynamic
aggressive blitz game from Magnus Carlsen and shows it was like one of those
wonderful Alexander Alekhine games yeah with the dynamic pawn sac in the
opening …it was a bit like that it was actually a dynamic pawn sack in the
opening here with that ‘g’ pawn … if we just yeah .. it’s just a wonder .. if we just
appreciate the dynamic aggressiveness of this game it really was amazing …
so something to learn from here for sure especially if you’re a blitz player to take
these sort of risks … comments questions like shares appreciated … thanks
very much

11 thoughts on “Magnus Carlsen vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave : YourNextMove (Blitz) (2017), Leuven BEL

  1. Thanks! Please do Anand VS MVL on Day three of YourNextMove, it was an ainsane game with so many twists and turns I would like to see your thoughts.

  2. Whilst watching this one live, I didnt get what Magnus was doing, but second time round, all sacrifices and sacks make so much sense, and as magnus said in interview afterwards "he had no developed pieces so I didnt have to worry about material"

  3. I saw that rook shift to "live" on stream. Its an awesome manuever hiding behind Harry awaiting help from the King. Ofc i didnt understand sh*t..;) at the time.

  4. If we gave a Game of the Year Prize based on capturing the imagination, this one has my full support! Commentary well done, as always.

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