Wei Yi vs Magnus Carlsen – 2016 Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Wei Yi vs Magnus Carlsen – 2016 Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Hi everyone, it’s Jerry. This is a Round 3
game from the 2016 Tata Steel chess tournament between Wei Yi, playing on the white end,
and Magnus Carlsen. This is a pairing that I’ve been looking forward to for about a year
now, since last year’s Tata Steel tournament where at the time Wei Yi was playing in the
Challenger’s section. He went on to win that which earned him the right to play in this
year’s Master’s section. So this game here acts as the first meeting between these two.
Wei Yi, a 16-year-old from China, clearly one of the most talented rising stars in our
game. He is paired against our current World Chess Champion, the 25-year-old Magnus Carlsen
from Norway. Let’s see what would happen in this first of ‘many’ encounters? e4 e5 knight
f3, knight c6, bishop b5 entering the Ruy Lopez or Spanish Game, a6, bishop a4. This
opening has a tendency to be a bit on the positional side, or strategic side where play
is non-confrontational…not a lot of pawn tension. The position does not open up. There
aren’t early pawn exchanges. Rather both sides develop slowly. Not the case here such that
the position does become sharp. It does…does have tension in it…it does open up as early
as move 8. Knight f6, castles, bishop e7, rook e1, b5, bishop b3, black castles, and after
c3…d5. So okay…here we are. This is a sharp line in this opening, namely the Marshall
Attack. This is a gambit line. Black is with this move offering up a pawn. Black with this
move is opening up the position, creating pawn tension. And with this line black tries
to show that this backward, or delay in the white development is an issue. e takes d,
knight takes, knight takes e. White’s now up a pawn. Knight takes knight, rook takes,
black secures the knight’s post, d3. We’re a dozen moves in…well within opening theory…neither
player caught off guard…well within both players preparation. Both players up until
this point have actually gained time on their clocks. They started out with 100 minutes
each. With the time controls in this tournament, you gain 30 seconds per move. So observing
the clock times on this side…going from one move to the next does give us some insight
as to how much time is spent on each move. Now with this last move in the game, d3…this
is the first question I had for myself. I have seen the move d3, I have also seen the
move d4, and until I spent the time investigating it further…ya know I didn’t have a reason,
or I couldn’t identify or share with you a difference between the two until now. The
move d4, I must say to me at least, and probably for many…d4 seems much more natural. Why
not go two instead of one? Why not have a pawn watch over a pawn instead of devoting
a piece to its defense? So what’s a difference between having the pawn on d3 and d4? Well let
me show you one difference. There’s some tactical idea involved. If the pawn is on d4…it’s
quite common and this is played just in all variations…just in this system…in this
opening the bishop does reposition and get on this diagonal with tempo, challenging the
rook. If the pawn is on d4, we do have bishop d6, and the queen can come out to h4. After
g3 to defend against h2, she goes deeper into the white position. This is a very strong
post for the black queen, and one that white may try to disrupt. For example with rook
to e4. Trying to play rook h4 to challenge that queen’s post. However this can be prevented
with the move g5…a super committal move…a very weakening move. But it does a good job
in preventing rook h4, and it is poison. It cannot be captured…should not be captured.
Bishop takes g5 can be met with queen f5, striking at not just one, but two unprotected
pieces. Knight d2, queen takes bishop. This is not available if…this g5 move is not
available if the pawn is on d3. Bishop d6, queen h4, queen h3, rook e4, g5 to stop this
idea is no good. Bishop takes pawn can be played because queen f5 strikes at only one,
not two unprotected pieces. Anyhow just wanted to share one of the differences between these
two. Okay so in the game it was d3, bishop d6, rook e1, bishop f5 striking at d3. Queen
f3 strikes at the bishop…this is ignored. Black sets their sights on h2. If white is
grabbing the bishop, this is a very strong attack that black has. Not a good idea for
white to grab the material. Development is key, and there’s little of it on the queenside.
g3 simply parries the threat. Queen h3, bishop e3 offers the pawn back and it is taken. If
white is doing something other than bishop to e3…ya know as it stands right now black
has that direct…this direct connection between the rooks…the thing that we look to do when
we play…to have all our pieces cleared out between our rooks. White is two moves away
from having similar. If knight d2 is played, white is still two moves away from finishing
development. The knight still has to move and the bishop still has to move. So white
is offering up the pawn in order to complete development. Bishop e3 with then knight to
d2 is the idea that white has. Black gets that material back. White finishes development.
And now black plays queen to f5. I should mention that on bishop to e3, it isn’t a good
idea for black to say ya know what I’m going to take this opportunity to grab the bishop
pair…knight takes bishop. Because white can recapture, move forward, improve the rook
position, prepare to double, and have security over the d3 pawn. That pawn with live. White
will maintain that pawn plus. Not a good idea to take the bishop in this position as soon
as it plays to e3. Nor is it a good position…a good idea to take the bishop after knight
to d2. Knight takes here is also not a good idea because after rook takes the bishop is
hit, and white can next take on c6 with the queen. Bishop g6, queen takes c6. The development
on the white side is fine, and white has still that pawn plus. Some care of course needs
to be taken over these weaknesses near the kingside, but not a good idea to be taking
knight takes bishop there. Only after queen f5 is this now some threat…knight takes
bishop. Black is preparing to exchange queens, which would rule out that earlier mentioned
queen takes c6 move, and only then take the bishop. So black threatens to exchange queens
and then take the bishop with this last move. So white gets out of the way only at this
point, bishop d4. There is no knight takes bishop, the rook is now unmasked. Rook a to
e8, king to g2, improving the king position slightly. Queen takes queen, king takes. You
could take with the knight, but it may be a little bit uncomfortable. This is the thing
that I think about when…if the knight is capturing I see a move like bishop to e4 and
I see that I’m in a pin and I can’t resolve that pin so easily. You could resolve it in
time with something like rook a1* (c1), and then bishop to c2, but just to recognize some
of the uncomfortableness…if that’s even a word. Some ya know of the discomfort let’s
say that white can experience if they’re taking on f3 with the knight instead of the king.
So in the game it was king takes queen, rook to e6. And if we observe the clock times…Carlsen
has spent very little time. In fact, ya know, this last move seems like it was played pretty,
ya know, pretty quick and probably within his preparation still here. And I’m highlighting
this because it may have influenced this next move by white (Wei Yi). It seems…it may
seem appealing to just grab this rook. It does allow this discovered check, but you
move the king out of the way and there’s maybe…ya know is this a liability…ya know something
that can be exploited having now this isolated pawn? Well things can get quite sharp from here.
So if white (Wei Yi) was not prepared, if they have not seen this position before…if
they have not looked at it before with a computer…it makes some sense to not go in this direction…into
this sharp line where black is throwing some punches, and ya know if you’re not careful…ya
know things can quite easily go bad. My point here is Carlsen seems to be, with this last
move, the more prepared side. So entering a sharp line…maybe not a good idea. And
this is a sharp line. So we don’t have this capture on e6, but instead rook a to c1, which
is prepping this c4 move. The c4 move can be played right away…this is an important
question you might have. I’m pointing out well rook a to c1 is preparing this…well
why not just break with c4 right away?…you have enough support for it. If we look at
c4 right away…this is a move. The idea with this can be to, ya know, try and disrupt the
knight position. If pawn takes…this would be…this would be good for white because
the bishop can recapture. And what is the end result of the b-pawn being exchanged for
the c-pawn? Well black now has some deficient queenside structure…two isolated pawns.
Black however can actually move the knight, and have this move in mind. For example after
c takes b, the rook is hit, but black doesn’t have to react to that. They can play a takes
b, and allow the rook to be captured. Because after the recapture there’s a check. If king
g2, knight c2 wins the material back. This would not be the case if the rook was on c1.
It gets a little bit more involved from this position. After king to e3, there’s moves
like c5, and black playing a line where they’re an exchange down but they have very active
pieces. I don’t want to show that. I don’t want to go too far astray from the actual
game. But that’s…those are some of the points…this knight b4 reaction in reply to c4 right now
instead of…after having the rook on c1. Okay, in the game we did have rook a to c1,
not this c4 strike. Black now plays a6, or excuse me h6, this is a flight square for
the black king. I should also mention this rook a to c1 move does not allow this quite
natural doubling on the e-file. This is, ya know, if we have a look at this move…the
move played was this, h6. But if black is doing something super natural like a rook
f to e8, doubling rooks, what can follow is the exchange of rooks, and then this c4 move
and this is very good for white (Wei Yi). Not a winning advantage, but there is some…white
is definitely the preferred side here with this variation. The knight is hit. If the
knight moves right away, now this is no good. c takes b, there aren’t those tricks of bishop
takes rook, and then the pawn recapturing with check in this case. This is an issue
for black (Magnus Carlsen). So you actually do have to take on c4 right away. You can’t
make a knight move. And after bishop takes, bishop takes, knight takes, it can only be
white who is fighting for a…ya know white is the preferred side here. For what reasons?
Well, structural standpoint, queenside, these are deficient, two isolated queenside pawns.
If you wanna take it one step further, compare king positions. This is a better king position,
this is an endgame, the kings wanna be closer towards the center, and this is a better positioned
white king. Okay, so the natural rook f to e8…not a good idea. Instead h6, still having
this idea in mind where if the rook is captured in some way, this is this recapture with a
discovered check. White (Wei Yi) gets out of that altogether, tucks the king away, king
g2. Rook g6 gets out of the line of fire of the bishop for one, and places the pawn in
a pin which is now permitting a knight f4 check. This is something that white allows.
Knight e4 is played. About 18 minutes was spent on this move knight to e4. A continuation
that was likely thought about in this position was the bishop for knight exchange…this
is a big deal in the game. Just ya, in a chess game the bishop for knight exchange is a big
deal…a big imbalance to try an assess. White could have gone for this, to give up the light-squared
bishop for the knight on d5, and then look to next quickly eliminate this trump that
black has, which is to say the bishop pair by playing bishop to e5. If the bishop’s running
away, you can look to try and hunt him down in this way. If he’s avoiding these exchanges,
these pieces can take up some nice posts. This is a direction that the game could have
gone…the bishop for knight exchange I imagine that was at least one of the things…one
of the variations that was considered here…to take the knight and then find a good post
for this knight. He would have a good square to rely upon in that of the d4 square. He
did not go for this. Instead improves the knight position, and strikes at the d6 bishop,
allows knight to f4, and this does hit. Knight f4 check, king moves forward, bishop takes
knight, rook takes, knight d3 striking at both rook and pawn. You move the rook and
defend the pawn right? You could do that. But white instead stays very active with the
rooks…centralizes the rook. Rook to d1 allows the pawn to be captured. Rook d2…so this
is a good post for the rook, it’s an active post, striking at the knight, he’s on an open
file. White is now down a pawn, has however the bishop pair, well centralized rooks, and
a better king position in this ending. Bishop a3 to defend, bishop to b6 clearing the rook
to maybe enter here along…well rook to d7 is an idea, but also it’s clearing the way
for the rook to observe these two jumping points by the knight. Rook to d6, rook takes
rook, bishop takes, rook to e2, knight to d3. If the knight is immediately going here
we can expect a quick capture, and then the rook getting very active. Rook to d2, bishop
to e5, rook to e2, bishop to d6. This may also even be an idea…going straight in for
rook to e4 instead of questioning the bishop’s position like this of rook to d2 to e2. Simply
rook to e4* hunting down this pawn like this. Rook e4…rook e4 to c4. So knight c4 was
not played. Knight d3 instead, rook d2, knight to e5 hitting with a check, king goes back
to g2. Bishop e7…that bishop was hit by the rook, now f4. Yeah, the knight does not
have very many options, he goes into c4. Going to, let’s say, g4, yeah this let’s the rook
enter, strike at the bishop. White will likely grab one of the…will likely regain the material,
and still have these two bishops in an open position. Not a good idea…not a good idea
for the knight to play to g4, or even g6 for that matter. He’s just as good on g6 as he
is off the board. So knight c4, bishop takes knight, pawn takes, there’s been a lot of
back and forth…a little back and forth here with one side being up material, then giving
it back. I mean, how did it play out so far? Black played the gambit line, white was up
a pawn, white gave the pawn back, black was up a pawn, and then black is basically giving
the pawn back here. In each case there’s this…ya know, when you’re up the pawn you’re pieces
aren’t as well positioned…you’re kind of on your heels. And then in order to get off
your heels, you give that material back to release the pressure. And that continued to
shift back and forth like that from a white side to black side, black side to white side.
We had that little shift going on in many cases in this game so far. As it stands right
now, black is up a pawn. It’s not a super healthy pawn of course, but it is a pawn…a
situation of double isolated pawns here, but white has rook activity…do a rook comparison
here. White is also on move, playing rook to d7. Bishop f6, rook c7, bishop takes c,
rook takes c. Black is still up a pawn, but white has rook activity…better pieces. Rook
to b8, a4, bishop to b2, bishop to a5. Number 1 priority…get rid of this passed pawn.
c3, bishop takes, bishop takes, rook takes, rook to b4, and now how to react to this pressure
against the pawn? Well, it’s a5. That is the best move. Rook to a3…on rook to a3 black
can play a5 and be one step further…one step closer to queening should this pawn fall.
So first it’s best to play a5, and only then rook to a3. If this pawn is captured, at least
this guy has to work a little bit harder to get to his desired a1 square. So a5, in other
words…when the pawn is hit, a5. Only at this point, rook to a3. Rook check, king moves
forward. You could play back here but it’s a little bit scary to have your king cut off
from the action. White is instead moving forward. f5, rook c3 looks to transfer the rook. Looks
to also win the a6 pawn. So black needs to get back to a position where they put pressure
on the pawn. Does that after rook c3, rook b5. This is the best way to put pressure on
this pawn. If you’re doing it by way of a2, the rook plays to c5, and this is a much more
active post for the rook to defend the pawn when you compare that with the rook playing
to a3. This is far more defensive, this is a better post. Defense, and he also has some
aggressive intentions from c5. So after this rook to c3 move, it is rook to, excuse me
rook to c3, rook b5 is played next. Rook to a3, g5, f takes, h takes, king to g2, king
g7, h4, g4, and now white says I’m not just gonna stay here and defend my pawn. I’m going
to allow you to take it, and while you grab that material, I am going to improve my rook
position. Rook c3, rook takes a, rook c6 cuts the king off. Rook check, king g1. a5, white
gets right behind the pawn, a4, king h1. Black is up a pawn. The game started out early where
white was up a pawn, but we had that lot of back and forth…shifting of material…the
shifting of piece activity. King h1, king f7. There’s not a good way forward for either
side here. White stays around here with the king, and the rook stays on a6…ideally placed
to be behind…he’s ideally placed because he is behind the passed pawn, and he is cutting
off the king from moving forward. King h1, a3, king g1, and it is at this point that
the players agreed to a draw. There’s not a good way forward here. If black is trying
to improve the king position towards the center, he will have to first go in this direction.
But this is not such a good idea. If black is trying something like this, we can play
king h1, and as soon as the king plays here…actually yeah after the king plays here we can push
h5, and the king will not be able to stop the pawn, so guess who’s going to have to
do that? The rook, and when he does, this pawn is taken. Even if we have this exchange
of the h-pawn for the a-pawn, this will not be enough to win. This is an easily holdable
draw for white. One pawn versus two. So there’s really just no way forward here. Black could
give a check…after a2…after king to g1, if black is giving a check, king g2, and then
playing a2, white can do basically whatever…just keep the king sitting here, and keep the rook
trained on this pawn like this. If the king ever gets down to this point where he is defending
the pawn, you could just give a check, and then get right back over here to keep pressure
against the a2 pawn. But there’s even more serious issues that black would have to tend
to in such cases. This is a connected passed pawn, so there’s really no way forward, and
again after this king to g1 move…move 60, the players agreed to a draw. So, interesting
first encounter between these two. What are your thoughts on the future of maybe these
two players battling? I was looking forward to this game. I know it ended as a draw…not
the result that most players would really like to see. You usually like to see a win or a
loss…a decisive result. But yeah, interesting game between Wei Yi, a very young talent,
and our current world chess champion Magnus Carlsen. So feel free to leave any feedback,
as usual, to this video. And as usual I hope you got something out of it. That’s all for
now. Take care, bye.

100 thoughts on “Wei Yi vs Magnus Carlsen – 2016 Tata Steel Chess Tournament

  1. Thanks Jerry, you are very articulate with your explanations about what's going on in the game and the ideas involved. And btw, I don't mind seeing draws. I like endgames so draws are always something to strive for, for at least one player in an endgame!

  2. if u get like 2500 points on chess.com, does that mean you would be around 2500 points level in tournaments too?

  3. I wonder if Wei simply had too much respect for Carlsen. The young lad did well enough I suppose to draw against the champ but was easily kept reined in throughout the game. I can't even recall a single checking move played by Wei to attack the black king. I much prefer a more romantic challenge as often played by Nakamura. Although Nakamura's record against Carlsen is not envious, at least he takes Carlsen into uncomfortable and unusual positions; Which is more fun for me!* Perhaps So (another American) will be the next to threaten Carlsen's run at the top. So seems to often play very adventurously. The adventurous game perhaps is more likely to beat the champion even if not consistently.
    *My entertainment of course should be the ultimate goal of all players.

  4. It's about time these 2 matched up. Playing Carlsen to a draw for the first encounter is damn impressive. Wei Yi goes hard.

  5. at 5:17 white's queen can be moved into a defended position from D1 to G4 which would also set up a queen trade, would that work well? Because you move white's knight to D2 which loses the bishop on G5, which is an unnecessary sacrifice.

  6. Hey jerry, great video! But I'm wondering about the position after 16… Bxd3. Why can't White take the knight with Bxd5, win a pawn and fork the two bishops?

  7. pause at 22:16… why doesnt steel just go c3 to c8. MC g8 to h7 TS f4 to f5? i played it out in my head and seems like the best move to me

  8. and people criticize me for playing the Marshall at my chess club I cant wait to throw this in their face that Magus played the Marshall !! whoo hoo

  9. Wei Yi is a very strong player for his age. He more than held is own against the world's best player. It would be very interesting to see these two play for the World Chess Championship in the near future.

  10. this is ridiculous. black has no way of Queening safely while white does. white would win. setting a draw makes no sense when white could easily win

  11. There's just got to be a better way.  Explaining variations is good but to do it on the same board at the same time has pieces flying all over the place and who can keep up but the more proficient.  I think it's counterproductive.  The game moves should stay the game moves and the variations should come after the end of the game linked either in the video or in the description.  If one wishes to see the variant, he can click on a link that takes him right to it and then click on another link that returns him back.  This way he can see the moves and game unaltered if he wishes and have the option to check out the variants.

  12. Damn you're a great reviewer of games thanks to your presentation pace, not to mention really understanding all the possible lines. Very encouraging stuff actually… seems not so daunting after seeing this.

  13. Why is it when I watch these GM games, I am not that impressed, yet my highest rating is 1850? I once saw Magnus on Charlie Rose and Magnus said that he knows some very talented chess players who just do not have the "toughness" (or some word like that) to be a GM. I guess I am one of these players lacking toughness. "Uncomfortableness." Ha. Good one.

  14. In the analysis, I was wondering why at move 17 (7min 28secs), white didn't consider b3xd5. This is quite a lengthy exchange proposal, but my analysis is : 17 b2xb5 , d3xb1 ; 18 d5xc6 , a8-d8 ; 19 a1xb1 , or 17 b2xb5 , c6xd5 ; 18 f3xd5 etc.Comments?

  15. Thank you for your efforts. However, this is exhausting and slow analyses, should be well presented within little time. My ears suffer from such slow monotone analyses.

  16. it's hard to watch because it's unclear when you are speculating and when these 2 grandmaster's actual moves are taking place…

  17. why couldn't the black rook go to a4 after the white pawn moves to a5. Therefor black attacks the a5 pawn and white no longer has the option of rook a3. I know this is not winning move, but i would just like to know a different continuation.

  18. any chess analysis video that ends in a draw should say so in big black letters at te beginning ….. this is just ridiculous

  19. For narration got to work on your word whiskers and constant uh and ums. Silence is okay for a few seconds.

  20. 13:07 if black ignores the exchange into this line and the knight forks the rooks winning the material back, what's wrong with the E rook taking e6 pawn? Exchange back would break the bishop pair, the black knight would be in a corner, and the rook would have to go babysit the B&C pawns. I don't think black should ignore. Can anyone tell me if I'm missing something?

  21. mt thoughts? i think they both lost patience.. they both had a chance to win. they didn't want to play out the game to find the advantage.. every move creates an issue or an initiative. too bad… this game is not losing for neither of them… i wish they kept battling

  22. il be honest i would like you to just show the game. I always wonder what they played. YOUR NOT AS GOOD AS MAGNUS ! DID YOU KNOW THAT. Maybe you should tell your ego that what they played is the best there is. Just wondering, have you played again those guys?

    If you upload video with out the word IF that would be nice.

  23. Once again, Carlsen has several pieces attacking the King while White's pieces are blocked. This seems to be his signature strategy. Mind you, I struggle to hit 1400, so happy to be instructed.

  24. 💀😱😱😱😱💀

  25. In my opinion, based on Carlsen's comments here on YouTube, he needs to respect players more rather than be so self immersed in personal vanity. Persons with great talent, in any endeavor, should cultivate humble humility.

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