Keeping the Promise

Magnus Carlsen stroke back after the painful loss in the third round of the Grenke Chess Classics. In the fourth the Norwegian faced his old rival Vishy Anand. With risky and aggressive play Carlsen put serious pressure on his opponent with the black pieces until he finally blundered. Thus, the World Champion kept his hidden promise of further wins after the third round.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "GRENKE Chess Classic 2015"]
[Site "Baden-Baden"]
[Date "2015.02.06"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A90"]
[WhiteElo "2797"]
[BlackElo "2865"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 {The game betweent the world champion of now and his predecessor is
always a great show.} f5 {This was not quite a shock as Magnus had played like
that previously. His former coach S. Agdestein is a great aficionado of the
Dutch as well.} 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. c4 c6 {But that is a surprise! The
Stonewall have never been seen in Magnus' games before.} 5. Nf3 {It was
generally considered that the best position for this knight is on h3. After} (
5. Nh3 {White intends to develop his knights in Petrosian's favourite way- the
one from h3 goes to f4 and d3, the one from b1- to d2 and f3. Then they both
have excellent view of the e5 spot. Petrosian claimed that this set up paid
his flat in Moscow... Leaving the nice sense of humour of the ninth world
champion aside I can only add that Black had found interesting ways to fight
against this set up, for example} d6 6. O-O Be7 7. b3 e5 {Zhou,J (2625)-Wang,Y
(2702) Xinghua 2012}) 5... d5 6. O-O Bd6 7. b3 Qe7 {To stop Bc1-a3 with
favourable trade of the dark-squared bishops.} 8. Ne5 {Vishy takes control of
the strong outpost at once.} ({Another move is} 8. Bb2 {Then a game of Salo
Flohr saw the idea that Vishy performed in the game} O-O 9. Qc2 Bd7 10. Ne5 Na6
11. Nxd7 $1 {It seems weird to trade the excellent knight for the bad bishop
but the latter is an important defender of the light squares. After} Qxd7 12.
Nd2 g5 13. Nf3 Qg7 14. Qc1 g4 15. Ne5 Nb8 16. Ba3 Bxa3 17. Qxa3 {White is
ready to break the barricades on the light squares, Flohr,S-Goldberg,G Moscow
1949}) ({White can insist on swapping the bishops off with} 8. a4 O-O 9. Ba3
Bxa3 10. Nxa3 {Although now his knight is somewhat displaced (too far away
from the e5 square that is!)} b6 11. Qc1 Bb7 12. Nc2 a5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (43)
Vachier Lagrave,M (2745)-Radjabov,T (2713) Beijing 2013}) 8... O-O 9. Nd2 a5 {
[%csl Yb4][%cal Ga5a4] Diagram [#] Black grabs space on both flanks. This move
is usually an active defense, although the little pawn might have deeper
thoughts.} 10. Bb2 Nbd7 11. Qc2 a4 12. Ndf3 Ne4 13. e3 $146 {Diagram [#] A
solid move, which is also a novelty.} ({Previously only} 13. bxa4 {had been
seen. Looks ugly, but White wants to exert pressure along the b file} Bxe5 14.
dxe5 (14. Nxe5 $5 Nxe5 15. dxe5 {might be better}) 14... Nb6 $1 15. cxd5 exd5
16. Rab1 Nc4 {Black had an excellent position in Goganov,A (2550)-Sandipan,C
(2590) Moscow 2013}) 13... a3 ({A solid reply for Black is mentioned by Magnus
} 13... Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Bd7 {with an OK position for the second player.}) 14. Bc3
Nxe5 15. Nxe5 Bd7 {Black finishes the development. Magnus disliked} (15... Bxe5
16. dxe5 b5 (16... b6 {might be better}) 17. cxb5 cxb5 {because of the strong}
18. Rfc1 Ba6 (18... Nxc3 19. Qxc3 Bd7 {is a risk-free edge for White.}) 19. Be1
Rfc8 20. Qd3 {and Black cannot play b5-b4} b4 21. Rxc8+ {(Carlsen)}) 16. Nxd7 {
Flohr's idea from above. The bishop could become dangerous after Bd7-e8-h5.}
Qxd7 17. c5 Bc7 {Magnus confidently levelled the game.} 18. b4 {White's plan
is clear. Ra1-b1, b4-b5, open the queenside, penetrate on the seventh...} ({Or
} 18. Be1 e5 19. f3 Ng5 {with approximate equality.}) 18... h5 {In terurn
Black shows activity on the other wing.} 19. Be1 {[%csl Ge1,Gg2][%cal Rf2f3,
Re3e4] Diagram [#] Vishy plays for the win but this allows the freeing central
advance! In case of} (19. f3 {Black will need to trade the kngiht for the
bishop} Nxc3 20. Qxc3 h4 21. f4 g5 {"This should be sufficient counterplay."
(Carlsen) The presence of the light-squared bishops should be an indicator of
a likely draw.}) 19... e5 $1 {The threat is e5xd4 followed by f5-f4.} 20. dxe5
Bxe5 21. Rd1 {Now the knight on e4 is hanging.} Qe6 (21... h4 22. Bxe4 fxe4 23.
Qxe4) 22. f3 {The knight is unbearable and White also wants to open up the
game for the bishops.} Nf6 23. Bh3 g6 24. e4 $1 dxe4 25. fxe4 {All of this was
pretty logical and forced. Magnus had to make a decision- to play calm and
solid moves or to go for a risky line. He chose the latter!} Bb2 $5 {[%csl Ya2,
Ga3,Rg8][%cal Ye6a2,Ga3a2,Ga2a1] Diagram [#]} ({Black is doing fine after}
25... Ng4 26. exf5 Rxf5 27. Rxf5 gxf5) ({Naturally,} 25... Nxe4 $4 {is not
great} 26. Qxe4) 26. exf5 Qxa2 {"I might have overestimated my position" said
Magnus at the press conference. Indeed, the position of his king is scary, but
if he manages to trade the queens, his pawn will get promoted. The analyzes
showed that with correct play by both sides the game should have ended in a
draw.} 27. Bf2 ({Carlsen saw that the lines with the pawn capture are always
good for him} 27. Kh1 Rad8 28. fxg6 $4 (28. Rxd8 Rxd8 29. fxg6 $2 Qd5+ 30. Bg2
Qd3) 28... Rxd1 29. Qxd1 Qd5+ {In both cases he trades the queens and promotes
a new one!}) 27... g5 28. Rfe1 $1 {Correctly centralizing his troops. Anand
needs to attack the enemy king to survive.} Qf7 29. Re6 {Now White threatens
to shift the bishop from h3 to c4. Magnus has to force matters.} (29. Bf1 $2 {
does not work yet due to} Nd5 {[%csl Yf5] and the f5 pawn falls.}) 29... Ng4 {
Opens further the king, but as Carlsen said at the press conference he could
not find anything decisive for White after thorough calculation.} (29... Rad8
$5 {was another interesting idea, but the world champion obviously does not
want to move the rook away from the a file. After} 30. Rxd8 Rxd8 31. Bf1 Nd5
32. Rg6+ Kf8 33. Bc4 Nxb4 $5 34. Qb3 Nd5 {the game remains unclear.}) 30. Bxg4
hxg4 31. Rg6+ Kh7 {[%csl Rh7][%cal Ga3a2] Diagram [#] The culmination of the
battle.} 32. Rd7 $4 {Anand blunders. Correct was} (32. Re6 {For example} Qxf5 {
leads to another perpetual} (32... Bf6 33. Rxf6 $1 {This leaves to perpetual} (
33. Qa2 $5 {(Carlsen)}) 33... Qxf6 34. Rd7+ Rf7 (34... Kg8 35. Bd4 a2 {is bad
due to} 36. Qc4+ Kh8 37. Bxf6+ Rxf6 38. Rd1 a1=Q 39. Rxa1 Rxa1+ 40. Kg2 {where
White should win.}) 35. Bd4 Qxd4+ 36. Rxd4 a2 37. Rd1 a1=Q 38. Rxa1 Rxa1+ 39.
Kg2 Re1 $11) (32... Rae8 $2 33. Rdd6) 33. Rd7+ Kg8 34. Rg6+ Kh8 35. Rh6+ ({The
spectacular} 35. Qxb2+ axb2 36. Bd4+ {fails to} Rf6 {as mentioned by Carlsen.})
) 32... Qxd7 33. f6 Qd1+ $1 {The neatest road to the win. The black king
easily escapes the checks and the little a pawn loudly presents itself to the
world!} 34. Qxd1 Kxg6 35. Qd3+ Kh6 36. h4 gxh3 {Carlsen is back into the
contest for the tournament win.} 0-1


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