Carlsen Speeds Up

The world champion woke from the slow start and starting his rally. In round seven of Tata Steel he won his third consecutive win:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Tata Steel Chess - Masters"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.01.23"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2844"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "68"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:03:33"]
[BlackClock "0:10:36"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ {A fashionable Anti-Catalan reply in
Wijk.} 5. Bd2 Be7 {Diagram [#] In contrast to Mamedyarov yesterday Carlsen
drops the bishop back to e7.} 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 Ne4 {Playing in a
Stonewall fashion.} 9. Bf4 c6 10. Nc3 g5 {[%csl Yd4][%cal Gf7f5,Gg5g4] Diagram
[#] It makes sense to chase the bishop away from the active position. Plus,
Black wants to advance on the kingside anyway.} ({The immediate} 10... f5 {
is also possible although after} 11. Rad1 b6 12. cxd5 cxd5 13. Rc1 {White's
position seems preferable, Abasov,N (2492)-Kuderinov,K (2480) Baku 2013}) 11.
Be3 Nd6 $1 $146 {[%csl Rc4,Re3][%cal Rd6c4,Rd6f5,Rf5e3] Diagram [#] The world
champion uncorks strong novelty! Previously only the straightforward} (11... f5
{had been tested. One short example-} 12. Rad1 Nd6 13. b3 Nf7 {1/2-1/2 (13)
Nogueiras Santiago,J (2533)-Jobava,B (2637) Havana 2005}) 12. b3 {Eljanov
sacrifices a pawn for the initiative.} ({In case of} 12. cxd5 {Black will
recapture} exd5 {and the knight on d6 is perfectly placed for the Carlsbad
pawn structure.}) 12... Nf5 {The point of the novelty. Since the pawn on d4 is
hanging Black gets a chance to grab a gorgeous bishop.} ({Instead} 12... dxc4
13. Ne4 {will give a lot of central play for the sacrificed pawn.}) 13. g4 $5 {
[%csl Yf5][%cal Gg3g4] Diagram [#] A courageous decision!} ({As mentioned above
} 13. Bc1 g4 {wins the pawn on d4.}) ({While} 13. Qd3 g4 14. Ne1 Nxe3 15. Qxe3
Bg5 {looks very comfortable Stonewall for the second player.}) 13... Nxe3 14.
fxe3 $5 b5 {[%csl Rb5] Diagram [#] Carlsen sacrifices a pawn on his turn!} ({
Black could have also developed kingside initiative with} 14... h5 {and if} 15.
gxh5 g4 16. Ne1 Bg5) 15. e4 {But Eljanov does not take it and concentrates on
central play.} ({There was nothting wrong with} 15. cxb5 cxb5 16. Nxb5 Ba6 (
16... Qb6 17. Nc3 Ba6) 17. a4 Rc8 {when Black has enough initiative to
compensate the pawn.}) 15... b4 ({The computer advocates} 15... bxc4 {but this
seems wrong after} 16. bxc4 dxc4 17. e5 {[%csl Yc4,Yc6,Rg8][%cal Gc3e4]
Diagram [#] The white knight will jump on e4 and the pawns on the "c" file
will soon perish.}) 16. exd5 {A courageous decision! Both players have
sacrificed pawns for initiative that far. Eljanov beats Carlsen on the number
of sacrifices now.} ({Objectively better was} 16. Na4 {to which I suspect
Carlsen would have gone for} dxe4 (16... Bb7) 17. Qxe4 Nf6 {with the idea} 18.
Qxc6 (18. Qd3 {is correct to sacrifice a pawn again...}) 18... Rb8 {Black is
already much better and if} 19. h3 $2 Bb7 20. Qb5 Nxg4 $1 {[%csl Yb5][%cal
Ge7g5] Diagram [#]} 21. hxg4 Bxf3 22. Qe5 Bf6 {wins for Black.}) 16... bxc3 17.
dxc6 Nb8 18. Qe4 {[%csl Gc4,Gc6,Gd4,Ge2] Diagram [#] For the piece Eljanov has
two pawns and powerful pawn mass in the center.} ({Or} 18. Rad1 Nxc6 19. Nxg5
Bxg5 20. Bxc6 {when both} Rb8 ({and even} 20... Bd7 21. Bxa8 Be3+ 22. Kg2 Qxa8+
{lead to advantage for Black.})) 18... f5 $1 {Black has to play actively if he
wants not only to convert his advantage, but even to survive. For example:} (
18... Na6 19. Ne5 Nc7 $2 20. Nxf7 $1 {and all of a sudden Black is in trouble.
Say} Rxf7 $2 21. Rxf7 Kxf7 22. Qxh7+ Ke8 23. Qg6+ Kf8 24. Rf1+ {[%csl Rf8]
Diagram [#] and it is over.}) 19. gxf5 exf5 20. Qd5+ {Alas, White has to trade
queens.} (20. Qe3 Nxc6) 20... Qxd5 21. cxd5 Na6 {The problem with the pawn
massive is that it does not get anywhere. If the white pawn from e2 was on e5
instead, this would have been a different story. Now Black is clearly better.}
22. Rac1 ({Or} 22. Ne5 Nc7 23. Nc4 Rd8 24. e4 fxe4 25. Bxe4 Nxd5) 22... Nc7 23.
Ne5 f4 24. Nc4 Rd8 25. Rxc3 Nxd5 {Diagram [#] The most dangerous pawn is gone
and White hurries to get some material back.} 26. c7 Nxc7 $1 {The best.
Greediness is as usual punished after} (26... Rd7 27. Rcc1 Bb7 28. Ne5 Rd6 29.
Rc5 {and White is most likely better.}) 27. Bxa8 Nxa8 28. e3 Bb4 {[%csl Gb4,
Gc8] Diagram [#] Normally a rook and a pawn are at least as good as the two
light pieces in the endgame. But not if those are two bishops.} 29. Rc2 Bb7 30.
h4 {White is correctly trying to get rid of the pawns.} Be4 31. Rh2 {This
makes things easier for Carlsen. Better was} (31. Rcf2 Nb6 32. exf4 Nxc4 33.
bxc4 gxh4 {although here too, Black should have serious winning chances.})
31... Nb6 32. Ne5 {Nothing helps:} (32. Nxb6 axb6 33. exf4 g4 $1) (32. hxg5
Nxc4 33. bxc4 fxe3) (32. exf4 Bc3 $1) 32... fxe3 33. hxg5 Rxd4 34. Ng4 Nd5 {
Diagram [#] Once that Carlsen wins a game things get scary for everyone.} 0-1


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