BILBAO FINAL ROUND – Magnus Carlsen vs Vassily Ivanchuk

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Carlsen desperately needed to win in round 9 to catch up to then-tournament leader Ivanchuk, and he opened with d4. Ivanchuk greeted this with the Nimzo-Indian, however I am skeptical of Ivanchuk’s subsequent choices in the opening that led to a very dynamically imbalanced position. Carlsen employed an unusual line against black’s queenside fianchetto, placing immediate pressure on f5 with 10. Bh3!? and preparing to blockade black’s light-squared bishop with a later d5. Carlsen continued to press, and after completing development Ivanchuk agreed to enter dangerous complications with 14. …exd5. Carlsen was able to seize the initiative and force Ivanchuk to consume massive amounts of time, resulting in dangerous time-trouble with a very difficult defense against the world’s #1 chess player. Ivanchuk almost managed to consolidate his position, however in desperate time-trouble (1 minute left to make 7 moves to reach the time control at move 40) Ivanchuk blundered with 33. …Ng7?? and promptly resigned. This was a fantastic game by Magnus Carlsen, accurately demonstrating the power of the initiative with an series of incredibly forcing moves.


[Event “Bilbao Chess Masters”]
[Site “Bilbao, Spain”]
[Date “2011.10.10”]
[Round “-“]
[White “*GM_Carlsen”]
[Black “*GM_Ivanchuk”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “2823”]
[BlackElo “2765”]
[Opening “Nimzo-Indian: three knights variation”]
[ECO “E21”]
[NIC “NI.26”]
[Time “13:22:42”]
[TimeControl “5400+0”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. Qc2 Bb7 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Qxc3 Ne4
8. Qc2 f5 9. g3 Nf6 10. Bh3 O-O 11. O-O a5 12. Rd1 Qe8 13. d5 Na6 14. Bf4
exd5 15. Bxf5 dxc4 16. Ng5 Qh5 17. Rxd7 Kh8 18. Re7 Nd5 19. Bg4 Qg6 20. Nf7+
Kg8 21. Bf5 Qxf5 22. Qxf5 Nxe7 23. Nh6+ gxh6 24. Qg4+ Ng6 25. Bxh6 Rf7 26.
Rd1 Re8 27. h4 Nc5 28. h5 Bc8 29. Qxc4 Ne5 30. Qh4 Nc6 31. Rd5 Ne6 32. Qc4
Ncd8 33. Qg4+ Ng7 34. Qxc8 {White wins} 1-0

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