Carlsen, Magnus - Radjabov,Teimour

Round 13
Corus A, Wijk aan Zee 2008
Wijk aan Zee


The last round will be decisive to determine the champion. The young star Magnus Carlsen outplayed Kramnik yesterday and is a strong contender for the title. His opponent Teimour Radjabov has already proved himself as a chessplayer from the world elite. Let's hope we are to witness a fascinating encounter.

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bg5 Bg7 4.Nbd2 d6 5.e4 O-O 6.c3 Carlsen repeats the line in which he eliminated Cheparinov at the World Cup quarter finals.

6... c5 7.dxc5 dxc5 8.Bc4 Nc6 9.O-O Na5 Radjabov deviated from the standard (9... Qc7)

10.Be2 Be6 11.Re1 a6 12.Qc2 h6 13.Be3 Qc7 Both opponents finished their development and entered a complicated middlegame with about equal chances.

14.h3 Carlsen secures the 'g4' square and has in mind Nf3-h2 preparing the march of th 'f' pawn.

14... Bd7 Intending to counter 15.Nh2 by 15...e5.

15.Nf1 e5 16.N3h2 The position is similar to those resulting from Ruy Lopez but the Queen and Bishop had swapped places, which doesn't favor White.

16... Be6 17.Ng4 Black has to choose between 17...Nxg4 opening the 'h' file or keeping the structure with 17...h5. 17...Kh7 fails due to 18.Bxh6.

17... Nxg4 18.hxg4 Nc4 19.b3 Nd6 Of course not (19... Nxe3 20.Nxe3) and White gets to the 'd5' square.

20.Rad1 b5 21.Bc1 c4 22.Ne3 Carlsen consequently carries out his plan to occupy the 'd5' square, but Radjabov has his chances on the queenside.

22... cxb3 23.axb3 Rfc8 24.Nd5 Bxd5 25.Rxd5 Ne8 26.Rd3 Nf6 White can double the Rooks on the open file by 27.Red1 as 27...Nxe4 is met by 28.Rd7 Qc6 29.Bf3.

27.Red1 g5 28.c4 bxc4 29.bxc4 Bf8 30.Rf3 Aronian has just drawn his game. Radjabov has to win in order to share first place, while Carlsen needs half a point only.

30... Nd7 White is running dangerously low on time. Maybe he contemplating the sacrifice of a pawn by 31.c5 not let Radjabov block him after Nd7-c5.

31.Rf5 Nc5 32.Rd5 Bg7 33.Be3 Qe7 34.Bxc5 Rxc5 35.Rf3 Bf8 36.Qa4 Ra7 37.g3 The position is about equal, White has to play carefully though. His Bishop is very passive but the weak squares around Black King should compensate.

37... Qe6 38.Rb3 Qc6 39.Qa1 Qc7 40.Kg2 a5 41.Qa4 Rb7 42.Rxc5 Bxc5 43.Qe8+ 43...Bf8 44.Rxb7 Qxb7 45.Qxe5 a4 46.c5 Qc6 might lead to a draw.

43... Bf8 44.Rxb7 Qxb7 45.Qxe5 a4 46.c5 Qc6 47.Bc4 Qxc5 48.Qxc5 Bxc5 49.f4 Kg7 50.e5 f6 51.exf6+ Kxf6 52.Kf3 Ke7 53.Ke4 Bf2 54.Kf5 Be3 55.Ke4 Bd2 56.fxg5 hxg5 57.Bb5 a3 58.Bc4 Kd6 59.Ba2 Kc5 60.Kd3 Be1 61.Kc2 Kb4 62.Be6 Bxg3 63.Kb1 Bf4 64.Ka2 Bg3 65.Bf5 Bf4 and finally the draw is agreed. A tough strategic fight during which both players showed class and the draw was most logical. Carlsen goes on with great results, tying for the champion title in the first big tournament this year. 1/2