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Teimuor Radjabov - Magnus Carlsen

Round 9
Grand Slam Final
Bilbao

13.09.2008

Today there are two games with live commentary on Chessdom.com - the second one being Anand - Topalov . Carlsen lost two games in a row an suddenly not only lost his leading position, but has to fight to finish in the first half of the table. He had a day to recover from the bitter defeats and today will supposedly try to reestablish his performance from the start of the tournament against one of the participants who is definitely out of form - Radjabov. The Azeri is out of luck here. Though he was enjoying good positions, not a single win corresponds to his name in the table. Maybe he will consider this game as a possibility for revenge against the one responsible for his first loss in Bilbao. Anyway, the duel between those young stars arises great expectations. Let's hope that it will be at least as spectacular as their previous one.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 Magnus probably has noted that his opponent is far from convincing in Caro-Kann and hence the surprising opening choice.

3.e5 c5 ( A rare move nowadays. 3... Bf5 is played in the majority of recent games.)

4.Nf3 (4.dxc5 is the main theory. Now Black get a comfortable version of French Defense.)

4... cxd4 5.Nxd4 e6 6.Nd2 Nc6 7.N2f3 Fighting to control the 'd4' square is the leitmotif of White's play in similar situations.

7... Nge7 8.Bd3 Bd7 9.O-O Ng6 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.c4 Be7 12.Be3 Qb8 With simple natural moves, Carlsen solved his opening problems - if there were any.

13.Bxg6 hxg6 14.Qc2 a5 15.Rfc1 O-O Planning c6-c5

16.Qe2 Impeding the above mentioned idea for some time. Aside from preparing c6-c5, Magnus may attack the 'e5' pawn by f7-f6.

16... Rc8 17.Rc3 Qc7 ( It is not clear why did Carlsen refrain from 17... c5)

18.Rac1 (18.cxd5 exd5 would free Bd7.)

18... Qd8 19.a3 dxc4 Well, such move is hard to explain. Black understandably desires to activate the light squared Bishop, but weaking the pawn structure in such a way was not necessary. Carlsen obviously lacks experience in structures resembling French.

20.Rd1 c5 21.Qxc4 Black has to be very careful as his King may be endangered soon.

21... Rab8 22.Rcd3 Rc7 23.R3d2 (23.Qc3 would seriously question the coordination of the Black pieces.)

23... Qe8 24.Ng5 Time: 0.18 0.18

24... Ba4 25.Rc1 Bxg5 Letting the Night to 'e4' is not pleasant in a time trouble.

26.Bxg5 ( After 26.Bxg5 one may suggest 26... Bb3 in order to meet 27.Qh4 by 27... Qa4)

26... Qb5 27.Be3 Qxc4 28.Rxc4 Bb3 29.Rc3 a4 30.Bxc5 g5 White is a pawn up but it hardly influences the game.

31.f3 Kh7 32.Kf2 Rb5 33.Bd6 Rd7 34.Rcd3 Kg6 35.Rd4 f6 36.h3 Both opponents have to reach the time control: 0.03 0.05

36... Rd8 37.Kg3 Rd7 38.Kf2 Rd8 39.Re2 Rc8 40.Bb4 Rd5 With 40th move played, each got the additional 60 minutes.

41.Rxd5 Bxd5 42.Bc3 f5 43.Rd2 I can't see how White might be able to make any progress.

43... Rc4 44.Ke3 g4 45.hxg4 fxg4 46.Rd4 Rxd4 47.Bxd4 Kf5 48.Bc3 gxf3 49.gxf3 g5 50.Bd4 Bb3 51.Bc3 Bd5 52.Bd4 Draw agreed. Shortly after the opening the opponents finished into unfamiliar position. Carlsen managed to set his pieces well but later lost track and Radjabov had the upper hand. Nevertheless, the Norwegian cleverly managed to neutralized the initiative by a pawn sacrifice and later drew the game. 1/2