Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Better than a BDG

Just kidding, of course. I've been away from chess for a few years and haven't kept up with the new kids on the block. But a couple of days ago I watched (live online) the 17-year-old phenom from Norway, Magnus Carlsen, demolish Aronian in a game in the Bilbao Masters Grand Slam. Wow! Enough pawn sacs to put a BDG player to shame--and with an exchange sac thrown in to boot. Here's how Gambit, the New York Times Chess Blog summed up the game:
"Carlsen was clearly aggressive against Aronian, but Aronian, who was Black, also baited Carlsen by playing the double-edged Meran system of the Semi-Slav Defense. For a while, the game followed the path of Game 4 of the 2006 world championship match between Topalov and Kramnik. But, on move 12, Aronian varied, taking a pawn and neglecting his development. Carlsen followed up with another pawn sacrifice and before long Aronian’s king was trapped in the center. Aronian’s position was precarious, but not lost until he overlooked a temporary exchange sacrifice by Carlsen that quickly led to an attack that cost Black a rook. The resulting endgame was hopeless and Black soon resigned."
Here's the game. Carlsen,Magnus (2775) - Aronian,Levon (2737) Bilbao Masters, 08.09.2008 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.a3 b4 10.Ne4 Nxe4 11.Bxe4 bxa3 12.0-0 Nf6 13.Bd3 axb2 14.Bxb2 a5 15.d5!?
15...Nxd5 16.Ne5 Nf6 17.Qa4 Bb4 18.Nxc6 Bxc6 19.Qxc6+ Ke7 20.Rfd1 Rc8 21.Qf3 Qb6 22.Bd4 Qb8 23.Ba6 Rcd8 24.Bb7 h5 25.h3 h4 26.Rab1 e5 27.Rxb4
27...axb4? 27...exd4 28.Rbxd4 Rxd4 29.exd4 Rd8 30.Qa3+ Qd6 31.Qxa5 28.Bc5+ Ke6 29.Ra1 Rd6 30.Bxd6 Kxd6 31.Qc6+ Ke7 32.Ra8 Qd6 33.Qxd6+ Kxd6 34.Rxh8 b3 35.Ba6 Nd7 36.Rxh4 Nc5 1-0.
Black had 13 seconds on his clock, White had 22 minutes 53 seconds. The tables were turned in yesterday's game, and Carlsen was run off the board by Ivanchuk. But Carlsen still holds on to first place in the event as another round starts today. He also holds the unofficial number one rating in the world!