15 Dec 2009


B76 Yugoslav

and after 20.Bd3:

Is 21.Qd2 a gift or am I seeing it wrong?

Now White will have to contend himself with g4 rather than g3, limiting his kingside chain options. Still, it does look balanced.

After Re8 and Qf2 the Knight on =e3= has become the center of a real struggle. Will Black push his f-pawn into the mêlée?

White prevents that and takes up the =f4= square himself. Wise decision? Not so sure.

All I can say is that I hope Nakamura is in good form today, as this game looks like it is heading for yet another draw.

That errant black Knight is not going to deliver for Carlsen, however much it is giving the white Queen the run around.

I am reluctant to say this but it seems that this particular White is able to read Carlsen's thoughts before he has time to formulate them. The f5-f4 plan was elegantly thwarted and on the queenside Black isn't allowed to make much progress either.

Let's hear it for Nakamura!

The imminent Rook swap may weaken White a little bit, but not enough to strengthen Black. As long as White takes his King to =e3= rather than =e1=, White has little to fear, for the time being at least.

Ah....White balked at the Rook Xchange and offered 29.h3, which means it is up to Carlsen to initiate it, or not, as the case may be. I am not taking anything for granted now.

I think the kingside majority for black is probably a little more important than the queenside majority for White.
Still, Black's officers are awfully close to the enemy camp as well as in the center, so they can jump wherever required.

Is it going to be an a- or an h-move for White? I'm glad it's not up to me to decide.
Neither of course.What was I thinking.

All the threes: 33.c3 surely with Qd3 to follow.And then g4

At the moment I like Carlsen's prospects better.White may soon run out of moves.

Hurrah! Carlsen has gone for the audacious 35...Ne2+ line. The other choice will be incorported in this line (h5, Kf8), it just means that White's King is pushed into a corner and that Black's Knight is temporarily on the sidelines.

Nakamura's 19th move has put the cat amongst the pigeons: Carlsen will now have to go for a win at all cost.

Still, when they rech the 40 move mark, there is no life left in this game, nor a chance for either side to make a false move, so the end is nigh for Calsen's dream of more glory this week. I am sure Kramnik is going to walk away with the prize.

Although...still a spark left:
after 41.f5 h4 42.Bg2 Nf4 43.f6 ..
Naaaah. Not working. That Knight hasn't worked for his keep, I don't think.

Talking of walking,
Oh yes, we were,
I'm out of here.

Back after three miles round a sodden landscape.

All is well: Kramnik missed Bh5 on move 20 and they are halfway through a rep draw sequence, so Carlsen can be satisfied with this draw that is looming.

Although, White blooped on move 48.c4, rather than something like Be4 or Bf1. Probably suffering from terminal boredom. So now it is finally curtains and Carlson is King. Not a very convincing win, but persistence is rewarded.

Oh no, he isn't:
This game ended in a draw afterall but all is well on the Carlsen front:
A draw was suffcient to keep the 1 point lead over Kramnik in place, and Carlsen walks away with top honours - just.

Well done both of the top players and well done to all eight of them for giving us a ray of light in the bleak midwinter.

Thank you to London for organizing this splendid event.
Hope it will be repeated in years to come.

I won't bother to put up today's game, because, let's face it, there isn't much hope for this line.
Neither player went wrong and it ended in a draw.
That black Knight didn't do much good as far as I can see it.
Somebody put me right.