13 Dec 2009


Round 5 and Magnus as Black, comes up against Ni Hua this afternoon.

B51 Moscow Variation without 3...Bd7

Off with his head!
White can't do much else. Black hasn't lost any time with this manoeuver, but even if he had: time is never of the essence with Carlsen.

White delays castling, and swaps on =c5= instead.


White places his DSB on =f4=. Two games in my base, both draws from 2004. Never heard of the players.

Hoping for 9...Ng6

Carlsen is thinking so much in this tournament. Kramnik is already on move 20, in an interesting Petroff against Howell.

Hua answers with 10.Qh5 (N?)and things look good for White. On its way to a Queen swap?
Probably best for Black at the moment. Carlsen seems to be hoisted by his own petard: he is now the one thinking after unexpected moves from his opponent.
Don't know if the black Knight on =h4= would be particularly helpful to black, so he would come out of this Queen exchange with nothing to show for it. Tough decisison.

I was wondering about 10...Bc6, which after the Knight swap, would force White to make the first move towards a Queen swap and lose half a tempo. No?

Yoohooh, Magnus, are you awake? This is getting really scary: he's 30 mins behind on the clock now. I have never seen him do that before.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Kramnik is teaching Howell a lesson he will never forget.

There is something seriously wrong with Magnus: he has spent almost 40 minutes on that move now. So unlike him that I am getting worried.

Somebody spiked his orange juice?

Finally. And he listened to me and played 10..Bc6. didn't take me 50 minutes though. What else has he cooked up in this line, which after all he was the one to choose by ignoring 3...Bd7.

Leading to castling long for White?

This is simply not a line where White can go wrong. No cliffhangers. Everything is straightforward now and slides heavily into a draw. What is Carlsen expecting? Can't see it at all.

82 mins vs 56 mins.

They have played five moves while I walked two miles.

43 vs 33 mins

Can't see the point of 20.Rd2 without the Bishop being up there to help the Rook attack. e5 would block his path to c7, although that Bishop would probably have to retreat if the attack isn't carried out immediately.

White took his eye off the ball by considering a half-baked Rook assault, which could never have come off. Upshot: Carlsen has a foot in the door and elicits the Rook exchanges.

White's King might have been safer 0n =e2=.

Hua is getting just a bit rattled now.
He does play Ke2, but now it is costly. White can now play b4 and really push the queenside hard, and after the pawn swap. Na2 won't help much.
He plays Nd1 instead.
Not much better.

10 mins vs 5 mins.
Turn-up for the books!

Moves aren't coming through. i want to know if Carlsen moved his King or his Queen.
Hurry up folks.

Bother. He moved his Bishop before putting the King safe.
35.b3 ???? What about Qd2?

With seconds to spare, Hua goes wrong.

40.Qc8 Kh7

The rot set in with 35.b3, but it was compounded by 39.Qc2 rather than 39.Kc1.

It seems that yet again Carlsen reached his objective and the latest version of his Python method proved successful.

Phew. I am totally worn out.

Surely Hua will resign.

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