8 Dec 2010


McShane played a blinder, and didn't put a foot wrong in round 1.
Admittedly Carlsen is not back to his best, but this time it wasn't so mych a falling off by black as a very well thought out game by White.

White's win hinged around move 10.Qb3. considered a novelty. It took the Queen to waht appeared to be a dead end on the queenside, when Qb3 was folled by 12.Qa3.

By then she had nowhere to go and this was pounced upon by Black to then played 12..a5, locking her in completely.

Rather than taking the Knight to the kingside by palying the customary 10.Nf3, White knotted up the queenside to tempt black into a onesided game, where being White with a move in hand really paid off.

White seemed to totally ignore the rest of the board and 14.b4 was utterly daring, when 14.e3 would have been a conservative continuation.

Black was probably not sure where this was going and did some futile up and down moves with the a-Rook. It might have been wiser to bring his knight forward with 13. Ne5 14.c5 Nc4, where there was at least some active participation in a queenside scuffle.

All going well, and it DID go well, White had it won there and then. making black lose yet another tempo was the foot in the door and White kept on pushing from then on.

Now e3 was perfect, with the scene set for a solid defence against an attack that wasn't forthcoming. 13...a4 wasn't going anywhere and the belated 16...Bg7 had the sting taken out as the Queen was on the other diagonal. some may suggest she was sidelined, but in my book she was merely biding her time on an excellent defensive square.

17.....Qb6 seemed lame. More a reflex move that a thought out attack. And so it proved. There was too much hardware between the black Queen and the white King to make the -b6- square worthwhile. White didn't even have to lose a tempo with making Luft by h3.

Now the white Knight leisurely makes its way to =b4 and the Queen can either retrace her steps to=d8= or be sidelined on =a5=. Not a pleadant choice. Carlsen switches to the kingside with 19...f5, but this is too little too late and doesn't work out at all.

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