Use Marin to beat the World No. 1
I am at times asked how reliable our books are, and at what level they can be used. I have to bite my tongue, because what I really wanted to say in such a situation is that player X, rated 2700+ has just bought the books on our website – and most likely not to put under the Christmas three. Peter Heine Nielsen said about some of our books that they were “of use even at the highest level.” He is the chief second of the World Champion, so it is easy to read things into such a statement. One player you could easily suspect of having read our books is English Grandmaster Luke McShane. In this game he follows the recommendation of GM Mihail Marin in Grandmaster Repertoire 5 as a stepping stone to beat the World number one. Whatever I say hereafter, I feel I can say it with full confidence…
Luke McShane – Magnus Carlsen [A37]
London Chess Classic, 1st Round, 08.12.2010
1.c4 c5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.0–0 Nh6
A sideline, but still a serious option.
7.d4! cxd4 8.Bxh6! Bxh6 9.Nxd4
Marin thinks White is better here. Carlsen does not manage to prove otherwise with his novelty.
9…Nxd4 10.Qxd4 0–0 11.Rfd1 Bg7 12.Qe3 Bxc3 13.Qxc3 Qc7 14.Rac1 Be6 15.Qe3!N
This is Marin’s improvement in GM5. (15.c5 Qxc5 16.Qxc5 dxc5 17.b3 Rad8 18.Bxb7 Rxd1+ 19.Rxd1 c4 20.Bd5 Bxd5 21.Rxd5 cxb3 22.axb3 Rb8 ½–½ Loginov-Stanec, Aschach 1994.)
15…Rac8 16.Rd4 Qb6 17.b3 Rc7 18.Qd2 and White is a bit better.
9…Bd7 10.c5 Bg7 11.Nxc6 Bxc6 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Qa4 Bxc3 14.Qxc6+ Kf8 15.bxc3 Rc8 16.Qa4 Rxc5 17.Qxa7 Qc7 18.Qxc7 Rxc7
Marin’s improvement. (19.Rfc1 Kg7 20.a4 Ra8 21.Ra3 Rc4 22.a5 Ra6 and White was unable to convert his advantage in Loginov-Csom, Budapest 1993.)
19…Kg7 20.a4 Ra8 21.Ra3 Rc5 22.Rb4 Kf6 23.Kg2 Ke6 24.h4 h5 25.Kf3
With a clear advantage. The game went:
25…Rac8 26.Rbb3 Rf5+ 27.Ke3 Rcc5 28.f4 Rfd5 29.Rb7 Ra5 30.c4 Rd1 31.Rb5 Ra6 32.a5 f5 33.c5 dxc5 34.Rxc5 Kf7 35.Re5 Ra7 36.Rb5 Ra6 37.Rb6 Ra8 38.a6 Rd7 39.Rc3 Rd5 40.Rcc6 Rg8 41.Rb7 Ra5 42.Kd4?
This makes the job much harder – maybe impossible. (42.a7! Ra2 43.Rcc7 would have allowed White to win quite easily. A possible plan is: 43…Re8 44.Kd4 Ra4+ 45.Kc3 Ra3+ 46.Kb2 Ra6 47.Rc3+-)
(43.Kc4 Rd2 is suddenly complicated.)
43…Ra3+ 44.Kf2 Rd4! 45.a7 Re4 46.Rc3 Ra2 47.Re3
Good technical play from Mihail, but Black keeps the rook here, hoping to have access to the kingside via f5 later. The win appears to be elusive.
47…Kf6 48.Kf3 Raa4 49.Rc7 Kf7 50.Rd7 Kf6 51.Rb7 Kf7 52.Rc7 Kf6 53.Rb3 Kf7 54.Kf2 Ra2 55.Re3 Kf6 56.Rxe4 fxe4 57.Ke3 Ra4 58.Kd2 e6 59.Kc3 Kf5 60.Kb3 Ra1 61.Rc5+ Kf6 62.Rc7 Kf5 63.Kb4 Kg4 64.Rc5
(64.Kb5 Kxg3 65.Kb6 Rb1+ (65…Kf2 66.Rc5+-) 66.Kc6 Ra1 67.Kb7 Rb1+ 68.Kc8 Ra1 69.Kb8 Kxh4 70.a8Q Rxa8+ 71.Kxa8 Kg3 72.Kb7 Kxf4 Black makes a draw.)
64…Rxa7 65.Rg5+ Kh3 66.Kc4 Ra4+ 67.Kb3 Ra1 68.Kc2 Ra2+ 69.Kd1 Kg2 70.Re5 Ra4 71.Rxe6 Kxg3 72.Rxg6+ Kxf4 73.Ke1 Ra1+ 74.Kf2 e3+ 75.Kg2 Re1 76.Rf6+ Kg4 77.Rg6+ Kf4 78.Rf6+ Ke4 79.Re6+ Kd4 80.Rd6+ Ke4 81.Re6+ Kf4 82.Rf6+ Kg4 83.Rg6+ Kf5 84.Rh6 Rxe2+ 85.Kf3 Rh2 86.Rxh5+ Kg6 87.Rg5+ Kh6
½–½ Marin-Illescas Cordoba, Sanxenxo 2004.
A logical answer. Black is behind in development, so White quickly brings his bits in.
It is not so easy for Black to free himself here, thus he decides to lose extra time with the knight.
11…Bd7 12.Qxb7 Rb8 13.Qxa7 Rxb2 14.c5! and White appears to be a pawn up for nothing.
This is a very competitive attempt, but White could also play more classical with: 12.Qc2 Bg7 13.Rac1, when again it is not so easy to be Black. For example: 13…a5 14.Na4! Nb6 15.c5 and White is a bit better.
Probably a bit too much. 13.e3 underscores that Black has no good logical moves. For example: 13…Nc5?! (13…Ra6 14.Na4 is a bit better for White) 14.Nb3! Nxb3 15.axb3 Ra6 16.c5! e.g. 16…Bg7 17.cxd6 exd6 18.Rd5 Rc6 19.Rxa5 Bxc3 20.bxc3 Rxc3 21.Qb2 Qc7 22.Ra7 Rc2 23.Qd4 Rc1+ 24.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 25.Bf1 Qc7 26.h4 and Black never truly frees himself, although he preserves good drawing chances.
13…Nb6 14.c5 Nc4 15.Qb3 Nd2 was indicated as playable somewhere, but after 16.Qc2! Black has not solved his problems: 16…axb4 17.Nd5 e6 18.Ne3 dxc5 19.Qxc5 e5 20.Rxd2 exd4 21.Rxd4 Qa5 22.Qxa5 Rxa5 23.Rxb4 Bg7 24.Nc4 Ra7 25.Rd1 Rxa2 26.e3 and the typical “English” pressure continues.
14.b5 Ra8 15.e3
15.Nc6? bxc6 16.bxc6 Nb6 is not playable.
15…a4! 16.Rab1 Bg7 17.Ne4 Qb6
17…Qa5 18.Rbc1 Re8 appears just as natural, but there is still a lot of play in the position – even though Black is probably equal.
A nice tricky move.
18…bxc6!? 19.bxc6 Qa5 20.cxd7 Bxd7 21.c5 Bg4 22.Rdc1 dxc5 looks sort of playable, but White continues to exert pressure on the black queenside after 23.Nxc5.
I thought this move looked horrible when played, but apparently it is positionally ok – but tactically is another matter. 19…Qa5 20.Nd5 Nb6 21.Nxb6 Qxb6 22.c5 dxc5 23.Qxc5 with an edge for White was better, but not solving all problems.
Missing a big chance. 20.Nd5! Qd8 – the only move. (What both players must have missed was that after 20…Qa5 White wins in one go with:
21.b6!!+- fxe4 22.Rb5 Qa6 23.Nc7 . But as 21.¤g5 is strong too, it is puzzling that Luke did not play like this.) 21.Ng5 Nc5 22.b6± Black should probably think about giving up the exchange, as after 22…Rb8 23.Nc7 Rf8 24.Rb5! his position sort of collapses.
This appears to be a simple blunder. Carlsen is not starting well in this event. 20…Qa5 21.Rbc1 and it is still not so easy for Black to free himself, but the position is playable. He needs to try 21…e6 and …Bf8 to fight for the light squares.
21.Nxa4! Qa7 22.Na6! bxa6
Delaying the capture only makes things worse.
23.b6 Nxb6 24.Rxb6 Rb8 25.c5!±
The pressure is substantial.
Probably a better defence was the miserable 25…dxc5 26.Qb3+ c4 27.Qxc4+ Kh8 28.Rxb8 Qxb8 29.Qf7 Rf8 30.Qxe7 Qe5± with some chances in the ending.
This loses by force, but the prospects after 26…Qc7 27.c6 are not really better.
27.Rb7 Rxb7 28.Rxb7 Qa8 29.Nxc5 Qc8 30.Qxa6 Bf7 31.Bc6! Rd8
A nice finish. The threat is 33.Qb6, with the ideas a2-a4-a5-a6-a7-a8=Q and simply Rc7.
32…Be6 33.Qb6! Bxd7 34.Bxd7 Qc1+ 35.Kg2 Rf8 appears equally hopeless: 36.Be6+ Kh8 37.Rb8 h5 38.Rxf8+ Bxf8 39.a4
33.Bxd7 Qc1+ 34.Qf1 Qxf1+
As if resigning, but there is no hope left.
35.Kxf1 Bc4+ 36.Kg1 Bxa2 37.Ba4 e5 38.f3 Bh6 39.Bb3+ 1–0