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Rorshach

Chess - the world in black and white

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1 hour ago, Yukle said:

I'm not supremely good, but I thought it was really 12 that was the death knell. Roeder was determined to get a check but didn't seem to have thought much further ahead than that.

CHeck my follow up post on the game.

6...c5 leads to a main line of the semi-Tarrasch. Personally I don't like the structures (and thus positions) you get as black. But it's playable. The semi-Tarrasch has become a bit of rarity in top tournaments. The only top player who occasionally employs it right now is Kramnik, I think (at least I can't think of anybody else).

Grischuk - Kramnik 2018 from the candidates.

A move can be bad without losing by force on the spot. Having that said, 6...g6 looks dubious to me, to say the least. And here are the reasons why. An old rule of the thumb is, if your opponent has a center it's your first and foremost priority to attack it. In that sense 6...g6 is too slow. Another advantage of 6...c5 7.Nf3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2 10.Qxd2 is that it exchanges material, and it takes some of the dynamic out of the position. White pushing d5 and create an Isolani is one idea, and it usually has some more bite with more pieces on the board, especially the dark squared bishop is a piece white would rather keep and put it on g5 there (check Nimzovich "My System" on how to play a position with an isolated queen pawn). Another downside of g6 is that it creates a hook for white's king side attacks. Thus Carlsen immediately pushed 7.h4 immediately. Add to that, g6 really weakens dark squares (namely f6 and h6) on the kingside, and that's where the king will end up, as castle to the queen side looks somewhat suicidal to me. And that weakening is not trivial. E.g. if black had played 7...h5 to stop white playing it, white can probably play e5 and the Bishop on g7 looks a bit silly. White can then at some point play bg5 and relocate the Knight to e4 (and suddenly the f6 square is a real problem). And you really don't want to play f6 as that just weakens g6 too much. So 6...g6 seems to create some long term problems you really don't want, and it's really not in the spirit of the position.

In the game itself the weak dark squares are also a theme. Let's start here: 9...e5 looks ugly, but I can see why he played it, white playing e5 himself is among the least desirable things I can imangine (check above).  The downside being, it weakens the diagonal a2-g8 and f7 is suddenly a target. Thus Carlsen played 10.Bc4 exd4 I am not really taking a deep look into the game, so quite possibly I am missing something, but I can't find any good moves for black, maybe 0-0 was "safer" but with the horrible kingside structure I doubt the black king will find happiness there. Anyway, 11.Bg5! remember the warning about the dark squares? 11...Bf6 again, it's hard to criticise Roeder for playing this as (11...f6 looks just horrible, 11...Qd7 doesn't look much better, white's attack continues and black has problems to untangle and mobilize his queen side), anyway, so back to the game 11...Bf6 however runs into 12.Qf3! the bishop on g5 is obviously taboo as (12...Bxg5 runs into Qxf7#).  12...dxc3 what else? This looks depserate and it probably is. 13.Bxf6 Qd2+ yes, it's a check. Too bad it ends there. The queen alone will never be able to bring down that King. She needs some sort of support for her hunt (like say at least a knight or a bishop). 14.Kf1 and black has run out of checks already. 14...c2  looks more threatening than it actually is. 15.Bb2 the most straightforward and elegant way to answer the "threat" of c1. And suddenly Qxf7+ is a real threat again. I will stop here, because it's plain obvious at this point how this is gonna end, white is a piece up, he is better developed and his king is relatively speaking way more secure than his black counterpart.

Ok, I just did a quick search, and I couldn't find any games where black went 6...g6 in that position. So the odds are it's really just bad move. To me it looks like Roeder somehow stumbled into an opening and had no idea how to play it. It sounds harsher than it's actually meant. Misplaying a position happens to all of us, just that normally us mere mortals don't get to misplay it against Carlsen.

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I promise you, I am reading it, but I don't remember every terminology off the top of my head. A couple I've had to lookup, because I have forgotten them. :P

If nothing else I reckon the opening 11 moves or so were a solid - but not perfect! - opening, and I don't think it was an accidental Queen's gambit declined.

ETA: Took a while. but I went through Grischuk vs Kramnik. 0-0 isn't until turn 11, but is that what you're suggesting Roeder should've done, too?

Edited by Yukle

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Not to reply for Notone, as he’s more able than me to analyze it, but I think what he would advise Roeder to do when entering the Queen’s gambit declined, is to play the semi-Tarrasch with 6 ...c5. The following line, as he mentions, exchanges material, and makes the position more easily playable. Less pieces to misplace :)

The computer doesn’t give 6 ...g6 as a big blunder, but it gives you some long term weaknesses, which you rarely need in general and certainly does not need when playing the World Champion. And it is comfortably a worse move than 6...c5.

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11 hours ago, Rorshach said:

Not to reply for Notone, as he’s more able than me to analyze it, but I think what he would advise Roeder to do when entering the Queen’s gambit declined, is to play the semi-Tarrasch with 6 ...c5. The following line, as he mentions, exchanges material, and makes the position more easily playable. Less pieces to misplace :)

The computer doesn’t give 6 ...g6 as a big blunder, but it gives you some long term weaknesses, which you rarely need in general and certainly does not need when playing the World Champion. And it is comfortably a worse move than 6...c5.

Well, my first recommendation is not to play the semi-tarrasch. But I think by move 6 had no choice but to go for it and play 6...c5 I still dislike those positions for black, but that's my personal taste. It's playable as shown in the Grischuk-Kramnik game.  Roeder's choice 6...g6?! just appears to be something between dubious and plain bad. 

It was like turning down the option to play the QGD semi-Tarrasch in favour to play some trash which had some superficial similarities to an Grünfeld Indian Exchange line, just that black has wasted precious time with the inclusion of e6. 

For the sake of complecity the Grünfeld line I mean goes like this: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 c5 similar but not quite the same as in the Roeder-Carlsen game.

Edited by Notone
forgot a move pair :)

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