A Missed Brilliancy, Magnus Carlsen vs. Anish Giri, Norway Chess 2015

A Missed Brilliancy, Magnus Carlsen vs. Anish Giri, Norway Chess 2015

Jun 19, 2015, 12:39 PM |

If World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen had found 38.Bf7+!!, we would use "Carlsen's Immortal" etiquette for this game. For now, "Carlsen's Immortal" is Magnus Carlsen vs. Sipke Ernst 2004 Corus (Group C) CaroKann Classical.

He started the tournament in great shape. When he reached move 60 in the first round, he had a forced win against Veselin Topalov. However he wasn't aware of the time control and lost on time. He thought on move 60 he'll get additional time, he didn't even look at the clock. Then, in the second round world#2 Fabiano Caruana outplayed him over the Berlin Wall with white pieces. Note that: because of the geographical location of Norway, things tend to go south. Tongue Out

So with this brilliancy missed and Magnus' ambition combined, you can deffinetly expect from him a proper execution of a brilliancy in the next couple of days.

Firstly a brief analysis of the game till that important moment:

  • White is 2 pawns up. Queen and Bishop are hanging. King is safe.
  • Black's King is exposed. Bishop and b5Rook can not help to defend the kingside. So we may think this Bishop and Rook are not playing in a full scale attack; they do not exist on the board, so white can sacrifice his additional material. Nxe5 will unleash the rooks.
  • White Queen's entry point is e4.  c8Rook can prevent f-file invasion (...Rf8). Brining back Black Queen to d8 seems slow.
Carlsen played 38.Qd4 and that was most natural but unfortunately not quite fast enough to win. White has 2 pawns and the hanging, sacrificable, tempo-gainer Bishop. So he could have said "You hit my queen with tempo, I'll hit your king with tempo!" As some wise man once said "Chess is all about tempo."
Now let's start with the ***spoiler alert*** not quite working idea. 38.Bh7+ Kxh7 39.Qe4+ Hunt Starts!!
However Black doesn't have to take h7Bishop 38...Kh8!

So Bh7+ doesn't work. But we learned, black can not capture white's Bishop. That allows the infiltration of the queen.
When black did not capture the bishop, he took white Queen's entry point f5 with his rook. 
Here comes the brilliancy part! 38.Bf7+!! If black captures Bishop, that allows the infiltiration. If he doesn't capture that still allows the infiltration. Because f7Bishop blocks the f-file; prevents ...Rf8 which was responsible for f5 square.Cool

This was the most exciting part. A lot of fun to see these crazy sacrifices, pins, double attacks! Now you can check rest of the game. There is no energy left to study the rest of the game. That is another day's work.

That's all folks!
Try solving Norway Chess 2015 Blitz Tournament puzzles here.
See you!