Magnus Carlsen's Winning Passed Pawn Tactics! - Carlsen vs. Grischuk, 2009
Watch Magnus win with three connected passed pawns.

Magnus Carlsen's Winning Passed Pawn Tactics! - Carlsen vs. Grischuk, 2009

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
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13

In some ways, Magnus Carlsen was at his most exciting in the late 2000s and early 2010s, still rapidly increasing his rating and impressing all, his playing style and opening approach were still forming, and his opponents had not yet figured out how to battle him. It also wasn't a foregone conclusion that he would become SO dominant.

In 2009, he won the following beautiful game against Alexander Grischuk in Linares with a mass of passed pawns and clean tactics. Ultimately, Grischuk won the event (shared first with Ivanchuk) while Carlsen finished third. Even as early as 2009, Carlsen was ranked 4th in the world and clearly hungering for the #1 spot.

Lessons:

  • At the highest level, it only takes a few slips to lose a game.
  • Passed pawns are huge assets, tieing up the enemy forces and always threatening to push through to promotion.
  • White CAN win against the Sicilian Defense with central, positional play.

My brief notes are below.

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