Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

5th Kings Tournament in Medias 2011 (7)

Carlsen retakes sole lead after 7 rounds of Kings Tournament

Vassily Ivanchuk against Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Radu Caralin Chirila.

Vassily Ivanchuk against Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Radu Caralin Chirila. |

Magnus Carlsen defeated Vassily Ivanchuk in an ending that should have probably been held comfortably by the Ukrainian (see brief notes below). Ivanchuk has been playing quite quickly during the tournament a sign he is out form. Carlsen is great at getting the very most out of such positions and eventually he was rewarded with a win and a nice finish. Hikaru Nakamura called his opening choice dubious against Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and was not sure why he played this way. Nisipeanu's confidence seems to be quite low and he was disappointed not to make more of his advantage, he took a lot of time over obvious decisions but couldn't stop himself doing this. After the game Sergey Karjakin said he still had no idea how he could gain an advantage against Teimour Radjabov's detailed preparation (he demonstrated some very detailed prepared lines deep into the game in the post-game press conference) in the Ruy Lopez Schliemann Defence and the draw was pretty obvious on move 30 when it was agreed.

Magnus Carlsen got a nice opening early on with Ivanchuk's poorly place knight on b6 being the main problem. Carlsen tried to find a breakthrough but only succeeded in getting into mild time pressure. With 28...Nf8 black had solved almost all his problems, and then both sides then played very quickly in the run up to first time control, Ivanchuk had plenty of time and it seems that he rejected two good continuations that would have equalised ie 37...Ne7 when Carlsen would have played Rd1 in the hope of repeating to get closer to time control but then he would probably have to take rooks off and play Nf4-d3 a position he thought much closer to a draw than a win for him.

39...gxh5 after 39.h5 seems the clearest draw. Carlsen gave an extremely convincing line where you just take this pawn twice and then the position simplifies rapidly.

The position was certainly harder to defend after that and Ivanchuk continued to play quickly. After 48...f5 Carlsen thought black had major problems and only a few moves later he had black completely tied up. 56...Rb8 just loses on the spot although it required a nice combination from Carlsen. The speed of Ivanchuk's play gave Carlsen a lot of confidence to play on and afterwards he said "You'd have to ask him" when asked about Ivanchuk's clock handling. Below are notes based on Carlsen's comments in the official video.

Carlsen,M (2815) - Ivanchuk,V (2776) [D38]
5th Kings Tournament Medias ROU (7), 18.06.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Qc2 c5 8.dxc5 h6 9.Bd2 0-0 10.e3 Bxc5 11.Rc1

[11.Bd3 1-0 Kramnik,V-Lautier,J/ Monaco 1995 (52)]

11...Qe7 12.Be2 a6 13.Qd3 Nb6 14.0-0 Bg4 15.Nd4 Bd7 16.Bf3 Rfe8 17.b3

Vassily Ivanchuk


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 17.b3

In principal this is a move that white would like to avoid. Yermolinsky suggested.


17...Ba3 18.Rc2 Rac8 19.Nce2 Rxc2 20.Qxc2 Be6 21.Bc1 Rc8 22.Bxa3 Qxa3 23.Qd2 Bg4 24.Bxg4 Nxg4

White's main advantage is the misplaced knight on b6 but this doesn't remain the case for much longer.

25.Nf5 Nf6

It is around here that Carlsen started to eat time trying to find a win.


The alternative is:

[26.Qd4 Nbd7 27.Nf4 Qc5 28.Nxd5 Qxd4 29.exd4 (29.Nde7+ Kf8 30.exd4 Re8; 29.Nfe7+ Kf8 30.exd4 Rc2 31.Nb4 Rd2 32.Nf5 g6) ]

26...Kh7 27.Qd4 Nbd7 28.Qf4 Nf8!

Vassily Ivanchuk


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 28...Nf8

Now black has more or less equalised.

28...Qxa2 is very risky for black white will certainly get his pawn back.


Now white had only 10 minutes left and after not finding a direct win goes into an endgame.

[29.Nxh6 Ne6! 30.Qf5+ Kxh6 31.g4 Qb2 32.Ng3 g6 33.g5+ Kg7 34.gxf6+ Qxf6 is solid.]

29...Ng6 30.Qd4 Qc5 31.f3 Qxd4 32.Nxd4 Ne5 33.Rd1 g6 34.Kf2 Kg7 35.Nge2 Kf8 36.g4 Nc6 37.Rc1

Vassily Ivanchuk


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 37.Rc1


[37...Ne7 38.Rd1 Played to repeat but then would probably have to play: (38.Rxc8+ Nxc8 39.Nf4 followed by Nd3 is much closer to a draw than a win.) ]

38.h4 Kd6 39.h5

Vassily Ivanchuk


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 39.h5


[39...gxh5 40.gxh5 Nxh5 41.Rh1 Ng7 42.Rxh6+ Ne6 I don't think black has any major problems. 43.f4 (43.Nf5+ Kc5 44.a3 Rd8 45.Rf6 Rd7 46.Nh6 Ncd8 47.Rf5 Ng7) 43...Ncxd4 44.Nxd4 Kd7 taking on e6 is just a draw. 45.Nxe6 fxe6 46.Rh7+ Kd6 47.Rxb7 Rc2+ draw. Carlsen said "He played Ne7 very quickly. I don't know [why he played so quickly] you'd have to ask him. I wondered if I was missing something obvious."]

40.Rh1 gxh5 41.gxh5 Rg8 42.Ng3 Rg5 43.b4 Kd7 44.Rh4 Ne8 45.Rf4 Nd6 46.a4 b6

[46...Kc7 47.Rg4]

47.a5 bxa5 48.bxa5 f5?

Vassily Ivanchuk


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 48...f5

Certainly Rg4 is a threat in many positions around here but this cure is worse than the disease.

[48...Kc7 49.Rg4]


Now black has serious problems according to Carlsen.

49...Nc4 50.f4 Rg4 51.Rh3

[51.Rh1 Nxe3 52.Kf3 Rg8 53.Rb1 Nc4 is unclear.]

51...Nd6 52.Rh1 Rg8 53.Rb1 Ra8 54.Kf3 Kc7 55.Ne6+

unnecessary. Black is almost in zugzwang. Carlsen was in time trouble again so wanted to repeat.

55...Kc8 56.Nc5 Rb8

Carlsen was surprised by this move which loses straightforwardly but didn't really know what black should do.

57.Rxb8+ Kxb8 58.Nxa6+ Kb7 59.Nb4 Nc4 60.a6+ Kb6 61.Ke2 Nd6 62.Kd3 Nb5 63.Ne2 Ka5

Vassily Ivanchuk


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 64.Nc3. A nice combination that wins.

64.Nc3!! Nc7 65.Nbxd5 Nexd5 66.Nxd5 Nxd5 67.a7 Nc7 68.Kd4 Kb6 69.Ke5 Kxa7 70.Kxf5 Nd5 71.Kg6 Nxe3 72.Kxh6

Carlsen: I feel I'm still playing reasonably well. Today I was prepared for a reasonably long game.


5th Kings Tournament Medias (ROU), 11-21 vi 2011 cat. XXI (2757)
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2815 * * ½ . 1 ½ ½ . ½ 1 1 . 5 2912
2. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 ½ . * * ½ . ½ ½ 1 . ½ 1 2840
3. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 0 ½ ½ . * * ½ . ½ . 1 ½ 2749
4. Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2744 ½ . ½ ½ ½ . * * 0 ½ ½ . 3 2714
5. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2776 ½ 0 0 . ½ . 1 ½ * * 0 . 2659
6. Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter g ROU 2659 0 . ½ 0 0 ½ ½ . 1 . * * 2674
Round 7 (June 18, 2011)
Carlsen, Magnus - Ivanchuk, Vassily 1-0 72 D38 QGD Ragozin
Karjakin, Sergey - Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ 30 C63 Ruy Lopez Schliemann
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 31 B92 Sicilian Najdorf with 6.Be2

View the games on this Page

Download the PGN from this page


Shereshevsky Method

Chess and Bridge Shop Titled Tuesday

ChessBase Ad 6 Live DB

American Chess Magazine 4

Ginger GM - Chess Grandmaster Simon Williams

Contact Mark Crowther (TWIC) if you wish to advertise here.

The Week in Chess Magazine

Send a £30 donation via Paypal and contact me via email (Email Mark Crowther - I'll send you an address for a cbv file of my personal copy of every issue of the games in one database. Over 2 million games.

Read about 20 years of TWIC.

Read about issue 1200.

TWIC 1211 22nd January 2018 - 2165 games

Read TWIC 1211

Download TWIC 1211 PGN

Download TWIC 1211 ChessBase