It was a back-to-back winner for World Champion Magnus Carlsen after winning the Armageddon tie-break #5 versus local bet Arkadij Naiditsch at 3rd Grenke Chess Classic held at Baden Baden Germany. 8 days after winning also the Tata Steel Chess’ category 20 super tournament. Magnus still has enough gas to successfully maintain composure and win his 2nd major tournament of the year.

When my friend reads one of my blog, I was being asked why am i just getting reports coming from other websites? Why do i not do my game analysis of my own, while i’m capable of doing that like what i do to my post game analysis. And also, he asked me why only Wesley So and Magnus Carlsen games am i fascinated of?

Well, for one, i do compile the games just between Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So, Wesley since the start, i see his games with much of an improvement from time-to-time, and predicted that he can reach beyond among the elite. And look now, he just belongs to the new recruited “Deadly Killer” in the line-up. Meaning, he can’t just be ignored. While Magnus, of course the new generation World Champion. I am also fond of his games, the meteoric rise in ratings. I’m figuring out if he can reach beyong 2900!

I can’t do my self analysis and write-ups as i am just doing my compilations through my mobile. I just need to type and grab the articles but of course, giving the credits to the owner. I just want to produce all the games played by Magnus and Wesley and compiled in a good order.

Here’s the round-to-round match-up of Magnus Carlsen at Grenke Chess Classic in Baden Baden Germany. Hope you enjoy the report and can be used for your future board analysis.

GRENKE Chess Classic Baden-Baden, is an elite grandmaster tournament. They have brought together an exclusive line-up, headed by World Champion Magnus Carlsen and 2013 Champion Viswanathan Anand. The tournament is being held 2-9 February 2015.
It has rating average of 2752, making it a stellar Category 21 tournament.



Final score after Carlsen wins Armageddon

Tie-Break 5

What an exciting finish! Before Magnus missed an opportunity to convert his last round game against Bacrot via King’s Indian, he had to settle for a tiebreaker match between Naiditsch…In the tiebreaker match Carlsen won the first round, Naidtisch retaliated on round 2, and after two draws, The World Champion wins in the Armageddon…

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.09
Round : TB 5
White : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Black : Naiditsch, Arkadij (2706)
Result: 1-0
ECO : B91 – Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8. Bg2 O-O 9. O-O Nbd7 10. a4 b6 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Rb8 13. Nc3 Nf6 14. Qd3 Be6 15. Qxa6! [ A nice positional sacrifice. The pawn was certainly not free: Naiditsch had seen a way to recover his material, but Carlsen decided that he was going to keep his pawn, by giving up the exchange! ] 15…Qc7 16. Qe2 Bc4 17. Qf3 Bxf1 18. Bxf1 [The light square weaknesses that Black has currently make his position very difficult.]
18…d5 19. exd5 e4 20. Qf5 Rbd8 21. Bf4 Qc5 22. Rd1 Qb4 23. Be5 Bc5?? [An almost inexplicable move. This allows White to simply rip apart the kingside and annihilate the opponent king.]
24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Nxe4 [ Now it’s very clearly all over, Black is even down material.]
25…Qxb2 26. Bd3 Rfe8 27. Nxf6+ Kf8 28. Nxh7+ Ke7 29. Re1+ Kd6 30. Qf4+ Kxd5 31. Nf6+ Kc6 32. Nxe8 1-0


Tie-Break 4

Tie-breaker game #4 via Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence ended in a draw again! We are heading to the Armageddon!

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.09
Round : TB 4
White : Naiditsch, Arkadij (2706)
Black : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Result: 1/2-1/2
ECO : C67 – Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence, Open Variation

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. c4 Ke8 10. Nc3 Be6 11. b3 Be7 12. Ne4 Rd8 13. Bb2 h5 14. Rad1 b5 15. Nfg5 Bxg5 16. Nxg5 a6 17. Bc3 c5 18. Rxd8+ Kxd8 19. Rd1+ Ke7 20. Ne4 bxc4 21. Nxc5 cxb3 22. axb3 Rb8 23. b4 Rb6 24. Kf1 Bc4+ 25. Ke1 Bb5 26. f3 h4 27. Kf2 Rc6 28. Bb2 Ke8 29. Rc1 Ne7 30. Nb3 Nd5 31. Rxc6 Bxc6 32. Ba3 Nf4 33. g3 Nd3+ 34. Ke3 hxg3 35. hxg3 Nxe5 36. Kf4 Nxf3 37. Bb2 f6 38. Nd4 Ne1 39. Ke3 Bd5 40. Ke2 Ng2 41. Kf2 Kd7 42. Bc3 g6 43. Nf3 g5 44. Bxf6 Bxf3 45. Kxf3 Ne1+ 46. Ke2 Nc2 47. Bxg5 Nxb4 48. Bf4 Nd5 49. Bd2 Ke6 50. Kd3 Nf6 51. Bc1 Kd5 52. Bg5 Ng4 53. Kc3 c5 54. Kb3 Kc6 55. Ka4 Ne5 56. Ka5 Kb7 57. Bh6 Nc6+ 58. Ka4 c4 59. g4 Kc8 60. Bg7 Kd7 61. Bf6 Ke6 62. g5 Kf5 63. Ka3 Ne5 64. Kb4 a5+ 65. Kc3 a4 66. Bxe5 Kxe5 67. Kxc4 Kf5 68. Kb4 Kxg5 1/2-1/2


Tie-Break 3

Tie-breaker game #3 via Bogo-Indian ended in a draw!

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.09
Round : TB 3
White : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Black : Naiditsch, Arkadij (2706)
Result: 1/2-1/2
ECO : E11 – Bogo-Indian Defence, Gruenfeld Variation

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Nbd2 b6 5. e3 Bb7 6. Bd3 c5 7. O-O cxd4 8. exd4 O-O 9. a3 Be7 10. b4 a5 11. b5 d5 12. Bb2 Nbd7 13. a4 Rc8 14. Rc1 dxc4 15. Nxc4 Nd5 16. g3 Nb4 17. Be2 Na2 18. Ra1 Bxf3 19. Bxf3 Rxc4 20. Rxa2 Nf6 21. Bc6 Nd5 22. Qe2 Rb4 23. Rd1 Rb3 24. Kg2 Qd6 25. Qc2 Qb4 26. Rda1 Rc8 27. Ba3 Qc3 28. Qxc3 Rxc3 29. Bxd5 Rxa3 30. Rxa3 Bxa3 31. Bxe6 fxe6 32. Rxa3 Rc4 33. Kf3 Rxd4 34. Rc3 Rxa4 35. Rc6 Kf7 36. Rxb6 Rb4 1/2-1/2


Tie-Break 2

Naiditsch gets back in contention! thanks to his win on second tie-break game! It seems the game is full of errors. Luckily Naiditsch nailed this one…

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.09
Round : TB 2
White : Naiditsch, Arkadij (2706)
Black : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Result: 1-0
ECO : C49 – Four Knights, Symmetrical, Pillsbury Variation

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. O-O O-O 6. d3 d6 7. Bg5 Ne7 8. Re1 c6 9. Ba4 Ng6 10. Bb3 h6 11. Bd2 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 13. g3 d5 14. Kg2 d4 15. Ne2 Bxf3+ 16. Kxf3 Bxd2 17. Qxd2 Nd7 18. a3 Kh8 19. Kg2 Nc5 20. Ba2 f5 21. exf5 Rxf5 22. Rf1 Qf6 23. f4 Rf8 24. Rae1 h5 25. Rf3 h4 26. g4 Nxf4+ 27. Kh2 Rg5 28. Nxf4 exf4 29. b4 Nd7 30. Re6 Qd8 31. Qe1 Rb5 32. a4 Rb6 33. Re7 Nf6 34. Qxh4+ Nh7 35. Be6 Rf6 36. Bf5 Rh6 37. Qe1 Qd6 38. Re8+ Nf8 39. Qe7 Qxe7 40. Rxe7 Rxb4 41. Re8 Rf6 42. Rxf4 g6 43. g5 Rf7 44. Rh4+ Kg7 45. Be4 Rb2 46. Kg3 Rxc2 47. Rf4 Rc5 48. h4 Ra5 49. Rxf7+ Kxf7 50. Rb8 b5 51. Rb7+ Ke6 52. axb5 cxb5 53. Kf4 Ra2 54. Rxb5 Rf2+ 55. Kg3 Re2 56. Ra5 Nd7 57. Ra6+ Ke7 58. Bxg6 Ne5 59. Be4 Nxd3 60. Bxd3 Re3+ 61. Kf4 Rxd3 62. h5 Rh3 63. h6 d3 64. Rxa7+ Ke6 65. Ra6+ Kf7 66. g6+ Ke7 67. g7 d2 68. g8=Q 1-0


Tie-Break 1

Carlsen draw first blood on their tie-break match, will Naiditsch gets back?

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.09
Round : TB 1
White : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Black : Naiditsch, Arkadij (2706)
Result: 1-0
ECO : E11 – Bogo-Indian Defence, Gruenfeld Variation

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Nbd2 b6 5. a3 Bxd2+ 6. Qxd2 O-O 7. e3 Bb7 8. b4 a5 9. Bb2 axb4 10. axb4 Ne4 11. Qc2 Rxa1+ 12. Bxa1 Qe7 13. c5 f5 14. Be2 Nc6 15. Bc3 bxc5 16. dxc5 Ra8 17. O-O Nxc3 18. Qxc3 Qf6 19. Qd2 Rd8 20. b5 Ne5 21. Nxe5 Qxe5 22. c6! [ Using the pin on the d-file White kills the bishop on b7.]
22…Bc8 23. Rd1 d5 24. Qd4 Qxd4 25. exd4 Kf8 26. f4 [Black’s position is simply sad. The bishop on c8 has absolutely no moves. White simply has to march his forces forward.]
26…Ke7 27. Ra1 g6 28. Kf2 Kd6 29. Ra3 Rf8 30. h4 Ke7 31. h5 Rg8 32. hxg6 hxg6 33. Rh3 g5 34. fxg5 Kd6 35. Rh6 Ke7 36. Bf3 e5 37. Rh7+ Kd6 38. dxe5+ Kc5 39. Rxc7 Kxb5 40. Bxd5 1-0


Final Standings after round 7, Carlsen and Naiditsch will battle for a tie-break games!


Round 7

Carlsen played a fantastic game, and just when it was time to finish Bacrot off he ran into some unexpected difficulties:

Carlsen, Magnus 1/2-1/2 Bacrot, Etienne

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.09
Round : 7.2
White : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Black : Bacrot, Etienne (2711)
Result: 1/2-1/2
ECO : A48 – King’s Indian, Torre Attack

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bg5 Bg7 4. Nbd2 O-O 5. e3 d6 6. Bc4 Nbd7 7. O-O Qe8 8. a4 e5 9. a5 e4 10. Ne1 h6 11. Bh4 c6 12. Bb3 Nh5 13. f3 exf3 14. Qxf3 Ndf6 15. Nd3 Bg4 16. Qf2 Be6 17. Bxe6 Qxe6 18. Qf3 g5 19. Bf2 g4 20. Qe2 Rae8 21. a6 b6 22. Rae1 Nd5 23. e4 f5 24. Qd1 fxe4 25. Rxe4 Qf5 26. Qxg4 Qxg4 27. Rxg4 Re2 28. Rd1 Nhf6 29. Rg3 Nh5 30. Rf3 Rxf3 31. gxf3 Ne3 32. Bxe3 Rxe3 33. Nc4 Rxf3 34. Nb4 b5 35. Na5 c5 36. Nbc6 Rf7 37. Nb7 Nf4 38. dxc5 dxc5 39. Nxa7 Bd4+ 40. Kh1 Nh3 41. Kg2 Nf4+ 42. Kg3 Ne2+ 43. Kg4 Rf4+ 44. Kh3 Rf3+ 45. Kg4 Rf4+ 46. Kh3 Rf3+ 1/2-1/2


Round 6

Caruana, Fabiano 1/2-1/2 Carlsen, Magnus

The only interesting moment of this duel between the top two players in the World came with the perpetual that arose at the end.

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.08
Round : 6.3
White : Caruana, Fabiano (2811)
Black : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Result: 1/2-1/2
ECO : C67 – Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence, Open Variation

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 h6 10. Rd1+ Ke8 11. Nc3 Ne7 12. Bf4 Ng6 13. Bh2 Bb4 14. Ne2 Be7 15. Nfd4 Nf8 16. g4 h5 17. Nf5 Ne6 18. Kg2 b6 19. f3 c5 20. Bg3 Bg5 (20… Bb7 [was also perfectly possible.])
21. h4 hxg4 [and now the draw is forced]
22. hxg5 gxf3+ 23. Kxf3 Nxg5+ 24. Kf4 (24. Kg4 Nh3 [is risky for White:] 25. e6 Bxe6 26. Nf4 g6 27. Nxe6 gxf5+ 28. Kxf5 fxe6+ 29. Kg4 e5! [with this key move the knight from h3 is rescued and Black remains out a pawn, though probably one that is very hard to convert.] 30. Bxe5 (30. Rd5 Ke7) (30. Re1 Kd7!) 30… Nf2+)
24… Nh3+ 25. Ke4 Ng5+ 26. Kf4 Nh3+ 1/2-1/2


Round 5

As per Alejandro Ramirez of it seems to be doing the same as Magnus Carlsen did in Wijk aan Zee: Carlsen has his second straight win after losing. This gives the Norwegian a tie for first with Naiditsch, who was held to a draw by a stubborn Caruana.

Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 Baramidze, David

Baramidze was holding his own until a crucial mistake was all it took for Carlsen to play like a machine and take the win.

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.07
Round : 5.1
White : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Black : Baramidze, David (2594)
Result: 1-0
ECO : C95 – Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer, Borisenko Variation

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. Nf1 Bf8 14. Ng3 g6 [One of the tabiya’s (starting position) of chess. The Breyer has been considered to be a very solid, albeit a little passive, way of handling the Spanish as Black.]
15. a4 Bg7 (15… c5 [is considered to be the main line, trying to exploit the weakness of the b3 square with the continuation] 16. d5 c4 [which has been seen many, many times.])
16. Bd3 c6 17. Bg5 Nf8 18. Qd2 Ne6 19. Bh6 Nd7 20. Bc2 Bxh6 21. Qxh6 Qf6 22. Rad1 Rad8 (22… exd4 23. cxd4 Qf4 24. Qxf4 Nxf4 25. e5!?)
23. d5 cxd5 24. exd5 Qf4 25. Qxf4 Nxf4 26. Ne4 Bxd5 27. axb5 axb5 28. Nxd6 [So far Baramidze has done a fantastic job defending and cdreating counterplay at the same time. His well placed pieces give him compensation even if he loses the b5 pawn.]
28…Re6? [This, unfortunately for the German player, is quite the mistake.] (28… Bxf3 29. gxf3 Re7 30. Nxb5 Rb8 31. c4 Nxh3+) (28… Rf8 29. Ne4 (29. Nxb5 Rb8= [the pawn is regained on b2.]) 29… f5 [doesn’t leave the rook vulnerable to an attack on e6.])
29. Ne4! f5 30. Nfg5! Re7 31. g3! [What a sequence! The knight on f4 cannot move as the bishop on d5 is hanging, and because of the awkward positions of Black’s rooks and the pinned knight on d7 his structure will be compromised.]
31…Bxe4 32. Bxe4 fxe4 (32… Nxh3+ 33. Nxh3 fxe4 34. Ng5)
33. gxf4 Rf8 34. Nxe4 Rxf4 35. b4 [Material is still even, but White’s knight on e4 is monstrous and the b5 pawn will soon come under attack.]
35…Nf6 36. Nd6 Rf3 37. Nxb5 Rxh3 38. c4 [Material is still even, but clearly Black’s pawns are less threatening than White’s. The position is very hard to play.]
38…Rh4 (38… Rb3 39. Nd4! [is a nice trick to keep the pawns alive. Taking on b4 fails to the fork on c6.])
39. Nd6 (39. Nd6)
39…Nh5 40. b5 Nf4 41. b6 Rg4+ 42. Kf1 Rh4 [ Black tries to create some counterplay against White’s king, but it is insufficient. It can fend off for itself against a lone rook and knight.]
43. f3 Rh1+ 44. Kf2 Rh2+ 45. Kg1 Rc2 46. Kh1 Nh3 47. Ne4 [ The knight comes back to defend against Nf2+. There were other winning moves, but this is the easiest.]
47…Rxc4 48. Rd8+! Kg7 49. Rb1 [And now there is nothing to do against the advance of the b-pawn. Blockading is not possible due to Nd6, forking the rook. One mistake is all it took for Carlsen to win a very Carlsen-like position.] 1-0


Round 4

Carlsen bounced back with a win over Anand in a stonewall!

Anand, Viswanathan 0-1 Carlsen, Magnus

The Dutch! But the Stonewall version this time. Carlsen certainly wouldn’t have used this against Anand in a long World Championship Match, but the risk he takes makes sense in a small seven round tournament where he needs to start accumulating points if he wants to win.


Anand vs Carlsen at Grenke Chess 2015 at Baden Baden Germany © photo courtesy of

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.06
Round : 4.3
White : Anand, Viswanathan (2797)
Black : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Result: 0-1
ECO : A90 – Dutch Defence

1. d4 f5! [ The Dutch! Carlsen lost with this recently against Wojtaszek, and yet he wants to take it for a spin against Anand.]
2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. c4 c6 [ A different breed of Dutch, however, known as the Stonewall. It is a completely different system than the Leningrad (which involves kingside fianchetto). The positions are very complicated. It used to be a very popular “anti-computer” type of structure as the engines have little clue on what to do here usually.]
5. Nf3 d5 6. O-O Bd6 7. b3 Qe7 [ There are plenty of ways of playing this position, but on the basic level White has a nice e5 outpost and usually attacks on the queenside, while Black does the same on the kingside.]
8. Ne5 (8. a4 [trying to trade the bishops with Ba3, is also a common idea.])
8… O-O 9. Nd2 a5 10. Bb2 Nbd7 11. Qc2 a4!? [ This cheeky advance of the a-pawn is quite troublesome. White doesn’t want to take it as it would ruin his structure some, but if it’s left advancing it will blockade the queenside by installing itself on a3.]
12. Ndf3 Ne4 13. e3 a3 14. Bc3 Nxe5 15. Nxe5 Bd7 16. Nxd7 Qxd7 17. c5 Bc7 18. b4 [ White’s space advantage on the queenside keeps his threats of attacking their alive, but as usual in these positions the pair of bishops is rather meaningless…. that is, until the position somehow opens up!]
18…h5 19. Be1 e5!? [ Opening diagonals is always double edged, but it is certainly tempting to play this move and activate the c7 bishop.]
20. dxe5 Bxe5 21. Rd1 Qe6 22. f3 Nf6 23. Bh3 g6 24. e4 [This move is very tempting, and it starts a series of complications that is very hard to calculate. The point of course is that f5 is hard to defend, but surprisingly, this gives the a-pawn a chance to almost promote…]
24…dxe4 25. fxe4 Bb2! [ Carlsen’s point – the a2 pawn will fall, clearing the way for the black a3 pawn. This will cause White enormous amounts of headaches, and he has to relatiate on the kingside quickly.]
26. exf5 Qxa2 27. Bf2 (27. fxg6?? [it’s important that this move is not possible.] Bd4+ [and it’s bye bye queen on c2.])
27… g5 [Black closes down the kingside before anything bad happens.]
28. Rfe1 Qf7! 29. Re6 Ng4 ( 29… Rfe8!?)
30. Bxg4 hxg4 31. Rg6+ Kh7 32. Rd7?? [This is based on a big miscalculation.] (32. Re6! [and Black might still have chances to push for a win with 32…Rfe8, but his position looks a little loose and White certainly has play.])
32… Qxd7 33. f6 [To me it is not entirely clear what Anand missed, as even though the move played in the game is winning, it is not the only one.]
33…Qd1+! [The cleanest.] (33… Bxf6 34. Rxf6+=) (33… Rxf6! 34. Rxf6+ Kg8 35. Rg6+ Kf8! [and White has no more checks.])
34. Qxd1 Kxg6 35. Qd3+ Kh6 [White has no more checks and material is currently even. The big problem for Anand is that there is no defense against a2-a1.]
36. h4 gxh3 0-1


Round 3

Naiditsch beats Carlsen, again!

As reported by Alejandro Ramirez via it was a big day in Baden-Baden as the standings changed dramatically. Magnus Carlsen went a little haywire against Arkadij Naiditsch, sacrificing a piece and then losing an endgame where he usually would have tried to push for a win. This is the German’s second victory against Carlsen in a row.

An exciting round in Baden-Baden, though one that was strange to say the least. The highlight is clearly Carlsen’s loss against Naiditsch, which came with a number of surprises. First was the fact that the World Champion sacrificed a piece for no compensation, and that despite the fact that he outplayed Naiditsch after that he misplayed the endgame horribly. Only half a year after the Tromso Olympiad Arkadij Naiditsch is able to defeat the number one player in the World… again!

Naiditsch, Arkadij 1-0 Carlsen, Magnus

This is a very difficult game to describe. Carlsen decided to sacrifice a piece in the opening for no apparent reason, and it simply did not pay off. He got compensation by outplaying his opponent, but when he finally had a good grasp on the resulting endgame he wasted too much time and the German player was able to promote his passed pawn.

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.04
Round : 3.3
White : Naiditsch, Arkadij (2706)
Black : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Result: 1-0
Annotator: Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro
ECO : B06 – Robatsch (Modern) Defense

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 a6 [ Even though the Modern defense is not practiced by most top level grandmasters, it is not a bad opening. White needs to navigate it well to obtain some sort of opening advantage, and even with it the positions remain double edged.]
5. a4 Nf6 6. h3 O-O 7. g4!? [ A typical idea, White is simply trying to restrain Black all over the board, preventing him from executing his breaks, f5 or b5.]
7…e5 8. d5 c6 9. Nge2 cxd5 10. exd5 Bxg4?! [ Maybe an extra exclamation mark for how spectacular it is for the World Champion to do this, but another question mark for how dubious this idea is. Black sacrifice a piece for two pawns, but that’s basically all there is to it. ]
11. hxg4 Nxg4 12. Qd2 Nd7 13. Ne4 f5 [ Black also is able to kick out the e4 knight, but White can live without this square.]
14. Bg5 Qb6 15. Bh3 [ Naiditsch’s positoin is holding together and now Carlsen is forced to trade some pieces.]
15…Ndf6 (15… Qxb2 16. O-O [looks suicidal. White has the threats of Bxg4 and Rfb1, trapping the queen.])
16. Nxf6+ Nxf6 17. Nc3?! [ When you are up material, there rarely is a good reason to give your opponent counterplay. In this case giving up a pawn was not necessary.] ( 17. b3)
17… Qxb2 18. Rb1 Qa3 19. Rxb7 Rf7?! ( 19… Rab8! 20. Rxg7+ Kxg7 21. Bxf5 gxf5 22. Bxf6+ Kxf6! [ Is just a draw, according to the heartless monsters.])
20. Rb3 Qc5 21. Qe3 Qc7 22. Qb6! e4 23. Qc6 [ A little fancy, just trading was better.]
23…Rc8 24. O-O Qxc6 25. dxc6 Rxc6 26. Rfb1 [ Carlsen again has three pawns for the piece, but now the pair of bishops and the weak a6 pawn give Naiditsch an obvious target. Not only that, but with the queens off there is little counterplay for Black.]
26…h6 27. Bxf6 Bxf6 28. Nxe4! [ A trade of advantages. The endgame after fxe4 is practically very difficult so Carlsen decides to give up the pawn again.]
28…Be5 (28… fxe4 29. Be6 Kf8 30. Bxf7 Kxf7 31. Rb6 Rxc2 32. Rxd6 [and the rooks simply destroy all of Black’s pawns.])
29. Nd2 (29. Rb6! [just a touch more exact.])
29… Rxc2 30. Nf3 Ra2 31. Bg2?! (31. Nxe5! dxe5 32. Rb6 Rxa4 33. Rxg6+ [White only has one pawn left, but it should be sufficient to win.] 31…Kh7 34. Rbb6+-)
31… Bf6 32. Nh2 Kg7 33. Bd5 Re7 34. Rb4 Rd2! 35. Bc4 a5! 36. Rb7 Rd4 37. Rxe7+ Bxe7 38. Bb5 h5 [ With the amount of Black pawns he has enough to compensate for the missing piece. However the most important aspect is that White has no real targets: a5 can now be easily defended by the bishop.]
39. Nf3 Rf4 40. Kg2 h4 41. Rd1 Rg4+ 42. Kf1 h3 43. Rd3 Bf6 44. Nh2 Rh4 45. Kg1 (45. Rxd6 Be5 46. Rd7+ Kf6 47. Kg1 Rb4 48. Rh7!)
45… Bd4 46. Rf3 Kf6 47. Nf1 [ with Black’s pieces so active and his threatening pawn on h3, it would seem as if only Carlsen is playing for a win.]
47…Be5 (47… d5!)
48. Ne3 Kg5? [ This move is already strange. The king will have to go back to f6 so it does nothing but waste important time.]
49. Kh1 Kf6?! 50. Nc4 [ Suddenly Black has done nothing, meanwhile White slowly brought his knight to take the key pawn on a5!]
50…g5 51. Nxa5 g4 52. Rd3 f4 53. Nc4 [ Black’s pawns look threatening, but they are not queening right away.]
53…Rh7 (53… g3 54. fxg3 fxg3 55. Nxe5 g2+ 56. Kh2 Kxe5 57. Bd7 [and the pawns start falling (Rxh3 cannot be prevented). Notice that the a-pawn is the correct color to win with.])
54. Nxe5 dxe5 55. a5 Rc7 56. Ra3 Rc1+ 57. Kh2 Rc2 58. a6! [ Well calculated, those four connected passed pawns are not as relevant as the one passed pawn on the a-file!] 58…Rxf2+ 59. Kh1 g3 60. a7 Rd2 [ One last trick, if White promotes there is backrank mate.]
61. Ra1 1-0


Round 2

Despite having played previously from Tata Steel Chess, Carlsen extracted a full point at the expense of Michael Adams. And now Carlsen becomes the early leader.

Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 Adams, Michael

It was the Champion took the early shot putting much pressure on and beating Michael Adams.

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.03
Round : 2.2
White : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Black : Adams, Michael (2738)
Result: 1-0
Annotator: Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro
ECO : A29 – English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Nd5 Bc5 6. Bg2 d6 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 Nxd5 9. cxd5 Nd4 10. Nxd4 exd4 [Taking with the bishop is more common, there is an old rapid between Karpov and Anand in this line.]
11. Bd2 a5 12. e4 dxe3 13. fxe3 Qg5 14. Rf4 Bd7 15. a4 Rae8 [The position is not easy to evaluate. White’s pawn structure is strange but it controls a lot of central squares and it will lock out the dark-squared bishop once d4 is achieved. Also, b4 is coming opening up some important lines in the queenside. For this reason maybe 15…Rfe8 was better as White doesn’t have real pressure on the kingside.]
16. d4 Bb6 17. Qb3 Qd8 18. Qc4 Re7 19. b4 axb4 20. a5 Ba7 21. Qxb4 [ Black’s queenside is very vulnerable.]
21…c5 (21… Qc8 [is just a sad move to make.])
22. dxc6 Bxc6 23. Qb3 (23. Bxc6 bxc6 24. Qc4 [was also possible.])
23… Bxg2 24. Kxg2 Qd7 25. Raf1 [ White is without a doubt a little better. His pressure on f7 is slightly annoying, as is his pressure on b7. Black doesn’t have a particularly useful plan, his only plus is his pressure on the e3 weakness.]
25…Rc8 26. Rf5 h6 27. R1f2 Bb8 28. Bb4 Qc6+ 29. R2f3 Rcc7 30. Be1 (30. Qd5!)
30… Qe8 (30… g6! 31. Rf6 Qc2+ 32. Qxc2 Rxc2+ =)
31. g4 Re4 32. h3 Rce7 33. Bf2 [ Black’s tripling on the e-file seems counterintuitive. The pressure on e3 will always be sustained by a bishop either on f2 or d2, so it begs the question of what these major pieces are doing exactly.]
33…R4e6 34. Rb5 Bc7 35. Rxb7 Qa8? [ This simply lets Carlsen stay up a pawn. Even though it isn’t pretty, Adams had to take on a5.] (35… Bxa5 36. Rb8 Bd8 37. Bh4 Rd7 [Black’s pinned in every direction, but nothing is hanging and nothing can be attacked. Black might just be holding this.])
36. Rb5 Re8 37. Qd5 Qxd5 38. Rxd5 [ It’s very uncomfortable to play almost equal endgames against Carlsen. It’s almost impossible to play pawn down endgames against Carlsen.] 38…Rb8 39. Bg3 g6 40. h4 Ra8 41. Be1 Re4 42. g5 h5 43. Rb5 Ra7 44. Kf1 Re8 45. Ke2 Rea8 46. Rf6 Ra6 47. Bb4 Bxa5 48. Rxa5 Rxa5 49. Bxa5 Rxa5 50. Rxd6 Kf8 51. Rf6 [ This position is already lost. White’s plan is very simple, push the pawns with the support of the king. Black can’t do anything about it.]
51…Ra3 52. Kf3 Ke7 53. Ke4 Ra5 54. Rf4 Rb5 55. d5 Rb3 56. Kd4 Ra3 57. e4 Rb3 58. Ke5 Rd3 59. Rf1 Rh3 [ Black’s counterplay is too weak, too slow.]
60. Ra1 Rxh4 61. d6+ Kd7 62. Ra7+ Ke8 63. Ra8+ Kd7 64. Rf8 1-0


Round 1

GRENKE Chess Classic at Baden Baden started

Just one week after the strong tournament Tata Steel Chess in Wijk aan Zee, Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana and Levon Aronian meet again, this time in Baden-Baden, Germany, joining Vishy Anand, Michael Adams, Arkadij Naiditsch, Etienne Bacrot, and David Baramidze for the GRENKE Chess Classic, an eight-player-single-round-robin. Although all games ended in a draw that seems all players are warming up.

Aronian, Levon 1/2-1/2 Carlsen, Magnus

All games were drawn. Seems all players are starting to fill up some gas. Aronian and Carlsen just met recently at Tata Steel 2015 tournament in round 5 and ended Aronian defeated via QGD opening.

Event : 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic
Site : Baden Baden GER
Date : 2015.02.02
Round : 1.3
White : Aronian, Levon (2777)
Black : Carlsen, Magnus (2865)
Result: 1/2-1/2
Annotator: Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro
ECO : D36 – QGD Exchange Positional Line, 6. Qc2

1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 Be7 7. e3 Nbd7 8. Bd3 h6 9. Bh4 Nh5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. O-O-O Nb6 12. Nf3 Bg4 13. Kb1 Nf6 14. Rc1 Nfd7 15. Ka1 O-O-O 16. Nd2 Kb8 17. Na4 Nxa4 18. Qxa4 Qh4 [A relatively dry position. Black has no real targets to pressure, while White is doing the best not to weaken his position.]
19. Rcf1 Qf6 20. Qc2 Rc8 21. Nb3 Rc7 22. Rc1 Rhc8 [Black’s complicated plan of doubling on the c-file and playing c5 may not have been a bad idea, except that it was never executed.]
23. h3 Be6 24. Rhf1 h5? (24… c5!? 25. Nxc5 Nxc5 26. dxc5 Rxc5 27. Qxc5 Rxc5 28. Rxc5 Qg5 [White cannot successfully defend his g-pawn (29.g4 runs into 29…Qh4) so Black gets one pawn for the two rooks against queen situation, which might make his position just an inch preferable.])
25. f4! [ Carlsen must have underestimated this move. There is no comfortable way to protect against f5, trapping the bishop.]
25…g6 (25… Nb6 26. f5 Bd7 27. Nc5 [Leaves Black’s pieces without coordination, very similar to what happened in the game but with the kingside pawns still alive, which is worse for Black.])
26. f5 gxf5?! (26… Bxf5! 27. Bxf5 gxf5 28. Rxf5 (28. Qxf5 Qxf5 29. Rxf5 Rg8=) 28… Qg6 [And Black is a tiny bit worse, but should have enough counterplay with pressure against e3, g2 and some c5 ideas.])
27. g4! [This strong move binds Black’s pieces.]
27…hxg4 28. hxg4 Nb6 [what else?]
29. gxf5 Bd7 30. Nc5 Re8 [Black has some compensation for his cramped position in the form of pressure on e3 and a relatively solid camp, but it is definitely White that is preferable here.]
31. Rce1 Qd6 32. a3?! (32. Rg1!)
32… Bc8 33. Qf2 Nd7?! (33… f6! [Forces Aronian to find some good way of continuing the pressure. Black is close to equality.])
34. e4! dxe4 35. Nxe4 Qf8 (35… Qd5 36. Bb1! [Is extremely uncomfortable, with the threat of Nc3.])
36. Rg1 Rd8 37. Qh2? [This move lets go of any advantage.] (37. f6! Nb6 38. Rg7 [keeps the bind and some real pressure on the position. It’s hard to find moves for Black.])
37… Qh8! [Now that the queens come off the board it is impossible to play for a win with White.]
38. Qxh8 Rxh8 39. Rg7 Nb6 40. Nf6 Rd8 41. Rg4 (41. Bb1! [was probably a simpler way of forcing a draw.](41…Rxd4 42. Ne8 Rcd7 43. Nf6 Rd8 44. Rxf7=)
41… c5 42. Ne8?! (42. dxc5 Rxc5 (42… Rxd3 43. cxb6 axb6 44. Re8 [looks a bit dangerous for Black.]) (43. Bb1= Bxf5?? 44. Rg5+-)
42… Rcd7 43. dxc5 Rxd3 44. cxb6 axb6 [Now that White doesn’t have access to the eight rank the bishop is a slightly better piece than the knight on e8.]
45. Rf4 R8d5 46. Ref1 [It’s hard to make progress with Black anyway. If he is forced to trade a pair of rooks White’s defensive task becomes easier.]
46…Rd1+ 47. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 48. Ka2 Rd5 49. Ng7 [Awkward, but the f-pawn is doing an important job of restraining the Black bishop.]
49…Bd7 50. Kb3 Kc7 51. Re4 Kd6 52. Ne8+ Kc6 ( 52… Bxe8 53. Rxe8 Rxf5 54. Rb8 [is almost impossible to win.])
53. Ng7 Rd3+ 54. Kb4 Rg3 55. Rc4+ Kd6 56. Rd4+ Kc7 57. Nh5 Rg2 58. Nf6 Bc6 (58… Bxf5 59. Nd5+ Kb8 60. b3=)
59. b3 b5 60. Ng4 Re2 61. Nh6 Be8 62. Ng4 Bd7 63. Nh6 Be8 64. Ng4 1/2-1/2

GRENKE Chess Classic Baden-Baden
Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez of
The Week In Chess