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Wesley So vs Magnus Carlsen
Chess24 (2020), Skilling Open, Knockouts, Finals MATCH 1, Game 4
Sicilian, Pelikan (Lasker/Sveshnikov) variation (B33)
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Nd5 Nxd5 8. exd5 Nb8 9. Qf3 a6 10. Qa3 b6 11. Bg5 Be7 12. Bxe7 Kxe7 13. O-O-O Bb7 14. Nc3 Nd7 15. f4 Qc7 16. fxe5 Nxe5 17. Qb4 h5 18. Be2 Kf8 19. Rhf1 Re8 20. Rf5 h4 21. Rf4 Qd8 22. Kb1 Rh6 23. Rdd4 h3 24. g3 Bc8 25. a4 Kg8 26. Rde4 Qc7 27. Rh4 a5 28. Qd4 Rxh4 29. Rxh4 Bf5 30. Rh5 Qc8 31. Qxb6 Ng4 32. Ba6 Re1+ 33. Ka2 Qe8 34. Rxf5 Ne3 35. Bb5 Qe7
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen tops the field for the Skilling Open, the 1st event on the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour. The 16-player field will be cut to 8 players in a single round-robin on the first 3 days, before the remaining participants play a 6-day knockout. The prize fund is $100,000, with a $30,000 top prize.
All games are played online on the chess24 Playzone. Each knockout match is played over two days, with two 4-game rapid matches at a time control of 15 minutes for all moves and a 10-second increment from move 1. If the matches end 1:1, two 5+3 games will be played, followed, if necessary, by Armageddon, where White has 5 minutes to Black’s 4, but a draw counts as a win for Black. Official website: championschesstour.com
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Everyone and welcome to game four or rather the final game of day. One of of the finals between wesley saw and magnus crossing in the skilling open and uh. I show you game four.
I just want to show you briefly what happened in game two so game one we already saw that um magnus won a very nice game. But this is uh sorry not this actually this uh you’ve seen nothing uh. This is the the sort of ending position of game.
Two where wesley. So had the white pieces. Magnus is black here.
And wesley gave a check here queen e3 check and magnus either has to block the check or move. The king uh to the uh well towards the queen side king. The eighth queen this uh king d7.
However magnus played king to f8 here and he ran into an un uh. Most unpleasant checkmating sequence uh where wesley played queen e8 check sorry about that uh. We have king to g7 and now a nice roller coaster uh queen.
Queen g8 check king h6. Quinta h7 check uh king to g5 and now queen to h5 check. And then it was in this position that magnus carlsen resigned.
The game because he realized that after king moves to f4 uh queen to f5 will be checkmate because the king and the pawn cover all of the squares that the black king can go to so it was a terrible blunder by magnus uh. It was an incredible game first wesley was uh really pushing it for the wind and magnus sort of equalized. But then magnus no longer wanted the draw he wanted to win the game and then he started pushing and then in the end where it kind of was supposed to end in a draw magnus blundered in this uh well weird weird position after this uh check by wesley.
So then uh that’s uh game. Two wesley equalized in game. Two.
Then magnus was able to win in game. Three was a rather short game magnus attacked very early on on the king. Side and uh was able to take the win and now.
It’s two to one in magnus’s favor uh. He needs uh uh either hold this game to a draw or win. The game uh to win the final match.
So. This is a game four uh wesley is losing by one point. Margin.
He needs a win to get back into the match. So let’s see what happens wesley with the white pieces opens with e4. We have c5 by magnus magnus.
When whenever there is an important game he can always rely on his sicilian. He used it very uh successfully against fabiano caruana in the world chess championship match. So knight f3 knight to c6.
And the d4. We have the open sicilian captures captures and now knight to f6 we have knights the c3 and the e5 the so called lasker uh sicilian or the pelican or or the swesnikov uh so challenging the knight uh knight d to b5. And now d6.
So this is the exact same stuff that was played in the world chess championship match knight d5 uh. Going for that c7 square and now of course black trace captures captures and now the two popular. Replies are knight b8.
And knight to e7 magnus chooses to go to b8 and here white usually goes. C4 a4. Uh just uh uh these are the most popular popular replies.
But here wesley goes for queen to f3. Which is not a new move. But it is uh.
It is a very sneaky idea and it’s played a lot less often for example in 2020. There is not a single game uh where this move was used so he he uh probably prepared for for magnus this game with a6 by magnus challenging this knight and now queen to a3 so very nice maneuver queen f3 queen to a3 saying that okay if you capture this night then i’m gonna grab your rook uh and it’s not uh again this is not a new move. There are over there are 65 games in the database.
Uh from top tier players that reach this position so uh we have knight uh sorry. B6. By magnus uh bishop to e7 is more common than b6 as you want to castle very early on so bishop to g5 by wesley challenging the queen offering a bishop to go for this knight.
The c7 church so magnus of course cannot accept it and after this we have bishop to e7 and bishop to e7 is the new move by magnus so as of movie. 11. We have a completely new game and bishop to e7 is not the most precise idea f6 is what is usually played in this position uh.
But i i imagine wesley caught magnus by surprise with this queen to f3 a queen to a3 idea. So like i said bishop to e7. Was played and now wesley just captures it captures and now you cannot capture with the queen.
Because the knight captures with check and black’s position is just terrible. If not outright losing because you have a past pawn here. You can just do pretty much anything.
There’s not not a good reply here for for black so instead we have king captures on e7 now the d6 pawn is guarded twice so everything is fine and now queen side castle by wesley uh bishop to b7 the knight still cannot be captured. Because the rook is hanging so bishop to b7 defends the rook and attacks the pawn. So now the knight can be captured and only now wesley moves it back knight to c3.
And now knight to d7 magnus is now ready to bring the knight into the game via c5. Or f6 squares and f4 by wesley carlson’s king is still in the center of the board and of course. He wants to bust open the position and here magnus plays the very calm queen to c7 just keeping an eye on the center and connecting rooks at some point uh.
If he’s able he wants to play uh well. I’ll get the rook into the game. And hopefully get the king to safety uh.
But uh he cannot do it just yet because if this pawn is not guarded. Then you will never be able to move it so queen c7 also guards the d6 pawn and now f captures an e5 we have knight captures on e5 and now queen to b4. Queen to be for a very tricky idea by wesley saying okay.
If you go rook h. To 28. And castle.
I’m just going to deliver check queen h4 check. And i’m going to pick up the h7 pawn and it’s going to be a terrible position for black so after queen b4. We have h5 by magnus saying okay i’m i’m probably not castling this game.
I might as well uh grab some space on the king side with bishop to e2 and now king to f8. This is how magnus brings his king back to safety uh rook h. To f1 uh.
Just lining up the the rook with with the king on the f file. We have rook to e8 magnus brings. The queen side rook into the game.
And now rook to f5 uh. Putting pressure on this h5 pawn. So magnus pushes it we have h4 and now rook to f4 again with a double attack on the pawn here so queen to d8 uh.
Defending this pawn and now this queen is uh in in a terrible position the queen has to guard this pawn has to guard this pawn has to guard this pawn. It’s not another very pleasant job for the queen. So here uh.
Wesley doesn’t rush. It with something like rook d to f1 instead. He plays the nice prophylactic king b1.
As it’s always nice to have a save king and he says you you don’t really have a move here magnus. I can play whatever i want so here rook to h6 this is how magnus activates the rook now also adds a defender to the d6 pawn and it’s gonna be a bit easier to play and wesley doesn’t double up on the f file. Which seems like a reasonable thing to do rather he plays rook d to d4 and uh as someone mentioned i don’t know where uh he points the idiot his gun in in the wrong direction now he’s going after the h4 pawn and now uh magnus pushes it to the h3.
So of course. He’s hoping for a character’s captures uh to gain some activity along the h file. But wesley just says nope g3 and the next.
I might play something like this and uh well. I will win that pawn at some point. So here bishop to c8 magnus.
Defends it not not allowing any such ideas and a4. Now it’s uh remarkable how it’s a pretty crazy position. But wesley finds time to play such uh.
You know just improving his position moves king to g8. Getting the king away from the from the f file. And now comes.
Rook d to e4. And what do you play. Now.
If you move the knight. And then wesley can just capture you have to capture and then your entire position falls. Apart uh not that one obviously uh and here magnus play the queen to c7.
So again wha. What do you play here uh here. Wesley played rook to h4.
Which was the original idea threatening. The rook and then the other rook can come up to the game and gobble up the pawn. So here we have a5 challenging wesley’s queen and the queen to d4 uh centralizing the queen but not not really uh for the moment the queen doesn’t really have all that much to do here.
But magnus has to react to this and you you don’t really have a good move other than capturing the rook you can’t really allow captures to mess up your king. Side. So rook captures an h4.
We have rook captures on h4 and now comes bishop to f5 by magnus putting pressure on the c2 pawn. If the knight ever moves. There was a very sneaky queen to c5 idea um similar to the to the queen move that nipple had against magnus you offer a queen trade and then the queen trade uh either should be accepted or if wesley moves.
The queen. Then you you can infiltrate for example with queen to f2 and now it’s uh. It’s a a little bit easier to play this uh.
But okay magnus one went for uh bishop to f5. He puts pressure on the spawn here. And now wesley goes rook to h5 challenges.
The bishop and now you don’t really have a good square for the bishop you could go just bishop g6. Then just a rook captures an h3 as the bishop no longer defends it or you could go back you can’t go here you can’t go here. This is all defended twice you could go something like here.
But then you’re going to have to give up the bishop either way because after knight. B5. The bishop has to be traded for knight here because if you don’t if you move the queen to kind of keep an eye on everything then g4 and then the the h3 pawn is again no longer defended.
You’re just going to capture it and it’s going to be a very very good position for white. So instead after this rook to h5 move. We have queen to c8 by magnus defends.
The bishop but now queen captures on b6. And here why did magnus give up upon here well he decided to go knight to g4. So he basically said to wesley you cannot capture that pawn because it’s defended by a tactic.
Now your bishop is under attack and well if i capture the bishop for example if wesley plays something like queen captures on a5 magnus would just capture the bishop and after the knight captures now the queen can finally capture here and then it’s either a win for magnus. If wesley plays something weird like king day one and allows checkmate or if king a2. Then magnus would have a draw by perpetual for example queen a1.
Check. You don’t want to go too much up the board. So king to b3.
Again queen d1 check king a2 and of course not capturing but rather just going queen to b1 check and repeating everything because magnus only needs a draw to win this to win this match uh. But this is what magnus thought would happen. However.
There’s a very sneaky idea here so feel free to pause. The video and find the winning move for wesley. While i give you a couple of seconds.
So uh for those of you who were able to do it congratulations on combining combining the two ideas. This is this is being threatened you need to move it with tempo. So bishop a6.
Congratulations for all of you who found it uh as it’s uh well not all that straightforward move to find so the queen is under attack and now you’re asking uh magnus. What do you want to do here your queen is under attack. But still needs to guard.
The bishop here and the problem is uh. The problem is if you move the queen somewhere like a queen to d7. Then the problem is bishop to b5.
And now the queen and rook are under attack and after the queen moves uh for example here you’re either you’re gonna capture the rook uh and if not if you go for something like queen to d8 to attack white’s queen. Then white. Very happily trades and after rook captures on f5 white.
Is just up a piece. And it’s a very easy victory. So this is not possible here uh.
So after this bishop to a6 move uh. We have uh rook to e1 with check. This is how magnus tries to avoid this uh.
We have king the a2 and the now comes queen to e8 uh. The problem with queen to d7. Now keeping an eye on the bishop is the very unpleasant rook captures on f5.
It’s just a complete domination queen. Captures an f5 and now queen to d8 with check and now you don’t have a move here uh. Because you can either give up the rook and it’s the same scenario or you can move the king.
And then bishop goes back to d3 and wins carlsen’s queen so terrible terrible position for magnus he decides to go queen to e8 gives up the dark square bishop. And here wesley just happily gobbles it up rook captures on f5 and here magnus is just down a piece in a worse position. And he of course will will still continue playing it the knights the e3 attacks the rook here but now bishop to b5.
Wesley first challenges magnus’s queen queen to e7 and when magnus played queen to e7. It was also in this position that magnus carlsen resigned. The game because there is nothing more to be done here and there are simply any move.
Wesley plays is just completely winning you just move the rook anywhere and the position is still winning. However we can show uh a sneaky line for example if rook h5 uh cutting the king off from from escaping anywhere. And now if black plays a let’s say a lesser move knight captures on c2.
Then queen to b8 is winning immediately yeah because after you block. It of course you cannot block with this because the bishop covers it and if let’s say if queen of fate. Then just rook h8 to check.
And this is just completely winning for white so uh really really wild stuff. Wesley gets back into the game in a must win situation so he was losing by by a point uh going into game. Four and now he won on demand.
So this is pretty incredible and here is something funny for you to see uh. There you can see that uh the players every every game was won by uh. The player playing with the white pieces so uh pretty crazy so not a single draw in this match.
And we can only hope that the second match will be uh just as you know feisty uh. So that’s uh the game uh. I do hope you guys enjoyed it uh and uh.
I would like to thank. Uh ivan green uh slobodan mercato. Which gives sears thomas jones and hoodie guy for contribution to my channel.
Thank you a lot. I really appreciate it as usual you can check to my previous videos here thank you for watching. And i will see you soon continuing the coverage of the scaling open the finals.
The last day of the finals. Checking up on your wonderful suggestions and whatever else happens in the chess world. Thank you all i will see you soon and have an excellent rest of your day.
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