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Magnus Carlsen, best of ICC’s analysis (2005-2009)

Magnus Carlsen, best of ICC’s analysis (2005-2009)

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Video 1: Larry Christiansen Year: circa 2005 Event: ??

In this video, GM Larry Christiansen examines two early examples of Carlsen’s attacking abilities before he was a super GM. As Larry himself puts it: 'Carlsen is an attacking player'. In his games, he builds of up attacks very efficiently, and contrary to other attacking greats is less prone to unsound attacks, which makes him even more dangerous. In these games, you already sense the methodical precision in which Carlsen is now renowned for.

Video 2: Game Of The Day: Bilbao Grand Slam 2008: Round 4

Joel Benjamin, Carlsen, Radjabov, Bilbao Grand Slam 2008 (September), B78, Sicilian: Dragon

A crushing win by Carlsen, a beautiful example of how to play against the dragon. And opposite-sides castling of kings takes place, and while Radjobov has all his forces aimed at Carlsen’s king, he can’t get anything going. Carlsen attack proves swift and deadly. He shows superior calculation and poise to bring home the full point. Very entertaining game, and a clear sign that Carlsen was on the rise.

Video3: Game Of The Day: Aerosvit 2008: Round 1

Joel Benjamin, Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Aerosvit 2008 (June) E97, King's Indian

Carlsen takes the wind out of Ivanchuk. The Russian was playing for the win, but Carlsen came out better out of the opening. Still, there were no major mistakes by Ivanchuk, it was just a matter of Carlsen finding ways to grind out a win out of the smallest of advantages. A style of play that would become his hallmark. Ivanchuk, unable to parry all the threats, succumbed.

Video: 4 Game Of The Day: Aerosvit 2008: Round 3

Larry  Christiansen, Carlsen, Van Wely, Aerosvit 2008 (June)  D43, QGD: semi-slav

Very instructive endgame, where Carlsen shows maturity and patience, not willing to offer a draw at any time, he plays on and accumulates minute advantages until his opponent is left in zugzwang. This attitude at the board, of fighting to the bitter end, has permeated through the top levels of chess, and Magnus is hugely responsible for making players ‘play it out’, even if they think it’s a draw. A highly instructive game.

Video 5: Game Of The Day: Nanjing 2009: Round 5

Nick de Firmian, Carlsen, Radjabov, Nanjing 2009 (October), B30, Sicilian
Practically a miniature, Radjabov has to resign after just 25 moves! A great example of how to punish a greedy opponent, Radjobov takes one pawn too many out of the opening and finds himself desperately trying to untangle his pieces and get his king castled. By the time he finally does, it’s too late, he’s trapped firmly in Carlsen's grip.

Video 6: Game Of The Day: Jakovenko Nanjing 2009 Round 10

Larry Christiansen, Carlsen, Jakovenko Nanjing 2009 (October), D31, QGD

In a classic knight versus bishop endgame, with pawns on both sides of the board, Magnus is capable (with the knight) to gain the upper hand. Carlsen applies a tight squeeze on Jakovenko, slowly pushing him to the brink of Zugzwang in this excellent example of endgame play with a minor piece.

Video 7: Game Of The Day Nanjing 2009: Round 2

Larry Christiansen, Carlsen, Topalov, Nanjing 2009 (October), E90, King's Indian

Carlsen plays the old 6.h3 line against the King's Indian, and with machine-like precision, stops each and every attempt of Topalov to gain activity. Eeven when it seems like Black has a solid position, with Topalov having complete control of the c-file, yet there's nothing he can do other than watch Carlsen gain space on the kingside, and then unleash a winning attack. Vintage Carlsen.

Video 8: Game Of The Day: Tal Memorial 2009: Round 8

Gregory Kaidanov, Carlsen, Ponomariov Tal Memorial 2009 (November), B90, Sicilian Najdorf

Anyone having doubts about Carlsen’s abilities as a great attacker should definitely see this game. Ponomariov puts up the fighting gloves with the Sicilian Defence, Najdorf variation, and Carlsen is up for the task, he completely takes apart the dragon and makes the win look easy.

Video 9: Game Of The Day: London Chess Classic 2009: Round 2

Joel Benjamin, Carlsen, McShane, London Chess Classic 2009 (Dec), E94, King's Indian

In a slow opening, with lots of positional nuances, Carlsen gently turns the game into a tactical battle, in which he shows he's just as strong in combinational chess as he is positional. There’s a certain inevitability in Carlsen’s games, which is clearly present in this game.

Video 10: Draw, Game Of The Day: Tal Memorial 2009: Round 1

Gregory Kaidanov, Carlsen, Kramnik, Tal Memorial 2009 (November), E32, Nimzo-Indian

A great battle, and one of the first signs of how resilient a defensive chess player Carlsen can be. Here Kramnik applies the pressure, and at one point he seems to be winning, but Carlsen keeps on finding great moves and is able to salvage half a point. An instructive example of how to hold a position.

Video 11: Game Of The Day Round 1: London Chess Classic 2009

Nick de Firmian, Carlsen, Kramnik, London Chess Classic 2009 (Dec), A29

Kramnik wiggles out of the opening only to find himself unable to make much progress and hesitates a bit on what plan to take. Carlsen, needing no invitation, starts to squeeze and push his opponent back, and the Russian finally succumbs to the relentless pressure. A great win, especially after Vladimir had made comments in the news that Carlsen was not yet at his level.

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