More Guts, More Glory in World Cup 2021

GM Duda ousted GM Carlsen in tiebreak games

04/08/2021 – It takes courage and determination to beat World Champion Magnus Carlsen in  match games. GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland is facing GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the Finals of the World Cup 2021 – Sochi, Russia.

The last game between GM Carlsen and GM Duda is very interesting because the chess opening used was Sicilian but transposed to a French Defense setup.

The game below  shows why the white’s light bishop is essential to protect queenside and has a prospect attack on black’s kingside as well. Does GM Carlsen’s choice of opening in his last game is  worthy to aim for a win? Let’s find out.

French Defense  – Advance Variation:   This variation aims to play a closed and structured position. Black develops a solid pawn structure and methodically place pieces to apply pressure to achieve dynamic play.

CHESS BLOG No. 14 : Date: 04th August 2021

INTRODUCTION: THE ADVANCE VARIATION vs. THE FRENCH DEFENSE

French Defense:   Advance Variation (C02)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Evgeny Sveshnikov vs. GM Eugene Torre

(Event: 1981  Hoogovens,  Wijk ann Zee , Ned)

1:  e4       e6       (The French Defense)
2: d4        d5
3: e5        c5       (The Advance variation)   

4: c3        Nc6        
5: Nf3      Bd7          

6. a3        Nge7  (White is preventing Bb4 or Nb4)

7. Bd3     Ng6                 

8. h4       cd4       (Early h4 by white, reasonable because it coordinates with bishop at d3 to prevent black from castling)

9.     cxd4    Qb6  (black start to initiate pressure).   

10.   Bc2       Rc8

11.   Nc3      Nge7 (Knight retreats as no more use at g6)   

12.    Rb1     Na5     (The ability of white’s bishop to maintain balance at queenside and aiming for h7 attack is a significant post)           

13.   0-0      Nc4     (This is the weakness of white as c4 square is the landing point for black pieces as shown in diagram below)

Let's jump to the Final Position. White moved 27. Be3 then the game was drawn. Check why white's light bishop is so important to maintain balance to the position.

COMPARE IT TO GM CARLSEN's GAME vs DUDA

This game started with white's Anti- Sicilian Najdorf move 3. Bb5 ch disrupting normal development of black. But it backfired due to the exchanged of white bishop resulting to weakness at c4 square as it transposes to French Defense position shown below.

More exchange of pieces as it reduces attacking prospect of white at black's kingside, thus, black can castle at kingside.

How many dark pawns of white? (5), What is the color of both bishops? (dark), What square is white's weakness? (c4) What is white's weakest pawn? (d4 - backward pawn)

In the endgame part, GM Carlsen last move was 62. Bc1 instead of Bd4. Notice, the colour of bishop and pawns, black is dictating the position. It is important to use visualization in the middle game to foresee endgame outcome.

ENDGAME CORNER - SOLVE THE PROBLEM BELOW

FMJesse
Author: FMJesse

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