### (1) McShane,Luke J (2645) - Carlsen,Magnus (2802) [A37]

London Chess Classic 2nd London (1), 08.12.2010

* [McShane, Luke]*

**
**

1.c4
c5
2.g3
g6
3.Bg2
Bg7
4.Nc3
Nc6
5.Nf3
d6
6.0-0
Nh6
[diagram] I was aware Carlsen had played this somewhere but didn't realise it was as recently as at the Olympiad. I had looked at it a little bit but it was one of ten things I had considered as vaguely possible.

7.d4
Malcolm Pein thought this gave White the edge as he had played this in the 1970s when Andersson showed White was doing well. I certainly thought White was comfortable after this. [7.a3
0-0
8.Rb1
b6
9.d3
Bb7
10.Bd2
Nf5
was the continuation in Andreikin-Carlsen, at the World Blitz Championship in Moscow; 7.b3
0-0
8.Bb2
Rb8
9.e3
Nf5
10.d3
a6
was played in Flores-Carlsen, Khanty Mansiysk Olympiad 2010. Carlsen won both of these earlier games.]

7...cxd4
8.Bxh6
Bxh6
9.Nxd4
Ne5!?
[diagram]I was happy to see this, it looks a little over-ambitious and I don't think people will be itching to play it again. He played it confidently. I could tell he was definitely trying to beat me with Black. (Black should try and exchange pieces as he has less space so this is risky - Pein) [9...Nxd4
10.Qxd4
0-0
or; 9...Bd7
are the alternatives.]

10.Qb3
[10.e3
Nxc4??
11.Qa4+
, but I thought I needed to create threats or he could be a bit better with the bishops.]

10...0-0
11.Rfd1
Nd7
12.Qa3!
Anticipating Nc5. The moves e3 and Qe2 are natural but I was concerned about Bg4 at some stage.

12...a5
The standard a6 and b5 plan is not possible here. [diagram]

13.b4
[Really important but I wonder if Na4 was a better move: 13.Na4
Ra6
14.c5
dxc5
15.Nxc5
Nxc5
16.Qxc5
Rd6
; But 13.Na4
Ra6
14.c5
dxc5
15.Nb5!?
looks promising. Maybe 13 Na4 was the thing to do, but I was quite pleased with b4 and it threatens c5.]

13...Ra6
[13...Nb6
was the critical response, hitting c4 and protecting the rook on a8 so that axb4 becomes possible. Now, after 14.c5
Nc4
15.Qb3
, the move 15...Nd2!?
is a surprising shot. During the game I thought White had good chances in the tactical melee which arises after 16 Qd5!?, but perhaps 16.Qa4
is the correct follow-up after all.]

14.b5
Ra8
15.e3
a4
[15...Nc5
16.Ne4
Nxe4
17.Bxe4
and c4-c5 comes and it's more potent with a pawn on b5 rather than b2.]

16.Rab1
Bg7
[diagram]

17.Ne4!
[White has a space advantage and aims for c4-c5. 17.Nxa4?
is answered by 17...Qa5!
18.Rb4
Nc5
19.Nb3
when 19...Bb2
* (*and *19...Qa7
*are good for Black.*) *]

17...Qb6
18.Nc6!
Seen when playing 17 Ne4!

18...Re8
[18...bxc6
19.bxc6
Qa5
* (19...Qxc6??
*loses the queen to *20.Nf6+
) *20.cxd7
Bxd7
21.c5
is good for White.]

19.Nb4!
f5
[diagram] [Criticised by everyone but the players thought it was right. However, computers give alternatives such as 19...Qa5
20.Nd5
Nb6
, etc.]

20.Nc3
[20.Nd5!
Qd8
21.Ng5!
was the strongest continuation, threatening to hop into the hole on e6. After 21...Nc5
22.b6
... to tell the truth, I didn't really calculate these lines and was worried he would play 22...e6
23.Nc7
Qxg5
24.Nxa8
, but this is nonsense as he has no real compensation.; 20.Nd5
Qd8
21.Ng5
Nc5
22.b6
If he plays 22...Rf8
instead, then 23.Nc7
Rb8
24.Rb5!
. I missed this, but I was playing quite quickly (because he always plays quickly and I thought I'd better try and keep up).]

20...Qc5?
[Big mistake. 20...e6!
was forced, when 21.Na6
* (21.Nc6
*and*; 21.Nxa4
*can happen, e.g. *21...Qa5
22.Na6
*and the position remains messy.*) *]

21.Nxa4!
Qa7
[diagram]

22.Na6!
This looks ungainly but it can't be exploited and the threat is 23 Nc7 Rf8 24 c5!

22...bxa6
23.b6
Nxb6
24.Rxb6
Much stronger than capturing with the knight.

24...Rb8
25.c5!
Be6
[One of the reasons I played 24 Rxb6 was that I thought 25...dxc5
26.Qb3+
was almost winning but I had missed 26...c4
, though 27.Qxc4+
gives White an enduring initiative.; 25...dxc5
26.Qxc5
maybe even better. Fortunately everything is still good]

26.Rdb1
[diagram]The recurring theme now is checkmate to the queen! - Pein.

26...dxc5
[26...Qc7
27.c6
is very strong, with Rb7 coming.]

27.Rb7
Rxb7
28.Rxb7
Qa8
29.Nxc5
Qc8
[29...Bf7
30.Rxe7!
is winning comfortably, as the a6 pawn will also drop off after the exchange of rooks.]

30.Qxa6
Bf7
[30...Qxc5
31.Qxe6+
Kh8
32.Bc6
wins the e7 pawn as well.]

31.Bc6
Rd8
[diagram]

32.Nd7!
[An important move. Against somebody like Carlsen, you don't want to give him any chances so I tried to smother him. It completely knocks him out - he doesn't have any moves. The intention is Qb6 and Rb8 to trap Black's queen. After 32.Rxe7
Qxa6
33.Nxa6
Bxa2
, I can't lose. It's a tempting, lazy option, but I had 15 minutes left - enough time to calculate everything.]

32...Rxd7
[32...Be6
33.Qb6
Bxd7
34.Bxd7
Qc1+
35.Kg2
Rf8
36.Qe6+
wins.]

33.Bxd7
Qc1+
34.Qf1
Qxf1+
35.Kxf1
Bc4+
36.Kg1
Bxa2
37.Ba4
Forcing off a pair of bishops makes the technical task much simpler.

37...e5
38.f3
[Good technique because 38.Bb3+
Bxb3
39.Rxb3
e4
lets him struggle for a while, albeit without hope. After exchanging bishops, White will play e3-e4 to fix a weakness on e5 before advancing the king.]

38...Bh6
39.Bb3+
[diagram]He played quite quickly for the first 15-20 moves but by the time the game was over I was ahead on the clock.** 1-0**