“You always admire what you really don’t understand”
I enjoyed a chess lover’s dream this past Sunday morning. The other members of the family were still asleep, the weather was cloudy and online Magnus was putting on a positional chess clinic against his younger countryman. It truly is remarkable how he does it game after game, with little time on the clock and against the best in the World.
Below position and White’s move are in my opinion an important moment in the game:
It is easy to kibitz from the side and question the move. The rapid game format forces the player to pick an idea and run with it. Probably some would go for 22. Ra2 … and a positional squeeze; still bringing the knight on the queen side is decent as well. It proved to be a nuisance for a while, forcing Magnus to use time on the clock to counter it. That he did in spades and somehow he turned things around slowly but surely.
The engines say this is equal. It may as well be from a pure mathematical point of view. Positionally Black is dominating. The only question is could White hold the fort with a minute or so plus increment on the clock? Given how strong the engines have become, I am convinced that rapid chess is very important to keep the audience engaged and entertained. Wouldn’t you want to see how Black wins here?
I believe this was an extremely instructive endgame. It is not easy to play like this. One must have a deep understanding of positional play and the endgames. Many a time Magnus creates such works of art reminding me of the great Capablanca. With so many games played online daily, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the ocean of information. Which one should you pick to watch and follow? Of course one easy answer is to follow Magnus. Enjoy the full game below.