Hello everyone, I am GM Kamil Miton and will comment for you two games of Tal Memorial today, Nepo – Aronian and Nakamura – Carlsen. I expect serious games and final sprints from the players, including openings worthy to be included in the new edition of Chess Evolution

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Qc2 Bb4+ most popular is the very sharp line after 5…c5 6 d5 where white sacrifices the pawn and plays for initiative, Magnus decided to play more solid.

6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. O-O d5 The game transposes to Catalan structure

9. Ne5 White also could play 9. b3 with the idea develop piece Bf4-Nc3 (because after Nbd2 black always has Nh5 and white can put the bishop on e3 where it is bad placed because white cannot play e4) and try play main idea e4.

Nfd7 Logical move, Magnus immediately eliminates the knight from e5 and makes problems to solve with c4 pawn, probably Naka has to lose time to play b3 because usually in this structure pawns are exchanged on d5 after cxd5-cxd5 and this is good for black because bishop on g2 is not active and if white plays by e4 then he gets isolated pawn

10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Bf4 maybe white could save more pieces and play 11.Nd3, but what I said before usually after cxd5-cxd5 black equalizes the position, looks like Naka will not create any problems to for Magnus.

Nxe5 12. dxe5 Now the main idea for white is to activate the bishop on g2, so the plan is Nc3-Rd1 and e4! or even without Nc3 immediately Rd1 and e4

O-O 13. Rd1 Bb7 Of course Magnus did not play the worse 13…Nd7 , probably he is going to put knight on c6 is very important for him to have move d4 when white will play e4. Naka has problems because his bishops doesn’t play and after 14. e4 black has d4 and pawn is not hanging

14. Nd2 Nc6 15. Nf3 black does not have any problem because white didn’t manage to play e4 plan, now white pieces are badly placed, black has choice between simple play on queen side by Rc8 or g5-g4 win the pawn on e5, but than white pieces can be activate

g5 16. Be3 g4 17. Nd4 Nxe5 Naka has to activate the pieces and probably he will play Bh6 and e4

18. Bh6 Re8 19. e4 After g5-g4 black weakened the king, white pieces got some activate but black pieces are active too , Rc8-Bc5

Bc5 Yes, Rc8-Qf6 probably next, black is better. One of white’s ideas should be to make useful the f5 square, then white can maybe create some threats, but after 20. exd5 black can play 20…Qf6 with big advantage, Naka is in trouble.

20. Nb3 The best answer, white had to escape from motifs with Qf6. In dynamic positions the moves must be very active and usually is not time to make some back moves, last piece of Magnus which has not played is the rook, so probably 20…Rc8 looks logical.

Rc8 of course after the exchange of bishop on c5 black squares around king become weaker, but more important is activity

21. Nxc5 Rxc5 22. Qa4 not correct, in this dynamic position white gives black a full tempo for free after 22…Bc6 23Qa7?? Ra5 -+

Bc6 23. Qd4 Qf6 Probably soon the white squares around white king will be much weaker than black squares around black king

24. Bf4 dxe4 25. Bxe4 Magnus has big advantage, now he has two options: 25…Bxe4 and Nf3 next or 25…Nf3 26. Bxf3 Qxd4 27. Rxd4 Bxf3 Naka will hope to survive with different color bishops, but pawns less and weak king don’t give him much chance.

Nf3+ 26. Bxf3 Qxd4 27. Rxd4 Bxf3 28. Rd7 Probably Rxa7 is not dangerous for black because white king is weak and black always has motifs with mates on first rank,position of black should be win, but needs technical play, soon expected is f6-e5 with idea to reduce white bishop and improve black king

Rd5 after 29 Rxd5 exd5 white has to stop d pawn 30Be3 Re4 31 Re1 d4 32 Bd2 Be2

29. Rxd5 exd5 30. Be3 now maybe Re4 is no need because only one plan for white now is Re1-Bd2 so black can start improve the king

Re4 31. Re1 d4 32. Bd2 Now is interesting if bishop endgame is wining after 32…Rxe1 33 Bxe1 Be2 (cut the king ) and white has to play f4 and give next pawn

Rxe1+ 33. Bxe1 Be2 34. f4 gxf3 white has to play Bf2 to put black pawn on d3 in other case black king will come to d3

35. Bf2 d3 36. Be1 Kg7 37. Kf2 Kf6 38. Ke3 If Magnus decides to exchange rooks for sure he see the winning plan

Kf5 39. h3 interesting how to Magnus going to win this position,we are waiting he is genius. Black has two pawns more, but bishop on e2 doesn’t play, I don’t see where and how black king can come to help advance pawns.

h5 40. Bd2 Bf1 now probably only move is 41. h4 because after exchanging pawns 40. Kxf3 Bxh3 black will have plan Bf1-Be2, then put Kg4-f5 (at this time white has to stay Kf2-Bd2 ) next f4! and after Bxf4 h4 Bd2 h3 Kg1 Kf3 and white will lose bishop. The same after f4! if gxf4 then h4-h3-Bf3 plan and black pawns are too far from each other and white cannot stop them without losing the bishop. After 41. h4 black has to find some way to come with king from other, queen side because after 41…Kg4 white play 42.Kf2 and just stay.

41. Be1 very interesting now after 41…Bxh3 white will take on d3. What about 41…Bxh3 42. Kxd3 Kg4 43. Ke3 f5 44. Kf2 f4 45. gxf4 Kxf4 with the plan for black to put a pawn on h3 and go with the king to c2, in this time white keeps king on g1 and makes bishop moves, and then when bishop moves from d6 black can play maybe Bf1

Bxh3 42. Kxd3 Bf1+ yes, more accurate immediately Magnus makes his bishop active

43. Ke3 Kg4 44. Kf2 Bb5 next moves of Magnus f5-f4

45. Bc3 Bc6 The f7 pawn will be exchanged for g3 pawn, then black king will go to the queen side, black will give one of the pawns from the king side and win one from the queen side, after that position will be easy win for black. I still don’t understand why Naka gave h3 pawn and didn’t play h4

46. Be5 b5 47. Bb8 a6 Magnus starts to put in action the wining plan

48. Bc7 f5 49. b3 Bd5 soon black should play f4 and after gxf4 h4 f5 Kxf5 black probably will put first bishop on g4 (to protect both pawns) and then go to queen side

50. Bd6 f4 51. gxf4 h4 52. f5 Kxf5 53. Ke3 Kg4 54. Kf2 h3 white was not accurate to put the pawn on b3, now black has some extra ideas to sacrifice the bishop on b3, after that white will not stop the 3 passed pawns

55. Ke3 Be4 white should have kept the pawn on a3, but anyway the position was wining for black

56. Kf2 Bb1 Instead of 56…Bb1 black could win next pawn after 56…b4

57. a3 There was an easier way of course, but Magnus has a secure winning plan and goes with it. When the bishop protects both pawns, black king will go to win a3 pawn

Ba2 58. b4 Bf7 And with this victory Magnus Carlsen climbs to the top of the standings of the Tal Memorial. He also improves his position on the Live rating list. Thank you for following with me GM Kamil Miton and the Chess Evolution team and see you for more commentary in next tournament. 0-1

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