The Chess Champion’s Defeat

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

We are going to take a look at the Lindores Abbey Rapid Tournament. The game we will be looking at is between Magnus Carlsen, playing as black, and Hikaru Nakamura, playing as white.

The game opens up with a Ruy Lopez, 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5. Here Nakamura moves his knight out to attack Carlsen’s pawn on e5. Carlsen fires back by protecting his pawn with his knight. Nakamura then moves out his bishop to B5 putting pressure on Carlsen’s knight, the sole defender of Carlsen’s pawn on e5.

Carlsen then moves a6 applying pressure to Nakamura’s Bishop and Nakamura pulls back with Ba4. Carlsen plays Nf6 and Nakamura Castles. Carlsen then plays Nxe4 taking Nakamura’s pawn. Nakamura follows up with d4. Nakamura is trying to open up the e file as Carlsen’s king is in the open while Nakamura’s own king is safe.

Eventually they get to this position and Nakmura moves c4 applying pressure on the d5 pawn. With the d5 pawn gone the black Knight on e4, which is holding center control, is no longer protected.

The game continues and we reach a unique position. According to chess commentator and chess Grandmaster, Simon Williams, Magnus then makes an error in his moves with Nb2.

Williams then mentions how great a game Hikaru plays after Magnus makes this move. The game progresses and the players trade queens at one point. Magnus takes the pawn on e5 with his rook and Hikaru follows up brilliantly with Rxa6. If Magnus plays Rxa6 in response Hikaru threatens checkmate because of his pawn on e6.

Unfortunately Magnus is unable to turn this position into a draw and after a few more moves he resigns. Even the best players make mistakes and that is how they learn. At Premier Chess’s camp, students are encouraged to look at the games they lost to learn from their mistakes and to play better next time. If you would like to learn more about our camp and how your child could become a better chess player please click here.