FORMER world champion Vassily Smyslov said a master’s goal is to play 40 good moves in a game. And if his opponent also makes 40 good moves, it’s time to agree a draw, Smyslov believed.
But on the eve of the recent London Candidates tournament to choose the next world championship challenger, another former champion, Garry Kasparov had a new take on the Smyslov rule: Magnus Carlsen would win, he predicted, because the young Norwegian can play 70 good moves.
Carlsen has superb stamina, honed by football, tennis and skiing, and can grind on for 70 or 80 moves with little or no advantage until he induces a blunder from an exhausted opponent. It gets the job done, but presents something of a major headache for a humble chess columnist as his games are often so long.
Today we make an exception, with his second successive win in the Norway Supreme Masters in Stavanger proving instructive, as he squeezes what little advantage he had through to a win, to now be just half a point behind leader Sergey Karjakin.
M Carlsen - T Radjabov
Norway Supreme Masters, (6)
1 c4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 e3 e6 5 d4 d5 6 cxd5 exd5 7 Bb5 Bd6 8 0–0 0–0 9 dxc5 Bxc5 10 b3 Bg4 11 Bb2 a6 12 Bxc6 bxc6 13 Rc1 Ba7 14 Ne2 Qd6 15 Be5 Qe7 16 Ned4 Bxf3 17 Nxf3 Rfc8 18 Qd3 a5 19 Bxf6 Qxf6 20 Rc2 Rd8 21 Rfc1 c5 22 e4 Qg6 23 Re1 dxe4 24 Qxe4 Qxe4 25 Rxe4 Rd1+ 26 Re1 Rxe1+ 27 Nxe1 Rd8 28 Kf1 a4 29 bxa4 Rd4 30 a5 Ra4 31 Rd2 Kf8 32 Nd3 f6 33 Nb2 Rxa5 34 Nc4 Ra4 35 Rc2 Ke7 36 Ke2 Ke6 37 Kd3 Kd5 38 a3 h5 39 h3 h4 40 Rc1 g6 41 Rc2 g5 42 Rc1 Ra6 43 Re1 Bb8 44 Re7 Bf4 45 Kc3 f5 46 Kb3 g4 47 a4 gxh3 48 gxh3 Rg6 49 a5 Rg1 50 a6 Rb1+ 51 Kc3 Rc1+ 52 Kd3 Rd1+ 53 Ke2 Ra1 54 Nb6+ Kd6 55 Rg7 Kc6 56 Rg6+ Kb5 57 Nd5 Be5 58 Rb6+ Kc4 59 Ne3+ Kc3 60 f4! Bd4 61 Nxf5 c4 62 Rc6 Rh1 63 Nd6 Rh2+ 64 Kf3 Kd3 65 Rxc4 Rxh3+ 66 Kg4 Rh1 67 Ra4 Bf2 68 Ra3+ 1–0