We’re not going back very far at all for this week’s annotated game. It is taken from this year’s Tata Steel Chess Tournament. Round eight of the Masters group, saw World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, paired against Richard Rapport.
It was their first ever meeting and to be fair, one which not many expected to go the way it did, with Rapport winning in 33 moves. Even though Rapport would play the White pieces, the game was not something that was seen as a threat to Carlsen.
So, what happened?
Well, quite simply, Magnus Carlsen made some rather surprising errors. In a position which was quite equal, 22…Rb8 would have held the balance and seen the game heading to a draw. However, Magnus went for 22…d3(?), which was a little too much for his position. Did the World Champion misjudge the situation and believe that he was better? Did he feel the pressure to stamp some authority on the game? Did he just want to go for it and take a risk and it backfired? Did he just simply lose patience? Whatever the reason, it opened the door for his opponent.
As you will see, Richard Rapport wedged his foot well and truly in.